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Jennykching

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Brilliant writer and performer.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-02-2020

Excellent and gripping. One of the greatest writers of all time read by a superb actor.

Brilliant and thought provoking

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-12-2019

Gladwell is such an original thinker--and not afraid to go up against the "woke" hegemony who no doubt would like to burn him down to the ground for suggesting that there may be more to campus unwanted sexual encounters than mere disrespect for women, that those who fail to spot sexual or economic predators are not necessarily colluding with the evil doers etc. and that police brutality is triggered by more than just racism. Our current social media-driven culture doesn't like complex answers. This book is fascinating on so many levels. Gladwell shows that everyone expresses feelings in different ways (making a mockery of those "check your emotional intelligence" quizzes that assess one's ability to read facial expressions). We are not transparent. Our eyes are not windows to the soul. Our faces cannot be read like the faces of the actors in sitcoms like "Friends". We are so much more complicated than that. But we all persist in clinging to these false ideas, especially in relation to strangers, with disastrous consequences at times. When someone we meet "acts" as if they are decent (as Hitler did when met by various members of the British establishment) we are easily fooled. Equally, when a stranger acts in a way that makes us think they are guilty we jump to dire conclusions. Here Gladwell cites the case of Amanda Knox, who failed to look sufficiently grief-stricken when her friend was murdered in Perugia, Italy. Her guilt was a certainty as far as the Italian police were concerned. They felt they needed no further evidence beyond the fact that her quirky behaviour seemed to them to be "totally irrational". They, and the media, made the assumption that she was "an evil fox" who engaged in kinky sex rituals which led, the police asserted, to the murder of her friend. They ignored the very obvious physical evidence left by the real killer. Even Amanda's friends judged her on the basis of her "cold eyes" Everyone should read this book ! but especially people who, through their occupations, deal with or have power over strangers, such as police, health professionals, judges etc. Extremely well written and compelling. The audible version has fascinating interviews with important figures and reenactments that really bring the issues to life.

Wonderful

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-08-2018

Brilliantly conceived, this is a great “teaching novel “ by the extraordinarily accomplished therapist Irvin Yalom. If you want to learn about existential philosophy, psychotherapy and navigating the human condition in order to create a more meaningful life, read this highly enjoyable book.

Fascinating, illuminating and essential reading.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-08-2017

Would you listen to Quarterly Essay 51: The Prince: Faith, Abuse & George Pell again? Why?

I have already listened to it a few times and could do so again. There is a great deal to ponder on in this slim but beautifully written and expertly researched volume.

What did you like best about this story?

It's been thoroughly researched and intelligently crafted. It made me very angry but I expected that. It was very illuminating to read. I now have a much better grasp of the extent of the Catholic Church's criminal indifference to the sex abuse scandal that has decimated their church. Pell was instrumental in helping to orchestrate the church's policy in this regard. His arrogance, narcissism and straight out callousness when it came to the children who were suffering is particularly galling.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A Dark Priest.

Any additional comments?

Brilliant stuff from the wonderful David Marr.

1 person found this helpful

A wonderful book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-08-2017

What did you like most about The Master?

Com Toibin paints a very sympathetic and intelligent portrait of Henry James, which includes some of his rather major shortcomings. Despite these, one can't help feeling love for the man--and empathy for the emotional pain he often suffered. Toibin portrays his idiosyncratic personality and conveys his loneliness (which he no doubt rarely admitted to suffering, even to himself) very finely. This was coupled with his determination to maintain his freedom in order to devote himself to his art. I must say the book is infinitely more readable than some of James' works! The narrator was excellent-- his reading was perfectly pitched.. The book recreates the era beautifully also.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The material covering his relationship with Constance Fennimore Woodson was very finely wrought.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

That concerning his friendship with Constance Finnimore Woolson. Beautifully and sensitively crafted. I was almost in tears (and I'm not a crier). It stayed with me for many days.

Any additional comments?

Hats off to Colm Toibin and the narrator--this is a beautiful book.

A masterpiece -- brilliant, witty, profound and moving.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-11-2016

If I could give this book 6/5 stars, I would. One of the best books I've ever read (or rather, heard). I have had to stop myself from going back for a 4th listen. One of those books you grieve for when it's finished. There is so much in it--every sentence is so elegant, rich, beautifully crafted and full of meaning. And the narrator (Rory Kinnear) is marvellous.