Archive | Reviews

Capital Volume 1

Capital Volume 1
By Karl Marx • Read by Derek Le Page

Exploitation never goes out of fashion

The conqueror will occupy your lands and then sell your resources back to you on credit and tell you all the time it’s a good deal for you. Marx said that multiple times in this book and that’s a metaphor he used to describe the fate of the working person (labor) when at the mercy of capital.

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Le Grand Meaulnes

Le Grand Meaulnes

Alain-Fournier • Read by John Hollingworth

A fine new version of the classic 1913 tale of an adolescent yearning for his lost love, set in an ancient chateau in the heart of France. John Hollingworth’s laconic but engaged performance is well judged.

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Four Arthurian Romances

Four Arthurian Romances

By Chrétien de Troyes • Read by Nicholas Boulton

Tales of King Arthur are the best-known work of the 15th-century writer Sir Thomas Malory. But WW Comfort’s elegant prose translations of the 12th-century French romancer Chrétien de Troyes take the listener in new directions with his stories of Erec and Enide, Cligès and Yvain, the Knight of the Lion. Chrétien also gave us an early version of Lancelot’s ill-fated love for Guinevere. Nicholas Boulton rises superbly to the solemnity of high chivalry.

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Land of Men

LAND OF MEN (WIND SAND AND STARS)

By Antoine de Saint-Exupéry • Read by Nicholas Boulton

AUDIOBOOK OF THE WEEK

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BEWARE OF PITY

BEWARE OF PITY
By Stefan Zweig, Read by Nicholas Boulton

Nicholas Boulton’s performance of the only full-length novel of the great Stefan Zweig is impeccable, impassioned, and moving. Zweig’s storytelling here is old-fashioned, feeling almost Chekhovian at this remove. Set right before WWI, it’s a domestic tragedy told in the shadow of the looming destruction of a world and about a young Austrian cavalry officer trying to behave honorably to a rich but hysterically needy crippled girl with whom he is entangled. Boulton’s Lt. Hoffmiller is both an exotic to us and utterly familiar as a young man whose not-uncommon flaw is that he doesn’t understand his own emotions. Zweig’s achievement is to show what damage this can do on small stages or large; Boulton’s is to make us vibrate in sympathy with Hoffmiller.

B.G.
Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine [Published: OCTOBER 2017]

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THE SORROWS OF YOUNG WERTHER

THE SORROWS OF YOUNG WERTHER

Wolfgang von Goethe, Read by Leighton Pugh • Unabridged • OCTOBER 2017

Written in 1774 when Goethe was just 24, this short novel is a series of letters written by a young man in the throes of impossible love with a woman who is engaged to someone else. Leighton Pugh is marvelous in his role as narrator. Although the epistolary form means there’s little opportunity for multiple voices, Pugh changes the color and timbre of his narration in all the right spots, enlivening the text and ensuring that it never sounds like a monologue. One of the appeals of this classic work is that Werther is charming and likable, despite his heavy burden. Pugh’s narration is equally energetic, never maudlin, and helps listener empathize with the doomed title character.

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THE WORLD OF YESTERDAY

THE WORLD OF YESTERDAY
By Stefan Zweig Read by David Horovitch

David Horovitch’s sublime narration of Zweig’s haunting memoir matches excellence with excellence, style with style. Completed the day before he committed suicide in 1942, Zweig’s narrative is a bittersweet medley of nostalgia and despair, starting with the golden turn-of-the-century years when Vienna was the center of European intellectual and artistic activity, all of which was destroyed with the Nazi ascent in Austria. Film director Wes Anderson has reawakened interest in Zweig, an artist who was once Europe’s bestselling novelist—and who, in time, saw his books burned in public. Horovitch sounds as you imagine Zweig would sound and portrays Zweig’s sensibility, style, and moral compass perfectly, and indelibly. And, happily, if you are new to Zweig, a long list of his slim, elegant novellas awaits you on audio, in English, German, and French. D.A.W.

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine

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THE WORLD AS WILL AND IDEA VOLUME 1

THE WORLD AS WILL AND IDEA VOLUME 1 
By Arthur Schopenhauer • Read by Leighton Pugh

“There is no philosophy without Schopenhauer!!!!!” Where does The World as Will And Idea, Volume 1 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?As a member for more than 10 years , I was always on the look out for it..#1….

What other book might you compare The World as Will And Idea, Volume 1 to and why?The writings of Kant are in the same vein , but Kant is not as accesssible…

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