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Ron L. Caldwell

New York, NY USA
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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-16-18

A bit too much gee-whizzing

I'm a child of the 60s and Leonard Bernstein was a god to me. West Side Story and Candide changed my life. In the ensuing decades other of his compositions have spoken to me. I was in the audience for rehearsals of Houston Grand Opera's productions of Trouble in Tahiti and A Quiet Place. All that is leading up to saying that I have the greatest respect for the maestro's immense talent.

Jamie Bernstein is a clear-eyed observer and reporter of her and LB's life and relationship. I'm grateful for that. The only criticism that I would offer is that there's a bit too much of the forced cutesy-ness in her childhood stories. The family's in-jokes are not all that funny to an outsider.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-01-18

Somewhat disappointing

This is a well-written book, bit instead of a thorough account of quantum gravity, precious little of the text is devoted to that slippery subject. Instead, we get a rather prosaic history of physics from the ancient Greeks on. While that's interesting, it's well-trodden territory, and not why I bought the book.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-15-18

Excellent book in a great series

This is a very well-written and entertaining book, with engaging characters and an interesting plot. I really like our hero, Sean Duffy, a Catholic officer in the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Northern Ireland. He's smart, witty, and fallible. The rest of the characters are engaging, too. These books are set in the 1980s, so they are blessedly devoid of technobabble. I would recommend listening to the whole series in order.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-13-17

Gritty and witty

Sean Duffy is a wonderful, richly drawn character and these books in which he figures are marvelous. The author immerses us in a time long-past with references to music and the fundamental elements that make life in the early 1980s in Ulster so different from life now. The whole novel is saturated with sharp wit. Our hero is complex and his decisions not always pretty, which makes tagging along with him that much more interesting. He's in a constant moral quandary, for reasons you'll know right away. I have already bought three or four more books in the series, and look forward to many happy hours spent with Duffy and his estimable colleagues.

AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-08-17

What a lovely book

This book is pure pleasure. It follows the life of a fictional British writer through a partly non-fictional world. We hear about our main character, Logan Mountstuart, mostly through his journal entries, with a few asides. His life is by turns exotic, tragic, successful, penurious, and - occasionally - triumphant. It is an extraordinary life that one wishes had been true in all its complexity.

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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-23-17

Repetitive

How many times and in how many different ways can a writer tell us that we can't picture the underlying concepts of quantum mechanics because they don't follow the rules of the macro world and of common sense? Our author manages to say that, again and again. Many other books do this as well and succinctly.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-01-16

A master at work

Nabokov gave us Lolita, a book I admire but don't absolutely love. To my taste, this memoir is without equal. The author's fascinating life effervesces in each perfectly crafted sentence.

Stefan Rudnicki is a terrific narrator who reads like he's really thought about the words passing through his lips.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-01-16

Impeccable scholarship...

...told by one who was there.

This is a monumental work, but I haven't found an extra word. Very well-crafted and compelling. I'm sure there have been many discoveries that would alter some of the author's assertions, but this is an excellent primer if you're interested in what happened in Germany in the Nazi era.

Grover Gardner delivers a meticulous performance which is a joy to hear.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-01-16

Still fascinating

This, with the other books in the trilogy, is a masterpiece of storytelling. Barker has marshalled an encyclopedic knowledge of the WWI era and turned it into a nimble combination of compelling fact and brilliant fiction. The narration is superb, too. I can't recommend these books enough. They may just change your life.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-27-16

A charlatan of the first order

The late Mr. Hitchens had Mother Teresa's number. "She wasn't a friend of the poor; she was friend of poverty." She raised tens of millions of dollars, yet neither created nor left behind anything tangible that would alleviate the suffering of the poor.

She's about to be canonized, though the "miracles" attributed to her are specious. The first is positively fraudulent, as Monica Besra's physicians and husband can attest.

Teresa of Calcutta, in life and in death, has been the cause of much suffering. That she continues to be lionized is the function of our culture's inability to reason clearly.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful