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David

Halifax, NS, Canada
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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-08-18

A treat for Lynch fans

If you’re an obsessive David Lynch fan, you’ll have heard a lot of this before, but the book is still worth listening to for two reasons.

First, there’s the childhood section - the biographer, Kristine McKenna, has done an amazing job of purging together a picture of the young Lynch by interviewing those who knew him. And Lynch himself goes on a hour-long reverie about his experiences as a child, telling many stories that I have not heard him tell before.

Secondly, there’s the final section of the book, which deals with Inland Empire, the ‘music phase’, the marriage to Emily Stofle, and then the return to Twin Peaks and its aftermath. This period has not been covered properly in any previous Lynch biography and it’s very detailed, even if Lynch himself has much less to say.

This is not a perfect audiobook - McKenna reads her own work at a good pace but is rather monotone, and Lynch gives us two almost identical exhortations to take up transcendental meditation. But Lynch’s voice is extremely soothing and overall it’s a fascinating and illuminating trip into his mind.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-19-18

Moving and makes you hungry

A superhero origins story of how a lonely boy who lost his mother ultimately became one of the great food writers.

As expected, Slater writes beautifully concise yet evocative prose, and this book will give those of us who grew up in Britain in the 70s multiple Proustian flashbacks of long-forgotten food items.

Slater isn't a particularly good reader (too many wrongly-stressed words for my taste), but it doesn't matter too much because his personal stake in the writing makes it extremely moving.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-19-18

Perfect

A thrilling story, well-organized by the author and well-told by the narrator. This must be the definitive treatment of this particular mission.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-19-18

Solid information

If you want a solid, listenable history of California that's neither too long nor too short, this is what you need. It covers the early history really well. Toward the end, it becomes more thematic than chronological and loses some narrative drive as a result, but it's still interesting.

The narrator is perfectly decent, and doesn't mangle the Spanish names too much.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-19-18

Not enough peril

I gave up on this one. I usually like books about shipwrecks, discovery and adventure. But these people didn't seem to be suffering enough. They got cast away on a seal-covered island with plenty to eat and the weather wasn't so bad. Maybe things got worse later on, but I got bored and stopped listening.

Does that make me a bad person?

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-19-18

Tolerable

This post-show follow-up to the Secret History still has some of the flaws of its predecessor - too many verbose and fanfic-y biographies of characters - but at least it's shorter, and the final chapters are rather beautiful, meshing well with the baffling and bittersweet ending of Season 3.

The book does answer a couple of questions raised by the TV series, so if you like your Lynchian enigmas pure and unsullied, stay away.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-19-18

Try to forget about Blade Runner

This is very misleading marketing, because the film Blade Runner, is very, very, very different from the novel that inspired it. The novel is full of deliberately silly social satire on manners, the media, and the bourgeois desire for status symbols, and it doesn't contain much moody noir at all. The two works do gradually become more similar as the novel progresses, but it takes a long time.

I could not get Harrison Ford's Deckard out of my head, and my mental images of him behaving like the Deckard in the novel (having a wife, watching terrible TV shows, keeping sheep on the roof of his apartment building) was just too much contradiction for my brain to cope with.

If I try this audiobook again, I'll arrange a memory wipe first, in order to experience it on its own terms.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-19-18

Expert reading of a beautiful novel

Orlando is not an easy novel to read out loud, due to its deliberately baroque language, but Clare Higgins does a masterful job of making it accessible and enjoyable.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-19-18

Pure horror

An absolutely terrifying journey into hell. The story is expertly told and the narrator is superb.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-19-18

Wise reading

Paul Scofield reads the Four Quartets as if he understands every word, and he helps you feel as though maybe you do to.

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