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Peter M. Deeley, Jr. both wrote and narrated A Quiet Murmuration: A Public Journal of Private Thoughts: The First Fifty 2013, which was released one day after The Leadership Miracle. It is an improvement on his other work, but resembles a book of poetic prose more than it resembles a coherent work of nonfiction in a biography or memoir and also falls short, but for different reasons. This book, only an hour and 30 minutes, is a series of short musings and journal entries in the life of an everyman. Some of the instances are thoughtful and even funny, others simply someone focusing on his life and the everyday of it. As someone who had lived in Tempe, Arizona I was initially excited that I might have a connection with the book, but the rapid fire musing after musing and its lack of connection with greater threads makes it hard to follow. It is like one listens as television commercials sometimes entertain and sometimes distance the viewer. Each episode is a fleeting entry, with a salient moment or two, but if asked, a listener would likely be hard pressed to tell a person what the book was about. If however, the author would take the time to rebrand the book as distinctly Arizonan, revise both the order and content to fit this place, it would go a long way in providing a concrete setting. That I believe would improve the feel to help anchor each story as part of the greater Southwest. I have to recommend that the author take the time to get feedback from honest reviewers that he might improve his craft by working with an editor. He mentions that his father “doesn’t listen to podcasts” and I wonder if this too is a rehashing of podcast episodes with a .jpg image. There is good inventory in the book, clear nuggets that one could use to craft a sculpture, but as is, sending musings to an audiobook reader falls flat as having a stranger read a person’s personal journal.
The author and narrator were the same person in this book as well and because the material is personal and important to the narrator, the reader enjoys an even greater enthusiasm and well-placed and authentic changes in tone and audio vibrancy. However, as talented as the narrator is, he cannot make up for the lack of connecting threads and seemingly haphazard musings from the book. If comparing this book to the one published the day before, it becomes clear that when reading personal anecdotes rather than prescriptive instruction, the author succeeds to a greater extent with imagery and verbal emphasis.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
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