What to Read and From Which to Run
But First...A Word...
You may be asking yourself, at this point, why in the world would I give two hoots about what this idiot has to say? Well, allow me to suggest just a few reasons: First, I'm incredibly opinionated. And snooty? You haven't experienced snooty 'til you've listened to me prattle on. No reviewer worth their salt has ever been described as humble. Snooty: yes, humble: no. I can also spell, pronounce and define such words as onomatopoeia (a word that mimics a sound, i.e. "moo", "growl" or "bang"). See? Add all that to the fact that I can hear very, very well and, well, you have to admit I've got all the necessary qualifications. So listen up!
War and Peace: A BBC Radio Drama
First, it should be noted hear that this CD set is a dramatization of Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace"; not an unabridged reading of the book. It seems to me that, after reading the description, the first sentence of which begins: "A thirty-five member full cast brings to life the passion and turbulence of Tolstoy's epic masterpiece in this BBC Radio dramatization of War and Peace", a relatively intelligent being would correctly deduce that this is, in fact, a dramatization. Still, if you read some of the negative Amazon.com reviews, a fair number of folks were caught off guard. They purchased the item believing it was an unabridged reading of the classic work. Oh well.
I first purchased this version of War and Peace in 1998, in cassette form, prior to one of my forays between Alaska and Oregon. Since that time I've purchased the CD version and ripped it to the hard drive of various laptops and transferred said digitized copy to all manner if iPods and MP3 players. I truly enjoy this audiobook and I find it difficult to believe that others would not. The works of Tolstoy are nothing short of brilliant and this BBC Dramatization does justice to his noble efforts.
The Red House Mystery by A. A. Milne
The only mystery story written by A. A. Milne, the author of Winnie-the-Pooh, as a gift to his father. Early printed editions include the following dedication:
"To John Vine Milne:
My Dear Father, Like all really nice people, you have a weakness for detective stories, and feel that there are not enough of them. So after all that you have done for me, the least that I can do for you is to write you one. Here it is: with more gratitude and affection than I can well put down here.
Read by Kristin Hughes and available free through various apps accessing the LibriVox inventory of free audiobooks this story was written during the "Golden Age of Detective Fiction" in the classic British style. Ms. Hughes does a fantastic job bringing the story to life. She's an outstanding and experienced audiobook reader and I felt fortunate to have had the opportunity to enjoy her performance. The story is, however, more of a "how-dunnit" than a "who-dunnit" since the identity of the murderer becomes evident fairly early on. That fact detracts not one whit from the soul of the story. If you enjoy Agatha Chritie mysteries I feel sure you'll thoroughly enjoy this one!
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