AUDITEUR

Fraser Simons

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Well worth a listen

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-08-27

Keaton is a fantastic narrator and there’s plenty of very interesting essay topics, most of which are from before I was even born, so I found them fascinating.

Somewhat interesting

Au global
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
3 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-08-27

The prose are always good with this writing pair. This time it’s following a scientist who works on Eros. It’s somewhat interesting but I didn’t care about the character because it’s shedding understanding on how those people did what they did. It was alright.

Better than expected but containing one fatal flaw

Au global
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
3 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-08-22

3.5* I wasn’t aware this was anything more than historical romance, so was pleasantly surprised that it was such a hybrid. More historical accuracy than I’d expected as well. Touches on Scottish mythology and superstitions, has jailbreaks and rebel Scotts and political intrigue. Of course, sex and sexuality, and gender roles are central—to its benefit and detriment. This would have been an easy 4 stars for me if it didn’t rely so heavily on the presence of sexual assault. Especially in the first three quarters of the novel. Seems like anytime Claire screws up she’s threatened with rape from all sides. Even backstory of other characters involve rape. It’s very preoccupied with it, and I guess because it sets up the main sort of stakes as to whether or not Claire will be with her “real” husband or her Scottish one, the stakes are also sexualized? It just made me desensitizing toward the issue and felt incredibly lazy as it went on. The fact that men were threatened with it as well mildly breaks from the trope I suppose, but come on. Not sure if I’ll continue with the series or not. Might give the show a chance instead. *Spoiler warning* The largest gripe I have, though, is Randall himself and the homophobia. Randall is revealed to essentially just be an evil gay also in love with Jamie. The contrasts between Randall as an ancestor and Claire’s husband is maybe semi interesting? Men reacting to power dynamics and war differently. But there’s certainly no positive depictions of gay men and uhh she was spirited away on magical rocks that are not even historically present, so saying it’s all for historical accuracy is bs. Especially when she herself is challenging gender roles and expectations and Jamie seemingly seems written to break stereotypes of how a male love interest might be depicted. The Duke is also always laughed at and the subject of open ridicule and he empowers Randall to do as he does. Extremely suspect and bumped down my rating because it hampered my enjoyment.

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It’s fine?

Au global
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
3 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-08-19

I’m not suppopper into nationalism, especially now with what’s happening at a social level and the current state of our government and dollar, but it’s nice to be reminded of a few intrinsically Canadian things. It’s free. It’s fine. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Great performances, difficult subject matter, a good effort but ultimately somewhat toothless.

Au global
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
3 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-04-13

First off, this book has a lot of content warnings. There’s explicit and graphic abuse of every kind, including sexual. The story centres around loss of agency and consent. Some sex scenes are incredibly deprecating and hard to read. This book tries to make you uncomfortable and it does. Secondly, I think My opinion should be taken with a grain of salt as I’m a straight white guy. I’m not in any position to know if the m-m sex scenes are well written or framed properly for the subject matter. Essentially, the sexual content was just there for me, in service to the story being told or not. I’d check out other reviews to get a clearer picture of the book, as this book attempts to tackle a lot of heavy stuff. This is a hard book to review because of its subject matter and how it’s framed. it’s primarily a character drama between a trillionaire, Alex, who purchases the debt of Elisha, whose family has accrued a whopping 3 million of it due to this near future reformed debt laws which make it so next of kin inherit any debt of family. Essentially no debt is ever forgiven and the living poor have little recourse but to engage in indentured servitude, imbibing a drug that makes them completely compliant and erases all memory of their service. Elisha is purchased by Alex and refuses this drug because he’s seen first hand that the drug has harmful side affects. His mother was a “docile” (the term for this indentured servitude) for 10 years and when she stopped taking the drug it didn’t leave her system problem, leaving her disabled. Alex is a scientist, a member of the super rich, and his family is responsible for creating the drug Dociles take, which is supposed to be 100% safe. To maintain social status he’s pressured into getting a Docile and to develop a new, even better version of the drug. When Elisha refuses to take the drug, Alex proceeds to “train” Elisha using brainwashing techniques and positive reinforcement, all of which is expressly abusive and framed as wrong in the text from the onset. These scenes are vivid and graphic and intensely disturbing. After this brainwashing Alex begins to see Elisha as a person and releases him from his contract, Elisha has to learn how to process his trauma and figure out who he is again and Alex has to deal with his failure to live up to his obligations, with his various privilege being stripped from him as he begins to deprogram his own privilege, which contributed to the way he sees and treats those around him. As a character drama about trauma and abuse, and to a certain extent, privilege in society—it worked pretty well. The relationship dynamic and complex. The book felt well written, in general. And there are some really great human moments I really liked. Where the book faltered for me was in framing this story that wanted to be about systemic oppression, privilege, and consent solely on this one relationship. We are told pretty much what I have outlined here about debt and there’s some neat future tech, and this drug. And that’s about it. We aren’t really told what the system is. Is this the same as present day America, only with these changes? If so, it is incredibly off putting that slavery is never mentioned. The story itself, and the framing of these two white characters—one incredibly privileged and one working poor—doesn’t situate itself at a systemic level. Even as it is attempting to talk about these topics, it does so only through the lens of privileged characters. While Alex is always framed as doing something wrong, and I do like that it introduces a restorative justice angle, the only things it seems he has to make up for is perpetuating this cycle of abuse on ‘debters’ like Elisha, and for the personal abuse inflicted on Elisha himself without addressing the criminal aspect of Alex’s actions. Is it to be believed that the contract legally allows Alex to do these things to Elisha? All that appears to be on the line is the reputation of the company selling the drug and the family name, social status, etc. So the restorative justice feels extremely weak because the repercussions are so weak, they hardly matter. Alex basically has to confront his privilege and lose friends and family or whatever. The stakes are so low and actual privilege never being defined in terms of the world, that it feels quite toothless in the end. The world building feels maddeningly incomplete. Patrons of Dociles have to follow some rules, such as keeping them in good health, but what about this breach with Elisha’s brainwashing and trauma? It’s my feeling that this book could have been incredibly effective and is a missed opportunity. With what it’s preoccupied with discussing within the framing of the story, I did end up feeling it was worth the read, however.

Worth a listen

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
3 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-04-01

This was really fun to listen to. It’s not a wildly well written story but seems like it’s written to be something a studio would want to produce. The cast and production are amazing. Glad I got it.

Gripping. Quickly became one of my favourite books

Au global
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
5 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-03-25

I don’t even like rock and roll stories. For me, they always miss the point. This does not miss the point. I had written it off as hype last year. But when it popped up as a suggestion on Libby, I thought I’d give it a shot. I listened to the audiobook with the full cast almost straight through. I could not stop listening. I loved everything about it. Idyllic about how a story like this usually ends, somehow presenting it in the documentarian way, especially from the lens of the interviewer, just worked for me. I don’t give a fuck about that time some rocker died from drugs and then came back alive or whatever. Tell me about why they’re so broken. Not how pretty some broken thing is or was. Everything I never knew I wanted from a story like this.

Interesting stuff

Au global
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Histoire
4 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-03-18

The author is an alright narrator and the idea of citizens working to solve crimes, especially as technology gets better, is an interesting one.

Should be required reading

Au global
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
5 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-03-16

The historical context grounds the nuances of the later discussion regarding how people of colour are routinely policed and manipulated, especially when it becomes political. It made more sense and was especially clear to me as a Canadian, where we have had a similar education to the UK, and thus have similar responses and biases. Should be required reading, imo. Incredibly clear, concise. Probably the most helpful text I’ve read about the issue to date.

Highly recommend it

Au global
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Histoire
5 out of 5 stars

Évalué le: 2020-03-15

Great narration, and while the plot is fairly slow, I still enjoyed it quite a bit; it suited the story well and was always interesting.