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Human face to the slave trade

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-11-17

This is the first really political novel that I’ve listened to on audible and I was impressed. The narrator was fantastic and the story does a really good job of balancing the reader/listener’s need for narrative cohesion with a historian’s awareness of the inevitability of loose ends.
What’s interesting is that the anti-abolitionists are not stock-bad-guys. They simply lack empathy and believe that slavery is a natural institution and that it’s not as bad people think. It puts them in the category that Hannah Ardendt called the banality of evil.
The best compliment you can give this type of story is that I learnt truth from the fiction.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Good but repetitive

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-10-29

This gives a good feel for the Lovecraft style of prose, but the faux-Georgian English and casual racism get a little boring after a while. Also, the traditional lovecraftian stuff is from the second half of his career, so this is more of a starting point.

Good short stories

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-09-28

This medium worked really well for the material. Nothing dragged and it gave the opportunity for butcher to show a bit of variety within his setting. This was better than many of the novels.

Not a light commitment

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-09-19

There was something almost sadistic about this story of horrible suffering. When there light hearted moments, one couldn’t help but steel oneself for an upcoming assault on the conscience. It was a little too much for me.

The narrator was great because he was able pronounce Hindi words without being a hawker of exoticism, which others might be. Unfortunately he read so patiently and deliberately that I ended up listening to the second half of the story at time-and-a-half speed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Long but good

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-08-08

Stephen Fry is great in terms of timing and accents. The stories become repetitive and formulaic after a certain point, but that’s to be expected. It gave me a better perception of the time\space that Homes occupied, quite different than film, television and other media emphasize. It was worth the listen.

Sweet story

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-06-02

I chose this one based on the Canada Reads suggestion, though I didn't think that I'd like it as much as I did. I'd thought that it would be vulgar comparison between the Canadian POWs from Hong Kong and the Japanese internments in Canada or a rehashing of Obasan, but it was a much more complex and nuanced story than I thought it would be. The characters were great and the story was naturalistic in the sense that clear narrative arches are hard to impose on real people who don't always live linear stories, but Sakamoto pulls this off without forcing a narrative.

Sugiyama's voice is good for this particular story, because he has a "this-is-how-it-happened" tone to the story that respects the material as memoir rather than fiction.

Not great

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-05-12

There’s a reason that this one is one of the least well known of Tolkien’s work. Lee’s dwarf voices are ridiculous but he’s otherwise great. This one should have stayed as a pile of notes on JRR Tolkien’s desk, rather than being cobbled together as it was.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful