Author Archives: Paul

Bill Bryson’s latest — summertime and the living is, well, something

The prolific Bill Bryson has another book out called One Summer: America, 1927 (Random House Audio, 2013). Bryson performs the reading of the book itself, which, as I have mentioned in previous posts, I usually don’t like. It’s especially embarrassing … Continue reading

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Little Danny Torrance grows up to become Doctor Sleep

I never read Stephen King’s The Shining. I tried to, but I just couldn’t get into it. Now, Stanley Kubrick’s movie version, that I got into. Still, the movie wasn’t so much scary as creepy. Unfortunately, King’s “sequel” to The … Continue reading

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Now you see it . . . Oliver Sacks’ Hallucinations (and everybody’s)

For me, as perhaps for many people, the idea of hallucination has always been terrifying. It always seemed to signal that one had lost control, had stepped off some cliff and fallen, irretrievably, into the abyss of insanity. That had … Continue reading

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If a Cuckoo’s Calling, hang up

Okay, so we all know that The Cuckoo’s Calling (Hachette Audio, 2013, read by Robert Glenister) wasn’t really written by the bogus Robert Galbraith, whose name graces the cover. The book was in fact written by J.K. Rowling, who created … Continue reading

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Still Life, with mulligans

What writer of fiction wouldn’t love to be rescued from his or her own dead ends? You start a story arc with a character and, somewhere along the way you decide it isn’t working; there’s no future for the character … Continue reading

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Best audio + best book = well, best audiobook

To get right to it, this unabridged recording of Ulysses (Recorded Books, 1995, read by Donal Donnelly and Miriam Healy-Louie) is one of the audiobook world’s greatest achievements.  The story of James Joyce’s masterpiece is well known. At least I … Continue reading

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The attraction of Beautiful Ruins

The time span covered in Beautiful Ruins (by Jess Walter, Harper Audio, 2012, read by Edoardo Ballerini) is significant – from roughly mid-World War II to the present. Of course, many novels skip back and forth through decades – centuries … Continue reading

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Gone (but not forgotten) Girl

As I write this review, Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn (audiobook version read by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne, Random House Audio, 2012) sits at or near the top of the New York Times Hardcover Fiction bestseller list. You can’t, … Continue reading

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John Corey faces off with another feline villain in The Panther

I often got the sense while listening to The Panther (by Nelson DeMille, Hachette Audio, 2012, read by Scott Brick), that the novel sounds like one long standup routine by the main character, John Corey. That’s not altogether bad for … Continue reading

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Happy trails — Bill Bryson takes a hike

I first encountered Bill Bryson in his book A Short History of Nearly Everything (the print version), which I thought was magnificent. Bryson has a way of delivering facts with humor, authority and an almost childlike wonder. He also has … Continue reading

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