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PHILIP

  • 14
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  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 16
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Surely such a disk needs to be indexed!

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

Reviewed: 12-08-15

I am sure the bird sounds are fine, but who wants to listen to a series of bird noises? What I was expecting was that it would provide a search mechanism so that I could listen to a particular bird. Without that, it is useless to me.

3 people found this helpful

Great novel of the Spanish Civil War

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

Reviewed: 01-01-14

As most reviewers of this book have said, this is a really great novel - that is one that can stand comparison with the great novels of world literature. The wonderfully sympathetic central character and the horrific but surreal events of the war are wonderfully depicted. For learners of Spanish like myself, the language can be challenging, and reading the text as well as listening only enhanced my appreciation of this great novel. In summary a wonderful text, beautifully read; cannot recommend highly enough.

good crime story set against the poverty of Cuba

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

Reviewed: 01-01-14

A thoroughly enjoyable and well written detective story set against the poverty of Castro's Cuba, and the sex industry deriving from it. The language is staightforward and the style simple and direct - appropriate for the characters and situation. The sympathy for the poverty of the Cubans, and the very liberal narrator keep the darkness of corruption out of sight, making it entertainment with a message rather than a deep analysis of the situation. Juan Manuel Martinez reads it without rush but with lots of momentum. Highly recommended for good, consciousness-raising entertainmet.

An interesting review of political corruption

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

Reviewed: 09-12-13

A well-written and informative review of the political corruption and its effects on the life paths of the protagonists in Dominica, it is very true to life, and as such, does not go into the internal experiences of any of the characters - the writer cannot observe them. But this viewpoint does not bring the insight nor the emotional impact which a more subjective view would provide.
Well-read by Francisco Rivela.

Personal experience an antidote to bigotry

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

Reviewed: 09-12-13

The publisher's description exactly matches the experience of the book. Short, eloquent, and involving, this is a novel that by reporting the experience of growing up with two mothers, makes a most powerful case against anti-gay bigotry. The sense of the personal hurt resulting from the need to conceal the situation from friends and teachers is powerfully revealed, even if the loving care from two splendid parents - or four if one includes the relationship with her biological father and his new wife - is a gift one would wish for all children. Like the 'Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself' (free on Kindle!), the personal experience of social repression reveals how the 'little aspects' of the situation hit the individual and undermine them, and light up the depth of the social injustice tht is visited on them. Five stars are reserved for great classics; this lacks that depth and scope, otherwise this would be a five star recommendation.
The reading by Pilar Laguna is reliably enjoyable and eloquent.

Action adventure with deeper intentions

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

Reviewed: 27-11-13

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The rigidly noble Tuareg of the title, with his loving and beautiful ex-slave wife seemed like well painted cut-outs rather than three dimensional people. Like Manaos, the background is well-researched and plausible.

Would you be willing to try another book from Alberto Vázquez Figueroa? Why or why not?

I read Manaos before this, and enjoyed it much more. The brutality of the Amazon rubber extraction made a more compelling backdrop to the sympathetic but rather one-dimensional hero of that novel.

What about Fernando Díaz’s performance did you like?

Clearly read with momentum and expression.

Did Tuareg inspire you to do anything?

Probably not to buy another of Figueroa's work.

Any additional comments?

Adventure novels are not usually my choice, and so this critical review should be taken with a pinch of salt if you like them. Figueroa makes the context interesting, and I guess it is very well researched; the action rattles on at a good pace, supported by fluent, clear and evocative writing.

Migrants and other ghosts in a classic novel.

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

Reviewed: 27-11-13

This is a great, sweeping, magical realist novel of Cuba and the diaspora to Miami, reminding me of Allende's "The House of Spirits". It is very much a ghost story, with the thread being the tales of the ghost's family over several generations, which finally links with the 'real' heroine's life. The evocation of the attitudes and times of the various branches of the family - negro/mulatto, spanish, and chinese are vivid and interesting, and the recreation of their interaction in Cuba lively and enjoyable. The ghostly elements seemed to fit the characters, and so to be a way of enriching them, even to this rationalist reader. It has a strong theme of what it is to be a migrant and so only partly rooted in the place where each of the characters finds themselves. This range of characters, places, and times, all of which are intercut with the present, was a bit of a challenge in an audiobook. (I think the printed version has a family tree to refer to! This was read out, but my memory is not sharp enough to grasp and recall so much information.) The language is rich and enjoyable but was by itself a challenge to my limited Spanish. In summary, to be recommended as a classic novel, which will encourage me to search out others by Daina Chaviano.I thoroughly enjoyed the reading by Pilar Laguna.

1 person found this helpful

Superior Telenovela

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-12-12

Almost the final sentence of the book is 'life is a telenovela', and that rather sums it up. Well written, quite pacy, and capturing the rootlessness and sudden reverses of fortune of the immigrant, or those who have migrated and lost their roots, but lacking in any depth, though not without suggestions of deeper intentions.

As usual Adriana Sananes does a wonderful job on the reading.

Thomas Hardy

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-10-12

This reminded me of Thomas Hardy but with the sense of inevitable damage mitigated by the much less disastrous final outcome. The abridged version seems to make some abrupt shifts, and may leave out interesting pictures of Havana life in the 19th century, which would considerably deepen the novel. (I do not know the full length version). Its classic status still shines through, and the reading is excellent.

Disturbing novel on sexual exploitation and class

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-10-12

Written with elegance, detachment and irony about the interaction of the upper and lower classes in Victorian England, and dealing with the trades made by the protagonists to get a softer and more sexually fulfilled life in an emotionally cold world. The deadpan presentation of the initial outrage and later apparently very willing acceptance by the 'victims' and cool search for gratification by the rich and powerful provides a thought-provoking reflection on the nature of human relationships, where empathy is absent. Disturbing but not titillating.