Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Review: The William Faulkner Audio Collection

The William Faulkner Audio Collection The William Faulkner Audio Collection by William Faulkner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Enjoying the ride, and the language, but its a mixed bag overall in the performances. Carradine's delivery of the novella "Spotted Horses" is breathlessly terrific! Debra Winger just doesn't do it for me, and the Faulkner himself is kinda indecipherable. The readings from "That Evening Sun" ruin the story for its honestly racist interpretation. Still, I listened for love of the story. But, even if Faulkner was a matter-of-fact racist, of-his-age and sublime in his interpretations of the struggles of the legacies of slavery and an impoverished white south, that man reading didn't have no right to make Nancy sound like that.

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Review: My Father's Tears and Other Stories

My Father's Tears and Other Stories My Father's Tears and Other Stories by John Updike
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just finished this as a "book on tape," well CDs. It's my first foray into Updike since "Rabbit Run" in high school. The work is drenched with all of the fragile humanity and glistening prose of infidelity, divorce and real talk that has kept me from him all these years. I have been building my own life with an eye on solidity and a desired permanence. I do not need his encouragement. He was a college classmate of my dad's and that has always meant a lot to me. This late-in-life collection displays a craftsman at a pinnacle before the precipice, ripe with similes and metaphors that make you rethink how you process every word and thought yourself.

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Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Review: Motown: Music, Money, Sex, and Power

Motown: Music, Money, Sex, and Power Motown: Music, Money, Sex, and Power by Gerald Posner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After a trip to the Motown Museum this summer, and swinging by Michael Jackson's birthhome in Gary, IN, I have been reading a few books on Detroit and Motown. I cried uncontrollably in the Museum. There's something about Motown: Detroit, Gordy, Motown 25 as a watershed moment in my life, what I teach my son and want him to know, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder...so much about what's great and abysmal about the United States in the second half of the twentieth century. The author writes about MJ and quotes him: Shy and withdrawn and so soft-spoken that often people had to strain to hear him, he felt at home only when performing. “I was raised on stage,” he told one journalist. “And I am more comfortable out there that I am right now. When it comes time to go off, I don't want to. I feel like there are angels on all corners, protecting me. I could sleep on stage.” (p.237)

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