Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Phantom Of The Opera

The Phantom Of The Opera
Author:  Gaston Leroux
Read by:  Alexander Adams

On the screen adn on Broadway, this classic tale of romance an horror has thrilled audiences all over the world.  No director in his right mind could refuse the gothic eeirness of Gaston Leroux's most famous novel.  Now, experience the work that began it all, the story of an ingenious artist driven mad by injustice and love.  Deep in the catacombs beneath the Paris Opera House, a masked monster lurks, dreaming of the day he'll capture a beautiful singer and keep her in his own twilit world.  But the road to realizing his fantasy is strewn with fear and murder.  What evil will the phantom perpertrate when the curtain rises again? Once you hear the original tale, you'll discover why this century-old novel still stirs our imaginations today. 

Personal Notes:
Its a great movie, Great play, but could not get through this book-With early 1900s dialect, this book can be hard to follow.

The Christmas Sweater

The Christmas Sweater
Author:  Glenn Beck
Read by: Glenn Beck

When Eddie was twelve years old, all he wanted for Christmas was a bike, Although his life had gotten harder--and money tighter--sinchi his father died...Eddie dreamed that sat somehow his mother would find a way to have his dream bike gleaming beside their modest Christmas tree that magical morning.  What he got from ehr instead was a sweater.  "A stupid, handmade, ugly sweater"  that young Eddie left in a crumpled ball in the corner of his room. 

Scarred deeply by the realization that kids don't always get what they want, and too young to understand that he already owned life's most valuable treasures, that Christmas morning wa sthe beggining of Eddie's dark and painful journey on the road to manhood.  It will take wrestling with himself, his faith, and his family--and the guidance of a mysterious neighbor named Russell--to help Eddie find his path through the storm clouds of life and finally to see the real significance of that simple gift his mother had crafted by hand with love in her heart.

Personal notes:  Great book,  Its got the child's perspective and excitement about Christmas, but has sad parts too...all come together for a great book with a good story line and good values represented in it. 

Switching Time

Switching Time Author: Richard Baer
Read by: Lloyd James
11 discs

One afternoon in 1989, Karen Overhill walks into psychiatrist Richard Baer’s office complaining of vague physical pains and depression. Odder still, she reveals that she’s suffering from a persistent memory problem. Routinely, she “loses” parts of her day, finding herself in places she doesn’t remember going to or being told about conversations she doesn’t remember having. Her problems are so pervasive that she often feels like an impersonator in her own life; she doesn’t recognize the people who call themselves her friends, and she can’t even remember being intimate with her own husband.
Baer recognizes that Karen is on the verge of suicide and, while using various medications to keep her alive, tries to discover the root cause of her strange complaints. It’s the work of months, and then years, to gain Karen’s trust and learn the true extent of the trauma buried in her past. What she eventually reveals is nearly beyond belief, a narrative of a childhood spent grappling with unimaginable horror. How has Karen survived with even a tenuous grasp on sanity?
Then Baer receives an envelope in the mail. It’s marked with Karen’s return address but contains a letter from a little girl who writes that she’s seven years old and lives inside of Karen. Soon Baer receives letters from others claiming to be parts of Karen. Under hypnosis, these alternate Karen personalities reveal themselves in shocking variety and with undeniable traits – both physical and psychological. One “alter” is a young boy filled with frightening aggression; another an adult male who considers himself Karen’s protector; and a third a sassy flirt who says she emerges when Karen has sex. It’s only by compartmentalizing her pain, guilt, and fear in this fashion – by “switching time” with alternate selves as the situation warrants – that Karen has been able to function since childhood.
Realizing that his patient represents an extreme case of multiple personality disorder, Baer faces the daunting task of creating a therapy that will make Karen whole again. Somehow, in fact, he must gain the trust of each of Karen’s seventeen “alters” and convince them of the necessity of their own annihilation.
As powerful as Sibyl or The Three Faces of Eve, Switching Time is the first complete account of such therapy to be told from the perspective of the treating physician, a stunningly devoted healer who worked selflessly for decades so that Karen could one day live as a single human being.

Personal Notes:  This book is nonfiction,  and picked it up being intrigued about reading about a woman with 17 personalities.  The book is very traumatic; I had to put this book down after getting into about 4 discs of listening to it.  Up to that point it wasnt as much about her different personalities but that she was talking to her psychologist and being able to recall certain "time lapses"  I was unable to finish this book because its very hard listening to the traumatic events this woman went through as a small goes into detail of the horrors she went through being abused by her parents, grandparents, and her parents friends. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lush Life

Lush Life
Author: Richard Price
Read by: Bobby Cannavale
11 discs

Its's 2008, and after eight years dowtown, Eric ash is falling further and further behind in his plans to become an actor. Or a writer.  Or a restaurateur.  To become anything but what he is-the oldest employee at Cafe Berkmann.  So if the new bartender pissed him off, who could blame him?  Ike Marcus had confidence.  He had hustle.  Most of all, in a neighborhood where thrity is the new fifty, Ike was young.  Then one evening a street kid from the "other" Lower East Side stepped up to them and pulled a gun.  Ike's last words were "Not tonight, my man."  At least that was Eric's version.

Personal notes:  I read this and never got into it.  There are alot of characters in the book which can make it hard to follow but it also makes it hard to get into liking any of the characters in the book.  Ike is shot at the beginning of the book and the whole book the cops are trying to find out who killed this guy.  It probably wouldve been better if the character who got shot had been established more, so as a reader you really want justice for this guy's murder vs. as it was set up and you see "Ike" got murdered and basically thats all you know is "Ike" got shot and everyone is upset and wants to find his killer-With many books out there just like this- I wouldnt get this one.

Beautiful Boy

Beautiful Boy
A father's journey through his son's meth addiction
Author: David Sheff
Read by: Anthony Heald
9 dics (approx 11 1/2 hours)

David Sheff's story is a first: a teenager's addiction from the parent's point of view, a real-time chronicle of the shocking descent into substance abuse and the gradual emergence into hope.

Before Meth, Sheff's son, Nic, was a varsity athlete, honor student, and award-winning journalist.  After meth, he was a trembling wraith who stole money from his eight-year-old brother and lived on the streets.  With the haunting candor, Sheff traces the first warning signs, the attempts at rehabilitation, and, at last, the way past addiction.  He shows us that, whatever an addict's fate, the rest of the family must care for one another, too, lest they become addicted to addiction. 

*personal notes:  Once I started reading this book it was very hard to put down.  Its the father telling the story of what he and the family went through with his son's meth addiction.  He battles with his inner-self on what he could've done or what should've been done to avoid his son's addiction.  Partly in denial for a time, wanting to believe his son was just experimenting with weed as a teenager it leads into a full blown meth addiction that in this books makes you realize that the addicted is not the only one who's life is destroyed but the addiction takes over the whole family with their constant worrying on where he is, if he is alive, the battle to help him get better which leads to the realization that the only thing that can be done is nothing until the addicted  choose to help themselves.  The family struggles when the younger siblings don't understand what is happening to their older brother, and suffer when they have parents that always mentally or physically there for them because they are so consumed with trying to get Nic better and away from his addiction.