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review 2018-06-14 18:45
BORN A CRIME: STORIES FROM A SOUTH AFRICAN CHILDHOOD written and narrated by Trevor Noah
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood - Trevor Noah

 

BORN A CRIME: STORIES FROM A SOUTH AFRICAN CHILDHOOD is hands-down, one of the most hilarious and informative audio books EVER. Seriously, it's outstanding.

 

I admit that I stopped watching THE DAILY SHOW after Jon Stewart left. I didn't know much about Trevor Noah other than the fact that he was a comedian before coming to that television show. I know a lot more now and I've started watching TDS again.

 

I remember hearing about Apartheid, but I didn't have a clear understanding as to how it affected people. Now, I understand a little better. This is Trevor's story about growing up in South Africa, his family-specifically his walking miracle of a mother, ("Jesus is my health insurance."), his father and his stepfather. It's about family life, church, music, and so much more. It's funny and entertaining, but it's also painfully honest at times, and it's those times that bring this book home. (I have never laughed at any story that involves the name Hitler. With this book and Trevor's Hitler story? I swear to all that's holy, I almost peed my pants.)

 

As the title suggests, this story only covers Trevor's time in South Africa. I can only hope that he will write another book about how his career as a comedian began and how he came to be hosting THE DAILY SHOW. Please, Mr. Noah, please write some more!

 

The audio is the only way to go with this book. Trevor Noah's accent and delivery make his special story even better. BORN A CRIME is worth your time. (Thanks to Ctgt, Petra and to Melissa for their reviews of this book, which you can find herehere, and here, respectively. 

 

My highest recommendation!

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review 2018-06-08 18:30
THE TEA PARTY by Charles L. Grant, narrated by Matt Godfrey
The Tea Party - Charles L. Grant,Matt Godfrey

A tea party on the lawn in the middle of summer? Sounds great to me! Even if the tea party does take place at the creepiest property in town: Winterrest.

 

THE TEA PARTY plays with one of my favorite horror tropes: evil in a small town. It does it with a haunting atmosphere, unusual weather and natural events, (like winds, and earthquakes), and it also features a large cast of characters. I like quiet horror and this certainly fits the bill.

 

I see a lot of reviews and ratings that aren't so great on this book and it makes me wonder why. The story takes its time, that's for sure, and there's also little blood and gore. But for me, these days, this horror tale fit the bill perfectly, though I do have to admit the denouement left me slightly stunned.

 

I listened to the audio version, narrated by Matt Godfrey, who was outstanding as usual. I found his laid back style to be a perfect match for this slow burning tale of a haunted mansion, an insane stonemason, and the entire town of Deerfield who could not avoid being affected by the recent events in their tightly-knit neighborhood.

 

If slow burning, small town evil stories aren't your thing, (think Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon), you might want to give this one a pass. On the other hand, if this is the type of story you've loved since childhood, like I have, (and that love has only grown), then THE TEA PARTY is definitely one for your "To Read" list.

 

Recommended!

 

*I received this audio courtesy of the narrator with no strings attached. This review is my honest opinion. *

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review 2018-06-06 22:30
AN EXORCISM OF ANGELS by Stephanie M. Wytovich, narrated by Corinne Gahan
An Exorcism of Angels - Stephanie M. Wytovich,Corinne Gahan

AN EXORCISM OF ANGELS is a volume of dark, disturbing, down and dirty poetry.

 

Usually poetry is not my thing, but I won an Audible copy so I had nothing to lose. I soon discovered that I like this type of poetry quite a bit! At the same time, I learned that I could not listen to it all at once, like a novel. I listened to a handful of poems at a time and then I would need to take a break. There are a lot of poems contained within-at first I started to rate each one, but like I said there are a lot of poems here and that became too time consuming. Also, since this was on audio through Audible, (and not Overdrive), there was no way to bookmark the ones I especially enjoyed.

 

To address the poetry itself: here can be found bad boyfriends, murderous girlfriends, ghosts in the attic, drugs in all their different forms-be they delivered by stinging needles, burning lines up the nose, or popping pills-they're all present within these pages. There is self hate, self love, even both at the same time. There is also an affection for words and storytelling that comes through these mostly short but powerful verses.

 

Regarding the narrator, Corinne Gahan, she was excellent. It took a little while to get used to her voicing, but I loved the little extras she added to the words.

 

Dark and devilish, this volume of powerful poetry isn't messing around. It's blunt and in your face. Do you think you can handle it? If so, you should. You should handle it right now. Highly recommended!

 

*I won this audio-book via Twitter, but this is my honest opinion, regardless.*

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review 2018-05-25 18:30
THE ROAD TO JONESTOWN by Jeff Guinn, narrated by George Newbern
The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple - Jeff Guinn

What a sad, sad, story. Even while I was listening, I was hoping for a different ending. 

 

Jeff Guinn is an excellent author of true crime. He is somehow able to relate the facts of the story without passing judgement. In this case, I learned a lot. The Peoples Church, (no apostrophe!), did a lot of work in the area of desegregation. Jim Jones and his wife even adopted a black child. In fact, they did a lot of good works together, for the elderly and for the members of their church. 

 

But as so often happens, absolute power corrupts and all that. Jim ran his church with an iron fist. He slept with many partners and somehow made it so that it was okay within his church. He began to do drugs-a lot of drugs. There was corporal punishment for those who did not follow the rules. He began to become paranoid and unbearable to be around, at times. 

 

Follow this to the end that we all knew was coming. I didn't realize how many people were involved in this mass suicide/mass murder, but I know now it was over 900. I say mass murder because children, (children!), were killed by having a syringe full of poisoned flavor-aide shot down their throats. It's one thing when your twisted beliefs cause you to kill yourself, it's another thing entirely to kill infants and children. It's just such a waste of life. 

 

Despite my attempts, I will never understand this mentality. I'm fascinated with it, I admit, but I can't understand it. Perhaps, it's just not understandable? It's certainly not sane. 

 

If you want to learn more about the Peoples Church and Jim Jones, then I highly recommend this book. I listened to it on audio, narrated by George Newbern and he was excellent. 

 

*I downloaded this audio-book from my library for free. Libraries RULE!*

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text 2018-05-22 22:30
Reading progress update: I've read 62%
The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple - Jeff Guinn

I will never understand quite a few things, but today, ( or lately),  the main one on my mind is the cult mentality. This doesn't only apply to organized cults, but to some churches and/or religions as well.

 

The church cult of Scientology, for instance, has fascinated me for a long while. Same thing with Charles Manson, and now: Jim Jones. Is it the charisma of their leaders? Did they start out "good", (for lack of a better descriptor), and then turn "bad", or were they bad deep down at the core to start with? 

 

My interest doesn't just stop with these "leaders", but also the people attracted to them. What draws people in? Many of these folks are not stupid, in fact some, if not many of them, are well educated. Are they missing something in their lives? Are they  missing something in themselves?

 

I watch/listen/read to/or about people drawn into these types of things, but I still can't figure it out. Why can't they see when things start to go wrong, or when things don't make sense? Why don't they rebel when asked to kill someone, or asked to commit suicide? 

 

I guess the answers to these questions would be quite valuable if we could answer them, wouldn't they?

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