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Tad Davis

Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA Member Since 2005
HELPFUL VOTES
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242
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11
  • "Many voices, at times enthralling"

    Overall

    This new Blackstone recording of "Canterbury Tales" is wonderful and at times enthralling -- and also at times laugh-out-loud funny. Like the Charlton Griffin recording (also available here), it's the whole ball of wax: every tale, including the often-omitted Tale of Melibee and the Parson's Tale (which is really a three-hour sermon rather than a tale. Listen to it. It's good for the digestion, and quite a bit more interesting than it sounds). This translation, by J.U. Nicholson, uses a more old-fashioned vocabulary in places than the Coghill translation used by Griffin; but at the same time, it's also saltier. There are few crude names for parts or functions of the human body that Chaucer fails to use at one point or another, and most of them find their way into this recording. (For me, that's a GOOD thing!) One notable feature is that this is a multi-voice recording. Martin Jarvis is Chaucer, Ralph Cosham the Lawyer, Simon Vance the Squire; and that's only a few examples. Both this version and Griffin's version are five-star recordings in my book. Griffin's has occasional music, which this one lacks; on the other hand, this one has greater variety of tone and voice.

    More

    The Canterbury Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Geoffrey Chaucer
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis, Jay Carnes, Ray Porter, and others
    Overall
    (336)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (207)

    In this edition, we hear, translated into modern English, 20-some tales, told in the voices of knight and merchant, wife and miller, squire and nun, and many more. Some are bawdy, some spiritual, some romantic, some mysterious, some chivalrous. Between the stories, the travelers converse, joke, and argue, revealing much about their individual outlooks upon life as well as what life was like in late 14th-century England.

    Tad Davis says: "Many voices, at times enthralling"
  • "Great prose translation, great reading"

    Overall

    I've always loved W.H.D. Rouse's prose translations of Homer. They've been available on Audible for years in an older recording by Nadia May. Blackstone has just reissued them in new readings by Anthony Heald, and they're wonderful. Heald is fast becoming one of my favorite readers. His fast-paced, emotionally-charged style is perfectly suited to the breezy rhythms of Rouse's prose. There are other more poetic translations and readings of The Iliad and The Odyssey, but to my mind these are by far the best prose versions -- especially appropriate if your goal is to be immersed in the story rather than the language.

    There are some things about Rouse's style you should be aware of, though. Mostly these are reflections of Homer's style, but some translators smooth it over; Rouse does not. Zeus is sometimes referred to Cronides, Cronion, or just plain God. Other characters are referred to sometimes by their names, sometimes by their patronymics (Agamemnon is Atreides, the son of Atreus; Achilles is Peleides, the son of Peleus). Sometimes, as in Cronides/Cronion, those patronymics have more than one form. In addition, Rouse often uses the word "good" to indicate an in-law relationship: a "good-sister" is actually a sister-in-law; a "good-father" is a father-in-law. To me this is part of the charm of the translation, but if you're not prepared for it, it can be confusing.

    More

    Odyssey: The Story of Odysseus

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Homer
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (55)

    One of the great masterpieces of Western literature, The Odyssey chronicles the many trials and adventures Odysseus must pass through on his long journey home from the Trojan wars. Though the stormy god of the ocean is determined to keep him off course, Odysseus is clever and has the brilliant goddess Athena on his side.

    Tad Davis says: "Great prose translation, great reading"
  • "Great reading"

    Overall

    This is yet another excellent reading of "Frankenstein." There are actually several really good performances of this book on Audible. Simon Vance tends to emphasize the lyrical Romanticism of the prose. Others have other strengths: George Guidall emphasizes the brooding tragedy; the three-reader version from Blackstone highlights the unusual structure of the narrative; and Flo Gibson gives what I think is the only available recording of the shorter 1818 version of the text. (Most use the 1831 revision.) I seem to be collecting versions of this book without realizing it. Vance's reading is lively and clearly differentiates the three major voices in the book (Walton, Frankenstein, and the Creature).

    More

    Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (405)
    Performance
    (308)
    Story
    (321)

    At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering "the cause of generation and life" and "bestowing animation upon lifeless matter", Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts. However, upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness.

    Tad Davis says: "Great reading"
  1. The Canterbury Tales
  2. Odyssey: The Story of Ody...
  3. Frankenstein, or The Mode...
  4. .

A Peek at John's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
100
 
54 REVIEWS / 61 ratings 15 Followers / Following 0
 
John's greatest hits:
  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    "Ok, so I was buying a lawnmower..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...and the guy says, "With a lawn as big as yours, you really need a riding mower." I smiled, knowing I had the perfect counterargument to his sales pitch. "That's ok, I have an iPod and I just started The Count of Monte Cristo."

    As the words left my mouth I realized I just forfeited any chance I had that this guy would treat me as a man and a brother. In the horsepower-and-self-propulsion world of your average lawnmower shop, literary discussions are not the ticket to respect. I imaged the thought that was forming under his feed cap: "What a dweeb."

    Instead, his jaw dropped, his eyes popped and he said "That's a great book! I read the unabridged version, and there's a lot of detail, but it's just fantastic!"

    A few weeks later I was catching the train to work. A guard I've become friendly with was supervising the restocking of the vending machines. My train wasn't for a few minutes so I made a detour. After a few casual remarks about the weather the guard noticed the iPod clipped to my jacket and asked what I was listening to. I said The Count of Monte Cristo, with that same shrinking feeling I had at the lawnmower emporium. But the vending guy stood bolt upright, his eyes wide and his hair a-bristle: "That's a great book!"

    I was now convinced I was the only person in the universe who hadn't read The Count of Monte Cristo. And thanks to John Lee and Audible, that flaw in an otherwise blameless upbringing has now been repaired.

    Yes, it includes everything I don't like about 19th Century novels (Jane Austen excluded): it is sloppily, even glutinously sentimental. It is overwrought. It is insanely improbable. It is Gothic. It is Romantic in that overly-ripe, Victorian/Dickensian way that gets under my skin.

    And it is also one of the greatest books I have ever read. Or listened to.

    For all its improbabilities it is true to life. For all it's sentimentality it almost moved me to tears. For all its Gothic cloak-and-dagger antics it is a profoundly, even beautifully Catholic work of literature. It is a big, baggy story full of cul-de-sacs and blind corners, memorable characters and quotable sentences. Yes, the good people are a little too saintly and the bad ones a shade too bad. But what holds it all together is the Count himself. What he suffers, what he does and, finally, what he learns about revenge, forgiveness and redemption are well worth the 56 hour journey. And the lawn looks really good, too.

    John Lee's clean, clear delivery seldom falters. In a six-part audiobook I needed to back up and re-listen only a handful of times to catch something I'd missed. Sometimes the male characters get a little mixed, but that's to be expected in conversations where 4 or 5 are speaking at once. And an invaluable aid to keeping the story straight is supplied by Dumas himself. Since the novel was originally serialized, he's always reminding us of when we last saw a character he's reintroducing to the story--knowing that the newspaper with that vital information has long since been wrapped around a fish in a Parisian gutter.

    I got this one on sale, but even at full price it is a bargain.

  • The Modern Scholar: Masterpieces of Medieval Literature

    "The Kind of Professor I Want My Kids to Have"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, there is Professor Shutt's infectious enthusiasm for the works he's discussing and even more for the insights that can be derived from those works. Then there's his openness to cultural concepts (Beowulf's heroic manliness, for example, or the piety of the Dream of the Rood) that aren't that popular in the academy these days. He never resorts to cheap shots at the faith or ideals of the Middle Ages, never lapses into that "chronological snobbery" (C. S. Lewis' term) that assumes everyone and everything that came before us is somehow inherently less worthwhile.

    Instead, he takes you on an amazing journey through many of the high spots of Medieval Literature, one that will either send you back to reread Gawain and the Green Knight and the Lais of Marie de France or send you forward to finally read those Icelandic Sagas and Troubadour lyrics you somehow managed to dodge in your undergrad days. Unlike most of the lectures I've heard in my life, these bear re-listening. Shutt is that rare type of professor who isn't afraid to admire what others marginalize, nor is he embarrassed by the concept of "truth".



  • Big Money

    "Another Dry Martini. Another Perfect Souffle."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Someone, one of those big-brained chaps no doubt, like Darwin or Shakespeare or Thomas Hardy, once said that trying to describe the pleasure of reading Wodehouse was like trying to describe the perfect dry martini. Similarly, someone else equally brain-burdened likened any attempt at criticizing a Wodehouse story to taking a spade to a souffle.

    Just so. Therefore I'll limit myself to saying this story is standard Wodehouse fare, which means it's a cut above most other humor you're likely to find out there. Another tour of life among the inane and the earnest, the lovelorn and the broke. Of course, it all comes out right in the end. The fun is seeing how that happens. And the fun is also hearing Jonathan Cecil narrate how it happens. Like Frederick Davidson, Cecil gets Wodehouse and never overdoes it, giving the words and the humor the right, light touch.

  • The Scarlet Pimpernel

    "Great Performance, Awful Production"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are a round dozen recordings of The Scarlet Pimpernel available at Audible. Unabridged, abridged, a radio play featuring the great Leslie Howard and even a version in Italian. I chose the one by David Thorn for three reasons: it is unabridged, it is by far the cheapest and, to my ear anyway, it is the best performance. I’ll add a fourth: it isn’t in Italian.

    These impeccable reasons overcame my uneasiness at the cover art: a sort of CGI nightmare of two humanoids in non-period costumes swooning woodenly toward each other (if that’s possible) in the sort of faux-medieval atmosphere familiar to dedicated gamers (or “Barbie Princess” video viewers). But the real problems started when I hit “play”.

    First, my eager ears were saluted by a gaggle of kids chanting, “This is Audible Kids!” Really? This tale of intrigue and guillotines, set in the complex political atmosphere of Revolutionary, Republican France, riddled with references to Gluck and Burke and Fox, is a kid’s story? Granted, what the good baroness wrote is not great literature—in the pantheon I’d put her somewhere near Ian Fleming: a gifted spinner of tales, observer of people and writer of dialogue. Her book is one of the best examples of an iffy genre: popular historical fiction. I can’t recall another story I’ve seen spoofed more often. Still, this isn't kid’s stuff.

    Next came the musical accompaniment at the beginning and end of every chapter. I suppose it’s meant to cast a spell of mystery and intrigue. What sounds like a synthesized guitar (or harp?) wanders up and down the scale hand-in-hand with a toy piano—or possibly a miniature xylophone? I didn’t know what it reminded me of. And then I got it: 70’s lounge music. I could see the shag-carpeted electric piano, the cocktails with little umbrellas. Next thing I expected was Bill Murray belting out, “Sta-a-a-a-a-r Wars, nothing but Sta-a-a-a-a-r Wars!” (Youtube it if you’re too young to remember.)

    Then I discovered that the chapter divisions on my iPod didn’t sync up with the chapter divisions in the book. Instead, my menu showed eight “chapters”, each an hour-and-some-odd minutes long, each containing several actual chapters. In other words, lose your place and you’re lost.

    And in between every chapter was wedged a generous slab or two of the lounge music. But I shouldn't complain. Those oases of synthesized smarminess served as the next best thing to chapter divisions, making the job of finding your place a little easier.

    But the real problem, the thing that makes this recording a tragedy, is that there are words missing.

    At first it wasn’t so bad. At the end of chapter 5, the last few words of the final sentence actually begin to fade away in order to make room for the dreadful muzak. But at least I could hear them.

    Then, at the end of chapter six, the final sentence didn’t make sense at all. Looking up The Scarlet Pimpernel on the Guttenberg Project, I discovered that the sentence was missing its entire second half—words that reveal a detail I very much needed to hear if the story was to make any sense later on. The same thing happens at the end of chapter seven, the middle of chapters thirteen and fourteen and, I have no doubt elsewhere in places I didn’t notice. Admittedly, these later gaps are not nearly as crucial. Still, they’re flaws any competent producer would have caught.

    I called this a tragedy but that’s too strong a word. This is simply a waste. Because David Thorn’s performance—his delineation of character, his pacing, his ability to keep several simultaneous voices (and the narration) distinct and vivid—is very good. It is a shame that his fine performance should be marred by such slipshod production. And it’s a shame that such a good yarn—a story that has come, like the Three Musketeers, to define our collective image of the period in which it is set—should be robbed of it’s full vigor.

    I can give you no better proof of that vigor than by saying that, in spite of all the production flaws, I persevered because I was hopelessly hooked. It really is a glorious, swashbuckling rip-snorter of a story. Yes, at heart it is a bodice-ripper. The horns of Lady Blakeney’s various dilemmas are dwelt upon ad nauseum. One more reference to “a woman’s heart” and I probably would have given up. But there is good writing here and even shrewd insights.

    For example, this description of an empty dining room is something of a tour de force:

    “When Chauvelin reached the supper-room it was quite deserted. It had that woebegone, forsaken, tawdry appearance, which reminds one so much of a ball-dress, the morning after.

    “Half-empty glasses littered the table, unfolded napkins lay about, the chairs—turned towards one another in groups of twos and threes—very close to one another—in the far corners of the room, which spoke of recent whispered flirtations, over cold game-pie and champagne; there were sets of three and four chairs, that recalled pleasant, animated discussions over the latest scandal; there were chairs straight up in a row that still looked starchy, critical, acid, like antiquated dowager; there were a few isolated, single chairs, close to the table, that spoke of gourmands intent on the most recherche dishes, and others overturned on the floor, that spoke volumes on the subject of my Lord Grenville's cellars.

    “It was a ghostlike replica, in fact, of that fashionable gathering upstairs; a ghost that haunts every house where balls and good suppers are given; a picture drawn with white chalk on grey cardboard, dull and colourless, now that the bright silk dresses and gorgeously embroidered coats were no longer there to fill in the foreground, and now that the candles flickered sleepily in their sockets.”

    Not bad. Not bad at all.

    Then there are keen observations that get at the heart of the paradoxes of the French Revolution and, indeed, of all modern totalitarianism:

    “On seeing the strangers…[the innkeeper] paused in the middle of the room… looked at them, with even more withering contempt than he had bestowed upon his former guests, and muttered, "Sacrrree soutane!"

    “[One of the newcomers] had taken a quick step forward towards Brogard. He was dressed in the soutane, broad-brimmed hat and buckled shoes habitual to the French cure, but as he stood opposite the innkeeper, he threw open his soutane for a moment, displaying the tri-colour scarf of officialism, which sight immediately had the effect of transforming Brogard's attitude of contempt, into one of cringing obsequiousness.”

    In other words, the political saviors have quickly become even more terrifying (and hateful) than even the Church that had supposedly been oppressing everyone so ruthlessly up until then.

    Long story short: this is a good book and a very good performance, hampered by lamentable production. Which is probably why it was the cheapest.

Lawrence

Lawrence Monroeville, PA, United States 12-22-10 Member Since 2009
HELPFUL VOTES
289
ratings
REVIEWS
38
20
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
20
0
  • "much better than expected"

    14 of 14 helpful votes

    This book was on my bucket list. I didn't think I'd like it because it is currently popular with conservative wingnuts who do not share my political views. To my suprise, it seems to be more about rugged individualism than politics. The protagonists have a Hemmingway flavor, i.e., marching to their own tune. The plot moves well. And, contrary to what some critics say, the prose style is succinct and colorful. I heartily recommend this novel whether you are a righty or lefty. The price is right, too.

    More

    The Fountainhead

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2945)
    Performance
    (1643)
    Story
    (1664)

    One of the 20th century's most challenging novels of ideas, The Fountainhead champions the cause of individualism through the story of a gifted young architect who defies the tyranny of conventional public opinion. The struggle for personal integrity in a world that values conformity above creativity is powerfully illustrated through three characters: Howard Roarke, a genius; Gail Wynand, a newspaper mogul and self-made millionaire; and Dominique Francon, a devastating beauty.

    Zachary says: "The Fountainhead"

What's Trending in Classics:

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UNABRIDGED) by J.R.R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis

    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Volume 1: The Treason of Isengard

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By J.R.R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (104)

    Frodo and the Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom. Now they continue their journey alone down the great River Anduin, alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.

    Catherine says: "third book of the series"
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    To Kill a Mockingbird (






UNABRIDGED) by Harper Lee Narrated by Sissy Spacek

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Harper Lee
    • Narrated By Sissy Spacek
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    Story
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    Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south - and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred, available now for the first time as a digital audiobook. One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than 40 languages, sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the 20th century by librarians across the country.

    Alan says: "Stunning"
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    Time Regained: Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 7

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Marcel Proust
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
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    Darwin8u says: "Full of emotional/intellectual/experiential joules"
  • 4.9 (21 ratings)
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    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 40 mins)
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    Master i Margarita - "posledniy zakatnyy" roman M.A. Bulgakova, roman zaveshchanie, voskresshiy iz pepla unichtozhennoy avtorom pervoy redaktsii. V Mastere i Margarite fantastika natalkivaetsya na realizm, mif na istoricheskuyu dostovernost, teosofiya na demonizm, romantika na klounadu.

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  • 4.8 (19 ratings)
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    Over the years, Classical archaeology has evolved from a pastime of collectors and antiquarians to a mature science. Today, the field is a multidisciplinary effort that involves not only traditional diggers, but also geologists, geographers, anthropologists, and linguists.These 36 lectures introduce you to this fascinating field of study. Professor Hale guides you through dozens of ancient sites with the skill of a born storyteller.

    Marcheta says: "Excellent material and presentation"
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    In June 1917, W. S. Maugham was asked by the British Secret Intelligence Service, to undertake a special mission in Russia to support Kerensky's government. The mission failed, and two and a half months later, the Bolsheviks took control. Maugham subsequently said that if he had been able to get there six months earlier, he might have succeeded. Quiet and observant, Maugham had a good temperament for intelligence work. The writer used his spying experiences as the basis for his collection of short stories called Ashenden: Or the British Agent. They became the prototype for the modern espionage novel.

  • 4.8 (14 ratings)
    Anne of Avonlea: Anne of Green Gables, Book 2 (






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    Anne of Avonlea: Anne of Green Gables, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By L. M. Montgomery
    • Narrated By Laurie Klein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    (14)
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    This is the second story in the Anne of Green Gables series. Skinny little red-haired Anne has changed into a pretty 16-year-old and is all grown up - well, sort of grown up. The story opens with Anne as a school teacher at Avonlea school. When Anne reached the school that first morning, she was confronted by prim rows of "shining morning faces". She had sat up until nearly midnight composing a speech which she had revised and improved painstakingly. It was a wonderful speech with fine ideas. And then, she couldn't remember it!

    Susie says: "Good story and perfect narrator"
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    • By Henry Fielding
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    Tom Jones, a foundling, is brought up by the kindly Mr. Allworthy as if he were his own son. Forced to leave the house as a young man after tales of his disgraceful behavior reach his benefactor's ears, he sets out in utter despair, not only because of his banishment but because he has now lost all hope of gaining the hand of the beautiful Sophia. But she too is forced to flee her parental home to escape an undesirable marriage and their stories and adventures intertwine.

    Lawrence says: "Fantastic narration"
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  • 4.9 (13 ratings)
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    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume I

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    • By Edward Gibbon
    • Narrated By David Timson
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    (13)

    Some 250 years after its first publication, Gibbon's Decline and Fall is still regarded as one of the greatest histories in Western literature. He reports on more than 1,000 years of an empire which extended from the most northern and western parts of Europe to deep into Asia and Africa and covers not only events but also the cultural and religious developments that effected change during that time.

    Allen L. Harris says: "DAVID TIMSON IS AMAZING!"
  • The Bonfire of the Vanities (






UNABRIDGED) by Tom Wolfe Narrated by Joe Barrett

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    • By Tom Wolfe
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    Tom Wolfe's best-selling modern classic tells the story of Sherman McCoy, an elite Wall Street bond trader who has it all: wealth, power, prestige, a Park Avenue apartment, a beautiful wife, and an even more beautiful mistress - until one wrong turn sends Sherman spiraling downward into a humiliating fall from grace. A car accident in the Bronx involving Sherman, his girlfriend, and two young lower-class black men sets a match to the incendiary racial and social tensions of 1980s New York City.

    JOHN says: "TEN STARS"
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UNABRIDGED) by L. Frank Baum Narrated by Anne Hathaway

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    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1917)
    Performance
    (1776)
    Story
    (1767)

    One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.

    Thug4life says: "Great for family car ride"
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (






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    To Kill a Mockingbird

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    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south - and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred, available now for the first time as a digital audiobook. One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than 40 languages, sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the 20th century by librarians across the country.

    Alan says: "Stunning"
  • The Hobbit (






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    The Hobbit

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8403)
    Performance
    (7552)
    Story
    (7671)

    Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

    Darwin8u says: "Victory after all, I suppose!"
  •  
  • The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (






UNABRIDGED) by J. R. R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis

    The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4303)
    Performance
    (3867)
    Story
    (3941)

    The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in the trilogy, tells of the fateful power of the One Ring. It begins a magnificent tale of adventure that will plunge the members of the Fellowship of the Ring into a perilous quest and set the stage for the ultimate clash between the powers of good and evil.

    Ellen says: "At last - The Definitive Recording!"
  • 1984: New Classic Edition (






UNABRIDGED) by George Orwell Narrated by Simon Prebble

    1984: New Classic Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By George Orwell
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3748)
    Performance
    (2313)
    Story
    (2346)

    George Orwell depicts a gray, totalitarian world dominated by Big Brother and its vast network of agents, including the Thought Police - a world in which news is manufactured according to the authorities' will and people live tepid lives by rote. Winston Smith, a hero with no heroic qualities, longs only for truth and decency. But living in a social system in which privacy does not exist and where those with unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or put to death, he knows there is no hope for him.

    Jay Stone says: "Enduring Classic"
  • The Two Towers: Book Two in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (






UNABRIDGED) by J. R. R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis

    The Two Towers: Book Two in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2904)
    Performance
    (2618)
    Story
    (2674)

    The Two Towers is the second volume of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic saga, The Lord of the Rings. The Fellowship has been forced to split up. Frodo and Sam must continue alone towards Mount Doom, where the One Ring must be destroyed. Meanwhile, at Helm’s Deep and Isengard, the first great battles of the War of the Ring take shape. In this splendid, unabridged audio production of Tolkien’s great work, all the inhabitants of a magical universe - hobbits, elves, and wizards - spring to life. Rob Inglis’ narration has been praised as a masterpiece of audio.

    Anna says: "Thank you, Audible! Tolkien at long last!"
  • The Return of the King: Book Three in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (






UNABRIDGED) by J. R. R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis

    The Return of the King: Book Three in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2636)
    Performance
    (2366)
    Story
    (2416)

    The Return of the King is the towering climax to J. R. R. Tolkien’s trilogy that tells the saga of the hobbits of Middle-earth and the great War of the Rings. In this concluding volume, Frodo and Sam make a terrible journey to the heart of the Land of the Shadow in a final reckoning with the power of Sauron. In addition to narrating the prose passages, Rob Inglis sings the trilogy’s songs and poems a capella, using melodies composed by Inglis and Claudia Howard, the Recorded Books studio director.

    Natalie says: "Finally!"
  •  
  • The Grapes of Wrath (






UNABRIDGED) by John Steinbeck Narrated by Dylan Baker

    The Grapes of Wrath

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1447)
    Performance
    (1264)
    Story
    (1270)

    At once naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s, The Grapes of Wrath is perhaps the most American of American classics. Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation during the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s, The Grapes of Wrath is also the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, who are forced to travel west to the promised land of California.

    Dan Harlow says: "Almost more relevant now than when it was written"
  • A Tale of Two Cities [Tantor] (






UNABRIDGED) by Charles Dickens Narrated by Simon Vance

    A Tale of Two Cities [Tantor]

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (821)
    Performance
    (622)
    Story
    (651)

    A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens's most exciting novels. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, it tells the story of a family threatened by the terrible events of the past. Doctor Manette was wrongly imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years without trial by the aristocratic authorities.

    Teddy says: "Truly a Classic"
  • The Count of Monte Cristo (






UNABRIDGED) by Alexandre Dumas Narrated by John Lee

    The Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (3688)
    Performance
    (2015)
    Story
    (2064)

    Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything: a fine reputation, an appointment as captain of a ship, and the heart of a beautiful woman. But his perfect life is shattered when three jealous friends conspire to destroy him. Falsely accused of a political crime, Dantès is locked away for life in the infamous Chateau d'If prison. But it is there that Dantès learns of a vast hidden treasure.

    Prsilla says: "Really-REALLY Classic!"
  • Atlas Shrugged (






UNABRIDGED) by Ayn Rand Narrated by Scott Brick

    Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (63 hrs)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (5236)
    Performance
    (3204)
    Story
    (3216)

    In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts? In defense of those greatest of human qualities that have made civilization possible, one man sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went on strike.

    Mica says: "Hurt version decidedly superior"
  • Joe Harwell Classics Presents Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol: A Story That's Not Just for Christmas (






UNABRIDGED) by Joe Harwell Narrated by W.B. Ward

    Joe Harwell Classics Presents Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol: A Story That's Not Just for Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Joe Harwell
    • Narrated By W.B. Ward
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Ebenezer Scrooge is a man who does not recognize the true riches of life, which is the friendship of family and friends. He goes out of his way not to give to others, even those with great need and especially at Christmas. The experiences brought upon Ebenezer on Christmas Eve show him the error of his ways and what he's lost out on by being miserly.

  • Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (






UNABRIDGED) by Rudyard Kipling Narrated by Phillip J. Mather

    Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

    • UNABRIDGED (40 mins)
    • By Rudyard Kipling
    • Narrated By Phillip J. Mather
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Rudyard Kipling's classic tale (first published in The Jungle Book, and considered by many to be the best of those stories) details the fearless exploits of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, a young mongoose whom misadventure had fortuitously brought to live at the bungalow of an expatriate British family in India. Rikki Tikki through great presence of mind, fortitude, and simply by being a mongoose saves the family from the murderous intent of two cobras.

  • The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies (






UNABRIDGED) by Beatrix Potter Narrated by Sharon Hoyland

    The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies

    • UNABRIDGED (8 mins)
    • By Beatrix Potter
    • Narrated By Sharon Hoyland
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    This charming tale has been enchanting children worldwide for four generations. Brought to life with crisp articulation and beautiful acoustic guitar, everyone will enjoy this updated creation.

  • The Old Apple Dealer (






UNABRIDGED) by Nathaniel Hawthorne Narrated by Glenn Hascall

    The Old Apple Dealer

    • UNABRIDGED (14 mins)
    • By Nathaniel Hawthorne
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Before there was 'mall watching' there was Nathaniel Hawthorne. Watching a poor apple seller at the local railroad allows the author to share how he became connected to the old man and what he learned from him. There is no indication that the author actually spoke to the man, but you may just leave empathizing with a man observed.

  •  
  • The Stories of Frederick Busch (






UNABRIDGED) by Frederick Busch, Elizabeth Strout (editor) Narrated by Chris Sorensen

    The Stories of Frederick Busch

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Frederick Busch, Elizabeth Strout (editor)
    • Narrated By Chris Sorensen
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The stories in this volume, selected by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout, are tales of families trying to heal their wounds, save their marriages, and rescue their children. In "Ralph the Duck," a security guard struggles to hang on to his marriage. In "Name the Name," a traveling teacher attends to students outside the school, including his own son, locked in a country jail. In Busch's work, we are reminded that we have no idea what goes on behind closed doors or in the mind of another.

  • The Diamond Lens (






UNABRIDGED) by Fitz James O'Brien Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    The Diamond Lens

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 4 mins)
    • By Fitz James O'Brien
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Fitz James O'Brien (1828 - 1862) was an Irish-born American writer, some of whose work is considered the forerunner of today's science fiction. The Diamond Lens is his most famous short story and tells the strange story of a scientist who invents a powerful microscope and discovers a beautiful woman in an enchanting microscopic world inside a drop of water.

  • The Best American Short Stories (






UNABRIDGED) by Edgar Allan Poe, Hermann Melville, Mark Twain, O. Henry, Ambrose Bierce, Kate Chopin, Sherwood Anderson Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    The Best American Short Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Edgar Allan Poe, Hermann Melville, Mark Twain, and others
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A wonderful collection of short stories" by some of the all-time great American writers: 1. "The Diamond Lens" by Fitz James O’Brien; 2. "Titbottom’s Spectacles" by George William Curtis; 3. "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe; 4. "The Eyes of the Panther" by Ambrose Bierce; 5. "The Lightning Rod Man" by Hermann Melville; 6. "Seeds" by Sherwood Anderson; 7. "Who Was She?" by Bayard Taylor; 8. "The Man who stole a Meeting House" by John Townsend Trowbridge; 9. "Memoirs of a Yellow Dog" by O. Henry

  • Charles Dickens and the Making of 'A Christmas Carol' (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Norris Narrated by Tanya S. Bartlett

    Charles Dickens and the Making of 'A Christmas Carol'

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Michael Norris
    • Narrated By Tanya S. Bartlett
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In this penetrating study narrated by leading British voice artist Tanya S. Bartlett, Michael Norris tells the complete story behind Dickens' writing of the book. Norris dives deep into his topic to discover the altruistic angels and monetary demons which drove Dickens, the public debates and rancor which informed him, and the terrible childhood memories which both haunted and inspired him.