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Erez

Erez Israel Member Since 2007
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  • "The Russian Dickens"

    Overall

    "Dead Souls" is a wonderful book. It has all the wit and linguistic dexterity of Dickens, and still is utterly and completely Russian. The elusive "Russian spirit" is on every page. Truly a masterpiece, presented here in a very good translation. The reader does an excellent job, too; his voices do slip here and there, but never for more than a second or two.

    There is, however, one thing to note about this audiobook: Gogol intended this to be a three-volume work. In his lifetime, he only published the first volume. He apparently wrote some of the second part, but then burned it. Now, it seems that some fragments of this second part have survived, and these are included in the audiobook. Listening to that half of the audiobook isn't really enjoyable: every time you start to follow the plot, the narrator says "at this point there is a long hiatus in the original" and jumps off to a much later part of the story, complete with new and unfamiliar characters and full of references to events you have no knowledge of. I think the audiobook would have been better without this rather pointless second part, and would recommend stopping after the first.

    More

    Dead Souls

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (47)

    Chichikov, a mysterious stranger, arrives in a provincial town with a bizarre but seductive proposition for local landowners. He proposes to buy the names of their serfs who have died but who are still registered on the census, saving their owners from paying tax on them. But what collateral will Chichikov receive for these "souls"?

    Erez says: "The Russian Dickens"
  • "Amazing"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, a few technical notes:
    - The translation used in the audiobook is the one by Constance Garnett.
    - The actual length of the book is about 61 hours, since the last four hours (the epilogues) are repeated twice.

    The narrator (whose real name was David Case -- he passed away in 2005) seems to provoke extreme reactions: some people can't stand him, others can't get enough of him. I happen to belong to the second class, and I believe he is especially suited for this novel. However, if you find his voice as irritating as some of the other reviewers, you should probably go for another version.

    And now for the book itself. In "The Brothers Karamazov", Dostoyevsky writes: "Show a Russian schoolboy a map of the stars, which he knows nothing about, and he will give you back the map next day with corrections on it." Tolstoy is the ideal to which all such schoolboys aspire, and "War and Peace" is his greatest achievement. Not only is this immense work a novel, it is a place for Tolstoy to expound his views on the causes and persons of the Napoleonic wars, on the methods of historical research, on free will and (of course) the existence of God. I can't say that I found everything convincing or even interesting -- for example, he takes a lot of pains to demonstrate the Napoleon was not a military genius but a blundering fool -- but for the sheer complexity and ambition of this work I cannot help but award it five stars.

    More

    War and Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (61 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (1152)
    Performance
    (618)
    Story
    (614)

    Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is clearly seen in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle, all of them fully realized and equally memorable.

    Diana says: "Glad I finally decided to read it"
  • "I didn't like the structure of the ..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't have much to add about the poem itself, which is truly marvelous; the translation here is the one by Rolfe Humphries, and it is indeed extremely good. However, there's another aspect of the audiobook which I didn't care for. In addition to the poem itself, the audiobook contains two short essays: a biographical sketch of Lucretius by William Young Sellar, and an overview of Epicureanism by William Wallace. I actually found the essays an interesting addition, but for some reason they are not include before or after the text, but interspersed with it. I normally like to read or listen to introductions after the text itself, and I found that the arrangement here broke the flow of the text. If you're like me, the following layout might be useful:

    0h0m to 0h15m: Lucretius biography, part 1
    0h15m to 1h29m: Book I of the poem
    1h29m to 1h45m: Lucretius biography, part 2
    1h45m to 3h04m: Book II
    3h04m to 3h20m: Epicureanism, part 1
    3h20m to 4h32m: Book III
    4h32m to 4h46m: Epicureanism, part 2
    4h46m to 6h13m: Book IV
    6h13m to 7h54m: Book V
    7h54m to 9h12m: Book VI

    As for the narrator: I've bought quite a few of Charlton Griffin's audiobooks, and there's no denying he's an excellent narrator. He's not my personal favorite, because I find his booming voice a little too, well, booming. I sometimes felt like it was an irate Roman god reading the poem, and not an atheistic poet. Not a real problem, of course, just my personal taste.

    In short: an excellent poem, beautifully translated, expertly read. I only wish the extra parts were concentrated in one place, either at the beginning or the end.

    More

    On the Nature of Things

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Lucretius
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (63)

    This famous work by Lucretius is a masterpiece of didactic poetry, and it still stands today as the finest exposition of Epicurean philosophy ever written. The poem was produced in the middle of first century B.C., a period that was to witness a flowering of Latin literature unequaled for beauty and intellectual power in subsequent ages. The Latin title, De Rerum Natura, translates literally to On the Nature of Things and is meant to impress the reader with the breadth and depth of Epicurean philosophy.

    Lawrence says: "A Masterpiece"
  1. Dead Souls
  2. War and Peace
  3. On the Nature of Things
  4. .

A Peek at Kristi's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
192
 
Milwaukie, OR, United States 196 REVIEWS / 213 ratings Member Since 2011 33 Followers / Following 88
 
Kristi's greatest hits:
  • The James Thurber Audio Collection: Fables and Selected Stories by James Thurber

    "James Thurber and Keith Olbermann? Wonderful!!!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I remember James Thurber from high school when we did a play called "The Unicorn in the Garden". I enjoyed that so much I read some other short stories he had written like, "The Night The bed Fell" and the different fables he wrote.
    All of these and more are included here and for the most part they really hold up today.

    Keith Olbermann's introduction explains that he read these to his dying father in the hospital and his father told him he should do this for a living. So this selection is lovingly done with his father in mind.

    I can't recommend this enough. It will have you falling on the floor laughing!

    Enjoy!

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

    "A picture is worth a thousand words."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray to be better than the print version?

    Yes, because it was great to listen to while working around the house. I probably wouldn't have taken the time to read the book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sybil Vane, the beautiful actress who falls in love with Dorian Gray. I felt sorry for her and she was the most human of all the other characters. More easy to identify with, in stead of the rich, vain people that were in this novel.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Prebble’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't remember, he was a good narrator for this book. He did make Dorian Gray a very irritating person, but then he was irritating.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Take a look at me!


    Any additional comments?

    Great story about vanity and evil. Some wonderful Wilde lines that made me chuckle.

  • The Once and Future King

    "King Arthur's story from birth to ?"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Once and Future King rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best books on Audible! It is a classic story told with a fantastic narrator, made to read aloud. A wonderful listen.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The many characters both animal and human that make up the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Every time an animal is mentioned we learn how humans could do a better job if we only learned to follow the animals.
    This was a great book to end on Earth Day as the last book has Arthur the old man embracing "his England" and realizing he loves her more than any one else in his life. Beautiful sentiment.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I think the scene that stands out the most is when Arthur as Wart runs into Madame Mim and Merlin has to save him and Kay from the mad witch woman. It's a very funny scene and is told with lots of witty lines. I laughed out loud!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Guenevere and Lancelot realize that Mordred is outside the door ready to arrest them and they realize they will never have that special something between them and Arthur anymore. Very sad.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book. It is the source for Camelot the Musical and Disney's Sword in the Stone. It is much more than just a story. I learned so much about different animal species and political parties besides being told a great epic.
    The Narrator is top notch and has his characters down pat.

  • Gone with the Wind

    "Pulitzer Prize winner extroidenaire!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, this is the ultimate GWTW listen. It is so well done and the story so enthralling. Not to be missed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Scarlett and Rhett, of course! I also liked the way it follows the movie sometimes almost word for word. Yes, I know the movie came later and it is a testament to the many authors and directors that the story was so closely adapted.


    What does Linda Stephens bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    For the most part she has the accents down pat. I really enjoyed her reading. No one can do Rhett like Clark Gable but she gives it a shot.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Gee, I think they did make a movie out of this... I'll think about it tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.


    Any additional comments?

    Some parts of this book made me cringe with the stereotypes and the glorious klan, etc. but I feel that just like Twain's Huckleberry Finn we need the original story to really appreciate how far we have come today. I don't believe political correctness is accurate or viable in this book. Appreciate it for it's flaws and all.

David

David Halethorpe, MD, United States 09-27-11 Member Since 2010

Indiscriminate Reader

HELPFUL VOTES
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  • "Very Very Victorian"

    12 of 12 helpful votes

    This is a long, long book, and the first in a series, though I understand that they mostly stand alone so you don't really have to read them in order. It centers around three women: one married, one single, and one widowed, and for each of them, the central question is the same - do I go with Mr. Dull and Dependable or do I go with Mr. Good Looks Who Will Spend All My Money and Ruin Me?

    It might have been a more exciting book if Trollope was a more radical author, but I'm not spoiling too much to say that Trollope was actually a very conservative author. Everyone ultimately Does the Right Thing in a very Victorian way, but not before flirting with impropriety enough to raise the question asked by the title: Can You Forgive Her?

    Besides jilted suitors and gentleman wastrels, there is a bit of Parliamentary politics in this book which I believe assumes greater importance in the future volumes.

    Anthony Trollope had the gift of narrative and character development, so if your only exposure to Victorian social drama is Charles Dickens, then give Trollope a try. That said, I would probably start with The Way We Live Now, which I thought was a better book with a more engaging story.

    Simon Vance is one of my favorite audiobook readers, and he delivers great Victorian performances equally well with his readings of James Bond novels.

    More

    Can You Forgive Her?

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Anthony Trollope
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (76)

    Can You Forgive Her? is the first of the six Palliser novels. Here Trollope examines parliamentary election and marriage, politics and privacy. As he dissects the Victorian upper class, issues and people shed their pretenses under his patient, ironic probe.

    David says: "Very Very Victorian"

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    Natalie says: "Finally!"
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    Catherine says: "third book of the series"
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    Darwin8u says: "Full of emotional/intellectual/experiential joules"
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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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    Benoibe says: "One of my top 2 favorites of the Great Courses!"
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    Alan says: "Stunning"
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    Susie says: "Good story and perfect narrator"
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    The Great Poets: Gerard Manley Hopkins

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    Robert says: "Excellent encounter with the poet."
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (






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    • By Harper Lee
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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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UNABRIDGED) by Charles Dickens Narrated by Simon Prebble

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    • By Charles Dickens
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    One of the most revered works in English literature, Great Expectations traces the coming of age of a young orphan, Pip, from a boy of shallow aspirations into a man of maturity. From the chilling opening confrontation with an escaped convict to the grand but eerily disheveled estate of bitter old Miss Havisham, all is not what it seems in Dickens’ dark tale of false illusions and thwarted desire.

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

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    • By Jonathan Swift
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    1984: New Classic Edition

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    • By George Orwell
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    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)
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    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
    (2579)
    Performance
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    Story
    (2367)

    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!"
  •  
  • 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
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    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"
  • T'was the Night Before Christmas (






ABRIDGED) by Clement Clark Moore Narrated by John William Cawthorne

    T'was the Night Before Christmas

    • ABRIDGED (3 mins)
    • By Clement Clark Moore
    • Narrated By John William Cawthorne
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (31)

    This is a wonderful rendition, set to the overture of "The Nutcracker", of the timeless Christmas classic by Moore to be enjoyed again and again from season to season.

    Marigold Galore says: "just lovely!"
  • Atlas Shrugged (






UNABRIDGED) by Ayn Rand Narrated by Scott Brick

    Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (63 hrs)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (5188)
    Performance
    (3161)
    Story
    (3173)

    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"
  • Dracula [Audible Edition] (






UNABRIDGED) by Bram Stoker Narrated by Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, Katherine Kellgren, Susan Duerden, John Lee, Graeme Malcolm, Steven Crossley

    Dracula [Audible Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Bram Stoker
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2167)
    Performance
    (1975)
    Story
    (2001)

    The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.

    N. Houghton says: "Gothic Horror Never Sounded So Good"
  • Cupid's Bedside Book: Great Classic Love Stories  by Leonard Merrick, Jerome K. Jerome, Charles Dickens, Apuleius, Guy de Maupassant, Charles Reade, Morley Roberts Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    Cupid's Bedside Book: Great Classic Love Stories

    • NONE (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Leonard Merrick, Jerome K. Jerome, Charles Dickens, and others
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A wonderful collection of classic stories on the theme of love. A must-listen for the incurable romantic.

  • The Child with the Bread Shoes (






UNABRIDGED) by Théophile Gautier Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    The Child with the Bread Shoes

    • UNABRIDGED (17 mins)
    • By Théophile Gautier
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    When little Hans dies of the croup, his mother uses all her scant wealth to ensure him a proper burial. She spins the thread for his shroud and has a beautiful little coffin made. But while she is out, the rats gnaw at little Hans's leather slippers and the dead child has nothing for his feet. Hans' mother makes him a pair of shoes from her last loaf of bread. But after the child is buried, the ghostly child reappears night after night weeping. The bread shoes are preventing him from entering heaven. But the local priest comes up with a plan.

  • Jeannot and Colin (






UNABRIDGED) by Voltaire Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    Jeannot and Colin

    • UNABRIDGED (22 mins)
    • By Voltaire
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In this tale of Jeannot and Colin, Voltaire not only tells an instructive tale, warning of the dangers of sudden wealth and social climbing, but also directs his satirical comments at the vacuous and fickle nouveau riche of his day, the catholic church, private education, and society in general. Jeannot and Colin are childhood friends. Both come from working-class backgrounds in a rural part of France, but Jeannot's parents, on a trip to Paris, strike it lucky in business and within a short time become very wealthy.

  • The Best German Short Stories (






UNABRIDGED) by Friedrich Schiller, Clemens Brentano, Ludwig Achim von Arnim, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Ludwig Tieck, Theodor Storm, E. T. A. Hoffmann Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    The Best German Short Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Friedrich Schiller, Clemens Brentano, Ludwig Achim von Arnim, and others
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A golden collection of gems from classic German literature, ranging from early Sturm und Drang, through Gothic horror, to some of the finest stories from later German Romanticism.

  •  
  • The Reverend Father Gaucher's Elixir (






UNABRIDGED) by Alphonse Daudet Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    The Reverend Father Gaucher's Elixir

    • UNABRIDGED (21 mins)
    • By Alphonse Daudet
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The Reverend Father Gaucher's Elixir is set in a dilapidated monastery in Provence. The order has fallen on hard times and the future of the entire monastery is in jeopardy. But the order's simpleton cow-herd, Brother Gaucher, has an unexpected idea. His old Auntie Bégon had in her later years invented a marvellous herbal elixir. By producing, bottling, and selling this, Brother Gaucher believes the order can become as rich as the Trappists and the monks of Chartreuse.

  • The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Confession (






UNABRIDGED) by Leo Tolstoy, Peter Carson (translator) Narrated by Ken Kliban

    The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Confession

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy, Peter Carson (translator)
    • Narrated By Ken Kliban
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A pairing of Tolstoy's most spiritual and existential works of fiction and nonfiction from the renowned translator of Turgenev and Chekhov. In the last two days of his own life, Peter Carson completed these new translations of The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Confession before he succumbed to cancer in January 2013. In Carson's shimmering prose, these two transcendent works are presented in their most faithful rendering in English.

  • Sherlock Holmes: The Persius Collection: Book 6 (






UNABRIDGED) by Pennie Mae Cartawick Narrated by P.J. Ochlan

    Sherlock Holmes: The Persius Collection: Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Pennie Mae Cartawick
    • Narrated By P.J. Ochlan
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Story One: The Hex of a Gypsy Woman. He raised his disheveled head from his hands. The face was that of my friend, but the expression it bore was unrecognizable. He was indeed out of countenance. "All that I have seen and all that I know, dear fellow, for it to come to this. The great Sherlock Holmes undone by a gypsy woman."