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Michael

Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States Member Since 2002

I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

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  • "My Favorite Steinbeck; Terrible and..."

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    I love Steinbeck and this has, for many years, been my favorite and was not available on Audible until recently. This early Steinbeck has exceptional writing and numerous elements appearing in his later works, in a pure, condensed, and powerful form. This novel has potent mystical imagery which might not sit well with some religious folks. Perhaps that is why this novel does not get the attention I think it deserves. The excellently narration complements the intensely beautiful and terrible writing. Like the Grapes of Wrath, this is an intense read without a lot of fun but with a thoughtful concentrated unflinching examination of life and death.

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    To a God Unknown

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck, Robert DeMott (introduction)
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    Set in familiar Steinbeck territory, To a God Unknown is a mystical tale, exploring one man's attempt to control the forces of nature and, ultimately, to understand the ways of God.

    Michael says: "My Favorite Steinbeck; Terrible and Beautiful"
  • "A Rare Gem of a Short Story"

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    Dostoevsky did not write many short stories so this is a rare gem. This is a very, very good short story narrated excellently. It is dark, surprising, touching, and real. A real bargain at a buck (don’t waste a full credit).

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    The Wedding

    • UNABRIDGED (21 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Narrated By Walter Zimmerman
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky is considered one of the greatest Russian writers. His works have had a profound and lasting effect on 20th-century literature. His psychological penetration into the human soul had, in novels like Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, a profound influence on the 20th century novel. He also wrote a number of brilliant short stories along these same lines. "The Wedding" is one of his best.

    Michael says: "A Rare Gem of a Short Story"
  • "Beautiful, BUT"

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    This is the first book of an extraordinary seven part novel. I listened to the samples of all the versions available on audible, and as soon as I heard George Guidall’s narration I was hooked. With a narration the least bit pedantic or dry or florid or scholarly this could be quite tiresome. Guidall’s light touch and almost childlike tone was perfect for the story. This is less a story than ephemerally connected evocations, exploring the associations between memory and sense and time. The writing is introspective, complex and beautiful.

    The only downside that, after completing this first part, I found this narrator had not read the other parts on Audible. The samples by Rowe and Jason did not entice me. I hope Guidall will narrate the other parts.

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    Swann's Way

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Marcel Proust
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Swann’s Way is the first and best-known part of Proust’s monumental work, Remembrance of Things Past. Often compared to a symphony, this complex masterpiece is ideally suited for audio. Listening lets you appreciate anew the incredible beauty of Proust’s language and the uniqueness of his style. The novel’s narrator, Marcel, finds the true meaning of experience in memories stimulated by some random object or event.

    Michael says: "Beautiful, BUT"
  1. To a God Unknown
  2. The Wedding
  3. Swann's Way
  4. .

A Peek at Dan Harlow's Bookshelf

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173
 
Fort Collins 43 REVIEWS / 47 ratings Member Since 2012 14 Followers / Following 1
 
Dan Harlow's greatest hits:
  • The Grapes of Wrath

    "Almost more relevant now than when it was written"

    Overall
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    Any additional comments?

    Replace farmers from Oklahoma with migrant workers from Mexico and I doubt you'd be able to tell that this novel was written back in 1939. And that's what really stuck me about this novel - how relevant it still is - in some ways even more now than then.

    The first similarity is economic. As I write this we are still either going through a 'great recession' or are slowly emerging from an economic downturn. The causes are different, of course, here in the novel it was bad farming techniques mixed with new technology that drove the farmers from their land. Today it's an over-saturated housing market - people banking all their futures on the bubble of hope that perhaps the value of their own home will increase enough for them to make a tidy profit. And just like land that's been worked too hard, people worked the housing market too hard and it collapsed. Banks came to take the farms in the novel and banks came to take the homes in our own time.

    And both examples were of people running as fast as they could just to stay a little ahead of disaster. The farmers grew crops that destroyed the soil because they had no choice - they couldn't compete with the new farms, the corporate farms and machine efficiency. A family can't compete with a fleet of harvesters and tractors - working the land by hand can't keep up with a tractor. And the same goes for the people with houses these days. Everybody borrowed on cheap credit from the bank to hopefully 'buy low' and then 'sell high', but when everyone does it then there isn't no value in any of it and it all falls apart and everyone still owes the banks. And all they wanted was a piece of a dream, a chance to stay afloat economically, to send their kids to a good college, to make the car payments, put food on the table.

    In the novel the Californian's hated the Oakies, called them lazy, called them animals, called them thieves; in today's world we call the homeowners who lost it all idiots, greedy, lazy. But we also hate the banks. Call the banks greedy, inhumane, a great machine that's too big to die and too big to fail and everybody has to keep feeding it because nobody is really too sure how to control it anymore.

    But there is one difference, and that's the work. When the people lost the value on their homes, when the banks realized that the amount of money in the economy was based on a weak speculation and that there was actually a lot less money than there really was, when that caused credit to dry up, and when that caused smaller businesses to close up because they couldn't run the businesses with no credit, which in turn caused people to lose their jobs, and that caused the economy to drag down deeper and created a vicious cycle that made it worse and worse - after all that, the people had nowhere to go because all the 'poor jobs', the type of work Steinbeck writes about in the novel had all been taken by the immigrants.

    And that cussed more issues. The poor American middle-class blamed the Mexican's and now militia patrol the borders to kick the Mexican's out or do worse things in the desert at night when nobody is looking. A man like Casey in the novel is no different than a immigrant getting killed by some militia border patrol.

    And that causes resentment on all sides and the center can't hold.

    And that's just the economic similarity between the novel and today's times. Politically it's the same too. A conservative will say the poor just gotta work, but the conservative will also be on the side of the businessman and when everyone needs work, the businessman can keep wages down and in turn keep the poor really poor. But that's supposed to be ok because the conservative will say the poor can take help from a charity or a church - but that's easy to tell someone else when it's not you having to beg and take charity, easy to tell another man to beg. But the conservative man is holding on by a thread as thin as can be too and he's causing his own demise because soon the corporation will put him out of work too, his job will be lost and he'll have to go begging and he won't be so mean and conservative anymore. He'll see the value of sticking by your fellow man instead of blaming him for his troubles.

    And that's what the book is about - about family, about sticking together, about helping, about not letting the fruit on the vine rot when others go in need. And that's why it's an even more radical novel today than when it was written because it 'smells' of Communism or of Socialism. And the conservative man doesn't want to hear about that, he doesn't want a union because union men are lazy and he doesn't want socialism because the government will tell him what to do and he doesn't want communism because he can take care of his own family.

    That is until he can't, then he'll be singing a different tune or he'll be turning on his own people like some of the people in the novel who turned against their own just to put food on the table; the great selfishness.

    That's the saddest thing about the book - how spot on Steinbeck was about human nature. And for as beautiful as the novel is, as well written as it is, nothing can compare to how true it is. And maybe that's the thing that makes people still so angry about it - that it reveals a truth we don't want to accept about ourselves, that deep down we know that they way we live, that the American dream is not working, that it never really worked and that we either side with the people who will toss us on the heap of irrelevance or we fight the powers that be. And maybe if we worried a little more about if their neighbor has enough in his bowl and a little less about if we have enough in our own then maybe things would be better.

    The novel is a microcosm of American, then and now. And that's quite an achievement because how many novels ring this true 75 years after they were written? And the novel is a damning indictment too, and that's why it still scares people.

    And that ending. What an ending too. It's both hopeful and sad. It's religious and it turns religion on it's head too. It's bleak and yet it's also comforting.

    Now I didn't realize it at first, but this is the third in a series of books I've been reading that deal explicitly with society - 'The Seven Pillars of Wisdom' talked about a people fighting for their independence in the deserts of Arabia, '100 Years of Solitude' about a village coping with modernity, and now this novel about a country having to find a new direction. And they are also about the poor, about people who have been taken advantage of by a government or an economy and have been cast aside. And that's been a struggle since man understood ownership and it will continue to be a struggle as long as some men side with the very forces that could steamroll everyone in the end.

    'Don't turn on your own kind', Tom says. Well I hope Tom is still somewhere out there keeping an eye on everyone, helping where he can, beat up and bloody but still fighting. The world needs more Tom's and more Ma's. Someone's gotta keep the family together.

    Anyway, brilliant novel. Pure genius.

  • Moby Dick

    "Not a novel; epic poetry."

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    Samurai films are my favorite genre pictures. Mainly what attracts me to them isn't so much that I love Japanese history or ever wanted to be a samurai, it's that I love how a good, proper samurai film teases out the action until the finale. Samurai films are about patience; the slow burn. Shots might linger on the rain, or cherry blossoms, or footprints in the snow, or the sounds of cicadas in the summer heat but the 'action' isn't until after two hours of build up.

    For me anticipation is what I love, perhaps more than the resolution itself. I love waiting for something to happen but I never really was that excited for the thing itself. I suppose I just like having something to look forward to. Expectation and imagination is, typically, far more interesting than reality.

    A samurai would spend his entire life training for battle yet, like the samurai in Kurosawa's 'Seven Samurai' not be victorious even once. There would be very little glory in a war; only the young and inexperienced would find it romantic while the old veterans would know there is never really any winning a war.

    And that is what Moby Dick is for me: a samurai film set at sea where the warriors are all Nantucket whalers and the villain is a fish.

    Melville, too, must have felt similar about anticipation as I do. His whole novel - though this is not a novel, it's really an epic poem - is imagination and anticipation and beautiful images of the sea and of death and of the whaling life. Yet in the end it's all so futile.

    "Great God, where is the ship?"

    One thing I hadn't counted on about Moby Dick is how even though everyone who hasn't read the novel is well aware of it and the events within, it's not a book you can really know anything about without reading. This is a book, like Ulysses, you have to experience. You have to live through this novel; it has to happen to you. This isn't a story to be told in the normal sense - in fact the book is almost everything but a normal novel after we set sail - this is a book whose art is in forcing you to live the events of the book as if you are on that cursed ship.

    Something that really struck me is that our narrator who is so famously introduced to us in one of the great first lines in a book - 'Call me Ishmael' - slowly ghosts away as the novel goes on. What starts as a book about Ishmael's experience getting on the ship and learning about whaling (and the entire science of whales), he lets go of our hand and we begin floating about the Pequod like a disembodied spirit. We overhear everyone's conversations, even their private mutterings, and the point of view expands out to be in all places at all times. It's an unsettling sensation because Melville is physically enlisting onto that ship as a shipmate and after our initial training we are forced to watch the events unfold to their conclusion.

    I also had no idea that the novel is not really a novel - not in the traditional sense. Moby Dick is, basically, postmodern but from the 1850's. I had expected a somewhat straightforward novel about the grappling with a whale, not 209,117 pages of epic poetry. I had not expected the novel to still feel so fresh as it must have been when it was written nearing on 200 years ago.

    One last thing that I have to confess is that I don't believe Ahab was mad. Obsessed? yes, but not insane. He was a salty captain with 40 years of experience at sea and he knew what he was doing. I don't even think he had a death wish, I just think he saw an opportunity to be truly great and flew at it with everything he had. He was already a great whaler (how else would he have lasted so long?) so he knew he could defeat that fish if he really tried. And I don't see anything wrong with that, too. All those men knew what they were in for and if Starbuck was more of a man he might have stopped Ahab, but Ahab is the sort of person who winds up wither being great or being killed; he is no ordinary person.

    He's very American in that way - he'll damn everything to get what he wants.

    Overall and beyond all the great themes of the novel is just how damn well it's written. There is nothing like this book. The language is so seductive, the imagery so vivid, everything on that ship and the sea so perfectly realized that there were times I had to pinch myself that this was real. Some of the writing is so good that it almost doesn't even seem possible, as if it were written by some God.

    Now that I'm done with the book I'm sad. I've now read Moby Dick and there are only so many great novels in the world worth throwing a harpoon at. But what a voyage getting there!

  • Kim

    "A wonderful friendship"

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    The most interesting, and shocking fact about history is just how young so many of the military commanders and leaders actually were down through time. One of the most famous, Alexander III of Macedon, was barely into his 20's when he began conquering the known world. Wars today are still fought by people the same age as Alexander (some even younger), and there will always be glory in war for a young man wanting to make a name for himself.

    Kim begins with a gun, a giant canon representing the strength, struggle, and oppression of India and the people who wanted control of the subcontinent. The book ends with a choice. In between we get the education of young Kim by his elders who see great promise in this talented, smart, cunning, and devious boy. Some wish to use him for the Great Game, that struggle for control over India (and now Pakistan), others wish to see him stay true to his native people (though little do they know he's actually white - a 'Sahib'), and one man, Teshoo Lama, wishes to set him on the path of 'the way', the true path of eternal salvation and freedom from sin.

    And this struggle for Kim's soul - both figuratively and literally - makes up the heart of the book, and not so much for the character's sake, bot for our own. Kipling is forcing us to decide which way we would choose to go (war, peace, or indifference) by letting us inhabit a main character who makes us feel smarter than we probably are in real life, more cunning than we are even on our best of days, braver, stronger, and more experienced than we would admit to being and then leaving the final decision open to our own interpretation as a test to see what we would do with Kim's talents and teachers influence.

    The novel does seem to aim for an audience of boys aged somewhere between 10 and 16 and Kipling does seem to be square in the camp of hoping young men will grow up to choose the way of peace, like the Lama, yet he doesn't beat you over the head with his morality, either. The life of the Great Game is very exciting, could lead to great renown, money, women, respect: all the things us boys dream of when we're young (and pretty much till the day we die old men, too). And even the simple life of just living your life out with basic comfort, a family, your head down and nose clean (the typical life most of us wind up choosing) is here seen as exotic, profitable, and, at the least, interesting.

    In fact considering how much of the novel is focused on the relationship between Kim and the Lama and how relatively little is devoted to a more exciting life, goes to show just how difficult it is to steer people away from war, from vain glory, from 'illusion' as the Lama would say. Just one encounter with a spy, with a Russian with a gun, with a mysterious gem trader can nearly undo years of fellowship with a peaceful Lama whose earthly reward is begging and heavenly reward is uncertain.

    And so looking deeper into these decisions it seems much clearer how in that particular part of the world even today it's not so difficult to see why young men chose to join up with groups that offer far more attractive and comfortable rewards here on Earth instead of following the ways of a prophet. Life in Pakistan and the surrounding area is harsh, dangerous, other cultures and foreigners look down on them as dirty and stupid, there are no real opportunities, and so it's not hard to understand why on the one hand even a powerful religion such as Islam can teach peace and on the other young men will kill in the name of it.

    So in many ways that I doubt Kipling would have ever imagined, Kim is a very relevant novel today that teaches us quite a bit about ourselves as well as the people of an 'exotic' land in the middle east and subcontinent. Kipling shows us the struggle between right and wrong, good and evil, and though he aims for a younger audience, the book is filled with a wisdom that is well beyond the age of the intended reader.

    I am a little uncomfortable with some of the generalizations Kipling paints with concerning nearly all the ethnicity. Mahbub Ali, a Muslim, is dangerously close to the stereotypical dangerous and shady Afghan Muslim, Hurree is a buffoon even when he's tough as nails and brilliant, Creighton is far too fatherly and pretty much stands for all of British colonialism, the two chaplains (a Catholic and a Protestant) are comic relief, and even the Lama seems very one-dimensional and straight out of a bad Hollywood interpretation of the wise, Tibetan monk.

    Yet there is also real friendship between Kim and the Lama that transcends the page and in moments of crisis for the two of them genuinely had me worried for the outcome and that strength of the friendship helps sell the idea of the way of peace in the face of so many more tempting options. And it's that friendship on the page, the real art of the novel that made me really love the book despite its flaws.

  • The Master and Margarita

    "There is nothing else quite like it"

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    Russian literature gets a bad rap for being dry, thick, and dull, when the reality is much of the most respected Russian literature is filled with fantastic flights of fancy, and outrageous absurdities. Take, for example, a small scene in Anna Karenina where all of a sudden we get narration from the point of view of Levin's hunting dog. This scene seems so natural it's easy to forget we're getting the inner-monologue of a dog. Gogol, who Bulgakov is most similar too, was famous for his absurdities: his story The Nose is about a man's nose that leads a life of its own. And even that most serious of authors, Dostoevsky, wrote his best works about the struggles of man against the powers of the supernatural. And while many good people would scoff at the idea of religion being lumped into the same category as mere "fantasy", the idea of a naked witch riding a man turned into a pig over a sleeping Moscow is not that much harder to believe than an angel falling from heaven and corrupting all of mankind.

    But what is this book about? Yes, the plot is easy enough: The Devil comes to Moscow, causes all sorts of trouble, then leaves, but that's not what the book is "about". For me, this novel was about a search for truth.

    Famously, Communism biggest flaw was that after awhile everyone under it grew apathetic, nobody bothered to fix or change anything because it couldn't be fixed or changed; there was no point looking for the broken pieces because it would just cause a lot of trouble. But couldn't the same thing be said of religion? How do we know that the story of Jesus and Pontius Pilate happened as it says in the New Testament? Bulgakov makes a good case for his version of events being much more realistic than what's in the Christian Bible. Yet the story we have in the Gospels talks about a man who while being crucified suffered so that man could be forgiven for all their sins and on the third day after his burial he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Millions of people take that for an absolute, unarguable fact.

    But how do stories really get told? Aren't the best stories really just exaggerations built upon more exaggerations? Couldn't the story of Homer in The Odyssey have started out as a true tale of a man lost at sea for awhile who managed to return home (an exciting enough story as it is), but then have been built upon by countless storytellers who turned it into the epic poem we now know? And maybe that's why in this novel The Master is belittled by the editors - not just because he's written the true (and less supernatural) version of events concerning Pontius Pilate and Jesus - but because he's dared to use his imagination at all in communist Russia. After all, Russia at the time was a state built on scientific reason, absolute logic, and pure atheism; Russia was building a new world order but was failing miserable, as Voland quickly discovers and as Bulgakov so humorously explores.

    One of the greatest feats the novel pulls off is creating Pontius Pilate as a sympathetic, complex character. He's not made out to be the good guy, but neither is he all evil, either. And by the end of the novel we understand the real meaning of what Jesus (Yeshua here) preached when he said all men are good (something Pilate completely disagreed with). Salvation awaits for even the most troubled of people and is where, I believe, Bulgakov was being optimistic about what would happen one day in Russia - that communism would fail (which it did 60 years later).

    However, all this would be just dry academic babbling if the book itself weren't any good, and oh, boy is this book wonderful. Ranging from moments of pure insanity - a cat with a gun - to moments of beautiful tenderness such as the fate of Judas and the moonbeams, this novel covers so much ground that it's nearly impossible to pin down and say with any certainty what it's really all "about". What is is though is wonderful, funny, and touching. The Master and Margarita is one helluva story and there is nothing else quite like it.

Janice

Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 06-03-13 Member Since 2010

Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.

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4
  • "Shake some fairy dust on yourself"

    7 of 7 helpful votes

    I watched Johnny Depp’s “Finding Neverland” on TV the other night and had a craving to revisit this favorite childhood classic. Except that I am one of those poor souls who never read the original story, but was raised first on the Mary Martin TV musical production, then the Disney animation. As other reviewers discovered, there is more in the story for adults than I suspected from the child-focused versions. Filled with social commentary, current day critics of the home-and-child role imposed on Wendy need to remember that this was written at the tail end of the patriarchal family-first Victorian era.

    In spite of the unexpected grown up tone of the story, there is no denying the timeless charm and imagination that has endeared Peter Pan to over a century of readers. Suspending my grown up self and experiencing it through my child-self retained the magic. The final chapter, after the return home, touched me the most. It well deserves to be experienced in its original format.

    Unlike the majority of listeners I had conflicting feelings about Jim Dale’s reading. As the objective all-knowing narrator he was excellent. But when it came to the character voices, especially the children, I guess I wanted to hear a little more child-like wonder. By focusing on the false bluster of the children trying to be brave and self-sufficient, some of the charm was missing. His voice was just so obviously old-mannish, in my mind a contradiction of the youth oriented tone of the story. But he is still a talented enough reader to rate 4 stars. Listening to the sample may help others to discern if his style works for you.

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    Peter Pan

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By J.M. Barrie
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (425)
    Performance
    (252)
    Story
    (256)

    Fly away with Peter Pan to the enchanted island of Neverland! This first chapter book adaptation of the classic novel, originally published in 1911, tells the story of the boy who never grows up. And when they join Peter on his magical island, Wendy and her brothers are in for exciting encounters with mermaids, an Indian princess, and pirates! Let the amazing adventures begin!

    H. says: "This may not be the story you think you remember"

What's Trending in Classics:

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    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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    Darwin8u says: "Full of emotional/intellectual/experiential joules"
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UNABRIDGED) by Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov Narrated by Vladimir Ivanovich Samoylov

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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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UNABRIDGED) by Edward Gibbon Narrated by David Timson

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    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!"
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    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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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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    Story
    (13)

    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"
  • 4.8 (13 ratings)
    Complete Short Stories, Volume 3 (






UNABRIDGED) by W. Somerset Maugham Narrated by Charlton Griffin

    Complete Short Stories, Volume 3

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By W. Somerset Maugham
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    In 1938 Maugham wrote, "Fact and fiction are so intermingled in my work that now, looking back on it, I can hardly distinguish one from the other." Maugham also wrote that most of his short stories were inspired by accounts he heard firsthand during his travels to the lonely outposts of the British Empire. In volume three of this series, we present all of the remaining short stories which Maugham published after World War I and which he subsequently caused to be republished in various collections.

    Die Falknerin says: "What a treat!"
  • 4.8 (14 ratings)
    Greek Tragedy  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Elizabeth Vandiver

    Greek Tragedy

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Elizabeth Vandiver
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (13)

    Greek tragedy was a dramatic form that flourished for less than a full century. And yet it remains vibrant, alive, and productive today. And the form's masterpieces help us-as perhaps they helped their original audiences-grasp a fuller sense of the terror and wonder of life. Professor Vandiver has designed these 24 rich and rewarding lectures to give you a full overview of Greek tragedy, both in its original setting and as a lasting contribution to the artistic exploration of the human condition.

    Joshua says: "Theatre History Done Right!"
  • The Hobbit (






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

    The Hobbit

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8776)
    Performance
    (7882)
    Story
    (8016)

    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!"
  • Classical Mythology  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Elizabeth Vandiver

    Classical Mythology

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Elizabeth Vandiver
    Overall
    (219)
    Performance
    (194)
    Story
    (194)

    These 24 lectures are a vibrant introduction to the primary characters and most important stories of classical Greek and Roman mythology. Among those you'll investigate are the accounts of the creation of the world in Hesiod's Theogony and Ovid's Metamorphoses; the gods Zeus, Apollo, Demeter, Persephone, Hermes, Dionysos, and Aphrodite; the Greek heroes, Theseus and Heracles (Hercules in the Roman version); and the most famous of all classical myths, the Trojan War.

    Matt says: "Very Informative and Entertaining"
  • The Chosen (






UNABRIDGED) by Chaim Potok Narrated by Jonathan Davis

    The Chosen

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Chaim Potok
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (445)
    Performance
    (209)
    Story
    (212)

    Though they've lived their entire lives less than five blocks from each other, Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders exist in very different worlds. Reuven blends easily into both his secular Jewish faith and his typical American teen life, while Danny's conservative Hasidic clothes and appearance make him stick out in any crowd. Their improbable friendship teaches them that the differences separating people through cultures and generations are never as great as they seem.

    connie says: "truly rates overused "classic" label"
  • Brave New World (






UNABRIDGED) by Aldous Huxley Narrated by Michael York

    Brave New World

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Aldous Huxley
    • Narrated By Michael York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2598)
    Performance
    (1861)
    Story
    (1880)

    When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

    Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A.F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

    Jefferson says: "“Oh, Ford, Ford Ford, I Wish I Had My Soma!”"
  •  
  • The Screwtape Letters (






UNABRIDGED) by C.S. Lewis Narrated by Ralph Cosham

    The Screwtape Letters

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    Overall
    (1996)
    Performance
    (1089)
    Story
    (1111)

    A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to "Our Father Below". At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C.S. Lewis gives us the correspondence of the worldly-wise old Devil to his nephew, Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man.

    Amazon Customer says: "So much truth, much of it scary."
  • 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
    (614)
    Performance
    (570)
    Story
    (574)

    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"
  • Persuasion (






UNABRIDGED) by Jane Austen Narrated by Juliet Stevenson

    Persuasion

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1129)
    Performance
    (793)
    Story
    (804)

    Anne Elliot has grieved for seven years over the loss of her first love, Captain Frederick Wentworth. But events conspire to unravel the knots of deceit and misunderstanding in this beguiling and gently comic story of love and fidelity.

    Emily - Audible says: "Juliet Stevenson is Simply Amazing"
  • Alas, Babylon (






UNABRIDGED) by Pat Frank Narrated by Will Patton

    Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4037)
    Performance
    (2998)
    Story
    (3003)

    This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

    Evelyn says: "Excellent listen"
  •  
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (






UNABRIDGED) by Oscar Wilde Narrated by James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, Neil Dickson, Jill Gascoine, Christopher Neame, Matthew Wolf

    The Importance of Being Earnest

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, and others
    Overall
    (577)
    Performance
    (473)
    Story
    (471)

    This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence." Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

    Tad Davis says: "Delightfully silly"
  • Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living: A Handbook for the Damned Human Race (






UNABRIDGED) by Lin Salamo (editor), Victor Fischer (editor), Michael B. Frank (editor), Mark Twain Narrated by Grover Gardner

    Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living: A Handbook for the Damned Human Race

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lin Salamo (editor), Victor Fischer (editor), Michael B. Frank (editor), and others
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (310)
    Performance
    (278)
    Story
    (275)

    Irreverent, charming, and eminently quotable, this handbook - an eccentric etiquette guide for the human race - contains 69 aphorisms, anecdotes, whimsical suggestions, maxims, and cautionary tales from Mark Twain’s private and published writings. It dispenses advice and reflections on family life and public manners; opinions on topics such as dress, health, food, and childrearing and safety; and more specialized tips, such as those for dealing with annoying salesmen and burglars.

    tracy says: "Mark Twain is Hilarious!"
  • Gulliver's Travels: A Signature Performance by David Hyde Pierce (






UNABRIDGED) by Jonathan Swift Narrated by David Hyde Pierce

    Gulliver's Travels: A Signature Performance by David Hyde Pierce

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jonathan Swift
    • Narrated By David Hyde Pierce
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (713)
    Performance
    (521)
    Story
    (526)

    A Signature Performance: Four-time Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce delivers an air of lovable self-importance in his rendition of the classic social satire that remains as fresh today as the day it was published.

    Rose says: "Loved every minute"
  • Julius Caesar (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare Narrated by Andrew Buchan, Sean Barrett

    Julius Caesar

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Andrew Buchan, Sean Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (215)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (187)

    Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare’s most compelling Roman plays. The plot against Caesar and the infamous assassination scene make for unforgettable listening. Brutus, the true protagonist of the play, is mesmerizing in his psychological state of anguish, forced to choose between the bonds of friendship and his desire for patriotic justice.

    David says: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars"
  • Frøken Biancas dybe fald [Miss Bianca's Deep Decline] (






UNABRIDGED) by Jørn Riel Narrated by Mogens Rex

    Frøken Biancas dybe fald [Miss Bianca's Deep Decline]

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Jørn Riel
    • Narrated By Mogens Rex
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Frøken biancas dybe fald er en ubetalelig morsom skrøne med et farverigt persongalleri og med den livsvisdom og og livsglæde, der altid kendetegner Jørn Riels bøger. Uden for sæsonen er der normalt roligt i Vercorin og på hotellet "La derniere Chance".

  • Strejfer Mine DrøMme [Prowling My Dreams] (






UNABRIDGED) by Jørn Riel Narrated by Mogens Rex

    Strejfer Mine DrøMme [Prowling My Dreams]

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jørn Riel
    • Narrated By Mogens Rex
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Strejfer Mine DrøMmeer anden del af Jørn Riels triologi om den rodløse Vesterbrodreng Peter, hans barndomskæreste Amy, og deres fælles ven Kristian. Trilogien betragtes som et hovedværk i Jørn Riels mesterlige forfatterskab, der er kendt af de fleste og som gennem tiden har høstet stor anerkendelse. "Riel er en gudsbenådet fortæller. En forfatter, læserne elsker, og anmelderne priser." B.T. "The Riel thing. Den fødte fortæller." Politiken. Triologien ‘Du bor i dit navn’

  • En Lodret LøGn Og Andre Skrøner (






UNABRIDGED) by Jørn Riel Narrated by Mogens Rex

    En Lodret LøGn Og Andre Skrøner

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jørn Riel
    • Narrated By Mogens Rex
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Jørn Riels 10 skrønesamlinger fra Nordøstgrønland – og en enkelt fra Sydøstgrønland – har vundet ham mange trofaste læsere. Og med god grund. En mere elskelig samling af barokke og (u)troværdige særlinge, som befolkningen på fangstationerne udgør, er svær at finde. "At være i Grønland med Jørn Riels flok af lystne anarkister er lige så godt som at være der i virkeligheden. Mindst..."

  • Drengen Som Ville væRe Menneske (






UNABRIDGED) by Jørn Riel Narrated by Mogens Rex

    Drengen Som Ville væRe Menneske

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 20 mins)
    • By Jørn Riel
    • Narrated By Mogens Rex
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Drengen som ville være menneske er første del af fortællingen om drengen Leiv, der kommer til Grønland fra Island, hvor hans far blev dræbt af Thorstein fra Stockanæs. Det er ikke blot en historie om mødet mellem to kulturer, men også en beretning om det barske og hårde liv for at overleve i polarnattens kulde, og hvordan Leiv finder sammen med Narua og Apuluk og oplever mange dramatiske ting, før han bliver accepteret som Inuit af eskimoerne.

  •  
  • Strømsteder (






UNABRIDGED) by Jørn Riel Narrated by Mogens Rex

    Strømsteder

    • UNABRIDGED (44 mins)
    • By Jørn Riel
    • Narrated By Mogens Rex
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Strømsteder er digte om Jørn Riels elskede Grønland, hvor han tilbragte 10 år af sit liv. Digtsamlingen udkom første gang i 1979 i anledning af, at Grønland fik hjemmestyre. Strømstedet Ved det lille strømsted ligger jeg en tid
    med pagajen ude. Jeg ser de bløde bjerge
    Der som hendes skød deles af en kløft. Ofte har jeg tænkt på at ro derind lægge mig i kløften som deler bjerget, ligge midt i kløften i duftende lyng og føle bjergets varme.

  • Cirkulæret Og Andre Skrøner (






UNABRIDGED) by Jørn Riel Narrated by Mogens Rex

    Cirkulæret Og Andre Skrøner

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jørn Riel
    • Narrated By Mogens Rex
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Jørn Riels 10 skrønesamlinger fra Nordøstgrønland – og en enkelt fra Sydøstgrønland – har vundet ham mange trofaste læsere. Og med god grund. En mere elskelig samling af barokke og (u)troværdige særlinge, som befolkningen på fangstationerne udgør, er svær at finde.

  • Du bor i dit navn (






UNABRIDGED) by Jørn Riel Narrated by Mogens Rex

    Du bor i dit navn

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Jørn Riel
    • Narrated By Mogens Rex
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Du bor i dit navn er første del af Jørn Riels triologi om den rodløse Vesterbrodreng Peter, hans barndomskæreste Amy, og deres fælles ven Kristian. Trilogien betragtes som et hovedværk i Jørn Riels mesterlige forfatterskab, der er kendt af de fleste og som gennem tiden har høstet stor anerkendelse.

  • Forliset og andre skrøner (






UNABRIDGED) by Jørn Riel Narrated by Mogens Rex

    Forliset og andre skrøner

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Jørn Riel
    • Narrated By Mogens Rex
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Jørn Riels 10 skrønesamlinger fra Nordøstgrønland - og en enkelt fra Sydøstgrønland - har vundet ham mange trofaste læsere. Og med god grund. En mere elskelig samling af barokke og (u)troværdige særlinge, som befolkningen på fangstationerne udgør, er svær at finde.

    "At være i Grønland med Jørn Riels flok af lystne anarkister er lige så godt som at være der i virkeligheden.

  •  
  • Rejsen til Vinland (






UNABRIDGED) by Jørn Riel Narrated by Mogens Rex

    Rejsen til Vinland

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jørn Riel
    • Narrated By Mogens Rex
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Rejsen til Vinland er fjerde del af fortællingen om drengen Leiv, der kommer til Grønland fra Island, hvor hans far blev dræbt af Thorstein fra Stockanæs. Det er ikke blot en historie om mødet mellem to kulturer, men også en beretning om det barske og hårde liv for at overleve i polarnattens kulde, og hvordan Leiv finder sammen med Narua og Apuluk og oplever mange dramatiske ting, før han bliver accepteret som Inuit af eskimoerne.

  • HelvedespræSten Og Andre SkrøNer [Hell Priest and Other Tall Tales] (






UNABRIDGED) by Jørn Riel Narrated by Mogens Rex

    HelvedespræSten Og Andre SkrøNer [Hell Priest and Other Tall Tales]

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jørn Riel
    • Narrated By Mogens Rex
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Jørn Riels 10 skrønesamlinger fra Nordøstgrønland – og en enkelt fra Sydøstgrønland – har vundet ham mange trofaste læsere. Og med god grund. En mere elskelig samling af barokke og (u)troværdige særlinge, som befolkningen på fangstationerne udgør, er svær at finde. "At være i Grønland med Jørn Riels flok af lystne anarkister er lige så godt som at være der i virkeligheden.

  • Før morgendagen (






UNABRIDGED) by Jørn Riel Narrated by Mogens Rex

    Før morgendagen

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Jørn Riel
    • Narrated By Mogens Rex
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    At blive det sidste levende menneske på jorden. For den gamle kvinde Ninioq er det ikke blot en tanke, men en sandsynlighed, der fylder hende med rædsel. Alligevel kæmper hun desperat for at netop hun skal blive den sidstlevende i verden. Ellers vil den forfærdelige skæbne tilfalde hendes sønnesøn Manik.

  • Leiv, Narua og Apuluk [Liev, Narua, and Apuluk] (






UNABRIDGED) by Jørn Riel Narrated by Mogens Rex

    Leiv, Narua og Apuluk [Liev, Narua, and Apuluk]

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 34 mins)
    • By Jørn Riel
    • Narrated By Mogens Rex
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Leiv, Narua og Apuluk er anden del af fortællingen om drengen Leiv, der kommer til Grønland fra Island, hvor hans far blev dræbt af Thorstein fra Stockanæs. Det er ikke blot en historie om mødet mellem to kulturer, men også en beretning om det barske og hårde liv for at overleve i polarnattens kulde, og hvordan Leiv finder sammen med Narua og Apuluk og oplever mange dramatiske ting, før han bliver accepteret som Inuit af eskimoerne.