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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.

HELPFUL VOTES
2808
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387
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9
  • "My Favorite Steinbeck; Terrible and..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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
    (31)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (25)

    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"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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 David's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
1008
 
218 REVIEWS / 222 ratings Member Since 2010 241 Followers / Following 0
 
David's greatest hits:
  • Can You Forgive Her?

    "Very Very Victorian"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

  • The Jungle: A Signature Performance by Casey Affleck

    "It might make you a vegetarian, if not a socialist"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    With a hundred years of hindsight, we've learned so little.

    Upton Sinclair's The Jungle is famous for disgusting America with its tales of meat packing workers falling into vats and rendered into lard, and all the things that went into sausages and tinned beef. (Cigar butts and poisoned rats not even being the most disgusting ingredients...) But as Sinclair said about his most famous book, "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." The Jungle is not primarily about the problems of an unregulated meat industry. It's about the crushing brutality of capitalism, and the problems of unregulated accumulation of wealth. No wonder that Americans prefer the less political vegetarian version.

    Although Sinclair was a muckraking socialist with an obvious agenda, The Jungle is still a compelling novel in its own right. Jurgis Rudkus is a Lithuanian immigrant who comes to America with his young wife Ona and his extended family of in-laws. Initially believing they have found the promised land of opportunity and plenty, they are quickly taken in by various schemes meant to impoverish, indebt, and enslave immigrants like them. At first only Jurgis has to work in Chicago's meatpacking district. He is young and strong and believes hard work will be rewarded, and those who warn him of how the meatpackers will use him up and dispose of him are lazy whiners. Of course, he soon discovers otherwise. The family undergoes one mishap after another, until within a year, even the children are reduced to selling newspapers on the street and still they are all barely staying alive.

    Then things get worse, and worse, and worse. Jurgis is a modern-day Job, with no God to blame his troubles on, only capitalism. He has several ups and downs, but every time he catches a break, it's quickly followed by yet another brutal smackdown. Sinclair was trying to make the reader feel sorry for Jurgis and his poor family, all of whom end up dead, prostituted, or beggars by the end of the book, and you will. The poor man just cannot win, and if he makes mistakes and chooses the less noble path when given a choice, it's pretty hard to judge him if you've never been homeless on the streets of Chicago in the wintertime.

    The Jungle is a grimly detailed look at early 20th century America. Sinclair was muckraking, so obviously he's showing the ugliest bits of America he can, but history proved that most of what he was alleging was true, even if his conclusions were questionable. Even if you are strongly anti-socialist, The Jungle is an eye-opening story, and still relevant after all these years. If you think that the horrors depicted in this book are relics of a previous era, just remember that to the extent that the very worst of these abuses are now curbed (somewhat) by government regulations, those government regulations are exactly what "free market" advocates hate and want to abolish.

    4 stars. Knocking one star off because while Sinclair mostly kept his didacticism in check throughout the book, using gripping drama and only a little bit of exposition to arouse the horror he intended, the last chapter was nothing but socialist sermonizing, making it less a climax than the author climbing onto a soapbox to deliver his moral.

    I have to ding this version for the unfortunate choice of narrator: I've enjoyed several of Audible's Signature Performances, but Casey Affleck's reading was monotonous and completely lacking in passion. His voice lacked distinction, and he sounded like a schoolboy reading a book aloud to the class. Not every celebrity actor makes a good audiobook narrator.

  • The Way We Live Now

    "Excellent choice for any fan of Victorian dramas"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a fantastic melodrama, worthy of being compared with any other Victorian novel, with a large cast of characters, a dozen subplots, and a biting, satirical wit that Trollope applied to what he saw as the greed and lack of class evident in London in his day. Other reviewers have commented on how Augustus Melmotte is entirely believable as a 19th century Bernie Madoff, and his ponzi scheme house of cards has been seen over and over again on Wall Street. But if The Way We Live Now were just a book about greedy high society types being taken in by a con man, it wouldn't have as much to recommend it. What makes this book great are the characters, from Melmotte himself to the many other players large and small, all of whom do wind up being interconnected in some way, though not all tie into the central storyline.

    Of course a great deal of the book is taken up by marital intrigue -- that is to say, pretty much everyone is trying to get married. Some are trying to marry for love, some for financial security, some start seeking one and wind up choosing the other, but there are so many couples and would-be couples in this book, you almost need a dance card. They're each and every one of them different, with their own vividly described motives. Some are dastardly, some are grasping, some are naive and sweet, some are vulnerable, some are just weak. A few are even noble. But it's all a grand drama, and Trollope, paid by the word like most authors in his day, gets to indulge the reader in chapters full of resolution for each individual character in a way that modern novels, which favor tightness and paring away of unnecessary subplots and secondary characters, don't allow. It's a big, wordy book but if you like dramas, every bit of it is entertaining.

    Timothy West really livened up the reading with perfect dry English wit to bring out Trollope's satirical tone. One of the best narrators I've heard on Audible.com; every character, even the women, was distinct.

  • Light in August

    "The "accessible" Faulkner: lovely, hard, and cruel"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my first time reading the notoriously difficult Faulkner. I did not find Light in August to be particularly difficult, though it's also said to be his most accessible work. Faulker writes in a sort of sparse poetry that reminds me a little of Cormac McCarthy (though it's probably more appropriate to say that McCarthy reminds me of Faulkner). Faulkner is not as sparse, though; his prose requires a fair degree of sophistication to grasp and he weaves many, many themes through this novel, so I can see why he's considered a challenging read, especially in the era of YA ascendancy.

    I was captivated by that prose very early. I was prepared to fall in love with Faulkner. The first act of the novel is compelling: the simple tale of a naive young woman named Lena Grove who leaves home in pursuit of the ne'er-do-well who done left her in an expectin' sorta way, possessing an almost childlike faith that it was all on account o' him not knowin' the situation and planning to send for her anyway once he's all settled, so once she catches up with him, the Lord will see to it that they is married like a couple with a baby comin' ought.

    Yeah, right, and pigs will fly.

    While the writing remained beautiful and poetic throughout the book, the third act, in which Faulkner wraps up all his themes, ties up all the loose ends, and brought it all home, dragged to the point that I thought he spent quite a few pages just indulging himself in the portentous importance of his own ponderous prose. It didn't diminish the genius of his writing, but it did wear on me, as someone who has developed a much greater appreciation for literary writing in the past few years, but still prizes storytelling as an essential ingredient in a great novel. The flashbacks and stream-of-consciousness chapters pile on, never becoming less finely written, but I started to see why Faulkner is considered "challenging"; the book starts out as a fine Southern tragedy, but dumps us deep in literary Faulkner-land by the end.

    Also, this book is squirm-inducing in its beautiful and poetic rendering of the rankest misogyny and racism. The n-word abounds and yes, it's set in a time and place in which it would be unbelievable not to hear it flung about freely, but I found myself uncertain to the end just where Faulkner stood and what he was trying to say about his racially ambiguous anti-protagonist Christmas, who spends his life reflecting the world's contempt and abuse back at it. Joe Christmas grows up hard and mean and who can blame him? What I also found as horrific as it was authentic was the multi-layered hatred of all womankind, expressed through every single male character in one way or another, even the relatively sympathetic ones. Women in Light in August are the enemy even when they are self-sacrificing martyrs, oppressing men by the very act of martyrdom. I know it's fashionable to dismiss authorial intent, Death of the Author and all that, but man, methinks Faulkner had some issues with women. One of the most compelling passages in the book was the one explaining Christmas's solidarity with the unloving, hated adoptive father who beat him against his doormat of an adoptive mother who did nothing but try to comfort him. It was hard and true and ugly, and just left me awed at such prose that could fill me with such disquiet.


    “She is like all the rest of them. Whether they are seventeen or fortyseven, when they finally come to surrender completely, it's going to be in words.”


    This was really quite an experience. One has to have a taste for Faulkner, I think, and I suspect people will have wildly varying emotional reactions to him. I was drawn into Light in August enough that I will certainly read Faulkner again. 4 stars, because the prose is truly Nobel-caliber, but the story became abstruse and, for me, hard to love by the end.

    A fine performance by Will Patton, whose accent is Southern enough to be authentic without being so thick as to hinder clarity.

Ilana

Ilana Montreal, Quebec, Canada 04-03-12 Member Since 2011

Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!

HELPFUL VOTES
331
ratings
REVIEWS
265
111
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
64
11
  • "A Suspense that Keeps You Guessing"

    32 of 32 helpful votes

    Walter Hartright, a young art teacher, is startled when he is overtaken by a young woman dressed entirely in white while walking on the road from Hampstead to London. Visibly distressed, the young woman begs him to show her the way to London, and he offers to accompany her there. The young woman accepts his offer on the condition that he allow her to come and go as she pleases. Once he's dropped her off in London, two men in hot pursuit claim that the girl has escaped a mental asylum and must be returned there at once, but Walter does nothing to help them in their search. The next day he arrives at Limmeridge House, where he has gained a position as a drawing master. There he meets his young pupils, half sisters Marian and Laura. In no time at all, her befriends Marian—no great beauty is she, but quick, smart and amusing—and falls desperately in love with the heavenly loveliness that is Laura. But the encounter with the woman in white will carry many consequences.

    I took absolute delight in discovering all the plot twists of this great classic mystery, so will disclose no more of the story nor of how it is told, but will say that it offers a wonderfully evil conspiracy and several highly memorable characters, not least of which the strange and compelling villain Count Fosco, who stole every scene in which he appeared, in my view. Also, the sublimely selfish Frederick Fairlie is one of the most memorable invalids I have ever encountered in a work of fiction. I must say that this version, narrated by Simon Prebble and Josephine Bailey, greatly increased my enjoyment of the tale, with wonderfully rendered characters. Now that I've listened to it and that there are no more secrets for me to discover, I still look forward to listening to it again for a fun romp with highly colourful characters and plenty of Gothic frissons.

    More

    The Woman in White

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By Josephine Bailey, Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (978)
    Performance
    (787)
    Story
    (786)

    One of the greatest mystery thrillers ever written, Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White was a phenomenal best seller in the 1860s, achieving even greater success than works by Charles Dickens. Full of surprise, intrigue, and suspense, this vastly entertaining novel continues to enthrall audiences today.

    David says: "Gripping novel, excellent production"

What's Trending in Classics:

  • 4.8 (231 ratings)
    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
    (231)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (216)

    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"
  • 4.8 (173 ratings)
    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Volume 1: The Treason of Isengard (






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
    (173)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (105)

    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"
  • 4.8 (26 ratings)
    Time Regained: Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 7 (






UNABRIDGED) by Marcel Proust Narrated by Neville Jason

    Time Regained: Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 7

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Marcel Proust
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    Lost in the blacked-out streets of Paris during the First World War, Marcel stumbles into a brothel and accidentally witnesses a shocking scene involving the Baron de Charlus. Later, at a reception given by the Prince de Guermates, his meditations on the passage of time lead to his determination to embark on his life's work at last.

    Darwin8u says: "Full of emotional/intellectual/experiential joules"
  • 4.9 (21 ratings)
    Master i Margarita [The Master and Margarita] (






UNABRIDGED) by Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov Narrated by Vladimir Ivanovich Samoylov

    Master i Margarita [The Master and Margarita]

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov
    • Narrated By Vladimir Ivanovich Samoylov
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (18)

    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.

  •  
  • 4.8 (19 ratings)
    Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor John R. Hale

    Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor John R. Hale
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    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"
  • 4.8 (16 ratings)
    Complete Short Stories, Volume Two (






UNABRIDGED) by W. Somerset Maugham Narrated by Charlton Griffin

    Complete Short Stories, Volume Two

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By W. Somerset Maugham
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (14)

    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 (






UNABRIDGED) by L. M. Montgomery Narrated by Laurie Klein

    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
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (12)

    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"
  • 4.9 (14 ratings)
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume I (






UNABRIDGED) by Edward Gibbon Narrated by David Timson

    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume I

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Edward Gibbon
    • Narrated By David Timson
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    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!"
  • 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
    (231)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (216)

    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 (






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
    (8449)
    Performance
    (7592)
    Story
    (7715)

    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
    (4338)
    Performance
    (3897)
    Story
    (3975)

    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!"
  • The Bonfire of the Vanities (






UNABRIDGED) by Tom Wolfe Narrated by Joe Barrett

    The Bonfire of the Vanities

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (870)
    Performance
    (439)
    Story
    (445)

    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"
  •  
  • 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
    (3764)
    Performance
    (2329)
    Story
    (2362)

    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 Wonderful Wizard of Oz (






UNABRIDGED) by L. Frank Baum Narrated by Anne Hathaway

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1935)
    Performance
    (1792)
    Story
    (1784)

    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"
  • 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
    (2931)
    Performance
    (2643)
    Story
    (2698)

    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 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
    (1456)
    Performance
    (1273)
    Story
    (1279)

    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"
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  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Signature Performance by Elijah Wood (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark Twain Narrated by Elijah Wood

    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Signature Performance by Elijah Wood

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Elijah Wood
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2405)
    Performance
    (1889)
    Story
    (1873)

    A Signature Performance: Elijah Wood becomes the first narrator to bring a youthful voice and energy to the story, perhaps making it the closest interpretation to Twain’s original intent.

    James says: "Worthy "signature" premiere"
  • 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
    (2657)
    Performance
    (2386)
    Story
    (2436)

    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!"
  • Atlas Shrugged (






UNABRIDGED) by Ayn Rand Narrated by Scott Brick

    Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (63 hrs)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (5252)
    Performance
    (3218)
    Story
    (3232)

    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"
  • 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
    (827)
    Performance
    (624)
    Story
    (656)

    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 Grim Reaper's Bedside Story Book: Tales of Gruesome and Unusual Deaths (






UNABRIDGED) by Edgar Allan Poe, Sherwood Anderson, Alexander Pushkin, Wilkie Collins, Thomas Hardy, Arnold Bennett, Egerton Castle Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    The Grim Reaper's Bedside Story Book: Tales of Gruesome and Unusual Deaths

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Edgar Allan Poe, Sherwood Anderson, Alexander Pushkin, and others
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A highly unsettling collection of macabre stories in which death and the dead are key themes. Moon’s Gibbet by Egerton Castle, A Strange Goldfield by Guy Boothby, The Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy, The Pistol Shot by Alexander Pushkin, The Premature Burial by Edgar Allan Poe, The Dead Hand by Wilkie Collins, The Famous Race between the Hearse and the Steamroller by Sidney Keyes, The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe, Nine O’Clock by Wilkie Collins, The Queen of Spades by Alexander Pushkin.

  • The Knight of the Chimney-Piece (






UNABRIDGED) by A.A. Milne Narrated by Glenn Hascall

    The Knight of the Chimney-Piece

    • UNABRIDGED (5 mins)
    • By A.A. Milne
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A Margery story. The storyteller interacts with his niece who is just learning to speak. For his own benefit he is quick to interpret the word Gorkey - which apparently has more than one meaning. Relatable humor in this delightful shot story from the mind of Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne.

  • The Castle of Otranto (






UNABRIDGED) by Horace Walpole Narrated by Neville Jason

    The Castle of Otranto

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Horace Walpole
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The Castle of Otranto is regarded as the first Gothic novel. The son of Manfred, Prince of Otranto, is mysteriously killed on his wedding day by a huge helmet. The event leads to a fast-paced story of jealous passion, intrigue, murder and supernatural phenomena unfolding in an atmosphere of thunderclaps, moonlight, and dark castle walls mirroring the inner turmoil of the characters themselves.

  • Shirley (






UNABRIDGED) by Charlotte Brontë Narrated by Georgina Sutton

    Shirley

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Charlotte Brontë
    • Narrated By Georgina Sutton
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Set in a chaotic time in England, during the height of the Napoleonic Wars, Caroline Helstone's world is turned upside down when she meets the vivacious Shirley Keeldar. Shirley becomes a beacon of light for Caroline as the two become close friends. However, Caroline is soon shocked to discover that Shirley has won the affections of Robert Moore, the impoverished mill owner whom she loves. Fully representative of Yorkshire life at the time, Brontë's second novel is completely gripping, unrelenting and utterly wrenching in its portrayal.

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  • Toby (






UNABRIDGED) by A.A. Milne Narrated by Glenn Hascall

    Toby

    • UNABRIDGED (6 mins)
    • By A.A. Milne
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A good horse has an amazing effect on a rider – even if the rider knows nothing of horses. Our storyteller would make up whatever he needed to in order to keep the horse. He even kept his military mustache if it meant he could continue a companionship with Toby. Filled with a patchwork of humor from the mind of A.A. Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh.

  • Disappointment (






UNABRIDGED) by A. A. Milne Narrated by Glenn Hascall

    Disappointment

    • UNABRIDGED (6 mins)
    • By A. A. Milne
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In an age where being an apprentice was normal the storyteller has the opportunity to discuss a new writing by 13-year-old Bobby. The conversation inspires the storyteller to complete his own version of the story. The result should bring a smile. Is it possible soap operas came from this short story conversation with the young writer? Narrated by Glenn Hascall.

  • Faro's Daughter (






UNABRIDGED) by Georgette Heyer Narrated by Laura Paton

    Faro's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Laura Paton
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (2)

    Fiery, strong-willed Deb Grantham, who presides over a gaming house with her aunt, is hardly the perfect wife for the young and naive Lord Mablethorpe. His lordship's family are scandalized that he proposes to marry one of 'faro's daughters', and his cousin the proud, wealthy Max Ravenscar - decides to take the matter in hand. Ravenscar always gets his way, but as he and Miss Grantham lock horns, they become increasingly drawn to each other. Amidst all the misunderstandings and entanglements, has Ravenscar finally met his match?

  • Dr Thorne: Chronicles of Barsetshire, Book 3 (






UNABRIDGED) by Anthony Trollope Narrated by David Shaw-Parker

    Dr Thorne: Chronicles of Barsetshire, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Anthony Trollope
    • Narrated By David Shaw-Parker
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    It tells the tale of Frank Gresham and Mary Thorne, a couple intent on marriage despite their conflicting social backgrounds. Frank is engaged in a fierce battle with his family as his mother vehemently opposes the marriage and pushes him to marry a wealthy heiress; however, Frank shuns her attempts and is determined to accept Mary on her own terms.

  •  
  • Afternoon Sleep (






UNABRIDGED) by A. A. Milne Narrated by Glenn Hascall

    Afternoon Sleep

    • UNABRIDGED (5 mins)
    • By A. A. Milne
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A Margery story. The storyteller interacts with a very young niece. No matter how he thinks to convince Margery that he needed a nap she refuses to follow. If you’ve ever had a child who asks lots of questions and dreams up new ways to command your attention you will identify with the trials of the storyteller. A short story from the mind of Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne.