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John

John Belleville, IL, United States

St. Louis, Missouri

HELPFUL VOTES
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  • "Ok, so I was buying a lawnmower..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    More

    The Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (3645)
    Performance
    (1980)
    Story
    (2027)

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

    Prsilla says: "Really-REALLY Classic!"
  • "The Kind of Professor I Want My Kid..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

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

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



    More

    The Modern Scholar: Masterpieces of Medieval Literature

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Timothy Shutt
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    It is during the Middle Ages that modern Europe, indeed, modern Western culture as we know it, comes to be. Classical Mediterranean culture drew from the ancient Middle East, and more directly, from the Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans. The Middle Ages add the Northlands, Celts, and Germans, and ultimately, Slavs as well, to the mix.

    John says: "The Kind of Professor I Want My Kids to Have"
  • "Another Dry Martini. Another Perfec..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

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

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

    More

    Big Money

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By P. G. Wodehouse
    • Narrated By Jonathan Cecil
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Most of the big money belongs to Torquil Paterson Frisby, the dyspeptic American millionaire--but that doesn't stop him wanting more out of it. His niece, the beautiful Ann Moon, is engaged to "Biscuit", Lord Biskerton, who doesn't have very much of the stuff and so he has to escape to Valley Fields to hide from his creditors. Meanwhile, his old school friend Berry Conway, who is working for Frisby, himself falls for Ann--just as Biscuit falls for her friend Kitchie Valentine. Life in the world of Wodehouse can sometimes become a little complicated.

    John says: "Another Dry Martini. Another Perfect Souffle."
  1. The Count of Monte Cristo
  2. The Modern Scholar: Maste...
  3. Big Money
  4. .

A Peek at Robert's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
3333
 
Yamhill, OR, United States 212 REVIEWS / 346 ratings Member Since 2009 2113 Followers / Following 12
 
Robert's greatest hits:
  • The Once and Future King

    "My favorite book this year."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I read reviewers write, “the best book I have ever read,” I thought yeah right! ‘must not have read many books. Well, I have read a fair bit myself and this is definitely one of the best written books I have ever read. I believe it is a book that one can read and reread and enjoy over and over and find something new in each reading of it. Not to be redundant, it is also one of the most fun and funniest I have ever read. It is a scholarly and even literary work, if you will. And yet, at the same time, the book is totally enchanting, witty and charming.

    The legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table arose in the early Middle Ages, when England was just beginning to come under the influence of Christianity. When anyone retells the story, the author brings his own perspective to the tale of chivalry. Here T.H. White often appears to use the education of the young king Wart by Merlyn to educate the reader. While not in so many words, or maybe it is that: Merlin is a time-traveler. Not so much in the context of some science fiction novel but in his memory. Merlin is aware of past, present and the future. Certainly the author is aware of those times and uses those temporal events to tell his story. The book is in many ways a critique of mid-twentieth-century British culture. At first, things seem somewhat anachronistic but then we see that the narrator regularly references events and people in modern times to help tell his tale even more effectively.

    Both T.H. White’s The Once and Future King and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings were written in the shadow of World War II, and both reflect that context to some extent:

    “No. There is one fairly good reason for fighting - and that is, if the other man starts it. You see, wars are a wickedness, perhaps the greatest wickedness of a wicked species. They are so wicked that they must not be allowed. When you can be perfectly certain that the other man started them, then is the time when you might have a sort of duty to stop him.” (Merlyn)

    Not only is T.H. White’s The Once and Future King full of anachronistic references to places and events of modern times, but it also plays fast and loose with time within the framework of the novel itself. Given the references to the death of Uther Pendragon in 1216 and the appearance of Thomas Malory at the end of the story, Arthur would have lived from 1201-1485. In effect, what White does is telescope almost three hundred years of English history and social development into the backdrop of a single narrative.

    The book is long. But multiple versions of the story of King Arthur are considered within its covers so how short can it be? No, this is the best of several interpretations of the legend and it is not too long. While much of the book’s ending dwells on allegory, philosophy and social commentary, it is done with and eloquence and prose that is hard to compare with.

    One of the young reviewers of this book that I found tried to figure out the audience for for whom the author intended and concluded there were many. I agree:

    For children and young adults-
    “I have been thinking ... about Might and Right. I don’t think things ought to be done because you are able to do them. I think they should be done because you ought to do them.” (Arthur). One of the central themes of the book is War: Right and Might.

    On one level, both Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and T.H.
    White’s The Once and Future King are children’s stories, yet both novels contain very
    serious social commentary clearly intended for adults. Who could argue though that the social satire found in these novels detracts too much from the ability of children to enjoy them. Could a child appreciate all that is contained within TOaFK? Certainly not. However, there are many stories in this legend and many that target the child in all of us. One need not read this entire book though I am sure a lust will always remain to do so.

    No reviewer could possibly do justice to this book. How about some more of the author’s own words:

    On Wisdom-
    “The best thing for being sad ... is to learn something. That is the only thing that never
    fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then - to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.” (Merlyn)

    This is a story about great compassion-
    “If I were made a knight ..., I should insist on doing my vigil by myself, a Hob does with
    his hawks, and I should pray to God to let me encounter all the evil in the world in my own person, so that if I conquered there would be none left, and, if I were defeated, I would be the one to suffer for it.” (Wart)

    The author writes a great deal about the evolution of man-
    “Here, all you embryos, come here with your beaks and whatnots to look upon Our first
    Man. He is the only one who has guessed Our riddle, out of all of you, and We have great pleasure in conferring upon him the Order of Dominion over the Fowls of the Air, and the Beasts of the Earth, and the Fishes of the Sea. Now let the rest of you get along, and love and multiply, for it is time to knock off for the weekend. As for you, Man, you will be a naked tool all your life, though a user of tools. You will look like an embryo till they bury you, but all the others will be embryos before your might. Eternally undeveloped, you will always remain potential in Our image, able to see some of Our sorrows and to feel some of Our joys. We are partly sorry for you, Man, but partly hopeful.” (Badger)

    Much is written about human morality-
    “Morals ... are a form of insanity. Give me a moral man who insists on doing the right
    things all the time, and I will show you a tangle which an angel couldn’t get out of.” (Lionel)

    This title actually includes Books 1-5 of T.H. White’s magnum opus. It is not so much about world-building per se though there is enough of that. The book is more about us as humans and our nature... our intellectual, psychological, social and even political nature. The book is philosophical, satirical with even a little theology thrown in. Not too much; just the right amount. If it is action that ye seek, knockdown, drag out fighting, best look elsewhere. This is one more about relationships and different kinds of heroes.

    This is brilliant storytelling brilliantly read and performed. The narration by Neville Jason is as good as it gets. I could not recommend a book more highly.

  • The Good Earth

    "Reread and comment as an adult."

    Overall
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    The good earth was published in 1931, awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and probably contributed to the author winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938. While it can be considered a stand-alone work with its satisfying conclusion, it is the first installment in a trilogy. Set in post-imperial, pre-WWII China, it helped foment poor relations with Japan going into that war.

    The book is primarily about the rise and fall of one Wang Lung, his family and fortune. The protagonist begins the book as a hard working farmer who later becomes a rather successful business man as he accumulates more and more land (hence, the good earth theme). Wang Lung loves the land above all other things. That love comes with a price, as all farmers know, in the form of adverse weather, drought and famine. The value that Lung puts on the land in the face of starvation, death and despair represents perhaps the central theme of the book.

    I read this book as a youngster when the view and position of China in the world was a great deal different than it is today. I read a review of the book just prior to this reading which blasted the book for its collection of racist stereotypes. On this, Andrew Nathan in Foreign Affairs writes that in his view, Buck delves deeply into the lives of the Chinese poor and opposed "religious fundamentalism, racial prejudice, gender oppression, sexual repression, and discrimination against the disabled." I don’t think that we can criticize a book for telling a story about that way things once were and that seems to be the focus of much of the criticism. Further, I think that the book speaks more to who we are as human beings than the Chinese as a race. Apparently the whole notion of race in China is a new one. Chinese intellectuals translated “race” as “zhong zu” (种族) a combination of the word for “seed” (种 or zhong) and an old Chinese term (族 or zu) used to describe the lineage of patrilineal extended families. What a coincidence that is: a book about the earth where seeds are placed and the male-centric families that tend them. Does that make the book racist? Me thinks not.

    Now about that rating. For a book that brought its author the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes, it’s hard not to give the book top ratings. Would not less than the highest rating say more about the reviewer than the book? But sometimes we must be bold. Many of us read this book as YAs and, especially because of its simplicity, it fits that billet well. As an adult, however, I look for more layers, depth and complexity in my reads. Not that simple isn’t good. For me too, simple can put a book over the top. This was just not one of them.

  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    "The Best"

    Overall

    One has to believe that truly, for many of the reviewers of this book, this one is maybe the best they have read. Decidedly, this is the case for me. It is cleverly funny, mesmerizingly beautiful and intelligently written. Some have commented on its length. For this reader, the length only made the savoring longer and more delicious. Each character is beautifully developed by Dumas and flawlessly rendered by John Lee. The story is complex but simply conveyed. I could not more highly recommend a book and its narrator than this one.

  • Great Expectations

    "That it was by Dickens should have been enough"

    Overall

    That it was Charles Dickens should have been enough but, add to that a narration by Charlton Griffin and we have a masterpiece of a masterpiece. Sounds like hyperbole but how else to describe a book so well written and so well, well what? Surely not merely narrated. Not even only acted. It was like Charlton Griffin got into the mind of Dickens and transfers that experience to us. This is such a wonderful book and to have it presented to us here by Mr. Griffin is not something to be missed. Everything is so well tied up in the end with a pretty little knot but not before we are entertained with surprise after surprise. And the use of the English language... OMG, like few ever have before him nor I doubt few ever will again.

C. Telfair

C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 03-04-12 Member Since 2006

Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!

HELPFUL VOTES
1010
ratings
REVIEWS
221
208
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
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2
  • "My favorite Bronte book"

    16 of 16 helpful votes

    Despite being lesser known than her sisters' works, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" may be the best of the Bronte books. Anne is a good writer; terrific at description, and there is humor here and richness of character development. I really loved this listen. The story is long and, I will admit, tedious at times (it's a Victorian novel after all!), but this edition of the audio book has handled the strange structure of the book very well. Both Alex Jennings and Jenny Agutter render their portions of the narrative beautifully.
    A word of warning, however. This claims to be an Unabridged version, but it is not so. Because I was listening to the book as a book club assignment, I followed along with the written version and found some puzzling omissions. Just why they chose to abridge some parts -- especially in the central, diary portion of the book -- I can't imagine. The cuts are small and not terribly important, but nevertheless are there. Anyone wishing to experience the entire work should be aware of the abridgment.
    But it's a fine trip! I'm very pleased to have learned that there is more to the Brontes than "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights".

    More

    The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Anne Brontë
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings, Jenny Agutter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (70)

    This is the story of a woman's struggle for independence. Helen "Graham" has returned to Wildfell Hall in flight from a disastrous marriage. Exiled to the desolate moorland mansion, she adopts an assumed name and earns her living as a painter.

    A User says: "highly recommended"

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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
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    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!"
  • 4.8 (170 ratings)
    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Volume 1: The Treason of Isengard (






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

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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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    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"
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    Master i Margarita - "posledniy zakatnyy" roman M.A. Bulgakova, roman zaveshchanie, voskresshiy iz pepla unichtozhennoy avtorom pervoy redaktsii. V Mastere i Margarite fantastika natalkivaetsya na realizm, mif na istoricheskuyu dostovernost, teosofiya na demonizm, romantika na klounadu.

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    Benoibe says: "One of my top 2 favorites of the Great Courses!"
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    Alan says: "Stunning"
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    Anne of Avonlea: Anne of Green Gables, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By L. M. Montgomery
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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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    • By Gerard Manley Hopkins
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    A collection of the best-known poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889). One of the Victorian era's greatest writers, Hopkins' reputation has continued to grow since his death. This collection includes "The Windhover", "The Caged Skylark", "Carrion Comfort", "Spring", and "Fall and Inversnaid".

    Robert says: "Excellent encounter with the poet."
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UNABRIDGED) by Harper Lee Narrated by Sissy Spacek

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    • By Harper Lee
    • Narrated By Sissy Spacek
    Overall
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    Performance
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    Story
    (26)

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

    Alan says: "Stunning"
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    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
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    Overall
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    Performance
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    Story
    (7570)

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

    Darwin8u says: "Victory after all, I suppose!"
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    • By Jonathan Swift
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    Rose says: "Loved every minute"
  • 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
    (4216)
    Performance
    (3789)
    Story
    (3864)

    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!"
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  • Great Expectations (






UNABRIDGED) by Charles Dickens Narrated by Simon Prebble

    Great Expectations

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (185)

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

    Dana says: "The narrator!!"
  • 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
    (3701)
    Performance
    (2271)
    Story
    (2302)

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

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






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

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

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2844)
    Performance
    (2563)
    Story
    (2619)

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

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






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

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

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2581)
    Performance
    (2319)
    Story
    (2369)

    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!"
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  • Atlas Shrugged (






UNABRIDGED) by Ayn Rand Narrated by Scott Brick

    Atlas Shrugged

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

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

    Mica says: "Hurt version decidedly superior"
  • 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
    (801)
    Performance
    (606)
    Story
    (635)

    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"
  • 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
    (2367)
    Performance
    (1854)
    Story
    (1838)

    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"
  • Dracula [Audible Edition] (






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

    Dracula [Audible Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Bram Stoker
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2168)
    Performance
    (1976)
    Story
    (2002)

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

    N. Houghton says: "Gothic Horror Never Sounded So Good"
  • Rescue (






UNABRIDGED) by Gordon R. Dickson Narrated by John W. Michaels

    Rescue

    • UNABRIDGED (22 mins)
    • By Gordon R. Dickson
    • Narrated By John W. Michaels
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    It seemed like a good idea at the time to rescue the tribe of Amuk from their primitive ways and move them into modern society. Pibo, their a-lot-smarter-then-he-looked leader, however, had other ideas. Pibo liked his job too much to allow Scout Lieutenant Holroyd Aldo to bring in the mother ship and its extensive reorientation of his people.

  • Mr. Bloke's Item (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark Twain Narrated by Glenn Hascall

    Mr. Bloke's Item

    • UNABRIDGED (7 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Who determines what stops the presses? Enter the world of Mark Twain who was handed an item from an emotional man late one night. The presses were stopped, the item run, and Twain was in trouble with his editor. Enjoy the humor as Twain tries to understand the importance of "Mr. Bloke’s Item".

  • A Medieval Romance (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark Twain Narrated by Glenn Hascall

    A Medieval Romance

    • UNABRIDGED (17 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    If you've ever wondered what a tale of knights and dukes would look like through the mind of humorist Mark Twain? Travel back in time to the 1200s. Twain starts well setting the scene for a very interesting conflict. How will it resolve - or will it? The ending really shouldn't be a surprise for those who love the careless ease of Twains humor.

  • The Pacifist (






UNABRIDGED) by Arthur C. Clarke Narrated by John W. Michaels

    The Pacifist

    • UNABRIDGED (25 mins)
    • By Arthur C. Clarke
    • Narrated By John W. Michaels
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A 1950s supercomputer’s purpose is to help fight battles, but what happens when the pompous general in charge of the project chooses to berate the rather meek and mild "Nerd" Dr. Milquetoast, whose job it is to program the massive machine, is a classic case of getting even.

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  • The Woman's Ghost Story (






UNABRIDGED) by Algernon Blackwood Narrated by Lee Ann Howlett

    The Woman's Ghost Story

    • UNABRIDGED (23 mins)
    • By Algernon Blackwood
    • Narrated By Lee Ann Howlett
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A woman tells her story of an encounter with a ghost in a deserted old lodging house in the middle of London years ago. She was told that a woman had been murdered there before she agreed as a "psychical researcher" to spend a night in the old building. Her expectations are challenged in this psychological ghost story. Algernon Blackwood wrote over 200 ghost stories as well as being a novelist, playwright, and a writer of nonfiction and children’s stories. His ghost stories fall into what is usually called weird fiction.

  • Cupid's Bedside Book: Great Classic Love Stories  by Leonard Merrick, Jerome K. Jerome, Charles Dickens, Apuleius, Guy de Maupassant, Charles Reade, Morley Roberts Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    Cupid's Bedside Book: Great Classic Love Stories

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

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

  • The Child with the Bread Shoes (






UNABRIDGED) by Théophile Gautier Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    The Child with the Bread Shoes

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

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

  • Jeannot and Colin (






UNABRIDGED) by Voltaire Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    Jeannot and Colin

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

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

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  • The Best German Short Stories (






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

    The Best German Short Stories

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

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