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Fiction > Historical

Historical

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connie

connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada Member Since 2007

trying to see the world with my ears

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  • "not run-of-the mill chick lit"

    Overall

    This is a delightful mixture of light Austen-like comedy of manners with a dash of P.G. Wodehouse mania. There is no bodice ripping, violence, or sex (but no gritty social realism or insight either,of course) -- just "happily ever after" written (and read) well enough for the listener to suspend disbelief.

    Heyer's books have stood the test of time, while I don't think most chick lit will. If you are in need of distraction, may Heyer be as pleasant a discovery to you as she was to me. I think if you are new to this author (I am a relative newcomer but have zoomed though five novels in the last stress-filled month), then I think either "Frederica" or "Cotilion" is worth a chance download. (But warning, this stuff can be addictive -- when tired or tested, I keep thinking that I will download "just one more...")

    More

    Frederica

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Clifford Norgate
    Overall
    (696)
    Performance
    (394)
    Story
    (397)

    Rich and handsome, the hope of ambitious mothers and despair of his sisters, the Marquis of Alverstoke sees no reason to put himself out for anyone. But when a distant connection applies to him for help, he finds himself far from bored.

    connie says: "not run-of-the mill chick lit"
  • "truly rates overused "classic..."

    Overall

    This listen managed to combine my two favorite types of lit - realistic depiction of another period (especially its social history) and reflection on faith in a troubled world.

    I listened to this shortly after the more contemporary "Foreskin's Lament" and "Disobedience" -- and although I enjoyed those two (each in their own way)-- oh, how I wish I had listened to this first!

    In addition to a beautiful "coming of age" portrait of two young Americans in the WWII/post war era, what a compassionate depiction of Jewish faith coming to terms with modernism! As other reviews point out, the novel portrays universal truths while giving outsiders to the Jewish faith a glimpse of its richness and diversity in the story's specifics. There are enough symbolism and imagery to satisfy a reader/listener without the literary complexity that demands much effort to digest.

    I thank the reviewer who named Potok's follow-up novel, but since that is not on Audible (yet), I think as a follow-up, I will re-listen to Doctorow's "City of God" and hope for a re-release of "The Promise."

    More

    The Chosen

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Chaim Potok
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (427)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (199)

    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"
  • "above average historical fiction"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although a little grisly in places for my taste, this is the kind of historical fiction that transports the listener to the world of the story. The writing is much above average for the genre,and the packed historical detail is fascinating without getting in the way of the story. The narration is excellent, too - both author and narrator seem to have made the wise choice that, since neither the prose nor the delivery is REALLY going to imitate 1845 New York, then make both sound modern and let the story, character, setting and appropriately chosen period vocabulary paint the images of the story world. I wade though a large amount of historical fiction flotsam to catch a few like this that really work - a good dense story, likeable characters, and, as a bonus, a social conscience without being hamfisted preachy.

    More

    The Gods of Gotham

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Lyndsay Faye
    • Narrated By Steven Boyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (520)
    Performance
    (445)
    Story
    (449)

    It is 1845. New York City forms its first police force. The great potato famine hits Ireland. These two seemingly disparate events will change New York City. Forever.... Timothy Wilde tends bar near the Exchange, fantasizing about the day he has enough money to win the girl of his dreams. But when his dreams literally incinerate in a fire devastating downtown Manhattan, he finds himself disfigured, unemployed, and homeless. His older brother obtains Timothy a job in the newly minted NYPD, but he is highly skeptical of this new "police force".

    Joanne says: "A wonderful book"
  1. Frederica
  2. The Chosen
  3. The Gods of Gotham
  4. .

A Peek at Cariola's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
704
 
Chambersburg, PA USA 159 REVIEWS / 332 ratings Member Since 2005 280 Followers / Following 6
 
Cariola's greatest hits:
  • Regeneration: The Regeneration Trilogy, Book 1

    "Don't Miss This One!"

    Overall

    A beautifully written novel, the first in Barker's "Regeneration Trilogy" (the third volume won the Booker Prize). Set in a war hospital in Scotland during World War I, the story revolves around several patients and physicians, including the poet Siegfried Sassoon. After serving honorably, Sassoon wrote an anti-war statement, which he asked an MP to read in session. His friend and fellow officer Robert Graves, knowing that Sassoon would be facing a court martial, claims the statement was due to battle fatigue and has him sent to Craiglockhaven for treatment. Dr. Rivers's task is to get Sassoon to agree to return to the front. Other patients include the young poet Wilfred Owen and Billy Priot, a young man who can't eat after having been blown into the decomposing body of a German soldier. A fascinating look at the social pressure put on young men during the war, as well as the effects of the war on people and relationahips and of the treatment of the psychological scars it caused.

  • The Song of Achilles: A Novel

    "Didn't Expect to Like It, but I Was Swept Away"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't expect to care much for this book as I'm not all that interested in Greek myths and heroes--but what an unexpected surprise! I am so glad that I listened to the recommendation of other LTers and decided to give The Song of Achilles a go. Once I started, it was impossible to put it aside--a rare enough occurence, but rarer still when you already know how the story will end. That can only be attirbuted to Madeline Miller's gift for storytelling. Gone are the sometimes stilted characterizations of the original (due in part, no doubt, to weak translations). While the heroes here remain monumental, they are also complex men whose thoughts and emotions are all too human. While Miller never lets us forget that Achilles himself is the son of a goddess, we also see within him the vulnerability of the human condition.

    The familiar story is narrated by Patroclus, Achilles's best loved companion. The son of a king sent into exile for making a tragic but shameful mistake, Patroclus befreinds the admired Achilles at the age of twelve. Miller takes us through their upbringing at the court of Peleus and their training with the centaur Chieron and on through the Trojan War, where both eventually meet their final fates. She fleshes out not only the shadowy character of Patroclus but also Thetis, Achilles's goddess-mother, his father Peleus, Chieron, Odysseus, Menalaus, Briseis, and others; and she even manages to make the exhausting battle scenes thrilling.

    Perhaps the best compliment I can give to The Song of Achilles is that it has made me want to reread The Iliad.

  • The Autobiography of Henry VIII

    "Entertaining and Insightful"

    Overall

    What a wonderful book! At the beginning, Henry has died, and Will has found the diary he supposedly kept since his youth. He sends it to the daughter of Anne Boleyn's sister Mary, who he believes is in truth Henry's daughter. Will, whose father died when he was very young, does this because he believes that a child should know his or her father.

    George has really done her research, but instead of ploddign through history, she gives Henry a realistic voice that is at time maddening, at other times sympathetic; in other words, she turns this huge historical figure into a man, like others, with both strengths and weaknesses. The interjections by Will, who, despite his cynical tone, obviously loved Henry, give us further insights into his character. Along the way, she gives us a delightful picture of life, love, and politics at the Tudor court.

    David Case is the perfect reader for this material.

  • Music and Silence

    "Can Rose Tremain Write a BAD Book?"

    Overall

    From my experience so far, the answer would have to be a resounding, "NO!" Tremain gets just right the mix of opulence and stringency, melancholy and joy, hope and despair that war with one another in the 17th century court of King Chistian of Denmark. All of her characters may not be likeable (the selfish Kristin, for one, and Tillson's second wife Mordalena, for another); but each one is unique and fascinating in his or her own right. What is Music and Silence about? The disappointment of love--and the perseverance of love. The power of art and the power of words. Family dynamics that can almost destroy its members yet somehow manages to pull them together. The influence of the past and the persistence of memory. And so much more. To give you any more details, if you haven't read this beautiful novel, would spoil the experience. Highly recommended!

Ryan

Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 07-11-11 Member Since 2005

Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.

HELPFUL VOTES
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14
  • "A beautiful nightmare"

    16 of 16 helpful votes

    Brutally violent, Blood Meridian turns the 19th century American West into a kind of hellish but hauntingly beautiful dreamscape, through which a gang of mercenaries wanders, killing without aim or reason. There is no comfort to be found anywhere in this novel, which overturns all Old West Myths, leaving only a stark, maddening world in which man exists on the edge of nihilism, "civilization" an illusion. The characters are almost opaque, reduced to actions in minimal dialogue. Even the language seems intended to confound and discomfit the reader, mixing arcane, half-forgotten scientific and philosophical terms with passages that sound almost like something from the Bible.

    Yet, McCarthy is the definition of a powerful writer. His prose is hypnotic, the book's scenes affecting the reader as much by their eerie beauty and lyricism as by the horror and violence contained within. Their images will stick around in your head for days. The Judge, a monstrous, demihuman prodigy at the center of novel, whose amused, philosophical queries about whether or not the scenes around him represent man in man's natural state, is one of the more memorable characters I've come across in fiction.

    Make no mistake, Blood Meridian is filled with powerful questions, about morality, about evil, about humanity's need for violence and dominance, about the nature of God, and so forth. Sometimes these questions are expressed explicitly, usually by the Judge, but mostly, they swirl just beneath the surface of the nightmare, challenging the reader to peer into the abyss and examine them. Though we don't live in such lawless times anymore, the distance from our safe doorsteps to the modern equivalent of a gang of roving, murderous scalpers may be shorter than we think.

    McCarthy will certainly never be an author to everyone's taste, and not with this work, but Blood Meridian has made a few critics' "Best of the 20th Century" lists for a good reason. This is a first-rate work of modern literature.

    More

    Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1138)
    Performance
    (611)
    Story
    (612)

    Author of the National Book Award-winning All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy is one of the most provocative American stylists to emerge in the last century. The striking novel Blood Meridian offers an unflinching narrative of the brutality that accompanied the push west on the 1850s Texas frontier.

    Chris says: "Bleak but Fascinating"

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    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
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    New York Times best-selling author Diana Gabaldon enchanted scores of fans with Outlander, her electrifying historical saga set in 18th-century Scotland. Now this sequel sweeps listeners back into the past as Claire relates more of her perilous sojourn there with her Scottish warrior husband, James Fraser. Twenty years after her strange journey back in time, Claire has returned to Scotland with her daughter, determined to share with her the secret she has harbored since her time travel.

    Daniel says: "Finally! The unabridged version is here!"
  •  
  • Voyager (






UNABRIDGED) by Diana Gabaldon Narrated by Davina Porter

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    • By Diana Gabaldon
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    Set in the intriguing Scotland of 200 years ago, the third installment in the romantic adventures of Jamie and Claire is as compelling as the first. Now that Claire knows Jamie survived the slaughter at Culloden, she is faced with the most difficult decision of her life. She aches to travel back through time again to find the love of her life, but, in order to do that, she must leave their daughter behind.

    Kathy says: "Hurry up! I want them all!"
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    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
  • A Breath of Snow and Ashes (






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    A Breath of Snow and Ashes continues the saga of 18th-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his 20th-century, time-traveling wife, Claire. The year is 1772, and the rift between Britain and its American colonies has put a frightening word into the minds of all concerned: revolution. In the backwoods of North Carolina, violence has already reared its ugly head, as cabins have been burned to the ground. To preserve the colony for King George III, the governor pleads with Jamie to bring the people together and restore peace. But Jamie has the burden of knowing that war cannot be avoided.

    jerry says: "Unabridged!"
  • The Fiery Cross (






UNABRIDGED) by Diana Gabaldon Narrated by Davina Porter

    The Fiery Cross

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    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
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    The year is 1771. Claire Randall is still an outlander, out of place and out of time. But now she is linked by love to her only anchor: Jamie Fraser. They have crossed oceans and centuries to build a life together in North Carolina. But tensions, both ancient and recent, threaten members of their clan. Knowing that his wife has the gift of prophecy, James must believe Claire, though he would prefer not to. Claire has shared a dreadful truth: there will, without a doubt, be a war.

    Dawn says: "THANK YOU!!!"
  •  
  • Lucky Us: A Novel (






UNABRIDGED) by Amy Bloom Narrated by Alicyn Packard

    Lucky Us: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Amy Bloom
    • Narrated By Alicyn Packard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Disappointed by their families, Iris, the hopeful star and Eva the sidekick, journey through 1940s America in search of fame and fortune. Iris’s ambitions take the pair across the America of Reinvention in a stolen station wagon, from small-town Ohio to an unexpected and sensuous Hollywood, and to the jazz clubs and golden mansions of Long Island. With their friends in high and low places, Iris and Eva stumble and shine though a landscape of big dreams, scandals, betrayals, and war.

  • Edge of Eternity: The Century Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

  • The Things They Carried (






UNABRIDGED) by Tim O'Brien Narrated by Bryan Cranston

    The Things They Carried

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tim O'Brien
    • Narrated By Bryan Cranston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (919)
    Performance
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    Story
    (844)

    Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried’s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book’s hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.

    Michelle says: "Stark and poignant!"
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel (






UNABRIDGED) by Helene Wecker Narrated by George Guidall

    The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2393)
    Performance
    (2208)
    Story
    (2208)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Tango says: "Enchanting Debut Novel - Delicious!"
  • Guns of Vengeance (






UNABRIDGED) by Lewis Patten Narrated by Jeff Harding

    Guns of Vengeance

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Lewis Patten
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    When heat and drought take their toll on owner of the Double R, Walt Rand, he decides to take action, against the advice of the local sheriff.

  • Raiding with Morgan (






UNABRIDGED) by Jim R. Woolard Narrated by James Jenner

    Raiding with Morgan

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Jim R. Woolard
    • Narrated By James Jenner
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Raiding with Morgan is an historical Civil War novel set in 1863; it focused of the invasion of Indiana and Ohio by Confederate cavalrymen commanded by General John Hunt Morgan a.k.a. the infamous Morgan's Raiders. Ty Mattson never knew his father who went off to fight in the Mexican War and never returned; and Ty's mother died giving birth to Ty. For 17 years, Ty wonders why his father never acknowledges his existence. Ty learns that his father joined Morgan's Raiders, so Ty decides to follow suit in the hope of meeting his father, which he does.

  • Medieval: Blood of the Cross: The Medieval Sagas, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Kevin Ashman Narrated by David Parkinson

    Medieval: Blood of the Cross: The Medieval Sagas, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Kevin Ashman
    • Narrated By David Parkinson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The Holy Land is in turmoil and desperately awaits the arrival of Edward Longshanks and his relieving army of French and English Crusaders. This is a time of brutality, an age of chivalry. A time of strong men with stronger hearts, an era with no place for the weak. Yet a thousand miles away, a 14-year-old boy learns a disturbing secret that drives him on a Crusade of his own. A quest to avenge his family, save his brother, and in the process recover the holiest relic in the history of Christendom.

  • Love, Love Me Do (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark Haysom Narrated by Katie Scarfe, David Thorpe

    Love, Love Me Do

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Mark Haysom
    • Narrated By Katie Scarfe, David Thorpe
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    1963: The year the Beatles first top the charts. The year Martin Luther King has a dream. The year Truman Bird moves his family from their home in Brighton to a dilapidated caravan in the Ashdown Forest - then disappears. Truman's a charmer, a chancer, a liar. He's always got away with it, too. But now he's gone a dangerous step too far and only has one day to put things right - before he loses everything. For Truman's wife, Christie, life has not turned out the way she'd imagined.

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  • Arctic Summer (






UNABRIDGED) by Damon Galgut Narrated by Finlay Robertson

    Arctic Summer

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Damon Galgut
    • Narrated By Finlay Robertson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In 1912, the SS Birmingham approaches India. On board is Morgan Forster, novelist and man of letters. It will be another 12 years, and a second time spent in India, before A Passage to India, E. M. Forster's great work of literature, is published. During these years, Morgan will come to a profound understanding of the infinite subtleties and complexity of human nature.

  • Killer's Law (






UNABRIDGED) by L. Ron Hubbard Narrated by R. F. Daley, Corey Burton, Brooke Bloom, Enn Reitel, Bob Caso, John Mariano, Richard Rocco

    Killer's Law

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 55 mins)
    • By L. Ron Hubbard
    • Narrated By R. F. Daley, Corey Burton, Brooke Bloom, and others
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Sheriff Kyle of Deadeye, Nevada, is headed east to the nation’s capital. Like Dennis Weaver in the television series McCloud, Kyle’s about to discover that the law can be even wilder in the big city than in the Wild West. It’s a fact that hits home when he’s the one accused...of murder. Kyle’s come to the city to give a report to his senator on the misdeeds of Nevada’s filthy rich copper kings. But before he has a chance, he’s knocked unconscious, later coming to alongside his senator - now dead, with Kyle’s knife imbedded in the corpse.

  • The Deadliest Sin (






UNABRIDGED) by The Medieval Murders Narrated by Colin Mace

    The Deadliest Sin

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By The Medieval Murders
    • Narrated By Colin Mace
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In the spring of 1348, tales begin of poisonous clouds fast approaching, which have overwhelmed whole cities, with scarcely a human being left. While some pray earnestly, there are those who hope that God's wrath might be averted by pilgrimage. When a group of pilgrims are forced to shelter at an inn, their host encourages them to tell their stories of sin, so that it might emerge which one is the best. And the worst...