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Robert

Robert Yamhill, OR, United States Member Since 2009

Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

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  • "My favorite book this year."

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    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.

    More

    The Once and Future King

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By T. H. White
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1165)
    Performance
    (974)
    Story
    (968)

    The complete "box set" of T. H. White's epic fantasy novel of the Arthurian legend. The novel is made up of five parts: "The Sword in the Stone", "The Witch in the Wood", "The Ill-Made Knight", "The Candle in the Wind", and "The Book of Merlyn".

    Bookoholics Anon says: "Fabulous reading, epic story and a new chapter!"
  • "A Classic"

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    While Ursula K. Le Guin wrote several novels about the fantasy world of Earthsea, A Wizard of Earthsea appears to be the first of the main cycle by that name. I found it difficult to pin down whether the series is written for children and/or adults. I concluded that while there are a number of philosophical themes that adults could appreciate, the target audience was probably that of a younger age. Let’s say YAs.

    Further, on the subject of age, this is basically the coming of age story of a young mage named Ged who is drawn to wizardry and develops into just that as the story unfolds. There’s much in the way of magic, spells and personal discovery along the way. However, as Ged learns, all of the power and might of of a wizard comes with a price. Wizardry is not for the faint-hearted nor is its magic lightly wielded by the ignorant or arrogant. Much of this is taught Ged by Ogion his primary mentor along with his own life’s little (and not so little) foibles in and around Earthsea. Does all this sound a bit familiar?

    The monster of the story we learn is… uh, not so fast. That would be a major spoiler. And I believe the book is worth reading to discover that as well as the other things Ged learns along his way through apprenticeship and personal discovery. The book is very straight forward. That appears to be Le Guin’s style. After recently reading a bunch of China Mielville prior to Earthsea, the latter was a refreshingly, relaxing read. However, we probably should not be fooled by her simplicity. Contained within the pages are a depth and breath that can be easily missed if we’re not paying attention. What can I say; it’s obviously a classic and who could not recommend that.

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    A Wizard of Earthsea: The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Ursula K. Le Guin
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (561)
    Performance
    (409)
    Story
    (417)

    When Sparrowhawk casts a spell that saves his village from destruction at the hands of the invading Kargs, Ogion, the Mage of Re Albi, encourages the boy to apprentice himself in the art of wizardry. So, at the age of 13, the boy receives his true name - Ged - and gives himself over to the gentle tutelage of the Master Ogion. But impatient with the slowness of his studies and infatuated with glory, Ged embarks for the Island of Roke, where the highest arts of wizardry are taught.

    Finance Guy says: "Elegant & unique fantasy, deliciously performed"
  1. The Once and Future King
  2. A Wizard of Earthsea: The...
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A Peek at Teddy's Bookshelf

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Bronx, NY, United States 93 REVIEWS / 96 ratings Member Since 2011 1071 Followers / Following 22
 
Teddy's greatest hits:
  • Eldest: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 2

    "You see growth in the Author"

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    I found myself enjoying this title the more the title progressed. It was one of those books that tends to build so smoothly up to those points of sheer action. Also of specific note is the growth that one is able to witness in the general writing style of the author. The way Christopher Paolini seems to tackle certain issues in this book as opposed to book one (Eragon) also lent to the book being even more enjoyable than the previous.

    Book 2 of the Inheritance Cycle is your typical mythical fantasy novel. I couldn't help but notice slight similarities with Star Wars regarding some of the twists that the story takes. That being said, I found the entire title put together very well. In this book you get a glimpse in the lives of the elves and see as Eragon himself grows into an impressive Dragon Rider. Another great addition to this story was Roran, Eragon's cousin, whose own struggles and quest becomes even more challenging and exciting than Eragon's it would seem. A number of new characters were introduced in this title and it would seem that no one from the previous novel was forgotten either, all reappearing in some form or another through the scope of the title.

    The narration grew on me throughout this book. You sometimes forget that it is one person doing the narration even though there are so many distinct voices, tones and intonations in the title. The narration in this case only adds to the title here.

    Truly an impressive listen all over. I look forward to listening to the third book in this series.

  • The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1

    "Fun KIDS Book"

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    The quintessential truth about this book is that this is a book for kids. That is no to say that as am adult you can't or won't enjoy it but the long and short is this book was designed for kids. The author takes some obvious liberties taking this into consideration and if I have to base my review solely on it being a kids book... This book was actually great... Pity though I am not a kid nor do I have any at this time.

    I liked the concept of the book, the thought process that went into creating this mythical world intertwined with our current time was rather impressive to say the least. If turned into a more young-adult/adult genre book I would thoroughly have enjoyed it because I would think the characters would have a lot more depth and certain concepts about this world would have been thought out much better. From my personal vantage point the book would have probably gotten 2 or 3 stars but thinking of it as a kids book it would get 5 stars..... so a clear medium was found here in giving it 4 stars.

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    "Anne Hathaway... Saved this for me"

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    Now that we have that out of the way... I won't spend much time on the story BUT... This is a jacked up children's book if it was meant to be one... For one they keep lopping off heads off of people! The 'Wizard of Oz' is at best a con-artist! And the characters are... let’s face it... gullible... Maybe I am reading too much into this story.. >_<

    Anne Hathaway though.... LOVE HER.... And thankfully she didn't massacre the book and did actually produce a performance worth 5 stars. To be honest, I changed my score from a 4 to a 5 stars because Anne actually got me through the book. I don't think anyone could make me be completely thrilled with the narration here but this is because I think the story was lacking so much (note also I am reviewing this right after listening to "Water for Elephants" and "Outlander" which are EXCELLENTLY written and even more EXCELLENTLY narrated). Even with the annoying squeaky voices (it does get annoying after the bazillion little person), Anne really kept me listening and I cut her slack for the squeaky voices because quite frankly, that would be how they sounded.

    I say this... Audible need to invite Anne Hathaway back to do a real book... and by a real book I mean a Jane Austen book! I think anything Jane Austen or even Phillipa Gregory (if we want to go more modern) would fit her.

brett

brett new york, NY, United States 08-09-12 Member Since 2010

Homemaker Dad

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  • "Fun! . The kids in the car want thi..."

    13 of 14 helpful votes

    Fun! . The kids in the car want this one on all the time .
    I have put other audiobooks on but this is their favorite.
    Upon first listen I thought I had wasted my money but after 2 months
    repeatedly playing this one for the kindygarten and school run they still want to listen to it. even other school friends are singing along .
    I will be looking for another one of these .

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    The Animal Fair and Other Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 12 mins)
    • By BBC Audio
    Overall
    (11)
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    (9)
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    "Listen and Play" encourages pre-school children to observe the world with theirs ears! Each audiobook contains an exciting mix of songs, nursery rhymes, sound puzzles, and tongue twisters, and finishes with a short story.

    brett says: "Fun! . The kids in the car want this one on ."

What's Trending in Kids:

  • The Peter Rabbit Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Beatrix Potter
    • Narrated By Peter Batchelor
    Overall
    (2)
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    (2)
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    Beatrix Potter's most famous tales in one wonderful collection. Contains The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, The Tale of Two Bad Mice, The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle,The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan, and many more!

    zilinying says: "Too fast for kid"
  • Alice in Wonderland

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lewis Carroll
    • Narrated By B.J. Harrison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (321)
    Performance
    (272)
    Story
    (267)

    Alice begins her fantastic journey by following an unprecedented White Rabbit with a pocket watch. While in the topsy turvy world of Wonderland, Alice takes advice from a caterpillar and attends a mad tea party. She meets the Mock Turtle and the Gryphon, and participates in a ludicrous courtroom scene. Each character has its own charming voice, as B. J. Harrison delivers one of his most whimsical performances.

    Amazon Customer says: "Such a good narrator!!!"
  • The Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    Overall
    (1384)
    Performance
    (754)
    Story
    (769)

    December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.

    Stephanie says: "Awesome story, suspenseful, lots to think about!"
  • Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Payne (translator)
    • Narrated By Bernard Cetaro Clark
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
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    (4)

    The original story of Aladdin is a Middle-Eastern folk tale. It concerns an impoverished young man named Aladdin. He is recruited by a sorcerer from the Maghreb, who passes himself off as the brother of Aladdin's late father and convinces Aladdin and his mother of his goodness by making arrangements to set up the lad as a wealthy merchant. His real motive is to persuade young Aladdin to retrieve a wonderful oil lamp from a booby-trapped magic cave.

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  • Rikki Tikki Tavi

    • ABRIDGED (35 mins)
    • By Rudyard Kipling
    • Narrated By Curtis Sisco
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
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    (26)
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    (26)

    A young mongoose protects his human family from two murderous cobras. English Nobel laureate Kipling's best story from The Jungle Book collection, "Rikki Tikki Tavi" has been adapted many times to film and television.

    Annette says: "Rikki Tikki Tavi"
  • The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Sally Lloyd-Jones
    • Narrated By David Suchet
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (112)
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    (115)

    In The Jesus Storybook Bible, every story whispers his name. It tells the story beneath all the stories in the Bible.

    Beth says: "A Wonderful Buy!!"
  • Wonder

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By R. J. Palacio
    • Narrated By Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (694)
    Performance
    (631)
    Story
    (627)

    August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school - until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power.

    Jay says: "A Beautiful Story"
  • The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    Overall
    (3408)
    Performance
    (1565)
    Story
    (1599)

    Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend? Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he's not even sure he believes himself.

    Teddy says: "Fun KIDS Book"
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  • Rush Revere and the First Patriots: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Rush Limbaugh
    • Narrated By Rush Limbaugh
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (39)

    Nationally syndicated radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has long wanted to make American history come to life for the children of his listeners. In Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, he created the character of a fearless middle-school history teacher named Rush Revere, who travels back in time and experiences American history as it happens, in adventures with exceptional Americans. In this second book in the series, Rush Revere is transported back to the people and events leading up to the American Revolution.

    Deborah Gunnlaugsson says: "Over the top!"
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: The Chronicles of Narnia

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Michael York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3420)
    Performance
    (826)
    Story
    (859)

    Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor's mysterious old house. At first her brothers and sister don't believe her when she tells of her visit to the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund, then Peter and Susan step through the wardrobe themselves. In Narnia they find a country buried under the evil enchantment of the White Witch.

    Caitlin says: "Great audiobook!"
  • Stick Dog

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 29 mins)
    • By Tom Watson
    • Narrated By Andrew Eiden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    (0)

    Meet Stick Dog - a new breed of hero! In his first adventure, Stick Dog and his friends embark on an epic quest to steal a hamburger. With hilarious illustrations and pitch-perfect humour, Stick Dog is a must-have for fans of Wimpy Kid and Big Nate. Stick Dog and his friends, Mutt, Stripes, Karen and Poo-Poo have caught the scent of hamburgers and what hungry stray could resist that lovely meaty waft?

  • Knight Quest: Time Hunters, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 50 mins)
    • By Chris Blake
    • Narrated By Oliver Hembrough
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    Join Tom on an incredible treasure hunt through time and battle history's mightiest warriors. The second book in a new time-travelling series - perfect for fans of Beast Quest. When ten-year-old Tom accidentally smashes a statue in a museum he releases Isis, a young Egyptian mummy who has been imprisoned for thousands of years. To break an ancient curse, the duo must travel back in time to find six hidden amulets - battling Gladiators, Knights, Greeks, Vikings, Pirates and Egyptian Warriors!

  • How to Catch a Star (10th Anniversary edition)

    • UNABRIDGED (7 mins)
    • By Oliver Jeffers
    • Narrated By Paul McGann
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    (0)
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    (0)
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    Celebrate the 10th anniversary of world-renowned author Oliver Jeffers' book, the much-loved How to Catch a Star! The publication of How to Catch a Star in 2004 heralded the arrival of a captivating new talent on the book scene. Now beloved by children all over the world, the book has achieved huge critical and commercial success.

  • Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 42 mins)
    • By Tom Watson
    • Narrated By Andrew Eiden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    Stick Dog is back in his second hilarious and hugely illustrated adventure. This time he and his pals are hungry for hot dogs but they need a plan… A must-have for fans of Wimpy Kid and Big Nate. Everyone's favourite canine cartoon hero, Stick Dog is back! This time he and his friends, Mutt, Stripes, Karen and Poo-Poo are determined to snaffle themselves a delicious snack from the hot dog stand. But they are going to need a plan…

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  • Monster and Chips: Food Fright

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 40 mins)
    • By David O'Connell
    • Narrated By Oliver Hembrough
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    Meet the amazing monster customers and sample the foul-food served up daily at Fuzzby's diner - the third book in this innovative series from incredibly talented author, David O'Connell. Roll up, roll up… it's Chips for everyone at the Monster Fair. Joe works in a monster diner flipping squashed-frog burgers and serving the best soggy boggy sausage to the monster customers. Now he and his monster friends are off to cook at the monster fair. Has Joe got the stomach for the Big Squeal, and the Splodgem Dodgems?

  • The Twelve Brothers

    • UNABRIDGED (12 mins)
    • By The Brothers Grimm
    • Narrated By Kathy Verduin
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    (0)
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    What's it like to be a sister with 12 brothers? In this story it's pretty good, until she makes a mistake, and puts a spell on them for seven years, and she's speechless.... This story by the Brothers Grimm has an interesting spin, as told and acted by Kathy Verduin.

  • Elixir: A Covenant Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jennifer L. Armentrout
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
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    (2)

    Aiden St. Delphi will do anything to save Alex. Even if it means doing the one thing he will never forgive himself for. Even if it means making war against the gods.