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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."

    Overall
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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.

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    The Once and Future King

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By T. H. White
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (1314)
    Performance
    (1099)
    Story
    (1095)

    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!"
  • "Glad I took a chance."

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    I had my doubts about reading this book. I have a hard time with books about WWII Germany. I knew this would probably be a heartbreaker too but for some reason I decided to take it on. Maybe because the book was about books, and I usually like that genre; maybe because the reviews were so good; certainly not because I read it was appropriate for "sophisticated teens and adults." For whatever reason, I am glad I selected The Book Thief. It was incredibly well-written. The characters completely came to life. While there certainly was heart-brake, the heart-warming more than made up for it. This is a book for all ages. The narrator was outstanding and all and all, it was a book I will not soon forget.

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    The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (8051)
    Performance
    (6235)
    Story
    (6256)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Shannon says: "Word Thief"
  • "A Lost Review"

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    This is one of many lost reviews by Audible. It's not much but luckily, it was stored elsewhere:

    Narrated by Katherine Kellgren, this is one of my all-time favorite audiobooks. It is an audio book at its best. This is a performance and not just a reading. This book and its reader have won many awards and rightfully so. The book is entertaining to the point of addiction. I read the first two books in the series in two days and would be working on the third if my iPod were not fully discharged.

    There is not a dull moment in any of the first two books in this series: Bloody Jack #1 and The Curse of the Blue Tattoo #2. I have heard it said and read of listeners that they had fallen in love with the narrator's voice... well add me to her fanboys and girls. Katherine Kellgren is one of the best talents in this art form. In fact, certainly gender-wise, she is perhaps without peer.

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    Bloody Jack

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By L.A. Meyer
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1212)
    Performance
    (720)
    Story
    (715)

    Life as a ship's boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of 18th-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas. There's only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret.

    Terry says: "Sometimes it clicks"
  1. The Once and Future King
  2. The Book Thief
  3. Bloody Jack
  4. .

A Peek at Felicity's Bookshelf

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Kaohsiung, Taiwan 0 REVIEWS / 3 ratings 0 Followers / Following 0
 
Felicity's greatest hits:

Melinda

Melinda UT 09-18-13 Member Since 2009

So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.

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  • "I'd like to buy the world a coke (a..."

    26 of 28 helpful votes

    The author that gave us that warm-puppy of a novel, The Silver Linings Playbook, once again has us malleable putty in his compassionate hands. Quick has proven to be a novelist with some insight into those behaviors that sometimes prevent us from seeing the humanity that lies beneath them. In spite of the straight forward set up (you could almost say manipulative in the nicest way) he has the ability to make us challenge our comfortable conceptions and crank our necks a little harder to get a wider view, and as a reader, that interaction impresses me.

    I worked with hundreds of Leonard Peacocks in my profession; kids struggling to communicate beyond their hurt in a world that seems to make no sense to them. My background challenges my objectivity rating this book, but I can say that it is one of the better books I've read describing a particular troubled teen's thought process, so I'll approach this rating from that POV. It does that with sympathy and authenticity, with some excellent insight that has been very responsibly supported by several professionals (noted in the epilogue). On the other hand, I also worked with the kids that were locked up during their therapeutic hospitalization to prevent them from carrying out pure evil -- and that is apples to these oranges. This is not a textbook about personality disorders, or a fictionalized look into the mind of Columbine-like attackers at all. I doubt (I hope) Quick intended this border-line warm-fuzzy book to examine behaviors on that level, and it would be a naïve disservice to lump this into such a category.

    This is a heart-touching look at one of those *troubled oddballs*. As Leonard counts down the hours to carrying out what he feels is a necessary catastrophe, his narration reminded me of a similar confused and misplaced childish bravado...
    "The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another, his mother called him "WILD THING!" and Max said "I'LL EAT YOU UP!" [Where The Wild Things Are; Maurice Sendak]
    There's obvious pain and confusion beneath Leonard Peacock's words.

    Reviewer L. Gutzman said he thought this should be required reading--a wonderful sentiment that would makes us all a little more aware and compassionate. This is a great story -- ignore the NY Times glass-half-empty mention of this book making a *social commentary* and just value, maybe even share, the view the story leaves you with. You'll be a wiser and kinder person.






    More

    Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Matthew Quick
    • Narrated By Noah Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (310)
    Performance
    (283)
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    (281)

    Today is Leonard Peacock's birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 pistol. But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart - obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school's class on the Holocaust.

    L. Gutman says: "Required reading for humans"

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    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mark Haddon
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3949)
    Performance
    (1672)
    Story
    (1695)

    Fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone has Asperger's Syndrome, a condition similar to autism. He doesn't like to be touched or meet new people, he cannot make small talk, and he hates the colors brown and yellow. He is a math whiz with a very logical brain who loves solving puzzles that have definite answers.

    Robert says: "Endearing. Pathos, humor, reality, and insight."
  • Eleanor & Park (






UNABRIDGED) by Rainbow Rowell Narrated by Rebecca Lowman, Sunil Malhotra

    Eleanor & Park

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Rainbow Rowell
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (816)
    Performance
    (761)
    Story
    (767)

    Set over the course of one school year, in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits - smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love - and just how hard it pulled you under.

    FanB14 says: "E + P 4-ever!"
  • Petrea og jydemafiaen (






UNABRIDGED) by Mette Finderup Narrated by Winni Ellegaard Nielsen

    Petrea og jydemafiaen

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 36 mins)
    • By Mette Finderup
    • Narrated By Winni Ellegaard Nielsen
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Carlsens Tivoli er med på kræmmermarked i den lille midtjyske flække Frederiks, og Petrea glæder sig – især til finalen: en koncert med bandet Johnny and The Jetset. Men den lille by er farligere, end man skulle tro. En flok unge bøller forsøger at presse penge ud af Carlsen. Han tager dem ikke alvorligt. Det skulle han måske have gjort, for dagen efter kommer en lille dreng alvorligt til skade i den store karussel, Spinneren.

  • Ghosting (






UNABRIDGED) by Edith Pattou Narrated by Kate Rudd, Kate Reinders, Amy McFadden, Emily Durante, Mikael Naramore, Scott Merriman, Nick Podehl, Alexander Cendese

    Ghosting

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Edith Pattou
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd, Kate Reinders, Amy McFadden, and others
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    On a hot summer night in a midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims - with tragic outcomes altering lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario all too familiar from current real-life headlines. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.

  • Sending Jack off to Jesus: A Southern Thing, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by Sara York Narrated by Jason Frazier

    Sending Jack off to Jesus: A Southern Thing, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Sara York
    • Narrated By Jason Frazier
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Jack Miller has more than he could ask for with Andrew as his boyfriend, but it's being taken away from him and there isn't anything he can do. His father knows he's gay, and his mother wants him to have sex with a girl to make sure he's not mistaken. Andrew Collins has found the perfect home in foster care with Cole and Melinda Kemp, but it won't last. The DA thinks his parents have proven they've changed, but Andrew doesn't believe the change will last. Just when Jack and Andrew think it can't get any worse, it does.

  • The Cannoneers: Ben Cross & the Guns of Ticonderoga (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert Walker Narrated by E Roy Worley

    The Cannoneers: Ben Cross & the Guns of Ticonderoga

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Walker
    • Narrated By E Roy Worley
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    When young Ben Cross escapes occupied Boston in 1775, he has no idea that he will become a cannoneer of the First Artillery Unit of the Continental Army under Colonel Henry Knox, nor that he would be in the company of the Green Mtn. Regiment of Ethan Allen and the tough Vermonters. Now could he have dreamed of dining with General George Washington himself, or helping to arm the Continental Army.

  •  
  • Barry Loser: I Am Not a Loser (






UNABRIDGED) by Jim Smith Narrated by Huw Parmenter

    Barry Loser: I Am Not a Loser

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 3 mins)
    • By Jim Smith
    • Narrated By Huw Parmenter
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    I've never minded that my name's Barry Loser because my coolness has always cancelled it out, but ever since Darren Darrenofski joined school with his horrible little crocodile face he's been completely ruining my life about it. I Am Not a Loser is the first of several notebooks belonging to Barry Loser. Follow Barry as he tries to throw off his loserness, take revenge on the terrible Fronkle-burping Darren Darrenofski, and finally become a winner.

  • Blind (






UNABRIDGED) by Rachel Dewoskin Narrated by Annalie Gernert

    Blind

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Rachel Dewoskin
    • Narrated By Annalie Gernert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    When Emma Sasha Silver loses her eyesight in a nightmare accident, she must relearn everything from walking across the street to recognizing her own sisters to imagining colors. One of seven children, Emma used to be the invisible kid, but now it seems everyone is watching her. And just as she's about to start high school and try to recover her friendships and former life, one of her classmates is found dead in an apparent suicide. Fifteen and blind, Emma has to untangle what happened and why - in order to see for herself what makes life worth living.

  • City of Heavenly Fire: Mortal Instruments, Book 6 (






UNABRIDGED) by Cassandra Clare Narrated by Grant Cartwright, Eloise Oxer

    City of Heavenly Fire: Mortal Instruments, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Cassandra Clare
    • Narrated By Grant Cartwright, Eloise Oxer
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon and Alec must flee – even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned. Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the thrilling and long-awaited final installment of the bestselling and acclaimed Mortal Instruments.

  • Kite Spirit (






UNABRIDGED) by Sita Brahmarchari Narrated by Juliet Stevenson

    Kite Spirit

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Sita Brahmarchari
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    During the summer of her GCSEs Kite's world falls apart when her best friend, Dawn, commits suicide. Kite senses Dawn's spirit around her and it's not until she meets local boy, Garth, that Kite begins to open up - talking to a stranger is easier somehow. Kite would do anything to speak to Dawn just once more, to understand why… Otherwise how can she ever say goodbye?