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Marianne

PETERSHAM, MASSACHUSETTS, United States | Member Since 2012

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 41 ratings
  • 119 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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  • American Lady: The Life of Susan Mary Alsop

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Caroline De Margerie
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    An American aristocrat - a descendant of founding father John Jay - Susan Mary Alsop (1918–2004) with husband, Joe Alsop, brought together the movers and shakers of not just the United States, but the world. Henry Kissinger remarked that more agreements were concluded in her living room than in the White House. Born in Rome, brought up in Argentina and the United States, Susan Mary arrived in Paris in 1945 to join her first husband, Bill Patten. There she witnessed "history on the boil" at dinners with Winston Churchill, Duff Cooper (the British ambassador and the love of her life), FDR, Greta Garbo, and many others.

    Marianne says: "A fascinating story"
    "A fascinating story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend the book but not the Audible version. The narrator has appaling
    pronunciation of French and English names and titles which is very confusing to the listener. The biography is fascinating.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Greatly. She does not know how to pronounce French or British names.
    She pronounces Belvoir Castle as it is written whereas in Britain it is pronounced
    Beaver


    What else would you have wanted to know about Caroline De Margerie’s life?

    Nothing, what is the point of this question, the book is about Susan Mary Alsop


    Any additional comments?

    re edit so that the pronunciation is not so lamentable

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Portrait of a Lady

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Henry James
    • Narrated By John Wood
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (225)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (160)

    When Isabel Archer, a beautiful, spirited American, is brought to Europe by her wealthy aunt Touchett, it is expected that she will soon marry. But Isabel, resolved to enjoy the freedom that her fortune has opened up and to determine her own fate, does not hesitate to turn down two eligible suitors. It is only when she finds herself irresistibly drawn to the cultivated but worthless Gilbert Osmond that she discovers that wealth is a two-edged sword and that there is a price to be paid for independence.

    Neil Chisholm says: "An American Jane Austen"
    "Pure heaven"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Portrait of a Lady to be better than the print version?

    No, just different.
    Listening opens out the novel.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ralf, he is the best of humans.


    Which character – as performed by John Wood – was your favorite?

    Henrietta Stackpool, so lacking in humour or irony. JW's performance captures her.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The horror.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a very good book, supremely well read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • World Order

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Henry Kissinger
    • Narrated By Nicholas Hormann
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (68)

    Henry Kissinger has traveled the world, advised presidents, and been a close observer and participant in the central foreign policy events of our era. Now he offers his analysis of the twenty first century's ultimate challenge: how to build a shared international order in a world of divergent historic perspectives, violent conflict, proliferating technology, and ideological extremism.

    Scott says: "More retrospective than future oriented"
    "Only quite good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about World Order?

    Found a huge mistake at 1.19 minutes. Frederick the Great was not saved by the death of Catherine the Great, he was saved by the death of her mother in law, the Empress Elizabeth.
    Also, the lack of numbers after various Kings and Emperors is regrettable. Also, more dates are needed to anchor the reader.
    Hope I do not find any more mistakes.


    What other book might you compare World Order to and why?

    Diplomacy


    What about Nicholas Hormann’s performance did you like?

    Very good.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    None


    Any additional comments?

    Pot boiler.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Felipe Fernández-Armesto
    • Narrated By David DeSantos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    An eminent scholar finds a new American history in the Hispanic past of our diverse nation. The United States is still typically conceived of as an offshoot of England, with our history unfolding east to west beginning with the first English settlers in Jamestown. This view overlooks the significance of America's Hispanic past. With the profile of the United States increasingly Hispanic, the importance of recovering the Hispanic dimension to our national story has never been greater. This absorbing narrative begins with the explorers and conquistadores who planted Spain's first colonies in Puerto Rico, Florida, and the Southwest.

    Marianne says: "A history of America from the West"
    "A history of America from the West"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Our America?

    Finally, a more balanced history of the US. We are not all descended from European settlers. The history of America is not just north America. Indians and Mexicans were there before European settlers and their story is often wilfully neglected.


    What other book might you compare Our America to and why?

    The Mayflower


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The story of the American West, how it was stolen.


    Any additional comments?

    This should be part of the curriculum in US high schools.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cider with Rosie

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Laurie Lee
    • Narrated By Laurie Lee
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Cider with Rosie is a wonderfully vivid memoir of childhood in a remote Cotswold village, a village before electricity or cars, a timeless place on the verge of change. Growing up amongst the fields and woods and characters of the place, Laurie Lee depicts a world that is both immediate and real and belongs to a now-distant past.

    Marianne says: "A voice of the past"
    "A voice of the past"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Cider with Rosie the most enjoyable?

    Listening to Laurie Lee read his memoir, Cider With Rosie, is like slipping into the early part of the last century. His voice, and his wide ranging use of metaphor, simile, and extensive vocabulary take one deep into the heart of an isolated Cotswold village, and it's tight knit (incestuous) community. A different time, and looked at from today, one that was far from perfect. Still, it is evocative and a world that is lost; and therefore worth recalling.


    What about Laurie Lee’s performance did you like?

    Hearing LL read his own work is like listening to Eliot read his. A treat.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    too long


    Any additional comments?

    Marvelous

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An Officer and a Spy: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By David Rintoul
    Overall
    (359)
    Performance
    (311)
    Story
    (314)

    Paris in 1895: Alfred Dreyfus, a young Jewish officer, has just been convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil's Island, and stripped of his rank in front of a baying crowd of 20,000. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, the ambitious, intellectual, recently promoted head of the counterespionage agency that Dreyfus had passed secrets to the Germans. At first, Picquart firmly believes in Dreyfus' guilt. But it is not long after Dreyfus is delivered to his desolate prison that Picquart stumbles on information that leads him to suspect that there is still a spy at large in the French military.

    Ryan says: "Top Notch Historical Fiction"
    "Compeling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to An Officer and a Spy again? Why?

    yes, it is so good and brilliantly explains a very important episode in French history


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Picard. He is a hero


    Which scene was your favorite?

    the courtroom scenes


    If you could take any character from An Officer and a Spy out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Zola and Clemenceau


    Any additional comments?

    Marvelous

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen Greenblatt
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1049)
    Performance
    (908)
    Story
    (904)

    Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late 30s took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic by Lucretius—a beautiful poem containing the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles.

    Ethan M. says: "Very compelling history, a less compelling thesis"
    "Fascinating and important"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes, it gives a greater understanding of the ideas of the Renaissance


    What did you like best about this story?

    everything


    Which scene was your favorite?

    all of it


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    the missing link between religion and intellect


    Any additional comments?

    beautifully read

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Flashman: Flashman, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By George MacDonald Fraser
    • Narrated By David Case
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (71)

    The story of what happened to Flashman, the caddish bully of Tom Brown's Schooldays, after he was expelled in drunken disgrace from Rugby school in the late 1830s. This is the first of George Macdonald Fraser's hilarious satires starring Harry Paget Flashman.

    ScubaTurtle says: "Flashmaniacs Rejoice!!!"
    "Fabulous"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Flashman the most enjoyable?

    A joy to listen to and laugh aloud. An easy way to absorb 19th century British history


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harry Flashman, of course


    Which character – as performed by David Case – was your favorite?

    the above


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    it made me roar with laughter at it's complete politically in correctness


    Any additional comments?

    as Harry would say: 'health and saftey be damned'

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Buccaneers

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Edith Wharton
    • Narrated By Flo Gibson
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (24)

    Set in the 1870s, the same period as Wharton's The Age of Innocence, The Buccaneers is about five wealthy American girls denied entry into New York Society because their parents' money is too new. At the suggestion of their clever governess, the girls sail to London, where they marry lords, earls, and dukes who find their beauty charming—and their wealth extremely useful.

    John S. says: "Any longer and it would've started dragging"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Buccaneers in three words, what would they be?

    Don't know


    Would you be willing to try another one of Flo Gibson’s performances?

    NO


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    The reader was not very good and she gave Conchita an Irish accent which was odd.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Irony of Manifest Destiny: The Tragedy of America's Foreign Policy

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By William Pfaff
    • Narrated By David Waldman
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Cogently, thoughtfully, powerfully, Pfaff lays out the historical roots behind the American exceptionalism that animates our politics and foreign relations - and makes clear why it is flawed and must ultimately fail. Those roots lie in the secularization of western society brought about by the Enlightenment, and in America's effective separation from the common history of the west during the 19th and early parts of the 20th century, during which it failed to gain "the indispensable experience Europeans have acquired of modern ideological folly and national tragedy."

    Marianne says: "Fascinating and important"
    "Fascinating and important"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Irony of Manifest Destiny in three words, what would they be?

    A necessary book


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    the subject of religion in America's history


    Would you be willing to try another one of David Waldman’s performances?

    No! He is awful and monotonous and cannot pronounce foreign words. I am not even sure that he understands the book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, the reader is not good enough, although the subject is excellent


    Any additional comments?

    I love audible, but some of your readers are second and even third rate. They must be able to entertain in an intelligent voice and also pronounce foreign words accurately.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How Proust Can Change Your Life

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Alain de Botton
    • Narrated By Nicholas Bell
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (61)

    For anyone who ever wondered what Marcel Proust had in mind when he wrote the one-and-a-quarter-million words of In Search of Lost Time (while bedridden no less), Alain de Botton has the answer. For, in this stylish, erudite and frequently hilarious book, de Botton dips deeply into Proust’s life and work - his fiction, letter, and conversations – and distils from them that rare self-help manual: one that is actually helpful.

    Darwin8u says: "A nice petite primer on Proust"
    "This book is a huge disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about How Proust Can Change Your Life?

    The reader mispronounces the names of important characters and reads in a flippant and lighthearted manor that grates


    Would you ever listen to anything by Alain de Botton again?

    maybe


    Would you be willing to try another one of Nicholas Bell’s performances?

    NO, never, nada, nill


    What character would you cut from How Proust Can Change Your Life?

    bin this book


    Any additional comments?

    Alain de Bouton can do better

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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