Milwaukie, OR, United States | Member Since 2011
Yes, this is a classic and in this day and time with income inequality getting further apart this book is pertinent today. Don't pass this one up.
The first chapter and the last paragraphs are my favorites!
He has the voice that draws you in and makes you hold your breath while he tells the story of the French Revolution and the extremes that happen when people are ignored. He is a master!
This is a great cry! Sidney Carton is one of those antiheroes that you love, who breaks your heart by being the most noble of all the characters in the book.
Don't miss this book! Simon Vance reading Dickens? Nothing gets better than this!
This book is amazing. The story of the James Garfield assassination involving the shooter, James Lister (the doctor who discovered antiseptics), Alexander Graham Bell (the inventor who raced to find a way to save Garfield's life) and the man who could have been our greatest President ever, had he lived.
The villain in this story is not the man who shot the President, Guiteau an obviously crazy man, but the Doctor Bliss, the doctor in charge of saving Garfield's life. He was truly of the old school and did not follow Dr. Lister's methods. Sticking his dirty hands and/or sticks into Garfield to find the bullet and other methods that today seem like torture. Makes me wince just thinking about it.
The real hero of this story was James Garfield, a self made man. His father died when he was quite young and his mother brought him up as best she could. James worked on the Erie Canal and went to a prestigious school, first working as a janitor until the professors discovered how smart he was. The next year James taught 6 classes himself to earn his tuition. He graduated early and went on to an Ivy League school and then went back to his old high school to continue teaching. When the local senator died he was asked to replace him and as he felt it was his duty he accepted. During the Civil War he ended up being a General for the Union.
He was barely President when Guiteau shot him in a train station on July 2nd, 1881. He died Sept. 19th, 1881 and his autopsy showed the doctor in charge was looking on the wrong side of his body for the bullet. Many say now, that if they had left him alone he would have survived, since he died of the infections raging through his body. He was only 49 years old at his death.
The narrator was great and the story reads like a novel. I will always wonder what kind of Presidency Mr. Garfield would have had, had he lived. There is also a side story about his successor, Chester A. Arthur, a man known as a corrupt politician, who through the guidance of a woman named Julia Sand (an invalid who wrote Mr. Arthur letters about how he should handle this crisis) became a President that tried to follow what President Garfield would have done, much to the anger of his cronies.
Sometimes you just need to read for fun! This book is a great old fashioned ghost story with some 1920's ghost hunters thrown in.
It's the story of a girl who shows up dirty and disheveled and unable to talk at a farmer's door. They take her in and a few years later she hangs herself in the barn. Her ghost now haunts the barn and the ghost hunters are called in.
Alistair is a shell shocked Great War Veteran who has lots of money and nothing to do but research ghosts. He hires Sarah, a recent orphan who is working for a temporary agency, to be an assistant for a week at the haunting. Matthew is his other assistant, a badly burned veteran who can't sleep without having nightmares of the war. These three pledge to document and help Maddy Clare find peace.
This is a scary at times book with a love story thrown in for good measure. It was a quick listen and a really fun book. The characters are well drawn and the narrator does a fine job.
I will read more of Simone St. James.
This was an eye opening experience for me. While I have always thought that the South treated blacks differently than other parts of the United States, I never dreamed it was worse than ever for them until after World War II. I am not saying it was only in the Southern United States as people are racist all over and a lot of other states made it impossible for blacks to feel safe in those areas. What this book does is document the so called convict workers and how the majority of convicts were blacks and treated much differently than whites for similar crimes. For example a white man found riding the rails was sentenced to 10 days labor while a black man would be sentenced to 2 years or more for the same offence.
This was a money making venture for sheriffs and judges in the South. They would arrest black men for not having any money in their pockets thus being "vagrants" and fine them 20 dollars. Then they would tell these men that their only hope would be to let this white man pay their fine and then they could work it off. The white man (usually the sheriff or judge themselves) would sell their contracts for these men to a mine or farm or factory and the black men would be indentured to these men until they were no longer useful or died. In a lot of ways it was worse than slavery as the whites who worked these blacks had no care for their welfare as there were always more convicts to get.
Corporations like US Steel and banks like Wachovia were owners of some of these endeavors. The United States Federal courts looked away for the most part as it was "out of their jurisdiction". Teddy Roosevelt tried to change things with very little luck. Woodrow Wilson made things worse by creating segregation in the Washington DC area during his term in office. J. Edgar Hoover couldn't be bothered to help the negro. FDR realized that if America didn't do something positive for the Blacks, Germany and Japan would use that as propaganda against America and finally instructed the Justice department to prosecute at the highest level of the law any person or corporation using this feudal servitude method in the United States.
This book should be required reading for anyone who enjoys history. I mentioned just a few ways this keeping the black man back was done. There are many more documented in this book.
The narration by Dennis Boutsikaris was wonderfully done.
There is a lot to like about this book. The story is absorbing and about the 60's with the Vietnam War, Watergate, Deep Throat (the movie) and the Weather Underground thrown into the mix. These are all things I grew up with and remember very clearly. It did when the Pulitzer prize.
The story revolves around a High School hero and his Beauty Queen wife who have a daughter that becomes a terrorist. Why do good people have children that are criminals? Is anyone truly good or evil?
The narrator is excellent and keeps the story moving. He especially does wonderful Jewish guys from New Jersey.
What didn't I like about the book? Some times it seemed to repeat over and over the same theme. I also didn't think it was realistic on the way people think. Maybe that is just a difference in the sexes, though, I certainly could be wrong.
Overall I enjoyed the book and will probably listen to more of Philip Roth's books.
This book is not at all like the movie made many years ago with Pat Boone and James Mason. I liked this story better. There are no widows tagging along or geese to take care of on their journey. Just 3 men, the nephew, Professor and Hans the hunter.
Tim Curry does a great job of bringing the story to life. I have listened to his Dracula also and he is a great narrator. Yes, he is the scary clown from IT.
One part of the book that interested me was the theory of Sir Humphrey Davy on why he thought the center of the earth was not molten at all. In his theory he stated that if the core was molten then just like gravity's effect on the tides, gravity would make a consistent unleashing of volcanic magma on the high tide marks. It is an interesting view.
This a small book and it was fun to listen to it over a few days.
This is one of my favorite audible books this year. I can understand why it is nominated for an audible award. I normally don't like authors reading their own books but I make an exception in this case.
Janis Ian opens each chapter singing one of her songs so no one else could do this book justice. I was amazed at everything this talented woman went through in her life so far. She had child abuse, marital abuse, IRS problems due to a manager that stole from her, and health issues that affected her and her family.
This is the story of a survivor and a true heroine. When everything was going against her she was able to make it through to the other side by realizing that no one could take her talent away from her.
I always loved her songs, now I love her as a person too.
This was the last book in the series and William Manchester died before it was finished. Paul Reid took over and it shows that there was a different author. This was the book I was so looking forward to listening to and it just didn't match the quality of the first two books. There is a lot of repetition from the previous books and it really drags in a lot of spots. They also had a new narrator and he just didn't get the Churchill voice as well as the other guy.
That being said, this book is mostly about Churchill and WWII. Since he played such a large part in the war it is very engrossing. Sad to say once he was able to get the United States in the war he lost most of his control of the Allied Forces and it began the loss of world leadership for Great Britain.
He was one of those remarkable men that come when the world needs them and does what needs to be done. He was not a perfect person, and woe be it to anyone who worked for him, but he hardly slept and was constantly working on a book, a picture or the war strategy and his people were expected to keep the same pace with him.
I consider him one of the greatest people to have ever lived on this earth and I am glad I read all three books of his life.
I don't know if this truly is a "complete" collection, but the ones that are here are great.
The stories that standout for me are some classics, "The Last Leaf", "Ransom of Red Chief" and "The Gift of the Magi".
Others were new to me:
"The Princess and the Puma" was a delightful western tale of cowboys and girls to be rescued or vice versa.
"Fickle Fortune or How Gladys Hustled" is the story of a shopgirl looking for fun and a rich guy to latch on to. She has to be able to recognize what they actually look like to succeed.
My favorite was early on in this collection "Jimmy Hayes and Muriel" the western story of a young cowboy and his pet horned frog (toad) named Muriel. This story was such a delight I listened to it twice.
O'Henry's stories are often humorous and always witty and very human. He was able to see how real people lived at the same time F. Scott Fitzgerald was documenting the rich of the lost generation.
Each section starts with the title of the story and then "read by Bob Thomley". By the end of the book Bob feels like an old friend. His reading is great!
This is a lovely story about Molly Gibson, daughter of the town doctor and Cynthia Kirkpatrick, her new stepsister who is much more worldly than dear Molly.
We all have known women like Cynthia; they are so charming that men and women love to do things for them. My sister is like this. Once she had a date and hadn't done her housework so I volunteered to do it for her so she wouldn't miss out on her date. Only later, when I was doing her work, did I say to myself, " Why did I let her do this to me? She is out having fun and I am cleaning up her messes." Does that sound familiar?
Molly does end up cleaning some of Cynthia's messes and it could be catastrophic for her, had she not made some important friends along the way who clear her name.
Hyacinth Kirkpatrick is the one you love to hate. Although not an "evil" stepmother, she is probably the most self involved narcissist I have read about in many years.
This was Mrs. Gaskell's last book, left unfinished at her death, but the story winds down enough that you can see where she is going and who ends up with who at the end.
Mrs. Gaskell always writes wonderful characters and even Cynthia, who was neglected as a child is sympathetic and believable. Mrs. Kirkpatrick Gibson is harder to like but you can understand how she came to be who she came to be. Molly is the most enjoyable person in the book and there is no way you can't come away with an admiration of her character's ethics and likeability.
The men play a good part of the story and for the most part they are original and beautifully drawn.
This is a good story and it will capture your heart.
This is book one of a trilogy about the Fab 4. It takes in the early years, including a bit of genealogy into the grandparents up to the first recording contracts.
What I liked about the book? Lots of tidbits that I never knew and no whitewashing of their image. It was quite an eye opener to me to know how much they stole and were pretty angry young men. However despite that their talent and drive for success saved them and gave the world the Beatles.
What I didn't like about the book? A little too much information. I really didn't need to know when George lost his virginity or every conversation they had with their fan club members. Better more than less though I suppose the author thought.
If you are looking for a definitive biography of the Beatles than this is it. You can tell the author was a huge fan and yet he was truthful and straight forward in his story.
The narrator was very good and look forward to hearing more from him.
Can't wait for volume 2!
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