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Madeleine

Audiobook addict.

London, United Kingdom | Member Since 2008

533
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 76 reviews
  • 196 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 55 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
9
FOLLOWERS
127

  • A Mortal Bane

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Roberta Gellis
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (48)

    Magdalene la Batarde is the madam of the Old Priory Guesthouse in Southwark. She and her women are expected to engage in a number of sinful activities, but bloody murder isn't one of them until Baldassare, the messenger, dies. Though Baldassare isn't a regular client of the Old Priory Guesthouse, Magdalene and her women refuse to allow his death to go unavenged. Of course, their efforts aren't completely altruistic.

    Jim says: "Delightful"
    "Deliciously Medieval"
    Overall

    I so enjoyed this book! The premise is very entertaining, the characters interesting and complex, and the mystery is clever. Also, if you like romances, this has a nice gentle romantic thread that develops in later novels.

    The historical research is excellent and setting reveals an historically accurate portrayal of the early medieval church as more pragmatic than godly, a general absence of independence for women, and the prevalence of violence in the 12th Century.

    The narrator is well suited to the text and pleasant to listen to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Love in the Time of Cholera

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Gabriel García Márquez
    • Narrated By Armando Durán
    Overall
    (246)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (218)

    From the Nobel Prize-winning author of One Hundred Years of Solitude comes a masterly evocation of an unrequited passion so strong that it binds two people's lives together for more than half a century. In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career, he whiles away the years in 622 affairs - yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral....

    Darryl says: "Marquez is great, awaiting 100 Years"
    "The Sublime Disease of Love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I decided to revisit this book in memory of Gabriel Garcia Marquez who just passed away. It brought back all the reasons I've loved his writing. Complex characters who evolve with the story, incredible descriptions that pull you into the settings; they become characters in their own right.

    Marquez reminds us that love is not benevolent. It is a wasting disease. But we wouldn't be human without it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 20th-Century American Fiction

    • ORIGINAL (16 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Arnold Weinstein
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Hemingway. Fitzgerald. Faulkner. These and other giants of literature are immediately recognizable to anyone who loves to read fiction and even to many who don't. Now, thanks to these 32 lectures, you can develop fresh insight into some of the greatest American authors of the 20th century. Professor Weinstein sheds light not only on the sheer magnificence of these writers' literary achievements but also explores their uniquely American character as well.

    Carolyn says: "No longer wasted on the young!"
    "A Truly Enriching Experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've just spent the most delicious, rich16 hours with this audiobook course. This course is organized around the central theme of American individualism - its presence and absence in the texts, the making and breaking of persona, the way it plays into society and the way society affects it. It's a nuanced, deep dissection of how that has played out in the American novel and other ancillary writings.

    Prof. Weinstein offers some vibrant new ways into reading some familiar, and some not so well-known pieces of American literature. I'd buy any course he taught.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of Human Language

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor John McWhorter
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (76)

    Language defines us as a species, placing humans head and shoulders above even the most proficient animal communicators. But it also beguiles us with its endless mysteries, allowing us to ponder why different languages emerged, why there isn't simply a single language, how languages change over time and whether that's good or bad, and how languages die out and become extinct.

    "unknown" says: "Fascinating!"
    "How to Learn a lot in a very short time."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Prof. McWhorter's lectures were outstanding I learned so much that I didn't know about the origins, the structure and the evolution of human language. It really opened up a whole new world on a subject I didn't even realize I was all that interested in.

    I found his continuous dismissal of the effect of culture on language a little ...um... questionable, but this is his take on it, and he resides in a field that doesn't have a lot of time for cultural criticism, so that's okay. I took it on board that this is one way into the subject, and one I didn't know a lot about.

    I'll never listen to dialects or accents the same way again. I'll never bemoan the eclipse of certain words in my language, or the addition of new ones I find silly again. It's language growing and changing and without it, a language dies.

    Wonderful. This is a keeper. I'll be listening to it again.



    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kathleen M. Higgins, Professor Robert C. Solomon
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    Who was Friedrich Nietzsche? This lonely and chronically ill, yet passionate, daring, and complex man is perhaps the most mysterious and least understood of all contemporary philosophers. Why are his brilliant insights so relevant for today? How did he become the most misinterpreted and unfairly maligned intellectual figure of the last two centuries?

    Madeleine says: "Engaging Course"
    "Engaging Course"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a very comprehensive course on Nietzsche. Not just his works and his thoughts, but there is a rather helpful and contexualizing of his life as well.

    It's a real pleasure to listen to lecturers who love their subject. A few, though by no means all, of these Courses series are taught by people who have a really selective preference for certain parts of what their teaching, but not all of it, and it shows.

    Professors Higgins and Solomon are tremendous fans of Nietzsche's work; it comes through in their passion and enthusiasm for the topic and it makes some of the harder-to-grasp concepts presented much easier to take on board.

    I also really appreciated some of the back and forth, dialogic style of the presentation. It made the apologetics more vibrant and fertile.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert C. Solomon
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (41)

    What is life? What is my place in it? What choices do these questions obligate me to make? More than a half-century after it burst upon the intellectual scene - with roots that extend to the mid-19th century - Existentialism's quest to answer these most fundamental questions of individual responsibility, morality, and personal freedom, life has continued to exert a profound attraction.

    Madeleine says: "Wonderful Survey of the Evolution of a Philosophy"
    "Wonderful Survey of the Evolution of a Philosophy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an incredibly compelling audio course. I appreciated Prof. Solomon's inclusion not only of philosophical thinkers but also writers like Camus, Hesse, Dostoyevsky and Kafka. Their inclusion helps greatly to bring the elements of the philosophy out of dry generalities and into the real of human experience.

    I highly recommend this course for anyone interested in existentialism, but also for a richer look at the works of writers mentioned above.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • From Plato to Post-modernism: Understanding the Essence of Literature and the Role of the Author

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Louis Markos
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Any lover of Shakespeare or the Romantic poets can concede that poetry is pleasurable. But is it good for you? Can it teach you anything? These are questions that have beguiled and engaged eminent critics for millennia, and now you can develop your own answers and options with these 24 lectures.

    Madeleine says: "Very good until it it gets to the 20th Century"
    "Very good until it it gets to the 20th Century"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Professor Markos is a passionate teacher on the history of poetry. I was a little disappointed that he was only covering poetry when I started the course, but quickly got engrossed in his lectures because he has organized the course very well and so some of the more difficult concepts of that emerge in the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries were very well explained.

    However, when Prof. Markos gets to the 20th century, it becomes very clear just how disenchanted he is with even modernity, not to mention post-modernity. His derision is obvious and unhelpful. Primarily because, for instance, people like Derrida are some of the hardest philosophers to understand when it comes to literature. I could have used less derision and more information.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Code Zero: Joe Ledger, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (333)
    Performance
    (316)
    Story
    (314)

    For years the Department of Military Sciences has fought to stop terrorists from using radical bioweapons - designer plagues, weaponized pathogens, genetically modified viruses, and even the zombie plague that first brought Ledger into the DMS. These terrible weapons have been locked away in the world’s most secure facility. Until now. Joe Ledger and Echo Team are scrambled when a highly elite team of killers breaks the unbreakable security and steals the world’s most dangerous weapons.

    Melinda says: "Back Off! Or I'll Bite"
    "Look out, Joe!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am an unapologetic devotee of the Joe Ledger novels. Maberry's hero just gets more broken, wittier and more loveable with every novel.

    It leaves all the other paranormal /military thrillers behind in the dust. But so do all the others in this series.

    Ray Porter's narration is flawless.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Donnie Eichar
    • Narrated By Donnie Eichar
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (39)

    In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.

    Bruce says: "Fascinating and compassionate investigation"
    "Engaging and Creepy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This examination of the Dyatlov pass was interestingly structured and had a good sense of immediacy. A hard thing to achieve in a book that looks at a 50 year old mystery. Although not as slick as a professional narrator, the author does an excellent job of narrating his own text. My one criticism is the ending. The skepticism that is sustained throughout the book falters rather badly at the end.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Hard Spell: Occult Crimes Unit Investigations, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Justin Gustainis
    • Narrated By Peter Brook
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (71)

    Scranton, the strangest city on earth has an uneasy “live and let unlive” relationship with the supernatural. But when a vamp puts the bite on an unwilling victim, or some witch casts the wrong kind of spell, that’s when they call me. “My name’s Markowski, a Detective Sergeant on the Scranton PD’s Supernatural Crimes Investigation Unit. I carry a badge. Also, a crucifix, some wooden stakes, a big vial of holy water, and a 9mm Beretta loaded with silver bullets.”

    Madeleine says: "Predictable and Flat"
    "Predictable and Flat"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was really hoping to like this. I'm a fan of the paranormal detective/thriller genre. But apart from being superficially 'noirish', this was deeply disappointing. It's gravely lacking in any of the attributes that make the genre engaging. It does nothing creative with any of the various paranormal mythologies. The plot is predictably structured and plods along. But all that would be forgivable if the characters had any depth or humour or a spark of intelligence.

    They don't.

    It was not helped by the clichéd and annoying narration.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (76)

    For almost a quarter of a century, John Grisham's A Time to Kill has captivated readers and listeners with its raw exploration of race, retribution, and justice. Now, its hero, Jake Brigance, returns to the courtroom in a dramatic showdown as Ford County again confronts its tortured history. Filled with the intrigue, suspense and plot twists that are the hallmarks of the world's favourite storyteller, Sycamore Row is the thrilling story of the elusive search for justice in a small American town.

    Madeleine says: "Grisham is all about the craft"
    "Grisham is all about the craft"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    People often dismiss Grisham as lightweight airplane novel material, but after years of listening to some pretty dismal storytelling, my return to Grisham reminded me of what an incredibly skilled writer he is. Admittedly, Jake's wife is a bit of a prop to show he's a family man, but on the whole, his characters are meaty and challenging. The plot is solid and well-constructed and gripping and his pacing is absolutely immaculate.

    At no point did I do what I usually do these days, which is groan and wish the writing had been better edited. There's no fat on this story. It's all lean, page-turning (pod-listening?) goodness.

    In an era of a lot of self-published, unedited, badly finished fiction, John Grisham is a long, tall drink of cool water.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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