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T. C. Pile

audiobookaholic

Millwood, NY | Member Since 2004

222
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 52 reviews
  • 163 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
15

  • Terrorist

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By John Updike
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    The son of a bohemian Irish-American mother and an Egyptian father who disappeared when he was three, Ahmad turned to Islam at the age of 11. He feels his faith threatened by the materialistic, hedonistic society he sees around him in the slumping factory town of New Prospect, in northern New Jersey.

    Lyn says: "Updike vindicated"
    "A Little Too Close for Comfort"
    Overall

    John Updike's story of a Jersey Jihadi coming of age is more than plausible, it's so possible that this could happen that it's truly frightening. We are all so vulnerable, and it's that very vulnerability that Updike's reluctant hero schoolteacher teacher finds he must draw upon if he wants to survive.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amsterdam

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ian McEwan
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (25)

    The best-selling author of Atonement and Enduring Love, Ian McEwan is known as one of contemporary fiction’s most acclaimed writers. This Booker Prize-winning novel by McEwan finds two men connecting at the funeral of their ex-lover. Distressed by how she was slowly destroyed by an illness, the two make a pact to save each other from enduring such a fate.

    Bronwen says: "Quick and engaging, well-read"
    "A Workaday Work From a Master"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I respect Ian McEwan tremendously, and Atonement and Saturday are among my favorite books of all time. Amsterdam, while providing an engaging story and finely-drawn characters, left me a little cold. While I empathized with Clive's struggles to find meaning in his work and to resolve his conflict between self-absorption and separation, and found Molly to be the kind of flame that could draw moths from every corner, the plot seemed to be stretched a bit thin at times.

    That said, I think that most of the action is interior, and McEwan delivers enough psychological insight to make this a compelling, if less than memorable, listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By William Hertling
    • Narrated By Rob Granniss
    Overall
    (256)
    Performance
    (223)
    Story
    (230)

    David Ryan is the designer of ELOPe, an email language optimization program, that if successful, will make his career. But when the project is suddenly in danger of being canceled, David embeds a hidden directive in the software accidentally creating a runaway artificial intelligence. David and his team are initially thrilled when the project is allocated extra servers and programmers.

    Matthew says: "Short but defintely sweet"
    "Diversionary Tactics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A fun romp through a not-so-distant future in which a thinly-disguised Google goes off the Ruby-On-Rails. Can we code "Do No Evil" into our software? Will artificial intelligence save us or imprison us?

    Which human impulse is stronger - hope or fear?

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4155)
    Performance
    (3111)
    Story
    (3116)

    This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

    Evelyn says: "Excellent listen"
    "Deliver Me From Evil"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Perhaps this book resonates a little more deeply with those of us in the generation that learned to duck and cover in school, but I found this book to be tremendously satisfying. If the bombs had dropped, this is how I would have wanted it to be. Death and destruction are inevitable, but deliverance is won inch by inch through human endeavor, courage, ingenuity, and compassion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The End of the Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Graham Greene
    • Narrated By Colin Firth
    Overall
    (2576)
    Performance
    (2368)
    Story
    (2357)

    Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.

    Emily - Audible says: "Colin Firth Kills It"
    "Meh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Too bad. Maybe because I had never before read the Graham Greene classic, maybe because a high-profile narrator creates a high level of expectation, I felt somewhat let down. It's hard to sympathize with a protagonist as self-absorbed as Bendricks, even when the character is delivered by such a skilled interpreter.

    Nobody wins in this book. Maybe that's the real world to many readers, but not me.

    Graham Greene = depressing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Portrait of a Spy: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (1317)
    Performance
    (972)
    Story
    (968)

    Haunted by his failure to stop a suicide bomber in London, Gabriel Allon is summoned to Washington and drawn into a confrontation with the new face of global terror. At the center of the threat is an American-born cleric in Yemen who was once a paid CIA asset.

    jb says: "Superb New Volume in Silva's Gabriel Allon Series"
    "I Wish I Could Be Gabriel Allon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Big fan of Simon Vance, and enjoyed earlier Gabriel Allon stories, so I had to give this one a listen. While it's somewhat formulaic in its plot, the characters in this story are well-drawn, the politics are sufficiently nuanced, and the geographic detail realistic enough to allow even a cynic like me to suspend belief and just get caught up in the adventure and intrigue.

    Highly enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5970)
    Performance
    (5179)
    Story
    (5169)

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "Audio Excellence"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hard to imagine this book in print after experiencing the finely tuned and intuitive narration of Edoardo Ballerini. This is a beautiful story made even more beautiful as an audiobook.

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Telegraph Avenue: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Michael Chabon
    • Narrated By Clarke Peters
    Overall
    (308)
    Performance
    (253)
    Story
    (254)

    As the summer of 2004 draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are still hanging in there - longtime friends, bandmates, and co-regents of Brokeland Records, a kingdom of used vinyl located in the borderlands of Berkeley and Oakland. Their wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffe, are the Berkeley Birth Partners, a pair of semi-legendary midwives who have welcomed, between them, more than a thousand newly minted citizens into the dented utopia at whose heart - half tavern, half temple - stands Brokeland Records.

    Darwin8u says: "26,784 sq in (and 4.5 miles) surrounded by REALITY"
    "Music Lover's Delight"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Michael Chabon is an author whose reputation certainly precedes him, and I don't know how I've managed to go this long without digging in to his work. Certainly, there is a nagging concern that what you've heard or read is hype, and that the actual experience is going to be a letdown.

    This is not the case here. Telegraph Avenue is everything I want in a novel and more. It's a deep and thoughful reflection on the relationships between blacks and whites, the intermeshing of cultures, of gentrification and urban renewal. It's a detailed and insightful memoir of a time and a place, populated with a rich tapestry of characters who are fully drawn and completely believable. There's a compelling story that spins an intricate web around you and makes you care about what happens; that involves you in a complex set of relationships between people and their community and the conflicts between their personal histories, their aspirations, their families, and their limitations. Local politics, social responsibility, Black Panthers, kung fu, environmentalism, aging blaxploitation stars, midwifery, the impossibility of being 14 years old -- it's all there.

    And music. Telegraph Avenue pulses with music, both in the many references that become a soundtrack running in your head and in the detailed, lively descriptions of the incredible conflagration of funk, soul, R&B, rock and roll and jazz that bubbled up out of the American cultural melting pot beginning in the Sixties and continuing to this day. If you don't know what a CTI release was, go do some listening. It will add a layer of depth to the experience of this book that is priceless.

    Chabon delivers extremely realistic dialog that includes plenty of street slang and Clarke Peters handles the narration of the audiobook with superb attention to the personalities and characterizations. He gives a believable and authentic voice to a wide cast of characters that includes everything from a 14 year old gay white kid to a nonagenarian Chinese woman, and delivers the narrative in a style that is deeply sensitive to cultural and political connotations. His wonderful voice becomes the music of this experience.

    Dig it.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Casual Vacancy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By J. K. Rowling
    • Narrated By Tom Hollander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2872)
    Performance
    (2523)
    Story
    (2543)

    When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

    cristina says: "I was surprised by how much I liked it"
    "Rowling Conjures a Tale for Adults"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    No one can say that J.K. Rowling cannot conjure up a good story, and the Casual Vacancy is most certainly a good story. The plot is every bit as intricate and twisted as any of the Harry Potter books, the characters are fully drawn and believable, and the action keeps you in suspense, waiting for the multiple threads of narrative that Rowling lays out to align and spontaneously combust. You can feel that explosion coming early in the book, as layer after layer of the peaceful veneer of small-town life in the English countryside is peeled away to reveal the simmering cauldron of anxieties, neuroses, overblown egos, class and racial tensions, and suppressed rage that lies beneath.

    This is most definitely a novel for adults, with sex, drug abuse, profanity, rape, suicide, and difficult adult situations replacing the wands, brooms, creatures, and spells of the Potter series, but I suspect that there is much here for the 18 to 20-somethings who grew up on Potter to dig into. Much of the action revolves around and is driven by several teenagers coming to terms with adult feelings and adult responsibilities while struggling to deal with adults in their lives who are at their mildest somewhat whacky and at their worst very dangerous. Guess who turns out to be the heroes?

    This was an engaging and thoroughly enjoyable listen, made all the more so by the skillful and sensitive narration of Tom Hollander.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Eyes of the Dragon

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1004)
    Performance
    (668)
    Story
    (668)

    A tale of archetypal heroes and sweeping adventures, of dragons and princes and evil wizards, here is epic fantasy as only Stephen King could envision it.

    Christine says: "Enjoyable"
    "The Hand of a Master"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I cannot believe I was such a snob about Stephen King for so many years. If he's that popular, how can he be any good?

    What do I know?

    Now, I devour his books. Even the monstrously long and mixed-review variety, like 11-22-63. This is a master storyteller, who can weave a yarn out of any material. Medieval? No problem. Wild West? Been there, done that. Historical fiction? Why not.

    Literate, funny, gross, profound, quirky, insightful, profane, spiritual. All in service of the story. Isn't that why we read? For a good story?

    King has delivered yet another fantastic story in the Eye of the Dragon. This tale of two brothers, regicide, and possible patricide in a vaguely Anglo kingdom in some indefinite past century is full of humor, pathos, moral struggle, and the ultimate triumph of the good. Complete with evil wizard/sorcerer/magician.

    Well worth your time, and Bronson Pinchot delivers sparkling narration - the kind that makes the reader disappear, and the story emerge with crystal clarity.

    Read on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winds of War

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2707)
    Performance
    (2283)
    Story
    (2287)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    Robert says: "A Masterpiece"
    "A Masterpiece in Every Way"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This sprawling epic follows a group of fictional characters - a family - through a painstakingly researched recreation of the events leading up to the Second World War, in Winds of War, the first volume, and up through the end of the war in the second volume, War and Remembrance. The historical sequence, the actions of world leaders, and the events of the war are detailed and factual, but the main characters and their places in those events are fictional. It's a brilliant device to bring the history we think we know to life, and grounds momentous events in the humanity of individuals trying to cope with the total upheaval of a worldwide conflict and the unimaginable horror of events like the rise of Hitler, the Pearl Harbor attack, the Atomic Bomb, and the Holocaust.

    The Audible production is truly a masterful interpretation of a masterwork, primarily due to the monumental work of Kevin Pariseau. He handles a huge cast of characters, with a m??lange of accents - Russian, British, German, Yiddish, Italian, French, several American dialects, and more - with convincing ease, but it was the singing as multiple characters that put the icing on it for me. When Udom sang to the crowd at Theresienstadt before being sent off on the train to Auschwitz, it tore my heart out.

    I read these books to gain a deeper grasp of my father's generation, of the sacrifices they made, and of the events that shaped their world view. I came away with so much more than that. My faith in humanity was restored.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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