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Suzanne

River Forest, IL, United States | Member Since 2007

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 39 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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  • Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Steve Martin
    • Narrated By Steve Martin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2492)
    Performance
    (1106)
    Story
    (1100)

    In the mid-70s, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. Born Standing Up is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away".

    Andrew says: "Fantastic"
    "Born Standing Up"
    Overall

    More insightful and reflective than I expected, but still funny. Compelling. Steve Martin's voice makes for a very pleasant listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Anthony Powell
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (480)
    Performance
    (281)
    Story
    (273)

    Anthony Powell's universally acclaimed epic encompasses a four-volume panorama of twentieth century London. Hailed by Time as "brilliant literary comedy as well as a brilliant sketch of the times," A Dance to the Music of Time opens just after World War I. Amid the fever of the 1920s and the first chill of the 1930s, Nick Jenkins and his friends confront sex, society, business, and art.

    jennifer says: "A Masterpiece on All Counts"
    "An immersion in English life between the wars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This understated book is the first of a series that grew on me and became enthralling. Written in form of an autobiography, it tells the life of an author from his boyhood after the first world war through his youth in school and at Oxford, his military service during the second world war, and afterward through his old age in perhaps the late 60s. The story is an assemblage of small moments in his relationships, in the military and otherwise mainly with artists, musicians and authors. One character recurs throughout, acting as a sort of archetypal figure of trage-comedy.

    Some may find the pace too slow; there is little action, but give the books a chance. I found myself feeling as if I was there, too, seeing, hearing, feeling, even smelling, life as it was in England then. Taken as a whole, it has a mythic force. I found it haunting and well as amusing. Simon Vance achieves a tour de force of portraying widely diverse characters completely convincingly, enabling me to become immersed in the story.

    I recommend listening to rather than reading these, at first, because the various accents of the characters are key to the story. Being unfamiliar with British class society, and their various accents, I would have lost a great deal if I had started with the books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Can You Forgive Her?

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Anthony Trollope
    • Narrated By Timothy West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (205)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (127)

    Trollope inextricably binds together the issues of parliamentary election and marriage, of politics and privacy. The values and aspirations of the governing stratum of Victorian society are ruthlessly examined and none remains unscathed. But it is above all on the predicament of women that Trollope focuses. ‘What should a woman do with her life?’ asks Alice Vavasor of herself, and this theme is echoed by every other woman in the novel.

    David says: "Superb performance and sound"
    "I enjoyed the audiobook better than the book."
    Overall

    Trollope is one of my favorite authors. I loved the Barchester Chronicles, but when I began reading "Can You Forgive Her?" I pretty soon decided that I couldn't. Years later, I tried this audiobook and loved it. Timothy West's excellent reading helped me see the humor and irony in what, on first reading, I considered the ridulous and pointless dilemma of the heroine, Alice Vavasour. The American voice in my head did not do justice to the essential Englishness of this plot. Timothy West is a terrific reader, whose audiobooks I continue to seek out.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Tempest-tost: The Salterton Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Robertson Davies
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (28)

    An amateur production of The Tempest provides a colorful backdrop for a hilarious look at unrequited love. Mathematics teacher Hector Mackilwraith, stirred and troubled by Shakespeare's play, falls in love with the beautiful Griselda Webster. When Griselda shows she has plans of her own, Hector despairs on the play's opening night.

    Mary says: "First of the first (and shows it)"
    "Hugely entertaining and insightful"
    Overall

    I found Robertson Davies because I am a big fan of the reader, Frederick Davidson. What a find! Davies is like a naughty version of Charles Dickens. The best book of his Salterton Trilogy is the third, but the first two are very good, and in order to get maximum enjoyment, it is best to listen to the three books in order. Once you read - or hear - him, you'll be hooked.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • My Early Life: A Roving Commission

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Winston Churchill
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    This is the story of the first 25 years of Mr. Churchill’s life, up to the point where his unique parliamentary career was just beginning. From childhood and his apprentice days at Harrow and Sandhurst we follow him on active service to Cuba, the North-West Frontier of India, Omdurman and the Boer War (including the historic story of his escape from captivity), while in the background are his early adventures in politics and literature.

    Mark Jeffrey says: "Excellent history and entertainment"
    "An entertaining intro to a great man"
    Overall

    Winston Churchill was, in addition to being one of the greatest men of Western history, a terrific writer. I was entertained as well as informed by his story, which teaches not only about his life, but about human nature. Frederick Davidson is, hands down, my favorite narrator. He brings every story to life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lyre of Orpheus: The Cornish Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Robertson Davies
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (11)

    The Cornish Foundation, set up with money left by the late art expert, collector, and notable eccentric Francis Cornish, must choose a worthy undertaking upon which to expend a portion of its considerable funds. It is decided that the Foundation will fund the doctoral work of one Hulda Schnakenburg: a grumpy, difficult, and extraordinarily talented music student.

    Suzanne says: "A worthy successor to Dickens."
    "A worthy successor to Dickens."
    Overall

    Robertson Davies is a recent discovery and what a treasure! The Lyre of Orpheus is my second favorite book of his, not far behind the first book in this trilogy, The Rebel Angels, both of them comic masterpieces. The middle book, What's Bred in the Bone, begins with a very boring exposition of the class origins of the central character, Francis Cornish. When Francis grows up, the books gets much more interesting. You need all three books for the third book to have its maximum impact. Frederick Davidson (a/k/a David Case), my favorite narrator, makes these books come alive. Well worth your time!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • In Chancery: The Forsyte Saga, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By John Galsworthy
    • Narrated By David Case
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    In Chancery, the second novel in John Galsworthy's epic social satire The Forsyte Saga, follows the events of A Man of Property. After suffering the death of her lover and abuse from her husband, Soames, Irene Forsyte finally leaves her marriage for good. Though socially disgraced by her affair, she forms a bond with Old Jolyon, a father of the Forsyte clan who had grown distant from the family after reconciling with one of his outcast sons.

    Chad says: "Keeps getting better"
    "Fascinating story - great insight"
    Overall

    The Forsyte Saga series starts off a little slowly at the beginning of "The Man of Property", then inexorably draws us into its world of complicated passions and motivations. David Case's inimitable narration brings the story into vivid life. Positively addicting!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • When You Are Engulfed in Flames

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris
    Overall
    (3924)
    Performance
    (1374)
    Story
    (1371)

    Once again, David Sedaris brings together a collection of essays so uproariously funny and profoundly moving that his legions of fans will fall for him all over again. He tests the limits of love when Hugh lances a boil from his backside, and pushes the boundaries of laziness when, finding the water shut off in his house in Normandy, he looks to the water in a vase of fresh cut flowers to fill the coffee machine.

    Kelley says: "Smokin'"
    "Sedaris' latest book rocks"
    Overall

    David Sedaris' latest book is amazing, discomforting, thought provoking, humane, and, of course, very funny. It is a must-listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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