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Erik

Short Hills, NJ, USA | Member Since 2002

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 194 ratings
  • 465 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Joan Waugh
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    At the time of his death, Ulysses S. Grant was the most famous person in America, considered by most citizens to be equal in stature to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Yet today his monuments are rarely visited, his military reputation is overshadowed by that of Robert E. Lee, and his presidency is permanently mired at the bottom of historical rankings.

    Erik says: "Good Book, Weaker Audio"
    "Good Book, Weaker Audio"
    Overall

    Excellent study of how and why our view of national heroes changes over time. However, audio is very disappointing. Joan Waugh's reading is rushed (almost to the point of seeming to have been deliberately faster than "normal" for audio books). In addition, often seems to overlook punctuation or otherwise place emphasis in the wrong part of a long sentence, making the narrative harder to follow. Technical side of the recording also seemed deficient, with some clear editing mistakes and sound that, while acceptable, in some ways doesn't seem up to the standard of most Audible books.

    Book rating: four to five stars
    Recording/reading: two stars

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Canal Builders: Making America's Empire at the Panama Canal

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Julie Greene
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    In The Canal Builders, Julie Greene reveals that this emphasis obscures a far more remarkable element of the canal's construction - the tens of thousands of workingmen and - women who traveled from around the world to build it. Drawing on research from around the globe, Greene explores the human dimensions of the Panama Canal story, revealing how it transformed perceptions of American empire at the dawn of the 20th century.

    Erik says: "Interesting Text; Frustrating Audio"
    "Interesting Text; Frustrating Audio"
    Overall

    Julie Green offers a well written and engaging profile of the workers that built the Panama Canal and the issues of nationality, race and gender that directed their work and lives. Unfortunately Karen White's otherwise excellent reading was horribly marred by unforgivable errors in the pronunciation of key names. Worst of all are references throughout the book to George Goethals. His name (as anyone who lives in the NYC area knows from traffic reports about the bridge that bears his name) is pronounced "go-th-als" or "go-thulz". Instead -- (probably due to the similarity of the spelling of "Goethals" to the author "Goethe" (pronounced "Gerta") we are introduced to someone named "Ger-tals" (rhymes with "turtles"). This name appears frequently in every part of the book. Similar, but less irritating errors were made with Ferdinand de Lesseps and Philippe-Jean Bunau-Varilla. Every time key name was mispronounced was like fingernails on a chalk board. I don't understand how Tantor allows a production like this to proceed without even basic research into proper pronunciation. I'd rate the book **** and the audio only **. I'd stick with the print version of this one.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Steven Bach
    • Narrated By Henrietta Tiefenthaler
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Leni Riefenstahl, "Hitler's filmmaker", remains one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century. Susan Sontag, though one of her severest critics, said that Triumph of the Will and Olympia, Riefenstahl's most noted films, "may be the two greatest documentaries ever made". Others see her story as an object lesson about opportunism.

    A User says: "Good book bad narrator"
    "Disappointing Narrator"
    Overall

    I was looking forward to this audio release after seeing positive reviews of the book. After several hours of listening, I find the book to be interesting but the quality of the narration to be terrible. The reader, Henrietta Tiefenthaler, is by a wide margin the single the weakest reader I've heard (and I've listened to more than a hundred titles). Her voice sounds entirely untrained, words are mispronounced, and it often sounds like the reader can't "get her mouth fully around the words". A big disappointment -- listen to an excerpt before purchasing if you can.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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