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Ashley

United States

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 5 ratings
  • 35 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • A Tale of Two Cities [Tantor]

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (899)
    Performance
    (686)
    Story
    (722)

    A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens's most exciting novels. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, it tells the story of a family threatened by the terrible events of the past. Doctor Manette was wrongly imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years without trial by the aristocratic authorities.

    Teddy says: "Truly a Classic"
    "Too Bad They Don't Make Books Like This Anymore"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about A Tale of Two Cities?

    I loved the character development. Granted, it took a while before I became attached to the characters, but once the plot began to thicken, I suddenly found myself looking forward to my commute so that I could hear what happened next, and knowing the background of all the people involved made what was going on in the story so much more meaningful.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Tale of Two Cities?

    When the letter was read that tied everything together.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    In the last half of the book, every scene was my favorite. The early chapters were a bit slow going (I think it was Chapter 9 that hooked me), but toward the end I couldn't stop listening. The ending was everything that it should be.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No laughing or crying, but many "heart-swelling" moments.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked this book much better than I remember liking Great Expectations, which I read in 9th grade. This book had a good story and had me rooting for the characters, and it reached it's destination in a fantastic climax.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • On the Road: 50th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jack Kerouac
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (673)
    Performance
    (446)
    Story
    (445)

    Few novels have had as profound an impact on American culture as On the Road. Pulsating with the rhythms of 1950s underground America, jazz, sex, illicit drugs, and the mystery and promise of the open road, Kerouac's classic novel of freedom and longing defined what it meant to be "beat" and has inspired generations of writers, musicians, artists, poets, and seekers who cite their discovery of the book as the event that "set them free".

    Guillermo says: "My Favorite Narration and a Wonderful Book"
    "The definition of quixotic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I am not typically one to complain about feminist concerns, but women are nothing but sex objects to the men in this story. The main characters are around thirty, and yet they seem to particularly enjoy sleeping with young teenage girls. These men also take a very idealistic and stereotypical view of the plight of impoverished minorities.


    What could Jack Kerouac have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I don't know that it would be possible for me to enjoy this book, as it seems that Kerouac's ideas about life were fundamentally different from mine. He and his friends were "experience junkies," drawn to anything that gave them an energy high, no matter who they hurt along the way.


    Which character – as performed by Will Patton – was your favorite?

    I gave this audiobook three stars overall. I would have given the book itself two stars, the fact that it is an important cultural reference point being the only thing keeping it from getting just one star. My third star is purely because the narrator's performance is wonderful. He perfectly conveys the personality of every single character, and he is especially good at portraying various regional accents.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    It is a movie, and in fact seeing the trailer for the movie is what made me decide to finally read the book. After reading it, though, I have no interest in seeing the movie.


    Any additional comments?

    I can see why this book appeals to the type of people who live for the moment, who seek out new experiences and refuse to accept societal norms. And I do find merit in those ideas...to a certain extent. But there comes a point where you have to realize that the "thing" you're looking for (the "it" that Dean Moriarty seeks relentlessly in this novel) will never be found in some new place or exciting experience. It can only be found in yourself, and in learning to be content and at peace with yourself regardless of your circumstances. That is something the characters in this book (and I would guess the author as well) never learned; it's something that the generation defined by this book still hasn't learned, and it's the reason I did not enjoy the book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Robert D. Richardson
    • Narrated By Gary D. MacFadden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (6)

    Writing was the central passion of Emerson's life. While his thoughts on the craft are well developed in "The Poet", "The American Scholar", Nature, "Goethe", and "Persian Poetry", less well known are the many pages in his private journals devoted to the relationship between writing and reading. Here, for the first time, is the Concord Sage's energetic, exuberant, and unconventional advice on the idea of writing, focused and distilled by the preeminent Emerson biographer at work today.

    Ashley says: "A treat for any writer or Emerson fan"
    "A treat for any writer or Emerson fan"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process the most enjoyable?

    I love everything about Emerson except how difficult it is to read Emerson. This author has done a wonderful job of sorting through Emerson's journals and letters, reducing them to their most important ideas, and conveying them in a coherent and meaningful way.


    What other book might you compare First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process to and why?

    For some reason the tone of the writing reminds me a bit of C.S. Lewis - conversational, yet sophisticated.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I really enjoyed the part about how language and words should be connected to ideas and reality, and how the words lose their meaning when they no longer maintain that tangible connection.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was particularly comforted, as a writer, by the realization that Emerson spent literally years just reading and journaling before he ever wrote anything he considered publishable. Also, I enjoyed the description of Emerson as a reader, and was delighted to discover that he skimmed many books and read only the parts he found valuable.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading Emerson or other transcendentalist authors. It is well-written and full of good advice for writers.

    0 of 0 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"
    "A well-written story with modern relevancy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Alas, Babylon in three words, what would they be?

    Relevant, engrossing, informative


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Alas, Babylon?

    I enjoyed "witnessing" the adaptations of the community of characters from a life of modern conveniences to resourcefulness and frugal use of natural resources.


    Which character – as performed by Will Patton – was your favorite?

    Probably the doctor


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not in an emotional way. The book was more moving intellectually--causing me to think and ponder.


    Any additional comments?

    It's easy to imagine several scenarios in our current political climate that could lead to our having to adjust to a post-apocalyptic world like the characters in Alas, Babylon. This book does a good job of immersing you into that world and showing you several possible outcomes. While the characters aren't really the main point of the book, I did find them to be real and relatable enough that I stayed engaged throughout the story. As a side note, I never felt that the book was dark, dismal, or depressing and remained hopeful in the midst of social upheaval.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spanish Word Booster: 500+ Most Needed Words & Phrases

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 4 mins)
    • By Vocabulearn
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Learn with rhythm, learn with tunes, Spanish, English words you'll use! Bilingual vocabulary builder for Spanish or English. Five hundred words and expressions, plus conversation. Original music score energizes the listener. Engages both left and right brain for optimal learning.

    Willis says: "Spanish Word Booster"
    "Good for review, not for learning anything new."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I wish there was more dialogue instead of it mainly just being vocabulary lists read aloud.


    What was most disappointing about Vocabulearn’s story?

    I was hoping that the music would be used to teach phrases to a catchy or familiar tune. Instead, lists of vocabulary words were read (followed by their translation) in time to cheesy synthesizer beats.


    What three words best describe the narrator’s voice?

    Both narrators were quite good and easy to understand. The brief dialogues between them that mixed Spanish and English to introduce the vocabulary lists were the most useful part.


    Was Spanish Word Booster worth the listening time?

    Since it was just a little over an hour, I didn't feel like it was too much of a waste of time, and it really was probably a good way to brush up on vocabulary words that I already know.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this as a way to brush up on Spanish vocabulary that you already know, but it is not a good way to learn new vocabulary.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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