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Robyn

ratings
41
REVIEWS
41
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
24

  • Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Alex Thorleifson, Scott Thorson
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (98)

    In this unusually frank book Scott Thorson, Liberace's longtime lover, tells all: the good, the bad, and the ugly truths about the legendary entertainer who went to outrageous extremes to prevent public knowledge of his homosexuality. Liberace's unhappy childhood, dominated by a mother determined to force him into a concert career, serves as the prologue for a story that goes on to detail Liberace's early appearances in honky-tonks, his move to New York to seek fame, and, finally, his first booking in Las Vegas, where he was courted by the Mafia.

    Jeffrey says: "Viciously honest, candid, sad, fascintating!"
    "Liberace, prejudice, AIDS"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I always take first person accounts with a grain of salt, but read this as light relief from my usual serious reading agenda. It was an interesting picture of talent, the quest for stardom, and the distorting power of money and fame. The ins and outs of family and love affairs are always titillating but for me, the book is most informative as a social history of being gay in the pre-AIDS and post-AIDS Western world. Early in his life and career Liberace had no choice but to remain in the closet and, once the pretence was established, what could he do but maintain his stance and deny the rumours? It is a sad indictment of prejudice and persecution of gay men. How different Scott and Lliberace's lives would be if they were born now - if not fame/notoriety, at least more freedom to be who they are than they could ever have dreamed of.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Dear I Wanted to Tell You: Podcast 20

    • ORIGINAL (26 mins)
    • By Louisa Young
    • Narrated By Louisa Young
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Happy New Year, lovely BookD listeners, and welcome back to what we hope will be a great year for laughs, interviews, confessions, new projects, old projects, maybe dancing, a little debate - and who doesn’t love singing as well as a little smidgen of teasing in our fortnightly boost of culture? To kick start the year, I interview Louisa Young, author of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You.

    Robyn says: "well worth a listen"
    "well worth a listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an interesting interview with the author of My Dear I Wanted to Tell You. Louisa Young talks about how she came to her subject how she developed it, the huge amount of research she did, and some of the facts underpinning the fiction. It adds understanding to the novel, and provides insights into the process of researching and writing. I recommend that readers listen to the book before the podcast

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mammoth Book of Bizarre Crimes: Incredible Real-Life Murders

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Robin Odell
    • Narrated By David Shaw-Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (44)

    A gripping collection of stories of human criminality at its most bizarre.

    These unusual, sensational murders recall not only gruesome historical crimes, but also touch on shocking and macabre modern murders. Included are details of groundbreaking advances in crime detection, law enforcement, and forensic science. This is the top-secret report on the most grisly, and unusual, criminal activity of our time.

    Sires says: "True Crime for the Beach or Vacation Reader"
    "too superficial to be satisfying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a series of brief summaries of interesting cases. My preference is for detailed description of the crime as it unfolds, the characters involved, and the process of detection and prosecution. Succint descriptions organised by theme doesn't do it for me, but anyone interested in an overview of (mainly) murder would probably find it interesting. David Shaw-Parker does a good job with the narration - a good voice and presentation for the subject matter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Pearl Heist: London's Greatest Thief and Scotland Yard's Hunt for the World's Most Valuable Necklace

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Molly Caldwell Crosby
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (37)

    In the summer of 1913, under the cover of London’s perpetual smoggy dusk, two brilliant minds are pitted against each other - a celebrated gentleman thief and a talented Scotland Yard detective - in the greatest jewel heist of the new century. An exquisite strand of pale pink pearls, worth more than the Hope Diamond, has been bought by a Hatton Garden broker. Word of the “Mona Lisa of Pearls” spreads around the world, captivating jewelers as well as thieves.

    Kathy says: "Great find!"
    "ripping yarn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The official outline of this book's content is accurate, so there is no point in my reiterating any of the material there. But I would add that the book held my interest throughout with unexpected twists and turns in the committing of the crime and the ups and downs of the police investigation. Additional interest and context are provided by lively portrayals of the main characters as well as vivid depictions of Edwardian London, the jewelry trade and the market for pearls, early policing, and society across the rich-poor spectrum. It is very well written, and Michael Page's voice, accent, pace, and general presentation are perfect for this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Louisa Young
    • Narrated By Dan Stevens
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (8)

    Set on the Western Front, in London and in Paris, My Dear I Wanted to Tell You is a moving and brilliant novel of love, class, and sex in wartime, and how war affects those left behind as well as those who fight.

    Robyn says: "special praise for the narrator"
    "special praise for the narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is nothing I can usefully add to the many positive comments about the book itself, but Dan Stevens deserves special mention for his outstanding narration. First, he simply has a wonderful voice which is a pleasure to listen to. But, in addition, he is so good with different voices and accents for the various characters, his talent is quite astonishing - it's a bit like listening to a radio play with different actors for the different parts. And, a real bonus (at least for me), is that he correctly pronounces all of the foreign words and names. There are quite a few narrators I have really admired, but Dan Stevens takes first prize for me. I look forward to listening to more of his work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Eric Jager
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    On a chilly November night in 1407, Louis of Orleans was murdered by a band of masked men. The crime stunned and paralyzed France since Louis had often ruled in place of his brother King Charles, who had gone mad. As panic seized Paris, an investigation began. In charge was the Provost of Paris, Guillaume de Tignonville, the city's chief law enforcement officer - and one of history's first detectives. As de Tignonville began to investigate, he realized that his hunt for the truth was much more dangerous than he ever could have imagined.

    Robyn says: "historical true crime - great!"
    "historical true crime - great!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book combines two of my most-read genres, true crime and history. Events from long ago, especially those involving cover-up at the highest level, often lack enough detail to be informative and certainly not enough to fill a book. But Jager has enough material to document the terrible crime, and to set the events and the characters within their social and political context. Everything is recounted in rivetting detail.Jager has obviously conducted a great deal of painstaking research, and the writing is excellent, as is the narration by Auberjonois whose voice and delivery are just perfect for the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Leopard

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
    • Narrated By David Horovitch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (96)

    Elegiac, bittersweet and profoundly moving, The Leopard chronicles the turbulent transformation of the Risorgimento, in the period of Italian Unification. The waning feudal authority of the elegant and stately Prince of Salina is pitted against the materialistic cunning of Don Calogero, in Tomasi's magnificently descriptive memorial to a dying age.

    beatrice says: ""one of the great lonely books""
    "perfect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can only endorse all the positive reviews from other readers. This book is a masterpiece, and David Horovitch's reading is superb. I will be re-reading this book many times for the pleasure it provides on so many levels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Who Killed Che?: How the CIA Got Away with Murder

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Ratner, Michael Steven Smith
    • Narrated By Kevin Free
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In compelling detail two leading U.S. civil rights attorneys recount the extraordinary life and deliberate killing of the world's most storied revolutionary: Ernesto Che Guevara. Michael Ratner and Michael Steven Smith survey the extraordinary trajectory of Che's career, from an early politicization recounted in the Motorcycle Diaries, through meetings with his compaero Fidel Castro in Mexico, his vital role in the Cuban revolution, and his expeditions abroad to Africa and Latin America.

    Robyn says: "the last word on Che"
    "the last word on Che"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Anyone interested in Che the man and Che the revolutionary, Latin America, the CIA, or international politics and dirty tricks, will enjoy this book. The authors present a well researched and ultimately compelling case for what happened to Che and who was involved. An interesting, informative, and sometimes unsettling read, with excellent narration by Kevin Free.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Greatest Traitor: The Secret Lives of Agent George Blake

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Roger Hermiston
    • Narrated By Michael Tudor Barnes
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    On 3 May 1961, after a trial conducted largely in secret, a man named George Blake was sentenced to an unprecedented 42 years in jail. By his own confession he was a Soviet spy, but the reasons for such a severe punishment were never revealed. To the public, Blake was simply the greatest traitor of the Cold War. Yet his story touches not only the depths of treachery, but also the heights of heroism.

    Robyn says: "Ripping yarn, and all true!"
    "Ripping yarn, and all true!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Blake is a fascinating character and his life, thinking, and motivations are explored and presented in this well-written account. The era and historical context of the events are also explored so the book is both history lesson and biography as well as a ripping yarn. Blake was a highly intelligent and quite charismatic man who lived an exceptionally full and often exciting life with some nail-biting episodes to keep the reader enthralled. A fiction writer couldn't have created a more complex protagonist or a more interesting plot. Full marks to the author on every aspect of the book, and to Michael Tudor Barnes for his very competent narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Alfred Lansing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1662)
    Performance
    (1044)
    Story
    (1047)

    In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

    Thomas says: "The best book I've had"
    "stunning!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was glued to my iPod for this book. I wasn't sure of the outcome of this trip by Shackleton, and I knew nothing of the detail of the voyage so just had to keep listening to see how they all fared. Alfred Lansing's telling of this great adventure brings all of the characters to life and, drawing upon the diaries many of them kept, readers are with the group every painful step of the way - their physical, emotional, and inter-personal ups and downs, as well as their suffering, ingenuity, and triumphs. Shackleton shines as an outstanding leader, a most impressive man who rose to the occasion and displayed all of the qualities essential to keeping his men together and driving on to the end against the odds. Simon Prebble is the perfect narrator and his accents and voices for the various men help the reader keep track of who's who.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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