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Peter Mangiaracina

New York, New York | Member Since 2003

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 152 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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  • The Castle in the Forest: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Norman Mailer
    • Narrated By Harris Yulin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (30)

    In his first major work of fiction in more than a decade, Norman Mailer offers what may be his consummate literary endeavor: he has set out to explore the evil of Adolf Hitler. The narrator, a mysterious SS man who is later revealed to be an exceptional presence, takes the young Adolf from birth through his adolescence. En route, reavealing portraits are offered of Hitler's father and mother, sisters, and brothers.

    Peter Mangiaracina says: "Compelling"
    "Compelling"
    Overall

    I have always loved Norman Mailer from his first novel, The Naked and the Dead, up to and including his recent effort, The Castle in the Forest.

    This forensic psychological portrait of Hitler is both deeply disturbing and highly compelling, and I find myself looking forward to a quiet moment of the day when I can sit back enjoy some time with Mailer's extraodinary prose.

    I'm a big fan of the printed word and I never thought I would choose an audio book of Mailer's work to listen to. Some of his phrases are so delicious, I like to re-read and savor them again and again. Perhaps I will buy a copy of the book to keep, too, but the narrator's voice on this is so wonderful I almost forget where I am. It is deep and resonant with diabolical mockery: Just listen to his charcterization of Himmler if you want a few goosebumps with your prose.

    All and all a wonderful audiobook on all accounts. Mailer is at the peak of his powers as a novelist and the choice of narrator is perfect. You absolutely must get this!

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Duma Key: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By John Slattery
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4757)
    Performance
    (1458)
    Story
    (1448)

    A terrible accident takes Edgar Freemantle's right arm and scrambles his memory and his mind, leaving him with little but rage as he begins the ordeal of rehabilitation. When his marriage suddenly ends, Edgar begins to wish he hadn't survived his injuries. He wants out. His psychologist suggests a new life distant from the Twin Cities, along with something else.

    Amazon Customer says: "Play the Book and Let the Book Play You"
    "One of the Finest Writers"
    Overall

    Two things to say about Stephen King. One good and one bad.

    First the good. He is simply the most skillful novelist in the English language. His descriptions put you right there in the story and his plot devices, though discernable in context, are always unique in their approach.

    Now the bad. His books are simply TOO LONG. He is self indulgent and falls victim to the writing version of "Likes to hear Himself Talk." If there is an abridged version of Duma Key, I would recommend getting that and cutting through the hours and hours of slow (albeit somewhat entertaining) plot development.

    I don't know what other people will say about the narrator for this story, but I loved his matter of fact reading, which aside from being pleasant on the ears, added to the weirdness of the events like a straight man for a demon.

    Final evaluation. Yeah. Go and get this. It's good if you don't mind the length of the book. It won't scare the bejesus out of you, but you'll finish with a lingering sense of loss and renewal. In an ever increasing world of books that usually leaves you shaking your head at a waste of money, I would say leaving with a sense of ANYTHING after you read a book nowadays is a good sign. Thumbs up, Mr. King.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Merciless: A Novel of Suspense

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Richard Montanari
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (25)

    On a frigid December night, Karen sits at the edge of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River, dressed in a flowing gown, like a visitor from the distant past. A beautiful and shining young woman, she gazes up at a bone-white winter moon like a fairytale princess. At first glance, one might not even notice that she is dead, coated in a patina of ice. Homicide cops Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano take the lead on the case, uncovering a plethora of eerie clues, each more warped and spine-chilling than the last.

    Penni says: "Great Book"
    "Simply the worst book I've listened to"
    Overall

    I forced myself to listen to this. The prose is overwritten to the point of being just plain hoaky. "She was the light of my life!" and "She was a woman now and that's why she was no longer a child." (or something equally ridiculous). Or how about a veteran police officer who weeps because a girl has been murdered? Sorry. I know veteran cops. They don't weep. Maybe they shake their heads or click their tongues, but weeping? I don't think so. Perhaps that one was ready for retirement.

    The whole book is like that. I choked back a few laughs at everyone's self righteous indignation. The narrator didn't help, either. He seemed to play into every melodramatic turn of phrase like an afternoon soap actress. And his woman's voice needs work. I had a few silent guffaws over that one, too.

    Don't waste your money.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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