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Sarah

West Lebanon, NH, United States | Member Since 2011

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 56 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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  • Candide (AudioGO Edition)

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Voltaire
    • Narrated By Jack Davenport
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (83)

    When first published in 1759, Candide became an instant best seller and is now regarded as one of the key texts of the Enlightenment. Voltaire’s preoccupations with evil and with various kinds of human folly and intolerance found a perfect vehicle in this philosophical tale. A master storyteller, he combined often wildly entertaining action with profoundly serious sense, parodying the traditional chivalric and oriental tales with which his public was more familiar.

    Robert says: "Guaranteed to keep you smiling if not LOL"
    "amusing and witty"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    this classic is amusing and witty, and the droll performance sets exactly the right tone for it. there were definitely some snigger-inducing moments. after a couple of hours it became a bit much of a muchness. there's only so much insanely unlikely misfortune (and the inevitable complaining and sighing the comes with it) that one can stand. happily, the punchline at the end was very satisfying, so I came away feeling quite content with the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The End of the Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Graham Greene
    • Narrated By Colin Firth
    Overall
    (2390)
    Performance
    (2195)
    Story
    (2187)

    Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.

    Emily - Audible says: "Colin Firth Kills It"
    "a beautiful surprise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't think I'd like this book. I chose it because it's on the Audible Essentials list, and Collin Firth has a wonderful voice, and it's a classic. It was almost a duty listen. but the more it went on the deeper and better it got, and from a bitter little story of jealousy and anger it became so beautiful that by the end I felt really moved.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Rage in Harlem: A Grave Digger & Coffin Ed Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Chester Himes
    • Narrated By Samuel L. Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (362)
    Performance
    (329)
    Story
    (327)

    Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Star Wars films), fresh off the success of his uproarious, Audie-nominated performance of the mock children’s book Go the F**k to Sleep, delivers a swaggering, darkly-humored rendering of Chester Himes’ classic first novel.

    Rebecca Roztocil says: "Excellent Reading!"
    "a beautiful surprise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't think I'd like this book. I chose it because it's on the Audible Essentials list, and Collin Firth has a wonderful voice, and it's a classic. It was almost a duty listen. but the more it went on the deeper and better it got, and from a bitter little story of jealousy and anger it became so beautiful that by the end I felt really moved.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Her Royal Spyness: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (4130)
    Performance
    (3511)
    Story
    (3495)

    Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932. So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.

    Coffee Lover says: "Joy, Joy, Joy!"
    "Delicious, dahling!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book (and the whole spyness series) is like excellent Ben and Jerry's ice cream: it has zero nutritional value, but you just know you're going to go back for another spoonful again and again until that pot is empty, and then you're going to go out and buy another one.

    Most of the time I wandered around with a slight smirk on my face, I often snickered, a couple of times I was doubled over laughing and once I actually bit my nails and held my breath (while driving - not a good idea). I had to constantly remind myself not to pick up any of those outrageous accents (performed to perfection by Ms Kellgren, she absolutely brings the whole thing to life).

    I can't believe I listened to the entire series (7 books, to date) in ~5 days, and now I will have to wait for the next. In the words of Belinda: "it's just too-too terrible, dahling!"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Swordspoint: A Melodrama of Manners

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ellen Kushner
    • Narrated By Ellen Kushner, Dion Graham, Katherine Kellgren, and others
    Overall
    (707)
    Performance
    (627)
    Story
    (630)

    On the treacherous streets of Riverside, a man lives and dies by the sword. Even the nobles on the Hill turn to duels to settle their disputes. Within this elite, dangerous world, Richard St. Vier is the undisputed master, as skilled as he is ruthless--until a death by the sword is met with outrage instead of awe, and the city discovers that the line between hero and villain can be altered in the blink of an eye.

    Stacy says: "What a beautiful book..."
    "engaging and entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A fun and engaging book. I listened to the whole thing in one go. (Not sure I'd compare it to Austen, though...)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Never Less Than a Lady

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Mary Jo Putney
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (170)
    Story
    (168)

    RITA Award-winning, New York Times best-selling author Mary Jo Putney is justly celebrated as a master of the Regency romance. Here Alexander Randall is the last heir to the Earl of Daventry and he must find himself a bride. His prayers are answered in the form of distressed midwife Julia Bancroft. But though their union would benefit both parties, Julia is reluctant to surrender her heart.

    Joki says: "Avoids the Cliches of the Genre"
    "couldn't bring myself to listen to the whole thing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Plot holes, cardboard characters with zero development, modern sensibilities and turns of phrase totally out of place in the historic context... My disbelief was less and less suspendible.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dracula [Audible Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Bram Stoker
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2167)
    Performance
    (1975)
    Story
    (2001)

    The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.

    N. Houghton says: "Gothic Horror Never Sounded So Good"
    "the real deal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    oh-ho-ho-ho! if you're tired of the glut of modern vampire literature, and want something to really sink your teeth into (har har), look no further. nobody sparkles here, vampires are not sexy-but-slightly-pale people from 1860-something, and there's no vampire politics.

    what you will get is the slow, tortuous reveal of a true monster. everything about the count is properly horrible. no extra blood and gore are necessary. little details are painstakingly added up, the characters slowly work through the perplexing evidence, and even though we all know the answers, you can't help but be mesmerized. by the time you get a good solid look at Dracula your skin is probably crawling.

    the many voiced narration worked well with the original format of the book: the different voices helped remind me who's diary entry / letter / etc I was listening to. (I personally found Lucy's narration to be a little tedious, but it's so thoroughly in character that maybe I just found Lucy tedious...).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Macbeth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By A. J. Hartley, David Hewson
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1246)
    Performance
    (1029)
    Story
    (1023)

    Macbeth: A Novel brings the intricacy and grit of the historical thriller to Shakespeare’s tale of political intrigue, treachery, and murder. In this full-length novel written exclusively for audio, authors A. J. Hartley and David Hewson rethink literature’s most infamous married couple, grounding them in a medieval Scotland whose military and political upheavals are as stark and dramatic as the landscape in which they are played.

    Beverly says: "Narrator choice inspired"
    "absolutely excellent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read the Shakespeare original (and liked it), but this version breathes a whole new life into the characters. Everyone has a history and secret desires and fears, so their tragedies become much more poignant. lady macbeth was particularly transformed in my mind, and the weird sisters were much more sinister. the narration was fantastic, and exactly right for the task.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Andrew Roberts
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (425)
    Performance
    (349)
    Story
    (355)

    The Second World War lasted for 2,174 days, cost $1.5 trillion, and claimed the lives of more than 50 million people. Why did the Axis lose? And could they, with a different strategy, have won? Andrew Roberts's acclaimed new history has been hailed as the finest single-volume account of this epic conflict. From the western front to North Africa, from the Baltic to the Far East, he tells the story of the war - the grand strategy and the individual experience, the cruelty and the heroism - as never before.

    Mike From Mesa says: "A very interesting book with some shortcomings."
    "a well rounded review of the war in Europe"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    this is an excellent review of the war in Europe. from Hitler's rise to power to his suicide and the Nuremberg trials, this history covers every aspect of the war in Europe: the movements of forces, specific fronts, specific important battles, Nazi occupation, the Holocaust, etc. There is an excellent blend of text-book facts and eyewitness accounts. Everything has been collated into a whole which is definitely more than the sum of its parts. The narration brings it all to life, making what could have been a dry list of facts into an epic human struggle.


    two tiny quibbles:

    the war in India and the Pacific are given much shorter reviews, consisting mostly of "the main moves" on the relevant battlefields. this is partially justified by the allied "Germany first" policy. still, a little more depth would have been nice.

    I was also not thrilled that the author often engaged in "what if"s. however, Roberts does this from a highly informed standpoint, so there's usually some merit to the exercise. moreover, at the end of the book he uses the accumulated speculations to drive home his point: that the defeat of Germany was by no means guaranteed, even though (according to Roberts) Nazism contained the seeds of its own downfall.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4150)
    Performance
    (2322)
    Story
    (2322)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A performance so poignant, we gave Bronson Pinchot (yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers) our inaugural Narrator of the Year award.... In the monsoon season of 1968-69 at a fire support base called Matterhorn, located in the remote mountains of Vietnam, a young and ambitious Marine lieutenant wants to command a company to further his civilian political ambitions. But two people stand in his way.

    Zachary says: "Matterhorn"
    "got completely sucked in"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    at first I found the narration flat and un-engaging. I also couldn't keep up with the formidable roll call. pretty soon the story picked up, the characters became real people, and I got completely sucked in. the narration now felt appropriately understated, allowing the inherent drama to speak for itself.

    death in particular is present in so many forms: sudden, unexpected, indiscriminate, pointless, heroic, and - every now and then - narrowly escaped. I was sometimes laughing, occasionally angry, often grieved, and always moved. the characters are all so human; I felt the story did their hardships justice, without flattening them into cardboard heroes.

    I think this book is an important read for anyone. no matter what you think of American wars overseas, you should take an interest in the experiences of the Americans fighting those wars. they've earned it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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