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heART

I'm a professional painter and love ennobling, enlightening literature

seneca sc | Member Since 2012

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 29 reviews
  • 29 ratings
  • 122 titles in library
  • 31 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • I Am the Messenger

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Marc Aden Gray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (281)
    Performance
    (162)
    Story
    (160)

    Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He's pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.

    Dr. says: "Initially engaging, but ultimately not satisfying"
    "this is not The Bookthief"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    a better story. this is exceedingly simple and I can't say I found the characters believable


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    The Goldfinch


    Which scene was your favorite?

    none


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from I Am the Messenger?

    The book rings false


    Any additional comments?

    One of my most favorite books is the Book thief by the same author. Don't miss it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hard Choices

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Hillary Rodham Clinton
    • Narrated By Kathleen Chalfant, Hillary Rodham Clinton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (416)
    Performance
    (361)
    Story
    (362)

    Hillary Rodham Clinton's inside account of the crises, choices, and challenges she faced during her four years as America's 67th Secretary of State, and how those experiences drive her view of the future. In the aftermath of her 2008 presidential run, she expected to return to representing New York in the United States Senate. To her surprise, her former rival for the Democratic Party nomination, newly elected President Barack Obama, asked her to serve in his administration as Secretary of State. This memoir is the story of the four extraordinary and historic years that followed.

    Prairie says: "An Excellent book on Modern History"
    "provided unexpected insights"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Hard Choices again? Why?

    none. once was enough. I rarely read the same book twice, except for Geek Love, and some of Herman Hesse books


    What other book might you compare Hard Choices to and why?

    I've not read anything like it before


    Which scene was your favorite?

    the Chinese men were quite humorous


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3220)
    Performance
    (2863)
    Story
    (2870)

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    "lyrical, thought provoking, memorable characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry the most enjoyable?

    Well, the writing is brilliant, just brilliant. When Harold wakes from his first night spent outdoors the descriptions of nature are beautifully lyrical and orginal.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Of course Harold, and because his awakening is so profound and beautiful


    What does Jim Broadbent bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Jim embodied Harold. Jim Broadbent is FANTASTIC!


    If you could take any character from The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I guess Queenie because I want to know her story


    Any additional comments?

    I'm recommending this book to everyone. It's beautifully and movingly written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Forgotten Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5272)
    Performance
    (3038)
    Story
    (3081)

    Thirty-eight year old Cassandra is lost, alone, and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident 10 years ago, feels like she has lost everything known and dear to her.

    avid reader says: "Hours of enjoyable, fun listening"
    "suspenseful plot twists and turns,"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Forgotten Garden?

    story line was very engaging, as was the writing and narration


    What did you like best about this story?

    the plot twisted and turned in unexpected ways.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    many come to mind. Nell on the ship, Eliza writing her fairy stories and Nate illustrating them


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

    Sammy's accident


    Any additional comments?

    I gave the book 5 stars for everything. The author reads her own words very well. The story is quite unexpectedly good and toward the end I certainly didn't want to put it down. I think the characters, in some instances, did what the author needed them to do rather than what was in keeping with their defined attributes, and some of the characters are so narrowly colored to one end of the spectrum, rather than some grays. It's a good book, without swear words and graphic sex, which is a plus nowadays.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Of Human Bondage

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By W. Somerset Maugham
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (70)

    Of Human Bondage is one of the greatest novels of modern times, and it is certainly Maugham's greatest achievement. It was published in 1914, when Maugham was at the height of his creative powers. The story concerns Philip Carey, afflicted at birth with a club foot, and his passionate search for truth in a cruel world. We follow his growth to manhood, his educational progress, his first loves, and the wrenching tragedies and disappointments that life has in store for him. In some of the finest prose of the 20th century, Maugham has presented us with the timeless story of one man's search for the meaning of life.

    Michael says: "Greatly Unsettling"
    "a gamut of human emotion and philosophy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Of Human Bondage?

    deep insights into the human condition as external circumstances push and pull the psyche through the cycles of life, testing Phillip's vascillating nature of selflessness versus selfishness


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Of Human Bondage?

    Phillip's conversation with Fannie's brother after his arrival in France.


    Have you listened to any of Charlton Griffin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


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

    many many. Phillip's deepest poverty and subsequent hunger were terribly painful and felt viscerally. The thoughts his poverty drove him to think were particularly torturous.


    Any additional comments?

    This is truly a great work of art and worthy of the time investment. The book and the movie are worlds apart. If you've seen the movie, you definitely have no idea how vast the book.
    Do treat yourself.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel Deronda

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By George Eliot
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (196)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (107)

    One of the masterpieces of English fiction, Daniel Deronda tells the intertwined stories of two characters as they each come to discover the truth of their natures. Gwendolen Harleth is the beautiful, high-spirited daughter of an impoverished upper-class family. Daniel Deronda, the adopted son of an aristocratic Englishman, is searching for his path in life.

    Tad Davis says: "An intense novel with a few flaws"
    "magnificent; second to Middlemarch"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Daniel Deronda?

    As with all of George Eliot's books, the language is astounding and the insights into human nature are deep. The story is interesting and morally important.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Daniel Deronda?

    The conversations and feelings shared between Daniel and Ezra.


    Have you listened to any of Nadia May’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no, I haven't listened to her other readings.


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

    When Daniel met his mother.


    Any additional comments?

    I first read Middlemarch- an amazingly brilliant book, and was so taken with Eliot that I then chose Daniel Deronda. DD didn't really grab me, seriously grab me, until chapter 32. From 32 to the end, I was completely moved. If you haven't read Eliot, or you did long ago, do give Middlemarch a go; as great as literature can get. I'm now listening to Mill on the Floss by Eliot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Without Feathers

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Woody Allen
    • Narrated By Woody Allen
    Overall
    (443)
    Performance
    (252)
    Story
    (254)

    Now in audio for the first time, Without Feathers is narrated by Woody Allen himself. Here they are: 16 of the funniest tales and ruminations ever recorded, by one of the great comic minds of our time. From "The Whore of Mensa", to "Fabulous Tales & Mythical Beasts", to "No Kaddish for Weinstein", old and new Allen fans will laugh themselves silly over these sparkling gems.

    Vincent says: "Surprisingly good"
    "mere silliness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I have no idea


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    middlemarch


    What didn’t you like about Woody Allen’s performance?

    his words


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    serious disappointment. I greatly love some of his films.


    Any additional comments?

    If you seek humor, I don't think this book has it, but there's much silliness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mother Night

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (478)
    Performance
    (336)
    Story
    (338)

    American Howard W. Campbell, Jr., a spy during World War II, is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal. But is he really guilty? In this brilliant book rife with true gallows humor, Kurt Vonnegut turns black and white into a chilling shade of grey with a verdict that will haunt us all. Mother Night is a daring challenge to our moral sense.

    Robert says: "“We are what we pretend to be”"
    "Vonnegut at his Best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Mother Night the most enjoyable?

    Vonnegut fills his canvases with light and love and mystery and the vagaries of humans who would do evil.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    the main character is most fully rendered and focused upon. he's a primary color. the others are all tertiaries.


    What about Victor Bevine’s performance did you like?

    He embodied the characters in such a way you the listener can determine what you feel about them.


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

    when the sister is revealed


    Any additional comments?

    I love Vonnegut's vision of what is possible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paradise Lost & Paradise Regained

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Milton
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (240)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (172)

    Paradise Lost, along with its companion piece, Paradise Regained, remain the most successful attempts at Greco-Roman style epic poetry in the English language. Remarkably enough, they were written near the end of John Milton's amazing life, a bold testimonial to his mental powers in old age. And, since he had gone completely blind in 1652, 15 years prior to Paradise Lost, he dictated it and all his other works to his daughter.

    thomas says: "SELL YOUR SHIRT FOR THIS AUDIO BOOK!"
    "the censorious reader drones on"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from John Milton and/or Charlton Griffin?

    Never by Mr. Griffin and honestly, not by Mr. Milton either. I don't agree with much that he writes.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    It is Middlemarch, one of the greatest books of all time.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Charlton Griffin?

    one who can modulate their voice


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    total disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    avoid

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Middlemarch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By George Eliot
    • Narrated By Maureen O'Brien
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (77)

    George Eliot's most ambitious novel is a masterly evocation of diverse lives and changing fortunes in a provincial community. Peopling its landscape are Dorothea Brooke, a young idealist whose search for intellectual fulfillment leads her into a disastrous marriage to the pedantic scholar Casaubon; the charming but tactless Dr Lydgate, whose marriage to the spendthrift beauty Rosamund and pioneering medical methods threaten to undermine his career.

    Julie W. Capell says: "Read for its humor & glimmers of female rebellion"
    "A true literary gem"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Middlemarch to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read Middlemarch, but have no doubt Ms O'Brien endowed each character with great individuality, breathing into them fully rounded personalities.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The endless profound insights into human thoughts and behaviors and relationships. If I were reading the book, each page would be filled with underlinings. This is a book to truly relish.


    What does Maureen O'Brien bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I'm not certain. Though her reading is hugely empathetic, this is also how I read a book. She is a fabulous reader.


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

    As in the very best of books, it made me think deeply.


    Any additional comments?

    I've just purchased another George Eliot book. She is a brilliant timeless classic writer whose words bloom like gardens. Middlemarch will be among my top 10 books of all time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • If This Isn't Nice, What Is: Advice for the Young

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins, Scott Brick
    Overall
    (979)
    Performance
    (843)
    Story
    (840)

    Master storyteller and satirist Kurt Vonnegut was one of the most in-demand commencement speakers of his time. For each occasion, Vonnegut’s words were unfailingly unique, insightful, and witty, and they stayed with audience members long after graduation. As edited by Dan Wakefield, this book reads like a narrative in the unique voice that made Vonnegut a hero to readers and listeners of all ages. At times hilarious, razor-sharp, freewheeling, and deeply serious, these reflections are ideal for anyone undergoing what Vonnegut would call their "long-delayed puberty ceremony".

    Joseph Warren says: "Witty Humor and Priceless Insight"
    "not what I expected since I love Vonnegut's books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    a youngster


    Has If This Isn't Nice, What Is turned you off from other books in this genre?

    nothing


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    narrator did fine; not a challenging book to read


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from If This Isn't Nice, What Is?

    I think I found no interest because the book is geared toward younger people just on the cusp of building their lives, and for them it should be fine


    Any additional comments?

    I love Kurt Vonnegut's works of fiction

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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