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heART

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

seneca sc | Member Since 2012

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 27 reviews
  • 27 ratings
  • 91 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • Sweet Tooth

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Ian McEwan
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (675)
    Performance
    (572)
    Story
    (574)

    Winner of such prestigious honors as the Booker Prize and Whitbread Award, Ian McEwan is justifiably regarded as a modern master. Set in 1972, Sweet Tooth follows Cambridge student Serena Frome, whose intelligence and beauty land her a job with England's intelligence agency, MI5. In an attempt to monitor writers' politics, MI5 tasks Serena with infiltrating the literary circle of author Tom Healy. But soon matters of trust and identity subvert the operation.

    Susianna says: "Perfect Book for your Literary Sweet Tooth"
    "wonderful story and characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes. The characters wend their way into your heart, the story is engrossing, and worthwhile insights come along steadily.


    What other book might you compare Sweet Tooth to and why?

    Saturday by Ian McEwan. The rhythm and pacing are similar, and the characters reveal themselves as events unfold.


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

    The main characters voice and tone are quite vivid. I'm not certain I would hear this as clearly in my head while reading the written word.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A Lie Made True


    Any additional comments?

    Ultimately, this is a novel about love, deceit, and truth.

    3 of 3 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
    (5197)
    Performance
    (2970)
    Story
    (3010)

    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
    (76)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (66)

    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
    (186)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (98)

    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
    (432)
    Performance
    (248)
    Story
    (249)

    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
    (463)
    Performance
    (324)
    Story
    (326)

    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
    (232)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (166)

    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
    (91)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (63)

    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
    (953)
    Performance
    (820)
    Story
    (818)

    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
  • The Age Of Innocence

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Edith Wharton
    • Narrated By Mary Sarah
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (88)

    Wharton’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel set in upper class New York City. Newland Archer, gentleman lawyer and heir to one of New York City's best families, is happily anticipating a highly desirable marriage to the sheltered and beautiful May Welland. Yet he finds reason to doubt his choice of bride after the appearance of Countess Ellen Olenska, May's exotic, beautiful 30-year-old cousin, who has been living in Europe. This novel won the first ever Pulitzer awarded to a woman.

    Clodhopper says: "Less than the sum of its parts"
    "a classic that holds up with the passsge of time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Age Of Innocence?

    the profound truths about human nature


    What did you like best about this story?

    how the characters react to one another


    Which scene was your favorite?

    the last one; outstanding!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    longing


    Any additional comments?

    at first I thought this book was somewhat boring and too "mannerly" and irrelevant for contemporary times, but by midpoint, I was thoroughly engaged and had intimations of the movie Body Heat in terms of the great longing one can have for what one cannot have.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (6980)
    Performance
    (6357)
    Story
    (6366)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "an engaging read with engaging characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    it's a good read. if you're looking for profound truths, this is not it. if you're looking for characters and a story involving celebrity type characters, it's engaging and I expect the two main characters will show up in another book. the stage is set for a detective series.


    What did you like best about this story?

    the main characters


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

    this is J.K. Rowling's book; of course one can't escape reading without having read one Harry Potter book. I love her imagination and it doesn't fail her here in terms of plotting and building a friendship between characters.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    beauty and the beast collide


    Any additional comments?

    some of the characters were painted with one broad brush; I would have appreciated greater nuance. No one is all good or all bad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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