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Austin, TX, United States | Member Since 2008

  • 22 reviews
  • 107 ratings
  • 154 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Brave New World (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr)
    • By Aldous Huxley, CBS Radio Workshop
    • Narrated By Aldous Huxley

    For its premiere episodes, The CBS Radio Workshop aired a two-part adaptation of Brave New World, featuring its author, Aldous Huxley, as narrator. The musical score was created by Academy Award-winner Bernard Hermann, whose film credits included Psycho and Citizen Kane.

    Abbie Brown says: "awesome"
    "Helpful refresher / delightful period piece"

    This one hour production doesn't cover every detail of the book, but it "hits the highlights" and serves as a great refresher (especially for someone who has read the book long ago).

    It's a rather enjoyable if highly styled audio experience, with all the drama, sound effects, and melodramatic acting style of the time at which it was originally recorded. Gives a bit of Huxley's perspective, too, as he speaks at the intro to each 30-minute segment.

    To students hoping to listen to this one-hour broadcast instead of reading (or listening to) the full novel: this will NOT suffice as a full replacement for the novel if your goal is to pass a detailed test on the novel. It's a great book and you'll be missing out if you rely solely on this broadcast. On the other hand, if you are truly not a reader or you are simply terribly pressed for time, you could do worse than to combine this one-hour broadcast with a decent study guide.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Townie: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Andre Dubus III
    • Narrated By Andre Dubus III
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    After their parents divorced in the 1970s, Andre Dubus III and his three siblings grew up with their exhausted working mother in a depressed Massachusetts mill town saturated with drugs and crime. To protect himself and those he loved from street violence, Andre learned to use his fists so well that he was even scared of himself. He was on a fast track to getting killed—or killing someone else—or to beatings-for-pay as a boxer.

    Suzn F says: "More like a 3.25 star rating"
    "As gripping as his fiction"

    Although this memoir has elements in common with other memoirs by adult children of neglectful or abusive parents, this is FAR BETTER than Jeannette Walls "The Glass Castle" or Mary Karr's "The Lairs' Club."

    It is as good as "House of Sand and Fog" and few works are.
    I am an unabashed fan of this author's father and am delighted by this author's own novellas, essays and short stories.
    This autobiography touched me in a way that few autobiographies could.

    Of course I had "known" the elder Andre Dubus only as he presented himself in his work. I was surprised by the depths of my outrage toward him as I realized how he had neglected the children of his first marriage and how that neglect nearly -- but did not -- destroy his children.

    On the whole, this is an eye-opening, triumphant and inspiring autobiography and the son's acceptance and forgiveness of his father allows me to continue to love that writer's work.
    I read the NYT review, which praised Townie but said "until it loses traction in clichés about redemption at its very end" and I disagree with this evaluation.

    This book deepened my admiration and respect for the younger Andre Dubus and I found the ending cathartic.

    Like his father, Dubus is a writer's writer as much as he is a reader's writer.

    Despite the elder Dubus' well-known act of heroism and the loss of limbs it cost him, if one is going to compare the two, know this: the younger Dubus learned more from his father's mistakes than his father learned from them.

    I look forward to reading more work from Andre Dubus III and I thank him for reading what must have evoked at times painful memories.

    As an Austinite, among my favorite lines: "That’s what Texas did to me, took my hatred of bullies and bullying and institutionalized it."

    And Andre Dubus III did something for me no other writer has: he eloquently explained to me how the same release found in engaging in acts of violence could be found in writing. Bravo, Mr. Dubus, Bravo!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Sing You Home

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer, Brian Hutchison, Mia Barron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Music has set the tone for most of Zoe Baxter’s life. And it’s music that brings her back to love. When fertility issues lead to a divorce, Zoe throws herself into her career as a music therapist. As an unexpected friendship with a woman slowly blossoms into love, she makes plans for a new life, but to her shock and inevitable rage, some people - even those she loves and trusts most - don’t want that to happen.

    CDN says: "A Good Listen (except the music)"
    "subtract one star for intrusive music"

    This is a thought-provoking, well-written and well-narrated novel. I've found myself laughing out loud (in places where laughter is appropriate). When one narrator describes a scene previously described by another, the listener gets a true sense of the the narrator's point of view. Picoult addresses issues that are important and I believe she does so fairly. But if I'd read the book, instead of listening to it, I would have had the ability to choose whether to listen to the songs at the beginning of each chapter. Listening to it on my iPhone, I have no choice (other than to take my earphones out and put them back in when I can tell the song is over. When Zoe sings, during the context of narrating the book, I don't mind at all. But the sappy women's-folk music at the beginning of each chapter, that is supposed to express Zoe's thoughts and feelings during this particular moment in her life, are as irritating as commercials through which one cannot fast forward while watching an excellent show.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Half Empty

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By David Rakoff
    • Narrated By David Rakoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this deeply funny (and, no kidding, wise and poignant) book, Rakoff examines the realities of our sunny, gosh­ everyone-can-be-a-star contemporary culture and finds that, pretty much as a universal rule, the best is not yet to come, adversity will triumph, justice will not be served, and your dreams won’t come true. The book ranges from the personal to the universal, combining stories from Rakoff’s reporting and accounts of his own experi­ences....

    Maeghan says: "Even better heard than read"
    "Rakoff's best yet!"

    David Rakoff's writing and narration are delightful. I think this is the best of the three audio books he's published to date. Say yes to the power of negativity!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Family Man

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Elinor Lipman
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A hysterical phone call from his ex-wife upends Henry Archer's well-ordered life - and brings him back into contact with the child he adored: Thalia, now 29, an aspiring actress. Hoping it will lead to better things for her career, Thalia agrees to pose as the girlfriend of a current horror-movie luminary who is down on his romantic luck.

    Lisa says: "Very enjoyable!"
    "Very enjoyable!"

    This is a fun book - listening to it is a pleasure. Lipman is at her witty, wry and warm best. I've read all of her books and recommend "The Inn at Lake Divine" to intelligent friends who are looking for a good book to take their minds off of their troubles. I will certainly add "The Family Man" to my list of recommendations and in particular this audio version to my friends who need a "light listen" instead of a "light read." I mean no insult by the word "light." Lipman does tackle serious themes, but she does so with a fresh and gentle approach that doesn't feel preachy or taxing.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Innocent

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Scott Turow
    • Narrated By Edward Hermann, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The sequel to the genre-defining, landmark best seller Presumed Innocent, Innocent continues the story of Rusty Sabich and Tommy Molto who are, once again, 20 years later, pitted against each other in a riveting psychological match after the mysterious death of Rusty's wife.

    Suzn F says: "Terrific Book"
    "Sequels are rarely as good as the original"

    Edward Hermann is such a terrific actor - it's a real treat to listen to him narrate. Although I'd read "Presumed Innocent" long ago, I bought the audio version and listened to it just so I could get full benefit from listening to "Innocent." I don't think "Innocent" is quite as exciting or strong as "Presumed Innocent" but its worth purchasing. And I wasn't particularly happy with the female narrator who reads a few of the chapters of "Innocent." But on the whole, this is a good audio book for fans of Scott Turow and of Edward Hermann.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Every Last One

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Anna Quindlen
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this breathtaking and beautiful novel, the #1 New York Times best-selling author Anna Quindlen creates an unforgettable portrait of a mother, a father, a family, and the explosive, violent consequences of what seem like inconsequential actions.

    Kimberly says: "Almost Unbearably Sad, Completely Wonderful"
    "well-written but hard to enjoy"

    While listening to the first half of this novel, I became increasingly frustrated. It was well-written but boring. So many mundane and unsurprising details of married life with teens. Then something horrible happens and the rest of the novel is well-written but painful and sad. Anna Quindlen is a fine writer and Hope Davis is a good narrator, but I wish I hadn't used my monthly credit on this depressing book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Importance of Being Earnest

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, and others

    This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence." Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

    Tad Davis says: "Delightfully silly"
    "A wonderful production of a great play!"

    I found it impossible not to laugh out loud while listening to this witty comedy of manners. I've seen the play many times, but have never seen a production more enjoyable than listening to this performance. Bravo!

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Heart of the Matter

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Emily Giffin
    • Narrated By Cynthia Nixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Tessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon. Despite her own mother's warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life. Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie - a boy who has never known his father.

    Liatris says: "Tough Listen"
    "excellent narration, well-handled subject"

    A well-written and thoughtful novel about infidelity. Cynthia Nixon's narration is superb. While some characters - particularly the married doctor and the injured child - are drawn a little too broadly, the novel gives the reader a sympathetic and believable portrait of both the wife and 'the other woman.'

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Noah's Compass

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Anne Tyler
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Liam Pennywell, who set out to be a philosopher and ended up teaching fifth grade, never much liked the job at that run-down private school, so early retirement doesnt bother him. But he is troubled by his inability to remember anything about the first night that he moved into his new, spare, and efficient condominium on the outskirts of Baltimore. All he knows when he wakes up the next day in the hospital is that his head is sore and bandaged.

    Eileen says: "Low key and thought provoking"

    Anne Tyler is one of my favorite authors, so I generally purchase her books as soon as they are made available. I don't know if Noah's Compass is any good - I'll have to read the printed book. This is the worst narrated book I've ever purchased - I've heard better from the volunteer readers at Librivox. Disgraceful. Mr Morey's narration lacks depth at all times and is particularly weak when he's reading the dialogue of characters who are female or children. He's reading aloud, there is no art to his performance.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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