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Stephen

ratings
198
REVIEWS
42
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
8
HELPFUL VOTES
161

  • The Forgotten

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    Overall
    (2228)
    Performance
    (1853)
    Story
    (1878)

    Army Special Agent John Puller is the best there is. A combat veteran, Puller is the man the U.S. Army relies on to investigate the toughest crimes facing the nation. Now he has a new case - but this time, the crime is personal: His aunt has been found dead in Paradise, Florida.

    Cris says: "Better than Other Recent Releases"
    "Not to be Forgotten"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fun, classic Baldacci (for those who know his stories). I will listen to this again. Don't believe the cranky reviews. The sound effects are basically like old radio stories (for those of you not old enough to remember, where sound effects were way more intrusive). However, in an audiobook, I admit I prefer a single reader, even for male and female parts (assuming the reader is up to it). That having been stated, nothing needs to be said about the plot or writing other than that they are good and entertaining, as usual.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Christopher Healy, Todd Harris
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (231)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (213)

    Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You've never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change.

    MissSusie66 says: "Warning Gushing Ahead…….."
    "The PRINCE Bride!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a belly full of laughs and no mistake. I swear one of the princes is a Texan! The reader is also a prince of a guy, and elevates a delightful story into a howl.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stoneheart: The Stoneheart Trilogy, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Charlie Fletcher
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (369)
    Performance
    (310)
    Story
    (308)

    A city has many lives and layers. London has more than most. A 12-year-old boy named George Chapman is about to find this out the hard way. On a school trip he's punished for something he didn't do. In a tiny act of rebellion, he lashes out at a small carving on the wall - unexpectedly breaking it off. And then something horrible does happen: a stone pterodactyl unpeels form the wall and starts chasing him. George is already running before his mind starts trying to tell him that this is impossible!

    MJ Dulmage says: "Fantastic Story, Great Narrator!"
    "Resist This at your peril!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What? Me? Resist Jim Dale reading an adventure about an unpopular British schoolboy who breaks out of the boring everyday London into the "other" city, where fantastics come alive and where a seemingly (not really) dorky girl companion bravely accompanies him?
    Not on your life!
    All I want is the next one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S. N. Goenka

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By William Hart
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (23)

    This is the classic introduction to Vipassana meditation: a full-length study of the teaching of S. N. Goenka, prepared under his guidance and with his approval. Useful for meditators and non-meditators alike. This was the first book to appear in English that accurately describes the practice of Vipassana at length for the general reader. It includes stories by Goenkaji as well as answers to students’ questions that convey a vivid sense of his teaching.

    Stephen says: "Life Changing"
    "Life Changing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a superb book, a life changer for me. It may be a little easier read in the written form than the audio, at least in part due my needing to stop reading and ponder several ideas here. The concept of sitting meditation and buddhist psychology and thought is by no means new to me, having studied it for decades. But this particular presentation was stimulating, not just to the mind, but to the spirit. Nothing to do with religion, just the development of relationship with the entire universe, presented in a very down-to-earth form.
    Highly recommended!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Crown

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Nancy Bilyeau
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (166)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (143)

    In this debut historical thriller, an aristocratic young nun must find a legendary crown in order to save her father’s life and preserve all she holds dear. When novitiate nun Joanna Stafford learns her rebel cousin is condemned by King Henry VIII to be burned at the stake, she makes the decision to break the sacred rule of enclosure and flee her Dominican order in Dartford to stand at her cousin’s side. Arrested for interfering with king’s justice, Joanna, along with her father, Sir Richard Stafford, is sent to the Tower of London.

    Karen Holbrook says: "A real page turner!"
    "Torture"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Can't get past the first hour and a half to see if this is a good story or not. I was impressed with all the reviews, and eager to listen, as I love good historical fiction. But there was a bit too much of the burnings and the tower ttorture in the first part for me. I know they existed, and I know there were sadists, but a little demonstration goes a long way. If I ever pick this book up again in the distant future, I will skip to halfway into the story to see if it gets any less grisly. As it is, I wasted a credit.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Serpent in the Thorns: Crispin Guest, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Jeri Westerson
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Convicted of treason, Crispin Guest was stripped of his title, his land, his money and his friends. Now with only his considerable wits to sustain him, Guest works the mean streets of 14th century London, building a small reputation for his skill. In 1383, a simple-minded tavern girl comes to his door - a body was found where she works and she’s the only person who could have killed him. Except for the fact that the man was killed in place by a precisely aimed crossbow bolt. Making matters worse, the murdered man was one of three couriers from the French king, transporting a relic intended to smooth the troubled relations between France and England.

    Stephen says: "Knight's Honor"
    "Knight's Honor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is 2nd of an historical fiction series that was presented on audio in reverse order; but each book stands well on its own merit. Which says a lot for any book that is part of a series these days.

    This is a believable historical portrayal of Richard I era England, accompanying delightful characterizations in an intriguing adventure / mystery. There is action, a smattering of sex, a good deal of philosophy about the concept of "honor" in people of both noble and ordinary birth, all without too much agonizing over ideas when they can be shown in the deeds of the characters, from lowest to highest in the social order. There is also a sample (a bit too much for my taste) of the torture of victims of the royal jail, albeit realistic for the times. But the characters win the day, especially the "disgraced" and former knight, Crispin Guest, and his child side-kick, Jack (who provides a charming "Greek chorus", while being a good foil for our hero).

    Overall enjoyable enough to make me want to hear the entire series. And the most excellent reading of Michael Page carries me along into these stories nicely!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow on the Crown: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Patricia Bracewell
    • Narrated By Katie Firth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (51)

    In 1002, 15-year-old Emma of Normandy crosses the Narrow Sea to wed the much older King Athelred of England, whom she meets for the first time at the church door. Thrust into an unfamiliar and treacherous court, with a husband who mistrusts her, stepsons who resent her and a bewitching rival who covets her crown, Emma must defend herself against her enemies and secure her status as queen by bearing a son.

    Molly B. L. says: "This one is a keeper"
    "The Year 1000--To Be Continued"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting fictionalized presentation of the politics of post-Alfred (and pre-Norman) England. This is a time period of which I have read little historical fiction, but I would like to hear more. Details of daily life (especially for nobles) seem to be portrayed well. There is enough suspense, some gore, no gratuitous sex. It gives a pretty good sense of what it must have been like to live under the shadow of fear of Viking raids. Aethelred "Unred" Is shown as waffling and increasingly mentally unstable; but the story also gives a good feeling for what it must be like to hold power in a world where power-grabbers abound, and the way to power is violence. The way to power for women, make no mistake, is in relation to a man, and there is little enough even then. Overall, although not outstanding, I found it entertaining and somewhat informative. My main complaint is that it ends abruptly, and the next story is not yet available..

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Thale's Folly

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Dorothy Gilman
    • Narrated By John McDonough
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (24)

    Andrew Thale is not exactly thrilled when his overbearing father sends him on an errand to assess the property inherited from an eccentric aunt. Andrew is intrigued though, when he finds the house fully occupied. Its odd and interesting residents have a calming effect on him, especially the beautiful young woman named Tarragon. But his arrival seems to have set a series of mysterious events into motion. Narrator John McDonough’s engaging performance lets you share in the excitement and camaraderie.

    Rebekah says: "Excellent Story and Narration!"
    "Delightful Intrigue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like the feeling of curling up in front of a fire with a good book, then this is that sort of book. It is a charming mystery with little twists. It inspired me to make evening tea with fresh thyme I was growing in a pot on my porch; and I will never smell thyme again without remembering this story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Last and First Men

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Olaf Stapledon
    • Narrated By Stephen Greif
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    One of the most extraordinary, imaginative and ambitious novels of the century: a history of the evolution of humankind over the next 2 billion years. Among all science fiction writers Olaf Stapledon stands alone for the sheer scope and ambition of his work. First published in 1930, Last and First Men is full of pioneering speculations about evolution, terraforming, genetic engineering and many other subjects.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Quite impressive for 1930"
    "Future History: "Life, the Universe, & Everything""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A classic, written over 80 years ago, before the results of World War II were known, and before any of the current technology was conceived (the first binary digital computer and the Turing machine were both not developed until 1936). This is definitely a history, not a story, and there are no characters here. It spans billions of years of human evolution, includes genetic engineering (used to both improve the human species and to save it from extinction, which almost occurs a number of times).

    The scope of this book is ambitious, and some of Stapledon's future predictions (of the near future) are, neccessarily, inaccurate. But the philosophical impact is, nevertheless, gratifyingly huge. I first read this book in 1970, and it left an impression on me for the rest of my life. I was pleased to find it in audio, and the reader is a good match. I will listen again, and will probably get the other book of his that I have read, "Starmaker".

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of Kells

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By R. A. MacAvoy
    • Narrated By Alan Robertson
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    A contemporary man, John Thornburn (a meek, non-violent and unpredictable artist) and woman, Derval (his tough, confrontational, strong and warrior-like lover) time travel to ancient Ireland to avenge a Viking attack. Packed with fascinating details of historical time and place in Irish history and delicately balanced on the border between realism and fantasy, the story centers around one of the most famous and beautiful illuminated manuscripts in history, the legendary but entirely real Book of Kells.

    Stephen says: "The Book of Irish Fantasy"
    "The Book of Irish Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not really about the Book of Kells, but excellent on its own merits. It does contain a story about that book, but the main plot is not so much the time-travel (which is important to the character portrayal) but life and times in the Ireland of the 10th century. Herein is contained the storytelling (and the magic) of the Irish of any age, and richly portrayed by both the author and the reader. There are scenes in this book that I will probably never forget (and as much as I read and listen, that is saying something!)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The First Murder

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By The Medieval Murderers
    • Narrated By Paul Matthews
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    Oxford, 1154. When the first performance of The Play of Adam ends in tragedy, the author pens a grim warning for the generations that follow: ‘Beward the sins of envy and vainglory, else foul murder ends your story'. But his words are not heeded, and as the play is performed in many guises throughout the ages, bad luck seems to follow after those involved in its production…

    Stephen says: "Good Drama"
    "Good Drama"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The reader and the story of the progressive portrayal of the theater itself is worth the listen. Plot is ok, but it is elevated by showing (not telling) how drama changed over the course of several hundred years. It was done in such an entertaining manner that it bears at least one more listen.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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