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Karen

Rumford, RI, United States | Member Since 2007

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 79 ratings
  • 295 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
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  • Orson Welles: A Biography

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Barbara Leaming
    • Narrated By Grace Conlin
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Genius, artist, monstre sacré, Orson Welles had one of the most brilliant careers in show business. Here he confides his most intimate feelings and recollections of his life. With remarkable detail and intimacy, Barbara Leaming reveals the private Welles: from child prodigy and young lion in Dublin and New York, to the succès de scandale of his The War of the Worlds broadcast; from his auspicious directing debut with the legendary Citizen Kane in his 20s to the sabotage of his further directing career.

    Karen says: "Great book; average narration"
    "Great book; average narration"
    Overall

    I had read this book several years ago in print--and enjoyed it very much--so was happy to see an audio version available. It's still a great book, but I grew increasingly frustrated with the reader, who had an annoying habit of occasionally emphasizing (to me) the wrong words in sentences--or using an "arch" tone when one wasn't (again, to me) really called for. I found myself editing her narration in my mind, or frequently wondered what the great director himself might have thought of her reading! So, while it's not terrible, a different narrator--say, Edward Herrmann--might have brought this material to life in a way that Ms. Conlin doesn't.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Life Itself: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Roger Ebert
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (355)
    Performance
    (313)
    Story
    (314)

    Roger Ebert is the best-known film critic of our time. He has been reviewing films for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967, and was the first film critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize. He has appeared on television for four decades, including twenty-three years as cohost of Siskel & Ebert at the Movies. In 2006, complications from thyroid cancer treatment resulted in the loss of his ability to eat, drink, or speak. But with the loss of his voice, Ebert has only become a more prolific and influential writer.

    loix says: "mixed feelings"
    "Enjoyable on every level"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved everything about this book--the story of his life, Roger Ebert's wonderful writing style, and Edward Herrmann's flawless recording. There's a lot here for anyone who loves biography or memoir, and all the better if you're a film lover, because he treats us to some terrific profiles of the notable directors and actors he's met along the way. (I've never been a fan of a couple of the directors that Roger writes about in selected chapters, but I feel like I have a new insight into their work and will go back for a second look at some of those films.) I also have a new appreciation for and deep respect for the challenges Roger has faced in his life. He is a man of great depth, humor, intelligence, and compassion. The wonderful thing about an audio book is that you don't always have a sense of how far along you are in the work. I listened to this book over the course of several days and just got lost in it--in the best kind of way. If it had lasted another hundred hours, I would have loved every minute of it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2596)
    Performance
    (1322)
    Story
    (1329)

    Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.”

    Tina says: "Another wonderful Bryson"
    "Material deserves better narration"
    Overall

    I have long been a fan of Bryson's writing, so my problem isn't so much with his material as it is with his narration. I know that he grew up in Iowa but lived abroad for many years, so maybe that explains the somewhat odd accent he has, as well as the British pronunciations of certain words. But what really frustrated me was his inability to pronounce "ing" at the end of a word--burning became "burneen," building became "buildeen," etc. I didn't dislike the book--and I certainly won't give up on Bryson as a writer because he can be delightful--but I wish that I'd read this one in its print version because Bryson's narration really started to grate on me.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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