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Mark

Danville, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

ratings
38
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
6

  • The Grapes of Wrath (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Shirley Knight, Jeffrey Donovan, Emily Bergl, and others
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (27)

    Based on the epic novel by Nobel Laureate John Steinbeck. Set during the Great Depression, tells the powerful story of the Joad family’s trek from the dust bowl of Oklahoma to the promise of a new life in California. But what they find threatens to rip apart their lives, and sever the ties that bind them together.

    Kenneth says: "Dramatization killed it for me"
    "Mostly Average..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Grapes of Wrath (Dramatized)? What did you like least?

    The cast of characters to play the roles of the principles in the book, the Job family did a very good job with the dialog and it was very good.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story of the family hardships was well described and pretty much followed the book.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scenes in the camps were the best.


    Do you think The Grapes of Wrath (Dramatized) needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Not really. Besides those times are past and Steinbeck is no longer with us.


    Any additional comments?

    I think this audio version was a little bit too short, and maybe I should have chosen one that was a little more fleshed out with more detail in the story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Chariots of the Gods

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erich von Daniken
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (388)
    Performance
    (330)
    Story
    (323)

    Erich von Däniken's Chariots of the Gods is a work of monumental importance---the first book to introduce the shocking theory that ancient Earth was visited by aliens. This world-famous best seller has withstood the test of time, inspiring countless books and films, including the author's own popular sequel, The Eye of the Sphinx.

    Neal says: "Answers? No. But if you wish to think it's great!"
    "One of the Best Books Ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Chariots of the Gods in three words, what would they be?

    Fresh New Look


    What other book might you compare Chariots of the Gods to and why?

    It is like no other book written. When it first came out in 1968, it was an eye-opener for many people. The theories as to the actual construction and the purposes of many ancient artifacts were given a curve ball to hit. I bought the paperback version in 1972 as a high school teenager, and read the book with an open mind. Not being a scholar, but just someone wanting to absorb any new material on UFOs, I thought the book was kinda refreshing way of looking at ancient history.


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

    No


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

    Yes, being only a short book, it could be listened to in a couple of days.


    Any additional comments?

    My mother and me saw a UFO one night back in 1978 in our backyard in Kentucky. It was unexpected, and neither of us acknowledged what we had seen until the moment passed, but I knew that I did not see this UFO alone, and confirmed it with my mom, just seconds after seeing a very large, dark object about the size of a football field pass slowly over us blocking out the stars while we were watching the Persieds Meteor shower. So as far as UFOs being here, I am convinced.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22914)
    Performance
    (9561)
    Story
    (9635)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Outstanding Murder Mystery.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is very much a book I would recommend to a friend. I read the Kindle version first, and wanted to hear the Audible version. If you are into whodunits, then this is a great story with a surprise ending. I didn't expect the book to end this way, and the author did not telegraph the ending by leaving too many clues.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mikael Blomvist is my favorite character in the story because I could identify with him. I used to be a newspaper reporter, and know what it is like to get into a story and hang on until you find the answers you are looking for, and solve a mystery.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    All the scenes with Lisabeth Salander were the best. Larson's seemed to understand what was going on inside the mind of this girl, and her lack of emotional response to the traumas of her life were well written.


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

    Yes, when Mikael first encountered Lisabeth in her home when he found out who had written the report on him. He really unnerved Lisabeth, when she discovered that was someone just a good at investigations as she was. I thought it was pretty funny, and well written.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this book to anyone.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Word of Promise Complete Audio Bible: NKJV

    • UNABRIDGED (98 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Thomas Nelson, Inc.
    • Narrated By Jason Alexander, Joan Allen, Richard Dreyfuss, and others
    Overall
    (1956)
    Performance
    (1271)
    Story
    (1275)

    This faithful rendering of the New King James Version presents the Bible in more than 90 hours of compelling, dramatic audio theater format.This world-class audio production immerses listeners in the dramatic reality of the Scriptures as never before with an original music score by composer Stefano Mainetti (Abba Pater), feature film quality sound effects, and compelling narration by Michael York and the work of over 500 actors.

    Nancy says: "Majestic listening"
    "Best Bible on Audio EVER..!!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Word of Promise Complete Audio Bible: NKJV in three words, what would they be?

    This is a well acted, astonishing well produced presentation. I have owned 4 different Bibles on tape, CD and this one is by far the best. Michael York is probably one of the best ever actors for voice.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like the blending of quiet music that did not detract from the story but aided in the telling.


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

    Michael York, of course. He is one of the best.


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

    I loved the telling of Genesis. I listened to the first 4 hours non-stop, and believe me, I never do that. But the reading, presentation of this story is fantastic.


    Any additional comments?

    Buy, buy this book and I highly recommend this Bible over all others.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

    • ABRIDGED (18 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Vincent Bugliosi
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    Overall
    (368)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (166)

    Polls reveal that 85 percent of Americans believe there was a conspiracy behind Lee Harvey Oswald. Some even believe Oswald was entirely innocent. In this encyclopedic, absorbing audiobook, Vincent Bugliosi shows how the public has come to believe such lies about the day that changed the course of history. Bugliosi has devoted almost 20 years of his life to this project, and is determined to show that, despite the overwhelming popular perception, Oswald killed Kennedy and acted alone.

    Lawrence D. Clayton says: "On an equal footing with Helter Skelter"
    "Oswald acted Alone...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Reclaiming History the most enjoyable?

    The recounting of the tale that led up to the death, funeral of John Kennedy is historical in the sense that I can remember, when listening to this book, of the immense saddness we all felt over his death. I was a little boy then, and had seen the President when he came to Hannau, Germany, so I knew who he was when he died just a short time afterwards.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The plotline of following Oswald along was fascinating, from the time he was abandoned by his father, to his repeated failures in life that led to the one seminal moment when in his own madness he decided to kill the President. Everything about how he acted, what he said to his wife, his few acquaintances, points to the fact that he acted alone, since in fact he was a loner. How could a man like this conspire with anyone, since he was arrogant, obnoxious and not a team player to act in concert with anyone? No conspiracy existed.


    What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

    I bought this book primarily because of Edward Hermann. He along with Grover Gardner, Scott Brick and Marc Thompson are your best story tellers. Mr Herman's Einstein and Unbroken were excellent.


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

    The Warren Report


    Any additional comments?

    It reconfirmed my belief that conspiracy theories are just nonsense. Oliver Stone did a hatchet job on the American history, and convinced generations of Americans that Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy: He was not.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9087)
    Performance
    (4798)
    Story
    (4870)

    Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

    Joshua says: "Wonderful production!"
    "Best Science Fiction - Fantsy Book Every"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Dune again? Why?

    I have listened to the book maybe a dozen times? and it is over 21 hours long. But the Audible version is just as good as the original print version of this book. I read when I was in high school 40 years ago, and the plot line of new world, religion, messiah, danger, family love, and loyalty was woven together with the thought-lines of Paul Atredies, and his family, and enemies in such a way, that you knew they believed in themselves, but yet there were doubts about their future together on this new planet of Arrrakis, Dune - Desert Planet. I read and reread the book dozens of times, and now I have the Audible version. Excellent book, and if you are new to science fiction, this is the first book on your shelf.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Dune?

    The time when Paul faced his fears over and over again. Especially the first instance when he faced the gom jabbar of the reverend mother.

    I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    The character of Paul was performed excellently, and was the character of the Baron Harkonnen. Piter DeVries gets an excellent performance, too.


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

    I took from it a sense of history, since it was written from a historical point backwards from the Princess Irulan, Paul's wife in name only.


    Any additional comments?

    Buy this book, it is well worth the credit, and you listen to it over and over again. For fans of the book, you will not be disappointed, like the original movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In Cold Blood

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Truman Capote
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2180)
    Performance
    (979)
    Story
    (980)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s a story that most people know, told here in an unforgettable way – an audio masterpiece that rivals the best thrillers, thanks to Capote genre-defining words and Brick’s subtle but powerful characterizations. On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.

    Lisa says: "Still the Best"
    "Astonishing Book, Engrossing Story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to In Cold Blood again? Why?

    Yes, it comes across as a fictionalized account of a mass murder, rather than just a who done it novel.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The book is a very, very good psychological profile of these two men who were serial criminals, but got caught up in their own personal feud. It left me wondering how it would end for the murderers.


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

    This one is a very good performance by Brick. He is a very good narrator.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    This was the first of its kind, true crime story, and set the standards for this genre of non-fiction.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: Legacy of the Force #2: Bloodlines

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Karen Traviss
    • Narrated By Marc Thompson
    Overall
    (343)
    Performance
    (155)
    Story
    (154)

    Civil war looms as the fledgling Galactic Alliance confronts a growing number of rebellious worlds - and the approaching war is tearing the Skywalker and Solo families apart. Han and Leia return to Han's homeworld, Corellia, the heart of the resistance. Their children, Jacen and Jaina, are soldiers in the Galactic Alliance's campaign to crush the insurgents.

    Trent says: "Very well done! A great series continues!"
    "Better than the first."
    Overall

    This is the 2nd in a series of nine books: Legacy of the Force. I can tell you it is much better than the first, since there is more personal actions involving the feud growing between the Bobba Fett clan, the Solo clan with Jaycen being the growing nemesis, and Luke growing concern of the dark side consuming his nephew, Jaycen. Also, there is an interesting chapter with Han and Bobba Fett, that reveals a great deal of the characters of both men, and the surprising interaction between them in what happens to Thrackan Sal Solo.

    Overall, I would give this book 4 1/2 stars compared with 4 1/4 stars for the first book, primarily because of the interactions between the families, and how Ben Skywalker is now being forced into a corner between choosing his dad and mom, over his friendship and learning under Jaycen Solo.

    I read the book in paperback, but still enjoyed the abridged version, since it cut out a lot of wasted time in listening and saved money (credit) on the longer version of the book being taped. But it would not hurt to have all the book, still the book was very, very enjoyable. I am now listening to the 3rd in the series..!!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: Legacy of the Force #1: Betrayal

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Aaron Allston
    • Narrated By Marc Thompson
    Overall
    (429)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (188)

    Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master, has unified the Jedi order into a cohesive group of powerful knights. But as the new era begins, honor and duty will collide with friendship and blood ties. The Skywalker and Solo clans find themselves on opposing sides of an explosive conflict, with potentially devastating repercussions for both families, for the Jedi order, and for the entire galaxy.

    Trent says: "Very well done! Worth a listen!"
    "Abridged Books - Yes..!!"
    Overall

    The story follows every plotline in the book, and by cutting out the extraneous waste, you lose nothing in the story, and you save a good chunk of money that you for book sizes that becoming all to long. The lead-in story to the downfall of Jacen Solo is great, and the tie-in with the dark force MineOcks is great.!! I am a fan of Star Wars, but not a fanatic, so I missed almost all of the book that precede this new series, but I discovered that you really don't need this as long as you understand who the main characters are from the original Star Wars movies. I look forward to listening to all the series.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10948)
    Performance
    (6965)
    Story
    (6997)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Anastasia Burke says: "Hillenbrand could make even laundry fascinating!"
    "Well-told Story"
    Overall

    The story is amazing, and the narrator does a very good job of portraying the emotions of Zamperini throughout the story. Credit is due to the author of the story for crafting a book, which you cannot stop listening to, and written in such a way to make it easy on the ear. If it weren't a true story, you wouldn't believe that such a thing could happen to any man, but the participation in the Olympics, to being interred in Japan during the last two years of the war, the final resolution of the book gives you a sense of completion to a well-told story.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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