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David

United States | Listener Since 2008

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 20 ratings
  • 159 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2014
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  • King Solomon's Mines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By H. Rider Haggard
    • Narrated By Toby Stephens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (56)

    On board a ship bound for Natal, adventurer Allan Quatermain meets Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good. His new friends have set out to find Sir Henry's younger brother, who vanished while seeking King Solomon's legendary diamond mines in the African interior. By strange chance, Quatermain has a map to the mines, drawn in blood, and agrees to join the others on their perilous journey.

    Jefferson says: "John Carter and Conan's African Daddy"
    "Toby Stephens is an AMAZING narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about King Solomon's Mines?

    This rollicking tale invented the lost world / jungle opera genre and spawned a host of imitators and hangers-on who variously copied the book’s vibe and ethos or just its specific devices (like the “white witchcraft” of the hunter’s guns or the terrifying of an ignorant native race by pretending to bring on an eclipse which luckily happened to occur just when it was needed. It’s old, colonialist, and racist (though very mildly so in comparison with most of literature of the day), but it’s a humdinger of a thrill ride. Special mention goes to the incredible narrator Toby Stephens, whose accents make it all worthwhile.


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

    The accents! My goodness, the man's accents are AMAZING. I wish I could read books to my kids like that. His reading of Gagool actually made shivers run up and down my spine.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Fellowship of the Ring (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By J.R.R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By An Ensemble Cast
    Overall
    (184)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (104)

    In the ancient lands of Middle-earth, a place of elves and dwarves, Orcs and wizards, the darkest evil and the brightest good, a hobbit named Frodo Baggins embarks on a perilous quest: to carry the One Ring, ruler of all the Rings of Power, into the shadowy land of Mordor and destroy it in the fires where it was forged.

    David says: "Classic stuff!"
    "Classic stuff!"
    Overall

    I used to listen to these on tape when I was a kid, and when I saw them here, I had to download 'em. They're almost as great as I remember. Some of the voice acting is a little off (I'm looking at you, Elrond -- whose idea was that?), but the main characters are great, and the selection of material is excellent. One and three-quarters thumbs up.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • State of Fear

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By George Wilson
    Overall
    (2076)
    Performance
    (499)
    Story
    (505)

    Once again Michael Crichton gives us his trademark combination of page-turning suspense, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary research. State of Fear is a superb blend of edge-of-your-seat suspense and thought provoking commentary on how information is manipulated in the modern world.

    F says: "Did I read the same book as some of you?"
    "Meh"
    Overall

    I recalled reading and liking some of Crichton's books back in high school, so I thought I'd give this one a shot. The audio quality is good, although the narrator seems to be rather lost in some of the more emotional or excited exchanges -- his characters sound mildly peeved when they should be enraged, or slightly put out when they should be terrified.

    I liked the science/philosophy sections of the book. Crichton's discussion of global warming, and his larger discussion of the manipulation of information, is interesting and worth consideration.

    As a novel, however, I really disliked State of Fear. The characters are unreal, from the godlike Kenner to the disgusting Bradley. The plot is (in my humble opinion) ridiculous in the extreme. Characters don't die when real people would, they do things that real people can't do, and they generally operate on a level of skill and information that I have a hard time crediting. I suppose that's what thrillers are all about, but I find it easier to stomach in movies than in books.

    Anyway, your mileage may vary. I suffered through the fiction to get at the philosophy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bleak House

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (332)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (119)

    First published in monthly parts from March 1852 to September 1853, this novel follows the fortunes of three pedestrian characters; Esther Summerson, Ada Clare, and Richard Carstone. The story they tell embondies Dickens' merciless indictment of the Court of Chancery and its bungling, morally corrupt handling of the endless case of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, giving the novel its scope and meaning.

    UU Ma says: "30 hours was too short for me"
    "Incredible"
    Overall

    This is my first review on Audible, but I had to write one after listening to this. The book is fantastic -- one of my favorite Dickens novels, with awesome characters and wordcraft (which is what everyone reads him for, isn't it?) -- but what really makes this audiobook worth it is the narrator. He breathes life into each and every character, and he reads neither too slowly nor too quickly.

    Absolutely A+. I've already convinced a friend to pick this up, and she's enjoying it now.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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