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Jeff

ratings
10
REVIEWS
10
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HELPFUL VOTES
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  • The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Edmund de Waal
    • Narrated By Michael Maloney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (381)
    Performance
    (313)
    Story
    (315)

    The Ephrussis were a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who “burned like a comet” in 19th-century Paris and Vienna society. Yet by the end of World War II, almost the only thing remaining of their vast empire was a collection of 264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox. The renowned ceramicist Edmund de Waal became the fifth generation to inherit this small and exquisite collection of netsuke. Entranced by their beauty and mystery, he determined to trace the story of his family through the story of the collection.

    Amazon Customer says: "A vagabond through history, clutching a tiny carvi"
    "Wonderful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    One of the great strengths of this book is the level of detail it provides. The whole second part of the book was stunning for how vividly it brought to life the world of Vienna both before and during WWII. It was captivating. For the first part of the book, that dealt so much with art, I found the level of detail a bit overwhelming. As someone who knows little about "the art world" and simply isn't drawn to it that much, it felt like it just went on and on sometimes. But the second part more than made up for it.

    It was a powerful experience reading this, and a hugely admirable accomplishment by the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4486)
    Performance
    (2638)
    Story
    (2638)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A performance so poignant, we gave Bronson Pinchot (yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers) our inaugural Narrator of the Year award.... In the monsoon season of 1968-69 at a fire support base called Matterhorn, located in the remote mountains of Vietnam, a young and ambitious Marine lieutenant wants to command a company to further his civilian political ambitions. But two people stand in his way.

    Zachary says: "Matterhorn"
    "A great book and a great read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Masterful story crafting and masterful reading. This book completely grabbed hold of me and immersed me completely in this world. Does a wonderful job of showing the humanity and heroism of the people fighting while also showing the absolute futility and wastefulness of the war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Known World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Edward P. Jones
    • Narrated By Kevin Free
    Overall
    (485)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (97)

    Henry Townsend, a black farmer, bootmaker, and former slave, has a fondness for Paradise Lost and an unusual mentor, William Robbins, perhaps the most powerful white man in antebellum Virginia's Manchester County. Under Robbins's tutelage, Henry becomes proprietor of his own plantation, as well as of his own slaves. When he dies, his widow Caldonia succumbs to profound grief, and things begin to fall apart.

    Rachel says: "wonderful and highly recommended"
    "An amazing, subtle, complex book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Known World?

    The plot of this book and the characters are complex and subtle enough to completely immerse you in their world which feels so real and compelling. The level of detail makes the story extremely rich without bogging it down at all. A powerful exploration of human nature.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Jonathan Aris, Paula Wilcox
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1503)
    Performance
    (728)
    Story
    (728)

    In 1799, the artificial island of Dejima lies in Nagasaki Harbor as Japan’s outpost for the Dutch East Indies Company. There, Jacob de Zoet has come to make a fortune large enough to return to Holland and marry the woman he loves.

    Michael Cox says: "Less about the arrival more about the ride"
    "Entertaining..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The plot was entertaining, but just a bit crazy enough to turn me off at times. I mean, so far as I can tell, nothing like the nefarious activities that go on at the temple actually happened. Or if they did, perhaps that could be made a bit clearer so I could accept it more easily. The reading was strong early on, but it did get annoying that the Japanese characters were given English, Irish, etc., accents in the chapters with only Japanese characters.

    The rich detail of much of the story was captivating and definitely made this a very enjoyable read. It also means that while much of thos book is pretty forgettable, many specific aspects of it definitely stick with me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Four Fires

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (1155)
    Performance
    (809)
    Story
    (804)

    The four fires in this story are passion, religion, warfare, and fire itself. While there are many more fires that drive the human spirit, love being perhaps the brightest flame of all, it is these four that have moulded us most as Australian people. The four fires give us our sense of place and, for better or for worse, shape our national character.

    Robert says: "Hit in the solar plexus"
    "Very enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The reading of this was excellent, and certainly enhanced the experience. I came to realize what people meant when they criticized the book for everything always working out just right. The characters were extremely likable, and they weren't without their share of sometimes intense problems, but I actually found myself a few times wishing the author didn't have to make everything so neat and sweet.

    The range of experiences covered and the fact that everyone was indeed so likable made this a great read in itself, but also a good antidote to the experience I feel I often have where I'm like, "Does everything have to always NOT work out?"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27622)
    Performance
    (14213)
    Story
    (14265)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "Wonderful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The story and the characters are powerful, and the book is great in both highlighting the overt but also the subtle ways racism plays out. This was one of those books where I didn't want it to end. I loved the reading and have to say this book ranks as a favorite.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13164)
    Performance
    (10767)
    Story
    (10890)

    This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

    Joanna says: "Wow!"
    "Gotcha!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The characters and plot line are so archtypal at times, especially the macho-ness of the main character and his understudy, that it turned me off, but the story and the reading are so captivating and vivid, and the story is so danged interesting that I became addicted and whizzed through all of Name of the Wind and the sequel, and now am waiting eagerly for the third part.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Farewell Waltz: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Milan Kundera, Aaron Asher (translator)
    • Narrated By Richmond Hoxie
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    In this dark farce of a novel, set in an old-fashioned Central European spa town, eight characters are swept up in an accelerating dance: a pretty nurse and her repairman boyfriend; an oddball gynecologist; a rich American (at once saint and Don Juan); a popular trumpeter and his beautiful, obsessively jealous wife; an disillusioned former political prisoner about to leave his country and his young woman ward. Farewell Waltz poses the most serious questions with a blasphemous lightness that makes us see that the modern world has deprived us even of the right to tragedy.

    Jeff says: "Bleh"
    "Bleh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I haven't read Kundera in a long time, but I remember really loving his work. So perhaps when others said this wasn't a typical Kundera, I should have paid more attention. The story had just enough interesting reflections on life and love to keep me going, but I almost quit a few times. I feel like the reading was also a bit annoying, but it could be that it was simply a faithful rendering of a story I didn't enjoy that much.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sense of an Ending: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Julian Barnes
    • Narrated By Richard Morant
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (900)
    Performance
    (769)
    Story
    (771)

    Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumor, and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is retired. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove.

    Chris Reich says: "Stunning. I'm Guilty. Are You?"
    "A fine story and reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    If I had a friend who was interested in reading this book, I'd say go for it. It's interesting in its character development and plot. But I wouldn't recommend someone go out of their way for it. The reading was fine -- it didn't add or detract from the experience.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
    • Narrated By Paul Baymer, Susan Duerden, Roselyn Landor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3335)
    Performance
    (1502)
    Story
    (1504)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The best book club you’ve never heard of – but will be eager to join, courtesy of a full cast of true characters. January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb....

    Kent says: "MUCH better than I ever expected! Give it a try!"
    "Wonderful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    Wonderfully entertaining while also deeply moving and meaningful. A favorite that I'm listening to again right away.


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

    This was one of the best narrated books I have listened to.


    Any additional comments?

    It has, for me, a rather abrupt tie-everything-up ending, that would have been far more satisfying to draw out a bit in line with the delicious pace of the rest of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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