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Andrew

Northport, AL, United States | Member Since 2012

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
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  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By James Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Norton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (228)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (113)

    This fictionalized portrait of Joyce's youth is one of the most vivid accounts of the growth from childhood to adulthood. Dublin at the turn of the century provides the backdrop as Stephen Dedalus moves from town and society, towards the irrevocable decision to leave. It was the decision made by Joyce himself which resulted in the mature novels of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.

    J. says: "Excellent audio book"
    "Did not meet my expectations"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man better?

    Not going to correct Joyce, but it does not suit what I prefer to read.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Thank goodness that is over. Now I can move on to something else.


    What aspect of Jim Norton’s performance would you have changed?

    Nothing really. He did a better job than I could have done.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man?

    None. I would have added other scenes to show how the first scenes more directly contributed to the end result of the artist. But really, who am I to judge Joyce? That would be my personal preference.


    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9558)
    Performance
    (8672)
    Story
    (8744)

    In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.

    linda says: "Well, I don't know what I was expecting"
    "Thoughtfully Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Dan Brown and/or Paul Michael?

    Paul Michael is brillant and Dan Brown presents some very formidable discussion through his novels. I would try another book without question.


    If you’ve listened to books by Dan Brown before, how does this one compare?

    This is my first Dan Brown novel to listen to via audible, but I have read the rest of the Robert Langdon series. DaVinci Code is still my personal favorite, followed by Lost Symbol and then probably Inferno. In my opinion the writing for Inferno was subpar (examples: many repeated words within paragraph or chapter and some setting descriptions detracted from the flow of the story) but I especially enjoyed the resolution perhaps moreso than any of his novels other than DaVinci Code. I also liked learning about the facts of Dante's life and work.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Without giving away too much information I enjoyed the chase scenes at the beginning and ending. Both are very vivid and easy to imagine.


    Did Inferno inspire you to do anything?

    I read a few blurbs on wikipedia about St. Mark's in Venice. Does that count?


    Any additional comments?

    I appreciate the time and the research that the author took to complete this novel. It is by no means perfect, but it is thoughtfully entertaining.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Stephanie Cowell
    • Narrated By Christopher Cazenove
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    In the mid-19th century, a young man named Claude Monet decided that he would rather endure a difficult life painting landscapes than take over his fathers nautical supplies business in a French seaside town. Against his fathers will, and with nothing but a dream and an insatiable urge to create a new style of art that repudiated the Classical Realism of the time, he set off for Paris.

    Andrew says: "Camille & Claude (more like it)"
    "Camille & Claude (more like it)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A remarkable story that captures the couple's codependency while not taking away from the strength of their characters. It is easy for the reader to fall in love with Camille just as Claude has done. The author has created a significant achievement and the reader only enhances the quality of work. I thoroughly enjoyed this listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, 'Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer'

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Anne-Marie O'Connor
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (34)

    The Lady in Gold, considered an unforgettable masterpiece, one of the 20th century's most recognizable paintings, made headlines all over the world when Ronald Lauder bought it for $135 million a century after Klimt, the most famous Austrian painter of his time, completed the society portrait. Anne-Marie O'Connor, writer for the Washington Post, formerly of the Los Angeles Times, tells the galvanizing story of the Lady in Gold, Adele Bloch-Bauer, a dazzling Viennese Jewish society figure.

    michael says: "This audio allows you feel this art history"
    "Power of art past and present"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend it to anyone interested in art history, WWII, Austrian history, Jewish culture and art law.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Not really a character driven plot. Can't say that I particularly liked any of them. I certainly appreciate Klimt, Adele and her posterity.


    What three words best describe Coleen Marlo’s performance?

    Bedtime story reader. She has a very soothing voice that sometimes made me sleepy despite being interested in the details of the story.


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

    Yes, but I'm afraid I might spoil it for future listeners.


    Any additional comments?

    I really liked the writing style of the author. She included virtually no unneccessary information and tied the past in beautifully with the present making the story feel relevant to even a casual reader such as myself.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Tale of Two Cities [Tantor]

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (822)
    Performance
    (623)
    Story
    (652)

    A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens's most exciting novels. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, it tells the story of a family threatened by the terrible events of the past. Doctor Manette was wrongly imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years without trial by the aristocratic authorities.

    Teddy says: "Truly a Classic"
    "The Rewards of Sacrifice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to A Tale of Two Cities the most enjoyable?

    I loved everything after the year 1789. I did not quite understand where the novel was heading until that year in the novel. Up until this point the novel contains a lot of details that the reader assumes come into play later, but it wasn't until the last third that the intention became clear to me.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Carton. I also liked the Manettes too.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    Simon Vance is a rock star. No particular character stood out to me.


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

    Not exactly, but the last third was about as intense as you'll find in a classic of this sort.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Therese Anne Fowler
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (403)
    Performance
    (357)
    Story
    (357)

    Picture a late-May morning in 1918, a time when Montgomery wore her prettiest spring dress and finest floral perfume - same as I would wear that evening.... Thus begins the story of beautiful, reckless, 17-year-old Zelda Sayre on the day she meets Lieutenant Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald at a country club dance. Fitzgerald isn’t rich or settled; no one knows his people; and he wants, of all things, to be a writer in New York. No matter how wildly in love they may be, Zelda’s father firmly opposes the match....

    L.W. says: "Great! From the first page to the last....."
    "Could have been so much more."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not to just any friend, but I would recommend it to someone with interest in Paris, Jazz Age, Fitzgerald and/or Southern Lit. I never saw Zelda's charisma until Hemingway arrives. In fact Zelda's character is only relative to the men she meets.


    What was most disappointing about Therese Anne Fowler’s story?

    The Fitzgerald-Hemingway relationship. I realize that it is first person narrative, which is Zelda and she had her sanity issues so you never know how faithful the narrative is, but in the afterward the author seems to exonerate her from this condition. The author's implication that there was more than just friendship between the authors seemed a bit OTT.


    Which character – as performed by Jenna Lamia – was your favorite?

    Zelda first and Hemingway second. Fitzgerald a distant last.


    Could you see Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Zelda- Emma Stone
    Hemingway- James Franco
    Fitz- Ryan Gosling
    Hadley- Mireille Enos


    Any additional comments?

    Most of my comments might seem negative, but I looked forward to listening to this novel every day. The author writes very well. The characterizations needed a little bit more attention in my opinion.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • War and Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (61 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (1163)
    Performance
    (626)
    Story
    (622)

    Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is clearly seen in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle, all of them fully realized and equally memorable.

    Diana says: "Glad I finally decided to read it"
    "Power, Freedom and Life's Contradictions"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to War and Peace again? Why?

    I would listen to the last half again yes. I would listen to the epilogue several times after that.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    O Jerusalem


    What aspect of Frederick Davidson’s performance would you have changed?

    His performance was EPIC! The editing and mixing was at times very distracting.


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

    I found the first half challenging because it was so tedious. The next third was entertaining. The remainder was challenging because of its philosophizing nature, but it might have been my favorite part. I had to rewind several times to make sure that I captured everything.


    Any additional comments?

    Know your Napoleon history before you begin.Don't put it down. Keep pushing. It is worth it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17741)
    Performance
    (7943)
    Story
    (7977)

    Lisbeth Salander—the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels—lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority.

    B.J. says: "Perfect."
    "Impressive conclusion to a terrific series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would rank it in the 10-15 range. I enjoyed Simon Vance's performance and the story is very compelling.


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

    Yes and no. The middle is somewhat stagnate, but it contributes to the pace at the end.


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

    Simon Vance is rock solid in all of his performances!


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

    The trial


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Les Miserables

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Victor Hugo
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (1115)
    Performance
    (527)
    Story
    (534)

    Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Miserables follows Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor. Despite this, he is haunted by an impulsive former crime and is pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert.

    Kathryn says: "one happy insomniac"
    "WORTH IT!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Les Miserables rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    1 or 2; Don Quixote being the only other that compares.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The redemption of JVJ.


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

    No.


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

    Hell no! It's 57 hrs. long plus I had to pause it throughout just so I could ponder about what was said.Way too dense for one sitting. What kind of question is that?


    Any additional comments?

    Careful because it will ruin the story in the play/movie. There is so much pertinent information omitted that it might make you sick how much the remove.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: A George Smiley Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By John le Carre
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (450)
    Performance
    (394)
    Story
    (391)

    The man he knew as "Control" is dead, and the young Turks who forced him out now run the Circus. But George Smiley isn't quite ready for retirement-especially when a pretty, would-be defector surfaces with a shocking accusation: a Soviet mole has penetrated the highest level of British Intelligence. Relying only on his wits and a small, loyal cadre, Smiley recognizes the hand of Karla - his Moscow Centre nemesis - and sets a trap to catch the traitor.

    carl801 says: "Le Carre remains the gold standard"
    "Novel and movie very complimentary"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy again? Why?

    Yes probably so.


    What other book might you compare Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy to and why?

    The Godfather; at times methodical but very well constructed.


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

    A voice.


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

    Not really; One sitting is a bit of a stretch but there were times when I did not want to stop.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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