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Sedona, AZ, United States | Member Since 2002

  • 11 reviews
  • 134 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2014

  • Crime and Punishment (Recorded Books Edition)

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment is universally regarded as one of literature's finest achievements, as the great Russian novelist explores the inner workings of a troubled intellectual. Raskolnikov, a nihilistic young man in the midst of a spiritual crisis, makes the fateful decision to murder a cruel pawnbroker, justifying his actions by relying on science and reason, and creating his own morality system. Dehumanized yet sympathetic, exhausted yet hopeful, Raskolnikov represents the best and worst elements of modern intellectualism. The aftermath of his crime and Petrovich's murder investigation result in an utterly compelling, truly unforgettable cat-and-mouse game. This stunning dramatization of Dostoevsky's magnum opus brings the slums of St. Petersburg and the demons of Raskolnikov's tortured mind vividly to life.

    Greg says: "Wonderful Book"
    "Masterful narration of a masterpiece"

    I have read Dostoevsky's masterpiece in the past and wanted to reread it but considered it a huge chore. Instead, I decided to listen to George Guidall's rendition because of my past enjoyment of his amazing gift as a catalyst between the written word and the spoken word.. The audiobook immediately captured my interest and attention in a way that reading the book never did. Guidall made the characters come alive. How a narrator could carefully enunciate all the Russian names and give them separate voices and fully express the emotions and meaning in the text seemed such a wonderful feat, that I felt an obligation to tell potential listeners that they should not be afraid to invest the 25 plus hours to enjoy one of the greatest classics of world literature.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "A Great American Generation X Gothic Novel"

    Although this novel may not be considered really great literature in itself, it certainly is a great audio listening experience. The dual voices corresponding to the narrative voices of the principal characters, Amy and Nick, capture the listener for the entire nineteen plus hours.
    Gillian Flynn creates these two great characters who epitomize so much of what is perceived as the narcissistic American Generation X. The characters are developed through first-person narration alternating between Amy and Nick that drives the suspenseful plot forward. Flynn presents the reader/listener with the challenge of the "unreliable narrator."
    In additional to the character-driven aspect of the novel, there is strong emphasis on the role of the media and justice systems in our society as a basis for the skepticism and distrust of both these institutions.
    The plot is not only credible but is tightly woven and captivating. The twists and denouement are masterful. If by Gothic literature we refer to a study of the dark side of human nature, this novel fills the bill and is well worth the time as well as the emotions it will generate.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fuzzy Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton, John Scalzi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In John Scalzi's re-imagining of H. Beam Piper's 1962 sci-fi classic Little Fuzzy, written with the full cooperation of the Piper Estate, Jack Holloway works alone for reasons he doesnt care to talk about. Hundreds of miles from ZaraCorps headquarters on planet, 178 light-years from the corporations headquarters on Earth, Jack is content as an independent contractor, prospecting and surveying at his own pace. As for his past, thats not up for discussion.

    Samuel Montgomery-Blinn says: "Short, sweet, and satisfying storytelling."
    "Skip Part 1;Listen to Part 2 (Little Fuzzy)"

    This audio recording is actually two novels. Part 2 is the original SF novel written by H. Beam Piper(written in 1962) and is a worthwhile piece of science fiction with excellent narration of the Holloway character. The attempt by John Scalzi to produce a followup novel on the characters of the original is a sad failure. About one-half the novel is really dialogue about legal wranglings and wise-cracking from John Holloway with his last name perhaps being a reflection of his character. It has the negative combination of predictability of outcome, improbability of action, and sentimentality.
    I wonder if many of the postive reviews may have been for the clever and prescient novel by Piper.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Song of Hiawatha

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs)
    • By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    • Narrated By William Hootkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Longfellow's great narrative poem has been unjustly neglected in recent years though it gives a sympathetic portrait especially of Hiawatha, reared by Nokomis, daughter of the Moon, and his bride Minehaha.

    Doris says: "More fascinating than I expected"
    "American Classic That Comes Alive With Reading"

    This great American epic poem was once a standard in American education but faded in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries when American Romanticism became passe. I had always wanted to read it but was dissuaded by English professors. By chance I found a printed edition with illustrations by Frederick Remington that I had in my personal library for years. I went to and found the poem narrated by Hootkins. After listening to a sample, I decided to listen to the poem while reading it. This combination of written and spoken reinforced the teaching that poetry must be really heard to be appreciated. The four hours I spent were a wonderful appreciation of the genius of Longfellow and the ability of a great reading to make an old poem come alive. For those of you who love classic literature and have not experienced this poem before, the four hours with book and headset will be rewarding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By S. J. Watson
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy

    "As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me...." Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love - all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may be telling you only half the story. Welcome to Christine's life.

    Tim says: "Couldn't put this book down!"
    "Tedious Narrative with Emotive Reading"
    This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This novel is for those who are interested in emotional stories with mysteries and who are willing to put up with tenuous solutions to complexites. The listener must be able to tolerate a British accent that quite frequently gives hysterical readings of the mind of the principle character.

    What was most disappointing about S. J. Watson???s story?

    The most disappointing aspect of this novel was its lack of proper editing. There is seemingly unending mental machinations of the first person narrator that makes the listener plead for some real action outside of the mind. At least a third of the novel is comprised of descriptions and thoughts that fail to move the action or bring any significant information to the listener.

    Did Orlagh Cassidy do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    It is essential that any potential listener first sample the reading in order to determine whether he or she can tolerate 11 1/2 hours of the same voice trying to differentiate four characters without great distinction.

    What character would you cut from Before I Go to Sleep?

    Since there are really only four characters in the whole novel, none can really be eliminated, although Claire's very limited role adds little.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Master

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Colm Toibin
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Howard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In The Master, his brilliant and profoundly moving fifth novel, Colm Toibin tells the story of Henry James, a famous novelist born into one of America's intellectual first families two decades before the Civil War. James left his country to live in Paris, Rome, Venice, and London among privileged artists and writers.

    Kathy says: "Perfect"
    "Interesting for the Lovers of James' Fiction"

    Perhaps this might be called an 'organic novel' with the style reminiscent of the style of the subject of the novel. This is not a biography of Henry James, although it does have those important biographical events that Toibin feels contributes to the development of James as a man and as an author. There is a great deal of the James family history inserted into this novel, but for the James fan, R.W.B. Lewis' "The James: A Family Narrative" will be far more satisfying. For someone who has not read a lot of Henry James, Toibin's allusions to James' novels and short stories will probably be lost. This is hardly a page turner and best left to the Henry James fans to read at leisure some time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Live Wire: A Myron Bolitar Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Steven Weber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Myron Bolitar has always dreamed about the femme fatale walking into his office and asking for help. The woman standing in his doorway has killer curves all right: She’s eight months pregnant, which kind of ruins the fantasy. Former tennis star Suzze T and her rock star husband, Lex, are both clients, and over the years Myron has negotiated his share of contracts for the power pair. But now Lex has disappeared and Suzze is in tears, fearing the online rumors questioning the baby’s paternity have driven away Lex.

    Donald says: "The narrator is important"

    For those of you used to great plots, actions, and characters in the multiple outstanding Coben novels "Live Wire" may well be a disappointment. First of all, the plot and resolution are so improbable that most readers will say "Huh?" Secondly, this novel is dominated by wise-cracking dialogue to such an extent that it is irritating. Finally, superhero Windsor Horne Lockwood III, with his omniscience, omnipotence, and infinite wisdom, wealth, and power, belongs more in a comic book than a novel. The reader knows that no matter what seemingly impossible situation Myron Bolitar gets into, Win will figure out a way to rescue him and punish the evil doer. Hopefully, Coben will end the dynamic duo with this novel and use his great talent to bring us back to the quality we have come to expect from his earlier novels.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Confession: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    An innocent man is about to be executed. Only a guilty man can save him. Travis Boyette is such a man. In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, he abducted, raped, and strangled a popular high-school cheerleader. He buried her body so that it would never be found, then watched in amazement as police and prosecutors arrested and convicted Donté Drumm, a local football star, and marched him off to death row.

    Suzn F says: "I confess, I loved it!"
    "A Sermon Wrapped in a Melodrama"

    I have read most of Grisham's "legal thrillers" and found them enjoyable. I found him best in his lyrical novels "Bleachers" and "Painted House." The current novel is a thinly masked diatribe against capital punishment and Texans in general and the Texas legal system specifically. He creates cardboard characters, hard-to-imagine circumstances of injustice, malice, and incompetence with melodramatic races against time. His obvious targeting of Texans is exemplified by labeling non-lawyer Texas males as "bubbas." He reverts to not infrequent purple prose--the worst example being that of the mother of a wrongly executed young man washing his genitals and bemoaning the loss of the future children he might have sired. In summary, even anti death penalty readers would do better to read any of his earlier novels than labor through this very predictable attempt to reform society. A Harriet Beecher Stowe and Upton Sinclair Grisham is not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Die Trying

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In a Chicago suburb, a dentist is met in his office parking lot by three men and ordered into the trunk of his Lexus. On a downtown sidewalk, Jack Reacher and an unknown woman are abducted in broad daylight by two men - practiced and confident - who stop them at gunpoint and hustle them into the same sedan.

    Keith says: "not the best but okay"
    "Exciting Beginning...Tedious Middle and Ending"

    A good conspiracy, action novel needs to grip you from the start. Lee Child does this in his first chapter. He then begins character development. The hero and heroine are there from the start as Jack Reacher and Holly Johnson are kidnapped off a Chicago street with no opposition or even apparent notice. The kidnappers themselves are cardboard figures. The pursuers are the FBI and Holly's father who is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We slowly learn that the conspiracy plot centers on a sociopath in Montana named Bo Borkin who has formed a militia that is planning on seceding from the Union on the 4th of July. Everything in the rest of the novel depends upon the listener(reader) buying into tremendous improbabilities, including the willingness of the FBI and military to be blackmailed and put the lives of numerous personnel in danger to rescue Holly. Jack Reacher is portrayed as an omniscient and omnipotent Superman with Bo Borkin being the quintessential Lex Luther.
    The narration by Dick Hill is clearly the strongest part of this recording. However, he can do only so much with trite dialog and tedious descriptions. The author seems to have an obsession with ballistics. A good 15-20 minutes is occupied with detailed descriptions of weapons and the velocities and paths of bullets. The resolution is pure Hollywood. I read only unabridged works. However, I wish this one had been abridged by the author or editor before going to press.
    All this said, it is still adequate entertainment.

    4 of 5 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

    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!"
    "A True Masterpiece!"

    Seldom does one find a novel with a wonderful combination of setting, plot, characters, and style. 'The Help' provides all of these. Add to this the rare combination of multiple narrators who have a wide range of accents, distinctive voices, and superb diction and you have the perfect narrated novel. Don't miss this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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