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sam

Dardanelle, AR, United States | Member Since 2007

ratings
132
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
6

  • Becoming King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Making of a National Leader: Civil Rights and the Struggle for Black Equality in the Twentieth Century

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Troy Jackson
    • Narrated By Andrew L. Barnes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In Becoming King: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Making of a National Leader, author Troy Jackson chronicles King's emergence and effectiveness as a civil rights leader by examining his relationship with the people of Montgomery, Alabama. Using the sharp lens of Montgomery's struggle for racial equality to investigate King's burgeoning leadership, Jackson explores King's ability to connect with the educated and the unlettered, professionals and the working class.

    sam says: "good book, weak reader"
    "good book, weak reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book offers useful and interesting context for the familiar story of the 1955 bus boycott. The reader, however, needed guidance and direction. He misreads/mispronounces a number of words (did he leave his reading glasses at home?) and tries to "do voices" for quoted material from MLK and various other figures. His MLK impersonation is so bad as to sound mocking and the women's voices (always a problem with male readers) are foolish sounding. I'm not even going to try describing his attempts to voice various cracker sheriffs and politicians . . .

    The book is worth a listen in spite of the reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Member of the Wedding

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Carson McCullers
    • Narrated By Susan Sarandon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (201)
    Performance
    (179)
    Story
    (177)

    The best way to experience this classic of the American South is by joining five-time Academy Award nominee and Best Actress winner Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking, Thelma & Louise) as she guides the listener on a journey through the anguish of adolescence and isolation.

    FanB14 says: "It's a Classic People"
    "lovely book, disappointing reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like Susan Sarandon as an actress, but she simply isn't very good here. She reads awkwardly. Sentences tumble out as if she had never seen one before. Is this lack of preparation? Lack of direction? Compared to Cherry Jones astonishingly nuanced and vivid reading of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, this is almost a complete loss--and, sadly, there's not likely to be another audio version of this novel anytime soon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Involuntary Witness: Guido Guerrieri Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Gianrico Carofiglio
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (633)
    Performance
    (552)
    Story
    (551)

    A nine-year-old boy is found murdered at the bottom of a well near a popular beach resort in southern Italy. In what looks like a hopeless case for Guido Guerrieri, a Senegalese peddler is accused of the crime. Faced with small-town racism, Guido attempts to exploit the esoteric workings of the Italian courts. The voice of Sean Barrett brings this gritty Italian detective series to life.

    dumbclub says: "Excellence"
    "great book, wrong narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is unusually well written and fresh. My only problem is that the narrator, Sean Barrett, seems miscast. He sounds too old and too self-conscious; he'd make a fine Richard III, but not Guido Guerrieri. Perhaps I'll just read the rest of the series w/o listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Life Class

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Pat Barker
    • Narrated By Russell Boulter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    In the spring of 1914, a group of young students gather in an art studio for a life-drawing class. Paul Tarrant and Elinor Brooke are two components of a love triangle, and at the outset of the war, they turn to each other. After volunteering for the Red Cross, Paul must confront the fact that life, love, and art will never be the same for him.

    Cariola says: "In Love and War"
    "disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This really was a letdown after The Regeneration Trilogy. The story is not particularly compelling and, try as I could, I simply found it hard to care much about the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Nazi Conscience

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Claudia Koonz
    • Narrated By Mike Pollock
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    The Nazi conscience is not an oxymoron. In fact, the perpetrators of genocide had a powerful sense of right and wrong, based on civic values that exalted the moral righteousness of the ethnic community and denounced outsiders. Claudia Koonz's latest work reveals how racial popularizers developed the infrastructure and rationale for genocide during the so-called normal years before World War II.

    Douglas says: ""Nazi" & "Conscience" May Seem A Contradiction..."
    "a good book poorly read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Koonz offers an insightful and convincing overview of the subversion/perversion of values in the years of Nazi ascendancy. The reader, unfortunately, has a rough time with the German words here and there.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jane Eyre

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Charlotte Brontë
    • Narrated By Emma Messenger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (121)

    Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences of eponymous Jane Eyre, her growth to adulthood, and her love for Mr. Rochester, the byronic master of Thornfield Hall. The novel contains elements of social criticism, with a strong sense of morality at its core, but is nonetheless a novel many consider ahead of its time given the individualistic character of Jane and the novel's exploration of sexuality, religion, and proto-feminism.

    sam says: "emma messenger makes it all new again"
    "emma messenger makes it all new again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jane Eyre doesn't need my recommendation, but Emma Messenger's narration is first-rate. She isn't just dramatically gifted: she actually shows real insight into the story. The result is one of those rare but wonderful instances when an actor/narrator manages to teach an old professor of literature a few new things about a work he thought he had exhausted.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Brian Greene
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    Overall
    (1123)
    Performance
    (285)
    Story
    (282)

    Space and time form the very fabric of the cosmos. Yet they remain among the most mysterious of concepts. Is space an entity? Why does time have a direction? Could the universe exist without space and time? Can we travel to the past?

    Martin says: "Space and Time for the Common Man"
    "wonderful book, dreadful narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Because of the inappropriate choice of narrator ( a stilted Ted Baxter type), Brian Greene's excellent, entertaining book is made almost unlistenable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • My Antonia

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Willa Cather
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings, Ken Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (380)
    Performance
    (193)
    Story
    (201)

    Through Jim Burden's endearing, smitten voice, we revisit the remarkable vicissitudes of immigrant life in the Nebraska heartland, with all its insistent bonds. Guiding the way are some of literature's most beguiling characters: the Russian brothers plagued by memories of a fateful sleigh ride, Antonia's desperately homesick father and self-indulgent mother, and the coy Lena Lingard. Holding the pastoral society's heart, of course, is the bewitching, free-spirited Antonia.

    Tammy says: "Enthralling!!"
    "amateurish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an amateurish reading of a fine novel. You should look for another reading.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Rupert Degas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1306)
    Performance
    (673)
    Story
    (669)

    Toru Okada is going through a difficult time. He is without a job, his cat has disappeared, and his wife is behaving strangely. Into this unbalanced world comes a variety of curious characters, a young girl sunbathing in a nearby garden; sisters who are very peculiar indeed; an old war veteran with a violent, disturbing story. Okada retreats to a deep well in a nearby house. And the story unfolds.

    Shelley says: "Bizarre"
    "a good example of Murakami/ bad narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What other book might you compare The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle to and why?

    The book gathers together most of Murakami's themes and stylistic habits, which is dandy if you love his work, but perhaps a bit too familiar if you already know his work and aren't madly in love with it.
    There is a sense that most of his earlier works are just rehearsals for 1Q84.


    What didn’t you like about Rupert Degas’s performance?

    Degas is fine as long as he isn't doing female voices. One reviewer's description of him as "sounding like a straight man imitating a drag queen" is spot on. His version of female voices is little more than fairly crude caricature which incorrectly makes all the women sound freakish and makes Murakami sound (incorrectly) misogynist. The impression of the women you get when listening is totally different from what you would have if you were reading.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the book because I like Murakami's world, but most people would be best off just listening to 1Q84.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Confession

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Olen Steinhauer
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (87)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    It is 1956. Radio reports of the Hungarian revolution break through the government's radio jamming, setting the entire Eastern Bloc on edge.

    Inspector Ferenc Kolyeszar must track down a murderer while dealing with his crumbling marriage. As he is drawn deep into an underworld of betrayal and violence, he finds that he is not so different from those he pursues.

    Vivian says: "very good very different"
    "very disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Olen Steinhauer and/or Robertson Dean?

    no


    Would you ever listen to anything by Olen Steinhauer again?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    I found the book to be cliche-ridden and the historical setting superficial---in spite of the fuss there was no organic relationship between these characters and the
    Hungarian uprising. They spoke and acted as if they had come straight from an American cop show. The whole thing was formulaic and fairly low brow. I wish I could get my credit back.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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