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Elizabeth

Claremont, CA, USA | Member Since 2009

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 23 ratings
  • 173 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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  • Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Anne Applebaum
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (118)
    Story
    (122)

    At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union to its surprise and delight found itself in control of a huge swath of territory in Eastern Europe. Stalin and his secret police set out to convert a dozen radically different countries to Communism, a completely new political and moral system. In Iron Curtain, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum describes how the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe were created and what daily life was like once they were complete.

    jackifus says: "Important story, imperfectly executed"
    "Exceptional book, VERY inappropriate reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Iron Curtain?

    This is a precise, detailed, nuanced look at the carving up of Eastern Europe following World War 2. The intimate details of the domination of nations on a community (and often familial) level allowed me to gain a far better understanding of precisely how the Soviet Union achieved the isolation.


    What other book might you compare Iron Curtain to and why?

    Anne Applebaum's Gulag makes an outstanding companion volume, providing the history of the slave prison empire that ran through the Soviet Union.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Cassandra Campbell?

    Someone more familiar with the history, or perhaps more accustomed to narrating non-fiction books.


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

    Absolutely not.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator (Cassandra Campbell) was dreadfully miscast. I kept thinking "she sounds like she thinks she's reading a novel by Gillian Flynn" -- and then I saw that in fact she's done exactly that. From putting the emphasis on the wrong syllables in words to mispronouncing proper nouns, and generally sounding like she had absolutely no idea of the meaning of what she's saying, Ms. Campbell robbed this book of gravity in her reading. She is not a bad reader for a novel but she was absolutely terrible for this particular work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Magicians: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Lev Grossman
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2504)
    Performance
    (1787)
    Story
    (1790)

    Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he's still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.

    Ki says: "Not an average book"
    "Love the book -- REALLY don't love the reader"
    Overall

    I absolutely loved reading _The Magicians_, and was delighted to try the audiobook version. Oh dear. I am sorry to say that the narrator, while not actually ruining the wonderful story, greatly detracts from any enjoyment of it. I don't know what was the worst aspect of this performance, but I suspect it may have been the "foreign" accents he affects for any non-native English speakers; with the exception of one female francophone, all others sound like a combination of Apu from "The Simpsons" and Boris from the Rocky Cartoons. Then there is the insufferable "dude, where's my car" sort of drawl utilizesd for Josh. But really, I cannot count the ways this narrator seems to have been hell-bent on making a marvelous, inventive, magical (if flawed) novel as unenjoyable as possible. If only someone else had narrated....

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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