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D. Donohue

dungha

New York, NY USA | Member Since 2009

ratings
76
REVIEWS
14
FOLLOWING
8
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
25

  • The Spider's House

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Paul Bowles
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Set in Fez, Morocco, during that country's 1954 nationalist uprising, this is perhaps Paul Bowles's most beautifully subtle novel, richly descriptive of its setting and uncompromising in its characterizations. Exploring once again the dilemma of the outsider in an alien society, and the gap in understanding between cultures - recurrent themes of Paul Bowles' writings - The Spider's House is dramatic, brutally honest, and shockingly relevant to today's political situation in the Middle East and elsewhere.

    D. Donohue says: "Delicious"
    "Delicious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Spider's House rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is up towards the top.


    What other book might you compare The Spider's House to and why?

    I just finished the Bowles short stories and it is a great reward. I am pleased with that sequence.


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

    He is REALLY GREAT. I LOVE his voice for this.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Spider's House and why?

    Everyone was fascinating. Bowles is fascinating. One cannot help but wonder what comes from him, as he is so iconic.


    Any additional comments?

    I never read Bowles. I am so converted to him thanks to Audible. I have had a big project in a damp cold warehouse in the winter and these hot dry tales of North Africa have been my constant companion and cure. It was an inspired pairing!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8372)
    Performance
    (7675)
    Story
    (7683)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "A terrific journey"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Goldfinch to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the book. The recommendation that swayed me towards the audio book was my mother's deep appreciation of the print edition. I trust her implicitly. We are both librarians.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Goldfinch?

    The beginning and the end. As it amped up, the terrain was so familiar and as it wound down, seemed philosophical, as a good book that is a deep and satisfying journey can do.


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    He is EXTRA-ORDINARY! I will raise a huge stink if this book is made as a film and he does not gain a starring role. He encapsulated an an audio film of great complexity into his performance...accents, social class, mood, etc. Now, 10 minutes after completing the audio book, I go out in search of his other performances!


    Who was the most memorable character of The Goldfinch and why?

    Oh, I love Theo and Boris and Pippa and Hoby. There are some very endearing friends here.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was suggested to me because I grew up working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY, and the start of the book has details that I suspect folks wanted me to "fact check," but my own mother's intense fascination was the most persuasive. I am so grateful I stuck with it, although I arrived at work many days unwilling to remove my headphones. The written work is really delightful in a messy way I like. I love writing about visual art, chaos, the fantastic and the real world I live in, it turns out.
    The ending reminded me of Sontag's The Volcano Lovers, which lays down a profound moral, philosophical conclusion. I love this audio book, in case you were wondering

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Name Is Red

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Orhan Pamuk
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (69)

    At once a fiendishly devious mystery, a beguiling love story, and a brilliant symposium on the power of art, My Name Is Red is a transporting tale set amid the splendor and religious intrigue of 16th-century Istanbul, from one of the most prominent contemporary Turkish writers.

    D. Hile says: "An adventure in art, intrigue and culture"
    "Perfection"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Everything I enjoy: art history, philosophy, great storytelling, and a beautiful voice to deliver it all.


    What other book might you compare My Name Is Red to and why?

    Salman Rushdie's Enchantress of Florence - same combination of art history, philosophy, great storytelling and a beautiful voice to deliver it all!


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    He turns text into cinema, playing all the roles.


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

    The details about miniature painting are seared into my memory. They have changed me.


    Any additional comments?

    My only complaint about the book is that it is a tough act to follow. I crave more and there are no more. I have heard other Orhan Pamuks. This one, however, was a perfect storm and I regretted its end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Louise Erdrich
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (230)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (88)

    For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved people, the Ojibwe, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery of his physical identity, for he is a woman who has lived as a man. To complicate his fears, his quiet life changes when a troubled colleague comes to the reservation to investigate the life of the perplexing, difficult, possibly false saint Sister Leopolda.

    Carol T. Carr says: "Remarkable and Challenging"
    "Possibly the best ever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse the most enjoyable?

    What I love: history, stories well told and an epic sweep plus humor!


    What other book might you compare The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse to and why?

    The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie because the kind of "over the top" epic funny dark detailed storytelling is the only thing I can compare it to. It is what I seek!


    Which character – as performed by Anna Fields – was your favorite?

    OH, I love them all, even the detestable ones. She is truly a remarkable voice.


    If you could take any character from The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The narrator, naturally. Amazing unreliable lovable narrator!


    Any additional comments?

    I had only read Erdrich's short stories in the New Yorker, but this book is mind-blowingly gorgeous. I miss it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Volcano Lover: A Romance

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Susan Sontag
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    The Volcano Lover follows the fortunes of a British ambassador, the ravishing woman he marries, and the young British admiral with whom she falls in love. Set in 18th-century Naples and based on the lives of Sir William Hamilton, his celebrated wife Emma, and Lord Nelson, the novel is peopled with many of the great figures of the day.

    D. Donohue says: "Enthralling. Impossible to remove my headphones."
    "Enthralling. Impossible to remove my headphones."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Volcano Lover?

    Sontag gripped me. What do I love? History. Edgy. Thoughtful. Surprises. Romance. This delivered all beyond my expectations. I am still tingling and feel a sense of abandonment one feels when a great "read" ends.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Naples. Evocative descriptions. Art. Furious and spot-on conclusion that is literally the best conclusion of any novel ever - bar none - even my great beloveds of the Brontes, Wilkie Collins, Tolstoy, James. This is a great great read.


    Which character – as performed by Jennifer Van Dyck – was your favorite?

    Van Dyck is obliged to capture a variety of narrators: male and female, living and dead, and she nails them all. Her voice is like burnt caramel. I felt like Sontag was there, and I spoke to her. Van Dyck has her round tones and deep power.
    She needs some work on Italian names, but I gave her 5 stars because I am still a true fan and would acquire any audiobook by her.


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

    The ending was like a punch in the chest and I love it completely.


    Any additional comments?

    I had the audiobook of Sontag's other novel, In America, and it was a love hate. The audio book was great, but the writing pissed me off for the first third. Afterwards, she redeemed herself and I was content. I had moderate expectations of this novel, and, from the beginning was flabbergasted. I never wanted to do anything other than listen. It is a great great work. This production is so worthy of a remarkable piece of writing.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Stories of Paul Bowles

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Paul Bowles
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber, Joe Barrett, Victor Bevine, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    An American literary cult figure, Paul Bowles established his legacy with the novel The Sheltering Sky. An immediate sensation, it became a fixture in American letters. Bowles then returned his energies to the short story - the genre he preferred and soon mastered.Bowles' s short fiction is orchestral in composition and exacting in theme, marked by a unique, delicately spare style, and a dark, rich, exotic mood, by turns chilling, ironic, and wry.

    D. Donohue says: "Mesmerizing and beautifully produced"
    "Mesmerizing and beautifully produced"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Stories of Paul Bowles again? Why?

    I actually have already listened to some of the stories over again. I cannot add too much to all that has been said about Bowles, but this is a great survey, and my introduction, really, to him as a short story writer. I could not take my headphones off!


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was a whalloping dose of humor, misery and careful observation. I dreamt differently after hearing this collection.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    The narrator was a whole repertory company! WHAT a treat! It really added texture and variety to the stories and the selection of voices to stories was made by a very astute person, indeed.


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

    There is a harrowing story - just awful - that can be described, at first, as picaresque, about a naive English philologist embarking on field work in Africa and it all turning very very unexpected, indeed, within 12 hours of arriving. I could barely stand the story, but will never forget a moment of it.


    Any additional comments?

    A perfect dream of a book. Absolutely a show-stopper!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Vertigo Years: Europe 1900-1914

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Philipp Blom
    • Narrated By Joel Richards
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    From the tremendous hope for a new century embodied in the 1900 Worlds Fair in Paris to the shattering assassination of a Habsburg archduke in Sarajevo in 1914, historian Philipp Blom chronicles this extraordinary epoch year by year. Prime Ministers and peasants, anarchists and actresses, scientists and psychopaths intermingle on the stage of a new century in this portrait of an opulent, unstable age on the brink of disaster.

    D. Donohue says: "Really great history without pronounciation"
    "Really great history without pronounciation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator cannot pronounce a single name or word in the text.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is really beautifully done - a detestable amount of detail about King Leopold's unsurpassed genocide in the Congo, but I am behind all of his unpacking of Colonialism.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Joel Richards’s performances?

    Never, although he has a perky Adam Gopnik-like voice and I listened for way too long because of the book. There is not ONE SINGLE WORD in French in German he can pronounce to save his life, to my regret, as it ruined the book for me. I had to give up.


    Do you think The Vertigo Years needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Great book I need to read in text and pronounce in my head correctly before I can decide.


    Any additional comments?

    Missed opportunity. Great book, I think. A well-meaning perky reader with zilch ability in French/German pronunciation [key to hearing]. I blame the audiobook publisher for not briefing him. A waste. If you doubt me, check out Robert Hughes in Shock of the New on Ubuweb, since it is a lot of the same names and words and he gets 100 percent, and the narrator here, barely a thing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Timothy Egan
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (69)

    At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, Egan's book tells the remarkable untold story behind Edward Curtis's iconic photographs, following him throughout Indian country from desert to rainforest as he struggled to document the stories and rituals of more than eighty tribes. Even with the backing of Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan, it took tremendous perseverance. The undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate.

    D. Donohue says: "STUPENDOUS!"
    "STUPENDOUS!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Riveting, no matter any preconceptions about Curtis, this author is a master.


    What other book might you compare Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher to and why?

    Rebecca Solnit's remarkable River of Shadows, which is about Edweard Muybridge and the amazing geo-socio-psychological and historical reasons for his work.


    What about David Drummond’s performance did you like?

    He is really perfect. Has a world-weary voice, suitable to the material.


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

    The Impossible Dream! A Quixotic Story of a man who gave up everything for a 20 volume photobook.


    Any additional comments?

    My review of the book on the ICP Library blog

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Proust Was a Neuroscientist

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Jonah Lehrer
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (96)

    In this technology-driven age, it's tempting to believe that science can solve every mystery. After all, science has cured countless diseases and even sent humans into space. But as Jonah Lehrer argues in this sparkling debut, science is not the only path to knowledge. In fact, when it comes to understanding the brain, art got there first.

    Mark D. Jones says: "Excellent Book"
    "So delightful. I re-listened"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Proust Was a Neuroscientist again? Why?

    Well, I love Jonah Lehrer, and he has a great way of telling a story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is packed with thought provoking ideas that lead to further reading [listening too].


    Have you listened to any of Dan John Miller’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, I only wish the author had been reading, as he did for Imagine. That was terrific. This is fine, just not as good as Lehrer.


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

    It made me have a 180 on my opinion of Gertrude Stein, for one thing. It made me tell people stories from it, as Imagine did, and recommend it avidly.


    Any additional comments?

    I do not care a fig about the supposition about Lehrer's Dylan quotes, although I am sure that he does. I think he is a remarkable story-teller and I am very sorry he resigned from the New Yorker. These little details do not matter in the service of the high-level thinking that he conveys in such plain English in his books. I am still recommending this book to everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Glass Palace

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Amitav Ghosh
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (225)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (133)

    Set in Burma during the British invasion of 1885, this masterly novel by Amitav Ghosh tells the story of Rajkumar, a poor boy lifted on the tides of political and social chaos, who goes on to create an empire in the Burmese teak forest. When soldiers force the royal family out of the Glass Palace and into exile, Rajkumar befriends Dolly, a young woman in the court of the Burmese Queen, whose love will shape his life. He cannot forget her, and years later, as a rich man, he goes in search of her.

    Janis says: "Wonderful Family Saga Set in Burma and Malaysia"
    "A Delicious Escape into the Past"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow, I cannot remember why I selected this, as I had not read Ghosh before. It has been too enthralling an audiobook to put down! It has remarkable language portraits of India, Burma and Malaya, complete with smells, people, built environments, economics and politics. Sometimes it feels that too many historic events directly affect its players, but the reader is extraordinary and the novel's ability to evoke a place and time is superb.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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