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miriam24

35
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • Horse Heaven

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jane Smiley
    • Narrated By Shelley Thompson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (41)

    Many astonishing and affecting things happen at the racetrack, and the mysterious universe of horse racing, passionate, cold-hearted, pure, corrupt, is woven into a marvelous tapestry of joy and love, chicanery, folly, greed, and reckless courage. Spanning two years on the circuit, from Kentucky and California to New York and Paris, Horse Heaven, puts us among trainers, nervey jockeys, billionaire breeders, and restless track wives.

    Julie Delio says: "I wish I could review book and narrator separately"
    "Oh! Wait, I'm not done!"
    Overall

    One more thing about reader Shelley Thompson! How does someone get to be an audiobook reader without knowing how to pronounce "pico de gallo," "La Jolla," or "Maryland"?

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3359)
    Performance
    (1120)
    Story
    (1119)

    "What should we have for dinner?" To one degree or another, this simple question assails any creature faced with a wide choice of things to eat. Anthropologists call it the omnivore's dilemma. Choosing from among the countless potential foods nature offers, humans have had to learn what is safe, and what isn't. Today, as America confronts what can only be described as a national eating disorder, the omnivore's dilemma has returned with an atavistic vengeance.

    Stephen Redding says: "Great presentation of a moral dilemma"
    "Brick backlash!"
    Overall

    I'd like to just second those reviewers who can't take Scott Brick. I hope a Brick backlash is brewing -- I can't stand the guy, and it seems that he gets all the plum narrating jobs (yes, I just wrote "plum narrating jobs"). His voice has this smug, self-congratulatory slickness to it that drives me up the wall. It kind of weirds me out that I have such a strong opinion about an audiobook reader, but as a loyal audiobook listener, I've spent hundreds of hours listening to Brick's voice, and I just can't take it anymore. No more Brick!

    That said, this book is great. It really changed the way I make decisions at the grocery store, and I've been recommending it to everyone I know. But unless you can stand Scott Brick (and if you like Brick then we have to be enemies), buy the book in hardcopy.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • A Small Town in Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By John le Carre
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    The missing man: Harting, a Junior Something in the British Embassy in Bonn. The missing files: forty-three of them, all confidential or above. The timing: appalling and probably not accidental. London's security officer Alan Turner is sent to Bonn to find the missing man and files, as Germany's past, present, and future threaten to collide in a nightmare of violence.

    Amazon Customer says: "SOOO good!"
    "SOOO good!"
    Overall

    This is John le Carre at his most satisfying: dark, ambiguous, and whip-smart. Le Carre introduces a hard-boiled detective type in this mystery, a conceit that works here surprisingly well. He takes us on a labyrinthine game of chase through the corridors and archives of a British outpost in Cold War Germany. As always, le Carre is wry, cynical (but never callow), and constantly up to something.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Pilgrim

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By John le Carre
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    The man called Ned speaks to us. All his adult life he has been in British Intelligence - the Circus - a loyal, shrewd, wily officer of the Cold War. Now, approaching the end of his career, he revisits his own past. He invites us on a tour of his three decades in the Circus, burrowing deep into the twilight world where he ran spies - "joes" - from Poland, Estonia, Hungary.

    Amazon Customer says: "Warning: poor quality audio"
    "Warning: poor quality audio"
    Overall

    Unfortunately, the audio on this book is so bad that it's practically unlistenable.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Oh the Glory of It All

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Sean Wilsey
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    "In the beginning we were happy. And we were always excessive. So in the beginning we were happy to excess." With these opening lines Sean Wilsey takes us on an exhilarating tour of life in the strangest, wealthiest, and most grandiose of families.

    Sherry says: "STOP! DON'T DO IT!"
    "Scathing and searching"
    Overall

    Absorbing and insightful, self-involved in the best way. Wilsey is an expansive, genuine writer who rarely strikes a false note. I thought Wilsey's story was fascinating, and even more interesting were Wilsey's careful, wry, and sometimes angry attempts to make sense of his childhood. Wilsey is matter-of-fact, never letting himself off the hook or descending into self-pity. In other audiobooks, I've found the narrator, Scott Brick, difficult to deal with, but not this time; I thought Brick's narration here was understated and unintrusive.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of Joe

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jonathan Tropper
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (385)
    Performance
    (242)
    Story
    (239)

    Joe Goffman was fifteen years out from his sleepy hometown when he wrote Bush Falls, a searing critique of its people and institutions. The book was a runaway best seller, and led to an even more successful movie. Now, however, Joe's got a problem. His father has suffered a stroke, and that means that Joe has to go back to his birthplace after having successfully antagonized every person living there. Can Joe survive the reservoirs of hatred that have been waiting to pour down upon him? Just maybe.

    FanB14 says: "Sarcasm Reigns Supreme"
    "Not the most subtle book"
    Overall

    I'm sorry to be the lone voice of dissent! To me, the book seemed not funny and sad, as I'd hoped, but alternately crass and maudlin, see-sawing from chest-pounding bathos to smirking, cheap jokes. Also, you may want to know that Scott Brick, who narrates Sideways, also narrates this book. To me, Brick's narration is difficult to deal with: his hushed, intense tone suggests a level of drama that's not present in the book, and his catch-all voice for women is subtly -- but increasingly noticeably -- weird.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Known World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Edward P. Jones
    • Narrated By Kevin Free
    Overall
    (468)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (85)

    Henry Townsend, a black farmer, bootmaker, and former slave, has a fondness for Paradise Lost and an unusual mentor, William Robbins, perhaps the most powerful white man in antebellum Virginia's Manchester County. Under Robbins's tutelage, Henry becomes proprietor of his own plantation, as well as of his own slaves. When he dies, his widow Caldonia succumbs to profound grief, and things begin to fall apart.

    Rachel says: "wonderful and highly recommended"
    "A soft-spoken treasure"
    Overall

    This book is a real pleasure to listen to. It's not a plot-driven book, so be forewarned, if that's what you're in the market for. Instead, it's an empathetic, nuanced, and often poetic look at a certain historical time and place. Jones is just an extraordinarily humane writer; every character is painted in painstaking detail and with unusual sympathy. This is one of my favorites of the audiobooks I've listened to.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Falls

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Joyce Carol Oates
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    A man climbs over the railings and plunges into Niagara Falls. A newlywed, he has left behind his wife, Ariah Erskine, in the honeymoon suite the morning after their wedding. "The Widow Bride of The Falls", as Ariah comes to be known, begins a relentless, seven-day vigil in the mist, waiting for his body to be found.

    Harry says: "Clean Out Your Ears"
    "Terrible narration"
    Overall

    I have to preface this by saying I'm only about three hours into the audiobook. So far, the book itself is fine, but, good Lord, the narration is bad. Anna Fields, whoever she is, keeps launching into these goofy, artificially deep Forrest Gump-sounding voices whenever she reads men's dialogue. Who told her this was engaging? Seriously, she makes them all sound like the Jolly Green Giant. And for the female protagonist's voice, she does this wispy, breathy, totally fake sounding chirp. Really intrusive. Ugh.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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