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Sterling, VA, United States | Member Since 2004

  • 3 reviews
  • 5 ratings
  • 652 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2015

  • The Malice of Fortune

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Michael Ennis
    • Narrated By Adrian Paul, Carlotta Montanari, John Lee, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Against a teeming canvas of Borgia politics, Niccolò Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci come together to unmask an enigmatic serial killer, as we learn the secret history behind one of the most controversial works in the western canon, The Prince. Traveling across an Italy torn apart by war, they will enter a labyrinth of ancient superstition and erotic obsession to discover at its center a new face of evil - and a truth that will shake the foundations of western civilization.

    Molly Gordon says: "Female narrator is impossible to listen to."
    "For Lover's of Italian History"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially knowing that much of the story comes from the papers of the actual characters. I will say however, that to follow the plot, one must have more than a passing acquaintance with Italian history.

    As for the narration, I was less enthusiastic. I know nothing of Carlotta Montanari's background, but I found her very difficult to listen to, not because of her accent, but because it sounded as if she were reading English not completely understanding what she was reading. Adrian Paul on the other hand, did an excellent job as long as he was reading the part of Machiavelli. I hear Italian spoken everyday, as well as English spoken by Italians, and I think his accent was quite authentic. Once he switched to other characters, however, whether da Vinci or Cesare Borgia, the characterization was pretty bad and was quite distracting. The production would have been far superior had they hired a few more actors.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Bleeding Edge

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Thomas Pynchon
    • Narrated By Jeannie Berlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Maxine Tarnow is running a nice little fraud investigation business on the Upper West Side, chasing down different kinds of small-scale con artists. She used to be legally certified but her license got pulled a while back, which has actually turned out to be a blessing because now she can follow her own code of ethics - carry a Beretta, do business with sleazebags, hack into people's bank accounts - without having too much guilt about any of it. Otherwise, just your average working mom - two boys in elementary school, an off-and-on situation with her sort of semi-ex-husband Horst - till Maxine starts looking into the finances of a computer-security firm....

    Robert says: "A fine wine in a dirty and cracked glass"
    "What were they thinking??"

    I tried, I really tried, but two hours into this audiobook I called it quits. The worst narration of any audiobook I've ever owned, impossible to listen to. I'm switching to the Kindle edition because I believe it's a book I will ultimately enjoy.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The White War: Life and Death on the Italian Front, 1915-1919

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Mark Thompson
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Western Front dominates our memories of the First World War. Yet a million and half men died in northeast Italy in a war that need never have happened, when Italy declared war on the Habsburg Empire in May 1915. Led by General Luigi Cadorna, the most ruthless of all the Great War commanders, waves of Italian conscripts were sent charging up the limestone hills north of Trieste to be massacred by troops fighting to save their homelands.

    A User says: "Lost in history..."
    "The Other Front..."

    Much has been written about the terrible battles of WWI, Ypres, Verdun, the Somme, Passchendaele, but very little about the horrors of the Italian Front and the battles of the Isonzo. This is a must read book for anyone who wants a complete understanding of the history of WWI, but even more for those interested in the history of Italy. Italy's dreams of expansion and it's desire to become a colonial power led it to participate in a devastating war that cost in excess of 1 million military and civilian lives. This books explores the political and cultural context of the time, and the personalities that so influenced Italy during the first half of the last century.

    My only quibble with the book is the obvious lack of maps, but that is easily remedied by resorting to Google maps.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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