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S. Jones

ratings
84
REVIEWS
27
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
110

  • Quicksilver: Book One of The Baroque Cycle

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble, Kevin Pariseau, Neal Stephenson
    Overall
    (1893)
    Performance
    (1136)
    Story
    (1163)

    In which Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and courageous Puritan, pursues knowledge in the company of the greatest minds of Baroque-era Europe -- in a chaotic world where reason wars with the bloody ambitions of the mighty, and where catastrophe, natural or otherwise, can alter the political landscape overnight.

    David says: "Be aware of what you're getting into"
    "Absolutely Fascinating"
    Overall

    I couldn't stop listening. Although I'm not a science buff and didn't understand much about science, I enjoyed Stephenson's rich and detailed portrayal of a bygone era - and one that is the backdrop of much historical fiction. I loved the way he played with time by depicting his character Daniel Waterhouse backward and forward - as a young man destined for the new world and an old man going back to the old world. By ordinary standards, Waterhouse is brilliant; by the standards of his peers (Isaac Newton, Godfrey Leibniz) he is ordinary. Having just finished listening to "The Three Musketeers" and Captain Blood," this novel fit right in - about the same time and with many of the same political figures. It is worth mentioning that Quicksilver is the "prestory" to other novels in the cycle, not entirely an independent novel in its own right. Stephenson is a great storyteller and has a wonderful sense of humor. Narrator Simon Prebble is excellent - as usual. I'm completely hooked.

    27 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • Morality Play

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Barry Unsworth
    • Narrated By Michael Maloney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (19)

    It is the late 14th century, a dangerous time beset by war and plague. Nicholas Barber, a young and wayward cleric, stumbles across a group of travelling players and compounds his sins by joining them. Yet the town where they perform reveals another drama: a young woman is to be hanged for the murder of a 12-year-old boy. What better way to increase their takings than to make a new play, to enact the murder of Thomas Wells?

    But as the actors rehearse, they discover that the truth about the boy's death has yet to be revealed.

    Steve says: "Great story"
    "Difficult Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Morality Play" has a provocative premise: what happens when a medieval acting troupe has the audacity to abandon telling the age-old, church-sanctioned stories and, instead, create its own play from a sensational current event and the “lives of the people.” Because the narrator rushes through this reading with breathless urgency, half-whispering and mumbling the words, it's difficult to understand and annoying to try to follow it. I wanted to be intrigued by it, but I was just confused.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Third Man

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Graham Greene
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (51)

    The Third Man is one of the truly great post-war films. It's a thrilling story of black-marketeering set against a backdrop of Vienna in the immediate post-war era, when the city was divided into four zones amongst the major powers: Russia, Britain, France, and America.

    Gurth W. says: "excellent narration"
    "Fans of the Movie, Meet the Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you liked the classic movie, you'll enjoy this book, if only to discover how faithful Carol Reed reproduced Graham Greene's classic for the screen. About the only difference is the ending (which I think the movie did better). Narrator Martin Jarvis is excellent, as usual.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Vicki Constantine Croke
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (51)

    At the onset of World War II, Williams formed Elephant Company and was instrumental in defeating the Japanese in Burma and saving refugees, including on his own "Hannibal Trek." Billy Williams became a media sensation during the war, telling reporters that the elephants did more for him than he was ever able to do for them, but his story has since been forgotten.

    Angela says: "Fascinating"
    "A Real Find"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a rare audiobook - this tale of a little-known episode from history, expertly written by Vicki Croke and masterfully performed by Simon Prebble. I've listened to hundreds of audiobooks, and not one in 10 is as good as "Elephant Company."

    Although the title is misleading (the war doesn't enter the picture until the last third of the book), "Elephant Company" is, nevertheless, a fascinating account of one man's extraordinary relationship with the working elephants of Burma. It's an audiobook I couldn't stop listening to and one that I hated to see come to an end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of the Moon

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By M. M. Kaye
    • Narrated By Tara Ochs
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (62)

    The author of The Far Pavilions returns us once again to the vast, intoxicating romance of India under the British Raj. Shadow of the Moon is the story of Winter de Ballesteros, a beautiful English heiress come home to her beloved India. It is also the tale of Captain Alex Randall, her protector, who aches to possess her. Forged in the fires of a war that threatens to topple an empire, their tale is the saga of a desperate and unforgettable love that consumes all in its thrall.

    Hike16 says: "Wonderful story"
    "Superficial Romantic Melodrama"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Shadow of the Moon" is strictly for fans of melodramatic romance novels. It is not a great story: it is, in fact, completely overwritten by an author who never uses one word when she can use 20, who can't introduce so much as a minor, fleeting character without providing their pointless back stories, who repeats herself over and over. You can skip chapters three at a time without missing a thing. As a book reader, the narrator is O.K., but she she accentuates its flaws by failing to bring it vibrantly to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By David Wong
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1355)
    Performance
    (1267)
    Story
    (1279)

    Warning: You may have a huge, invisible spider living in your skull. This is not a metaphor. You will dismiss this as ridiculous fearmongering. Dismissing things as ridiculous fearmongering is, in fact, the first symptom of parasitic spider infection - the creature secretes a chemical into the brain to stimulate skepticism, in order to prevent you from seeking a cure. That’s just as well, since the “cure” involves learning what a chain saw tastes like. You can’t feel the spider, because it controls your nerve endings.

    Charles says: "Very Different than John Dies, but Equal"
    "Totally Lame"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Spider-zombies take over a small American town in a comic novel that feels like it was conceived and written by a 14-year-old boy. The story is the stuff of every B-grade science fiction movie, but it's poorly conceived and poorly delivered, with too many scenes that are over-written and too much humor that relies on vulgarity rather than the author's cleverness. It's 14 hours long - it could have been four. After about one hour, listening became sheer torture. I just couldn't get through it. If I could give it zero stars, I would.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Innocent

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Ian McEwan
    • Narrated By John Franklyn-Robbins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (37)

    War-weary Berlin has much to offer Leonard Markham, a young, naive postal engineer: first the arts of sophisticated intrigue, then the delights of sexual pleasure. But Leonard's new knowledge carries a heavy price, dragging him and the listener into a new type of story that is exhaustively suspenseful and utterly irresistible.

    Geoffrey says: "A little gem"
    "Been There, Done That"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This romance novel for men is unoriginal and lacking suspense. Perhaps it's a testament to our jaded times that the graphic sex is tedious, the espionage lacks suspense, and the gruesome murder fails to shock or surprise. The unrealistic, tidy ending is a joke. The author seems to want to be Graham Greene but ends up being Barbara Cartland. I like the narrator, which is why I stuck with it until the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lancelot

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Walker Percy
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    Lancelot Lamar, a disenchanted liberal lawyer, finds himself confined in a mental asylum with memories that don’t seem worth remembering - until a visit from an old friend and classmate gives him the opportunity to recount his journey of dark violence. It began the day he accidentally discovered he was not the father of his youngest daughter. That discovery touched off his obsession to reverse the degeneration of modern America and begin a new age of chivalry and romance.

    S. Jones says: "Reading Ruins Great Novel"
    "Reading Ruins Great Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been in love with Walker Percy's "Lancelot" since reading it in college more than 30 years ago. It's a great story and in many ways changed my life. This audiobook reading was a disappointment. The narrator works hard at capturing Lancelot's Louisiana-Southern accent but misses the nuances of his very Southern sardonic humor and brings no gravity to his philosophical musings, which are the foundation for the startling ending. What we get is truly a babbling tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I still hope that some day a great reader will come along to give this book the treatment it deserves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Camille: or, The Lady of the Camellias

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By Roe Kendall
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Marguerite Gautier, the greatest beauty in Paris, was known to all as “the Lady of the Camellias” because she was never seen without her favorite flowers. She was luxuriously kept by the richest men in France, who thronged to her boudoir to lay their fortunes at her feet. She lived violently, spending herself and her money in reckless abandon. She had many lovers, but she never really loved - until she met Armand Duval.

    S. Jones says: "Seriously Dated"
    "Seriously Dated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sensational, syrupy romance involving a French nobleman of middling importance and a tubercular courtesan. This book isn't that long, but you can fast forward 20 minutes at a time and not miss a thing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Case of the Gilded Fly

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Edmund Crispin
    • Narrated By Phillip Bird
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (46)

    Yseut Haskell, a pretty but spiteful young actress with a talent for destroying men's lives, is found dead in a college room just metres from unconventional Oxford don Gervase Fen's office. The victim is found wearing an unusual ring, a reproduction of a piece in the British Museum featuring a gold gilded fly but does this shed any light on her murder? As they delve deeper into Yseut's unhappy life the police soon realise that anyone who knew her would have shot her, but can Fen discover who could have shot her?

    Constance says: "Witty, Well Written Classic British mystery"
    "Superficial and Shallow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In this cheap trick of a mystery novel, Edmund Crispin distracts his audience scene after trivial scene that kill time and fill space while doing nothing to advance the plot. Information is deliberately withheld so the “detective,” who operates on “intuition,” can appear to be as brilliant as he keeps telling us he is by revealing all in the grand finale. Instead of clues dropped the way, there’s a long, unsatisfying explanation at the end. (Actually, any number of explanations could have been devised to explain why any of the characters could be the murderer.) The characters are such clichéd personalities that they could have been called the Director, the Big Star, the Budding Starlet, the Talentless Jezebel, etc., with one being indistinguishable from the other. Having never before heard of Crispin, I had hoped to discover a new treasure, but now I understand why he is not mentioned in the pantheon of great mystery writers of the 20th century.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Trustee from the Toolroom

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (1018)
    Performance
    (906)
    Story
    (911)

    Keith Stewart, a retiring and ingenious engineer, could not have been happier in his little house in the shabby London suburb of Ealing. There he invented the mini-motor, the six-volt generator, and the tiny Congreve clock. Then a chain of events sweeps him into deep waters and leads him to his happiest discovery yet.

    Paula says: "Just Simply a Great Story!"
    "Light Adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Once upon a time, "Trustee from the Toolroom" might have been classified as juvenile fiction. It's a straightforward adventure story, competently delivered, with manufactured drama, contrived solutions, and no real surprises as the plot steadily unfolds. The likable characters and this author's obvious faith in the goodness of human nature provide enjoyable entertainment in the absence of any real wisdom, deep insight, or challenging message.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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