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adelaide, Australia | Member Since 2014

  • 15 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 49 purchased in 2015

  • Speak Memory: An Autobiography Revisited

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Speak, Memory, first published in 1951 as Conclusive Evidence and then assiduously revised in 1966, is an elegant and rich evocation of Nabokov’s life and times, even as it offers incisive insights into his major works, including Lolita, Pnin, Despair, The Gift, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, and The Luhzin Defense.

    meredith says: "this inspired me to read Nabokov's novels"
    "this inspired me to read Nabokov's novels"

    a beautifully written biography that captures much of Nabokov's life with particular
    reference to his childhood. From this perspective Nabokov's perceptiveness and
    remarkable memory give the listener a unique prism from which to view the unfolding of his
    own life and those around him. Small details like the muff that his mother raises to her
    face to keep out the cold as she is drawn along by the sleigh take on an importance equal
    to many more weighty events drawn by the story.
    Because it is told from the point of reference of an emigre, looking back to a world in
    Russia now almost entirely gone, there is a poignancy in much of what is related.
    Some of the people who inhabit the story sadly never survive the political turmoil and wars
    of the times. In a sense the writer pays remarkable homage to these people, swept away
    by the tide of history.
    I would have chosen a different narrator for this particular story, but otherwise it was a

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Still Life with Crows: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    For the first time in unabridged audio! A small Kansas town has turned into a killing ground. Is it a serial killer, a man with the need to destroy? Or is it a darker force, a curse upon the land? Amid golden cornfields, FBI Special Agent Pendergast discovers evil in the blood of America's heart.

    Polly says: "SCARY, WEIRD, ENGAGING"
    "American Gothic"

    Inspector Pendergast reminds me a little of Clint Eastwood, very cool and very in control.
    I can see why he is a sort of cult figure to some. In earlier times I might have recoiled at the gruesomely executed murders, but something about this story was compelling enough to hold my interest. The writers are clever enough to bring some humour into this story as well
    There were many gothic elements that I loved, the most obvious being the old house alive with secrets and mysteries. Untangling the mystery behind the story was something
    that Inspector Pendergast was able to achieve in the coolest fashion, while others around him are falling victim to foul play.
    Scott Brick's voice adapted itself perfectly to the narrative. "Still Life with Crows" was an
    enthralling listen, made credible by the calm professionalism of its leading character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Quiet American

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Graham Greene
    • Narrated By Simon Cadell

    Into the intrigue and violence of Indo-China comes Pyle, a young idealistic American sent to promote democracy through a mysterious 'Third Force'. As his naive optimism starts to cause bloodshed, his friend Fowler finds it hard to stand and watch.

    Cameron says: "Brilliantly read, brilliantly poignant"
    "haunting and profoundly beautiful"

    Like many great novels, there are so many levels on which this story can be appreciated. In particular it foretells in a sense some of the events that were coming to pass in the battle between ideological forces in Indo China. The story is narrated by a man who says he has "no politics", but whose narrative brings the personal and the political together.
    On a personal level it can be seen as a meditation on war and love, a duel to the death between the leading male characters as they vie for possession of the beautiful Vietnamese girl "Phong".One of the most sad and profoundly beautiful things that Greene says in this novel relate to war and love.He says that they have always been compared, that "we get involved in a moment of emotion", and then "we cannot get out".
    Simon Cadell as narrator was well chosen to read "the Quiet American". His voice has that blend of worldliness and cynicism which enhanced this story for me.I listened to it as a way of winding down as I came off of nightshift; half asleep and half awake, and loved it. Often after listening for a while and drifting off, there was the feeling of a haunting, swirling mystery. It was completely engaging and never intrusive. I recommend it to anyone who loves mysteries, or who wishes to rediscover great literature.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Am My Own Wife: The True Story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Charlotte von Mahlsdorf
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland

    A soft-spoken transvestite wanting nothing more than to live as a hausfrau, Charlotte von Mahlsdorf instead was caught up in the most harrowing dramas of 20th-century Europe, surviving both the Nazis and the Communists. Originally published as I Am My Own Woman, this exquisitely written autobiography reveals her lifelong pursuit of sexual liberty. The story is reaching an entirely new readership of enthusiastic theater fans with I Am My Own Wife, the new Broadway show by Doug Wright ....

    meredith says: "an extraodinary woman"
    "an extraodinary woman"

    I often wonder how such people ever survive at all.
    Apart from being an extraordinary tale of survival, this was an interesting social history of the times. Charlotte certainly had the uncertain fortune of being born in "interesting times"
    In spite of growing up through the rise of nazi regime, surviving the 'appratchniks' of this and the ensuing grey regime of the G.D.R., she managed to achieve much in finding and conserving items that would otherwise have been destroyed
    Principally her great love of furniture from the 'Grundezheit' era became a motivating force in her life, but even so there were many side shoots to this story.
    The achievement of defining and defending her own identity, identifying as a woman
    born in a man's body was something that she also succeeded in doing.
    This story is a reminder about the importance of accepting diversity, and valuing the
    bravery of others. It is narrated beautifully by a man with a soft German accent, who seemed perfect for the role.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel of North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Adam Johnson
    • Narrated By Tim Kang, Josiah D. Lee, James Kyson Lee, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother - a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang - and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.

    Lisa says: "The most compelling listen I've ever owned"
    "too depressing to continue with"

    Listening to this reminds me of just how sad and corrupt the state of North Korea
    must be, where children and women are treated as commodities, and where survival
    is a matter of conformity to a corrupt and heartless regime
    I suppose it would have got better if I had have kept going. But the negativity and hardship just got to me, and I couldn't finish it.
    It has been reviewed very well elsewhere, so perhaps my take on it is not accurate.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Life

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Keith Richards
    • Narrated By Johnny Depp, Joe Hurley, Keith Richards
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    With the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the riffs, the lyrics and the songs that roused the world, and over four decades he lived the original rock-and-roll life: taking the chances he wanted, speaking his mind, and making it all work in a way that no one before him had ever done. Now, at last, the man himself tells us the story of life in the crossfire hurricane. And what a life....

    David says: "A rare insight into a rock legend"
    "brilliant raconteur"

    the narrators do such a brilliant job of replicating nuances of language and expression.
    A fabulous biography with lots of depth, personal, cultural, and musical, and never self indulgent. Keith gives credit to many people who contributed to his success. The story also manages to set the scene for the sixties and beyond, in which the Stones and those who collected around them appeared to live charmed lives.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Volcano: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Malcolm Lowry
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On the Day of the Dead, in 1938, Geoffrey Firmin, an alcoholic and ruined man, is fatefully living out his last day, drowning himself in mescal while his former wife and half-brother look on, powerless to help him. The events of this one day unfold against a backdrop unforgettable for its evocation of a Mexico at once magical and diabolical.

    Melinda says: "Excellent...but not for everyone"
    "the setting seemed lovely, but not the story."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If the central character could have stopped feeling sorry for himself

    Has Under the Volcano turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no. its always something of a gamble when you purchase a book, and one that is said to relate to the horrors of alcoholism should have alerted me to this.
    Probably I've just got no patience with alcoholics. They always want someone to share their misery, and put up with them. When I decided that this miserable coot should just
    give up, I stopped listening.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    not sure about his foreign pronunciations.
    I dont think I would listen to him again.

    What character would you cut from Under the Volcano?

    the central character

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Sociopath Next Door

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Martha Stout
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier

    We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people, one in 25, has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in 25 everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath.

    Taryn says: "Reinforces what you have already known"
    "an excellent analysis of a complex subject."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Sociopath Next Door to be better than the print version?

    not better, just different.

    What other book might you compare The Sociopath Next Door to and why?

    there are a few books coming out on this type of subject, but this author really has a handle on the subject, from her clinical practice as a psychologist, and as one who has studied it in great depth.She knows the signs, and knows what to look for, and has spent her life trying to help the victims of such people. I really enjoyed her little tableaus in which she describes people that she has met either directly or indirectly through her practice.They were a perfect illustration for this subject.

    Which scene was your favorite?


    If you could give The Sociopath Next Door a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Perhaps... 'required reading for those contemplating management roles'
    But regardless, it is a useful read for anyone involved in an organization such as a hospital for example.
    There is bound to be someone you will recognize from her analysis. Even if you are not working in an organization or similar, it is a useful text, because the subjects (i.e. sociopaths) can be quite baffling to others for a variety of reasons.

    Any additional comments?

    I live in Adelaide AU, not Alabama USA. Thanks Audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil.

    Mel says: "Marvelous, Magnificent, Millard"
    "beautifully delivered story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Destiny of the Republic to be better than the print version?

    havent read the book, but the way the book was spoken and delivered by the narrator
    really enhanced my appreciation. I loved his accent, and his delivery.

    What did you like best about this story?

    the way it draws out the character of many people. It reflects upon their attainments,
    without loosing sight of their soul and spirit as well. I developed a huge fondness for this
    president, his inherant decency and ideals, and wished that his fate had not collided so tragically with the figure of Giteau, because it seemed that he could have done much good.
    Also, the way his assasain was drawn was interesting. The workings of a man's delusional mind are clearly examined and laid out. Like his victim, he was a person who felt impelled to make a contribution to society, but lacked the necessary talent and insight to do so.

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

    beautiful rendition. He delivers the words of the president just as I imagine they were thought or said

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

    No, not for me. It was a bit of an emotional roller coaster, and much too long for that.

    Any additional comments?

    In Australia, after a person of similar calibre as Giteau killed about 30 people in one session they banned the sale of guns, with some exceptions, and made them much less accessible to people in general.
    I am glad about that. There are some things that are much too lethal to be easily available.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Macbeth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By A. J. Hartley, David Hewson
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Macbeth: A Novel brings the intricacy and grit of the historical thriller to Shakespeare’s tale of political intrigue, treachery, and murder. In this full-length novel written exclusively for audio, authors A. J. Hartley and David Hewson rethink literature’s most infamous married couple, grounding them in a medieval Scotland whose military and political upheavals are as stark and dramatic as the landscape in which they are played.

    Beverly says: "Narrator choice inspired"
    "gives an historical perspective to an old tale."
    If you could sum up Macbeth: A Novel in three words, what would they be?

    power struggles in a cold and inhospitable Scottish castle.

    What other book might you compare Macbeth: A Novel to and why?


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    great accent and narration

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

    The Vikings' boats in the Loch before the main action begins to occur.
    It brings into greater clarity the threats that lay all around in this remote time.

    Any additional comments?

    While in its essence "Macbeth" remains a moral tale, the story shows his character to be
    a patriot, with some good intentions, but coming undone by his actions.
    I cant say I enjoyed this story, especially knowing the outcome first, but have to say it
    was well written and narrated.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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