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Mary

Austin, TX, USA | Member Since 2006

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 274 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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  • A Soldier of the Great War

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Mark Helprin
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    Overall
    (260)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (124)

    On his last long walk, septuagenarian war hero, deserter, and professor Alessandro Giuliani shares his past with an illiterate young factory worker, spinning a remarkable tale of heart-stopping escapes, of loves unrequited and won, of madmen, dwarfs, and mafiosi. But overshadowing all is his most miraculous and terrible adventure, the Great War: a surreal parade of horrors that devastated and defined Alessandro, yet enabled him to experience fully the magic and beauty of the absurd human comedy called life.

    Stuart says: "Painting with words"
    "Long but memorable"
    Overall

    At 31 hours, this is a long book. It's mostly a coming-of-age novel, set in the first world war... but that doesn't begin to do it justice. Ultimately, it is a book about beauty, love, and finding meaning.

    The narration is wonderful. Parts of the book do drag at times, in part because it is long and in part because the author repeats themes, but I am very glad to have listened to it. It will provide food for thought for some time to come.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Some Buried Caesar

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Rex Stout
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    Overall
    (184)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (103)

    A car accident in upstate New York strands Nero Wolfe, America's largest detective, and Archie Goodwin, his confidential assistant, in the midst of a family feud. The feud, over $45,000 worth of prize bull, turns ugly when the beef in question is found pawing the mangled body of a family scion. Solving the mystery is no problem - but, alas, the evidence keeps disappearing.

    Reader from the heartland says: "Great story, poor audio"
    "A great story, so-so narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mary's husband here... Long-time Nero Wolfe fan. This is, in my opinion, the best of the Nero Wolfe novels. However, the performance aspect was marred by two things: First, the narrator is not good at making different characters _sound_ different. Second, the audio quality is somewhat muffled and nowhere near the quality of more recent recordings.

    I'd really like to see these books get re-recorded.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Straight Man

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Richard Russo
    • Narrated By Sam Freed
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (481)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (192)

    Russo's protagonist is William Henry Devereaux, Jr., the reluctant chairman of the English department of a badly underfunded college in the Pennsylvania rust belt. In the course of a single week, Devereaux will have his nose mangled by an angry colleague, imagine his wife is having an affair with his dean, wonder if a curvaceous adjunct is trying to seduce him with peach pits, and threaten to execute a goose on local television.

    Jeffrey A. Sherman says: "Shockingly good"
    "One of my favorite books, and great narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OK, this is Mary's husband.

    This is the second time I've listened to this book in the last 3.5 years, and it's fabulous -- I laugh uncontrollably. It probably helps if you're an ex-University rat, but the narrator is wonderful -- dry, ironic, with perfect timing. I love Richard Russo's work but I wish they had used Sam Freed for his other books.

    Right up there with Lucky Jim as one of my favorite books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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