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BARRY

BENNINGTON, NE, United States | Member Since 2005

62
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 407 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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  • Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Peter Hessler
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (289)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (133)

    In the summer of 2001, Peter Hessler, the longtime Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, acquired his Chinese driver's license. For the next seven years, he traveled the country, tracking how the automobile and improved roads were transforming China.

    BARRY says: "Excellent book and narration"
    "Excellent book and narration"
    Overall

    This is a well-written, very entertaining book about how everyday people in China are moving from a rural economy to a modern one. It's amazing to me how Hessler was able to gain the confidence of so many people in order to learn how they really feel about the things going on around them. We learn some of the cultural differences between us and people in China, but I came away thinking that we're not really that different. I give this audiobook four stars and would note to potential buyers that the mediocre overall rating so far owes much to the 1-star rating of the previous reviewer who supposedly liked the book but not the narrator. Hit the sample button to see if you like the narration. I thought the reader was very good at voice characterization, and there are a lot of different voices to perform here - from very young children to older men and women.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Dad Is Fat

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jim Gaffigan
    • Narrated By Jim Gaffigan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1613)
    Performance
    (1493)
    Story
    (1486)

    In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald's, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children - everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers’ communication skills ("they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news"), to the eating habits of four-year-olds ("there is no difference between a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor").

    Sean says: "Good for Gaffigan fans - better for expecting dads"
    "I Thought I Liked Jim Gaffigan"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Jim Gaffigan and/or Jim Gaffigan?

    I always found Jim Gaffigan funny when I saw him on TV, but this book is not good. Though it's superficially divided into chapters, the book is really an undifferentiated collection of observations about kids and parenting. If I had a dollar for every time he says his wife Jeannie is great, I'd be rich. I'm sure she IS great, though I hold her responsible for typing the manuscript and so being the indirect cause of my wasted monthly Audible credit.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Spirit of the Border

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Zane Grey
    • Narrated By Robert Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    The American frontier in the 1700s produced some men of utter ruthlessness, and Jim Girty was one of the worst. Living among the Delaware Indians in the Ohio Valley, Girty and his brothers incited acts of savagery and war against the white settlers. One of Jim Girty's targets was the Village of Peace, a settlement of Christian Indians who had been converted by Moravian missionaries.

    BARRY says: "Worst Audiobook I've Heard by Far"
    "Worst Audiobook I've Heard by Far"
    Overall

    Why this audiobook had five stars from other reviewers is a question I'll never have answered. I hadn't read a Zane Grey book before and thought this might be a useful start. It wasn't. The main characters are barely credible, the dialogue is incredibly stilted, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that Grey wrote this while in high school. Or that he got a D on it in his writing class. I'm not giving up on Zane Grey; I'm sure I'll try another story. I'll just have to wait until the memory of this one fades.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Three Men on the Bummel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Jerome K. Jerome
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (12)

    George, Harris, and J. decide to take a cycling trip through the Black Forest - to be accomplished on a tandem plus one. Whether it is Harris's harrowing experience with a Hanoverian road-waterer or George's valiant attempt to buy a cushion for his aunt, their experiences are hilarious - - and they may even offer some important lessons to all who may be contemplating a cycling trip in the U.S.

    Jerri says: "Another Fine Trip"
    "Very funny, entertaining book - flawlessly written"
    Overall

    What an exceptional book this is. I enoyed it even more than Jerome's "Three Men in a Boat." Like P.G. Wodehouse, Jerome doesn't waste a word or ever seem to use one that isn't perfect. Frederick Davidson is my favorite narrator and is a great choice for this book. There are many funny stories and descriptions in "Three Men on the Bummel," but the author offers many keen observations, too, about the character of the German people. Don't get the idea that this is some sort of sociological treatise, though. It's a great treat to hear.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Such, Such Were the Joys and Other Essays

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By George Orwell
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (21)

    Viewed as too libelous to print in England until 1968, the title essay in this collection reveals the abuse Orwell experienced as a child at an expensive and snobbish boarding school and offers insights into his lifelong concern for the oppressed. "Why I Write" describes Orwell's sense of political purpose, and the classic essay "Politics and the English Language" insists on clarity and precision in communication in order to avoid the Newspeak later described in 1984.

    Christopher says: "Superb collection of essays, very well read"
    "Four Stars - Maybe Five Without the Skips"
    Overall

    I agree almost completely with the earlier review here. The pieces are all interesting, very illuminating, and, of course, exceptionally well written. The skips in the audio are mainly in the second half, and while they are irritating, the book is well worth the trouble.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Carry On, Jeeves!

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By P. G. Wodehouse
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Young Bertie Wooster needed help in life. His affairs were in a complete mess. When Jeeves, the incomparable manservant, offers his services as valet, Bertie takes him on. Soon Jeeves has everything running smoothly - even Bertie himself.

    BARRY says: "Excellent Introduction to Wodehouse"
    "Excellent Introduction to Wodehouse"
    Overall

    This is a wonderful introduction to P.G. Wodehouse, very well narrated by Frederick Davidson. These are all early Bertie and Jeeves stories and contain some of the great scenes and characters fans have enjoyed for several decades. Wodehouse fans have their favorite narrators; I've enjoyed Martin Jarvis in other productions. Davidson has a great range of voices, and by the end of the book I couldn't imagine anyone giving a better performance.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Brothers Karamazov

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (38)

    In The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky explores human nature at its most loathsome and cruel but never flinches at what he finds. The novel tells the stirring tale of four brothers: the pleasure-seeking, impatient Dmitri; the brilliant and morose Ivan; the gentle, loving, and honest Alyosha; and the illegitimate Smerdyakov, shy, silent, and cruel. They are behind the murder of one of literature's most despicable characters: their father. This was Dostoevsky's final and perhaps his finest work.

    David says: "superb rendition of Dostoyevsky's greatest novel"
    "A Mastepiece"
    Overall

    The Brother Karamazov is one of the truly great classics and Frederick Davidson is a master of narration. I can't for the life of me understand reviewers who say he's pretentious. I've often searched for audiobooks he's read and have never been disappointed.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Peter Simple

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Frederick Marryat
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    In this seminal story of naval life during the Napoleonic wars, Frederick Marryat's young hero embarks upon a life at sea and finds it to be a rough school indeed. Simple's trials and triumphs, with his faithful mentor, Terence O'Brien, at his side, mirror Marryat's personal experiences. Among the exciting events depicted are the hand-to-hand combat of "cutting-out" missions, the devastating hurricane off St. Pierre, and a mutiny aboard the Rattlesnake.

    BARRY says: "Wonderful"
    "Wonderful"
    Overall

    OK, I'll break the ice here. This book is wonderfully entertaining. I hadn't heard of it before, but narrator Frederick Davidson never seems to pick a dud, so I gave it a listen. The book is 300 years old, if I remember correctly, but the language is fresh and easily understandable. Very funny, even to the modern reader, and not in that high-brow way in which we're supposed to think a 500-year-old Shakespeare comedy is funny. The depiction of a naval press gang at work is worth the price alone. Anyone who enjoyed the Master and Commander series by Patrick O'Brien will love this one, too.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • History of the World, Updated

    • UNABRIDGED (54 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By J.M. Roberts
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (399)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (145)

    In the History of the World, Updated, J. M. Roberts has revised his monumental previous work, History of the World, taking into account the great range of discoveries that have altered our views on everything from early civilizations to post-Cold War globalism. Large portions of text have been rewritten, addressing events as recent as the relationship between the Arab and Western worlds in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

    Alan Rither says: "Comprehensive world history"
    "First Rate"
    Overall

    This is an exceptionally good overview of world history read by one of the very best narrators. Reviewers who found the book "Euro-centric" missed the point entirely. Roberts demonstrates that European values have largely been responsible for shaping the world as it is. He doesn't claim that this is all to the good, only that it is a fact. In fact, Roberts seems to have particular admiration for the Mongol Empire and modern China. How anyone construes this as Euro-centric is beyond me. Finally, another reviewer says that Frederick Davidson's narration is "affected and annoying." Perhaps he's never heard an intelligent reader before. Davidson is outstanding here. In fact, I often search for audiobooks according to the ones he's read. "Cry the Beloved Country" is a genius of narration.

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful

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