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Peggy

Washington, DC, United States | Member Since 2010

ratings
197
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
5

  • The Woman in White

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By Glen McCready, Rachel Bavidge
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (61)

    Walter Hartright, a drawing teacher to two sisters, wants to marry Laura, though she is betrothed to another. But who is the mysterious woman in white he encounters? Wilkie Collins was a master of suspense, but his transfer to audiobook requires a cast of readers to faithfully reflect the11 different characters who tell the story. Naxos AudioBooks brings together a strong cast to bring alive the mystery and suspense of The Woman in White.

    Liz says: "Excellent Writing; Superb Narration"
    "Great story well told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Excellent characters, a sense of time and place, suspense, superb narration: who could ask for more.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7316)
    Performance
    (6704)
    Story
    (6709)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Goldfinch?

    This book was so repetitive and mired in endless descriptions of drugs and alcohol that all potential for it's excellent plot was wasted. Why it got such good reviews and won so many prizes is beyond me.


    Which character – as performed by David Pittu – was your favorite?

    David Pittu's performance with all characters was great, especially with a book that needed so much editing.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was very disappointed in The Goldfinch.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles Through Islamic Africa

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Steve Kemper
    • Narrated By Ed Phillips
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    In 1849 Heinrich Barth joined a small British expedition into unexplored regions of Islamic North and Central Africa. One by one his companions died, but he carried on alone, eventually reaching the fabled city of gold, Timbuktu. His five-and-a-half-year, 10,000-mile adventure ranks among the greatest journeys in the annals of exploration, and his discoveries are considered indispensable by modern scholars of Africa.

    Peggy says: "A journey without maps"
    "A journey without maps"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The audio book outlining the travels of Henrich Barth would have been better with maps. If there were no maps in Kemper's book, then the fault is with the author; if there were maps and they were not offered in pdf format, then the fault is with audiobooks.


    What was most disappointing about Steve Kemper’s story?

    The most disappointing thing about Steve Kemper's story was being made acutely aware of the fighting in Central Africa. Tribal and religious violence, as described in Kemper's tale in the mid-nineteenth century is too much different from what we see on the evening news.


    Which character – as performed by Ed Phillips – was your favorite?

    Philips gave a clear performance throughout so all characters were clearly distinguishable.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Only if it were shot on location.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Lesson Before Dying

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Ernest J. Gaines
    • Narrated By Lionel Mark Smith, Roger Guenveur Smith
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (42)

    Jefferson is an innocent and unwitting party to a deadly liquor store shoot-out in the 1940s. As the only survivor, he is tried and convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, a university-trained teacher at the plantation school, is persuaded to visit Jefferson in his cell. Wiggins is torn between staying in his native Cajun community or moving on. The 2 men gradually form a bond as they jointly discover the simple heroism of resisting - and denying - the expected.

    James says: "Just like the old Sears radio hour"
    "The past brought forward"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up A Lesson Before Dying in three words, what would they be?

    Hope from hopelessness


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Lesson Before Dying?

    The prisoner, described by the prosecution as a hog instead of a man, demonstrates his self image by eating food from the filthy floor of the jail.


    Any additional comments?

    A Lesson Before Dying brings us back to the days when the American South still flew the confederate flag. And perhaps reminds us that in jails across the country those days may still prevail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Circle of Reason

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Amitav Ghosh
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    Amitav Ghosh’s extraordinary first novel makes a claim on literary turf held by Gabriel García Márquez and Salman Rushdie. In a vivid and magical story, The Circle of Reason traces the misadventures of Alu, a young master weaver in a small Bengali village who is falsely accused of terrorism. Alu flees his home, traveling through Bombay to the Persian Gulf to North Africa with a bird-watching policeman in pursuit.

    Gwen says: "Ghosh, I was disappointed"
    "Circles within circles"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Although Amitav Ghosh is one of my favorite writers, I found this book confusing and not very interesting. Too many people moving around without compelling purpose.


    What three words best describe Simon Vance’s voice?

    Excellent as usual.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Complete Tiger Man Diaries

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs)
    • By Alan Rabinowitz
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    For the past decade, world-renowned wildlife conservationist Alan Rabinowitz has been leading the fight to save tigers in one of their greatest natural habitats, the remote Hukaung Valley in northernmost Mynmar (formerly Burma). In January 2006, Alan traveled to Myanmar to push forward this massive and, at times, dangerous project. Now, you can listen to all of the details of Alan's fascinating journey.

    Peggy says: "A true story with an untold after story"
    "A true story with an untold after story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Alan Rabinowitz, a well known and respected conservationist, tapes his tiger story as he sets up a tremendous wildlife reserve in in the Hukaung Valley of Northern Myanmar (Burma) for the protection of tigers. He tells of his interaction with both the ruling military government for allocation of the preserve and permission to meet with and seek the cooperation of numerous ethnic groups. Groups living in the preserve were allowed to stay in the reserve if they refrained from poaching. The story was compelling, though hard to hear at times, as he taped in the jungle—or any place out of earshot (once in an outhouse). What Rabinowitz, accomplished, in setting up the preserve was amazing. However, the story told here has been amended by Rabinowitz himself in later public speaking engagements. Much of the pristine jungle has been ravaged by mining and other destructive activity, presumably with the approval of the government. And tigers, for obvious reasons, have failed to move into the preserve, as Rabinowitz had hoped.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Baroness Orczy
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (275)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (192)

    The Scarlet Pimpernel hides the identity of a British nobleman who, masked by various disguises, leads a band of young men to undermine the Reign of Terror after the French Revolution. The Scarlet Pimpernel makes daring raid after daring raid into the heart of France to save aristocrats condemned to the guillotine. At each rescue, he leaves his calling card: a small, blood-red flower - a pimpernel - mocking the power of Robespierre and his Committee of Public Safety.

    Amazon Customer says: "Beautifully Written Classic"
    "A True Spy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A compelling tale of spies and counterspies during the French Revolution, who—enabled by the British—helped save aristocrats from the guillotine. The Scarlet Pimpernel may have been one of the first true undercover agents of the 19th century fooling everyone, including the reader. Well narrated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking True Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Ann Rule
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    Overall
    (207)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (188)

    Ann Rule was working on the biggest story of her career, tracking the trail of victims left by a brutal serial killer. Little did this future best-selling author know that the savage slayer she was hunting was the young man she counted among her closest friends. Everyone's picture of a natural winner, Ted Bundy was a bright, charming, and handsome man with a promising future as an attorney. But on January 24, 1989 Bundy was executed for the murders of three young women - and had confessed to taking the lives of at least thirty-five more women from coast to coast.

    La Becket says: "Embarrassingly terrible narration"
    "Creepy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author tricked me into believing that Ted Bundy was a handsome, clever, ordinary guy--just as he tricked her. If we believe Ann Rule, it was long after capture and late in the judicial process that she saw the truth about the guy she had once worked with. And that's what makes the whole thing really creepy.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • And the Mountains Echoed

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Khaled Hosseini, Navid Negahban, Shohreh Aghdashloo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2216)
    Performance
    (1967)
    Story
    (1951)

    Khaled Hosseini, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.

    FanB14 says: "Does the End Justify the Means"
    "Authors should not read their own books."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    And the Mountains Echoed is wondrous book, consistent with Khaled Hosseini's other work. He is an extraordinary writer, who tells of places few have visited. Each of his many characters come alive as he offers poignant glimpses into the life and culture of Afghanistan. Why, then, does he read his own stuff--causing the listener (or me at least) to strain at meaning, and even back up to re-hear to certain sections. We don't need poorly articulated reading (it's not just the accent) to understand the otherness of the culture and people he creates for us.

    Normally I return such books. In this case, because the writing is so good, I am not going to request a refund. However, as a well read listener, I want to be heard on this issue--both to encourage author's not to read their own works, and to discourage publishers who permit or encourage such readings. It can almost ruin a beautiful book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Thirst

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Andrei Gelasimov
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Masterfully translated from its original Russian by award-winning translator Marian Schwartz, Thirst tells the story of 20-year-old Chechen war veteran, Kostya. Maimed beyond recognition by a tank explosion, Kostya spends weeks on end locked inside his apartment, his sole companion the vodka bottles spilling from the refrigerator. But soon Kostya’s comfortable, if dysfunctional, cocoon is torn open when he receives a visit from his army buddies who are mobilized to locate a missing comrade. It is through this search for his missing friend that Kostya is able to find himself.

    Peggy says: "Not as good as it could have been."
    "Not as good as it could have been."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    War as it affects people is always difficult to portray. In this case, a maimed character is surrounded by cases of booze in the beginning but his life and thoughts on life are not really examined then or later. He reunites with war-time friends to find a buddy but the search reveals little about him or those searching. The narration is good, protraying a man who speaks with broken face, but the story is too sparse.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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