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Janice

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 46 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2014
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  • Her Two Dads

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Ariel Tachna
    • Narrated By Jenny Urban
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (44)

    Srikkanth Bhattacharya is a quintessential gay bachelor and perfectly happy about it—until he gets a call from the local hospital telling him his best friend died in childbirth. Sri had agreed to provide the sperm to make Jill's dream of motherhood come true, but he'd never expected to have to make decisions for a baby girl. He intends to place her with an adoptive family, but once he sees her, Sri can’t bring himself to do it, so now he’s struggling to learn how to deal with a newborn.

    Amazon Customer says: "Surprisingly realistic"
    "Started kind of sweet, but then downhill"
    Overall

    The book doesn't have much in the way of characters, but at first, I found it kind of sweet--I know several two-dads families, and thought of them while reading it. I didn't even mind the "Brand-G is the best kind of carseat" parts--maybe it would be useful to prospective dads. But there really isn't much plot beyond the first third of the book, there's no characterization or level of prose to keep one's interest, and there are two or three pretty explicit sex scenes that seemed completely out of place--they didn't advance the plot or characters, just seemed thrown in to have sex in the book. The happy ending didn't read as real, either. Disappointing.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Life and Works of Beethoven

    • ORIGINAL (4 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jeremy Siepmann
    • Narrated By Jeremy Siepmann, Bob Peck, Neville Jason, and others
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    For many people, Beethoven is the greatest composer who ever lived. In this portrait-in-sound, actors’ readings combine with his music to reveal a titanic personality, both vulnerable and belligerent, comic and tragic, and above all heroic, as he comes to grips with perhaps the greatest disability a musician can suffer. No man’s music is more universal; few men’s lives are more inspiring. In every sense but one - his modest height - he was a giant. The great bonus of this audio-biography is that the development of Beethoven’s music can be heard in the context of his life.

    Janice says: "Get Greenberg's Beethoven His Life and Music"
    "Get Greenberg's Beethoven His Life and Music"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is fine for what it is--well, sort of fine. Not really. It's neither a real biography of Beethoven, nor an analysis of his work; it's an entertaining but fluffed-out skim over both. Half is segments of Beethoven's compositions, interleaved with brief narrations of his life and descriptions of him by contemporaries (acted quite well; the narrators are very good).

    But while the compositions connect to the narrations, they are long (half the book) and nothing is done with them. And while the snippets on B's life are good, they are just that--snippets. The print equivalent of this work would be a short magazine article with glossy illustrations.

    A wonderful version of the very same topic is Robert Greenberg's Great Masters: Beethoven - His Life and Music. Greenberg is professor of musicology and a composer. He gives the same material as this book/article, but even more entertainingly, with much greater depth, and an enlightening, sophisticated, accessible analysis of B's compositions and life. It's better in every way, and costs less, if you are buying without credits. Greenberg's is 6 hours long vs. this work's 5 hours. It's not a pedantic work; it's this work, done better.

    Okay, long review. Short form--it's definitely not worth the money.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Among Others

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jo Walton
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (688)
    Performance
    (595)
    Story
    (594)

    Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

    Eoin says: "Subtle Character Piece"
    "This one's not for me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The plot and characterization of the book were all right--I'd put it between three and four stars, if I could. I also might have rated the novel higher if I had read it, rather than listened to it--hard to say. The reader, however, wrecked whatever I might have enjoyed. The side characters she portrays quite well. Her performance of the main character starts off not great, but fair, in my opinion. But the farther along I listened, the more grating and finally almost intolerable, it was. The Welsh accent is strong, but sounds put on. As the book progresses, the accent starts to sound more and more like the arrogant, condescending, 'evil' high-caste English aunts. I think this was meant to show how the character was changing in her new environment, but the last two-thirds of the novel sounded to me like false Welsh/condescending English, which was mind-drilling. I was glad I fell asleep for the last bit of the book (listening in bed), but woke up enough to hear the final scene--I got to hear the end of the story without having to listen to that voice.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Richard Labunski
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (146)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (60)

    Richard Labunski offers a dramatic account of a time when the entire American experiment hung in the balance, only to be saved by the most unlikely of heroes, the diminutive and exceedingly shy James Madison. Here is a vividly written account of not one, but several major political struggles that changed the course of American history.

    James says: "American History is All of a Sudden Interesting!"
    "Was hoping for more."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unfortunately, the reader of this book seems to belong to the 'It's history, so I must sound portentous' school of thought. That really detracted. But in addition, the writing style is repetitive. Over and over, we hear something like, 'The anti-Federalists did not agree with Madison,' or, 'The Federalists thought they could turn this to their advantage.' I'm not quite half-way through, but am stopping.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Washington's Crossing

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By David Hackett Fischer
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    Overall
    (583)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (207)

    This New York Times best seller is a thrilling account of one of the most pivotal moments in United States history. Six months after the Declaration of Independence, America was nearly defeated. Then on Christmas night, George Washington led his men across the Delaware River to destroy the Hessians at Trenton. A week later Americans held off a counterattack, and in a brilliant tactical move, Washington crept behind the British army to win another victory. The momentum had reversed.

    William says: "Particularly Good Military History"
    "Wonderful book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Before listening to this book, I wondered how good it could be if the entire subject was the few days directly around the crossing. How much can anybody say? However, I bought it on the strength of the reviews and my growing interest in the Revolutionary era.

    It turns out that someone can write a very good book indeed! It actually starts in Boston, then follows Washington through the New York debacle and the New Jersey retreat. This is not filler; it's necessary background for the situation W. found himself in at Christmas, 1776. After an excellent description/analysis of the crossing, Fischer goes further and explains how the rest of that year's campaign in New Jersey followed from and expanded the victory at Trenton.

    In short, the narrator was great, the book is a wonderful piece of historical writing, and it definitely increased my knowledge of the Revolutionary War and Washington as a leader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mauritius Command: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (282)
    Performance
    (127)
    Story
    (127)

    Captain Jack Aubrey is ashore on half pay without a command, until Stephen Maturin arrives with secret orders for Aubrey to take a frigate to the Cape of Good Hope under a commodore's pennant, there to mount an expedition against the French-held islands of Mauritius and La Reunion. But the difficulties of carrying out his orders are compounded by two of his own captains, Lord Clonfert, a pleasure-seeking dilettante, and Captain Corbett, whose severity pushes his crew to the verge of mutiny.

    Lawrence says: "Great Reader"
    "Definitely an inferior narration"
    Overall

    The book is wonderful. However, I also mistakenly downloaded this version instead of Patrick Tull's. Vance simply doesn't get the characters. His Jack Aubrey sounds like a foolish bullfrog. His Maturin sounds like an almost effeminate Englishman, not a man of sharp intellect and character, and certainly not a man with a subtle Irish accent. I know some folks may prefer Vance, but if you have not yet chosen, I would definitely recommend Tull.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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