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John

Raynham, MA, United States | Member Since 2007

ratings
39
REVIEWS
17
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
35
HELPFUL VOTES
50

  • Light in August

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By William Faulkner
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    An Oprah's Book Club Selection regarded as one of Faulkner's greatest and most accessible novels, Light in August is a timeless and riveting story of determination, tragedy, and hope. In Faulkner's iconic Yoknapatawpha County, race, sex, and religion collide around three memorable characters searching desperately for human connection and their own identities.

    Robert Stevens says: "Superb reading of an excellent work"
    "The master, well rendered by Mr. Patton"
    Overall

    A great novel and a great production. I could barely stop listening to work and sleep.

    17 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • The Killing of the Tinkers

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Ken Bruen
    • Narrated By Gerry O'Brien
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    Jack Taylor, a disgraced ex-cop in Galway, has slid further down the slope of despair. After a year in London he returns to his home town of Galway with a leather coat and a coke habit. Someone is systematically slaughtering young travellers and dumping their bodies in the city centre. Even in the state he's in, Jack Taylor has an uncanny ability to know where to look, what questions to ask, and with the aid of an English policeman, apparently solves the case.

    John says: "Not sure how he does it..."
    "Not sure how he does it..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is crime fiction where the crimes are incidental. In other words, this is literature loosely based around some wrongdoing. The fact that these books are character driven is the key; the fact that that character is Jack Taylor is immense. Highly literate, funny, daring, rightgeous and usually pissed, JT is great company.
    On to book 3.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Guards

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Ken Bruen
    • Narrated By Gerry O'Brien
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (74)

    Still stinging from his unceremonious ouster from the Garda Siochana, and staring at the world through the smoky bottom of his beer mug, Jack Taylor is stuck in Galway with nothing to look forward to. He is teetering on the brink of his life's sharpest edges, his memories of the past cutting deep into his soul and his prospects for the future non-existent.

    John says: "This is literature, not just crime fiction"
    "This is literature, not just crime fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A friend told me I should check out this book.
    I did.
    I was afraid I'd get hooked.
    I am.
    Friends tell me I now talk like Jack Taylor as rendered by the marvelous Gerry O'Brien
    I do.

    This is a wonderfully written, humorous and touching story. The crime is nearly beside the point. I'm lining up the Ken Bruen books now and plan to devour them one after another.

    Great stuff.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Henderson the Rain King

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Saul Bellow
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Bellow evokes all the rich colour and exotic customs of a highly imaginary Africa in this comic novel about a middle-aged American millionaire who, seeking a new, more rewarding life, descends upon an African tribe. Henderson's awesome feats of strength and his unbridled passion for life earns him the admiration of the tribe - but it is his gift for making rain that turns him from mere hero into messiah.

    Neil Babcox says: "Great book, great audiobook"
    "Tour de force by Bellow and narrator, Joe Barrett"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Funny, ironic, sad and packed with philosophical musings, this book is a tour de force. No other way to put it. One of those books you can't imagine how it was conceived nor how it was written. Just amazing. Joe Barrett brings it all to life. Could be the best narration I've experienced. Very enjoyable. Bellow is amazing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • In Memory of a Friend, Teacher and Mentor

    • UNABRIDGED (11 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By Philip Roth
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (97)

    In this moving eulogy, Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning novelist Philip Roth pays tribute to the Newark, New Jersey, high school teacher who helped to shape his ideas and the path of his life. Roth first met "Doc" Bob Lowenstein as an impressionable teenager at the end of World War II, and the friendship between the two men grew and flourished throughout Roth’s evolution as an accomplished novelist.

    John says: "The Master Returns... For a Bit..."
    "The Master Returns... For a Bit..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a beautiful piece and I'm glad to have it. Read it in the NYTimes.

    Looks like the master has not fully retired, eh? We'll get him back. He's got another gem in him, I know.

    Enjoy this for now.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (623)
    Performance
    (447)
    Story
    (442)

    McGrath-Muniz says: "Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
    "A Classic, Wonderfully Rendered"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of the great stories in western culture, acted not read, by a true master. This is the way it was meant to be enjoyed, listened to as entertainment for several nights.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Emerson: The Mind on Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Robert D. Richardson
    • Narrated By Michael McConnohie
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (27)

    Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of the most important figures in the history of American thought, religion, and literature. The vitality of his writings and the unsettling power of his example continue to influence us more than a hundred years after his death. Now Robert D. Richardson Jr. brings to life an Emerson very different from the old stereotype of the passionless Sage of Concord.

    John says: "Entertaining, erudite, engaging"
    "Entertaining, erudite, engaging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Emerson was a fascinating individual, and this biography details his life and thinking in ways that are compelling. I was sorry when it was over.

    Richardson also goes into great detail about Emerson's sources, and parses his essays and books, delves into his relationships and gives us a full portrait of the man.

    A great biography. No wonder it is the standard in Emerson studies.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By William L. Shirer
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (3308)
    Performance
    (2362)
    Story
    (2370)

    Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Tale of Momumental Evil, Stupidity and Hatred"
    "Endlessly fascinating account from an eyewitness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For nearly sixty hours I was held in thrall by this history and the author's sources and insights.

    I highly recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Bit on the Side

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By William Trevor
    • Narrated By Josephine Bailey, Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    William Trevor is truly a Chekhov for our age, and a new collection of stories from him is always a cause for celebration.

    Kathleen says: "Writing of the highest order"
    "Great stories from a true master"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you don't know the work of William Trevor, this is a great place to start. His attention to character and detail are first rate, and his plotting is always subtle, endings that will stay with you long afterward. Meanwhile, the writing is beautiful, but at the same time economical. A veritable lesson on the craft can be found in each of these stories.

    There are many I re-listened to immediately. He's that good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1450)
    Performance
    (1268)
    Story
    (1270)

    Prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial Vincent Bugliosi held a unique insider's position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the 20th century: the cold-blooded Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by Charles Manson and four of his followers. What motivated Manson in his seemingly mindless selection of victims, and what was his hold over the young women who obeyed his orders? Now available for the first time in unabridged audio, the gripping story of this famous and haunting crime is brought to life by acclaimed narrator Scott Brick.

    Larry says: "What a great book."
    "Masterful, start to finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A compelling true crime tale is nothing unless it's told with the proper organization, discriminating and orderly presentation of details and all sculpted into a story arc. "Helter Skelter" sets the bar in each of these areas.

    I read this book as a teen and it stuck with me these thirty-plus years. Seeing it on audio, I was wondering if I would be interested in giving it thirty hours of my life. Man, I'm glad I did.

    It was so intense, at times I thought I'd have to stop listening. It gets in your head a bit. By turns, this book is horrifying, fascinating, sad, edifying and, ultimately a history lesson on crime in America, the 1960s, cults and the judicial system, not to mention Manson and his Family..

    I can't recommend it highly enough. Just don't listen in the dark.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Consolations of Philosophy

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Alain de Botton
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (60)

    Alain de Botton has performed a stunning feat: He has transformed arcane philosophy into something accessible and entertaining, useful and kind. Drawing on the work of six of the world's most brilliant thinkers, de Botton has arranged a panoply of wisdom to guide us through our most common problems.

    Austin says: "Cheering, empathic, helpful"
    "Entertaining overview, good use of material"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Doesn't dig too deeply, but always entertaining in the info he presents and the way he uses it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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