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David

Ardmore, OK, United States

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2014
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  • The Dark Worlds of H. P. Lovecraft, Volume One

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By H. P. Lovecraft
    • Narrated By Wayne June
    Overall
    (259)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (202)

    Hailed by literary critics as the inventor of modern-day horror, H. P. Lovecraft is the cultivating force behind such modern writers as Robert Bloch, Wes Craven and Stephen King. The Dark Worlds of H. P. Lovecraft, Volume One is a collection of his best-known tales narrated for the first time by Wayne June and includes both "The Dunwich Horror" (published in the summer of 1926) and "The Call of Cthulhu" (published in the summer of 1928).

    Edward says: "Excellent Series for those who love Lovecraft..."
    "Matter of Fact Lovecraft"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wayne June reads two of Lovecraft's best-executed stories in the tone of a staid man of common sense, say a business manager or a pedantic scholar, who has been brought unwillingly to believe in strange and terrible things. His approach underlines Lovecraft's strengths while covering his faults. An excellent afternoon's entertainment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Thérèse Raquin

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Emile Zola
    • Narrated By Kate Winslet
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (832)
    Performance
    (759)
    Story
    (750)

    Once upon a time, a teenaged Kate Winslet (The Reader, Titanic, Revolutionary Road) received a gift that would leave a lasting impression: a copy of Emile Zola’s classic Thérèse Raquin. Six Academy Award nominations and one Best Actress award later, she steps behind the microphone to perform this haunting classic of passion and disaster.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Winslet, Satisfactory Story"
    "Kate Winslet Reads Proto-Noir (spoilers)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel was perhaps the first to show adulterous lovers killing an inconvenient husband. As such, it was one of the first psychological thrillers and arguably one of the first noir novels.

    To enjoy a psychological thriller, I have to believe the psychology and be thrilled by it. I had trouble doing either. I began reading / listening to this as a literary work, prepared to learn serious things about the human condition while admiring the author's literary skills. Since this was an English translation of a French novel, I didn't expect that much of whatever Zola's style was to survive. I was impressed by what did come through translation. I admired the author's eye for details and his ability to build characters, settings, and scenes out of them. He outdid himself in his description of the tomb-like shop where most of the action takes place. I could see it, smell it, feel it, fear it. I also admired his set pieces: the boring, maddening domino games; Laurent looking for his victim in the morgue; Laurent and Therese unable to consummate their marriage on their wedding night because of the corpse in the room; Therese begging forgiveness of the dead man's mute paralyzed mother, while said mother wished for her death.

    At first, I couldn't find his psychological insights revealing because he revealed them in 1868 and since then talented writers such as James M. Cain, along with many, many hacks, have used them over and over again until they became commonplace. I became interested after the murder because Zola tried something that hasn't been imitated so much. He didn't make Laurent and Therese good people regretting an evil choice, as Dostoyevsky and Dreiser and Cain did, and he didn't make them the remorseless psychopaths that are featured in television crime documentaries. He made them bad people who were capable of regret and especially fear if not remorse or repentance. Unfortunately, Zola wrecked the novel's credibility by having the killers' crack-up caused by a shared hallucination, the presence of the murdered man's ghost, appearing as a corpse. As I mentioned, I enjoyed the ghost’s appearance as a set piece, as I enjoyed watching Zola put his villains though every kind of moral degradation he could think of, but I enjoyed it as I would a horror novel or a pulp thriller, not as a classic of world literature. When Zola ended their lives in a very melodramatic finale, I chuckled and shook my head instead of weeping.

    Kate Winslet read this novel in the tone that I would have imagined Zola using: detached and disgusted. She brought the characters, male and female, to life in their short bursts of dialogue: angry, unhinged Therese; loud, brutish Laurent; the fools who played dominoes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Metamorphoses

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Ovid
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (218)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (103)

    An undeniable masterpiece of Western Civilization, The Metamorphoses is a continuous narrative that covers all the Olympian legends, seamlessly moving from one story to another in a splendid panorama of savage beauty, charm, and wit. All of the gods and heroes familiar to us are represented. Such familiar legends as Hercules, Perseus and Medusa, Daedelus and Icarus, Diana and Actaeon, and many others, are breathtakingly recreated.

    J. J. Kuzma says: "Desert Island Download"
    "Charlton Griffin's Metamorphoses"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to Charlton Griffin read an obscure translation of the Odyssey last year and came to love the poem after years of resistance. He excelled in that reading in conveying the voices of wily warriors and lowly peasants. Here he is reading a very different poet. He makes Ovid sound urbane, "cool," "hip." The poet wallowed in stories of emotional distress and extreme passion and deeds of bloods. Griffin tells these stories with relish. He doesn't create a vivid gallery of distinct characters the way Robert Whitfield did in his great reading of Don Quixote but he slip into Ovid's characters, men and women, in a quiet, smooth manner that doesn't call attention to itself, letting the hearer following along without any inconsistency of tone to jar him or her out of the story. If I got tired at times of the reading, it was because I listened to this long poem in a short time, instead of drawing it out and savoring it more. A fine performance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Don Quixote

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Miguel de Cervantes, Tobias Smollett (translator)
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (586)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (210)

    Don Quixote, the world's first novel and by far the best-known book in Spanish literature, was originally intended by Cervantes as a satire on traditional popular ballads, yet he also parodied the romances of chivalry. By happy coincidence he produced one of the most entertaining adventure stories of all time and, in Don Quixote and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, two of the greatest characters in fiction.

    James says: "Excellent"
    "Don Quixote (Unabridged)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this novel, surely one of the greatest ever written. I was very happy to be able to hear an unabridged version, for I found a fresh treat in almost every chapter. For all that, I finished this in large part because of Robert Whitfield's narration. His tone as narrator was perfect. His handling of the characters was very much a performance, not a reading, His Don Quixote - a deluded old man determined to make his dreams come true - and Sancho Panza - a peasant hoping that his master is what he says he is even though he knows better - was as good or better than any film performance I've seen, Whitfield also excelled at creating a huge number of different voices, including excellent female voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Shadow Over Innsmouth and Dagon

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By H. P. Lovecraft
    • Narrated By Wayne June
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (93)

    Howard Phillips Lovecraft has been hailed by literary critics as the inventor of modern horror and a cultivating force behind such modern writers as Robert Bloch (Psycho), Wes Craven (The Craft, Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream), and Stephen King (Pet Semetary, Carrie, Children of the Corn), just to name a few.

    Johannes says: "A rekindled spark"
    "Another in a Good Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Once again Wayne June makes the transformation of Lovecraft's characters from skeptic to broken - or inspired - believer sound plausible, his dry tone dampening Lovecraft's excesses while underlining his strengths. I especially like his handling of New England dialect.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Homer, A. T. Murray (translator)
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (41)

    The Odyssey is the greatest adventure story ever written, and one of the great epic masterpieces of Western literature For almost 3,000 years, it has been a storehouse of ancient Greek folklore and myth. It is also our very first novel, if we think of it in terms of romantic plot development, realistic characterizations, frequent change of scene, and heroic dramatic devices.

    Carl says: "Fantastic Audio Reading by Griffin!"
    "My Favorite Odyssey"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Audible didn't mention who the translator was but when I input the first line into Google I found it linked to Augustus Taber Murray on Wikipedia.

    I have been trying to find for years a version of the Odyssey that I liked as much as I do most translations of the Iliad. In this reading of an obscure translation, which I listened to while I was working, I finally found what I wanted. I love action and fantasy and I had always thought that was the best reason to read this work. This time, I was more impressed by the character of the heroes and their women: their code of honor, their hospitality and generosity, their adaptability to the decrees of fate or the operation of chance, their competitiveness, their cruelty to men, women, and children, their loyalties and betrayals. I've read that the Odyssey was the first great adventure story but I think one could say that it was the first psychological novel.

    Charlton Griffin was terrific when he read the narration and the men's voices. I always imagined that Homer's warriors spoke like this. He wasn't at all convincing when doing the women's voices. I wish Audio Connoisseur had used a woman narrator.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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