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S. Acuff

Palm Springs, CA USA | Member Since 2014

  • 6 reviews
  • 6 ratings
  • 173 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015

  • The Woman in White

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By Josephine Bailey, Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    One of the greatest mystery thrillers ever written, Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White was a phenomenal best seller in the 1860s, achieving even greater success than works by Charles Dickens. Full of surprise, intrigue, and suspense, this vastly entertaining novel continues to enthrall audiences today.

    David says: "Gripping novel, excellent production"
    "Pray Forgive My Feeble Attempt"

    I fear my poor efforts will not, alas, do justice to this fine tome. At the beginning, upon realizing it was over 25 hours of listening, I grew skeptical that my interest could be sustained. But shortly into the tale I grew faint with anticipation to continue. I found myself foregoing the modern entertainments, the talking boxes and even the boxes with forms that move. Excellence on every level was the reward for my perseverance. The only possible negative consequence of my efforts might be the change in my speech patterns but I hardly, upon reflection, truly consider that a negative. Huzzah!!! Huzzah!!!! I say.

    24 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • Spiral: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Paul McEuen
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When Nobel laureate Liam Connor is found dead at the bottom of one of Ithaca, New York’s famous gorges, his research collaborator, Cornell professor of nanoscience Jake Sterling, refuses to believe it was suicide. Why would one of the world’s most eminent biologists, a 86-year old man in good health who survived some of the darkest days of the Second World War, have chosen to throw himself off a bridge? And who was the mysterious woman caught on camera at the scene?

    Andrew says: "Unbelievable, implausible plot"

    A lot of sterling reviews for this book and I guess for the genre it is well done. The scientific background and information was certainly interesting but the story, sadly, was predictable. Well read, though, by Rob Shapiro who handles the accents well.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "Wish There Were A Possible 10 Stars"

    I had no advance knowledge of this book except that it was an award winner. And deservedly so, although I didn't full appreciate until the end, and as I had the book on my mind for several days, how well-earned were the kudos. It was a bit slow off the dime, and although one suspects something is about to be afoot, as they say, it is easy to get lulled into a certain rhythm. In retrospect this leisurely introduction to the characters and the story adds an element of reality so that when the true adventure begins to unfold the reader is easily lead into what might otherwise seem a preposterous proposition. There are many levels to this story and many interpretations. I have my own and others have theirs. A reader can delve as deep as they wish with this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Confederacy of Dunces

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By John Kennedy Toole
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The hero of John Kennedy Toole's incomparable, Pulitzer Prize-winning comic classic is one Ignatius J. Reilly, "huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter". His story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of New Orleans' lower depths, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures.

    Jon says: "Well Done"
    "Entertaining From Start to Finish"

    Outside of P.G. Wodehouse I haven't spent much time on comic novels. This time I am so glad I did. Well written and so well read. Bravo to Barrett Whitener. He hit the perfect note.He conjured up the character just as you might imagine him. Not only was it a great listen, I plan to listen again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dark Tourist: Sightseeing in the World's Most Unlikely Holiday Destinations

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Dom Joly
    • Narrated By Dom Joly

    Ever since he can remember, Dom Joly has been fascinated by travel to odd places. In part this stems from a childhood spent in war-torn Lebanon, where instead of swapping marbles in the schoolyard, he had a shrapnel collection -- the schoolboy currency of Beirut. These early experiences left Dom with a profound loathing for the sanitized experiences of the modern-day travel industry and a taste for the darkest of places.

    Amanda says: "Funny and Insightful - Not just for Travelers!"
    "The Title Leads One to Expect More"

    Maybe I should have checked more carefully.The title, "Dark Tourist," made me think of exotic places and primitive accomodations, lots of danger, etc. As presented by the author, however, the "Dark Tourist" is one who visits some uncommon destinations (Iran) and some not so uncommon (USA) and stays in hotels with modern accomodations, some better than others. This was my first disappointment.

    The author made his name with a low-brow British hidden camera/prank series that became well known in many countries. My second disappointment was that his humor, just like his tv show, is at the expense of others. Towards the end of the book he takes a few swipes at the Brits and makes an attempt at self-deprecation, but that really isn't his thing.And by then I had grown to have no sympathy for him or his viewpoint so it was too little, too late.

    I only finished the book so I could see how condescending and unfunny he could possibly be. Here's an example of his arrogance: While visiting Korea he notices that there are commercials for detergents that do not leave residue. He muses at so many commercials devoted to a "nonexistent problem." Without inquring or researching the issue he decides that these businesses (run by people not as sophistaced as he no doubt) are foolish enough to spend money advertising an unneeded benefit.Well, if one lives in a country without the lavish water supply to which we are so accustomed, there is skin-irritating detergent residue which results from the inability to rinse clothes freely.A simple Google search cold have enlightened the author.

    His reading is okay. He tries to do accents but does not do them well. An unintended benefit from his reading (which I had to put on the slowest setting on my Ipod) and the boring content of the book was that every time I listened while lying down I fell immediately asleep. It was better than a sleeping pill.

    All in all, this is a "humorous" travel book with little humor. There is little human interest, excitement, cultural enlightenment or anything else one looks for in a travel book. This was a waste of time and a perfectly good Audible Credit.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Whatever You Do, Don't Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Peter Allison
    • Narrated By Antony Ferguson

    Whatever You Do, Don't Run is a hilarious collection of true tales from top ­safari guide Peter Allison. In a place where the wrong behavior could get you eaten, Allison has survived face-to-face encounters with big cats, angry ­elephants, and the world's most unpredictable animals: herds of untamed tourists and foolhardy guides whose outrageous antics sometimes make them even more dangerous than a pride of hungry lions!

    D. says: "Drivers May Laugh Too Hard to Drive!"
    "A Worthy Read"
    Where does Whatever You Do, Don't Run rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is the best I've rented to date.

    What did you like best about this story?

    I love true adventure and this was the genre at its best--excitement and humor with some touching moments thrown in. You can't beat it.

    What about Antony Ferguson’s performance did you like?

    The reader was excellent and had a charming Aussie accent.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    In one vignette the author relates an experience where he chanced getting closer to an elephant herd than he should have. Later he relates watching the birth in the wild of an elephant out of this same herd. These interactions were exciting and moving.

    Any additional comments?

    Well done and bravo.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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