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Bruce

Dulles, VA, United States | Member Since 2010

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 285 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
1

  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Shirley Jackson
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (327)
    Performance
    (256)
    Story
    (260)

    Six years after four family members died of arsenic poisoning, the three remaining Blackwoods—elder, agoraphobic sister Constance; wheelchair-bound Uncle Julian; and 18-year-old Mary Katherine, or, Merricat—live together in pleasant isolation. Merricat has developed an idiosyncratic system of rules and protective magic to guard the estate against intrusions from hostile villagers. But one day a stranger arrives—cousin Charles, with his eye on the Blackwood fortune.

    jaspersu says: "The narration changed my interpretation"
    "If Julia Child wrote an unfinished ghost story..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I only hung with the book because of the superb narration and I wanted the payoff. As the novel got closer and closer to the end, I realized there was not going to be any payoff!?!
    The characters Shirley Jackson created kept my interest in spite of their constant obsession with shopping for groceries, preparing food, and eating food. At times the story hints at what supernatural forces are influencing the characters. Frustratingly, Jackson never makes it clear what is actually going-on between the ghostly world and the real world of living humans. There are encounters between the characters which lead the listener to conclude, that within the universe of this story, interaction between ghosts and living humans is part of the normal course of events. Or are all the living humans dead too? We don't know because it's never explained!
    The novel ends abruptly with no substantive explanations to the back story or why the principle characters are in the situation they're in. To add insult to injury, there is NOTHING SCARY about this book... NOTHING!

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Zone One: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Colson Whitehead
    • Narrated By Beresford Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (185)
    Performance
    (162)
    Story
    (160)

    In this wry take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel, a pandemic has devastated the planet. The plague has sorted humanity into two types: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead. Now the plague is receding, and Americans are busy rebuild­ing civilization under orders from the provisional govern­ment based in Buffalo. Their top mission: the resettlement of Manhattan.

    Jeff says: "Not the next great american author I was hoping"
    "Stream of conciousness in the interregnum"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a fan of the post apocalyptic, zombie, last man on Earth genres. It was that interest and the numerous positive Audible reviews which led me to purchase this book.
    On a positive note, the story is set in a time which is not typically featured in stories in this genre, i.e., after the zombie apocalypse has run it's course and a previously collapsed human society has revived enough to be organized to support a zombie clean-up effort and restoration of organized human society with bureaucracies and institutions. This period known as "the interregnum" is a word that the author introduced me to, over and over again.
    I listened to roughly 2/3 of the book before I finally gave-up,... why? Well, I really had difficulty staying focused on the story (something which is not common for me) because the stream of consciousness nature of the story. It jumps from the present to the past and back again all in a few minutes of listening while at the same time using literary illusions that constantly took me out of the story and made me suspect that the author was showing-off his vast vocabulary. After hours of listening I didn't feel like I knew the characters and worse... I didn't care to. Perhaps my experience was doomed in the telling? The reader had a way of reading that really grated on me (a lilt at the end of his sentences perhaps?). Listen to a sample before you purchase!
    Wait for the "Zone One" movie featuring Brad Pitt, I suspect the movie will be more entertaining than the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Trial of Henry Kissinger

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens, Ariel Dorfman (introduction)
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    America need look no further than its own lauded leaders for a war criminal whose offenses rival those of the most heinous dictators in recent history: Henry Kissinger. Employing evidence based on firsthand testimony, unpublished documents, and new information uncovered by the Freedom of Information Act, and using only what would hold up in international courts of law, The Trial of Henry Kissinger outlines atrocities authorized by the former secretary of state in Indochina, Bangladesh, Chile, Cyprus, and more.

    Bruce says: "We need more people like Christopher Hitchens"
    "We need more people like Christopher Hitchens"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Regardless of your political outlook or persuasion, Christopher Hitchens provides ample narrative to support his indictment of Henry Kissinger's character and his decisions which Hitchens describes as "war crimes".
    This is a one-sided account that Henry Kissinger haters will LOVE and Kissinger defenders will DESPISE. So if you do not want to hear a scathing attack on Henry Kissinger, then do NOT buy this book!
    Something the Kissinger haters, the Kissinger defenders, and the open-minded should all consider is the magnitude of defamation Hitchens heaps on Kissinger. Hitchens' attack is scathing throughout. Would an innocent public servant allow Hitchens' charges to go unchallenged without filing a lawsuit and make Hitchens pay for his lies? This book was published nearly a decade before Hitchens' death and no lawsuit was ever filed.
    Hitchen's charges may never be proven in a court of law, but I was persuaded by Hitchen's argument and enjoyed the book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Heilemann, Mark Halperin
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1876)
    Performance
    (736)
    Story
    (737)

    Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Game Change is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, this is the occasion-ally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of the campaign of a lifetime.

    Joe says: "Best Audiobook of 2010!"
    "The drama of modern politics..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are the least bit interested in politics, this book is a superb account of the 2008 Republican and Democratic campaigns and subsequent Presidential Election. The only thing disappointing about this book was that it ended too soon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Max Brooks
    • Narrated By Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, and others
    Overall
    (5268)
    Performance
    (3532)
    Story
    (3543)

    The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of 30 million souls, to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.

    Steve says: "Good but Too Short!"
    "C-SPAN Meets the flesh-eating Walking Dead"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I REALLY wanted to like this work. But sadly, I did not.
    I LOVE the zombie apocalypse & last man on Earth genres. So. I had high expectations that I would enjoy this as much as "Walking Dead" or "I am Legend".
    However, the story lacks any tension or suspense due to the manner in which it is told. Less than 5 minutes into the listen you're aware that the Zombie War is over and that humanity, though battered, has survived. The story unfolds through a seemingly endless stream of interviews with survivors (scattered across all corners of the globe) of the Zombie War. The interviews are unrealistic virtual monologues that are too focused and all inclusive streams of consciousness to be believable. Occasional interruptions by the interviewer, seeking minor points of clarification, reinforce the clumsiness of the interview formula as a means of telling the story.
    Worse still is that the interview style of story telling negated developing any emotional connection with the characters. Because they are all survivors, there is no drama or tension or sense of peril conveyed. It had all the thrill of a text book.
    Some characters wade into foreign policy discussions that I suppose were intended to give the work a sense of realism, but in reality side-tracked too far away from the zombie apocalypse story for my liking. Too many of the interviews sounded like the characters were making appearances on C-SPAN with zombies as merely a mechanism to discuss global foreign policy.
    I bought this book based upon all the positive hype I read in reviews and was hearing from friends. I'm really disappointed that an exciting theme, that I was predisposed to like, could be so dull.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (17053)
    Performance
    (15140)
    Story
    (15097)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Another page turner from Stephen King!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I know you're not turning pages with Audible.com, but what I mean is... After I downloaded this book I spent almost every free moment of the next week listening to the four (8 hour) segments that comprise this work. I was not disappointed in the least and did not want it to end.
    Using the Kennedy assassination (a watershed moment in American history) as the backdrop for a story of time travel, Stephen King takes us down the rabbit hole where his fertile imagination convinces us that it was a moment in time worthy of traveling to.
    I got joyously lost in this story and will likely be listening to it again soon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rudyard Kipling: The Man Who Would Be King

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 19 mins)
    • By Rudyard Kipling
    • Narrated By Richard Mitchley
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    The Man Who Would Be King. This rich wonderfully written classic features two opportunists who venture into remote Central Asia with the intention of acquiring a country to rule. Their adventures meet with surprising initial success but then.....

    Bruce says: "Film surpasses the book, but I still enjoyed it!"
    "Film surpasses the book, but I still enjoyed it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My LOVE of the film brought me to this story. Had I never seen the movie I still would've enjoyed this story. But the movie is one of those very rare cases where the conversion to film exceeds the richness of the written word. This a great story and I encourage you to buy this work and see the film, I'm happy I have!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Radio Free Albemuth

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Philip K. Dick
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (48)

    Philip K. Dick's impassioned final novel is a wild and visionary alternate history of the United States. It is 1969, and a paranoid president has convulsed America in a vicious war against imaginary internal enemies. As the country slides into fascism, a struggling science-fiction writer named Philip K. Dick is trying to keep from becoming one of that war's casualties.

    Jose says: "A strange masterpiece"
    "Literary equivalent of "Plan 9 from Outer Space""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I came to this book based upon praise of Philip Dick by other authors and the positive Audible reviews I read. What I experienced fell far from meeting my expectations. The author's conceptions did not adequately materialize in execution. The characters were all wooden, one dimensional, and poorly developed in the story. I didn't care about any of them. The story wasn't very coherent and could only serve to support accusations of the author's drug use while composing his work. Perhaps, in it's day this was way ahead of everything else? But it does not stand the test of time. Finally, whenever the reader read for a female character, his delivery sounded satirical (I had visions of Steve Martin portraying a women in "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid"). No suspense, no thrill, no drama. Truly horrible, don't waste your money! YUCK!

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Eric Metaxas
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1508)
    Performance
    (983)
    Story
    (1003)

    A definitive, deeply moving narrative, Bonhoeffer is a story of moral courage in the face of the monstrous evil that was Nazism. After discovering the fire of true faith in a Harlem church, Bonhoeffer returned to Germany and became one of the first to speak out against Hitler. As a double agent, he joined the plot to assassinate the Führer and was hanged in Flossenbürg concentration camp at age thirty-nine. Since his death, Bonhoeffer has grown to be one of the most fascinating, complex figures of the twentieth century.

    Alan says: "Very Moving"
    "For Theologians, NOT WWII Historians"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had high expectations and was REALLY disappointed by this story.
    Fresh from a viewing of "Valkyrie" (which I LOVED) I jumped into the era by purchasing this book.
    The work does provide some interesting descriptions of daily life in Hitler's Germany, but for the most part it is detailed account of Bonhoeffer, his family, friends & his career as a theologian.
    Considering his profession, I should have expected the book would feature long passages concerning God and the struggle between good and evil in the context of Bonhoeffer's role as a prominent protestant theologian.
    If you're a believer, then you might find the work to be very interesting. For me, as a non-believer, I found it to be very tedious listening to the intellectual dissection of God and the struggle between good and evil and the role man should play in all of this. From my perspective these dilemmas were pointless and made listening a rough go.
    The story is an account of Bonhoeffer's internal turmoil and for me that is not satisfying enough to recommend this book to others.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jon Krakauer
    • Narrated By Philip Franklin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1278)
    Performance
    (501)
    Story
    (503)

    In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself.

    Craig Mitchell says: "A Book that Never Left Me"
    "I'm Haunted by this story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If audible downloads had pages, I would rate this as "Grade A" page turner! I really enjoyed listening and even months after finishing it I find myself often thinking of the story. After completing the work I became aware of the controversy over what may have been the reason Christopher McCandless died. As these controversies emerged after the book was published, they do not get addressed in the book. I would love to see a re-release of the book at some point where these elements do get addressed by Jon Krakauer. Regardless, a great work that I enjoyed a lot!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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