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J.

El Cerrito, CA, United States

ratings
6
REVIEWS
4
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
8

  • Telegraph Avenue: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Michael Chabon
    • Narrated By Clarke Peters
    Overall
    (299)
    Performance
    (246)
    Story
    (246)

    As the summer of 2004 draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are still hanging in there - longtime friends, bandmates, and co-regents of Brokeland Records, a kingdom of used vinyl located in the borderlands of Berkeley and Oakland. Their wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffe, are the Berkeley Birth Partners, a pair of semi-legendary midwives who have welcomed, between them, more than a thousand newly minted citizens into the dented utopia at whose heart - half tavern, half temple - stands Brokeland Records.

    Darwin8u says: "26,784 sq in (and 4.5 miles) surrounded by REALITY"
    "Loved it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book. Chabon is brilliant, and to have Clarke Peters (aka Lester from The Wire) read it to me was almost too good to be true. I live in the East Bay, so I loved the references to places big and small. I was also fascinated by Chabon's ability to write about things he hasn't completely experienced (i.e. childbirth) in ways that based on my own experience, rang true. This is a wonderful fictional piece of local history and a story woven around very colorful characters. I miss all of the folks already.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (39 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (230)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (201)

    No Ordinary Time describes how the isolationist and divided United States of 1940 was unified under the extraordinary leadership of Franklin Roosevelt to become the preeminent economic and military power in the world.

    BB says: "A rich and entertaining history"
    "A Treasure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Doris Kearns Goodwin gave the nation an invaluable gift by weaving together so many primary documents to write this book. She brings both Eleanor and FDR to life and in doing so gives voice to the sub-themes of the 1940s such as race, gender issues, xenophobia, etc. It's a US History teacher's dream. Unfortunately the narration left something to be desired; aside from some non-standard pronunciations I was baffled as to why he chose to read Eleanor's lines in the most silly, sing-songy voice that made her sound like an out-of-touch dimwit. Fortunately the history speaks so loudly that despite that distraction, listeners come away with the true picture of who she was.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Adam Hochschild
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (206)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (151)

    World War I stands as one of history's most senseless spasms of carnage, defying rational explanation. In a riveting, suspenseful narrative with haunting echoes for our own time, Adam Hochschild brings it to life as never before. He focuses on the long-ignored moral drama of the war's critics, alongside its generals and heroes. Thrown in jail for their opposition to the war were Britain's leading investigative journalist, a future winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and an editor who, behind bars, published a newspaper for his fellow inmates on toilet paper.

    Tad Davis says: "A story of personalities"
    "Unbelievable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the best books I've ever read (well, heard.) Hochschild weaves hundreds of strands of history into a gripping and compelling narrative. As soon as I finished I just started it over. And Arthur Morey does a superb job - even if the book wasn't so fantastic, it would be worth listening to just to hear him.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12535)
    Performance
    (4915)
    Story
    (4953)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    Joseph says: "Good historical setting, but loose story."
    "Not my cup of tea"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I couldn't finish this, which I realize doesn't give me much authority to write a review. But this is what I would have liked to hear before selecting it. It's a page-turner and it's certainly not boring. What's wrong with that? Usually nothing. But I felt like I was being strung along through a non-stop maze of violence, suffering, explicit sex scenes, hangings, lust, death, etc. with no time to recover or process the events as they occurred. This is an action-packed plot that happens to take place 900 years ago. I wanted to be immersed more in the broad themes of history but instead I feel like I have literary PTSD.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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