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Ms.

ratings
88
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
27

  • Time Bomb

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jonathan Kellerman
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (84)

    A sniper opens fire on a crowded Californian schoolyard but is killed before any children are harmed. When the sniper’s identity is revealed, a media frenzy erupts – why would they want to take innocent lives? Psychologist Alex Delaware is brought in to help the kids cope with the ordeal but is quickly drawn into exploring the motives of the would-be assassin. Alex soon finds himself on a bloody and twisted trail into the world of political extremism from which there may be no way back…

    Ms. says: "Narration puts a stop to listening"
    "Narration puts a stop to listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This review concerns only the narration. This may be a great book, but I simply cannot get past the narrator's technique. I really tried. I was just a little nervous at first with the narration (every sentence has the same stress: (da-da-da-da DA), but I thought I could get used to it for the sake of the story.
    Then, less than 2 minutes into the recording comes the voice of 'Milo.' A parody of 'hard-bitten cop.' Almost unbearably unconvincing. Okay, well, maybe he won't be a main character. Then comes the principal, Linda Overstreet, Ed.D. OMG! It was fascinating to try to figure out what kind of audio manipulation created this voice. and what, exactly, was supposed to be conveyed by her absurd breathlessness (sexy? overmedicated? just weird?). I knew there would be children's voices coming up, so I masochistically listened on and, yep, distractingly bad.
    It's hard to do voices. Really hard. But not impossible. Sorry this book wasn't matched up with a more skilled reader.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Classical Mythology

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Elizabeth Vandiver
    Overall
    (670)
    Performance
    (591)
    Story
    (583)

    These 24 lectures are a vibrant introduction to the primary characters and most important stories of classical Greek and Roman mythology. Among those you'll investigate are the accounts of the creation of the world in Hesiod's Theogony and Ovid's Metamorphoses; the gods Zeus, Apollo, Demeter, Persephone, Hermes, Dionysos, and Aphrodite; the Greek heroes, Theseus and Heracles (Hercules in the Roman version); and the most famous of all classical myths, the Trojan War.

    Matt says: "Very Informative and Entertaining"
    "thought-provoking and very well-organized"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The lectures combine discussions of history, comparisons and critique of various theories, explanations of contemporary classical contexts with selected and edifying re-telling of myths and mythical elements. One of the best sections, for me, was her discussion of the difficulty we have in understanding the original meanings, intentions and even content of the myths we only know through later re-tellings by such authors as Sophocles and later Ovid who treat the myths as a basis for literature.
    For me, Professor Vandiver's most impressive achievement was the way she was able to sift through such a huge subject and choose and organize material that illustrated her points in the time allowed without seeming rushed or giving the feeling of over-simplification.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, John McWhorter
    • Narrated By Professor John McWhorter
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (74)

    Conventional wisdom suggests English is going to the dogs, that bad grammar, slang, and illogical constructions signal a decline in standards of usage - to say nothing of the corruption wrought by email and text messages. But English is a complicated, marvelous language. Far from being a language in decline, English is the product of surprisingly varied linguistic forces, some of which have only recently come to light. And these forces continue to push English in exciting new directions.

    Tony says: "Easy Introduction to Linguistics"
    "fascinating content; presentation distracting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage the most enjoyable?

    John McWhorter explains aspects of the development of English that I have never heard before. His discussions of very early stages, especially his explanations of early contacts with speakers of other languages are fascinating. He also managed to 'talk me down' from my uptight attitudes towards current English speech/writing styles, not an easy task!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    N/A


    What three words best describe Professor John McWhorter’s performance?

    spirited, well-researched, unfortunate speaking style


    Any additional comments?

    I found Dr. McWhorter's use of what he considered to be foreign accents almost unbearable. He has no ear for this, and it was highly distracting and annoying. His attempts at sounding like children, and particularly his stabs at sounding 'stupid' made my skin crawl. His side comments were often difficult to understand as well as irrelevant. All of this is a great shame, because the content of the lectures is quite good.
    One more thing: if the Great Courses people are going to insert applause at the beginning and end of every lecture, they should at least vary the clip(s)--listening to the identical five seconds of applause 48 times detracted from the quality of the recording.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heartstone: A Matthew Shardlake Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By C. J. Sansom
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (526)
    Performance
    (392)
    Story
    (395)

    Consistently appearing on US and UK best-seller lists, C.J. Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake mysteries have earned considerable critical acclaim, including a CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award. At the behest of a former servant to Catherine Parr, Shardlake travels to Portsmouth to investigate claims of unspeakable crimes committed upon a young ward of the court. There, Shardlake uncovers disturbing evidence even as England’s continuing war with France rages around him.

    MLKIllory says: "Worth the time and money"
    "an excess of plotlines"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The book seemed to go on and on--and not in a good way. The numerous plotlines: Hugh/Emma, Coldiron/Josephine; Ellen; Catherine Parr; Henry VIII and conscription/taxes, the Battle of the Solent; Jack/Tamiesen's baby, etc., etc. are just too much for one book to sustain. The historical detail is well-researched and interesting, but, again, overwhelming as part of one story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chiefs

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Stuart Woods
    • Narrated By Mark Hammer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1875)
    Performance
    (1253)
    Story
    (1251)

    In 1919, Delano, Georgia, appoints its first chief of police. Honest and hardworking, the new chief is puzzled when young men start to disappear. But his investigation is ended by the fatal blast from a shotgun. Delano's second chief-of-police is no hero, yet he is also disturbed by what he sees in the missing-persons bulletins. In 1969, when Delano's third chief takes over, the unsolved disappearances still haunt the police files.

    karen says: "In my 'Top Ten' books of all time!"
    "I was charmed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was charmed by this book. The narrator perfectly captured the pace of Southern life during the decades covered by the story. His narration added to the extensive character development that sets the tale apart from more plot-driven mysteries. Deathless prose it's not, but story and narration made me care about the characters and I was always eager to listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Moonstone

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (556)
    Performance
    (299)
    Story
    (303)

    No, the "Moonstone" isn't a celestial relic, it's a gigantic yellow diamond of unearthly beauty that was given to Rachel Verinder as a present on her 18th birthday - and stolen that very night! Betteredge, one of the most beloved butlers in English literature, is the focus of this seminal detective novel, which examines how one family's life is turned upside-down by the theft. And find out why the answers to all of life's problems can be found in the pages of Robinson Crusoe.

    Catherine says: "One of the best readings ever"
    "how patient are you?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a great fan of Dickens, Trollope and other authors of the lengthy Victorian novel. I looked forward to listening through the many hours of this classic early 'detective' novel. Unfortunately, it took much determination to slog through to the end. While there are many positive aspects of the book: the period detail, the amusing satires, especially that effected through the perceptions of Miss Clack. The running 'Robinson Crusoe' joke continued to amuse almost to the end. Sergeant Cuff is someone I'd love to meet again. But my goodness, the almost endless series of individual narratives with their inevitable repetitions was, to me, a torture. Even if one heard this story read out over a series of (many, many!) evenings in the family circle gathered around the fire, I think it would tax the patience of most listeners. In the case of this recording, the doling out of the various narratives to several different readers was a good idea. It did relieve some of the tedium of listening. Unfortunately, these narrators never seemed to have met, because the individual voices do not match from narrative to narrative (For example, Sergeant Cuff's voice is markedly different when interpreted by the various readers.)
    Overall, I would only recommend this recording to a listener who had some academic research motive in knowing the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Split Second

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (3831)
    Performance
    (1988)
    Story
    (1984)

    Michelle Maxwell has just blown her future with the Secret Service. Against her instincts, she let a presidential candidate out of her sight to comfort a grieving widow. Then, behind closed doors, the politician whose safety was her responsibility vanished into thin air.

    John says: "Listen again"
    "distracting narration"
    Overall

    There were two very distracting elements to the audio version. One is the narrator's unskillful way of using a quirky vocal habit when reading almost every question used in dialogue. It might have been good if this stylistic trick were restricted to just one character, but when the identical intonation is used for every voice in the story it became more than annoying. I found myself bracing for every spoken question and even then it made me flinch. The second was probably the fault of the editing. In transitions of time/place/character, where in a written text the reader is cued by a break of several lines or some other visual indicator, the recorded version has no such clue. One finds oneself, startled and confused by the sudden appearance of a character who is miles away, only to realize that the scene has changed with nothing to indicate it. Then the reader has to make a mental shift and play catch-up to rejoin the story. This happens over and over and over.
    Combine this with a ludicrous comic-book ending and, well, there are better ways to spend one's time and money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jim Gorant
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (56)

    Animal lovers and sports fans were shocked when the story broke about NFL player Michael Vick’s brutal dogfighting operation. But what became of the dozens of dogs who survived? As acclaimed writer Jim Gorant discovered, their story is the truly newsworthy aspect of this case.

    Gillian says: "Such an Important Book I'm Rounding Up"
    "frustrations aside, worth it"
    Overall

    While the story itself is an important one, the book was a frustration to listen to. It was an act of patience to tease out the facts from all the sentimental anthropomorphizing. We DO NOT 'know' what the dogs were thinking, wishing, remembering; we can only use our intelligence and compassion to develop a useful understanding of their behaviors and needs. Another source of irritation was the narrator, who articulated the text as though he were recording it for a class of foreign language students just learning English. These complaints aside, I did listen to the end, because, again, this is an important and mostly inspiring story.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Regeneration: The Regeneration Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Pat Barker
    • Narrated By Peter Firth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (160)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (102)

    In Craiglockhart war hospital, Dr William Rivers attempts to restore the sanity of officers from World War I. When Siegfried Sassoon publishes his declaration of protest against the war, the authorities decide to have him declared mentally defective and send him to Craiglockhart.

    Cariola says: "Don't Miss This One!"
    "Insightful"
    Overall

    Pat Barker captures the devastating effects of the First World War on those in the front lines. Her vivid and insightful descriptions of the suffering of the survivors and, in this volume, doctors in a military hospital treating their psychological scars, are deeply moving. The device of including real historical figures such as Siegfried Sassoon, Dr. William Rivers and Wilfrid Owen heightens the realism. The articulate internal and external debates about the morality of fighting a disastrous war with no clearly defined ultimate goal or competent strategy makes the story oh, so relevant to contemporary readers.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Reserve

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Russell Banks
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Twenty-nine-year-old Vanessa Cole is a wild, stunningly beautiful heiress, the adopted only child of a highly regarded New York brain surgeon and his socialite wife. Twice married, Vanessa has been scandalously linked to any number of rich and famous men. But on the night of July 4, 1936, at her parents' country home in a remote Adirondack Mountain enclave known as The Reserve, two events coincide to permanently alter the course of Vanessa's callow life.

    Ms. says: "Where was his editor?!?"
    "Where was his editor?!?"
    Overall

    Have you ever watched a really bad telenovela? This is worse. I listened on to the very end, in a sort of a stunned trance, not believing that any book, let alone one by Russell Banks, could be so bad! A hackneyed, melodramatic, and haphazardly organized mess revolving around two narcissistic trouble-makers.
    And the narration? omigosh! Sometimes the reader sounded like he had made a bet he could narrate the book while holding the text upside down, at other times, he seemed strangely and inappropriately overexcited, using a voice one might use to shout through a wall to someone trapped in a burning building. I downloaded this book on impulse, because I have enjoyed Russell Banks in the past. What a mistake!!

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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