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Stephen

Member Since 2012

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 32 reviews
  • 50 ratings
  • 114 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • BBC Radio Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By David Tennant, Samantha Spiro, Full Cast
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (71)

    BBC Radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly formed company broadcast its first full-length play, generations of actors and producers have honed and perfected the craft of making Shakespeare to be heard.

    David says: "Excellent"
    "Much Ado About Nothing - Audio Book - BBC"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A classic by a classic organization. The production made the text come alive. I will glad to purchase the rest of the Bard's collection in audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    Overall
    (15839)
    Performance
    (14337)
    Story
    (14439)

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."
    "Divergent - Nice Teen Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Buy.

    Story: I bought this book before I would saw the movie. It is teen book, which it means it does not rely language, drugs, alcohol, and sex to sell. Yes, I know that real people do all these things but they do not make it the focus of their lives. People wash cars, eat soup, and watch TV but there few writes who write books focus on those activities because their publishers tell them to do it to make a marketable product. Thus, the good thing about the teen books they have less crutches to use in building a book. In any case, this is book, versus Hunger Games, has less technology and the story line is more predicatable. The book is more of a coming to adulthood. Some of the story is strange with the leaders of the groups being young; most trainer in any group will be the older members who survived, still competent but losing their competitive edge but I assume this is an adaption for teen book. Overall, it is slow parts but the author paints interesting characters in this semi-dystopia.

    Production: The effects are good and the read is good though not excellent. But, then, again, this is a teen age girl speaking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Atlas Shrugged

    • ABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    Overall
    (803)
    Performance
    (363)
    Story
    (358)

    As passionate as it is profound, Atlas Shrugged is one of the most influential novels of our time. In it, Rand dramatizes the main tenets of Objectivism, her philosophy of rational selfishness. She explores the ramifications of her radical thinking in a world that penalizes human intelligence and integrity.

    Shawn Levasseur says: "Edward Hermann's masterful performance."
    "Atlas Shrugged - Unconventional Book and Writer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Buy. In addition, I recommend you read the Wikipedia article on Ayn Rand. She is a very controversial person and crosses the usual group parameters in politics, economics, religion, and society. Because she does fit into the usual groupings, she is shunned and embraced by many. In her own life, she was non-conformist and difficult to deal with on many issues; she an ego, very sure.

    There are plenty of reviews by the scholars and the readers alike. However, here is my opinion:

    Story: The story is bit sophomoric, it has some unbelievable portions (even though it is mildly a science fiction and fantasy novel), and there is a long soliloquy that presents the author's philosophy in a nutshell. However, the author's dystopia rings true today in Europe and as warning to other developed countries. It explains some of the problems in developing countries; some I seen personally. The story can run slow but it is not action novel but one on philosophy and personal development.

    Production: The reader is a personal favorite of mine both in books and on the screen. The production effects were good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Farewell to Arms

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Ernest Hemingway
    • Narrated By John Slattery
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (760)
    Performance
    (422)
    Story
    (418)

    The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse.

    Valerian says: "This is not unabridged"
    "A Farewell to Arms - Typicall Hemingway"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Buy, but not an urgent buy.

    Story: The story is good but it is anticlimactic. The writing is better and the story presents life on a different WWI front.

    Production: The reader is excellent; he makes the characters all believable: men, women, English, American, Italian, etc.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I, Claudius

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Robert Graves
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (170)

    Physically weak and afflicted with stuttering, Claudius is initially despised and dismissed as an idiot. Shunted to the background of imperial affairs by his embarrassed royal family, he becomes a scholar and historian, while palace intrigues and murders surround him. Observing these dramas from beyond the public eye, Claudius escapes the cruelties inflicted on the rest of the royal family by its own members and survives to become emperor of Rome in A.D. 41.

    Robert says: "An..An..Ancient Rome comes to life, brilliantly"
    "I, Claudius - A Nice Fictionalized Autobiography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Buy

    Story: This is nice fictionalization of a historical person. The work weaves the personal, societal, cultural, and strategic threads of the early Roman Imperial period through the recalled memories of a Roman Emperor. Unlike the television mini-series, the book ends at his ascension to the throne versus the series which ends at near his death.

    Production: The reader does an excellent job and the production effects are good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    Overall
    (11099)
    Performance
    (7107)
    Story
    (7139)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Anastasia Burke says: "Hillenbrand could make even laundry fascinating!"
    "Unbroken"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Buy.

    Story: Since this is not a fiction novel, I rate it based on presentation. It is starts with a catcher: it starts in the middle and then goes back to the beginning. Unlike most POW / Concentration Camp stories, there is less death and less treachery by fellow prisoners such as "A Train in Winter".

    Production: I am fan of the reader and enjoy his professionalism and art.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shane

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Jack Schaefer
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (54)

    Shane, the traveller and ex-gunfighter, a mysterious gunman who enters into the life of Joe Starrett and his family and carves a place for himself in their hearts. Although he tries to leave his gunslinging past behind, refusing to even carry a gun, he decides to fight Fletcher and Wilson, the town enemies, in order to save Joe Starrett’s farm.

    Laura says: "typical coming of age western"
    "Shane - Classic Western"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Story: I never saw the movies and I did not get some of the comedy take-offs I saw growing up. I enjoyed the story but the writing was much better. It interesting that the writer did not live or visit the west before he wrote the book.

    Performance: The reader is excellent. The production was very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Appointment in Samarra: Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By John O'Hara, Charles McGrath (introduction)
    • Narrated By Christian Camargo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    In December 1930, just before Christmas, the Gibbsville, Pennsylvania, social circuit is electrified with parties and dances. At the center of the social elite stand Julian and Caroline English. But in one rash moment born inside a highball glass, Julian breaks with polite society and begins a rapid descent toward self-destruction.

    Darryl says: "excellent & a bit existentialist & Hemingway-esque"
    "Appointment in Samarra"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Story: Not much of a story but it is interesting background and writing. It was slowed in the middle but then came to a quick ending.

    Production: The reader was excellent and the effects were good.

    Overall, I would recommend to buy but do not make it an urgent buy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Passage to India

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By E. M. Forster
    • Narrated By Sam Dastor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (298)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (184)

    What really happened to Miss Quested in the Marabar Caves? This tantalising question provides the intense drama of racial tension at the centre of Foster's last and greatest novel.

    Diane says: "Extraordinary!!"
    "A Passage to India"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I recommend this production.

    Story: This is a classic so I will not comment on style. I enjoyed this slice of history, Anglo-India prior to WWII. Although the actual story was merely a short period overall, it was an intersection drama; the intersection of peoples' life in time. For this two items, I enjoyed the story.

    Production: The reader was excellent. I found his females and non-English males very convincing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cunning Man

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Celia Rees
    • Narrated By Shirley Barthelmie
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Finn's not at all sure about the Salt House. Overlooking Westwater Bay, it brings back all her nightmare fears of drowning, of the ghosts of the dead reaching for her. And Westwater is dangerous. Countless seafarers have drowned here, their ships lost - broken on the vicious Viper Rocks; lured by the wrecker's false lights, summoned by the dark enchantments of cunning men - masters of storms and tides...or so the legends say.

    Stephen says: "The Cunning Man - Nice Teen Book"
    "The Cunning Man - Nice Teen Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I recommend this book as an easy listening story especially for teenage girls. I meant to get a work with the same name by another author but I finished the book since it was an average to good book. It is a definite read but I am not sure I would listen to it more than once.

    Story: The book is clean and good for teenagers. It is set in an interesting locale as well. The pace is not slow but not high-pitched.

    Production: I enjoyed the actor and she did a good job with the male voices as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Battlefield Earth

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By L. Ron Hubbard
    • Narrated By Roddy McDowall
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (81)

    Suspense, politics, war, humor and intergalactic finance. A towering masterwork of science fiction adventure and one of the best-selling science fiction novels of all time, L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth opens with breathtaking scope on an Earth dominated for 1,000 years by an alien invader and man is an endangered species. From the handful of surviving humans a courageous leader emerges Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, who challenges the invincible might of the alien Psychlo empire in a battle of epic scale, danger and intrigue with the fate of the Earth and of the universe in the tenuous balance.

    Shane says: "They Gutted This Story"
    "Battlefield Earth - Not the Movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I recommend to purchase this book.

    Story: I have not seen the movie but I understand it to be awful in execution. The book is average to very good in terms of imagination as you expect from a science fiction book. It is easy to follow and shows some interesting themes.

    Production: Roddy McDowall is the reader and, so, I am biased since I enjoy his acting. In fact, I think his reading raises the book to higher level. He is easy to listen to and an accomplished actor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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