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Stephen

Member Since 2012

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 22 reviews
  • 40 ratings
  • 99 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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  • The Tombs: A Fargo Adventure, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Clive Cussler, Thomas Perry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (731)
    Performance
    (626)
    Story
    (636)

    Husband-and-wife team Sam and Remi Fargo are intrigued when an archaeologist friend requests their help excavating a top secret historical site. What they find will set them on a hunt for a prize greater than they could ever imagine. The clues point to the hidden tomb of Attila the Hun, the High King who was reportedly buried with a vast fortune of gold and jewels and plunder....a bounty that has never been found. As they follow the trail, the Fargos will find themselves pitted against a thieving group of treasure hunters.

    Compute says: "Great Entertaining Read"
    "The Tombs - Nice Adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story was good to very good. It kept my interest since it is based on historical subject which I fancy. It has a nice historical reconstruction I like as well. Some of the actions are bit stretch but not outlandish. I like the geographic and cultural backdrops. It could be made into a movie as well. I glad I listen it and would listen / read another in the series. I do not think I would read this novel again. It was not that good.

    The performance by Mr. Brick was very good. I forgot it was a male imitating a female voice.
    voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Exclusive Interview: Jim Atlas with James Lee Burke on William Faulkner

    • UNABRIDGED (16 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By James Atlas
    Overall
    (343)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (180)

    In this exclusive interview, bestselling author and two-time Edgar-award winner James Lee Burke shares insights about William Faulkner gleaned from a lifetime of study of the author and his work.

    Barry says: "Cute freebie"
    "William Faulkner - Comments by Atlas and Burket"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Usually, I read Wikipedia article on the books and authors I read to get the context and criticism after I finished a book. I saw this 'free" recording on the author. It was helpful and added to my understanding of the author not in the normal cursory scan of information on the Internet. I recommend a list to this recording as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Speaker for the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By David Birney, Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7142)
    Performance
    (3698)
    Story
    (3745)

    In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: the Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War. Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered by Portuguese colonists on the planet Lusitania. But again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery...and the truth.

    Joe says: "The Enderverse"
    "Speaker for the Dead - Ender's Game II"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I recommend buying this book if you do not mind a slow-paced book.

    I read that Mr. Card wrote "Ender's Game" as a prequel to this book so I wish to read this one as well. I read hardcopy the "Ender's Game" as part of training on adaptive thinking (it is part of the required reading for US Army Red Team). Then, I saw the movie. This book is much different in attitude from "Ender's Game" but it is a logical flow for a former 'veteran' dealing with guilt and regret (PTSD?) as well as having a new, ‘alien’ perspective on life. The author built some interesting threads here. However, I do not expect it to become a movie.

    The production was very good as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Volcano: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Malcolm Lowry
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (41)

    On the Day of the Dead, in 1938, Geoffrey Firmin, an alcoholic and ruined man, is fatefully living out his last day, drowning himself in mescal while his former wife and half-brother look on, powerless to help him. The events of this one day unfold against a backdrop unforgettable for its evocation of a Mexico at once magical and diabolical.

    Melinda says: "Excellent...but not for everyone"
    "Under the Volcano"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I recommend buying this recording as long you are not seeking a fast pace story.

    This is an English language classic. Thus, I will not comment on this story from literary angle but from my taste in entertainment.

    Overall, I did not mind it was 14-hour slide to the death of the main character. It was interesting study of the region, the character, and the time. Much of the internal dialogue was from the main character, his former wife, and his brother. This part was interesting and the prose was very good.

    Its detractor is that it is a slow tragedy with very little action and depressing as all stories about addicts who seem doomed from the outset. In addition, the writer overdoes his descriptive prose. It seems he can look any object, scene, and event; and turn it into a word picture even if it is irrelevant to the story or flow. A simple sidebar when the main character is crossing a street evoke was necessary for the author to comment and elaborate on. It was colorful but seems unnecessary.

    The production was excellent: the disc maker announced the beginning and end of each disc, the actor was very good and he immersed me well in each character, etc.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Robert M. Edsel, Bret Witter
    • Narrated By Jeremy Davidson
    Overall
    (408)
    Performance
    (316)
    Story
    (321)

    In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture.

    Paul Bennett says: "Fine book, adequate narration"
    "The Momument Men - WWII History Thru Art"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Story - Overall I enjoyed this story. It was interesting to see WWII through this lens of art. This experience influenced our procedures in operations where there was protection of cultural and historical sites. We still shot up the church bell tower to kill the snipers and the enemy observers but we did blow up the whole church.

    Performance - The performance was excellent and the actors needed to portray a wide spectrum of personalities.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Blaine Harden
    • Narrated By Blaine Harden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (450)
    Performance
    (394)
    Story
    (397)

    North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped - but Shin Dong-hyuk did.

    Amanda says: "Worthwhile, but difficult on many levels."
    "Escape from Camp 14 - An Unique Defector"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I recommend buying this book.

    This is North Korean escapee is unique since he should not have made it and he was born in the camps. The odds are astronomical.

    Overall, the story was well researched and prefaced by the author. He gave good background material on the local, national, and international trends and conditions that provides the context for those not familiar with Korea. One thing that escapes the author, the escapee, and the general activist community why these camps are tolerated is that China needs North Korea since it is useful to them and no one from the other side (Japan, US, and RoK except the older generation) is interested in the expensive and dangerous unification with the PnK. The people in these camps will continue to suffer, live, and die horribly.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lolita

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1796)
    Performance
    (958)
    Story
    (951)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Among the great literary achievements of the 20th century, Lolita soars in audio thanks to the incomparable Jeremy Irons, bringing to life Nabokov’s ability to shock and enthrall more than 50 years after publication. Lolita became a cause celebre because of the erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Nabokov's masterpiece owes its stature not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story that is shocking in its beauty and tenderness.

    Jim says: "An Absolutely Gorgeous Audible Experience"
    "Lolita - Yes, it is a classic but not tolerable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened for an hour. The performance and prose was excellent. However, I can tolerate the subject matter. I cringe about an middle age adult male lusting after a 12-14 girl. No matter how good the product is written and performed it is still the thoughts of heberphile. No, I do not think I am unwashed American prude. No, I do not think if I was "civilized" would I approve or tolerate the story. Again, it appears to be a well written and produced. In addition, I realized the author has no moral objective for the novel. I choose not to stomach the ugly scene that the novel was taking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Bend in the River

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By V.S. Naipaul
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (217)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (76)

    In this incandescent novel, V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man, an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isolated town at the bend of a great river in a newly independent African nation. Naipaul gives us the most convincing and disturbing vision yet of what happens in a place caught between the dangerously alluring modern world and its own tenacious past and traditions.

    Everett Leiter says: "Highly recommended"
    "Bend in the River - Post Colonial East Africa"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Book: I enjoyed the book since it is three interesting points. It is a story about East Africa after independence and from a Muslim of Indio-Pakistan descent. These factors provide an interesting point of view in time, place, and circumstances. It is not fast pace story but moves at an acceptable speed.

    Performance: The reader is professional and good actor. He enhances the text.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Main Street

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Sinclair Lewis
    • Narrated By Brian Emerson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    The lonely predicament of Carol Kennicott, caught between her desires for social reform and individual happiness, reflects the position in which America's turn-of-the-century "emancipated woman" found herself.

    Maureen says: "Time for a classic"
    "Main Street - Sinclair Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Book: In general, I do not comment on classics. However, I found the story interesting since it draws from the history in the US from 100 years ago: Pre-WWI, midwest, industrialization of the economy, the movement of most of the population from the farm to the city, etc - all the changes - economic, political, social, etc. The character, a college girl with a liberal outlook, for some strange reason decides to marry a small town doctor. The book dwells, to the point of depression, on the failings of the small town. It was a counter to all the books of the time that over-glorified small town life. Mr. Lewis challenge all those notions. However, I did not really feel too much empathy for his lead character.

    Performance: The reader was very good. In time, I forgot there was reader and toward the end of the book the reader acted some of the characters well out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Arrowsmith

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Sinclair Lewis
    • Narrated By John McDonough
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (44)

    Martin Arrowsmith is fascinated by science and medicine. As a boy, he immerses himself in Gray’s Anatomy. In medical school, he soaks up knowledge from his mentor, a renowned bacteriologist. But soon he is urged to focus on politics and promotions rather than his research. Even as Martin progresses from doctor to public health official and noted pathologist, he still yearns to devote his time to pure science.

    Stephen says: "Arrowsmith - The Classic Book, Not the Band"
    "Arrowsmith - The Classic Book, Not the Band"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Book: In general, I do not comment on classics. However, I found the story interesting since it draws from the history in the US from 100 years ago: Pre-WWI, midwest, industrialization of the economy, the movement of most of the population from the farm to the city, etc - all the changes - economic, political, social, etc. I liked it but if you were looking for fast moving book, this is not it. However, if want to see changes in personalities and slices of social groups, it is interesting with great wording and character development. I sure it won the Noble Prize for Literature for its social-political aspect, in part, but it is a very good piece of literature.

    Performance: The reader was very good. In time, I forgot there was reader and toward the end of the book the reader acted some of the characters well out.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Sun Also Rises

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Hemingway
    • Narrated By William Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (845)
    Performance
    (500)
    Story
    (510)

    The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway's masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the story introduces two of Hemingway's most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. Follow the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of the 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates.

    Gerald says: "Bravo Papa!"
    "The Sun Also Rises - Read by William Hurt"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Book: Normally, I do not comment on classics. In this case, I will. The story was interesting and gave a glimpse of the period. However, I felt it was wandering and lacked a strong sense of purpose. I understand the style of writing and the context / detail were the strongest features of the book.

    Reader: I enjoyed Mr. Hurt's take on the novel. He helped me immerse myself into the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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