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Scott

still tilting at windmills, after all of these years.

pacific northwest, u.s. | Member Since 2004

ratings
138
REVIEWS
20
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
40

  • Selected Shorts: Timeless Classics

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By James Thurber, Edith Wharton, Jack London, and others
    • Narrated By Maria Tucci, Charles Keating, James Naughton
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Selected Shorts is an award-winning series of classic and contemporary short fiction read by acclaimed actors. The readings are recorded live at Peter Norton Symphony Space in New York City. The Selected Shorts radio series is a co-production of Symphony Space and WNYC, New York Public Radio, and is heard on public radio stations nationwide.

    De Fluker says: "Outstanding!"
    "first rate"
    Overall

    perfect before sleep listening. the pieces are reasonably short and it's easy to navigate from one to the other.

    great stories, well read. this is the nineteenth of a series from symphony space. i can only hope audible nabs the rest.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Dan Jones
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (234)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (212)

    The first Plantagenet king inherited a blood-soaked kingdom from the Normans and transformed it into an empire that stretched at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. In this epic history, Dan Jones vividly resurrects this fierce and seductive royal dynasty and its mythic world. We meet the captivating Eleanor of Aquitaine, twice queen and the most famous woman in Christendom; her son, Richard the Lionheart, who fought Saladin in the Third Crusade; and King John, a tyrant who was forced to sign Magna Carta, which formed the basis of our own Bill of Rights.

    Troy says: "Excellent Narrative History"
    "fascinating story ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ... but listen carefully to the audio sample to see if the style of reading is to your taste. the narrator ends every single sentence with the same emphasis. another reviewer mentions this predictable cadence which, to me at times during the 20 hours of listening, became a distraction.
    in all, the book is well-written and worth a credit, but i suspect the narrration may be off-putting to some.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winds of War

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2610)
    Performance
    (2198)
    Story
    (2203)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    Robert says: "A Masterpiece"
    "sweeping, epic, audacious, ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've hesitated to write about this since this book is so large in scope i wondered if anyone could possibly pull it off.

    Firstly, Kevin Pariseau's narration is absolutely excellent. His characterizations are subtle and consistent.

    The story is engaging, even gripping at times ... also disturbing at times. There are moments, in "war and remembrance" in particular, where, if it were a picture, you would turn your head away.

    There is an underlying improbability as the main character(s) rub elbows with so many historical figures. If you can suspend your disbelief on that score, so much the better.

    It is helpful to be somewhat familiar with the history of wwii just as, i imagine, a familiarity with the 1812 French invasion of Russia by Napoleon helps the reader along with "War and Peace." Yes, Wouk is being THAT ambitious.

    All in all, it's worth the investment of time, and worth some side excursions to research the author, the events, the historical figures, and the tragedy that is war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Edgar Allan Poe Audio Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Edgar Allan Poe
    • Narrated By Vincent Price, Basil Rathbone
    Overall
    (230)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (77)

    Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone brilliantly interpret twenty of Edgar Allan Poe's most chilling stories and poems - an unforgettably intense listening experience!

    tom says: "Excellent performance, poor formatting."
    "what should be a labor of love .."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ... has some abridgements and is impossible to navigate without tom's table of contents.

    i will reproduce it here with many thanks to it's creator (see tom in another review):

    1.) 0:10 - 2:03 To -----
    2.) 2:03 - 3:10 Alone
    3.) 3:15 - 6:23 The City in the Sea
    4.) 6:28 - 31:20 Berenice
    5.) 31:25 - 55:28 The Fall of the House of Usher *
    6.) 55:30 - 1:44:27 Ligeia
    7.) 1:44:30 - 1:46:49 excerpt from The Fall of the House of Usher
    8.) 1:46:55 - 2:18:43 The Pit and the Pendulum
    9.) 2:18:46 - 2:35:27 The Masque of the Red Death
    10.) 2:35:33 - 2:49:37 The Tell-Tale Heart
    11.) 2:49:40 - 3:45:27 The Gold Bug
    12.) 3:45:30 - 4:12:19 The Black Cat
    13.) 4:12:25 - 4:20:58 The Raven
    14.) 4:21:03 - 4:38:00 The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar
    15.) 4:38:01 - 4:54:07 The Cask of Amontillado
    16.) 4:54:13 - 4:58:23 The Bells
    17.) 4:58:28 - 5:00:35 Annabel Lee
    18.) 5:00:40 - 5:01:19 Eldorado
    19.) 5:01:25 - 5:16:00 The Imp of the Perverse
    20.) 5:16:06 - 5:31:22 Morella

    i know it is a gargantuan task for audible to provide all of this material, so i forgive them their small problems.

    that said, the narration is terrific and if you go to sleep with this, your nightmares will be of the most wonderful kind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spooky, Mysterious Tales: The Short Story Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ambrose Bierce, and others
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone, Mark Hammer, Frank Muller, and others
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (7)

    Abandon yourself to the spell of six short stories filled with thrills and dark suspense. Here are tales by the masters of mystery and horror - A. Conan Doyle, Edgar Allan Poe, Saki, Oscar Wilde and Ambrose Bierce - taking on a new energy and force through performances by Recorded Books’ critically-acclaimed narrators. Ranging from dungeons to drawing rooms, and peopled with extraordinary ghouls and doomed dowagers, the tales are guaranteed to raise the hair on the back of your neck.

    SimbaSu says: "Classic tales , but really poorly read"
    "good, if standard collection."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great stories if you are into the genre.

    The readings, in particular, "The Tell-Tale Heart," could have been more forceful. If you really want to hear that Poe classic done right, go find Terrence Mann's performance of it on "Selected Shorts." Truly Fantastic. It's easy to find; the title of the episode it was on is "The Heart of the Matter." You won't be disappointed.

    Of this collection, my favorite, too, was "The Canterville Ghost."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Caine Mutiny

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (851)
    Performance
    (738)
    Story
    (738)

    Having inspired a classic film and Broadway play, The Caine Mutiny is Herman Wouk's boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life—and mutiny—on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater. It was immediately embraced upon its original publication as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of the Second World War. In the intervening half century, this gripping story has become a perennial favorite, selling millions throughout the world, and claiming the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

    James says: "Even Better than the Movie"
    "a coming of age story ... sort of"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    this is an excellent work, well worth the time spent listening.

    i was raised on old movies, so the caine mutiny, staring humphrey bogart, was on my list of movies to watch. it was a fine movie, but i have become used to the idea that books outshine movies when it comes to things like depth, texture, and character.

    this is no exception.

    the movie was fine for what it wanted to do (taking the middle out of wouk's novel and making a fine point) but the novel shoots for something more.

    whether it hits that something more is something time and other reviewers will have more to say about.

    me?

    i don't know.

    but, mr. woulk seemed to want me to have just that impression.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pudd'nhead Wilson: A Tale by Mark Twain

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Richard Henzel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (39)

    Pudd'nhead Wilson, like many other Mark Twain books, was read aloud by the author to his wife and daughters, chapter by chapter, as it was being written.

    Rose says: "great reader, great tale"
    "first rate"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow, the publisher's summary got it right when they called "Pudd'nhead Wilson" "humorous, dramatic, and sometimes shocking."

    Even apart from the commentary on slavery, this is an excellent detective story in its own right. For the interested, in the second paragraph of chapter 25 of "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," Twain writes a little more about his thoughts on the institution of slavery.

    Well worth the listen, disturbing parts and all. In fact, one of the roles of great literature may be to bother us in some way, forcing us to ask questions, jolting us into thought.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Uneasy Money

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By P.G. Wodehouse
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Lady Wetherby had a big, soft heart, and she hated hurting her fellows. As a rule, when she had bad news to impart to any one, she administered the blow so gradually and with such mystery as to the actual facts that the victim, having passed through the various stages of imagined horrors, was genuinely relieved, when she actually came to the point, to find that all that had happened was that he had lost all his money.

    David says: "Wodehouse brings out the best!"
    "early wodehouse"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    this, i believe, was wodehouse's second effort (after "something fresh").

    personally, if you are new to his work, i would start with either the jeeves and wooster stories, or the blandings castle saga. lists of those stories are easily found online.

    [note to audible: you are missing a couple of the unabridged versions of the blandings stories ... "pigs have wings" for one]

    "uneasy money" was ok, and you can see him working with some of the themes that he will continue to use for the rest of his career, which is interesting for an aficionado.

    that said, i prefer other narrators (particularly jonathan cecil but even martin jarvis, federick davidson, or nigel lambert). simon vance is a little to 'standard bbc english' for my taste, but good. the storyline was not quite as sharp as his later work, imho, but still one can see glimpses of what is to come with the author.

    three stars all around.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Coming of the Third Reich

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Richard J. Evans
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (767)
    Performance
    (478)
    Story
    (486)

    There is no story in 20th-century history more important to understand than Hitler’s rise to power and the collapse of civilization in Nazi Germany. With The Coming of the Third Reich, Richard Evans, one of the world’s most distinguished historians, has written the definitive account for our time.

    Tad Davis says: "Compelling and depressing"
    "riveting .."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ... "horrifying" and "unspeakable," i suppose i shall withhold until parts two and three, respectively of this series (to which i have listened).

    the fall of the doomed weimar republic was truly riveting. evans addresses society in post wwi germany from as many perspectives as one can imagine.

    as a whole, this series of books leaves one shaking one's head at the depths to which humanity can sink.

    erik larson, author of "In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" had an interview with terry gross ('fresh air') and alludes to the very real depression he felt by the time he got to book three.

    all i can do is agree.

    these are 'must listen' books, but be ready ...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Tales of the Occult

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Arthur Machen, Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, Robert Chambers
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    If you have an appetite for the occult, consider this a feast. All of the authors in this collection have penned tales that deal with the supernatural and the supernormal. These include two novellas, "The Great God Pan" by Arthur Machen and "The Willows" by Algernon Blackwood and 10 short stories.

    Jas says: "Great Selection"
    "guilty!"
    Overall

    i like this genre. a little dated, a little stilted, but now and then there is a real gem and, if you are drawn to this style, it is worth the listen.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Watership Down

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Richard Adams
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2655)
    Performance
    (1982)
    Story
    (1994)

    Fiver could sense danger. Something terrible was going to happen to the warren; he felt sure of it. They had to leave immediately. So begins a long and perilous journey of survival for a small band of rabbits. As the rabbits skirt danger at every turn, we become acquainted with the band, its humorous characters, and its compelling culture, complete with its own folk history and mythos.

    B. Cable says: "Still one of the best!"
    "yikes!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    i read this years ago and remember how moving it was then. i went on to read shardik, the plague dogs, and the girl in a swing. all good. funny, i have read that adams had some trouble publishing because the *sigh* "target audience" was not clear: books about rabbits were going to turn off the adults and books written in an adult style were going to turn off the children. i handed the book to a reasonably bright teenage girl who came back with the latter response ... "nothing happened!" maybe she will give it a try later on. my advice: give yourself a treat, listen to the book for its use of language, its development of character, and its development of plot. be an adult for part of it, be a child for the rest. you shouldn't be disappointed.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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