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A. Millard

Columbus, NC USA | Member Since 2007

66
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 87 ratings
  • 328 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Stephen E. Ambrose
    • Narrated By Jeffrey DeMunn
    Overall
    (326)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (108)

    Nothing Like It in the World is the story of the men who built the transcontinental railroad. In Ambrose's hands, this enterprise comes to life. The U.S. government pitted two companies - the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railroads - against each other in a race for funding, encouraging speed over caution. As its peak the work force approached the size of Civil War armies, with as many as 15,000 workers on each line. The surveyors, the men who picked the route, lived off buffalo, deer, and antelope.

    A. Millard says: "Good Book, Poor Narration and Audio Quality"
    "Good Book, Poor Narration and Audio Quality"
    Overall

    The book is good if you are interested in history, which I am. The building of the transcontinental railroad is described in detail. The problem is the narration and sound quality. The narrator speaks softly -- barely above a whisper -- and with very little energy. He does, however, speak naturally, which is a plus. His quiet delivery is made worse by the uneven audio quality. You have to turn the volume way up to hear him, and there is a noticeable hiss which can be maddening. The delivery does not do justice to an otherwise fine book.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Patrick Fraley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (678)
    Performance
    (175)
    Story
    (178)

    One of the greatest treats in all world literature, this masterpiece from Mark Twain inspired a literary revolution. The novel offers both brilliant humor and tragedy as Huck and Jim explore the moral dilemmas of slavery and freedom. Huck, the narrator, is shrewd, ingenious, and literal; he reports on everything he sees, which allows the listener to experience the hypocrisy of "sivilization".

    Andrea says: "Terrific interpretion of an excellent story"
    "Best Audiobook I Have Ever "Read""
    Overall

    At this point, I have listened to almost 30 audiobooks. This one is the best -- perhaps I should say it's tied with Dickens' "Our Mutual Friend" for the top spot. It has all the ingredients of a great audiobook: great writing, great narration, and great audio quality. I had read the book twice in earlier years, so I knew what was coming, but I was still enthralled from beginning to end. I found myself laughing out loud multiple times. What a fun ride down the "big river." Trust me on this -- it's well worth the price and your time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Moby Dick

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Herman Melville
    • Narrated By William Hootkins
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (40)

    Over a century and a half after its publication, Moby Dick still stands as an indisputable literary classic. It is the story of an eerily compelling madman pursuing an unholy war against a creature as vast and dangerous and unknowable as the sea itself.

    S. Barrett says: "Not bad at all!"
    "Brilliantly Executed Abridged Version"
    Overall

    The narration starts off slowly because the narrator seems to be over-pronouncing all his words. But once he gets into the flow, this is a gem. His rendition of the various characters is excellent and varied. He also imbues his narration with a humor that you might not normally expect, as well as the pathos that you would. Exciting, educational, adventurous and fun -- everything you would want in a reading of Moby Dick.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Our Mutual Friend

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By David Timson
    Overall
    (513)
    Performance
    (252)
    Story
    (246)

    A mysterious boatman on the Thames, a drowned heir, a dustman and his wife, and a host of other Dickens characters populate this novel of relationships between the classes, money, greed, and love. The 58 characters are presented with remarkable clarity by David Timson.

    A. Millard says: "A Masterpiece"
    "A Masterpiece"
    Overall

    I have "read" many excellent Audible books, and this is hands down the best one so far. Dickens' beautiful language, intricately woven story lines, insightful observations and vivdly unique characters are tremendously enhanced by David Timson's masterful narration. His pacing is impeccable; never once did I feel he was going too fast or slow. His nuanced interpretation brought the printed words to life. In addition, the sound quality was excellent and consistent throughout the entire 36 hours.

    Be aware that some of Dickens' Victorian-era idioms and expressions can be obscure. I found it impossible to fully comprehend them all. In some instances, his descriptions of scenes and/or thoughts are not completely understandable -- but if you just keep listening and let the narrative wash over you, a fascinating picture of the scene develops in your mind.

    If you hang in there to the end, you will be rewarded with deep, touching scenes, subtle but enjoyably comedic vignettes, unforgettable characters, a multi-level struggle of good vs evil, and an eminently satisfying ending. A masterpiece on several levels.

    Minor quibble: Near the end of Part 5, there is a place in the recording where the equivalent of about two pages of text is abruptly and obviously cut off. I re-downloaded the file and still encountered the issue. After looking up and reading the missing text on Amazon's "Search the Book" feature, I picked up the story again with no harm done.

    36 of 36 people found this review helpful
  • No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Home Front in World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (39)

    This New York Times best seller is the compelling chronicle of a nation during a time of incredible change. With detail and drama, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin expertly reveals the importance of the Roosevelt White House in the great destiny of the United States. Ultimately, she creates an intimate portrait of the Roosevelts, fusing their human vitality with the monumental scale of domestic and foreign affairs during the Second World War.

    Don says: "Well Researched"
    "Fine History, Laborious Narration"
    Overall

    I enjoyed the content of the book, but the narrator spoke way too slowly and laboriously for my taste. And when he paused, he..............................paused.

    After giving up on my first try, I discovered that, by setting my iPod to play the book at an accelerated speed, I was able to make it through. And it was worth it, because it is a fascinating story and important history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Slavomir Rawicz
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (375)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (164)

    Twenty-six-year-old cavalry officer Slavomir Rawicz was captured by the Red Army in 1939 during the German-Soviet partition of Poland and sent to the Siberian Gulag. In the spring of 1941, he escaped with six of his fellow prisoners, including one American. Thus began their astonishing trek to freedom.

    Roger says: "Good story, well read"
    "Inspiring and absorbing"
    Overall

    To me, a great audiobook must contain both great writing and great narration/interpretation. This one has both. The story is absorbing, uplifting, inspiring and educational. In addition, the narrator nails the mood, pace, tempo and inflection. There is some dispute as to the veracity of the story (the book has been around for about 50 years), with some saying it can't possibly be true and others questioning only some episodes. I have done enough research to have a fairly high confidence level in the general truth of the story, but that is really beside the point. It is a great yarn, an inspiration worth your time.

    20 of 22 people found this review helpful

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