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Roberta

Vassar graduate, living in Mexico and retired.

Member Since 2008

ratings
57
REVIEWS
13
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
11

  • When The Dancing Stopped: The Real Story of the Morro Castle Disaster and Its Deadly Wake

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Brian Hicks
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (47)

    In the best-selling tradition of The Devil in the White City, award-winning author Brian Hicks tells the explosive story of the Morro Castle, the elegant luxury liner that burned off the coast of New Jersey on September 7, 1934. The captain died under mysterious circumstances seven hours before his ship caught fire off the New Jersey coast.

    Susan says: "Gripping account of a needless disaster."
    "the narrator is overly emphatic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    From the very beginning and through out the Narrator over emphasizes every word. When emphasis is actually appropriate he shouts. I will not purchase another book read by this person.

    I was, however, able to tolerate the reading and thus give it two stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Thomas Hager
    • Narrated By Adam Verner
    Overall
    (558)
    Performance
    (454)
    Story
    (449)

    At the dawn of the 20th century, humanity was facing global disaster. Mass starvation, long predicted for the fast-growing population, was about to become a reality. A call went out to the worlds scientists to find a solution. This is the story of the two enormously gifted, fatally flawed men who found it: the brilliant, self-important Fritz Haber and the reclusive, alcoholic Carl Bosch. Together they discovered a way to make bread out of air, built city-sized factories, controlled world markets, and saved millions of lives.

    sarah says: "Riveting"
    "worthwhile, but a little too long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Much of the biographical information about the scientists is drawn out. If you can get through the first 80 percent of the book, the last part is profoundly interesting. The narrator neither adds nor detracts from the story. There is no comic relief.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Naked Streets: The Shocking True Story of the Phoenix Sniper Murders and Baseline Killer

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Ronald Watkins
    • Narrated By Don Kline
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    A series of random sniper attacks, sexual assaults and murders continued at a relentless pace with no end in sight. The victims were both men and women, young and old, of all races and ethnicities. Most disturbingly, they had done nothing to place themselves in harm's way. They'd not visited the "bad" parts of town, frequented a gambling den, solicited prostitutes or sought out drug dealers. They were assaulted and murdered as they went about the routine activities of their lives, the kinds of things we all do without a second thought.

    Roberta says: "average true crime nonfiction"
    "average true crime nonfiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator does a good job and infuses personality and character into the various people. This book is mostly a list of facts with very little insight into the reasons the villains carried out their senseless crimes.
    One feature which stands out is the reader is able to hear what the criminals said when they discussed the murders in private. The police were bugging their house. This feature gives us a clear impression of how evil these men were.

    The length of the book was about right, not too long.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Shooting Salvationist: J. Frank Norris and the Murder Trial that Captivated America

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By David R. Stokes
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (92)

    The Shooting Salvationist chronicles what may be the most famous story you have never heard. In the 1920's, the Reverend J. Frank Norris railed against vice and conspiracies he saw everywhere to a congregation of more than 10,000 at First Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, the largest congregation in America, the first "megachurch".

    Nukkles says: "Beginnings of the religious right..."
    "Narrator deserves six stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This nonfiction account of true crime held my interest. The Narrator brought the characters to life using just the right amount of emphasis and Southern accents. Several times I laughed out loud.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Bill Dedman, Paul Clark Newell
    • Narrated By Kimberly Farr
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (215)

    When Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bill Dedman noticed in 2009 a grand home for sale, unoccupied for nearly 60 years, he stumbled through a surprising portal into American history. Empty Mansions is a rich mystery of wealth and loss, connecting the Gilded Age opulence of the 19th century with a 21st-century battle over a $300 million inheritance. At its heart is a reclusive heiress named Huguette Clark, a woman so secretive that, at the time of her death at age 104, no new photograph of her had been seen in decades.

    Novotny says: "I still don't know much about Huguette Clark"
    "could have been better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was written before the lawsuits about Clark's money were resolved. Some of the information in the writing seems to be padding to make the story longer. Such as long lists of gifts.
    Questions about whether the heiress was slow intellectually are never fully addressed.
    The book concludes with a sing song eulogy which seems artificial.
    The narrator has a shrill voice at times and over does the accent when pronouncing French words.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Douglas Starr
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (210)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (135)

    A riveting true crime story that vividly recounts the birth of modern forensics. At the end of the nineteenth century, serial murderer Joseph Vacher, known and feared as “The Killer of Little Shepherds,” terrorized the French countryside. He eluded authorities for years - until he ran up against prosecutor Emile Fourquet and Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne, the era’s most renowned criminologist.

    Praetor says: "Masterly introduction to modern forensic science"
    "poor narration detracts from good history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator speaks in a voice which I describe as a loud whisper. The writing is in English, but the speaker uses French more often than necessary. For example, he calls Paris, "Paree". The French accent is so heavy it sounds like he needs to clear his nasal passages. I finally regretted buying this book and will return it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wounded Knee: Party Politics and the Road to an American Massacre

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Heather Cox Richardson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (30)

    On December 29, 1890, American troops opened fire with howitzers on hundreds of unarmed Lakota Sioux men, women, and children near Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota, killing nearly 300 Sioux. As acclaimed historian Heather Cox Richardson shows in Wounded Knee, the massacre grew out of a set of political forces all too familiar to us today: fierce partisanship, heated political rhetoric, and an irresponsible, profit-driven media.

    Jay says: "Is that your land? If not, i'm taking it."
    "history with obvious political bias"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator is overly emphatic and reports trivial facts with an attitude of indignant disapproval. Thus, when events which should be related with a more serious tone are read, the voice remains the same.

    The book is informative and worth listening too. There is no comic relief unless you want to chuckle at the author's obvious political agenda.

    The Native Americans are portrayed in a sentimentalized glow. Chiefs who made comments to the press worthy of a ten year old child are repeated by the Narrator as though the words were profoundly wise. "White men build houses in the ground!"



    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Isaac's Storm

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    Overall
    (329)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (140)

    September 8, 1900, began innocently in the seaside town of Galveston, Texas. Even Isaac Cline, resident meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Bureau, failed to grasp the true meaning of the strange deep-sea swells and peculiar winds that greeted the city that morning. Mere hours later, Galveston found itself submerged in a monster hurricane that completely destroyed the town and killed over 6,000 people in what remains the greatest natural disaster in American history.

    Greg Mefford says: "A wonderful listen"
    "Narrator has a sing song childish voice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Narrator uses needless sarcasm to emphasize subtle points which spoils the tone of the writing. I enjoyed this book inspite of the narration. In the future I will avoid books read by this person. I give it two stars for "tolerable".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fear Not Tomorrow, God Is Already There: Trusting Him in Uncertain Times

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Ruth Graham
    • Narrated By Ruth Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Best-selling author Ruth Graham, daughter of Billy and Ruth Bell Graham, tackles the fear listeners face during times of change, uncertainty, and crisis and reveals how to replace these fears with hope and anticipation through the discovery of God and his power. Graham empathizes with listeners who feel inadequate, overpowered, or even beyond hope.

    Linda says: "What a blessing!!"
    "worth the time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book held my attention. The reader's voice is pleasant and the content is interesting. There is very little if any comic relief, however, the story is not discouraging.

    Not on my short list of all time favorites, but I am pleased I bought it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brain Trust: Free Excerpt

    • UNABRIDGED (22 mins)
    • By Garth Sundem
    • Narrated By Garth Sundem
    Overall
    (350)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (275)

    How much better would your life be if you had an army of Nobel Laureates, MacArthur ‘geniuses’ and National Medal of Science winners whispering tips in your ear about your body language, or how to resist that impulse purchase you’ll regret tomorrow, or when to sell your car - or even helping you trick your spouse into doing the dishes?

    Ed says: "Not Worth The Time"
    "voice is shrill"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This person does not have the modulated pleasant voice I expect of someone who reads and audio book. The voice is shrill and overly emphatic in places.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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