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Roberta

Vassar graduate, living in Mexico and retired.

Member Since 2008

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 18 reviews
  • 82 ratings
  • 147 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2014
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  • 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
    (110)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (50)

    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
  • A House in the Sky: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Amanda Lindhout, Sara Corbett
    • Narrated By Amanda Lindhout
    Overall
    (271)
    Performance
    (242)
    Story
    (242)

    Amanda Lindhout reads her spectacularly dramatic memoir of a woman whose curiosity about the world led her from rural Canada to imperiled and dangerous countries on every continent, and then into 15 months of harrowing captivity in Somalia - a story of courage, resilience, and extraordinary grace. In August 2008, she traveled to Mogadishu, Somalia - "the most dangerous place on Earth." On her fourth day in the country, she and her photojournalist companion were abducted.

    Eric Schurr says: "Incredible story! Very well written and delivered"
    "nonfiction, informative, interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I learned a great deal and not for one moment lost interest, even when she is describing a routine day. This book comes with outstanding professional reviews which are well deserved.
    Horrible ordeals and experiences are described, yet not embellished to titillate. One realizes this could happen to any one of us.
    The Narrator's work is excellent. There is very little foul language in this book which I appreciate. This story lacks comic relief, but is otherwise very well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Richard Preston
    • Narrated By Richard M. Davidson
    Overall
    (402)
    Performance
    (352)
    Story
    (357)

    A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days, 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic "hot" virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.

    aaron says: "If you love viruses and gore and non-fiction..."
    "nonfiction, informative, interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well written with an engaging style. This well researched story about viruses like ebola and others is alarming. Comic relief and pleasant narration make it a worthwhile nonfiction audiobook..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Run, Brother, Run: A Memoir of a Murder in My Family

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By David Berg
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Alan Berg
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    As William Faulkner said, “The past is not dead, it’s not even past.” This observation seems especially true in matters of family, when the fury between generations is often never resolved and instead secretly carried, a wound that cannot heal. For David Berg, this is truer than for most, and once you listen to the story of his family, you will understand why he held it privately for so long and why the betrayals between parent and child can be the most wrenching of all.

    Roger says: "Top Ten ouf of 7,000"
    "nonfiction story with many interesting subplots"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author relates an interesting true crime and court drama in an engaging style. The reader comes to know the main characters.
    The book includes comic relief and wit. The sadness of the crime is not overwhelming to the reader.
    This book includes a primer on criminal law and is also an autobiography of the attorney who wrote it.
    The Narrator does a good job and is pleasant to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Sam Kean
    • Narrated By Henry Leyva
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (49)

    Early studies of the human brain used a simple method: Wait for misfortune to strike - strokes, seizures, infectious diseases, horrendous accidents - and see how victims coped. In many cases their survival was miraculous, if puzzling. Observers were amazed by the transformations that took place when different parts of the brain were destroyed, altering victims' personalities. With the lucid, masterful explanations and razor-sharp wit his fans have come to expect, Kean explores the brain's secret passageways.

    Kenn says: "Facinating and engaging"
    "witty, delightful and informative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nonfiction works like this keep me hooked on audio books. The Narrator does an outstanding job. The material is scientific, but the author adds fascinating history and amusing anecdotes to make it interesting and humorous. The Narrator captures every bit of the humor with just the right timing and delivery.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Hampton Sides
    • Narrated By Hampton Sides
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (398)
    Performance
    (191)
    Story
    (190)

    On April 23, 1967, Prisoner #416J, an inmate at the notorious Missouri State Penitentiary, escaped in a breadbox. Fashioning himself Eric Galt, this nondescript thief and con man - whose real name was James Earl Ray -drifted through the South, into Mexico, and then Los Angeles, where he was galvanized by George Wallace's racist presidential campaign. With relentless storytelling drive, Sides follows Galt and King as they crisscross the country, one stalking the other, until the crushing moment at the Lorraine Motel.

    E. L. Robertson says: "Who Knew"
    "skilled writing, well narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book held my attention. The author did a good job of narrating his own work. However, justice was not done to the British accents. This nonfiction story lacked comic relief, but was otherwise very interesting.

    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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (609)
    Performance
    (497)
    Story
    (492)

    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
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    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
    (112)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (93)

    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
    (298)
    Performance
    (254)
    Story
    (256)

    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.

    5 of 6 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
    (218)
    Performance
    (145)
    Story
    (142)

    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

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