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Rick

Cotacachi, Ecuador | Member Since 2000

46
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 21 reviews
  • 21 ratings
  • 306 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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6

  • Me Talk Pretty One Day

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris
    Overall
    (3377)
    Performance
    (1135)
    Story
    (1131)

    David Sedaris' collection of essays - including live recordings! - tells a most unconventional life story. With every clever turn of a phrase, Sedaris brings a view and a voice like no other to every unforgettable encounter. You can also listen to Sedaris in an interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air.

    Amazon Customer says: "You will ROFL"
    "More Great Sedaris"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Despite listening to much of the Sedaris body of work, I realized I'd never heard the one that for many was their introduction to him. "Me Talk Pretty One Day" does not disappoint, offering both studio and live-audience readings as only he can deliver. The man who has been called "the world's most eloquent malcontent" (Amazon.com) and "Garrison Keillor's evil twin" (Publishers Weekly) offers a wide-ranging collection of observation and introspection--invariably hilarious, often poignant. Includes fascinating stories about learning to live in a village in Normandy, and much more.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Truman

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By David McCullough
    Overall
    (517)
    Performance
    (120)
    Story
    (119)

    Distinguished historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough tells one of the greatest American stories in this stirring audio adaptation of Truman - a compelling, classic portrait of a life that shaped history.

    Lee says: "Superb! A solid choice!"
    "An American Legend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    David McCullough has crafted a warm and deeply human portrayal of Harry Truman, with generous attention to his early homespun upbringing, explaining so much about the remarkable man he would become. Ascending to the presidency with the sudden death of FDR, and scorned by most political observers, Truman proceeded to take one historic initiative after another: the Marshall Plan, the Truman Doctrine, NATO, the Korean conflict, and of course, the atomic bomb. It is impossible to come away without an appreciation of Truman’s critical role in the history of the Twentieth Century—and beyond.

    McCullough is not only a superb historian and master storyteller, but also a marvelous narrator. He has always reminded me of the late John Chancellor of NBC. The writing, the historical depth and the narration combine to create an audiobook that seems to end much too soon.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Walk

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (583)
    Performance
    (395)
    Story
    (387)

    On the first day of May, 100 teenage boys meet for a race known as The Long Walk. If you break the rules, you get three warnings. If you exceed your limit, what happens is absolutely terrifying.

    Bill says: "The Amazing, Darker Side of Stephen King"
    "No Second Place"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It’s a simple, sinister plot with shades of the classic short story, “The Lottery.” One hundred selected teenage boys compete each year for a prize of unimaginable wealth by walking for days until only one of them is left. No stopping, no resting, no slowing down. Whenever one falls behind in the grueling march, he doesn’t just lose a shot at the prize; he is shot dead. Soldiers do the shooting and enforce the rules. An Orwellian government is implied but never detailed. All along the long route over back roads and highways, sometimes through cheering crowds and often alone together in the night, a little community develops among the characters, who both compete against and support each other in a struggle that all but one must lose. It is a long book – nearly 11 hours – and probably couldn’t fully impart the marathon nature of The Walk if it weren’t.

    An interesting aside on grammar: In King’s book, “On Writing,” he rails against the over-use of adverbs, and suggests that the last step in writing a book is to go through and remove about half of them. Maybe it’s because I just heard that book, but in “The Long Walk” it seems like someone put them all back in, and quite a few more. Or maybe it’s because the fictitious Richard Bachman really does, as King claims, have a style of his own.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26011)
    Performance
    (12665)
    Story
    (12707)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "Don't Miss This Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is, quite simply, the best audiobook I’ve ever encountered. It is also a stellar example of the way in which a great book can be made even more powerful as an audiobook.

    The book itself is an exceptionally perceptive examination of black maids and their mistresses in the Deep South of the 1960s and before. It details the lives of beloved black surrogate mothers who obediently raise each succeeding generation of insensitive, entitled white overseers. The callous neglect and cruelty of segregation is on full, horrifying display. Along the way, the author creates a whole population of multidimensional characters, black and white, living an archaic life in a fraying Southern society at the earliest dawn of the civil rights era.

    But it gets better. As an audiobook, these characters spring to life through four narrators whose command of dialect and nuance, portraying several characters apiece, is breathtaking. After 18 hours of listening, you will love a few and loathe more, but you will feel you know them all.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Age of Miracles: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Karen Thompson Walker
    • Narrated By Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (402)
    Performance
    (359)
    Story
    (354)

    On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life.

    Karen says: "Not sure I can measure up..."
    "A New Kind of Apocalypse"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an inventive and original story about the unfolding calamities that follow a nearly imperceptible slowing of the earth’s rotation. Things go from odd to uncomfortable to cataclysmic over a period of a few years, as society unwinds in ways that wouldn’t occur to most people who weren't writing a novel about it. The plot is wrapped around the coming of age of a pre-teen California girl.

    Narrators are a matter of personal taste, but this one, for me, was too much of a thin, little-girl voice for a memoir written from the perspective of an older character. It was too slow, too wistful, and too sad to be applied to every single situation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mile 81

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann, Thomas Sadoski
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (429)
    Performance
    (387)
    Story
    (390)

    At Mile 81 on the Maine turnpike is a boarded up rest stop, a place where high school kids drink and get into the kind of trouble high school kids have always gotten into. It’s the place where Pete Simmons goes when his older brother, who’s supposed to be looking out for him, heads off to the gravel pit to play “paratroopers over the side”. Pete, armed only with the magnifying glass he got for his 10th birthday, finds a discarded bottle of vodka in the boarded up burger shack and drinks enough to pass out.

    Mary Z says: "Nailed it!"
    "A Deadly Detour"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    With all the eerie scene-setting of a Stephen King work, and more than a few horrifying events, this little story never really goes anywhere.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • In the Tall Grass

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 46 mins)
    • By Stephen King, Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (348)
    Performance
    (320)
    Story
    (321)

    In the Tall Grass begins with a sister and brother who pull off to the side of the road after hearing a young boy crying for help from beyond the tall grass. Within minutes they are disoriented, in deeper than seems possible, and they've lost one another. The boy's cries are more and more desperate. What follows is a terrifying, entertaining, and masterfully told tale, as only Stephen King and Joe Hill can deliver.

    Gabe says: "Absolutly disgusting. Emotion provoking. Brilliant"
    "Tall Tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The premise—a simple stand of tall roadside grass that baffles and captures those who are lured into it—is a good one. Novels have been based on less. This short story almost felt like the outline of a novel, and as such, it seems incomplete. A lot of things happen, but we are given little understanding of why.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Extraction

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 7 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (363)
    Performance
    (320)
    Story
    (311)

    From number-one New York Times best-selling authors Preston & Child, an all-new short story featuring Agent Pendergast, available only as an ebook and audio download. In New Orleans' French Quarter, the Tooth Fairy isn't a benevolent sprite who slips money under your pillow at night.... He's a mysterious old recluse who must be appeased with teeth - lest he extract retribution. When young Diogenes Pendergast loses a tooth, however, his skeptical older brother Aloysius is determined to put the legend to the test...with dire consequences.

    Judith says: "Great Pendergast short story, don't use a credit"
    "Too Short"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This compact, chilling little story of a New Orleans legend turns the tooth fairy into a menacing character who twists the exchange of tooth for coin into a kind of mandatory tribute: hand over the tooth or else. It is a bargain that small children can live with. Older children and adults can foul it up, with dreadful consequences. Some childhood fantasies, perhaps, are best left alone.

    With a foreboding, spine-tingling reading, “Extraction” is a finely wrought tale. As short stories go, it may leave just one too many questions unanswered for some listeners. It did for me, but I still enjoyed it immensely.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Civil War Stories: The Best American Civil War Story Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ambrose Bierce
    • Narrated By Deaver Brown
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Ambrose Bierce brings to life the heart rendering stories of divided loyalties, splitting families, states, countries, and individuals. He writes of the glory in beginning and savagery in the doing. Here is a moving anti-war series of stories if ever there was one. A must read by all students of American History and Literature, though perhaps best understood by older adults.

    Rick says: "Great Stories Poorly Read"
    "Great Stories Poorly Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good stories for Civil War buffs, written in somewhat formal and convoluted (but authentic) 19th Century style. The audiobook is haltingly read, as if the narrator is seeing it for the first time, and at some points crudely edited. Bierce deserves better treatment than this amateur production.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cell: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    Overall
    (3168)
    Performance
    (928)
    Story
    (933)

    The cause of the devastation is a phenomenon that will come to be known as The Pulse, and the delivery method is a cell phone. Everyone's cell phone. Clay and the few desperate survivors who join him suddenly find themselves in the pitch-black night of civilization's darkest age, surrounded by chaos, carnage, and a human horde that has been reduced to its basest nature...and then begins to evolve.

    chris says: "Entertained"
    "A Familiar Story Well Told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In many ways this is a retelling of Stephen King’s epic, “The Stand.” Following a sudden and devastating viral epidemic, a plucky group sets off on a dangerous journey to defeat the forces of evil, culminating in a big explosion. Except this time the virus is of a digital nature. If someone else had written it, King could probably sue for plagiarism.

    On the other hand, it is a gripping story, with diverse characters and surprising twists of plot at every turn. With an excellent narration, the action starts immediately and keeps you on the edge of your seat to the very end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Audiobook): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Jon Stewart
    • Narrated By Jon Stewart, Samantha Bee, Wyatt Cenac, and others
    Overall
    (1805)
    Performance
    (870)
    Story
    (864)

    Where do we come from? Who created us? Why are we here? These questions have puzzled us since the dawn of time, but when it became apparent to Jon Stewart and the writers of The Daily Show that the world was about to end, they embarked on a massive mission to write a book that summed up the human race: What we looked like; what we accomplished; our achievements in society, government, religion, science, and culture - all in a lavishly produced audiobook.

    Lee says: "Good book, not great. But let me explain."
    "A Treat for Daily Show Fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Presented as an introductory guide to a vanished human race for the benefit of visiting aliens, "Earth" is a perceptive, tightly written, awfully clever survey of mankind's whole history. It's especially good at leaving unsaid the best punchlines, which immediately form in the listener's mind. With help from others, it is nonetheless mostly the voice of Jon Stewart who--freed from the rather more frantic persona of his TV show--is a skilled and expressive narrator. It's a joy to hear.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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