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Rick

Cotacachi, Ecuador | Member Since 2000

54
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 24 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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9

  • George Carlin Reads to You: An Audio Collection Including Grammy Winners 'Braindroppings' and 'Napalm & Silly Putty'

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By George Carlin
    • Narrated By George Carlin
    Overall
    (1046)
    Performance
    (940)
    Story
    (932)

    If one George Carlin audio is funny, then two are funnier and three must be funniest, right? That's our thinking behind this new collection. t's a HighBridge library of laugh-out-loud, award-winning recordings featuring George himself performing many of his best bits.

    Rick says: "Like a Cast of Thousands"
    "Like a Cast of Thousands"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    George Carlin need only be heard to be appreciated. You remember him pacing and gesturing as he crouched on the stage, delivering rapid-fire, surgical observations on the follies of humankind. Maybe it's his early days in radio, but the voice is among the most expressive anywhere. He leaps from rage to rant to sotto voce, from lecturing to confiding, as he plays a whole range of the characters who populate his wildly imaginative essays. You could listen to him for hours--and you will. Along the way you'll remember that Carlin was never just a comic. He was an articulate, informed, educated, and always opinionated eyewitness to the human condition. Hilarious and off-color, of course, but he covers an awful lot of ground in this collection, and really makes you think.

    36 of 40 people found this review helpful
  • Home Fires: An Intimate Portrait of One Middle-Class Family in Postwar America

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Donald Katz, Jonathan Alter (introduction), Ricky Ian Gordon (afterword)
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett, Jonathan Alter, Ricky Ian Gordon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    Home Fires is the powerful saga of the Gordon family - real people, names unchanged. Spanning nearly five decades, from the end of World War II to the early 1990s, their story has the scope, depth, wealth of incident, and emotional intensity of a great novel, and an abundance of humor, scandal, warmth, and trauma - the recognizable components of family life. This is also a masterful chronicle of the turbulent postwar era, illuminating the interplay between private life and profound cultural changes.

    Rick says: "The Way We Were"
    "The Way We Were"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The word "epic" is thrown around a lot, especially by publicists. This is a rare case where it is wholly deserved.

    I first read "Home Fires" around 15 years ago, discovering a monumental work that is really two ambitious books in one. It is the intimate, multigenerational story of a real American family, which in itself would be no small accomplishment. But then Don Katz uses the family saga as a framework on which he hangs the country's entire postwar social history. There is Vietnam, then folksingers and later rock 'n' roll, drugs, economic turmoil and our migration to the suburbs. It is related in such rich detail that countless throwaway sentences must have taken a week's research apiece.

    As a new audiobook all these years later, "Home Fires" seems a new experience, somehow even more substantive and insightful than before. Narrator Joe Barrett weaves his way carefully through the twists and turns of each year, one after another. His voicing of characters is superb. Sure, all the Brooklyn males may sound more or less like Sam Gordon, but Mr. Barrett manages boys and girls, women, singers and prominent figures. His LBJ is passable, and his Richard Nixon pitch-perfect. Like the best of audiobooks, "the read" adds new dimensions to a remarkable work of journalism and literature. It's a long book. Totally worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hyde

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Daniel Levine
    • Narrated By John Curless
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    An authentic, gothic reimagining of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, told from the villain' s perspective, that takes listeners deep into the seedy side of Victorian London and explores the nature of personality and of the subconscious. Mr. Hyde is trapped in Dr. Jekyll' s surgical cabinet, counting the days until he will face capture and be forced to make the ultimate choice about survival. Over the course of four days, he thinks back on what brought him to this moment, and he finally has the chance to tell the story of his brief but marvelous life.

    Rick says: "A classic reborn"
    "A classic reborn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is, as most reviews have said, a fascinating new take on an old favorite: Jekyll and Hyde from the perspective of a monster who becomes far less monstrous in the telling. He's no angel, either, but neither is Dr. Jekyll. It is a complex and inventive story, crafted in rich Victorian detail--a masterpiece of descriptive writing made better by the narration of John Curless, who seems to savor every word. It's another example of my favorite combination: an excellent book made even better in audio form.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Claudio Saunt
    • Narrated By Phil Holland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    This panoramic account of 1776 chronicles the other revolutions unfolding that year across North America, far beyond the British colonies. In 1776, Thomas Paine published Common Sense, the Continental Congress declared independence, and Washington crossed the Delaware. We are familiar with these famous moments in American history, but we know little about the extraordinary events occurring that same year far beyond the British colonies.

    Dennis says: "A look at a period of time most of us were unaware"
    "Maybe better in print"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a rarity for me--an audiobook that would better if you read it yourself. Fascinating subject and material that sparkles in comparison to conventional American history, but the reading is as deadly as the lecturer you no longer remember from college. I was looking forward to this one, but couldn't stay with it long at all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Truman

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By David McCullough
    Overall
    (543)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (142)

    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
    (693)
    Performance
    (498)
    Story
    (491)

    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.

    3 of 3 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
    Overall
    (27192)
    Performance
    (13814)
    Story
    (13860)

    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
    (470)
    Performance
    (414)
    Story
    (412)

    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
    (492)
    Performance
    (444)
    Story
    (448)

    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 2 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
    (408)
    Performance
    (374)
    Story
    (379)

    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
    (493)
    Performance
    (433)
    Story
    (426)

    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.

    Janels 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

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