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Ron

Boca Raton, FL, United States

96
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 22 reviews
  • 168 ratings
  • 408 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • The Estate

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Isaac Bashevis Singer
    • Narrated By Noah Waterman
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    This sequel to and the conclusion of The Manor continues the portrayal of a period the author describes as the epoch between the Polish insurrection of 1863 and the end of the nineteenth century when the Jews began to play an important role in Polish industry, commerce, the arts and sciences. All the spiritual and intellectual ideas that triumphed in the modern era had their roots in the world of that time. The human condition, in a particular time and place - man's estate - is the theme of this major novel. As one character says, "It's not child's play to be born, to marry, to bring forth generations, to grow old, to die."

    Ron says: "Great story, terrible recording"
    "Great story, terrible recording"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been a member of Audible for years, and have never heard a recording whose quality was so poor as this one. It sounded as if it was recorded over the phone. I double-checked to make sure that there wasn't another version I had overlooked, but apparently this is a very old recording, and it sounds it. That problem, along with a not-very-good narration, really detract from this wonderful Singer story.

    This may be one book you need to read and not listen to. It's too bad because there is very little of Singer available as an audiobook, and I was really looking forward to listening to this. The recording is from Blackstone Audio, who usually do a very good job. This reading was not their finest hour.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Macbeth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By A. J. Hartley, David Hewson
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1269)
    Performance
    (1048)
    Story
    (1044)

    Macbeth: A Novel brings the intricacy and grit of the historical thriller to Shakespeare’s tale of political intrigue, treachery, and murder. In this full-length novel written exclusively for audio, authors A. J. Hartley and David Hewson rethink literature’s most infamous married couple, grounding them in a medieval Scotland whose military and political upheavals are as stark and dramatic as the landscape in which they are played.

    Beverly says: "Narrator choice inspired"
    "A compelling book to listen to"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Short and sweet: Alan Cumming gives a spectacular performance, taking the familiar story of Macbeth and transforming it. This version focuses on the characters and their motivations rather than just the events of the play. There is a sprinkling of some of the more famous lines from Shakespeare, but the goal here is to dive into the characters and what makes them tick, and Cumming makes this version jump off the page.

    A great listen!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Anthony Powell
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (484)
    Performance
    (285)
    Story
    (277)

    Anthony Powell's universally acclaimed epic encompasses a four-volume panorama of twentieth century London. Hailed by Time as "brilliant literary comedy as well as a brilliant sketch of the times," A Dance to the Music of Time opens just after World War I. Amid the fever of the 1920s and the first chill of the 1930s, Nick Jenkins and his friends confront sex, society, business, and art.

    jennifer says: "A Masterpiece on All Counts"
    "I really didn't get it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dull as dishwater. I couldn't find anything compelling in this story, and did something I very rarely do: stopped halfway through.

    I've done a bit of research about this series, and I realize this is considered high literature, and that the characters are based on people that Powell knew or who were notable at the time this was written. Maybe it was interesting to those people who were in the know about these characters, but for me, this book was a bust. I just didn't care a whit about any of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cloud Atlas

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Cassandra Campbell, Kim Mai Guest, and others
    Overall
    (3099)
    Performance
    (2305)
    Story
    (2314)

    A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation: the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history.

    Cynthia says: "Complicated and Not Good for Listening!"
    "Well written, but not very cohesive"
    Overall

    I enjoyed the book, but didn't love it. David Mitchell is a great writer, but like Salman Rushdie, he sometimes writes prose that just wanders, and with no particular relation to the story or the character. I loved Mitchell's recent book, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, but for me, this one misses the mark.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Garth Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Evan Welch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5529)
    Performance
    (3483)
    Story
    (3491)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you’ve ever loved a dog - or even patted a dog - this book, told from the perspective of man’s best friend, will tug at your heartstrings...and won’t let go until long after Welch performs the last word. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master.

    Lora says: "Enzo (because he's so wize) for president."
    "Wonderful, whimsical story"
    Overall

    I thought this was a wonderful book. While the book is about a lab mix, not the yellow lab on the cover, it reminded me of my late dog, Louise, and how she "spoke" to us. She was, indeed, an integral part of our family, and that spirit is captured wonderfully in this short but heartfelt book.

    So why only 4 stars and not 5? Because the producer of this book couldn't help herself and added the cheesiest, corniest, crappiest music ever placed on an audiobook. I'm not a fan of music on audiobooks to begin with, especially ones as well read as Christopher Welch reads this one, but clearly something motivated this producer to license the worst possible music and then make it as obtrusive as possible.Would someone please tell this woman that these are audio BOOKS and not television shows.

    So, sorry for the rant, but this particular recording is one of the worst abuses of music I've heard in many an audio book, and this book is simply too good to ruin. My suggestion? Remix it and remove the music altogether!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ground Beneath Her Feet

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Salman Rushdie
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (25)

    Salman Rushdie is widely considered one of a handful of truly great living writers. The internationally acclaimed, Booker Prize-winning author's storytelling shines in this epic love story, a modern retelling of the myth of Orpheus.

    Julie says: "Okay, Salmon, We get that you're a genious already"
    "BOR-ing!!"
    Overall

    I was a big fan of the audio version of Shalimar the Clown by Rushdie and decided to give The Ground Beneath Her Feet a try. Don't bother.

    There is so much irrelevant backstory that is in this book that it just sinks under it's own weight. If I heard one more reference to Orfeo and Euridice in just the first part of this book I was going to scream! I love delving into characters, one of the reasons I thought The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany were so wonderful, but the narrative in this book is simply irrelevant to the story. Perhaps Rushdie got paid by the page?

    The storyteller is supposed to be a paparazzi who is both friend and lover to a pop diva. If you've ever met a photographer who talks and acts like this character, then you've occupied a different planet than I have.

    I know there are people who enjoyed this book, but I am definitely not one of them!

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Born Confused

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Tanuja Desai Hidier
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Dimple Lala doesn't know what to think. She's spent her whole life resisting her parents' traditions. But now she's turning 17 and things are more complicated than ever. She's still recovering from a year-old break-up, and her best friend isn't around the way she used to be. Then, to make matters worse, her parents arrange for her to meet a "suitable boy". Of course, it doesn't go well, until Dimple goes to a club and finds him spinning a magical web of words and music.

    Christopher says: "A Delightful Insight"
    "Boorrr-ing"
    Overall

    In defense of this book, I didn't realize it was of the "Judy Blume" ilk. I found the characters shallow, the narration pedantic, the characters stereotypical, and the story unbearable. If you're a teenager, this might be your cup of tea. For me, I stopped listening after the third chapter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (692)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (73)

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    Maxine Fuentes says: "Wonderful"
    "Sensational reading"
    Overall

    This book had me hooked from the beginning. Joe Barrett's reading of this work is excellent, and I loved the voices he's applied to the characters. I can't recommend this book enough. A wonderful story with unforgettable characters.

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (354)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (221)

    Master of the Senate carries Lyndon Johnson's story through one of its most remarkable periods: his 12 years, from 1949 to 1960, in the United States Senate. Once the most august and revered body in politics, by the time Johnson arrived the Senate had become a parody of itself and an obstacle that for decades had blocked desperately needed liberal legislation. Caro shows how Johnson's brilliance, charm, and ruthlessness enabled him to become the youngest and most powerful Majority Leader in history.

    Jeff says: "DROP JAW AMAZING!!"
    "Caro deliver's again"
    Overall

    Robert Caro's "The Power Broker" was one of my favorite books. In spite of that, I was always hesitant to read Master of the Senate because of its sheer volume. "And who cares that much about Lyndon Johnson", I thought. Well, it was my loss. This is a spectacular book with a truly insightful reading by Grover Gardner. This is not just the story of Lyndon Johnson, it is the story of the Senate, and some gems of history, like the story of Leland Olds and Lyndon Johnson, that are as gripping as a novel. There were times during this book when I wanted to reach into the page and strangle Lyndon Johnson, and times when I thought he was the best thing the Senate has ever seen. This may be a long listen, but you won't be bored for a moment. One of the best books I've ever listened to. Having read this, I'm now disappointed that the first collection, "The Rise To Power" and the last one, "The Presidential Years", are not on tape.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • True History of the Kelly Gang

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Peter Carey
    • Narrated By Gianfranco Negroponte
    Overall
    (262)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (81)

    Ned Kelly's name resonates in Australia the same way the name Jesse James does in America. Was he a crusading folk hero or murderous horse thief and bank robber? Who was the real Ned Kelly? As the impoverished son of an Irish convict, Kelly was cheated, lied to, and abused by the English. Committed to fighting back against oppression, Kelly and his gang of outlaws eluded police for nearly two years.

    Margaret says: "Brilliant and Poetic"
    "Maybe you have to be Australian?"
    Overall

    I found this reading very hard to follow. The narrator uses an authentic Australian accent, so unless I was concentrating very hard, I often had trouble understanding what just happened in the story. The primary plot line is easy to follow, but the subtleties and nuance of a book should be what distinguish it, and those were hard to discern in this audio book.

    In reading other listeners reviews, clearly many people loved it. Maybe the accent didn't bother them. I know that in Simon Vance's reading of Oliver Twist, the accent worked towards enhancing the book. Here, I found the dialect distracting.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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