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Bryan

PROVO, UT, United States | Member Since 2009

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 65 ratings
  • 174 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • Faust

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    • Narrated By Samuel West, Auriol Smith, Derek Jacobi, and others
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (107)

    Faust is one of the pillars of Western literature. This classic drama presents the story of the scholar Faust, tempted into a contract with the Devil in return for a life of sensuality and power. Enjoyment rules, until Faust’s emotions are stirred by a meeting with Gretchen, and the tragic outcome brings Part 1 to an end. Part 2, written much later in Goethe’s life, places his eponymous hero in a variety of unexpected circumstances, causing him to reflect on humanity and its attitudes to life and death.

    Kyle says: "Mixed Feelings"
    "Prepare to be enthralled"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely.
    A lot of my friends are into classic literature and—while this is technically a play—listening to it on audio makes it accessible to experience anytime.

    The story is amazing. If you haven't read it and you like stories like Paradise Lost, The Divine Comedy, and Homer's epics, then this is for you.

    The performance is absolutely stellar. The performers do a fantastic job of bringing it to life.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's thought provoking, inspiring, insightful, and beautiful.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Life.

    They really pulled the beauty out of this story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Mmm, no. It was much more one of those stories that maintains a consistent amount of inspiration inside throughout.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • You're a Bad Man, Mr Gum!: Mr Gum, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 13 mins)
    • By Andy Stanton
    • Narrated By Kate Winslet
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Kate Winslet reads the first riotously funny book in the Mr Gum series by Andy Stanton. Good evening. Mr Gum is a complete horror who hates children, animals, fun, and corn on the cob. This book's all about him. And an angry fairy who lives in his bathtub. And Jake the dog, and a little girl called Polly and an evil, stinky butcher all covered in guts. And there's heroes and sweets and adventures and everything.

    Bryan says: "Could not stop laughing"
    "Could not stop laughing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about You're a Bad Man, Mr Gum!?

    What didn't I love about it?


    What did you like best about this story?

    Just brilliant. Fresh. Unexpected. Random. A laugh a minute.


    Have you listened to any of Kate Winslet’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've seen her perform on movies and she's amazing.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Siddhartha

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By Hermann Hesse
    • Narrated By Derek Jacobi
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (35)

    This compelling spiritual quest by Hermann Hesse, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946, is considered one of the most important works of 20th century fiction. Siddhartha's search for enlightenment leads him to the river of life itself. On his journey he learns from many teachers...

    Scott says: "Choosing an audio version of Siddhartha"
    "Blown Away. Everything I hope for in a story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Siddhartha in three words, what would they be?

    Life eternal: om.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way all things come into One in the end.

    The conclusion gave me chills. It is exhilarating, exciting, and peaceful.

    The whole story arc of Siddharta is beautiful. I love the concept of listening to the river. I loved the ferry boatman. I loved the art of listening.


    What does Derek Jacobi bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Derek Jacobi is the best narrator there is.

    His gentle expression, deep understanding, and simple voice make his work stand out among all others.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. Absolutely.


    Any additional comments?

    One of my new three favorite books of all time, along with Les Miserables and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Contact

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Carl Sagan
    • Narrated By Laurel Lefkow
    Overall
    (347)
    Performance
    (318)
    Story
    (323)

    The future is here...in an adventure of cosmic dimension. In December, 1999, a multinational team journeys out to the stars, to the most awesome encounter in human history. Who - or what - is out there? In Cosmos, Carl Sagan explained the universe. In Contact, he predicts its future - and our own.

    A. Ferguson says: "Great book, significant differences from the movie"
    "Great story, but the movie covers most of it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would, if she had not read the story already.

    The movie does a good job of covering the book. I eventually stopped as I didn't find that there was any particularly new insight, as I had hoped.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Contact?

    In the movie, the ending is fantastic.

    I love the theme, that as human beings we have experiences that can't be explained by science; sometimes faith is all we have.


    What does Laurel Lefkow bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She does fine. Her voice fits pretty well with Ellie.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The movie, yes. I enjoy the ending dramatically.

    The book, I didn't finish, as I mention above.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Don Quixote

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Miguel de Cervantes, John Ormsby (translated by)
    • Narrated By Roy McMillan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (316)
    Performance
    (257)
    Story
    (253)

    The most influential work of the entire Spanish literary canon and a founding work of modern Western literature, Don Quixote is also one of the greatest works ever written. Hugely entertaining but also moving at times, this episodic novel is built on the fantasy life of one Alonso Quixano, who lives with his niece and housekeeper in La Mancha. Quixano, obsessed by tales of knight errantry, renames himself ‘Don Quixote’ and with his faithful servant Sancho Panza, goes on a series of quests.

    Colin says: "More than funny"
    "Hilarious, though simply far too long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Don Quixote again? Why?

    Well, it's absolutely, gut-busting hilarious. However, about halfway through I began to feel that it was simply repeating itself, with Quixote always convincing himself in his delusions the same way he had done it last time.
    I stopped the recording during the third (of five) mp3.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Don Quixote?

    Oh man, the part where Sancho tries to tell a joke to Don Quixote. I laughed SO HARD I had to actually put down my paint brush and bowl over onto the floor with laughter.

    This part is funny even if you just cut it out of the story and only read it by itself, but it was the long series of funny events leading up to it that set the stage so well.


    Which character – as performed by Roy McMillan – was your favorite?

    Sancho Panza. He's so faithful, so smart, so clever, and so wholly ignorant at the same time. He always makes me laugh.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laugh... hard.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Life of Thomas More

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Peter Ackroyd
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (28)

    The Life of Thomas More went straight to #1 on the London Times best seller list when published in the United Kingdom. It remained in that position for over a month, garnering the kind of praise that is rarely given. Thomas More was not only a great man of the church, he was also arguably the most brilliant lawyer the English-speaking world has ever known.

    Andy says: "Great Man"
    "Fantastic novel; passable narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Life of Thomas More?

    The subject matter is fascinating, so the author was already off to a good start.

    His integrity in his presentation of More as a regular human being, with many faults, makes those remarkable moments of More's life all the more salient.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Life of Thomas More?

    In the book (not considering the lack-luster narration), the ending of More's life is pithily written. In its brevity and conciseness, it creates makes indelible More's final words to the condemning priest, "[God] could not refuse one who is so blithe to look at Him."


    Any additional comments?

    Davidson's narration is, as I mentioned in the title, only passable.
    He reads everything in such a dry manner that sometimes I have to wonder if he's paying attention to the words that are coming across the page in his hand. He also misinterprets sentences from time to time.

    His reading of the climactic moment—when after having received judgement and before receiving sentence, Sir T. More declares his convictions about the King's title and ulterior motives—is so abysmal that I nearly want to pay the publisher to re-record it.

    I'd recommend first watching the movie, "A Man for All Seasons," which is also about Sir Thomas More, before reading this book. The movie will help you appreciate the impact of More's life, and his stellar faithfulness to his inner beliefs.

    After that, this book is a fun supplemental read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Timothy Ferriss
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (2705)
    Performance
    (1703)
    Story
    (1709)

    This expanded edition includes dozens of practical tips and case studies from readers who have doubled their income, overcome common sticking points, and reinvented themselves using the original book. Also included are templates for eliminating email and negotiating with bosses and clients, how to apply lifestyle principles in unpredictable economic times, and the latest tools, tricks, and shortcuts for living like a diplomat or millionaire without being either.

    suzanne says: "Step 3: PROFIT!!!"
    "Cool...but read with caution"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)? What did you like least?

    Timothy carries an attitude of 'just do it the smart way, for Pete's sake' that inspires you to live your life more efficiently and effectively.

    And, even better, he gives specific steps, actions, examples, and resources for you to achieve that.

    It's definitely worth reading.


    Who do you think would benefit most from listening to The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)?

    Basically, everyone who has to make a living in our day—except for the people who are know what he has to say and can practice the principles at will.


    Any additional comments?

    Like I said, READ WITH CAUTION.

    Ferris says a lot of cool things...but also some things that are down right stupid.

    For example, he has a section where he encourages you to live your dreams right now.
    Sounds great, right?
    In theory, yes...
    But then he recommends that if one of your dreams is to drive a Lamborghini, just get in debt!
    'You can have the car for just $2000 a month. What are you waiting for?'

    Like I said, follow his advice with caution. There are a few trails on his roadmap to success that go over pretty unstable bridges.

    Still, that said, read it! It's awesome.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
    • Narrated By Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
    Overall
    (1195)
    Performance
    (447)
    Story
    (445)

    Five hundred years before the birth of Jesus, a God-realized being named Lao-tzu in ancient China dictated 81 verses, which are regarded by many as the ultimate commentary on the nature of our existence. The classic text of these 81 verses, called the Tao Te Ching or the Great Way, offers advice and guidance that is balanced, moral, spiritual, and always concerned with working for the good.

    Jesse says: "Changed my thoughts"
    "Love the universality of the book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life the most enjoyable?

    It's just a really great collection of inspiring thoughts and truths, told from the perspective of his Daoism, and presented in a way that basically anyone of any faith can appreciate it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hobbit

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9855)
    Performance
    (8848)
    Story
    (9011)

    Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

    Darwin8u says: "Victory after all, I suppose!"
    "Captures the spirit of the book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What about Rob Inglis’s performance did you like?

    Rob Inglis does an amazing performance.

    It's hard not to compare every character's voice and performance etc. w/those in the Peter Jackson films, but even then Rob Inglis still manages to hold his own against them—and this was decades before the story became as famous as it is now.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Legion

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3730)
    Performance
    (3375)
    Story
    (3443)

    Stephen Leeds, AKA 'Legion,' is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills. As the story begins, Leeds and his 'aspects' are drawn into the search for the missing Balubal Razon, inventor of a camera whose astonishing properties could alter our understanding of human history and change the very structure of society.

    Joshua says: "The only flaw..."
    "No doubt about it, Sanderson's brilliant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Which scene was your favorite?

    The opening sequence where we get to know all the characters is amazing. The characters all have this crazy, normally-frightening relationship to each other based on a psychological condition (I won't say what it is in order not to spoil it), but even still the author makes us fall in love with each character. It's kind of...well...insane!


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of Body Language: How to Succeed in Every Business and Social Encounter

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Tonya Reiman
    • Narrated By Tonya Reiman
    Overall
    (280)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (178)

    The Power of Body Language is your practical, personal playbook for getting what you desire from others—and zoning in on what others are saying to you without words. In an insightful and engaging narrative peppered with fascinating facts, nationally renowned body-language expert Tonya Reiman illuminates the hidden meaning behind specific gestures, facial cues, stances, and body movements, giving you a life-changing, career-saving, troubleshooting skill.

    morton says: "Helpful in All Areas of Life"
    "Great Information"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Power of Body Language the most enjoyable?

    Reiman put together a wealth of information about body language. It's an enlightening experience. I finished the book feeling much more aware of myself and am excited to see how I can use it to be a better communicator.


    Any additional comments?

    She begins almost every comparison between men and women with the words, "Women are better than men..." It would have been better if she'd done a balanced treatment for both genders.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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