You no longer follow Calliope

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Calliope

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Calliope

ratings
126
REVIEWS
125
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
152

  • Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Janet Reitman
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1106)
    Performance
    (917)
    Story
    (929)

    Scientology, created in 1954 by a prolific sci-fi writer named L. Ron Hubbard, claims to be the world's fastest-growing religion, with millions of members around the world and huge financial holdings. Its celebrity believers keep its profile high, and its teams of "volunteer ministers" offer aid at disaster sites such as Haiti and the World Trade Center. But Scientology is also a notably closed faith, harassing journalists and others through litigation and intimidation, even infiltrating the highest levels of government to further its goals.

    Matt says: "My cup of tea."
    "interesting, a bit drawn out"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Inside Scientology rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Non-fiction audiobooks can be challenging because the material can be a bit dry, but it was still an interesting listen.


    Would you recommend Inside Scientology to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would recommend this book for those interested in the subject matter (and who isn't?). It isn't the "unbiased" book it states it intended to be, but still worthwhile


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

    I do think this would have been as interesting a read as it was a listen.....listening to the audiobook was a convenience, but not an improvement on the material, I think.


    Any additional comments?

    Interesting subject matter and competently read, for those interested in the subject.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nightwing

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Martin Cruz Smith
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (64)

    A community in the southwestern United States falls prey to a plague of vampire bats with a virus which compels them to feed on everything in their path. Martin Cruz Smith, author of the best-selling novels, Gorky Park and Polar Star, mixes Indian mythology with virology in this masterful thriller.

    S. Burrows says: "Excellent book."
    "Disappointed fan"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've enjoyed several other (later) books by Martin Cruz Smith and I was looking forward to one of his earlier novels.....sadly, I finished disappointed. There is much less characterization and much more cliched action in this book. It was fine, and average novel about vampire bats and infectious disease on a Reservation, but nothing to write home about. It was interesting, though, to read the about the political issues between the Hopi and the Navajo from the Hopi point of view which paints the Navajo in a bad light.....different from other books I've read where the protagonists (and the novel's setting) are Navajo.

    The narrator did a really bad job; I had to run this book at 1.25x speed just to make the narration sound "normal" and not be too slow and ponderous. He is bad with differentiating characters with his voice and some of the characters sounded really unbelievable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Friday the Rabbi Slept Late: A Rabbi Small Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Harry Kemelman
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (56)

    Young and unassuming Rabbi David Small sorts through puzzling pieces of mysteries with logic straight from the Talmud. In Friday the Rabbi Slept Late, a shocking discovery on the temple grounds threatens to ruin both the diligent rabbi and the entire Jewish community at Barnard’s Crossing. Unaware that his congregation is grumbling about his rumpled appearance and absent-minded manner, Rabbi Small spends long hours poring over scholarly books.

    DARBY KERN says: "I slept late too, because i was up late listening."
    "nice lightweight mystery, old but new to me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a nice, lightweight mystery that is a little dated (written in 1964), but not in any way that detracts from the story or the writing. I had heard about the series of the rabbi sleuth many years ago, and it was nice to actually enjoy it now -- with one of my favourite narrators George Guidall, who did a wonderful job. The protagonist is only rabbi in a small New England town, and the mystery of the murdered woman is tied in with conflicts among the synagogue board members, office politics, and town gossip among the Jewish and non-Jewish residents. That helps it all ring true, with believable characters (for the mid-sixties suburbs).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Invisible Man

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By H. G. Wells
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (117)

    On a freezing February day, a stranger emerges from out of the gray to request a room at a local provincial inn. Who is this out-of-season traveler? More confounding is the thick mask of bandages obscuring his face. Why does he disguise himself in this manner and keep himself hidden away in his room? Aroused by trepidation and curiosity, the local villagers bring it upon themselves to find the answers.

    Brian says: "Way ahead of its time!"
    "part slapstick action, part sci-fi ideology"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's hard to really like a book with such an unsympathetic central (and title) character. While many reviews say that the character was driven insane by his discovery of invisibility, I'm not so sure......I thought it seemed like he was always a selfish, rude megalomaniac and was only given more ability to express that as an invisible man. It's hard to say, of course.

    What surprised me was how much of the story is taken up with what is essentially slapstick action of people chasing, and being chased by, the invisible man. It's kind of ridiculous and unnecessary, in my opinion, and detracts from any suspense or thriller-type of atmosphere that could have been built. The underlying sci-fi of how a physicist discovered the secret of invisibility and the social message of the difficulties of being invisible are kind of lost under the action and reaction of the end effect (an invisible man who can enter or leave anywhere undetected, and so can attack people at whim).

    I've enjoyed so many other HG Wells books, that it was a real disappointment to me to find this book really only average, in my opinion. And the narration was really only fair, with unnatural accents really distracting from the flow of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadows of the Workhouse: Call the Midwife, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Jennifer Worth
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (241)
    Performance
    (220)
    Story
    (223)

    When twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the direst section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood';s most vivid chronicler. Woven into the ongoing tales of her life in the East End are the true stories of the people Worth met who grew up in the dreaded workhouse, a Dickensian institution that limped on into the middle of the twentieth century.

    Jan says: "Nice followup to "Call The Midwife""
    "More tales from the East End"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Disclaimer......I did not read the first installment of the book, but I know the character and have seen some of the TV series. This book attracted me more because it is more about the people and her experiences as a nurse than as a midwife, and I was hoping that it would be more in-depth about the characters she met than about her culture shock......and it was (so I've been told from those who've read both).

    I loved the stories told about a few of the people she'd met while living and working there, going in depth into their past as well as their present to build some emotional depth and understanding. It's about the shadows of war as much as the workhouse (and I found that man's the most compelling story), but the misnomer of the book's subtitle doesn't take away any of the emotional effect. The narrator also does a good job with the characterization and emotion in the authors voice. I found her voice here really pleasant to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Road

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5902)
    Performance
    (2497)
    Story
    (2534)

    America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

    Darwin8u says: "My wife says he's that Cold Desert Writer I love."
    "4 stars for style, 3 for content"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like post-apocalyptic stories, and I've read some great ones (Day of the Triffids and Alas, Babylon are standouts), but, alas, this is not one of the great ones. And Audible doesn't have a way to distinguish "writing style" and "story content", so I decided to give a 4 all 'round, but really it's for the sparse and emotional style more than the content itself. The content has unrealistic happenings and holes you could drive a bus through, though I was happy, while reading, to suspend my disbelief - the style and emotion (and narration) was that good.

    I loved the incredibly realistic, but repetitive, dialogues with The Boy -- his unhelpful, repeated responses of "OK" and repeated declarations his needs ("But I'm hungry" or "I'm really scared") are just like a small boy would make, and bring a realistic touch to an unbelievable landscape. The landscape is unbelievable - stark, cold, gray, empty - and the entire book is shadowed with those emotions. The Boy is both the Man's conscience and hope in an unforgiving world of those few who are desperate to survive, and the Man is the Boy's father -- which means he is the Boy's everything when there are no other people for days and months on end.

    The resolution is abrupt and undeveloped, popping up without warning and not any better because it is a positive ending on a depressing story. Good narration, good emotions, good dialogue, good narration, but only fair in terms of actual plot and storyline.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Free: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

    • UNABRIDGED (15 mins)
    • By James Thurber
    • Narrated By Ben Stiller
    Overall
    (3224)
    Performance
    (2872)
    Story
    (2904)

    Mild-mannered Walter Mitty is a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. This well-known and beloved tale has launched its famous protagonist into the cultural lexicon, warranting his inclusion in English-language dictionaries and countless anthologies. Stiller's imaginative performance as Mitty is the perfect re-introduction to the classic character and a great preface to the upcoming film, for longtime fans and new listeners alike.

    Dave says: "We Only Live Once. Or Do We?"
    "Fun to hear the original story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Walter Mitty has become a well-known character of pop culture, and it was nice to hear the original story that created him. I had previously only known him as a character in the movie (the 1947 adaptation with Danny Kaye) and as the cultural characterization of a dreamer who avoids the dreariness of life by escaping into his fantasies. Now I get to see the original Walter Mitty, which adds an extra level of meaning to the term (and the man).

    Although Ben Stiller is well known as an actor, I found his narration didn't add much to the story - acceptable, but not much more. Of course, his narration was intended to be a tie-in to promote his movie, and I didn't bother listening to the last few minutes of the recording that (I presume) was a more direct promotion for the book.

    An interesting short story, but I'm glad I didn't pay for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hell Hole: A John Ceepak Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Chris Grabenstein
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (701)
    Performance
    (404)
    Story
    (400)

    Hell Hole is the fourth book in the mystery series featuring hardened former military PD and current Sea Haven, New Jersey, police officer John Ceepak and his partner, wise-cracking Danny Boyle.

    In Hell Hole, Ceepak is confronted with his most personal case yet when he must investigate the alleged suicide of a military corporal who recently returned from Iraq. It turns out that this "locked stall" rest-stop suicide is anything but an open-and-shut case.

    Susan says: "Another Terrific Ceepak Mystery"
    "A more serious topic, still lighthearted writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This deals with a more serious topic, but the characters and lighthearted tone of the overall series is still intact. I like the way Grabenstein continues to move the world of the characters forward -- Ceepak is now married with an adopted son, Boyle has "graduated" to occasionally partnering with a new part-time seasonal cop, the same position he was in when he met Ceepak. But in this case he also moves it backwards, bringing back Ceepak's history in Iraq to meet with the current mystery of the apparent suicide of a young corporal just recently returned from Iraq. In this book "Hell Hole" refers to not just the so-named carnival ride on the Boardwalk, but also to the sandbox of the fighting in Iraq. Definitely a lot of politics involved in this story, unlike the previous installments.

    The narrator does an excellent job, keeping the voice of young-for-his age, perennial-kid-turned-cop Danny Boyle walking the line of believability and humour without allowing it to fall over into farce.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deliverance

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By James Dickey
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1431)
    Performance
    (1272)
    Story
    (1272)

    The setting is the Georgia wilderness, where the state's most remote white-water river awaits. In the thundering froth of that river, in its echoing stone canyons, four men on a canoe trip discover a freedom and exhilaration beyond compare. And then, in a moment of horror, the adventure turns into a struggle for survival as one man becomes a human hunter who is offered his own harrowing deliverance.

    karen says: ""A river runs through it...""
    "What darkness is hidden in the deep?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not the movie, so for anyone who might be put off by the very famous rape scene in the film, don't worry........of course it's here, but it takes up a very small amount of time and the details are neither spelled out nor important. The incident is important in that it starts a fatal cat-and-mouse hunt between some river country natives and the quartet of city buddies out on a canoe trip, but that conflict and collision is only one part of what they go through when they travel down river.

    This isn't the first and wasn't the last book to use a river voyage as a metaphor for an internal voyage to the depths of one's soul, but it's effective nonetheless. The characters and their fates are a little cliched, and the language is occasionally overwrought, but still it's a good reminder of the effect that nature has upon us, and of and the strengths and weaknesses that we discover lay in us hidden in the course of our daily lives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Any Other Name: Walt Longmire, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (862)
    Performance
    (787)
    Story
    (779)

    Sheriff Walt Longmire had already rounded up a sizable posse of devoted readers when the A&E television series Longmire sent the Wyoming lawman’s popularity skyrocketing. Now, in Any Other Name, Walt is sinking into high-plains winter discontent when his former boss, Lucian Conally, asks him to take on a mercy case in an adjacent county. Detective Gerald Holman is dead and Lucian wants to know what drove his old friend to take his own life.

    C. Telfair says: "Lost in Fog with Buffalo"
    "A Basque rose"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel is more environment than events........There are events (suicides, impending births, missing women, narrow escapes), but it's the environment that really takes center stage here: The snow, the buffalo, the wind, the trains, the fog, the small motels, the difficult roads, the cheap strip clubs, and the coal mines and the oil fields. It's that, and the great characters, that make me really love the Longmire books. The weak point was an unbelievable appearance by Henry Standing Bear that didn't fit in where it appeared, but I have to say I was actualy pretty pleased with his minor role in this installment and with a reappearance by Lucien Connoly. It made for a nice change to see more of Walt's relationships with the others in his life (Lucien, Vic, Cady). To me they all ring true (as does his relationship with Henry, but it's nice to see the others get some attention.)

    Craig Johnson has brought the up the Basque culture in Wyoming before (Death Without Company), and one of the characters in this book is a Basque-American woman known at her job as The Basque Rose.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Malala Yousafzai
    • Narrated By Archie Panjabi
    Overall
    (865)
    Performance
    (784)
    Story
    (786)

    When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York.

    Jan says: "So much more than expected..."
    "This book was a wonderful surprise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I never had any intention of reading or listening to this book when it came out. Anything Oprah raves about drops down on my list of experiences I want to partake in.....and then one morning, I looked at Malala's face on the cover and changed my mind. And I was pleased to discover this wasn't the preachy or heavy-handed book about politics and the evils of the Taliban that I was afraid it would be.

    Happily, this book is more about a brave young woman than about politics. And it's about her supportive parents, in a place and time when that wasn't always available to girls and young women. I was as much impressed by the life and actions of her father as I was about Malala herself, and I think he and his contributions have been overlooked much of the time. Malala obviously learned a lot from the way he treated his wife and daughter (very different from many others of his culture), the way he fought to build schools and teach children (male and female), and the way he spoke out, organized, and negotiated to make education for all a priority.

    It's not surprising that a smart girl from a family like that would also grow up to cherish education and to speak her mind about the importance of everyone having those opportunities. What was surprising (to me) was that it didn't take away from her "normal-ness" as a pre-teen and teenaged girl.....and that comes through in the book. She talks about chatting with school friends about pop music and the Twilight books, and about fighting with her younger brothers over access to toys or a computer. About enjoying going on picnics, and playing cricket. Ordinary stuff that happens to young teenaged girls all over the world.

    It's also clear from the book how much Malala loves her home and her country, even while she is saddened by what is going on there (mostly in respect to the rights of women and children, but also that some of her own countrymen have claimed her shooting was either a fake, or an excuse to move to the West). She is also quite clear that her views on Islam have not been changed by the efforts of other groups to instill a fringe fanaticism that is not reflective of true Islam. That while her world has been changed by the Taliban and what has happened to her, she has not.

    The narration was wonderful, full of heart and emotion, and sounding young enough to actually be a 16 year old girl (which lends even more realism to the reading).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.