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BabsD

horatio

Jersey City, NJ, United States

29
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 36 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Daniel Deronda

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By George Eliot
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (186)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (98)

    One of the masterpieces of English fiction, Daniel Deronda tells the intertwined stories of two characters as they each come to discover the truth of their natures. Gwendolen Harleth is the beautiful, high-spirited daughter of an impoverished upper-class family. Daniel Deronda, the adopted son of an aristocratic Englishman, is searching for his path in life.

    Tad Davis says: "An intense novel with a few flaws"
    "Compelling and brilliantly narrated"
    Overall

    I had long heard of Daniel Deronda and kind of given up hope of ever reading it. But a two-hour commute each way to work made this a wonderful companion. Deep, compelling, and filled with fascinating characters, the novel is a melodrama with philosophical and religious depths. Called a "controversial novel," because of the author's ability to show the Jewish community of the 19th century in a tolerant and non-stereotypical way (in a culture, or, perhaps, a world in which stereotypes did---and do---abound), Eliot shows what is unique, human, and sometimes ignorant and insensitive in individuals, no matter their culture or religion. Nadia May's wondrous narration is truly a joy. She captures the core of each character, and her Italian, French, and German seems on the mark (although her pronunciation of Mordechai is not). She has renewed my interest in Eliot and I will surely continue to purchase books that she has narrated.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Marriage Plot

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1762)
    Performance
    (1458)
    Story
    (1452)

    It’s the early 1980s—the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels.

    FanB14 says: "Esoteric, Vapid, Trite"
    "Surprisingly irritating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Eugenides's condescension towards his characters was only topped by Pittu's voicing of them. Sorry, but I was disappointed in the book, the first I've read by Eugenides. I admit that I stayed till the end---I was interested in what happened to the characters and I was also interested in the milieu (I didn't go to college in the 80's, but I think that the experience of searching for meaning/career/independence is a common one). Another reviewer wrote that Pittu's voices for women was "gay," whatever that means. I found that his voices for both men and women made them seem self-centered and clueless---and his voices for women made them seem even stupider than perhaps Eugenides intended. I can't think of one character in the book who wasn't dense, although I suppose that Mitchell, although pretty pathetic and cluless, at least seemed decent. Madeleine's parents were complete buffoons----like many of his portrayals, this was spelled out in the most obvious way.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Aaron Lansky
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Recipient of the MacArthur “genius” fellowship and founder of the National Yiddish Book Center, Lansky recounts his efforts to rescue the world’s abandoned Yiddish-language books before they pass out of existence. Outwitting History follows Lansky’s far-flung travels and features the engaging men and women he meets along the way.

    BabsD says: "I laughed, I cried"
    "I laughed, I cried"
    Overall

    I saw Aaron Lansky interviewed in the Sholem Aleichem documentary recently, and I thought that he was articulate and entertaining. I'm SO glad I listened to this book rather than just read it. Although I know some Yiddish, it was so lovely to hear the book read by the narrator----whose Yiddish seemed native. The book itself is so much more than the story of Lansky's book center. It includes wonderful portraits of the people who owned the books, touching stories about Lansky's travels, from a tiny community in Cuba to the bombed-out synagogue in Argentina to the towns in Latvia, Estonia, and Belorus, where Jews had no Yiddish books and yearned for them. Loved the story about Arlo Guthrie and his mom, about the woman in England who had no idea of her Polish husband's political tracts, of the fight to save the Newark library's collections, and many many more. Loved the jokes, menus, poetry, even tales of romance: all of the touching stories about a language and a people who have suffered so greatly and whose culture and language was almost decimated......but, with people like Lansky and his friends, live on. I listened to this book during long commutes....sometimes I had trouble seeing the road because of the tears in my eyes.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jennifer Egan
    • Narrated By Roxana Ortega
    Overall
    (1269)
    Performance
    (853)
    Story
    (862)

    Jennifer Egan brings her unique gifts as a novelist and short story writer to a compulsively listenable narrative that centers on Bennie Salazar, an aging punk rocker and record executive, and the beautiful Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs.

    Laurene says: "Excellent, subtle, moving"
    "Tried and tried"
    Overall

    Oh, how I tried to get through this. Hated the reader, with her breathy whisper and heartily fake male voices. Hated the pretentious writing. All I can say is that I saw a young and fatally hip guy reading this book on a crowded subway who tried to beat an elderly woman to an empty seat. He seemed to be enjoying it....

    10 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • State of Wonder: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4340)
    Performance
    (3150)
    Story
    (3148)

    Research scientist Dr. Marina Singh is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on an extremely valuable new drug. The last person who was sent to find her died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding answers to the questions about her friend's death, her company's future, and her own past.

    F. B. Herron says: "Do yourself a favor and listen to this book!"
    "Couldn't stop listening"
    Overall

    I listen to these audibles in my car, on long drives to work. I found that I was listening at home, running to the store, on walks. Hope Davis was a great narrator for a fascinating story about anthropology, obsession, dedication, fear, and the strange paths that life takes us. Wasn't sure about the ending---couldn't decide if it fit or was a deux et machina supreme, though. No matter---replete with human characters and adventure, mystery, romance, life and death....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish at the 92nd Street Y

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 26 mins)
    • By Jason Alexander, Leonard Nimoy, Kyra Sedgwick
    • Narrated By Abigail Pogrebin
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Some of America's most prominent Jewish entertainers talk about their Jewish identity (or lack of one) in a panel discussion at New York's 92nd Street Y. Speakers include Jason Alexander, Leonard Nimoy, and Kyra Sedgwick. These are just some of the personalities featured in the new book Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish by Abigail Pogrebin.

    BabsD says: "Really fun and touching"
    "Really fun and touching"
    Overall

    Loved listening to the people on the panel, especially Leonard Nimoy and Jason Alexander...thoughtful, articulate, funny, touching. How lovely that someone in the audience knew Nimoy's barber dad. I liked hearng Kyra Sedgewick, also. Very different upbringing and perceptions than the guys. Only thing I didn't like: one of the women had a maniacal giggle, which invaded the discussion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kati Marton and Richard Holbrooke on 'Jewish Identity and Exile' at the 92nd Street Y

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 10 mins)
    • By Kati Marton, Richard Holbrooke
    • Narrated By Richard Holbrooke
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Richard C. Holbrooke, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, interviews author Kati Marton about the extraordinary journey made by nine Hungarian-Jewish immigrants who initiated America's nuclear weapons program, invented the computer and photojournalism, and became a major force in Hollywood, producing some of the most iconic films of the 20th century, among them Casablanca and Darkness at Noon.

    BabsD says: "All due respect"
    "All due respect"
    Overall

    I imagine that Richard Holbrooke was a fascinating person, and I enjoyed hearing about the people who extolled him at his memorial. I have to say, though, that I would much have preferred Kati Marton talking about her book solo. She is smart and articulate, and he bullied her througout her talk. He tried to control and direct everything she said and went off on tangents about his own life. I don't mind hearing about his experiences but not to the detriment of his wife's story, which interested me greatly .

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • My Cousin Rachel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Daphne du Maurier
    • Narrated By Jonathan Pryce
    Overall
    (218)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (132)

    Ambrose Ashley, Philip's cousin, guardian, and god, married Rachel in Italy and died there. Jealous of his marriage and grief-stricken by his death, Philip prepares to meet his cousin's widow with hatred in his heart.

    Diane says: "The best audio book I ever listened to"
    "Jonathan Pryce Rocks"
    Overall

    I usually use Audible books while commuting. This book I carried around on my iphone wherever I went. It's a page turner, meaning I listened when I woke up and when I went to bed. Jonathan Pryce was terrific and Daphne du Maurier is a drama queen, in the best sense.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Finkler Question

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Howard Jacobson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (33)

    Julian Treslove and Sam Finkler are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they've never quite lost touch with each other - or with their former teacher, Libor Sevick. Now all three are recently widowed, in their own way, and spend sweetly painful evenings together reminiscing. Until an unexpected violent attack brings everything they thought they knew into question.

    BabsD says: "Funny, touching, thoughtful"
    "Funny, touching, thoughtful"
    Overall

    Wonderful book, brimming with challenging and fascinating characters. Jacobson provides the sparkling words---ironic, true, funny, depressing, illuminating. All of the characters are flawed humans, all receive the author's empathy. Crossley captures each of the characters brilliantly, even the women (and such wonderful women, from the departed Melkie to the serious and humane Hepzibah). Whether precocious child, snarling teen, or ancient Czech, Crossley finds their essence. Was bereft when it ended (only complaint is with the packager, who stepped on the ending without a pause to breathe).

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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