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Geoffrey

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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2010

40
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 29 reviews
  • 276 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015
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4

  • The Good Apprentice

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Iris Murdoch
    • Narrated By Christopher Cazenove
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (8)

    Stuart Cuno has decided to become good. Not believing in God, he invents his own methods, which include celibacy, chastity, and the abandonment of a promising academic career. Interfering friends and relations question his sincerity, his sanity and his motives.

    Geoffrey says: "A Squabble of Smartypants"
    "A Squabble of Smartypants"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Aging Artists and Models, Intellectuals, adulterers, and their children, make for an interesting series of critical and complicated situations. Read brilliantly by Christopher Cazenove, 'The Good Apprentice' follows a tragic death's trail through a wonderful group of characters playing at life in their search for meaning. Fun, serious and sometimes just strange, it is a story that surprises throughout and ends as it should.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Tontine

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Thomas B. Costain
    • Narrated By David Case
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    Tontine is a form of gambling - part lottery, part insurance. It begins with the Day the Battle of Waterloo was fought and ends at the closing of the 19th century.

    Sarah says: "Sprawls Over Most of a Century"
    "A Winning Ticket!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Enjoying long and detail rich novels, The Tontine was a wonder filled surprise. Dickensian in it's wealth of quirky characters, that move through the early industrial and Empire building revolutions of Britain, a Tontine, or Lottery of immense size, allows us to follow these ticket holders through three generations. Only one person can receive the great sum of the winning ticket from the accumulated interest of decades, that being the last person alive in the Tontine.
    The growth of industry following the Napoleonic Wars and the expansion of the Empire, through to the social nightmare of great poverty and child labour in Victoria's reign, opens out to a full range of possibilities for the bold and weak inhabitants of 18th century England, in Thomas B. Costain's novel of 1955.

    I also loved the characterizations the narrator, David Case, portrays.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wolf Totem

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Jiang Rong
    • Narrated By Jason Culp
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    An epic Chinese tale in the vein of The Last Emperor, Wolf Totem depicts the dying culture of the Mongols - the ancestors of the Mongol hordes who at one time terrorized the world-and the parallel extinction of the animal they believe to be sacred: the fierce and otherworldly Mongolian wolf.

    sara says: "Incredibly moving tale vividly told"
    "Heart-Breaking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Simply an unbearable story for lovers of the natural world. A difficult book, worth the effort, to be read only once. Not for the weak hearted.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Good Soldier

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Ford Madox Ford
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (99)

    The Good Soldier is a story about the complex social and sexual relationships between two couples - one English, one American - and the growing awareness of American narrator John Dowell of the intrigues and passions behind their orderly Edwardian façade. It is Dowell’s attitude - his puzzlement, uncertainty, and the seemingly haphazard manner of his narration - that makes the book so powerful and mysterious. In Ford’s brilliantly woven tale, nothing is quite what it seems.

    Jefferson says: "The Clueless Cuckold and the Romantic Philanderer"
    "A Miniature of Intense Realism"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not every read must be pleasant, but it can be beautifully sad.
    This sadness is not a surprise in 'The Good Soldier', but there are many in this novel that keep the reader engrossed in a difficult tale. Narrated to perfection and gorgeously written, a story of people as real in all colours of growth and disintegration as the earth we survive upon.
    The painting of a small portrait, I am grateful to have witnessed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Golden Notebook

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Doris Lessing
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (98)

    Author Anna Wulf attempts to overcome writer’s block by writing a comprehensive "golden notebook" that draws together the preoccupations of her life, each of which is examined in a different notebook. Anna’s struggle to unify the various strands of her life – emotional, political, and professional – amasses into a fascinating encyclopaedia of female experience in the ‘50s.

    Victoria says: "Transcendent narration of a masterpiece."
    "28 Hours of Whine"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I first started reading Doris Lessing in the 70's and have admired her writing, although I remember little of it. I will never forget 'The Golden Notebook', as the most tedious well written novel ever. Juliet Stevenson's aristocratic reading, portrays the neurotic Anna's numerous life crises, in a middle-class whine that rarely quits. Listening to the successful but blocked writer, Anna, weep, screech, complain about her lovers in the frightening atmosphere of the cold war and the inhumanity of South Africa's racial war, was interesting at most for me. I found the supporting characters, specially the Americans, caricatures. Notable for it's selection of taboos, every vice of the pre-sexual revolution written here, it must have been an eye opener for many. However, it is Anna we follow through this long book and I don't know why we do. A single mother, who insists she loves her daughter (we never see it), has a nasty masochistic affair with every straight man she rents a room to and lives off the royalties of her one novel, while going kind of mad in a sexual flurry.
    Juliet Stevenson was Anna, and I'll never be able to listen to that voice again, or see her in a film, without running away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gulliver's Travels: A Signature Performance by David Hyde Pierce

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jonathan Swift
    • Narrated By David Hyde Pierce
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (923)
    Performance
    (711)
    Story
    (715)

    A Signature Performance: Four-time Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce delivers an air of lovable self-importance in his rendition of the classic social satire that remains as fresh today as the day it was published.

    Rose says: "Loved every minute"
    "Informative and Funny!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mr. Pierce does a great job narrating. The notion 'Miles' is reading this does not interfere with the quality of the text. He's pretty perfect. Knowing this story from movies only, I was pleased to hear it as written. It's humorous and satirical, lots of 'potty' stuff, full of fantasy and Swift's personal politics and humanism. It's wonderful, for me, to hear an author of the period, blast the cruelty and evil of imperialism for it's destruction and massacres of lands and inhabitants, for greed, and in the name of God and goodness.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stoner

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Williams
    • Narrated By Robin Field
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (612)
    Performance
    (509)
    Story
    (516)

    William Stoner is born at the end of the 19th century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar's life, far different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments.

    Anton says: "A story of sadness and serenity"
    "Just Keep Moving"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A sad, interesting story of a dedicated teacher abused by fate. The characterizations are brilliantly written, with Stoner a supreme man of pathos. I'm glad to have found this book.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Eudora Welty
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat, Jessica Almasy, Victor Bevine, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (98)

    This complete collection includes all of the published stories of Eudora Welty. There are 41 stories in all, including those in the earlier collections A Curtain of Green, The Wide Net, The Golden Apples, and The Bride of the Innisfallen, as well as previously uncollected stories.

    Yennta says: "Too Good For Audio"
    "A Beautiful Companion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read and listened to 'The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty', not all in one go, a few or one at a time, between novels or for a break, in a car on NPR, and on a plane to escape my seat companion, and I am always taken completely from myself into a world of word as music. The common and tragic tales of survivors, living as best they do, in the chaos of being alive.
    The narrators are not all meant to be reading these stories to us, sadly, as much as they may love the author, but don't let those few stop you from purchasing this excellent collection. You will be transported!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Queen Margot

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (45)

    The last years of King Charles IX's reign in France were dominated by religious wars between Catholics and Protestants. Queen Margot begins in 1572 with the marriage of Marguerite de Valois to Henri de Navarre. Marguerite is King Charles' sister and the daughter of Henri II and Catherine de Medici, all firm Catholics. Henri de Navarre is a Protestant who later will become the beloved King Henri IV. Several important political events have led up to this marriage including the mysterious murder of Henri de Navarre's mother, cleverly plotted by Catherine de Medici. The wedding brings noblemen from all over the world to Paris resulting in the notorious Saint Bartholomew Massacre, where thousands of Protestants are killed. In this inventive and compelling novel, Dumas brings an extraordinary period of history vividly to life with much excitement and romance. The lively prose and wonderfully constructed plot tell of court intrigues and forbidden love, of beautiful queens, duchesses, and noblemen, suspense, conspiracies, betrayals, assassinations, superstitions, poisonings, and sumptuous feasts. With well-known historical figures as main characters in a dangerous and breathtaking game for power, Queen Margot tells of conspiracies, clandestine trysts, and daring escapes. There is the infamous Catherine de Medici, deliciously evil, constantly plotting and poisoning; Le Mole, a dashing and irresistable young Protestant who becomes Marguerite's lover; the noble Coconnos who provides a great source of comic relief; and at the center of all this intrigue are the good-hearted Marguerite and Henri who are perfect political allies with complicated and fascinating love lives.

    Faith says: "An engrossing read..."
    "Pre-Musketeer Joy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I absolutely loved this book. Fast paced swashbuckling adventure, brotherly love and Bromance, Romantic intrigue with beautiful women, and the murderous machinations of Catherine de Medicis! Lust and vengeance at every turn!
    What's not to like?
    The two Heros are very much in the style of the later humorous and wonderful Musketeers of the 'D'Artagnan' series by Dumas. Those readers, like me, who've craved for similar stories of honour and adventure and the goodness of men against evil, will thoroughly enjoy this book and it's brilliant narrator, Robert Whitfield.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Kreutzer Sonata

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Jonathan Oliver
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (26)

    One of Tolstoy’s most important shorter works, The Kreutzer Sonata presents a problematic view of the relationship between the sexes and promotes abstinence as the solution. Pozdnyshev jealously observes the intimacy that emerges between his wife and a violin player. Haunted by The Kreutzer Sonata, over which they bonded, it plays round and round in Pozdnyshev’s head driving him to distraction and to an unquenchable rage.

    Tad Davis says: "Disturbing"
    "Purging Lusts"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not an easy listen but a brilliant performance by the narrator, Jonathan Oliver, and a performance it is! Melodramatic, hysterical, Tolstoy lets his audience know what he thinks of indulgence and lust.
    Lazy over-fed fornicators, dressed in the false cloth of an anti-Christ Christianity. Women are to be respected, treated as sisters, mothers, daughters, not as vessels for man's pleasure. People should work, hard. Should abstain from alcohol and sexual passion. Should not marry. Should not waste important energy searching for 'love'. One should be kind helpful good and 'love' all mankind.
    'The Kreutzer Sonata' is more a message, and less a novel. But, an exciting story of a murder it certainly is, and, for me at least, it is an interesting idea.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shirley

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Charlotte Bronte
    • Narrated By Anna Bentinck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (50)

    Set in the industrialising England of the Napoleonic wars, a period of bad harvests, Luddite riots, and economic unrest, Shirley is the story of two contrasting heroines and the men they love. One is the shy Caroline Helstone, trapped in the oppressive atmosphere of a Yorkshire rectory, whose life represents the plight of single women in the 19th century. The other is the vivacious Shirley Keeldar, who inherits a local estate and whose wealth liberates her from convention.

    Joseph R says: ""As Romantic As Monday Morning""
    "Ayn Rand and Charlotte have Tea"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Imagine a delicately dressed, quietly soft woman, circa 1800 under the influence of Napoleon's murderous campaign against Europe, writing in the hand of Ayn Rand, in a copse in wild Yorkshire, and you have an idea of the scope of 'Shirley'. What a treat! Industrialization, striking roughs, aristocrats poor and prosperous, and the plague of poverty, struggle with the politics of embargo and isolation. There are no devils in this story, but people wrestling realities, truths of spirit, ignorance and pride. Characters are given grace and life by the impeccable narration of Anna Bentinck, and the story and words of Charlotte Bronte bring a beauty to humanity, understanding and love, that begs the ear and heart to devour more.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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