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Matthew Stavros

Sydney, Australia | Member Since 2010

37
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 90 ratings
  • 302 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2015
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  • Shogun: A Novel of Japan

    • UNABRIDGED (48 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By James Clavell
    • Narrated By David Case
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1221)
    Performance
    (785)
    Story
    (797)

    A bold English adventuer. An invincible Japanese warlord. A beautiful woman torn between two ways of life, two ways of love....An English captain and his crew are shipwrecked on the coast of feudal Japan. They must deal with two Japanese warlords who are struggling to attain the title of Shogun - and the ultimate power that comes with it.

    Lorrie says: "A question about further Clavell books."
    "You have got to be kidding"
    Overall

    I have great patience with readers and am generally very forgiving. But this is much too bad. What's up with David Case's voice? It's strained, the accents forced, and the narrator's tone is stilted. The Japanese voices sound like robots. The recording quality is poor as well, as if it were done quite a few years ago. We need John Lee to redo this one, please. John Lee's reading of other Clavell novels (especially Tai-Pan) is masterful. This one's best avoided.

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • Indonesia, Etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Pisani
    • Narrated By Jan Cramer
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Bewitched by Indonesia for twenty-five years, Elizabeth Pisani recently traveled 26,000 miles around the archipelago in search of the links that bind this impossibly disparate nation. Fearless and funny, Pisani shares her deck space with pigs and cows, bunks down in a sulfurous volcano, and takes tea with a corpse. Along the way, she observes Big Men with child brides, debates corruption and cannibalism, and ponders "sticky" traditions that cannot be erased.

    John S. says: "Bill Bryson channels Margaret Mead"
    "Wonderful, evocotive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a truly inspiring travel account of Indonesia, written by an English expat who's love for the country (and profound understanding) oozes from every line. Audible needs many more books on Indonesia, but this is a very good start.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Perfect Spy: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (87)

    Over the course of his seemingly irreproachable life, Magnus Pym has been all things to all people: a devoted family man, a trusted colleague, a loyal friend - and the perfect spy. But in the wake of his estranged father's death, Magnus vanishes, and the British Secret Service is up in arms. Is it grief, or is the reason for his disappearance more sinister? And who is the mysterious man with the sad moustache who also seems to be looking for Magnus? In A Perfect Spy, John le Carré has crafted one of his crowning masterpieces.

    Darwin8u says: "Remembrances of loyalties past"
    "Difficult but worth it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It took me 3 false starts to get past the first 5 chapters of this book. Once I made it that far paying attention, however, it all began falling into place. Like all good literature, it requires your attention and patience, but this one's well worth the effort.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Quiet American

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Graham Greene
    • Narrated By Joseph Porter
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (83)

    Alden Pyle, an idealistic young American, is sent to Vietnam to promote democracy amidst the intrigue and violence of the French war with the Vietminh, while his friend, Fowler, a cynical foreign correspondent, looks on.

    Vinchi says: "unbearable"
    "Slow development without the rich prose."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm happy to wade into a slow developing story as long as the prose is rich and evocative. This one is not. And the narrator doesn't help. His reading is ropy and wooden, and much too slow in some places. Maybe Graham Greene is better in print, but so far, his "End of the Affair" read by Colin Firth is the only Audiobook I've enjoyed so far. "Our Man in Havana" is not bad either.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By B. J. Novak
    • Narrated By B. J. Novak, Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1183)
    Performance
    (1056)
    Story
    (1062)

    B.J. Novak's One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is an endlessly entertaining, surprisingly sensitive, and startlingly original debut that signals the arrival of a brilliant new voice in American fiction. A boy wins a $100,000 prize in a box of Frosted Flakes - only to discover how claiming the winnings might unravel his family. A woman sets out to seduce motivational speaker Tony Robbins - turning for help to the famed motivator himself. A new arrival in Heaven, overwhelmed with options, procrastinates over a long-ago promise to visit his grandmother....

    Marci says: "It gets better, and better, and better, and better"
    "Really?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    BJ Novak is great in the Office, as a writer and actor. Maybe he should stick to that kind of sound bite writing. This book is flat and not very interesting either.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Jake Gyllenhaal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (185)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (165)

    F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel of the Roaring Twenties is beloved by generations of readers and stands as his crowning work. This new audio edition, authorized by the Fitzgerald estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain). Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby. There, he has a firsthand view of Gatsby’s lavish West Egg parties - and of his undying love....

    Matthew Stavros says: "Just the right reading style"
    "Just the right reading style"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was reluctant to listen to a book read by a screen actor, and one I don't particularly love. I thought the creators would be selling the name rather than a gifted reader. I was wrong. Not only did Jake Gyllenhall read the story well, he did so in an almost whispered style that I think captured the book's subtlety in supreme manor. I can highly recommend this audiobook.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Tai-Pan: A Novel of Hong Kong

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By James Clavell
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (828)
    Performance
    (505)
    Story
    (504)

    After the British seize Hong Kong following the first Opium War, the owners of two competing trading companies seek to destroy each other, both professionally and personally.

    Cy Judge says: "A great audio book"
    "John Lee and Dirk Struan are my heros."
    Overall

    John Lee narrates this story with a degree of supreme mastery unparalleled in the audiobook world. He deserves an award for acting, no joke. The story is, of course, good, but the way the narration beings Dirk Struan's heroism to life is great beyond words. This is the audiobook I keep on my iPod and continuously go back to whenever I'm board with another or I'm looking for a pickup. It never fails to enthrall, and I get new things from it each time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Never Let Me Go

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Kazuo Ishiguro
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1945)
    Performance
    (743)
    Story
    (747)

    From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, comes an unforgettable edge-of-your-seat mystery that is at once heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous about what it means to be human.

    Jane says: "Nothing short of brilliant"
    "Delectable literary work, read with great skill"
    Overall

    This is a delectable work of literary genius. It's not a pulsing thriller, but the weaving of the story certainly elicits enough thrill. Rosalyn Landor reads the prose with deft and captures the voices of each character with great skill.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eating Animals

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jonathan Safran Foer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Todd Ross
    Overall
    (513)
    Performance
    (329)
    Story
    (333)

    Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between omnivore and vegetarian. But on the brink of fatherhood - facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child's behalf - his casual questioning took on an urgency His quest for answers ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong.

    Natalie says: "Surprisingly Even-Handed"
    "A fresh look at the topic, in slow motion"
    Overall

    This is a fresh, literary, almost poetic look at the evils of factory farming, told from a very personal and accessible perspective. I only wished the narrator read a little faster and left out many of the longer pauses.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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