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RSH

Member Since 2002

42
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 26 ratings
  • 767 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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  • Telex from Cuba: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Rachel Kushner
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (32)

    Rachel Kushner's mother grew up in Cuba in the 1950s, in the United Fruit Company enclave where Telex from Cuba takes place. Calling on a rich trove of family letters, photos, meticulously kept journals, and historical research, Kushner sets free her brilliant imagination in this profoundly resonant story of a world that was paradise for a time and for a few.

    Magin La Grave says: "Nostalgic and great history"
    "Tepid torpor"
    Overall

    As noted elsewhere: there is no story, the characters are sketches, the narrator monotone, the history a Cliff Notes rehash. The author did create a feeling I've never experienced from a book before. Listening was like sitting in small room on a humid day in S. Florida while a bored child shuffles randomly through faded photos commenting on people of no interest to anyone.

    It's hard to reduce pre revolution Cuba to little more than scattered postcards and nostalgia for a repressive past, but the combination of lack of plot, poor editing and bored narrator leave the listener aching for the sun to set on this indulgence. If you want a short version, key in "Preston, Cuba" on YouTube. At least the faded images offer some color.

    For an audiobook that handles the era with insight, Havana Nocturne is extraordinary.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Garden of Evening Mists

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Tan Twan Eng
    • Narrated By Anna Bentinck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (112)

    Malaya, 1951. Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed tea plantations of Cameron Highlands. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister, who died in the camp.

    Susan says: "The best"
    "Perfect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Garden of Evening Mists to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    What other book might you compare The Garden of Evening Mists to and why?

    The Gift of Rain by the same author. Two of the finest literary achievements in the last several decades.


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

    Marvelous nuance


    If you could take any character from The Garden of Evening Mists out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Silly question. I'd prefer to have dinner with the author or narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an exquisite work beautifully performed. I only wish an equally talented male narrator (Jonathan Aris) would be commissioned to narrate The Gift of Rain by the Tan Twan Eng.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joyland

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Michael Kelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2557)
    Performance
    (2370)
    Story
    (2374)

    Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. Joyland is a brand-new novel and has never previously been published.

    Cozy Mystery Reader says: "The sweest and creepiest coming of age story!"
    "Wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I've already recommended "Joyland" to several friends. There is just something touching in this piece. It's well written with excellent narration that fits the story,


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Not on the edge of my seat listening... but always looked forward to returning to the tale.


    Which character – as performed by Michael Kelly – was your favorite?

    Not applicable as they were all done well.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes. Two in particular but no spoilers in this review.


    Any additional comments?

    This book reminds me of how it feels to enjoy a masterful story voiced by a very talented narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Far Appalachia: Following the New River North

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs)
    • By Noah Adams
    • Narrated By Noah Adams
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    In this powerful, passionate chronicle, Noah Adams, the beloved host of NPR's All Things Considered, takes us on a river journey through the heart of Appalachia - a journey shared by pioneers and preachers, white-water daredevils, bluegrass musicians, and an unforgettable cast of vivid historical characters.

    Sheila says: "A Listening Pleasure!"
    "A subtle journey filled with insight"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Far Appalachia again? Why?

    It's not unheard of for me to read and listen or listen and then read - but that pattern only occurs when one or the other is abridged. Far Appalachia is unabridged - but still too short. The author/narrator conveys a loving glimpse of a land both filled with folklore and rich in bedrock history. I would have enjoyed a longer audio trek with more time to examine the nuance however I accept that Far Appalachia is a personal recollection. It fits in Noah Adam's memories and he doesn't have to share everything; only enough to make we wish for more.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Smoothly flows along like the river he's describing.


    Have you listened to any of Noah Adams???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Only as an NPR reporter The two experiences are incomparable being from entirely different styles.


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

    Just enjoyed it.


    Any additional comments?

    For those who want a more dramatic trip on the river, try "Deliverance" as written by James Dickey and narrated by Will Patton. It's much better than the film!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Christopher McDougall
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4344)
    Performance
    (2135)
    Story
    (2168)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Want to join the “superhumans”? Luckily you don’t have to run to catch up with them, thanks to McDougall’s and Sanders’ inspiring (and motivating) journey through history, science, physiology, health, entertaining characters and unlikely friendships. Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure.

    Corey says: "Amazing read - even for non-runners"
    "Excellent perspective on the sport and origin"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    Top 20


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen?

    Realizing the logic of the premise


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Silly question


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Another silly question


    Any additional comments?

    ???The best way people can honor (Micah True -the hero of Born to Run as "Caballo Blanco") is to donate to his charity, which benefits the Raramuri Indians (AKA Tarahumara) as did the race Micah founded. The Raramuri are barely surviving the worst drought in Mexican history".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Train from Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Charles Pellegrino
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    Overall
    (225)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (61)

    Last Train from Hiroshima offers listeners a stunning "you are there" time capsule, gracefully wrapped in elegant prose. Charles Pellegrino's scientific authority and close relationship with the A-bomb's survivors make his account the most gripping and authoritative ever written. At the narrative's core are eyewitness accounts of those who experienced the atomic explosions firsthand---the Japanese civilians on the ground and the American fliers in the air.

    Daniel says: "Awsome"
    "Why 5 Stars? Why not!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The disclaimer from the publisher that the author may have been misled or that certain characters may be composite is interesting. It does, however, avoid the larger questions. Such an oversight is in addition to being an after-the-fact admission the publisher never properly vetted the work before selling it to the public. Every non fiction book is the perceptions of the author, editor, etc. who elect to include or exclude material. Certain facts may be featured while others that don't forward the narrative will be neglected. The public has repeatedly proven they have no taste for raw data and they'll be dammed if they'll be made to discern between what's truth and hyperbole. Authors are hired for their ability to condense and make coherent the pure information pouring from an event. That a scribe may not get it 100% right is expected - unless the buyer is truly naive. Anyone wishing to be erudite on a subject understands s/he is well advised to review multiple sources before forming their opinion.This book may contain more or less truth that many others. The listener will draw their own conclusions. The indisputable evidence is the publisher failed to evaluate the material in advance of attempting to profit from it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • City of Thieves

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By David Benioff
    • Narrated By Ron Perlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1362)
    Performance
    (640)
    Story
    (636)

    A writer visits his retired grandparents in Florida to document their experience during the infamous siege of Leningrad. His grandmother won't talk about it, but his grandfather reluctantly consents. The result is the captivating odyssey of two young men trying to survive against desperate odds. Lev Beniov considers himself "built for deprivation." He's small, smart, and insecure, a Jewish virgin too young for the army, who spends his nights working as a volunteer firefighter with friends from his building.

    Paul says: "Stunning Tale. Great Narration."
    "Another View"
    Overall

    Books that provide insight along with story are special. Since I don't wish to spoil this for anyone by revealing too much, I'll just note there were new elements introduced I was unaware of until "City Of Thieves". I enjoy history in general and have read of the era. Discovering a unique perspective was a treat.

    The narration made it seem quite real so I believe this could easily be a fine film.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bob Dylan in America

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Sean Wilentz
    • Narrated By Sean Wilentz
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    This book follows Dylan as he continues to develop a body of musical and literary work unique in our cultural history. Wilentz’s approach places Dylan’s music in the context of its time, including the early influences of Popular Front ideology and Beat aesthetics, and offers a larger critical appreciation of Dylan as both a song­writer and performer down to the present. Wilentz has had unprecedented access to studio tapes, recording notes, rare photographs, and other materials, all of which allow him to tell Dylan’s story.

    RSH says: "Another side of Bob Dylan"
    "Another side of Bob Dylan"
    Overall

    Not the typical tattle tale as the author delves deeply into Dylan's historical influences and extraordinary talent as a 'minstrel'. There are brief snippets of musical material throughout but what Wilentz really elicits is a desire to hear more; to listen carefully with nuanced ears and newly acquired insight so as to reevaluate the entire recorded legacy of a man arguably the most profound troubadour of the 20th and 21st centuries.

    This is a serious work and as such, those seeking a peek behind Dylan's multiple personas, may not be satisfied the author can only provide exquisitely detailed signposts instead of pop punditry. However, musicians and poets alike -as well as anyone alive during Bob Dylan's life and times- may find this audiobook the closest we'll get to grasping Robert Zimmerman's true genius.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ford County: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By John Grisham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (356)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (98)

    John Grisham returns to Ford County, Mississippi, the setting of his immensely popular first novel, A Time to Kill. This wholly surprising collection of stories reminds us once again why Grisham is America's favorite storyteller.

    Wendy S. Ohl says: "Good story, hard to listen to"
    "Song of the South"
    Overall

    John Grisham gives voice to a collection of stories. The tone of the pieces and the timbre of his words reflect a rural Mississippi that's redneck and refined all at once. Like listening to Rick Bragg narrate, there is an authenticity to John Grisham reading. His unique vocal patterns add a layer to his tales that convey his area of the country like humidity infuses deep southern heat.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13475)
    Performance
    (7956)
    Story
    (7811)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "Bodice ripper"
    Overall

    If you're looking for an adventurous and historical period piece, "The Pillars Of The Earth" is a much more enthralling experience. Similarly, "The Time Traveler's Wife" is a vastly superior exploration of temporal dislocation as well as a stunningly moving love story. Where does that leave "Outlander"? It's a simple minded bodice ripper. The story line is repeatedly destroyed by dime store sex scenes that border on S&M. Don't be fooled by the high ratings. This is nothing more than formula fiction and gratuitous erotica.

    33 of 54 people found this review helpful

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