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M. J. Christensen

Tucson, AZ. | Member Since 2011

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 30 reviews
  • 56 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 50 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
29
FOLLOWERS
1

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (521)
    Performance
    (427)
    Story
    (439)

    Oscar Wilde brings his enormous gifts for astute social observation and sparkling prose to The Picture of Dorian Gray, the dreamlike story of a young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty. This dandy, who remains forever unchanged---petulant, hedonistic, vain, and amoral---while a painting of him ages and grows increasingly hideous with the years, has been horrifying and enchanting readers for more than 100 years.

    Daniel says: "Beautifully written, brilliantly read."
    "A Cautionary Tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Really would rate this 4 1/2 stars overall. A classic novella from one of the best prose writers of all time. Wilde was a master at the "turn of phrase", and in this story the character of Lord Henry (called "the prince of paradox") is a stand-in for Wilde himself. This is a novel that needs to be read (or listened to) more than once to catch all the philosophical ramblings. I did not think that Dorian should be blamed for all the degradation he believes he caused. After all individuals are responsible for their own actions and have a choice - they followed Dorian willingly. He himself was greatly influenced by the cynical Lord Henry. The idea of having the picture change with each cruel action was a brilliant literary device. Simon Prebble's narration was excellent although I did have some problems telling Lord Henry and Dorian apart.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Truman Capote
    • Narrated By Michael C. Hall
    Overall
    (459)
    Performance
    (426)
    Story
    (428)

    Golden Globe-winning actor Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) performs Truman Capote's masterstroke about a young writer's charmed fascination with his unorthodox neighbor, the "American geisha" Holly Golightly. Holly - a World War II-era society girl in her late teens - survives via socialization, attending parties and restaurants with men from the wealthy upper class who also provide her with money and expensive gifts. Over the course of the novella, the seemingly shallow Holly slowly opens up to the curious protagonist.

    FanB14 says: "Michael C. Hall in Your Ear + Capote = Bliss"
    "A Poignant Novella"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Capote's novella of Holly Golightly captures the superficial atmosphere surrounding Holly and her entourage. The narrator, probably a stand-in for Capote himself who came to New York from the Deep South, admires Holly at times, but also becomes exasperated with her. The author brings out the complexity of her character and her ability to design her own life, at least for a time, the way she would want others to view her. As the story unfolds, the readers / listeners get to know a bit of the real Holly, but by the end of the book, can only wonder what will happen to her eventually. She seems to be only able to face life by ignoring parts of herself. This thin novella has quite a different tone than the 1961 movie with Audrey Hepburn. The movie made Holly a much more sympathetic character. I really prefer the novel's character - she seems more human.

    Michael C. Hall's narration was excellent. He brought out the vulnerability and hesitancy of the narrator in the story, called "Fred" by Holly and his voicing of all the characters was very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cricket on the Hearth

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    Overall
    (2650)
    Performance
    (2228)
    Story
    (2250)

    The holidays are upon us, and this year Audible is very happy to present to our members one of Charles Dickens’ most popular Christmas stories, The Cricket on the Hearth. This holiday classic (original subtitle: “A Fairy Tale of Home”) tells the innocent, picturesque, and charming story of a poor family and their would-be guardian angel; in short, a delightful vision of Victorian Christmas. As always, a great story calls for a great voice, so we’ve brought in legendary actor and record-breaking Audie and Grammy award-winning narrator Jim Dale (The Night Circus). Happy holidays and happy listening!

    Linda Lou says: "NOT "DICKENSIAN" ENOUGH"
    "Short Novella That Warms The Heart"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was the perfect read for winter days and nights. Not quite as wonderful as "A Christmas Carol", it still has some interesting characters (including the cricket) and a Dickensian misunderstanding that resolves happily for all. Jim Dale's narration is excellent as always, although Dot's voice seemed a bit strained at times. Having both read and listened to the story, I would definitely recommend the audio version to get the full effect of Dickens' writing. This leaves the listener with a happy feeling that "all is well with the world"!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suspect

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3950)
    Performance
    (3531)
    Story
    (3526)

    LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well, not since a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner, Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty - until he meets his new partner. Maggie is not doing so well, either. The German shepherd survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before she lost her handler to an IED and sniper attack, and her PTSD is as bad as Scott’s. They are each other’s last chance.

    Jacqueline says: "Gripping Page Turner!!"
    "A Dogged Canine Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed listening to this book, although I don't own a dog and am not a dog lover. The mystery held my attention, but I did guess some of the outcome. I particularly liked the chapters from the perspective of Maggie, the police dog. Crais seemed to be able to think like a canine in these parts of the story. I also learned something about the training of dogs which seemed like practical information that someone could use. The writing kept me interested and the end was exciting. The narrator had a feel for the story - his voicing of the characters was excellent; I became thoroughly engrossed in the final confrontation with the "bad guys". Can this book be the beginning of a new series for Crais? All in all, I'm happy I listened to this; however, I still prefer the author's Elvis Cole mysteries.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Society's Child: My Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Janis Ian
    • Narrated By Janis Ian
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (434)
    Performance
    (401)
    Story
    (401)

    Janis Ian was catapulted into the spotlight in 1966 at the age of 15, when her soul-wrenching song "Society's Child" became a hit. But this was only the beginning of a long and illustrious career. In Society's Child, Janis Ian provides a relentlessly honest account of the successes and failures - and the hopes and dreams - of an extraordinary life.

    Pamela says: "I know why this won the grammy"
    "Triumphing Over Adversity"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Janis Ian's autobiography relates the story of an artist who gained fame at the young age of 15 years and had many other peaks and valleys throughout her life. Having been so successful at an early age was perhaps a detriment as she seemed to be too trusting in her professional life as well as her personal one. As I listened, I came to expect that if things were going smoothly, then something was just waiting to bring her down - trouble with her health, the IRS, her relationships. She was able to persevere through it all and seems to be much happier now.

    I really wanted to hear more about her singing and songwriting career and how she translated her feelings and hopes into such powerful songs. Her narration was very good

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rebel: Bull Run, 1861: The Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By Ed Sala
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (61)

    When William Faulconer rescues Nate Starbuck, his son’s friend, from the clutches of a Yankee-hating mob in Virginia, he finds a grateful and willing recruit for Faulconer’s Legion. But Nate’s decision to fight against his native North is only one of the human dilemmas facing the Legion. The Legion commander’s son is against the war, and his daughter’s fiancé is plotting for control of the family fortune. As a motley gathering of men prepares to engage the enemy at Bull Run, they have high hopes of ending the war before it starts.

    francisco says: "Great story, but weak performance."
    "Fine Historical Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A historical novel about the beginnings of the Civil War mostly from the Southern point of view. Bernard Cromwell is British, but gives us a great look at the Battle of Bull Run. His main character, Nathaniel Starbuck, is a Yankee who fights for the South. There is humor in the book and the characters really come to life. Cromwell's writing about the battle strategies of both sides places the reader in the thick of the fighting. Ed Sala's reading is perfection - he brings all the characters to life. I especially liked his voice for "Pecker", Washington Faulconer's brother-in-law. I look forward to downloading the next in the series so I can find out what happens to the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By S. J. Watson
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (547)
    Performance
    (446)
    Story
    (448)

    "As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me...." Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love - all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may be telling you only half the story. Welcome to Christine's life.

    Tim says: "Couldn't put this book down!"
    "After I Wake Up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel deals with amnesia and I chose it because I've always been interested in that subject. The beginning of the book was very intriguing - Christine wakes up every morning and doesn't remember anything about her life. The reader gets information as the character does and it's fun to work out the puzzle of what happened to Christine and why she has amnesia. But as the novel goes on, I found it repetitive as she learns many of the same things each day, but we the reader already know some of it. I figured out the end of the book and thought that Christine should have had some inkling of what happened to her and who was responsible. I won't give anything away, but points in the plot seemed very far-fetched even for a thriller. It was an easy listen and I thought Cassidy's narration was perfect - she read with the right amount of confusion and fear in her voice as this is a first-person narrative. I would try another of the author's books, but probably won't put any at the top of my reading list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Magnificent Ambersons

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Booth Tarkington
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Blaisdell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    The Magnificent Ambersons chronicles the changing fortunes of three generations of an American dynasty. The family serves as a metaphor for the old society that crumbled after the Industrial Revolution, as a Midwestern town spreads and darkens into a city.

    Darwin8u says: "Many of the great ones too are soon forgotten"
    "A Bygone Era"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This enduring classic was a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1919. The novel shows life in a small town in the early part of the 20th Century before and after the automobile made an impact and changed the status of the town's prominent families. The author portrays the decline of the big estates and the rise of a new aristocracy based on business acumen and not only inherited wealth. The main character, George Minafer, is not very likable, although by the end of the book, he is more sympathetic. His mother seems to me overprotective and indulgent toward George and this leads to his personality problems. Tarkington introduces humor, especially in the first part of the book, where the townfolk gossip about the Amberson family. This is a well written story with astute characterizations.

    The narration by Geoffrey Blaisdell is excellent. I especially liked his tone and inflection when George exclaims: "riff-raff!".

    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
    (2673)
    Performance
    (2379)
    Story
    (2406)

    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?"
    "A Classic Short Story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    James Thurber is one of my favorite authors and this is one of my favorite short stories. Henpecked Mr. Mitty is a character everyone can relate to - we all have our daydreams in which we are the hero or heroine and at times want to get away from reality. Ben Stiller brings out the humor in the story. Thanks Audible for this free download!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Free: Three Shots Rang Out - The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs)
    • By Darren Reynolds
    • Narrated By Diane Sawyer
    Overall
    (326)
    Performance
    (286)
    Story
    (287)

    This edition of Three Shots Rang Out: The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later is an audio-only ABC News special created exclusively for Audible and hosted by ABC World News Anchor Diane Sawyer. Sawyer takes listeners back to Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, for a “you are there” exploration of the day of U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

    Steven says: "What a great listen! Hear history as it happened!"
    "You Are There!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Excellent review of the Kennedy assassination with the actual ABC radio broadcasts of the time. Narrated professionally by Diane Sawyer. You really get the feeling of "being there". I especially liked the comments of Ike Pappas during the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald by "an elderly man" (Ruby). He exclaims: "Holy Mackerel!" Other highlights are the interview with the surgeon in charge of trying to save JFK, the interview with Officer Tippet's wife, and the closing interview with Larry Sabato, author of the recent "The Kennedy Half Century". Thank you Audible and ABC for this free program! It brought back all the memories of that awful time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight's Children

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Salman Rushdie
    • Narrated By Lyndam Gregory
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (526)
    Performance
    (325)
    Story
    (313)

    Salman Rushdie holds the literary world in awe with a jaw-dropping catalog of critically acclaimed novels that have made him one of the world's most celebrated authors. Winner of the prestigious Booker of Bookers, Midnight's Children tells the story of Saleem Sinai, born on the stroke of India's independence.

    Marc-Fr says: "Outstanding book, superb narration"
    "Rushdie's Epic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A sweeping novel of Mid 20th Century India told with fantasy and humor. Rushdie is a brilliant writer who shows the history of India through the eyes of Salim, one of the children born on the stroke of midnight that heralded India's independence from Britain. This book is not an easy listen - one that you can listen to while doing other things. There are multiple characters and for someone not real familiar with Indian names, it is difficult to remember who everyone is, especially when you hear but not see the written names of people and places. I would recommend reading this instead of only listening to get the most out of the novel and if you are not familiar with post-independence Indian history, then you should check out some other sources. I have a cursory knowledge, but found myself not knowing who the author was referencing at times. I will probably get the book to read as this is a novel that can be read many times.

    I liked the narrator very much, although I understand that he is using more a British than Indian accent. His voice was pleasant to listen to and his female voices were good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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