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La Palma, CA, USA | Member Since 2011

  • 6 reviews
  • 22 ratings
  • 842 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2015

  • Crime and Punishment

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Narrated By Walter Zimmerman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Raskolnikov, a student in St. Petersburg, murders an old woman, a money-lender, to prove his theory that violence purifies the strong. But no sooner is the deed done than Raskolnikov begins to feel remorse. What follows is one of the greatest psychological studies in world literature.

    Glenn says: "Great Book"
    "Well Done"

    Often in reviewing a great performance, it is difficult to determine which worked best; the actual performance or the material on which the performance is based. In the case of this audio book, both the story and the reader are very well done.

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Jennifer says: "Rated for 1st book, reviewed for trilogy"
    "For Younger Readers"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, listening to this book was time well spent. It was a good and interesting story

    Would you be willing to try another book from Veronica Roth? Why or why not?

    Probably, even though I was not overly impressed with this one.

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

    Emma Galvin provided a very credible voice to the characters in this story

    Was Divergent worth the listening time?

    Yes, since I feel that it was time well spent.

    Any additional comments?

    I feel that this book would appeal to younger, even beginning reader. I am a little awed by the rave reviews this book received, especially from older listeners. The foundation of the book was unique and very sound, but the story built on this foundation was mildly enjoyable, but not very impressive. The idea that at some age we are segregated by our dominate personal traits which are then cultivated and directed to the greater good of society is a unique and interesting idea. It would seem that a society built around this advance thinking would itself be advanced and complex. However, the small glimpse we get of this society indicates that it is rife with petty jealousy and primitive competition. The disenfranchisement of the masses not suited to one of the five dominant groups is unworthy of even the most basic and ancient civilizations. The story precedes along the common line of good guys and bad guys, villains and heroes. And no surprise, the good guys win. Again, for a younger mind I can see the value and appeal of this story. I can also see why so many listeners who liked "The Hunger Games" also like this story. And though I found them both mildly entertaining, I am was not overly impressed by either.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Our Mutual Friend

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A sinister masterpiece, Our Mutual Friend was Dickens' last completed novel. It is perhaps his ultimate vision of a dark, macabre London and the corrupting power of money.

    Erez says: "Worth six stars"

    I read 3 other reviews of this work and they all gave it 5 stars and for reasons I can relate to. Robert Whitfield, the narrator is a true master. In fact, I found this work by searching for books he narrated. The story is a 'good' one and makes for good, though light entertainment.

    The problem I find with this work is that Dickens redeemed two character without clearly explaining why. Bella Wilfer is a spoiled, petty and very materialistic young lady. It is hard for me to buy her transition into a simple, generous, caring and loving wife and mother. I get the feeling that she was redeemable because of her great physical beauty.

    Eugene Rayburn is the other character I can find NO redeeming qualities in. He is arrogant, hostile and insolent. In his case, Dickens made no attempt to explain why he was redeemable. At the same time he choses to villify the love-smitten and passionate Bradley Headstone and the formerly loving brother Charlie Hexom.

    We often make allowances for works written in earlier periods because of advances in social thinking and awareness, among other reasons. And yet even today, woman are still charged with the need to be "beautiful". This work would have been infinitely better had the author invested more time in discovering the inner beauty verses the physical beauty of his characters. And while anyone can be redeemed in theory, their path to redemption should be clear and understandable.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Atossa Leoni
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them, in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul, they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

    David says: "Somber but gripping"

    This book is a GREAT and beautiful work of art. It is touching, poetic, educational and inspiring. Hosseini tells his story very, very well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • State of Fear

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By George Wilson

    Once again Michael Crichton gives us his trademark combination of page-turning suspense, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary research. State of Fear is a superb blend of edge-of-your-seat suspense and thought provoking commentary on how information is manipulated in the modern world.

    F says: "Did I read the same book as some of you?"
    "Spare me the lecture"

    Michael Critchton generally does an good job of weaving fact into a unique and imaginative work of fiction. But first and foremost, his works are "fiction". This novel fails because Critchton decided to take one side of a controversial issue, and in a very "heavy-handed" way he lectures us on all the virtues of that point of view. At the same time he paints all opponents of that point of view with all the vices under the sun(from naive and misguided to down-right evil). Ultimately, the action of the novel is weak and unmemorable as it is centered around the lectern.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Idiot [Blackstone]

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield

    Prince Myshkin, is thrust into the heart of a society more concerned with wealth, power, and sexual conquest than the ideals of Christianity. Myshkin soon finds himself at the center of a violent love triangle in which a notorious woman and a beautiful young girl become rivals for his affections. Extortion, scandal, and murder follow, testing the wreckage left by human misery to find "man in man."

    Tad says: "Intense and painfully sad"

    This is another triumph for Robert Whitfield, the master narrator of the classic novel. Readers who assign a low rating to such a great work of literature and such a masterful reading should probably stick to popular, lighter modern works. There are lots of great pieces in that catergory.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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