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Curatina

Moab | Member Since 2004

67
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 329 ratings
  • 1006 titles in library
  • 56 purchased in 2014
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  • Zeitoun

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Firdous Bamji
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (781)
    Performance
    (370)
    Story
    (375)

    When HurricaneKatrina struck New Orleans, Abdulrahman Zeitoun - a prosperous Syrian-American and father of four - chose to stay through the storm to protect his house and contracting business. In the eerie days after the storm, he traveled the flooded streets in a secondhand canoe, passing on supplies and rescuing those he could. A week later, on September 6, 2005, Zeitoun abruptly disappeared.

    Darwin8u says: "Something bold, ebullient, yet quiet"
    "A Glimpse Into Another World"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this book quite a while ago, and loved it. I was surprised to see reviews complaining that there were too many unnecessary details. I felt this was a bit like saying there were too many notes in a symphony.

    I liked the book because it was essentially the story about people I don't know and don't see in America. It was compelling because it is the story of a woman to converted to Islam on her on accord and then later met and married an Islamic man. These are people I would never meet except through a book like this. I didn't find the story of their lives at all boring. Perhaps it is because I am a woman. Women and families are as interesting to me as big events and crisis.

    Then there is the horror of Katrina and Zeitoun's disappearance. I did not know things like this happened during Katrina. I did not know that American citizens could be subjected to this treatment. What was inspiring to me was Zeitoun's wife. Her love, her determination, her refusal to be passive inspired me.

    This is a good book. It's on sale right now. Buy it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hitler: A Biography

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Ian Kershaw
    • Narrated By Alan Robertson
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (71)

    Hailed as the most compelling biography of the German dictator yet written, Ian Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the heart of its subject's immense darkness. From his illegitimate birth in a small Austrian village to his fiery death in a bunker under the Reich chancellery in Berlin, Adolf Hitler left a murky trail, strewn with contradictory tales and overgrown with self-created myths. One truth prevails: the sheer scale of the evils that he unleashed on the world has made him a demonic figure without equal in the 20th century.

    Christopher says: "Superb, well crafted and well narrated."
    "Excellent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an excellent biography of a difficult subject who still remains opaque when one tries to view him as a person. Perhaps that is the ultimate triumph of will.

    I have only two slight complaints. The first is my own lack of judgment. I chose to listen to this book instead of the several volume work in the interest if economy. I regret that decision because this version does seem a bit truncated and I fear I missed some details I would have liked. Perhaps this will only be a problem for those who have read extensively in this era if history. I do urge people who love indulging in the details of history to listen to the other books.

    The second is the narrarator who overall is excellent. He brutally mispronounces many German words. Naturally, being British, he does it with a savior faire that almost convinces one that he must be correct, but when he constantly says "Liebensraum" instead of "Lebensraum," my ears protest. Surely the producer of the audiobook should have noticed. This is not merely a mispronunciation but the substitution of one word for another and an entirely different concept!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9534)
    Performance
    (8762)
    Story
    (8808)

    Few books have captivated the imagination and won the devotion and praise of readers and critics everywhere as has George R. R. Martin’s monumental epic cycle of high fantasy that began with A Game of Thrones. Now, in A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth book of his landmark series, as a kingdom torn asunder finds itself at last on the brink of peace . . . only to be launched on an even more terrifying course of destruction.

    Pi says: "Jarring change in Dotrice's performance"
    "Horrible Narration & Missing Part of the Book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wonder if the Audible people even read these comments. First this Roy Dotrice whose narration was acceptable if not good in the first books, is chewing the scenery so much in this book that it???s difficult to hear the story. I had to turn the volume down sometimes because he was shouting so unpleasantly. His voice is rather rough when he speaks normally, and I think it makes it difficult for him to do a voice effectively for a young beautiful woman, but that???s no excuse for making these women sound like old harridans. Everyone else has commented on the horrible voices, and I agree with all they say.

    I must add that I am not overly picky about narration. I can survive almost any narrator, but this was just too much. People who gave him two stars are being generous.

    I absolutely agree that the book should be redone. There???s one segment of the story, and I can???t tell you what it was because I blocked it out the voice was so awful, but it???s some religious fellow who is preaching his religion. The book begins with this segment. I seriously could not follow any of it. And I???m a person who generally listens to non-fiction history and science. I???m used to following intricate material.

    BUT ??? here???s the kicker. The fourth part of the book cut off at 2 hours, 33 minutes, and 9 seconds right in the middle of a sentence. It???s not even there. I tried downloading it again, and it still wasn???t there. I didn???t find this mentioned in any other review, so it is apparently a glitch in my version.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Making of a Marchioness

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Frances Hodgson-Burnett
    • Narrated By Lucy Scott
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (97)

    Frances Hodgson Burnett published The Making of a Marchioness in 1901. She had written Little Lord Fauntleroy 15 years before and would write The Secret Garden in 10 years' time; it is these two books for which she is best known. Yet Marchioness was one of Nancy Mitford's favourite books, was considered 'the best novel Mrs Hodgson Burnett wrote' by Marghanita Laski, and is taught on a university course in America together with novels such as Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and Daisy Miller.

    Curatina says: "A Sweet Romantic Tale"
    "A Sweet Romantic Tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a romance in the Victorian style. The characters are rather stylized and in the case of the protagonist, idealized.

    Nevertheless it is a sweet tale that drew me in and made me care about the two main characters. The goodness of the heroine might put off some listeners, but if you allow yourself to be pulled in and love her, the rest of the story will keep you in suspense and entertain you.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The End of Normal

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Stephanie Madoff Mack
    • Narrated By Stephanie Madoff Mack
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (100)

    An explosive, heartbreaking memoir from the widow of Mark Madoff and daughter-in-law of Bernard Madoff, the first genuine inside story from a family member who has lived through - and survived - both the public crisis and her own deeply personal tragedy. In this candid insider account, she talks about her idyllic wedding to Mark, what it was really like to be a part of the Madoff family, the build-up to Bernard's confession, and the media frenzy that followed. It is about the loss of the fairytale life she knew and the tragic and final loss of her husband.

    Naturalbohemian says: "Everything is disturbing about this book..."
    "Somewhat interesting, but dreadful narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unfortunately, the author chose to narrate the book. Her voice is nasal and annoying.

    I will give the author credit for not making herself a heroine. She comes across as a very difficult person who behaves selfishly many times.

    The book presents a skewed view on the exposure of Bernie Madoff. This author flatly says that the two sons exposed their father, but other accounts I have read of the affair have described the investigation differently.

    One does develop a sympathy for Mark Madoff and the sad end to his life, but other than gaining insight into the what propelled him to take his own life, the book does not add much information to what is already known. Most everyone in it, including the author, appear to be rather shallow, mean, and materialistic.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Shallow Graves in Siberia

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Michael Krupa
    • Narrated By Branko Tomovic
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (11)

    This is Michael Krupa’s story of how in 1939 he escaped the German invasion of Poland only to be captured by the Red Army, accused of espionage and interrogated in the notorious Lubianka prison. He was then sent to the infamous Pechora Gulag, where most inmates died of overwork and starvation within a year. Amazingly, Kupra then escaped and made the gruelling journey from Siberia to Afghanistan. This is a remarkable true story of survival and also gives a chilling insight into the brutality of Stalinist Russia.

    Curatina says: "Harrowing Story of Survival"
    "Harrowing Story of Survival"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a nearly incredible story of a young man who during WWII was caught up in the eerily irrational cruel world of the Stalin Gulag. The story tells of the terrible treatment of prisoners, and the tender heroism of those who helped the narrator escape. It???s a one of a kind memoir.

    The Narrator adopts a very slight polish accent, but it does not intrude or distract from the reading of the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Galileo

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By J. L. Heilbron
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    In 1610, Galileo published the Siderius nuncius, or Starry Messenger, a "hurried little masterpiece" in John Heilbron's words. Presenting to the world his remarkable observations using the recently invented telescope, Galileo dramatically challenged our idea of the perfection of the heavens and the centrality of the Earth in the universe. Indeed, the appearance of the little book is regarded as one of the great moments in the history of science.

    Tp says: "Stick to the printed version"
    "A Difficult Book for Audible"
    Overall

    First, the book has a great deal of detail and is extremely informative. That is the good part. The bad part, for me at least, is that the book contains many mathematical formulas and all of them are read out loud. I'm not saying I could understand them even if I looked at them, but listening to them is incomprehensible to me. Also the author refers to drawings and points on the drawings have letters, so there is a great deal of "the lever at point 'h' is swung to 'l' " etc. It makes no sense without seeing the drawing. Also if you get the book, you must be prepared for a great deal of discussion about physics and mathematics. It's really more scientific history than just a biography. It's well done, but perhaps not a good choice for an audible book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line between Christianity and Islam

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Eliza Griswold
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    The tenth parallel - the line of latitude seven hundred miles north of the equator - is a geographical and ideological front line where Christianity and Islam collide. More than half of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims live along the tenth parallel; so do sixty percent of the world’s 2 billion Christians. Here, in the buzzing megacities and swarming jungles of Africa and Asia, is where the two religions meet; their encounter is shaping the future of each faith, and of whole societies as well.

    Robert says: "Beyond the Middle East"
    "Informative"
    Overall

    I don't have much to add to the excellent reviews already provided. I recommend the book because it will provide information not readily available elsewhere. The author reveals her biases early in the book. However she seems to provide both sides in a dispassionate manner. The book is more concerned with presenting the opinions of individuals than in presenting a "definitive" account of the conflicts it describes. I did not think the book dwelled on global warming in particular except to emphasize that the conflicts, which are more about the competition for resources than religion, are exacerbated by the climate changes that affect this area just north of the equator more than any other area. If you are interested in third world countries and Africa in particular, this is a stimulating and valuable book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Taliban

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Ahmed Rashid
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    Overall
    (139)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (42)

    Correspondent Ahmed Rashid brings the shadowy world of the Taliban - the world's most extreme and radical Islamic organization - into sharp focus in this enormously insightful book. He describes the new face of Islamic fundamentalism and explains why Afghanistan has become the world center for international terrorism. The critics hail Rashid's book as "indispensable" and "an excellent political and historical account."

    Peter says: "Excellent"
    "Excellent"
    Overall

    The author has deep roots in central Asia and a long history in working and reporting in Afghanistan. He uses this knowledge to provide a detailed description of the history and the social fabric of Afghanistan as a background for an understanding of the rise to power of the Taliban and the involvement of the surrounding countries as well as the United States and Russia.

    This is not a book for those who only want a lurid depiction of the Taliban, but rather for those seeking an in depth understanding of the region and of the competing interests that have led to the current situation. It is fascinating, horrific, and riveting.

    At first one might think that the book was written before 9/11, but it was published shortly after, however, it does not deal with Afghanistan as it now exists after 10 years of U.S. armed forces involvement. The book is relevant because it provides the underpinning for understanding the problems facing the country today. The author appears to be as unbiased as a human being can be. As for using the "transportation mafia" being undefined or unspecified, it seemed clear to me that it referred to the criminals transporting heroin, not simply the movement of trade through the country. In short, the book educated and informed me about the social, economic, political, and military history of the civil war.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Growing Up bin Laden: Osama's Wife and Son Take Us Inside Their Secret World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Jean Sasson, Najwa bin Laden, Omar bin Laden
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    A true story that few ever believed would come to light, Growing Up bin Laden uncovers startling revelations and hidden secrets carefully guarded by the most wanted terrorist of our lifetime, Osama bin Laden.

    Curatina says: "Fascinating. I could not stop listening."
    "Fascinating. I could not stop listening."
    Overall

    This book is not a literary work, but rather the memories of Najwa and Omar, two people who knew Osama Bin Laden not as a hero or a villain, but as a husband and father. He was a man they both loved in different ways, but also became a man they had to break with in order to survive.

    Najwa's strength is the strength of love and determination to bend her will to her husband's and make the best of increasingly difficult circumstances for herself and her children. Omar's story is that of a young boy who grew up idolizing his hero father, but also being extremely disturbed by the hardships his father made him suffer -- sometimes carelessly, and sometimes deliberately. Although there are vivid recollections of attacks and violence as well as severe deprivation, what fascinates is Omar's inner journey from violence and retaliation toward peace and reconciliation. That he was able to survive the constant messages justifying hatred and killing and retain his love of all of god's creation -- both animal and human, is remarkable.

    Please listen with an open heart and mind to the lives of these people. There were a few turning points that might have averted the 9/11 attacks that are probably unknown the common man in the west before this book. The book deeply conveys that no matter how misguided we may consider Osama Bin Laden, he is a man convinced of his own righteousness and the justice of his mission. His family as well as the rest of the world, bears the scars of that obsession.



    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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