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Robert

Robert

Atlanta | Member Since 2003

166
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 380 ratings
  • 726 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
4

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mark Haddon
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4050)
    Performance
    (1762)
    Story
    (1781)

    Fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone has Asperger's Syndrome, a condition similar to autism. He doesn't like to be touched or meet new people, he cannot make small talk, and he hates the colors brown and yellow. He is a math whiz with a very logical brain who loves solving puzzles that have definite answers.

    Robert says: "Endearing. Pathos, humor, reality, and insight."
    "Endearing. Pathos, humor, reality, and insight."
    Overall

    An endearing glimpse, with heart-stirring grit of daily life, into the life of a 15 year-old boy afflicted with an autism-like condition. Very cleverly written from the boy's viewpoint and well-narrated (same narrator as Life of Pi). Lots of pathos, humor, reality, and insight. Do not think you failed to download an early chapter -- this becomes an amusing part of the story, or that you have bought a children's book that can be read to children -- it will deepen all too soon.

    50 of 50 people found this review helpful
  • Kalooki Nights

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Howard Jacobson
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Two young friend, Max Glickman and Manny Washinski, get together in an abandoned air-raid shelter and create a comic-book history of Jewish suffering. Years later, Manny is in jail for a horrible crime and Max is a comic book artist. After Manny's release from prison decades later, the two meet again when Max is hired by a production company to write a film treatment based on Manny's life.

    Bette says: "Laugh-Out-Loud Seriousness"
    "Membership in the tribe is necessary to absorbthis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Kalooki Nights better?

    Less inwardly focused on tribal jokes, stories, habits,


    Has Kalooki Nights turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    I suppose. My sympathies to the narrator.


    You didn???t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    None that I could discern


    Any additional comments?

    As an amazon reviewer said,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jamie Ford
    • Narrated By Feodor Chin
    Overall
    (1951)
    Performance
    (877)
    Story
    (877)

    In the opening pages of Jamie Ford's stunning debut, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

    Christopher says: "Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet"
    "Engaging and Lovely. Highly recommend."
    Overall

    A poignant, endearing, complex, imaginative, and well-executed plot with wonderful fully-developed characters. Flash backs from adult lives are interleaved seamlessly and cleverly as two 12/13 year olds come of age under very difficult circumstances. Some characters are seriously flawed in realistic ways. One set of flawed parents is complemented by another set of parents cut out of whole cloth. Adult friends of the children add a special dimension in unexpected ways. Some of the objects and events loom large and carry their heartbreaking meaning from the west coast internment of Japanese-American US citizens. I would be surprised if you don't simultaneously laugh and get misty-eyed from the last few words spoken at the end of the book. Audio is very well narrated. It is as good a young adult/parent/any-adult book as is the excellent The BookThief.

    35 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • Serena

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ron Rash
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (266)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (174)

    The year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton arrive in the North Carolina mountains to create a timber empire, vowing to let no one stand in their way, especially those newly rallying around Teddy Roosevelt's nascent environmental movement.

    Karl says: "Ron Rash = the real deal"
    "Gothic Garbage with Cardboard Characters"
    Overall

    Comparisons to Macbeth and Greek tragedy notwithstanding, this novel is a waste of time. Its prose is pedestrian. That it is on the NYT's Best Seller List says more about the tastes of the American public than the quality of the book. Serena is the ultimate sociopath. Other authors create "bad" characters but manage to invest them with characteristics and personalities which make them interesting in spite of their flaws -- not so with Serena.
    The narrator affects a grating southern accent which he uses for the locals as well as the Bostonian Pemberton.
    The book deserves a bodice ripping cover to convey its nature.

    11 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (8445)
    Performance
    (6583)
    Story
    (6613)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Shannon says: "Word Thief"
    "A Must Read"
    Overall

    Engaging, moving, delightful and well-written. This book deserves a place among the best.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gilgamesh: A New English Version

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stephen Mitchell
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (613)
    Performance
    (272)
    Story
    (271)

    This brilliant new treatment of the world's oldest epic is a literary event on par with Seamus Heaney's wildly popular Beowulf translation. Esteemed translator and best-selling author Stephen Mitchell energizes a heroic tale so old it predates Homer's Iliad by more than a millennium.

    George says: "A defense of this "translation""
    "Fun and Enlightening"
    Overall

    An unknown poet writes the world's oldest known epic poem. (2 hours for story; 2 hours for interpretation and explanation by the editor.) Superbly narrated by George Guidall in what is undoubtedly the way most received the story in its time. Uniquely and appropriately audio. The narrative pace translates beautifully to an easy to listen to story(publisher's notes say that earlier translations are stiff and academic). Fun and Enlightening -- not to worry if poetry puts you off -- this story flows beautifully. The interpretations and explanations of editor are worthwhile. I question his easy-to-ignore comparisons to very current events that can only be judged appropriately in the lens of history and his speculations on a homoerotic relationship between the two main characters. Very worthwhile.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Alexander Hamilton

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1137)
    Performance
    (385)
    Story
    (383)

    Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades", now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

    Robert says: "Captivating & Fluid Bio Unique American immigrant"
    "Captivating & Fluid Bio Unique American immigrant"
    Overall

    Four +++ Stars. Ron Chernow provides thorough insight into the life and times of Hamilton. Hamilton's difficult childhood, his prodigious intellectual writings and incredible accomplishments, and all his many shortcomings are fluidly described in 35 hours of captivating audio. Chernow demonstrates how Hamilton, particularly in partnership with Washington, is father to many of the institutions practices and ideals that make our country great and how Hamilton's temperament held him back from accomplishing more. Eliza Hamilton, Washington, Jefferson, and Adams loom large in this book. Though I was grateful for the faster listening speed of my 4G iPod, I think that opting for the abridged version would not be wise. Chernow himself said that the abridged version is a very different book. Chernow did not fall into the trap of lionizing his biography's subject, treating Hamilton with well-balanced affection and honesty.

    Try Washington's Crossing and Samuel Adams, other audible titles that round out understading these founding fathers.

    36 of 37 people found this review helpful
  • The Portrait of a Lady

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Henry James
    • Narrated By Nina Foch
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Robert says: "Book suffers greatly from Abridgement"
    "Book suffers greatly from Abridgement"
    Overall

    I was surprised to be disappointed in this audio given the acclaim given it and its author. Feeling that I needed to re-read two confusing key scenes, I found the complete book on-line and read two entire chapters. This reading confirmed to me that the abridged version does not do the book justice. Hold out for an unabridged version!

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

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By George Wilson
    Overall
    (2071)
    Performance
    (494)
    Story
    (499)

    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?"
    "Four Stars. Thought Provoking."
    Overall

    Gripping modern-day thriller. Difficult to put down -- finished in 5 days. Just off the press on Dec 7 and number 2 on the Independent Book Sellers list. Thinly veiled characters taken from real life in a thought-provoking discourse on Global Warming and eco thought. Not for the closed-minded, absolutely politically correct. A surprise treat of 20 minutes of serious interview with author at the end. Appears to be well researched. I found the narrator good. I listened to in faster mode on 4G iPod.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Known World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Edward P. Jones
    • Narrated By Kevin Free
    Overall
    (478)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (91)

    Henry Townsend, a black farmer, bootmaker, and former slave, has a fondness for Paradise Lost and an unusual mentor, William Robbins, perhaps the most powerful white man in antebellum Virginia's Manchester County. Under Robbins's tutelage, Henry becomes proprietor of his own plantation, as well as of his own slaves. When he dies, his widow Caldonia succumbs to profound grief, and things begin to fall apart.

    Rachel says: "wonderful and highly recommended"
    "2004 Pulitzer Prize/Ntl Bk Critics Circle Award"
    Overall

    Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and a National Book Critics Circle Award Winner. An excellent book. It is much more than a story of free blacks owning slaves. It is a complex story set in times of American slavery and involves good people, bad people, good people who become bad people, and wonderful things and terrible things happening. The word "Property" is used to describe and call the slaves. An excellent story line, woven in elaborate time warps and beautiful language. Well narrated.

    This book is great literature and carries itself along with well-developed characters with whom you will identify -- painfully so at times. This book is attractive for its quality writing, memorable characters and intriguing story line, not for page-turning suspense.

    This African-American author's first novel.

    Book prizes are no guarantee of a good book, but this book clearly well deserved its awards.

    The last ten minutes of the audio is a fascinating interview with the author.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Drowning Ruth

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Christina Schwarz
    • Narrated By Blair Brown
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (634)
    Performance
    (153)
    Story
    (150)

    Deftly written and emotionally powerful, Drowning Ruth is a stunning portrait of the ties that bind sisters together and the forces that tear them apart, of the dangers of keeping secrets and the explosive repercussions when they are exposed. A mesmerizing and achingly beautiful debut.

    Steven says: "Drowning Ruth"
    "Complex Plot, Revealed in Delicious Pieces."
    Overall

    The listener is carefully led through a complex plot which is revealed in an unexpected and effective manner and only fully, with penultimate sacrifice, at the end of the story. Fully developed, realistic characters and setting portray a world where individual actions and avoiding truth have bold consequences. This intertwined and unpredictable story, focusing on two women and two girl-children flows well over a twenty-year time frame.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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