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Choose your audiobook by the narrator with best being Guidall, Tull, Case/Davidson, Muller, Lee, Franklyn-Robbins, Dotrice, (no Brick)


  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    Maxine Fuentes says: "Wonderful"
    "Excellent book"

    Here's the autobiography of the 40 Year Old Virgin. John recounts growing up with Owen Meany -(aka "The Granite Mouse) - a small boy of no small significance. The dialogue between Owen & John sound out common beliefs & attempts at religious belief that each of us goes through at some point in our lives. Owen's faith was tested by the nature of his tiny stature & strange voice. John's faith is damaged by the untimely death of his beautiful mother when she is killed by a foul ball hit, surprisingly by none other than John's best friend, Owen. Now John will never know the identity of his real father.

    The story is an account of a boy's life from age 10 to adulthood. It is a paternity mystery & a story about the significance of religious belief & the need to believe that God has a plan for each of us, that nothing happens by chance, & that though we may not see Him, we know He's there.

    This is not a religious story, however, though it tackles in an ingenious way many of the religious conundrums that most thinking people wrestle with everyday.

    A huge fan of John Irving I can highly recommend A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY as a superbly written novel full of hillarious & thought provoking concepts; a fascinating plot & a final touch of spiritual growth serum. READ THIS BOOK & if you don't like it, then you're probably not good for much anyway. (Admittedly the "interview with the author" somewhat ruined the story for me, so I'm glad I listened to the interview last.)

    38 of 40 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Symbol

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol. Within minutes of his arrival, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object is discovered in the Capitol Building. The object is an ancient invitation, meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom. And when Langdon's mentor is kidnapped, Langdon's only hope of saving him is to accept this invitation and follow wherever it leads him.

    Paul says: "In love with books again"
    "Who's dumber than Robert Langdon?"

    There are few things more annoying and apt to make for a miserable story than a main character who is part of a series of books based around that character's own supposed intelligence & experience with the subject matter generally covered in each book, but nonetheless that main character proves just as "blind" in Book 3 as he was in Book 1 to said subject matter. In short, I cannot finish this book because it is far too frustrating to listen while Robert Langdon, despite the exceptional and thereby unique experiences of his first two adventures (i.e. Book 1 & 2) as well as his (fictional) education & profession remains 3 steps behind the reader in solving what seems, so far, to be a fairly obvious, if not predictable mystery. Indeed within the first 30 chapters (which could have been summarized in two) of this book "Robert Langdon" proves himself the worse kind of stereotypical college professor who is so steeped in higher learning that he cannot comprehend the possibility that something might have a reasonable explanation that he has not already deciphered yet. Perhaps it would help if "Robert Langdon" went back and read Dan Brown's 1st & 2nd book. Wait, no skip ANGELS & DEMONS and just read THE DA VINCI CODE and he could save himself some time & humiliation.

    This book, is so far TERRIBLE! The action is slow and tedious because Langdon is an apparent idiot. He's so reminiscent of those people in UFO movies who never believe children, dogs, or old people when they are told that something fishy is going on. You'd think that by now no fictional character could be reasonably ignorant of obvious plot lines. If a kid tells you there's an alien teaching his gym class at least investigate it! If someone shows up one day and says they're you from the future at least let them prove it to you before you declare them mentally insane. And never think like a sane man hen trying to predict the actions of an insane one.

    I simply refuse to finish this book and in so refusing to read another Dan Brown book ever in life. Alongside Dean Koontz & Robert Patterson, Dan Brown has won himself a place permanently in my disregard, however non-influential my disregard may be. The worth of one really good book simply cannot be used to establish the credibility of all that author's really bad books. The converse is not true.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Moonstone

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    No, the "Moonstone" isn't a celestial relic, it's a gigantic yellow diamond of unearthly beauty that was given to Rachel Verinder as a present on her 18th birthday - and stolen that very night! Betteredge, one of the most beloved butlers in English literature, is the focus of this seminal detective novel, which examines how one family's life is turned upside-down by the theft. And find out why the answers to all of life's problems can be found in the pages of Robinson Crusoe.

    Catherine says: "One of the best readings ever"
    "Discretion can be a the worst kind of sin."

    The Moonstone is an excellent example of discretion gone too far. The book, like some more contemporary portrayals of past societal etiquette, (e.g. Downton Abbey) gives an example of what, from the outside looking in, or back in this case, seems a ridiculous series of unfortunate events that might have been overcome by a little more honesty and alot less histrionics portrayed as romantic notion or societal anx over public image.

    Bound by the societal status & expectations of their time, the characters in The Moonstone are subject to criticism only from a contemporary and more American point of view. In their own time the author has presented an interesting mystery with elements of the supernatural, predicated on superstition and racial stereo-types of things foreign or unknown to English Society. The characters seem to overlook the fact that the jewel in question was actually stolen in the first place from a foreign country before their own mystery of the jewel's subsequent whereabouts really begins.

    Not realizing that the story has multiple narrators (by point of view) I originally wanted the book because I am a fan of anything narrated by Patrick Tull. However, the other narrators are not too bad and Tull does narrate the part of my favorite character. I particularly liked the Robinson Crusoe reference as a panacea for what ails and believe that Tull always does an excellent job of lending the perfect measure of humor and gravity to be adminstered as needed.

    Like any mystery there were some "red herrings" in the story that might have been better left out of the characters' experience as well as the readers', but overall this was a good book and has my recommendation as a worthwhile audiobook listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flashman for Freedom: Flashman, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By George MacDonald Fraser
    • Narrated By David Case

    A game of cards leads Flashman from the jungle death-house of Dahomey to the slave state of Mississippi as he dabbles in the slave trade in Volume III of the Flashman Papers. When Flashman was inveigled into a game of pontoon with Disraeli and Lord George Bentinck, he was making an unconscious choice about his own future - would it lie in the House of Commons or the West African slave trade? Was there, for that matter, very much difference? Once again Flashman's charm, cowardice, treachery, lechery, and fleetness of foot see the lovable rogue triumph by the skin of his chattering teeth.

    K.D. Keenan says: "Perfect for History Lovers"
    "An effort at parody made inept by racial slurs."

    As enjoyable as the Flashman books may be and as accurate as David Case's narrative style and Flashman's honest admission of his own shortcomings may be, it is never wholly clear whether the author intends to offend the reader with the near gratuitous use of racial slurs, or to simply relay the attitude of the time, which Flashman inhabits. On the contrary from interviews with Fraser about the "good ole days" it is clear that Fraser recalls "days" that never were all that "good" in the first place for most people simply because he fears being condemned in the "good new days."

    Indeed it is unlikely that Flashman's excessive use of that ever-dreaded & all too reminiscent "N-word" has anything to do with historical accuracy or even with the illustration of Flashman's low character. Instead it seems that Fraser is infusing his own racial prejudices into the book. Africans, Indians, Arabs, etc. all have their good qualities for their own kind, but their "kind" remains a step below their Caucasian counterpart no matter how hard the former try to be like the latter. Fraser seems to have an inherent and embedded belief that the closer a culture or race is to his own race, no matter how sarcastic Flashman's ridicule may be of "his" race, the better and more civilized that other race is.

    In short the plot and the humor are severely undercut in this book by the overuse of offensive and unnecessary prose. If intended at all, Fraser certainly fails to redeem his main character's racial prejudice and this weakens the book tremendously. It's as if Fraser is attempting to toughen what he believes to be the universally metro-sexual reader of today by overdoing the worse parts about the past. Being offensive is no real defense against fear no matter how much Fraser seems to believe this to be the case.

    Were he still alive I would love to see Fraser read this book aloud in front of a contemporary, though uneducated, racially diverse group. I doubt he'd agree to do it and more to the point I doubt he would be allowed to complete a paragraph.

    1 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • EMPEROR: The Field of Swords, Book 3 (Unabridged)

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Conn Iggulden
    • Narrated By Paul Blake

    Julius Caesar has taken his legions north into mighty battles with the Gallic tribes. But as his successes mount, overwhelming ambition and new alliances begin to threaten his friendship with Marcus Brutus, brother-in-arms and fellow warrior. Although the conquest of Gaul has made Caesar a hero all over again, his victories on the battlefield cause still more rivalries at home. And ultimately Caesar and Brutus will have to choose whether to cross the Rubicon - together or singly - and to take the fight to Rome itself.

    Danny says: "How To Ruin a Good Story"
    "Narrator change was a mistake"

    Within the first 15 minutes of this audiobook I am struck with how annoying the reader is and again baffled as to why authors would allow different narrators to work on the same book series. It breaks the continuity and the effects are worse when the replacement narrator is so much worse. What seemed like an interesting and even noble story of Julius Caesar has become, with the change of narrators a tale of pompous Roman ridiculousness like reading Flashman at the Charge and taking it seriously. The story will barely survive the narrator change for books 2 & 3.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Ashes of Worlds: The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The culminating volume in The Saga of Seven Suns weaves together the myriad story lines in a spectacular grand finale. Galactic empires clash, elemental beings devastate whole planetary systems, and the factions of humanity are pitted against one another. Heroes rise and enemies make their last stands in the climax of an epic tale eight years in the making. The Saga of Seven Suns is one of the most colorful and spectacular science-fiction epics of the past decade.

    David Arbogast says: "Satisfying Conclusion to a Great Series"
    "Finally done."

    It is always difficult to keep any series interesting or even exciting without the introduction of new characters or the invention of a magnificent plot line. Otherwise when main characters do not die despite all the odds the book (as in this series) becomes predictable & boring. I think this would have been better as a 3 book series with less characters & less "elements". I also agree that though I love a happy ending with ample allocation of "come-uppings" & "just deserves" that this final book wrapped up too neatly with too many good guys coming out on top. Also while I liked the robot factor I did not like the human emotions attributed to these robots, who could not be introspective & perhaps did not need chapters devoted to their own point of view. This series was too long, but otherwise reasonably entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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