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Gordon Lamb

Single Entendre

ratings
8
REVIEWS
8
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
29

  • The Caine Mutiny

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (841)
    Performance
    (730)
    Story
    (730)

    Having inspired a classic film and Broadway play, The Caine Mutiny is Herman Wouk's boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life—and mutiny—on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater. It was immediately embraced upon its original publication as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of the Second World War. In the intervening half century, this gripping story has become a perennial favorite, selling millions throughout the world, and claiming the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

    James says: "Even Better than the Movie"
    "A Top Drawer Story Matched With A Superb Reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    'The Caine Mutiny' has always been a favourite WWII yarn of mine. Along with Wouk's other two period pieces, 'The Winds of War' and 'War and Remembrance', he has preserved a slice of human time, a soap bubble for those of us who weren't 'there' to experience it for ourselves.

    Not only recording the historical elements, the true strength of the tale to me is that it gives me a glimpse into the social structure and interactions of the era, even down to the speech patterns and colloquialisms that make the experience so much richer.

    And it wouldn't have been nearly as effective without Kevin Pariseau's extraordinarily skilled performance. Pariseau can convey everything from strong emotion to subtle nuance of character, even -- or especially -- those of the distaff side, something that many male readers seem to somewhat struggle with.

    Pariseau's ability to change character through nuance is top drawer, too -- I never had a moment's doubt about who was speaking. He is in complete command of the material.

    Pariseau has made me savour all over again Wouk's brilliant writing with his masterful performance. It is much like listening to a previously unknown singer perform a familiar song, and make it a fresh. new, and newly loved again. Bravo!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Case of the Left-Handed Lady

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Nancy Springer
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (41)

    When Enola learns of a missing left-handed artist, she uses a series of clever disguises to brave lurking dangers and follow cryptic clues that lead to the young Lady Cecily.

    Gordon Lamb says: "Brilliant, imaginative, original, and....fun!"
    "Brilliant, imaginative, original, and....fun!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Nancy Springer deserves much credit. The concept of a 'Sherlock Holmes Younger Sister' young adult genre could have been as dull, vapid, and predictable as -- sorry -- the old 'Nancy Drew' serials.

    But Ms. Springer has created a genuinely inspired character of depth, passion, emotion, and isn't afraid to make her fallible and and occasionally unlikeable -- in other words, a believable fourteen-year-old girl.

    While Enola can be a bit unlikeable at times, overall she is a magnificent, resonant character, easily as fascinating as her older brother, or brothers, to be precise, even if Mycroft doesn't appear all that often in Conan-Doyle's canonical tales.It's also impossible not to admire the detail and significant differences that a female point of view in Victorian England that Springer has decorated the tale with. It was such a male-dominate society that one forgets that females were little more than property of men, who generally had little regard for the distaff's intelligence, reasoning ability, or even sense of moral purpose. As we watch Enola, and -- vicariously -- her mother try to navigate these murky waters, I can't help but admire both female Holmes 'alternate' use of the imprisoning foundation garments of the day, the bustle, corset, and other various 'dress enhancers' to better, and frankly brilliant, purposes.

    In this, Book the Second (to borrow Ms. Springer's chapter headings), Enola becomes somewhat more settled with the idea of 'doing quite well on her own', to use her mother's turgid phrase. This book flows more easily, inevitable as so much of the first book had so much unavoidable 'back story'. And readers may possibly be interested that this polishing and honing continue in the following books; they simply get better and better.

    The performance by Katherine Kellgren is spot-on, as well. Her fine sense of timing, and of pitch, pacing and her excellent grasp of accents from Home Counties, to Eatonian, to East End Cockney was lovely, quite entertaining, and there was never any doubt as to whom was speaking. Brilliant!

    While this novel may be directed towards a young adult market, it is so multilayered that adults will enjoy it as much as the teenaged reader. As I said at the beginning, Nancy Springer has a magnificent achievement in this book. She is an ornament to the writing profession.

    However, I'm afraid that she has made a series so genuinely gripping that she might have to keep producing them for her eager audience. So please, Ms. Springer -- keep Enola away from Reichenbach Falls.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Lily Koppel
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (86)

    As America's Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. Together with the other wives they formed the Astronaut Wives Club, meeting regularly to provide support and friendship. As their celebrity rose - and as divorce and tragic death began to touch their lives - they continued to rally together, and the wives have now been friends for more than fifty years.

    Steve says: "So-So Story, Painful Performance"
    "I Can Hear My Wife Shouting In The Other Room....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I've been fascinated with the early space program, followed the Mercury, Geminii, and Apollo flights with great interest, and have read and collected books about them ever since.

    Ms. Koppel's book is a wonderful adjunct to the more technical tomes and 'lives of the astronauts' works. Who says that the pressure cooker environment that the men went through was any more difficult that that of the women? With the men, they had NASA's resources for assistance, but the women only had each other. Perhaps that I'm married to a woman tougher and more capable and competant to most men that I know makes me appreciate a little more the strength of these remarkable women. In some cases, it's entirely possible that Gordo Cooper's spouse, Trudy, would have done a better job in space than he did.

    My greatest respect is for Betty Grissom. Here is a woman who handled the most trying circumstances possible with iron resolve and great grace. And the Grissoms bring me to my major objection with the audiobook; the reader, throughout the book, mispronounces the name as "Grisham", like the author of the legal thrillers. And it isn't because of a confusing spelling, either; where is she (AND the director/producer who allowed this) getting the 'sh' in the middle of the name?

    Because of the stature of the Grissom's service to America, this mispronunciation isn't just irritating, but demeaning, sloppy, and lazy. I found myself driving while listening to the book, and screaming, "Grissom! GriSSOM! GRISSOM!!'

    I gave the book to my wife, who started it this morning, and........yes, she's gotten to the first one. I can hear her thundering in the other room, "Grissom, damn it! GriSSOM! GRISSOM!!"

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Nancy Springer
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (48)

    Two-time Edgar Award-winning author Nancy Springer introduces the sleuthing powers of Sherlock Holmes' sister in the captivating mystery. Prompted by clues her missing mother cleverly left her, 14-year-old Enola races from the clutches of her captors. Enola attempts to escape from these slimy ruffians and find her mother....

    Gordon Lamb says: "Original, Bold, Brilliant New Heroine"
    "Original, Bold, Brilliant New Heroine"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Nancy Springer deserves much credit. The concept of a 'Sherlock Holmes Younger Sister' young adult genre could have been as dull, vapid, and predictable as -- sorry -- the old 'Nancy Drew' serials.

    But Ms. Springer has created a genuinely inspired character of depth, passion, emotion, and isn't afraid to make her fallible and and occasionally unlikeable -- in other words, a believable fourteen-year-old girl.Enola is fourteen, the daughter of gentry and living in the country in 1888. She is a late child, born when her mother was thought to be rather beyond child-bearing years. Her two older brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft, live in London, and are estranged from their mother and young sister since the death of their father about a decade before. The tale begins with the disappearance of Enola's mother, on Enola's fourteenth birthday. Sherlock and Mycroft come to the estate, and treat Enola with little more consideration than a housepet, being patronizing and condescending, and planning to pack her off to boarding school.Enola, who has a mind of her own that is quite the equal steel of the brothers' (although it takes them a while to grasp this), will have none of that, and is bent on finding her mother.

    What follows is a tale of twists and surprises from the countryside to the lowest part of the docks and wharfs of London, and a retinue of characters that have authenticity and presence -- in fact, the closest to a stereotype and a narrow person in the book is Sherlock's Scotland Yard acquaintance Lestrade, and then only because of the limitations that Conan-Doyle put on him that Springer was quite faithful to follow, although the temptation to breathe a little more life into the ferret-like detective must have been strong.

    While Enola can be a bit unlikeable at times, overall she is a magnificent, resonant character, easily as fascinating as her older brother, or brothers, to be precise, even if Mycroft doesn't appear all that often in Conan-Doyle's canonical tales.It's also impossible not to admire the detail and significant differences that a female point of view in Victorian England that Springer has decorated the tale with. It was such a male-dominate society that one forgets that females were little more than property of men, who generally had little regard for the distaff's intelligence, reasoning ability, or even sense of moral purpose. As we watch Enola, and -- vicariously -- her mother try to navigate these murky waters, I can't help but admire both female Holmes 'alternate' use of the imprisoning foundation garments of the day, the bustle, corset, and other various 'dress enhancers' to better, and frankly brilliant, purposes.

    The performance by Katherine Kellgren is spot-on, as well. Her fine sense of timing, and of pitch, pacing and her excellent grasp of accents from Home Counties, to Eatonian, to East End Cockney was lovely, quite entertaining, and there was never any doubt as to whom was speaking. Brilliant!

    While this novel may be directed towards a young adult market, it is so multilayered that adults will enjoy it as much as the teenaged reader. As I said at the beginning, Nancy Springer has a magnificent achievement in this book. She is an ornament to the writing profession.

    Another book that gives insight into Victorian English society, and in fact compliments this one quite well, is Michael Crichton's 'The Great Train Robbery', which I also strongly recommend.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • It

    • UNABRIDGED (44 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Steven Weber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4383)
    Performance
    (3122)
    Story
    (3145)

    They were just kids when they stumbled upon the horror of their hometown. Now, as adults, none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them all back to Derry, Maine, to face the nightmare without end, and the evil without a name.

    Parola138 says: "I thought I was desensitized"
    "And Extraordinary Reader For A Superb Writer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stephen King's immense, Tolkien novel has always been a favourite of mine. Beyond the horror genre that causes many to sniff dismissively down their patrician noses on their way to 'important' and 'literary' writers -- you remember, the ones that your college English instructors would go into polysyllabic orgasms over, while you thought that those writers were soporifics, easily the equals of Valium -- King is doing what he does best; telling a tale.

    And I don't believe that this particular tale could have been told with greater ability than by Stephen Weber, who managed to personally embarrass me. I was waiting in line at the Post Office while listening on my iPod when a particularly moving event was being narrated, when I noticed how many people were staring at me, because I had tears streaming down my cheeks.

    Gosh -- thanks a pant-load, Weber.

    Weber's ability to make so many characters clear and distinct through nuance and inflection should serve as an example of the highest level of this form of performance. Truly, he is an ornament to the profession.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1051)
    Performance
    (910)
    Story
    (918)

    Moneyball reveals a quest for something as elusive as the Holy Grail, something that money apparently can't buy: the secret of success in baseball. The logical places to look would be the giant offices of major league teams and the dugouts. But the real jackpot is a cache of numbers collected over the years by a strange brotherhood of amateur baseball enthusiasts: software engineers, statisticians, Wall Street analysts, lawyers, and physics professors.

    Gordon Lamb says: "Excellent Book, Outstanding Narration, Sloppy Edit"
    "Excellent Book, Outstanding Narration, Sloppy Edit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A well written and gripping story,even for those not especially interested in baseball.

    But for those of us that love the game, it is a delight. The rethinking of the analysis of baseball statistics -- some of which have been untouched since 1859 -- make the nerds with the athletic ability of a convenience store, such as myself, to be intellectually fulfilled.

    I've always been an admirer of Scott Brick, a consummate professional in the narrator bullpen.

    But, oh, my -- the editing. For Audible, usually a benchmark of releasing a top drawer products, to have let this one out it its condition is....regrettable.

    There are at least five (I stopped counting) places where the narration repeats two sentences. There are at least five (I stopped counting) places where the narration repeats two sentences.

    Please, Audible -- pull the masters on this one, put an intern in a studio for nine hours or so, and clean it up -- you'd look so much less lazy and foolish. Please, Audible -- pull the masters on this one, put an intern in a studio for nine hours or so, and clean it up -- you'd look so much less lazy and foolish.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Catch-22

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Joseph Heller
    • Narrated By Jay O. Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1956)
    Performance
    (1027)
    Story
    (1040)

    Catch-22 is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever, even if he has to die in the attempt.)

    Phil says: "Phenominal Reading - Story and Damn Funny"
    "Laughter Through Tears"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Still one of the finest satires that I've ever read. It is biting, mordant, and alternates between caustic wit and unaffected pathos.

    Being an old and somewhat jaded, there are very few things that make me laugh aloud, but Heller's masterpiece can.

    But I sincerely wish that Heller could listen to Jay Sanders' utterly brilliant performance. It may be the single finest audiobook performance that I've ever listened to. Natural talent is something that many possess (although not as many as might think so), and Sanders certainly has that.

    But unlike many talented people, Sanders has refined and polished his performance skills. His emoting, his pacing, his comic timing, and his variety of voices are blended into a mesmerizing performance. It seems to me that Sanders has an ability that few others have, or even pay attention to; he seems to have considered the entire novel as a multilayered performance whole, and his rendition has what I think of as an internal integrity. I believe that Sanders could make an audio performance of the soap opera synopses in the newspaper and make them an entertaining and engaging -- and hilarious -- performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Michio Kaku
    • Narrated By Feodor Chin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (729)
    Performance
    (466)
    Story
    (464)

    In Physics of the Future, Michio Kaku—the New York Times best-selling author of Physics of the Impossible—gives us a stunning, provocative, and exhilarating vision of the coming century based on interviews with over 300 of the world’s top scientists who are already inventing the future in their labs. The result is the most authoritative and scientifically accurate description of revolutionary developments taking place....

    Gordon Lamb says: "Interesting Content, Irritating Reader"
    "Interesting Content, Irritating Reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed Professor Kaku's work. He's a well organized, if not flashy writer. In fact, I'd suggest he insert a little humour or a little more personal anecdote -- it would make the contents more accessible and....human. I found the content appealing, but then again, I'm a physicist.

    I'd most strongly suggest that Professor Kaku narrate his own material, though. I've seen him on television enough (and in fact have met him on several occasions), and he has the professional chops to do it well.

    I say this because the reader, Feodor Chin, came across to me sounding like a high school radio station reader. There are a few bumps in the road with lazy pronunciation, which I can generally overlook, such as 'labatory' for 'laboratory', but generally I try to overlook it. After all, I live in Kentucky, the galactic centre of of swallowed, suppressed, or modified vowels, consonants, and diphthongs.

    But for some reason, I lost my composure when the reader consistently pronounces 'hundred' as 'hunerd'. I found myself wincing or flinching every time -- and it happened 'hunerds' of times. It was enough for me that I will avoid any book performed by this reader, no matter what it is.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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