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Charles

Princeton, NJ, USA

42
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 36 ratings
  • 56 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Jaws

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Peter Benchley
    • Narrated By Erik Steele
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (753)
    Performance
    (478)
    Story
    (491)

    Jaws is the classic, blockbuster thriller that inspired the three-time Academy Award-winning Steven Spielberg movie and made millions of beachgoers afraid to go into the water. Experience the thrill of helpless horror again - or for the first time! Jaws was #48 in the American Film Institute's 100 Years...100 Movies, and the film earned the coveted #1 spot on the Bravo network's 100 Scariest Movie Moments countdown.

    Tracy says: ""JAWS""
    "The Perfect Book for the Beach"
    Overall

    I was fifteen when the movie was released, and I loved it then. I read the book shortly after seeing the movie, and I remember liking it. Thirty some-odd years later, I listened to the audiobook and loved it even more. The narration by Erik Steele was pitch perfect. I was transported back to the 70s, and it was a rollicking nostalgia trip. Peter Benchley definitely caught the spirit and attitudes of the time and somehow wove them into a story that is like Moby Dick meets Fear of Flying meets the Old Man and the Sea meets Godzilla! I am surprised that it took so long for this iconic piece of Americana to be published as an audiobook. My only regret is that I was unable to wait until beach season to give it a listen. It would be the perfect accompaniment for a long weekend by the ocean.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Ten-Year Nap

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Meg Wolitzer
    • Narrated By Alyssa Bresnahan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (23)

    For a group of four New York friends, the past decade has been largely defined by marriage and motherhood. Educated and reared to believe that they would conquer the world, they then left prestigious jobs to stay home with their babies. What was meant to be a temporary leave of absence has lasted a decade. Now, at age 40, with the halcyon days of young motherhood behind them and without professions to define them, Amy, Jill, Roberta, and Karen face a life that is not what they were brought up to expect but seems to be the one they have chosen.

    Charles says: "Very Good portrayal"
    "Very Good portrayal"
    Overall

    Some of the reviewers have described this book as "chick-lit." Well, I'm not a chick and I like this lit a lot! It is true that the book is told in a distinctly feminine voice, and that is somewhat of a departure for Meg Wolitzer. One of my favorites is her 2005 book, The Position, in which she writes in such a distinctly male voice that it is almost disconcerting. I have never read anything written by a woman that so accurately portrays the voice and thoughts of a male mind. Indeed, in The Position, she proves the plausibility of one of her other great books, The Wife, in which the main character turns out to be the ghost-writer, for her husband, a celebrated author. In the Ten-Year Nap, Wolitzer really demonstrates what a versitile author she is. Perhaps I was drawn to this book because the main character and I share the same profession, but her portrayal of a bevy of stay-at-home moms seems spot on to me. My youngest child is ten-years old and my wife has been a stay-at-home mom. She and her friends from "the play group" are going through the issues and anxieties of moving back into the "working world." From the viewpoint of a husband who is looking at his wife and her friends during this liminal moment in their respective lives, I would say that Wolitzer captures reality in this book, and I found the book not at all depressing. Indeed, I found it comforting.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Barack Obama
    • Narrated By Barack Obama
    Overall
    (1686)
    Performance
    (425)
    Story
    (428)

    In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father, a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man, has been killed in a car accident.

    Kathryn says: "A wonderful, insightful, non-political story"
    "A Gift"
    Overall

    What a fantastic gift to have the insights of this remarkable man before he had any thoughts of running for President!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Counterlife

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    The Counterlife brings back Roth's most notorious character, the novelist Nathan Zuckerman. Nathan's married brother, Henry the dentist, is suffering from impotence as a result of taking heart medication - and he's willing to risk his life in a dangerous operation just to regain his sexual prowess in order to satisfy the needs of his office assistant.

    Darwin8u says: "Inventing a counterlife that is 1's own anti-myth"
    "One of the Best Zuckerman Novels"
    Overall

    I loved this book and I always enjoy George Guidall's narration of Roth novels. This one compares the reactions of the two Zuckerman brothers when given the choice of life-risking surgery or loss of sexual potency.(Death and sex, being the one-two punch of many of Roth's books.) It also deals with the American Jew's conflicting desires to assimilate and also be at one with the ideal of Israel, and it seems to foreshadow Roth's own disasterous marriage to Claire Bloom. This novel is the perfect accompaniment to the last Zuckerman novel, Exit Ghost, in which Zuckerman turns his life upside down, not to battle impotence, but to cure his incontinence. Twenty years obviously changed Zuckerman's and Roth's priorities!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Indignation

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    It is 1951 in America, the second year of the Korean War. Marcus Messner of Newark, New Jersey, is beginning his sophomore year at the pastoral, conservative Winesburg College in Ohio. Why is he here? Because his father, a hard-working neighborhood butcher, seems to have gone mad.

    JOHN says: "Brilliant"
    "Maybe not Roth at his best,but...."
    Overall

    I am a Philip Roth fan and I cannot say that this one is my favorite Roth novel, or even in my top half-dozen. Of Roth's most recent short novels, I liked Exit Ghost, Everyman and the Dying Animal better, but even a second tier Roth novel beats almost anybody else's masterpiece. Many of the other Roth audiobooks are narrated by George Guidall, and I have to admit, George Guidall is the better narrator. Still, this audiobook is certainly worth the price and five and a half hours of your time.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Blind Assassin

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Margot Dionne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (802)
    Performance
    (253)
    Story
    (251)

    With The Blind Assassin, Atwood proves once again that she is one of the most talented, daring, and exciting writers of the time. Like The Handmaid's Tale, this Book Prize-winner is destined to become a classic.

    Sarah says: "The Best!"
    "Sound Quality makes This one a Non-starter"
    Overall

    I agree with the preceding complaints about sound quality. The story may have been great, but I just could not bear to listen to the hours of annoying static.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • A Child in Time

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Ian McEwan
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Two parents come to appreciate the forces of love and time after the disappearance of their daughter, Kate.

    Charles says: "Not McEwan's Best Effort"
    "Not McEwan's Best Effort"
    Overall

    I am a big Ian McEwan fan. I have read all of his published novels, and many of his short stories. This novel I have picked up many times but always would lose interest after about 25 pages. I decided to buy the audiobook, thinking that it might make it easier to "get over the hump." It did, but still, even the audiobook was a bit of a chore. This book hits some of the familiar Ian McEwan themes, such as the nature of chance and how a life can turn on a dime, but it went on to more general and murky discussions about the nature of time itself, and these lengthy discourses never seemed to advance a real story. It seemed a bit pretentious. I am not saying the book did not have some high points. McEwan is so skilled a writer, I am sure his grocery list would be a decent read, but, to me, this is the least satisfying of all his novels.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Patrimony: A True Story

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (15)

    This deeply affecting memoir focuses on the time in the author's life when he learned of his father's terminal brain cancer. A remarkable portrait of a father and son, this work confronts death and fear, and, ultimately, extracts the truth of what it means to love and be loved.

    Charles says: "GREAT AND MOVING BOOK"
    "GREAT AND MOVING BOOK"
    Overall

    I am a Roth fan, but I had never before bothered with any of his non-fiction. I am very glad that I listened to this moving memoir. It reads like a Roth novel, but with rawer emotion. Anyone who has or has had an aged or ill parent would be moved by this account of the last year of the life of the author's father. The book is not didactic, but it teaches several lessons. I was moved to buy the hardback version, as I am sure that this is a book I will want to return to often.
    Also the narration by George Guidall is excellent.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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