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San Francisco, CA, United States | Member Since 2004


  • Diary: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Chuck Palahniuk
    • Narrated By Martha Plimpton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Diary takes the form of a "coma diary" kept by one Misty Tracy Wilmot as her husband lies senseless in a hospital after a suicide attempt. It is a dark, hilarious, and poignant act of storytelling from America's favorite, most inventive nihilist.

    Todd says: "What a trip!"
    "Misplaced category"

    First, my tepid praise has something to do with the placement of this novel in the "gay and lesbian" category. It does not belong there. There is no gay character, so this may be why I found the story puzzling for a few hours. (Perhaps the author is gay.) Maybe this is the only reason I am writing a review.

    Second, the writing style is as much poetry as prose. The sentences are short or are occasionally only phrases; certain figures of speech are repeated [too] frequently. If Marcel Proust is bel canto, Chuck Palahniuk is rap. Since more people listen to Tupac Shakur than Bellini, who cares what I think! The story is inventive, but it failed to be suspenseful, believable, or mature.

    I have no issue with the reader, as others did. I think that her deadpan delivery might have been exactly what the author wrote.

    6 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Prodigal Summer

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Prodigal Summer weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives in southern Appalachia. At the heart of these intertwined narratives is a den of coyotes that have recently migrated into the region. Deanna Wolfe, a reclusive wildlife biologist, watches them from an isolated mountain cabin where she is caught off-guard by Eddie Bondo, a young hunter who comes to invade her most private spaces and her solitary life.

    Lily says: "Amazing!"
    "Sexy, insightful, funny, and informative"

    This talented woman can both write and read with a skill that makes me want to be reborn—to try again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Herzog

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Saul Bellow
    • Narrated By Wolfram Kandinsky

    An instant classic when it appeared in 1964, Herzog is the story of Moses E. Herzog, a tragically confused intellectual who suffers from the breakup of his second marriage, the general failure of his life, and the specter of growing up Jewish in the middle part of the 20th century. He responds to his personal crisis by writing a series of letters never to be sent, to friends and enemies, colleagues and celebrities, examining his life and times with wry perception and heartfelt revelation.

    rworthen says: "Horrible Narration of a Great Book."
    "Worst reading on an Audible offering"

    This is a wonderful novel. How on earth did Audible accept this reading of it? The reader has absolutely no talent for this task.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Meltdown: A Look at Why the Economy Tanked and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Thomas E. Woods
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar

    The media tells us that "deregulation" and "unfettered free markets" have wrecked our economy and will continue to make things worse without a heavy dose of federal regulation. But the real blame lies elsewhere. In Meltdown, best-selling author Thomas E. Woods, Jr., unearths the real causes behind the collapse of housing values and the stock market---and it turns out the culprits reside more in Washington than on Wall Street.

    Daniel Squires says: "Read this book!"
    "Important thoughts"

    I agree with those others who were offended by the sarcasm, which is designed for the converted and less so for the open-minded. This is my only negative: I though it patronizing.

    The ideas in the book are worth anyone's interest. Unfortunately, he American system of open bribery, where corporations blatantly pour money into government, is structured to favor reckless spending. This book does not examine closely why our system is is corrupt, nor should it, but the reader might be cautioned that half-steps could be more destructive than regulation.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Humboldt's Gift

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Saul Bellow
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt

    For years, they were the best of friends: the grand, erratic Humboldt and the ambitious young Charlie. But now Humboldt has died a failure, and Charlie's success-ridden life has taken various turns for the worse. Then Humboldt acts from the grave to change Charlie's life: he has left Charlie something in his will.

    Scott says: "Great Book, Great Reader"
    "Masterful language"

    Thickly spread with self-reflection, this story seems to move slowly, but each aside engrosses the reader and moves the story along. Filled with social commentary that will sparkle for decades.

    The reader is tireless and without error. He renders the first-person Charlie in a believable and consistent voice.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The End of Faith

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Sam Harris
    • Narrated By Brian Emerson

    This important and timely book delivers a startling analysis of the clash of faith and reason in today's world. Harris offers a vivid historical tour of mankind's willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when those beliefs are used to justify harmful behavior and sometimes heinous crimes.

    Ronald says: "Compelling and important – highly recommend"
    "A superb argument"

    There are two points made by the author I thought weak. Both items related to ethics.

    Mr. Harris concedes that the effect on civilians of our military can be as great as that of suicide bombers, but we are absolved by regret, they are not. The constraints on Bush might be personal conscience, but one can see only the political--opprobrium awaits those who would laugh at our enemy's children incinerated by a stray missile. Presuming there will be inevitable and helpful civilian hardship makes relying on odds as effective as planning. It is not the gloating that makes the death of innocents so reprehensible. Perhaps the suicide bomber is driven by religion (it seems so), but one might wonder at the options of people facing overwhelming military force on the one hand and UN vetoes on the other after they win repeated appeals in court of world opinion.

    A second ethical discussion rallies around the absurd Dershowitz ticking bomb scenario, where some poor CIA operative must let a city be annihilated rather than risk a prison term handed down by some theoretically ungrateful jury. (Never mind that we ask enlisted men to risk their lives for tinier causes.) Harris makes the forceful point that waging war is every bit as brutal on less suspect victims than a few days of torture and then draws the fanciful conclusion that this makes torture okay rather than making the invasion of a nation for the thinnest of excuses wrong. The people being detained and roughed up in Guantanamo are not presumed to have knowledge of a ticking bomb and might be guilty of nothing more than selling a lame camel to a snitching neighbor. More commonly, they are guilty of having taken arms against an invading army. Mr. Harris's reader is asked to see torture as benign because our enemies would do as much; because our bombs are likely to do worse; because Alan Dershowitz sees the day when your daughter might die of asphyxiation when you fail to distain the quaintness of the Geneva Conventions.

    5 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Charlotte Simmons

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker

    Dupont University: the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America's youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition....Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina, who has come here on full scholarship. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the upper-crust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.

    Eric says: "Decadence through the eyes of a ?good girl?"
    "A great experience"

    Someday I will listen to this book over again and from the moment it ended, I began to look forward to that day. Wolfe skewers his characters under a critic's glass, but the listener is never sure when a character's fortunes will rise or fall. It's an important commentary on university life today.

    The reader, Dylan Baker, is astonishing. He is a consummate professional and I will chose books in the future based solely on the fact that he is the reader.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "A precious story"

    The story of an Indian boy's adventure at sea is intelligent, thoughtful, occasionally suspenseful, sometimes witty, and always sincere. It is impossible to explain why this simple tale has such impact on the listener. Pi presents opinions that are not common, but they are convincingly held. Young Pi is always insightful. He sees his surroundings, his predicaments with humbling clarity.
    The reader is first rate. He has the most wonderful Indian-accented British tongue and this gives this wild ride irresistible verisimilitude. Bravo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil in the White City

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Also available abridged.

    D says: "A Rich Read!"
    "Informative and compelling"

    For readers who love to learn fascinating information about unfamiliar events in our history, this is for you. The writing is detailed and the wording precise. This book offers a great look at what life was like in Chicago the 1890s. For many, the 90s were not so gay, apparently. I loved the narrative. For readers who prefer continuous action, page turners, this might not be the ideal book for you.
    The reader was competent, but he missed opportunities to add punch to the writing. It seemed he was giving too much deference to the historical purity of this excellent book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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