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Hampton, VA, United States

  • 2 reviews
  • 3 ratings
  • 140 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By John Thavis
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    For more than 25 years John Thavis held one of the most fascinating journalistic jobs in the world: reporting on the inner workings of the Vatican. His daily exposure to the power, politics, and personalities in the seat of Roman Catholicism gave him a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective on an institution that is far less monolithic and unified than it first appears. Thavis reveals Vatican City as a place where Curia cardinals fight private wars, scandals threaten to undermine papal authority, and reverence for the past is continually upended by the practical considerations of modern life.

    Linda says: "A neutral look at inner workings of the Vatican"
    "Extremely Compelling; Especially Relevant"
    Where does The Vatican Diaries rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the most concise, cogent audiobooks I've listened to.

    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Highlighted as it was by Audible, just after the news of Pope Benedict's abdication, this was especially relevant. Although published months before the Pope's announcement, "The Vatican Diaries" sheds much light on the Benedict's papacy and the likely true reasons behind his historical resignation. Had I listened to this earlier, it wouldn't have come as a surprise when it happened.

    The stories John Thavis relates are sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, always incredible. Time and again I found myself hitting the 30 seconds back button thinking, "I must not have heard that right - it couldn't be." Every time I had heard it right and I was simply incredulous.

    Have you listened to any of Malcolm Hillgartner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Malcolm Hilgartner's performance is a masterpiece of subtly. With slight inflections and just the right amount of accent, he slips smoothly between the author's narration and the many other characters we encounter - from Popes and Cardinals to reporters and "bell ringers." He makes this book come alive.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    As a Roman Catholic at times I was upset by Thavis's frank and honest recording of events. Bust as they say,"Sometimes the truth hurts."

    Any additional comments?

    This is "must listening" for Roman Catholics and others who want to understand the forces at work inside that Vatican and the Church. It provides a foundation for understanding what Pope Francis is now doing and why. As events unfold in Rome I am sure I will be re-listening to various chapters to put it all in context.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Macgyver on Mars"
    "10 out of 10 Pirate Ninjas!"
    If you could sum up The Martian in three words, what would they be?

    Thrilling, Funny SciFi Adventure...yeah more than three words, I was never good at math

    What other book might you compare The Martian to and why?

    "A Fall of Moon Dust" by Arthur C. Clark but with humor. There is a strong science foundation apron which a truly intriguing story has been created.

    What does R. C. Bray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    How he did all the voices, male & female, foreign accents, was amazing

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laugh a lot. But this wasn't a comedy. It was interesting to see how the author presented a range of how people react to stress - from anger to humor.

    Any additional comments?

    I've listened to this in segments as one normally does when reading or listening to a book. However I plan on a "The Martian" marathon–listening to it all in one sitting like watching a movie. It is that good!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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