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Portland, OR, United States | Listener Since 2005

  • 8 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 173 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • A Tale of Two Cities [Recorded Books]

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." So begins this classic, one of the most beloved novels of all time. Charles Dickens brings the French Revolution to life through such vivid characters as Charles Darnay, the Old Doctor, Sydney Carton and Lucy Manette. The action peaks with the storming of the Bastille, the dreaded symbol of government authority. And the blade of La Guillotine falls again...

    Amazon Customer says: "Absolute literature...and a page turner at that!"
    "Wonderfully narrated"

    Throw me in with the lot that truly appreciated Frank Muller's narration. Audiobooks are a great convenience. In this case I belive that Muller's narration is superior to actually reading the book on paper.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Second World War: Milestones to Disaster

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Sir Winston Churchill
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska

    Churchill's history of the Second World War is, and will remain, the definitive work. Lucid, dramatic, remarkable for its breadth and sweep and for its sense of personal involvement, it is universally acknowledged as a magnificent reconstruction.

    John M says: "Brilliant! Only Churchill could have done this."
    "WWII direct from the source"
    Where does The Second World War rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Half of the books I've listened to are non fiction, with the greater part of that being history. I would rank this audio book in the top half of these.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Second World War?

    While not what I originally chose this book for, I found Churchill's perspective on the home government rather illuminating. All taken with a pinch of salt as he was a politician.

    What about Christian Rodska’s performance did you like?

    Reading history with verve is tough. Since this book is written in the first person it gives the narrator some leeway to embellish. Rodska does this just enough to heighten the intimacy of the read.

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not at alll.

    Any additional comments?

    I recommend for those who already have a good knowledge of WWII. The book's value lies more in giving the reader the perspective of one individual who among very few who can lay claim to having been a principal player in shaping its outcome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby is closely modelled on the 18h-century novels that Charles Dickens loved as a child, such as Robinson Crusoe, in which the fortunes of a hero shape the plot. The likeable young Nicholas, left penniless on the death of his father, sets off in search of better prospects.

    Blue Ridge Book Lover says: "loved it much more than expected!"
    "Humor and Sarchasm from an early Dickens work"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby to be better than the print version?

    Unquestionably. Vance is a master narrator

    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby?

    Nicholas' encounters with Mr. and Mrs. Squears.

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

    No tears or excessive joy - Dickens' sense of irony keeps the reader on an even keel in the face of disaster or great joy. This is one of teh reasons I endorse Dickens to my children. His stories are not epic but his perspective is worldly beyond his years.

    Any additional comments?

    The very next audiobook I purchased was David Copperfield because I was not ready let go of Simon Vance's narration.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Master and Commander: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull

    This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, Royal Navy, and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the road of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

    Frank says: "Choice of Narrators"
    "Distracting narration"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No I would not recommend this audiobook to a friend

    Would you recommend Master and Commander to your friends? Why or why not?

    Hard to say....I didn't finish it.

    What didn’t you like about Patrick Tull’s performance?

    I have enjoyed Patrick Tull's narration of at least one other audiobook. However, I found his style of narration of this title so halting and retiring that I alternately became distracted by it or lapsed into stupor.

    Was Master and Commander worth the listening time?

    Hard to be fair - didn't listen to very much

    Any additional comments?

    Many others found Patrick Tull's narration more than satisfactory so try a sample befroe buying.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Russian Revolution: A Very Short Introduction

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By S. A. Smith
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This concise, accessible introduction provides an analytical narrative of the main events and developments in Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1936. It examines the impact of the revolution on society as a whole--on different classes, ethnic groups, the army, men and women, youth. Its central concern is to understand how one structure of domination was replaced by another.

    Frank says: "Inaccessible ad a little scary"
    "Inaccessible ad a little scary"
    Would you try another book from S. A. Smith and/or Suzanne Toren?

    Yes to the narrator, Toren, NO to S. A. Smith the author

    What could S. A. Smith have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Not write a textbook for admirers of Communism.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene at the end where the author sympathizes with the good intentions of Bolshevik butchers.

    What character would you cut from The Russian Revolution?

    Lenin, Stalin, the author?

    Any additional comments?

    It is quite dishearening, knowing what we know today, that the Russion Revolution shattered so many lives and convulsed and twisted a society of tens of millions into an unimaginably wretched state, that somoeone feels no compunction about writing a short history of these fateful events....from the perspective of teh perpetrators of the terror. While you read this trash, you are given little signals along the way....why is there barely any perspective of the disenfranchised, thte starved, families of the murdered?....are the bolsheviks really just responding to outside pressures the best they can?....until at the end when the author's conculsion pulls back the curtain and you find where the author's sympathies lie, with the idealists who were only trying make things better.

    3 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Return of the Native

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Jill Masters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Eustacia Vye is a beautiful, commanding presence on England's Egdon Heath. Her longing for the glamour of city life leaves her dissatisfied with her traditionalist husband, Clym Yeobright, and leads her to take Damon Wildeve as her lover. In a mixing of fate, chance, and human error, Eustacia's marriage smolders and explodes in violent tragedy. Set against the looming presence of the Heath, Hardy's work vividly depicts characters cruelly manipulated by the forces around them, unable to dictate their own fates. This classic story, a forerunner to the 20th-century psychological novel, is presented in unabridged form, revealing all of its poetic compassion and universal themes.

    Frank says: "Life on the Heath"
    "Life on the Heath"

    Hardy does a marvelous job of portraying life amongst the small hamlets of Egdon Heath. The story line though, is fairly typical and it belies Hardy's status as a literary heavyweight. The physical description of people and place are extraordinary and more than makes up for the somewhat flat plot. Hardy does require something from the reader (listener) and can display near cunning in his use of English.

    Hardy's attention to accent and intonation in the dialogue of his characters really set this book apart and help the reader to become immersed. I attempted reading the print version of this book 3 times and the dialogue did me in each time. For this reason an audio version of the book is much appreciated.

    The narration does not disappoint but the audio quality is uneven. I might have rated this a 5 star work if the audio was pristine.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Anna Karenina

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Davina Porter

    This is the story of the unhappy family of Anna Karenina. The novel contains much concerning Tolstoy's spiritual crisis and his search for the meaning of life. But it is also chiefly about marriage, and the growth and death of love.

    AnnaH says: "Even Better Aloud"
    "Fantastic Narration"

    I am currently making my way through the classics and felt that Anna Karenina was a must. This is the first I've read of Tolstoy The work translates well into English I think. I recommend this audio book.

    My one complaint is that given the lenght of the book, I had hoped to finish with the feeling that I just wrestled with a "big idea". This was not the case. It is simply great storytelling.

    The narration is very clear and consistent and by itself deserves 5 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Crime and Punishment (Recorded Books Edition)

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment is universally regarded as one of literature's finest achievements, as the great Russian novelist explores the inner workings of a troubled intellectual. Raskolnikov, a nihilistic young man in the midst of a spiritual crisis, makes the fateful decision to murder a cruel pawnbroker, justifying his actions by relying on science and reason, and creating his own morality system. Dehumanized yet sympathetic, exhausted yet hopeful, Raskolnikov represents the best and worst elements of modern intellectualism. The aftermath of his crime and Petrovich's murder investigation result in an utterly compelling, truly unforgettable cat-and-mouse game. This stunning dramatization of Dostoevsky's magnum opus brings the slums of St. Petersburg and the demons of Raskolnikov's tortured mind vividly to life.

    Greg says: "Wonderful Book"

    First Audiobook for me. Fantastic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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