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Toni

Member Since 2011

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 167 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • A Tale of Two Cities [Tantor]

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (999)
    Performance
    (770)
    Story
    (806)

    A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens's most exciting novels. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, it tells the story of a family threatened by the terrible events of the past. Doctor Manette was wrongly imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years without trial by the aristocratic authorities.

    Teddy says: "Truly a Classic"
    "You are THERE! - the Reign of Terror"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Planning a trip to France for the first time. I've read a couple of books about the French revolution, but I felt that Dickens' portrayal of the rebels and aristocrats in this book really put the listener in the thick of what was going through everyone’s head shortly before and during the Reign of Terror. I had a much better understanding than with the other two books. If my brief Google research is correct, Dickens wrote this approx. 70 years after the revolution, and it seems very fresh with his telling. On the downside, the characters can be a bit dated (melodramatic) by today’s standards and I struggled for the first hour with the flowery language, but you get the hang of it. Didn’t keep me from sobbing at the end of this touching tale, LOL. I bet the version narrated by Frank Mueller is killer, but the price was right for this one, and the accents are probably more authentic with Simon Vance. Definitely recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Successful Novelist

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By David Morrell
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (87)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (71)

    David Morrell, best-selling author of First Blood, The Brotherhood of the Rose and The Fifth Profession, distills four decades of writing and publishing experience into this single masterwork of advice and instruction for fiction writers looking to make it big in the publishing world. With advice proven to create successful novels,

    Jason says: "REALITY CHECK! Very Enlightening and practical."
    "Best in Class"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So far, I've listened to Sol Stein (Stein on Writing),Thomas B. Sawyer (Fiction Writing Demystified) and this one. David Morrell is my favorite, although Stein covers more craft/style in my opinion. Morrell touches on a bit of everything with practicality, humor and humility. He's easy to relate to. Some of it is far beyond my current skill set or needs (things to watch out for in contracts, etc.), but it's good for future. This book never had a dull moment, and I downloaded the Kindle version as well, to make notes. Narrator was fantastic. As someone else said, it was easy to forget it wasn't being narrated by the author, so great was the narrator's enthusiasm.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2575)
    Performance
    (2334)
    Story
    (2337)

    Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America — or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…

    Linda B says: "Well done story"
    "Good story line, kept me guessing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would consider this something of a sci-fi mystery. Kept me guessing, enjoyed it very much, despite the fact I'm not into sci-fi. Unique story line, I look forward to other books by Blake Crouch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jonathan Safran Foer
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman, Barbara Caruso, Richard Ferrone
    Overall
    (2273)
    Performance
    (1425)
    Story
    (1435)

    Jonathan Safran Foer's best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated, wowed critics on its way to winning several literary prizes, including Book of the Year honors from the Los Angeles Times. It has been published in 24 countries and will soon be a major motion picture. Foer's talent continues to shine in this sometimes hilarious and always heartfelt follow-up.

    Peter J. Maerz says: "Suffused my being..."
    "Extremely Depressing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well written and well acted. However, several times while listening to this book, I wished I'd never started it. There were some bizarre detours that I felt were a waste of time and left unresolved. I found some of it extremely depressing. I guess I should have anticipated that, considering the content, but I expected a little more of a hopeful ending...not good listening if you need an escape from daily life...

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Is Paris Burning?

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Larry Collins, Dominique Lapierre
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (47)

    Few moments in history are as stirring as the Allied liberation of Paris. Yet few people are aware of how narrowly, and how miraculously, the city escaped Hitler's secret plan to reduce it to ashes. Is Paris Burning? reconstructs, in meticulous and riveting detail, the network of fateful events, day by day, moment by moment, that saved the City of Light.

    David says: "A Heartwarming Story"
    "Great background for travel to Paris/Normandy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listened to this as part of a self-imposed history crash course before a trip to Paris. Great book, ageless. I had no clue until about midway thru it (when it occurred to me there is no way these people were still alive to interview) that it was written in the 60s. Couple of downsides - it was extremely hard to follow some of the segments via audio due to all the many players, no map - and my total lack of knowledge around anything related to the military. Also, the narrator was great at character voices, but left a lot to be desired everywhere else. Still very worth it, especially the last of the 3 parts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Robert Darnton
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    When the apprentices of a Paris printing shop in the 1730s held a series of mock trials and then hanged all the cats they could lay their hands on, why did they find it so hilariously funny that they choked with laughter when they reenacted it in pantomime some 20 times? Why in the 18th-century version of Little Red Riding Hood did the wolf eat the child at the end? What did the anonymous townsman of Montpelier have in mind when he kept an exhaustive dossier on all the activities of his native city?

    Toni says: "Couldn't take another minute, college lecture"
    "Couldn't take another minute, college lecture"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In my humble opinion, this is basically a college lecture on how to research and interpret folk tales, and written/verbal materials produced or perpetuated over time by peasants or everyday people. I listened for over 2 hours and couldn't take another minute, this will be the first refund I've requested since becoming a member a few years back. If you're a historical scholar, you'll most likely love it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    Overall
    (1340)
    Performance
    (658)
    Story
    (663)

    When Tiro, the confidential secretary (and slave) of a Roman senator, opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, he sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel his master into one of the most suspenseful courtroom dramas in history.

    Karen says: "Great Naration, Great Book"
    "Excellent Historical Fiction"
    Overall

    I listened to this book immediately following a S. Saylor book. While Saylor's book was VERY entertaining, there were several points in his tale when I said to myself "REALLY? Someone in ancient Rome would have these thought processes?". I'll save that commentary for the Saylor review, but my point is that I felt like Harris' characters were more believable in the context of the times and I enjoyed the descriptions of everyday life in Rome and the Roman Senate. Furthermore, he did an excellent job of building a plot and creating suspense.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The City of Falling Angels

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By John Berendt
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (367)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (92)

    The author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil returns after more than a decade to give us an intimate look at the "magic, mystery, and decadence" of the city of Venice and its inhabitants.

    Bob says: "Sophorific"
    "Worth the read if you are going to Venice"
    Overall

    I am a HUGE fan of Berendt's Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil. So, since I was planning a trip to Venice, I thought this would give me a background of modern Venice as seen from the eyes of an American. It did, and I've very glad I read it but I cannot rate it in the realm of his former work on Midnight. Let's face it, Berendt can get people to tell him things they'd never tell another stranger, that's one of his greatest gifts. But I didn't find I really cared about any of the characters. It may be because there were so many, he couldn't dig very deep on any of them. On the other hand, he refuses to comprise his work by creating fake characters that are a "compilation" of several people and I admire that he doesn't take that route, it would draw some events/interviews into question, as always happens with a compilation. Furthermore, if he had dug any deeper on these characters, the story would have had a much smaller scope, and I don't believe I would have walked away with quite the overview of Venice that I gained from the reading.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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