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brenty

United States | Member Since 2008

51
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 53 reviews
  • 482 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2014
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  • My Soul to Lose

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 48 mins)
    • By Rachel Vincent
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1413)
    Performance
    (807)
    Story
    (809)

    It was supposed to be a fun day, shopping at the mall with her best friend. Then the panic attack started and Kaylee Cavanaugh finds herself screaming, unable to stop. Her secret fears are exposed, and it's the worst day of her life....Until she wakes up in the psychiatric unit. She tries to convince everyone she's fine--despite the shadows she sees forming around another patient and the urge to scream which comes burbling up again and again.

    RaisinNut says: "It gave me a creepy Twilight Zone feeling..."
    "A beautifully crafted vignette!"
    Overall

    I'm not sure what other reviewers were expecting when they downloaded this free, two hour short story. I began listening with no expectations whatsoever, without even having read the description (free is free, after all) and was enrapt, start to finish.

    For such a short piece, a great deal of care goes into developing the main character and her relationships with those close to her. The author doesn't beat you over the head with it, but uses a delicate touch, which may be unsatisfying for certain types of people.

    This is an absorbing, brilliantly executed portrait of a teenage girl in situation that would be, for anyone, strange to say the least. To complain that she seemed 'whiny' is to miss the point entirely -- a failure of imagination, at best. In her shoes, the rest of us would likely fare as well.

    Much to my delight, this is merely a prologue of sorts to an ongoing series by the author, and I will be purchasing subsequent books on the authority of this work alone.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Julius Caesar

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Richard Dreyfuss, JoBeth Williams, Kelsey Grammer, and others
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    The skies over ancient Rome blaze with terrifying portents, and soothsayers warn Julius Caesar of approaching doom. As conspiracy swirls through the city, Shakespeare explores the deep repercussions of political murder on the human heart. A classic tale of duplicity, betrayal and murder, masterfully performed by an all-star, all-American cast in this BBC co-production.

    Daniel says: "Hard to understand using #4 Audio"
    "Devious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    John de Lancie as Cassius is pure gold. I knew I recognized the voice, such a compelling performance. I had to look the credits up on the L.A. Theatre Works web site afterward to be sure. He really stole the show.

    The audio is definitely on the quiet side and hard to make out at times, what with all the scheming at all. But the great ensemble cast really brings this great play to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Green Mile

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (1565)
    Performance
    (649)
    Story
    (652)

    At Cold Mountain Penitentiary, the convicted killers on E Block await their turn to walk the Green Mile and keep a date with the electric chair. Paul Edgecombe has seen his share of oddities in his years working as a guard on the Mile, but he's never met anyone like John Coffey.

    Orita says: "Both the book and the reader were just plain great"
    "Piercing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't have a lot to say about this book. I saw the movie years ago, thought it was great, but had mostly forgotten it. I'm going to have to revisit the movie now to compare and contrast.

    This book didn't change my life or anything, but it held my interest incredibly well and was -- at the risk of sounding pithy -- incredibly touching and inspiring in a way that is just uncommon enough to be special.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Murder in the Yoga Store: The True Story of the Lululemon Killing

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Ross Range
    • Narrated By Jesse Einstein
    Overall
    (309)
    Performance
    (277)
    Story
    (276)

    Murder In The Yoga Store is the true story of the brutal killing of a beautiful young woman at a chic Lululemon yoga-wear shop. The grisly murder was committed on a pleasant Friday night in upscale Bethesda, Maryland, a leafy suburb of Washington, D.C. In this riveting narrative by veteran journalist Peter Ross Range, the author for the first time brings together the tale of what really happened in the yoga store murder.

    Ullanta says: "Straightforward, and, in the end, unnecessary."
    "Short and not even remotely sweet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the narration was a bit grating, this true story about an almost fictitiously horrific crime was gripping. I had to listen all the way through, start to finish, just to find out how it all ended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Handmaid's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Claire Danes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2868)
    Performance
    (2582)
    Story
    (2593)

    Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....

    Melinda says: "Not So Far-Fetched -- Still Chilling"
    "Surreal yet familiar"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Incredibly well written, but I am not sure I would have enjoyed this book as much without the fantastic narration.

    With the feel of "The Road" meets "1984" meets "Children of Men" (all of which I enjoyed), this was more a journal than it was a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

    I'm not sure I would read this again, but I am glad that I did. Well worth my time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kindred

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Octavia E. Butler
    • Narrated By Kim Staunton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (485)
    Performance
    (249)
    Story
    (247)

    Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes she's been given a challenge.

    Kirsten says: "Octavia is awesome!!"
    "Learning the hard way"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For those of us who have never known the sorrows of the Old South -- and that's, well, all of us -- this book gives us a bitter taste.

    The characters, setting, and ideas explored in this book are illuminating. The author and narrator make this surreal journey terrifyingly real; and while I am not sure that I see myself reading this book again, it has done its dark duty and left its mark in the best way possible.

    My only regret is that I read this after King's 11-22-63. Had the reverse been true, my expectations for a modern time travel novel wouldn't have been so unfairly high and I could have enjoyed this book even more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Shelters of Stone: Earth's Children, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Jean M. Auel
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (672)
    Performance
    (397)
    Story
    (406)

    After their epic journey across Europe, Ayla and Jondalar have reached his home, the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii, the old stone-age settlement in the region known today as southwest France. Jondalar's family greet him warmly, but they are initially wary of the beautiful young woman he has brought back, with her strange accent and her tame wolf and horses.

    Kristi says: "The accent...please!"
    "Different, but still good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a transitional book, and both my wife and I are excited to listen to the next book.

    But it started out rocky. After listening to the rest of the series, the accent which the narrator (whom I love) adopts for Ayla was incredibly jarring for probably the first half of the book. Both my wife and I found it distracting, to say the least, even if there was a good reason for it (to demonstrate how different she really sounded from other people).

    The good news is that we got used to it and really enjoyed the book -- so much so that my wife complained aloud when it was finished.

    I think everyone who reads this (incredibly rewarding and diverse) series will have different favourites. And while this is not at the top of my list, it was a great read and a worthy addition to an even greater series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The War of the Worlds (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (59 mins)
    • By Mercury Theatre on the Air
    • Narrated By Orson Welles
    Overall
    (275)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (172)

    One of the most memorable programs in broadcast history, the Halloween Eve 1938 broadcast of The War of the Worlds set off a nationwide panic that's almost unimaginable today. Presented by the Mercury Theatre on the Air and its creatve genius, Orson Welles, the drama based on H.G. Wells' classic novel tells the story of a Martian invasion of Earth.

    Sandy says: "Classic"
    "Classic found footage radio"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Before Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity there was the Mercury Theatre production of War of the Worlds.

    Never mind being startled and scared by things that go bump in the night after watching a horror movie; this broadcast (and others like it) inspired actual widespread panic in those who missed the part at the beginning about it being a work of fiction. Seriously.

    Accept no substitutions. Listen to this classic radio drama and then check out the Radiolab show about it (Google is your friend). You'll be glad you did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lying

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 15 mins)
    • By Sam Harris
    • Narrated By Sam Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (498)
    Performance
    (441)
    Story
    (434)

    As it was in Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, and Othello, so it is in life. Most forms of private vice and public evil are kindled and sustained by lies. Acts of adultery and other personal betrayals, financial fraud, government corruption - even murder and genocide - generally require an additional moral defect: a willingness to lie. In Lying, bestselling author and neuroscientist Sam Harris argues that we can radically simplify our lives and improve society by merely telling the truth in situations where others often lie.

    Douglas says: ""Telling The Truth..."
    "Required reading for human beings"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You have to train and pass a test to drive a car. Why? Because we're living in a society, and without some agreement on a basic set of rules, chaos ensues and people get hurt. It's a communication problem. Similarly, we all could benefit from everyone being on the same page in regard interpersonal communication.

    Just as the fact that you or your associates may be reckless drivers does not invalidate the virtue of traffic laws, the prevalence of liars does not negate the benefits of integrity.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (16030)
    Performance
    (14188)
    Story
    (14135)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Perfect. Period."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't think of a book that is better, start to finish.

    That isn't to say that there aren't plenty others that match this book's storytelling, characterization, plotting, research, passion, or scope (not to mention the brilliant narration), but I have found none that accomplish all of these so completely.

    I also wouldn't describe any of King's other books (many of which I love) as beautiful, but this really is a thing of beauty -- a work of art. Don't get me wrong: King is a great writer, but much of his work seems uneven; this book is a seamless masterpiece.

    If you're like me and were put off by the hubris of any author tackling such sensational subject matter, you owe it to yourself to suspend your skepticism and give this book a chance.

    Or not! Remain skeptical and just start listening, and you might find yourself enrapt in spite of yourself. I know I did.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Alfred Lansing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1662)
    Performance
    (1044)
    Story
    (1047)

    In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

    Thomas says: "The best book I've had"
    "Methodical and merciless"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book, but it took me a bit. I only say that because I found "Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World" by Jennifer Armstrong to be more engrossing.

    This is a very comprehensive account of the expedition ("Shipwreck" is more cinematic and prosaic, where this book is more of a documentary), and it was great to get more in depth with the true tale of an incredible expedition.

    My only criticism is that the book is a bit on the dry side (which, as a historical account, can be expected to some extent), but the narration was wonderful and managed to really pull me in in spite of the text itself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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