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ZiggyZ

ratings
25
REVIEWS
22
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
72

  • Istanbul Passage: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Joseph Kanon
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (278)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (217)

    A neutral capital straddling Europe and Asia, Istanbul has spent the war as a magnet for refugees and spies. Even American businessman Leon Bauer has been drawn into this shadow world, doing undercover odd jobs and courier runs for the Allied war effort. Now, as the espionage community begins to pack up and an apprehensive city prepares for the grim realities of postwar life, he is given one more assignment, a routine job that goes fatally wrong, plunging him into a tangle of intrigue and moral confusion.

    Maine Colonial says: "What choice do you make when all options are bad?"
    "I'm a sucker for anything about Istanbul . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The prose was a bit turgid . . . . but it was a pretty good thriller.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like anything about Istanbul, and the protagonist was put in an interesting and difficult situation.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The reader adopted some very strange pronunciations for for the names: Leon was "Lay-OWN" and Alexei was "Alex-AY". It bugged me constantly. I didn't mind that he didn't try to fake women's voices. Overall the narration was fine and didn't particularly add or detract except for the weird names.


    Do you think Istanbul Passage needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, it was enough.


    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Malice: Kyoichiro Kaga, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Keigo Higashino
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (27)

    Acclaimed best-selling novelist Kunihiko Hidaka is found brutally murdered in his home on the night before he’s planning to leave Japan and relocate to Vancouver. His body is found in his office, a locked room, within his locked house, by his wife and his best friend, both of whom have rock solid alibis. Or so it seems.

    Louise says: "entertaining"
    "Innovative approach to the murder mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First book I've read by this author and I am definitely give him another try. Great innovative approach to a murder mystery! You learn right away whodunnit, but why is a long story full of interesting twists and turns.

    On the negative side, none of the characters were particularly likeable including Detective Kaga. I guess the murder victim was likeable, but he died in chapter 1, and we didn't find out what he was really like until the last couple of chapters.

    Japanese names are not very hard to pronounce, yet Mr. Woodman had trouble with them, and it was distracting. Overall I didn't really respond to his tone. Maybe it was his reading that made every character to seem to be somewhere on the scale running "meh" to "buffoonish" to "downright evil".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4112)
    Performance
    (2989)
    Story
    (3000)

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    Alan says: "Outstanding"
    "A wonderful book and a wonderful narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read A Prayer for Owen Meany many years ago, it must have been shortly after it was first published. What an experience, coming back to it after all this time, especially because I was born around the same time as Johnny and Owen and remember well my feelings about events of the times. It is a deep and wonderful story that everyone should read but especially liberal baby boomers.

    Joe Barrett does an amazing job with an extremely challenging set of characters. He captures Owen's weird voice probably as well as anyone could (and if he captured it any better no one would be able to stand to listen!) and also handles singing (male and female voices) and everything else.

    This audiobook has been a real joy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Monkey Wrench Gang

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Edward Abbey
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (136)

    Ex-Green Beret George Hayduke has returned from war to find his beloved southwestern desert threatened by industrial development. Joining with Bronx exile and feminist saboteur Bonnie Abzug, wilderness guide and outcast Mormon Seldom Seen Smith, and libertarian billboard torcher Doc Sarvis, M.D., Hayduke is ready to fight the power - taking on the strip miners, clear-cutters, and the highway, dam, and bridge builders who are threatening the natural habitat.

    Darryl says: "Excellent Westlake-ian caper"
    "One of my all-time favorites!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have loved this book since it was first published. I was in college in Colorado, and my friends and I used to go regularly to Utah to jeep and backpack in Canyonlands, Arches, etc. and also to Arizona. I have read it quite a few times, the first few times during trips to the canyon country, where we would do our best to trace the footsteps of the Gang. If you love the desert and have any anarchistic tendencies, The Monkey Wrench Gang is for you!

    The audiobook is pretty good. The narrator was OK but nothing special. He pronounced "pinyon" (a word that occurs many, many times) as "pin-YOWN". I think this might be one of the acceptable pronunciations, but I have never heard anyone in the Southwest say anything other than "PIN-yuhn" so I found it distracting. Maybe I'm being unfair, but I found it distracting. Hayduke never would have pronounced it that way, and I doubt that Ed Abbey would have either.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21442)
    Performance
    (16039)
    Story
    (16103)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Janice says: "Indescribable"
    "Great writing, great story, a bit too long."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is a great story. In places I just had to skip ahead a bit because it was so relentlessly comprehensive, and I just couldn't take any more detailed descriptions of horror and suffering. It ended a bit abruptly. The redemption and recovery must have had more to it. (Maybe I fell asleep during the last chapter?) It was epiphany - altar call - pour out the booze - and we're done. But a great story about a great man and well worth listening to. The narration never got into the way; I'm sorry that we have lost Mr. Herrmann, a terrific reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Magicians: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Lev Grossman
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3762)
    Performance
    (2916)
    Story
    (2936)

    Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he's still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.

    Charles says: "Surprising"
    "From mediocre to worse"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lacks the wonderful imagery of The Night Circus and the Harry Potter books. The characters just aren't very likeable.

    The story is OK until the cast graduates from magic college, then the protagonist turns into a total ass, and they all just sit around getting drunk and doing nothing useful or interesting for a long period of time, so that by the time they got to the magic land I hated them all!

    The best thing about this book is the narrator, who never gets in the way of the story. Too bad the story is so bad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Bruce Locke
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (397)
    Performance
    (360)
    Story
    (361)

    The new novel - a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan - from the internationally acclaimed author, his first since IQ84. Here he gives us the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages.

    Pamela J says: "We're all victims of our youth"
    "Great book, poor narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't understand it all, but the book really grabbed me, kept me awake three nights in a row until I finished it! (I usually listen for 30 minutes while I fall asleep, but I kept resetting the timer!)

    Like others, I found the phony accents distracting. And the narrator couldn't even consistently pronounce the protagonist's name, pronouncing it "Turuku" instead of "Tsuruku" 2/3 of the time. Also, if the Finnish husband was speaking "fluent Japanese," then why was he read with a goofy fake Scandanavian lilt?

    This makes me want to read / listen to more books by Murakami, just with a different narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Richard Flanagan
    • Narrated By David Atlas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (429)
    Performance
    (377)
    Story
    (372)

    >In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thailand - Burma Death Railway in 1943, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. His life is a daily struggle to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from pitiless beatings - until he receives a letter that will change him forever.

    Lee Chemel says: "Exquisite"
    "OMG thank goodness Audible has a return policy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't believe this novel won the Man Booker Prize, it has to be one of the most tiresome, depressive books I've tried to read in a long time. The descriptions of Dorrigo's feelings and relationships are endless, pointless, and incomprehensible! I found myself skipping ahead chapters just looking for more about the railway, but every chapter started with another endless, pointless, incoherent description! The monotonic reading didn't help.

    I couldn't even get halfway through before I deleted it.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Ari Shavit
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (312)
    Performance
    (270)
    Story
    (275)

    Not since Thomas L. Friedman's groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts.

    Chaim says: "Important book; unfortunate narration"
    "Wonderful book; hated the narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Everyone should read this book, it is really excellent and balanced. Read it, whichever side of the argument you are on.

    I am getting so sick of narrations with fake foreign accents and overly dramatic reading. I love great performances - for example Gerald Dickens narrating Charles Dickens. Just not guys adopting heavy fake accents. In this case it is really distracting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Americanah

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • Narrated By Adjoa Andoh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1079)
    Performance
    (966)
    Story
    (967)

    Anna-Bo-Banana says: "Dazzling, Romantic, and Witty"
    "Great story impossible for one person to read well"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't imagine anyone could do all these accents! The reader did the African voices well, but the Americans - especially the men - sounded like Munchkins. And no American would say "Mary Land" for Maryland. I found that distracting.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7520)
    Performance
    (6688)
    Story
    (6696)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Suzn F says: "Dreamlike Experience to Savor"
    "Fascinating story, wrong reader for this book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Absolutely the wrong reader - Marco and Celia are young adults, yet he makes Marco sound like an elderly man throughout the book. Celia no better. He isn't a bad reader, just not for these characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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