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Kyle

Seattle, WA, United States | Member Since 2008

224
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 45 reviews
  • 247 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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18

  • Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Joseph Conrad
    • Narrated By Kenneth Branagh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1225)
    Performance
    (988)
    Story
    (988)

    A Signature Performance: Kenneth Branagh plays this like a campfire ghost story, told by a haunted, slightly insane Marlow.

    Harold says: "From Civilization into Darkness"
    "Great narration"
    Overall

    This is where I wish we could give two scores, one for narration and one for writing.

    I was assigned The Heart of Darkness in high school and despised every minute of it. In fact, I have often referenced it as my most-abhorred book.

    As an adult, I wanted to give the book a second chance, and I figured if I didn't like it with Kenneth Branagh narrating it, there was no hope for reconciliation. I figured that four hours was short enough a time to devote to this experiment.

    Branagh gets an A+. The narration is impeccable. If you like this story, you're in for a treat.

    Unfortunately, I still can't stand the book. I didn't agree with Conrad's premise as a kid and nothing has changed in the interim.

    But, that's just me. If you like this story or want to experience it for the first time, this is in the upper echelon of audiobooks.

    36 of 42 people found this review helpful
  • Free: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

    • UNABRIDGED (15 mins)
    • By James Thurber
    • Narrated By Ben Stiller
    Overall
    (1896)
    Performance
    (1694)
    Story
    (1712)

    Mild-mannered Walter Mitty is a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. This well-known and beloved tale has launched its famous protagonist into the cultural lexicon, warranting his inclusion in English-language dictionaries and countless anthologies. Stiller's imaginative performance as Mitty is the perfect re-introduction to the classic character and a great preface to the upcoming film, for longtime fans and new listeners alike.

    Dave says: "We Only Live Once. Or Do We?"
    "Quality 15 minutes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ben Stiller's greatest gift is to show his depth without taking himself too seriously....it seems that when so many comedic actors decide to start being "serious", they turn mind-numbingly boring. This was a great combination of author-reader...the right blend of lightness and underlying melancholy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Serpent's Tooth: A Walt Longmire Mystery, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1167)
    Performance
    (1044)
    Story
    (1042)

    In this ninth installment in the award-winning and New York Times best-selling Walt Longmire mystery series, the Wyoming sheriff follows his cowboy code of ethics in a religious range war that strikes a little too close to home.

    Dave says: "Craig Johnson's best!"
    "Keeping it fresh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Craig Johnson is doing a good job of managing the difficult task of keeping a series fresh. This installment manages to keep the humor and poignancy alive without retreading old material.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13851)
    Performance
    (12224)
    Story
    (12252)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Cray-Cray!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Usually this kind of ending will really bother me and possibly ruin the book. I found this ending perfectly suitable for the characters. I think this book is a nice capsule from start to finish. Don't impose too many requirements on it and just go for the ride.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Casual Vacancy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By J. K. Rowling
    • Narrated By Tom Hollander
    Overall
    (2540)
    Performance
    (2223)
    Story
    (2235)

    When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

    Darwin8u says: "Pagford upon Avon"
    "Befuddled"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read a slew of reviews before launching into this book, so I knew what I was tackling.

    I don't know if I dislike it because it is good or if I dislike it because it is bad or somehow...both.

    While I definitely do not need or want stories to be puppies and unicorns, I am not sure what the point is of writing a story in which everyone is miserable.

    I've been pretty darn miserable during sad lengths of my life, but I still knew plenty of people who were fundamentally happy. I made it through the dark patches and proceeded to be pretty happy. If there are communities out there in which every single person is completely miserable, the citizens should consider moving!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Elegance of the Hedgehog

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Muriel Barbery
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat, Cassandra Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1830)
    Performance
    (852)
    Story
    (866)

    An enchanting New York Times and international best seller and award-winner about life, art, literature, philosophy, culture, class, privilege, and power, seen through the eyes of a 54-year-old French concierge and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl.

    Pyles says: "It surprised me"
    "Charming"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was at 5-stars all around for this book right up until the last 20 minutes, during which the author and I had a significant difference of opinions about what should happen next!

    The book is very charming, with great humor, characters, and narration. There are moments of Barbara Rosenblat's delivery that are both hilarious and timeless.

    Alas, the ending doesn't work for me, but the rest of the book was lovely.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Informationist: A Thriller: Free First Chapter

    • UNABRIDGED (37 mins)
    • By Taylor Stevens
    • Narrated By Hillary Huber
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (48)

    Vanessa “Michael” Munroe deals in information - expensive information - working for corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. Born to missionary parents in lawless central Africa, Munroe took up with an infamous gunrunner and his mercenary crew when she was just fourteen. As his protégé, she earned the respect of the jungle's most dangerous men, cultivating her own reputation for years until something sent her running. After almost a decade building a new life and lucrative career from her home base in Dallas, she's never looked back. Until now....

    Kyle says: "Not a good start"
    "Not a good start"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maybe it picks up, but I found the first chapter unlistenable. I mean...just BAD. Pretty surprised it is in the ToA! I do appreciate getting to try the first chapter, though. I tried it with other books in the ToA and have purchased them. In this case, it saved me some money!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Fuminori Nakamura, Satoko Izumo (translator)
    • Narrated By Charlie Thurston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (84)

    The Thief is a seasoned pickpocket. Anonymous in his tailored suit, he weaves in and out of Tokyo crowds, stealing wallets from strangers so smoothly that sometimes he doesn't even remember the snatch. Most people are just a blur to him; nameless faces from whom he chooses his victims. He has no family, no friends, no connections.... But he does have a past, which finally catches up with him when Ishikawa, his first partner, reappears in his life and offers him a job he can't refuse.

    Kyle says: "Well, it is short."
    "Well, it is short."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The good news is that this book is short, so if it doesn't float your boat, you haven't lost much time. I'm not sure that there is anything wrong with the book per se other than the fact I just don't care for the characters or the themes. I'm sure there are people out there who will respond positively to this book...I'm just not one of them!

    It does pick up quite a bit in the second half and I was on the verge of liking the book, but I found the ending unsatisfying.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Discovery of Witches

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8643)
    Performance
    (6212)
    Story
    (6248)

    Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.

    Barbara says: "A feast for the mind and imagination"
    "Oh dear..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...how to review this book.

    Despite the fact it draws far (far! Far! FAR!) too much on the Twilight novels, I liked the plot. I liked the characters. The narrator did a great job.

    That said, I hate to say anything derogatory about a new writer who clearly made such a big effort, but there were sections of dialogue that just made me wince.

    At the end of the book, I did look to see when the next book will be released. I look forward to it with some trepidation. Hopefully we'll be past the Twilight-ripoff, though the suggested plot developments make me equally nervous...

    If you didn't like (or would never read) the Twilight novels, I can pretty safely say that this series is objectively not for you. For those of us who have read a lot of the modern vampire canon....just brace yourself for the occasional epic dialogue fail.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Faust

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    • Narrated By Samuel West, Auriol Smith, Derek Jacobi, and others
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (85)

    Faust is one of the pillars of Western literature. This classic drama presents the story of the scholar Faust, tempted into a contract with the Devil in return for a life of sensuality and power. Enjoyment rules, until Faust’s emotions are stirred by a meeting with Gretchen, and the tragic outcome brings Part 1 to an end. Part 2, written much later in Goethe’s life, places his eponymous hero in a variety of unexpected circumstances, causing him to reflect on humanity and its attitudes to life and death.

    Kyle says: "Mixed Feelings"
    "Mixed Feelings"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unless you're familiar with Faust, before listening to this, I would 1) go to the Naxos Audiobooks website and read about this particular production of Faust.

    Part 1 has a clear narrative and the performance sparkles.

    Part 2, through no fault of the performers, is difficult to follow if you don't already know the story. I kept thinking I had missed something and kept rewinding. Eventually, I read the study guide posted above so I would have a clue what is going on with the story. The narrative of Part 2 is simply nowhere near as compelling as Part 1.

    The performers do a wonderful job. It is simply difficult for someone unfamiliar with Part 2 of Faust to follow along without some outside help.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Faithful Place: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3316)
    Performance
    (1742)
    Story
    (1743)

    New York Times best-selling author Tana French has won the prestigious Edgar, Barry, Macavity, and Anthony awards. As her third novel featuring the Dublin Murder Squad opens, 19-year-old Frank Mackey is waiting in vain for Rosie, who he’s supposed to run away to London with. But when she doesn’t show, Frank leaves Dublin without her—thinking never to return.

    Buffalogal says: "Incredible"
    "Long Live Tana French!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think using a different character for each novel in a series is brilliant. I enjoyed this as much as the first two. May she have a long, prolific life.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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