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Amy

KNOXVILLE, TN, United States | Member Since 2011

65
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 125 ratings
  • 533 titles in library
  • 77 purchased in 2014
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  • Twenty Years After

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (153)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (115)

    Twenty years later, time has weakened the resolve of the Musketeers and dispersed their loyalties. But treasons and stratagems still cry out for justice: civil war endangers the throne of France, while in England, Cromwell threatens to send Charles I to the scaffold. Dumas brings his immortal quartet out of retirement to cross swords with time, the malevolence of men, and the forces of history. But their greatest test is a titanic struggle with the son of Milady, who wears the face of Evil.

    Nathan says: "Dumas YES, Narrator NO"
    "Narrator drags down a good book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Twenty Years After is a worthy successor to The Three Musketeers, unusual for a sequel. Dumas is excellent in aging and maturing the characters for the better or the worse based on the trajectory of the personality of each. The caliber of the books in the series varies. but the first 2 are great adventure stories.

    However, the narrator is not up to the material. His monotone detracts both in the narrative & the personification of characters. In dialog, monotone is not the only problem. Almost all lines are delivered as if the character was condescending, bored or domineering. There is virtually no distinction between characters. I would recommend this rendition of Twenty Years After only to those who are willing to endure the narrator in order to hear the story.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Bag of Bones

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2629)
    Performance
    (1219)
    Story
    (1226)

    Even four years after the sudden death of his wife, best selling novelist Mike Noonan can't stop grieving, nor can he return to his writing. He moves into his isolated house by the lake, which becomes the site of ghostly visitations, ever-escalating nightmares, and the sudden recovery of his writing ability. What are the forces that have been unleashed here - and what do they want of Mike Noonan?

    Amazon Customer says: "My Favorite King Novel"
    "There's so much in there"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If I see the word "ghost" in a book summary, I stop there & move on. Don't know why I got this one-- maybe just because I like Stephen King. Anyway, it turns out, it's not about ghosts & poltergeists. but about how the past lives on in families & communities until somebody faces up to it. Also that it can't be done alone. But there is so much more there, getting deeper as the story moves on. There are thoughts and truths that don't immediately impact the story but King interweaves them in a way that strengthens it -- they aren't just appendages used to propound some idea... he makes them part of the whole.

    Lol, there are so many reviews that I doubt anybody will see this one at the bottom of the pile, but I just had to talk about it a little :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Brothers Karamazov

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Narrated By Walter Covell
    Overall
    (248)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (99)

    Dostoevsky studied human nature with passion and precision. He plumbed the depths and never winced at what he found, even when it was beyond his understanding. This extraordinary novel is a recital of his findings, told in the story of four brothers: Dimitri, pleasure-seeking, impatient, unruly; Ivan, brilliant and morose; Alyosha, gentle, loving, honest; and the illegitimate Smerdyakov, sly, silent, cruel. What give this story its dramatic grip is the part these brothers play in their father's murder.

    Paul Z. says: "This book is one of the reasons I joined Audible!"
    "Great book, poor presentation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dear Audible, Please give us a new version with a better narrator! I'll be first in line...

    I rated this recording over a year ago & in listening again, am sorry I gave the performance 3 stars... should be 2 at most... maybe 1.

    I'm a major Dostoevsky fan & I'd put this book in his top 3. Other reviewers have gone into the story details, so I'm going to focus on recording quality. Walter Covell was a poor choice for narrator. There is little if any distinction between the characters' voices & their voices often switched as the story went along. Dialogs are a mash up. I had to follow along with the book to determine who was talking to who(m).

    Then there's the technical quality, which continually alternates between bad and worse. It often sounds like a recording from a 1940's radio broadcast.

    The sample for the other unabridged recording sounded even less appealing, so I went with this one. Best to read the book & wait for a new recording with a better narrator

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Donnie Eichar
    • Narrated By Donnie Eichar
    Overall
    (243)
    Performance
    (227)
    Story
    (225)

    In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.

    Bruce says: "Fascinating and compassionate investigation"
    "Chilling adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A challenging student adventure gone wrong... Several reviewers commented that they were disappointed by the author's final explanation. I found it fascinating-- a scenario developed by looking beyond existing theories with fresh eyes

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cat's Guide to Human Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (44 mins)
    • By Xina Marie Uhl
    • Narrated By Xina Marie Uhl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    At last, the mysteries of humans' strange habits and bizarre desires are revealed in this clever, timely guide for the modern cat. Discover answers to timeless feline questions such as: Why does my human refuse to groom herself with her tongue? For decades felines have been meowing for such a guidebook - don't deny them any longer.

    Amy says: "Do *not* let your cat listen"
    "Do *not* let your cat listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like the audio sample, you'll probably like this book, as it continues in much the same vein. There are plenty of LOL moments... even non-cat people may break a smile. While I listened to it in one sitting, I recommend breaking it into a couple of sessions to keep the effect of the humor fresh.

    The author isn't the best all-time reader, but her dry, dead-pan delivery is perfectly suited to her book.

    (The price is too low to use up a credit... just charge it)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • White Fire: Agent Pendergast, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1997)
    Performance
    (1773)
    Story
    (1788)

    Special Agent Pendergast arrives at an exclusive Colorado ski resort to rescue his protégée, Corrie Swanson, from serious trouble with the law. His sudden appearance coincides with the first attack of a murderous arsonist who - with brutal precision - begins burning down multimillion-dollar mansions with the families locked inside. After springing Corrie from jail, Pendergast learns she made a discovery while examining the bones of several miners who were killed 150 years earlier by a rogue grizzly bear.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Grand Slam Tale of Terror"
    "I didn't want to listen..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...because then it would be over. I bought White Fire about 3 weeks ago & couldn't get myself to turn it on-- I knew I'd listen straight through & then would have to endure Pendergast withdrawals (again). I love how Preston/Child have developed Cory over several books, growing her without taming her. Pendergast grows a bit himself. And the ending... well, as Bill Smithback once quoted, "God bless us every one"

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: The Giants of Russian Literature: Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Liza Knapp
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (27)

    Russian literature of the 19th century is among the richest, most profound, and most human traditions in the world. This course explores this tradition by focusing on four giants: Ivan Turgenev, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy, and Anton Chekhov. Their works had an enormous impact on Russian understanding of the human condition.

    peter says: "beautifully wrought"
    "Comprehensive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The lecturer does an excellent job of describing the context of the works in several ways that enrich the readers' understanding of literature by the featured authors. She describes the lives of the authors and the historical events occurring in the lives of each. In discussing their works, she shows how various sections are influenced or determined by the time written, the culture, religion, and by other literature, both Russian and European. It has left me wanting to read or reread the literature in light of what she has taught.

    The lecturer appears to be reading the talks rather than giving live lectures but it doesn't detract from the presentation. As I have seen in other audio books, she occasionally repeats a sentence she just said. I've always thought readers do these repetitions because they are in some way dissatisfied with how they read certain sentences & they think the first attempt will be edited out... (just MHO- I don't really know the reason.)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church --- and How It Died

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Philip Jenkins
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    The Lost History of Christianity will change how we understand Christian and world history. Leading religion scholar Philip Jenkins reveals a vast Christian world to the east of the Roman Empire and how the earliest, most influential churches of the East---those that had the closest link to Jesus and the early church---died. In this paradigm-shifting book, Jenkins recovers a lost history, showing how the center of Christianity for centuries used to be the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, extending as far as China.

    Mike says: "An Amazing look at a Forgotten History"
    "Worthwhile with caveats"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My reaction to this book is mixed. The author spends an inordinate amount of space stating & restating that a major part of Christian history has been ignored... the history of the eastern church and its theology. I began to wonder if he ever was going to get around to that history and those beliefs. IMHO, much of the first & second chapters could be omitted. For me, the meat of the book begins at chapter 3 (approx 2 hr 45 min on the timer).

    I did learn a great deal of fascinating information-- I'd often wondered about Coptic and Syriac Christianity, both of which get cursory treatment in most church histories. They tend to be dismissed as heresy, apparently unworthy of further discussion for that reason. I had read that eastern Christian missionaries had gone as far as India & China long before the West began to visit Asia; however, I didn't realize that sizable eastern Christian communities had developed in the East.

    Up front, what you should know is that the author doesn't write as a historian, ie there is a great deal of commentary and interpretation interspersed with the facts. If you are expecting an "objective" history, look elsewhere (objective in quotes because true objectivity is impossible in the real world). The author's judgments change depending on the time & circumstances discussed-- the bias isn't consistent one way or the other. He is generally negative about the later Muslim treatment of eastern Christians but less so about the earlier years.

    The narrator is OK but not riveting. On the other hand, I'm not sure how one could render the text less prosaically.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    Overall
    (866)
    Performance
    (766)
    Story
    (767)

    In an ancient tunnel underneath New York City a charnel house is discovered. Inside are 36 bodies all murdered and mutilated more than a century ago. While FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, identical killings start to terrorize the city. The nightmare has begun. Again.

    Nancy says: "Enjoyable, but not my favorite"
    "Quintessential Pendergast"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Odd that The Cabinet of Curiosities, the 3rd book in the Pendergast series, wasn't released in audio until after #11... now the only missing audio is Still Life with Crows (#4). The Cabinet of Curiosities is my favorite of the series. I read it a while back but, to me, the Pendergast books are more gripping in audio. Also hearing the visuals makes them more vivid. The Cabinet of Curiosities is not lacking in descriptions of the cubbyholes of the imagination.

    For a while I was put off by Jonathan Marosz's narration because of his Pendergast. I prefer the more refined & aristocratic Louisiana accent of Rene Auberjonois, my favorite Pendergast narrator. Jonathan Marosz also has a deeper voice. However the story is enthralling, and at some point I stopped noticing the things that bothered me at first. Anyway, it's just a matter of taste.

    I definitely recommend this book, even if you read it in the past.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Extraction

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 7 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (549)
    Performance
    (485)
    Story
    (476)

    From number-one New York Times best-selling authors Preston & Child, an all-new short story featuring Agent Pendergast, available only as an ebook and audio download. In New Orleans' French Quarter, the Tooth Fairy isn't a benevolent sprite who slips money under your pillow at night.... He's a mysterious old recluse who must be appeased with teeth - lest he extract retribution. When young Diogenes Pendergast loses a tooth, however, his skeptical older brother Aloysius is determined to put the legend to the test...with dire consequences.

    Janels says: "Great Pendergast short story, don't use a credit"
    "Imagine"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Imagine sitting around a campfire and Pendergast tells a story...

    Rene Auberjonois always does an awesome Pendergast

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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