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Amy

KNOXVILLE, TN, United States | Member Since 2011

ratings
98
REVIEWS
14
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
52

  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Robert Louis Stevenson
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (155)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (119)

    This is the disturbing tale of the dual personality of Dr. Jekyll, a physician. A generous and philanthropic man, he is preoccupied with the problems of good and evil and with the possibility of separating them into distinct personalities. He develops a drug that transforms him into the demonic Mr. Hyde, in whose person he exhausts all the latent evil in his nature.

    Tad Davis says: "The best one yet"
    "I suggest the 'enhanced' format"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    On my PC, the audio was fuzzy or muffled so I downloaded the enhanced format. Not only was the sound quality improved, but "enhanced" made it possible to hear the nuances of Martin Jarvis's expressive reading. A so-so performance suddenly became quite good.

    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
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    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
    (1723)
    Performance
    (1537)
    Story
    (1545)

    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
    (46)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    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
    (45)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    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
  • Twenty Years After

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (139)
    Performance
    (98)
    Story
    (103)

    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
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    Overall
    (725)
    Performance
    (635)
    Story
    (636)

    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
    (465)
    Performance
    (407)
    Story
    (400)

    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
  • All Quiet on the Western Front

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erich Maria Remarque
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (568)
    Performance
    (479)
    Story
    (486)

    Paul Bäumer is just 19 years old when he and his classmates enlist. They are Germany’s Iron Youth who enter the war with high ideals and leave it disillusioned or dead. As Paul struggles with the realities of the man he has become, and the world to which he must return, he is led like a ghost of his former self into the war’s final hours. All Quiet is one of the greatest war novels of all time, an eloquent expression of the futility, hopelessness and irreparable losses of war.

    Darwin8u says: "Escapes the Boundaries of Time and Place"
    "It's about much more than war"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    All Quiet on the Western Front reaches much farther than the battlefield and stretches to ages well beyond youth. There is much about the nature of life and the loneliness that comes with understanding that no one can truly know the depths of our experiences... also, how do we live during times when all actions are futile, when the world becomes a prison-- such situations and realizations occur again and again through life, and the book intensifies this understanding because it takes place in horrific circumstances.

    It's easy to see why the Nazis banned and burned the book. Not many books are so eloquently anti-war, both in overt statements and also structured into the story. Hitler didn't want citizens or soldiers to know the truth of war, or be exposed to questioning of authority and breeches of discipline.

    I don't know German, but this translation is often poetic. The excellent narrator senses and brings out the beauty of such passages.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Two Graves

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1924)
    Performance
    (1685)
    Story
    (1690)

    After his wife, Helen, is brazenly abducted before his eyes, Special Agent Pendergast furiously pursues the kidnappers, chasing them across the country and into Mexico. But then, things go terribly, tragically wrong; the kidnappers escape; and a shattered Pendergast retreats to his New York apartment and shuts out the world. But when a string of bizarre murders erupts across several Manhattan hotels, NYPD Lieutenant D'Agosta asks his friend Pendergast for help.

    G. House Sr. says: "Whiplash from the emotional rollercaster"
    "Worth the wait"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At last the skeins of the Helen trilogy come together. Here are some assorted impressions:

    Two Graves verges on too much in one book. It definitely is not a stand-alone book, but needs the backdrop of Fever Dream and Cold Vengeance for completion. Someone who has not read those first books of the trilogy could follow the story but would miss much of the significance of relationships & events.

    For those who have read Fever Dream and Cold Vengeance, I don't think it's a spoiler to mention that a major feature of Two Graves is an isolated Nazi organization/colony upholding WWII traditions. I bring up this plot device because I quickly became worried, as it has become hackneyed over the years & I was concerned that the book would degenerate into a worn-out tale. Should have relied on Lincoln/Child to put in new twists that avoid that pitfall.

    It's impossible to become a complacent reader because Lincoln/Child have a history of killing off our old friends integral to several earlier books as well as likable new characters (innocent or not). As always, the only certainty is that Pendergast will be there at the end.

    All the Pendergast books have side stories, but parts of this one wander a bit far from the overall story line (but maybe my memory is fuzzy on this point about the earlier books).

    Although much becomes clear in Two Graves, there are enough loose ends to ensure that there's more Pendergast to come...

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

    • UNABRIDGED (47 mins)
    • By Arthur Conan Doyle
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    Overall
    (5507)
    Performance
    (4728)
    Story
    (4738)

    The season of gift-giving is here, and this year we've got something special for our members: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Yuletide whodunit "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle". In this holiday-themed short story, Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Dr. Watson, follow the trail of a lost hat and a Christmas goose through the streets of London and into a rapidly expanding mystery.

    Katheryne says: "Superb! Love Alan Cumming"
    "Well done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Excellent alternative to the timeworn holiday tales. Alan Cumming is the perfect narrator for this story. Thanks for the Christmas present, Audible

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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