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John R Williford

Member Since 2004

45
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 545 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • Beloved

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Toni Morrison
    • Narrated By Toni Morrison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (487)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (251)

    Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but 18 years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

    John R Williford says: "Author-read Books"
    "Author-read Books"
    Overall

    I have just started listening to this book, and have decided that I will have to buy a printed copy and read its text concurrently while listening in order to make it to the end. This is the third audiobook I have purchased which is read aloud by its author, and it will be the last. I cannot understand Ms Morrison's pronunciation of many of the words. There is no differentiation in voice, so one doesn't know what character is talking or thinking. There are no pauses between the paragraphs or shifts in the time periods. [Contrast the amateurish reading of Beloved with the professionally read "The Sound and The Fury"--an even more diffcult book to follow.] Frankly, Ms Morrison is not a professional reader and subscribers are cautioned to listen to the sample [which I did not] before purchasing this audiobook. Unfortunately, Beloved is only available as an audiobook read by Ms Morrison. So readers of this review don't think I am picking on Toni Morrison, Charles Frazier's self-read of Cold Mountain suffers from the same deficiencies. Does any one know why the producers of audiobooks allow authors to read their own books? I will guess that it all has to do with retaining copyrights and royalties by the author and the author's agent.

    32 of 34 people found this review helpful
  • Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1931)
    Performance
    (1590)
    Story
    (1606)

    The tsunami of cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering entire societies the chance to reveal aspects of their characters they could not normally afford to indulge. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a pinata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.

    Andy says: "we may not be the most stupid kids on the planet"
    "Good but not The Big Short"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This most recent Michael Lewis book is a lighter, more anecdotal read about governments going bust in the aftermath of the subprime financial meltdown. Almost has a Bill Bryson air to it. I give it four stars--but even with that rating, Boomerang pales because The Big Short is truly a great, great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Passage to India

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By E.M. Forster
    • Narrated By Sam Dastor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (205)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (60)

    What really happened in the Marabar caves? Adela Quested arrives in Chandrapore, India, prepared to marry a British magistrate who exemplifies the narrow-minded, anti-Indian projudices of the imperial bureaucracy. But she soon meets the charming and mercurial Dr. Aziz, who offers to show her the "real" India. An expedition to the famed Marabar caves ends in explosive accusations and a schism that foreshadows the eventual end of British rule in India.

    Benedict says: "What a pleasant surprise"
    "Passage to India read by Dastor"
    Overall

    Excellent dialogue narration. The narrator's ability to re-cast his voice leaves the reader with no doubt which Forster character is speaking and thus enhances the narrative flow of one of the early 20th century's great British novels.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Pickwick Papers, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (48)

    Meet Mr. Samuel Pickwick, luminous presence, general chairman and member of the Pickwick Club, an organization devoted to meeting good friends, sharing good stories and spreading good cheer. Join Mr. Pickwick and his friends Mr. Snodgrass, Mr. Jingle and all the rest in Part One of their adventures, which include: the first day's journey, an old-fashioned card party, the action of Bardell against Pickwick, and Christmas.

    Amazon Customer says: "Pickwick Papers"
    "Pickwick Papers read by Tull"
    Overall

    After thoroughly enjoying Patrick Tull's readings of the Aubrey-Maturin series, I decided to listen to his rendition of Dickens' most humorous novel. Tull is superb, breathing life and wit into the naively pretentious members of the Pickwick Club. His sixth sense for the timing and enunciation of Victorian prose is such that one will not regret subscribing to every 19th century British classic he reads.

    A few words of technical caution. The conversion of this reading from Format 1 to Format 2, while understandable, has the tonal quality of listening to a Winston Churchill WWII speech recorded from an old tubular RCA home radio.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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