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D. Bennett

Listener Since 2010

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Melvyn Bragg
    • Narrated By Robert Powell
    Overall
    (1934)
    Performance
    (727)
    Story
    (744)

    This is the remarkable story of the English language; from its beginnings as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its position today as a truly established global language. The Adventure of English is not only an enthralling story of power, religion, and trade, but also the story of people, and how their lives continue to change the extraordinary language that is English.

    Amazon Customer says: "Many Of Course monments"
    "Engaging but long winded"
    Overall

    This book gives an approachable survey of the evolution of English. I learned many things, such as the strong influence of French on English via the Norman Conquest. The author speaks from a British perspective. If you are not familiar with, say, the Battle of Hastings, you may want to consult Wikipedia as you go along.

    I grew bored during the second half of the book, and felt I had to slog to the finish line. This may be because, as the author moves forward in time, the history becomes more familiar. While it was interesting to learn about the language of the Wild West cowboys, I found this part less engaging because I already knew about them.

    The book could say as much as it does in about 2/3 of the space. The periodic rhapsodies to the power of English can wear thin after a while. Nonetheless, I don't regret reading it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Color Purple

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Alice Walker
    • Narrated By Alice Walker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1036)
    Performance
    (644)
    Story
    (635)

    Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 - when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate - and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister", a brutal man who terrorizes her.

    Lauren says: "Good Listen"
    "Unreliable Narrator"
    Overall

    This is a great, moving, meaningful story. I highly recommend it. However...

    Alice Walker is not a terrific narrator. Others are correct to note that she reads too slowly. I also felt she was not credible as the voice of Celie, the main character. Celie is poor and uneducated. She speaks with the grammar and cadence of a poor southern black woman. Embodying this voice is not an easy job, but Walker does not really pull it off. Throughout the recording, I was conscious that it was educated, literary Alice Walker speaking, not Celie.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • As You Like It

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    The Marlowe Society perform Shakespeare's comedy 'As You Like It' which follows its heroine Rosalind as she flees persecution in her uncle's court to find safety and eventually love in the Forest of Arden with her cousin Celia and court jester, Touchstone.

    D. Bennett says: "Hard to hear"
    "Hard to hear"
    Overall

    I downloaded this play to familiarize myself with it before attending a live performance. This is a recording of an actual performance. This format has its drawbacks in terms of familiarizing yourself with the play. As a listener, you get none of the signposts (e.g. the setting, whose on stage, etc.) that a live viewer or even a reader of the play would have. This version sounded as though it came from a common microphone, so that voices near the mike boomed, while those spoken away sounded faint. After a while, I gave up and read the printed version with much more success.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Slavomir Rawicz
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (363)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (152)

    Twenty-six-year-old cavalry officer Slavomir Rawicz was captured by the Red Army in 1939 during the German-Soviet partition of Poland and sent to the Siberian Gulag. In the spring of 1941, he escaped with six of his fellow prisoners, including one American. Thus began their astonishing trek to freedom.

    Roger says: "Good story, well read"
    "A little too straight-forward"
    Overall

    I enjoyed this book, but it wasn't my favorite. The narrator is falsely convicted of espionage and sent to a Siberian gulag. This prison seems relatively lax compared to Solzhenitsyn's world. The narrator escapes along with several others, and embarks on trek south past Lake Baikal, through Mongolia, Tibet, and into West Bengal. Along the way, the party encounters the sort of hardships that you might expect on such a journey. For such a harrowing adventure, there is relatively little suspense about the outcome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lolita

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1933)
    Performance
    (1089)
    Story
    (1082)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Among the great literary achievements of the 20th century, Lolita soars in audio thanks to the incomparable Jeremy Irons, bringing to life Nabokov’s ability to shock and enthrall more than 50 years after publication. Lolita became a cause celebre because of the erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Nabokov's masterpiece owes its stature not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story that is shocking in its beauty and tenderness.

    Jim says: "An Absolutely Gorgeous Audible Experience"
    "Creepy"
    Overall

    This is a masterful recording of a classic tragedy. Humbert Humbert, a pedophile, narrates his corruption of a little girl, and the consequences that follow. Lolita is a work of high literature, with great vocabulary such as akimbo, plangency, priapic, and nonce. Nabokov needlessly drags out the second half of the story, as Humbert and Lolita travel around the country. I found it helpful to read along in a printed copy of the book and to consult the Internet for a summary of the key plot points.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4756)
    Performance
    (2165)
    Story
    (2173)

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Audiophile says: "An Epic Medical Novel"
    "Moving"
    Overall

    This book follows the lives of twins, born in an Ethiopian hospital, whose mother (a nun) dies in childbirth, and whose father (a prestigious Western surgeon), flees once he realizes what has happened. The boys share an intense bond, but drift apart as they grow up. The protagonist, Marion, comes to the US to study surgery and confronts his father.

    I highly recommend this book. The story is plainspoken and moving, and the descriptions are vivid. Despite a slight lull in the plot midway through, the story builds to a touching and meaningful conclusion.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Pride and Prejudice

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Lindsay Duncan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (963)
    Performance
    (477)
    Story
    (489)

    Pride and Prejudice has delighted generations of readers with its unforgettable cast of characters, carefully choreographed plot, and a hugely entertaining view of the world and its absurdities. With the arrival of eligible young men in their neighbourhood, the lives of Mr and Mrs Bennet and their five daughters are turned inside out and upside down.

    Louise says: "excellent reading"
    "Be Careful"
    Overall

    This one is not available in enhanced format, which means that the audio quality is bit grainy and distorted.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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