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Pitman, NJ, United States | Member Since 2008

  • 13 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2015

  • Best American Humorous Short Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Caroline M.S. Kirkland, and others
    • Narrated By Stephanye Dussud
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Eighteen of the very best American short stories, each a classic in its own right. Stories include "The Little Frenchman and his Water Lots", by George Pope Morris; "The Angel of the Odd", by Edgar Allan Poe; "The Schoolmasters’s Progress", by Caroline M.S. Kirkland; "The Watkinson Evening", by Eliza Leslie; "Titbottom’s Spectacles", by George William Curtis; "My Double and "How He Undid Me", by Edward Everett Hale; "A Visit to the Asylum for Aged and Decayed Punsters", by Oliver Wendell; and more.

    George says: "Unamused"
    "Outdated rip off"

    Though some of these storiesay be classics they certainly aren't America's best humor. Infact some of the stories like "titbottoms Spectacles" are down right sad. Though the title promised humor. ( it was about a man who could see the true nature of people with some special eye glasses.).
    Other stories were down right offensive, but not in a funny way. Like "Giddeon," a story about a former slave who becomes a new york performer, only to ruaway back south where he abducts a young girl to make her his wife.
    In general these stories are to outdated too outdated and contextual to be really funny. For example "the callers" is about the nervous trials two young boys face while attempting to "call" on some neighbor girls.
    The only really good stories in this collection were those by Mark Twain and O'Henry. You are much better off buying a collection of there stories and skipping this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Weiser Field Guide to Witches: From Hexes to Hermione Granger, from Salem to the Land of Oz

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Judika Illes
    • Narrated By Arika Escalona
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A compendium of witches through the ages, from earliest prehistory to some of the most significant modern practitioners, The Weiser Field Guide to Witches explores who, and what, a witch is. From such famed historical legends as Aleister Crowley, Marie Laveau, and Elizabeth Báthory to the popular literary and cinematic figures Harry Potter and the Wicked Witch of the West, Illes offers a complete range of the history of witches. Included also are the sacred - sis, Hekate, Aradia - and the profane - the Salem Witch Trials and The Burning Times.

    Laura says: "Rapid Reading"
    "Good, breif, and biased"

    Trudy privation though very short summaries. This was definitely a popular reader it did not go into historical or academic detail. Fact it is moved that he supernatural things were true and gave credence to many mythical people and creatures.
    But well read and a good introduction book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bigipedia: The Complete Series 1

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 48 mins)
    • By Pozzitive Productions
    • Narrated By Neil Edmond, Nick Doody, Matt Kirshen, and others

    WARNING: some listeners may find this content offensive. Welcome to Bigipedia - the omniscient friend you know from your computer and laser watch takes over for 30 minutes in a unique experiment in broadwebcasting. Bigipedia - a world of knowledge at your fingertips brought direct to your ears unless you're listening online, in which case it's been brought from your ears back to your fingertips and thence, into your ears again.

    Die Falknerin says: "Hivemind: why would you dissent?"
    "Spectacular! Hilarious! Audio Crack!"
    Would you listen to Bigipedia again? Why?

    This was literallly one of the funniest things I programs/books/media I have ever listened too. It is very funny and very fast paced so I will have to listen to it a few times in order to squeeze every drop of comedic goo out of it.
    Bigipedia is a combination of Monty Python, Hitch Hiker's guide to the Galaxy and Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert, satire all aimed at our moder media experience and presented in a very creative and unique radio format! You will be a poorer person if you DON'T listen to this book. ITS THAT GOOD!

    ps. I am not being paid for this review, though I probably should be!

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bigipedia?

    The snakes, the wine, and the never sleeping, never blinking, omniscient servant that is bigipedia.

    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    Wonderful! Enthusiastic! and Diverse!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Vatican's Exorcists: Driving Out the Devil in the 21st Century

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Tracy Wilkinson
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It is one of the most ancient, arcane, and to some, embarrassing rites of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet the number of priests in Italy trained as exorcists has risen tenfold over the past decade - and they are still unable to keep up with the skyrocketing demand for their services. Award-winning foreign correspondent Tracy Wilkinson reveals that "devil detox", as some call it, is a booming industry, complete with motivational speakers, international conventions, and plenty of controversy.

    Michelle Le says: "Makes a sham of the priesthood and beliefs."
    "Best Broad and Balanced Audio book out there!"
    What did you love best about The Vatican's Exorcists?

    The author gave you a variety of perspectives profiling different types of exorcists from the reluctant, to the conservative, to the charismatic. She also covers the criminal, psychological, and eccelesiastical dimensions of Catholic Exorcism. She is obviously a skeptic herself and possibly non-Catholic, but she is careful to let the Exorcists and possesed people speak for themselves. (like a true Journalist should.) I STRONGLY DISAGREE with the other reviewer who says this book disparages priests, and I would point out that the other reviewer recommends a book by Father Amoreth who is a top exorcist and extremely biased!
    This book was a very fun and interesting read. It included several case studies, interesting scenes, and chilling descriptions. At the same time it gave a segnificant amount of detailed information so that I walked away feeling entertained and informed; a rare combination! I only wish that this book was longer!

    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    I loved the case studies, profiles, and biographies of different priests, patients, and officials. And of course the vivid exorcism scenes, which the narrator read in just the right tenner of drama without over doing it.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Without Words: A Fable of Medieval Magic

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Avi
    • Narrated By John Curliss
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Hiding from a cadaverous stalker in 1046 England, Thorston races to unleash the magical charms from the diabolical Book Without Words. Suddenly, with success almost in his grasp, he slumps to the floor, muttering cryptic words. Newbery Award-winning author Avi adds this jewel to his many literary gems.

    Murphy says: "You cannot beat an Avi book"
    "Not what I expected"
    Would you try another book from Avi and/or John Curliss?


    What could Avi have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The world he created was to small and uninteresting, and the charecters were to stereotpical and flat. They didn't go anywhere.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    He Did teach me a latin phrase through constant (too much) repetition "Dura Lex, said Lex" the Law is hard but it is the law.

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    mild amusement and disappointment

    Any additional comments?

    From the description of a story set in 1048 England, I expected a historically based fantasy novel. Instead this book could have been set at any time or place. There was little description of the town, kingdom, and country. Though "God" was mentioned a lot by the characters, and one of the characters was a monk, there was no presence of Medieval Christianity or any religious system at all. In fact I think the "saints" may have been made up. Similarly, the "black" magic lacked an origin and explanation.
    The characters similarly lacked backstory and complexity. The badies were bad the goodie was good, the orphan was weak and the annoying kid was annoying, and they all wanted gold, even though there was no proof or evidence of existing gold from page one.
    I'm not trying to be nit-picky, but many of the story elements that moved the plot were just stupid and went against common sense. Forexample, the Reeve/Policeman was planning on storming the house executing the occupants, and stealing their gold from day one, but he never decides to force his way in, until 3 days later when the goodguys have escaped, or when the goodguys search the house for gold they ignore the mysterious locked chests in the basement. Overall it read like a rough draft with an amusing plot and avenues for sub-plots, but nothing was ever developed and there were wholes and inconsistencies a plenty. In my opinion not worth the time and money.
    One good thing: the narrator did do a good job with the material he had.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army and Other Diabolical Insects

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Amy Stewart
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the natural world, Stewart has tracked down over one hundred of our worst entomological foes - creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs. From the world's most painful hornet, to the flies that transmit deadly diseases, to millipedes that stop traffic, to the Japanese beetles munching on your roses, Wicked Bugs delves into the extraordinary powers of many-legged creatures

    Paul says: "fascinating and creepy"
    "Too Many Bugs not Enough History"

    Though the introduction claims this book is NOT a reference guide or to be used as one, that is how it is written and how it reads. It reads like an arbitrarily put together reference guide on "bugs," (in the broad sense), written by a non-scientist/non-doctor.
    The book is long and gives a survey of hundreds of "bugs," to the point where they blend together and get confusing. As one reviewer said it would be better on paper.
    As a result the individual entries/chapters are short and often contain only basic information.
    From the title "The Louse that Conquered Napoleon." I was expecting detailed and interesting histories highlighting 10 or 20 bugs, and how they have changed human history.
    Instead the chapter on the louse was only a few minutes long and simply said that Napoleon's army may have been weakened by Louse and the diseases they carried, so that they were overcome easily by the Russian winter. Then she moves on to another bug.
    The narration was great! And the information was interesting if a little repetitive, so I give it two stars for that. But in general this book is a short bug encyclopedia written by someone who professes not to be qualified for such an endeavor and so it is not worth it.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Seven Ages: An Anthology of Poetry with Music

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes
    • Narrated By Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench

    This highly entertaining anthology of verse is the comic, tragic, tender, and telling story of life's seven ages, from childhood to old age. Within the framework of Shakespeare's speech, "The Seven Ages of Man," performed by Sir Ian McKellen, are 150 great poems from all ages, from Chaucer to Emily Dickinson to Walt Whitman and many others. The poem are presented by the finest cast ever assembled on one recording and includes Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench, John Cleese, Michael Caine, and more.

    ESK says: "The Anthology of 'Music-Makers'"
    "Excellent Collection!"

    This is a wonderful collection of poetry about the stages of life and death. Many of the poems are classics, but some are unfamiliar. They are all read by different narrators who use expression and skill. Highly recommended for anyone looking for some good soul moving poetry.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Affinity Bridge: A Newbury & Hobbes Investigation

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By George Mann
    • Narrated By Simon Taylor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Welcome to the bizarre and dangerous world of Victorian London, a city teetering on the edge of revolution. Its people are ushering in a new era of technology, dazzled each day by unfamiliar inventions. Airships soar in the skies over the city, while ground trains rumble through the streets and clockwork automatons are programmed to carry out menial tasks in the offices of lawyers, policemen, and journalists.

    Doug says: "nowhere near as bad as reviewed"
    "Great Reader, Ameteur Writer and Horable Editer"

    Judging by the reviews this book is enjoyed by some and hated by others.
    However, even the positive reviews, justify it on the basis that it is a first book. {Which it is NOT}.
    In my opinion the reader was excellent! He had a great British accent, and did different voices for every character; unfortunately the material he had to work with was not expressive enough to fit his style of narration.
    The story itself is a jumble of cliché’s crammed together into a mystery/occult/steampunk novel. But none of the clichés are fully developed so the whole story suffers. It is riddled with contradictions (Newberry is pinned as a rational Sherlock Holmes, who also believes in the occult?), Odd and contrived situations (the detectives persistently pursue criminals without bringing weapons and are often, "out gunned"), superfluous plots (Veronica's sister is in an asylum, because she can see the future, but her future predictions do not help solve the mystery), and inconsistencies (a feminist character who hardly ever fights).
    Also, the pacing of the story is terrible. The internal timing of the story is so off kilter that it is often hard for the reader to tell whether it is morning, noon, or night, or if events have happened on the same day or days apart. Many chapters abruptly end with the characters giving up for the day in favor of dinner or lunch.
    Finally, I counted at least 6 sound editing errors, where the narrator repeats himself, or it seems like a small piece of the story was missing.
    The Text editor allowed Mann to make several plot errors, and the sound editor did a bad job putting the story back together. The reader was good, and the story was entertaining for all its flaws. If it were only $10 it would be worth it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Song of Roland

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Unknown
    • Narrated By A Full Cast

    Since his youth, living in poverty in a cave in Italy, Roland's mother has taught him that someday he will be a brave hero like his father, Milon, and serve with the great army of Charlemagne. He learns from her that he is descended from great heroes of old and that his mother is Charlemagne's sister, the Princess Bertha.

    D. B. Mann says: "The Song of Roland"
    "Surprisingly Excellent!"

    I am not a medieval scholar so I cannot comment on the translation of this epic poem, but its quality and style are superb. I have been dabbling and downloading medieval literature lately and found most of it to be rather dull. I do not doubt that I would have found the Song of Roland to be as equally dry if it had not been presented in such a lively dramatic manner. (In fact in the introduction they say that this song was originally chanted in such a way that it would mesmerize or hypnotize the audience).
    Fortunately this audiobook is not read in monotone, or chanting verse. The poem is read, word for word, but different actors read the lines of the various characters, and sound effects are added to enliven the action. I was surprised and delighted by how much I enjoyed this audiobook, and would recommend it for anyone interested in Medieval Classics.
    Additional note: As a side thought, it was interesting to see how similar Roland was to the character of Boromir in The Lord of the Rings. Both characters fell because of their pride, and both redeemed themselves with their last breathe by blowing on a horn to call for help.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Grown-up's Halloween: Fantasies and Fables for the Philosophically Fiendish

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By various
    • Narrated By Full Cast

    Blackstone Audio presents an eclectic mix of stories, plays and sketches dedicated to the thinking paranoiac. Gore, sex, horror, literature and edifying morals - what more could you want from an audiobook?

    Paul says: "Good Collection! Horrible Title"
    "Good Collection! Horrible Title"

    This is a very good and diverse collection of Audio stories by many authors, some well known and some not well known. Some of the stories are read, and some are radio dramas, some are funny, some are spooky, and most are thought provoking. But to call this a collection of Halloween Stories is grossly inaccurate. The majority of stories have little to do with Ghosts, ghouls and things that go bump in the night and can only be associated with Halloween through a huge stretch of the imagination. It would be more accurately titled, "A Grown-up Story Time: A Collection of fictions, fantasies, and fables, for the philosophically inclined. So if your looking for some good thought provoking stories that are well produced this is the collection for you. If you’re just looking for a collection of good horror stories I suggest you look elsewhere.

    The stories in this collection include:
    “For whom the Bell Tolls” John Donne
    “In a Grove” Ryūnosuke Akutagawa
    “The Garbage man and the Noble Lady of Bagdad” The Book of A Thousand Knights in One Night.
    “The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte P. Gilman
    “The Adding Machine.” Elmer Rice
    “The Grand Inquisitor” Theodore Dostoyevsky.
    “Josephine the Mouse Singer” Franz Kafka
    A short story by Ambrose Bierce
    “The Sultan and the Wazir’s Wife” The Book of A Thousand Knights in One Night.
    “Interview in a VA Hospital” Yri RasResovsky
    “It came from Outer-Pinsk”
    “The Ugly Duckling’ A. A. Milne
    A Short Story by Ambrose Bierce
    “The Moon maid: A True Story, A Correction of the fictional version.” Edgar Rice Burroughs
    “The Man of Destiny.” George Bernard Shaw

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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