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Orem, UT, USA


  • The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Steve Lopez
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When journalist Steve Lopez sees Nathaniel Ayers playing his heart out on a two-string violin on Los Angeles' skid row, he finds it impossible to walk away. More than 30 years ago, Ayers was a promising classical bass student at Juilliard - ambitious, charming, and also one of the few African-Americans there - until he gradually lost his ability to function, overcome by schizophrenia.

    Over time, the two men form a bond and Lopez imagines that he might be able to change Ayers' life. The Soloist is a beautifully told story of devotion in the face of seemingly unbeatable challenges.

    David says: "Fascinating true story"
    "Fascinating true story"

    Stories like this open our eyes and remind us that there are people all around us who struggle with enormous challenges; and that sometimes we CAN make a difference. The author gets drawn into the mysterious life of a homeless man and is forced to confront not only the problems that get people to that situation, but also the choices and forces that keep them there. He learns much about mental illness, but can he get the man off Skid Row and help him deal with his problems and reclaim his rare gift of music? Well written, fascinating topic, and a true story to boot. Just published this year, and already there is a movie version in production. Listen to the book first before the movie spoils it for you!

    39 of 39 people found this review helpful
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Atossa Leoni
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them, in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul, they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

    David says: "Somber but gripping"
    "Somber but gripping"

    This is not a book to read if you want an uplifting, feel-good, happily-ever-after story. But it's a gripping, heart-wrenching account of real life that is hard to put down and even harder to forget. While "Kite Runner" tells of the friendship of two boys growing up in Afghanistan and the lives they are led to, this book tells about the lives of women in the midst of that country's turmoil in contemporary times. You get an overwhelming look "behind the scenes" at a society where custom and belief allow male domination and vicious oppression of wives (yes, plural). You see the devastation of war as families are torn apart or destroyed; the role of the US intervention in the post 9/11 era, and the struggle between political factions and war lords. And you see the actions of a disturbed man dominating and punishing his wives with deep cruelty - hard to comprehend that someone could be so evil in a marriage relationship. But you also see the warmth and love that come as two desperate women join together to provide support and defense. In the end, there is hope after all. Only the depressing themes keep this off my "all time favorite" list. What a writer - what will he come up with next!

    65 of 65 people found this review helpful
  • Stealing God's Thunder: Benjamin Franklin's Lightning Rod and the Invention of America

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Philip Dray
    • Narrated By David Chandler

    Award-winning author Philip Dray delves into the lesser-known side of an American icon in Stealing God's Thunder. Benjamin Franklin, more often viewed as a statesman and founding father than as a man of science, challenged religion, science, and reason with his inventions. But in a time when everything was blamed on sin, it was the lightning rod, Franklin's attempt to control the heavens, that caused the greatest controversy.

    David says: "Thought-provoking historical biography"
    "Thought-provoking historical biography"

    This is not a traditional biography of Benjamin Franklin, but gives insights into this remarkable man which many biographies don't. The book presents an investigation of how scientific inquiry dealt with superstition and tradition in the 18th century, particulary as early investigations into electricity were discovering its power and danger. I enjoyed the introduction to Franklin's remarkably inquisitive mind, and the narrative of events leading to the several inventions which advanced understanding of electricity and other related issues (hot air balloons, the glass harmonica, Mersmer's medical treatments, etc.). There were occasional diversions which dragged a bit, but overall I found the writing excellent and the narration effective.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Lisa See
    • Narrated By Janet Song
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Lily is haunted by memories of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as she recounts the tale of Snow Flower and asks the gods for forgiveness.

    Barbara A Danner says: "Disappointing"
    "Poignant and insightful"

    This book provides a fascinating look into women's life in China, fascinating even for a man! It was often poignant as the struggles of that time and place are described; but the insights it provides into relationships and choices are often gripping. The perspective of an 80-year-old woman reviewing her life was effective. The narrator does a great job, giving a "Chinese feel" to the reading but still very clear and understandable. Highly recommended!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Love in the Driest Season: A Family Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Neely Tucker
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Foreign correspondent Neely Tucker and his wife, Vita, arrived in Zimbabwe in 1997. After witnessing firsthand the devastating consequences of AIDS on the population, especially the children, the couple started volunteering at an orphanage that was desperately underfunded and short-staffed. One afternoon, a critically ill infant was brought to the orphanage from a village outside the city. She'd been left to die in a field on the day she was born.

    reggie p says: "batter than 5 stars"
    "A moving, compelling story"

    I listen mostly to novels, but this book was fascinating to me and held my attention as much as most stories. As an adoptive parent I could relate particularly to those emotional aspects of the book. But I found other elements compelling: the setting in Zimbabwe and the insight into the racial, political, and cultural issues; challenges of intermarriage; relationships; balancing career and family; etc. There was occasional strong language and descriptions of violence and suffering, but they are presented in a sensitive and insightful way to help underscore the incredible challenges faced in that country. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of the Giant

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By David Birney, Scott Brick, Full Cast

    Bean, once the smallest student at the Battle School, and Ender Wiggin's right hand, has grown to be a power on Earth. He served the Hegemon as strategist and general in the terrible wars that followed Ender's defeat of the alien empire attacking Earth. Now he wishes for a safe place to build a family, something he has never known, but there is nowhere on Earth that does not harbor his enemies; old enemies from the days in Ender's Jeesh, new enemies from the wars on Earth.

    Joe says: "Enderverse"
    "If you like Card, you'll like this!"

    This was a nice addition to the series. The plot developed a little slowly with some distractions along the way that seemed unnecessary at first, but it eventually came together nicely. Keep you guessing how it will turn out! And of course, leaves the door open for more sequels.
    The reading uses several narrators, male and female, most of them pretty good. It's often unclear why it switches to a different narrator. There was one odd segment in the middle where a conversation was "enacted" by several narrators, but mostly it's just a single reader per chapter or segment. Accents and personalities came through pretty well.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Brothers Karamazov

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky (translated by Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky)
    • Narrated By Debra Winger

    TomD says: "Disapointing"
    "Very disappointed"

    This is the most disappointing purchase I've made from Audible. I'd hoped for a lively "refresher" after having read the full novel many years ago. But as others note, the abridgement just doesn't cut it. And the narration is particularly bad, slow and expressionless - puts me to sleep. Please don't let Ms. Winger try this again! There were some breaks where it seemed like the narrator was pausing for a drink of water or something.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Memory of Running

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ron McLarty
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In late 2003, in his column in Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King called The Memory of Running "the best novel you won't read this year." This glowing endorsement of the audiobook resulted in Ron McLarty receiving a $2 million two-book deal from Viking Penguin. Also, Warner Brothers has shelled out big bucks for the movie rights to The Memory of Running, for which McLarty will write the script.

    Neal says: "Funny and Fascinating, A Wonderful Book"
    "Good story, but some reservations"

    This was definitely an engaging story. It was hard to "put it down" - I found myself making excuses to go for rides in my car so I could listen more. I had a few reservations, though: 1) the narrator reads too slow for my taste. I'm a "fast listener," and even when I bumped up the speed on my iPod, it seemed to drag. But the expressiveness and clarity was good. 2) If you're sensitive to profanity and vulgarity, and frequent discussions of teenage sexual fantasies and experiences, beware. Otherwise, buy it and enjoy it!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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