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J. Blackwell

Arizona | Member Since 2012

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 59 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens, Thomas Mallon (foreword)
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (114)

    A Nobel Peace Prize recipient beatified by the Catholic Church in 2003, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was celebrated by heads of state and adored by millions for her work on behalf of the poor. In his measured critique, Hitchens asks only that Mother Teresa's reputation be judged by her actions - not the other way around. With characteristic élan and rhetorical dexterity, Hitchens eviscerates the fawning cult of Teresa, recasting the Albanian missionary as a spurious, despotic, and megalomaniacal operative.

    J. Blackwell says: "Christipher goes where everyone is afraid to go."
    "Christipher goes where everyone is afraid to go."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Missionary Position rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It ranks very high as I have stated in previous reviews I love anything that Christopher Hitchens writes. He is not afraid to say anything or take on any one in power.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Christopher was able to show just what went on with Mother Teresa and how she really wasn't the person that so many thought she was. I liked the story where she was asked to return the money that Charles Keating had stolen and sent to her. Just one of many stories where you had to question why she aligned herself with the people she did.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Prebble’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't heard him before but he did well with this book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, as usual I found myself asking, what is he going to bring out next.


    Any additional comments?

    A very interesting story about how certain people can reach a level where they and their actions are never questioned. And to do so is considered to be in very poor taste. I think the reader will be shocked at the things that were never made public about Mother Teresa.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Anthony Horowitz
    • Narrated By Derek Jacobi
    Overall
    (1076)
    Performance
    (937)
    Story
    (944)

    Sherlock Holmes is the greatest detective in literary history. For the first time since the death of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a new Holmes story has been sanctioned by his estate, whetting the appetites of fans everywhere. Information about the book will be revealed as deliberately as Holmes himself would unravel a knotty case, but bestselling novelist and Holmes expert Anthony Horowitz is sure to bring a compelling, atmospheric story to life.

    GP says: "A disapointment"
    "I loved this book. The story kept my interest."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The House of Silk?

    I liked the basic story and the way it was told. It kept my interest to the very end.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I had nerver heard Derek Jacobi before and loved his voice. He made me feel like I was there.


    Which character – as performed by Derek Jacobi – was your favorite?

    There were all my favorite and necessary to the book.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Parts of it made me laugh and parts made me sad. It was interesting to know that some things never change.


    Any additional comments?

    I think this book is worth the read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mortality

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (346)
    Performance
    (307)
    Story
    (306)

    Throughout the course of his ordeal battling esophageal cancer, Christopher Hitchens adamantly and bravely refused the solace of religion, preferring to confront death with both eyes open. In this riveting account of his affliction, Hitchens poignantly describes the torments of illness, discusses its taboos, and explores how disease transforms experience and changes our relationship to the world around us. By turns personal and philosophical, Hitchens embraces the full panoply of human emotions as cancer invades his body and compels him to grapple with the enigma of death.

    Darwin8u says: "Death IS the DARK backing"
    "Even in the end Christopher didn't dissapont!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Mortality rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I love anything that Christopher Hitchens writes so this was a special book for me because I knew that it was his last. And in true Hitch fashion he was honest and candid right to the end.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Mortality?

    I love when he talks about how there needs to be a cancer school to teach people what to say to those that have cancer... And I loved what his wife Carol Blue had to say at the end of the book about him.


    What does Simon Prebble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I can't say that he brings anything one way or another... nothing against him but when you are used to hearing/listening to Christopher for so many years you just expect to hear his voice.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, on one hand I didn't want to put it down and on the other I didn't want it to end because I knew it was the last he would write.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are a Christopher Hitchens fan then you will appreciate this book. It shows a side of him that most of us never got to see. RIP Christopher... You are missed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Letts
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (452)
    Performance
    (405)
    Story
    (403)

    November 1958, New York. Into the rarefied atmosphere of wealth and tradition at the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden comes the most unlikely of horses—a drab white former plow horse named Snowman—and his rider, Harry de Leyer. They were the longest of all longshots—and their win was the stuff of legend.

    eddie says: "When will this story become a movie"
    "Loved this Book on so many levels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Eighty-Dollar Champion?

    I loved this book on so many levels... The fact that it is a true story and tells about the main characters plight in coming to America and what he thought about the country and himself is something that everyone should read. This is more than just an average horse story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved how the people never gave up and didn't let their circumstances stop them.


    Have you listened to any of Bronson Pinchot’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not heard Bronson Pinchot before but thought he was wonderful.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I have no idea.


    Any additional comments?

    I think this book would be good for kids, teenagers as well as adults

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catch-22

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Joseph Heller
    • Narrated By Jay O. Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2100)
    Performance
    (1161)
    Story
    (1176)

    Catch-22 is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever, even if he has to die in the attempt.)

    Phil says: "Phenominal Reading - Story and Damn Funny"
    "Not My Favorite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would not recemmend this book because it is long, gets lost, repeats itself, and at times is just plain so stupid that it is not totally believable.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Joseph Heller? Why or why not?

    I would probably try another book to see if they are all like this one. If the second book turned out to be like this one then I would be done with this author.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I thought that the narrator was great... especially given the many single words that he had to read from several different characters at one time.


    Could you see Catch-22 being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I would put Eddie Murphy and Jim Carey in it,


    Any additional comments?

    I may be one of the few that think this but I found the portrayal of the military very offensive and not done in a funny way. I loved the movie MASH and while it portrayed the army as a bit off it did it in a very tactful way. This book makes fun of soldiers dying and that is just not very funny to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gods of Gotham

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Lyndsay Faye
    • Narrated By Steven Boyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (550)
    Performance
    (475)
    Story
    (479)

    It is 1845. New York City forms its first police force. The great potato famine hits Ireland. These two seemingly disparate events will change New York City. Forever.... Timothy Wilde tends bar near the Exchange, fantasizing about the day he has enough money to win the girl of his dreams. But when his dreams literally incinerate in a fire devastating downtown Manhattan, he finds himself disfigured, unemployed, and homeless. His older brother obtains Timothy a job in the newly minted NYPD, but he is highly skeptical of this new "police force".

    Joanne says: "A wonderful book"
    "Loved the History and the Story Kept My Attention"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Gods of Gotham?

    The book deals with a time in our history that most of us are unaware of and yet that history really shaped our world as we know it today. The story was well done and kept me guessing to the very end.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Gods of Gotham?

    When you realize just how disposable children were back then and how they had no one to speak for them.


    What does Steven Boyer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narriation was well done. I liked his voice and the pace at which he read was very good. There was also feeling in his voice.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No, the whole book was moving to me.


    Any additional comments?

    I think this is a very well written book, full of history with a great story line.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Firelight

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Sophie Jordan
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (617)
    Performance
    (528)
    Story
    (535)

    Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a drakia descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

    Felicity Fairchild says: "Took my breath away"
    "Don't Waste Your Money or Time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The only person that would enjoy this book is someone that likes to listen to the same 6 sentences over and over... and at half speed.


    Would you recommend Firelight to your friends? Why or why not?

    I could not recommend this book to anyone... It is 9 hours long but if the narrator had read it at full speed it probably would have only been 5 hours worth. I kept wanting to scream it was so frustrating. She has a nice voice but she talks so slow it is like fingernails on a chalkboard.

    The story line isn't all that bad but the aurthor used the same lines in this book over and over. The main characters skin... All you hear is how her skin tingles, and is dry, and gets tight, and is pale, and glows and on and on and on.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Therese Plummer?

    I don't know other narrators well enough to make an informed recomendation.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    For me...no!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bet Me

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Jennifer Crusie
    • Narrated By Deanna Hurst
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1372)
    Performance
    (733)
    Story
    (748)

    Min Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet. Cal Morrisey knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again. But Fate has other plans.

    Amazon Customer says: "Another win!"
    "Not as Good as Fast Women"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Probably not. I think there are other books that are better...


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The ending was very predictable... and once you read the first two chapters you knew what the ending was going to be.


    What three words best describe Deanna Hurst’s voice?

    Neither good nor bad.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I have only read two of Jennifer Cruise's books. Fast Women, which was good and this one. Now I am left wondering which one was the normal writing style and which was the accident.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fast Women

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jennifer Crusie
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (946)
    Performance
    (523)
    Story
    (528)

    Nell Dysart's in trouble. Her divorce is 18 months old, she's been sleepwalking through life, and the best job she can get is with a detective agency that specializes in relationship work. Determined to turn her life around, Nell flings herself into making McKenna Investigations a better place.

    Shannon says: "Couldn't put it down!"
    "Great Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Fast Women in three words, what would they be?

    A fun entertaining story of how one woman handles divorce. Good insight by the author on how women can feel in these situations


    What about Sandra Burr’s performance did you like?

    Very pleasant voice. Easy to listen to.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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