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Seneca

Baton Rouge, LA, United States | Member Since 2007

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 18 reviews
  • 24 ratings
  • 249 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015
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  • Twelve Years a Slave

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Solomon Northup
    • Narrated By Richard Allen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (26)

    Twelve Years a Slave is the harrowing account of a black man, born free in New York State, who was drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery in 1841. Having no way to contact his family, and fearing for his life if he told the truth, Solomon Northup was sold from plantation to plantation in Louisiana, toiling under cruel masters for 12 years before meeting Samuel Bass, a Canadian who finally put him in touch with his family, and helped start the process to regain his freedom.

    Seneca says: "Very important narrative undermined by the narrato"
    "Very important narrative undermined by the narrato"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Twelve Years a Slave to be better than the print version?

    Absolutely not. In addition to the disastrous narration, the printed versions have supplemental materials that greatly enhance the work.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Condensing an enormous problem into a personal story.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narration could have drawn the reader into the story and scenes therein, rather than making the reader feel as if he/she were a member of an audience or congregation listening to a speech or sermon being delivered.


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

    Start to finish, to tell you the truth.


    Any additional comments?

    Pick up the book, and enjoy it 10x as much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1563)
    Performance
    (1319)
    Story
    (1315)

    On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic.

    L. O. Pardue says: "What a Ride!"
    "Crashingly Tedious Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Dead Wake? What did you like least?

    The narration is hideous. Is it too much to ask that a sentence such as 'Kenneth poured himself a glass of water' doesn't get read to the audiobook listener as if it's 'Kenneth poured himself a beaker of blood'?


    Would you be willing to try another book from Erik Larson? Why or why not?

    I think I'm done.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The whole Keith Morrison dolorous act is just so overdone, it makes the book unread (listen-) able.


    Do you think Dead Wake needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    The 100 year anniversaries of WW1 will no doubt give us plenty of better books.


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Hampton Sides
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (724)
    Performance
    (652)
    Story
    (652)

    In the late nineteenth century, people were obsessed by one of the last unmapped areas of the globe: The North Pole. No one knew what existed beyond the fortress of ice rimming the northern oceans. On July 8, 1879, the USS Jeannette set sail from San Francisco to cheering crowds in the grip of "Arctic Fever." The ship sailed into uncharted seas, but soon was trapped in pack ice. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the hull was breached. Amid the rush of water and the shrieks of breaking wooden boards, the crew abandoned the ship.

    Dennis Hinkamp says: "Great found story"
    "Not quite as head over heels as most other readers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It's a book. We read books because reading is time well spent.


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

    As if the author had written these few hundreds of pages just as a lead in to the ending. If the most interesting part of a movie is when they roll the "where are they now" or similar information at the end . . well, then it wasn't that great a movie. Same here. Ending doesn't save the hopscotch story.


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

    Nothing -- which is PERFECT. That's what I want, to have the narration sound the same as it would in my mind if I were reading. This is a PERFECT narration.


    Could you see In the Kingdom of Ice being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    ?? This kind of information is not helpful to me if I am looking for others' reactions to a book to see if I want to read it.


    Any additional comments?

    I just didn't get to know enough of the characters well enough to really mourn their deaths. The last 1/4 of the book comes off more like a body count than a story.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Making Sense of the Bible: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Adam Hamilton
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    In Making Sense of the Bible, Adam Hamilton invites us into an honest conversation about the Bible. The book begins with foundational questions such as: How and when was the Bible written? Who decided which books made it into the scriptures and why? How literally must we read it? And, is the Bible ever wrong? From there, Hamilton considers the real questions people frequently ask that continue to divide Christians and denominations alike

    Matt says: "Excellent book for the non-biblical scholar"
    "Very useful book annihilated by silly narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Making Sense of the Bible again? Why?

    Maybe.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jesus Christ


    Would you be willing to try another one of Sean Runnette’s performances?

    Absolutely not.


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

    I didn't know whether to laugh or cry listening to the goofball narration.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator's attempt to provide a chirpy, "user-friendly", expressive narration comes off as if he's reading a story to a class of 5 year olds. Dreadful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Headhunters

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Steve West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (389)
    Performance
    (325)
    Story
    (328)

    Roger Brown is a corporate headhunter, and he’s a master of his profession. But one career simply can’t support his luxurious lifestyle and his wife’s fledgling art gallery. At an art opening one night he meets Clas Greve, who is not only the perfect candidate for a major CEO job, but also, perhaps, the answer to his financial woes: Greve just so happens to mention that he owns a priceless Peter Paul Rubens painting that’s been lost since World War II - and Roger Brown just so happens to dabble in art theft.

    D. WARD says: "This is a great book"
    "Ok break from Harry Hole"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Jo Nesbø and/or Steve West?

    I have read all the Harry Hole books pending the next one soon to be released Narrator was fine.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Jo Nesbø? Why or why not?

    See above.


    What about Steve West’s performance did you like?

    Just read the book. Sounded just like it would sound in my head reading the print edition. No overdone drama and exclamation.


    Do you think Headhunters needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. The protagonist is not an action hero, liking for his next conquest (although he's portrayed that way at some points).


    Any additional comments?

    Too many narrow escapes and far too much toughness from a "regular guy" character--understand it is his desperation propelling him to all these feats of strength and skill, but not believable. It's also too much luck that he finds a razor in the car.

    Watch the movie (after reading the book) ! (It's on Netflix.) Rarely seen a film so faithfully follow the plot details of the book (subject to certain things being chopped to keep it feature film length).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Natchez Burning: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By David Ledoux
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (907)
    Performance
    (805)
    Story
    (811)

    Raised in the historic southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of honor and duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor has been accused of murdering Viola Turner, the African-American nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the 1960s. Penn is determined to save his father, but Tom, stubbornly invoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses to even speak in his own defense.

    Carolyn says: "Can't get past reader"
    "Still just pop fiction, dragged down by narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Natchez Burning better?

    Chopping many many long drawn out conversations and contemplations that had no purpose but to lengthen the tome, and in many cases became tedious. Guessing that readers of the print edition likely skimmed through many of those. Readers should also understand that much of the gushing praise is because it is of course going to be very popular when the rednecks and crackers get their just desserts.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Story was actually pretty good, just not higher quality fiction as i might have expected from the length and gushing reviews. It was a little bit difficult to invest in a protagonist/narrator whose lack of internal substance (which is part of the plot) too often came off as a whining, wheedling drama queen.


    How could the performance have been better?

    My 1 star is mainly to alert readers that I think they would prefer the hard copy of this particular work. High praise for not trying to achieve too much phony southern accent, or overdoing different voices. But. It simply isn't my preferred form of narration for the reader to try to add drama to the narration by sounding as if he's telling a ghost story at a cub scout campout. To me, this is at best distracting; others may like a little audio stage play in their audio books. Also, the dragging pace of the narration way way exacerbated the tediously long conversations and contemplations. I just wanted to be able to enter a command 'Get on with it!' The narrator's overdone narration also caused him to carry dialog tone over into the story narration. For example, if a character burst into a room saying "What in blazes is going on here!", the narrator keeps that same exclamatory tone going for "Billy said, gazing around the room until his eyes fell on the gun." and on for the next 2-3 sentences. Narrators need to be able to transition out of the dialog tone, back into narration of text.


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

    Tedium.


    Any additional comments?

    I would add that the author's climax near the end is carried off in a believable, not too predictable fashion. Really well done with that. The sort of epiloge-ish denouement returns to the tedium however.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Brothers K

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By David James Duncan
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (274)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (181)

    This touching, uplifting novel spans decades of loyalty, anger, regret, and love in the lives of the Chance family. Each person chooses their own way to deal with what the world has become.

    Ken says: "At last!"
    "Too much chaff to get to the wheat"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from David James Duncan and/or Robertson Dean?

    How can this be one question? As for the author, not if I'm going to have to endure the not so subtle political commentary. I mean come on, "Richard Outhouse Nixon"? Whether I am a Nixon fan or not, I don't need that silliness. Why does every author suddenly think he's Oscar Wilde? A fabulous contemporary author named Richard Ford has ruined his books with all that, so the less skilled should just leave it alone.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Brothers K?

    When I finally gave up on it.


    Did Robertson Dean do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    He did great. What he butchered was the way overcooked phrases of emphasis. Har har har on the page becomes an opportunity for the narrator to embark upon a spluttering barking session that, although spaced about the book, spoils the audio version.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    The book is, in the parlance, too sprawling to be made into a movie worthy of the story.


    Any additional comments?

    I picked up this recommendation from Buzzfeed, of all places. (And yet, what is one to do to wade through the muck of serial novels and similar fodder for Audible these days .. hey, at least those people are reading.) The baseball sections were first rate, for the most part. But the ponderousness of so many segments just wore me down.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Interestings

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Meg Wolitzer
    • Narrated By Jen Tullock
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1441)
    Performance
    (1261)
    Story
    (1265)

    The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age 15 is not always enough to propel someone through life at age 30; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence.

    Tango says: "Needs a better title, but a good read (listen)"
    "Not for everyone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. Just not a book that will interest the typical reader. Think the professional reviewers got a bit carried away with their asessments.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Meg Wolitzer? Why or why not?

    Maybe. Not a horriible book, just way under achieved expectations based on gushing reviews.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The End


    Did The Interestings inspire you to do anything?

    Be more selective in book selection. Exercise Audible's return guarantee.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12387)
    Performance
    (11215)
    Story
    (11242)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Solid fiction, although way overpraised"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Possible, with the caveat not to expect a book that merits all the high brow gushing over the thing. Good fiction, good writing, but top 10 book of the year? Not for us regular folks.


    What did you like best about this story?

    A story that makes the reader want to reach into the pages and make a character "act right" is so effective, and some of that in this book.


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

    1st one that I recall, but this one was very good. The voice and accents of 2 of the major characters should have been scaled back significantly, just got too grating to listen to--distracted from the story.


    If you could rename The Goldfinch, what would you call it?

    This Book Free from Audible in appreciation for customer loyalty and support.


    Any additional comments?

    This is another book where the narrator did not let his voices overwhelm the narrative of the author's work, which seems to be fast becoming a lost art. Solid listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Tilted World: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Tom Franklin, Beth Ann Fennelly
    • Narrated By Brian D'Arcy James
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (79)

    The year is 1927. As rains swell the Mississippi, the mighty river threatens to burst its banks and engulf everything in its path, including federal revenue agent Ted Ingersoll and his partner, Ham Johnson. Arriving in the tiny hamlet of Hobnob, Mississippi, to investigate the disappearance of two fellow agents who'd been on the trail of a local bootlegger, they are astonished to find a baby boy abandoned in the middle of a crime scene. Ingersoll, an orphan raised by nuns, is determined to find the infant a home, and his search leads him to Dixie Clay Holliver.

    Kenny Hogan says: "My Simple Short Review"
    "Best from Franklin"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Tilted World?

    The quality of both narrative prose and dialog, the fully developed characters, the dark story told with lightness and energy.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Tilted World?

    Jesse and Ham conversation.


    Which character – as performed by Brian D'Arcy James – was your favorite?

    James' minor, very subtle vocal changes among characters was the best thing about the audiobook--letting the story tell itself, without the need for a "performance". Bravo


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

    I would never "rate" or "review" a book based on this factor. If a reader says 'yes', then another says "no', I say "so what" to either and both.


    Any additional comments?

    More books need to be simply read rather than "performed". If people want a performance, go to a stage play. Wish narrators would leave the story alone--do they actually expect to improve on an author's work? Gosh I hope not; all they can do is detract from a book I want to enjoy.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Sleep: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8276)
    Performance
    (7630)
    Story
    (7646)

    Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

    D says: "The sequel to the book; not the movie"
    "Disappointing, especially as an audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Any narrator but Patton, who sounds like an aged version of the man who tries to sell Dodge trucks in tv ads while chewing on a cow patty. I can't imagine the appeal of an interpretation of Colorado and New England folk all sounding like grizzled, chin whiskered cowhands sitting around a kettle of baked beans over a campfire.


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

    Nothing really. King wrote it for his old horror genre audience, who read, or at least enjoy their novels, at a jr. high reading level, not the sophistication that King employed in 11-22-63, or Joyland that were written for a different audience. Part of the mastery of King's writing has always been that he writes to his target demographic, depending on the book. I mean, can one really imagine that the real Stephen King would employ such trite-isms as "general consensus"?


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Will Patton?

    ABP. Anyone but Patton. I still wonder if the authors have input into narrator choice and style of interpreting the audio version.


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

    waste of money


    2 of 7 people found this review helpful

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