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W. Perry Hall

S. Quire

ratings
427
REVIEWS
96
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
7
HELPFUL VOTES
204

  • Collected Stories of William Faulkner

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By William Faulkner
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer, Susan Denaker, Scott Brick, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (66)

    This magisterial collection of short works by Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner reminds listeners of his ability to compress his epic vision into narratives as hard and wounding as bullets. Among the 42 selections in this audiobook are such classics as "A Bear Hunt", "A Rose for Emily", "Two Soldiers", and "The Brooch".

    I. Aleksandrov says: "A nice way to get the feeling of Faulkner"
    "Faulkner stories great (narration awful in parts)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love reading William Faulkner, though at times his work is difficult to follow on audio and it, of course, can be spoiled by a bad narrator, just like any other book narrated by Scott Brick.

    If one listens to an audiobook in which the narration is heartfelt and the narrator can actually act in narrating, it's such a wonderful experience. A recent example for me is "Last Days of California" by Mary Miller (like Faulkner, a Mississippian), narrated by Andi Arndt. Ms. Arndt apparently put in a tremendous effort, to sound Southern, young and to act as in teen angst and in constant banter between 2 teen sisters. She made the whole thing so real that I got lost in it like a good movie.

    Scott Brick's narration gives a soap feel and at times slides into adult-film grade acting. He overdramatizes a word in each sentence (usually the last one) and at times emphasizes every 2d or 3d syllable in every other or 2d or 3d sentence in a paragraph (with no real pattern, perhaps on an ad hoc, random basis). And, you can't help but notice his adulation with his voice; this effect on the (this) listener absolutely ruins the audiobook. I have wondered more than once if he has his latest narration piped into speakers throughout his house and poolside.

    I have had to return books I purchased because his smarmy narration was worse to me than listening to 3 kids scraping rulers repeatedly over a chalkboard.

    I had already rated this audiobook long ago, but just decided to add the review because I have recently come across books I would have loved but dropped like any other Brick. From reviews I've read, I'm not alone in my chagrin. I'm hoping enough noise will make a difference in audio-casting for prime books.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Maureen Corrigan
    • Narrated By Maureen Corrigan
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Conceived nearly a century ago by a man who died believing himself a failure, it's now a revered classic and a rite of passage in the reading lives of millions. But how well do we really know The Great Gatsby? As Maureen Corrigan, Gatsby lover extraordinaire, points out, while Fitzgerald's masterpiece may be one of the most popular novels in America, many of us first read it when we were too young to fully comprehend its power.

    W. Perry Hall says: "The Great American Novel: An Orgastic Argument"
    "The Great American Novel: An Orgastic Argument"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Professor Corrigan, book critic for NPR and Georgetown professor, loves THE GREAT GATSBY, as do I. I devoured her delightful, didactic book on how and why it's the **Great American Novel** because, among other things, it splendidly captured Americans' quotidian desires for the *American dream,* our desire for desire ("there are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired") and our quixotic belief, or perhaps subconscious romanticizing, that we can somehow recapture or relive the past, especially past loves (as Gatsby said to Nick, "Can't repeat the past? ... Why of course you can!").


    ------- "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--to-morrow we will run faster, stretch our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning------

    -------- "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."


    Ms. Corrigan also provides a scintillating exploration of the author's tragic life and death and why, like many supremely talented artists before him, F. Scott Fitzgerald died in the depths of depression and perceived by himself and many others as a mediocre, has-been, with the splendor of his masterpiece unrecognized (by most) until several years after his death and yet endures as the most studied piece of literature in U.S. secondary education.

    I highly recommend this book if you enjoyed The Great Gatsby or if you are fascinated with early 20th century America.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Megan McArdle
    • Narrated By Mia Barron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (61)

    Most new products fail. So do most small businesses. And most of us, if we are honest, have experienced a major setback in our personal or professional lives. So what determines who will bounce back and follow up with a home run? If you want to succeed in business and in life, Megan McArdle argues in this hugely thought-provoking book, you have to learn how to harness the power of failure. McArdle has been one of our most popular business bloggers for more than a decade, covering the rise and fall of some the world' s top companies and challenging us to think differently about how we live, learn, and work.

    Ray says: "Good Book"
    "Book's potential drowned in lake of Narcissus"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book started out wonderfully. If the author had stuck to her plan stated in the first several pages of the book, it could well have been helpful and inspiring. And yet, her smugness and self-aggrandizing babel get the better of her and ruin this book, which becomes all about Ms. McArdle and her personal and political views, rather than a book that gives advice or even anecdotes about those who have succeeded after failure, how they did it or how and *why failing well is the key to success*.

    I didn't get to the last 3 chapters. I had suffered far too long, deciding instead to cut my costs and fail well.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Gary Keller, Jay Papasan
    • Narrated By Timothy Miller, Claire Hamilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (135)

    This is an audiobook for busy people. If you want less on your plate and more for your life and career, tune in to the #1 Wall Street Journal best seller, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. The ONE Thing will bring your life and your work into focus. Authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan teach you the tricks to cut through the clutter, achieve better results in less time, dial down stress, and master what matters to you.

    Michael Williams says: "Do this and you have the answer."
    "Should be called "FOR A FIRM GRASP OF THE OBVIOUS""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The secret: concentrate on ONE thing at a time.

    How does it take 5 1/2 hours to get to ONE Firm Grasp?

    Add ONE happy song, ONE ton of guitar filler and (my ONE compliment to the authors is their skill to) say ONE thing ONE Hundred different ways.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Jon Ronson
    • Narrated By Jon Ronson
    Overall
    (618)
    Performance
    (563)
    Story
    (570)

    Jon Ronson is fascinated by madness, extraordinary behaviour and the human mind. He has spent his life investigating crazy events, following fascinating people and unearthing unusual stories. Collected here from various sources (including the Guardian and GQ America) are the best of his adventures.

    glamazon says: "Like a Collection of TAL Episodes"
    "great writer, awful narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wish someone would answer the question arising every time I hear the author destroying all his/her excellent written work by narrating it: Is the author a narcissist or that strained financially to do something so self-destructive? Ronson, so talented as a writer, is terrible as a narrator with that SUPERSOFT sleep-inducing voice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl in 6E

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By A.R. Torre
    • Narrated By Jorjeana Marie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (221)
    Performance
    (196)
    Story
    (200)

    I haven't touched another person in three years.That seems like it would be a difficult task, but it's not. Not anymore, thanks to the internet. My anonymous clients spend thousands of dollars to watch me take my clothes off for the camera. What they want, I give. Their secrets, I keep. Everything I tell them is a lie. Open the door to this year's most shocking thriller.

    Stacy says: "knife? check! gun? check"
    "Suspense novel that packs the heat and hotness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my first time...

    To compliment the narrator first. She made the Girl protagonist, Jess/Deanna, come to life, leap out of the speakers live before my internal dilated pupils, dry mouth and accelerating heartbeat.

    While certain aspects of this book appear to border on fantasy, and I would have liked to explore further the Girl's character, this book was fun, a frisky tryst from some of the heavier lit on the market, as suspenseful as today's typical fare in the genre and certainly MUCH more arousing.

    Ms. Torre changed the derivation of her name to A.R. from Alessandra for this book, ostensibly so it would not be viewed as purely in the erotica genre (like her last several novels). This is not erotica, though I am guessing it has a number of the same elements. A.R. Torre has a bright future if she can continue the hard task of blending erotica into suspense. She undeniably has the special combination of writing talent, creativity and pure heat to deliver a blockbuster as good as or maybe better than Gillian Flynn's. She's well on her way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Case Histories: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Susan Jameson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (506)
    Performance
    (327)
    Story
    (331)

    Case One: A little girl goes missing in the night. Case Two: A beautiful young office worker falls victim to a maniac's apparently random attack. Case Three: A new mother finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making - with a very needy baby and a very demanding husband - until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape.

    Carrie says: "Deftly written, completely original mystery"
    "chunked, smothered, diced, peppered and just bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is all over the place and the characters boring, thus I couldn't care less about the answer to the mysteries (case histories), now nearly 2/3 of the way through the book.

    Like Waffle House hashbrowns, an appropriate way to describe this book is:
    CHUNKED, DICED, SMOTHERED, PEPPERED, COVERED

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with All the Gifts

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By M. R. Carey
    • Narrated By Finty Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (707)
    Performance
    (655)
    Story
    (660)

    Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

    Share Faerber says: "Read This Book!"
    "Felt like a Short Story stretched into a Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was okay, but it felt to me very much like a short story stretched into a novel. It just didn't work for me. That doesn't mean it won't work for you.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Terry Hayes
    • Narrated By Christopher Ragland
    Overall
    (271)
    Performance
    (253)
    Story
    (255)

    An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid. A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square. A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard. Smoldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan. A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity.

    W. Perry Hall says: "Smartest Novel I've Heard or Read in Long time"
    "Smartest Novel I've Heard or Read in Long time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You have to hang with this for about 9 hours before things start rushing at a rapid pace. During the first 9, I almost gave up numerous times because it seems so scattered and disconnected with no plot. But, you should trust the author. It is all related and set-up for the show: the race to try to prevent a realistic terrorist threat to spread vaccine-busting small pox in the USA.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • A Cool Breeze on the Underground

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (76)

    Neal Carey is not your usual private eye. A graduate student at Columbia University, he grew up on the streets of New York, usually on the wrong side of the law. Then he met a P.I. who introduced him to the Bank, an exclusive institution with a sideline in keeping its wealthy clients happy and out of trouble. They pay Neal's college tuition, and Neal gets an education that can't be found in any textbook, from learning how to trail a suspect to mastering the proper way to search a room. Now it's payback time.

    mindusq says: "Joe Barrett reading Don Winslow = joy squared"
    "Clever PIcaresque novel, harkening back to Dickens"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an excellent starter novel, a creative PI/picaresque story; cool, clever and sexy. I'm pleased to have happened upon this series. I have already bought the 2d, THE TRAIL TO BUDDHA'S MIRROR; and am hopeful it doesn't lose the rhythm like some other series I've dropped after reading the second.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Death in the Family

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By James Agee
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Decades after its original publication, James Agee’s last novel seems, more than ever, an American classic. For in his lyrical, sorrowful account of a man’s death and its impact on his family, Agee painstakingly created a small world of domestic happiness and then showed how quickly and casually it could be destroyed.

    Patricia says: "A rural family struggles with death"
    "Is it really worth the costs of reading/listening?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In the 2d half of my 40s, I've been on a kick to read as many prized literary novels as I can. I've been particularly interested in reading such novels set in the South. This novel, set in Tennessee, won the 1958 Pulitzer Prize for Literature. It has caused me to question whether I should do a cost-benefit analysis before reading certain prized novels.

    In my literary endeavor, many times I've enjoyed what I've read and some novels have required hard work and a second reading to appreciate (e.g., The Sound and the Fury). And, then there have been a couple like A DEATH IN THE FAMILY, that made me wonder why I should force myself to experience a story of an event and aftermath so painful to endure in reality, a story that nearly all of us suffer through at least a few times in our life if we are lucky enough to make it to middle age. This novel, as you can tell from the title, is a story of a rural family dealing with the death of the father and husband and brother and son to the respective surviving family members.

    I have had a hard enough time surviving the painful ordeal of the death of an immediate family member. While I can appreciate the literary quality of this novel, I've come to the conclusion that life is just too short and my reading time too limited to spend hours and hours of my time vicariously living through such intimate agony and sadness at and as the story's very center.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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