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Faith

Santa Fe, NM, United States | Member Since 2005

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 58 ratings
  • 121 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2014
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  • Four Queens: The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Nancy Goldstone
    • Narrated By Josephine Bailey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (161)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (52)

    Set against the backdrop of the turbulent 13th century, a time of chivalry and crusades, poetry, knights, and monarchs, comes the story of the four beautiful daughters of the count of Provence, whose brilliant marriages made them the queens of France, England, Germany, and Sicily.

    Patricia says: "Entertaining!"
    "Four Queens ..."
    Overall

    This was both a fascinating story about a period in history of which I knew very little. The narrator is wonderful as well, and the book engrossing.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Elegance of the Hedgehog

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Muriel Barbery
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat, Cassandra Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2121)
    Performance
    (1101)
    Story
    (1122)

    An enchanting New York Times and international best seller and award-winner about life, art, literature, philosophy, culture, class, privilege, and power, seen through the eyes of a 54-year-old French concierge and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl.

    Pyles says: "It surprised me"
    "Dull listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Elegance of the Hedgehog better?

    I read the prior reviews and gave this a chance, but the characters had no personality traits beyond self-satisfaction with their towering intellects. I listen while on long walks, so depend on books that have some plot or interesting characters. It doesn't matter to me if they are novels, or biography, or history, but they do need to be well written and interesting. While this may have been well written, it was so pedantic that I moved on to another book after chapter 6.


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

    There were some useful observations made by the characters, but they didn't push the characters or the action forward.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17319)
    Performance
    (11524)
    Story
    (11416)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "Loved it!"
    Overall

    After completing both Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, I was looking for something epic, well narrated, with interesting characters. I read other Audible reviews that referenced back to the "Outlander" series. I was hooked from the beginning. Davina Porter's narration is perfect, whether she's voicing Claire, Jamie, or any of the other characters, major and minor, male or female. Claire is a witty, 3 dimensional character and the story is highy entertaining and engrossing. I would highly recommend both this book and the series.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (3854)
    Performance
    (2169)
    Story
    (2221)

    Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything: a fine reputation, an appointment as captain of a ship, and the heart of a beautiful woman. But his perfect life is shattered when three jealous friends conspire to destroy him. Falsely accused of a political crime, Dantès is locked away for life in the infamous Chateau d'If prison. But it is there that Dantès learns of a vast hidden treasure.

    Sanford Rosenberg says: "What a pleasure to read a classic!"
    "A great find"
    Overall

    I was drawn to this book because it was read by John Lee and it was on sale! I kept putting off its reading and found the first part (pre-prison) to be frustratingly predictable. The remainder of the book is worth it, though. As one reviewer noted, it appears Dumas was paid by the word; but that just serves to prolong the pleasure. Fans of Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, and other epic unabridged novels will enjoy listening to this book. John Lee never disappoints, and his narration is perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The White Tiger: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Aravind Adiga
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1906)
    Performance
    (750)
    Story
    (745)

    Balram Halwai is a complicated man. Servant. Philosopher. Entrepreneur. Murderer. Balram tells us the terrible and transfixing story of how he came to be a success in life - having nothing but his own wits to help him along. Through Balram's eyes, we see India as we've never seen it before: the cockroaches and the call centers, the prostitutes and the worshippers, the water buffalo and, trapped in so many kinds of cages that escape is (almost) impossible, the white tiger.

    With a charisma as undeniable as it is unexpected, Balram teaches us that religion doesn't create morality and money doesn't solve every problem.

    Mark P. Furlong says: "Entertaining, thought-provoking, darkly funny"
    "Humorous and quick read"
    Overall

    I could listen to John Lee read a menu and be entertained. This is a darkly humorous look at modern India (I have no way to judge its accuracy) and the neverending politics of wealth. I didn't really understand why it was written as a sort of "letter," but that wasn't particularly distracting.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Duty and Desire: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Pamela Aidan
    • Narrated By George Holmes
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (74)

    Though Darcy struggles privately with his desire for Elizabeth Bennet, he must still fulfill his roles as landlord, master, brother, and friend. In Book Two, the "silent time" of Austen's novel, Fitzwilliam Darcy and his personal world emerge as he deals with his servants, including a valet with aspirations of sartorial triumph.

    connie says: "wonderful, wonderful fluff"
    "A little silly"
    Overall

    The first and third parts of this series were better than this, which was a little silly and took Darcy completely out of character. Maybe this was the author's attempt to create her own Northanger Abbey. The narrator, as noted by others, is annoying.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • World Without End

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8958)
    Performance
    (3389)
    Story
    (3424)

    In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, set in 12th-century England. Readers and listeners ever since have hoped for a sequel. At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End also takes place in Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral. The cathedral is again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.

    Laura says: "Repetitive, but still enjoyable"
    "A great "sequel""
    Overall

    I loved Pillars, and so had high expectations of World. It did not disappoint, although I thought the Pillars characters were more engaging and the story had more of an over-arching theme (the building of the cathedral), which is missing here. John Lee continues to delight and I am hopeful that Ken Follett is working on the next installment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12956)
    Performance
    (5310)
    Story
    (5355)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    CynNC says: "Captivating"
    "A fantastic book, a fantastic narrator"
    Overall

    This book has it all -- a great plot, superb characters, evil villans, and a fantastic narrator. I didn't want it to end, and was glad learn there was a "sequel" (set a few centuries later). I had never read Ken Follett before, and very much appreciated the entire book, from his introduction to end. John Lee is the best narrator I've ever heard! He does male and female voices extremely well. I would join audible just to downloand this book and World Without End. Thanks to all of the readers who reviewed the audio book.... It's not something I would have bought absent those stellar recommendations.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Forgotten Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5188)
    Performance
    (2963)
    Story
    (3003)

    Thirty-eight year old Cassandra is lost, alone, and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident 10 years ago, feels like she has lost everything known and dear to her.

    avid reader says: "Hours of enjoyable, fun listening"
    "Engrossing novel, good narrator"
    Overall

    This book starts out a bit slowly, the most frustrating part at the outset being how the main character learns of her grandmother's "mysterious" beginnings from her great aunts. After that, the pace picks up and the story is engrossing. At first, I was annoyed by the music before each new chapter, but it grew on me as I learned to pay more attention, because the music signalled a change in the year. The narrator is quite good, though far better with female voices than male, and her American male New York accent is feeble. All in all, a good listen, and captivating story at a good price. I would definitely look for this author and narrator again.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Queen Margot

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (39)

    The last years of King Charles IX's reign in France were dominated by religious wars between Catholics and Protestants. Queen Margot begins in 1572 with the marriage of Marguerite de Valois to Henri de Navarre. Marguerite is King Charles' sister and the daughter of Henri II and Catherine de Medici, all firm Catholics. Henri de Navarre is a Protestant who later will become the beloved King Henri IV. Several important political events have led up to this marriage including the mysterious murder of Henri de Navarre's mother, cleverly plotted by Catherine de Medici. The wedding brings noblemen from all over the world to Paris resulting in the notorious Saint Bartholomew Massacre, where thousands of Protestants are killed. In this inventive and compelling novel, Dumas brings an extraordinary period of history vividly to life with much excitement and romance. The lively prose and wonderfully constructed plot tell of court intrigues and forbidden love, of beautiful queens, duchesses, and noblemen, suspense, conspiracies, betrayals, assassinations, superstitions, poisonings, and sumptuous feasts. With well-known historical figures as main characters in a dangerous and breathtaking game for power, Queen Margot tells of conspiracies, clandestine trysts, and daring escapes. There is the infamous Catherine de Medici, deliciously evil, constantly plotting and poisoning; Le Mole, a dashing and irresistable young Protestant who becomes Marguerite's lover; the noble Coconnos who provides a great source of comic relief; and at the center of all this intrigue are the good-hearted Marguerite and Henri who are perfect political allies with complicated and fascinating love lives.

    Faith says: "An engrossing read..."
    "An engrossing read..."
    Overall

    I selected this book because it was "on sale," thinking it would be low risk if I didn't like it. I loved it! The story is engrossing, the narrator excellent. My only gripe is with the sound quality -- there seems to be a lot of background noise/feedback.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Nancy Isenberg
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (20)

    Generations have been told that Aaron Burr was a betrayer: of Alexander Hamilton, of his country, of those who had nobler ideas. But that version has been shaped by historians and writers from the 18th century on who were blinded by tabloid reports and propaganda created by Burr's political enemies during his lifetime. It is time to discover the real Aaron Burr.

    Amazon Customer says: "Correct your history"
    "Apologia"
    Overall

    The author of "Fallen Founder" notes Hamilton left an "apologia" in case he was killed by Burr's shot, but Burr left no such note for posterity. There was no need; she has written a lengthy apologia on Burr's behalf. I found myself at times laughing aloud while listening to this book because of the biased nature of the text. Essentially, the thesis of the book is, "Hamilton, bad; Burr, good." An odd approach for an author whose prologue notes her disgust with all prior biased Burr scholarship. While the book is lengthy and comprehensive (especially post-youth), its pro-Burr bias becomes predictable and significantly detracts from the scholarship. This book was a huge disappointment; I would skip it and just read Joseph Ellis' account of the Burr/Hamilton duel in "Founding Brothers." Finally, though Burr may have been around at the time of the "founding," there is certainly nothing in this book to suggest that Burr was himself one of "the founders."

    The narration itself is creditable, especially given the length of the book and the need to delineate historical quotations from the author's prose.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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