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Gretchen Underwood

Member Since 2012

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 66 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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  • Faust

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    • Narrated By Samuel West, Auriol Smith, Derek Jacobi, and others
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (95)

    Faust is one of the pillars of Western literature. This classic drama presents the story of the scholar Faust, tempted into a contract with the Devil in return for a life of sensuality and power. Enjoyment rules, until Faust’s emotions are stirred by a meeting with Gretchen, and the tragic outcome brings Part 1 to an end. Part 2, written much later in Goethe’s life, places his eponymous hero in a variety of unexpected circumstances, causing him to reflect on humanity and its attitudes to life and death.

    Ki says: "Mixed Feelings"
    "I wish I would have read it instead."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I really wanted to enjoy this performance, and my rating has nothing to do with the narrator's skill. I really believe that there are some books that are best read "the old fashioned way," and this is one of them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Allegiant: Divergent Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin, Aaron Stanford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6725)
    Performance
    (6178)
    Story
    (6236)

    What if your whole world was a lie? What if a single revelation - like a single choice - changed everything? What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected? The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth's #1 New York Times best-selling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of listeners in Divergent and Insurgent.

    Teddy says: "I hate it when this happens"
    "I understand your frustration, but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Allegiant rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In terms of narration, it's up there. The only narrator I like better is James Marsters for the Dresden Files.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Allegiant?

    The scene when Four and Zeke part ways.


    What about Emma Galvin and Aaron Stanford ’s performance did you like?

    They felt like they were in the character's heads.


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

    After the second book, I didn't want to see this series ever come to an end, so no. At the same time, I couldn't wait to see how this would turn out.


    Any additional comments?

    I keep going back and forth when I try to decide how I feel about this book. On the one hand, I think it would have been too easy to give Tris and Tobias the happy ending they deserved. I applaud Roth for trying to be honest and raw. At the same time, I feel the reason that the end didn't work is because Roth hasn't experienced the loss she made Tobias suffer. There are ways to convey how unnecessary the loss was without also making Tobias's grief seem so cliche. I also felt that Roth needed to be brave and explore the faction system and the nature of the experiments in more depth. It felt like Roth took the easy way out by trying to tie everything back to racism and then throwing her hands up in the air. Rather than confronting the issue, the victims create their own nation, remaining isolated from the racist leaders. I wanted Roth to be brave. I was disappointed when the solution seemed more like a Peter response than one Tris would have chosen.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Rise: An Eve Novel, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Anna Carey
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (100)

    When she lost her soul mate, Caleb, Eve felt like her world had ended. Trapped in the palace, forced to play the part of the happy, patriotic princess of The New America - and the blushing bride of her father's top adviser - Eve's whole life is a lie. The only thing that keeps her going is Caleb's memory, and the revolution he started. Now, Eve is taking over where Caleb left off. With the help of Moss, an undercover subversive in the King's court, she plots to take down The New America, beginning with the capital, the City of Sand.

    S. A. Sutphin says: "terrrible ending"
    "Sometimes it pays to try new things."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I was hesitant to purchase this audiobook series because, although there were rave reviews about the narrator, there seemed to be a lot of negative reviews about the story. I was hooked after the first book and really enjoyed both Eve and Once. Rise kept me entertained as well, but I grew concerned when I realized I only had one hour left and what seemed to me like a lot of story still to tell. I was right to be concerned. The last hour was a whirlwind that wrapped up a lot of loose pieces, but left me wanting more. I wish the author had taken her time with the final scenes. On the upside, however, she left me wishing for spinoff series focused on the lives of a few of the central characters. To me, that is the sign of a good series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Richard P. Feynman
    • Narrated By Raymond Todd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1696)
    Performance
    (713)
    Story
    (719)

    With his characteristic eyebrow-raising behavior, Richard P. Feynman once provoked the wife of a Princeton dean to remark, "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!" But the many scientific and personal achievements of this Nobel Prize-winning physicist are no laughing matter. Here, woven with his scintillating views on modern science, Feynman relates the defining moments of his accomplished life.

    Steven Petersen says: "My favorite audio book"
    "I can't believe a narrator managed to kill this."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would absolutely recommend the book (and have several times in the past); however, I would recommend that they read the book, rather than listening to this audiobook. The narrator killed a book that I have always enjoyed.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    These are Feynman's stories and the narrator was not at all a convincing Feynman.


    Did Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! inspire you to do anything?

    Grab my copy of the book off of the shelf and read it again.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Joan Didion
    • Narrated By Diane Keaton
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (114)

    Universally acclaimed from the time it was first published in 1968, Slouching Towards Bethlehem has been admired for decades as a stylistic masterpiece. Academy Award-winning actress Diane Keaton (Annie Hall, The Family Stone) performs these classic essays, including the title piece, which will transport the listener back to a unique time and place: the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco during the neighborhood’s heyday as a countercultural center.

    Victoria Wright says: "Didion deserves better."
    "This just doesn't seem to work as an audiobook."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I really like Diane Keaton as an actress, and I think that made my disappointment in this audiobook more difficult to swallow. I really wanted to enjoy it, but it just never pulled me in. I have a long commute; however, when I have a good book to listen to, I look forward to the drive. I never looked forward to my ride and finally gave up on the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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