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Swampscott, MA, United States | Member Since 2007

  • 13 reviews
  • 41 ratings
  • 263 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014

  • The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jack Handey
    • Narrated By Jack Handey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The legendary Deep Thoughts and New Yorker humorist Jack Handey is back with his very first novel - a hilarious, absurd, far-flung adventure tale. "Are you a fan of books in which famous tourist destinations are re-purposed as unlivable hellholes for no particular reason? Jack Handey's exotic tale is full of laugh-out-loud twists. A reliably unreliable narrator and his friend, who is some other guy, need to get out of town. They have a taste for adventure, so they pay a visit to a relic of bygone days - a travel agent - and discover an old treasure map."

    Cathleen says: "Mildly Entertaining, Not a good read"
    "The Most Terrible Protagonist"

    Every little bit of The Stench of Honolulu is too much. The protagonist is the worst human being ever, and it's told entirely from his perspective. Every plot device is ridiculous, every character is an over-the-top cartoon. Every "fact" is made up, including everything about Hawaii and Honolulu. Every sentence contains a joke, usually a really dumb one. It's read by the author. It's very short, which is good because it's so intensely funny you can't take too much of it at once.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Collins French with Paul Noble - Learn French the Natural Way, Part 1

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Paul Noble
    • Narrated By Paul Noble

    Collins French with Paul Noble combines an exciting new non-traditional approach to language learning with the easy, relaxed appeal of an audio-only product. No books. No rote memorisation. No chance of failure. Learn over 6,000 words in no time at all and - most importantly - learn how to make your new vocabulary work for you.

    Cindy says: "Great approach to learning French!"
    "He got me to relax."

    Paul Noble spent so long talking about how important it was to forget what you were learning so that you go on to remember later, that I totally relaxed. And by god, after forgetting everything he taught me, I started to actually be able to speak french! Sounds crazy but it was quite wonderful. Highly recommend this method.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "I've read 1Q84 twice, and listened to 1Q84 twice"

    I've read nearly all of Murakami's works, and am a fan. Having heard of 1Q84 for years before it was released in the US, I have been awaiting the opportunity to read it.

    I was not disappointed.

    The book ebbs and flows, and partakes of all of his tics and twitches: magic animals, the minutiae of day to day living interspersed with unsettling bursts of magic, stories in stories. Cats. It could have been annoying. It could have been slow. But, like the characters, picking up the book was like being on a train that switched tracks to a different universe. Even after nearly 1,200 pages I was sorry to leave.

    It did take a few pages to warm to the readers, but their disparate styles meshed with the book's tension.

    In my second reading I found things I hadn't seen the first time. In my second hearing I found things I hadn't heard the first time.

    I will read, and listen, to this book yet again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David Copperfield

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When David Copperfield escapes from the cruelty of his childhood home, he embarks on a journey to adulthood which leads him through comedy and tragedy, love and heartbreak, and friendship and betrayal.

    Parusski says: "Perfect narrator for one of the best classics."
    "Mrtin Jarvis deserves an award"

    This is the best reading of ANY book I have yet come across. The fact that it is a wonderful book helps, but Martin Jarvis is a one-man show. He does a remarkable job with a huge cast of characters, without making it seem too "theatrical." If you are looking to read or reread a classic- don't miss this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Emma

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Prunella Scales
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Emma, originally published in 1815 and deemed Jane Austen's best novel, is a witty satire of English society set within the customary plot: young ladies finding proper husbands. It can be heard as a charming love story, a detective story, and a comically lively picture of English life 200 years ago. Prunella Scales' delightful reading reveals Austen's mastery of dialogue and character.

    Laura Van Slyke says: "Best Narrator"

    I think I like Emma just as much as Pride and Prejudice - it might actually be funnier. Or maybe I just think so because Prunella Scales (Mrs. Faulty of Faulty Towers) does a spot-on reading. I wish she read other Jane Austen - she couldn't do a better job to this wonderful book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ulysses, Volume 1: Episodes 1-3

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 54 mins)
    • By James Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Norton

    Ulysses is regarded by many as the single most important novel of the 20th century. It tells the story of one day in Dublin, 16 June 1904, largely through the eyes of Stephen Dedalus (Joyce's alter ego from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman. Both begin a normal day, and both set off on a journey around the streets of Dublin, which eventually brings them into contact with one another.

    Timothy says: "This book shouldn't be"
    "breath of fresh air"

    I was always nervous about trying to read Ulysses. Would I understand it? Could I wade through it? And then someone said to me "you know, it's a very funny book, which is really wonderful when read out loud." So I thought I'd give it a try. And it is wonderful - much better than I had expected. Jim Norton does an incredible job with the accents and the snatches of song and the humor. I admit to not understanding a certain amount of it, but I don't care. It's like listening to music - the language is so beautiful and Joyce has so much fun with sounds, I hardly care what it's about. I just love it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Middlemarch

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By George Eliot
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Middlemarch is a recognized masterpiece that explores the complex social world of 19th century England. It is concerned with the lives of several ordinary people, albeit ones with high social standing. The novel explores the very fabric of Victorian society in the 1800s, showing how various human passions, heroism, egotism, love, and lust, interrelate within this society.

    Francis says: "Such books make reading sacred..."
    "I had no idea"

    I had no idea this was such a wonderful book. It's long been on my list of "should read but have no intention of reading."

    It's a tremendously wise and funny soap opera, as well as a fascinating look into an interesting time of transition in England, and I listened to it all over again the moment I finished it. The reader did an excellent job at suggesting the personality of the main characters without over-acting (always my preference), yet having some fun with some of the odder side characters.
    I can see why this has been such an important book.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Sense and Sensibility

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The first of Jane Austen's novels to be published, Sense and Sensibility marked the debut of England's primary novelist of manners. Convinced that "three or four families in a country village is the very thing to work upon", Austen created a brilliant tragicomedy of flirtation and folly.

    EVERETT says: "Enjoyable reading of a great classic"
    "enjoyed it"

    To be fair, I have to admit that I had previously just listened to "pride & prejudice" and had found that to be a wonderful experience, both for the book itself and for the reader (irene sutcliffe).
    I was a little disappointed in "sense & sensibility" on both counts. Nadia May insisted on giving the two main characters (Elinor & Marianne) girlish, high-pitched voices, which deterred me from taking them seriously as they deserved. That the book was written when Austen was very young is remarkable, and yet it does feel like the work of a very young writer, a little confusing and a little unsatisfying.
    All in all, I was glad to hear it, and to get a deeper understanding of English life from nearly 2 centuries ago.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Pride and Prejudice

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Lindsay Duncan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Pride and Prejudice has delighted generations of readers with its unforgettable cast of characters, carefully choreographed plot, and a hugely entertaining view of the world and its absurdities. With the arrival of eligible young men in their neighbourhood, the lives of Mr and Mrs Bennet and their five daughters are turned inside out and upside down.

    Louise says: "excellent reading"

    when a great book meets a wonderful reader, this is what you get.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Virtues of War: A Novel of Alexander the Great

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Steven Pressfield
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) ascended to the throne of Macedon at the age of 20. He fought his greatest battles, including the conquest of the mighty Persian Empire, before he was 25, and died at the age of 33, still undefeated by any enemy. His reputation as a supreme warrior and leader of men is unsurpassed in the annals of history.

    Bill says: "Excellent"

    I never would have imagined myself intrigued by battles and descriptions of warfare strategy, but I listened to this twice through, I loved it so. Not being a scholar of greek history, I can't know how many liberties were taken, and I don't care. By any account, Alexander was remarkable, and this account really brings him to life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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