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Joshua

ratings
18
REVIEWS
11
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
4

  • The Lawgiver: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Peter Riegert, Zosia Mamet
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (25)

    At the center of The Lawgiver is Margo Solovei, a brilliant young writer-director who has rejected her rabbinical father’s strict Jewish upbringing to pursue a career in the arts. When an Australian multi-billionaire promises to finance a movie about Moses if the script meets certain standards, Margo does everything she can to land the job, including a reunion with her estranged first love, an influential lawyer with whom she still has unfinished business. Two other key characters in the novel are Herman Wouk himself and his wife of more than 60 years, Betty Sarah, who, almost against their will, find themselves entangled in the Moses movie .

    Amazon Customer says: "OMG, Herman Wouk is still brilliant at 97!!"
    "Light Novel from Wouk, badly narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The Narrators. See below.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I would have to say Margo Solovei, as she seemed to be the most fleshed out. Oddly, off-screen character and uber-douchebag Smallweed is a runner-up, as the whole situation with him struck me as morbidly funny. Wouk also did a very good job writing himself as a self-insert.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    There were two narrators, a man and a woman. The male one was fine, the female one was bad - Margo sounded like a teenager reciting her diary. Also, if my memory is correct neither of them gave separate voices to the characters unless they had to - every epistle written by a male character had the same male voice, and second voices were only if the epistle contained dialogue.


    Did The Lawgiver inspire you to do anything?

    Not really. The Lawgiver isn't a weighty story: some light humor, some light romance, some light discussion of religion. All in all, a nice little story, if you're not expecting anything deep.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hunter and Other Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Dashiell Hammett
    • Narrated By Ray Chase, Stephen Bowlby, Brian Holsopple, and others
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Dashiell Hammett is best known as both pioneer and master of American hard-boiled detective fiction, but these dozen and a half stories both affirm that reputation and present him in a different light. Along with the full-length treatments On the Make and The Kiss-Off, this collection includes never before and rarely published stories that explore failed romance, courage in the face of uncertainty, hypocrisy, and crass opportunism.

    Joshua says: "Not Just A Crime Writer"
    "Not Just A Crime Writer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Oh, yes. I've read short story collections before, and this one has the best hit-to-dud ratio of them all. Personally, I think Hammett was one of the best writers of the 20th century. He could write immersive tales with moments that, as Chandler said, seem like they've never been written before.

    He travels all over in this collection: there's a caper story, some slice-of-life fiction, even a fantasy tale. Given his prose, and his eye for detail, I'm sure almost anyone can find something here to like.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Some of the longer stories did, and in different ways. Some stories were less than ten minutes long, and couldn't build much suspense.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    Nothing stood out; the narration was good all around.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Hunter and Other Stories and why?

    Tough one. I'd have to go with the eccentric jewel thief in "The Diamond Wager"; he was fun.


    Any additional comments?

    The film treatments were pretty meh. They sound closer to Wikipedia articles than to actual stories. "On The Make" was cool, though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winds of War

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2600)
    Performance
    (2189)
    Story
    (2194)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    Robert says: "A Masterpiece"
    "The Most Fleshed Out Character Of This Book Is WW2"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Winds of War again? Why?

    Probably not. I listen to my books on the road, and it took me like a month to go through this behemoth. It's not that this was a bad book, or that I regret having heard it, it's just that it's not so UTTERLY AMAZING that I would spend another month on it. I'll definitely be getting the sequel.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the vivid pictures Wouk gave of the time and place. I especially liked von Roon's fictional memoirs.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Any scene with combat in it. Or a famous historical figure.


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

    At forty-five hours long, I would say no.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator is excellent. He tells the story well, and manages to credibly pull off all the various accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Plague Dogs: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Richard Adams
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (74)

    After being horribly mistreated at a government animal-research facility, Snitter and Rowf escape into the isolation—and terror—of the wilderness. Aided only by a fox they call “the tod,” the two dogs must struggle to survive in their new environment. When the starving dogs attack some sheep, they are labeled ferocious man-eating monsters, setting off a great dog hunt that is later intensified by the fear that the dogs could be carriers of the bubonic plague.

    Jefferson says: "Canine Spartacus and Fool in the Lake District?"
    "Watership Down, except with bitter, bitter satire"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Plague Dogs rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I'd put it around the middle.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    That's a tough one. All the characters contribute to the story in some way, but if I had to choose, it would be the tod. I do have some fondness for Digby Driver though, despite the fact that he's the pretty much the villain.


    What about Ralph Cosham’s performance did you like?

    He's OK. His reading wasn't anything special, but it was competent. I'd have no objection to listening to another one of his readings.


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

    The "interaction" between Snitter and the hunter who tries to befriend him. Also, the scene where he tells the story of what happened to his first master. Poor doggie can't catch a break.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a lot like Watership Down when it follows the dogs, but it shifts to satire and black comedy when we follow the humans. There is a certain absurdity to this book. This is a world where a guy named "Dr. Boycott" does experiments on behalf of (A)nimal (R)esearch, (S)cientific and (E)xperimental. If you're in favor of animal experimentation, this might not be the book for you, as Adams can be quite bitter in his satire. However, it's made clear by the end that he's only against pointless and sadistic testing, as opposed to legitimate medical work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dying of the Light

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Iain Glen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (41)

    A whisperjewel has summoned Dirk t’Larien to Worlorn, and a love he thinks he lost. But Worlorn isn’t the world Dirk imagined, and Gwen Delvano is no longer the woman he once knew. She is bound to another man, and to a dying planet that is trapped in twilight. Gwen needs Dirk’s protection, and he will do anything to keep her safe, even if it means challenging the barbaric man who has claimed her. But an impenetrable veil of secrecy surrounds them all, and it’s becoming impossible for Dirk to distinguish between his allies and his enemies.

    Ryan says: "A thoughtful, gothic sci-fi debut"
    "Excellent Worldbuilding, Plodding Story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Depends on the friend. This book is character-heavy, melancholic, and somewhat philosophical. It's very slowly paced in the beginning, and the main character can be frustrating, but both pick up as the story progresses. Dying Of The Light is a soft sci-fi character piece, and I would recommend it only to the patient.


    What did you like best about this story?

    As with A Song Of Ice And Fire, I like how Martin fleshes out both the main and secondary characters. I like the ambiguity, the prose, the shifting alliances, and, although there may have been too much of it, I liked the universe-building. I also like the plot, once it picks up two-thirds of the way in, and I liked the thoughtful anti-climax.


    Which character – as performed by Iain Glen – was your favorite?

    My favorite character is probably Jaantony Riv Wolf high-Ironjade Vikary. I found most of the Kavalaar characters to be more interesting than Dirk or Gwen.


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

    The climax/ending, for one. There was a certain character death outside Kryne Lamiya that I found affecting.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought the reading was excellent. Jorah Mormont should narrate more books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Red Harvest

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Dashiell Hammett
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (61)

    When the last honest citizen of Poisonville was murdered, the Continental Op stayed on to punish the guilty--even if that meant taking on an entire town. Red Harvest is more than a superb crime novel: it is a classic exploration of corruption and violence in the American grain. From the author of The Maltese Falcon.

    Joshua says: "Interestingly, The Op nevers quotes Ezekiel 25:17."
    "Interestingly, The Op nevers quotes Ezekiel 25:17."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend it, but with the caveat that while this is a good hardboiled novel, listeners wanting to introduce themselves to Hammett should go for "The Maltese Falcon" read by William Dufris.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Red Harvest?

    There is one point where The Op gets into a car with some gangsters and, going to another gangster's building, firebombs it like the Rojos in "A Fistful Of Dollars". The whole thing gloriously devolves into huge gunfight in the street.

    The Continental Op is, like, the most hardboiled dude in the universe. Before this, I've only listened to Hammett's "The Maltese Falcon" and "The Glass Key", and The Op leaves Sam Spade and Ned Beaumont in the dust.


    What aspect of Richard Ferrone’s performance would you have changed?

    There were a couple points in the reading where I believed Ferrone was misinterpreting character dialogue. I also think, but am not sure, that at one point he got voices mixed up.

    Other than that, I liked him. His gravelly first-person narration adds yet another level of hardboiled to this already ridiculously hardboiled book.


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

    Reading this after the (relatively) restrained "Falcon" and "Key", I was delighted at just how over-the-top the story is. If memory serves, less than ten people die in "Falcon" and in "Key". Here, I wouldn't be surprised if the body count hits fifty. Even The Op seems surprised by it all, given his worries at going "Blood Simple."


    Any additional comments?

    In my mind, Hammett essentially took a B-story idea and elevated it with good plotting, prose, and dialogue. This really is a fun book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Robert D. Hare
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (444)
    Performance
    (387)
    Story
    (390)

    Most people are both repelled and intrigued by the images of cold-blooded, conscienceless murderers that increasingly populate our movies, television programs, and newspaper headlines. With their flagrant criminal violation of society's rules, serial killers like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy are among the most dramatic examples of the psychopath. Individuals with this personality disorder are fully aware of the consequences of their actions and know the difference between right and wrong....

    Douglas says: "When I gave up on books that supposedly would..."
    "Not a Bad Intro"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Without Conscience in three words, what would they be?

    Psychopaths are jerks. Or, in three sentences: Without Conscience is a good overview of psychopathy. Hare discusses the history of the diagnosis, symptoms, theories on cause, common misconceptions, possible treatments, and so forth, using anecdotes to flesh everything out. He struck me as a bit alarmist, and a little preening when it came to his Psychopathy Checklist, but nothing too bad so long as you view at the book as a layman's introduction.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How Hare discussed every facet of psychopathy moderately, as opposed to discussing a couple facets deeply.


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

    I have not, but I didn't have any real issue with Boehmer's reading. A dry and clinical reading for a dry and clinical book. The only thing that struck me as odd is that whenever he reads a series (X,Y, Z...) he gives a full pause between items as though they were separated by a period instead of a comma.However, I don't know what the punctuation looks like in the printed book, so maybe it was typed like that.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    That perhaps is the weirdest question Audible has ever pitched at me. "Without Conscience: A Fascinating Look Into The World Of Psychopaths"? Maybe?


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Matthew Stover
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (193)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (114)

    As the combat escalates across the galaxy, the stage is set for an explosive endgame: Obi-Wan undertakes a perilous mission to destroy the dreaded Separatist military leader General Grievous. Palpatine, eager to secure even greater control, subtly influences public opinion to turn against the Jedi. And a conflicted Anakin, tormented by unspeakable visions, edges dangerously closer to the brink of a galaxy-shaping decision.

    Sarai says: "WOW"
    "Awesome sound effects to go with a great reading."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If they like Star Wars, then yes. In a heartbeat. The story itself is good, and the audiobook is superbly read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like how the author fixed some of the movie's problems. His prose is a bit flowery at times, but I think it fits the epic feel of Star Wars. All novelizations should be this good.


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

    Davis tells the story wonderfully, doing everything one would expect from a first-class reader. On top of that, the audiobook includes Star Wars theme music, sounds for blasters, lightsabers, and spaceship fights, along with machine-like enhancements for the voices of robotic characters (C-3PO, Grievous). I think they even brought in other voice actors for supporting roles. As far as readings go, this is the best one I've ever listened to.


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

    I very much liked the scene where Palpatine revealed himself to Anakin.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Trials of Oscar Wilde

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Gyles Brandreth
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    On 18th February 1895, the Marquess of Queensberry left a visiting card at the Albemarle Club on which he had written: "To Oscar Wilde posing as a sodomite." The accusation led to a series of three trials and the imprisonment of Wilde. This compelling dramatic recreation has been carefully compiled from the original trial transcripts.

    Gwynne says: "Wow! What a performance!"
    "Exactly What It Says On The Tin"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Trials of Oscar Wilde again? Why?

    Probably not. This is mostly for true-law fans. I happen to be one, and it was worth the listen, but there's no re-listen value, as I know what happens.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    As I was interested in the trial, yes.


    What aspect of Martin Jarvis’s performance would you have changed?

    Nothing. Jarvis was nothing special, nothing bad.


    Any additional comments?

    The first trial is abridged to the prosecution's opening statement and Wilde as a witness, the second trial is just the prosecution witnesses (with a directed verdict motion), and the last trial is condensed to Wilde as defense witness, and summations. It's a short and sweet summary of the proceedings. Nothing less, nothing more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Glass Key

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Dashiell Hammett
    • Narrated By Stephen R. Thorne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (45)

    Paul Madvig was a cheerfully corrupt ward-heeler who aspired to something better: the daughter of Senator Ralph Bancroft Henry, the heiress to a dynasty of political purebreds. Did he want her badly enough to commit murder? And if Madvig was innocent, which of his dozens of enemies was doing an awfully good job of framing him? Dashiell Hammett’s tour de force of detective fiction combines an airtight plot, authentically venal characters, and writing of telegraphic crispness. A one-time detective and a master of deft understatement, Hammett invented the noir crime novel.

    Darwin8u says: "Pacing Quick & Plot was Goldilocks"
    "Not Hammett's best book, but well read."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Glass Key rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Near the middle.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I liked Hammett's prose, the noir atmosphere, and the portrait he painted of a 1920's political machine.

    I didn't particularly like the ending, which I can't explain without giving it away, or the pacing, which lags for a bit in the early-middle.

    All in all, The Glass Key isn't Hammett's best, but it's still more than listen-able.


    What does Stephen R. Thorne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I can't think of anything special that Mr. Thorne brought to the reading, but he was perfectly competent. He did everything that I would expect an audiobook reader to do, and I would have no problem listening to him again.


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

    It's not really a book that induces great emotion.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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