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Darrell

Tell us about yourself!

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, United States | Member Since 2013

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 105 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015
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  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Jonathan Aris, Paula Wilcox
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1579)
    Performance
    (797)
    Story
    (797)

    In 1799, the artificial island of Dejima lies in Nagasaki Harbor as Japan’s outpost for the Dutch East Indies Company. There, Jacob de Zoet has come to make a fortune large enough to return to Holland and marry the woman he loves.

    Michael Cox says: "Less about the arrival more about the ride"
    "Trade and Treachery in 19th Century Japan"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet?

    This book gives the reader a wonderful window into insular Japan and their relationship with foreigners inhabiting the Dutch Trade mission at Nagasaki. It is a story of love, hesitation, loss, and courage seen through the eyes of a young Dutch clerk and a Japanese midwife as their lives intermingle.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jakob De Zoet was my favorite character as I share both his Dutch ancestry and red hair. Jakob was a man of great principle and integrity who exhibited unexpected courage when most men would have fled. His thirst for knowledge and understanding of the Japanese Culture, and his abiding love for the Mysterious Miss Origato, made him a character with whom I could identify.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The death scene in the Magistrates rooms.


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

    It was perhaps a little long for a single sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    A wonderful and informative historical novel.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2659)
    Performance
    (1975)
    Story
    (1980)

    The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another....

    Chris says: "Frightening, Powerful, Deeply Thought-provoking."
    "An eerie echo from the past"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to In the Garden of Beasts the most enjoyable?

    My experience of this riveting story of the insidious rise of Nazi power, was made more enjoyable by the fact that the wife of the American Ambassador to Germany, Martha JohnsDodd of Amherst Virginia was a relative of mine. This story is an account of an American family, stationed in Berlin in 1933-34, and their gradual realization of the horror that was unfolding around them.


    What other book might you compare In the Garden of Beasts to and why?

    In The Garden Of Beasts is comparable to William L Shirer's Berlin Diary. Erik Larson's writing style is reminiscent of both Shirer and of Christopher Isherwood in his own Berlin Diaries.


    Which character – as performed by Stephen Hoye – was your favorite?

    This book is well researched and historically accurate; but instead of being a dry recitation of places and dates, the author artfully weaves the personalities of the various characters against the backdrop of an enlightened Berlin rapidly falling into bottomless darkness. William Dodd Sr. was my favorite character. His transformation from a bookish professor, fondly remembering the Germany of his collage days, to the realist, but ineffectual, diplomat gradually opening his eyes to the abyss that is Nazi Germany in 1934.


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

    Prelude to the Holocaust.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is chilling, particularly in the light of the current right wing voices in our country.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Finn: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Jon Clinch
    • Narrated By Ed Sala
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    One hundred and twenty years ago, Mark Twain left Huckleberry Finn’s father dead in a room crowded with oddities: a wooden leg, women’s underclothing, two black cloth masks, and more. Now, in a resonant and remarkable new novel, Jon Clinch tells the story of how the brutal and explosive Finn met his end in a room jammed with the telltale artifacts of his strange and mysterious life.

    Darrell says: "Finn brought to life in Clinch's homage to Twain."
    "Finn brought to life in Clinch's homage to Twain."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Finn rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would say that it ranks in the top 5 audiobooks that I have listened to over the years. The book is well written and the narration by Ed Sala is pitch perfect.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story allowed a glimpse at the humanity present in even the most dispicable of men. I even allowed for a bit of compassion for a monster, with few if any redeeming qualities.


    Which character – as performed by Ed Sala – was your favorite?

    I like the fire and intelligence of Mary. Her love for Huck and her ambition for him to better himself, redeems Huck from repeating the life and sins of the father, Pap Finn.


    Who was the most memorable character of Finn and why?

    Perhaps the most memorable charactor was, the dried up old husk
    of the Widow Douglas. She is coniving and self important, and yet at the same time being torn between convention and compassion
    when it come right down to it.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Macbeth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By A. J. Hartley, David Hewson
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1550)
    Performance
    (1300)
    Story
    (1295)

    Macbeth: A Novel brings the intricacy and grit of the historical thriller to Shakespeare’s tale of political intrigue, treachery, and murder. In this full-length novel written exclusively for audio, authors A. J. Hartley and David Hewson rethink literature’s most infamous married couple, grounding them in a medieval Scotland whose military and political upheavals are as stark and dramatic as the landscape in which they are played.

    Beverly says: "Narrator choice inspired"
    "A New Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Macbeth: A Novel rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The richness of the English language is amply evident in this wonderful retelling of Shakespeare's tale. The authors add flesh and historical context to the charactors of this sparce charactor study set in the wild highlands of Scotland, bringing a new vitality to


    What did you like best about this story?

    I especially enjoyed the depiction of the 3 weird sisters. They were brought to life with such vivid imagery, that I will not soon forget them; or their vile splendor.


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

    The narration is the best that I have heard and only adds to the earthy richness of the book. The scottish burr in the narrator's voice brings a delightful resonance to the prose being read.


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

    Macbeth in the flesh. Peter Jackson directs.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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