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Alexandria Milton

Alexandria

New York | Member Since 2012

29
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 44 reviews
  • 68 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 60 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
12
FOLLOWERS
2

  • George Carlin Reads to You: An Audio Collection Including Grammy Winners 'Braindroppings' and 'Napalm & Silly Putty'

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By George Carlin
    • Narrated By George Carlin
    Overall
    (876)
    Performance
    (788)
    Story
    (782)

    If one George Carlin audio is funny, then two are funnier and three must be funniest, right? That's our thinking behind this new collection. t's a HighBridge library of laugh-out-loud, award-winning recordings featuring George himself performing many of his best bits.

    Rick says: "Like a Cast of Thousands"
    "Ebb and flow, up and down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is audiobook made me laugh hysterically for a few bits, then bored me to tears for a few bits. But in the end, I really only remember laughing. George Carlin read to me before bed every night for about two weeks, and his extremely enthusiastic (if I can use that word) narration held me rapt, even while listening to long lists of oxymorons and Carlin's pet peeves for minutes at a time (some of them were quite witty).

    George Carlin reading to me was a nice change of pace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thérèse Raquin

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Emile Zola
    • Narrated By Kate Winslet
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (819)
    Performance
    (746)
    Story
    (737)

    Once upon a time, a teenaged Kate Winslet (The Reader, Titanic, Revolutionary Road) received a gift that would leave a lasting impression: a copy of Emile Zola’s classic Thérèse Raquin. Six Academy Award nominations and one Best Actress award later, she steps behind the microphone to perform this haunting classic of passion and disaster.

    Jean says: "worth a listen"
    "A very grim classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not opposed to gloomy stories generally, but I found this book so profoundly depressing that it started to affect my quality of life and I was relieved when it was over. Kate Winslet's narration is quite good, but her tone certainly does nothing to relieve any of the darkness from the tale, though I doubt it was supposed to. The book is well written but at times seems directionless and un-anchored, though I think that may have been the point.

    If you enjoy some of the more grim classics, this is definitely for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Piper Kerman
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2074)
    Performance
    (1884)
    Story
    (1899)

    With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.

    Mark says: "My favorite book of the year, so far"
    "Good memoir on a woman's prison life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was conflicted on how to rate this memoir. It moves quickly and it is about a a subject matter people rarely hear about, providing a look inside a womens prison and into the how the war on drugs affects women. It is not fabulous writing, but its quick, to-the-point pace makes up for it. Cassandra Campbell's narration was intensely irritating at first, but it improves as other characters are introduced and Campbell has a chance to prove herself with the accents, which she does well, assigning different and distinct voices to each of the women so that they come alive.

    The author is hyper aware of her privileged status as an upper class white woman in the prison context, and she makes an effort to integrate a lower-class, minority perspective into her writing. But since the cards are not stacked so fiercely against her as they are against most of her fellow inmates, she can do little in this respect except offer empathy. There are several dialogue scenes between Piper and authority figures in the book, where it is more or less revealed that the drug laws in place are not intended for nice upperclass white people like herself, and she is repeatedly told that she doesn't belong there. This is irritating from a policy perspective, because it implies that the other less privileged women in the prison ARE supposed to be there, despite having similar convictions for drug-related crimes. Though she is undoubtedly writing from a place of privilege, it is to Piper's credit that she does try to shed light on the absurdity of drug policy and its motivations and highlight how devastating the war on drugs is for less privileged women, and how the prison system in the US makes the situation worse.

    It is worth the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Trick of the Light: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (969)
    Performance
    (829)
    Story
    (822)

    “Hearts are broken,” Lillian Dyson carefully underlined in a book. “Sweet relationships are dead.” But now Lillian herself is dead. Found among the bleeding hearts and lilacs of Clara Morrow's garden in Three Pines, shattering the celebrations of Clara's solo show at the famed Musée in Montreal.

    barbara says: "Amazing"
    "The Evolution of Penny"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've always liked these books despite their flimsy story lines and sappy characterizations. There's something comfortable about them and about Ralph Cosham's voice that keeps me returning to this series and helps me overlook the flaws in writing and conception. But this book surprised me.

    This is perhaps the best written and conceived book of the series so far. Penny's confidence is clearly growing as her characters and plot lines gain complexity and depth. The best part is that the ending was entirely a surprise, but not a sloppy one as she is prone to. This ending was clearly thought out, and I'm looking forward to the continued evolution of Penny's writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Collector

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1447)
    Performance
    (1297)
    Story
    (1317)

    From #1 New York Times-best-selling author Nora Roberts comes a novel of a woman who needs nothing, a man who sees everything, and the web of deceit, greed, and danger that brings them together - and that could tear them apart… As a professional house-sitter and freelance writer, nothing ties Lila Emerson down - not her work, not a home, and definitely not a relationship. She spends her life moving from one job to the next, sometimes crashing at a friend 's Manhattan apartment. And though she can appreciate her clients ' extraordinary homes, their expensive collections, and their adorable pets, Lila has never longed for possessions of her own. Everything she has, including her heart, is portable.

    Elaine says: "One of Nora's best in years"
    "Fast Romance, Flat Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The only other Nora Roberts book I've listened to was "The Witness" which I enjoyed because of the narrator - Julie Whalen - and the suspense in the plot. "The Collector" is the polar opposite. The story and characters are so flat and implausible that it seems almost as if the book was published as a rough draft rather than a finished product. But the larger crime was the lack of suspense. This book leaves nothing to the imagination - Roberts fails to lay groundwork for any of the plot lines to give the reader a reason to feel invested in the story or the characters. They all get exactly what they want and it all happens fairly predictably and quickly, with very little real conflict. In contrast, the main character in "The Witness" was on her own for most of that book, learning her lessons, developing her own personality, depending on herself. When a man was finally added, the reader was granted a lengthy period of suspense where it was entirely plausible that she would rebuff him or find herself happier alone. The story's resolution was not a foregone conclusion.

    Bottom line: Don't mistake "The Collector" as being on par with "The Witness". You'll be very disappointed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • El Túnel [The Tunnel (Texto Completo)]

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ernesto Sabato
    • Narrated By George Bass
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Ernesto Sabato nació en Rojas, provincia de Buenos Aires, en 1911. Cursó estudios de filosofia en la Universidad de La Plata, trabajó en el Laboratorio Curie y abandonó la ciencia en 1945 para dedicarse a la literatura.

    Alexandria Milton says: "Second Calling"
    "Second Calling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't so much return to this book as it called me back. Juan Pablo's story, if you can call it that, is not one that you read and enjoy and move on from; it seeps into you. In my case, three years passed between first reading El Túnel and subconscious reminders that caused me to pick it up again.

    "I am groping my way in the dark, and I need your help because I know you feel the way I do." Juan Pablo says variations on these words repeatedly to María and to himself, almost like a mantra or a chant. He becomes obsessed with her because he believes they are the same, that only they can understand one another. But in fact they are entirely different and it is the composition of their difference that makes their encounter toxic; María seeks to control everything through passivity and deception, even to herself, while Juan Pablo seeks to achieve freedom from his own tortured soul by being consumed by hers. She drives him deeper into his insanity, but is all the while aware of his madness, even from their very first encounter. She in turn warns him that she destroys everything that comes near her, but he is not deterred; on the contrary. They both seek oblivion, but only María achieves it.

    "I had a flash of intuition. Quickly I struck a second match. Just as I had suspected, María was smiling. That is, she was not smiling then, but a tenth of a second earlier she had been smiling. I sometimes have the sensation that someone was watching me, and, turning suddenly and not finding anyone, sensed that the emptiness around me was very recent, that something fleeting had just disappeared, leaving a slight rippled vibrating on the air. It was something like that." From an obsessive compulsion to fill a void - the human condition itself - Juan Pablo enlarges it. Deep inside he knew María was not the answer, and it drove him mad. His search for connection only leaves him more alone.

    George Bass's Spanish narration is amazing and perfectly suited to the tone of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Free: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

    • UNABRIDGED (15 mins)
    • By James Thurber
    • Narrated By Ben Stiller
    Overall
    (2670)
    Performance
    (2377)
    Story
    (2404)

    Mild-mannered Walter Mitty is a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. This well-known and beloved tale has launched its famous protagonist into the cultural lexicon, warranting his inclusion in English-language dictionaries and countless anthologies. Stiller's imaginative performance as Mitty is the perfect re-introduction to the classic character and a great preface to the upcoming film, for longtime fans and new listeners alike.

    Dave says: "We Only Live Once. Or Do We?"
    "Second time's a charm"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first time I listened to this book, I found myself quite confused - Stiller does his best to differentiate the voices, but they all sound a bit the same, which can be confusing since it's a story dealing heavily in dreams and fantasies. But everything came together the second time I listened to it, and I found it to be thoroughly enjoying, if not more than a little quirky!

    If at first you don't succeed, try again. This one's worth it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mother Night

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (422)
    Performance
    (287)
    Story
    (288)

    American Howard W. Campbell, Jr., a spy during World War II, is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal. But is he really guilty? In this brilliant book rife with true gallows humor, Kurt Vonnegut turns black and white into a chilling shade of grey with a verdict that will haunt us all. Mother Night is a daring challenge to our moral sense.

    Robert says: "“We are what we pretend to be”"
    "A murky shade of grey"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    “I had hoped, as a broadcaster, to be merely ludicrous, but this is a hard world to be ludicrous in, with so many human beings so reluctant to laugh, so incapable of thought, so eager to believe and snarl and hate. So many people wanted to believe me! Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile.”

    In "Mother Night," Vonnegut takes the mother of all black and white scenarios - an accused Nazi on trial in Israel for war crimes against humanity - and adds levels of complexity and nuance until it is a very murky shade of grey. Howard W. Campbell, Jr. is an American actor living in war-time Germany when he is recruited by the CIA as an American spy. He becomes a radio broadcaster, a propogandist for the SS, helping to fan the flames of hatred and unrest. Within his broadcasts, he includes coded messages to American intelligence. But he becomes so effective in his position, plays his role so well, that it soon becomes unclear which side he's on. Campbell himself is taken aback by his own success in Germany and amongst the Nazis, for (as the quote above illustrates) he layered it on so thick in his broadcasts that he never thought such vile would ever be taken seriously by society, let alone swallowed and digested whole. After the war ends, the CIA refuses to acknowledge their relationship with him for fear of aligning themselves with such a notorious Nazi war criminal, while all the time he had been following their directives, sacrificing his whole self - life, reputation, career, marriage - for a sense of moral patriotism, rather than patriotism connected to country, which he wholly rejected.

    “You hate America, don't you?'
    "That would be as silly as loving it,' I said. 'It's impossible for me to get emotional about it, because real estate doesn't interest me. It's no doubt a great flaw in my personality, but I can't think in terms of boundaries. Those imaginary lines are as unreal to me as elves and pixies. I can't believe that they mark the end or the beginning of anything of real concern to a human soul. Virtues and vices, pleasures and pains cross boundaries at will.”

    This book takes a close, questioning look at moral culpability, individual reasoning, and personal responsibility. What is the nature of his guilt, if any, both in the eyes of society and in his own conscience? What is the responsibility of society towards the individual? What are the stories we tell ourselves to justify our actions, and does our righteous reasoning make them justified? This slim story raises many questions with no easy answers. It is brilliant.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mother Night

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    American Howard W. Campbell, Jr., a spy during World War II, is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal. But is he really guilty? In this brilliant book rife with true gallows humor, Kurt Vonnegut turns black and white into a chilling shade of grey with a verdict that will haunt us all. Mother Night is a daring challenge to our moral sense.

    Melinda says: "The Moral of the Story"
    "A murky shade of grey"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    “I had hoped, as a broadcaster, to be merely ludicrous, but this is a hard world to be ludicrous in, with so many human beings so reluctant to laugh, so incapable of thought, so eager to believe and snarl and hate. So many people wanted to believe me! Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile.”

    In "Mother Night," Vonnegut takes the mother of all black and white scenarios - an accused Nazi on trial in Israel for war crimes against humanity - and adds levels of complexity and nuance until it is a very murky shade of grey. Howard W. Campbell, Jr. is an American actor living in war-time Germany when he is recruited by the CIA as an American spy. He becomes a radio broadcaster, a propogandist for the SS, helping to fan the flames of hatred and unrest. Within his broadcasts, he includes coded messages to American intelligence. But he becomes so effective in his position, plays his role so well, that it soon becomes unclear which side he's on. Campbell himself is taken aback by his own success in Germany and amongst the Nazis, for (as the quote above illustrates) he layered it on so thick in his broadcasts that he never thought such vile would ever be taken seriously by society, let alone swallowed and digested whole. After the war ends, the CIA refuses to acknowledge their relationship with him for fear of aligning themselves with such a notorious Nazi war criminal, while all the time he had been following their directives, sacrificing his whole self - life, reputation, career, marriage - for a sense of moral patriotism, rather than patriotism connected to country, which he wholly rejected.

    “You hate America, don't you?'
    "That would be as silly as loving it,' I said. 'It's impossible for me to get emotional about it, because real estate doesn't interest me. It's no doubt a great flaw in my personality, but I can't think in terms of boundaries. Those imaginary lines are as unreal to me as elves and pixies. I can't believe that they mark the end or the beginning of anything of real concern to a human soul. Virtues and vices, pleasures and pains cross boundaries at will.”

    This book takes a close, questioning look at moral culpability, individual reasoning, and personal responsibility. What is the nature of his guilt, if any, both in the eyes of society and in his own conscience? What is the responsibility of society towards the individual? What are the stories we tell ourselves to justify our actions, and does our righteous reasoning make them justified? This slim story raises many questions with no easy answers. It is brilliant.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Burglar in the Rye

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Lawrence Block
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (79)

    Winner of multiple Edgar and Shamus Awards, Lawrence Block keeps fans guessing to the end with his rollicking Bernie Rhodenbarr mysteries. In this diverting caper, full-time bookstore owner and part-time burglar Bernie tries to do the right thing for a new friend, only to find himself accused of some terrible wrongs.

    F. Hayek says: "Outstanding"
    "A Moral Thief"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first book I've listened to in the series, and thankfully I didn't feel like I was missing any important information.

    This is an enjoyable and solidly entertaining book. What it is not is original. It follows a fairly detectable formula of detective stories focused on the wrongfully accused with one exception: whereas usually such stories have a strong "man against the world" angle, the hero-thief of this story had a whole host of supporting characters gladly helping him along, confident of his innocence. While it's an interesting angle, it also deprived the story of a certain level of suspense - if everyone is already on his side, then is anything really at stake?

    To his benefit, the author kept it nice and simple and knew when to quit. Had this story been 15 hours I would have hated it, but its fast pace and catchy dialogue kept me hooked. I can't complain.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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