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  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Peter Husmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A mysterious sea monster, theorized by some to be a giant narwhal, is sighted by ships of several nations; an ocean liner is also damaged by the creature. The United States government finally assembles an expedition to track down and destroy the menace. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a noted French marine biologist and narrator of the story, master harpoonist Ned Land, and Aronnax's faithful assistant Conseil join the expedition.

    John S says: "A classic that everyone should read."
    "Feel like I went on the voyage"
    If you could sum up Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea in three words, what would they be?

    Breathtaking unforgettable voyage

    What did you like best about this story?

    When they went for their first walk underwater to the forest. The way the reader brought excitement in his voice when talking about the wanders the professor was seeing piked your interest so much that you had to stop the book and go look up pictures of what the book was describing. And that caused the book to come even more to life. And the walk through the sunken city of Atlantis. The description of the volcanic active lightening up the city. It made me want to take the time to wonder among the ruins described.

    Which character – as performed by Peter Hussman – was your favorite?

    The Canadian harpooner - Peter's voice inflections brought alive the surliness, frustration and anger. You didn't just hear the words you felt like the real person was there and you were witnessing the actual scene.

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

    Most definitely. And I will listen to it again.

    Any additional comments?

    I knew that movies aren't as good as the book and that Disney basically rewrote most of the stories they made. But they left so much of the best stuff out of the movie that it was a real surprise to actually listen to the book. I hated to stop to go into work each day. And I would take the country way home so I could drive slower to be able to listen longer. While the Nautilus was going through the Mediterranean, I was driving though the ice and snow. The story became so involving that when I parked, it was like going into a dream world instead of reality when I got out to face the walk through the cold parking lot to work.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Elvenbane

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackey
    • Narrated By Aasne Vigesaa

    Two masters of epic fantasy have combined in this brilliant collaboration to create a rousing tale. This is the story of Shana, a half-breed born of the forbidden union of an Elvenlord father with a human mother. Her exiled mother dead, Shana was rescued and raised by dragons, a proud, ancient race who existed unbeknownst to elven or human kind. From birth, Shana was the embodiment of the Prophecy that the all-powerful Elvenlords feared. Her destiny is the enthralling adventure of a lifetime.

    Jo Dangerously says: "A fun listen"
    "Surprisenly enjoyable"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The start of this book in a harem had me going back to look at the equivalent of the book flyleaf. I wasn't at all sure I had gotten the book I had selected. But after I got over the shock, I found it to be very entertaining. And as I got further into the story, it went well beyond the sort I book I was expecting. It was a complete change in a major way from how Elves and Dragons are usually portrayed in stories. This difference brought real excitement to the story instead of just another retelling of the standard fare of a story with small chances where you basically knew the plot. It rips the glow and halo of the elves and gives a giant leap in the character of the dragons changing them to something so much more interesting that beast.

    What did you like best about this story?

    The fact that it told that not everything turns out right in the end. That some will suffer and die even if they don't deserve it but it is worth trying no matter what. And that one person can make a big difference and change the course of events. Though the person that accomplishes this doesn't always end up being perfect or even being rewarded.

    Any additional comments?

    I'm not a prude but I was surprised by how the book started out. I was expecting a book about elves and dragons along the normal lines of the standard stories. Starting out with a selfish conniving human in a harem for a powerful elf ruler wasn't what I was expecting from a book about elves and dragons. The way the dragons would interact secretly in the lives of the elves and humans was much more interesting than the way stories usually portray them. This book made the other stories seem like the had been Disney-fide to their most simplest flat form while this instead still held all the vim and vigor of life even the ugly sides. People/elves/Dragons where portrayed to have real faults, jealousy, power hunger and even cruelty. While still showing that strength of character and good could also present in the same. Instead of making their character one dimensional by always being bad or good.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Custom of the Country

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Edith Wharton
    • Narrated By Barbara Caruso
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Edith Wharton stands among the finest writers of early 20th-century America. In The Custom of the Country, Wharton’s scathing social commentary is on full display through the beautiful and manipulative Undine Spragg. When Undine convinces her nouveau riche parents to move to New York, she quickly injects herself into high society. But even a well-to-do husband isn’t enough for Undine, whose overwhelming lust for wealth proves to be her undoing.

    Esther says: "Cannot recommend a better narrator!"
    "Not worthy to be called a "Classic" to me"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone who enjoys hearing about the manners and dress of that period of time for the rich and doesn't mind that there isn't a real story to frame it against. It seems more interest in telling the customs of a country like the title says than in telling a story.

    Has The Custom of the Country turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, though I don't think I would be interested in reading or listening to any of Edith Wharton's books.

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

    It wasn't the reader's fault the book didn't come alive. She tried hard but you can't add interest with just the inflections of your voice if the story is so flat.

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom and disappointment. I keep waiting for the story to go deeper and some sort of plot to surface which it never did. It came as a relief when it ended. And I was very disappointed that it spent so much time on describing clothes, the way the rich would travel to place to place without opening the characters up so that they would seem real instead of the flat forgettable characters she wrote. Seemed to touch the surface of something that could be interesting and would bounce off in another direction.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Hobbit

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

    Derek B. says: "A grand literary adventure!"
    "Throughly enjoyed"
    Would you listen to The Hobbit again? Why?

    Yes, I would listen to it again and again just as I have read the book for myself on many occasions. The reader's voice sounds so much like I would expect the different character's voices to sound after having read the story myself. He adds so much with the way he sang the songs that go so far beyond the flat way my head did them when I read it. He makes me feel like I can smell the smoke, hear the sorrow and weariness. Though I always felt like I was there beside the characters when I read, he had a way making it so much more real.

    What did you like best about this story?

    The songs, and the way Tolkien had Bilbo find some much more depth and strength in his character than he thought he had at the start of the story.

    What about Rob Inglis’s performance did you like?

    The songs and the emotion he put into the words. He was able to take a story that I thought I knew from many reading on my own and make it new and fresh. Giving so much more to it.

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

    When the dwarfs started turning to Bilbo for leadership/guidance after having treating him as a burden and useless waste.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By John Lee

    Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything: a fine reputation, an appointment as captain of a ship, and the heart of a beautiful woman. But his perfect life is shattered when three jealous friends conspire to destroy him. Falsely accused of a political crime, Dantès is locked away for life in the infamous Chateau d'If prison. But it is there that Dantès learns of a vast hidden treasure.

    Ramon says: "A true Time-machine"
    "Truely a must read/listen to book"
    Would you listen to The Count of Monte Cristo again? Why?

    I'm currently listening to it for the 2nd time and will definitely listen to it again multiply times at later dates. The story has everything you could want, love, betrayal, retaliation, redemption, trials and much more. The readers way of reading the story adds to depth of the story and gives feeling to it unlike some readers. I loved the story when I read the book many years ago but I feel like the reader brought it alive. Every time the story is read, new aspects that you didn't think about open to you. It gets you thinking about some of the history that happened during the period of the story and makes you curious to find out more details which makes the story come alive even more.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The abbey that was in prison with Edmond was my favorite character. He showed how we are not limited by the restrictions of our circumstances but how we go grow beyond them. And how we can be contented, pleasant and helpful to others even in our trials. If even 2% of the people in the world where like he was, things would be so much better.

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

    I had never listened to John Lee before. I will definitely be checking out the available books to see what else he had done.

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

    Power, corruption, betrayal, lust, murder, retaliation, money, love, intrigue this story has it all in such depth that you will be unable to turn away for wanting to know and see more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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