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Wallen

Danderyd, Sweden | Member Since 2003

172
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 45 reviews
  • 79 ratings
  • 513 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
7

  • The Wheel of Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1788)
    Performance
    (763)
    Story
    (765)

    FBI Agent Pendergast has taken Constance on a whirlwind Grand Tour. They head to Tibet, where Pendergast intensively trained in martial arts and spiritual studies. At a remote monastery, they learn that a rare and dangerous artifact the monks have been guarding for generations has been stolen. Pendergast agrees to take up the search. The trail leads him and Constance to the maiden voyage of the Queen Victoria passenger liner - and to an Atlantic crossing fraught with terror.

    Henrik says: "Answer to two of the questions you might have ..."
    "Exiting"
    Overall

    Preston and Child do it again! These writers create a good story out of almost nothing and they pursue the adventure to an exciting end. You don't want to put it away until you have heard the end of it, but when you reach the end, you soon forget it. This is good supense for the time being, but not great literature (but that was to be expected, wasn't it?).

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel of North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Adam Johnson
    • Narrated By Tim Kang, Josiah D. Lee, James Kyson Lee, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (904)
    Performance
    (784)
    Story
    (789)

    Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother - a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang - and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.

    Lisa says: "The most compelling listen I've ever owned"
    "A great story well performed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a horrifying story from North Korea. It is still fiction, but it could certainly have happened in that strange country, which must be slowly falling apart. This book picqued my interest in NK and I have read up on the country since and almost all stories told by those who have fled the country back up the general picture and the key elements in this fictional story.

    It was virtually impossible to put my iPhone down, and I think I completed this story in less than 3 days (I normally listen only for an hour or so per day), since I just had to listen to it at every free moment I had. The suspense is great. And it is well narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bach and the High Baroque

    • ORIGINAL (25 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (40)

    Though unappreciated in his own time, Johann Sebastian Bach has ascended to Olympian heights, the verdict of contemporary audiences long since overruled by succeeding generations of music lovers. But what makes his music great? In this series of 32 lectures, a working composer and musicologist brings his exceptional teaching skills to the task of helping you hear the extraordinary sweep of Bach's music. You'll understand the compositional language that enabled him to compose such extravagant, unbridled music while still maintaining precise control of every aspect - beat, melody, melodic repetition, interaction, and harmony.

    Flapjack says: "Depth and Entertainment"
    "Understanding Bach"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Is there anyone else out there who like me has always appreciated Bach's music? I consider Bach one of the absolutely best classical composers (alongside Beethoven), and his music has always inspired me and provided great satisfaction.

    If you have that background, this is really something for you. The courses are insprining and the narrator is enthusiastic about his topic, and he knows it very well. I advise you to listen one course at the time, then listen to some Bach music in between and then go on to the next course. If you try to take in all at the same time, it will be too much.

    One thing that bugs me, however, is that professor Greenberg does not know how to pronounce Bach's name, at least not to a listener who like me speaks German. His consistent incorrect (=American) pronounciation ("Bock") could lead to the wrong conclusion that the good professor does not know what he is talking about. But he does and he is good at it, even though his German is deplorable (his Italian and French are possibly worse). A little language exercise: try to figure out who the composers "Wiwolde" and "Cooperand" are? (That is the way these baroque composers names are pronounced in this book).

    So a really good course is tainted by bad language. However, if you can live with that, don't hesitate to buy this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 17

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Bill Drummond
    • Narrated By Bill Drummond
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In 17, Drummond analyses the past, present, and possible future of music and the ways in which we hear and relate to it. He references his own contributions to the canon of popular music, and he provides fascinating insider portraits of the industry and its protagonists. But above all, he questions our ideas of music and our attitude to sound, introducing us throughout this provocative and superbly written book to his current work, The17.

    Wallen says: "A great read"
    "A great read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read somewhere about Bill Drummond and his books "17" and "45", so when I found "17" on Audible, I downloaded it.

    It is fantastic book about music (almost philosophy about music) and a completely new way to look at music. I will not spoil your expereince by telling you what the meaning of the seventeen is, but I warmly recommend this experience. It helps if you are interested in music, of course, and especially if you are about the same age as the author (he is born in 1953) but am sure even older or younger readers can appreciate it.

    Bill narrates his book himself, which gives an extra touch of originality. It is well narrated in wonderful Scottish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick

    • UNABRIDGED (52 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Philip K. Dick, Pamela Jackson (editor), Jonathan Lethem (editor)
    • Narrated By Fred Stella
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    Based on thousands of pages of typed and handwritten notes, journal entries, letters, and story sketches, The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick is the magnificent and imaginative final work of an author who dedicated his life to questioning the nature of reality and perception, the malleability of space and time, and the relationship between the human and the divine. Edited and introduced by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem, this is the definitive presentation of Dick’s brilliant, and epic, work.

    Jonathan says: "See, It's complicated..."
    "Only for the most nerdy Dick-fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Let me start by telling you that I consider Philip K Dick the most talented science fiction writers ever, maybe one of the the most original writers of all categories. I have read all Dick's works (novels and short stories) and several of them are on my top 100 list of the best books ever. I have also read some of the biographies on Dick to try to understand him and his fiction better.

    I read my first Dick book in 1974 (We Can Build You) and as I said, I never really stopped - they are great for re-reading even twenty or thirty years later. His best fiction are from the 1960's, but takes a turn for the worst somewhere in the mid 1970's. I've always thought his novels and stories become increasingly "strange" and the religious (or semi-religious) content becomes too much in his last novels (as in Valis). I have wondered why and have attributed the turn for the worse to an ever increasing drug use (every biographer notes Dick's life-long experimenting with drugs). But it turned out I have never really understood why the fiction deteriorated so steeply in the mid-1970's, until I listened to the Exegesis.

    Thus, it was with great interest I downloaded this book. What a disappointment I was in for! I was not even able to complete the listening to the entire book, and this despite that I am a really great Dick fan. This book in simply unreadable; very little in it really makes sense.

    The explanation for the increased "strangeness" of his fiction lies in "2-3-74", i.e. some experiences of a religious (or semi-religious) nature Dick underwent in February and March of 1974. Another way of explaining it is that he turned more or less crazy around that time. The Exegesis supports that view, in that Dick himself explains he was "chosen" to undergo the "experiences". To a normal mind, this is the description of someone slowly going nuts.

    So, in conclusion, if you are a big Dick fan, in Exegesis you will find the explanation why Dick's fiction turned increasingly unreadable if written after 1975 (mercifully enough there are only four novels written after that date). But if you are not a really nerdy Dick fan don't bother reading this kipple. You will not be able to make any sense of it. But the book is well narrated.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Against the Day: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (53 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Thomas Pynchon
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (196)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (67)

    This novel spans the period between the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I. With a worldwide disaster looming just a few years ahead, it is a time of unrestrained corporate greed, false religiosity, moronic fecklessness, and evil intent in high places. No reference to the present day is intended or should be inferred.

    Rebecca Lindroos says: "brilliant!"
    "A plethora of characters - too many words"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This books starts being really interesting, but after a quarter of an hour you discover that your mind has wandered and you haven't listened to the last five minutes at all. You rewind and start over. Same thing after a while again. There are so many characters and the events change so quickly and between caracthers that you quickly lose track of who is who and what they say and why.

    The story takes place at the end of the 19th century. It is a mix of Jules Verne and Charles Dickens. Jules Verne had really interesting ideas and twists and turns (at least in his earlier novels). Dickens had really faboulus characters who became more alive the more you listened to his stories. This book is just a lot of words amassed; it is a lot of exchange of views, but nothing really drives the story forward. It lacks the originality of Jules Verne and the likability and life of the Dickens charaters. Pynchon tries to spice up the novel by placing references to other novels, events, known people, etc. but that just serves to blur the story and make it more confused.

    I have read other books by Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow, V), both of which I really liked. But Against the Day is just so boring, that I listened with some interest only to the first 10 or so chapters; the rest I just forced myself to go thru until I completely lost interest because of all the mannered and affected style of writing after the third part (of seven in all).

    The narrator tries his best to give different dialects and tones of voice to the plethrora of characters. But he breaks RULE NO. 1 for narrators of audio books. Rule No. 1 is to read with a relatively even voice volume. This narrator varies between whispering to almost screaming and every conceivable volume in between. If you set your listening volume to hear the whispering, it becoems far too loud for the screaming parts. So I had to set the volume somehwere in between, in order to not have to change the volume every 15 seconds, and then you miss some of the less loud parts. Not good narrated at all by Dick Hill.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tuesdays with Morrie: 10th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Mitch Albom
    • Narrated By Mitch Albom
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (415)
    Performance
    (229)
    Story
    (228)

    Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly 20 years ago.

    J says: "Really meaninful stuff."
    "Pretty boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't understand the hype around this book. It is neither original, nor very well written. Sort of a diary of a guy visiting a dying teacher. I get the feeling this is a book written by a loser for losers, because the message is "don't do things, sit down and think about them instead". The narration is good, though.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Nelson Johnson
    • Narrated By Joe Mantegna, Terence Winter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (361)
    Performance
    (155)
    Story
    (158)

    From its inception, Atlantic City has always been a town dedicated to the fast buck, and this wide-reachinghistory offers a riveting account of its past 100 year, from the city's heyday as a Prohibition-era mecca of lawlessness to its rebirth as a legitimate casino resort in the modern era.

    Frances says: "I love stories steeped in History"
    "Republicans and gangsters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The most revealing and interesting part about this book is how the Republican party supported and encouraged organized crime in Atlantic City. The ties between republicans and gangsters gave rise to this city of bars, casinos and brothels. But as it is said in the books: "People want bars, casinos and brothels, so we give it to them. If they had wanted bible studies, we'd had given them bible studies".
    The story is interesting, if a little too exhaustive with too many details about what happended several generations ago. But still worth listening to. Well read as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nobody's Fool

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Richard Russo
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (538)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (165)

    Divorced from his own wife and carrying on halfheartedly with another man's, saddled with a bum knee and friends who make enemies redundant, Sully now has one new problem to cope with: a long-estranged son who is in imminent danger of following in his father's footsteps. With its sly and uproarious humor and a heart that embraces humanity's follies as well as its triumphs, Nobody's Fool is storytelling at its most generous.

    Steve says: "Russo is a genious."
    "A great read"
    Overall

    This is the story about a rather obnoxious person - a handyman or dayworker who seems to do his best to destroy his own life, but always comes out on top. Life is full of people like him, but very few are as stable and humourous as this person. I grew very fond of him. In fact, I'd like to read more about him, and this as good a grade as a writer can get from his reader.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mannen från Barnsdale: historien om Robin Hood och hans legend

    • ABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Dick Harrison
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Han stod där i gläntan med en båge i handen, ett svärd och ett koger med pilar. Med fjäderhatt och gröna kläder tycktes han framtrollad ur en myt om vildmarken, en gestalt för sagolik för att vara verklig. Ändå var han verklig. Sir Henry gnisslade tänder och stirrade ursinnigt mot skurken. Så hade en roman om Robin Hood kunnat börja. Men det här är ingen roman. Det här är en bok om historien bakom historien, om legenden i sig och om den verklighet som döljer sig där bakom.

    Wallen says: "Good about Robin Hood"
    "Good about Robin Hood"
    Overall

    In this book professional historian Dick Harrison shows that he can write interesting and good books about histrorical events. His research is so thorough you could call it almost over the top. But very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Toobin
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (631)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (155)

    Based on exclusive interviews with justices themselves, The Nine tells the story of the Supreme Court through personalities, from Anthony Kennedy's overwhelming sense of self-importance to Clarence Thomas' well-tended grievances against his critics to David Souter's odd 19th-century lifestyle. There is also, for the first time, the full behind-the-scenes story of Bush v. Gore and Sandra Day O'Connor's fateful breach with George W. Bush, the president she helped place in office.

    Stephen says: "Fascinating"
    "Well researched and a great read"
    Overall

    It is very scary to read how the Republican Christian Right-wing decided to conquer the Supreme Court - and succeeded. A less known - and quite dirty - part of American history is here brought to light. It is somewhat of a scary science fiction novel to read how ultra-conservative people can influence our daily life. But it is true. Apart from how that swing in majority in the Court was made possible, this is a very good analysis of the Court and how it works. Even the legal parts are well written and analyzed (says this legally trained reader.) Highly recommended!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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