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Vanessa

Renton, WA, United States | Member Since 2013

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 82 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Robert Louis Stevenson
    • Narrated By Alexander Spencer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (20)

    Saintly Dr. Henry Jekyll is the epitome of dedication, while the frightening Mr. Edward Hyde commits murder. What strange secret binds these two men in the fog of London?

    Vanessa says: "Short and different"
    "Short and different"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I remembered this story from watching Wishbone (a children's tv show going through some of classic books) back in my childhood, and finally decided to read the real thing. The story I remember was a bit more interesting than the real book but it's still a decent read. There isn't a whole lot of character development so it's hard to really get attached to any of the characters. There was a lot of missed potential to delve into the theory of the two halves of man, into morality, into internal perception, which this book just barely touches on. Still, it's fun to listen to the other characters in their confusion and waiting for them to realize who Hyde really is. If you want a quick and easy listen, something a bit different than the average, I would recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Treasure Island

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Robert Louis Stevenson
    • Narrated By Neil Hunt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (136)
    Story
    (136)

    If you happen to find a map in a dead buccaneer's sea trunk, you can't very well ignore it, not if you are Jim Hawkins and his friends Dr. Livesey, Captain Smollett, and Squire Trelawney! But even with a map, buried treasures are not easy things to come by.

    Darwin8u says: "A Pirate's Life Indeed."
    "Cute, quick listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I needed a break from some longer, more intense audiobooks, and this was perfect! The story is quick-paced and interesting, set in a time long ago surrounding pirates, treasures, mutinies and betrayals, doctors and young men... All great elements for a thrilling book. The reader is very expressive and carries the pirate dialogue so well it's like you're listening to real pirates. Highly recommended, arrr! :)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Crime and Punishment (Recorded Books Edition)

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1413)
    Performance
    (612)
    Story
    (609)

    Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment is universally regarded as one of literature's finest achievements, as the great Russian novelist explores the inner workings of a troubled intellectual. Raskolnikov, a nihilistic young man in the midst of a spiritual crisis, makes the fateful decision to murder a cruel pawnbroker, justifying his actions by relying on science and reason, and creating his own morality system. Dehumanized yet sympathetic, exhausted yet hopeful, Raskolnikov represents the best and worst elements of modern intellectualism. The aftermath of his crime and Petrovich's murder investigation result in an utterly compelling, truly unforgettable cat-and-mouse game. This stunning dramatization of Dostoevsky's magnum opus brings the slums of St. Petersburg and the demons of Raskolnikov's tortured mind vividly to life.

    Greg says: "Wonderful Book"
    "A fascinating study of the criminal mind!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This was an incredible book, starting at the point of insanity and showing the mentally ill logic behind a killer's plot. It also shows the torment after the crime itself, which is almost worse than prison. There's an underlying explanation of how society brought Raskolnikov to commit such an act, and how there was no saving him once he had committed it. The ending was a little anti-climatic and somewhat a let down. The rest of the story, however, was captivating.

    George Guidall's reading was, as always, outstanding. He can pick up the overall emotion of a section and really draw that out in the reading, whether that be tension or confusion or fright or anything else.

    Highly recommended to anyone who wants to understand reasoning gone bad!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oh, the Places You'll Go!

    • UNABRIDGED (7 mins)
    • By Dr. Seuss
    • Narrated By John Lithgow
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (232)

    Here is the incomparable Dr. Seuss' story of an unnamed "you" whose travels through the world involve a series of ups and downs. His ultimate success, however, is "98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed!"

    Matthew Ortiz says: "Oh, I enjoyed it very much :)"
    "Quick and Fun :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    A timeless classic. This is a great listen for anyone stepping into a new aspect of their lives, symbolically explaining that things aren't always going to go perfectly, but if we keep trying and keep smiling, we'll end up exactly where we're suppose to be. John Lithgow does a great job of emphasizing the important points and narrates very well. Highly recommended!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jane Eyre

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Charlotte Brontë
    • Narrated By Emma Messenger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (150)
    Story
    (151)

    Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences of eponymous Jane Eyre, her growth to adulthood, and her love for Mr. Rochester, the byronic master of Thornfield Hall. The novel contains elements of social criticism, with a strong sense of morality at its core, but is nonetheless a novel many consider ahead of its time given the individualistic character of Jane and the novel's exploration of sexuality, religion, and proto-feminism.

    sam says: "emma messenger makes it all new again"
    "A good book, although not too much excitement."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The love story is well written and romantic. Jane is a well educated, if not simple girl, who learns to become a strong woman. The writing is an old English style, which is a treat for me and helped to draw me into the time frame this is set in. Emma Messenger did a great job with the dialogue, giving proper emotion into the tense situations and lending an accent to the characters that I really appreciated. Overall, it's a fairly decent book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22615)
    Performance
    (13996)
    Story
    (14142)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
    "Excellent audiobook!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Already did. This is a great story that really draws you into a different time and place.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The background universe. I love the future painted here, with internet discussion boards as a major thing to follow, and schools with detailed hierarchy and games to teach the children. The author wrote it very well, and it's so similar to our present situation that you can really imagine it in our future.


    What does Stefan Rudnicki and Harlan Ellison bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Both are amazing readers. They put a lot of passion into the dialogue, give it a roundness with meaningful expressions and tone.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the story of a child growing up a genius in a time of need. The feelings are raw, everything seems so real. An excellent listen, something I recommend to everyone!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Jake Gyllenhaal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3275)
    Performance
    (2998)
    Story
    (3022)

    F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel of the Roaring Twenties is beloved by generations of readers and stands as his crowning work. This new audio edition, authorized by the Fitzgerald estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain). Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby....

    Darwin8u says: "Simple, Beautiful, and Exquisitely Textured"
    "A decent quick read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Great Gatsby to be better than the print version?

    I can't say for this specific book. I love audiobooks in general because I can still get through books with my busy daily life, so in that way yes!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Trying not to spoil anything, I would have to say I was shocked at the scene with Tom and Myrtle where she gets hurt. The shock made it memorable.


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

    'See Leonardo DiCaprio prove his skills at carrying an otherwise average movie'


    Any additional comments?

    It was a good short read, but because of that it isn't very memorable. Jake Gyllenhaal does a pretty good job at giving emotion to an otherwise pretty bland plot line. Quick and moderately fun!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Les Misérables: Translated by Julie Rose

    • UNABRIDGED (60 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Victor Hugo, Julie Rose (translator)
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (946)
    Performance
    (814)
    Story
    (823)

    One of the great classics of world literature and the inspiration for the most beloved stage musical of all time, Les Misérables is legendary author Victor Hugo’s masterpiece. This extraordinary English version by renowned translator Julie Rose captures all the majesty and brilliance of Hugo’s work. Here is the timeless story of the quintessential hunted man—Jean Valjean—and the injustices, violence, and social inequalities that torment him.

    Darwin8u says: "!"
    "Wonderful, but drags with the history!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. Wonderful character development, provoking dialogue, intriguing ideas... A true classic.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Either Jean Valjean or Bishop Myrial. Valjean is very dynamic. His struggle to find himself and become either good or evil mirrors a lot of what goes on in society, and puts on display what astonshing changes can overcome a man who is given a bit of good luck and compassion.

    Bishop Myrial is also an interesting character, although a bit more 1 dimensional. He is nearly the definition of good and selfless, and listening to his story compels the listener to be more charitable in their own lives.


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

    I haven't read the book, but Guidall is a fantasy reader. His passion reading the dialogue, changing tone slightly so as to easily let the reader know who is speaking, and his pronunciation of the French words draws you into a different world.

    There's also a lot of history and background information that I surely wouldn't have been able to read through if it hadn't been read to me. Guidall puts good effort into keeping the less exciting sections bearable.


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

    60+ hours? No.


    Any additional comments?

    The book itself does have a lot of sections that move incredibly slow, discussing Water Loo or the whole history of the convent, or some other detail that isn't at all necessary to what is otherwise a very captivating plot. Many times I've been frustrated since I wanted to hear more on what happened to the characters and had to listen to literally hours of history. But some of the history is at least appreciated, as it gives this book a wonderful depth to fully immerse oneself into.

    In short, a bit long, but definitely worth it all the while!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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