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Joyce

Old Reader

Member Since 2004

43
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 34 reviews
  • 123 ratings
  • 213 titles in library
  • 57 purchased in 2014
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  • The Botany of Desire

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1528)
    Performance
    (796)
    Story
    (799)

    Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers' genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship.

    Teddy says: "If you have an open mind... Give it a listen"
    "The Botany of Desire"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Michael Pollan and/or Scott Brick?

    Michael Pollan, yes. Scott Brick, no.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Botany of Desire?

    n/a


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    no


    Do you think The Botany of Desire needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    Definitely I would buy another Micheal Pollan book. Although Scott Brick did his best, he just didn't read it as I want it read. No humor. A nasal tone to his voice. Too bad.

    I had read the book and remember laughing out loud at Micheal's brush with the law in the marijuana segment. I was looking forward to hearing it read. Somehow even that didn't come off, with Mr. Brick. It fell flat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech that Nobody Knows

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Gabor Boritt
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (88)

    The literature of the Gettysburg Address tends to fall into one of two extremes. At one end are those books that maintain that Lincoln wrote his speech hastily, even on a scrap of paper on the train en route from Washington to Gettysburg. In this version, Lincoln delivered his remarks to an uncomprehending public, which applauded politely, failing to appreciate his genius. Many of the books that argued this point of view are out of print today, but the myths and legends live on.

    D. Littman says: "add this to your Lincoln bookshelf"
    "READ THIS BOOK"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow! What a joy this book is and wonderfully read to us by Michael Kramer. I now very much want to visit to Gettysburg.

    Gabor Boritt gives full credit to Garry Wills (I made sure of that before I bought the book) who wrote "Lincoln At Gettysburg". Boritt gives us the full spectrum between Wills' scholarship and the various contradictory tales of the original origin of the great dedication.

    Like it or not you find yourself, with Honest beloved Abe, placed in Gettysburg in 1863.

    There's not a dull moment. What I found very interesting and embarressing to myself, was how great is the Edward Everett speech. In my ignorance I had always assumed it to be a "rant". It appears (could it be in its entirety, perhaps as an appendix?) at the end. I have never have been able to READ through it, but listening to it makes all the difference. I think not being able to see all that close packed prose makes it easy and wonderful. Sorry, but there it is.

    In his two hour dissertation Everett describes minutely the 3 day horror, the causes of the War, and what is "rebellion" and what is not.

    Furthermore, he makes clear how lucky we were and are, as a nation, to have had President Lincoln there at that time. He was such a great and gentle politician. For example, he always referred to the Confederates as "rebels" rather than "traitors" which a less wise man might have done. Nothing in this book is superficial and much new about this great President is brought to light.

    I can't stop listening to it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Me Before You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3541)
    Performance
    (3208)
    Story
    (3226)

    Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life - steady boyfriend, close family - who has never been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life - big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel - and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy - but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected.

    Michael says: "Who or What defines Quality of Life?"
    "Wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great characters. Important message. The different narrators for different characters works well. The characters grow on you. I found myself nearly in tears (good tears) at the end, which rarely happens with me. Wonderful writing. I hated it to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • King Solomon's Carpet

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Barbara Vine
    • Narrated By Michael Pennington
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (3)

    Eccentric Jarvis lives in a crumbling schoolhouse overlooking the tube line, compiling his obsessive history of the Underground. A group of misfits are also drawn towards his strange house: Alice, who has run away from her husband and baby; Tom, the busker who rescues her; truant Jasper who finds his terrifying thrills on the tube; and enigmatic Axel, whose deadly secret casts a shadow over all their lives.

    Pat says: "Fascinating"
    "Hated it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fine writing as always, but nothing but gratuitous nastiness. Everyone you like is hit with coincidental disaster. No reason for it. People of no account undo all those of account. And no retribution. Everyone gets wiped out. Why such meanness, Barbara?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Primary Phase (Dramatised)

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Douglas Adams
    • Narrated By Peter Jones, Simon Jones, Geoffrey McGivern, and others
    Overall
    (1573)
    Performance
    (1268)
    Story
    (1274)

    A Special Edition of the original radio series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1978 and recently voted the Nation's Favourite Audiobook in a Guardian poll. Starring Peter Jones, Simon Jones, Geoffrey McGivern, Mark Wing-Davey, Susan Sheridan and Stephen Moore, these six episodes (Fit the First to Fit the Sixth) have been remastered to modern-day standards by Dirk Maggs, and for the first time feature Philip Pope's arrangement of the familiar theme tune.

    Thomas says: "Difficult to listen to in the car!"
    "Marvelous book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not a dull moment and uproarious too. Cast of characters wonderfully acted by actors of repute as well, as may surprise you, intelligence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cricket on the Hearth

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    Overall
    (3088)
    Performance
    (2599)
    Story
    (2629)

    The holidays are upon us, and this year Audible is very happy to present to our members one of Charles Dickens’ most popular Christmas stories, The Cricket on the Hearth. This holiday classic (original subtitle: “A Fairy Tale of Home”) tells the innocent, picturesque, and charming story of a poor family and their would-be guardian angel; in short, a delightful vision of Victorian Christmas. As always, a great story calls for a great voice, so we’ve brought in legendary actor and record-breaking Audie and Grammy award-winning narrator Jim Dale (The Night Circus). Happy holidays and happy listening!

    Benedict says: "One of the best stories about Men and Women ..."
    "Superb Dickens"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having heard about The Cricket On The Hearth endlessly all my childhood, but somehow not having read or had read to me the book itself, it has been a special Christmas treat. Thank you Mr. Cricket for all your good deeds.

    Wonderfully intricate and fanciful plot. The usual marvelously Dickensian cast of characters: mistakes made, rectified and the grand unexpected ending where all comes out as one would wish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Basin and Range: Annals of the Former World, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By John McPhee
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    Overall
    (196)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (52)

    To geologists, rocks are beautiful, roadcuts are windowpanes, and the earth is alive, a work in progress. The cataclysmic movement that gives birth to mountains and oceans is ongoing and can still be seen at certain places on our planet. One of these is the Basin and Range region centered in Nevada and Utah.

    Julie says: "Wow."
    "Marvelous book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    McPhee tells us the story of the discovery of the speeding of the ocean floor and the Tectonic Plate which result and on which we live.

    The narration leaves something to be desired, but well worth buying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Crime and Punishment

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky, Constance Garnett (translator)
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (512)
    Performance
    (347)
    Story
    (349)

    In this intense detective thriller instilled with philosophical, religious, and social commentary, Dostoevsky studies the psychological impact upon a desperate and impoverished student when he murders a despicable pawnbroker, transgressing moral law to ultimately "benefit humanity".

    Mubarak says: "Excellent Excellent Excellent!"
    "A great narrator reads a great book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An outstanding performance. I hadn't read C&P since high school. I was kind of dreading rereading it….so gloomy, I thought. Wrong. Raskalnikov fascinates … not only us, the readers, but all the characters in the book. He is sought after and wondered at and loved. The characters are many and wonderfully created by Anthony Heald.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pride and Prejudice - the 200th Anniversary Audio Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Alison Larkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (63)

    Jane Austen's most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice, is brought to sparkling life in this new unabridged recording by AudioFile earphones award winning narrator Alison Larkin. A witty and always original voice, Alison Larkin is the perfect vessel to bring Jane Austen's classically satirical second novel to a new audience. This fresh and hugely entertaining listen from 'the English American' joined with Austen's deft satire, results in pure, boundless FUN.

    Michael says: "Jane Austen as she was meant to be heard!"
    "Smashing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't stop listening to this most recent recording of Pride and Prejudice celebrating Jane Austen’s 200th anniversary..  Over and over again I replay certain scenes.  I don't know who deserves the most credit, Alison Larkin the reader or Jane Austen the writer. They are totally co-mingled in this remarkable recording. In all my reading of Jane Austen, over the course of many years, I somehow never did get how truly witty and wise Jane Austen was and is.

    Alison Larkin brings it all to light.  I fear that when reading to oneself one (me) may tend to become glassy eyed now and then.  All I know is I missed much which came as a revelation through listening to Larkin’s wonderfully expressive reading. So many characters, so many voices. All crafted with delicacy, care and intelligence.

    I could bring up many scenes from the whole great thing, but having just finished listening to the recording for the second time the scenes that stand out just now are those most recently read; those from the last chapters.

    1. Mr. Bennet's reading of Mr. Collins' letter.  I never in my earlier readings really took in either Mr. Bennet's wit or his really unforgivable indolence.

    1.  The confrontation of Lady de Burgh and Catherine.

    3.  The marvelous and ever so satisfying scene between Lizzie and Darcy where things are finally, thanks to each the other, worked out. In this day and age where people have a hard time expressing themselves it is refreshing that these two proud, prejudiced and splendid creatures make themselves beautifully clear to each other. Most satisfyingly indeed.

    Plain and simple, and I hate to say it, but without this remarkable narration much of this great writer was lost on me.  

    Somewhere in "Aspects of the Novel" alluding to actors, E. M. Forster observed and, I paraphrase:  "It is inexplicable to me how a handful of neurotic men and women can improve upon a perfectly good work of literature and yet time after time, they do".  There you have it.  It certainly is true for me.

    And let me add that the music is dynamic and delightful, Wonderful work. The little known Mozart excerpts fit perfectly. Great pains have been taken to mimic musically what has just transpired between the characters. The music ends and begins each chapter and It makes one smile and sometimes laugh aloud.

    I have other books I should get to.  I just can't for the present.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Golden Age

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Gore Vidal
    • Narrated By Anne Twomey
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (24)

    The Golden Age is a vibrant tapestry of American political and cultural life from 1939 to 1954, when the epochal events of World War II and the Cold War transformed America, once and for all, for good or ill, from a republic into an empire.

    Also available abridged.

    connie says: "remarkable novel, remarkable history"
    "Marvelous"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Great Master of the historical novel leads us impeccably through the Roosevelt/Truman years with wit, hindsight and revelation. May all this great series be soon recorded!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Horse Heaven

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jane Smiley
    • Narrated By Shelley Thompson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    Many astonishing and affecting things happen at the racetrack, and the mysterious universe of horse racing, passionate, cold-hearted, pure, corrupt, is woven into a marvelous tapestry of joy and love, chicanery, folly, greed, and reckless courage. Spanning two years on the circuit, from Kentucky and California to New York and Paris, Horse Heaven, puts us among trainers, nervey jockeys, billionaire breeders, and restless track wives.

    Julie Delio says: "I wish I could review book and narrator separately"
    "Wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A huge cast of characters including horses, a Jack Russell terrier named Eileen, and even a pig. Their must be at at least a twenty men, women and 2 precocious children, whose lives we follow and who are caught up in Jane Smiley's world of thoroughbred horse racing.

    The woman is a wonder. She writes of this world with a kind of love, even as she casts her eye and ours on the highly unnatural and often cruel fate that has been been bred into and eventually creating these glorious animals.

    I enjoyed it immensely and didn't want it to end. As the book neared its end I would relisten at random - didn't matter where - just to put off being goodbye to it. It's all good.

    Shelley Thompson does a fine job in wending her way through the myriad characters. Each character has his or her own voice .. including the animals. She reads with both passion and compassion. She is a fine reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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