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Ashton

Mishima-gun, Japan | Member Since 2013

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 24 ratings
  • 44 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
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  • Brief Encounters with Che Guevara: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Ben Fountain
    • Narrated By Christian Baskous
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (5)

    The well-meaning protagonists of Brief Encounters with Che Guevara are caught - to both disastrous and hilarious effect - in the maelstrom of political and social upheaval surrounding them. Ben Fountain's prize-winning debut speaks to the intimate connection between the foreign, the familiar, and the inescapably human.

    Ashton says: "too short"
    "too short"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    (why can't I give 4.5?)
    Every one of these stories could be an above average movie. The last story and the title of the book is in my opinion, the weakest of all. The narrator feels like he is hammering out the words, which is a shame as it borders on lovecraft genius.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bees: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Laline Paull
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (78)

    Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive, where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw, but her courage and strength are assets. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect nectar and pollen.

    Katrina says: "A very unique story"
    "bees make honey they don't do it for money"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A well executed idea. It felt a little bit too linear and I would have liked some side stories. Definitely changed the way I think about honey. Great narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (522)
    Performance
    (428)
    Story
    (440)

    Oscar Wilde brings his enormous gifts for astute social observation and sparkling prose to The Picture of Dorian Gray, the dreamlike story of a young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty. This dandy, who remains forever unchanged---petulant, hedonistic, vain, and amoral---while a painting of him ages and grows increasingly hideous with the years, has been horrifying and enchanting readers for more than 100 years.

    Daniel says: "Beautifully written, brilliantly read."
    "flowers never smelt so"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I feel it lacks drama. Some of the insights are deep and moving but towards the end it lost me. I'll try again in a few years but for now it's off to new things. Great narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: In Aid of the Royal Theatrical Fund

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By Judi Dench, Jeremy Irons, Joanna Lumley, and others
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (73)

    Here is a collection of the Oscar Wilde's famous fairy tales, read by a cast of leading British actors. Additional narrators include Geoffrey Palmer O.B.E., Sir Donald Sinden, and Elaine Stritch. Music: 'Reverie De Sebastian' by Steve Davies.

    Jefferson says: "Poignant Modern Fairy Tales Wonderfully Read"
    "Cuts to the heart, effortlessly."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found these stories to be refreshingly brutal. Perhaps it's a misconception that such stories should have a happy ending. Sad sad endings are far more satisfying and meaningful. Read it to your children by all means, they will thank you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Manual for Creating Atheists

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Peter Boghossian
    • Narrated By Peter Boghossian
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (154)

    For thousands of years, the faithful have honed proselytizing strategies and talked people into believing the truth of one holy book or another. Indeed, the faithful often view converting others as an obligation of their faith - and are trained from an early age to spread their unique brand of religion. The result is a world broken in large part by unquestioned faith. As an urgently needed counter to this tried-and-true tradition of religious evangelism, this audiobook offers the first-ever guide not for talking people into faith - but for talking them out of it.

    Gary says: "Faith is no way to build a foundation"
    "Again and Again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Author / Narrator sounds to me like an over enthusiastic school boy. His voice is not going to sit well with all listeners. Let me say, I got used to it, but never really enjoyed the sound.

    The words on the other hand, are worth every minute of your time. Truly radical, but so incredibly simple it has the mark of a classic. This was not written, it was pulled into existence.

    My only gripe was the last chapter where a numerical list of notes is read seemingly without any reference. Things like this need to be considered and translated better into an audio book format.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Walden: Life in the Woods

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Henry David Thoreau
    • Narrated By Alec Sand
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (117)

    Thoreau's classic account of the solitary life, describing his attempts to simplify his life and sort out his priorities by living alone in a cabin beside Walden Pond for nearly two years, is one of the most influential books ever written. The bible of the environmental movement, Walden vividly portrays Thoreau's reverence for nature, and his understanding of the idea that nature is made up of crucially interrelated parts.

    Darwin8u says: "SHAKES the Ground, Sun & the Wilderness within."
    "Nuggets of genius amongst fields of beans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I agree with everything Walden has to teach and enjoyed the narration (other reviewers did not). If you ever want to know how dull another person's mind is, literally stepping inside for the full journey, then this could be for you. The prose is refined in parts, but hard going which may be the reward in its self for listening.

    I will listen again at a later date, but at this point 5 hrs in I'm stuck.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lost in the Funhouse

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By John Barth
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (10)

    John Barth's lively, highly original collection of short pieces is a major landmark of experimental fiction. Though many of the stories gathered here were published separately, there are several themes common to them all, giving them new meaning in the context of this collection.

    Darwin8u says: "Darwin ate (U) his mark."
    "TKO"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Compare eating ice cream to cutting chunks of flesh out of your leg, then call it new and exciting (which might be true momentarily). The memory will stay with me long after the event.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cloud Atlas

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Cassandra Campbell, Kim Mai Guest, and others
    Overall
    (3050)
    Performance
    (2259)
    Story
    (2266)

    A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation: the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history.

    Cynthia says: "Complicated and Not Good for Listening!"
    "a crocodile of children"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked the name, etc. Things happen, but tension is never built satisfactorily to equate to drama. It mostly feels like student work exploring writing styles. I think it's interesting on a technical level, but doubt it was ever written as it was presented. It could have been good, but this missed the mark and got really lucky to become famous via the film.

    The narrators did a first rate job but I found myself waiting for it to end much like a David Lynch film without the weirdness to tie it together. Comparable to 'The Fountain Head' in length and dramatic bowel problems.

    The best line I think was - a crocodile of children.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Six Walks in the Fictional Woods

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Umberto Eco
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    In this exhilarating book, we accompany Umberto Eco as he explores the intricacies of fictional form and method. Using examples ranging from fairy tales and Flaubert, Poe and Mickey Spillane, Eco draws us in by means of a novelist's techniques, making us his collaborators in the creation of his text and in the investigation of some of fiction's most basic mechanisms.

    Ashton says: "big ideas presented simply"
    "big ideas presented simply"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this title because I wanted to increase my amateur writing skill and overall understanding of story writing. Generally having a negative impression of academic writing after graduating university, I was relieved to find real ideas with situations that supported them but did not burden the overall flow of things. It took me a while, but I realized the author wants the reader to listen more than once as many of his topics relate to this very concept. So listen twice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Half Empty

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By David Rakoff
    • Narrated By David Rakoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (431)
    Performance
    (285)
    Story
    (283)

    In this deeply funny (and, no kidding, wise and poignant) book, Rakoff examines the realities of our sunny, gosh­ everyone-can-be-a-star contemporary culture and finds that, pretty much as a universal rule, the best is not yet to come, adversity will triumph, justice will not be served, and your dreams won’t come true. The book ranges from the personal to the universal, combining stories from Rakoff’s reporting and accounts of his own experi­ences....

    Maeghan says: "Even better heard than read"
    "owner made"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You know that feeling when watching a tv show where the actors are the producers and things just feel right. Well, this is the same. In more ways than one does the very sound of the narration sell the whole experience. Maybe sell isn't the right word.

    I was guided smoothly through the expertly crafted waters of this without boredom or drudgery. To me it wasn't funny rather tipsy.

    Negative comments in this review column are people that will never get this kind of art, so if you are not curious to hear about the life of a legitimately interesting person, go back to Dan Brown and stay the f away from me.

    0 of 0 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
    (1059)
    Performance
    (918)
    Story
    (925)

    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"
    "The new Nazi Germany"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nazi Germany was entertaining, it was exciting and it was shocking. Now we get to do it all again, but with an even more evil villain. The narration of this book is top notch and takes it beyond just good.
    There are moments of peace and then things that mirror life so closely that it speaks volumes for the research and thought the writer has injected into what could have just been horrible.
    If you're tired of zombie survival stuff, then this is a welcome partner for people who like real survivalist fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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