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Jason

Charlotte, NC, United States | Member Since 2012

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 213 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • The Winter of Our Discontent

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By David Aaron Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (149)

    In awarding John Steinbeck the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Nobel committee stated that with The Winter of Our Discontent, he had “resumed his position as an independent expounder of the truth, with an unbiased instinct for what is genuinely American."

    Babak says: "Closer to today's problems than his other works"
    "Fairly entertaining . . . a 5 or 6 out of 10"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Winter Of Our Discontent is a fairly interesting story, but it does not equal Steinbeck’s notable novels The Grapes Of Wrath or East Of Eden.
    The main character goes into lengthy introspective/analytical monologues quite often, and I found it difficult to focus on his musings. The story definitely had its positive moments, but it was a little slow for me. The overall plot was entertaining, but a little underwhelming.
    Steinbeck is a very good author, so his more mediocre books (like this one) are still pretty good compared to the average author. For what it is worth, this book won the Nobel Prize for Literature, so another reader/listener may fall in love with it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Dee Brown
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (480)
    Performance
    (346)
    Story
    (349)

    Dee Brown's eloquent, meticulously documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the 19th century uses council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions. Brown allows great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them demoralized and defeated.

    Reginald says: "A wrenching introduction to this history."
    "A Detailed Summary of the Native American"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ‘Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee’ is an general overview concerning the plight of the Native American in 19th Century America – nothing more, nothing less. If you are looking for a good history book that details the demise of the Native American Tribes, this is the book for you. If you are looking for a personal heart-felt narrative that focuses on the main players, this is not it.
    For the most part, I liked this book and I learned a lot about the struggles of the Native Americans. I had a hard time focusing on everything that was going on, but I got the general idea. After a while, the stories became a little repetitious. I listened to this book after listening to ‘Empire of the Summer Moon,’ a narrative of the Comanche Indians, so I was really ready to move on after listening to four sections of Native Americans versus inconsiderate white settlers.
    I was hoping to get a written version of the HBO movie with the same title. That story is in this book, but only in a general way. I wanted something a little more personal. I would have liked this book to focus on one particular tribe, really getting into their lives – the way they grew up, why they behaved a certain way, the way they interacted with one another… This isn’t that kind of book. This is simply a summary of the 19th Century Native American struggling and failing against the inevitable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Winter of the World: The Century Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4774)
    Performance
    (4019)
    Story
    (4030)

    Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, Welsh - enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion.

    Tim says: "Brilliant Sequel"
    "Very Entertaining - Ready For Book Three"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed ‘Winter of the World’ very much. I found this book to be very entertaining and I will definitely purchase the third installment when it is available.
    The Century Trilogy novels will probably not become classics in the same way we consider ‘The Good Earth’ and ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ as classics. This is why I am more inclined to give ‘Winter of the World’ four stars. There is not a poignant message in Ken Follett’s books – they are just entertaining in the same way a good movie is entertaining.
    There were times when I lost interest in what was going on in the story (particularly during the drawn-out war scenes), but these moments were rare. I appreciate the length of the Century Trilogy books – I want my credit to go as far as possible (as long as I enjoy the book). I also enjoy how Follett ties in his fictional characters to real-world historical events. A few moments in the book seemed so outlandish to me I laughed aloud, but there were many more “real” moments than not.
    John Lee is a fantastic narrator. I don’t know how he pulls off so many different characters, but he does it well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Empire of the Summer Moon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By S. C. Gwynne
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1047)
    Performance
    (664)
    Story
    (679)

    Few people realize that the Comanche Indians were the greatest warring tribe in American history. Their 40-year battle with settlers held up the development of the new nation. Empire of the Summer Moon tells of the rise and fall of this fierce, powerful, and proud tribe, and begins in 1836 with the kidnapping of a lovely nine-year-old girl with cornflower blue eyes named Cynthia Ann Parker.

    John says: "Quannah Parker"
    "Five or Six out of Ten"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Empire of the Summer Moon is a pretty good book – I wouldn’t call it a great book, but it is entertaining enough. If you are looking for a good summarization of relations between Native Americans and white settlers in the 19th Century, this book will provide an unbiased representation of this relationship.
    I would have preferred a more personal perspective – I had hoped that this book would focus exclusively on the woman kidnapped by Comanche Indians (her relationship with her captors, how she coped with her new life, etc…). Empire of the Summer Moon revolves around this woman’s story, but only in a very general, vague way. That is my biggest complaint regarding this book – too general (like a history book rather than a good story). I do appreciate the fact that I learned a lot about Native American v white settler relations in the 19th Century.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Appetites

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Joyce Carol Oates
    • Narrated By Barbara Caruso
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    Ian and Glynnis McCullough, intelligent, professional, and successful, are the envy of their affluent friends. But suddenly, an unexpected plea for help and a cancelled check send their tranquility spinning out of control.

    Jason says: "Another Great Book By Joyce Carol Oates"
    "Another Great Book By Joyce Carol Oates"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    'American Appetites' is a very entertaining book. Joyce Carol Oates has never disappointed me, and this book is as good as any other book I have listened to by this author (not quite as good as ‘We Were The Mulvaneys,’ but pretty close).
    I have listened to four books written by Oates, and they have all had their slow moments. This book is no different (the reason I gave it four out of five). The main characters in this book are elitist, and Oates spends roughly an hour giving the reader a thorough background of their elitist lives. This background story building is pretty dry, but don’t give up on this book – it turns into a really good story pretty quickly after this slow start. Like I stated in the beginning, Oates always seems to have rough moments in her story telling, but they all become really good books by the end of the tale. I’ve never listened to a Joyce Carol Oates book I did not like by the end.
    I am usually pretty neutral as far as narrators go, but Barbara Caruso is perfect for this book. She sounds just like the sort of person these characters would invite to one of their elitist intellectual dinner parties. Audible could not have picked a better narrator for this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret History

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By Donna Tartt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (923)
    Performance
    (640)
    Story
    (631)

    The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation.

    John says: "Not everyone's glass of Scotch Neat"
    "I liked this a lot more when I was 19."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book because I enjoyed it so much when I read it 20 years ago. Maybe listening to it now was a mistake, since I already had a good idea of what was going to happen.
    The characters go on my nerves - I thought they were cool, decadent characters when I initially read the book. Now they seem like a bunch of kids who drink too much and nose into each other's business too much - especially the main character. He really got on my nerves toward the end of the book. He loved nothing more than to whine about his friend's erratic behavior. He was a busybody who bothered people when they didn't want to hear him run his mouth. The narrator is pretty monotone, and this added to this character's irritating characteristics. She made him sound like a snob on valium. These kids are a bunch of spoiled brats and they may get on your nerves by the time you reach the end of this book - especially if you have your act together.
    The story line is pretty clever. If you have not read this book, give it a shot (especially if you are under 30 - this book is centered on a artsy/Bohemian college atmosphere). You may really like it - I did when I read it the first time. The narration is not fantastic, but this shouldn't stop you from giving it a shot if you have not read it already. I was a little tough on the main characters in this review, but it's quite possible I've simply outgrown it and moved on. This book still had its moments.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Roots: The Saga of an American Family

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Alex Haley
    • Narrated By Avery Brooks
    Overall
    (2052)
    Performance
    (1169)
    Story
    (1186)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A masterpiece like none other, Brooks’ powerful performance of Haley’s words has been known to leave listeners in tears. It begins with a birth in an African village in 1750, and ends two centuries later at a funeral in Arkansas. And in that time span, an unforgettable cast of men, women, and children come to life, many of them based on the people from Alex Haley's own family tree.

    Kevin says: "Powerful"
    "Nine out of Ten"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Roots is a very good book once you get into the story - one of the best I've listened to in a long time. The story is a little slow in the beginning, but it picks up in dramatic fashion after the first section of the story has concluded. The last section of the book is a little slow as well - this is why I gave it a 9 out of 10 rating. I would definitely recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An American Tragedy

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Theodore Dreiser
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (180)

    An American Tragedy is the story of Clyde Griffiths, who spends his life in the desperate pursuit of success. On a deeper, more profound level, it is the masterful portrayal of the society whose values both shape Clyde's ambitions and seal his fate; it is an unsurpassed depiction of the harsh realities of American life and of the dark side of the American dream.

    beatrice says: "a period piece, still resonant"
    "One of my all-time favorites"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to An American Tragedy again? Why?

    I would listen to this book again. I really enjoyed the story. I particularly appreciate the fact that Dreiser had the courage to have an anti-hero play the main character in the story. The plot completely surprised me.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoy listening to stories that completly catch me off guard, especially when they are realistic. This book in particular achieved this.


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

    Miller is a good narrator. His reading fit the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I listen to books at work on a daily basis - I would look forward to listening to this book so I could find out what would happen next. There were many lines in the book that made me laugh out loud.


    Any additional comments?

    An american Tragedy and Sister Carrie (also by Dreiser) are excellent books. I will listen to other books by Theodore Dreiser

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By William Cope Moyers, Katherine Ketcham
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    In Broken, William Cope Moyers tells the story of a love affair with alcohol and crack cocaine that led him to the brink of death over and over again. A harrowing account, it paints a picture of a young man with every advantage who found himself spiraling into a dark abyss. Battling shame and self-doubt at every turn, the author finally emerges into the clear light of recovery as he dedicates his life to changing the politics of addiction.

    Jason says: "Average story with a lot of introspection"
    "Average story with a lot of introspection"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from William Cope Moyers and Katherine Ketcham and/or Scott Brick?

    Probably not


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I bought this book because I enjoy hearing the addict's story - the people he met, the crazy situations he found himself in, the mistakes he made, etc... There is a story in this book, but there is also a lot (at least 60% of the book) of introspection and addiction theory. If one is a recovering/current addict, this is a good book to listen to - a lot of AA/addiction theory.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    As I mentioned above, I enjoyed listening to the author's life story.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Maybe


    Any additional comments?

    If you are looking for a good addiction story, Tweak by Nic Sheff is probably a better choice. If you buy this book, be prepared for the fact that the author has a message to get across - understanding why people (particularly the author himself) become addicted to drugs and alcohol.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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