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Alison

Philadelphia, PA, United States | Member Since 2004

84
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 276 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
3

  • Hallucinations

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Oliver Sacks
    • Narrated By Dan Woren, Oliver Sacks
    Overall
    (245)
    Performance
    (205)
    Story
    (196)

    Have you ever seen something that wasn't really there? Heard someone call your name in an empty house? Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing? Hallucinations don't belong wholly to the insane. Much more commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness, or injury. People with migraines may see shimmering arcs of light or tiny, Lilliputian figures of animals and people.

    Alison says: "Sacks at his best, why couldn't he narrate?"
    "Sacks at his best, why couldn't he narrate?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sensitive, compassionate and interesting case studies, with a sprinkling of autobiography. As always, Sacks writes at a level that is interesting to this neuroscientist, without being too jargon-y for my sweetie, who also loved the book. Major drawback is the narrator. At least Dan Woren can pronounce all the brain structures correctly (thank goodness) -- but Sacks' voice doesn't really get translated in the flat performance. We get a tease of Sacks' fantastic reading of the introduction, so we know what could have been with appropriate narration. As the title suggests,the book is an exploration of hallucination - seen, heard, smelled and felt through avenues involuntary (associated with some neuropathology), or voluntary (drug induced). Hallucinations is historical, witty, and scholarly without being dispassionate or boring. Well worth a credit.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Douglas Adams
    • Narrated By Martin Freeman
    Overall
    (817)
    Performance
    (457)
    Story
    (457)

    Back on Earth with nothing more to show for his long, strange trip through time and space than a ratty towel and a plastic shopping bag, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination.

    Craig says: "Hitchhiker is just plain fun"
    "Missing Adams' classic narration, but still great."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I grew up with the audiocassettes of the entire Hitchhiker's series, and loved Doug Adams narration. The story on this one is still one of my favorites of the series, but i do kind of miss the voice delivering the lines that i somehow still know by heart.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Drowning Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Caitlin R. Kiernan
    • Narrated By Suzy Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (218)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (196)

    India Morgan Phelps - Imp to her friends - is schizophrenic. Struggling with her perceptions of reality, Imp must uncover the truth about her encounters with creatures out of myth - or from something far, far stranger....

    Diane says: "A Modern Haunting"
    "Weird, Intriguing, Ambiguous"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked the story, which meanders back and forth across fantasy/hallucination, supernatural occurrence, and everyday experience -- while somehow being impossible to stop listening to. The unreliable narrator-protagonist, a mentally ill young artist, India Morgan Phelps aka Imp reveals her slow unraveling through her accounts of being haunted -- by an archetype first glimpsed in a turn-of-the-century painting of a mermaid. The haunting-thriller-quasi-horror thing isn't usually my cup of tea, but this was intelligent and creepy and doesn't have a pat ending. Recommended if you're up for something new.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Web of Lies: Elemental Assassin, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jennifer Estep
    • Narrated By Lauren Fortgang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1484)
    Performance
    (1125)
    Story
    (1119)

    "Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon. I'm Gin Blanco. You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I'm retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren't aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox."

    Robert says: "Brilliant, Unique, Interesting with just 1 oddety"
    "Feel like i just inhaled a huge bag of chips"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't want to stop once i started, but then when it was over, i thought "why did i every think that was a good idea?" Okay so the elemental assassin series is fun -- the characters are really likeable, and the pacing and story lines pretty addictive, but the writing and dialogue are just horrible. Extensive, nearly verbatim repetition of random exposition, patent clue-dropping for the next book, and ultra lame, "coathanger in a leather jacket" type cardboard love interest. Please, Jennifer Estep -- get a better editor, and respect your audience more. One million times worse writing than the first book. On the plus side, Lauren Fortgang is a fantastic narrator.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Discovery of Witches

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9215)
    Performance
    (6736)
    Story
    (6777)

    Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.

    Tim says: "True Blood PG13"
    "Popcorn"
    Overall

    You know its bad for you, but you just cant stop. Initially a promising story of academic research, a quest for a secret, and a society of supernatural beings the Harkness' novel soon lapses into a sticky sweet romance. You won't really be enjoying it, but still you wont be able stop listening till the ending -- which will still leave you somewhat unsatisfied.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Blackout

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1935)
    Performance
    (1209)
    Story
    (1211)

    In her first novel since 2002, Nebula and Hugo award-winning author Connie Willis returns with a stunning, enormously entertaining novel of time travel, war, and the deeds - great and small - of ordinary people who shape history. In the hands of this acclaimed storyteller, the past and future collideand the result is at once intriguing, elusive, and frightening.

    Monica says: "Double review - Blackout and All Clear"
    "Super entertaining, but where's the ending?"
    Overall

    This is part of a two book series. The ending of this "episode" really leaves you hanging, pretty much in the middle of the story; with a serious lack of resolution to every major plotline. I was like "The End?" "Are you kidding?" Up till that point, i was hanging on, super involved with the lastest adventures of time traveling historians in WWII London. Entertaining, witty and fun: pure Connie Willis. I'd give it a "must listen", but you might want to wait till both parts are out before using your credits.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Wrinkle in Time

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Madeleine L'Engle
    • Narrated By Madeleine L'Engle
    Overall
    (644)
    Performance
    (162)
    Story
    (170)

    Father is missing! His top-secret job as a physicist for the government has taken him away, but where? And how? Meg and her younger brother, Charles Wallace, set out with their friend Calvin on an exciting adventure through time and space to search for him. With the help of the mysterious Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, the youngsters learn to expect the unexpected as they move in the fifth dimension known as the "tesseract."

    Leroy says: "Best Book for a Kid"
    "Save your credit!"
    Overall

    I was initially really excited to see this book on audible. However, this revisiting of a childhood favorite was a real disapointment, mostly due to Madeline L'Engle's shrill narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Professor and the Madman

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Simon Winchester
    • Narrated By Simon Winchester
    Overall
    (1457)
    Performance
    (655)
    Story
    (663)

    Part history, part true-crime, and entirely entertaining, listen to the story of how the behemoth Oxford English Dictionary was made. You'll hang on every word as you discover that the dictionary's greatest contributor was also an insane murderer working from the confines of an asylum.

    Jerry says: "Perfect example of a quality audible book."
    "Engaging, till d?nouement"
    Overall

    This engaging view of the creation of the OED and one of its most fascinating contributors William Minor was extremely enjoyable until about 3/4 of the way through the book. However, when Minor stops his work for the OED and leaves England to return to America, the book turns to armchair clinician speculation about Minor's retroactive diagnosis, mental ilness and society,the mixed blessing of medication, etc. Personally i found this part *much* less fun that the wonderfully researched history of the OED. Though i was initially leery of 'read by the author" Winchester does a great job as a narrator. Interesting bonuses include author commentary on researching the book and an recorded interview with both Winchester and the current editor of the OED. In short, wishing for 3.5 stars.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Freddy and Fredericka

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Mark Helprin
    • Narrated By Robert Ian Mackenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (361)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (89)

    Best-selling, critically acclaimed author Mark Helprin's work has drawn favorable comparisons to an elite group of literary legends, including James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Edgar Allan Poe, and Thomas Mann. Helprin's sheer comic brilliance shines in this ingenious farce.

    Chris says: "God save Craig-Vyvyan! I liked it."
    "Love it or hate it."
    Overall

    You can see from the other reviews that people either love or hate this book. I loved it. Helprin has a wonderful sense of comic timing that is drawn out to great (sometimes excruciating) effect when experienced "out loud" vs. on paper. I loved both the laugh out loud descriptions of American and British politics; well as the idiosyncracies and beauties of american life and landscape. I listened to some parts of this book multiple times. Helprin has a unique viewpoint; somehow both sorrowful and silly. Enjoy!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Cryptonomicon (Unabridged Excerpts)

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (268)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (40)

    With this extraordinary first volume in what promises to be an epoch-making masterpiece, Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.

    Nicholas says: "Unabridged or bust"
    "ChopJob Abridgment!"
    Overall

    As a Stephenson fan, who already knew and loved the book Cryptonomicon-- I decided to ignore the advice of previous reviewers and download the "unabridged excerpts" anyway. Though Stephenson’s writing is great, and Scott Brick does a good job on the narration -- the abridgment is horrible! The chopped story is extremely hard to follow -- focusing on the "epiphyte" narrative line, and skipping most of the fun math stuff, world war II stories, and historical overview of encryption which makes the book so interesting. A real disappointment, even though I was forewarned. Save your credits!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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