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William

Winston Salem, NC, United States

ratings
559
REVIEWS
78
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
5
HELPFUL VOTES
135

  • The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs)
    • By Paulo Coelho
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3125)
    Performance
    (1812)
    Story
    (1830)

    Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its simplicity and wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an Alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest.

    Linda says: "Marvelous Book & Expressive Reader"
    "Heavy-handed"
    Overall

    This book was like listening to a long sermon on a hot day, sitting in an uncomfortable pew while someone hits you upside the head with a canoe paddle.

    I suggest drinking a shot every time you hear the word, "omen".

    56 of 78 people found this review helpful
  • Great Masters: Shostakovich - His Life and Music

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Dmitri Shostakovich is without a doubt one of the central composers of the 20th century. Drawing on both the flood of declassified documents from the Soviet Union that began in 1991 and Shostakovich's own extraordinarily frank posthumous reminiscences, Professor Greenberg shows how Shostakovich, who, in the words of a friend, "did not want to rot in a prison or a graveyard" was still unwilling to become a docile instrument of the Soviet regime.

    Cookie says: "Living the Great Terror"
    "Highly recommended"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my second of the Great Courses and they have both been great. Though I was familiar with USSR history in the 20th century, and with Shostakovich's music, these lectures put it all together for me by showing how the music connected with the horrible history. I quite enjoyed the reader. Some might think him over-dramatic -- and I must say, he reminds me a bit of the guys on "Car Talk" on NPR -- but I enjoyed his enthusiastic take on things, in spite of some ouchy French and German pronunciations. This series is highly recommended and I will listen to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of Human Language

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor John McWhorter
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (73)

    Language defines us as a species, placing humans head and shoulders above even the most proficient animal communicators. But it also beguiles us with its endless mysteries, allowing us to ponder why different languages emerged, why there isn't simply a single language, how languages change over time and whether that's good or bad, and how languages die out and become extinct.

    "unknown" says: "Fascinating!"
    "What a surprise!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well this was a pleasant surprise! I was looking for something different from the kinds of books I had been reading, and never having tried one of these courses, decided to take a flyer. I was worried that this might be boring, like a college lecture, but I found every lecture to be informative and interesting, and the reader had just enough smart-aleck humor about him that the lectures were often funny. The series of lectures is quite long, but it's the sort of thing where one might take a break and listen to something else, then pick this one back up without getting lost; however, even though I planned to do that, I tore through these lectures like a page-turner mystery, and look forward to listening to them again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Running Blind: Jack Reacher, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Jonathan McClain
    Overall
    (936)
    Performance
    (830)
    Story
    (821)

    Across the country women are being murdered by a killer who leaves no evidence, no fatal wounds, no signs of struggle, and no clues to a motive. They are, truly, perfect crimes. In fact, the only thing that links the victims is the man they all knew: Jack Reacher.

    GyAzJRD says: "Could have been much better"
    "Buy the other version"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The reader for this book is just awful, but Audible also has this book with Dick Hill reading. I only made it about 30 minutes, but realized that I had heard it already (the other version).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sunset Limited: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Mark Hammer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (91)

    The 40-year-old crucifixion of a prominent labor leader named Jack Flynn remains an unsolved atrocity that has never been forgotten in New Iberia, Louisiana. When Flynn's daughter, Megan, returns to the site of her father's murder, it quickly becomes clear that her family's blood-stained past will not stay buried. Megan gives her old friend Dave Robicheaux a tip about a small-time criminal named Cool Breeze Broussard, scarcely suspecting that the seemingly innocuous case will lead Robicheaux and his partner into the midst of a deadly conspiracy.

    Vickey says: "Narrated by Mark Hammer AND Will Patton?"
    "I made it less than 10 minutes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book in a hurry assuming that Will Patton was the reader. I gave up after about 9 minutes, the quickest I've ever given up on a recorded book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Reza Aslan
    • Narrated By Reza Aslan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1047)
    Performance
    (940)
    Story
    (932)

    From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.

    Tad Davis says: "Vivid and well-researched"
    "Illuminating and challenging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I haven't done this before: when I got to the last sentence of the recorded book I immediately downloaded it to my iPad for another read. For a Christian, the book is illuminating and challenging. The political history of Jesus' time is something we don't hear about in church, but it is crucial to understanding his intentions and his fate.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Orfeo

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Richard Powers
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    In Orfeo, Powers tells the story of a man journeying into his past as he desperately flees the present. Composer Peter Els opens the door one evening to find the police on his doorstep. His home microbiology lab - the latest experiment in his lifelong attempt to find music in surprising patterns - has aroused the suspicions of Homeland Security. Panicked by the raid, Els turns fugitive. As an Internet-fueled hysteria erupts, Els - the "Bioterrorist Bach" - pays a final visit to the people he loves, those who shaped his musical journey.

    Melinda says: "The Lost Chord"
    "Too much Music 101, not enough plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I only made it half way, so if there was a plot in the second half I missed it. The reader would have benefited from a little research into the pronunciation of composers' names.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Art Forger

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By B. A. Shapiro
    • Narrated By Xe Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (556)
    Performance
    (474)
    Story
    (480)

    Making a living reproducing famous artworks for a popular online retailer and desperate to improve her situation, Claire is lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting - a Degas masterpiece stolen from the Gardner Museum - in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when that very same long-missing Degas painting is delivered to Claire's studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery. Her desperate search for the truth leads Claire into a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late 19th century may be the only evidence that can now save her life.

    Cynthia says: "The Art Forger"
    "Mixed Bag"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While parts of this book were quite interesting, the narration was not very good. All of Ms. Sands' male characters sounded the same, like they had strep throat as well as a hangover. The big surprise at the end was pretty obvious for the last three hours of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Complaint Free World

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Will Bowen
    • Narrated By Will Bowen
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    In your hands, you hold the secret to transforming your life. Big words? Yes, but this is a plan that has already proven itself with millions of people around the world. In a Sunday-morning sermon, Will told his congregation he wanted to make the world a complaint-free zone and, to prove he was serious, he passed out purple bracelets to each church member and offered them a challenge. "If you catch yourself complaining, take the bracelet and move it to the other wrist."

    Amazon Customer says: "Life changing"
    "No complaints"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If I had any complaints about this book I wouldn't dare express them here.

    I will say that this is one of those books that would work better in print or on an iPad, because there are sections I wanted to whiz through and times that I would have liked to mark a page to come back to.

    That's not a complaint, is it?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4285)
    Performance
    (3918)
    Story
    (3918)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Slow but beautifully written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book moves along at a snail's pace, but what a snail! It is beautifully written and the narration is excellent, especially for the character Boris. While most of the characters are not very likable, Tartt's descriptions make for a long but fascinating read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Summer: America, 1927

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (799)
    Performance
    (715)
    Story
    (707)

    One of the most admired nonfiction writers of our time retells the story of one truly fabulous year in the life of his native country - a fascinating and gripping narrative featuring such outsized American heroes as Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, and yes Herbert Hoover, and a gallery of criminals (Al Capone), eccentrics (Shipwreck Kelly), and close-mouthed politicians (Calvin Coolidge). It was the year Americans attempted and accomplished outsized things and came of age in a big, brawling manner. What a country. What a summer. And what a writer to bring it all so vividly alive.

    Mark says: "Why 1927?"
    "Outstanding, as usual"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a huge fan of Bill Bryson's books and read or listen to them over and over. I find it unusual for an author to be a successful reader of his own books, but Bryson is a riot. His flat, matter-of-fact presentation has a way of making the most mundane of subjects hilarious.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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