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Charles T.

Charles T.

Listener Since 2004

86
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 79 ratings
  • 198 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Empire: The Empire Duet, Part 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (770)
    Performance
    (205)
    Story
    (208)

    Orson Scott Card is a master storyteller, who has earned millions of fans and reams of praise for his previous science-fiction and fantasy works. Now he steps a little closer to the present day with this chilling look at a near-future scenario: a new American Civil War. The American Empire has grown too fast, the fault lines at home are stressed to the breaking point, and the war of words between Right and Left has collapsed into a shooting war.

    Andrea says: "Good pace, weak premise"
    "Couldn't take it"
    Overall

    This audiobook annoyed me too many times. It's a neat idea for a story, but I couldn't stand the combination of Card's sometimes tedious dialogue and the monotonous, unchanging pacing of the narrator's reading. Whether it's violent action or casual conversation, the narrator never seems to alter his pace or tone (at least not in the first half of the book, which is all I listened to). I have to mention one particular scene that simply bugged me: a guy is shooting at one of the protagonists with a shotgun, and the guy being shot at evades the shot by simply jumping in the air, the shot missing him between his legs. I'm sorry, that's just stupid. Not altogether impossible I suppose, but stupid nonetheless.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Rob Grant, Doug Naylor
    • Narrated By Chris Barrie
    Overall
    (371)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (220)

    When Lister got drunk, he really got drunk! After celebrating his birthday with a Monopoly-board pub crawl around London, he came to in a burger bar on one of Saturns moons, wearing a lady's pink crimplene hat and a pair of yellow fishing waders, with no money and a passport in the name of "Emily Berkenstein". Joining the Space Corps seemed a good idea.

    Missy Hoppe says: "Finally!"
    "Not a very good story, but a wonderful performance"
    Overall

    The one star is for the book. The narrator gets five.

    I would only recommend this book to fans of the television show for the sake of hearing the narration by Mr. Barrie, which is the best reading of a fictional work I have heard, in terms of acting skill. He precisely impersonates the other actors he starred with on the BBC program. It is truly impressive.

    But I found the story to be a disappointment, so I wouldn't recommend this one to those unfamiliar with the show.



    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens
    • Narrated By Christopher Hitchens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2599)
    Performance
    (1345)
    Story
    (1337)

    In the tradition of Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris' recent best-seller, The End of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos.

    ben capozzi says: "...Though Hitchens Is!"
    "A new Enlightenment"
    Overall

    Hitchens excels at raking religion and faith over the coals, explaining why faith is not only irrational but irresponsible and immature. However, he does not attempt to explain in depth what it is that should replace a person's faith as a source for morality and "spirituality". Fortunately, for that, one need only read Ayn Rand's books. All the necessary answers are to be found there. In fact, you can skip the Hitchens and go straight to the Rand if you want to save time. She dispels faith better than even Hitchens can imagine.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Open Range

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lauran Paine
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (13)

    The open range men are free-grazing cattlemen, those who don't own land but drive their stock through the country to graze. Boss Spearman knows that times are changing. Local ranchers are staking claims to grazing areas and building up extensive cattle empires. Boss has no quarrel with that, but he won't be intimidated or scared off. So when Denton Baxter makes it clear, by killing one man and seriously wounding another, that he intends to drive Boss and his crew out, Boss must make a stand.

    DUANE says: "Inspiring American Western"
    "Not bad, not great"
    Overall

    This is a rare case where the book is not better than the film. If you enjoyed the film (which I did), you might still like the book, but be warned that the book is quite different in a couple of major ways. It's a very slow moving story (in the book), and it doesn't help in this case that the narrator reads it at a slow, deliberate pace. It's a matter of taste, I know, but I did not care for the narrator of this title. Some of the voices he affected for a few characters were downright annoying. Fortunately, he does not adopt such voices for any of the primary characters. Not a waste of time, but not as good as I had hoped, based on the movie.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Monk's Hood: The Third Chronicle of Brother Cadfael

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Ellis Peters
    • Narrated By Johanna Ward
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (37)

    Gervase Bonel, with his wife and servants, is a guest at the Shrewsbury Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul when he is suddenly taken ill. Luckily, the abbey boasts the services of the shrewd and kindly Brother Cadfael, a skilled herbalist. Cadfael hurries to the man's bedside, only to be confronted by two very different surprises.

    Robert says: "Monk's Hood (Unabridged)"
    "Weakest of the first three"
    Overall

    Generally a very slow moving, dull tale. Ward does what to me is her usual fair job of reading. I think I can say, without spoiling the ending, that you won't like the way this one ends if you're an advocate of a little thing called Justice. A disappointing book for me in just about every way.

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Iraq War

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By John Keegan
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    John Keegan, whom the New York Review of Books calls "the best historian of our day", now brings his extraordinary expertise to bear on perhaps the most controversial war of our time. In exclusive interviews with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and General Tommy Franks, John Keegan has gathered information about the war that adds immeasurably to our grasp of its causes, complications, costs, and consequences.

    Charles T. says: "A Solid, Quick Overview"
    "A Solid, Quick Overview"
    Overall

    This was a nice, brief overview of what has transpired so far in the Battle of Iraq. It starts with a general review of the middle-eastern region, not too detailed but a bit tedious nonetheless trying to follow who took over and was then killed by whom and so on and on; then it goes into a not too detailed personal history of the big dirtbag himself, Saddam Hussein (who revered Stalin), and his path of thuggery and murder, and ultimate grabbing of power. Then the battle itself is related, all the way into Baghdad, and how this campaign differed from the Gulf War of 1991. Schwarzkopf is compared to Franks.

    A couple of events after that point are discussed, e.g. the British scientist-scholar who ultimately committed suicide after revealing that he had "sexed up" some intelligence reports.

    Since you're probably wondering: Keegan makes it clear that he supports the war, though if I recall correctly, not until the end of the book, so the bulk of the book is not explicitly pro-war, it's just a chronological recounting of events.

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • One Corpse Too Many

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Ellis Peters
    • Narrated By Johanna Ward
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (9)

    When Shrewsbury Castle falls in battle, its ninety-four defenders hang as traitors. Brother Cadfael agrees to bury the dead, only to make a grisly discovery: ninety-five dead bodies lie in a row; the extra victim has been cruelly strangled, not hanged. But one death among so many seems unimportant to all but the good Benedictine. He vows to find the truth behind disparate clues.

    Charles T. says: "Very good"
    "Very good"
    Overall

    Another enjoyable Cadfael-mystery, and I think Johanna Woodward did a better job of reading this time than she did for the first book in the series. Still, it's too bad Derek Jacobi apparently only reads the abridged versions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Classical Music 101

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Fred Plotkin
    • Narrated By Fred Plotkin
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    In clear and entertaining prose, Plotkin explores a thousand years of music, introduces listeners to more than 100 great works, and profiles in depth many significant composers, including Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Dvoxak, and Mahler. He describes all the musical instruments in the orchestra, defines major musical terms, and makes music theory comprehensible for the uninitiated. There are also conversations with important musicians who offer fascinating insights about their art.

    Kenneth says: "Musical lecture"
    "Only for true beginners"
    Overall

    First of all, to address the main question you probably have: no, there is no music in this work. It's all Mr. Plotkin talking. And I can't say he is particularly good at it, but that's perhaps not an objective observation. His speaking might not bother everyone. At any rate, he doesn't just talk about music, he talks about how to listen to it, some of the performers, some of the pieces of music and their composers, etc., and he speaks like you expect most professors to speak: as if everyone is a complete dummy. But then, to be fair, it is called Classical Music "101", so perhaps I was expecting too much. If you know anything at all about classical music, I do not recommend this item. I suppose there's nothing wrong with it if you are truly new to it though.

    36 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • A Morbid Taste for Bones: The First Chronicle of Brother Cadfael

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ellis Peters
    • Narrated By Johanna Ward
    Overall
    (225)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (67)

    Brother Cadfael is on a mission to his Welsh homeland to help obtain the bones of Saint Winifred, which now rest in a small village grave. The villagers are loath to part with the relics of a martyr said to have miraculous powers, but before an agreement can be reached, the one villager most outspoken in his dissent is found murdered. Carefully, kindly, and with cunning enough to please any mystery fan, the good monk sets out to solve his first case.

    Steve says: "Wonderful Reading and Listening"
    "Great story, but . . ."
    Overall

    It's a matter of subjective, asthetic taste, but I don't care for the reading of the narrator, Johanna Ward. I found her reading to be too stiff, almost shrill at times. She has a very hard, piercing voice. Like so many British performers, she comes across as rather "Shakespearean", and I don't think that fits these stories. At any rate, like I said, that's a matter of taste, and it's not like it ruins the story, which is very good. I rated this four stars, knocking off one for Ms. Ward's performance. It's not a deal-breaker.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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