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Roger

An avid reader who once abhorred the concept of "listening" to books, I now enjoy audiobooks as an alternative to the radio while commuting.

Howell, NJ, United States | Member Since 2011

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 165 ratings
  • 536 titles in library
  • 132 purchased in 2014
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  • Pale Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (82)

    A 999 line poem in heroic couplets, divided into 4 cantos, was composed--according to Nabokov's fiction--by John Francis Shade, an obsessively methodical man, during the last 20 days of his life.

    David says: "Quality recording!"
    "An amazing feat for such a unique novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I highly recommend this selection, I can only recommend it to those who have read the printed novel first. Nabokov's book consists of a long poem written by John Shade, and a rambling, often hilarious, "commentary" written by Charles Kinbote, self-proclaimed king-in-exile from his beloved country of Zembla. As the commentary refers to specific lines of the 999-line poem, I was curious as to how the producers of the audiobook would handle these two distinct components. I was delighted by the choice to employ two narrators, Robert Blumenfeld for Shade and Marc Vietor for Kinbote. Both are excellent, but Vietor's Kinbote is what makes this audiobook so special. His unidentifiable (slightly Russian) accent and self-assured cockiness bring the exiled king (or plain madman) spring to life. Fans of the book should not feel they are wasting a credit by buying a book they've already read. Listening to Pale Fire will bring a new level of appreciation to Nabokov's brilliant novel.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Charles R. Cross
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (107)

    For many, the name Jimi Hendrix conjures up a larger-than-life image of the man who set fire to guitars, women's hearts, and the status quo. In this groundbreaking account, music journalist Charles R. Cross takes a far deeper look. Beyond Hendrix's legendary onstage and offstage magnetism, and his excessive lifestyle, was a man who struggled to accept his role as an idol and privately craved the kind of normal family life he never had.

    J. Wood says: "Hendrix-Man and Myth"
    "Stand-out bio on Hendrix"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A solid biography, well-researched and objective. The authors focuses his attention on Jimi's life and his relationships with family, friends, lovers and business associates. He places less emphasis on Jimi's music, which is not necessarily a bad decision as there are so many books and articles dedicated to his otherworldly guitar playing. The narrator, while perfectly serviceable, was a bit too level in his reading for me. While I don't appreciate narrators who go the other way and try to make themselves the star of the book, Room Full of Mirrors could have benefited from a reading that conveyed some of the drama of Jimi's life. Still, it's a minor criticism and I would not hesitate to recommend the book to fans of Hendrix.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bob Dylan in America

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Sean Wilentz
    • Narrated By Sean Wilentz
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    This book follows Dylan as he continues to develop a body of musical and literary work unique in our cultural history. Wilentz’s approach places Dylan’s music in the context of its time, including the early influences of Popular Front ideology and Beat aesthetics, and offers a larger critical appreciation of Dylan as both a song­writer and performer down to the present. Wilentz has had unprecedented access to studio tapes, recording notes, rare photographs, and other materials, all of which allow him to tell Dylan’s story.

    RSH says: "Another side of Bob Dylan"
    "A solid choice for Dylan enthusiasts"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been a fan of Dylan since I was 14 years old. I've seen him in concert a dozen times, spanning 25 years, and have read countless books about him. This one held my interest entirely. It's not a Dylan biography, nor a critical interpretation of his lyrics. There are many books that cover those grounds. Rather, "Bob Dylan in America" is one man's thoughts about "Bob Dylan" viewed in a larger cultural context. I actually found the opening chapters on Aaron Copland highly interesting, and relevant to Wilentz's goal of presenting Dylan as a continuer of an old tradition, the traveling troubadour, a modern minstrel. The book does seem disjointed at times, but not to the point of being distracting. The highlights for me were the sections discussing Blind Willie McTell and the recent allegations of Dylan's plagiarism. If you're Dylan-obsessed, you'll enjoy this book. For casual fans, read the detailed reviews on the Web before purchasing this book to determine if this is for you or not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1486)
    Performance
    (1299)
    Story
    (1302)

    Prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial Vincent Bugliosi held a unique insider's position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the 20th century: the cold-blooded Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by Charles Manson and four of his followers. What motivated Manson in his seemingly mindless selection of victims, and what was his hold over the young women who obeyed his orders? Now available for the first time in unabridged audio, the gripping story of this famous and haunting crime is brought to life by acclaimed narrator Scott Brick.

    Larry says: "What a great book."
    "Chilling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So much has been written about this bestselling account of the Manson murders and subsequent trials. All the praise is deserved. Focusing on the audiobook, I found the narration by Scott Brick to be a perfect match for the subject. His delivery is full of restrained drama, and enhances a story that needs no enhancement. Highly recommended, not only for those interested in true crime, courtroom proceeding, etc., but also for those who have already read the book (or have viewed the film based on the book). The performance by Brick will give you a new experience -- one both chilling and highly entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Solaris: The Definitive Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Stanislaw Lem, Bill Johnston (translator)
    • Narrated By Alessandro Juliani
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2213)
    Performance
    (1797)
    Story
    (1814)

    At last, one of the world’s greatest works of science fiction is available - just as author Stanislaw Lem intended it. To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Solaris, Audible, in cooperation with the Lem Estate, has commissioned a brand-new translation - complete for the first time, and the first ever directly from the original Polish to English. Beautifully narrated by Alessandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica), Lem’s provocative novel comes alive for a new generation.

    Burns says: "A comment on negative reviews"
    "Interesting companion to Tarkovsky's film"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After having seen the film, "Solaris," from Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky several times, I had been looking for the novel upon which it was based. Instead I listened to the Audible version -- only my second audiobook experience. I see now why Lem decried the film (and the subsequent American remake). The story as written is not "love in outer space" (Lem's phrase), as the films (particularly the American version) would have one believe. Instead it is a meditation on how humans try to understand, scientifically, that which cannot be understood.

    Not being a big fan of science fiction, I was hesitant to give this title a go. I'm glad I did. Lem has written one of the most intelligent novels in any genre. The narration by Juliani was superb. Even the voice he gives Hari -- the lone female in the story -- is believable and heartfelt.

    Overall, "Solaris" is a highly recommended choice for a thought-provoking novel which, despite its setting in deep space, is not your standard science fiction tale.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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