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Valerian

MADISON, WI, United States | Member Since 2011

73
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 147 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • A Farewell to Arms

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Ernest Hemingway
    • Narrated By John Slattery
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (808)
    Performance
    (465)
    Story
    (460)

    The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse.

    Valerian says: "This is not unabridged"
    "This is not unabridged"
    Overall

    Really a great story from really a great narrator. If it was truly unabridged, I would unhesitatingly go for five stars. However, all of the profanity is omitted. There is a silent gap where Hemingway intended a profane word. Hemingway chose his words carefully and he used profanity to make a point about World War I. Of another of his works, Hemingway said "I've tried to reduce profanity but I reduced so much profanity when writing the book that I'm afraid not much could come out. Perhaps we will have to consider it simply as a profane book and hope that the next book will be less profane or perhaps more sacred."

    The censorship is conspicuous and, in the case of the retreat chapter, it compromises the narrative. It is a lie to call this audiobook "unabridged." Audible needs to either respect Hemingway's work, or re-categorize this audiobook as abridged.

    70 of 70 people found this review helpful
  • A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12822)
    Performance
    (11231)
    Story
    (11274)

    Dubbed the American Tolkien by Time magazine, George R. R. Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the number-one New York Times best-selling author delivers the fifth book in his spellbinding landmark series - as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.

    Ryan says: "Enjoyable, but a lot of setup"
    "not as great as the first four books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story really begins to sprawl. There is so much going on that twenty hours sometimes pass between mention of some of the main characters. Quentin was a particularly frustrating example for me. There was lots of character development and time dedicated to this character and yet... well, you'll see what happens. Developing a character to accomplish this event in the plot strikes me as absurd. Martin would have a tighter, more satisfying story if he had cut out some of this peripheral nonsense.

    The narrator Roy Dotrice makes no effort at continuity. He utterly fails to match his voices in this book with those in the previous books. His renderings of Melisandre and Daenerys are abysmal in Book 5. Previously he gave Melisandre a deep, passionate voice. Daenerys sounded distinctive, elegant, and proud. Now they sound like some uneducated prostitutes that Tyrion might gently insult. Stannis once sounded austere and utterly focused; now he sounds like a an unhappy castle guard. And Dotrice continues to pronounce names differently at different times for no apparent reason other than carelessness.

    Nevertheless, it's a fantastic story. If you've made it through the first four, you should keep going because the characters and action continue to be great.

    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
    (231)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (209)

    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"
    "very odd and engrossing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know how to review this book. My best advice if you are curious is to listen to the sample clip. If it grabs you, you'll like the book. If not, find something else.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9513)
    Performance
    (8743)
    Story
    (8788)

    Few books have captivated the imagination and won the devotion and praise of readers and critics everywhere as has George R. R. Martin’s monumental epic cycle of high fantasy that began with A Game of Thrones. Now, in A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth book of his landmark series, as a kingdom torn asunder finds itself at last on the brink of peace . . . only to be launched on an even more terrifying course of destruction.

    Pi says: "Jarring change in Dotrice's performance"
    "Narrator starts slipping"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Narrator Roy Dotrice did a great job in the first three books. But in this one, his performance is inconsistent and disappointing compared to his previous efforts. He mispronounces names frequently and conspicuously. Petyr is sometimes Peter and sometimes Pi-tar. Brienne is sometimes Bri-een, sometimes Bray-een, and sometimes Brian. And in previous books, the voices for each character were distinct and memorable. In this book, almost everyone sounds more or less like Tyrion. I was especially disappointed that Dotrice abandoned his sardonic voice for Petyr.

    Dotrice does a passable job overall but he's not as impressive as he was in the previous books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of Myth: Programs 1-6

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers
    • Narrated By Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers
    Overall
    (653)
    Performance
    (376)
    Story
    (378)

    An exhilarating journey into the mind and spirit of a remarkable man, a legendary teacher, and a masterful storyteller, conducted by TV journalist Bill Moyers for their acclaimed PBS series.

    Lucas says: "A series that changed my life"
    "Superb"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a series of interviews in conversation form. The interviews are deeply spiritual, but with no religious dogma. They are sort of a guided tour of human experience and the meaning of life. Big ideas and profound feelings are described simply, by way of example through myths from all over the world. Joseph Campbell has lots of ideas about how we can live more fulfilling lives, and how society in general can be improved through myth. I expect almost everyone can find something meaningful and enjoyable in this work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ulysses

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By James Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Norton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (750)
    Performance
    (468)
    Story
    (455)

    Ulysses is regarded by many as the single most important novel of the 20th century. It tells the story of one day in Dublin, June 16th 1904, largely through the eyes of Stephen Dedalus (Joyce's alter ego from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman. Both begin a normal day, and both set off on a journey around the streets of Dublin, which eventually brings them into contact with one another.

    A User says: "Ulysses (Unabridged)"
    "A partially tamed beast"
    Overall

    If you must get through Ulysses, this is the way to do it. Narrator Jim Norton deftly speaks for many characters, and sometimes he even sings. He makes Ulysses as coherent and accessible as it can be. I still found it helpful to read a study guide summary of each chapter prior to listening to the audiobook. The final chapter is especially good, so if you give up in the middle (I wouldn't blame you for it, I would blame Joyce), be sure to skip ahead and listen to the last couple hours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9775)
    Performance
    (5447)
    Story
    (5523)

    Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

    Joshua says: "Wonderful production!"
    "Only one problem"
    Overall

    Main characters are sometimes voiced by different narrators. Randomly, the main narrator takes over and reads everything. Then back to different narrators. It is confusing and annoying. But overall this is a lively audio book and worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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