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Michael

CANBERRA CITY, Australia | Member Since 2014

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 71 ratings
  • 1356 titles in library
  • 38 purchased in 2015
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  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By William L. Shirer
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (3856)
    Performance
    (2864)
    Story
    (2875)

    Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Tale of Momumental Evil, Stupidity and Hatred"
    "Astonishing, Grim and Brilliantly Narrated"
    Overall

    Just finished it. It has absorbed my mind for many days as I got through it all (and replayed various parts). Everyone else has already provided the accolades (for both Shirer and Grover) so I wont repeat them. It covers such sweeping breadth and yet provides a personal immediacy in the narrative that captures you from start to finish. It also provides an all important (and timeless) message about the frailty of freedom and the terrible consequences if it is lost.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Johnstown Flood

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    Overall
    (975)
    Performance
    (468)
    Story
    (464)

    At the end of the last century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation's burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon.

    Susan K Donley says: "A page-turner! HIstory that reads like a novel"
    "Extraordinary Tale, Well Told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The heading says it all: 'Extraordinary Tale, Well Told' - well researched and written as well as beautifully narrated. This was a fully absorbing audio book as well as being personally educational as I knew nothing of this historical calamity. I thoroughly recommend this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heft

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liz Moore
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Keith Szarabajka
    Overall
    (1957)
    Performance
    (1761)
    Story
    (1766)

    Forrmer academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career - if he can untangle himself from his family drama.

    Mel says: "Intriguing--Captivating--Altering"
    "Wonderful Listening Exprience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    One of the better audiobooks I have listened to for a while. Beautiful narration combined with superb character development by Liz Moore. A touching tale enriched with a penetrating insight to the human mind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bait

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kenneth Abel
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (93)

    With some of the most spine-chilling scenes in modern suspense fiction, Bait guarantees the listener a roller coaster ride with a hero not afraid to cross the line. Life for narcotics detective Jack Walsh is one continuous drunken binge - until one blurry night when his car veers into an oncoming car, killing the son of Boston’s premier crime boss. Now Jack must decide if he wants to hide from D’Angelo’s vengeful compatriots or reclaim his life.

    Richard Delman says: "A fantastic story, told by the Master."
    "Extraordinary Entertainment - Tightly Woven"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I am slightly premature in writing this review as I haven't quite reached the end but I couldn't help myself as I am so impressed with this work! Regardless of how the end goes, this is a perfect gem when it comes to this classic mob crime genre. Really tight narration and dialogue. Great characterization and pacing. And of course, superbly narrated by Frank Muller. I will definitely be looking out for more from this writer - he has a very deft hand indeed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Reason to Live (Marty Singer Mystery #1)

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Matthew Iden
    • Narrated By Lloyd Sherr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (498)
    Performance
    (424)
    Story
    (424)

    In the late 90s, a bad cop killed a good woman and DC Homicide Detective Marty Singer got to watch as the murderer walked out of the courtroom a free man. Twelve years later, the victim's daughter comes to Marty begging for help: the killer is stalking her now. There's just one problem: Marty's retired...and he's retired because he's battling cancer.

    William says: "This book was a distraction"
    "Good New Find on Audible!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Good yarn, nice characterization, pacing, plot twists, excellent narration, some nice humor and life observations. In short, a well done and entertaining debut in this genre. I really liked the character of Marty Singer and as I am already devouring Book 2 of the series, I hope Mr Iden is busily working on the next installment as I am destined to be a fan for some time! I also hope Lloyd Sherr continues to narrate any future installments as he does an excellent job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • For the Love of Physics: From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge of Time - A Journey Through the Wonders of Physics

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Walter Lewin, Warren Goldstein
    • Narrated By Kent Cassella
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (419)
    Performance
    (352)
    Story
    (354)

    As Carl Sagan did for astronomy and Brian Green did for cosmology, Walter Lewin takes listeners on a marvelous journey in For the Love of Physics, opening our eyes as never before to the amazing beauty and power with which physics can reveal the hidden workings of the world all around us. "I introduce people to their own world," writes Lewin, "the world they live in and are familiar with but don't approach like a physicist - yet."

    Joseph says: "A perfect formula for a great read"
    "A Wonderful Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    A fabulous and instructive listen. Yes the narration was a little fast and the subject matter a little meandering, but the over all narrative of such rich and complex subject matter necessitated an approach that didn't bog down and remained interesting and illuminating. Not a book to listen to when doing other things. I was ill when listening to it and so was able to give it my full attention for long periods which helped me appreciate the brilliance of what was being conveyed. There are certainly many parts I will revisit as one listen is probably insufficient for an English and History major!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (145)

    For almost a quarter of a century, John Grisham's A Time to Kill has captivated readers and listeners with its raw exploration of race, retribution, and justice. Now, its hero, Jake Brigance, returns to the courtroom in a dramatic showdown as Ford County again confronts its tortured history. Filled with the intrigue, suspense and plot twists that are the hallmarks of the world's favourite storyteller, Sycamore Row is the thrilling story of the elusive search for justice in a small American town.

    Madeleine says: "Grisham is all about the craft"
    "Hot Damn! Welcome Back Mr Grisham!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Years ago I used to love reading Grisham books then I fell out with him as they began to appear more 'churned out'. With some reticence I chose this one from Audible. Hot damn! What a great legal thriller! Beautifully paced, great characterization, plot, scene depiction etc. - simply hard to put down! And all perfectly narrated by Michael Beck who gave a simply wonderful performance! And people wonder why I love audiobooks!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Interface

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson, J. Frederick George
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (585)
    Performance
    (421)
    Story
    (426)

    In this now-classic thriller, he and fellow author J. Frederick George tell a shocking tale with an all-too plausible premise. There's no way William A. Cozzano can lose the upcoming presidential election. He's a likable midwestern governor with one insidious advantage - an advantage provided by a shadowy group of backers.

    reena says: "Interface"
    "Superlative Listening Experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Initially this book appeared to go into an inordinate level of detail over what appeared, at first blush, to be the merely trivial and unimportant. Thus the movement of the storyline appeared almost frustratingly slow. Then, as I adjusted to its pace I began to realise that the author was providing this detail for very clever reasons as he slowly unfurled what was to become and immensely complex, rich and rewarding tale. In the end, it was an exquisitely well-crafted and absorbing book and I could not speak highly enough of the narrator. He narrated the background story line beautifully and, almost as importantly, delivered magnificent characterisations, moving effortlessly between the voices of the very different characters as be bought them all to life. A very enjoyable work from masters of their crafts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unknown: A Special Edition of Out of My Head

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Didier van Cauwelaert, Mark Polizzotti (translator)
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (50)

    Martin Harris returns home after a short absence to find that his wife doesn’t know him, another man is living in his house under his name, and the neighbors think he’s a raving lunatic. Worse, not a single person - family, colleague, or doctor - can vouch for him. Worse still, the impostor shares all of Martin’s memories, experiences, and knowledge, down to the last detail. He is, in fact, a more convincing Martin than Martin himself.

    Michael says: "Exceptional in Every Respect"
    "Exceptional in Every Respect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Unknown: A Special Edition of Out of My Head in three words, what would they be?

    Absorbing and brilliantly narrated!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unknown: A Special Edition of Out of My Head?

    All of it.


    Which character – as performed by Bronson Pinchot – was your favorite?

    The main character.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    n/a


    Any additional comments?

    Thank goodness for great imaginative story telling. I was hooked in right from the start and just had to keep listening. With the incredibly strong narrative performance this was an absolute treat to listen to!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • First Day at Gettysburg: Crisis at the Crossroads

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Warren W. Hassler, Jr.
    • Narrated By Gregg A. Rizzo
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (3)

    "Hassler's history will survive as our most detailed narrative of the first day's battle, examining the day's action so minutely that no succeeding historian of Gettysburg will be able to ignore it. Hassler's book has solid virtues in addition to its thoroughness of detail: it offers a persuasive argument that the first day's events largely determined the eventual outcome of the battle...." (American Historical Review)

    Michael says: "Disappointing Narration"
    "Disappointing Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not as an audiobook. I know from research that this is a great book on Gettysburg and the reviews on Audible support that view. However these are really Amazon reviews - not Audible reviews. That is, (I assume) reviews of the written book not of it's spoken counterpart. Having just listened to Allen C. Guelzo's 'Gettysburg' with wonderful narration by Robertson Dean I was very disappointed to move on to this work and find the narration so poor by comparison.


    What didn’t you like about Gregg A. Rizzo’s performance?

    For a start, it is so rushed! It is like he had been taking speed or that the narration was accidently on 'fast forward'! The slower, deliberate pace of Robertson Dean in Guelzo's work is much more appropriate to both the nature of the subject and the era that it is depicting.

    In Rizzo's reading, swathes of facts or observations just keep rushing past you with much annoyance. In fact the very complexity of the unfolding of the battle, the topography, positioning of the elements of the two armies etc. almost demands a slower reading so that it can be better absorbed.

    Equally irritating (in tandem with the rapid narration style), was the endless rising and falling pitch to emphasize the drama of certain aspects. This was just unnecessary and distracting. By contrast, Dean's more even pitch (and pace) showed how well the drama of certain points of time and decisions in the battle could be well highlighted without becoming almost shrill.

    As Audible listener's know, the narration is as important as the book itself. In future, I will make a point of ensuring I am looking at audiobook reviews and not those of Amazon members who are referring to their experience of the written work (which might be in stark contrast to the listening experience).


    Any additional comments?

    Some time ago I had listened to Grover Gardner's narration of Shelby Foote's amazing volumes on the Civil War. While Gardner did a great job with narrating William L. Shirer’s 'The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich', his voice and tone, I thought, was less suited to the Civil War era. Robertson Dean narrating Foote's work would have been an amazing blend!

    I guess what I am trying to say is that in historical works that are set in an era very different to our own, the choice of narrator takes on a greater importance. While I am sure Gregg Rizzo has narrated other books very well, I felt he was the wrong choice for this work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stoner

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Williams
    • Narrated By Robin Field
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (634)
    Performance
    (530)
    Story
    (537)

    William Stoner is born at the end of the 19th century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar's life, far different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments.

    Anton says: "A story of sadness and serenity"
    "Exquisite Writing and Beautifully"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I don’t know how I had never heard of this novel before (it was written in the 1960s and had experienced wide acclaim). Seemingly about nothing but the most mundane of lives, it is in fact a rich and textured exploration of the inner world with all of its existential angst and disappointments. It is a beautifully paced and precise piece of writing that will leave lovers of wonderful writing in awe of the observational power of authors like Williams.

    It takes a little time to become immersed in the character of Stoner and his life tale but once ‘locked in’ it is a hard book to stop listening to. The narrator was perfectly suited to the pace and the tone of this lyrical and melancholic novel. I know it will not be for everyone but I think it ranks as one of the best I have listened to.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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