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Joseph

SEAL BEACH, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 366 titles in library
  • 38 purchased in 2014
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  • The Modern Scholar: World War l: The Great War and the World It Made

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By John Ramsden
    Overall
    (242)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (152)

    "The Great War", as it was known at the time, was also said to be the "war to end all wars." It seized all of Europe and much of the rest of the world in its grip of death and destruction. The first truly modern war, it changed how war and peace would be conducted throughout the remainder of the 20th century and even to the present.

    IRP says: "Excellent & Interesting Course"
    "One of the finest in the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Modern Scholar?

    I'm a huge fan of The Modern Scholar, using nearly every monthly credit to purchase a new course. John Ramsden's lecture on WWI ranks with the best I've heard, offering a master historian's perspective on a conflict that shaped the remainder of the 20th century. Being more familiar with WWII, I was largely ignorant of the geopolitical, literary, artistic, medical, military, and psychological ramifications of the first war. This course is essential for anyone seeking to broaden their historical understanding.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Conspirata: A Novel of Ancient Rome

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (723)
    Performance
    (341)
    Story
    (339)

    On the eve of Marcus Cicero's inauguration as consul of Rome, the grisly death of a boy sends ripples of fear through a city already wracked by civil unrest, crime, and debauchery of every kind. Felled by a hammer, his throat slit and his organs removed, the young slave appears to have been offered as a human sacrifice, forbidden as an abomination in the Roman Republic. For Cicero, the ill forebodings of this hideous murder only increase his frustrations and the dangers he already faces as Rome's leader.

    David says: "Enjoyable Read"
    "The riveting sequel to "Imperium"!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    Continuing the adventure of Tiro and Cicero, Harris once again weaves historical fact into a meticulously layered tale of intrigue and murder. The stakes are raised as Cicero's enemies grow in power, with the deadly, shadowy apparatus of conspiracy working against our heroes. If you loved "Imperium", you'll be captivated by every moment of "Conspirata". Settling back into sights and smells of Ancient Rome is as satisfying as meeting an old, dear friend.


    What about Simon Jones’s performance did you like?

    Simon Jones, who ranks with John Lee as one of the great vocal performers, returns with his wonderful characterizations of Crassus, Caesar, Pompey, and every other scheming, backstabbing Roman power player. Jones' reading immerses you completely into Harris' Rome, presenting some of the most famous personages in history as the very real, very flawed people they were.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (3941)
    Performance
    (2255)
    Story
    (2308)

    Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything: a fine reputation, an appointment as captain of a ship, and the heart of a beautiful woman. But his perfect life is shattered when three jealous friends conspire to destroy him. Falsely accused of a political crime, Dantès is locked away for life in the infamous Chateau d'If prison. But it is there that Dantès learns of a vast hidden treasure.

    Sanford Rosenberg says: "What a pleasure to read a classic!"
    "A classic come to vibrant life!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Count of Monte Cristo?

    There isn't much I can say about the novel itself that hasn't been covered in the last hundred-and-sixty years, but suffice it to say that the plot is just as thrilling, the characters as vibrant, and the themes as relevant as they were when the book was first published.
    It's John Lee's narration that makes listening to Dumas' seminal work such a great pleasure. His ability to create the most distinct voices without resorting to caricature is a rare ability, even for a vocal performer, and his mastery of the varied accents of Dumas' world -- Italian, Greek, British -- and his impeccable pronunciation of French names and places, is a marvel to behold.
    Next to The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich, this has been the longest audiobook I've taken on, at about 46 hours, and not for a moment was I the least bored. For a whole month, Edmund Dantes, his myriad personas, friends and enemies were my constant companions. I hope you too decide to take the extraordinary journey offered by the great Alexandre Dumas, and his modern interpreter John Lee.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pompeii: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1247)
    Performance
    (319)
    Story
    (319)

    All along the Mediterranean coast, the Roman Empire's richest citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas, enjoying the last days of summer. But the carefree lifestyle and gorgeous weather belie an impending cataclysm, and only one man is worried. The young engineer Marcus Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, the enormous aqueduct that brings fresh water to a quarter of a million people in nine towns around the Bay of Naples. His predecessor has disappeared.

    Marty-Seattle says: "Brought my visit to Pompeii back to life"
    "A beautiful story, beautifully read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Pompeii rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Fans of Robert Harris's previous works dealing with Ancient Rome, Imperium and Conspirata, will thrill to his masterfully researched Pompeii -- surely one of the great works of historical fiction. Harris's talent lies in vivifying the past, making it as colorful and immediate as the present, and creating timeless characters who, while two-thousand years in the grave by our calendar, command our undivided attention.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    This is the second work I've listened to which had been narrated by John Lee (the first being The Count of Monte Christo, which I wholeheartedly recommend), and I'm convinced he's one of the greatest living vocal artists. Every sentence, every line of dialogue, every character is masterfully rendered, imbued with brilliant subtleties in delivery and inflection, giving the impression you're listening to a whole troupe of actors.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    Overall
    (1341)
    Performance
    (659)
    Story
    (664)

    When Tiro, the confidential secretary (and slave) of a Roman senator, opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, he sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel his master into one of the most suspenseful courtroom dramas in history.

    Karen says: "Great Naration, Great Book"
    "Extraordinary"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Imperium in three words, what would they be?

    Riveting, suspenseful, enlightening


    What about Simon Jones’s performance did you like?

    Mr. Jones gives a brilliant, nuanced reading, imbuing each character with their own distinct and easily recognizable voices. One of the finest voice-over artists I've ever heard.


    Any additional comments?

    Author Robert Harris and reader Simon Jones are a terrific pairing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Way with Words: Writing Rhetoric and the Art of Persuasion

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Michael D. C. Drout
    Overall
    (937)
    Performance
    (518)
    Story
    (496)

    Esteemed professor Michael D. C. Drout brings his expertise in literary studies to the subject of rhetoric. From history-altering political speeches to friendly debates at cocktail parties, rhetoric holds the power to change opinions, spark new thoughts, and ultimately change the world.

    Jade says: "A Very Unique Read...(J/K)"
    "Highly Recommended - Perhaps Life Changing"
    Overall

    Professor Drout achieves a triumph with his "A Way With Words" series. This first lecture acts as a kind of mental jump start -- spurring the listener on to greater independent analysis of language, and, more importantly, a true appreciation for speech. Drout offers brilliant insights on famous speeches, explains common logical fallacies (a real treat for those who enjoy arguing), and gives a crash course on lifesaving grammatical tricks. Rarely do we encounter a teacher who goes beyond intruction and into the realm of inspiration, but Professor Drout, with his delightful humor, personality, and total mastery of his subject, does so seemingly without effort. Since listening to the course, my writing has been more coherent, my thoughts clearer, and my speech more direct. I look forward to listening to Drout's other works.

    - J.S., Los Angeles

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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