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Michael van Waes

Blair, NE, US | Member Since 2007

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 52 ratings
  • 216 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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  • War and Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (61 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (1200)
    Performance
    (659)
    Story
    (651)

    Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is clearly seen in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle, all of them fully realized and equally memorable.

    Diana says: "Glad I finally decided to read it"
    "With apologies to Tolstoy"
    Overall

    Although the book is undoubtedly a masterpiece of literature, this interpretation of War and Peace ruined the pleasure of the story, and of listening to Audiobooks as a whole. The "Reader", Frederick Davidson, attempts -and fails- to bring the voices to life by imparting different accents, personalities and affectations to each character. This is so distracting that it is difficult to follow what's actually happening. If War and Peace had been written as a play, this perhaps would have worked, but it is not, and the gross overinterpretation by Mr. Davidson absolutely ruins the book. There are other readings of this book. Perhaps the narrators in those other versions are invisible to the reader/listener, as they should be.
    I think Mr. Davidson wanted this work to be a "Davidson production", not the reading of a Tolstoy book. How unfortunate I chose to buy it...

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Symbol

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9015)
    Performance
    (3242)
    Story
    (3319)

    Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol. Within minutes of his arrival, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object is discovered in the Capitol Building. The object is an ancient invitation, meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom. And when Langdon's mentor is kidnapped, Langdon's only hope of saving him is to accept this invitation and follow wherever it leads him.

    Frank says: "Not his best"
    "Entertaining but predictable and preachy"
    Overall

    Dr. Langdon returns full of lectures and odd dialog. Not even a socially inept academic would lecture his equals the way he does in this book. It seems Mr. Brown is really stretching the story to fit in interesting factoids and personal philosophies. The oxygenated fluid episode -I won't ruin it, but for those who read it...- may be based in fact, but was pretty ridiculous and certainly unnecessary; a Batman-like suspense tool. The fulcrum of the story is weak, hardly the end of the world- and the ending is unnecessarily extended and disappointing. Save yourself the trouble and skip this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pimsleur Quick and Simple Japanese for English Speakers

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Dr. Paul Pimsleur
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Understand and speak Japanese starting with these eight quick and simple audio lessons. You're not just learning "phrases" with the Pimsleur Method, you're acquiring essential, conversational Japanese.

    Andrew Roberts says: "First impressions"
    "Excellent intro to $300 program"
    Overall

    The Pimsleur approach is perfect for the busy person trying to learn a new language, and this recording will get you hooked and wanting more. At the end of the lessons, you feel like you are starting to speak and understand the structure of the language using a couple of simple conversations as examples. Then you find out that if you actually want to learn the language, you can't buy the next 8 lessons, you have to buy lessons 1-30 (duplicating this recording, which contains 1 through 8) for $250 - $300 (US$), and again as much for the nest 30 lessons. This recording is simply an introduction to the learning system, using the first few lessons as an example. You won't be learning very much with this alone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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