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Rob

Goodyear, AZ, United States | Member Since 2005

ratings
137
REVIEWS
16
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
102

  • SmartPass Plus Audio Education Study Guide to Hamlet (Dramatised, Commentary Options)

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Simon Potter
    • Narrated By Joan Walker, Stephen Elder, Paul Clayton
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (85)

    The multi award-winning SmartPass study guide with and without commentary options. This is a full-cast, unabridged performance with comprehensive commentary and analysis for any student to fully understand and appreciate the play. Universally accepted as Shakespeare's finest play, we peel back the layers of Hamlet to discover how and why it deserves such a place of honour in world literature.

    Jane says: "Great introduction to Hamlet"
    "Great way to enjoy and understand Shakespeare."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think these SmartPass guides to Shakespeare plays are excellent. I've listened to Hamlet and King Lear and am planning to listen to Henry V next. The actors who uniformly excellent and the sound quality is great, which is important when trying to understand early modern english poetry in a British accent on ear buds! Most importantly, the narrator/lecturer does an amazing guide summarizing the plot and delving into the themes of the play, the ambiguities, and how the play fits into the greater context of Shakespeare's works. These audiobooks are really well done, and they are perfect for a high school or undergrad student studying one of these plays for the first time. It would be great to listen while reading along from a text.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Timeline

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    Overall
    (2438)
    Performance
    (724)
    Story
    (737)

    Modern science meets feudal France...dinosaurs still walk the Earth...a secret world of killer gorillas...only in a Michael Crichton thriller! Check out our full selection in our Crichton store!

    Charles Stembridge says: "Narrator"
    "My favorite Crichton story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely. I love the concept of a bunch of college kids going back to medieval europe and trying to fit in. This is a great action/adventure/time travel story that is fast-plotted and somewhat unpredictable. The technology concept is cool too.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Foundation

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2338)
    Performance
    (1679)
    Story
    (1703)

    For 12,000 years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future, to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last 30,000 years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire, both scientists and scholars, and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a fututre generations.

    Alexander T. McMahon says: "The Foundation Trilogy is a True Classic"
    "Great story - terrible and distracting narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Foundation the most enjoyable?

    Fast plotting, lots of twists, and cool use of


    How could the performance have been better?

    For the first time in years I had to turn off the ipod and buy a hard copy of the book so I could finish this great story. The narrator, Scott Brick, voiced all the characters with such a snarky, arrogant persona that it highly distracted from the plot. Sometimes I couldn't even follow the dialog because I was wondering why two characters would be talking to each other in such condescending tones.

    I can't understand why this guy is such a popular narrator. I won't buy another audible title if he's doing the reading!


    19 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Cannery Row

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Jerry Farden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (384)
    Performance
    (331)
    Story
    (331)

    Published in 1945, Cannery Row focuses on the acceptance of life as it is: both the exuberance of community and the loneliness of the individual. Drawing on his memories of the real inhabitants of Monterey, California, Steinbeck interweaves the stories of Doc, Henri, Mack and his boys, and the other characters in this world where only the fittest survive, to create a novel that is at once one of his most humorous and most poignant works.

    Jax says: "I disagree with Rob from Goodyear, AZ"
    "Great book - disappointing narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my favorite Steinbeck book and I was thrilled to finally see it on Audible. Unfortunately this narrator's take on Steinbeck's writing felt too glib and casual to me, and also a little too childish. It would have been perfect for a Mark Twain novel, but this book would have benefited by a reader with a more serious and less lighthearted approach. But it's still a good listen and a great book.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (8012)
    Performance
    (4721)
    Story
    (4708)

    Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Fall of Giants is his magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.

    Louis says: "Loved it and learned alot."
    "Very Enjoyable!"
    Overall

    If you liked Pillars of the Earth you will enjoy this book as much. It is very similar, following the love interests, political successes/failures, and career developments of a mix of inter-related characters of various social classes as they navigate through the WWI era. The mix of personal narrative and fascinating history makes for great entertainment. You get to enjoy a heavy does of political and military history along with your soap opera plot turns!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The War with the Mein: Book One of the Acacia Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By David Anthony Durham
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (849)
    Performance
    (403)
    Story
    (411)

    A deadly assassin sent from a race called the Mein, exiled long ago to an ice-locked stronghold in the frozen north, strikes at Leodan Akaran, ruler of the Known World, while the Mein also unleash surprise attacks across the empire. On his deathbed, Leodan puts into play a plan to allow his children to escape, each to his separate destiny. And so his children begin a quest to avenge their father's death and restore the Acacian empire, this time on the basis of universal freedom.

    Glen says: "Thumbs up!"
    "Great story, characters and narration"
    Overall

    I am really enjoying this listen. About halfway into this book, I find it to be a compelling political intrigue / empire vs. rebels war novel more than a sword and sorcery fantasy story. The narrative and character development strategies are quite similar to GRR Martin, but the tone is less full of doom and foreboding ("winter is coming"!). So far this story could have been set in the Roman Empire, the Shogun era, or any traditional empire/vassal setting. There are hints of magical developments to come, but as yet it's all about humans killing other humans to gain or keep power. But it's well-plotted and fun to listen to.

    0 of 0 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
    (8953)
    Performance
    (3184)
    Story
    (3262)

    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"
    "compelling plot but painful listening experience"
    Overall

    I've read and enjoyed every other Dan Brown book and was looking forward to this one. I have strong mixed feelings - the plot is enormously compelling. While the story is contrived and requires some strong suspension of disbelief, the result is really a great, fast-paced page turner. I am half-way through the book and will finish it in the next day or two because the mini-cliffhangers at the end of each small chapter are so addictive.

    But like most addictions, this one feels unhealthy. I had to turn the book off numerous times because the dialog and narration were so terrible. I don't blame the narrator - Dan Brown's language gives him so little to work with. I don't expect Nabokov, but Brown's sentence structure and word rhythm, especially when heard aloud, is so graceless that it borders on ugly. Worse than that the author repeats distracting cliche phrases so often that after a while it sounds like a terrible running joke. For example, it sounds as if the editor and author are playing a game to see how many times they can hammer the phrase "stopped short" into the narration. These characters "stop short" on every other page of the book! It's amazing they get anywhere. I don't even know what that phrase means - does anyone use it in real life?

    This book is like a super-sized order of french fries from McDonalds. You know they're not good for you and they don't even taste good going down, but for some reason you can't stop eating fry after fry till they're all gone. I'm going to listen to the ending now.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Anna Karenina

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By David Horovitch
    Overall
    (534)
    Performance
    (331)
    Story
    (326)

    Anna Karenina seems to have everything - beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky.

    Marcus Vorwaller says: "Beautiful story, amazing narration"
    "The best translation and an amazing narrator"
    Overall

    This is the version to listen to - the narrator is one of the best I've ever heard, and I think the english in this translation is the perfect balance of 19th century formality with modern vocabulary and syntax. I read Anna Karenina years ago and loved it then. But listening to this is like discovering the novel all over again.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Hornet Flight

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1060)
    Performance
    (418)
    Story
    (421)

    It's June 1941, and the low point of the war. England throws wave after wave of RAF bombers across the Channel, but somehow the Luftwaffe is able to shoot them down at will. The skies, indeed, the war itself seem to belong to Hitler.

    C. McCoy says: "An Outstanding Spy Novel"
    "Highly recommended adventure yarn for WWII buffs"
    Overall

    This was a great listen - good characters, fast-paced plotting, and an interesting setting in WWII era Denmark. While the ending was definitely predictable, I didn't care. I enjoyed every minute.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Harsh Cry of the Heron: The Last Tale of the Otori

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Lian Hearn
    • Narrated By Julia Fletcher, Henri Lubatti
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1251)
    Performance
    (430)
    Story
    (437)

    16 years of peace and prosperity have passed since Lord Otori Takeo united the Three Countries. Takeo and his beloved consort, Kaede, have three daughters and a happy family life. Their success has attracted the attention of the distant Emperor and his general, the warlord Saga Hideki, who covet the wealth of the Countries. Meanwhile, the violent acts and betrayals of the past will not lie buried, and other secrets will not stay hidden. Everything that Takeo and Kaede have achieved is threatened.

    Bruce says: "Fourth Book falls short"
    "Beautiful language, setting, plot, characters"
    Overall

    This is a fantastic book - amazing sense of time and place. It's obvious that the author cares about her language, and the writing is highly sensory and full of atmosphere. The plot is engaging and the characters interesting and fully-realized. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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