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Loren D.

Rising Sun, IN, USA | Member Since 2005

  • 14 reviews
  • 23 ratings
  • 55 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014

  • The Magician's Nephew: The Chronicles of Narnia

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Kenneth Branagh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Digory and Polly meet and become friends one cold, wet summer in London. Their lives burst into adventure when Digory's Uncle Andrew, who thinks he is a magician, sends them hurtling to...somewhere else. They find their way to Narnia, newborn from the Lion's song, and encounter the evil sorceress Jadis, before they finally return home.

    Jason says: "An incredible children's series"
    "Excellent Series"

    These Chronicles of Narnia are absolutely excellent. My favorite narrator is Kenneth Branagh, who does “The Magician’s Nephew,” which is the first book in the series.

    All of the stories are superbly written and well read. Listeners of all ages will enjoy them.

    I listened to the books in order and recommend that you do the same. They are:

    Book 1: The Magician’s Nephew
    Book 2: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
    Book 3: The Horse and his Boy
    Book 4: Prince Caspian
    Book 5: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
    Book 6: The Silver Chair
    Book 7: The Last Battle

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Little Lord Fauntleroy

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Frances Hodgson Burnett
    • Narrated By Donada Peters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Young Cedric Errol lives in poverty in New York with his mother. When his father, who was disinherited for marrying an American, dies, Cedric is summoned to his grandfather's English estate. While the crotchety old Earl planned to transform the boy into a docile, traditional lording, it is Little Lord Fauntleroy who does the converting.

    Louis M says: "This book rocks no matter how old you are!"

    The publisher’s summary does a good job of describing the story, so I will only add that this is an excellent book for all ages.

    Louis M’s, term, “Uplifting” is the best one word summary of this story. With so many heavy, depressing books and news items surrounding us, it’s nice to escape into a story like this one.

    I doubt that there ever was a child as perfect as Cedric Errol, but that’s what makes the story so good.

    The narration by Donada Peters is excellent, as is the audio quality.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Men of Iron

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Howard Pyle
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This is a story of the days of chivalry in England and of young Myles Falworth, son of a lord unjustly disgraced for treason, who was forced to make his fortune as best he might in the days when men seemed made of iron. How he entered the service of a powerful lord, rose to knighthood, defeated his father's old enemy in thrilling combat, and at last won the friendship of the king is told against a background of the dangerous times of the 14th century that makes them live again.

    Alan Rither says: "A great story for younger listeners"
    "Good story with technical flaws"

    I enjoyed Robert Whitfield’s narration of “Scaramouche” and “Captain Blood” so much that I got this book as well.

    The narration is as good as those others, but the audio quality isn’t. Added to that, I noticed some flaws with the downloaded book. Initially, chapter 16 was missing entirely. I called the problem to the attention of customer service and it seems to be repaired now, but the missing chapter detracted from the enjoyment of the story. As it turned out, that chapter is not central to the plot.

    This is an enjoyable story for anyone older than 15. Children younger than that will probably have trouble with some of the words, but it’s still an easily understood story, with only a few excursions away from the main plot.

    The story’s central character is Miles, a young man studying to be a knight. Honor is a central concept of the story.

    I am waaaaay past childhood and enjoyed this book, but I think it would be more suited for boys in their teens. I don’t think that girls would enjoy it as much boys would, although I should leave that issue open until we get a woman’s opinion.

    In spite of the technical flaws, I rate it at 4 stars.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Northanger Abbey

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When Catherine Morland, a country clergyman's daughter, is invited to spend a season in Bath with the fashionable high society, little does she imagine the delights and perils that await her. Captivated and disconcerted by what she finds, and introduced to the joys of "Gothic novels" by her new friend, Isabella, Catherine longs for mystery and romance. When she is invited to stay with the beguiling Henry Tilney and his family at Northanger Abbey, she expects mystery and intrigue at every turn.

    Johnny says: "Awesome"

    If there was ever a “Chick Book”, this is it. I can’t believe that I listened to the whole thing. I did so only because I thought the ending would be worth it, but it wasn’t. In fact, after the long, detailed steps taken to get to the end, it was very disappointing. The ending was hurried, as if to say, “Then everybody found that they all loved each other, got married, and lived happily ever after.”

    I got this book because I enjoyed the TV mini-series, “Pride and Prejudice.” I didn’t realize how much I would have to listen to what the main character, a 17-year-old young lady, thinks about the situations and people around her. A little more action and less analysis would have been welcome.

    This is my first book by Jane Austen; it will be my last.

    The ONLY thing that made this book worth listening to was the absolutely terrific narration by Juliet Stevenson. Her nuances with the various characters’ voices and clear speech in all of them made it a joy to hear her. Too bad the material didn’t support her talent.


    5 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • The Mayor of Casterbridge

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Pamela Garelick

    Rooted in an actual case of wife-selling in early nineteenth-century England, the story builds into an awesome Sophoclean drama of guilt and revenge, in which the strong, willful Henchard rises to a position of wealth and power, only to achieve a most bitter downfall. Proud, obsessed, ultimately committed to his own destruction, Henchard is, as Albert Guerard has said, "Hardy's Lord Jim...his only tragic hero and one of the greatest tragic heroes in all fiction."

    Biggar Thomas says: "Fabulous"
    "Good book, great narration"

    First I should say that the narrator, Pamela Garelick, helps make this book very enjoyable. Her accents and performance are terrific.

    The story starts immediately and moves swiftly, keeping you wondering throughout what will happen next. By the end of the first chapter you will be unable to stop.

    The book seems to me to be mostly a character study of the mayor, whose character has some flaws. It would provoke some interesting conversations among Christians regarding sin and repentance.

    There are enough twists and turns to the plot to keep you guessing about what will happen next, and the book provides good entertainment all the way through. Thomas Hardy’s prose is written for an accomplished reader, with longer sentences and a more extensive vocabulary than are common today. I had to look a word up occasionally, but reasoned that this was the price to pay for such great writing. There is a reason that this book has remained popular for 120 years.

    I enjoyed the book, but it was the top-notch narration by Pamela Garelick that makes it truly excellent. I’ll look for more of her work.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Riders of the Purple Sage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Zane Grey
    • Narrated By John Hitchcock
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Lassiter is the strong, silent stranger who takes on the powerful agents trying to drive the lovely Jane Withersteen from her ranch in this acknowledged Western Classic.

    Stephen says: "One of Zane Grey's Best"
    "Satisfactory, but not great"

    This is the first Zane Grey book I’ve read/heard. I didn’t care for it much.

    The narrator didn’t make a good impression as the book started. He does a satisfactory job with the story, but his performance with the dialog is stilted and not delivered as dialog would be.

    The story was interesting, but moved a bit slowly for me. The descriptions could have been minimized, especially since I could not picture the lay of the land from the rambling verbal scenes that were presented.

    I will probably not again take a book by Zane Grey, nor one narrated by John Hitchcock.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Scaramouche

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Rafael Sabatini
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    With swordfights and romance, adventure and treachery set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, this is the book that made Sabatini famous. Andre-Louis Moreau has good prospects as a young lawyer, but an unfair duel with the ruthlessly cruel Count de La Tour d'Azyr leaves Andre-Louis' best friend dead and Andre-Louis himself a fugitive from the King's justice. While incognito, he becomes both a wildly popular actor and a firebrand of the Revolution.

    Tariq Anis says: "Mesmerizing"

    A great story, well read by Robert Whitfield. There is enough action, romance, and adventure to keep you interested, but this story is mostly about revenge.

    It’s not as good a revenge story as The Count of Monte Cristo, but is excellent nonetheless.

    The narration is terrific.

    If you like this book, you will almost certainly also like Captain Blood by the same author and narrator.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Captain Blood

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Rafael Sabatini
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    George MacDonald Fraser, author of the Flashman novels, praises this hearty saga as "one of the great unrecognized novels of the 20th century." Doctor Peter Blood's quiet life is shattered when he is convicted of treason for helping a wounded nobleman in the 1685 rebellion against King James II.

    Gary says: "Outstanding rendition of classic swashbuckler"
    "Another great book I had never heard of."

    I hesitated before ordering Captain Blood. I shouldn’t have.

    This story has its share of swashbuckling adventure, but it is mostly about the trials and tribulations of one man, Peter Blood. Blood’s miseries include a false accusation, slavery and an untouchable woman.

    In spite of his oppressions, Blood triumphs in the end. How he does is a great story. This unabridged version moves along so well, I don’t see how an editor could leave anything out to create an abridged version.

    So well read by Robert Whitfield that I also bought Scaramouche by the same narrator and the same author, Rafael Sabatini. Audio quality is excellent.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Lion's Game

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick

    To survive in a game with no rules at all, John Corey must invent a strategy that includes no luck at all. He and the Anti-Terrorist Task Force must stop "The Lion," an alleged Libyan terrorist with the instincts of a wild animal, the bloodlust of a carnivore, and the boldness and speed of a cat of prey. And listen to Mayday, by DeMille and Thomas Block, the most terrifyingly realistic air disaster thriller of all time.

    CoCo says: "Excellent and engaging"
    "Good story marred by its ending."

    I was disappointed with this book.

    The story moves along well, flashing from the perspective of the cop to the perspective of his terrorist prey. It’s well written and well read; I just found the ending to be less than satisfying. Even so, it’s still a pretty good story.

    The narration is excellent, as is the audio quality.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Beau Geste

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By P.C. Wren
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Howard

    A shot rang out. The Arabs surged forward under a savage fusillade of heavy fire. Nearer and nearer they came, shouting with hate and blood-lust. Geste rushed up and down his side of the roof, pausing only long enough to load his rifle and fire into the shrieking mob below, hoping to trick the Arabs into believing the fort was heavily manned.

    Loren D. says: "Definitely a classic."
    "Definitely a classic."

    I have concluded that there is a reason why classic books are classics.

    Beau Geste is a great story, with adventure, mystery, and a smattering of romance. I was expecting a desert war story, but got what turned out to be mostly a mystery.

    This book is extremely well read and the audio quality is also excellent. I highly recommend it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Dracula (Blackstone Edition)

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Bram Stoker
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1897, at the age of 50, Bram Stoker was touring manager to the actor Henry Irving and was enjoying a modest success as a journalist and writer. Publication in that year of Dracula was to bring him international and lasting fame.

    Katrina says: "Still Scary Two Centuries Later"
    "Not a thriller, but interesting"

    I didn’t know what to expect from this audio book, but I did expect more suspense and more horror. Perhaps I’ve been jaded by the graphic representations in films, but this book didn’t evoke any fear or dread at all.

    Bram Stoker wrote this book as a series of excerpts from journals, letters, and other documents. This style helps create the illusion of fact behind the story, which is clever.

    As this is the original vampire book (I think), I learned the “official rules” that apply. For example, a vampire will not make a reflection in a mirror nor cast a shadow. The book also introduced me to Van Helsing, the vampire hunter who is mentioned in later stories.

    It was an interesting, but not a riveting, story.

    The narrator is excellent, and easy to understand.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful

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