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Ardsley, NY, USA | Member Since 2002

  • 7 reviews
  • 27 ratings
  • 583 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015

  • Pattern Recognition

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By William Gibson
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Cayce Pollard is an expensive, spookily intuitive market-research consultant. In London on a job, she is offered a secret assignment: to investigate some intriguing snippets of video that have been appearing on the Internet. An entire subculture of people is obsessed with these bits of footage, and anybody who can create that kind of brand loyalty would be a gold mine for Cayce's client. But when her borrowed apartment is burgled, she realizes there's more to this project than she had expected.

    Laura says: "Not Unabridged"

    This is a mixed bag. The protagonist treads the border between attractive and insufferably smug, with her pilates, ibook, and "allergy" to trendiness. The plot similarly is on the edge of sophisticated and bone-headed with a gee-whizness about technology combined with embarassing ignorance (a "render farm" with dozens of people rendering video full time?) It also could have used better editing, as there are many verbal ticks that find their way into the text repeatedly.

    All that aside, its a good listen, worth the time, and very well read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Invisible Man: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Ralph Ellison
    • Narrated By Joe Morton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Ralph Elllison's Invisible Man is a monumental novel, one that can well be called an epic of 20th-century African-American life. It is a strange story, in which many extraordinary things happen, some of them shocking and brutal, some of them pitiful and touching - yet always with elements of comedy and irony and burlesque that appear in unexpected places.

    Robert says: "You've been waiting, buy it, you won't be sorry..."
    "An essential brilliant and engaging novel"
    Would you listen to Invisible Man again? Why?

    I have read the book before, maybe 20 years ago, and I remember it well. But hearing it read adds vividness to some of the really dramatic scenes like the battle royale.

    What other book might you compare Invisible Man to and why?

    it draws from moby dick, from mark twain and other great american writing, but it is really distinctive and a one-off (really, he never completed another novel.)

    Which character – as performed by Joe Morton – was your favorite?

    it is a first person story, so the protagonist is the voice.

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

    light is truth, truth is light

    Any additional comments?

    really one of the great novels of all time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Way We Live Now: Parts 1 & 2

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Anthony Trollope
    • Narrated By Flo Gibson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Everyone thinks Augustus Melmotte, a new arrival in London, is a wealthy financier - until he is caught in a forgery scheme. This is a satirical look at immorality and dishonesty as Trollope saw them in the worlds of business, politics, journalism, literature, and society on his return from the colonies in 1872. Scoundrels, coquettes, swindlers, and intriguers abound in this novel, which is often called his masterpiece.

    Eric says: "The best"
    "The best"

    There is simply nothing like this novel for its modest, truthful, loving, and poetic view of human activity. It is wonderfully read by Flo Gibson, and the audiobook is absorbing from beginning to end.

    One caveat, though, like many British writers of his time, Trollope has clearly anti-semitic views. Not as vile or extreme as Shakespeare or Dickens, but the implicit and casual anti-semitism might be unacceptable for some readers. I am jewish and I can deal with it, but I can imagine others finding it intolerable.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Darling

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Russell Banks
    • Narrated By Mary Beth Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Darling is Hannah Musgrave's story, told emotionally and convincingly years later by Hannah herself. A political radical and member of the Weather Underground, Hannah has fled America to West Africa, where she and her Liberian husband become friends and colleagues of Charles Taylor, the notorious warlord and now ex-president of Liberia. When Taylor leaves for the United States in an effort to escape embezzlement charges, he's immediately placed in prison.

    Ellen says: "Complex and compelling"
    "Smart, rich, and beautifully read"

    This is one of the finest audio titles that I have had the pleasure to hear in more than a decade of listening. I had not been familiar with Russell Banks beyond having heard the name, but I had Liberian friends who lived through the disastrous past two decades. The Darling's premise is not very promising: the first person telling by radicalized daughter of privilege (sorry for all the "pr's"...) of the horror of the Liberian collapse. As it turns out, Russell Banks paints a complex portrait of a woman with all her contradictory impulses who penetrates into the "heart of darkness." I found it delicate, moving, even funny. The reading is superb, not intrusive but colorful and varied. I can't recommend this highly enough.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Middlesex

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Kristoffer Tabori

    In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

    Christopher Allen walker says: "Great Pulitzer Winning novel!"
    "Never Stumbles"

    I came to this book with no preconceptions about its content or character. I was drawn into the reading by the surefooted characterizations, the pithy and epigrammatic language, and the general good humour and balance of the author's voice. It doesn't dig all that deep, but it is very cheering. If you are looking for an engaging and well-told story that spans a few generations of interesting everyday people, I recommend Middlesex.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Second Coming of Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Alan Deutschman
    • Narrated By Charles Stransky
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From the acclaimed Vanity Fair and GQ journalist - an unprecedented, in-depth portrait of the man whose return to Apple precipitated one of the biggest turnarounds in business history.

    Thomas says: "Awesome background on Apple, NeXT, and Pixar."
    "Great story poorly told"

    This book is poorly written, repetitious, with hackneyed language. It attempts to paint a personal picture of Jobs, but ends up by reading like an overlong Vanity Fair article. There is a germ of a fascinating story here, but the Second Coming is not up to the potential.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Universe in a Nutshell

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Stephen Hawking
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble

    With characteristic exuberance, Stephen Hawking invites us to be fellow travelers on this extraordinary voyage through spacetime, as he seeks "to combine Einstein's General Theory of Relativity and Richard Feynman's idea of multiple histories into one complete unified theory that will describe everything that happens in the universe."

    Adam says: "Educational and yet fun."
    "This stuff is *hard*"

    I have always been amazed that Stephen Hawkings' books have been so popular, as his subject is so difficult. There is no easy way to get to concepts like Yang Mills fields, multidimensional space-time, and quantum theories of gravitation. Hawkings is a brilliant and informal guide, but there is no way around that fact that the concepts of 20th century physics are very difficult (let alone 21st century physics). In part because these concepts are so familiar to Hawkings himself, he does not do a very good job of connecting them with things that might be more familiar. Or maybe it is more accurate to say that he does his best, but the concepts remain very complex and remote.

    In general, this is an engaging book, but I was hanging on by my fingernails trying to keep up.

    52 of 61 people found this review helpful

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