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J. Wigfall

NYC, NY | Member Since 2009

ratings
130
REVIEWS
18
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
46

  • Lonesome Dove

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Larry McMurtry
    • Narrated By Lee Horsley
    Overall
    (3149)
    Performance
    (1619)
    Story
    (1648)

    Larry McMurtry's American epic, set in the late 19th century, tells the story of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana, a drive that represents not only a daring foolhardy adventure, but a part of the American Dream for everyone involved.

    Richard Delman says: "A masterpiece. An epic western story."
    "Nothing Lonesome about this Dove!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Lonesome Dove in three words, what would they be?

    Brutally honest rawhide


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters of Lonesome Dove really sell the story; this is one time where I felt that the characters' lives superseded the actual storyline. I got to know each character first hand and was transported back in time.


    Which character ??? as performed by Lee Horsley ??? was your favorite?

    Augustus (


    If you could take any character from Lonesome Dove out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    There were so many people to meet and know at Lonesome (as well as on the passage north) that any one of them would make for a full evening of conversation at dinner (provided you don't do anything to provoke them into killing you LOL).


    Any additional comments?

    Not a story to be dismissed but read/listened to with the ears and heart. These men and women, both old and young, black, white and red, lived in a world of life, death, sickness, health, hard work, pain, pleasure and disappointment: real life moments that stick with you long afterwards. An absolutely brilliant reading by Lee Horsley, who made the passage of 36 hours flow like water in a stream.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Inspired By...The Bible Experience: New Testament

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Inspired By Media Group
    • Narrated By Angela Bassett, Cuba Gooding Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, and others
    Overall
    (677)
    Performance
    (244)
    Story
    (248)

    Like never before, you can experience the beauty and life-changing power of the Bible. Unique among audio Bible productions, The Bible Experience is a captivating performance of the Bible presented by a stellar ensemble of today's top-name actors, musicians, clergy, directors, and award-winning producers. This historic production also features a cinematic musical score, unparalleled sound design, and the highest production value.The Bible Experience is truly theater of the mind and spirit.

    Kathleen says: "ANGELS not zombies"
    "Good work overall, but singing was a distraction"
    Overall

    I got this because I wanted to HEAR the spoken word of God. Now there were some solid narrators enlisted that knew the subject matter, developed an affinity for the material and delivered it to their audience. They were articulate and talented enough to pull it off whether they were believers or not. (Blair Underwood, Phillip Morris, LeVar Burton and T. D. Jakes were absolutely brilliant.) Others in main roles were miscast and their lack of diction or modulating articulation made listening to them a real challenge (Kirk Franklin and Donnie McClurkin were the worst offenders. Love them as musicians, but they made poor narrators. Samuel L. Jackson joined them from time to time.). Overall the gospels were read quite well. When it came to the reading of the epistles, the production hit many bumps. Interrupting the flow of the narrations were songs, which were great in their own right, but in this arena, were a major distraction. I wanted to hear the word. Incidental music is fine, but wailing gospel solos or foot stomping choir renditions came out of nowhere and stayed a long time before I could continue hearing what I came to hear. It frequently broke the flow of the narrator???many times. This wasn't supposed to be a musical, but a heartfelt reading of the New Testament ... and it was for a while. If they stuck with just that idea alone (and replaced K. Franklin) this really would have been a five star production. It???s still worth a listen, but with this caveat in mind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gulliver's Travels: A Signature Performance by David Hyde Pierce

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jonathan Swift
    • Narrated By David Hyde Pierce
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (693)
    Performance
    (503)
    Story
    (507)

    A Signature Performance: Four-time Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce delivers an air of lovable self-importance in his rendition of the classic social satire that remains as fresh today as the day it was published.

    Rose says: "Loved every minute"
    "An Endurance Game"
    Overall

    This is Swift's classic fictionalized acounting of 16 years of travel through his interpretation of the world according to the 1700s. While the first few adventures as a giant, as a tiny person, and life on a flying island were at times entertaining, I found much of the drivel in the second half dry and boring. I respect Pierce's work as an actor, but his narration worked too hard to bring Frankenstein back to life only to have him die again.

    Why did I made myself endure til the end? Oh yeah... it's a classic.

    3 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Roots: The Saga of an American Family

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Alex Haley
    • Narrated By Avery Brooks
    Overall
    (2028)
    Performance
    (1144)
    Story
    (1163)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A masterpiece like none other, Brooks’ powerful performance of Haley’s words has been known to leave listeners in tears. It begins with a birth in an African village in 1750, and ends two centuries later at a funeral in Arkansas. And in that time span, an unforgettable cast of men, women, and children come to life, many of them based on the people from Alex Haley's own family tree.

    Kevin says: "Powerful"
    "Long story, but solid depiction of slavery"
    Overall

    A very powerful, long, but worthwhile read (Yes, I listened to the entire 33 hour audiobook) and despite the court controversy surrounding it (and Haley) that parts of the book were lifted from another book, The Africans, it's a powerful depiction of slavery and the lives of a people that have managed to spring forth in spite of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

    • UNABRIDGED (47 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Drew Birdseye
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is a short story written by F. Scott Fitzgerald (best known for The Great Gatsby) and first published in Colliers Magazine during 1921. It was subsequently incorporated in his book, Tales of the Jazz Age. This is the story of a man born old - in his 70s - and having to live his life backwards. It inspired a major motion picture starring Brad Pitt and directed by David Fincher in 2008.

    J. Wigfall says: "Nice work and a good quick listen"
    "Nice work and a good quick listen"
    Overall

    A quick read, but much better appreciated as an audiobook, it departs from the movie because this short story is written as a quirky fairy tale. Not to be taken lightly by any means, it is heartfelt and very revealing that while Benjamin goes through the ups and down of life in reverse, he is still treated like we all are--while he is a young old man and while he is an old young kid. Some things just don't change.

    A very worthwhile story. Read it or have it read to you. A departure from the movie (as are most books) and, in most ways, better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What Is the What

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (804)
    Performance
    (351)
    Story
    (352)

    Valentino's travels, truly Biblical in scope, bring him in contact with government soldiers, janjaweed-like militias, liberation rebels, hyenas and lions, disease and starvation, and a string of unexpected romances. Ultimately, Valentino finds safety in Kenya and, just after the millennium, is finally resettled in the United States, from where this novel is narrated.

    Susan says: "A Story Aching to be Told"
    "What?"
    Overall

    A lot of great moments... just too long. Excellent reading by Dion Graham I must say. The authenticity of the various African accents was amazing and they lifted the various stories told by Akhbar to higher heights than if read alone. Very impressive, but just too long. Maybe I could have finished it quicker had I read it. Listening took weeks. The writing at times went every where but loose(in the middle) but the beginning and ending were riveting.

    SPOILER:
    One problem I had was that the apartment break-in and the continuation of his life thereafter were never clearly resolved for me; you just don't write a book of this length, with all of its twisting subplots and storylines, and not resolve the premise you start with... I'm not saying it wasn't a good ride. I think it was unnecessarily long and too quickly wrapped up to be truly satisfying for this reader.

    There's a lot to be said for reading the first 10 pages of any book or listening to the first 10 minutes of an audiobook. If it doesn't ring true to you by then, it's not for you.

    This rang true, but then left me hanging for a long time (as though there were two writers) and then came back for the big wrap up.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Wild Things

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    The Wild Things is about the confusions of a boy, Max, making his way in a world he can't control. His father is gone, his mother is spending time with a younger boyfriend, and his sister is becoming a teenager. At the same time, he finds himself capable of startling acts of wildness: he wears a wolf suit and he bites his mom. During a fight at home, Max flees and runs away into the woods.

    Lydia says: "Intersting..quick read"
    "A long journey"
    Overall

    After a tediously slow start, by a third of the way through this story of Max and his subjects slowly unravels. (I'm glad I was able to listen to the audiobook of this. I don't think I would have stayed with it if I were reading it. I could listen to Dion Graham read anything, but I think this was far longer than it needed to be.)

    Max leaves home (of divorced mom and boyfriend and his estranged teenaged sister) to find life on an island overrun by six huge animallike creatures.

    They even start a war between themselves (a play war) which was a great detour from the book--throwing cats & animals as weapons at each other was kind of Alice and Wonderlandish, but the aftermath involving the beasts eating the same animals they threw--Whew!

    Max and Carroll are at first the best of buddies and Douglas, Judith, Ira, Katherine & Alexander his assortment of beastly subjects. This fantasy quickly turns into a nightmare "King" Max can't seem to awaken from.

    The original story is a favorite for many kids (not mine). Personally I just can't fathom having monsters/beasts as childhood story delights. Too ghoulish for my taste. These huge grotesque beasts truly become the monsters they actually are in the end that Max has to get away from or die--and he barely escapes with his life. The ending was a relief, but I can't imagine this was a successful movie because, if I were a child, I would have nightmares, no matter how "nice" these beasts tried to be.

    Although Dion Graham's reading was good, I couldn't recommend this for any child. I don't know if I could sit through this at a movie either...

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Gary Vaynerchuk
    • Narrated By Gary Vaynerchuk
    Overall
    (1412)
    Performance
    (582)
    Story
    (579)

    Do you have a hobby you wish you could indulge in all day? An obsession that keeps you up at night? Now is the perfect time to take that passion and make a living doing what you love. In Crush It! Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion, Gary Vaynerchuk shows you how to use the power of the Internet to turn your real interests into real businesses.

    Martin says: "Gary delivers!"
    "He's super passionate"
    Overall

    Gary is hyped and super passionate about what he shares and that may excite some and offend others. I loved it. Throughout the book he lays out many solid points that validate the time it takes us to listen and get them all down. Although he???s a fast talker, he takes his time laying down a foundation with practical ways to develop our own personal brand. His personal asides from the printed book???s content is what makes this audiobook really shine.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Junot Diaz
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Staci Snell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2200)
    Performance
    (928)
    Story
    (936)

    Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuku: the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.

    Kathleen says: "Fabulous listen"
    "Swearing for the sake of swearing"
    Overall

    While I speak enough Spanish to flow with all the spanglish, I find the interestingly sad and morose story of a Dominican family's demise obscured by excessive swearing.

    This really took a while for me to get through. I just wanted to hear the story. What exactly is proven by being so blatantly ignorant? I grew up with Oscars, Yuniors and Lolas and while cursing was a part of their lives, they weren't dominated by it.

    At times this felt like a short story stretched out into a mini epic. I also found it went a lot of places and no where at the same time. I really wanted to like this, but it was a difficult ride.

    Mr. Diaz take note: excessive writing and excessive cursing always malign good writing and good storytelling.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Ken Kesey
    • Narrated By Ken Kesey
    Overall
    (280)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (111)

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is one of the most electrifying, most admired novels of our time. Set in the bleak confines of a state mental hospital and narrated by a half-Indian patient named Chief Bromden, it's the story of a titanic battle of wills between two unforgettable characters.

    Nina says: "Even better than I remember1"
    "Riveting!!!"
    Overall

    Wow! I???d seen the movie some time ago in the 20th Century, but the book is electric. Told from the half Indian???s point of view and not Jack Nicholson???s McMurphy character, (which makes far more sense considering the story's outcome). There???s just so much more going on when you read/listen than when you watch. The imagination is the key thing and more importantly, the writing. Kesey is a brilliant folk story teller/writer who's prose is tight and riveting.

    I recommend this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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