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William

Mount Pleasant, SC, USA | Member Since 2009

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 20 ratings
  • 142 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2014
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  • A Bend in the River

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By V.S. Naipaul
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (229)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (86)

    In this incandescent novel, V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man, an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isolated town at the bend of a great river in a newly independent African nation. Naipaul gives us the most convincing and disturbing vision yet of what happens in a place caught between the dangerously alluring modern world and its own tenacious past and traditions.

    Everett Leiter says: "Highly recommended"
    "Excellent Book of Life in Africa"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to A Bend in the River again? Why?

    I enjoyed reading this book, but I'm not sure if I would read it again and it isn't placed among my favorites. It is very well written and paints a picture of Africa that puts the reader there, but it's not necessarily a gripping tale.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What I liked best about the book were the details of life that the characters went through, they give the story more life and texture.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    None of the individual scenes stood out that much to me, the dramatic events seemed to happen abruptly and without fanfare.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I feel that some things in the book were a bit of a let down. For instance, Salim's romance with Yvette was promising but then abruptly ended with violence that was unjustified and unexplained to the reader. Salim was done with her, but why did he beat her? It doesn't make sense.


    Any additional comments?

    Simon Vance was, once again, outstanding. I would never think twice about listening to one of his narrations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sheltering Sky

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Paul Bowles
    • Narrated By Jennifer Connelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (210)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (192)

    The Sheltering Sky is a landmark of 20th-century literature, a novel of existential despair that examines the limits of humanity when it touches the unfathomable emptiness of the desert. Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind, Requiem for a Dream) gives masterful voice to this American classic.

    Melinda says: "A Teacup Full of Sand on the Highest Dune"
    "Good Book That Takes an Odd Turn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Before I got to part 3 of this book, I was thoroughly enjoying it. The writing is excellent, the characters lively, the story seemed to be going somewhere and the performance by Connelly was superb. Bowles did a wonderful job of giving the reader an idea of what traveling around Africa at that time was like, and being transported to another world is one of the things I love about reading books.

    Then I read part 3 and the entire time I was trying to figure out if I was reading the same book with the same character. What Bowles has Kit go through is out of left field, I just didn't understand and it didn't fit the rest of the story at all.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Death of the Heart

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    Orphaned Portia is stranded in the sophisticated and politely treacherous world of her wealthy half-brother's home in London. There she encounters the attractive, carefree cad Eddie. To him, Portia is at once child and woman, and he fears her gushing love. To her, Eddie is the only reaason to be alive. But when Eddie follows Portia to a sea-side resort, the flash of a cigarette lighter in a darkened cinema illuminates a stunning romantic betrayal.

    John S. says: "Narration makes the story here"
    "Outstanding Performance of a Good Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was beautifully written, and Bowen did a wonderful job of showing what life was like in pre-war England, at least of the upper classes. The dialog is excellent and the characters are wonderfully developed. The problem I had with the book was the story, which was very underwhelming. The drama was so....non-dramatic that I kept telling myself that there has to be more to come.

    The performance by Kellgren is outstanding, with wonderful characters and very well read. While I wouldn't read this book again, I would definitely read more by Kellgren.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (52 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2070)
    Performance
    (401)
    Story
    (408)

    This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world - and did. Is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he fight his hardest battle not against his enemies, but against the woman he loves? Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand's magnum opus and launched an ideology and a movement. With the publication of this work in 1957, Rand gained an instant following and became a phenomenon. Atlas Shrugged emerged as a premier moral apologia for capitalism, a defense that had an electrifying effect on millions of readers (and now listeners) who had never heard capitalism defended in other than technical terms.

    Robert says: "Over before you know it"
    "An Excellent Narration of An Excellent Book"
    Overall

    I was amazed by the consistancy of Mr. Hurt's narration. Despite the incredible length of this book, and despite the fact that characters tend to repeat themselves in lengthy dialogue, Mr. Hurt consistant narration made it easy for me to stay involved with this book. In all aspects, I would like to say well done to him.

    The book itself was very well written, and I now understand what all the fuss is about. It was amazing how relevent the book is to today's society. Miss Rand's research was fantastic, I was constantly amazed by the depth of the details in the story. My only comment which could be considered mildly negative is that, as mentioned previously, the characters tend to waffle on a bit and repeat themselves during some very lengthy dialog. But I hesitate to take away from Miss Rand's efforts, this is a very good book.

    I highly recommend this book, and highly recommend this particular narration of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The God Delusion

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4446)
    Performance
    (1847)
    Story
    (1825)

    Discover magazine recently called Richard Dawkins "Darwin's Rottweiler" for his fierce and effective defense of evolution. Prospect magazine voted him among the top three public intellectuals in the world (along with Umberto Eco and Noam Chomsky). Now Dawkins turns his considerable intellect on religion, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.

    Rick Just says: "Dangerous Religion"
    "An Outstanding Book and An Outstanding Narration"
    Overall

    I found this book to be very well written, and very well presented. Professor Dawkins explains all of his points very well, and I thought his narration was superb. It is nice to listen to a book read by the author, because the author knows what he wishes to emphasize and how he or she wants it read. And it is especially nice when the author is so well spoken as Professor Dawkins. Miss Ward adds a lovely compliment to his narration, I wish the two did more books!

    I highly recommend this book. I wish the material presented was taught in our society, in the same manner and with the same evidence. And I wish every non-fiction book was this well narrated.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Noel Gibilaro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    Professor Pierre Aronnax boards an American frigate commissioned to investigate a rash of attacks on international shipping by what is thought to be an amphibious monster. The supposed sea creature, which is actually the submarine Nautilus, sinks Aronnax's vessel and imprisons him along with his devoted servant Conseil and Ned Land, a temperamental harpooner.

    Kathleen says: "Gothic Sci Fi classic, narrated for kindergartners"
    "Annoying Narrator Takes Away From A Great Book"
    Overall

    I could have enjoyed reading this book, but I found the narrator to be annoying enough to take my concentration away from the words he was reading. He consistantly emphasized parts of sentences which shouldn't have been emphasized, and didn't emphasize parts which should have been. It was as if he was reading the book for the first time and just wasn't paying attention to what he was reading. It was especially annoying to listen to him end a sentence which hadn't ended, as if he thought the sentence ended on one line only to realize that it carried on the next line.

    While I applaud any narrator who "acts" out the book by giving each character a different voice, this narrator's voices were annoying at best. He gives Aronnax's faithful assistant Conseil the mad scientist's Igor's voice, while Mr. Land gets an especially annoying version of Dirty Harry. And most annoying of all, he doesn't give Captain Nemo any of the strong impression that the character is described as having.

    I cannot recommend this version to anyone. I feel this is one of the great adventure stories and it is impossible to get any enjoyment out of this version because you are constantly distracted and annoyed.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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