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Wayland

Baltimore, MD, United States | Listener Since 2010

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Naked

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Megan Hart
    • Narrated By Lauren Fortgang
    Overall
    (782)
    Performance
    (458)
    Story
    (456)

    "I didn't think he wanted me. And I wasn't about to get involved with him, not after what I'd heard. Sure, Alex Kennedy was tall, dark and unbearably hot, but I've been burned before. When I solicited him to model for my erotic photography book, I didn't expect such a heated, passionate photo session. And now that we've crossed that line, our bodies aren't the only things that have been exposed."

    Candyce says: "LOVED IT!!"
    "Witty But Shallow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Naked starts off wonderfully, but plateau's hard as the story progresses. The hardcore romance is very well written and the sex scenes are enticing. The overall story however is lacking. The first person train of thought narrative is witty and engaging. I loved Olivia's internal monologues. The other characters, including Alex, seem to be glossovers. Too stereotypical to be real and not really resolved. Too many people and plots are introduced and not really developed thoroughly almost as if they are there only to show that Olivia doesn't live in a bubble. This book is a good straightforward romance novel, but if you're looking for a riveting and engaging story, this is not it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Brave New World

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Aldous Huxley
    • Narrated By Michael York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2466)
    Performance
    (1749)
    Story
    (1765)

    When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

    Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A.F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

    Jefferson says: "“Oh, Ford, Ford Ford, I Wish I Had My Soma!”"
    "Barely a Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Brave New World is imaginative since it was written before WWII and is very accurate in predicting technologies that would come after it. The novel is lacking in a dramatic story. It is great as commentary and speculation of possible dystopian or utopian ideals. Even with everything that happens to all of the characters, none of them seem fleshed out and the story constantly jumps between them to illustrate different societal issues. If you like philosophical books this story is a classic and a must listen. Like in the society that is described, the characters are small pieces in the over arching ideal of describing the setting. If you don't mind that, then this book is well worth reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fountainhead

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2917)
    Performance
    (1621)
    Story
    (1641)

    One of the 20th century's most challenging novels of ideas, The Fountainhead champions the cause of individualism through the story of a gifted young architect who defies the tyranny of conventional public opinion. The struggle for personal integrity in a world that values conformity above creativity is powerfully illustrated through three characters: Howard Roarke, a genius; Gail Wynand, a newspaper mogul and self-made millionaire; and Dominique Francon, a devastating beauty.

    Zachary says: "The Fountainhead"
    "A Conversation with Ayn Rand"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is quintessentially Ayn Rand. The characters are created for and the story moved forward by long conversation and monologue pieces. It is a story not about specific characters, but about the entirety of mankind. What begins as an interesting drama about very different people dealing with the social and professional norms of their times, almost imperceptibly slowly becomes a commentary on society as a whole. The major characters that start the story as individual personalities morph into full fledged philosophers, no matter what their original proclivities. The ideas expressed by the author are very thought provoking and the book captivates the attention. If you like Ayn Rand's style of writing or social commentary cloaked in an enjoyable narrative, this will satisfy. This book might have a ficitional story, but that is not the point of it and it won't be the thing one will remember after listening to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • We the Living

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Mary Woods
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (393)
    Performance
    (189)
    Story
    (195)

    We the Living portrays the impact of the Russian Revolution on three people who demand the right to live their own lives. At its center is a girl whose passionate love is her fortress against the cruelty and oppression of a totalitarian state. Rand said of this book: "It is as near to an autobiography as I will ever write."

    Geoffrey says: "Emotionally intense, historically authentic"
    "Surreal Vision"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We The Living is an amazing and well written story. It feels like a cross between a dramatic narrative and a history textbook. While the character interactions and events in their lives are incredibly personal and dramatic, the way that Ayn Rand describes those characters and events along with a plethora of background information makes the story seem like a drawn out newspaper article trying to give all the information possible. I really liked the story because it gave a peasant's view of early communist Russia. It was descriptive to a fault and the social commentary is classicly blunt. A must read/listen for fans of historical social commentaries.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Divine Comedy: The Inferno, The Purgatorio, & The Paradiso

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Dante Alighieri
    • Narrated By Pam Ward
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    Dante Alighieri's poetic masterpiece is a moving human drama, an unforgettable visionary journey through the infinite torment of Hell, up the arduous slopes of Purgatory, and on to the glorious realm of Paradise-the sphere of universal harmony and eternal salvation. One of the greatest works in literature, Dantes story-poem is an allegory that represents mankind as it exposes itself, by its merits or demerits, to the rewards or the punishments of justice.

    Tad Davis says: "OK"
    "Not For Audio"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Divine Comedy is a masterpiece of imagination. I loved picking up pieces of the story from researching it on my own and I thought listening to the entire thing would finally allow me to get to know the whole story. Sadly, this book does not really lend itself to be listened to. Unless you are a learned scholar of early Renaissance Italian society, this book will make no sense. The portrayal of the hell, purgatory, and heaven is quite vivid and well done, but the narrative is tied to the souls that Dante meets along the way. Dante uses his story to criticize the people that were living in his time I found it nearly impossible to follow the story as he meets with and discusses the sins and salvation of Italian notables from 7 centuries ago. I will still try to read this book someday, but I will find a hard copy with footnotes and keep a good encyclopedic website handy while I read it. This was written before audio recording was conceived and does not do well in this medium.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Chinese Chef

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Nicole Mones
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers, James Chen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (474)
    Performance
    (327)
    Story
    (330)

    When recently widowed Maggie McElroy is called to China to settle a claim against her late husbands estate, she is blindsided by the discovery that he may have led a double life. Since work is all that will keep her sane, her magazine editor assigns her to profile Sam, a half-Chinese American who is the last in a line of gifted chefs tracing back to the imperial palace. As she watches Sam gear up for Chinas Olympic culinary competition by planning the banquet of a lifetime, she begins to see past the cuisines artistry to glimpse its coherent expression of Chinese civilization.

    Dr. says: "Totally Satisfying - highly recommended"
    "Great Food, Contrived Plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The entire plot of the story takes a far backseat to the descriptions of food and history lessons that the book provides. It was entertaining, but I never felt engaged to the characters' plights or cares. It was an enjoyable listen, but seemed short. The plot's are all tied up simply, with one exception, nary a twist thrown in. If you want a book that'll make you crave for an authetic Chinese restaurant or just dinner, then this is a wonderful story. If you want a book with a deep and interesting plot, then this won't be a good choice.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Freedom: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jonathan Franzen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3407)
    Performance
    (1137)
    Story
    (1140)

    Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul - the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter - environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man - she was doing her small part to build a better world.

    Lawrence says: "Believe the Hype"
    "Characterful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Franzen's novel is character centric. The setting that he puts them in is very intricate and well researched, but it is the development of the characters that takes center stage. They are both simple and complicated. The choices, action, and interpersonal interactions can seem trivial or over-the-top at times, but the experience is very well weaved. I would recommend this book to anybody who wants a decent plot held together by strong characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume III, Red River to Appomattox

    • UNABRIDGED (48 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Shelby Foote
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner, Ken Burns
    Overall
    (821)
    Performance
    (370)
    Story
    (372)

    In the third and last volume of this vivid history, Shelby Foote brings to a close the story of four years of turmoil and strife which altered American life forever. Here, told in rich narrative and as seen from both sides, are those climactic struggles, great and small, on and off the field of battle, which finally decided the fate of this nation.

    Tad Davis says: "Incredible"
    "Narrative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Foot's conclusion of the Civil War is good, but the weakest of the three volumes. He does well to lay out of the facts at the end of the war, but this volume reads more like a textbook than the story that his other two volumes were building on. The end is particularly rushed. If you have listened to the other volumes, then this is a natural continuation, but if you have not, there are many better sources to learn about the end of the war than this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume II, Fredericksburg to Meridian

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Shelby Foote
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner, Ken Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (930)
    Performance
    (422)
    Story
    (428)

    This volume is dominated by the almost continual confrontation of great armies. For the fourth time, the Army of the Potomac (now under the control of Burnside) attempts to take Richmond, resulting in the bloodbath at Fredericksburg. Then Joe Hooker tries again, only to be repulsed at Chancellorsville as Stonewall Jackson turns his flank, a bitter victory for the South, paid for by the death of Lee's foremost lieutenant.

    Christopher Morton says: "The Best of the Three Volumes"
    "Narrative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This second book in this series is more focused on the actions of the armies because during this time, there were more battles fought. Those who hate the Confederacy will find this volume hard to swallow because there is no condemnation of their ideals that follow their battle successes. It is a very good continuation of Foote's efforts in his first volume and the development of the leading general's personalities is done particularly well. The historical accuracy of some of Foote's sources has come into question recently, but as a historical narrative, it is very enticing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume I, Fort Sumter to Perryville

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Shelby Foote, Ken Burns (introduction)
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1581)
    Performance
    (693)
    Story
    (700)

    Here begins one of the most remarkable works of history ever fashioned. All the great battles are here, of course, from Bull Run through Shiloh, the Seven Days, Second Manassas to Antietam, and Perryville in the fall of 1862, but so are the smaller and often equally important engagements on both land and sea: Ball's Bluff, Fort Donelson, Pea Ridge, Island Ten, New Orleans, Monitor versus Merimac, and Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign, to mention only a few.

    Jeanne says: "The best"
    "Narrative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While this book gives all of the requisite dates and battle movements of armies, which can be a little hard to follow without the maps and apendixes a book like this is sure to come with, it's narrative styles makes learning the civil war a delight. This book delves deeply into the beginnings of the civil war and shows the characters of the people behind the start of the war fairly. People easily take sides when it comes to civil war, but this book gives a relatively unbiased view of what the author believies happened that led to the war. A very long, but rewarding listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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