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  • The Odyssey of Homer (Dramatization)

    • Abridged/Unabridged (7 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Yuri Rasovsky
    • Narrated By Full Cast

    When this groundbreaking serialized dramatization premiered on 320 U.S. radio stations, critics were unanimous in their praise. It won numerous honors including the George Foster Peabody Award and the Pulitzer Prize for broadcasting. Never before or since has such an ambitious undertaking been attempted in public radio, and it was accomplished, not by a major network, but by a small nonprofit independent producer in Chicago. That was in 1981. It has been sitting on the shelf ever since.

    Michael says: "Lack of Editing Makes Listening Tedious"
    "The gods wreck their vengeance on the listener"

    Whew! Don't take my word for how bad this is. Just listen to the sample.

    The production style is very self-consciously fiftyish, including the "announcer guy" you hear. This sort of reminds me of an academic production, something that would have been performed on a college stage. It's very histrionic. In their attempt at theatricality, the nuanced sensitivity of the Homeric lines are lost. You need absolutely first class actors and a gifted director to pull off something like this. None of those elements are in place here, unfortunately.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Napoleon

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By H.A.L. Fisher
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin

    Between 1796 and 1815, the continent of Europe was held in thrall by one of the most remarkable personalities of modern times, a man whose name was on the lips of every man, woman, and child: Napoleon Bonaparte. Certainly, one would have to go back to the time of Charlemagne to find his equal on the field of battle, in the halls of diplomacy, or in the courts of jurisprudence.

    Theresa says: "A very good short biography"
    "A tour de force"

    If you are looking for a concise biography of Napleon, this is a great choice. This work is fairly short, but extremely pithy. It was written just prior to WW I, so you may not like the writing style, though I rather like Victorian writers myself. The generous sample clip will give you a good idea of the work. Griffen does a wonderful job of bringing this work to life with his professorial narration. History buffs will love this.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Harriet Beecher Stowe
    • Narrated By Jim Roberts
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    "So this is the little lady that made the big war." The authenticity of Lincoln's words have been questioned, but there is no question that the work fueled the passion and prejudices of countless numbers. It is a work of overwhelming power and persuasions which has outlived even the most severe critics. Notwithstanding its contribution to the abolitionist movement, the book offers a balanced treatment; there is admiration for the best of Southern gentility and the villain is a Vermonter.

    Willis says: "must read"
    "Could not finish it"

    I hate to rain on everyone's parade, but this "classic" is simply unlistenable for the average modern reader. I've listened to some marvelous classics over the years, including works of Tolstoy, Chekhov, Hemingway and Proust...but Uncle Tom's Cabin is just so melodramatic and cloying, I could not go on. You can find every Victorian stereotype in this book. The conversations are laughable. In its day, this book served as a sort of Soviet-style agitprop to get people fired up against chattel slavery. Like most works of its kind, it relied heavily on the scatology of the day and probably worked best on those who already possessed a heightened sense of social responsibility and a strong altruistic drive. The Christian drivel that permeates this work is absolutely sickening, and I am NOT anti-Christian or an atheist. If what I have written makes sense to you, you'd better steer clear of this one.

    4 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • 1776

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By David McCullough
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you ever thought history was boring, David McCullough’s performance of his fascinating book will change your mind. In this stirring audiobook, McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence, when the whole American cause was riding on their success.

    Amazon Customer says: "It tantalized my taste buds"
    "McCullough at his best"

    David McCullough is a national treasure. His passion for this subject is obvious. If you are not up to speed on the founding of this nation, I highly recommend 1776 as a starting point. The material is not scholarly, yet accurate and precise. This is very easy to listen to, informative, and quite entertaining. If you like McCullough, you'll want to hear this.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Altered Carbon

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Richard K. Morgan
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the 25th century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person's consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve") making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.

    Jake Williams says: "Altered Carbon"
    "Sophomoric entertainment"

    As reviewer "Ken from Portland" wrote: "If you like a gritty, get down and stay down murder mystery tempered with big hits of sex, violence, and bottles of testosterone, then this is the book for you."

    What more can I add? No doubt you'll want a few tattoos and piercings to go along with your experience. Oh, and some metallica techno-rock music might get you in the mood, too. Have fun.

    6 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Classic Irish Short Stories, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Seamus O'Kelly, and others
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin

    The Irish have always had a knack for telling wonderful stories, and their fantastic ability has been recognized from early Gaelic times. For centuries, stories of all kinds have been offered to friends and strangers alike as a form of entertainment and communication. Today in Ireland, the short story is revered even above the novel. Hearing these magnificent stories, we become aware of more than just the humor and travail of a small island.

    Tim says: "An excellent audio book!"
    "Very nice indeed"

    Anyone who is bored with these stories obviously needs to stay away from classic literature. These are some of the best Irish short stores ever written. In particular, the Joyce and O'Connor works were extremely entertaining. All of the pieces in this collection are superbly written. The narration is perfectly matched to the stories, as is the music and sound effects.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Age of Discovery, Volume 2: Captain Cook and the Scientific Explorations

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Paul Herrmann
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin

    As the 18th century approached its midpoint, commercial and military competition between the European states became fierce. And whoever obtained accurate information about distant lands would hold an advantage. Were there continental landmasses in the Pacific? Was there a Northwest Passage to Japan and China? What lay in the interior of Africa? Was it possible to cross the Sahara? Where did the rivers Nile and Congo originate?

    Aaron says: "Entertaining and moving"
    "Entertaining and moving"

    The two volumes in this series are written with panache and an enthusiasm for the subject that is extremely refreshing. As one reviewer has pointed out, the book was written in the fifties and there are a few places, mainly in regard to Polynesia, that are not up to date. But so what? Ninety nine percent of the book is factual and any mistakes were honest ones. What will they say in another fifty years about books written in 2005? The author has done an incredible job of tying together a lot of disparate academic disciplines, and in so doing he has produced a masterpiece. As for the narrator, all you need to do is listen to the sample and hear him for yourself, and then decide. In my book, he is by far the best narrator on Audible. Unless you are a snooty English language snob, you will enjoy this recording. Highly recommended!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Charlotte Simmons

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker

    Dupont University: the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America's youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition....Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina, who has come here on full scholarship. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the upper-crust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.

    Eric says: "Decadence through the eyes of a ?good girl?"
    "True to life"

    I can tell you from personal experience that this novel reflects real life. Although I was in school in the seventies, you can bet things are even wilder today. This is a troubling novel and should give those of us brought up on sex and drugs and rock and roll some pause to consider where all this is eventually going to lead. Like Wolfe's other work, this is well crafted. Too bad they couldn't get a better narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oedipus the King

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 40 mins)
    • By Sophocles
    • Narrated By Michael Sheen, full cast

    In the hands of Sophocles, the master dramatist, the anguished tale of a man fated to kill his father and marry his mother retains its power to shock and move beyond any Freudian reference.

    Aaron says: "Crackles with Fire"
    "Crackles with Fire"

    This is a mesmerizing production. The actors are clearly understood and they pull you into the action by their enthusiastic and precise performance. A nice soundtrack adds to the atmosphere. One of the great works of western man...beautifully presented. Highly recommended.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • A History of the Middle Ages

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Crane Brinton, John Christopher, Robert Wolff
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin

    A History of the Middle Ages is the amazing story of European man in transition. It is a dramatic chronicle of 1,000 years of political, social, and economic transformation beginning with the dissolution of the classical Mediterranean civilization and ending with the first flowering of the Renaissance. It is also the story of two new religions, Christianity and Islam, both of which were destined to dominate the mind of every person in those new civilizations arising in their wake.

    Theresa says: "A Stunning Achievement"

    This rather long history is absorbing from beginning to end. It is actually an outline, and as such succeeds brilliantly. The long period it covers (over a thousand years) is broken out in more or less chronlogical order, though there are a few chapters that jump backward or forward depending on the geography being covered. The reviewer named "zuff" is way off base in regard to content. The authors of this mid-twentieth century text were ALL very highly respected Ivy League professors of note. You can find their historical works and papers scattered across numerous famous institutions, including Columbia University. If you are looking for politically correct history, you will not find it here. Also, this is serious history, so if you're looking for "popular history," this is just not going to light your fire. This is academic history for people with patience who can listen carefully and want to get a good grasp of what the middle ages were about. But it is not difficult to understand. From my standpoint, this audiobook is simply magnificent.

    The narrator has a very clear and persuasive voice that is easy to understand. It is somewhat British sounding and very pleasant over long periods of time. Merely listen to the sample.

    For anyone wishing to know something about the middle ages, whether highly educated or not, you can do no better than this great work.

    41 of 43 people found this review helpful

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