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Abram of the Seven Seas

A seeker of wisdom, a theorist of husbandry, a traveler of distant lands - a bit eclectic...

Member Since 2011

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 298 titles in library
  • 78 purchased in 2014
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  • A Tale of Two Cities

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (27)

    The most famous and possibly the most popular of Dickens's novels, A Tale of Two Cities shows a master of dramatic narrative extracting gold from the ore of history. If the bloody tableau of the French Revolution were not in itself sufficient for a dozen novels, Dickens added to it a professional resurrectionist, an authentic ogress, and an antihero as convincingly flawed as any in modern literature.

    Patricia says: "A tale of two cities"
    "John Lee Tells A Tale Most Wonderfully Told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Few could be the comparisons of a more remarkable tale - and fewer still the comparisons of those able to tell it...

    Of course, the story itself needs no defense - the genius of the author will forever stand upon its own merit. But, for those of the persuasion that this wonderful classic deserves the best of narrators, I must declare that I am of the unshakable opinion that John Lee is just the man. His performance is truly exhilarating - even addictive. The ease with which he flows through the French pronunciations, the many colorful individuals he personalizes and brings to life, his ability to freely switch between characters (not to mention his precision and accuracy of "staying true" to the dialect he invents for each of them!), as well as the intrinsic quality of his deep, strong voice, all barely begin to give a glimpse of the incredible talent of this narrator. To listen to this man tell this tale is to enjoy with the greatest of pleasure...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Poets: Alfred Lord Tennyson

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 6 mins)
    • By Alfred Tennyson
    • Narrated By Michael Pennington
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (19)

    The 200th anniversary of the birth of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 - 1892), one of the most popular of poets, is celebrated in 2009. Works such as The Charge of the Light Brigade, Crossing the Bar and Tears, Idle Tears have made him an internationally famous figure, and the second most quoted writer of all time (after Shakespeare).

    ESK says: "One of the most popular Victorian poets"
    "A Savory Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I must confess that I was not originally a big fan of Tennyson...multiple encounters with Michael Pennington has quite altered my opinion. It's somehow all linked to the lack of communication - printed words, especially of poetic verse, must be rightly interpreted, and then verbally conveyed in such a way as enable the mind to embrace the depth and the beauty of the authors meaning. This narrator has the gift to do just that.

    One technical negativo is the format - the poems are not divided in such a way as to allow for the selection of individual works, rather, it is simply one large recording with no breaks...

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Revelation of St. John the Divine

    • ABRIDGED (1 hr and 19 mins)
    • By Naxos AudioBooks
    • Narrated By Heathcote Williams
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The theme of revelation is apocalypse: the end of the world and the coming of Christ in judgment. The date of the composition was probably some time in the 90s A.D. One of the most controversial and quoted texts of the New Testament, The Revelation of St. John The Divine has inspired and troubled artists, poets, and seers through the ages.

    Abram of the Seven Seas says: "An Example for Other Biblical Narrators to Follow"
    "An Example for Other Biblical Narrators to Follow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is incredibly difficult to find a GOOD narration of the King James Bible - Heathcote Williams is an exception. Why? Let me count the ways:

    1) an English accent is psychologically demanded by this Southerner in order to fully enter into the historical beauty of this translation - his is such an one;

    2) the ability to appropriately "bring the characters to life" and to portray the emotions hinted to in the various contexts is what often makes or breaks the narrator - Mr. Williams has such an ability;

    3) the serious listener desires a dramatic rendition, yet with lack of flippancy - such is the case here.

    I will not go so far as to say that it is a perfect narration, but given the many narrators I've tried, Mr. Williams is by far the closest to the ideal that I have long sought after...my only real complaint is that he has not narrated more of the King James Bible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lord Jim

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Joseph Conrad
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Lord Jim tells the story of a young, idealistic Englishman---"as unflinching as a hero in a book"---who is disgraced by a single act of cowardice while serving as an officer on the Patna, a merchant-ship sailing from an eastern port. His life is ruined: an isolated scandal has assumed horrifying proportions. But then he is befriended by an older man named Marlow....

    Abram of the Seven Seas says: "John Lee: A voice like no other..."
    "John Lee: A voice like no other..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are voices - and there the voice of John Lee...

    This is a tragic tale of one man's psychological struggle to seek the romantic revenge that ever weighs upon his mind - no matter the costs. The voice of such a tale requires a firmness and a resolve equal to that of the place and characters involved. That voice is found in the voice of John Lee. His strength of diction, range of inflection and swift pace create a captivating and irresistible listening experience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Anna Karenina

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By David Horovitch
    Overall
    (607)
    Performance
    (396)
    Story
    (392)

    Anna Karenina seems to have everything - beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky.

    Marcus Vorwaller says: "Beautiful story, amazing narration"
    "A Remarkable Journey for the True Meaning of Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nutshell:
    1) A penetrating analysis of human nature
    2) A heartfelt search for the true meaning of life
    3) A beautifully written story that evokes the full spectrum of one's emotions
    4) An incredible performance by David Horovitch
    5) One of the rare audiobooks I plan to listen to again, and perhaps again

    Reason and observation, says the wise Qoheleth of old, compels one to admit that there is no enduring satisfaction under the sun. The whole of natural life per se, he proceeds to elaborate, offers only an enticing, and often very believable, mirage, viz., that some cause or some ambition or some ideal state, will somehow attain some lasting value, will somehow provide complete and enduring fulfillment. Upon recognition, one often finds this a rather repulsive and untimely sense of reality, and thus one finds it more convenient to suspend belief in the said recognition in order that life may find have some significance; others may even try to come to grips with the implications. For the latter there is a shocking, seemingly contradictory, discovery: a desire for the ideal state in spite of it having no ultimate point.

    Rarely have I found a more penetrating, painful, but liberating exposition of this idea of the ‘vanity of life’ than in Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”. Mr. Tolstoy’s genius is displayed as he eloquently guides his readers through the exhilarating emotional heights experienced in the passionate pursuit of the ideal state, and, then, to the slow, terrible recognition of it all - futility. So intense is the description that one is made to almost believe that it is one’s own inner self being so vividly exposed to the delusion of a heretofore satisfactory and delightful sense of purpose. There is no escape: one must mentally relive the joy and the horror of it to the bitter end. Yet, through it all there is Konstantin Levin, whose views shall likely never be in vogue with society, but nevertheless finally begins to see a way out of the madness of vanity.

    David Horovitch's narration is built of the rare stuff that carries one directly into the very time and place - a captivating and exciting world of 'real life' characters. Simply put, its some of the best reading I've heard...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Days of the Incas

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Kim MacQuarrie
    • Narrated By Norman Dietz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (427)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (191)

    In 1532, the 54-year-old Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro led a force of 167 men, including his four brothers, to the shores of Peru. Unbeknownst to the Spaniards, the Inca rulers of Peru had just fought a bloody civil war in which the emperor Atahualpa had defeated his brother, Huascar. Pizarro and his men soon clashed with Atahualpa and a huge force of Inca warriors at the Battle of Cajamarca.

    David says: "Quit while you are ahead"
    "Yes: It's Worth the Buy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It may be enough to say that, I began this book with a keen interest in Inca lore – and finished fascinated by it…The primary purpose of this book is to describe the clash of two great peoples, viz., the mighty Incas and the endless Conquistadores. Thus, if the listener desires in depth accounts of the times before 1492, then other books would make a better choice. However, for an overall introduction to the Inca’s, for rich descriptions of bygone wars and cultures – all written in a way to present complex material for the ease and enjoyment of laymen - the listener would do well to delay purchase no longer…

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sea Wolf

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jack London
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (51)

    Hika says: "Very Good"
    "Frank Muller: A Reader of Worth..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While this book is no doubt of great literary value, and while its author should be lauded for his genius - the masterstroke belongs to the narrator. Indeed, Mr. Muller uses the talents of his voice to liberally enable the listener to not only appreciate the intrinsic qualities mentioned, but also to feel convinced that such appreciation would have been lost if one less able had set his voice to the task…

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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