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BarelyAudible

Texas

Paris, TX | Member Since 2006

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 24 ratings
  • 63 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • Gone for Soldiers

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Jeff Shaara
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (188)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (31)

    In vivid, brilliant fiction that illuminates the dark psychology of soldiers, Jeff Shaara brings to life the familiar characters, stunning triumphs, and soul-crushing defeats of the fascinating, long-forgotten Mexican-American War.

    Henry F. Ward says: "History through the eyes of individuals"
    "Amateurish Historical fiction. Jeff's no Michael"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Poorly written prose that could have been written by a 10 grader. If you're looking for drivel to read on an airplane ride, I guess this would be acceptable. I didn't believe the characterization of Lee at all. I got the impression the author was writing excessive descriptions just to fill the page, because there wasn't enough story to write about.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something written by a better author. Maybe Doctrow, Wouk or Del Passos.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator did a good job of providing different accents, even for multiple men from Virginia - he did a good job. Don't blame him for this poor story/writing.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Gone for Soldiers?

    I would have found a way to ADD more historical events - not speculate what Lee was thinking while he was hiding behind a tree. Too much filler nonsense.


    Any additional comments?

    Maybe the book should have been entitled, "The Filler Angels"?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Angel of Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Caleb Carr
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (168)

    In The Angel Of Darkness, Caleb Carr brings back the vivid world of his bestselling The Alienist but with a twist: this story is told by the former street urchin Stevie Taggert, whose rough life has given him wisdom beyond his years. Thus New York City, and the groundbreaking alienist Dr. Kreizler himself, are seen anew. It is June 1897. A year has passed since Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a pioneer in forensic psychiatry, tracked down the brutal serial killer John Beecham with the help of a team of trusted companions and a revolutionary application of the principles of his discipline.

    Gail says: "Birth Forensics+Super Court Scene Clarence Darrow"
    "A Graphic Novel, Maybe - not a book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    people who like to read comic books


    What was most disappointing about Caleb Carr’s story?

    The story is preposterous. The initial plot is the search for a missing, kidnapped child - and then Dr. Krysler and team take a several month excursion to upstate NY. Hardly a sense of urgency to find a missing child. And the character of El Nino is dumb - and sounded like Speedy Gonzalez.


    What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A very good sense of personality in the voices he performs


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Angel of Darkness?

    The whole character of El Nino.


    Any additional comments?

    Carr likes to take a somewhat recent topic, in this case Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy and place it in the context of an early period. Kind of ridiculous for a novel.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Alienist

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Caleb Carr
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (345)
    Performance
    (312)
    Story
    (311)

    The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or "alienist." On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan's infamous brothels.

    lyl says: "Outstanding on several levels."
    "Sherlock Holmes meets Teddy Roosevelt"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Alienist in three words, what would they be?

    Progressivism solves murder


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    At times - during the actually events around the murder investigation it was a very suspenseful story.


    What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?

    It was very impressive, and at times unbelievable how Guidall was able to take a room full of different characters and give them each a different personality in their voices.

    Guidall is definitely a very skilled orator.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    NYC enters the 1900's with it's own, "Jack the Ripper".


    Any additional comments?

    Sometimes the characters we one dimensional - Sara specifically - male authors are generally horrible at developing female characters. I guess the opposite is also true.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Plum Island

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2730)
    Performance
    (1999)
    Story
    (1989)

    Wounded in the line of duty, NYPD homicide cop John Corey is convalescing in rural eastern Long Island when an attractive young couple he knows is found shot to death on the family patio. The victims were biologists at Plum Island, a research site rumored to be an incubator for germ warfare. Suddenly, a local double murder takes on shattering global implications - and thrusts Corey and two extraordinary women into a dangerous search for the secret of Plum Island....

    DERALD says: "Great on par with" LION'S GAME""
    "Disappointingly stretched out "Colombo" episode"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Plum Island? What did you like least?

    I live on Long Island, and am familiar with all the locations in the book. So, that was fun.Least liked - DeMille stretches out the last part of the story to a torturous length. Several times I had to force myself to continue listening - just so I would finish the book - when I really just wanted to bail out due to the drawn out ending.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    North Fork of LI is interesting because I live close by to that.Least Interesting - was actually Plum Island itself. It turns out that Plum Island is a secondary part of the story. So, we're mislead to think that the story is about the biological warfare/research reputation of Plum Island, when in reality - that's secondary to the main plot.Also - the main character, John Corey - is really annoying. DeMille tries to personify a wise-a$$ NYPD Detective in Corey - instead, he's juvenile, smart-alecky, unlikable and we barely care about him.


    What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He's a good narrator - he does a very good job of personifying the different characters.One criticism - he continually mispronounces one of the major locations in the story: Cutchogue, Long Island. Brick continually pronounces it as "ka-choog", but everyone I know on LI pronounces it, "Cuchog".


    Could you see Plum Island being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    a TV series - yes - John Corey is more like a TV detective than one from literature. He's like a wise-guy Columbo, from NYC


    Any additional comments?

    Overall - I'd give this book 2.5 stars, but I cant' give half stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • QB VII

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Leon Uris
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (54)

    In Queen's Bench Courtroom Number Seven, famous author Abraham Cady stands trial. In his book The Holocaust - born of the terrible revelation that the Jadwiga Concentration camp was the site of his family's extermination - Cady shook the consciousness of the human race. He also named eminent surgeon Sir Adam Kelno as one of Jadwiga's most sadistic inmate/doctors. Kelno has denied this and brought furious charges. Now unfolds Leon Uris' riveting courtroom drama - one of the great fictional trials of the century.

    Craig says: "An Important Revisit to a Dark Era"
    "Narrator was awful, but a great story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up QB VII in three words, what would they be?

    Nazi Court Drama


    What was one of the most memorable moments of QB VII?

    When the Queen parachuted down to the Olympics.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    As soon as I started listening to this audio book I had a bad flashback. You see, I've tried to listen to an audible recording of "The Guns of August" four times, but have never been able to get into it - and I've blamed it on the narrator. I didn't know it at the time, but QBVII as the same narrator, John Lee. I don't care for him at all.
    Many of the characters in QBVII are British, as is Lee. So for those characters he was good, and even the Poles - he did a fine job on both men and women. However, one of the main characters, Abe is from North Carolina. John Lee butchers the southern accent. At times, it seems like he's lost and trying to find the accent again. It was distracting. And, I'll probably make it a point to avoid any books he narrates in the future.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Some shadows can't be lived down.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Maltese Falcon

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Dashiell Hammett
    • Narrated By Eric Meyers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (599)
    Performance
    (545)
    Story
    (551)

    Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, first serialized in a magazine in 1930, is best known through the iconic Humphrey Bogart film of 1941. But it was the book that created the classic "noir" genre with its tough private detective threading his cool way between the criminals and the law. Sam Spade, the private eye solving the mystery of the Maltese statuette, was the template for Philip Marlowe and a host of others…. but they come no more shrewd and cunning with Hammett peppering the text with one-liners.

    Kathi says: "Outstanding American classic!"
    "Sadly dated. Dialog seems cliche'."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    One of the few books I've read where the movie was as good, if not better. Boghart's Spade and Lorre's Cairo help make the movie a realistic version of the book.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Most interesting aspect - understanding more what is going on in Spade's head - which you don't get in the film.Least interesting - Hammett seems to spend too much space devoted to describing the facial features/changes of the characters.


    Have you listened to any of Eric Meyers’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No - but he did a very good job.


    Do you think The Maltese Falcon needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Needs a rework - as a more modern story.


    Any additional comments?

    Not literature - good pulp novel - which is probably how it was written. So, my comments are not really fair - when looking at the Maltese Falcon as a fun murder/mystery novel - however, I don't think the review from Audible properly describes this. Audible makes it sound more like literature. It's not.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Loon Lake: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By E. L. Doctorow
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    It is the Great Depression of the 1930s, and a passionate young man from Paterson, New Jersey, leaves home to find his fortune. What he finds, on a cold and lonely night in the Adirondack Mountains, is a vision of life so different from his own that it changes his destiny, leading him from the side of a railroad track to a magical place called Loon Lake

    Karen says: "Not my cup of tea."
    "Like a test balloon for Billy Bathgate that popped"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. I am a big fan of Doctrow. I've read several of his novels. Billy Bathgate is one of my favorite novels. This book, Loon Lake - which I read after Billy Bathgate, really disappointed. It could have gone is so many more interesting directions - but this fell flat.


    Would you recommend Loon Lake to your friends? Why or why not?

    No - see above


    What didn’t you like about Mark Bramhall’s performance?

    His performance did not add to the book at all - and at times diminished from the story.


    Did Loon Lake inspire you to do anything?

    Find a different book.


    Any additional comments?

    This book reads like a first attempt at some of the sub plots used in Billy Bathgate.

    I wish Doctrow would have used this story to better explore the life of the circus/carnival in the Depression Era - beyond the Fat Lady subplot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Billy Bathgate: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By E. L. Doctorow
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    To listen to this audiobook is to enter the perilous, thrilling world of Billy Bathgate, the brazen boy who is accepted into the inner circle of the notorious Dutch Schultz gang. Like an urban Tom Sawyer, Billy takes us along on his fateful adventures as he becomes good-luck charm, apprentice, and finally protégé to one of the great murdering gangsters of the Depression-era underworld in New York City. The luminous transformation of fact into fiction that is E. L. Doctorow's trademark comes to triumphant fruition in Billy Bathgate.

    BarelyAudible says: "Great Gangster story. Beautiful prose. The best"
    "Great Gangster story. Beautiful prose. The best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Billy Bathgate to be better than the print version?

    Yes - definitely.. I read several reviews of the print version on Amazon before getting this. It appears the print novel lacks punctuation in places, making it difficult to read. The narrator M. Deakins helps us out by interpreting the prose and making it easier to hear the story than to read it. Sometimes a novelist uses missing punctuation or excessive run on sentences to set the mood for the reader. Well, I don't want to be driven crazy by reading a book and trying to guess where a pause should be inserted.

    Sometimes - like with Billy Bathgate, the Narrator helps us enjoy the book more than if we were faced with reading it and getting frustrated by having to decipher the prose.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Otto Berman is my favorite character in this story. He appears to take a true interest in educating Billy in the knowledge of being a gang member, tutoring him, but not taking advantage of him. Kind of a Fagin father figure.


    What does Mark Deakins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Oh yes. Definitely - see my response to the audio version being better than the print version above. Plus Mark Deakins is able to change Billy's voice at times, properly representing not only his mood, but also his maturity. For example, just the way Deakins has Billy say the word "Yes". It sounds silly, but in just the way Deakins has Billy say that one word he is able to convey innocence and immaturity.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Doctrow does a great job with the erotic scenes between Billy and Lola/Drew.

    Also the final scene with Dutch and the mob with Billy is particularly graphic and well written - so much so - I could see it happen in my mind.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the first time I've gone back and re-listened to the book after finishing it the first time. I'm glad I did. Doctrow is a master of prose - and is able to convey hidden meanings in the verbiage that does not detract from the story telling - but like a great painting - you have to sometimes know where to look or how to look at a section to understand (or think you understand).

    I leave you with one haunting question....Was Hines Billy's father? And did Dutch know it - and if so, when did he know it?

    I'm sorry for one thing - that Doctrow has a limited number of novels, and I've almost gone through them all. :(

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of Daniel: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By E. L. Doctorow
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    The central figure of this novel is a young man whose parents were executed for conspiring to steal atomic secrets for Russia. His name is Daniel Isaacson, and as the story opens, his parents have been dead for many years. He has had a long time to adjust to their deaths. He has not adjusted. Out of the shambles of his childhood, he has constructed a new life…marriage to an adoring girl who gives him a son of his own, and a career in scholarship. It is a life that enrages him. In the silence of the library at Columbia University, where he is supposedly writing a Ph.D. dissertation, Daniel composes something quite different.

    BarelyAudible says: "Post WWII Red Scare Politics Meets 60's Radicalism"
    "Post WWII Red Scare Politics Meets 60's Radicalism"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Book of Daniel to be better than the print version?

    Yes - the way Doctrow writes, shifting eras from past to present to in between, it's sometimes hard to understand which time period he's writing about. Having the performer do the reading helps the listener to understand which time period is being discussed.


    What other book might you compare The Book of Daniel to and why?

    I've read that Daniel is compared to Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye. I can see that similarity in their personalities.


    Which character – as performed by Mark Deakins – was your favorite?

    Daniel - who's motivations and personality is impacted by the era and at what stage of acceptance/defiance Daniel is experiencing about his parents death.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winds of War

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2839)
    Performance
    (2404)
    Story
    (2413)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    Robert says: "A Masterpiece"
    "Great fiction of US leadup to WWII"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Winds of War the most enjoyable?

    This was a great story for me. I've always wondered about the U.S. actions after Germany invaded Poland, but before Normandy. This book does a wonderful job of using historical fiction to explain our involvement and the progression of our actions to full war.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Winds of War?

    Pug's first hand dealings with FDR. Wouk goes far to try and represent Roosevelt as a full person, not just a Presidential figure.


    Have you listened to any of Kevin Pariseau’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes - Pariseau is a real pro and does an INCREDIBLE job here. He has to represent a father and two sons of the Henry family, such that each has a distinct personality, but have family traits. Pariseau also portrays Hitler, FDR, Churchill, etc., all with real personalization.


    Any additional comments?

    A very long but enjoyable book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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