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Barry

Deerfield, IL, United States | Member Since 2013

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 99 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
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  • The Godfather

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Mario Puzo
    • Narrated By full cast
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (936)
    Performance
    (628)
    Story
    (635)

    The Godfather is an extraordinary novel which has become a modern-day classic. Puzo pulls us inside the violent society of the Mafia and its gang wars. The leader, Vito Corleone, is the Godfather. He is a benevolent despot who stops at nothing to gain and hold power.

    Tim says: "Couldn't Disagree More..."
    "Perfect Rendition of A Masterpiece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What does full cast bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The very talented cast made the experience of listening to the book more like listening to a fabulous radio drama. The narrator was crisp and each of the cast members made their characters distinctive and compelling.


    If you could take any character from The Godfather out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Michael Corleone is a smart man with a complex mind and an evolving perspective of the nature of good and evil. While I doubt he would open up at dinner, he would be charming company.


    Any additional comments?

    So many people can recite lines from the spectacular film version of the book yet have never read the source material. The film edits out several major subplots in order to make the narrative coherent and focused. The book tells a broader (not better) story that offers its own rewards.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • George Washington's Surprise Attack: A New Look at the Battle that Decided the Fate of America

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Phillip Thomas Tucker
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Like many historical events, the American Revolution is sometimes overlooked, ignored, or minimized by historians due to being shrouded in romantic myth and stubborn stereotypes. Here historian Phillip Thomas Tucker provides an in-depth look at the events of the Battle of Trenton, weeding out fiction and legend and presenting new insights and analysis.

    Barry says: "Unbearably Tedious"
    "Unbearably Tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about George Washington's Surprise Attack?

    Washington's Crossing is one of the most exciting stories in American history. This book contains nuggets of insight that get buried under mind-numbing repetition.

    Not only does the author restate his key points again and again, there are entire sentences that are restated again and again! I have to wonder if there was an editor working on the final copy.

    Here is an example. Early on, the author states that the Battle Of Trenton is the first example of urban warfare in the Revolution. Interesting point! The phrase "urban warfare" is then repeated more than 50 times! Imagine a book on D-Day constantly reminding you that the battle took place on a beach. We got it. move on.

    A second example: In one chapter, he mentions 16 times that John Stark - a great hero - was "Scots-Irish." The problem is that Stark was born in America. While his background is Scotch/Irish, after mentioning it once, what is its importance? Would a book on the preparations for D-Day mention that Patton was Scotch/Irish 16 times?

    Additionally, in creating a picture of the battle, the author provides a confusing narrative. Again and again he reiterates how many bodies were left on the streets, how much blood flowed in Trenton. He describes "killing fields" and deadly close in attacks that left the town littered with bodies. And then at the end, he mentions the total number of Hessians killed in combat was 22.

    There are several other books written about the Battle Of Trenton. Choose one of them!


    Has George Washington's Surprise Attack turned you off from other books in this genre?

    It has turned me off to other books by this author.


    What aspect of Dennis Holland’s performance would you have changed?

    It is more the fault of a droning and repetitive narrative. I suppose Holland did the best he could with the material before him.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Honestly, for all the fresh insights on this book, ones not covered by other authors, it could have been a long magazine article.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • From Time to Time

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Jack Finney
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (88)

    The long-awaited sequel to Time and Again . Si Morley is back and the world may never be the same. When Time and Again was published in 1970, it immediately developed a loyal following that has grown with each passing year. With this book, Jack Finney returned to the same magical territory and finds Ruben Prien still at work with the Project, still dreaming of altering man's fate by going back in time to adjust events... to interfere, some might say, with destiny.

    Simone says: "The Fate of a Sequel"
    "Unbearably Disappointing Sequel To A Masterpiece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This book was one of the biggest disappointments of my reading life! It is a slapdash sequel to a brilliantly plotted novel.


    What was most disappointing about Jack Finney’s story?

    The plot lacks coherence and drive. Obviously, time travel is just an interesting concept, but in the original there was a logic and a procedure laid out for how the main character (and others) would travel through time. In this book, the rules are thrown out the window, violating the interior logic of the first book.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I cannot really think of any sense that moved or intrigued me - completely unlike the charming and moving first book.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Finney's reputation is well established; this book is just a miserable aberration from his usual excellence.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Free: Three Shots Rang Out - The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs)
    • By Darren Reynolds
    • Narrated By Diane Sawyer
    Overall
    (462)
    Performance
    (402)
    Story
    (405)

    This edition of Three Shots Rang Out: The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later is an audio-only ABC News special created exclusively for Audible and hosted by ABC World News Anchor Diane Sawyer. Sawyer takes listeners back to Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, for a “you are there” exploration of the day of U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

    Laura says: "Skip this book!"
    "Difficult To Follow A TV Show In This Format"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    This is not a book; it is an audio transcription of a TV show. As such, it refers to images and graphics which the listener obviously cannot see. I'd not really recommend this book, unless you (like me) are already deeply familiar with the JFK murder and want some extra info.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1643)
    Performance
    (1386)
    Story
    (1424)

    On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war.

    Amazon Customer says: "Beautiful, Heartbreaking, and Informative"
    "Brilliant, Stirring History"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Team of Rivals the most enjoyable?

    The book is a magnificent history of the lives of the men who comprised Lincoln's cabinet. Each becomes unique and vibrant as a result of the graceful and insightful writing and the wonderful performance.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    One of the minor characters, Kate Chase, became an intriguing presence in the book; she was a mesmerizing beauty with a difficult life.


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

    The book is very long - and each pages contains many revelations - but it is far too long to tackle in a single sitting!


    Any additional comments?

    Goodwin proves that detailed history and methodical research can make for a fantastic read. And kudos to the exceptional performance!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Dan Balz, Haynes Johnson
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    The election of 2008 shattered political barriers; illuminated undercurrents of race, gender, and class; and ignited an extraordinary battle among some of the most formidable rivals ever to seek the presidency: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. It was an election that played out against a backdrop of war, economic collapse, and deep pessimism about the future.

    A User says: "The best of the genre"
    "A Penetrating Look At A Turning Point Election"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    Excellent reporting and some very good insights.


    Any additional comments?

    If "Game Change" was not available, this book would seem better. It pales a bit by comparison as "Game Change" has better reporting and a more riveting narrative On its own, this is a very good book; it is just not the best book on the subject.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Boy Who Followed Ripley

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Patricia Highsmith
    • Narrated By Kevin Kenerly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (80)

    In The Boy Who Followed Ripley, Highsmith explores Ripley's bizarrely paternal relationship with a troubled young runaway, whose abduction draws them into Berlin's seamy underworld. More than any other American literary character, Ripley provides "a lens to peer into the sinister machinations of human behavior." (John Freeman, Pittsburgh Gazette).

    Darwin8u says: "Ripley coldly floats between two steep cliffs."
    "The Ripley Series Begins To Run Out Of Steam"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Boy Who Followed Ripley? What did you like least?

    I greatly enjoyed the series up until this book; however this title was less fresh and less compelling than the previous works.


    If you’ve listened to books by Patricia Highsmith before, how does this one compare?

    The plot did not crackle as much as the plots of her previous "Ripley" books had. This felt tired and I stubbled to maintain my attention.


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

    Kevin Kenerly is a master narrator. As he had read the previous "Ripley" books, he has a great interpretation of the characters that remains consistent from book to book.


    Do you think The Boy Who Followed Ripley needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I am not sure - I have yet to read the follow-up, as this one was such a disappointment. Perhaps this title was just an anomaly - or it might have been the signal of a series that had lost its drive.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Holiday Sparks: A Story from Naughty and Nice

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Shannon Stacey
    • Narrated By Savannah Richards
    Overall
    (1248)
    Performance
    (1095)
    Story
    (1114)

    'Tis the Season for Romance. Sparks fly when the lights go out in best-selling author Shannon Stacey's charming holiday romance.

    ~~ DARA ~~ says: "I Like Free! Thanks Audible!"
    "Surprisingly Sweet And Charming"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    While thee arc or the story was very, very predictable, the charm of the characters and the lovely performance made it a fun and fast read. Since it was a free book, I did not have many expectations, but found myself smiling throughout.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Charming tone.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Several witty scenes in the predictable arc of the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beethoven's Shadow

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 57 mins)
    • By Jonathan Biss
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    Overall
    (559)
    Performance
    (488)
    Story
    (486)

    The American pianist Jonathan Biss is known to audiences throughout the world for his artistry, musical intelligence, and deeply felt interpretations. What is less known until now is that Jonathan Biss writes about music in a most compelling and engaging way. For anyone who has ever enjoyed a Beethoven concert or a Beethoven recording, or one of the many films about Beethoven, this audiobook is an inspiring listening experience.

    Carol C. Buchalter says: "An amazing glimpse into musical interpretation"
    "You Need To Know A Lot About Music"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Beethoven's Shadow better?

    While a musician might appreciate the insights offered, this book will hold only middling interest for the lay reader.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    So many books, so little time!


    What three words best describe Jeff Woodman’s performance?

    Clear and Workmanlike


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    An occasional interesting anecdote.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Time and Again

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs)
    • By Jack Finney
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (417)
    Performance
    (335)
    Story
    (335)

    Transported from the mid-twentieth century to New York City in the year 1882, Si Morley walks the fashionable "Ladies' Mile" of Broadway, is enchanted by the jingling sleigh bells in Central Park, and solves a 20th-century mystery by discovering its 19th-century roots. Falling in love with a beautiful young woman, he ultimately finds himself forced to choose between his lives in the present and the past. A story that will remain in the listener's memory, Time and Again is a remarkable blending of the troubled present and a nostalgic past....

    Mark says: "Best time travel novel; my very favorite audiobook"
    "An Inspired Performance Worthy Of A Masterpiece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Time and Again?

    Although the book started slowly, this is typical of time travel books. Finney spent a lot of time explaining how time travel would work, the story does not really begin until the character actually travels to the past. From there on, this is the audio equivalent of a page turner!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The detailed and charming recreation of New York in the 1880s was consistently fascinating! The characters were well drawn and the plot engrossing.


    What about Paul Hecht’s performance did you like?

    Excellent perormance.


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

    YES!


    Any additional comments?

    Great novel, excellent reading!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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