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Biggar Thomas

Connecticut | Member Since 2003

50
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 211 ratings
  • 1031 titles in library
  • 53 purchased in 2014
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  • The Slave Ship: A Human History

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Marcus Rediker
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (40)

    For more than three centuries, slave ships carried millions of people from the coasts of Africa across the Atlantic to the New World. Much is known of the slave trade and the American plantation complex, but little of the ships that made it all possible. In The Slave Ship, award-winning historian Marcus Rediker draws on 30 years of research in maritime archives to create an unprecedented history of these vessels and the human drama acted out on their rolling decks.

    Michael says: "So much misery"
    "Excellent"
    Overall

    I have read much about enslavement but I agree that this book, with its entirely tight focus on the ship, is of tremendous value to the study of the period.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Time for Outrage: Indignez-vous!

    • UNABRIDGED (45 mins)
    • By Stéphane Hessel
    • Narrated By Bob Walter
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (11)

    This controversial, impassioned call-to-arms for a return to the ideals that fueled the French Resistance has sold millions of copies worldwide since its publication in France in October 2010. Rejecting the dictatorship of world financial markets and defending the social values of modern democracy, 93-old Stéphane Hessel - Resistance leader, concentration camp survivor, and former UN speechwriter - reminds us that life and liberty must still be fought for.

    Biggar Thomas says: "A Powerful Call to Action"
    "A Powerful Call to Action"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am going to place this book on the syllabus of my university courses. I fundamentally believe that the author is correct, we should be outraged about the levels of violence that are perpetrated in the names of sovereignty and territorial integrity, at the ownership of the fruits of our common labour by a few and by the reasoning that promotes all of this. We have come so far from the ideals of the universality of human rights and on that journey, we have built a myriad arguments justifying ourdestructive behaviour. It's a time to return to fundamentals. Writing such as this is part of the catalytic action needed to resist historical amnesia and to break with patterns of destruction and oppression.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Third Reich at War

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Richard J. Evans
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (435)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (274)

    Evans interweaves a broad narrative of the war’s progress with viscerally affecting personal testimony from a wide range of people - from generals to front-line soldiers, from Hitler Youth activists to middle-class housewives. The Third Reich at War lays bare the dynamics of a nation more deeply immersed in war than any society before or since. Fresh insights into the conflict’s great events are here, from the invasion of Poland to the Battle of Stalingrad to Hitler’s suicide in the bunker.

    Karen says: "Masterful"
    "Best Yet!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have already recommended this book to friends. It's detailed and painstakingly researched.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    N/A


    Which character – as performed by Sean Pratt – was your favorite?

    N/A


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not an appropriate question in the circumstances.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thérèse Raquin

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Emile Zola
    • Narrated By Kate Winslet
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (921)
    Performance
    (842)
    Story
    (830)

    Once upon a time, a teenaged Kate Winslet (The Reader, Titanic, Revolutionary Road) received a gift that would leave a lasting impression: a copy of Emile Zola’s classic Thérèse Raquin. Six Academy Award nominations and one Best Actress award later, she steps behind the microphone to perform this haunting classic of passion and disaster.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Winslet, Satisfactory Story"
    "Star Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Th??r??se Raquin to be better than the print version?

    In this case, no doubt about it, the audio edition truly enhanced the print version. Would that I could hear more Zola read by high quality readers.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Well, Therese Raquin is my favourite character. She's, I think, a complex liberated woman and not, as she is seen by many, a libertine. The things that she is led to do in order to sustain an affair with a man she sees as exciting, are without doubt terrifyingly immoral but given other circumstances would she behave so callously - I don't think so. To Therese, monetary gain is a far second place to the excitement of her relationship with a man who facilitates her feeling fulfilled.


    What about Kate Winslet???s performance did you like?

    I'm ashamed to say that I like many am hopelessly in love with this celeb so, I was surprised that when I stopped listening for The Winslett in the performance, I found that she was an incredibly good reader. It may also be the case that she settled into the performance after about 20 minutes or so.


    Any additional comments?

    I absolutely love Zola and, I mean, who does not love Kate Winslett? It took me about 20 minutes to settle into hearing the Zola because I was trying to hear the Winslett in the production. Anyway, Therese Raquin was a favourite when I read it years ago and this production really cemented my relationship with the writer and the novel. I don't understand why there is not a lot more Zola in Audible. Perhaps the popularity of this production will give impetus to further releases.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Smut: Two Unseemly Stories: The Greening of Mrs Donaldson & The Shielding of Mrs Forbes

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Alan Bennett
    • Narrated By Alan Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (37)

    Two unexpected tales written and read by the best-selling author of The Uncommon Reader, Untold Stories and The History Boys."The Greening of Mrs Donaldson" - Mrs Donaldson is a conventional middle-class woman beached on the shores of widowhood after a marriage that had been much like many others: happy to begin with, then satisfactory and finally dull. But when she decides to take in two lodgers, her mundane life becomes much more stimulating…

    A User says: "A fun British story about unmentionable subjects!"
    "Fabulous!"
    Overall

    There is little doubt that the success of Bennett's audio works can be attributed to the skill of the reader, Bennett himself. This work is no exception, it is written and read with the same literary accomplishment that characterises all of Bennett's work. These two tales are at the same time hilarious, tragic and evocative - not of the reality - of the morality our times. I'll give them a rest but probably listen to them gin in a year or so. In the meantime, I'll just keep checking back here every month to see if there anything new by Bennett.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pleasure

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By Eric Jerome Dickey
    • Narrated By Susan Spain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (247)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (133)

    Nia Simone Bijou is a woman who has it all - and is driven by the desire for more. Born in Trinidad, reared in Los Angeles, living in Atlanta, Nia is a writer, a thinker, and a woman in conflict. She's dealing with two sides of her Gemini self, feeling as if there are two women living inside her, both struggling for domination.

    Victoria says: "Not a Romance Novel"
    "Not for everyone"
    Overall

    This book is not for everyone. I really enjoyed it but it is a fantasy so forget about safe sex. And yup, to the person who doubts it - in our younger days some of us did enjoy each other as many as five times within 72 hours. The twins thing is in the book to heat things up a bit. I will listen to more of his work.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By David Brion Davis
    • Narrated By Raymond Todd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (43)

    In Inhuman Bondage, David Brion Davis sums up a lifetime of insight. He looks at slavery in the American South; the rise of the Cotton Kingdom; the daily life of slaves; the destructive internal long-distance slave trade; the sexual exploitation of slaves; the emergence of an African-American culture; and much more. A definitive history by a writer deeply immersed in the subject, Inhuman Bondage links together the profits of slavery, the pain of the enslaved, and the legacy of racism.

    Biggar Thomas says: "Very Useful Contribution"
    "Very Useful Contribution"
    Overall

    This book will shock many who know little about the enslavement of Africans. Although the book addresses the enslavement of other peoples and also the system of indenture, it does so largely to give colour to its discussion about the enslavement of Africans and the creation and perpetuation of ant-Black racism. There is so much material about this period in history that I wish that Audible would make more material available. There is a slew of material on Audible about the Revolutionary War and the Civil War but most of it is told from the perspectives of great men or the battlefield. While it commences before the Revolutionary War, this book speaks to some of the most important social forces that gave rise to those wars and that indeed have given rise to modern America.

    While some of the material in the book has been well covered elsewhere, some of it is rare and rarer yet have been attempts to bring to together a number of the disparate parts under this cover. The book is extremely well read.

    28 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23205)
    Performance
    (14537)
    Story
    (14689)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
    "Great Starter Novel"
    Overall

    My son did not like to read. This is the novel that got him started and 15 years later, he still talks about it.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Seize the Fire: Heroism, Duty, and the Battle of Trafalgar

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Adam Nicolson
    • Narrated By Adam Nicolson
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    In Seize the Fire, Adam Nicolson, author of the widely acclaimed God's Secretaries, takes the great naval battle of Trafalgar, fought between the British and Franco-Spanish fleets in October 1805, and uses it to examine our idea of heroism and the heroic. Is violence a necessary aspect of the hero? And daring? Why did the cult of the hero flower in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in a way it hadn't for two hundred years?

    Kismet says: "Fascinating but overly academic"
    "Bellicose but great"
    Overall

    Given the Nelson bicentennial, I had been yearning for a book about Trafalgar. This book did not disappoint. This is a book about the values that gave rise to the roles played by officers, and to some minor extent men, in the Royal Navy. As such, it is a fabulous work and a must read for all fans of Patrick O'Brian's books. This is the Book that O'Brian fans need in order to fill in that author’s sociological gaps. There is a considerable amount of chest thumping in the book but that is to be expected from something that is part propaganda part history.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Husband

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1013)
    Performance
    (205)
    Story
    (206)

    With each and every new novel, Dean Koontz raises the stakes, and the pulse rate, higher than any other author. Now, in what may be his most suspenseful and heartfelt novel ever, he brings us the story of an ordinary man whose extraordinary commitment to his wife will take him on a harrowing journey of adventure, sacrifice, and redemption to the mystery of love itself, and to a showdown with the darkness that would destroy it forever.

    David says: "Excellent read!"
    "Awful!"
    Overall

    I was so disappointed with this book. I have listened to Koontz in the past and enjoyed him. He’s a good fast pulp read. However "Husband" truly silly and shallow. The plot is weak and hackneyed, the dialogue is clich?d. The reader is fine but absolutely nothing can overcome such a bad story. Mr. Koontz, this is not your best effort

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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