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Bradley

La Crosse, WI, United States | Member Since 2008

34
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 222 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • Wonder Boys

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Michael Chabon
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    Overall
    (146)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (31)

    Michael Chabon's Grady Tripp is one messed up college writing professor - his marriage is breaking up, his girlfriend (wife of the dean) is pregnant, his marijuana habit is taking over, and his editor is just about out of a job. Tripp has published a few moderately successful novels but is strangling his creativity with introspection and marijuana. When his editor and best friend, Terry Crabtree, comes to town and spreads chaos, Tripp goes along for the ride.

    connie says: "better than movie version"
    "Wonder Boys"
    Overall

    Loved this book, and the narration, but people on LSD would never eat spare ribs until they barf (Chabon obviously didn't do his research on that one). Other than that, Chabon creates a very real world that you don't want to leave, and a very likeable, plausible narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Woman Who Lost Her Soul

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs)
    • By Bob Shacochis
    • Narrated By Robert Blumenfeld
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (17)

    Renowned through four award-winning stories for his gritty and revelatory visions of the Caribbean, Bob Shacochis returns to occupied Haiti in The Woman Who Lost Her Soul before sweeping across time and continents to unravel tangled knots of romance, espionage, and vengeance. In riveting prose, Shacochis builds a complex and disturbing story about the coming of age of America in a pre-9/11 world.

    Bradley says: "Loved it at first, and then..."
    "Loved it at first, and then..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The first 2/3 of this book are fantastic on every level, but then it begins to read like an unexciting list, information flying faster and faster at the reader as, somehow, less and less seems to happen. I think this book could have been Pulitzer material if Sacochis had taken another year or two make the final third comparable to the first two thirds.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Magazine: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Michael Hastings
    • Narrated By Ramiz Monsef
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (31)

    The year is 2002. Weekly news magazines dominate the political agenda in New York and Washington. A young journalist named Michael M. Hastings is an intern at The Magazine, wet behind the ears, the only one in the office who has actually read his coworkers' books. He will stop at nothing to turn his internship into a full-time position and has figured out just who to impress: Nishant Patel, the international editor, and Sanders Berman, managing editor - both vying for the job of editor-in-chief.

    Darwin8u says: "CURRENT and ENERGY that is hard to contain"
    "What a Loss!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Great writing, great story. I learned and was entertained, and never felt like the writing was sub-par.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Young Stalin

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Simon Sebag Montefiore
    • Narrated By James Adams
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (36)

    Young Stalin tells the story of an exceptional, charismatic, darkly turbulent young man born into obscurity, fancying himself a poet and a priest, and finally embracing revolutionary idealism as his Messianic mission in life. Equal parts scholar and terrorist, a mastermind of bank robberies, extortion, piracy, and murder, he was so impressive in his brutality that Lenin made him, along with Trotsky, his chief henchman.

    Jim says: "Really Good Read/Listen"
    "Great History, Lousy Narrative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    For history buffs, this book is invaluable, but it reads like a long list of names, dates, and events (and then....and then....and then....), and it's impossible to keep track of all the names (and multiple variations on all the names). I mistakenly thought Young Stalin was a fictionalization of real events and would read more like a novel. I wish I'd been right.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6166)
    Performance
    (5340)
    Story
    (5333)

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "Liked it better than The Zero"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Thanks to Ballerini's virtuoso performance, this is a book I'd advise everyone to "ear read" instead of "eye read." His Richard Burton is especially perfect, and he seems to be channeling Lauren Bacall for Dee as well. The book was well wrought, never dull or superficial, but the attempts at final profundity at the end felt a bit forced to me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Girl with Curious Hair: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By David Foster Wallace
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (45)

    From the eerily "real", almost holographic evocations of historical figures like Lyndon Johnson and over-televised game-show hosts and late-night comedians to the title story, in which terminal punk nihilism meets Young Republicanism, David Foster Wallace renders the incredible comprehensible, the bizarre normal, the absurd hilarious, and the familiar strange.

    Darwin8u says: "This book is not NOT a Datsun!"
    "No way to locate individual stories!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Girl with Curious Hair?

    Why on earth didn't you set the tabs at the beginning of each individual story? Do you imagine that listeners are so bovine as to have no opinions about which stories they want to hear, that they'd just as soon listen to all of them with no way of returning to a specific story? Other story collections are set up so you can click forward and go to the next story, so why not this one?? Not a single story begins at the beginning of a tab!! So stupid!!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Girl with Curious Hair?

    When I realized they didn't even think that I might want to locate a specific story!!


    Any additional comments?

    Think about these things from the consumer's point of view, for God's sake. It's like with Infinite Jest, how you decided readers wouldn't care to hear the invaluable footnotes. But at least there was an argument for that boner. There's no excuse for this.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By David Lipsky
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain, Danny Campbell
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (50)

    In David Lipsky's view, David Foster Wallace was the best young writer in America. Wallace's pieces for Harper's magazine in the '90s were, according to Lipsky, like hearing for the first time the brain voice of everybody I knew: Here was how we all talked, experienced, thought. It was like smelling the damp in the air, seeing the first flash from a storm a mile away. You knew something gigantic was coming.

    Darwin8u says: "Leapin' Over That Wall of Self"
    "Not DFW's voice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Only to a fellow fan of DFW.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Find someone who can actually imitate DFW. This actor reads well, but it's not the same persona, he sounds like someone imitating a description of the way Wallace talked and not the way Wallace actually talked, which was much more subtle, a little more reedy and gentler. This guy sounds like a football player and not a writer.


    Was Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself worth the listening time?

    For me, yes.


    Any additional comments?

    The endless talk about fame got tedious. This book would be better to "eye read," in my opinion, because there were parts I would have liked to skim in order to get to the parts I was interested in.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Infinite Jest

    • UNABRIDGED (56 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By David Foster Wallace
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    Overall
    (507)
    Performance
    (440)
    Story
    (441)

    A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are.

    Charlie R. Williams says: "good if you already read the book."
    "Great book, great reader!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Infinite Jest rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    At the top, except for the frustration over having to run to the book to read the endnotes.


    What about Sean Pratt’s performance did you like?

    He captured Wallace's narration voice and every character's voice perfectly. This is probably the greatest performance of a book I've ever listened to (and I've listened to about a hundred).


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

    Both, and it made me curse every time I missed an endnote.


    Any additional comments?

    Anyone willing to listen to 56 hours of this wouldn't mind listening to another 10 in order to hear all the endnotes. I think it was a terrible mistake not to include them. Other than that, this is one of the greatest books ever written, and one of the greatest performances by a reader.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • 2666

    • UNABRIDGED (39 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Roberto Bolaño
    • Narrated By John Lee, Armando Durán, G. Valmont Thomas, and others
    Overall
    (355)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (192)

    Composed in the last years of Roberto Bolaño's life, 2666 was greeted across Europe and Latin America as his highest achievement, surpassing even his previous work in its strangeness, beauty, and scope. Its throng of unforgettable characters includes academics and convicts, an American sportswriter, an elusive German novelist, and a teenage student and her widowed, mentally unstable father. Their lives intersect in the urban sprawl of Santa Teresa - a fictional Juárez - on the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Nancy Bauer says: "Brilliant"
    "A Groundbreaking Masterpiece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Advice for listening to 2666: Go with Bolano's drift, surrender to the dream you’ve woken up into here and take in all the sights and sensations the way you would somewhat sleepily from your window’s perch on a guided tour bus through hell. One thing a novel like this lets us do is to live the many lives Rimbaud suggested were due to each of us. All these people’s living rooms, hotel lobbies, bars, ranches, churches, streets and landscapes you would never have access to on your own, Bolano has given you a passport to. Don't listen to this book the way you would a conventional novel that pulls you onwards towards an inevitable conclusion. There is no light at the end of the tunnel you're in here, the book does not gravitate towards a conclusion but rather around and around an abyss at the center, a black hole surrounded by a kaleidoscope of intuitively related experiences and details. Drink the Kool-Aid, buy the ticket, take the ride!

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Life

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Keith Richards, James Fox
    • Narrated By Johnny Depp, Joe Hurley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2582)
    Performance
    (1418)
    Story
    (1410)

    Now at last Keith Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere....

    Jesse says: "Ins and outs"
    "A Keith I never knew"
    Overall

    This was a fantastic read. Unlike Bob Dylan (whose memoir I also liked), Keith tells you EVERYTHING you want to know about being in The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World. I learned so much about blues and rock history, about why Keith Richards is one of the greatest guitarists ever, and about why the rest of us could never get away with partying as hard as has. Great narration by Joe Hurley, less great but still okay by Johnny Depp.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Things the Grandchildren Should Know

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Mark Oliver Everett
    • Narrated By The Chet
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    In this poignant and original coming-of-age story, indie rock musician Mark Oliver Everett tells the story of his unsteady upbringing and how it fed into his creativity. The insecure son of a genius physicist, Everett was left to run wild with his sister while his father was off in some parallel universe of his own invention. A string of tragedies would claim his family members one by one, yet somehow Everett managed to not only survive, but to make a life.

    Betty says: "One of the best Audible books I've heard......"
    "Amateurish"
    Overall

    This is what happens when someone who’s never been a reader, never studied literature or writing, up and decides he should write a book for the rest of us to read. The writing is mostly amateurish, full of empty and often corny clichés, never penetrating or insightful, and his tone reeks of that combination of self-pity and self-importance common to inexperienced writers (though to the narrator's credit, he manages to capture that tone).

    A musician like Bob Dylan can write a decent memoir because he’s extremely well read and a first-rate poet. Keith Richards wrote a great memoir because he’s also well-read and had a decent writer help him. This book will appeal to Eels fans who aren’t interested in literary quality or great story telling, but I can’t see why anyone else would bother. Though he manages to get off an occasional one-liner, Everett's storytelling is strictly ho-hum, even when he's telling of a plane that crashed into his neighborhood.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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