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  • The Magnificent Ambersons

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Booth Tarkington
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot

    Set in the Midwest in the early 20th century---the dawn of the automobile age---The Magnificent Ambersons begins by introducing the Ambersons, the richest family in town. Exemplifying aristocratic excess, the Ambersons have everything money can buy - and more. But George Amberson Minafer, the spoiled grandson of the family patriarch, is unable to see that great societal changes are taking place.

    C.M. says: "Wonderful, classic story"
    "Wonderful, classic story"

    This is a great tale of fortunes one and lost, unchanged love, and personal redemption. Included is the Lorax-like quality of the growth of this midland city, and a glimpse to the building up of America.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Douglas Adams
    • Narrated By Douglas Adams

    There is a long tradition of Great Detectives, and Dirk Gently does not belong to it. But his search for a missing cat uncovers a ghost, a time traveler, AND the devastating secret of humankind! Detective Gently's bill for saving the human race from extinction: NO CHARGE.

    George T. Crawford says: "Sadly, it's abridged"
    "This is badly abridged!"

    Never usually buy abridged but as it was the only recording of this title, I took a chance. I found the end greatly lacking. Wait for the unabridged!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Orphan Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Christina Baker Kline
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

    Kathi says: "Moving story of sharing and transformation."
    "Story good if predictable; Narration irritating"

    -I love historical fiction so any novel based on actual stories attracts me.
    -The stories of orphan trains should be told.
    -The parallel of orphan and foster care experiences.
    Not so much:
    -I found the narration highly irritating as it's performed as a young girl's voice. I actually checked back to see if the book was for adolescents. I hold the directors responsible, not the narrators. Narration does not have to match the age of the character -- in my opinion, this often comes out contrived and unpleasant.
    -The story does seem somewhat predictable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Summer Lightning

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By P. G. Wodehouse
    • Narrated By John Wells

    While Blandings Castle sleeps in the summer sun, the Hon. Galahad Threepwood, brother of the Earl of Emsworth, is busily engaged in writing his Reminiscences, and they look set to be as warm as the weather, if not warmer. For Galahad has led a thoroughly misspent life, and his acquaintances can all too easily recall their past follies in his company. Reputations are at stake and even the nobility and gentry are beginning to panic.

    Oddsfish says: "Great Book, Poor Sound"
    "The narration was hurting my ears after 5 minutes"

    Apologies to the narrator, but the director should have asked for voices of people. It sounds like the instruction was for a children's book of forest friends. If you've listened with joy to Wodehouse for years -- do not try this version! Had to stop and get another book of narrated by J. Cecil. I gave the story 4 stars anticipating Wodehouse came through again.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Elegy for Eddie: A Maisie Dobbs Novel, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Winspear
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    To the costermongers of Covent Garden Eddie Pettit was a gentle soul with a gift for working with horses. When Eddie is killed in a violent accident, the grieving costers are skeptical about the cause of his death. Who would want to kill Eddie - and why? Maisie Dobbs' father, Frankie, had been a costermonger, so she had known the men since childhood. She remembers Eddie fondly and is determined to offer her help. But it soon becomes clear that powerful political and financial forces are equally determined to prevent her from learning the truth behind Eddie's death.

    Jean says: "A time of conflict--look for the deeper message"
    "Winspear's scores again"

    I love this series: the depth of the characters, the word pictures -- all set in a historical period of such import and with such detail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Diary of a Nobody

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By George Grossmith, Weedon Grossmith
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Diary of Nobody (1892) created a cultural icon, an English archetype. Anxious, accident-prone, occasionally waspish, Charles Pooter has come to epitomize English suburban life. His diary chronicles encounters with difficult tradesmen, the delights of home improvements, small parties, minor embarrassments, and problems with his troublesome son. The suburban world he inhabits is hilariously and painfully familiar in its small-mindedness and its essential decency.

    Virginia says: "Hilarious and Suprebly Read"
    "Absolutely loved it - my type of satire!"
    Where does The Diary of a Nobody rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book is in the top tier of my library.

    What other book might you compare The Diary of a Nobody to and why?

    I actually think it could be a satire of FB pages although it was written over a century ago! Mr. "Nobody" records his daily life and thoughts, and plans to have them published. He is oblivious to how others view him - somewhat of a sop. And yet, he is a sympathetic character because he always tries to act honorably.

    What about Martin Jarvis’s performance did you like?

    The narrator is perfect for the material - his inflections, etc. sound just like the diary author would speak.

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

    It is so humorous in such as understated way that I found it hilarious.

    Any additional comments?

    Humor is very individual but if you like absurd, deadpan satire (some Monty python skits come to mind) than you will probably like this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The White Tiger: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Aravind Adiga
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Balram Halwai is a complicated man. Servant. Philosopher. Entrepreneur. Murderer. Balram tells us the terrible and transfixing story of how he came to be a success in life - having nothing but his own wits to help him along. Through Balram's eyes, we see India as we've never seen it before: the cockroaches and the call centers, the prostitutes and the worshippers, the water buffalo and, trapped in so many kinds of cages that escape is (almost) impossible, the white tiger.

    With a charisma as undeniable as it is unexpected, Balram teaches us that religion doesn't create morality and money doesn't solve every problem.

    Mark P. Furlong says: "Entertaining, thought-provoking, darkly funny"
    "excellent story of the have and the have-nots"

    I'm not from India so can't comment on the narrator although it does seem odd to not have a native speaker (not sure what audiobook directors/producers are thinking of sometimes)
    That said, I found the book captivating. The type of story - the intersection of rich and poor - is not uniquely Indian -- it could be written about any country. But this is the Indian take on it, with comical/pathetic insights and images of the lifestyles of the growing middle/upper-middle class, and their relationships with the service class.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skippy Dies

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Paul Murray
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber, Fred Berman, Clodagh Bowyer, and others

    This touching and uproarious novel by author Paul Murray made everyone’s best fiction of 2010 lists, including The Washington Post, Financial Times, Village Voice, and others. Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the mystery that links the boys of Dublin’s Seabrook College (Ruprecht Van Doren, the overweight genius obsessed with string theory; Carl, the teenager drug dealer and borderline psychotic; Philip Kilfether, the basketball-playing midget) to their parents and teachers in ways that no one could have imagined.

    Laura says: "Funny, touching, entertaining"
    "Every reviewer has a point"

    I just finished this book and it is one of the most insightful contemporary novels I've read recently.

    That said, I sympathize with the readers who stopped listening after a couple of hours and gave it 1-2 stars as I would have. The beginning does seem like a simple retelling of adolescent banter and escapades that got irritating and old very quickly. I thought I'd misunderstood the description.

    But I kept listening and found the book incredible. Murray's story presents the odd and at times unexplainable elements of human nature in a post-modern age. Who "wins" and who "gets ahead." And how many of us never really see what's truly going on -- even though we're 'good' people.

    So, if you like cultural insights - and can accept the obnoxious, humorous, and tragic antics of both adolescents -- and adults. Then you may enjoy this book.

    40 of 42 people found this review helpful
  • More Information Than You Require

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By John Hodgman
    • Narrated By John Hodgman

    Welcome to the paperless (or "audiobook") edition of More Information Than You Require, a further compendium of COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE assembled and illumined by John Hodgman, a Famous Minor Television Personality. It contains all of the half-truths, fake trivia, amazing made-up facts, and molemanic lore as the paper edition, narrated here by Resident Expert John Hodgman, occasionally interrupted by this veritable extravaganza of illustrious and sometimes presumptuous guests.

    Bobby says: "John Hodgman"
    "Sorry to write this review"

    I love John Hodgeman - but I guess it's in person. I found this painful to listen to: unfunny, predictable, and even annoying at the end with the list of random info events. I didn't get his first book, but it likely has the same style -- if you liked that, you may find this worthwhile.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks...: And Other Complaints from an Angry Middle-Aged White Guy

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Adam Carolla
    • Narrated By Adam Carolla

    It's a sad and eerie harbinger of our times that the Oprah-watching, crystal-rubbing, Whole Foods-shopping moms and their whipped attorney husbands have taken the ability to reason away from the poor schlub who makes the Bloody Marys. What we used to settle with common sense or a fist, we now settle with hand sanitizer and lawyers. Adam Carolla has had enough of this insanity and he's here to help us get our collective balls back.

    Brett says: "Hilarious Book"
    "I'd like to write something but jeez i'm just a"

    p****. I agree with the whole sanitzer/lawyer/whatever crazy culture in the U.S. Carlin was one of the best on this topic. But give me a frickin' break - chicks/women/p*****'s are the worst thing in the world Adam??!! 'scuse me, I forgot how crappy we are. How awful it would be if our testerone-injected culture could turn it down a notch. You've got it all backwards. And yes, I'm happily married to a great guy but sick and tired of this kinda "feel sorry for me, I'm a tortured white guy being made to be a girl" stuff.

    13 of 79 people found this review helpful

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