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Don

ratings
6
REVIEWS
5
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
2

  • The Sea-Hawk

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Rafael Sabatini
    • Narrated By John Bolen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Sir Oliver Tessilian, a Cornish nobleman, is abandoned or betrayed by everyone he ever loved. He is framed for murder, affronted and shunned by his fiancee and sold into slavery by his half-brother.

    Optimistic skeptic says: "Fun story ruined by poor reading"
    "A Swashbuckler that Sloshes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    If you are a fan of Rafael Sabatini, you will probably enjoy this book. I read it as a young lad and was enthralled.

    However, the narrator of this version is probably not the best reader I've ever heard and detracted from the story. Also, the story is supposed to be set in Elizabethan times, but it sounded too much like the 19th century to me. This is probably the fault of Sabatini rather than the narrator, however.

    All in all, the plot line is good enough to keep me interested, but a better performance would have made it more enjoyable.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hundred Days: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 19

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    Overall
    (315)
    Performance
    (154)
    Story
    (151)

    Patrick O'Brian transports you to the high seas of the Napoleonic era when the French demagogue is making a desperate attempt to control the European world. While Napoleon pursues the British across Europe, rumors fly about him forging a secret link with the forces of Islam. Soon an ominous horde of Muslim mercenaries gather.

    Bearwife says: "Another fabulous installment"
    "Patrick Tull is not Simon Vance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Patrick O'Brian and/or Patrick Tull?

    Alas! Headline says it all. Very little difference between characters, hard to tell who is speaking, far less dramatic. Skip this one and find the Simon Vance version.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Earth Abides: The 60th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By George R. Stewart
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Connie Willis
    Overall
    (1508)
    Performance
    (960)
    Story
    (977)

    A disease of unparalleled destructive force has sprung up almost simultaneously in every corner of the globe, all but destroying the human race. One survivor, strangely immune to the effects of the epidemic, ventures forward to experience a world without man. What he ultimately discovers will prove far more astonishing than anything he'd either dreaded or hoped for.

    J. Rhoderick says: "Brilliant, beautiful, sad, terrifying"
    "What a lame, lame story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    What a completely unbelievable story. The one criteria I have for science-fiction is that the story must be plausible. It is a given that this is a work of fiction and there will be things included that we will simply have to accept, but the whole story is simply unbelievable as a plausible apocalyptic narrative. The main character would not have survived and would hardly have been considered a leader if he had survived simply as a passive "observer" of life around him.

    Earth may Abide, but I couldn't abide this story and quit about 60% of the way through. Too stupid for words.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others
    Overall
    (10172)
    Performance
    (5815)
    Story
    (5896)

    Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

    Joshua says: "Wonderful production!"
    "Simon Vance rescues an often preposterous story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Dune? What did you like least?

    I like anything Simon Vance narrates. He's a tremendous reader. There are two things I disliked about this book. First were the extra readers. Some of them were not bad, but the performance was uneven. Few come close to matching Vance. The second thing I disliked were the often preposterous scenarios. With science fiction, you usually have to accept some outlandish ideas, but the best science fiction (Asimov, for example) makes the outlandish believable. In this case, Herbert tries to meld medieval feudalism with advanced civilizations - the result is simply preposterous. We are supposed to accept the revival of gladatorial combat... or the goofy ending with the "Duke" proposing a political marriage with the emperor's daughter while maintaining a loving relationship with his sweet desert maiden, his concubine. Just weird ... hard to believe humans would act this way or think it normal after all the history we have in 'normal' human history to this point.

    Obviously authors imagine all sorts of strange scenarios in works of fiction. The trick is making it believable, as if it "could happen". Herbert fails to achieve this consistently... he is best when he isn't bringing in the phony barons and dukes and earls and whatnot. His desert people and their society are great and much more believable.


    Has Dune turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


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

    Yes, Simon Vance is great. Wish he had read the whole book without the "help" of others.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • North and South

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gaskell
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (842)
    Performance
    (620)
    Story
    (621)

    Set in the context of Victorian social and medical debate, this novel is about rebellion, posing fundamental questions about the nature of social authority and obedience. This revised edition draws on recent theoretical work on gender and class.

    Sally says: "Delightful"
    "Good plot, somewhat unnatural characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend North and South to your friends? Why or why not?

    The plot is what keeps me going in this book. There are many unexpected twists and turns. The characters spend a good deal of time discussing philosophy, especially that related to business ("trade") and the views of union members. Their conversations don't seem to be as real as one could wish, I have a hard time thinking that real people talk this way. But I, for one, find the discussion interesting.The love story keeps the story going as well, although Margaret seems to take an agonizingly long time to realize what is happening to her in her relationship with Mr. Thornton. She is a very perceptive woman about people around her - except for Mr. Thornton and herself. Perhaps that is true of all of us.In spite of Charles Dickens' dissatisfaction with the book (he was its first publisher), I enjoyed it immensely.


    What about Juliet Stevenson’s performance did you like?

    The performance is very good, Juliet Stevenson manages to create distinct characters with her voice, does a good job with the male voices and personalities, has distinct accents for people of differing areas and overall kept me engaged in listening.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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