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Doug

Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years.

Columbus, NC, United States | Member Since 2015

389
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 67 reviews
  • 191 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
21

  • My Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry Between Edwin and John Wilkes Booth

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Nora Titone, Doris Kearns Goodwin (introduction and notes)
    • Narrated By John B. Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (61)

    My Thoughts Be Bloody, a sweeping family saga, revives an extraordinary figure whose name has been missing, until now, from the story of President Lincoln's death. Edwin Booth, John Wilkes's older brother by four years, was in his day the biggest star of the American stage. Without an account of Edwin Booth, author Nora Titone argues, the real story of Lincoln's assassin has never been told.

    Tad Davis says: "Wonderful!"
    "A new take on the assassination of Lincoln"
    Overall

    Titone's thesis is that JW Booth wanted fame so badly that he murdered the president to secure a place in history. JW had failed in his efforts to be an actor, whereas his father and older brother had excelled in dramatic acting, becoming two of the best and most acclaimed actors in US history prior to the age of cinema. JW had also failed in business....and pretty much everything else, except for charming the ladies owing to his exceptional good looks and physique. But conquering women did not compensate for his failure to equal his father and brother on the stage, so JW acted the most dramatic role any actor ever played: he shot the president in view of a few hundred theater goers, jumped on the stage in front of them, and deliberately made a bold statement to the crowd (reported variously) even as the smoke was hanging in the air in the presidential box and Mary Lincoln was screaming. Then he strode off stage deliberately (not with a broken leg as has been mistakenly reported) and jumped on a horse and rode into history.

    Titone does an excellent job supporting her thesis. The story she tells of JW's father and brother and other family members is detailed and quite interesting. She also documents JW's collaboration with Rebel agents in the last year of the war, and she details the escape and capture of JW, which resulted in his being fatally shot by an army sargeant who had such finely tuned religious sensibilities that he had castrated himself to defend against being tempted by loose women.

    What a story!

    The narrator does an excellent job interpreting this highly dramatic tale.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Persuader

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3664)
    Performance
    (2782)
    Story
    (2771)

    Jack Reacher. The ultimate loner. An elite ex-military cop who left the service years ago, he's moved from place to place...without family...without possessions...without commitments.

    Joanna says: "Child at His Best! A Must Read for Reacher Fans!"
    "Wow! This one might be the BEST Reacher novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Holds you like glue to the very last page.....I have read all the Jack Reacher novels, I think, and this one is the best. At times you are not really sure who the bad guys are....and while the main plot rushes on, Reacher constantly remembers events from the past when an investigation went wrong....and it turns out that the newest problem will help rectify the previous fouled up investigation provided Reacher can overcome the crook that bested him earlier...The narration is very very good....the narrator gets the pacing and the accents and the emotions exactly right....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tatiana: An Arkady Renko Novel, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Martin Cruz Smith
    • Narrated By Henry Strozier
    Overall
    (179)
    Performance
    (159)
    Story
    (160)

    One of the iconic investigators of contemporary fiction, Arkady Renko - cynical, analytical, and quietly subversive - has survived the cultural journey from the Soviet Union to the New Russia, only to find the nation as obsessed with secrecy and brutality as was the old Communist dictatorship. In Tatiana, Martin Cruz Smith’s most ambitious novel since Gorky Park, the melancholy hero finds himself on the trail of a mystery as complex and dangerous as modern Russia herself.

    Rollin says: "Interesting story but terrible narration"
    "Dead people won't stay dead...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In post-soviet Russia, nothing is what it seems...or is it? One thing that is clear and certain is that murder has taken no leave from the society....Arkady Renko finds himself trying to find a killer...or killers...and as usual the odds seem not in his favor. This novel is a fast-paced and satisfying mystery with an ending that fits the overall story...I liked Gorky Park better, but I was glad to visit Renko again....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dab of Dickens, The Touch of Twain, and The Shade of Shakespeare

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Elliot Engel
    • Narrated By Elliot Engel, David Birney, Scott Brick, and others
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    They are icons of the literary world whose soaring works have been discussed and analyzed in countless classrooms, homes, and pubs. Yet for most readers, the living, breathing human beings behind the classics have remained unknown - until now. In this utterly captivating book, Dr. Elliot Engel, a leading authority on the lives of great authors, illuminates the fascinating and flawed members of literature’s elite. In lieu of stuffy biographical sketches, Engel provides fascinating anecdotes.

    Doug says: "Very entertaining!"
    "Very entertaining!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Do you know what you don't know about Dickens, Twain and Shakespeare? Well, probably not....but I do! There is a lot! I have taught American and British lit for 30 years and read them much longer and I found that Elliot Engel informed me of a lot of stuff I did not know about these literary figures....and it was FUN!!! Odd facts such as the fact that Dickens invented the paperback book....and the cliff-hanger....and that he earned more money in his life than any other writer in history....and other stuff you will not find in the typical book on writers. Along with the info on the writers come samples from their works: some of Shakespeare's sonnets and part of King Lear and part of Dickens' David Copperfield. This is a very entertaining and humorous look at three of the greats from our past....fun, not boring.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • High Heat: A Jack Reacher Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (631)
    Performance
    (568)
    Story
    (569)

    New York Times best-selling thriller master, Lee Child returns with an exclusive eBook novella. In the midst of a savage heat wave and an infamous murder spree, a blackout awakens the dark side of the city that never sleeps - and a young Jack Reacher takes action as only he can.

    John says: "Cheap, but still overpriced!"
    "Jack Reacher as a teen ager..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a 16-year old who takes a break from school to check out NY City, Reacher finds that his street-fighting skills learned at marine bases around the world are handy in the Big Apple. He meets some unsavory bad guys who menace a young lady and he encounters a killer who is blasting young couples who are sitting in their cars in the dark having a bit of romance...blasting them with a high-power pistol while they sit kissing or chatting. Reacher has bad news for all the bad guys...it is the beginning of his life of evening the odds and showing bad guys that there is someone on the side of right who is also bad, but for the right reasons.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Pyramid and Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (357)
    Performance
    (179)
    Story
    (174)

    The Pyramid is the long-awaited addition to Henning Mankell's critically celebrated and internationally best-selling Kurt Wallander mystery series: the book of five short mysteries that takes us back to the beginning. Here are the stories that trace, chronologically, Wallander's growth from a rookie cop into a young father and then a middle-aged divorcé, illuminating how Wallander became a first-rate detective and highlighting new facets of a now canonical character.

    Corinne says: "Pyramid story is extraordinary"
    "Did not want to stop listening!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A sure sign of a good audiobook is one that you do not want to stop listening to. This is the first Wallander audio for me but not the last. I already have bought more, having enjoyed this one so much. It is a good mystery with interesting characters and a plot that satisfies. What else do you want....oh, the narration is quite good also. Unlike some mysteries and thrillers, the plots in these four stories are actually believable...the characters seem like real people and the events are quite possible....no out-of-this world action....just a good story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Not a Drill: Jack Reacher, Book 18.5

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 27 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (397)
    Performance
    (357)
    Story
    (354)

    With nine straight number one New York Times bestsellers and over 17 million copies in print in the United States alone, it's easy to see why the New York Times has anointed Lee Child as "the best thriller writer of the moment". Now, as fans anxiously await the next full-length Reacher adventure, Child delivers a riveting new short story featuring the world's most beloved vigilante hero, Jack Reacher.

    Jean says: "Too Short of a short story"
    "Not the usual Reacher novel..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was nice to read a Reacher novel that was somewhat different. You see a slightly different version of the man, and I enjoyed it. I have liked a dozen of the books so far, and it was good to have a change of pace, since all of the books have a similar plot and you know who Reacher is after four or five books....so this was a fresh wind in the storm.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Red Sparrow: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jason Matthews
    • Narrated By Jeremy Bobb
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1454)
    Performance
    (1303)
    Story
    (1307)

    Drafted against her will to become a "Sparrow" - a trained seductress in the service, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer who handles the CIA's most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception, and inevitably, a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America's valuable mole in Moscow.

    Mel says: "Sexy Saucy Spies"
    "A first-rate mystery/thriller....a "page turner""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Written by a retired CIA operative, this book sounds realistic and it is a book that grabs the reader on the first page and does not let go. I first read the print version a year ago, and now I am listening to the audio. My only regret.....Matthews has only written one book! His next one is due out in 2015 I think. I hate to wait! Seriously! For those who want to know...yes, Red Sparrow has sex and violence. But the s&v fit the story....they are not just thrown in to fill some pages with vulgarity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • George Carlin Reads to You: An Audio Collection Including Grammy Winners 'Braindroppings' and 'Napalm & Silly Putty'

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By George Carlin
    • Narrated By George Carlin
    Overall
    (1384)
    Performance
    (1251)
    Story
    (1236)

    If one George Carlin audio is funny, then two are funnier and three must be funniest, right? That's our thinking behind this new collection. t's a HighBridge library of laugh-out-loud, award-winning recordings featuring George himself performing many of his best bits.

    Rick says: "Like a Cast of Thousands"
    "A real bummer...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Pessimistic, negative, not funny, vulgar, and not entertaining. Need I say more? I was looking for laughs, for humor....did not find any.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Russian Journal

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Steinbeck and Capa's account of their journey through Cold War Russia is a classic piece of reportage and travel writing.Just after the Iron Curtain fell on Eastern Europe, Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Steinbeck and acclaimed war photographer Robert Capa ventured into the Soviet Union to report for the New York Herald Tribune.

    Jean says: "Extremely Interesting"
    "Steinbeck non-fiction is always good!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Steinbeck's writing, both his fiction and his non-fiction. So I am biased perhaps. This audio is as good as any of Steinbeck's later narratives, like Travels with Charley and Sea of Cortez, both of which I loved. A Russian Journal details Steinbecks' travels in Russia with Robert Capa after World War II. They went there to see how common folk lived and what was going on at ground level in the country. Steinbeck was the words man and Capa the photographs man. And Steinbeck reported in this book all the types of details and human interest events that he was known for in all his writing. The narrator of this book does an excellent job...good pacing, excellent diction, and occasional emphasis when appropriate...a good narrator does not stand between the listener and the book, he disappears and that is exactly what this narrator does....it is as if he is not there...he is not a distraction.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Bill Maher
    • Narrated By Bill Maher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (495)
    Performance
    (446)
    Story
    (438)

    A follow-up to the New York Times best-selling New Rules, The New New Rules delivers a series of hilarious, intelligent rants on everything from same-sex marriage to health care, from Republican agendas to celebrity meltdowns, with all the razor-sharp insight that has made Bill Maher one of the most influential comedic voices shaping the political debate today.

    Niels J. Rasmussen says: "Great Material But A Little Hard To Listen To."
    "Vulgar but not funny...too bad!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well.....I bought the audio expecting a few laughs. At least a few, but really I thought there would be a lot. But NONE???? I was surprised and disappointed to say the least. And I will ask Audible to take the book back. I hate to lose a credit for this lame book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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