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Emeritus

bookdoc

madison, wi USA | Member Since 2003

36
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 31 reviews
  • 80 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
3

  • The Lost Symbol

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9105)
    Performance
    (3329)
    Story
    (3407)

    Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol. Within minutes of his arrival, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object is discovered in the Capitol Building. The object is an ancient invitation, meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom. And when Langdon's mentor is kidnapped, Langdon's only hope of saving him is to accept this invitation and follow wherever it leads him.

    Frank says: "Not his best"
    "a terrible waste of time"
    Overall

    I know I should know better but this ponderous, cliche ridden attempt at drama was sounding bad when it started and simply got worse as it went along. I was looking for a page turner and realized that one of the drawbacks of listening to books, which I enjoy when the book is worth it, is that you can't skim. Audible should put in a program to read the first sentence of each paragraph and it would serve a book like this well.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Local Souls

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Allan Gurganus
    • Narrated By Allan Gurganus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (17)

    With the meteoric success of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, Allan Gurganus placed himself among America’s most original and emotionally engaged storytellers. If his first comic novel mapped the late nineteenth-century South, Local Souls brings the twisted hilarity of Flannery O’Connor kicking into our new century.

    Emeritus says: "a soulthern town then, and now"
    "a soulthern town then, and now"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Local Souls again? Why?

    Books narrated by the author are ones to aim for and Gurganus' voice is perfect in its pace, emotion and undersanding of the nuance of his stories. Wonderful.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Will Mabry is a complicated and thooughtful character in "Decoys" and his view of his own life spanning country to city and poor to middle class is really a wonderful and sympathetic portrayal of both. Small towns have been the subject of way too many uninterestng and overwrought novels and stories but Will's voice, through Gurganus, is true and authentic.


    What about Allan Gurganus’s performance did you like?

    essential to the book


    Any additional comments?

    If you could get Gurganus to narrate the stories of "White People" it would be wonderful. They are some of the funniest stories I know and his voice would be terrific

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Little Failure: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Gary Shteyngart
    • Narrated By Jonathan Todd Ross
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (134)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (118)

    After three acclaimed novels - The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Absurdistan, and Super Sad True Love Story - Gary Shteyngart turns to memoir in a candid, witty, deeply poignant account of his life so far.

    Shteyngart shares his American immigrant experience, moving back and forth through time and memory with self-deprecating humor, moving insights, and literary bravado. The result is a resonant story of family and belonging that feels epic and intimate and distinctly his own. Provocative, hilarious, and inventive, Little Failure reveals a deeper vein of emotion in Gary Shteyngart' s prose.

    HRD says: "I loved this book - funny, sad, all that nonsense"
    "got more disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a big Shteyngart fan and was fun in the early going but got much less so as he got into adolescence - most adolescents aren't that interesting and neither is he. Too bad. Go back to novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Henderson the Rain King

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Saul Bellow
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (146)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (81)

    Bellow evokes all the rich colour and exotic customs of a highly imaginary Africa in this comic novel about a middle-aged American millionaire who, seeking a new, more rewarding life, descends upon an African tribe. Henderson's awesome feats of strength and his unbridled passion for life earns him the admiration of the tribe - but it is his gift for making rain that turns him from mere hero into messiah.

    Chris Reich says: "Amazing Book on Many Levels"
    "Read it again as a grownup"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Many of us read Henderson when we were in our Modern Literature courses in college and my recollection was sketchy and an outline of the book, if that, from my 20's. As an adult who has gone through life transitions, I wish I had read Henderson a decade ago in my 50's, when I was searching, like we all do, for some type of affirmation of my life or, lacking that, try another journey. The book is wonderful in all regards - a huge and compelling metaphor for aging, anxiety, humor as a weapon, self-doubt coupled with a desire for....."I want, I WANT". Henderson is a great read with a great performance and, in the highest form of flattering I can offer, made me go out to order the book so I can underline all the parts and phrases I loved and want to remember. Just terrific. The voices will live in my head forever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bad Monkey

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Arte Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (903)
    Performance
    (798)
    Story
    (808)

    Andrew Yancy - late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff’s office - has a human arm in his freezer. There’s a logical (Hiaasenian) explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, the sheriff might rescue him from his grisly Health Inspector gig (it’s not called the roach patrol for nothing). But first - this being Hiaasen country - Yancy must negotiate an obstacle course of wildly unpredictable events with a crew of even more wildly unpredictable characters.

    James says: "Disappointed"
    "great new "hero""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Andrew Yancy is a ''new antihero" for Hiaasen or I might have missed other books he has been in. Hard to replace the wonderful one eyed former governor gone rogue but this is a continuing very plausible, on some points, and outrageous book. Medicare fraud is rich in opportunities and the billions of dollars in waste in the system are much more understandable and will be on your mind every time you see an electric "scooter chair" in south florida. Arte Johnson is a great reader and will go find other things by him. "sexy forensic pathologist" is a term I thought I would never use, but there is one here.

    fun as usual

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Charles Duhigg
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    Overall
    (5035)
    Performance
    (4252)
    Story
    (4223)

    At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. Habits aren’t destiny. As Charles Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

    Mehra says: "Nice! A guide on how to change"
    "irritating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Premise: bad habits get you in trouble, good habits are good, you can break bad habits by learning good habits. It is not as easy as it sounds. (Now that you have read the book, you don't have to buy it). A very irritating reader who sounds like his is poking you in the chest all throughout the book. A one idea book, as many of them are, with lots of illustrations, only a few of them relevant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anansi Boys

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Lenny Henry
    Overall
    (4066)
    Performance
    (1908)
    Story
    (1921)

    Returning to the territory he so brilliantly explored in his masterful New York Times best seller American Gods, the incomparable Neil Gaiman offers up a work of dazzling ingenuity, a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth that is at once startling, terrifying, exhilarating, and fiercely funny, a true wonder of a novel that confirms Stephen King's glowing assessment of the author as "a treasure house of story, and we are lucky to have him."

    A. Hawley says: "Beautifully narrated"
    "The best reader I have ever heard in 15 years"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know Gaiman's work but really enjoyed the whimsy and humor and imagination of this story. It has a quirkiness that makes for an enjoyable "read" but Lenny Henry's reading - really it is a performance - is out of this world. His accents are wonderful, you can conjure all the images from his voice from the strange brothers, the little old Carribean ladies, the phantasmagoric animals. Just wonderful and some of it made me smile for miles of walking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Glass Rainbow: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (2231)
    Performance
    (843)
    Story
    (848)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: When it comes to author/narrator pairings, nobody tops James Lee Burke and Will Patton in the Robicheaux thrillers. Beloved Burke hero Detective Dave Robicheaux here returns to New Iberia to solve a series of grisly murders. Seven young women in neighboring Jefferson Davis Parish have been brutally murdered. While the crimes have all the telltale signs of a serial killer, the death of Bernadette Latiolais, a high-school honor student, doesn’t fit.

    Gardner says: "Best Yet... Almost"
    "a bit too heavy on the badness of bad guys"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    James Lee Burke is one of my favorite writers to listen to - as I have said before, his melding of the trauma of Vietnam and his reflections on life and relationships are terrific. This one suffered a bit from both a racheting up of horror/violence and a plot that leaves you hanging, not just with Dave and Clete, but the whole group - hard to listen to 14 hours and be left hanging. But I will be back I am sure. It always seems a stretch to think of the extremely unredeeming bad guys hanging around South Louisiana - bet the natives don't believe it could be true.

    Will Patton is one of the best readers possible and continues with this performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Fielding: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Chad Harbach
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1189)
    Performance
    (997)
    Story
    (999)

    At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.

    S. says: "Not Quite ~"
    "reads like a first novel and not a very good one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did not read the hype on this book until I couldn't bear listening to it anymore and wondered if my friends who seemed to be enamored of it were drawn by the baseball component, since I am not. It is LONG and PLODDING and comes across more and more as condescending to almost anyone who comes at it - baseball, social class, gender identity, adolescent angst, and acceptance of differences. A gay bunter!! A do gooder Jewish undergrad!! A wunderkind from the sticks!! A conflicted lonely college president?? An alienated daughter!! Come on. Each of these characters has been covered so much better and more richly in many other books so that lumping them feels both artificial and obvious. Don't waste the endless hours on this book, get Catcher in the Rye, The Natural, any Phillip Roth book, and do yourselves a service.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Canada

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Richard Ford
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (554)
    Performance
    (461)
    Story
    (464)

    When 15-year-old Dell Parsons' parents rob a bank, his sense of normal life is forever altered. In an instant, this private cataclysm drives his life into before and after, a threshold that can never be uncrossed. His parents' arrest and imprisonment mean a threatening and uncertain future for Dell and his twin sister, Berner. Willful and burning with resentment, Berner flees their home in Montana, abandoning her brother and her life. But Dell is not completely alone. A family friend intervenes, spiriting him across the Canadian border.

    Susan C. S. says: "After the last word, went right back to beginning"
    "extaordinary"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Richard Ford has been a favorite of mine - and many - for years, but this novel is the best he has ever written. A spare and thoughtful meditation on time, family, history, mystery and their effects on a young boy, the book has a wonderful narration with just the right tone to capture the spare and beautiful language Ford uses. Only once in the past decade have I gone out and bought a book after listening to it and this is the one. I want to go back and reread it - savor the words and the images. The audio version helps imagine the openness of the skies, solitary and reflective nature of the book's protagonist, and it speaks to all who have painful memories and unanswered questions in our lives. And that would be all of us. A simply wonderful book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Just Kids

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Patti Smith
    • Narrated By Patti Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (772)
    Performance
    (665)
    Story
    (657)

    Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the late 60s and 70s and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions. A true fable, it is a portrait of two young artists' ascent, a prelude to fame.

    Rick says: "Exceptional. Deeply honest and thoughtful."
    "was prepared to like it more than I did"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Patti Smith is such an interesting and admirable person, independent, intelligent and very much her own person but the memoir turned into a litany of "people who became someone" in the second section and, as such, dated it. Her life would have been so much more interesting as the center rather than appended to others - at least it felt that way - that I wish she had told her non-Robert Mapplethorpe story rather than constantly revolving about his art/obsession/confusion. Hers is a lot more interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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