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Emrys

Alfred, NY, United States | Member Since 2010

123
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 42 reviews
  • 85 ratings
  • 292 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
4

  • Lord Hornblower

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By C. S. Forester
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (117)

    The Admiral's face was grim as he gave Commodore Hornblower his orders. The situation was critical: mutiny was an infection that could spread through the fleet like the plague and, furthermore, the crew were threatening to go over to the French.

    Jean says: "Old fashion story telling"
    "Good story, great reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Christian Rodske's narration is brilliant as always. I preferred the first part of the story, where Hornblower is sent to deal with a mutiny, to the later part where he's in France. Perhaps it's because one feels that Hornblower is at his best when on a ship.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Caine Mutiny

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (989)
    Performance
    (860)
    Story
    (862)

    Having inspired a classic film and Broadway play, The Caine Mutiny is Herman Wouk's boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life—and mutiny—on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater. It was immediately embraced upon its original publication as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of the Second World War. In the intervening half century, this gripping story has become a perennial favorite, selling millions throughout the world, and claiming the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

    James says: "Even Better than the Movie"
    "A fine novel well narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wouk is in his element writing about the US navy during WW2. Every aspect of life then and there is captured with great authority. The story is genuinely interesting; the characters are drawn with subtlety. And he manages the gradual and continuous shifts in perspective of the main character, with great skill, especially towards the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shantaram: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gregory David Roberts
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (505)
    Performance
    (474)
    Story
    (473)

    Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum-security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend Prabaker, the two enter Bombay's hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere.

    Mickey says: "Probably the best performance I've listened to."
    "Interesting, engaging, and irritating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The novel is apparently autobiographical, and the experiences related are remarkable--escape from prison, heroin, living in the Bombay slums, working for the Bombay mafia, being tortured in an Indian prison, running guns into Afghanistan. Roberts certainly has stuff to write about compared to your average novelist who's been to college and got an MFA in creative writing.
    Positives: the account of how things work in Bombay, and what the people from various social orders are like is truly interesting. The story is engaging most of the time. Sometimes, Roberts' lyrical writing style captures an experience with an apt metaphor. The narration is superb--every accent and mood perfectly conveyed.
    Negatives: 1) There is a lot of rather second-rate philosophizing. This was my biggest complaint. You can get away with this if you're George Eliot; but Roberts needs to hold this tendency in check. The conversations with Kadah (sp?), the mafia don, were especially tedious since the philosophy being expounded was so full of glaring holes. E.g. It's just not true that modern physics says that "everything is moving toward complexity." There's no reason at all to call this state of complexity "God" since it doesn't remotely resemble what most people mean by "God". And the claim that whatever aids this movement is good is repeatedly asserted without argument and is a crude example of what philosophers call the "naturalistic fallacy."
    2) The lyrical writing often spills over into corny metaphor that is over the top and not well thought out.
    3) Although the protagonist often says how ashamed he is of himself, and how he's led a "wicked" life, the story comes across overall as a bit self-serving. He is evidently brave, loyal, passionate, generous, and talented.
    4) I felt the last section of the book began to seem directionless.
    To be fair, the book kept me engrossed, and I'd listen to it again. You learn a lot. But it would be a better book if it was half as long.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Underworld

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Don DeLillo
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (109)

    Nick Shay and Klara Sax knew each other once, intimately, and they meet again in the American desert. He is trying to outdistance the crucial events of his early life, haunted by the hard logic of loss and by the echo of a gunshot in a basement room. She is an artist who has made a blood struggle for independence.

    Ruth Ann Orlansky says: "CYBEX burned into my eyes"
    "FIne book, but hard to follow as an audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book contains some great writing, and the narrator is excellent. However, I wished I'd chosen to read rather than listen to this book. The large cast of characters, the non-linear narrative, the subtleties of the connections between different episodes, etc. made it difficult to keep track of everything. I still enjoyed many parts--the first chapter is wonderful--but I struggled to keep the whole thing clear in my head.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Scaramouche

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Rafael Sabatini
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (184)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (70)

    With swordfights and romance, adventure and treachery set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, this is the book that made Sabatini famous. Andre-Louis Moreau has good prospects as a young lawyer, but an unfair duel with the ruthlessly cruel Count de La Tour d'Azyr leaves Andre-Louis' best friend dead and Andre-Louis himself a fugitive from the King's justice. While incognito, he becomes both a wildly popular actor and a firebrand of the Revolution.

    Tariq Anis says: "Mesmerizing"
    "Highly entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel is a gem. Well written and beautifully constructed, with human, pathos and drama all thrown in.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Michael Chabon
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (899)
    Performance
    (793)
    Story
    (810)

    It's 1939, in New York City. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdiniesque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat: smuggling himself out of Hitler's Prague. He's looking to make big money, fast, so that he can bring his family to freedom. His cousin, Brooklyn's own Sammy Clay, is looking for a partner in creating the heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book. Inspired by their own fantasies, fears, and dreams, they create the Escapist.

    Darwin8u says: "A World I DON'T Ever Want to Escape From."
    "Brilliant!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a wonderful novel, funny and poignant, imaginative yet grounded in history. One of the best contemporary novels I've ever read. The narration is excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Barnaby Rudge

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (44)

    For the background to this historical novel, a tale of mystery, suspense and unsolved murder, Dickens chose the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots of 1780. Mayhem reigns in the streets of London, vividly described by Dickens, and the innocent Barnaby Rudge is drawn into the thick of it.

    Tad Davis says: "Wonderful"
    "Not his best, but it's still Dickens"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Dickens, so I enjoyed this novel. The historical account of the riots is interesting and graphic. As usual, there's some wonderful writing and characterization--and the reading is excellent. As a work of art, though, it is not one of Dicken's highest achievements.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unnatural Death: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Dorothy L. Sayers
    • Narrated By Ian Carmichael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (229)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (198)

    The wealthy Agatha Dawson is dead and there are no apparent signs of foul play. Lord Peter Wimsey, however, senses that something is amiss and he refuses to let the case rest - even without any clues or leads. Suddenly, he is faced with another murder - Agatha's maid. Can super-sleuth Wimsey find the murderer and solve the case before he becomes the killer's next victim?

    Alicia Czechowski says: "At last! Sayers read by Ian Charmichael"
    "DIsappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I view this as one of Sayers' weaker stories. Much of the mystery hinges on something that is presumably supposed to be a surprise when it is revealed but seems to me to be pretty obvious. My wife and I listening in the car twigged it very early on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Andrew Solomon
    • Narrated By Andrew Solomon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (442)
    Performance
    (375)
    Story
    (371)

    A brilliant and utterly original thinker, Andrew Solomon's journey began from his experience of being the gay child of straight parents. He wondered how other families accommodate children who have a variety of differences: families of people who are deaf, who are dwarfs, who have Down syndrome, who have autism, who have schizophrenia, who have multiple severe disabilities, who are prodigies, who commit crimes, who are transgender.

    C. Beaton says: "A Gripping Masterpiece"
    "Gave up after hours our vaccuous preamble"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maybe this is a good book, but we just became too impatient with the first part to find out. We started listening to it on a long drive; but after two or three hours we gave up on it because we just got bored with a seemingly interminable preamble in which the author vaguely indicates what is to come but talks much of the time in bland generalities.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Villette

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Charlotte Bronte
    • Narrated By Mandy Weston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (80)

    Long overshadowed by Jane Eyre, Villette is widely admired as one of Charlotte Bronte's finest works. This story of a young teacher at a girl's school in the city of Villette is a particular challenge for the young reader, for it requires maturity of vision, a fine narrative sense - and a command of French! Mandy Weston, a newcomer to Naxos AudioBooks, tells the story magnificently.

    Chloe says: "classical heart"
    "a novel about state of mind"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was a little disappointed in Villette. The narration is fine. But the novel is almost painfully lacking in any real events. The best thing about it is the subtle representation in Lucy Snowe, the narrator, of desires that she is not fully aware of. But she is a frustratingly cold and uncurious personality. She's so turned in on herself, so reluctant to actually do anything, that the novel becomes boring at times.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Adam Bede

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By George Eliot
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (20)

    George Eliot’s first full length novel is the moving, realistic portrait of three people troubled by unwise love. Adam Bede is a hardy young carpenter who cares for his aging mother. His one weakness is the woman he loves blindly: the trifling town beauty, Hetty Sorrel, who delights only in her baubles—and the delusion that the careless Captain Donnithorne may ask for her hand.

    C. Telfair says: "First George Eliot Novel and First-Rate!"
    "A wonderful novel brilliantly narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's amazing that this is Eliot's first novel. The story telling, the dialogue, and the reflections are all so assured. The narration is truly wonderful. I'm originally from the part of England where Eliot grew up and where I imagine it to be set, and she gets the accents dead on.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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