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Emrys

Alfred, NY, United States | Member Since 2012

133
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 45 reviews
  • 88 ratings
  • 300 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
5

  • Hornblower and the Hotspur

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By C. S. Forester
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (301)
    Performance
    (271)
    Story
    (273)

    April 1803, and the Peace of Amiens is failing as Horatio Hornblower takes a three-master on a vital reconnaissance mission…. On the day of his marriage to Maria, Hornblower is ordered to take the Hotspur and head for Brest - war is coming and Napoleon will not catch His Majesty’s Navy with its britches round its ankles.

    John S says: "Good narration but series limited in availability"
    "Excellent narrator; very good storytelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator, Christian Rodska, is quite superb. It's hard to imagine anyone bettering his performances. I was not quite as keen on this novel as I was on Mr Midshipman Honblower and Lieutenant Hornblower. But it's still very good indeed. The relationship between Hornblower and Bush is central, and handled with subtlety. Forester is excellent at dreaming up crises and problems for Hornblower to have to deal with, and at geting inside the self-doubting individual who lurks behind the unflappable exterior.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Le Pere Goriot

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Honore de Balzac
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (44)

    At the shabby boarding house in the rue Neuve-Sainte-Geneviève, petty Madame Vauquer and her tenants wonder at the plight of the aging resident Goriot. Once a well-heeled merchant, Goriot was, at first, afforded special treatment from the Madame. But now something is clearly amiss in his financial affairs, and his increasingly tawdry appearance makes him a subject of ridicule in the household.

    beatrice says: "balzac rocks"
    "For a classic, disappointing: bleak and humourless"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a big fan of classic 19th c. novels, but this is the first novel by Balzac I've read. It will probably be the last. I found the story mediocre, the writing longwinded, and most of the characters uninteresting. The moral development of the law student Rastignac (sp?) is somewhat interesting as he first is corrupted by and then has his eyes opened to the true nature of 'high society.' But the interminable scenes in the last third of the novel ddepicting Goriot declaring his love for his daughters while they carry on fleecing him down to the shirt on his back simply lose interest. The reading was fine.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5878)
    Performance
    (5173)
    Story
    (5184)

    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Sandra says: "Be prepared to love the characters."
    "Good story, good prose, but confusing chronology"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story about the experiences of a German youth and a French girl during World War II whose lives eventually touch is well plottted. The prose is rich and sensuous, and the writer does a fine job describing how the world is experienced by the blind girl. My one criticism of the book is that the narrative jumps around chronologically for no obvious reason, and this is sometimes confusing. The narrative performance is OK, but not outstanding. He tends to read descriptive prose rather as Garrison Keeler reads poetry--in a uniformly lugubrious manner.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • True History of the Kelly Gang

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Peter Carey
    • Narrated By Gianfranco Negroponte
    Overall
    (276)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (95)

    Ned Kelly's name resonates in Australia the same way the name Jesse James does in America. Was he a crusading folk hero or murderous horse thief and bank robber? Who was the real Ned Kelly? As the impoverished son of an Irish convict, Kelly was cheated, lied to, and abused by the English. Committed to fighting back against oppression, Kelly and his gang of outlaws eluded police for nearly two years.

    Margaret says: "Brilliant and Poetic"
    "Interesting narrative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting,and well told, but not as sensationally good as I was expecting from Peter Carey

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Caine Mutiny

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    Overall
    (1060)
    Performance
    (930)
    Story
    (929)

    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
    (656)
    Performance
    (603)
    Story
    (601)

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Underworld

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Don DeLillo
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (118)

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Scaramouche

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Rafael Sabatini
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (187)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (73)

    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
    (1017)
    Performance
    (897)
    Story
    (914)

    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
    (54)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (48)

    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
    (250)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (215)

    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

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