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New Englander Living in Latin America


  • There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Chinua Achebe
    • Narrated By Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The defining experience of Chinua Achebe's life was the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War, of 1967-1970. The conflict was infamous for its savage impact on the Biafran people, Chinua Achebe's people, many of whom were starved to death after the Nigerian government blockaded their borders. Immediately after, Achebe took refuge in an academic post in the United States, and for more than 40 years he has maintained a considered silence on the events of those terrible years. Now, decades in the making, comes a towering reckoning with one of modern Africa's most fateful events.

    OLUCHUKWU says: "The Audible Edition Is a Disaster"
    "Wonderful, Moving Experience"
    Would you listen to There Was a Country again? Why?

    I would listen again simply to be bathed in the beautiful narrative voice of Adewale Akinnoye-Agbaje.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character was obviously the author, Chinua Achebe.

    What does Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I loved the rich voice of Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje with his Beautiful African accent. It made me feel like Mr. Achebe was personally telling me the story. It made it a much stronger experience than simply reading the words.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The overall experience of listening to this account of the history of Biafra and Nigeria was moving in itself. Chinua Achebe's style of writing in the verbal history tradition was perfectly executed. As much as I love to read, the Audio version was a much more memorable, touching experience.

    Any additional comments?

    1) When the narrator has the accent of the writer, it makes the experience of listening seem as if the author is telling you the story personally. The choice of Adewale was perfect: beautiful voice and beautiful pronunciation.2) I'd like to know how my husband (Native Russian speaker, fluent in Spanish) and I (native US speaker and also fluent in Spanish) can participate in reading books for Amazon Audio.Bravo! This was my first audio book and you've completely hooked me!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Gabriel García Márquez
    • Narrated By John Lee

    One of the 20th century's enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world and the ultimate achievement in a Nobel Prize-winning career. The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Rich and brilliant, it is a chronicle of life, death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the beautiful, ridiculous, and tawdry story of the Buendía family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.

    Greg says: "Outstanding Audiobook!"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I waited 3 months to hear the promised narration by Jimmy Smits to come out in December, then that just disappeared. Then Edward James Olmos was the promised narrater to come out in January, I ended up paying for narrator John Lee who's a fine narrator, but he sounds like Sean Connery (almost) telling a story about ancient Columbia. I've sent 2 emails, both ignored, to Audible for an explanation.

    What was most disappointing about Gabriel García Márquez’s story?

    There's no end to the engagement of listless and confused men with pathetic, skinny and abused prostitutes. Then there's the woman who sucks her finger and eats dirt and a host of other tawdry characters that apparently I missed what pearls of wisdom they are demonstrating about the supposed Latin culture detailed here by Marquez. I lived in Latin America for 4 years and thankfully it was much more interesting and sophisticated than this.

    What didn’t you like about John Lee’s performance?

    He wasn't Latin. He wasn't Jimmy Smits or James Edward Olmos.

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


    Any additional comments?

    I want a refund from Audio for selling me an audio book not narrated by the person I was buying it to hear.

    18 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • The Sun Also Rises

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Hemingway
    • Narrated By William Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway's masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the story introduces two of Hemingway's most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. Follow the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of the 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates.

    Gerald says: "Bravo Papa!"
    "So Blase"
    What disappointed you about The Sun Also Rises?

    The blasé attitude of the writer and the characters. Everything was so blasé to them that it made me feel the same way about them and the novel.

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Not Hemingway.

    How could the performance have been better?

    William was ok, but his French accent often sounded like his Russian character in Gorky Park.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was written by Hemingway and is supposed to be a classic. Other than the development of the blasé characters, there was nothing terribly interesting about the story or the writing. This was my first Hemingway and I hope it wasn't his best work. I found him tedious and hopeless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Don Quixote: Translated by Edith Grossman

    • UNABRIDGED (39 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Miguel de Cervantes, Edith Grossman (translator)
    • Narrated By George Guidall

    Sixteenth-century Spanish gentleman Don Quixote, fed by his own delusional fantasies, takes to the road in search of chivalrous adventures. But his quest leads to more trouble than triumph. At once humorous, romantic, and sad, Don Quixote is a literary landmark. This fresh edition, by award-winning translator Edith Grossman, brings the tale to life as never before.

    Erika says: "Best book ever written?"
    "This Work Has Endured 500 Years"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It's a wonderful story and an interesting look at the times of humans 500 years ago, as if being told by someone you just met.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Don Quixote?

    When Don Quixote charged the flock of sheep as an invading army.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Dulcina leaped over her mule's bum to land in it's saddle with one jump.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I wondered why it took me so long to finally read it ... except that now with Audible, I don't have any more reason to delay.

    Any additional comments?

    The narrator was wonderful and I think the Translation was not only spot on, but brought into the 21st Century with great relevance and poignancy. I think the Translator was particularly talented. Oh, and I really loved the narrator's voice of Pancho Sancha.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • War and Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (61 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson

    Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is clearly seen in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle, all of them fully realized and equally memorable.

    Diana says: "Glad I finally decided to read it"
    If you could sum up War and Peace in three words, what would they be?

    Amazing, illuminating, intelligent

    What did you like best about this story?

    The sweeping history encompassed in this work is breath taking.

    Which character – as performed by Frederick Davidson – was your favorite?

    The characters were so beautifully and meticulously created, both fictional and historical, and read by Frederick Davidson it was impossible to pick one of the 20-30 there were. However, my favorite was one who didn't last long, Petya Rostov. Piotr was the main voice in the work narrating much of the history through his experiences which were formidable. The character that Tolstoy illuminated most for me was Napoleon. Tolstoy's revealed a Napoleon that shed much light on the wars and fate of European countries that I hadn't discovered previously. It was amazing.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I cried when Petya Rostov went into battle so young and ...

    Any additional comments?

    Frederick Davidson was superb. He had an amazing command of the book and it's characters. His accents were beautiful and gave so much depth to the reading. He freaked me out a little with the British accent (in a Russian book) and a Cockney accent for the Russian Peasants, however, I don't know who else could have read the book so well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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