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  • The Last Chinese Chef

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Nicole Mones
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers, James Chen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When recently widowed Maggie McElroy is called to China to settle a claim against her late husbands estate, she is blindsided by the discovery that he may have led a double life. Since work is all that will keep her sane, her magazine editor assigns her to profile Sam, a half-Chinese American who is the last in a line of gifted chefs tracing back to the imperial palace. As she watches Sam gear up for Chinas Olympic culinary competition by planning the banquet of a lifetime, she begins to see past the cuisines artistry to glimpse its coherent expression of Chinese civilization.

    Dr. says: "Totally Satisfying - highly recommended"
    "A charming mix of history, tradition and eating."
    Where does The Last Chinese Chef rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It was one of my favorites and I'll listen to it again. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter, from the "Last Chinese Chef" she is writing about are worth paying attention to. The cadence of the narrator never varied, for all circumstances, which distracted from the story a bit, but not much. If you love food, you'll love learning about the rich history and traditions of the Chinese. A wonderful book, easy to listen to, heartwarming and educational.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Last Chinese Chef?

    The intermingling of food, culture, tradition and family.

    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Alter her cadence.

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Gulag Archipelago, Volume l: The Prison Industry and Perpetual Motion

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson

    In this masterpiece, Solzhenitsyn has orchestrated thousands of incidents and individual histories into one narrative of unflagging power and momentum. Written in a tone that encompasses Olympian wrath, bitter calm, savage irony, and sheer comedy, it combines history, autobiography, documentary, and political analysis as it examines in its totality the Soviet apparatus of repression from its inception following the October Revolution of 1917.

    joseph says: "Not for the feint of heart"
    "Overwrought, tedious and repetitive"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Not possible. Too depressing, too tedious.

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Peter the Great

    What didn’t you like about Frederick Davidson’s performance?

    Reading lists is no ones forte I presume.

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

    Sadness, boredom.

    Any additional comments?

    Narrator was monotone, but I suppose there wasn't much he could do with the subject matter, which involved reading lists of atrocities committed by the Russians. The story jumped around to different years and events, but the result was the same. An overwhelming feeling of horror for the victims, but the method of delivery by A.S. is nonlinear and hard to follow.

    2 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    CynNC says: "Captivating"

    I see that so many people love Ken Follet's writing. I just don't get it. First, the book starts with the author glorifying himself and his book as the greatest ever written, a classic; not instantly recogized as such, but of course he knew it all along. He spends 15 min telling you why he thinks this is so. God, that gave me a clue right off the bat. The story is overblown, too grandiose for it's own good (i.e. Ken Follet?), unbelievable in many parts, and has such a convoluted plot that it appears the author was continually making things up for the sake of hearing himself write. The main character is displayed as a great man, yet is a terrible father and not much better of a husband. Without giving away the story, I'll tell you that if you love abandoned babies and men who pick up a new woman the day after their wife dies, well, you get the drift. I could not finish this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By John Lee

    Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything: a fine reputation, an appointment as captain of a ship, and the heart of a beautiful woman. But his perfect life is shattered when three jealous friends conspire to destroy him. Falsely accused of a political crime, Dantès is locked away for life in the infamous Chateau d'If prison. But it is there that Dantès learns of a vast hidden treasure.

    Ramon says: "A true Time-machine"

    Put together an extraordinary writer with a gifted and versatile narrator and you get perfection. This combination is what audiobooks are all about. Alexandre Dumas has a command of language and plot which is unparalleled. His characters come to life and will jump right into your car with you. John Lee's French and Italian accents are impeccable. His voices are clear and engaging. Two powerhouses of unequaled calibar come together to rock the audio world. You will be transported into another world, and not want to come back.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stumbling on Happiness

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Daniel Gilbert
    • Narrated By Daniel Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A smart and funny book by a prominent Harvard psychologist, which uses groundbreaking research and (often hilarious) anecdotes to show us why we're so lousy at predicting what will make us happy, and what we can do about it.

    Terril Lowe says: "Great Book!"
    "Happiness is listening to this book!"

    Daniel Gilbert is a riveting narrator and writer. Humorous, fast-paced and full of descriptive vignettes, I found myself smiling, then laughing out loud as I listened. I liken Mr. Gilbert to Bill Bryson in his ability to tell a story like a raconteur. His voice is easy to listen to, not grating or monotone like some others. This topic is much more enjoyable than I would have imagined, and one I will recommend to others. Reminds of me Freakonomics with its scientific base, but cool stuff we never knew.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The City of Falling Angels

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By John Berendt
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil returns after more than a decade to give us an intimate look at the "magic, mystery, and decadence" of the city of Venice and its inhabitants.

    Bob says: "Sophorific"
    "City of Falling Angels"

    Great storyline, exciting plot. Fiction with historical references. Narrator interesting. If you love Venice, Italy and art history, you'll love this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Thomas L. Friedman
    • Narrated By George Wilson

    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Thomas L. Friedman is the foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times and an extensive world traveler. Offering up an engrossing look at international systems, Friedman deftly explains the current trends toward globalization that are radically changing our world. With a first-class narration by George Wilson, this book is an engaging and highly informative listening experience.

    Virginia says: "Thought-provoking but worrisome"
    "global economy analysis"

    This book may have been pertinent at the time it was written, but I found it redundant and outdated. Anyone interested in this subject should read "The World is Flat" and skip this one. I also found the analysis of each event described to be drawn out and over analyzed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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