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J. Clark

Charlotte, NC USA

ratings
75
REVIEWS
9
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
15

  • Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jane Dunn
    • Narrated By Donada Peters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (266)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (74)

    In a rich and riveting narrative, Jane Dunn reveals the extraordinary rivalry between the regal cousins. It is the story of two queens ruling on one island, each with a claim to the throne of England, each embodying dramatically opposing qualities of character, ideals of womanliness (and views of sexuality), and divinely ordained kingship.

    Catharina says: "Fantastic book"
    "overall good, but a little repetitive"
    Overall

    I would recommend this book as a good starting point to learn about these two women; it was well-researched. At least, I'm assuming the author was historically accurate although she differed from others I've read recently in a few minor points (timing, more than anything). I enjoyed her spin on Mary's upbringing and attitude playing so directly into her downfall.

    The narrator is very good; in fact, her expertise is what got me over the humps. Those humps were the repetitiveness of the author. Okay, so Mary was tall, gorgeous and capitivating to the opposite sex - I got it the first 10 times; I didn't need to hear it another 10.

    Overlooking that one flaw, again, I would recommend this book.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Why Didn't They Ask Evans?

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Emilia Fox
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    While playing an erratic round of golf, Bobby Jones slices his ball over the edge of a cliff. His ball is lost, but on the rocks below he finds the crumpled body of a dying man. The man opens his eyes and with his last breath says, "Why didn't they ask Evans?" Haunted by those words, Bobby and his vivacious companion, Frankie, set out to solve a mystery that will bring them into mortal danger.... This title was previously published as The Boomerang Clue.

    Lynne Phelps says: "Fun young detectives make a great team!"
    "Typical Agatha Christie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is just a fun little story. It's typical Agatha Christie, so if you've read her books before, you are well-equipped to know what to expect. That is, her surprises; this book contains her usual twists and turns. It is well-performed. In the absence of Christie's customary sleuths, Marple or Poirot, the story seemed to have a little more flexibility in that the story doesn't have to return to one figure for discoveries/reveals. To me, that made it even more enjoyable. I got both new characters and a new story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How Come They Always had the Battles in the National Parks?

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Peter Bales
    • Narrated By Peter Bales
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (24)

    This is not your father's history book! Spanning prehistoric times all the way through the Civil War, How Come They Always had the Battles in the National Parks? presents a humorous look at our country's past, a historically accurate, concise, and easy to follow account of the main events in America's saga up through the Civil War, definitely enough to get you by in case you find yourself surrounded by annoying smart people at a party.

    David G. Edelstein says: "Awful"
    "Glad I didn't have him for a history professor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about How Come They Always had the Battles in the National Parks??

    The best thing about this book is the title and the explanation of how the title came to be - a story to make any history-lover cringe, to be sure.

    In the preface, the author/narrator promises humor. If you interpret "humor" to mean cheap, sexual innuendos and comments, he scores in a big way. At first, these were tiresome, but they became endless.

    One characteristic of any history teacher should be lack of bias; this author has lots of bias, and the history he teaches is strictly through this lens. Not stopping there, he stoops to name-calling contemporaries with whom he disagrees and uses "history" as a platform to push his political views. I mean honestly, what does campaigning for a national gun registry have to do with his pre-civil war Am. history?

    To be fair, there is a large amount of good historical information, and the author was lively in his presentation. But that information was unfortunately wrapped in a blanket of smut and another of bias. I prefer my history more historical.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Peter Bales again?

    no


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from How Come They Always had the Battles in the National Parks??

    read above


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Helen of Troy: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Margaret George
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (49)

    Daughter of a god, wife of a king, prize of antiquity's bloodiest war, Helen of Troy has inspired artists for millennia. Now Margaret George, the highly acclaimed best-selling historical novelist, has turned her intelligent, perceptive eye to the myth that is Helen of Troy.

    Amazon Customer says: "A Very Different Take Than Homer"
    "Not Her Best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Had I not read George's other books first, this would definitely deter me from reading them at all. This was my final one of her published works, and it was by far the worst. Rather than draw out my review with needless words, as had this book, I'll keep it short: this book was boring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rebels of Ireland

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Edward Rutherfurd
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (244)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (125)

    Edward Rutherfurd's stirring account of Irish history, the Dublin Saga, concludes in this magisterial work of historical fiction. Beginning where the first volume, The Princes of Ireland, left off, The Rebels of Ireland takes us into a world transformed by the English practice of "plantation", which represented the final step in the centuries-long British conquest of Ireland.

    David says: "A Wonderful Story"
    "Can't Wait for "New York""
    Overall

    Just finished this series (do 2 books qualify as a series?), and I'm disappointed - not in the books but in being finished with them.

    I'm a Rutherfurd fan; I must be b/c finishing these brings me up-to-date in having read everything he's written. Makes me a fan, right? I've heard it said of Rutherfurd that his characters are shallow - just as you get interested, he moves on. In his defense, to that I say, give the guy a break. After all, he's covering pre-history to modern day (in most cases, in one book). How much time could he really spend on in-depth individual character development?

    The book is worth a 4, but I gave this a 5 b/c, in addition to an author I enjoy, I discovered a splendid narrator in Simon Vance. Love his voice - somewhere between totally relaxing and keeping me focused so as not to miss a word.

    It's a great read; I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Spartans

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Paul Cartledge
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (150)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (50)

    The Spartans of ancient Greece were a powerful and unique people, radically different from any civilization before or since. A society of warrior-heroes, they were living exemplars of self-sacrifice, community endeavor, and achievement against all odds, qualities that today signify the ultimate in heroism. Scholars even believe that Thomas More had Sparta specifically in mind when he coined the term "Utopia".

    James says: "Not a place to go to learn about the Spartans"
    "requires full attention"
    Overall

    In school, we would have considered this a "tough read" because it's so historical. With that understanding, I would recommend this book for its detail and fact.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ireland

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Frank Delaney
    • Narrated By Frank Delaney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (652)
    Performance
    (193)
    Story
    (192)

    One evening in 1951, an itinerant storyteller arrives unannounced at a house in the Irish countryside. In exchange for a bed and a warm meal, he invites his hosts and their neighbors to join him by the wintry fireside, and begins to tell formative stories of Ireland's history. Ronan, a 9-year-old boy, grows so entranced by the storytelling that, when the old man leaves abruptly under mysterious circumstances, the boy devotes himself to finding him again.

    S. Marie says: "A wonderfully read history of Ireland"
    "disappointed"
    Overall

    After listening to the preview and reading the other reviews, I was sooooo looking forward to this book! I was disappointed.

    The history of Ireland is woven in as a minority to the main story of an odd young person whose own story is uninteresting and dominates the book. I did enjoy the story-telling aspect; the fireside, the pipe and all that, make for a cozy setting. Yet, if you are English or Christian, be prepared to be offended because this author does not like you and makes his opinions prevalent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dragon and the Raven

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By G.A. Henty
    • Narrated By John Bolen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (11)

    In a time of chaos and Viking onslaught, Alfred the untested Saxon king must fight to save his ravished land. The tale unfurls through the eyes of a young thane, Edmond, who becomes Alfred's friend and mightiest warrior. When Danes over run the land and the Saxons capitulate, this young knight trains and leads a devoted corps of pike-men to recapture the kingdom.

    Richard Bruno says: "Disapointing Reader"
    "great author; narrator lacking"
    Overall

    I love Henty. My 13-year-old XBox-360-fanatic loves Henty, and that's saying something! HOWEVER, that said, I must agree that the narrator could have been better chosen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Virgin's Lover

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    In the autumn of 1558, church bells across England ring out the joyous news that Elizabeth I is the new queen. But one woman hears the tidings with utter dread. Amy Dudley, wife of Sir Robert, knows that the peal of bells she hears will summon her husband once more to power, intrigue, and a passionate love affair with the young queen.

    Sarah says: "Interesting new twist on the"
    "good story; poor history"
    Overall

    I agree with most of the other reviewers (interestingly we primarily seem to be women) in that the portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in this work seems to be contrary to everything I've ever learned. I've never seen her portrayed as so fickle and spineless, being swayed by whomever spoke to her last. That is misleading.

    The story is good in that it holds your attention, but the spin on Elizabeth is fallacious. Such a queen would have been long forgotten.

    I gave it two stars instead of three because there is so little actual history represented. It's a personal preference, but I really like history in my historical fiction. KWIM?

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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