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James

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

44
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 42 ratings
  • 41 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Don Quixote

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Miguel de Cervantes, Tobias Smollett (translator)
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (597)
    Performance
    (228)
    Story
    (222)

    Don Quixote, the world's first novel and by far the best-known book in Spanish literature, was originally intended by Cervantes as a satire on traditional popular ballads, yet he also parodied the romances of chivalry. By happy coincidence he produced one of the most entertaining adventure stories of all time and, in Don Quixote and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, two of the greatest characters in fiction.

    James says: "Excellent"
    "Excellent"
    Overall

    I was a little apprehensions about the length of this "book" and due to some of the comments about the narration. After having given it one listen I can attest to the quality of the narration and to the fact that it uses a good translation (Tobias Smollet) which I thoroughly enjoyed especially due to the "Shakespearean" quality of the text. The narration is very well done using different voice characterizations and a variety of British accents to differentiate each character. Very funny. "You are in the right, friend Sancho."

    29 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • Les Miserables

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Victor Hugo
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (1166)
    Performance
    (572)
    Story
    (582)

    Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Miserables follows Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor. Despite this, he is haunted by an impulsive former crime and is pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert.

    Kathryn says: "one happy insomniac"
    "Excellent -- worth the investment"
    Overall

    Takes a LONG time to listen to but well worth it. Narration is excellent. The only thing I will say is I found it odd that the narrator has an English accent given the amount of French in the translated text. Other than that, the narrator does an admirable job bringing characters to life over such a long novel. The quality of the narration is critical to making an audio book listenable. I have bought some books that were simply unlistenable but this one is excellent.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Player Piano

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    Overall
    (291)
    Performance
    (184)
    Story
    (187)

    Kurt Vonnegut's first novel spins the chilling tale of engineer Paul Proteus, who must find a way to live in a world dominated by a super computer and run completely by machines. Paul's rebellion is vintage Vonnegut - wildly funny, deadly serious, and terrifyingly close to reality.

    James says: "Not Vonnegut's best effort."
    "Not Vonnegut's best effort."
    Overall

    I read this a long time ago and bought the A-B. There are some interesting insights in this book that have some application in todays "outsourced" economy. Funy in parts tiresome in others, the ending seems J-V was trying to meet a deadline.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • When You Are Engulfed in Flames

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris
    Overall
    (4125)
    Performance
    (1559)
    Story
    (1555)

    Once again, David Sedaris brings together a collection of essays so uproariously funny and profoundly moving that his legions of fans will fall for him all over again. He tests the limits of love when Hugh lances a boil from his backside, and pushes the boundaries of laziness when, finding the water shut off in his house in Normandy, he looks to the water in a vase of fresh cut flowers to fill the coffee machine.

    Kelley says: "Smokin'"
    "Hilarious"
    Overall

    Listened and re-listened to this. Very enjoyable. Sometimes you have to wonder if these things actually happened to him or not -- I assume they are based on fact -- however, they are so perfect you can't help believing some of this is made up. The story about quitting smoking is great and the one about his baby sitter is unforgettable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Next

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1569)
    Performance
    (326)
    Story
    (337)

    Devilishly clever, Next blends fact and fiction into a breathless tale of a new world where nothing is what it seems, and a set of new possibilities can open at every turn. Next challenges our sense of reality and notions of morality. Balancing the comic and bizarre with the genuinely frightening and disturbing, Next shatters our assumptions and reveals shocking new choices where we least expect.

    Ronald says: "interesting topic - dull, boring, confusing book"
    "Not so good"
    Overall

    A series of interconnecting -- sort of -- stories that are somewhere between unconvincing and far fetched. A half human half chimp named Dave? An intelligent talking African Grey parrot? Come on. The author obviously had an axe or two to grind regarding views on the ethical intricacies of biotechnology, the bio-tech industry and American patent legislation. I guess the question is does that form the basis of a half-decent page-turner? For me -- not so much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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