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Joan

Urbana, IL, United States | Member Since 2002

ratings
11
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
14

  • History of Greed: Financial Fraud from Tulip Mania to Bernie Madoff

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By David E. Y. Sarna
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (43)

    From the earliest financial scams of the 17th century, through the headline-grabbing Wall Street scandals of our times, History of Greed provides a history of financial fraud. In it, David E. Y. Sarna exposes the true and often riveting stories of how both naive and sophisticated investors alike were fooled by unscrupulous entrepreneurs, lawyers, hedge fund managers, CPAs, Texas billionaires, political fundraisers, music managers, financial advisers, and even former Mossad agents.

    PHIL says: "Occasionally uneven or plodding, but spellbinding"
    "Simplistic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A disappointing book. Instead of the measured history of financial fraud I was expecting, this work focuses on a simplistic "shocked" approach to modern events and reads history in their light rather than on appropriate contemporary terms. If you're looking just for reassurance that you have a right to feel affronted, then this book will give it. If you're looking for actual understanding, seek elsewhere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Styx and Stones: Daisy Dalrymple, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Carola Dunn
    • Narrated By Mia Chiaromonte
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    In the 1920s, in post - World War I England, the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple, newly engaged to Detective Inspector Alec Fletcher, is asked by her brother-in-law to discreetly investigate a series of poisoned pen letters that many of the local villagers have been receiving. When the pompous and unbearable brother of the local vicar is killed by a very large rock, dropped on his head from a great height, it seems clear to all that this campaign of gossip has escalated to murder.

    dub says: "Interesting premise; disappointing execution"
    "Great story, horrible narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Please find a different narrator for this great series of books! I've long been a fan of Carola Dunn, but the narrator of this one and at least one other is just awful. Not only does she have an affected inaccurate fake English accent (it would be better to have someone without an English accent at all than this fakery), but she also doesn't know how to pronounce a lot of words properly, especially proper nouns. For example, the South African town of "Mafeking" is NOT two syllables, but three, something anyone with the slightest knowledge of the Boer (another mispronounced word) War would know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead in the Water: A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Carola Dunn
    • Narrated By Mia Chiaromonte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (56)

    >In July of 1923, the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple travels to Henley-on-Thames to visit her aunt and uncle, as well as to work on her latest writing assignment: covering the Henley Royal Regatta for an American magazine. Daisy plans a simple trip researching her article, enjoying the races, and, come the weekend, having a pleasant time with her fiancé, Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard. But the tensions between the Ambrose team's coxswain, Horace Bott - a shopkeeper's son and scholarship student at Oxford - and rower Basil DeLancey - the younger son of an earl and all-around bounder - are constantly threatening to erupt into violence.

    consuelo says: "Narrator doesn't know how to pronounce the words!"
    "Good story, terrible narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a longtime fan of Carola Dunn's Daisy Dalrymple books, but this performance was horrible. It is extremely distracting, and insulting, to have a narrator use a fake English accent (and badly); if you don't have an English narrator, just get a good narrator to speak normally! Not only was the accent totally wrong, so were the characterizations of various characters, especially of Alec, who comes across as a real jerk (which he is not). Also, the narrator mispronounced numerous placenames (Gloucester, Berkshire), as well as ordinary English-language words ("pique" does not have two syllables). I hope this narrator will not be doing the remainder of the Daisy Dalrymple books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Habits of the House

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Fay Weldon
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (139)

    As the Season of 1899 comes to an end, the world is poised on the brink of profound, irrevocable change. The Earl of Dilberne is facing serious financial concerns. The ripple effects spread to everyone in the household: Lord Robert, who has gambled unwisely on the stock market and seeks a place in the Cabinet; his unmarried children, Arthur, who keeps a courtesan, and Rosina, who keeps a parrot in her bedroom; Lord Robert’s wife, Isobel, who orders the affairs of the household in Belgrave Square; and Grace, the lady’s maid who orders the life of her mistress.

    Cindy says: "A Downtonlike story read by my favorite narrator?"
    "Good story, awful narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is a good one, though a little thin on detail: or rather, with great detail in some parts, then sudden shifts with a great deal of action not described, but finished. Still, a good period story. The narrator, however, is awful: why employ someone with such a terrible phony British accent? It would be better to have it read out in straight American accent if a true British reader cannot be found.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Prep

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Curtis Sittenfeld
    • Narrated By Julie Dretzin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (209)
    Performance
    (162)
    Story
    (163)

    This New York Times best-seller is a funny and poignant coming-of-age story, a dead-on examination of adolescent angst, and a sharp criticism of America’s social structure. Fourteen-year-old Lee Fiora enrolls at the prestigious Ault School of Massachusetts and is surrounded by beautiful, wealthy students. She immediately feels like an outsider, but manages to carve out a niche for herself. Then everything falls apart when Lee’s private thoughts become public information.

    Lorraine says: "Easy & Enjoyable Listen"
    "Compelling Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a compelling story that will keep you listening. The narrator's viewpoint is well managed, although she shows a little too much self-understanding for a real adolescent. Still, it was a good cathartic look at coming of age.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Malice of Fortune

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Michael Ennis
    • Narrated By Adrian Paul, Carlotta Montanari, John Lee, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (34)

    Against a teeming canvas of Borgia politics, Niccolò Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci come together to unmask an enigmatic serial killer, as we learn the secret history behind one of the most controversial works in the western canon, The Prince. Traveling across an Italy torn apart by war, they will enter a labyrinth of ancient superstition and erotic obsession to discover at its center a new face of evil - and a truth that will shake the foundations of western civilization.

    Molly Gordon says: "Female narrator is impossible to listen to."
    "Virtually incomprehensible due to narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In more than fifteen years listening to audiobooks, this is the absolute worst performance I have yet encountered. The narrator of the first section is evidently not a native speaker of English, and her accented text is practically impossible to understand, let alone follow in any enjoyable fashion. Arrgh! There are the bones of a good story lurking, but I'll be darned if I could extract it.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Technologists: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Matthew Pearl
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (156)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (126)

    The Civil War may be over but a new war has begun, one between the past and the present, tradition and technology. On a former marshy wasteland, the daring Massachusetts Institute of Technology is rising, its mission to harness science for the benefit of all and to open the doors of opportunity to everyone of merit. But in Boston Harbor a fiery cataclysm throws commerce into chaos, as ships’ instruments spin inexplicably out of control. Soon after, another mysterious catastrophe devastates the heart of the city.

    Stephen says: "Good story ruined by poor reading"
    "Good yarn, though improbable."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's a good story, but the narrator's repeated mispronunciation of one chief character's name (the "z" in Agassiz is silent) was a continual annoyance, like fingernails on a blackboard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A History of Britain, Volume 1: At the Edge of the World, 3000 B.C. - 1603 A.D.

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Simon Schama
    • Narrated By Timothy West
    Overall
    (227)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (63)

    A History of Britain poses questions that have universal timeless resonance. What makes or breaks a nation? To whom do you give your allegiance and why? Where do the roots of your community lie - in your hearth and home, your village or city, your tribe, your faith? And, finally, what is Britain? Also, listen to A History of Britain, Volume 2.

    Dennis says: "Accessible to the lay-person."
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I suppose given its short length, I shouldn't have expected more, but this "history" is highly episodic. I was frustrated by the frequent jumps of coverage, completely missing out centuries and reigns. If you already know a lot of British history, this will be an interesting take on certain episodes, but it's not a "history" per se.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rest of Her Life

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Laura Moriarty
    • Narrated By Julia Gibson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    Leigh is the mother of high-achieving, popular high school senior Kara. Their relationship is already strained for reasons Leigh does not fully understand when, in a moment of carelessness, Kara makes a mistake that ends in tragedy, the effects of which not only divide Leigh's family, but polarize the entire community.

    Joan says: "Obnoxious musical interludes ruin the story"
    "Obnoxious musical interludes ruin the story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is mildly engaging, but the truly obnoxious music played at intervals (not even clearly delineating parts of the story) absolutely ruined the experience.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Pulp Physics: Astronomy: Humankind in Space and Time

    • ORIGINAL (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Dr. Richard Berendzen
    • Narrated By Richard Berendzen
    Overall
    (253)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (34)

    In this unscripted recording, renowned astrophysicist Dr. Richard Berendzen takes you on a journey through space and time that is captivating from the moment he begins to speak. Enjoy the best of both worlds: an expert's knowledge in a user-friendly format!

    Dell says: "Pulp Physics is insightful history"
    "A Great Disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was an enormous disappointment, written in the tone of a schoolchild, seemingly aimed at those with no prior historical knowledge about anything, let alone astronomy.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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