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John

Longtime Audible enthusiast!

Plantation, FL, United States | Member Since 2003

85
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 68 ratings
  • 517 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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17

  • Brick Lane

    • ABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Monica Ali
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Sastre
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (28)

    Nanzeen's inauspicious birth in a Bangladeshi village imbues in her a sense of fatalism that she carries across continents. Married off to a man old enough to be her father, Nanzeen moves to London and cares for her family. But gradually she begins to question whether fate controls her or whether she has a hand in her own destiny. She discovers both the complexity that comes with free choice and the depth of her attachment to her husband, her daughters and her new world.

    Anne says: "A truly wonderful book!"
    "Underwhelming"
    Overall

    Great narrator, but so-so story. Elizabeth Sastre does a marvelous job of reading and switching accents. In particular when narrating the letters of the sister (with limited English skills) in Bangladesh, the accent was performed to perfection.

    Other than that, I found the story to be no more exciting than a soap opera, relating the day to day challenges of immigrants in England.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow Country: A New Rendering of the Watson Legend

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Peter Matthiessen
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (404)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (171)

    Inspired by a near-mythic event on the wild Florida frontier at the turn of the 20th century, Shadow Country re-imagines the legend of the inspired Everglades sugar planter and notorious outlaw E. J. Watson, who drives himself relentlessly toward his own violent end at the hands of neighbors who mostly admired him, in a killing that obsessed his favorite son.

    John says: "Engrossing, Rich and Powerful"
    "Engrossing, Rich and Powerful"
    Overall

    Shadow Country is a superb book. From what I understand, it is a compilation of a trilogy surrounding the life and death of Edgar J Watson, a real-life legendary character of the American south around the late 1800's to his death in 1910. As in a trilogy, this book is comprised of three distinct parts, beginning at the end with Watson's death at the hands of a vigilante mob. The rest of the book is back story; with the first part describing Watson as told by the various people who knew him (many of these people participated in his murder/execution). The second part is told after the fact by Watson's beloved younger son, Lucius, who devotes his life in vain to uncovering the real truth about the life and death of his father. Was he the loving father Lucius knew or the reputed murderous monster?

    Parts one and two, painting a vivid picture of the man and history of the region, raise as many questions as it provides answers until finally, part three, where autobiographically told by Edgar Watson himself everything is revealed. Part three, could easily stand alone as a complete novel.

    This book is wonderfully written and masterfully read. It has everything; rich descriptions of the landscapes, people, and history, and plausible dialog complete with the dialects of the antebellum and postwar south. It pulls no punches when it comes to slavery and racism, so if you are not willing to hear the "N" word contextually used, be duly warned.

    Peter Matthiessen brings the places and time to life. His description of the landscape after a hurricane is perfect. Perhaps living in South Florida made the story more real for me. For example, I have been to Arcadia many times. To this day it is not hard to imagine it as the old-west saloon-filled cattle town of a century past. Certainly there is a lot of history of the Everglades and man's attempts to rape this last frontier.

    31 of 31 people found this review helpful
  • The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Leonard Mlodinow
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2648)
    Performance
    (1573)
    Story
    (1549)

    In this irreverent and illuminating audiobook, acclaimed writer and scientist Leonard Mlodinow shows us how randomness, chance, and probability reveal a tremendous amount about our daily lives, and how we misunderstand the significance of everything from a casual conversation to a major financial setback. As a result, successes and failures in life are often attributed to clear and obvious causes, when in actuality they are more profoundly influenced by chance.

    Joshua Kim says: "Very Very Smart"
    "Interesting"
    Overall

    I found this an enjoyable listen. It was not too obtuse, although there were times I would have preferred to see some of the problems on the written page and I found myself rewinding the audio to listen to certain paragraphs several times.

    Yes, it is about probability theory, the history thereof and some current applications, but there is more. The author attempts to humanize the effects of randomness, statistics, accidents of fate by using examples from life, like the OJ trial, Roger Maris' record, Bill Gate's success, etc.

    Easy to listen to, not too heavy. You don't have to be a statistics or calculus expert to appreciate this book.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Roots: The Saga of an American Family

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Alex Haley
    • Narrated By Avery Brooks
    Overall
    (2232)
    Performance
    (1321)
    Story
    (1340)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: A masterpiece like none other, Brooks’ powerful performance of Haley’s words has been known to leave listeners in tears. It begins with a birth in an African village in 1750, and ends two centuries later at a funeral in Arkansas. And in that time span, an unforgettable cast of men, women, and children come to life, many of them based on the people from Alex Haley's own family tree.

    Kevin says: "Powerful"
    "Wonderful Listen"
    Overall

    I know that since its publication there has been a good deal of controversy surrounding this book. Alex Haley was accused of plagarism regarding a few paragraphs from a book titled THE AFRICAN. He was reported to have paid a settlement as a result. Also, many question the historical veracity of some of the characters and details in the story, of which Haley makes no apology, employing necessary poetic license to bring this story to life. And he succeeded marvelously in his effort.

    Roots is a tremendous novel, beautifully written and entirely engaging througout. The reader, Avery Brooks does a masterful job, actually enhancing the listening experience. I was amazed at how he effortlessly switched between the accents of the Africans, slaves and southern whites.

    Without hesitation, I recommend this audiobook.

    33 of 34 people found this review helpful
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Patrick Fraley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (678)
    Performance
    (175)
    Story
    (178)

    One of the greatest treats in all world literature, this masterpiece from Mark Twain inspired a literary revolution. The novel offers both brilliant humor and tragedy as Huck and Jim explore the moral dilemmas of slavery and freedom. Huck, the narrator, is shrewd, ingenious, and literal; he reports on everything he sees, which allows the listener to experience the hypocrisy of "sivilization".

    Andrea says: "Terrific interpretion of an excellent story"
    "Fantastic reading of this classic."
    Overall

    It has been over a year since I have listened to this book, and I won't comment on the timeless classic wit of Mark Twain, as so many others have already done.

    However, I want to tell you that the READER of this book is absolutely brilliant! Without question he is the best I have heard, and I have listened to hundreds.

    One of Twain's trademarks is his use of regional dialect in his writing. If you have ever read Twain's written word, you will know that it isn't always the easiest to correctly interperet. Patrick Fraley absolutely NAILS it!

    Even if you have read this book many times, the performance of this story alone is worth the price of admission.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • My Sister's Keeper

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By uncredited
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2907)
    Performance
    (1130)
    Story
    (1134)

    New York Times best-selling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness.

    Lisa says: "Wonderful Book, Very Emotional"
    "Thought provoking"
    Overall

    Having seen dozens Jodi Picoult's titles on bookstore shelves everywhere, I thought this immensely popular author would be equal only to the mediocrity of her mass-appeal. How wrong I was.

    My Sister's Keeper is a well-conceived book of surprising depth. The story presents an extremely difficult and emotional issue of a seriously ill child, and all of the extraordinary measures that loving parents take in order to save her life. But more than that, the story raises some very legitimate moral questions as to the limits one might stretch in such grim circumstances. One can't help but think "what would *I* do in that case?"

    My Sister's Keeper is told from the varied points of view of the people involved in this story, hence the multiple narrators of this audiobook. In my opinion it works extremely well.

    Very easy to listen to and very engaging, this book moves along quickly to its surprise ending.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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