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Jonathan

Littleton, MA 01460

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 120 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2014
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  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1685)
    Performance
    (1420)
    Story
    (1459)

    On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war.

    Amazon Customer says: "Beautiful, Heartbreaking, and Informative"
    "Needed Some Editing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Team of Rivals the most enjoyable?

    Good, consistent voice work combined with in depth research on all the major players.


    Would you recommend Team of Rivals to your friends? Why or why not?

    For the sheer volume of material I would recommend it to anyone who wishes a work of very broad scope.


    Which character – as performed by Suzanne Toren – was your favorite?

    Mary Lincoln.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The true revelation of the book was how deeply people's feelings ran for one another and were expressed in prosaic emotional terms that made correspondence among many professional colleagues appear, by our standards, to be effusive and eloquent love letters. Personal connections mattered to these men in ways we either do not feel or cannot express to one another today.


    Any additional comments?

    Perhaps this is due to what was available to the author but constant references to Lincoln's penchant and gift for storytelling made me want to hear more of these stories. I craved more specific examples of how his narrative abilities helped him manage situations. Then again, perhaps the author did too. There was one technical problem where a lengthy passage is repeated (Grant's Vicksburg campaign). Finally this lengthy work appeared to drift at times especially toward the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stone of Tears: Sword of Truth, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Terry Goodkind
    • Narrated By Jim Bond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2768)
    Performance
    (1558)
    Story
    (1582)

    The veil to the underworld has been torn, and Rahl, from beyond the veil, begins to summon a sinister power more dreadful than any he has wielded before. Horrifying creatures escape through the torn veil, wreaking havoc on the unsuspecting world above.

    Bo Laughlin says: "Great Book - Almost ruined by the narrator"
    "An Astonishing Resemblence to Jack Webb"
    Overall

    The uncanny resemblance of Jim Bond's voice to Jack Webb - who began in radio - threw me there for a minute as visions of Dragnet rather than our collection of Sword of Truth characters came to mind. I grew accustomed to it though and focused more on Terry Goodkind's problem with over-writing and poor grammar. He tells a good story though and I enjoyed the book. His plots knit together nicely, build tension superbly, feature terrific action sequences and he doesn't leave dangling loose ends or tells the truth too soon. I know it would be better if we had one, great narrator throughout, as we do with Patrick Tull and the Patrick O'Brian Aubrey/Maturin naval novels - all twenty of them - but that's rare and Tull was gifted. After you've spend 34 hours with one narrator a different one will, almost by definition, seem jarring and awful to you. Don't fret. Bond is just fine and, before you know it, the story takes over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Reverse of the Medal: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    Overall
    (376)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (177)

    Jack Aubrey is back in London after a successful mission. On the advice of an acquaintance he uses the time to invest some of his prize money. However when the investments link him to London's powerful criminal element and land him in jail it looks as if he has lost his post captaincy and the H.M.S. Surprise. It is once again up to ship's surgeon and covert agent Stephen Maturin to rescue his hapless friend.

    Jonathan says: "Most Moving"
    "Most Moving"
    Overall

    Just when you thought you’d had enough of this series, around the time the man hating tattooed Polynesian gals who sailed the sea looking to deprive men of their manhood with obsidian knives showed up in The Far Side of the World, and you were positively starved for some heroic naval action, you probably gave a heavy sigh when you read the description of this book. You have also probably read of Thomas Cochrane’s career – the actual Royal Navy Captain who inspired O’Brian’s Jack - and were wincing, knowing what was coming.

    Buy this book. Read it, listen to it, find some way to insert it into your brain by any manner you prefer. Despite the pain, the anguish, and the infuriating forces aligned against Aubrey, this book has the most moving scene of the series. As one O’Brian reviewer once put it, “I will not say I cried, but I will not say I did not.”

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Ionian Mission: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    Overall
    (406)
    Performance
    (220)
    Story
    (216)

    Shoved into a temporary command in "that rotten old Worcester," Aubrey is off to the Mediterranean to join the Royal Navy's blockade of the French port of Toulon, where he will be dispatched by Admiral Harte (unfortunately the same Admiral Harte he cuckolded years ago) on a secret mission that promises to embroil Aubrey in political conflict. His friend Stephen's help notwithstanding, Aubrey faces some of the choppiest waters of his career.

    Jonathan says: "The Ionian Mission"
    "The Ionian Mission"
    Overall

    Although this is the first of the series to hit the doldrums, it's saved by humor on several levels, and the ending.

    For the audio version, Patrick Tull aids its salvation. After a slow start, Tull brings more and more dramatic presence into each successive novel. He truly hits his stride here.

    Other pluses include a more thorough use of Steven's near incurable ignorance of naval matters as our window into that complex, jargon filled Age of Sail world.

    Then again, if you have not already found yourself saying “Top Gallants and Royals, if you please,” to express the need for haste, and urging people to finish something before it's abaft - even if those phrases don't answer - then you probably have not made it this far.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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