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K. Bentz

Believe you me...

ratings
7
REVIEWS
4
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
4

  • Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Scott Anderson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (323)
    Performance
    (272)
    Story
    (271)

    Based on four years of intensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabiadefinitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.

    Charles Fred Smith says: "The "Real" Story"
    "Fascinating, well-researched, superbly narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Lawrence in Arabia?

    The narration is superb, never getting in the way of the story at all, which is in and of itself incredibly engaging. Excellent research brings new light on some of the most troubling and debated events in the story of T.E. Lawrence. The story is well-rounded out with other fascinating and influential people, and I have a much better understanding of the events of WWI in the Middle East, and their far-reaching effects.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    T.E. Lawrence is a difficult person to like and to understand, but the author makes him understandable and in that understanding I commiserated with him. He is a rare person in human history and these events have had such long-lasting effects, certainly to modern times, and possibly much further.


    Have you listened to any of Malcolm Hillgartner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not listened to this narrator before, but I am actively seeking other books he has narrated based upon what an excellent job he did.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I never intended to listen to this in one sitting, (the narration is over 22 hours), nor should anyone try. There is so much here to take in! I will listen to this one again, I can tell you that for certain, and have purchased the hardback to read at home as well.


    Any additional comments?

    I purchased books to listen to while I work or while travelling, times when I cannot read a physical book. This was totally worth it and I have spent a very enjoyable month listening to this, rewinding and listening to parts over and over. It makes some of my drudgery work go faster. This is the best recording yet!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3634)
    Performance
    (2549)
    Story
    (2552)

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    Alan says: "Outstanding"
    "A gently magnificent heartbreaker"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about A Prayer for Owen Meany?

    The characters are so normal and yet extraordinary because the writing is so fine, the characters so keenly drawn with affection and compassion, and the time period was so well depicted that the reader/listener feels as if they are there.


    What does Joe Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narration is superb, the vocalization of the various characters is particularly well done.


    Any additional comments?

    I adore the movie "Simon Birch" which is a film adaptation rather loosely based on this story. Upon raving about it to a friend, he said, "You should read the original." I've intended to do so for many years, but feared it could not compare to the beauty and depth of "Simon Birch". I was so wrong. "Simon Birch" is fantastic. This is even more moving, even greater depth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mangrove Coast

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Randy Wayne White
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (99)

    Marine Biologist Doc Ford is hot on the trail of a dead friend’s wife. Apparently, the woman vanished into the steaming jungles of South America guided by a truly disgusting specimen of humanity. From Florida to Columbia and Panama, Doc traces their path, but a shadowy figure is following him - and the violence left in the wake of this individual is terrifying.

    Bull says: "Better the second time around"
    "Interesting but Flawed Mystery/Adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The recording has distracting pauses, long enough to make me wonder each time if there was a problem with the program and cease my work to go check. The story is interesting and the narration overall good, but the writing gave the feeling of a dime store novel, something cheap and overly dramatic.


    Do you think Mangrove Coast needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I imagine there will be a follow-up to tie up some loose ends, but I will not be reading/listening to it.


    Any additional comments?

    This book probably appeals to a different type of reader, someone who enjoys crime/mystery magazine stories and odd detectives. That's the odd thing about this book. I liked the main character, I liked his voice, his phrasing, and his personality and backstory, but that liking did not translate into a true enjoyment of the story, though I was intrigued enough to finish listening to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Home Again

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Kristin Hannah
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (185)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (123)

    At the center of Home Again is Madelaine - a brilliant cardiologist, a loving mother, a tender friend, and a woman full of self-doubt. It is also the story of her confused and angry daughter, Lina, and of the two very different men Madelaine loves: Francis, a priest searching for his faith, and Angel, a talented but cynical man with a broken heart. When tragedy suddenly brings them all together, they must learn to forgive the betrayals of the past and find the courage to love again.

    Laura says: "A 50 Tissue Read"
    "Like Cotton Candy - Fluffy, Sugary and Sickening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The characters were not enjoyable. For the life of me I could not figure out why Madeleine was attracted in a life-altering way to Angel. He was weak, vain, and had few, if any, redeeming qualities. The most decent character in the book...well, I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but it was all a bit too neat. Overall the book left me quite dissatisfied.


    What could Kristin Hannah have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Made the main characters more redeemable, more likeable. Everything tied up too neatly.


    Which character – as performed by Tanya Eby – was your favorite?

    Lina.


    Was Home Again worth the listening time?

    NO. If I wasn't at work, distracted by other things, I would not have continued to listen.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't shake off how irritating the main characters were, and how it all tied up too neatly, resolved too suddenly, even though the book droned on and on for (Really?) 12 plus hours.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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