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Laura M.

Rapid City, SD, USA

  • 6 reviews
  • 278 ratings
  • 321 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014

  • Roots: The Saga of an American Family

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Alex Haley
    • Narrated By Avery Brooks

    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"
    "Really good listening"

    "Roots" is not a perfect book and the controversy about some of those imperfections are well-publicized. Added to those, I was disappointed that Haley did not really give the members of the later generations of Kunta Kinte's descendants as much attention or depth as he did Kinte and his immediate family.
    But even given the above, it's a wonderful story and is incredibly enhanced by the performance of Avery Brooks as narrator. Brooks' rich baritone and well-modulated emotion add further dignity to Kinte and his story. I enjoyed this audiobook very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "Incredibly absorbing and enjoyable"

    This is a very long book - THANK GOODNESS! It is the perfect merging of author and narrator. It's an historical novel with the slightest touch of romance novel.
    The author has drawn characters that are three-dimensional and interesting and varied. Her plot is action-filled and her ear for Scots dialogue is very sound. Davina Porter's pleasant narration and excellent Scots accent is whipped cream on the cake.
    I'm moving on to the second novel in the series and I hope it's as good as this one.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Way We Live Now: Parts 1 & 2

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Anthony Trollope
    • Narrated By Flo Gibson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Everyone thinks Augustus Melmotte, a new arrival in London, is a wealthy financier - until he is caught in a forgery scheme. This is a satirical look at immorality and dishonesty as Trollope saw them in the worlds of business, politics, journalism, literature, and society on his return from the colonies in 1872. Scoundrels, coquettes, swindlers, and intriguers abound in this novel, which is often called his masterpiece.

    Eric says: "The best"
    "Good story, terrible narrator"

    This is an average to good story. I'm not with those who would call this Trollope's best. Most of the characters I found extremely unlikable, in large part because even the "good" ones were annoying in that they certainly could have used a little more spine.
    But the real difficulty for me was the narrator's voice and reading cadence, which was VERY annoying and unenjoyable.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Jane Eyre

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Charlotte Brontë
    • Narrated By Donna Barkman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Seeking a wider horizon, Jane takes employment at Thornfield Hall, where she comes under the spell of Edward Rochester, its owner, a man of savage temperament and desperate unhappiness. The reason for both is linked to a great secret that is kept locked away on the third floor of the mansion. It's final revelation brings an incredible climax to the story and changes both lives forever.

    Daniaell says: "Fine Literature at its best"
    "Dreary reader is a drag"

    This is a terrific book, at least the story is. Sadly, I feel that this particular reader took away from the enjoyment of the story.
    Her voice has good tone, of medium to low range, but her expression was hard, harsh and gloomy even at its lightest.
    Her command and pronunciation of the several French and German phrases sprinkled throughout the book was excellent, but as a performance it really was a distraction.

    7 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Bleak House

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    First published in monthly parts from March 1852 to September 1853, this novel follows the fortunes of three pedestrian characters; Esther Summerson, Ada Clare, and Richard Carstone. The story they tell embondies Dickens' merciless indictment of the Court of Chancery and its bungling, morally corrupt handling of the endless case of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, giving the novel its scope and meaning.

    UU Ma says: "30 hours was too short for me"
    "A perfect match of narrator to author"

    I believe Dickens to be one of the best writers in human history and Bleak House is one of his greatest works. The earlier reviewer who said that 30 hours is too short is completely correct. The way Dickens weaves such a broad cast of unrelated characters into a perfectly believable final tapestry is endlessly captivating.
    Special applause must go to the voice performer, because he is so much more than a 'narrator'. He manages such distinct vocal personalities for each character and is so consistent with them throughout the 30-hour length that you'll swear it's more than a single performer.
    I can't recommend this version of a great book highly enough and I, too, will be looking for more titles performed by Mr. Whitfield.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Wolves of the Calla: Dark Tower V

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Roland Deschain and his ka-tet are bearing southeast through the forests of Mid-World, the almost timeless landscape that seems to stretch from the wreckage of civility that defined Roland's youth to the crimson chaos that seems the future's only promise. Followers of Stephen King's epic series know Roland well, or as well as this enigmatic hero can be known. They also know the companions who have been drawn to his quest for the Dark Tower: Eddie Dean and his wife, Susannah; Jake Chambers; and Oy.

    Amazon Customer says: "The Dark Tower Review - Part Five"
    "This one might stand alone best"

    The Dark Tower Series is a remarkable work in that it is individual books that were written over two decades, but the larger narrative holds together as almost a single, enormous book with five very long chapters. Some of those chapters would not work as well standing alone as Wolves of the Calla does, but it still should be read in its order for best appreciation.
    I love how King allows his characters in the series to be consistent to themselves without being one-dimensional. Just like "real" people, they stay who they are, essentially, while yet evolving from the impact of their experiences and challenges.
    Veterans readers of the Dark Tower series will probably be able to figure out some of the plot revelations well in advance, but it doesn't make getting to them any less enjoyable.
    In an afterword, King himself explains the circumstances that kept Muller from continuing to read the series and it would be worth listening to for fans of Muller, and for them to reach out to aid him in his rehabilitation. His characterizations of Eddie and Susanna are not equalled by Guidall, but it's still a worthy substitution.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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