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Mike

Malibu, CA, USA | Member Since 2005

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 27 ratings
  • 43 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • A Tale of Two Cities

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (587)
    Performance
    (223)
    Story
    (234)

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"; "It is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known"; so the novel begins and ends with some of Dicken's best-known words, and between the two is every Briton's view of the worst excesses of the French Revolution.

    K. Hicks says: "A Rediscovery of an Old Friend"
    "Top notch!"
    Overall

    For any fan of Dickens, this is a no-brainer. The narration is terrific and it only adds to the story. I will leave the critical review of Dickens' view of the French Revolution to others. For my money, this is one of the best ways to enjoy this classic novel. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eragon: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Christopher Paolini
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7693)
    Performance
    (2877)
    Story
    (2931)

    When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

    Sandra says: "Utterly Awesome!"
    "A fun listen"
    Overall

    This is a fun book for all ages. The narration is good and the story moves along nicely. It isn't the best fantasy ever, but it is a pleasant escape for a few hours. Much better than the movie!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade: A Duty Dance with Death

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Ethan Hawke
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2435)
    Performance
    (1142)
    Story
    (1157)

    Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes 'unstuck in time' after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden.

    William says: "What more can be said?"
    "Good book & narrator"
    Overall

    This one is a keeper. The story is terrific, and Ethan Hawke does a terrific job with the narration. His voice is calm, tranquil and fluid throughout the story. Highly recommend.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Den of Thieves

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By James B. Stewart
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Pulitzer Prize winner James B. Stewart's Den of Thieves tells the full story of the insider-trading scandal of the late 1980s that nearly brought down Wall Street. Stewart reveals how some of the biggest names on Wall Street (Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky, Martin Siegel, and Dennis Levine) crafted a scheme to grab billions before a band of downtrodden detectives brought them to justice.

    A User says: "Riveting story that will leave you incredulous"
    "An eye-opener"
    Overall

    THis was a well-written book about a fascinating collection of characters and deals that continue to set the tone for much of high-finance activities in the US. Like other reviewers, I agree that Mr. Steward chose to portray some characters as "nice guys somehow drawn into a web of lies they didn't completely understand" and others as inherently evil. I think this is likely a mischaracterization. However, every time I see the Michael Milken Institute in Santa Monica I recall this book and the awful things Milken supposedly said and did.

    Worth the time, but you don't have to listen to every word. It's a great one for commuting because you can miss 5-10 minute sections and still know what's going on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Anne Rice
    • Narrated By Josh Heine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (367)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (89)

    Having completed the two cycles of legend to which she has devoted her career so far, Anne Rice gives us now her most ambitious and courageous book, a novel about the early years of Christ the Lord, based on the Gospels and on the most respected New Testament scholarship.

    Matthew says: "Breaking new ground"
    "Fascinating look at biblical Israel"
    Overall

    This is an excellent historical novel with two distinct themes. On one hand, is the very interesting theme of Jesus' evolving self-awareness. How does a 7-year old come to terms with being "different" in a way that no other human has faced? That theme alone was worth the price of the book. A perspective of Jesus that I've not thought of commonly.

    The second major theme was setting the cultural milieu of first-century Israel. This book has affected how I read the gospels now. As we enter the Easter season this spring I can't help but picturing Jesus and his family entering the temple for the first time on their return to Jerusalem. This provides a rich, historical value to the novel.

    I'm not sure how a non-believer would respond to the book. To me it did not seem preachy or didactic, but others may see it differently.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Charlotte Simmons

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (686)
    Performance
    (151)
    Story
    (158)

    Dupont University: the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America's youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition....Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina, who has come here on full scholarship. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the upper-crust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.

    Eric says: "Decadence through the eyes of a ?good girl?"
    "Stereotypical characters and a sappy ending"
    Overall

    This is a solid piece of fiction. Wolfe is so good at developing characters and is a truly gifted student of human nature. However, this title is heavily front-loaded. The final chapters (after Christmas break) simply rush together in a flurry of stereotypes. It is as if Mr. Wolfe had carefully crafted such capable, representative characters that he was unable to actually bring them together in a meaningful way. I suppose that is an accurate representation of college life...a variety of cliques so isolated by their marginal differences that they simply co-exist rather than interact.

    In any event, the narration is engaging and the storyline marginally compelling. While I can't actually recommend the book, it is an interesting (and accurate) portrayal of life on college campuses today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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