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Mike

Menlo Park, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

19
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 5 ratings
  • 146 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Bleak House

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett, Teresa Gallagher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (207)

    A complex plot of love and inheritance is set against the English legal system of the mid-19th century. As the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce drags on, it becomes an obsession to everyone involved. And the issue on an inheritance ultimately becomes a question of murder.

    KTMak says: "WONDERFUL NARRATIONS!"
    "Challanging project, satisfying results"
    Overall

    The use of dual narration is particularly satisfying in this long, complex but thoroughly satisfying book as I read through the entire series of Dickens novels. I particularly looked forward to Teresa Gallagher's clear, compelling well flowing narration. While Sean Barrett clearly differentiated his characters, following the presumably authentic accents of some characters was a real challenge in some chapters. That is as much a function of my U.S. English-trained ear than the narration, although I would have wished for a bit of compromise on the authenticity in the interest of clarity in a few cases. Both narrators appropriately and helpfully understated the melodrama that is rampant in the plot, typical of novels of the era. On a technical note, it would be useful if Audible would list Chapter numbers on the MP3 printed menus to help us find our place.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Anna Karenina

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (869)
    Performance
    (330)
    Story
    (334)

    Considered by some to be the world's greatest novel, Anna Karenina contains two plots: the tragedy of Madame Karenina, in love with a man who is not her husband; and the story of Konstantine Levin, a sensitive man whose personal philosophy is Tolstoy's reason for writing about him.

    D. Littman says: "A classic, classically read"
    "Accessible, clear and eerily resonant to our time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was pleasantly surprised how accessible this 150-year-old novel was, and despite the enormous cultural gaps, I was hooked by both the story and the fate of most of the characters. Nadia May differentiated characters and I think, despite some criticisms by others, provided pitch perfect dramatization. We do have to make some adjustments when we read period novels. The pacing is noticeably slower, which personally I find therapeutic in a high paced world. the world view as espoused primarily by Levin is especially poignant when espoused after we understand the context of his life. For those of us who are going back to classic literature after years or decades of doing other things, this novel would serve well as a beginning -- or a relaxing break from some of the denser, more esoteric novels of the 19th century. As others have pointed out, there are technical glitches involving the recording, including some background sound as if the recording had been made over a tape or file that hadn't been completely erased. Audible in a few minutes could go back and remove the "change the disc" messages, a residue of the pre-MP3 recording I listened to. There were at least two of these distracting messages, not fatal in a recording of this length, but unnecessary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • When the Killing’s Done: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By T. C. Boyle
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (146)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (91)

    Alma Boyd Takesue is a National Park Service biologist who is spearheading the efforts to save the Channel Islands’ endangered native creatures from invasive species like rats and feral pigs, which, in her view, must be eliminated. Her antagonist, Dave LaJoy, is a dreadlocked local businessman who, along with his lover, the folksinger Anise Reed, is fiercely opposed to the killing of any species whatsoever and will go to any lengths to subvert the plans of Alma and her colleagues.

    A User says: "Worth the effort"
    "Boyle's flawed characters shine"
    Overall

    Boyle's picture of ambiguity and hypocrisy, potential and realized, comes through much as it did in Tortilla Curtain. Flawed characters are nothing if not believable, even when their antics push the limits of credibility. Having spent time in California reserves, I do recommend this novel for both its compelling storyline and its many insights to both the California of wine bars and wilderness. Narration was a problem when Heald tried to reflect excitement by speeding up -- hard to follow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nine Dragons: Harry Bosch, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Len Cariou
    Overall
    (2340)
    Performance
    (961)
    Story
    (969)

    The one good thing in Bosch's life, the person he holds most dear, is taken from him and Bosch travels to Hong Kong in an all-or-nothing bid to regain what he's lost. In a place known as Nine Dragons, as the city's Hungry Ghosts festival burns around him, Bosch puts aside everything he knows and risks everything he has in a desperate bid to outmatch the triad's ferocity.

    Derek says: "Not Connelly's Best"
    "Classic but ultimately unwieldy Bosch"
    Overall

    The best part of this book was in the early chapters as Bosch plies the streets of LA. His relationships, good and bad, with colleagues and others, are absorbing and instructive. Borderline implausible plot twists (probably unnecessary) and some unresolved issues were a bit disappointing, but all in all, this was highly absorbing if you don't do too much analysis or mourn the loss of a somewhat grittier, though no tougher, Harry.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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