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MillenniumMike

Favorites are histories and mysteries. Once avid reader trying to pick up the pace again later in life.

Aurora, IL United States | Member Since 2009

56
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 29 ratings
  • 294 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
3

  • Rumpole and the Judge's Elbow

    • ABRIDGED (1 hr and 23 mins)
    • By John Mortimer
    • Narrated By Leo McKern
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Rumpole defends the smarmy owner of a string of massage parlors on the charge of running "disorderly houses" (i.e. bordellos).

    MillenniumMike says: "Excellent Rumpole, very enjoyable and entertaining"
    "Excellent Rumpole, very enjoyable and entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Rumpole read by Leo McKern and this is almost as good as any, and is very entertaining to listen to. Fun story, brilliantly written and narrated, good to listen to over and over.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2334)
    Performance
    (2108)
    Story
    (2112)

    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Annie M. says: "Time well spent"
    "Excellent story, deserves a more appropriate reade"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are countless reviews and synopses already available now of this novel set in the World War II era, so I won't reiterate these other than to say the characters and settings are very well drawn and the plotlines well-written and well-developed. There may be just a little too much jumping back and forth in time and between characters with short chapters (seems like there are about 100 chapters of 6 pages each with their own title) that interrupts the flow of the narrative here and there, but all the characters and plotlines are interesting. Why I think this book would have been better to read than to listen to is the narrator's voice. Mr. Appelman does an adequate job of reading, but I found his twangy American accent and high school French pronunciations to be annoying and distracting. You'd think a story set in France and Germany with French and German characters would have a narrator who didn't sound like an American reading Tom Sawyer. This book deserves a more poetic and European voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lieutenant Hornblower

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By C.S. Forester
    • Narrated By Patrick Macnee
    Overall
    (135)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (45)

    Loren Lockard says: "Lieutenant Hornblower"
    "Slow start but then wonderful writing & adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an excellent entry in the Hornblower nautical series set during the Napoleonic Wars. Hornblower has been promoted to Lieutenant and is serving under a sadistic captain. It's a grim start that goes on too long, but then the story line shifts to sea and land action in the Caribbean, and the action and writing are first rate. Lts. Hornblower and Bush become friends, and there are other interesting character developments, too. A very strong book in the Forester - Hornblower series, and no can beat Patrick Macnee for his expert narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Capture the Castle

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Dodie Smith
    • Narrated By Jenny Agutter
    Overall
    (243)
    Performance
    (203)
    Story
    (203)

    "I write this sitting at the kitchen sink" is the first line of a novel about love, sibling rivalry, and a bohemian existence in a crumbling castle in the middle of nowhere. Cassandra Mortmin's journal records her fadingly glamorous stepmother, her beautiful, wistful older sister, and the man to whom they owe both their isolation and poverty: Father. The author of one experimental novel, and a minor cause celebre, he has since suffered from writer's block and is determined to drag his family down with him.

    Matthew says: "Well, that was a surprise"
    "Gothic romance set in the 20th century"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Cassandra, 17, writes in her journal of her oddball 20th century family living in an old English castle house that is connected to a remnant of a 600 year-old castle.

    The family has no money, no jobs or income, not even towels or electricity, yet they sit around all day making Big Decisions such as whether or not to sip cocoa or tea that day. For excitement they argue as to whether men look better in beards or not.

    The patriarch of the family wrote a book once, but now just reads mysteries and does crosswords 24x7 in candlelight in his gatehouse room. Topaz, 29, his second wife, is a former artist's model who likes to take nude walks in the moonlight (but modestly wearing her boots, of course), and for some reason seems worried about losing her prize of a husband. Older sister, Rose, 21, sits around all day doing absolutely nothing except looking beautiful/enchanting/ravishing. A yardhand, Stephen, seems to be the sole character with a heart and a working income, but he is looked down as inferior by the layabout sisters and is not considered to be a marriageable prospect. There is periodic excitement in the house like when the librarian stops by with new books (hooray!!!) or the vicar drops in for a chat. Occasionally there is tremendous drama as when Cassandra takes the wrong purse to a restaurant and can't pay for her dinner.

    While sitting around doing nothing all day the sisters like to fantasize wondering what might happen if two rich eligible young bachelors might accidentally appear on their doorstep. And, then ..
    You'll hear Great Thoughts like, "Getting a trousseau is such hard work," and you'll encounter activities all readers can relate to such as swimming in a moat. And, there's a ridiculously unbelievable comic scene involving a fur coat mistaken for a live bear. Added to the melange of ennui and inertia is the author's pretentiousness, with 17 year-old Cassandra making references throughout her journal to Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Leo Tolstoy, great poets, and other classic authors. The dogs in the book are Abelard and Heloise. Pretentious, moi?

    I will say, though, that although the characters and plot are boring, and the story line (will the man I love love me?), the author does occasionally put together a nicely written passage describing scenery or moonlight. And, in terms of the reader, Jenny Agutter is outstanding -- too bad her talents are wasted on this tripe. The problem with audio books is that when you encounter a book as vapid as this, you can't skim along any faster than the book reads.

    I recommend this book to a) people looking for Prince Charming, b) those who need a Jane Austen-lite fix, and c) men in solitary confinement with absolutely nothing else to do. 12 hours of listening to vacuous people doing absolutely nothing except trying to understand and catch the opposite sex is a bit too much excitement for this reader.

    PS. If you think I might not enjoy this genre, I love the books by Jane Austen, and Charlotte and Emily Bronte.

    And, now, please pour me my cup of chamomile..

    33 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • The Missing Chums: Hardy Boys 4

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Franklin Dixon
    • Narrated By Bill Irwin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    When the Hardy Boys set out to solve the mystery of their missing chums, they discover a gang hide-out in a cave on an island along the way.

    MillenniumMike says: "Enjoyable Hardy Boys sleuthing around Bayport"
    "Enjoyable Hardy Boys sleuthing around Bayport"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not the strongest entry in the "canon," but an enjoyable mystery set along the ocean around Bayport. Two of Frank and Joe's best buds go missing and the Hardy Boys try to locate them while finding linkages with a bank heist crime that their father is trying to solve. Entertaining sleuthing goes on and even if it's not the most exciting or exotic of the series, it is still very entertaining and relaxing to listen to, especially if you, like I, grew up reading every volume in the series. Bill Irwin does an excellent job reading and speaking as each of the characters, and there are just enough sound effects and a soundtrack to add some atmosphere.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The World's Worst Jokes

    • NONE (43 mins)
    • By Henny Youngman
    • Narrated By Henny Youngman
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    MillenniumMike says: "Entertaining but not as fun as other Youngmn shows"
    "Entertaining but not as fun as other Youngmn shows"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This incorporates some of Henny Youngman's life story with his joke telling. I normally love Henny Youngman stuff. I bought it for the jokes, and they are a little lamer than usual, and the "live" audience sounds like the undead barely coming back to life. I need to look for a Youngman recording that does better justice to his joke-telling.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Paul Temple East of Algiers

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Francis Durbridge
    • Narrated By Anthony Head
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    When Paul Temple agreed to do a favour for a friend of Steve, he could never have foreseen the extraordinary sequence of events that would be set in motion. For Judy Wincott's simple request that Paul return a pair of glasses to David Foster in Tunis is a prelude to a body in a Paris rubbish bin and a succession of mysterious killings...

    Pam says: "Same as Sullivan Mystery"
    "Same story as another (dramatised) version"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't believe this is the same plot and same characters as another Paul Temple story with a different title that I heard a couple years ago, so I've paid for it twice. This time it is read by one narrator rather than dramatized by a cast, and it is set in Algiers instead of Cairo -- but it's the same story and the same sinister characters. Buyer beware. The reader does a good job, though,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • French Fried: One Man's Move to France with too many Animals and an Identity Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Chris Dolley
    • Narrated By Darren Stephens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (2)

    Just when Chris and Shelagh think nothing more could possibly go wrong, they discover that Chris's identity has been stolen and their life savings - all the money from their house sale in England that was going to finance their new life in France - had disappeared. A bank account had been opened in Chris's name in Spain to take the proceeds. Then they're abandoned by the police forces of four countries who all insist the crime belongs in someone else's jurisdiction.

    MillenniumMike says: "Moderately entertaining, poorly read"
    "Moderately entertaining, poorly read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't find the story very interesting or compelling and the narrator reads it at lightning speed, about 3 times as fast as necessary. The true measure of a book is whether I'd buy it again and I would definitely not buy this. The reading is so frenetic it makes me very jumpy and it is not at all a relaxing and enjoyable experience listening to this. Very disappointing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • As Time Goes By

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Bob Larbey
    • Narrated By Judi Dench, Geoffrey Palmer
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (15)

    Dame Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer star as old flames Jean Pargetter and Lionel Hardcastle. Their love story was all set for a happy ending in the 1950s when Jean was a student nurse and Lionel, a young army officer. But he was posted abroad and they lost touch. Thirty-eight years later, Lionel has returned to London to publish his autobiography and, through a strange coincidence, he is reunited with Jean who has set up a secretarial agency.

    Stacie says: "A wonderful time!"
    "Just as charming as the television show"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know what there is about "As Time Goes By" but I am a fan of the TV show and I very much enjoy listening to these 6 shows on audio. The acting is first-rate and the story lines are cute and warm. I hope they bring more of the episodes to audio listening, as they are so enjoyable and relaxing.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A History of the World in 6 Glasses

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Tom Standage
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1523)
    Performance
    (1303)
    Story
    (1304)

    Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than just quench thirst. As Tom Standage relates with authority and charm, six of them have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history, becoming the defining drink during a pivotal historical period. A History of the World in 6 Glasses tells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the 21st century through the lens of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola.

    Stoker says: "Fun and Informative"
    "Interesting history comes through dry storytelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I learned a lot about the influence of beer, wine, distilled spirits, coffee, tea and cola shaping societies and historical events since the early civilizations. In fact, I am listening to this book for the 3rd time there is so much to learn from it. However, some histories are entertaining and others are more like dry encyclopedia articles and this is the latter. It is serious throughout in language and tone. There are many fascinating things to be learned, though, and these do come through. The reading style is just very direct and matter-of-fact, clean and clear with no distractions, but just as dry in tone as is the book. The 6 major units seem to get more interesting as the book advances, but that is perhaps because the more recent the history the more I am familiar with it already or that I can relate to it better.

    Anyway, this book contains lots of fascinating information; in particular I think of the chapters on coffee and how coffee houses were so prevalent in the Arab world in the last millennium and also their importance in the flow of information and the debates on human rights and revolutionary movements in western Europe in the past several centuries.

    Definitely worthwhile listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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