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Mr. D

Idaho, United States | Member Since 2009

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 76 ratings
  • 294 titles in library
  • 58 purchased in 2014
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  • Nemesis

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (297)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (170)

    At the center of Nemesis is a vigorous, dutiful 23-year-old playground director, Bucky Cantor, a javelin thrower and weightlifter, who is devoted to his charges and disappointed with himself because his weak eyes have excluded him from serving in the war alongside his contemporaries. Focusing on Cantors dilemmas as polio begins to ravage his playground and on the everyday realities he faces, Roth leads us through every inch of emotion such a pestilence can breed.

    Mirek says: "Without pathos about life..."
    "Well crafted but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is a well written novel by an author I am getting to know. I do like his work. This novel, although well written, lacks that something special to really draw me in. It is early yet but I don't believe I will be thinking about it days after finishing. That is the mark of a good book, in my view. My reading interests are in transition. I find character driven fiction more to my liking these days, and this book is that. I didn't go into this book expecting a plot driven story. For me, what this story lacks is compelling characters. They were not as developed as I prefer. The story is short enough that I would recommend it. Any longer and I may have lost interest. I do feel that the ending finished stronger than I was expecting.

    The book does provide some perspective to those of us that did not live during the time polio was an incurable, unknown disease. In this day and age, it is so easy to take so much for granted.

    The narrator did a very good job. A poor narrator - you notice he/she is there, a good narrator - you don't notice he is there, an excellent narrator - you are glad he is there. I didn't notice him so he must have done a good job. I will have to listen to more by him but he has the potential to be excellent.

    If you are new to Phillip Roth, it may be better to start with something else. My first by him was Portnoy's Complaint. It was excellent, I hope it didn't set the bar too high.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Awakening

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Chopin
    • Narrated By Kim Basinger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (201)
    Performance
    (179)
    Story
    (168)

    Kate Chopin’s novel, a landmark work of early feminism, is seen as a pre-cursor to the works of American novelists such as William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. The upper-class Creole society of New Orleans and the Southern Louisiana coast at the end of the 19th century is brought to audio in a stirring performance by Academy Award-winning actress Kim Basinger.

    W. Perry Hall says: "Better to sleep in peace than awake to nightmare?"
    "Painful narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Listening to a book usually makes the experience more enjoyable, better. Not in this case. Unlike some of the other books read by actors (Ethan Hawk, Slaughterhouse Five or Colin Firth, The End of the Affair, both excellent) Kim Basinger does a lousy job. She puts nothing into it. She reads each word as if it is the first time she has read it. I feel that the narrators, the goods ones anyway, have prepared themselves before hand. Likely reading the book at least once through. I got the impression that Ms Basinger was reading it for time.It shouldn't be a surprise that she does so poorly. She really isn't a quality actor to begin with.

    I have no idea if the story is any good. I will not finish it. To be fair, this book is not really one I would like. It was a daily deal so I thought why not.

    I would have forgone rating the story (rating only the narration) but Audible forces one to set ratings for all catagories before the review can be written.

    Narration - less than 1 star
    Story or overall, indeterminate

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In a Sunburned Country

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2157)
    Performance
    (722)
    Story
    (721)

    Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. His previous excursion on the Appalachian Trail resulted in the best seller A Walk in the Woods. Now, we follow him "Down Under" to Australia with this delectably funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance that combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiosity. More from Bill Bryson.

    Larry says: "Laugh out loud funny"
    "Bill Bryson fan? Read this book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is my forth Bill Bryson book and it is as good as any of the others I have read. So if you like his books, you are sure to like this one.

    If you have never read one of his books, this is as good a place to start as any.

    Why read his books? He has a way of making just about anything, interesting. In the case of this book, he has the whole of Australia to entertain us. Easy pickings if you ask me.

    If I have any complaint, it is only that the book could have been longer. There is so much more that he could had told us about. Dam his schedule, apparently he couldn't spend as much time in Australia as I would have liked. Ha Ha.

    The author narrates his book and does a very good job. His books always have a good dose of humor and this more than the usual. Because he is the author and the narrater, the humor shines. I have rated this book a solid 4 stars but if there were a category for humor it would get 5 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Douglas Adams
    • Narrated By Stephen Fry
    Overall
    (5803)
    Performance
    (3390)
    Story
    (3418)

    Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last 15 years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

    John says: "HHTGH - Lightly Fried"
    "Hmmm...What happened?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I read this as a kid and loved it. I found it so funny. Now, all these years later I decided to give it a listen. I couldn't finish it. It wasn't funny. The words are the same. The narrater did a decent job. But I wasn't laughing. It was tedious and boring. I find this so odd. I usually like my humor read out loud but for this book maybe the paper version is best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Slumdog Millionaire

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Vikas Swarup
    • Narrated By Christopher Simpson
    Overall
    (850)
    Performance
    (535)
    Story
    (533)

    Vikas Swarup's spectacular debut novel, the inspiration for the award-winning film, opens in a jail cell in Mumbai, where Ram Mohammad Thomas is being held after correctly answering all 12 questions on India's biggest quiz show, Who Will Win a Billion? It is hard to believe that a poor orphan who has never gone to school could win such a contest. But through a series of exhilarating tales, Ram explains to his lawyer how episodes in his life gave him the answer to each question.

    J. Wigfall says: "Powerful"
    "Even if you have seen the movie, read this."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book has a lot going for it. It has a unique plot, the main character is someone you really want to root for and it is an education of a way of life very remote for most of us.

    I knew the story, I had seen the movie, but even so I couldn't put the book(headphones) down. As usual, the book was much better even though the movie was good as well.

    If you enjoyed the movie and want to prolong the experience, give this a listen.

    Narration was good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Twelve Angry Men

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 50 mins)
    • By Reginald Rose
    • Narrated By Dan Castellaneta, Hector Elizondo, Armin Shimerman
    Overall
    (687)
    Performance
    (626)
    Story
    (621)

    Over the course of a steamy and tense afternoon, 12 jurors deliberate the fate of a 19-year-old boy alleged to have murdered his own father. A seemingly open and shut case turns complicated, igniting passions and hidden prejudices.

    Emily says: "Excellent court room drama"
    "Well done."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Many years ago, I watched the 1997 film version of this story and liked it very much. This short audio version allowed me to enjoy it again. All the narrators preformed well.

    Something to be gained.
    We all have the ability to be so certain about what we know. It is important to see that the other side of the story, if we allow it, may in fact be the truer. I guess that is a lesson to be found with this short story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flowers for Algernon

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Daniel Keyes
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1354)
    Performance
    (1098)
    Story
    (1108)

    Charlie Gordon knows that he isn't very bright. At 32, he mops floors in a bakery and earns just enough to get by. Three evenings a week, he studies at a center for mentally challenged adults. But all of this is about to change for Charlie. As part of a daring experiment, doctors are going to perform surgery on Charlie's brain. They hope the operation and special medication will increase his intelligence, just as it has for the laboratory mouse, Algernon.

    FanB14 says: "Phenomenal Classic"
    "Wow! How did I not know about this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    No spoilers.

    A very good story. It is easy to recommend this book. It is classified as science fiction but really that isn't a fair way to group it. It is a book to stimulate the grey matter that asks you to suspended one small aspect of reality. That is, the idea that science has come up with a way to help those with intellectual disability. Not much to suspend there, it does seem like something science could achieve.

    This is a book that pushes one to think. Not in a hard way, it isn't a difficult read/listen but there are ideas found within that cause one to adjust their perspective. That is true in the way you are placed inside the intellectually disabled person but there are also the many ramifications when that person is 'helped'.

    For those wondering, this book does not feel dated. For the most part there wasn't technology discussed that would date it. It was written in a way that it feels current.

    If you like uniqueness in you reading, this is a book you should read/listen to. For me anyway, it felt fresh. There are other books that come to mind that are similar but unique in their own way. A Clockwork Orange and Solaris are such books. Both opened my eyes to bigger questions.

    If you have read and enjoyed The Curious Incident with the Dog in the Night-Time, you will like this book. Both allow you to spend a few days in the moccasins of someone quite different.

    Book or audio? The narrator did an excellent job, he doesn't detract from the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1687)
    Performance
    (1508)
    Story
    (1527)

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

    Sylvia says: "Full of Surprises and Unexpected Events"
    "Great...when a easy reading, fun story is needed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This was an enjoyable read. Very funny at times. I liked finding where in history our main character would end up next. The narrator was good and his voice was appropriate to the story. You should read this book if you need a break from your usually reading. The story takes very little mental investment. Just sit back and see where it goes. Even though it is an easy story to get into and enjoy, it is entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lonesome Dove

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Larry McMurtry
    • Narrated By Lee Horsley
    Overall
    (3264)
    Performance
    (1727)
    Story
    (1758)

    Larry McMurtry's American epic, set in the late 19th century, tells the story of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana, a drive that represents not only a daring foolhardy adventure, but a part of the American Dream for everyone involved.

    Richard Delman says: "A masterpiece. An epic western story."
    "Concerns unfounded"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    With as many reviews as this book has received why write another? I had a few concerns before deciding to purchase this book and want to share what I have learned. I haven’t finished this book yet but for this review it isn’t necessary.

    At least one reviewer commented on the narrator yelling the part of Gus. This worried me. If the narrator takes away from the book then I would just as soon read it than listen to it. Lee Horsley read Gus just the way he was written. Gus is written as a loud man. To not use a loud voice would have been a mistake. Now that I am ½ way through the book I have to say that although his voice is elevated, the voice of Gus is not too loud. I wouldn’t want him any other way. All the characters were well done and in accordance with the way the author wrote them. Because of Lee Horsley this is a book that is better when read though the ears rather than the eyes.

    Another concern I had after listening to the sample was the pace at which the narrator was reading. With the sample I felt he was sprinting, barely pausing for a breath. I very nearly didn’t buy this book for that reason. I felt exhausted after listening to the sample. Still there were all those glowing reviews. Could they all be wrong? I decided to go for it. I am glad I did. Although the pace without a breath continued beyond the time of the sample the narrator soon realized that if he didn’t slow down he would not make it to the end. In short order he fell into his rhythm.

    One concern that has turned out to be real is the audio quality. The sound level does vary and at one point there is an annoying hum. For me this doesn’t amount to much of an aggravation. The story and narration is on a level that it is easy to overlook the audio quality problems. It is unfortunate though; this should have never left the studio with these issues. Even now most of the quality issues could be cleaned up without re-recording.

    With a rating of 4.5 stars and approaching 9000 ratings it is hard to go wrong with this audio book. If westerns aren’t normally your genre but occasionally you do enjoy one, which is the case with me, this is a good one to choose. I am enjoying it very much.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Childhood's End

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Arthur C. Clarke
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3168)
    Performance
    (2176)
    Story
    (2212)

    The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city - intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began.

    A User says: "Food for Thought"
    "Should you listen to this book?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    No spoilers ahead.

    This was a hard novel to review. I read it in my teens when all I read then was Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I loved it then. This was at a time when nuclear war was in the front of our minds and nuclear winter was being learned about. This novel provided wonderful optimism for the human race (kinda, you have to read it to understand what I mean). All these years later I had the chance to get this audiobook as a daily deal. Couldn’t pass it up even though Sci-Fi is rarely a genre I read anymore.

    I have read a few other classic sci-fi books in the last few years and I am always judging whether the story feels dated. To this question the answer is: somewhat. Not enough to spoil the story though.

    The biggest issue I have with the story now, all these years later and much reading under my belt, the author is more a scientist and less a writer. His prose leaves a bit to be desired. Arthur C Clark was a genius. He first conceptualized artificial communication satellites. It was this very technology that made the following possible. From the book “Soon people won’t be living their lives any more. It will be a full-time job keeping up with the various family serials on TV!” As far as I am concerned, he predicted reality TV as well. He missed on this one though. In regards to religion at the end the 20th century, “You (mankind) had put superstition behind you: Science was the only real religion of mankind.” He had no idea of the power of the religious right I guess.

    The plot of this novel is ingenious. One of the better sci-fi plots. Would I recommend it? If you enjoy sci-fi, then most definitely. If you like to sometimes dabble in it, or more specifically classic sci-fi, then yes, it is a must read. I give the story 4 stars, and the prose 3 stars, overall 3 ½ stars.

    The narrator. At best his performance was neutral. He didn’t take away from the story but he didn’t add to it either. In some part, that is because of the writing. The writing doesn’t lend itself well to good narration. I pulled my old paper copy out and read part of the story to see how I felt about book form verses audio. I would lean toward book form in this case. I give narration 2 ½ stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tenth of December: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By George Saunders
    • Narrated By George Saunders
    Overall
    (477)
    Performance
    (422)
    Story
    (431)

    One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet. In the taut opener, "Victory Lap", a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In "Home", a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned.

    Molly-o says: "I could never have known"
    "Be prepared for something different...but good!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    An excellent collection of short stories.

    I won't get into the details of the book. There are plenty of reviews that do that. I would like to say that if you have never read George Saunders, his writing style is very unique. He is fresh and original. On paper I would image he may be a little hard to follow. Read out loud though and you get the full effect of his writing. He writes much like people talk and that doesn't always translate into the best reading experience. Because his writing is like no one else, intelligently written and unafraid to go where others fear, it is hard not to like him. All that is required is an open mind.

    The author did a good job narrating. Yes, someone else may have done better but his performance didn't hurt the listening experience. Listen to a sample and judge for yourself. I gave him 3 stars but 3 1/2 would be more accurate.

    The only problem I have with the book is the poor job Random House Audio did in dividing out the chapters. Often it doesn't matter but with a short story collection it is helpful if the audio book chapters line up with the book chapters. They do not. Someone at Random House needs to find a new profession. I found one story I could not finish (The Semplica Girl Diaries). I spent god knows how long trying to find the end of the story. It is harder than you think. I didn't know if I was still in the same story or if I had jumped into the next. It was a real pain. Some of these stories should be listened to again and again. Being able to find them easily is something Random House should have considered. I took the time to locate the chapter start times.

    Victory Lap 00:00
    Sticks 33:55
    Puppy 36:03
    Escape From Spiderhead 53:20
    Exhortation 1:41:25
    Al Roosten 1:50:52
    The Seplica Girl Diaries 2:15:17
    Home 3:51:43
    My Chivalric Fiasco 4:32:13
    The Tenth of December 4:48:52

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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