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P. J. Benyei

Member Since 2007

213
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 36 reviews
  • 245 ratings
  • 407 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
8

  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    Overall
    (4062)
    Performance
    (3547)
    Story
    (3516)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "excrutiating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the most monotonous work I have ever encountered. The slooooow reading of the female narrator who pauses to OVER stress every descriptive word in the book makes you feel like the print she read must have CA..PI..TAL..IZED each one. Like listening to a teacher read out loud to a preschool class, where each syllable is stressed separately to help the kids "sound out" the words on the page in front of them. The male narrator is actually good and that is the only nice thing I can say about this book.

    The story itself doesn't help. Nothing ever happens. Or something very interesting happens, but the author skims over it with one brief comment and then goes into excruciating detail about some other minutia, like what they ate, how it was prepared, what was on the side, what spice was used to season it, how much was used, and how was it chopped, course or fine, and then lists a metaphor about how course or fine, why it was chopped that way...blah blah blah. Even the rare event that can not be classified as day to day minutia is interesting at best- like a dream that doesn't make sense, but is so odd that it makes an impression anyway, even if it is disjointed and has no real meaning.

    It is so insanely verbose... I just listened to a 15 minute passage about Aomami considering buying a goldfish and deciding on a rubber tree instead (which we already know is the outcome), I fast forwarded 10 minutes and she was still thinking about it when i resumed. That's where I quit the book after about 30 hours. The author repeats everything and repeats it and repeats it. It makes me want to scream. Every time he mentions the fish- its not just "fish" it is the gold fish that she saw on this date that she considered buying after she saw someone else's goldfish, in this particular store, in this location, next to that other place, where she eventually bought a rubber tree, which was a sad specimen- as if you could possibly have forgotten what fish he was talking about a half sentence ago, and the state of the rubber tree has anything to do with the stupid fish! At one point he describes Leader breathing deeply - it takes him over 10 minutes to do it- and the word deeply must be repeated 20 times. Reading this book is like grading a whole 6th grade classes' answers to a vocabulary test- he gives you a word; list a simile, a metaphor, a synonym, use it in a sentence, then repeat 28 times. I'm not kidding. He goes so far that in all of the dialog between Tengo and Fukaeri, Tengo literally repeats verbatim every word Fukaeri just finished saying before adding his comment. All of the other dialog is like this to a slightly lesser, but no less irritating, extent.

    Not only does the author describe what IS there with every possible word that might be applicable - but he then proceeds list everything it can not be... There IS a second moon. It could not be a plane. It could not be a star, it could not be a comet, it could not be his imagination, it could not be a trick of the light... I GET IT ALREADY! MOVE ON! like some twisted 50 hour non-rhyming version of green eggs and ham.

    It should have been a 200 page book. Seems like in the process of editing the author wrote each word, each sentence, each thought a dozen different ways and couldn't decide which he liked best, so just left them all- just in case you are a complete nincompoop and didn't understand the first 11 times he described it.

    In addition, I can't relate to any of the characters. It may be a cultural thing, but their behavior, thought process, acceptance or disbelief, none of it makes any sense to me.

    I really suffered during the 30 hours I stuck with this book becasue of the positive reviews. I hope I can save someone else the same suffering.

    69 of 77 people found this review helpful
  • The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel of North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Adam Johnson
    • Narrated By Tim Kang, Josiah D. Lee, James Kyson Lee, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1161)
    Performance
    (1004)
    Story
    (1013)

    Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother - a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang - and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.

    Lisa says: "The most compelling listen I've ever owned"
    "BRAVO!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A new favorite in my 200+ audiobook library. It is a moving epic story about life in North Korea. One of the best I've ever listened to, I can not say enough about how wonderful this book is. There is a section about half way through where a case of mistaken identity makes the book a little hard to follow, and a little bit tough to believe, but work through it and you will not be dissapointed at how it all comes together. An amazing experience, absolutely engrossing, this is one I will listen to again and again and again.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Misquoting Jesus

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Bart D. Ehrman
    • Narrated By Richard M. Davidson
    Overall
    (1905)
    Performance
    (1094)
    Story
    (1098)

    When world-class biblical scholar Bart Ehrman first began to study the texts of the Bible in their original languages he was startled to discover the multitude of mistakes and intentional alterations that had been made by earlier translators. In Misquoting Jesus, Ehrman tells the story behind the mistakes and changes that ancient scribes made to the New Testament and shows the great impact they had upon the Bible we use today.

    R. J. Monts says: "a (mostly) balanced discussion"
    "Understanding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think it would help potential listeners to understand this is a book primarily about the process or science of textual criticism and how scholars study origins of text and reach conclusions about which version might or might not be original. I found it fascinating.

    New testament as the subject of textual criticism would only be relevant or interesting to someone with a Christian background or understanding, especially if you've been involved in some of the in-fighting among various sects of Christianity. If you are familiar with the debates about divine inspiration and care about other nit-picky details. You don't need 12 years of catholic school, but a basic knowledge and interest in the topic helps.

    If you're not involved in the debate over one word, if you are looking for dramatic expose, or a worldwide sinister conspiracy theory, you will be disappointed. There are no shocking revelations. Its about an added sentence here or there, a single changed word, either deliberate or accidental. Its about why and how someone today would identify what words are suspect and which of various scripts might be original and how they can tell the difference. The basic story of the new testament doesn't change all that much, if at all.

    I think the narrator is a must, he does an excellent job explaining new concepts of textual criticism that wouldn't be familiar to the non-scholar. There's nothing too hard to understand, but for someone not familiar with the terminology, its much easier if you have someone read it and use proper pronunciation and inflection throughout the sentences.
    I think this is a book that lends itself to being read aloud that reading the text yourself.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Winds of War

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2702)
    Performance
    (2279)
    Story
    (2283)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    Robert says: "A Masterpiece"
    "Hard for young woman to relate"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The portions of the book taken from world empire lost (ie the non-fiction parts) I thought were fascinating. As a 30 year old, I would think "how could that have happened" meaning WWII. Obviously I get the basics taught in history class, but the specific justifications and reasons of each side and each individual country through the escalations and how each step related to each other. I thought that was great, even though I'm not much a fan of non-fiction.

    The opposite side of that coin is that as a 30 year old woman I found the drama of the Henry family rather flat. A book written in 1971 about the 30s and 40s, what seemed dramatic and possibly even risqué in that day seems quite pedestrian to me. Its a poor commentary on our culture, but still true.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Reamde

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    Overall
    (3650)
    Performance
    (3189)
    Story
    (3226)

    Richard Forthrast created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game. But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe - and Richard is at ground zero.

    ShySusan says: "Not perfect, but worth a listen."
    "not great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can only stretch belief so far.... and the narrators accents don't help. He does scottish very well, unfortunately- they all sound scottish, even when he tries to do Russian. He does asian not at all, which is better. The russian is so bad it almost makes his Boston passable but only in comparison. Hes an excellent reader othewise, I wish he would have just skipped accents completely.

    The book is non stop action (once you get the background of the game set up), which is great! The problem is to keep the action coming the coincidences of time and place, history and rationale of the characters goes from unlikely to just plain inconceivable.

    The author never plays fast and loose with the facts and does a wonderful job with the initial set up so the story all fits, but the odds just don't play out. If you can completely suspend even a rudimentary concept of statistically likely scenarios and just go with it- it is non-stop action and a fun book. Toward the end I couldn't quite shut off that little voice that said at every turn- Oh COME ON! this is preposterous!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Persimmon Tree

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1653)
    Performance
    (1209)
    Story
    (1199)

    The Persimmon Tree opens in Indonesia in 1942 on the cusp of Japanese invasion and the evacuation of Batavia (Jakarta) by the Dutch. Seventeen-year-old Nicholas Duncan is on holiday there, in pursuit of an exotic butterfly known as the Magpie Crow. It's an uncertain, dangerous time to be in Indonesia, and Nick's options of getting out are fast dwindling. Amidst the fear and chaos he falls in love with Anna, the beautiful daughter of a Dutch acquaintance, and she nicknames him 'Mr Butterfly'.

    Corinne says: "An excellent sequel"
    "forgetable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Bryce Courtenay and/or Humphrey Bower?

    I found it likeable, but I am confused as to what people who are giving it five stars have been reading/listening to lately. I finished the book about a week ago and I had to think really hard about how it ended before I could write a review about a book I found so mediocre I couldn't care less about the fact there is a sequel, and even forgot that the ending left the story open for one... and it certainly doesn't demand one. I love a long involved drama, but this was long on words and short on drama.. Its one of those that's good enough not to turn it off and waste a credit, but I don't really care what happens to any of the characters.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wizard's First Rule: Sword of Truth, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Terry Goodkind
    • Narrated By Sam Tsoutsouvas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3934)
    Performance
    (2342)
    Story
    (2372)

    In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, Richard Cypher encounters a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, in his forest sanctuary. She seeks his help...and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.

    A User says: "Better than the show"
    "outdoes my last winner for "WORST BOOK EVER""
    Overall

    The narrator is fantastic, and I feel so bad for him that his talents were wasted on this book. The story is so bad that can't listen any more. It feels like the book was written by a sexually deviant socially incapacitated adolescent boy with revenge fantasies.

    Its starts out dumb. Too many unbelieveable coincidences, and scenes that don't make sense, without any context. Powers come and go, information that no one had a minute before is all of a sudden clear. The people on the quest will give their lives to each other, but all keep secret information that is clearly vital for each other to know for no other reason but to give the author an excuse to come up with some additional conflict later- but its completely unbelieveable that they don't tell each other. The man and woman are all of a sudden in love- nothing leads up to it. The Characters have the dumbest "powers" that come and go without rhyme or reason, I could almost picture a 40 year old child molester sitting home in his mother's basement writing this book saying - wouldn't it be cool if he could (Blank), and he writes it down. The protagonists uncontrollable rage takes him over as if it is a good thing- at one point, he gets this magic power - that he has never had before and has no explanation- in order to kick in the face in of a 9 year old girl. First she threatens to catch his girlfriend and let every man in the army rape her, and he's OK with that, not happy, but there's not much he can do about it at the time, But then she sticks her tongue out at him- and that's the last straw- whamo! magic powers and he kicks in her face- severs her tongue with her teeth before they smash apart. I just listened to SIX HOURS of part 4 that's just one long bad S&M scene, one after the other- rage,pain,rage,pain,rage,pain. Its Creepy. Really really creepy. The book is just plain bad.

    15 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book IV

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (4212)
    Performance
    (2422)
    Story
    (2446)

    It is not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters start to gather, picking over the bones of the dead and fighting for the spoils of the soon-to-be dead. Now in the Seven Kingdoms, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed, while surprising faces, some familiar, others only just appearing, are seen emerging from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges ahead.

    Aaron says: "No Roy Dotrice"
    "Enough already- what happened to the starks?"
    Overall

    If you care what happens to Bryndan blackfish, and other minor characters from the first three, and want to hear hours of descriptions of who was at the battle and what their coat of arms looked like and what they ate at the feast you would be thrilled.

    If you want a decent story line, even a little excitement, If you want to know what happened to (excuse my haphazard spelling on all of these) Deaneries and her dragons, Bran and Ricken, John on the wall, any mention of a dire wolf; skip this book completely. There are almost non existent. Remember how the last book ends w/lady Katherine? she shows up two brief scenes in the whole book.

    The last five minutes is Martin's explanation that he soon realized he would need TWO books to finish the series. Instead of cutting out the chaff, instead of dividing it so each story half finished, he was going to finish half the stories (of the people no one gives a crap about) and we wait for (and buy) the final (I HOPE) book to figure out what happens to the characters from the first book that I have suffered through the rest of this series in order to hear the end of. Eight credits and over 110 hours in, I think I've given Mr. Martin every opportunity to finish the story. I don't even care anymore.

    Also its a new narrator and he changes not only the pronunciation, but also the accented syllable of EVERY SINGLE name in the book, people, places, beasts- I think Jamie was the only one to stay the same. It seemed almost deliberate that he had to pt his own stamp on this reading and make it as different as possible from the previous. It was intensely irritating to try and figure out who he was talking about. There are enough characters in this 120hour mess already- now all their names are changed and we have to figure out who they are? If you do insist on wasting your credits, re-listen to the last one before you start this mess.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • A Son of the Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (484)
    Performance
    (215)
    Story
    (220)

    Born a Parsi in Bombay, sent to university and medical school in Vienna, Dr. Farrokh Daruwalla is a 59-year-old orthopedic surgeon and a Canadian citizen who lives in Toronto. Once, 20 years ago, Dr. Daruwalla was the examining physician of two murder victims in Goa, India. Now, 20 years later, he will be reacquainted with the murderer.

    connie says: "If you liked "Q+A"..."
    "Excessively verbose and comedy attempts fall flat"
    Overall

    I like funny and quirky and mysterious, so I thought I would like this book.

    Its mildly entertaining, but not very funny and a LOT of the back story is just a HUGE waste of time. This was one of those rare audiobooks that, while it wasn't so bad that it annoyed me, my mind would wander to the point where I missed entire sections and I didn't bother to rewind it. I didn't even bother to turn it off if I had to stop listening to answer the phone or type an email. I just let it run and picked up again 10 minutes later.

    While some of the episodes might have been hilarious had the right joker told them, somehow they're not. Its like they tried for some Jacques Clouseau style moments but missed the mark. Ever hear a joke that made you fall off your chair, and later heard someone else tell the same joke and not get a single chuckle? This is the later. I can't tell who's fault it is, writer or narrator, (I'm leaning toward narrator) there are many situations that should be very humorous, laugh outloud on the subway humorous, but they way they are described, they simply aren't. One of these guys is a bad storyteller.

    As for the mstery... there aren't any major twists or turns, The author never tried to trick you into thinking its a different character, its pretty upfront. You have no reason to suspect anyone until the author tells you who did it. You just have to wait for the author to give you the information. There is no mystery "tease". Its okay, there are no glaring discrepancies, and it does all come together, I simply can't manage to care....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Holy Cow!: An Indian Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sarah Macdonald
    • Narrated By Kate Hosking
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (618)
    Performance
    (176)
    Story
    (179)

    After backpacking her way around India, Sarah Macdonald decides she hates the country with a passion. When a beggar at the airport reads her palm and insists she will one day return, and for love, she screams "Never!" and gives the country, and him, the finger.

    Meredith says: "Inspiring and witty"
    "Too much"
    Overall

    I would agree with the other reviewers in thir description of the story, but I have to say it went on way too long. There are only so many religous introductory classes and experiences you can listen too before they all start to sound the same. I really liked the first 5 hours but toward the end I couldn't stay interested.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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