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PITTSBURGH, PA, United States | Member Since 2011

  • 4 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 250 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015

  • Macbeth

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Joanne Whalley, Josh Cooke, and others

    Infamously known as the cursed Scottish play, Macbeth is perhaps Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy. When General Macbeth is foretold by three witches that he will one day be King of Scotland, Lady Macbeth convinces him to get rid of anyone who could stand in his way – including committing regicide. As Macbeth ascends to the throne through bloody murder, he becomes a tyrant consumed by fear and paranoia.

    Monika says: "Enjoyable all-cast performance"
    "Horrible performance of a wonderful play"
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I bought this after listening to Gielgud's Hamlet, as it was among the highest ranked Shakespeare dramatizations. But ... wow ... it's a truly awful performance by all save Lady MacBeth, who stands out and tries valiantly to carry the cast around her.

    I honestly thought back to high school, when our poor English teachers had to listen to 25 pasty kids reading beautiful soliloquies in an uninterested monotone. In places, the voices are so similar and droning that it's difficult to tell the characters apart.

    Give this one a miss.

    2 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Oscar Wilde brings his enormous gifts for astute social observation and sparkling prose to The Picture of Dorian Gray, the dreamlike story of a young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty. This dandy, who remains forever unchanged---petulant, hedonistic, vain, and amoral---while a painting of him ages and grows increasingly hideous with the years, has been horrifying and enchanting readers for more than 100 years.

    Daniel says: "Beautifully written, brilliantly read."
    "This Should be Next In Your Library, Period"
    What made the experience of listening to The Picture of Dorian Gray the most enjoyable?

    The Picture of Dorian Gray is a stunningly beautiful book, among my very favourites. I had not read it for many years when I stumbled upon this performance of it, and it has instantly rocketed to the top of the "Top 10" list in my Audible library.

    This cautionary, "be careful what you wish for" tale contains many of Oscar Wilde's most celebrated lines, including my personal favourite, "There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." Beautiful-but-outrageous dialogue like this brings a lightness and some comedy to this otherwise sad story.

    I'm not sure if I've ever given 5 stars across the board before, but this performance of this wonderful book is surely deserving of it. I can't recommend it highly enough.

    Which character – as performed by Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

    Prebble gives a near-perfect performance. Each character has a distinctive voice, but the distinctions are subtle and totally believable, unlike some narrators who I think go overboard. His "Basil Hallwood" in particular is beautifully human; every ounce of the characters kindness, and his love for Dorian, comes shining through.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By William L. Shirer
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner

    Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Tale of Momumental Evil, Stupidity and Hatred"
    "A stunning work, both in breadth and depth"
    Where does The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    An epic historical masterpiece. This is one of the best works of non-fiction I've ever read.

    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Gardner's performance is pretty close to perfect in its tone and cadence. He is understated and very matter of fact, but does a fantastic job of mirroring the author's own tone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Paul Collins
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Long Island, a farmer found a duck pond turned red with blood. On the Lower East Side, two boys playing at a pier discovered a floating human torso wrapped tightly in oilcloth. Blueberry pickers near Harlem stumbled upon neatly severed limbs in an overgrown ditch. Clues to a horrifying crime were turning up all over New York, but the police were baffled: There were no witnesses, no motives, no suspects. The grisly finds that began on the afternoon of June 26, 1897, plunged detectives headlong into the era's most perplexing murder.

    deborah says: "Great look at NYC crime, forensics, and journalism"
    "Supercilious reading of a super-sized story"
    What was most disappointing about Paul Collins’s story?

    This was a fascinating story, but sadly presented in an 8-hour audiobook when a piece in the Atlantic or even a longish Wikipedia article would have more than sufficed. Collins draws it out exhaustively, putting in unneeded details for atmosphere and devoting entire chapters to twists and turns in the investigation that he inflates to grand importance when they turn out to have no impact.

    I felt like he super-sized my book when I ordered a small.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Dufris' narration reminds me of a friend of mine who thinks he does a really great Jerry Seinfeld impression. In fact, it's terrible, but he thinks it's so good that he presents it with great earnestness, like a high schooler playing Hamlet. Dufris has exactly one accent, which is pretty much what an American would think a German spoke like if his only exposure to Germans was watching Hogan's Heroes as a kid, and all "foreign" characters in the book are treated to this terrible accent. The defense attorney character was presented in such a ridiculous cartoonish booming voice that all I could do was laugh, because it reminded me, more than anything else, of Sir Topham Hatt from the Thomas The Tank Engine shows that my 4 year old likes to watch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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