The audio book outlining the travels of Henrich Barth would have been better with maps. If there were no maps in Kemper's book, then the fault is with the author; if there were maps and they were not offered in pdf format, then the fault is with audiobooks.
The most disappointing thing about Steve Kemper's story was being made acutely aware of the fighting in Central Africa. Tribal and religious violence, as described in Kemper's tale in the mid-nineteenth century is too much different from what we see on the evening news.
Philips gave a clear performance throughout so all characters were clearly distinguishable.
Only if it were shot on location.
This was a good book almost ruined by a heavily accented narrator.
The plot was good, well paced, and moved in the just the right places.
Why do audible publishers and/or writers assume that heavily accented narration improves their story? The narrator did nothing to enhance Don Smith's story set in the Ukraine, and at times, was difficult to understand. (And I speak Russian and am familiar with Russian-accented English).
I would have cut nothing from The Child Thief; it was a well written book. I particularly enjoyed the beautiful descriptions of winter on the steppe.
This book was so repetitive and mired in endless descriptions of drugs and alcohol that all potential for it's excellent plot was wasted. Why it got such good reviews and won so many prizes is beyond me.
David Pittu's performance with all characters was great, especially with a book that needed so much editing.
I was very disappointed in The Goldfinch.
Hope from hopelessness
The prisoner, described by the prosecution as a hog instead of a man, demonstrates his self image by eating food from the filthy floor of the jail.
A Lesson Before Dying brings us back to the days when the American South still flew the confederate flag. And perhaps reminds us that in jails across the country those days may still prevail.
Although Amitav Ghosh is one of my favorite writers, I found this book confusing and not very interesting. Too many people moving around without compelling purpose.
Excellent as usual.
Alan Rabinowitz, a well known and respected conservationist, tapes his tiger story as he sets up a tremendous wildlife reserve in in the Hukaung Valley of Northern Myanmar (Burma) for the protection of tigers. He tells of his interaction with both the ruling military government for allocation of the preserve and permission to meet with and seek the cooperation of numerous ethnic groups. Groups living in the preserve were allowed to stay in the reserve if they refrained from poaching. The story was compelling, though hard to hear at times, as he taped in the jungle—or any place out of earshot (once in an outhouse). What Rabinowitz, accomplished, in setting up the preserve was amazing. However, the story told here has been amended by Rabinowitz himself in later public speaking engagements. Much of the pristine jungle has been ravaged by mining and other destructive activity, presumably with the approval of the government. And tigers, for obvious reasons, have failed to move into the preserve, as Rabinowitz had hoped.
A compelling tale of spies and counterspies during the French Revolution, who—enabled by the British—helped save aristocrats from the guillotine. The Scarlet Pimpernel may have been one of the first true undercover agents of the 19th century fooling everyone, including the reader. Well narrated.
The author tricked me into believing that Ted Bundy was a handsome, clever, ordinary guy--just as he tricked her. If we believe Ann Rule, it was long after capture and late in the judicial process that she saw the truth about the guy she had once worked with. And that's what makes the whole thing really creepy.
And the Mountains Echoed is wondrous book, consistent with Khaled Hosseini's other work. He is an extraordinary writer, who tells of places few have visited. Each of his many characters come alive as he offers poignant glimpses into the life and culture of Afghanistan. Why, then, does he read his own stuff--causing the listener (or me at least) to strain at meaning, and even back up to re-hear to certain sections. We don't need poorly articulated reading (it's not just the accent) to understand the otherness of the culture and people he creates for us.
Normally I return such books. In this case, because the writing is so good, I am not going to request a refund. However, as a well read listener, I want to be heard on this issue--both to encourage author's not to read their own works, and to discourage publishers who permit or encourage such readings. It can almost ruin a beautiful book.
War as it affects people is always difficult to portray. In this case, a maimed character is surrounded by cases of booze in the beginning but his life and thoughts on life are not really examined then or later. He reunites with war-time friends to find a buddy but the search reveals little about him or those searching. The narration is good, protraying a man who speaks with broken face, but the story is too sparse.
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