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RaineDay

Member Since 2007

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 239 ratings
  • 548 titles in library
  • 40 purchased in 2014
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  • Everything That Rises Must Converge

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Flannery O’Connor
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot, Karen White, Mark Bramhall, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (175)
    Story
    (183)

    This collection of nine short stories by Flannery O'Connor was published posthumously in 1965. The flawed characters of each story are fully revealed in apocalyptic moments of conflict and violence that are presented with comic detachment.

    Ryan says: "Pride goeth before the fall"
    "Better than reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Everything That Rises Must Converge?

    Each short story is memorable. I have read nothing like them before.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I did not like any of the characters but I was made to feel for them just the same. I suppose old Tanner in Judgement Day will be most memorable, or Mary Fortune in A View from the Woods.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I have tried to read O'Connor but just did not get it. These narrators brought the stories to life. Their interpretations are brilliant.


    Any additional comments?

    This is great writing but magnificent performances. I was never bored.

    1 of 1 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
    (3126)
    Performance
    (2142)
    Story
    (2176)

    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"
    "almost 5 stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    almost give this 5 stars. I was NEVER bored. No wonder this is a classic. Aside from one small segment you could not tell that this was written in the 50s. It's not about the characters; it is the brilliance of the story line and how it is developed. Every time I thought I knew where it was going, I was wrong, pleasantly so.
    It is so easy to visualize. This is not an other-worldly world with creations we need to imagine. It is our world, gently nudged in a slightly but importantly different direction.
    Narration is excellent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 419

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs)
    • By Will Ferguson
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    A car tumbles through darkness down a snowy ravine. A woman without a name walks out of a dust storm in sub-Saharan Africa. And in the seething heat of Lagos City, a criminal cartel scours the Internet, looking for victims. Lives intersect. Worlds collide. And it all begins with a single email: "Dear Sir, I am the daughter of a Nigerian diplomat, and I need your help".

    RaineDay says: "read the book instead"
    "read the book instead"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    this narrator does not do the author any favors. The book is slow enough but the narration is painfully slow. It is a book I could read in 5 hours, not 12, For the last half I listened at 1.5x speed and it was just right to maintain my interest.
    The story itself is just ok but I never really bought into it. Especially the ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Short Stay in Hell

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Steven L. Peck
    • Narrated By Sergei Burbank
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (152)
    Story
    (154)

    An ordinary family man, geologist, and Mormon, Soren Johansson has always believed he'll be reunited with his loved ones after death in an eternal hereafter. Then, he dies. Soren wakes to find himself cast by a God he has never heard of into a Hell whose dimensions he can barely grasp: a vast library he can only escape from by finding the book that contains the story of his life. In this haunting existential novella, author, philosopher, and ecologist Steven L. Peck explores a subversive vision of eternity.

    Janice says: "I'll be thinking about this one for a while."
    "listen to it uninterrupted"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You’re in hell and finding out that everything you were taught on faith is a lie. Are you going to say to the devil “but it’s not fair!!!!!”? I’ve often imagined that one and always it makes me laugh a that’s-not-funny laugh. So I found the opening scene not just memorable but funny and smart. And then it gets even better. Over and over in this short book I shook my head with a silent OMG. This short stay in hell kept me thinking about it long after I finished listening. Listen to it uninterrupted.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jack Weatherford
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Jack Weatherford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3714)
    Performance
    (2301)
    Story
    (2318)

    The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.

    Peter says: "Brilliant, insightful, intriguing."
    "the little bit I thought I knew was all wrong"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Absolutely fascinating history, perfect narration.
    Whenever I see pictures of the medieval walled cities in the old world, I always shiver, imagining their purpose to protect the inhabitants from the "Mongol hordes" or "bands of marauding Tatars" as we were taught in school. Yes, the Mongols and Tatars were ruthless and to be feared, but that is only a speck of the real story. Listening to this audio book, the bit I knew of Genghis Khan and the Mongols has been turned up-side-down and spun around. I see that I previously knew less than nothing, as the little bit I thought I knew was all wrong.
    Right up to the last chapters, where we see the influence of the Mongols and their empire, the Making of the Modern World part, it is always interesting. And his story continues, even today, with our modern societies fighting over Genghis Khan's image and legacy. Great history, well written, perfectly narrated, highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Alchemist and the Executioness

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Paolo Bacigalupi, Tobias S. Buckell
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (720)
    Performance
    (343)
    Story
    (342)

    It is a world where magic is forbidden – yet practiced in secret every day. But each small act of magic exacts a dreadful price – for it brings the bramble, which chokes farmland, destroys villages, and kills with its deadly thorns. In this world an alchemist believes he’s found a solution to the curse. But will the cure be worse than the disease? And a woman is forced to take up the mantle of her father, the Executioner. But it will not be the only death that she faces.

    Rand says: "Not What I Expected..."
    "Good but not great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Two short stories, two authors and two narrators, with one shared fantasy world between them. The first, The Alchemist, shows that the combination of great writing and great narration can make a story much more entertaining than it actually deserves. It also sets up the second story, The Executioness, which I found less entertaining but more thought provoking, showing many parallels to our own world. Both felt shallow though, missing something. Both are good but not great. This would need to get fleshed out into a full sized book, preferably by the Paolo Bacigalupi/Jonathan Davis team.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Her Royal Spyness: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (4488)
    Performance
    (3841)
    Story
    (3818)

    Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932. So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.

    Alice says: "Happy addition to a difficult genre"
    "Very light"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was looking for something light but not this light. Hoping for some noir, some humor or at least some attitude, but with a feminine twist. Did not get any of that. What kept me going was Katherine Kellgren’s narration, which is always brilliant. This is only somewhat entertaining. At least the romance angle was low key and I was glad it never degraded to cheap thrills. I will not be continuing in this series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Sleep: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (6503)
    Performance
    (6029)
    Story
    (6052)

    Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

    D says: "The sequel to the book; not the movie"
    "constantly entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This audiobook narrated by Will Patton is a sweet treat. Stephen King says at the end that it is harder and harder to scare people, especially those who admit to being creeped-out by the Shining and Pet Sematary, like me. So no, I did not find this scary in any way but I was constantly entertained. King is such a great storyteller that each chapter has something to hold your interest and lead you into the next, as only he can do. I loved his “good” characters and enjoyed the “bad” ones. Some characters I adored just because of the voice Will Patton gives them, adding a whole new layer of who they are.
    I give it 4 stars as a good enjoyable story, 5 stars for the narration, and on the Stephen King scale, also 4 stars. Having read 27 novels/compilations by this author, I think he deserves his own scale of comparison. For me, Doctor Sleep is like Duma Key with a better ending, or Firestarter for the 21st century. It is not epic like the Stand or powerful like Misery or the Green Mile, but way better than The Dark Half and Thinner, and much better than Hearts in Atlantis. If you are like me and need a Stephen King “fix” every few years, this is a good bet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Professor and the Madman

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Simon Winchester
    • Narrated By Simon Winchester
    Overall
    (1501)
    Performance
    (695)
    Story
    (703)

    Part history, part true-crime, and entirely entertaining, listen to the story of how the behemoth Oxford English Dictionary was made. You'll hang on every word as you discover that the dictionary's greatest contributor was also an insane murderer working from the confines of an asylum.

    Jerry says: "Perfect example of a quality audible book."
    "Just enough and very well done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are two interesting story lines here, both very well told although not in great depth which is a good thing, in my opinion. We get just enough to be entertained and informed.
    I especially appreciate the sensitive treatment of Dr. Minor, his illness, his crime and his victims. I got a glimpse of the importance of Pinel, a name very well-known here in my city.
    I enjoyed the narration more than I expected. Not usually a fan of authors reading their own material, I prefer leaving the job to the professionals. But in this case, I make an exception. I think I like Simon Winchester even better in audio than in print.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Road

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5779)
    Performance
    (2392)
    Story
    (2422)

    America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

    Darwin8u says: "My wife says he's that Cold Desert Writer I love."
    "powerful and genius"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read the print version of this book in 2007 and at that time I declared it to be one of the best books I had ever read. Now, in 2013, I have just finished listening to the audio book and now have no doubt that it is THE BEST book I have ever read.
    This time I knew the ending and I so was free to fully experience the road traveled by the man and the boy. I remembered what had made it such a powerful read and so I was actually able to appreciate it even more. The genius is in the subtlety, it is in the road traveled. I will never say in words what made it so perfect, in the same way that magic is no longer magic if you tell its secrets.
    The narration is masterful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Steven Pinker
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1117)
    Performance
    (915)
    Story
    (905)

    We’ve all had the experience of reading about a bloody war or shocking crime and asking, “What is the world coming to?” But we seldom ask, “How bad was the world in the past?” In this startling new book, the best-selling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the world of the past was much worse. In fact, we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’ existence.

    Teddy says: "Excellent Book All Over"
    "Satisfying, worth the time invested"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Better listened to than read. So, ok, it went over my head at times, and the audio version does not come with the charts and tables, but these are minor and not even annoying. The fact is that it kept me coming back because I always knew there was more that I would find interesting, that would make me glad I stuck with it. There was always another moment when I'd say to myself, yes, this is worth coming back to.
    The narration is perfect. I could believe it was the author speaking to me. Without sounding like a Harvard professor, he sounded like someone I can like. It would be all scholarly-like for a while and then I’d hear a quote from Bruce Springsteen, Woody Allen or my personal Woodstock favorites, Country Joe and the Fish. There were also plenty of references to current pop culture but I just don’t remember them as much as those from my boomer culture.
    I don’t think I would have appreciated this book in my twenties but after many discussions and disagreements over the question of where our society is headed, are we getting better or worse, I love that Steven Pinker has done the work for me. Because I have always believed it in my heart, I accept his research as the confirmation.
    I give the audio version only 4 stars because (1) it lacks a downloadable file for charts and tables. (2) being such a long listen, I often had to switch devices and struggled to find my place more than once because of the different chapter counts between devices, and (3) I would so love an index and table of contents.
    I am considering buying a print or eBook version to reread sections that were particularly enlightening. A very satisfying experience, it will not be my last from Steven Pinker.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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