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Rick

In a small, peaceful town on the Equator, the sun always sets at 6, and a good audiobook is always the perfect evening companion.

Cotacachi, Ecuador | Member Since 2000

59
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 32 reviews
  • 32 ratings
  • 378 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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9

  • Extraction

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 7 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (551)
    Performance
    (486)
    Story
    (477)

    From number-one New York Times best-selling authors Preston & Child, an all-new short story featuring Agent Pendergast, available only as an ebook and audio download. In New Orleans' French Quarter, the Tooth Fairy isn't a benevolent sprite who slips money under your pillow at night.... He's a mysterious old recluse who must be appeased with teeth - lest he extract retribution. When young Diogenes Pendergast loses a tooth, however, his skeptical older brother Aloysius is determined to put the legend to the test...with dire consequences.

    Janels says: "Great Pendergast short story, don't use a credit"
    "Too Short"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This compact, chilling little story of a New Orleans legend turns the tooth fairy into a menacing character who twists the exchange of tooth for coin into a kind of mandatory tribute: hand over the tooth or else. It is a bargain that small children can live with. Older children and adults can foul it up, with dreadful consequences. Some childhood fantasies, perhaps, are best left alone.

    With a foreboding, spine-tingling reading, “Extraction” is a finely wrought tale. As short stories go, it may leave just one too many questions unanswered for some listeners. It did for me, but I still enjoyed it immensely.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: The Incas: Inside an American Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Terence N. D'Altroy
    • Narrated By Terence N. D'Altroy
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (35)

    The story of the Incas is a powerful one, and their legacy remains a potent influence in the Andes of South America. In this insightful lecture series, Columbia University professor Terence D'Altroy focuses on Inca life at the height of the empire, the society's origins, its military, religion, ruling structure, and finally, the Inca legacy today.

    Ullanta says: "Interesting, comprehensive intro to the Incas"
    "A Fleeting Empire"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a resident of the Andes, I thought I’d better learn a little more about the Incas, whose legendary empire encompassed immense portions of South America and established monumental cities and road systems—but really lasted only a century in its full imperial incarnation.

    Terence D’Altroy knows his Inca (and pre-Inca) history, and his lectures are lively and articulate. The recording does have some editing errors causing repetitions, and the droning “announcer” before and after each section, with the contrived insertion of one question from an unheard student, recalls the most deadly of voices from the old days of classroom films. But that is cosmetic, and overall, this very accessible series of lectures offers more than almost anyone could wish to know about the lightning rise and dizzying fall of one of the greatest and briefest of the world’s dynasties.

    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
    (3266)
    Performance
    (2263)
    Story
    (2302)

    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.

    Ryan says: "Still a classic of visionary science fiction"
    "When story trumps style"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    “I have a 4 millimeter camera and thousands of meters of film,” remarks one character. Arthur C. Clarke’s science fiction masterpiece doesn’t predict everything with accuracy, whether it’s the evolution of digital cameras or the failed dream of worldwide adoption of the metric system. But it does paint a fascinating future in which the malaise of prosperity and unlimited leisure time leads in an unexpected way to the complete disappearance of professional sports, for example, and most scientific research.

    I must admit that I’m not a serious science fiction fan, though I do appreciate a good story. And my conclusion is that this is a better story than it is spellbinding prose. The plot, despite those occasional holes, is inventive and often surprising. It covers a lot of territory, sometimes in dramatic leaps, after a bit of a slow start. The writing, however, is stilted and formal in style, and so is the narration. But the story carries the day, as it must, and the result is a good listen to a seminal work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Naked

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris, Amy Sedaris
    Overall
    (1208)
    Performance
    (523)
    Story
    (523)

    Welcome to the hilarious, strange, elegiac, outrageous world of David Sedaris. In Naked, Sedaris turns the current mania for the memoir on its proverbial ear, mining the exceedingly rich terrain of his life, his family, and his unique worldview, a sensibility at once take-no-prisoners sharp and deeply charitable.

    Christine says: "My Favorite Sedaris"
    "Something truly different"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    David Sedaris, like most entertainers, is usually at his best before a live and appreciative audience. He is a very funny guy, and the invariable audience response electrifies the experience.

    “Naked” is a different kind of recording, but no less engaging and maybe even more so. It’s a studio production, with no audience. There are a few staccato jazz bridges, and multiple characters briefly and brilliantly voiced by his sister, the extraordinarily talented actress and writer Amy Sedaris. And David reads his writings as only he can.

    The sometimes cringe-inducing title piece comes at the end, having to do with visiting a nudist community, but the entire performance is an intimate, candid self-portrait, in which David reveals as much about himself as he has always done to his siblings, to their frequent dismay. It’s very funny—I laughed out loud countless times while listening—but also deadly serious. As such, it’s a fascinating audio achievement to be enjoyed and admired.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Mercedes: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6002)
    Performance
    (5594)
    Story
    (5595)

    In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

    Joyce says: "Love this style of King!!!"
    "Police story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    By now, Stephen King has produced such a variety of books that he is increasingly difficult to pigeonhole. Fans of horror will find something closer to a classic detective story in “Mr. Mercedes,” and a good one. There’s the hard-bitten cop (retired), a truly demented criminal, and a range of characters who populate the twists and turns of a complicated whodunit. But in fact, we know whodunit pretty early on. What happens next, and what happens after that, is a nonstop series of surprises building to a heart-racing finale. Horror fans will find some pretty horrifying scenes, too.

    A great story, and narrator Will Patton is up to the task. The subtle shading of his voicing for each character, even when not reading their actual dialogue, is a work of consummate skill.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Signature Performance by Elijah Wood

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Elijah Wood
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2687)
    Performance
    (2160)
    Story
    (2144)

    A Signature Performance: Elijah Wood becomes the first narrator to bring a youthful voice and energy to the story, perhaps making it the closest interpretation to Twain’s original intent.

    james d. thomas says: "Worthy "signature" premiere"
    "Twain's Best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If, like me, your childhood memories of Twain have dimmed, and you tend to think of Huckleberry Finn as “Tom Sawyer (continued),” you’re in for a treat. Tom Sawyer came first and often comes first to mind, but many consider “Huckleberry Finn” to be Twain’s real masterpiece. It’s a true opus of dialogue and social documentary, cloaked in grand boyish adventure on the mighty Mississippi at the peak of the steamboat age.

    Elijah Wood is a fine actor who brings to Huck’s first-person story the credible voice of both innocent youth and hardscrabble cunning. Huck can plan an elaborate raid worthy of a general, yet fall for every superstition and witches’ tale that comes along. The book is peopled with a lively cast of dozens of accomplices, con men, doting relatives, townspeople and slaves and they, too, are all Mr. Wood.

    And the fine hand of Mark Twain is there throughout, weaving more plot twists and unexpected developments than any other adventure book or movie ever could, always with his trademark humor. An excellent read of perhaps the greatest story by the best-known author America has ever produced. How can you go wrong? I really like this Signature Classics idea.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wolf's Head: The Forest Lord

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Steven A. McKay
    • Narrated By Nick Ellsworth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (77)

    After viciously assaulting a corrupt but powerful clergyman Robin Hood flees the only home he has ever known in Wakefield, Yorkshire. Becoming a member of a notorious band of outlaws, Hood and his new companions - including John Little and Will Scaflock - hide out in the great forests of Barnsdale, fighting for their very existence as the law hunts them down like animals. When they are betrayed, and their harsh lives become even more unbearable, the band of friends seeks bloody vengeance.

    presterjohn1 says: "Not your Grand-dad's Robin Hood"
    "Mostly a Bull's-Eye"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wolf’s Head is an engaging story that combines some familiar characters with several new ones in a fresh take on the forest legend. Since Robin Hood’s real historical origins are shaky at best, it’s hard to question the accuracy of the plot. There is a wicked sheriff and more than a few evil noblemen, along with a host of villagers, relatives, and tradesmen who are only too willing to collaborate with the colorful outlaws. The action is often more brutal than the childhood versions we remember.

    Steven A. McKay’s writing is colorful and descriptive, but often falls victim to ponderous adverbs that hamstring its flow. The plot moves briskly most of the time. Sometimes the prescient insights of Robin and others approaches the level of magic, but there is no Merlin in this story. Nick Ellsworth gives a warm and enjoyable reading with a light touch throughout. Wolf’s Head is the first in a series, so some threads are inevitably left hanging at the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • One Summer: America, 1927

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1478)
    Performance
    (1336)
    Story
    (1321)

    One of the most admired nonfiction writers of our time retells the story of one truly fabulous year in the life of his native country - a fascinating and gripping narrative featuring such outsized American heroes as Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, and yes Herbert Hoover, and a gallery of criminals (Al Capone), eccentrics (Shipwreck Kelly), and close-mouthed politicians (Calvin Coolidge). It was the year Americans attempted and accomplished outsized things and came of age in a big, brawling manner. What a country. What a summer. And what a writer to bring it all so vividly alive.

    Mark says: "Why 1927?"
    "A Summer to Remember"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Someone asked, “Why 1927?” The answer, of course, is, “Why not?” What may seem at first like a random year drawn from a hat is in reality a summer of superlatives, achieved by legends like Charles Lindbergh and Babe Ruth. But there’s also a wealth of surprising insight that’s new to most of us, about Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Al Capone, Henry Ford and the greatest flood on the Mississippi in its history—not to mention scores of colorful eccentrics you never knew existed but will not soon forget. When the author reels off the fates of all his characters in the epilogue, you realize you've been following a cast of thousands.

    Bill Bryson delivers a deeply researched and endlessly fascinating account as only he can, finding quirks and unearthing indelible meaning in one eventful season between the Great War and the Great Depression. It was a time like no other, and if America could get through it, it just might survive anything.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs)
    • By Paulo Coelho
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3995)
    Performance
    (2600)
    Story
    (2634)

    Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its simplicity and wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an Alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest.

    Joanna says: "A quest for dreams come true"
    "Thoughtful listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Paulo Coelho's tightly crafted little fable has become something of a contemporary classic in the nearly twenty years since it first appeared. It's a thought-provoking, somewhat mystical perspective on values--what really matters in life, and what really doesn't. The obvious things, it turns out, really don't, and anyone who pays close attention is likely to be better for the experience. The reading in the velvety voice of Jeremy Irons is perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Home Fires: An Intimate Portrait of One Middle-Class Family in Postwar America

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Donald Katz, Jonathan Alter (introduction), Ricky Ian Gordon (afterword)
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett, Jonathan Alter, Ricky Ian Gordon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    Home Fires is the powerful saga of the Gordon family - real people, names unchanged. Spanning nearly five decades, from the end of World War II to the early 1990s, their story has the scope, depth, wealth of incident, and emotional intensity of a great novel, and an abundance of humor, scandal, warmth, and trauma - the recognizable components of family life. This is also a masterful chronicle of the turbulent postwar era, illuminating the interplay between private life and profound cultural changes.

    Rick says: "The Way We Were"
    "The Way We Were"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The word "epic" is thrown around a lot, especially by publicists. This is a rare case where it is wholly deserved.

    I first read "Home Fires" around 15 years ago, discovering a monumental work that is really two ambitious books in one. It is the intimate, multigenerational story of a real American family, which in itself would be no small accomplishment. But then Don Katz uses the family saga as a framework on which he hangs the country's entire postwar social history. There is Vietnam, then folksingers and later rock 'n' roll, drugs, economic turmoil and our migration to the suburbs. It is related in such rich detail that countless throwaway sentences must have taken a week's research apiece.

    As a new audiobook all these years later, "Home Fires" seems a new experience, somehow even more substantive and insightful than before. Narrator Joe Barrett weaves his way carefully through the twists and turns of each year, one after another. His voicing of characters is superb. Sure, all the Brooklyn males may sound more or less like Sam Gordon, but Mr. Barrett manages boys and girls, women, singers and prominent figures. His LBJ is passable, and his Richard Nixon pitch-perfect. Like the best of audiobooks, "the read" adds new dimensions to a remarkable work of journalism and literature. It's a long book. Totally worth it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hyde

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Daniel Levine
    • Narrated By John Curless
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    An authentic, gothic reimagining of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, told from the villain' s perspective, that takes listeners deep into the seedy side of Victorian London and explores the nature of personality and of the subconscious. Mr. Hyde is trapped in Dr. Jekyll' s surgical cabinet, counting the days until he will face capture and be forced to make the ultimate choice about survival. Over the course of four days, he thinks back on what brought him to this moment, and he finally has the chance to tell the story of his brief but marvelous life.

    TawnyM says: "A Different Perspective"
    "A classic reborn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is, as most reviews have said, a fascinating new take on an old favorite: Jekyll and Hyde from the perspective of a monster who becomes far less monstrous in the telling. He's no angel, either, but neither is Dr. Jekyll. It is a complex and inventive story, crafted in rich Victorian detail--a masterpiece of descriptive writing made better by the narration of John Curless, who seems to savor every word. It's another example of my favorite combination: an excellent book made even better in audio form.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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