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Robert Iris

Houston, TX United States | Member Since 2011

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 25 ratings
  • 199 titles in library
  • 61 purchased in 2014
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  • Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid’s Memoir That Inspired 'Upstairs, Downstairs' and 'Downton Abbey'

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Margaret Powell
    • Narrated By Mary Wells
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (136)

    Brilliantly evoking the long-vanished world of masters and servants portrayed in Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs, Margaret Powell’s classic memoir of her time in service, Below Stairs, is the remarkable true story of an indomitable woman who, though she served in the great houses of England, never stopped aiming high. Powell first arrived at the servants' entrance of one of those great houses in the 1920s. As a kitchen maid - the lowest of the low - she entered an entirely new world; one of stoves to be blacked, vegetables to be scrubbed, mistresses to be appeased, and bootlaces to be ironed.

    Jean says: "Cooking and cleaning before the modern stoves etc"
    "Worthwhile listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Below Stairs to be better than the print version?

    An engaging read, the narrator did a fine job.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character is a woman happy to be who she is, but unwilling to accept less than she can be. An interesting slice of life tale that helps put one's own struggles into perspective.


    What about Mary Wells’s performance did you like?

    The narration is simple and direct, with good humour.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Many of the stories stayed with me afterwards.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed being in her world.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes & But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Anita Loos
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    In one of the great American comic novels, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes features the life of Lorelei Lee and her stunning progress from small-town girl to metropolitan socialite. The follow-up, But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes, recounts the romantic misadventures of Lorelei's girlfriend Dorothy in her quest to enter Manhattan society.

    Stewart Gooderman says: "Outrageously funny!"
    "Fun piece of history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Anita Loos and/or Lorelei King?

    I believe the books were written in the 1920's but came across as relevant and timely for today.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes & But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes?

    The first book worked better, as we still had the known ignorance of our protagonist to work with. In the second book, the plot felt a bit forced.


    What about Lorelei King’s performance did you like?

    The performance was very delicate and stood on it's own outside of any Marilyn references.


    Could you see Gentlemen Prefer Blondes & But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Well, obviously I could see it being made into a movie, and I think they stand well apart or together.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Adjustment Bureau

    • UNABRIDGED (58 mins)
    • By Philip K. Dick
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (78)

    Do we control our destiny, or do unseen forces manipulate us? Ed Fletcher is a real estate agent with a normal life, until one day he leaves the house for work a few minutes later than he should have. He arrives at a terrifying, grey, ash world. Ed rushes home and tells his wife, Ruth, who goes back to the office with him. When they return, everything is normal. But he soon realizes people and objects have subtly changed. Panic-stricken, he runs to a public phone to warn the police, only to have the phone booth ascend heavenward with Fletcher inside....

    Rebecca says: "Any one but a Woman"
    "Interesting background to the movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed the story, I think I just enjoyed the movie more.


    If you’ve listened to books by Philip K. Dick before, how does this one compare?

    As in all PDK stories, the plots are brilliant, the characters are interesting but flawed, and you come out if it terribly depressed.


    Was The Adjustment Bureau worth the listening time?

    Still, a worthwhile listen.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Half Empty

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By David Rakoff
    • Narrated By David Rakoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (471)
    Performance
    (323)
    Story
    (322)

    In this deeply funny (and, no kidding, wise and poignant) book, Rakoff examines the realities of our sunny, gosh­ everyone-can-be-a-star contemporary culture and finds that, pretty much as a universal rule, the best is not yet to come, adversity will triumph, justice will not be served, and your dreams won’t come true. The book ranges from the personal to the universal, combining stories from Rakoff’s reporting and accounts of his own experi­ences....

    Maeghan says: "Even better heard than read"
    "David Sedaris just does this sort of thing better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Depressed New Yorkers


    Has Half Empty turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I still enjoy the essay format, but looking for a more distinct voice.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of David Rakoff?

    I think he read his work perfectly, and that was sadly part of the problem.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Half Empty?

    I'm afraid none of the book stuck with me.


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted to enjoy the book because I saw a great review of some of his other work on the Daily Show, unfortunately it simply didn't work for me. Perhaps other titles or other readers will be better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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