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Robert

New York, NY, United States | Member Since 2004

77
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 150 ratings
  • 531 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • Stoner

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Williams
    • Narrated By Robin Field
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (482)
    Performance
    (391)
    Story
    (397)

    William Stoner is born at the end of the 19th century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar's life, far different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments.

    Anton says: "A story of sadness and serenity"
    "Stunning"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Stoner again? Why?

    I'd listen to the book over and over again if I didn't think it would make me weep in public places.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Stoner is -- well, a singular literary creation.


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

    The reader stands back and lets the book do its job.


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

    I just loved it.


    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Racketeer

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By J.D. Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4144)
    Performance
    (3494)
    Story
    (3488)

    Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered. Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five.... Nothing is as it seems and everything’s fair game in this wickedly clever new novel from John Grisham, the undisputed master of the legal thriller.

    Ron says: "Very Enjoyable Grisham"
    "Shameless Potboiler"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Racketeer?

    All that needs to be said is that the author himself includes an apology at the very end of the book. This is an awful, awful book, and if Grisham had submitted this to a publisher as his first effort, he'd have been laughed out of the room. And to try to write in a first-person African-American voice and then give us an entire black family of drug dealers, con men, and murderers requires an author of talents far beyond Grisham's to avoid the taint of racism and stereotype.


    What could John Grisham have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    It's just a bad, unsalvageable book.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator speaks so slowly that I actually had to listen to the book at 1.25x normal speed to make it even tolerable. Was he paid by the hour?


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Racketeer?

    The list is too long.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm giving up Grisham forever. He's gotten lazy doping what he's good at, possibly because his attempts at "serious" writing have not been as popular.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Theocracy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Kevin Phillips
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (413)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (73)

    From Ancient Rome to the British Empire, Phillips demonstrates that every world-dominating power has been brought down by a related set of causes: a lethal combination of global over-reach, militant religion, resource problems, and ballooning debt. It is this same axis of ills that has come to define America's political and economic identity in the past decade.

    Miles C. says: "Excellent Work!"
    "I finally get it"
    Overall

    For some time now I have felt as though I was able to understand pieces of what's going on in America and the world, but I couldn't see how all the disparate elements -- political, religious, economic -- made sense as contemporaneous events. Kevin Phillips does, however, and his book is a triumph. It is clear, well-researched, and enormously compelling. I was thoroughly captivated -- and not a little scared.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Tim Robbins
    Overall
    (1529)
    Performance
    (928)
    Story
    (935)

    The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald's portrait of the Jazz Age in all its decadence and excess, is, as editor Maxwell Perkins praised it in 1924, "a wonder". It remains one of the most widely read, translated, admired, imitated, and studied 20th-century works of American fiction.

    Redhawk Readers says: "Something you won't fall asleep to..."
    "Do yourself a favor"
    Overall

    Marvelous. Audiobooks have given me the chance to use car time and paint-the-bathroom time to return to a bunch of the books I was made to read as a student and was too young or too dumb to appreciate. This book is beautifully read by Tim Robbins, and the additional material, narrated by Robert Sean Leonard, is almost as good as the novel itself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suite Francaise: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Irene Nemirovsky
    • Narrated By Daniel Oreskes, Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (438)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (99)

    Irene Nemirovsky was arrested soon after completing the second part of Suite Francaise. Ten days later, on August 17, 1942, she died of typhus in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Her husband, Michel, perished in a gas chamber on November 6. Their daughters, Denise and Elizabeth, survived, hidden in safe houses and convents, carrying a suitcase packed with clothes, photographs, and their mother's manuscript written in tiny letters to save paper.

    Robert says: "The best book I've read all year"
    "The best book I've read all year"
    Overall

    What a wonderful writer -- and what a marvelous translation! I just loved these two connected novellas and have recommended them to all of my book-loving friends. They're beautifully read by narrators who have sense enough to inflect the story but ultimately to disappear. Just a lovely, lovely book, although there is additional material in the print edition that the recording ought to have included.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jon Krakauer
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1666)
    Performance
    (653)
    Story
    (660)

    At the core of this book is an appalling double murder committed by two Mormon fundamentalist brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims. Weaving the story of the Lafferty brothers and their fanatical brethren with a clear-eyed look at Mormonism's violent past, Krakauer examines the underbelly of the most successful homegrown faith in the United States, and finds a distinctly American brand of religious extremism.

    pixychild says: "Interesting @ arm's length"
    "marvelous!"
    Overall

    Whew! I don't imagine this book is popular with many Mormons, because how on earth could they possibly reconcile their faith with the documentable story of its founders' motives and methods?

    I couldn't stop listening.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Widow for One Year

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (297)
    Performance
    (136)
    Story
    (135)

    Ruth Cole is a complex, often self-contradictory character — a "difficult" woman. Her story is told in three parts, each focusing on a crucial time in her life. When we first meet her, Ruth is only four. The second window into Ruth's life opens when she is an unmarried woman whose personal life is not nearly as successful as her literary career. The novel closes in the autumn of 1995, when Ruth is a 41-year-old widow and mother — and about to fall in love for the first time.

    B. Simms says: "Fabulous Story, Gets Better with Every Reading"
    "I'm with June"
    Overall

    This isn't among Irving's best, but even when he's not in top form, Irving writes with such flavor that the story stays in the mind long after you've finished the book. I was less than captivated by what feels like the author's over-interest in his alter ego's sexual prowess, and would have been delighted if the book had been two hours shorter.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Listener

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Armistead Maupin
    • Narrated By Armistead Maupin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (331)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (50)

    This unprecedented audio project is as thought-provoking as it is mesmeric. The Night Listener is a meditation on the power of voices and the faith we place in them, and an extraordinary audio experience from an American literary icon.

    Naomi says: "Wheels within wheels"
    "Only 1 problem..."
    Overall

    It's such a mistake to have allowed Armistead Maupin to read his own book. He's not a great reader in general, but here it's very confusing to have him present his own material because it's based on actual events that have been elsewhere reported. One ends up wishing he'd just written a memoir, since he injects himself so heavily into the story by acting as its interpreter.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Nicholas Nickleby

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (445)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (215)

    The most gorgeously theatrical of all Dickens's novels, Nicholas Nickleby follows the delightful adventures of a hearty young hero in 19th-century England. Nicholas, a gentleman's son fallen upon hard times, must set out to make his way in the world. His journey is accompanied by some of the most swaggering scoundrels and unforgettable eccentrics in Dickens's pantheon.

    Robert says: "A knockout!"
    "A knockout!"
    Overall

    Thirty-one hours of pure unalloyed pleasure. The reader is a genius.

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • No Country for Old Men

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2117)
    Performance
    (791)
    Story
    (800)

    Cormac McCarthy, best-selling author of National Book Award winner All the Pretty Horses, delivers his first new novel in seven years. Written in muscular prose, No Country for Old Men is a powerful tale of the West that moves at a blistering pace.

    Alan says: "Great story!"
    "just fine -- but hardly a great book"
    Overall

    This novel has somehow acquired a reputation that doesn't match the reality: it's an interesting book and I enjoyed reading it, but the writer has no terrific command of language, character, or plot. The best parts are those that take us into the unfamiliar world of Aghanistan over the last 30 years. I was not particular taken with the protagonist and often felt that the author was throwing in elements (like a homosexual rape and a redeeming later romance) that he felt could make his book sell.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful

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