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Stephen

Member Since 2012

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 38 reviews
  • 56 ratings
  • 148 titles in library
  • 35 purchased in 2014
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  • A Bend in the River

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By V.S. Naipaul
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (238)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (95)

    In this incandescent novel, V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man, an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isolated town at the bend of a great river in a newly independent African nation. Naipaul gives us the most convincing and disturbing vision yet of what happens in a place caught between the dangerously alluring modern world and its own tenacious past and traditions.

    Everett Leiter says: "Highly recommended"
    "Bend in the River - Post Colonial East Africa"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Book: I enjoyed the book since it is three interesting points. It is a story about East Africa after independence and from a Muslim of Indio-Pakistan descent. These factors provide an interesting point of view in time, place, and circumstances. It is not fast pace story but moves at an acceptable speed.

    Performance: The reader is professional and good actor. He enhances the text.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20047)
    Performance
    (17949)
    Story
    (18012)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Gone Girl - Girl Psycho"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Book: Interesting murder mystery. Most of the plot is believable. It is well written and has some great visuals.

    Performance: Two readers do an excellent performance. They make up for any plot shortfalls.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Atossa Leoni
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5214)
    Performance
    (1436)
    Story
    (1439)

    Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them, in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul, they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

    David says: "Somber but gripping"
    "A Thousand Spendid Suns - Afghanistan Near Past"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Buy.

    Mr. Hosseini's books are always interesting. Like the "Kite Runner", it explores Afghan-Iranian world in the near past. This time, it is from the women's point of view somewhat like the "Book Seller of Kabul".

    Reader: The reader was excellent and seem to have great command of the culture, language, and tone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fear

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By L. Ron Hubbard
    • Narrated By Roddy McDowall
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Professor Lowry is a man of science who descends into a world of darkness beyond reason—and fear beyond belief. Drawn into a waking nightmare, where it appears even his wife and best friend have betrayed him, he is about to cross a threshold of temptation and evil from which he may never return—in a chilling novel of psychological suspense.

    Stephen says: "Fear - Nice Novella"
    "Fear - Nice Novella"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Story: This is nice novella that explores one thought. I was surprise by the end since it could have gone any way.

    Reader: Nothing much to say about Roddy McDowall. His voice and acting are always superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Explorers of the Nile: The Triumph and Tragedy of a Great Victorian Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Tim Jeal
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    From award-winning author Tim Jeal comes a vivid examination of the six larger-than-life men and one extraordinary woman who set out to find the source of the White Nile in the 19th century.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great Story Flawed"
    "Explorers of the Nile - Drama in Africa"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Buy this book.

    Story: Overall, it was an unique book. It showed three remarkable things: the character of the explorers and their backgrounds, the incredible organized chaos that was tribal Africa during this time, and the unique opportunities for these people versus the calm, stable Great Britain. At the end of the book, the discussion of the East Africa after the colonial period was not really relevant and open to debate. The exploration narrative was dramatic enough.

    Reader: The reader was excellent and very easy to listen to in all his characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2528)
    Performance
    (1767)
    Story
    (1806)

    December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.

    far_to_go says: "Annoying music"
    "The Giver - The Nanny Society to Extremes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Story: I got the book since I was going to see the movie. I found the book much more interesting since the movie did not make it clear the impact of the Giver / Receiver's function in the society; that they took away the bad memories and held them. I am interested to see how the other books will work out.

    Reader: The reader was excellent and I saw no flaws.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Richard C. Morais
    • Narrated By Neil Shah
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1056)
    Performance
    (967)
    Story
    (961)

    Born above his grandfather’s modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps.

    Marci says: "Great details & writing in a flawed story"
    "The Hundred-Foot Journey - Food Porno"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Story: I got the book since I will see the movie soon. It is an interesting adventure of low-middle class Pakistani family from their homeland to France with a strange twist of events that seem slightly unbelievable. The book is about high French cooking and restaurant business but it dives into the Gallic psyche. Finally, it was about the food. Some of the dishes described seem to reach to the heavens while others seem there were the invention of a madman.

    Reader: The reader was excellent and show great range. I am unsure if it was westerner speaking with a south central Asian accent for vice-a-versus.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18473)
    Performance
    (16704)
    Story
    (16840)

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."
    "Divergent - Nice Teen Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Buy.

    Story: I bought this book before I would saw the movie. It is teen book, which it means it does not rely language, drugs, alcohol, and sex to sell. Yes, I know that real people do all these things but they do not make it the focus of their lives. People wash cars, eat soup, and watch TV but there few writes who write books focus on those activities because their publishers tell them to do it to make a marketable product. Thus, the good thing about the teen books they have less crutches to use in building a book. In any case, this is book, versus Hunger Games, has less technology and the story line is more predicatable. The book is more of a coming to adulthood. Some of the story is strange with the leaders of the groups being young; most trainer in any group will be the older members who survived, still competent but losing their competitive edge but I assume this is an adaption for teen book. Overall, it is slow parts but the author paints interesting characters in this semi-dystopia.

    Production: The effects are good and the read is good though not excellent. But, then, again, this is a teen age girl speaking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Atlas Shrugged

    • ABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    Overall
    (843)
    Performance
    (396)
    Story
    (392)

    As passionate as it is profound, Atlas Shrugged is one of the most influential novels of our time. In it, Rand dramatizes the main tenets of Objectivism, her philosophy of rational selfishness. She explores the ramifications of her radical thinking in a world that penalizes human intelligence and integrity.

    Shawn Levasseur says: "Edward Hermann's masterful performance."
    "Atlas Shrugged - Unconventional Book and Writer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Buy. In addition, I recommend you read the Wikipedia article on Ayn Rand. She is a very controversial person and crosses the usual group parameters in politics, economics, religion, and society. Because she does fit into the usual groupings, she is shunned and embraced by many. In her own life, she was non-conformist and difficult to deal with on many issues; she an ego, very sure.

    There are plenty of reviews by the scholars and the readers alike. However, here is my opinion:

    Story: The story is bit sophomoric, it has some unbelievable portions (even though it is mildly a science fiction and fantasy novel), and there is a long soliloquy that presents the author's philosophy in a nutshell. However, the author's dystopia rings true today in Europe and as warning to other developed countries. It explains some of the problems in developing countries; some I seen personally. The story can run slow but it is not action novel but one on philosophy and personal development.

    Production: The reader is a personal favorite of mine both in books and on the screen. The production effects were good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Farewell to Arms

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Ernest Hemingway
    • Narrated By John Slattery
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (824)
    Performance
    (481)
    Story
    (475)

    The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse.

    Valerian says: "This is not unabridged"
    "A Farewell to Arms - Typicall Hemingway"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Buy, but not an urgent buy.

    Story: The story is good but it is anticlimactic. The writing is better and the story presents life on a different WWI front.

    Production: The reader is excellent; he makes the characters all believable: men, women, English, American, Italian, etc.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I, Claudius

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Robert Graves
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (241)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (186)

    Physically weak and afflicted with stuttering, Claudius is initially despised and dismissed as an idiot. Shunted to the background of imperial affairs by his embarrassed royal family, he becomes a scholar and historian, while palace intrigues and murders surround him. Observing these dramas from beyond the public eye, Claudius escapes the cruelties inflicted on the rest of the royal family by its own members and survives to become emperor of Rome in A.D. 41.

    Robert says: "An..An..Ancient Rome comes to life, brilliantly"
    "I, Claudius - A Nice Fictionalized Autobiography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Buy

    Story: This is nice fictionalization of a historical person. The work weaves the personal, societal, cultural, and strategic threads of the early Roman Imperial period through the recalled memories of a Roman Emperor. Unlike the television mini-series, the book ends at his ascension to the throne versus the series which ends at near his death.

    Production: The reader does an excellent job and the production effects are good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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