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Wallen

Danderyd, Sweden | Member Since 2003

194
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 53 reviews
  • 86 ratings
  • 549 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014
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7

  • Bach and the High Baroque

    • ORIGINAL (25 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (87)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (76)

    Though unappreciated in his own time, Johann Sebastian Bach has ascended to Olympian heights, the verdict of contemporary audiences long since overruled by succeeding generations of music lovers. But what makes his music great? In this series of 32 lectures, a working composer and musicologist brings his exceptional teaching skills to the task of helping you hear the extraordinary sweep of Bach's music. You'll understand the compositional language that enabled him to compose such extravagant, unbridled music while still maintaining precise control of every aspect - beat, melody, melodic repetition, interaction, and harmony.

    Miss DIckens says: "Bach Treasure Box Opened by a True Enthusiast"
    "Understanding Bach"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Is there anyone else out there who like me has always appreciated Bach's music? I consider Bach one of the absolutely best classical composers (alongside Beethoven), and his music has always inspired me and provided great satisfaction.

    If you have that background, this is really something for you. The courses are insprining and the narrator is enthusiastic about his topic, and he knows it very well. I advise you to listen one course at the time, then listen to some Bach music in between and then go on to the next course. If you try to take in all at the same time, it will be too much.

    One thing that bugs me, however, is that professor Greenberg does not know how to pronounce Bach's name, at least not to a listener who like me speaks German. His consistent incorrect (=American) pronounciation ("Bock") could lead to the wrong conclusion that the good professor does not know what he is talking about. But he does and he is good at it, even though his German is deplorable (his Italian and French are possibly worse). A little language exercise: try to figure out who the composers "Wiwolde" and "Cooperand" are? (That is the way these baroque composers names are pronounced in this book).

    So a really good course is tainted by bad language. However, if you can live with that, don't hesitate to buy this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17462)
    Performance
    (11658)
    Story
    (11551)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "Not for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read about this book and thought it sounded like a great time travel story. But, no. Unfortunately I downloaded all four books before reading the first one - big mistake. The element of time travel has nothing of science fiction in it - it sort of just happened when the protagonist walked past a rock. In fact I missed it completely and had to ask my spouse how time travel occurred (she also listened to the book and was equally disappointed). After the first sex act I gave up. My spouse, who has a little more patience, listened for some more time, but eventaully gave up, very much for the same reasons as I did. This is something like "Clan of the Cave Bears", althought set in more recent times. The protagonist is more interested in sex than in anything else. This is a book for people who need to spice up their life with historical sex stories. Bad, really bad. Not for me.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY and the Lost Story of 1970

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By David Browne
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (187)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (157)

    January 1970: the Beatles assemble one more time to put the finishing touches on Let It Be; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young are wrapping up Déjà Vu; Simon and Garfunkel are unveiling Bridge Over Troubled Water; James Taylor is an upstart singer-songwriter who's just completed Sweet Baby James. Over the course of the next twelve months, their lives---and the world around them---will change irrevocably.

    Kathy says: "Fascinating information, easy to listen"
    "Rock history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you were alive and experienced music in 1970 this is a must read. I have purchased copies of this book for all of my friends who turned 60 last year and this year - all of them loved it. A great story about great musicians. I wish I were 17 again..... and I wish they made music like that today....anyway this book is a great time travel.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6087)
    Performance
    (5274)
    Story
    (5266)

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "Italy in our hearts"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A really good story - well written, well told and well narrated about something that might have happened once in Italy (or didn't you read somewhere it did actually happen?) Anyway, this story of a group of unlikely friends and acquaintances, what they went through in Italy and then in Hollywood is very, very charming. It sort of blurs the lines between what-you-know-reality and might-have-happened-reality. Delightful is the best word I can think of describing it in only one word.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • State of the World: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By The WorldWatch Institute
    • Narrated By Jack Garrett
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In the 2012 edition of its flagship report, Worldwatch celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit with a far-reaching analysis of progress toward building sustainable economies. Written and read in clear language, State of the World 2012 offers a new perspective on what changes and policies will be necessary to make sustainability a permanent feature of the world's economies.

    Wallen says: "Depressing but important"
    "Depressing but important"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narration of this book is somewhat overdone (overenthusiastic) and gets irritating after a while. I had to listen to anther audiobook in between to not get too put off. But what the book has to tell is important, even if it is not a happy story. Our politicians should be forced to read this book, as it is full of examples of short-sighted political decisions that will compromise the future of our children. But it is also full of good examples of where "normal" people have acted in a way to ensure a better future for all. This book should be put in the hands of all high school students, to ensure that the next generation does not repeat the short-sightedness of our generation. The world can still be saved. It is not too late, but we have to act much more decisively and much faster. The message to all good people is: you can do a lot of things to help the world to be thriving place place even in the future. The message to all less good people is: read and repent!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9378)
    Performance
    (8592)
    Story
    (8604)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Simply fabulous"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was the first book by Donna Tartt that I read (or listened to). The story is great and beleivable in all its tiny details. I think it pictures very well of how it is to be raised today in the Western society. You don't have to lose your parents (or even one of them) to end up on the somewhat shady side of life. You might just as well have parents who are (physically or mentally) absent and who does not think child-rearing is a particluar interesting topic. But kids survive, even if they don't thrive, or succeed in the "normal" way. The story is very well told, does never get boring and it is brought to a very logical end. I loved this book and will look for others by the author. The narration is also great.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Void Moon

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    Overall
    (1390)
    Performance
    (753)
    Story
    (751)

    In L.A., Cassie Black is another beautiful woman in a Porsche: except Cassie just did six years in prison and still has "outlaw juice" flowing in her veins. Now Cassie is returning to her old profession, taking down a money man in Vegas. But the perfect heist goes very wrong, and suddenly Cassie is on the run - with a near-psychotic Vegas "fixer" killing everyone who knew about the job.

    Snoodely says: "Connelly rules!"
    "A great read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you should be tired of reading stuff about Michael Connelly's favorite detective Harry Bosch, this is a book for you. This is abook about unexpected hero Cassie Black and her counterpart the grim Jack Karch. Both are criminals (at least ex-ditto) and both arouse sympathy (at least to a certain extent) in the reader. It's suspense all the way, and impossible to stop listening to. I would like to see a movie made out if this book. Hats off once more to Michael Connelly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Canada

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Richard Ford
    • Narrated By Peter Marinker
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (22)

    In 1956, Dell Parsons' family came to a stop in Great Falls, Montana. His father, Bev, was a talkative, plank-shouldered man, an airman from Alabama with an optimistic and easy-scheming nature. His mother Neeva - from an educated, immigrant, Jewish family - was shy, artistic, and alienated from their father's small-town world of money scrapes and living on-the-fly. It was more bad instincts and bad luck that Dell's parents decided to rob the bank. They weren't reckless people.

    Ciaran says: "One of the books of the year"
    "Nothing really happens"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a listener to this book you wonder why it has received all the hype it has. It is a basic story of a boy who is (more or less) accidentally transferred from his parents' home to another home, where he is raised. It all very sad and the protagonist does not get anywhere in life, as could be expected of someone without any real talents and a rather backward upbringing. Nothing with this book is exciting. I found it rather depressing. And nothing really happens. I have often wondered how a book about a real noboby would be to read. Now I know, and don't want to repeat the experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doomsday Book

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2141)
    Performance
    (1448)
    Story
    (1469)

    For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong.

    Sara says: "A Haunting First Book in the Series"
    "So boring...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Connie Willis' book was written in early 1990's and that can be clearly noticed. It takes place in what is still our future and it's full of people who try to connect with other people over failing telephone land lines (as if cell phones were not invented in 1992 and the author could not foresee future ways of communication and mankind had to resport to old bakelite phones). Now, this is supposed to be science fiction. A basic ingredient in sf is what is termed as "sense of wonder", meaning that you as the reader should feel removed from this world by the ideas presented in the sf story. Today time travel is a gadet frequently used in sf, so Connie Willis has not invented something new. Even though she presents the idea with a new twist (called "slippage" - the time elasticity caused by time travel itself), it does not reach the sense of wonder threshold. But that is not the worst - this book should have been edited down to less than one third of what it is today. There are so many side plots and alleyways leading nowhere that you wonder if the editor of this book was awake at all. Each conversation and event is dragged out by the author to the point that you as a listener just want to scream: "Get to the point". I just could not complete listening to this book, I gave up after the second part (of three). It was simply just so bo boring and not rewarding to continue. The narrator does a good enough job, but that does not help if the basic structure is so out of joint.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel of North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Adam Johnson
    • Narrated By Tim Kang, Josiah D. Lee, James Kyson Lee, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1214)
    Performance
    (1047)
    Story
    (1057)

    Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother - a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang - and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.

    Lisa says: "The most compelling listen I've ever owned"
    "A great story well performed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a horrifying story from North Korea. It is still fiction, but it could certainly have happened in that strange country, which must be slowly falling apart. This book picqued my interest in NK and I have read up on the country since and almost all stories told by those who have fled the country back up the general picture and the key elements in this fictional story.

    It was virtually impossible to put my iPhone down, and I think I completed this story in less than 3 days (I normally listen only for an hour or so per day), since I just had to listen to it at every free moment I had. The suspense is great. And it is well narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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