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William

Winston Salem, NC, United States

ratings
590
REVIEWS
87
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
6
HELPFUL VOTES
171

  • Great Masters: Mahler - His Life and Music

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    More than many other composers, Gustav Mahler's works are highly personal expressions of his inner world, a world of overwhelming alienation and loneliness. You'll learn, through both lectures and musical excerpts, how his symphonies are vast repositories of his intellectual, emotional, and spiritual expression that made him the first exponent of Expressionism, the early 20th-century art movement that celebrates inner reality as the only reality - but explored by Mahler using the musical language of the century just ended.

    William says: "Another home run"
    "Another home run"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the fourth of Greenberg's composer series that I have listened to, the others being on Shostakovich, Stravinsky, and Bach. While Mahler is my least favorite composer of the four, I thought that these lectures were the best I've heard so far. Greenberg connects Mahler's life with his music in very compact chunks that made me want to hear more. As usual, Greenberg's lecture style is charming and amusing and he moves the lectures along at a good pace.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fever Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Lincoln Child, Douglas Preston
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    Overall
    (3031)
    Performance
    (1632)
    Story
    (1642)

    At the old family manse in Louisiana, Special Agent Pendergast is putting to rest long-ignored possessions reminiscent of his wife Helen's tragic death, only to make a stunning - and dreadful - discovery. Helen had been mauled by an unusually large and vicious lion while they were big game hunting in Africa. But now, Pendergast learns that her rifle-her only protection from the beast-had been deliberately loaded with blanks. Who could have wanted Helen dead...and why?

    Snoodely says: "Intelligent, spooky thriller"
    "One of the best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As these Pendergast books go, I thought this was one of the best, and a book that could almost stand on its own without reading others in the series. There was none of the red herring supernatural plot twists that are in other books, and none of those annoying mind journeys. Just a ripping good mystery with lots of bad guys and swamp mud. I said that the book could almost stand on its own. There is a sub-plot involving Pendergast's ward that would not make much sense if you didn't read the previous books, but it is not crucial. If you're tired of Sherlock Holmes, it's time for Special Agent Pendergast.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wayward: Wayward Pines, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (643)
    Performance
    (589)
    Story
    (587)

    Welcome to Wayward Pines, population 461. Nestled amid picture-perfect mountains, the idyllic town is a modern-day Eden - except for the electrified fence and razor wire, snipers scoping everything 24/7, and the relentless surveillance tracking each word and gesture. None of the residents know how they got here. They are told where to work, how to live, and who to marry. Some believe they are dead. Others think they're trapped in an unfathomable experiment. Everyone secretly dreams of leaving, but those who dare face a terrifying surprise.

    Anthony Moore says: "I'm Hooked!!!"
    "Better than Book One"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was ho-hum about the first book so I don't quite know why I ordered the second book, but I'm glad I did. The characters were much more developed and there was a great deal more dramatic tension in the second book. As others have noted, it's hard to say much more than that without getting into the plot, but I'll just say, if you find yourself rolling your eyes in the first book, hang in there to Book Two.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2330)
    Performance
    (2122)
    Story
    (2121)

    Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America — or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…

    Linda B says: "Well done story"
    "Almost good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a fascinating head-scratcher right up to the last chapter, and then it was a disappointment for me. I can't say more without being a plot spiller, but when it came down to the end, the pieces didn't fit. Having said that, I got the second volume, so maybe I will love that and eat my words.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Invisible

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By James Patterson, David Ellis
    • Narrated By January LaVoy, Kevin Collins
    Overall
    (592)
    Performance
    (519)
    Story
    (524)

    Everyone thinks Emmy Dockery is crazy. Obsessed with finding the link between hundreds of unsolved cases, Emmy has taken leave from her job as an FBI researcher. Now all she has are the newspaper clippings that wallpaper her bedroom, and her recurring nightmares of an all-consuming fire. Not even Emmy's ex-boyfriend, field agent Harrison "Books" Bookman, will believe her that hundreds of kidnappings, rapes, and murders are all connected.

    Wendelin says: "sensational book from the beginning to the end."
    "Ugh."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's been a while since I bailed on a book in the first hour, but I couldn't get past the readers and the hokey background music.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hounded

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By David Rosenfelt
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (212)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (191)

    Andy Carpenter isn't sure what to think when he gets a mysterious phone call from a good friend, policeman Pete Stanton, asking him to drop everything, drive to an unfamiliar address, and bring his girlfriend, Laurie Collins. He certainly isn't expecting to show up at a crime scene. But that's exactly where he arrives - at the house where Pete has just discovered the body of ex-convict Danny Balfour. Upstairs are Danny's now orphaned four-year-old son and basset hound. And that, Andy discovers, is why he and Laurie were called to the scene - Pete wants them to take care of the boy and the dog so they won't get thrown into the "system". This is already asking a lot, but soon Pete needs another big favor from Andy. Pete himself has come under suspicion for Danny's murder, and he needs defense attorney Andy to represent him - and to find out what really happened in Danny's house that day!

    Joe says: "The best Andy Carpenter yet!"
    "Fast and Fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    More action than a Batman comic book! More smart-aleck one-liners than a Groucho Marx routine! These books are just flat fun.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Son: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (639)
    Performance
    (578)
    Story
    (575)

    Sonny Lofthus is a strangely charismatic and complacent young man. Sonny’s been in prison for a dozen years, nearly half his life. The inmates who seek out his uncanny abilities to soothe leave his cell feeling absolved. They don’t know or care that Sonny has a serious heroin habit - or where or how he gets his uninterrupted supply of the drug. Or that he’s serving time for other peoples’ crimes. Sonny took the first steps toward addiction when his father took his own life rather than face exposure as a corrupt cop. Now Sonny is the seemingly malleable center of a whole infrastructure of corruption....

    Charles Atkinson says: "Maybe The Best Mystery Novelist Anywhere"
    "Glad I gave it a second chance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bailed out on this book about two hours in, but came back later and started over, and I was glad I did. This was the first Nesbø novel I have read and I was interested enough is his dark, psychological plot that I want to read more of his work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flowers for Algernon

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Daniel Keyes
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1354)
    Performance
    (1098)
    Story
    (1108)

    Charlie Gordon knows that he isn't very bright. At 32, he mops floors in a bakery and earns just enough to get by. Three evenings a week, he studies at a center for mentally challenged adults. But all of this is about to change for Charlie. As part of a daring experiment, doctors are going to perform surgery on Charlie's brain. They hope the operation and special medication will increase his intelligence, just as it has for the laboratory mouse, Algernon.

    FanB14 says: "Phenomenal Classic"
    "Beautifully written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a beautifully written book, and even if you know how it is going to end it is a joy to hear how the author creates the arc of Charlie's experience. The narrator does a fine job of creating the characters in the story, but mostly in finding the perfect voice for Charlie each step of the way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bach and the High Baroque

    • ORIGINAL (25 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (74)

    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"
    "Love this series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I enjoyed these Bach lectures, I didn't like them as much as the Stravinsky and Shostakovich lectures by Greenberg because of a surfeit of Music 101. There were times when I wish he would have said, "Anyone who ever took Music Theory and got a C+ or better can skip to the next lecture." But I guess when you're talking about Bach you can't assume everyone knows how a fugue works or what secondary dominants are or how many strings are on a violin. In spite of all that, Greenberg's presentation of the Goldberg Variations was fabulous, and I will listen to those four lectures again. Greenberg is a charming lecturer, and you want to invite him over for beers and small talk about Bartók.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Great Masters: Shostakovich - His Life and Music

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (19)

    Dmitri Shostakovich is without a doubt one of the central composers of the 20th century. Drawing on both the flood of declassified documents from the Soviet Union that began in 1991 and Shostakovich's own extraordinarily frank posthumous reminiscences, Professor Greenberg shows how Shostakovich, who, in the words of a friend, "did not want to rot in a prison or a graveyard" was still unwilling to become a docile instrument of the Soviet regime.

    Cookie says: "Living the Great Terror"
    "Highly recommended"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my second of the Great Courses and they have both been great. Though I was familiar with USSR history in the 20th century, and with Shostakovich's music, these lectures put it all together for me by showing how the music connected with the horrible history. I quite enjoyed the reader. Some might think him over-dramatic -- and I must say, he reminds me a bit of the guys on "Car Talk" on NPR -- but I enjoyed his enthusiastic take on things, in spite of some ouchy French and German pronunciations. This series is highly recommended and I will listen to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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