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deborah

Palm Coast, FL, United States | Member Since 2011

ratings
110
REVIEWS
42
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
17
HELPFUL VOTES
117

  • New York: The Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Edward Rutherfurd
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    Overall
    (840)
    Performance
    (446)
    Story
    (448)

    New York is the book that millions of Rutherfurd's American fans have been waiting for. A brilliant mix of romance, war, family drama, and personal triumphs, it gloriously captures the search for freedom and prosperity at the heart of our nation's history.

    Chuck says: "Stunning"
    "Failed as a true history of New York"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a native New Yorker, the only milestones the book noted of which I was unaware was the first part on the Dutch settlers and their English counterparts. Every other touchstone on the book (the Draft Riots, Tammany Hall, the 1888 Blizzard, the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, the 1929 Stock Market Crash, the 1977 near-bankruptcy of the city) were all familiar.

    Focusing on one, blueblood familiy line also left other groups, important to the texture of the city, out of the picture entirely. Blacks had been in New York since the 17th century, both free and slave, yet we know nothing of their experiences during the years beside the Draft Riots; no mention of the the Great Migration nor the Harlem Renaissance. The same may be said of the Latin immigration. Puerto Ricans are regarded as slum-dwelling, gang bangers, and no mention of the Caribbean or Dominican immigration. Yet, there was plenty of story on Italian and Irish immigrants.

    This audiobook is a waste of money for some, but for others, it touches on the main points of history all New Yorkers learned in 6th grade History class. It became a waste of time after the second part. Don't spend your money on it.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2517)
    Performance
    (2319)
    Story
    (2319)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Tango says: "Enchanting Debut Novel - Delicious!"
    "Fascinating story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unlike any story you've ever heard, the author spins a tale of fantasy at the height of immigration to lower Manhattan. Heroes and villains, ancient spells and wisdom, this book kept my attention throughout. Interestingly, having been raised on the Lower East Side, I could relate to all the street names and layouts of the tenements, but more than that, it speaks to a long forgotten immigrant culture, both Jewish and Levant Christianity which offered more than the usual information. A wonderful book. My only criticisms...a little long by about four hours and just a few too many characters to keep track of. Otherwise, excellent narration and pacing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Graves Are Walking: The Great Famine and the Saga of the Irish People

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By John Kelly
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (222)
    Performance
    (199)
    Story
    (198)

    It started in 1845 and lasted six years. Before it was over, more than one million men, women, and children starved to death and another million fled the country. Measured in terms of mortality, the Great Irish Potato Famine was one of the worst disasters in the 19th century-it claimed twice as many lives as the American Civil War. A perfect storm of bacterial infection, political greed, and religious intolerance sparked this catastrophe.

    C. Telfair says: "Unforgettable, Haunting, and a Compelling Warning"
    "One of the best accounts of the famine"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unlike most of the popular nonfiction books books on the potato famine, Kelly intertwines the anecdotal with the political, social, and economic policies that exacerbated a European crisis into what seemed like an attempted Irish genocide. Data is explicit, and should be accompanied by the printed or ebook to review the notes and bibliography. Its well enunciated by the Irish Doyle, and the perfect length.

    One of the best I heard recently.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Indian Massacre in Orlando

    • UNABRIDGED (43 mins)
    • By Walter Parks
    • Narrated By Dennis Baker
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Arguably the last Indians living in Central Florida in 1883 were all massacred because the chief's favorite squaw loved White Man Cow. John asked the President of the United States to send soldiers to remove the Indians. John didn't think his request was out of line; after all the government had earlier been moving Indians to the "Indians Territory" (now Oklahoma) for years. But the President wouldn't do it. So John had to do it. He killed every man, woman and child. This is the story of why he did it.

    deborah says: "What an insult to learned listeners"
    "What an insult to learned listeners"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a Floridian, graduate student in History, and someone with common sense, this hour long recitation about the massacre of Native Americans in the Orlando area by white settlers is poorly researched, poorly narrated, and ridiculous. No, Native Americans did not live in perfect harmony in a paradise, and no, white settlers were not blood lusting for the death of their neighbors.

    The truth is always somewhere in the middle, and Parks' attempts to depict the extremes of the cultural spectrum expose his lack of historical research and nuance. The narration was horrible, as if Parks' got his son to read, tripping over punctuation and running sentences together. I should have known when he pronounced the first section Pre-Face!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Two Graves

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1925)
    Performance
    (1686)
    Story
    (1691)

    After his wife, Helen, is brazenly abducted before his eyes, Special Agent Pendergast furiously pursues the kidnappers, chasing them across the country and into Mexico. But then, things go terribly, tragically wrong; the kidnappers escape; and a shattered Pendergast retreats to his New York apartment and shuts out the world. But when a string of bizarre murders erupts across several Manhattan hotels, NYPD Lieutenant D'Agosta asks his friend Pendergast for help.

    G. House Sr. says: "Whiplash from the emotional rollercaster"
    "Thank God it's Over"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Preston and Child must have known this series was running thin. Aside from an interesting plot line in Brazil, the other pieces seem to wrap up too cleanly and quickly. For the first time, I was able to figure out the last four hours before I heard them.

    If you've listened to the entire series, this audio book won't have you wishing for another. Even the authors sound like they've had enough. As usual, narration was excellent.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of those Who Survived

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Andrew Wilson
    • Narrated By Bill Wallis
    Overall
    (155)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (136)

    Although we think we know the story of the Titanic - the famously unsinkable ship that hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Britain to America in April 1912 - little has been written about what happened to the survivors after the tragedy. How did the loss of the ship shape the lives of the people who survived? How did those who were saved feel about those who perished? And how did they remember that terrible night?

    Tad Davis says: "Wonderful"
    "Well researched and narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For those who are intrigued by the Titanic tragedy, the author looks at the lives of the survivors, rich and poor, and details the facts of their lives after the sinking. Wilson was careful not to infer broadly that everything was attributable to the sinking, but like survivors of 9/11, people's lives were changed.

    A quick, lively listen, though in future, British narrators should ask Americans how to pronounce our city and state names. A minor glitch, but a great audiobook!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • World Without End

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8779)
    Performance
    (3221)
    Story
    (3255)

    In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, set in 12th-century England. Readers and listeners ever since have hoped for a sequel. At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End also takes place in Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral. The cathedral is again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.

    Laura says: "Repetitive, but still enjoyable"
    "Not quite as good as Pillars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Twice as long as Follett's "Pillars of the Earth," this epic is twice as long, with less developed characters leading to many moments of incredulity.Where the sequel succeeds is in fleshing out the social and political changes in the wake of the Plague, the politics of the kingdom and its priories, and the rise of the mercantile class in 14th century England. As a European History major, I found these parts interesting, but for others, the epic may feel overly long, and Follett's side trips into soap opera detract from the historical fiction, which is based on actual events in the middle ages. The narration is EXCELLENT.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dressmaker: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Kate Alcott
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (229)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (199)

    Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she's had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be a personal maid on the Titanic's doomed voyage. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men, one a roughly-hewn but kind sailor and the other an enigmatic Chicago millionaire. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes. Amidst the chaos and desperate urging of two very different suitors, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat. Tess’s sailor also manages to survive unharmed, witness to Lady Duff Gordon’s questionable actions during the tragedy.

    Victoria says: "Good story, awful narrator"
    "Stretches credulity, but a quick paced story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fast moving story about the weeks following the sinking of the Titanic, through Senate hearings, yellow journalism, class warfare, all told through the eyes of a servant who finds wonder in the New World. Worh the credit.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • How Do You Kill Eleven Million People?: Why the Truth Matters More than You Think

    • UNABRIDGED (46 mins)
    • By Andy Andrews
    • Narrated By Andy Andrews
    Overall
    (250)
    Performance
    (225)
    Story
    (224)

    If the truth is what sets us free, what does it mean to live in a society where truth is absent? How do truth and lies in the past shape our destiny today? Through the lens of the Holocaust, best-selling author Andy Andrews examines the critical need for truth in our relationships, our communities, and our government.

    Ella says: "Quick and Powerful"
    "Don't waste your $5"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It took fifteen minutes for the author to answer the title's question...you lie to everyone. The other thirty minutes is an endless interview with the author.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • One Second After

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By William R. Forstchen
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5163)
    Performance
    (3163)
    Story
    (3190)

    Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

    Andy Spooner says: "A page-turner, no doubt, but..."
    "THE most haunting audiobook yet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book will stay with me for years. Terrorists explode a nuke, setting off an Electro Magnetic Pulse over the US, which knocks out all communications, electronics, and vehicles. The next year focuses on one small mountain community in western NC and how they survive disease, famine, water shortages, anarchy, alliances with neighboring cities, and painful decisions that must be made to maintain security and resources for their families.

    Buy this audiobook and take note of the preparations we all can make to prepare for such an event. It spends much of its dialogue focusing on "this is America, how can this happen", which sounds very much like a neo-con 'American Exceptionalism' mantra, but besides that, it's back to human nature, medieval style.

    Well written book, excellently narrated.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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