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art grrrl

milwaukee, wi | Member Since 2010

29
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 605 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2015
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  • Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Thomas Cahill
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (226)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (53)

    Best selling history writer Thomas Cahill continues his series on the roots of Western civilization with this volume about the contributions of ancient Greece to the development of contemporary culture. Tracing the origin of Greek culture in the migrations of armed Indo-European horsemen into Attica and the Peloponnesian peninsula, he follows their progress into the creation of the Greek city-states, the refinement of their machinery of war, and the flowering of intellectual and artistic culture.

    Mike says: "Really enjoyed this Audiobook; a good model"
    "The title: concrete. The approach: not so much."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author implies in his title that he is going to answer the question: Why do the Greeks matter? And then he doesn't really answer it directly. For that reason, I was disappointed with the book.

    In the Introduction, he writes, ". . . I assemble what pieces there are, contrast and compare, and try to remain in their presence . . . and then I try to communicate these sensations to my reader. So you will find in this book no breakthrough discoveries, no cutting edge scholarship, just, if I have succeeded, the feelings and perceptions of another age."

    And that is exactly what you get. In my opinion, the worst thing about the book is the title.

    That being said . . . he organizes his material in an interesting way: warrior (the illiad), wanderer (the odyssey), poet (other poetry), politician (drama), philosophy, and art & architecture. He begins each section with a myth that he feels embodies the points he wants to illustrate. Then he shows his reader how each artform is a reflection of the ancient greeks and their culture. It's all broadbrush strokes, very impressionistic.

    It's a review of everything you already know. It's just a new way of organizing it. I think his quote from the Introduction says it all.

    It is very well written, and it is very interesting. I was just looking for something with bullet points. There were no bullet points in this book.





    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By James Runcie
    • Narrated By Peter Wickham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (57)

    Sidney Chambers, the Vicar of Grantchester, is a 32-year-old bachelor. Tall, with eyes the colour of hazelnuts, he is both an unconventional clergyman and a reluctant detective. Working in association with his friend, Inspector Geordie Keating, Sidney is able to go where the police cannot, eliciting surprise revelations and confessions from his parishioners.

    Emily says: "English mysteries featuring a clerical detective"
    "This is Not Grantchester."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sidney Chambers in Grantchester is so masculine. So world weary. So strong. So very heartbreaking.

    This Sidney Chambers is Very Moral. A little sanctimonious . Very Disappointing.

    When you hear "cozy 1950s detective stories with a country vicar as the sleuth", that's exactly what you get in Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death is. It's so very Very Prissy.

    And the narrator . . . yikes. Most of the characters in the story are in their 20s. This narrator has the voice of an Old Cozy Country Vicar. And just as much acting ability. Sidney Chambers sounds like Miss Marple from St. Mary Meade.

    This is not Grantchester. Buy this if you're curious to see how a brilliant writer (Daisy Coulam) turned these typical stories into something really special. If you want more James Norton as Sidney Chambers, I am so very sorry to tell you, he is not here. Buy the DVDs.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Seth Grahame-Smith
    • Narrated By Scott Holst
    Overall
    (7062)
    Performance
    (5414)
    Story
    (5496)

    While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

    Haden says: "My friends thought I was crazy."
    "Narrator has to force gravitas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Seth Grahame-Smith and/or Scott Holst?

    No, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was not nearly as good as Dawn of the Dreadfuls and Dreadfully Ever After. And Holst sounded too young, his voice was too light. It sounded like he was just trying too hard. I don't know if it was the writing or the narrating, but I just wanted to keep rolling my eyes. His lack of maturity was contagious.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Just icky.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Scott Holst?

    Someone older, with a deeper voice. Not someone who should be narrating YA novels


    Did Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter inspire you to do anything?

    Investigate anything else Holst may have narrated or Grahame-Smith may have written, to avoid it.


    Any additional comments?

    Yes, I prefer to write reviews in a free format. This question/answer format is insulting. Shame on you Audible. How brainless you must think your listeners are.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Middlesex

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Kristoffer Tabori
    Overall
    (6477)
    Performance
    (2600)
    Story
    (2628)

    In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

    Christopher Allen walker says: "Great Pulitzer Winning novel!"
    "Narrator missed the boat"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narration was such a distraction. He did not sound like a Greek from Detroit. He sounded like a Jew from New York/New Jersey. Occasionally he would get the accent correct, but mostly he didn't. His pronunciation of Greek words, while confident, was only 50% correct. But it was better than the accent. Also his voice was too mature and too masculine. He was Not Calliope.

    Still, his style was very animated, and I'm sure he's top-notch with the right material. I feel that he was mis-cast. Not his fault, but as a listener, the performance was really below the average audiobook.

    The story was entertaining, but my Greek Orthodox in-laws were offended. They wanted to hear a nice story about nice traditional, church-going Greeks. So, for me, imagining their horror at all of the gender issues, was a distraction. But that's my issue, not the story's.

    Overall, I can't recommend this book. Too many things were too distracting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Weekend Journal

    • NONE (45 mins)
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (46)

    You can now listen to an audio digest of The Wall Street Journal's Weekend Journal as part of your Journal subscription.

    S says: "I get the WSJ daily on my BB; rarely the wkend WSJ"
    "The narrator couldn't be more hopeless. Honestly."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's Down TON Abbey not Down Town Abbey. Petula Clark does Not sing the show's song.

    And (I can't believe he got this wrong) Robert Louis (pronounce the S) Stevenson, not Robert Louie Stevenson.

    Seriously, where did you find him??? If you like his voice, snarkily arrogant, why don't you give him the correct pronunciations?????

    Shame on all y'all! But shame on you, Audible, most of all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Barack Obama
    • Narrated By Barack Obama
    Overall
    (1772)
    Performance
    (497)
    Story
    (501)

    In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father, a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man, has been killed in a car accident.

    Kathryn says: "A wonderful, insightful, non-political story"
    "Obama is a wonderful writer & narrator!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had just listened to the book Game Change, and I was a little unclear about Obama's biographical timeline. So I decided it was time to listen to this book. Not only did I have a better understanding of what the President did before he ran for office, but I discovered that he is a wonderful writer. His narration was even better. He is a top-notch story teller.

    My only criticism is that this audiobook is only available in the abridged version. I was extremely disappointed with that. In my opinion, the overall rating should be only 3 stars for that reason only, but I didn't want to discourage anyone from listening.

    It's a good story, wonderfully narrated that every American -- Blue and Red -- should know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Pirate Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Susan Ronald
    • Narrated By Josephine Bailey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Dubbed the "pirate queen" by the Vatican and Spain's Philip II, Elizabeth I was feared and admired by her enemies. Extravagant, whimsical, and hot-tempered, Elizabeth was the epitome of power. Her visionary accomplishments were made possible by her daring merchants, gifted rapscallion adventurers, astronomer philosophers, and her stalwart Privy Council, including Sir William Cecil, Sir Francis Walsingham, and Sir Nicholas Bacon.

    Eunice says: "Too lilttle about Elizabeth!"
    "The History of Elizabeth's Merchant Adventurers"
    Overall

    A learned yet fascinating look at what Elizabeth I had to do to defeat Philip II of Spain. (Remember the Spanish Armada?) It's about the economy and the role her "explorers" played. Lots on John Hawkins, Francis Drake, and Walter Raleigh. It's a scholarly book yet it's a pretty good story. It's full of facts and figures, so it's nice to have the book nearby. It's a wonderful way to learn history. A bodice ripper, it isn't. Elizabeth was more than just a romantic figure, she was a cagey monarch. This book tells the story of the men she used to achieve her economic and political ends.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Detective Fiction: From Victorian Sleuths to the Present

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By M. Lee Alexander
    • Narrated By M. Lee Alexander
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    From mysterious origins through the Victorian sleuths and the "Golden Age" of the genre (the 1920s through the 1940s) and to the present day, detective fiction, mysteries, and spy thrillers have consistently topped best-seller lists around the world. Professor M. Lee Alexander provides listeners with a lively discussion of groundbreaking authors from Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle to Agatha Christie, Ian Fleming, and modern writers such as Nevada Barr and Jonathan Kellerman.

    C. Telfair says: "Depends on What You Want"
    "It's A Schlolarly Lecture On Detective Fiction"
    Overall

    Professor Alexander's course is very thorough, and she seems to be passionate about the subject. But she is an academic giving a lecture. She pauses quite frequently, Her rhythm is not that of a professional actress reading a book but that of a lecturer speaking from an outline. I assume that her students (who are furiously scrbbling notes) appreciate the frequent pauses. This audio "book" is therefore not as polished as an Agatha Christie audiobook, but it is extremely worthwhile. Her rhythm was initially a little jarring, but the information is very good. I've listened to it several times now, there's so much in it. I recommend it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Nineteen Seventy Seven: Red Riding Quartet

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By David Peace
    • Narrated By Saul Reichlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    If you thought fiction couldn't get darker than then think again. Nineteen Seventy Seven, the second instalment of the Red Riding Quartet, is one long nightmare.Its heroes - the half decent copper Bob Fraser and the burnt-out hack Jack Whitehead - would be considered villains in most people's books.

    Amazon Customer says: "Elevates True Crime Fiction to Literature"
    "Elevates True Crime Fiction to Literature"
    Overall

    The Red Riding Quartet is shocking, especially for those of us who really enjoy Masterpiece Mystery. The language is obscene, the situations are brutal, and the characters are vile. There are no heroes here; every character is deeply flawed. But his style is that of Literature with a capital L. Some of the passages read like free verse poetry. Symbollic imagery threads throughout the books. In "1980" there are many passages of stream of consciousness -- think Joyce's Ulysses. The quartet is a single story that unfolds over 10 years. Each book is very different: told from different characters' points of view. Each book has it's own style. We Agatha Christie fans need to be patient with these books because underneath all of the Evil, there is a very clear and certain Morality. A Morality that has been violated, but it is there in every book.

    Truly, these books are not for everyone. They are absolutely horrifying, the stuff of nightmares, but they are also very beautifully thought out and executed.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Sophie Kinsella
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    Overall
    (1478)
    Performance
    (592)
    Story
    (592)

    Sophie Kinsella's debut is a romp through the perils of shopping and spending, spending, spending! Becky can't resist a sale, and she's only a little overdrawn on her VISA. Readers will laugh aloud at Becky's retail adventures as she finds new and creative ways to relieve her increasingly credit card debt. Emily Gray's narration bounces along with Becky and her buying whims, while delivering a humorous account of what happens when credit goes bad.

    M. says: "shopaholic fun fun fun"
    "Tediously insipid."
    Overall

    I am ashamed to admit that I purchased it. The only thing worse than admitting that I purchased it was actually listening to it. If you enjoy listening to someone read the advertisements in a fashion magazine (albeit in a lovely British accent), then this is the book for you. The character has the maturity level of a 12 year old and the credit line of an adult. I think the story was supposed to be funny. I wasn't able to find the humor in it. Avoid this book at all costs.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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