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val

Member Since 2009

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 85 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • The Violent Bear It Away

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Flannery O’ Connor
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (99)

    The orphaned Francis Marion Tarwater and his cousin, Rayber, defy the prophecy of their dead uncle - that Tarwater will become a prophet and will baptize Rayber's young son, Bishop. A series of struggles ensue, as Tarwater fights an internal battle against his innate faith and the voices calling him to be a prophet, while Rayber tries to draw Tarwater into a more “reasonable” modern world. Both wrestle with the legacy of their dead relatives and lay claim to Bishop's soul.

    Darwin8u says: "Biblical, American and Absolutely Brutal"
    "Classic Flannery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Violent Bear It Away the most enjoyable?

    the realism in the telling of the story


    What did you like best about this story?

    the almost expected outcome of this freight train coming at full throttle


    What does Mark Bramhall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    excellent characterizations - outstanding performance


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The Violent Bear It Away


    Any additional comments?

    A good reading adds great value to the story - it is truly a performance

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All Quiet on the Western Front

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erich Maria Remarque
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (540)
    Performance
    (454)
    Story
    (462)

    Paul Bäumer is just 19 years old when he and his classmates enlist. They are Germany’s Iron Youth who enter the war with high ideals and leave it disillusioned or dead. As Paul struggles with the realities of the man he has become, and the world to which he must return, he is led like a ghost of his former self into the war’s final hours. All Quiet is one of the greatest war novels of all time, an eloquent expression of the futility, hopelessness and irreparable losses of war.

    Darwin8u says: "Escapes the Boundaries of Time and Place"
    "Required reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does All Quiet on the Western Front rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the top ten books I have read.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The protagonist and Kat. They both tried so hard to live through the horror and find ways to channel their emotions


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The first time he goes home and he tries to comprehend the dichotomy between the horrors on the front and the challenges of those behind the line. This book came out in 1928 yet war continues and young men and women continue to follow in the same emotional and physical footsteps. It is a sad fact that war continues.


    If you could rename All Quiet on the Western Front, what would you call it?

    The Horror of War


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (3916)
    Performance
    (2482)
    Story
    (2508)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
    "Add to required reading list"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks the most enjoyable?

    A truly remarkable and compelling history that took place under our noses . This should have been written a very long time ago and should be incorporated into both elementary and high school science curriculum. It ties life together with science. That aside it is one of the most relevant modern books I have ever read. Thank you to Rebecca for her persistence and thank you to the Lacks family for their candor and participation in getting this story on paper. There are so many aspects to this book. A sad human drama , a global mystery and maybe conspiracy is the word. It is a masterful blend of science, history and individual human crisis. Anyone reading this book will be left with an unexpected personal education that just might reset ones basic beliefs as they pertain to life, the social contract , fairness, honesty in how we treat each other and facing the lies we accept as fundamental truths. I think I would be a lesser person if I had never read this book.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Debra meeting her mothers cells in the lab


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The authors first visit with the family and with Zachariah were touching and sometimes humorous. The saddest parts were Henrietta's ordeal before her death, Debra and Zachariah's upbringing; discovering Elsie's history and Debra dying


    Any additional comments?

    I would like to know more about Da's silence...why?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1278)
    Performance
    (607)
    Story
    (612)

    When Tiro, the confidential secretary (and slave) of a Roman senator, opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, he sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel his master into one of the most suspenseful courtroom dramas in history.

    Karen says: "Great Naration, Great Book"
    "The Roman"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Imperium rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 10- very nicely done


    What did you like best about this story?

    The fiction premise brought this very important man to life


    Which character – as performed by Simon Jones – was your favorite?

    Marcus Tullius Cicero


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Cicero's many principled manipulations and of course, his speeches and logic


    Any additional comments?

    Can't wait to read Book 2 : Conspirata
    Would have liked to see Richard Burton play his part

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Jake Gyllenhaal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3008)
    Performance
    (2750)
    Story
    (2770)

    F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel of the Roaring Twenties is beloved by generations of readers and stands as his crowning work. This new audio edition, authorized by the Fitzgerald estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain). Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby....

    Darwin8u says: "Simple, Beautiful, and Exquisitely Textured"
    "Why did I wait so long to read this?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Great Gatsby to be better than the print version?

    I never read the print version although I have read other FSF books


    What other book might you compare The Great Gatsby to and why?

    The first half of Atlas Shrugged


    What about Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance did you like?

    Great job


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes - it was realistic, sad and truly captured what seems to occur too frequently ...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the Tactics Behind China's Production Game

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Paul Midler
    • Narrated By Paul Midler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (256)
    Performance
    (186)
    Story
    (188)

    It was a world gone wrong, one in which manufacturers thought little of manipulating product quality levels in order to save the smallest amounts, where savvy foreign business leaders were made to feel in control while they were taken for a ride by their partners, where entire manufacturing facilities sometimes vanished right into thin air... Welcome to Poorly Made in China!

    John says: "Hours of jaw dropping amazment"
    "A Must Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Poorly Made in China rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the top 5 non-fiction books in the past 3 years


    What other book might you compare Poorly Made in China to and why?

    Game Change


    Have you listened to any of Paul Midler’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No - but he did a great job - I thought it was Dennis Boutsikaris who read Game Change


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Made in China


    Any additional comments?

    I will look for addl books and articles by this author

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Tudor Secret: The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By C. W. Gortner
    • Narrated By Steve West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (166)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (134)

    The summer of 1553 is a time of danger and deceit. Brendan Prescott, an orphan, has been reared in the household of the powerful Dudley family. Brought to court, Prescott finds himself sent on an illicit mission to the king’s brilliant but enigmatic sister, Princess Elizabeth. But Brendan is soon compelled to work as a double agent by Elizabeth’s protector, William Cecil, who promises in exchange to help him unravel the secret of his own mysterious past.

    val says: "The reading Performance helped..."
    "The reading Performance helped..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    More substance in the story


    What was most disappointing about C. W. Gortner’s story?

    Thin story line


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Steve West?

    John lee.
    Reading was too hasty although the voice drama helped


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Hmmmm


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Solomon's Song: The Australian Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (1431)
    Performance
    (928)
    Story
    (921)

    Here is the story of two families, branches of the Solomons, transported to an alien land. Both branches eventually grow rich and powerful. But through three generations, the families never, for one moment, relinquish their hatred for each other. This novel is also the story of Australia, from its beginnings to its coming of age as a nation.

    Anne says: "Breathtaking!"
    "Nail biter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Solomon's Song in three words, what would they be?

    Spellbinding accurate devastating


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    BenHawkDavid
    All were very well rounded characters


    Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes/Consistent


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    The ending was a nail biter. He's a very interesting author/ stores teller

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • King Rat

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 1 min)
    • By James Clavell
    • Narrated By David Case
    Overall
    (173)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (104)

    The time is World War II. The place is a brutal prison camp deep in Japanese-occupied territory. Here, within the seething mass of humanity, one man, an American corporal, seeks dominance over both captives and captors alike. His weapons are human courage, unblinking understanding of human weaknesses, and total willingness to exploit every opportunity to enlarge his power and corrupt or destroy anyone who stands in his path.

    John says: "King Rat"
    "Devastating in its effect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have already


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The complex King Rat and Grey


    Have you listened to any of David Case’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes - he's consistent and a joy to listen to


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Going back to read the entire Asian series

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gai-Jin: A Novel of Japan

    • UNABRIDGED (50 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By James Clavell
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (341)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (196)

    A sequel to Tai-pan, this is the sixth novel in Clavell's Asian saga and takes place in 1862. The gai-jin (foreigners) have arrived, intent on doing business with the Japanese. With laws against the use of the wheel in carriages or carts, the Japanese, their tradition-bound Emperor, and competing warlords detest the foreigners, who have ruined the Chinese with the Opium Wars.

    Caleb says: "Good, just not as good as the rest of Clavell"
    "Top honors"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Gai-Jin to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version I was very impressed with the reading and the story. Bravo


    What did you like best about this story?

    The intricacies of the story line and. Complete unpredictability


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

    William


    If you could take any character from Gai-Jin out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    William to throw curve balls and see how he deftly handles them.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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