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Emrys

Alfred, NY, United States
  • 85
  • reviews
  • 298
  • helpful votes
  • 142
  • ratings
  • Possession

  • By: A. S. Byatt
  • Narrated by: Virginia Leishman
  • Length: 22 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 524
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 355
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 356

As a pair of young scholars research the lives of two Victorian poets, they uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and track their movements from London to Yorkshire - from spiritualist seances to the fairy-haunted far west of Brittany. What emerges is an extraordinary counterpoint of passion and ideas.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely Excellent

  • By Loujujoe on 05-12-09

Clever story and good writing but a little cold

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-24-18

This is a fine book in many ways. The double plot (the story of the researchers, and the story of their subjects) is nicely managed. And the imitation of 19th century styles in prose and poetry is very well done. But even though I'm steeped in the 19th century and British literature, I still found the book a little unexciting, clever, but a bit cold. I found I enjoyed the slightly humorous 21st century more interesting than the very serious 19th century story. The narrator is fine. And throughout, there are some very nice touches in the writing.

  • Roots

  • The Saga of an American Family
  • By: Alex Haley
  • Narrated by: Avery Brooks
  • Length: 30 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,955
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,893
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,919

Why we think it’s a great listen: A masterpiece like none other, Brooks’ powerful performance of Haley’s words has been known to leave listeners in tears. It begins with a birth in an African village in 1750, and ends two centuries later at a funeral in Arkansas. And in that time span, an unforgettable cast of men, women, and children come to life, many of them based on the people from Alex Haley's own family tree.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Impressive! DO NOT WIKI THIS BOOK!

  • By avoidthelloyd on 09-17-14

A real epic that vividly depicts slavery

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-28-18

This is a tremendous book. Apparently Haley made considerable use of another novel, "The African" in his account of Kunta Kinte's experience. But it wasn't as if he lifted passages directly. Haley is a very good writer, and he succeeds in bringing to life in words the subjective experience of what it must have been like to be enslaved. Apparently, his historical research was also badly flawed. It doesn't matter. This is a novel and should be judged as such. One weakness is that it Peters out somewhat. Once the family are liberated and move from Virginia, Haley seems to lose some of his interests and the narrative becomes a bit cursory. He also feels the need to include a homage to his father. But it would have been better if the novel ended with his own birth. The narration is excellent.

  • Earthly Powers

  • By: Anthony Burgess
  • Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
  • Length: 37 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38

Kenneth Toomey is an eminent novelist of dubious talent; Don Carlo Campanati is a man of God, a shrewd manipulator who rises through the Vatican to become the architect of church revolution and a candidate for sainthood. These two men are linked not only by family ties but by a common understanding of mankind's frailties. In this epic masterpiece, Anthony Burgess plumbs the depths of the essence of power and the lengths men will go for it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Worth it for the opening line alone

  • By Martin on 05-31-15

Well written epic that sometimes gets bogged down

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-28-18

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Earthly Powers. Burgess writes beautifully and obviously relishes his mastery of the language. A very slight problem with listening rather than reading is that it's hard to look up words you don't know, and there were quite a few of those. One criticism I have of the book is that I didn't;t find the material about religion very interesting, and religion is a major topic. When the discussion is theological, it isn't especially novel. Whaat Burgess does best, I think, is descriptions of people and dialogue. The narrator is superb.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Razor's Edge

  • By: W. Somerset Maugham
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 226
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 207
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205

The Great War changed everything and everyone, and Larry Darrell is no exception. Though his physical wounds from the war heal, his spirit is changed almost beyond recognition. He leaves his betrothed, the beautiful and devoted Isabel; studies philosophy and religion in Paris; lives as a monk, and witnesses the exotic hardships of Spanish life. All of life that he can find - from an Indian Ashrama to labor in a coal mine - becomes Larry's spiritual experiment as he spurns the comfort and privilege of the Roaring 20s.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant and easy to read

  • By Winnie on 08-04-16

Fine writing-story and characters a bit lacking

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-27-18

Maugham is a fine writer. He uses language to describe people and circumstances with precision and subtlety. I enjoyed the book, but I can't say I found the characters very interesting. As with Henry James, Edith Wharton and co., most of them belong to the upper crust who don't need to work for a living. And they don't do much else either. I liked the occasional bits of dry humor. The narration was very good.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Golem and the Jinni

  • A Novel
  • By: Helene Wecker
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 19 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,176
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,312
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,301

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.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enchanting Debut Novel - Delicious!

  • By Tango on 04-26-13

Wonderfully entertaining story

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-16-18

I'm not particularly drawn to tales involving supernatural elements. But I loved this novel. The author's main strength is her narrative imagination. The plot is great, and she tells the story beautifully. The narration is excellent too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ivanhoe

  • By: Walter Scott
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 19 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 150
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 127

The epitome of the chivalric novel, Ivanhoe sweeps listeners into Medieval England and the lives of a memorable cast of characters. Ivanhoe, a trusted ally of Richard the Lion Hearted, returns from the Crusades to reclaim his inheritance. Rebecca, a beautiful Jewish woman, is defended by Ivanhoe against a charge of witchcraft - but it is Lady Rowena who is Ivanhoe's true love. The success of this novel lies with Scott's skillful blend of historic reality, chivalric romance, and high adventure.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent writing, excellent narration!

  • By Matthew on 08-07-10

A good story very well told

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-07-18

I enjoy the writing style of the late 18th and 19th century. Still, I was expecting Scott to be a little turgid, and I was pleasantly surprised. He has a marvelous vocabulary. The plot is a little corny; the characters are not especially complex, and highly idealized. But it's an enjoyable book, expertly narrated. The Saxon v Normal antagonisms, and the persecution of Jews are historically interesting; but I don't believe this book is a very reliable source of historical information or insights.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Little Bee

  • A Novel
  • By: Chris Cleave
  • Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
  • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 217
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 194

Little Bee, the young female refugee from the Nigerian delta, must master the Queen's English and the Queen's England if she is to escape her past and make a life in the UK after two years in a refugee detention center. The novel opens on the day Little Bee is released from the center with no identification papers and only the address of an English couple, Andrew and Sarah, whom she once met on a Nigerian beach. All three of their lives were horribly changed by that meeting on the beach.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Little Bee

  • By debbie ortiz on 08-05-16

Character and plot annoyingly implausible

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-15-17

Although it is well narrated, this book irritated me for 3 reasons. 1. In several places the plot is moved along through implausible devices. E.g. When Little Bee is selected to phone the police, even though she barely knows how to use a phone. 2. The thought and speech of characters is often implausible. E.g. The tiresome way Charlie the little boy makes a grammatical mistake in every utterance. 3. It employs predictable, well-worn stereotypes: e.g. the white working class racists that Bee encounters everywhere telling her to get back to Umbongo land. There are some clever and sometime witty conceits (e.g. Bee's thoughts about the queen). And I wouldn't say it was a bad book--just an annoying one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Rebecca

  • By: Daphne du Maurier
  • Narrated by: Anna Massey
  • Length: 14 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,565
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,360
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,359

The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady's maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives - resenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of my favourite novels, ever

  • By Calliope on 11-24-14

An excellent novel

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-26-17

The story is gripping, and contains some clever twists. I found the literary quality of the writing much better than I expected. The narration I very good. I had 2 criticisms of the book: the narrator can be annoyingly bland at times; and I didn't much like the ending. But the overall experience was great.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Time Traveler's Wife

  • By: Audrey Niffenegger
  • Narrated by: Fred Berman, Phoebe Strole
  • Length: 17 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,220
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,269
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,295

Clare and Henry have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was 36. They were married when Clare was 23 and Henry was 31. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of my favorite books

  • By Joey on 01-13-08

Entertaining, clever, sentimental

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-26-17

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. One can criticize certain aspects of the novel: e.g. the paradoxes of time travel are glossed over; the relationship between Claire and Henry seems to be excessively centered on sex. But overall, I found it highly entertaining–a page turner. The narration by the 2 readers is decent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Commonwealth

  • By: Ann Patchett
  • Narrated by: Hope Davis
  • Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,753
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,235
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,240

One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny's mother, Beverly - thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Must Listen for Patchett fans

  • By J on 09-19-16

Fine –but plot structure requires close attention

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-31-17

Patchett is a fine writer, and I enjoyed listening to this novel. But I think I would have enjoyed it more if I'd read it. Chapters are separated by many years, and you have to piece together what has happened to the families and the characters. It would be easier to do this if you were reading at your own pace and could check back through the pages already read.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful