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  • 24
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  • Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded

  • By: Samuel Richardson
  • Narrated by: Clare Corbett, Full Cast
  • Length: 21 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 59

Samuel Richardson's epistolary novel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, published in 1740, tells the story of a young woman's resistance to the desires of her predatory master. Pamela is determined to protect her virginity and remain a paragon of virtue; however, the heroine's moral principles only strengthen the resolve of Mr. B and Pamela soon finds herself imprisoned against her will. The young woman's affection for her captor gradually grows and she becomes aware of a love that combines eros and agape.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Six hours too long

  • By Johanna on 12-23-15

Insufferable, Exhausting Morality Tale

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

Reviewed: 03-11-18

You will know pretty quickly if this book is for you. It has its excellences, but the prose is overly ornamental, and so are the characters.

  • The Elements of Style (Recorded Books Edition)

  • By: William Strunk Jr., E. B. White
  • Narrated by: Frank McCourt
  • Length: 4 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 485
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 332
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 327

The Elements of Style has long been a valued and beloved resource for all writers. Hailed for its directness and clever insight, this unorthodox textbook was born from a professor's love for the written word and perfected years later by one of his students: famed author E. B. White. Ever since its first publication in 1959, writers have turned to this book for its wise and accessible advice.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Best Book for the Editing Proceedure...

  • By Jonathan on 03-01-14

A Defense of McCourt's Drunken Performance

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

Reviewed: 02-19-18

Any additional comments?

Yes, Frank McCourt sounds like a drunk old Irishman in this performance. But he sounds like a SMART drunk old Irishman who intimately understands Strunk and White's book. He makes many funny choices of emphasis, taking his cue from White's description of Strunk's quasi-scolding lecture manner. He vividly interprets the character and charm of the book, and the valuable information is carefully, if whimsically, planted in the listener's brain. Also, when additional words must be added to the text because of visual clues on the page, McCourt chooses (if these were his choices) efficient and clear ways of doing so. This audiobook is a charmer, in my opinion.

41 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • The Pilgrim's Regress

  • By: C. S. Lewis
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 6 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 572
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 382

The first book written by C.S. Lewis after his conversion, The Pilgrim's Regress is, in a sense, a record of Lewis's own search for meaning and spiritual satisfaction that eventually led him to Christianity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Profound and Life Changing

  • By Shawn on 09-06-06

Lewis At His Most Cutting. Great SBJ Companion.

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

Reviewed: 02-11-18

Any additional comments?

Lewis's first Christian allegory, and he comes out with six-guns blazing. It's a no-holds-barred attack on the foolishness he has just left behind to become a Christian. Lewis readers know that he is normally very measured and even gentle in his arguments against opposing world views. But this is a young, just-converted, seeker still in his pre-conversion sharp tongued habits of expression. To me, it is refreshing, but I'm also glad he became less acerbic as he went.If you read Surprised By Joy first, you will practically have a key to the allegory. Pilgrim's Regress is largely a poetic expression of the reactions against certain world views that he recounted decades later in SBJ. If you've also read Screwtape Letters, all the better. I'd never recommend The Pilgrim's Regress to anyone who isn't already a few books into CSL. But for the initiated, it's a helluva ride. Perhaps it fails as an allegory by Lewis's own high standards, but I was "picking up what he was putting down" at almost every turn. Again, largely because I was already familiar with the ideas from his other books. There's a lot - a LOT - of treasure in this work. If the book fails, it's because the reader has to work too hard to dig out the treasure. But still ... the treasure is there and it's unique. So get to digging!

  • The Gulag Archipelago

  • Volume III: Katorga, Exile, Stalin Is No More
  • By: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 37 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 308
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 243
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 244

In this final volume of a towering work that is both literary masterpiece and living memorial to the untold millions of Soviet martyrs, Solzhenitsyn's epic narrative moves to its astounding and unforseen climax. We now see that this great cathedral of a book not only commemorates those massed victims but celebrates the unquenched spirit of resistance that flickered and then burst into flame even in Stalin's "special camps."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If the whole series is too daunting, read this one

  • By Howie on 08-01-13

Frederick Davidson Finally Isn't Insufferable

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

Reviewed: 12-24-17

Any additional comments?

The book itself is a life-changer. I thought I might shoot myself before I got through it, because, good heavens, what a hell on earth. (No, really, I did stay up late one night and cast sideways glances at my pistol, though I don't think I really got close to suicide. I mention it only to say whatever the most painful place is that a book can take you, this one will do it. ) But in the end it was cathartic and strangely beautiful. If you can make it to the end.

But what I really want to say is that I've tried this narrator several times, and he is just the worst ever. His Brothers Karamazov is the single most condescending delivery of a great novel imaginable. BUT, here he succeeds. His delivery is much calmer, and his sardonic and sarcastic tone is suitable for Solzhenitsyn's wit and hard won toughness. It has to be the role Davidson was born for. He isn't obnoxious here in the least. And I'm exceedingly glad because, unlike with Brothers Karamazov and other classics read (destroyed) by Davidson, THIS is the only audible Gulag available. I'm glad he picked this time to shine.

  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • By: C.S. Lewis
  • Narrated by: Michael York
  • Length: 4 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,487
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,254
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,310

Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor's mysterious old house. At first her brothers and sister don't believe her when she tells of her visit to the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund, then Peter and Susan step through the wardrobe themselves. In Narnia they find a country buried under the evil enchantment of the White Witch.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sound level a small problem

  • By Valerie on 08-05-05

York's Narration Is AWFUL

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

Reviewed: 12-24-17

Any additional comments?

I stare at these glowing reviews of the narration and I swear I feel alone in this world! Mr. York reads as if he's begging a child to please, please, please feel every single word! As if he has no confidence that the story itself will convey meaning and he must excite every syllable with condescending kiddie-energy. Oh, my goodness, Michael, just CALM DOWN! Woof, this is a bad, bad performance, in my opinion (which is in the vast minority I must admit.)

  • Great Expectations

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Anton Lesser
  • Length: 19 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 228
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 196

In this, perhaps Dickens' most profound and personal novel, we are invited to share in the sentimental education of Pip, the poor boy from the village forge who risks losing himself in snobbery and selfishness when he mysteriously inherits a fortune. The story moves from the bleak Kentish marshes of Pip's childhood to a thrilling climax that mingles tragedy and triumph.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Complex characters and beautiful narration

  • By Bonny on 07-04-15

What a Performance by Anton Lesser!

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

Reviewed: 12-23-17

Any additional comments?

All I'll say about the book is that it deserves every bit of its reputation. But Anton Lesser's performance is in my Top Five. Listening to the sample doesn't do him justice, at least I don't remember being blown away by it; I usually like male readers with deeper voices with more gravitas. But Lesser's middle-range voice is full of nuance and unsentimental friendliness. His voices for the characters are vivid without being hammy, and he makes such intelligent choices of where to emphasize (not often) and where to emote (even rarer), the result being a calm performance that is never flat. I was never fatigued by his attack, but also never lost interest. It was brilliant and perfect. If you lean towards dry performances that are nevertheless animated and confident whenever it is called for (the word "effortless" comes to mind), you will likely appreciate this one.

  • C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity

  • A Biography
  • By: George M. Marsden
  • Narrated by: Robert Ian Mackenzie
  • Length: 5 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43

George Marsden describes how Lewis gradually went from being an atheist to a committed Anglican - famously converting to Christianity in 1931 after conversing into the night with his friends, J. R. R. Tolkien and Hugh Dyson - and how Lewis delivered his wartime talks to a traumatized British nation in the midst of an all-out war for survival.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Calm, Clear, Valuable Look at the Legacy of M.C.

  • By James on 05-13-16

Calm, Clear, Valuable Look at the Legacy of M.C.

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

Reviewed: 05-13-16

What did you love best about C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity?

Lovers of CSL's books (of which I am one) nearly always approach a new Lewis book with a mix of excitement (Alright! More stuff about Lewis!) and dread (What if something foundational to my experience with Lewis is threatened??). Especially with this book, since many of us find Mere Christianity's arguments almost perfect and we rely upon it for the part of our belief monitored by our reason.

Well, there are critiques of Lewis's arguments here. In fact, a major part of the book catches us all up on the latest (N T Wright, McGrath, et al) responses - and responses to responses - to the most debated parts of Mere Christianity, particularly the Lord, Liar, Lunatic argument. There is nothing earth-shattering, but this book did finally turn a light on for me concerning what I really come to Lewis for: it is not to have my intellect 100% secure in my belief. If I'm honest, all along I have come to Lewis to have my intellect "pretty sure" in my belief. There are other parts of my person besides my reason responsible for my faith, and this book articulates that in a way I had not anticipated.

That is not to say that the arguments against parts of Lewis's thought are especially convincing to me - honestly, I still side with Lewis in every particular that the book addresses. But it's the first time I've known that, even if I didn't, it wouldn't matter. It turns out that the thing Mere Christianity does to us and for us is a bit more elusive and interesting than offering watertight arguments.

Also, this review makes it sound like the book emphasizes arguments against Lewis, but it definitely does not. Most of the book is, like he calls it, a biography of a book: the story of how the broadcast talks originated, got printed, and got compiled. It's a fascinating read.

Any additional comments?

MacKenzie's performance is perfect. I mean, really perfect. I listened to it twice back-to-back, largely because of the vocal performance.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Practical Mysticism

  • By: Evelyn Underhill
  • Narrated by: Marni Green
  • Length: 3 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16

In Practical Mysticism, Evelyn Underhill distills the essential (and comprehensible) steps that comprise the process of achieving mystical understanding. Though she uses the pantheon of Christian mystics as her guide, her methodology transcends any particular faith and offers a common sense approach to self-improvement and enhanced awareness.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator's voice doesn't fit

  • By Greg Davis on 07-20-09

Marni Green's Voice Works for Me

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

Reviewed: 06-03-14

Any additional comments?

This narrator sounds earthy, not professional. Kind of a "girl next door" voice. Maybe even a little smoker's rasp in there. I think it works for this book which is, after all, about practical mysticism. The every-dayness of it fits the subject. She's not going to unseat Juliet Stevenson anytime soon, but I found her easy to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Winnie the Pooh (Dramatised)

  • By: A. A. Milne
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry, Jane Horrocks, Geoffrey Palmer, and others
  • Length: 2 hrs and 4 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 243
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 183

Here is an award-winning production with an all-star cast, bringing to life one of the best loved and recognised children's books of all time. This is a full dramatisation with specially composed music.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Dramatization with a Perfect Piglet

  • By Jefferson on 10-10-10

Piglet's Voice Is Cuteness as an Art Form

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

Reviewed: 01-01-14

Where does Winnie the Pooh (Dramatised) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Pretty high; among the very best of the kid's books I've tried.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Piglet. The voice.

Any additional comments?

This is a perfect mix of cuteness and dry humor. Eeyore and Pooh contrast with Piglet and Christopher Robin and keep the tone from slipping into sugar sweetness. The book is brilliant, and this performance is a highly intelligent interpretation.

  • Aspects of Faith

  • By: C. S. Lewis
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 18

This volume of short essays and other pieces by C. S.Lewis is part of a larger collection, C. S. Lewis: Essay Collection and Other Short Pieces. In addition to his many books, letters, and poems,C. S. Lewis wrote a great number of essays and shorter pieces on various subjects. He wrote extensively on Christian theology and the defense of faith but also on ethical issues and the nature of literature and storytelling. Within these pages is a treasure trove of Lewis' reflections on diverse topics.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This Series of Lewis Essays is the Most Complete

  • By James on 12-07-13

This Series of Lewis Essays is the Most Complete

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

Reviewed: 12-07-13

Any additional comments?

At the time of this review, there are three Lewis essay collections available on audible, all read (very well) by Ralph Cosham.

1. God in the Dock
2. The Weight of Glory
3. This series of essays taken from the printed Essay Collection & Other Short Pieces, which Audible has broken up into the nine sections of that book. This recording, Aspects of Faith, is just one of those nine.

What I want to tell you is: all of them are good collections and worth having, but if you collect the nine titles described in #3 above, you will have every essay contained in the other two collections except for Rejoinder to Dr. Pittenger and Is Progress Possible. So, unless you are a completist, I would recommend simply collecting the nine in this series Also, this series of nine is better organized, skipping forward exactly one essay each time you click the forward button on your mp3 player or other interface. I believe God in the Dock jumps whole sections forward for each click.

But if you want a short (a half dozen hours or so) introduction to some of the very best Lewis essays, try The Weight of Glory collection. In my opinion, every single essay in that collection is essential Lewis, even Why I Am Not a Pacifist, which, even if not as timely in theme, still contains such great prose and turns of thought that it deserves placement with the broader essays found there.

In every case, don't miss the single essay, The Weight of Glory. That one's about the most exciting thing he ever wrote, in my opinion.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful