LISTENER

Seneca

Baton Rouge, LA, United States
  • 21
  • reviews
  • 59
  • helpful votes
  • 27
  • ratings
  • To Hell and Back

  • Europe 1914-1949
  • By: Ian Kershaw
  • Narrated by: John Curless
  • Length: 26 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 453
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 405
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 403

The European catastrophe, the long continuous period from 1914 to1949, was unprecedented in human history - an extraordinarily dramatic, often traumatic, and endlessly fascinating period of upheaval and transformation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very good, well-educated reader/narrator.

  • By M. MCCASKEY on 01-19-16

ruined by silly narration

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

Reviewed: 12-02-15

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Having a professional reader narrate it.

Would you ever listen to anything by Ian Kershaw again?

With a real reader, for sure.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Silly and cloying supercilious narration is not what a scholarly book requires.

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

No idea, couldn't get past the silly narration.

Any additional comments?

Get a real reader.

4 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • My Sunshine Away

  • By: M.O. Walsh
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heybourne
  • Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 404
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 357
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 352

My Sunshine Away unfolds in a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom. But in the summer of 1989, when 15-year-old Lindy Simpson - free spirit, track star, and belle of the block - experiences a horrible crime late one evening near her home, it becomes apparent that this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia has a dark side, too.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing

  • By Sarah on 04-06-15

Not on the bandwagon

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

Reviewed: 05-25-15

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No. Why? Didn't enjoy it, particularly disappointed in light of all the gushing reviews who apparently felt it was chic to like this rather clumsy and in the end, boring novel.

If you’ve listened to books by M.O. Walsh before, how does this one compare?

Not applicable.

Which scene was your favorite?

The End.

Could you see My Sunshine Away being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

What a silly question.

Any additional comments?

Again, it's clear that Audible has turned its reader "Reviews" into silly questionnaires obviously designed to head off or minimize negative reviews that might depress its sales of a mediocre book or one with narrow appeal. I get my Reviews from professionals, scan the Narration ratings for an Audiobook, then decide. I pay no attention to the nonsensical Audible questionnaires..

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Boys in the Boat

  • Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
  • By: Daniel James Brown
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 14 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 24,167
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21,961
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 21,913

Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Do you believe in miracles??

  • By Janice on 07-12-13

On the bandwagon

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

Reviewed: 05-25-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Easy reading, well written story. Everyone who reads it enjoys this book.

What other book might you compare The Boys in the Boat to and why?

Well, the hard copy seems to be well bound, professionally printed, and with an attractive cover. What a useless question.

What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

It was nice, plain and consistent. No weird inflections to indicate different voices, no piercing changes in volume. His narration sounds like what the book would sound like in my head if I were reading the hard copy. That's a real audiobook, not some kind of dramatic performance.

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

I generally try to avoid extreme reactions in all aspects of life. Might cry at a funeral, but don't consider that an "extreme reaction". Might laugh watching a funny movie, but again not sure that I consider that an "extreme reaction". What's an 'extreme reaction" to a book, maybe tearing it in half or something. What a useless question.

Any additional comments?

It's clear that Audible has tried to fashion its "Review" questionnaire to de-emphasize negative comments (and REAL reviews). Kind of pathetic.

  • Dead Wake

  • The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
  • By: Erik Larson
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,385
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,410
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,395

On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Naivety VS Barbarians Of War

  • By Sara on 03-05-16

Crashingly Tedious Narration

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

Reviewed: 03-21-15

What did you like best about Dead Wake? What did you like least?

The narration is hideous. Is it too much to ask that a sentence such as 'Kenneth poured himself a glass of water' doesn't get read to the audiobook listener as if it's 'Kenneth poured himself a beaker of blood'?

Would you be willing to try another book from Erik Larson? Why or why not?

I think I'm done.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The whole Keith Morrison dolorous act is just so overdone, it makes the book unread (listen-) able.

Do you think Dead Wake needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

The 100 year anniversaries of WW1 will no doubt give us plenty of better books.

20 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • In the Kingdom of Ice

  • The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
  • By: Hampton Sides
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 17 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,923
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,751
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,749

In the late nineteenth century, people were obsessed by one of the last unmapped areas of the globe: The North Pole. No one knew what existed beyond the fortress of ice rimming the northern oceans. On July 8, 1879, the USS Jeannette set sail from San Francisco to cheering crowds in the grip of "Arctic Fever." The ship sailed into uncharted seas, but soon was trapped in pack ice. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the hull was breached. Amid the rush of water and the shrieks of breaking wooden boards, the crew abandoned the ship.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great found story

  • By Dennis Hinkamp on 08-28-14

Not quite as head over heels as most other readers

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

Reviewed: 12-28-14

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It's a book. We read books because reading is time well spent.

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

As if the author had written these few hundreds of pages just as a lead in to the ending. If the most interesting part of a movie is when they roll the "where are they now" or similar information at the end . . well, then it wasn't that great a movie. Same here. Ending doesn't save the hopscotch story.

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

Nothing -- which is PERFECT. That's what I want, to have the narration sound the same as it would in my mind if I were reading. This is a PERFECT narration.

Could you see In the Kingdom of Ice being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

?? This kind of information is not helpful to me if I am looking for others' reactions to a book to see if I want to read it.

Any additional comments?

I just didn't get to know enough of the characters well enough to really mourn their deaths. The last 1/4 of the book comes off more like a body count than a story.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Making Sense of the Bible

  • Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today
  • By: Adam Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85

In Making Sense of the Bible, Adam Hamilton invites us into an honest conversation about the Bible. The book begins with foundational questions such as: How and when was the Bible written? Who decided which books made it into the scriptures and why? How literally must we read it? And, is the Bible ever wrong? From there, Hamilton considers the real questions people frequently ask that continue to divide Christians and denominations alike

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Good for history not interpretation

  • By Denise Lynn Cyr on 01-16-17

Very useful book annihilated by silly narration

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

Reviewed: 12-28-14

Would you listen to Making Sense of the Bible again? Why?

Maybe.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jesus Christ

Would you be willing to try another one of Sean Runnette’s performances?

Absolutely not.

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

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry listening to the goofball narration.

Any additional comments?

The narrator's attempt to provide a chirpy, "user-friendly", expressive narration comes off as if he's reading a story to a class of 5 year olds. Dreadful.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Headhunters

  • By: Jo Nesbø
  • Narrated by: Steve West
  • Length: 9 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 571
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 490
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 497

Roger Brown is a corporate headhunter, and he’s a master of his profession. But one career simply can’t support his luxurious lifestyle and his wife’s fledgling art gallery. At an art opening one night he meets Clas Greve, who is not only the perfect candidate for a major CEO job, but also, perhaps, the answer to his financial woes: Greve just so happens to mention that he owns a priceless Peter Paul Rubens painting that’s been lost since World War II - and Roger Brown just so happens to dabble in art theft.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This is a great book

  • By D. WARD on 11-21-11

Ok break from Harry Hole

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

Reviewed: 05-08-14

Would you try another book from Jo Nesbø and/or Steve West?

I have read all the Harry Hole books pending the next one soon to be released Narrator was fine.

Would you be willing to try another book from Jo Nesbø? Why or why not?

See above.

What about Steve West’s performance did you like?

Just read the book. Sounded just like it would sound in my head reading the print edition. No overdone drama and exclamation.

Do you think Headhunters needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. The protagonist is not an action hero, liking for his next conquest (although he's portrayed that way at some points).

Any additional comments?

Too many narrow escapes and far too much toughness from a "regular guy" character--understand it is his desperation propelling him to all these feats of strength and skill, but not believable. It's also too much luck that he finds a razor in the car.

Watch the movie (after reading the book) ! (It's on Netflix.) Rarely seen a film so faithfully follow the plot details of the book (subject to certain things being chopped to keep it feature film length).

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Natchez Burning

  • A Novel
  • By: Greg Iles
  • Narrated by: David Ledoux
  • Length: 35 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,097
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,815
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,811

Raised in the historic southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of honor and duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor has been accused of murdering Viola Turner, the African-American nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the 1960s. Penn is determined to save his father, but Tom, stubbornly invoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses to even speak in his own defense.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible Narrator - Really, really BAD

  • By Mary on 05-03-14

Still just pop fiction, dragged down by narration

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

Reviewed: 05-08-14

What would have made Natchez Burning better?

Chopping many many long drawn out conversations and contemplations that had no purpose but to lengthen the tome, and in many cases became tedious. Guessing that readers of the print edition likely skimmed through many of those. Readers should also understand that much of the gushing praise is because it is of course going to be very popular when the rednecks and crackers get their just desserts.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Story was actually pretty good, just not higher quality fiction as i might have expected from the length and gushing reviews. It was a little bit difficult to invest in a protagonist/narrator whose lack of internal substance (which is part of the plot) too often came off as a whining, wheedling drama queen.

How could the performance have been better?

My 1 star is mainly to alert readers that I think they would prefer the hard copy of this particular work. High praise for not trying to achieve too much phony southern accent, or overdoing different voices. But. It simply isn't my preferred form of narration for the reader to try to add drama to the narration by sounding as if he's telling a ghost story at a cub scout campout. To me, this is at best distracting; others may like a little audio stage play in their audio books. Also, the dragging pace of the narration way way exacerbated the tediously long conversations and contemplations. I just wanted to be able to enter a command 'Get on with it!' The narrator's overdone narration also caused him to carry dialog tone over into the story narration. For example, if a character burst into a room saying "What in blazes is going on here!", the narrator keeps that same exclamatory tone going for "Billy said, gazing around the room until his eyes fell on the gun." and on for the next 2-3 sentences. Narrators need to be able to transition out of the dialog tone, back into narration of text.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Tedium.

Any additional comments?

I would add that the author's climax near the end is carried off in a believable, not too predictable fashion. Really well done with that. The sort of epiloge-ish denouement returns to the tedium however.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Brothers K

  • By: David James Duncan
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 28 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 618
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 488
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 496

This touching, uplifting novel spans decades of loyalty, anger, regret, and love in the lives of the Chance family. Each person chooses their own way to deal with what the world has become.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • At last!

  • By Ken on 05-15-08

Too much chaff to get to the wheat

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

Reviewed: 01-24-14

Would you try another book from David James Duncan and/or Robertson Dean?

How can this be one question? As for the author, not if I'm going to have to endure the not so subtle political commentary. I mean come on, "Richard Outhouse Nixon"? Whether I am a Nixon fan or not, I don't need that silliness. Why does every author suddenly think he's Oscar Wilde? A fabulous contemporary author named Richard Ford has ruined his books with all that, so the less skilled should just leave it alone.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Brothers K?

When I finally gave up on it.

Did Robertson Dean do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

He did great. What he butchered was the way overcooked phrases of emphasis. Har har har on the page becomes an opportunity for the narrator to embark upon a spluttering barking session that, although spaced about the book, spoils the audio version.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

The book is, in the parlance, too sprawling to be made into a movie worthy of the story.

Any additional comments?

I picked up this recommendation from Buzzfeed, of all places. (And yet, what is one to do to wade through the muck of serial novels and similar fodder for Audible these days .. hey, at least those people are reading.) The baseball sections were first rate, for the most part. But the ponderousness of so many segments just wore me down.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Interestings

  • By: Meg Wolitzer
  • Narrated by: Jen Tullock
  • Length: 15 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,119
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,860
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,873

The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age 15 is not always enough to propel someone through life at age 30; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Top Listen for 2013 - A+++

  • By Beth Anne on 05-24-13

Not for everyone

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

Reviewed: 01-04-14

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. Just not a book that will interest the typical reader. Think the professional reviewers got a bit carried away with their asessments.

Would you be willing to try another book from Meg Wolitzer? Why or why not?

Maybe. Not a horriible book, just way under achieved expectations based on gushing reviews.

Which scene was your favorite?

The End

Did The Interestings inspire you to do anything?

Be more selective in book selection. Exercise Audible's return guarantee.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful