Aptos, CA, USA
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  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

  • By: James Joyce
  • Narrated by: Jim Killavey
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7

The story traces the intellectual and religio-philosophical awakening of young Stephen Dedalus as he begins to question and rebel against the Catholic and Irish conventions he has been brought up in. He finally leaves for Paris to pursue his calling as an artist. The work pioneers some of Joyce's modernist techniques that would later come to fruition in Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing book!

  • By Empowerment on 12-01-08

A great book with a great narrator

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-10-09

This is the finest audible book I have listened to so far. Joyce excels at evoking characters through their conversation, and at expressing philosophical ideas. His storytelling is engaging, humorous and clever. I did weary of his extended descriptions of Catholic beliefs, just as I wearied of the extended descriptions of cetology in Moby Dick.

This is also the finest narration I have listened to in an audible book. Some narrators imagine themselves as performers and contrive distinct voices for each character. Yet none of these "performers" is in fact a great actor, and it is often painful to listen to them -- particularly to their attempts at imitating female voices.

In contrast, Jim Killavey uses three or four slight alterations of voice to distinguish characters in a way that is both unambiguous and unobtrusive. It is a true pleasure to listen to his narration. His pronunciation is clear and precise, as is appropriate for reading a work of literature. I was taken aback on a few occasions by his pronunciation of certain words (e.g. in-'die-sees for indices, sloath for sloth, fair-'rool for ferrule, 'poig-nant for poignant, and 'die-iss for dais), but this is a minor issue on the whole.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • The Reserve

  • By: Russell Banks
  • Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 65
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 12

Twenty-nine-year-old Vanessa Cole is a wild, stunningly beautiful heiress, the adopted only child of a highly regarded New York brain surgeon and his socialite wife. Twice married, Vanessa has been scandalously linked to any number of rich and famous men. But on the night of July 4, 1936, at her parents' country home in a remote Adirondack Mountain enclave known as The Reserve, two events coincide to permanently alter the course of Vanessa's callow life.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Where was his editor?!?

  • By Ms. on 02-15-08

A performance

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-29-08

Having enjoyed Russell Banks' "Continental Drift", I purchased "The Reserve". I should have been alerted to the impending catastrophe when the narrator self-described his presentation as "The Reserve, performed by Tom Stechschulte". Indeed, this book was not read, it was "performed". The performer attempted to create unique voices for each character, and his imitations of female voices are incompetent to the point of being embarrassing and painful to hear, sounding more like a parody of a gay man. When a fine actor like Winona Ryder reads "The Diary of a Young Girl" without attempting to imitate a male voice for Mr. Dussel, it is inexcusable for Tom Stechschulte to impose his performance on us.
I shouldered on, only to find that "The Reserve" has none of the qualities of "Continental Drift". The plot degrades into a silly tale of characters making foolish, unmotivated decisions. With another two hours of "performance" to go, I doubt that I will finish listening.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful