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Walter

Shoreview, MN, United States
  • 27
  • reviews
  • 144
  • helpful votes
  • 499
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  • Great French Poems

  • 35 Favourites from Villon to Baudelaire in French with English Translation
  • By: François Villon, Victor Hugo, Charles Baudelaire
  • Narrated by: Bill Homewood
  • Length: 1 hr and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5

Here are 35 of the greatest poems in the French language, carefully selected and read in French by Bill Homewood, the bilingual English classical actor who has spent half his life in France. To help those English speakers with just a little French to appreciate the glories of these poems, he provides his own clear English translations.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Please make more bilangual audiobooks like this!!!

  • By T. M. Daugherty on 05-13-17

Truly great

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

Reviewed: 03-23-18

I speak no French, and know next to nothing about French poetry. So I took a bit of a chance in getting this audiobook - 35 poems read first in French, then in English translation. It definitely paid off - I could hear the beautiful sounds and rhythms of the language (marvelously read by Bill Homewood), and then savor the meanings in English. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Ghost Riders of Ordebec

  • By: Fred Vargas, Sian Reynolds (translator)
  • Narrated by: David Rintoul
  • Length: 12 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 67

As the chief of police in Paris's seventh arrondissement, Commissaire Adamsberg has no jurisdiction in Ordebec. Yet, he cannot ignore a widow's plea. Her daughter Lina has seen a vision of the Ghost Riders with four nefarious men. According to the 1000-year-old legend, the vision means that the men will soon die a grisly death. When one of them disappears, Adamsberg races to Ordebec, where he becomes entranced by the gorgeous Lina - and embroiled in the small Normandy town's ancient feud.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I want MORE Fred Vargas on audible

  • By Barbara on 09-21-14

More Fred Vargas in English, please!

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

Reviewed: 09-14-17

This book perfectly blends the social and psychological elements of the mystery novel. It kept me on my toes for the whole ride. Please record more of Fred Vargas's Adamsberg mysteries in English!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome

  • By: John R. Hale, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: John R. Hale
  • Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 192
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 171
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 168

Over the years, Classical archaeology has evolved from a pastime of collectors and antiquarians to a mature science. Today, the field is a multidisciplinary effort that involves not only traditional diggers, but also geologists, geographers, anthropologists, and linguists.These 36 lectures introduce you to this fascinating field of study. Professor Hale guides you through dozens of ancient sites with the skill of a born storyteller.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely Fantastic!

  • By Bookworm on 10-21-14

Six stars?

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

Reviewed: 08-29-17

Once in a while, I listen to something so good that I feel the need to recalibrate the rest of my ratings. Either I'll need to do that now, or I'll need to come up with a way to give this one six stars.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • History

  • A Very Short Introduction
  • By: John Arnold
  • Narrated by: Richard Davidson
  • Length: 4 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35

There are many stories we can tell about the past, and we are not, perhaps, as free as we might imagine in our choice of which stories to tell, or where those stories end. John Arnold's addition to Oxford's popular Very Short Introductions series is a stimulating essay about how people study and understand history. The book begins by inviting us to think about various questions provoked by our investigation of history, and then explores the ways in which these questions have been answered in the past.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The past itself is not a narrative

  • By Darwin8u on 09-18-16

Thought-provoking intro

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

Reviewed: 08-24-17

A thumbnail sketch of how history is done and has been done over time. Helpful for anyone who enjoys history and want to question and examine what they read.

The narrator, Richard Davidson, has an enjoyable style which sometimes veers into a combination of Jack Palance, Rod Serling, and a hint of Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith from The Matrix.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Soul and the City: Art, Literature, and Urban Living

  • By: Arnold Weinstein, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Arnold Weinstein
  • Length: 6 hrs and 4 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 44

These eight lectures are a celebration of humanity and the rich texture of human experience. They are a fascinating focus on the complex artistic representations of city life from the 18th to the 20th century. Join Professor Weinstein as he reveals the portraits of humanity that came from several of the period's greatest artists, writers, and thinkers.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Can't do it

  • By Walter on 07-08-17

Can't do it

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

Reviewed: 07-08-17

I can usually stay with a Great Courses series, even if I disagree with a lecturer's point of view, or find his voice slightly grating. I could not make it through the first 30 minutes, as the professor went over and over - slowly and deliberately - the same four lines of a poem by Blake. Excruciating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Power and the Glory

  • By: Graham Greene
  • Narrated by: Bernard Mayes
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 281
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 244
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 242

Graham Greene explores corruption and atonement in this penetrating novel set in 1930s Mexico during the era of Communist religious persecutions. As revolutionaries determine to stamp out the evils of the church through violence, the last Roman Catholic priest is on the lam, hunted by a police lieutenant. Despite his own sense of worthlessness—he is a heavy drinker and has fathered an illegitimate child—he is determined to continue to function as a priest until captured.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Hard to hear

  • By Vladimir Shklovsky on 05-07-13

Please, someone, make a new recording!

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

Reviewed: 07-04-17

I think I would enjoy this book. I like Graham Greene - I recommend The Third Man. The narrator and the sound quality are amongst the worst I've ever heard on an audiobook. I can't rate the story because the recording is unlistenable. Please, Audible Studios - make a new recording!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Foundation and Empire

  • By: Isaac Asimov
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,602
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,911
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,915

The Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are one of the great masterworks of science fiction. Unsurpassed for their unique blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building, they chronicle the struggle of a courageous group of men and women to preserve humanity's light against an inexorable tide of darkness and violence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Masterpiece

  • By Lynwood on 06-17-12

Classic!

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

Reviewed: 06-30-17

Quite simply, this book is the masterpiece that it's held to be. While I've always liked Asimov, I don't think I've truly appreciated him until now.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Philosophy, Religion, and the Meaning of Life

  • By: Francis J. Ambrosio, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Francis J. Ambrosio
  • Length: 18 hrs and 39 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67

What is the meaning of life? Is human existence meaningful or absurd? If you've ever pondered these questions, you have an extraordinary adventure in store, as an award-winning teacher presents a boldly revealing inquiry into these most fundamental of human concerns. In this inspiring series of 36 lectures, Professor Ambrosio charts how these questions have been pursued and grasped through the ages, providing you with the understanding and the tools to come to terms with them in a direct, practical way.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Engaged Frustration!

  • By Michael D. Mullen on 01-31-15

Challenging

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

Reviewed: 01-09-17

This Great Courses lecture series is more challenging and requires greater concentration and effort than most of the Great Courses - and certainly more than your average audiobook. If you are interested in the subject matter - I should say committed to delving into it - then it is worth your while. For me, that meant re listening to portions (even entire lectures), and reviewing the course guide in some detail. Not for the sunshine listener or the fair weather learner. I give it five stars.

  • The Fellowship of the Ring

  • Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  • By: J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Narrated by: Rob Inglis
  • Length: 19 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 31,064
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,413
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 28,507

The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in the trilogy, tells of the fateful power of the One Ring. It begins a magnificent tale of adventure that will plunge the members of the Fellowship of the Ring into a perilous quest and set the stage for the ultimate clash between the powers of good and evil.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • At last - The Definitive Recording!

  • By L. N. on 10-10-12

Classic performance of Lord of the Rings Trilogy

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

Reviewed: 12-06-14

This review covers all three books of the Lord of the Rings.

I've read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy many times since I first discovered Middle Earth at the age of 14. I thought I knew the whole work thoroughly after many re-readings. I was wrong. The sections that focus on the history and lore of Middle Earth seemed, when reading the printed page, a bit slow - and I may have given them short shrift.

One great thing about audiobooks is that you will get every word that the author wrote. Maybe it was Rob Inglis's narration, but parts of the book came alive for me as though I were reading them for the first time.

As a long-time Tolkien reader, I enjoyed the movies - but listening to the books made me realize how I really loved them, and how superior they are to the movies. While it may make me sound positively medieval, I just don't think that film (at least mainstream film) can capture the depth and meaning found in books - including audiobooks.

A final note on Tolkien as an author. He's often described as a a better storyteller than a prose writer. I think that's wrong. Yes, he writes in a traditional style (suitable to his subject matter), if you are looking for evidence of his writing prowess, go back and read the scene of Faramir and Eowyn on the walls of Minas Tirith. And on another level, think about the interlacing of history and lore with the narrative - reminiscent of Tolstoy's War and Peace. The Lord of the Rings deserves to be listed among the great works of 20th Century literature.

  • Myth in Human History

  • By: Grant L. Voth, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Grant L. Voth
  • Length: 18 hrs and 28 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 373
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 332
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 334

Myths provide the keys to truly grasping the ways that principles, rituals, codes, and taboos are woven into the fabric of a particular society or civilization. It's through myths that we can answer these and other fundamental questions: How was the universe created, and why? What is the purpose of evil? Why is society organized the way it is? How did natural features like rivers, mountains, and oceans emerge?This entertaining and illuminating course plunges you into the world's greatest myths.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Five stars, with some caveats

  • By Walter on 01-29-14

Five stars, with some caveats

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

Reviewed: 01-29-14

This course is an excellent introduction and overview of world mythology. It covers a lot of ground, and does it well. While I would recommend it to anyone, I need to add the following caveats:

Because it covers so much ground, it moves as a very brisk speed, and in some cases I would have preferred to get more depth (for example, more detail on some of the hero myths, and more discussion of the psychological interpretation of myth, a la Rank, Jung and Campbell). Dr. Voth did a really good job of covering the material, but there's enough here for two or even three lecture series.

Second, I found my interest waning slightly in during the latter part of the course. This may have been because (while he never says so) Prof. Voth seems to be suggesting a kind of monomyth for trickster myths (similar to the monomyth of the hero). While I thought the argument and evidence presented for the hero monomyth was compelling, it seemed that the trickster myths were much more diverse (hard to see an parallel between the Norse Loki and the African Anansi as presented here, for example).

Still, the course material was very engaging, and I will definitely be broadening my study of mythology as a result.

26 of 26 people found this review helpful