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Quahog

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  • reviews
  • 120
  • helpful votes
  • 481
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  • Sapiens

  • A Brief History of Humankind
  • By: Yuval Noah Harari
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 15 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,007
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 19,400
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,287

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Should be required reading

  • By Blue Zion on 12-22-18

The Noble Savage Redux

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

Reviewed: 02-16-18

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

The author's account of hominid history is interesting, and the he presents a very different take on the emergence of agriculture.

Any additional comments?

I doubt that the quality of life for early foragers was idyllic as the author believes.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Three Men In A Boat

  • By: Jerome K Jerome
  • Narrated by: Hugh Laurie
  • Length: 2 hrs and 20 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 150
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130

Martyrs to hypochondria and general seediness, J. and his friends George and Harris decide that a jaunt up the Thames would suit them to a ‘T’. But when they set off, they can hardly predict the troubles that lie ahead with tow-ropes, unreliable weather-forecasts and tins of pineapple chunks – not to mention the devastation left in the wake of J.’s small fox-terrier Montmorency.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love Hughes Laurie reading this English classic

  • By Gina V on 04-01-19

Period Piece

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

Reviewed: 04-23-15

Hugh Laurie sounding nothing like House! The feeling of life for the happy elite is seductive to imagine, although the author is clearly keeping a satirical point of view.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Goldfinch

  • By: Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 32 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26,964
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,538
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 24,560

The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow

  • By j phillips on 05-28-17

Extraordinary voices

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

Reviewed: 08-14-14

Where does The Goldfinch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This was one of the most compelling books I've listened to. As much as I would have enjoyed reading it in print, I know the experience was greatly enhanced by the narrator's amazing ability to give each of the many characters a distinctive voice that created a vivid impression of their personality.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I don't think I could have imagined Boris or Hobie so clearly without it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It was far too long for a single sitting.

Any additional comments?

It will take a second reading or listening to fully appreciate all the nuances of the story.

  • The Gate of Angels

  • By: Penelope Fitzgerald
  • Narrated by: Nadia May
  • Length: 5 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 32

It is 1912, and at Cambridge University the modern age is knocking at the gate. In lecture halls and laboratories, the model of a universe governed by the Mind of God is at last giving way to something wholly rational, a universe governed by the Laws of Physics. To Fred Fairly, a junior fellow at the College of St. Angelicus, this comes as a great comfort. Science, he is certain, will soon explain everything.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Defies Expectations

  • By Quahog on 04-29-12

Defies Expectations

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

Reviewed: 04-29-12

The book takes surprising turns; at the start, it seems to be a comfortable, Masterpiece Theatre kind of story; then it jolts into something very different. It isn't the romance it later seems to be developing into either - and the ending leaves you puzzling. I am now searching for more books by this author; I am amazed I have have been unaware of her until now. The reading is so well done you barely notice it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Flying Too High

  • A Phryne Fisher Mystery
  • By: Kerry Greenwood
  • Narrated by: Stephanie Daniel
  • Length: 5 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,244
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,058
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,044

Danger, excitement and love - this is how the glamorous Phryne Fisher is determined to live her life in her second enticing adventure. Walking the wings of a Tiger Moth plane in full flight ought to be enough excitement for most people, but not Phryne Fisher, amateur detective, woman of mystery, as delectable as the finest chocolate and as sharp as razor blades.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The performance makes this so much better in audio

  • By Jenny on 02-26-14

Not Bad

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

Reviewed: 04-02-12

The place and period make this mystery series stand out, but it is very light reading, and the protagonist's enlightened attitudes seem a little too easily achieved for the times. A pleasant enough wish fulfillment fantasy, but the explicit casual sex scenes avoid any mention of prophylaxis or contraception, even though there is a plot that involves backstreet abortions in the first book and discussions of the poor resources for women's health problems.

  • To the Nines

  • By: Janet Evanovich
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 8 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,102
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,320
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,313

Stephanie Plum may not be the best bounty hunter in beautiful downtown Trenton, but she's pretty darn good at turning bad situations her way...and she always gets her man. Her cousin Vinnie (who's also her boss) has posted bail on Samuel Singh, an illegal immigrant. When the elusive Mr. Singh goes missing, Stephanie is on the case. In a race against time that takes her from the Jersey Turnpike to the Vegas Strip, Stephanie Plum is on the chase of her life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • hilarious

  • By Maxine on 07-16-03

Perfect Fun

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

Reviewed: 01-31-12

Stephanie Plum is better than chocolate. Audio is the perfect medium for this series, as long as the narrator is Lorelei King.

  • House of Many Ways

  • By: Diana Wynne Jones
  • Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 998
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 862
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 867

A girl named Charmain must inhabit her ailing great-uncle's time-traveling home full of magical belongings. As Charmain begins a journey of amazing discoveries, she comes to the attention of the powerful sorceress Sophie and an elusive wizard named Howl.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Companion Book

  • By Kelly on 03-17-11

An ageless fantasy series.

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

Reviewed: 01-16-12

I have come very late to discovering Diana Wynne Jones, and I am stunned by the felicities of her imagination. There are not enough of her books in this world.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Apollo's Angels

  • A History of Ballet
  • By: Jennifer Homans
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 23 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 93
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79

For more than 400 years, the art of ballet has stood at the center of Western civilization. Its traditions serve as a record of our past. A ballerina dancing The Sleeping Beauty today is a link in a long chain of dancers stretching back to 16th-century Italy and France: Her graceful movements recall a lost world of courts, kings, and aristocracy, but her steps and gestures are also marked by the dramatic changes in dance and culture that followed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Was sad when it ended

  • By Paul on 12-05-11

Great - except

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

Reviewed: 09-21-11

The book is fascinating and well-written. The narrator reads well, except for her inability to pronounce proper names and foreign phrases. Her many errors are jarring.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Euclid's Window

  • The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace
  • By: Leonard Mlodinow
  • Narrated by: Robert Blumenfeld
  • Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 462
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 306
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 307

Through Euclid's Window Leonard Mlodinow brilliantly and delightfully leads us on a journey through five revolutions in geometry, from the Greek concept of parallel lines to the latest notions of hyperspace. Here is an altogether new, refreshing, alternative history of math revealing how simple questions anyone might ask about space -- in the living room or in some other galaxy -- have been the hidden engine of the highest achievements in science and technology.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow!

  • By Eric on 08-13-10

Hard to Judge

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-09-11

Although the author discusses some interesting material, the narrator's voice makes it had for me to judge the style. He sounds pompous and arrogant, and what might has been good-natured humor as written by the author sounds snide and ill-natured. It is also true that geometry is not the best subject for an audio book. But I did choose it.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Alexandria

  • A Marcus Didius Falco Mystery
  • By: Lindsey Davis
  • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 93

In first century A.D. Rome, Marcus Didius Falco works as a private "informer," ferreting out hidden truths and bringing villains to ground. But even informers take vacations, so in A.D. 77, Falco and his wife Helena Justina travel to Alexandria, Egypt. Before long the Librarian of the great library is found dead and Falco quickly finds himself on the trail of dodgy doings, malfeasance, and the lowest of the low - book thieves! As the bodies pile up, it's up to Falco to untangle this horrible mess and restore order.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Bit Disappointing

  • By Eva Gannon on 06-27-09

One of the best of a great series

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-14-10

This installment has wonderful historical research, a lively plot and subtle character relations. The narrator does it all justice.