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  • 12
  • reviews
  • 17
  • helpful votes
  • 60
  • ratings
  • The Sun Also Rises

  • By: Ernest Hemingway
  • Narrated by: William Hurt
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,716
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,101
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,104

The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway's masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the story introduces two of Hemingway's most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. Follow the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of the 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Great actor, terrible reader, kills classic

  • By Kerry on 09-14-14

Punctuation problems

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

Reviewed: 04-08-19

The narrator has an annoying habit of needlessly lilting sentences towards the end, it makes it sound as if every other sentence is a question. I compared it with the original text and in many places where there’s a full stop the narrator reads it as if there were a comma.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • After Disasters

  • By: Viet Dinh
  • Narrated by: Sanjiv Jhaveri
  • Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 20

Beautifully and hauntingly written, After Disasters is told through the eyes of four people in the wake of a life-shattering earthquake in India. An intricate story of love and loss weaves together the emotional and intimate narratives of Ted, a pharmaceutical salesman turned member of the Disaster Assistance Response Team; his colleague Piotr, who still carries with him the scars of the Bosnia conflict.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Annoying narrator, patchy story.

  • By Julia on 11-17-17

Annoying narrator, patchy story.

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

Reviewed: 11-17-17

Let's start by saying the narrator is awful. His mock-British accents made my teeth ache and the pinched pitch he used to narrate women is laughable. The story itself is weak enough to be further weakened by this performance - shame, as the subject matter is interesting and the ideas compelling, it just falls flat as far as execution goes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Prince Lestat

  • The Vampire Chronicles
  • By: Anne Rice
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 18 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,039
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,877
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,877

The novel opens with the vampire world in crisis… vampires have been proliferating out of control; burnings have commenced all over the world, huge massacres similar to those carried out by Akasha in The Queen of the Damned… Old vampires, roused from slumber in the earth are doing the bidding of a Voice commanding that they indiscriminately burn vampire-mavericks in cities from Paris and Mumbai to Hong Kong, Kyoto, and San Francisco.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Oh how I have missed this series

  • By Samantha on 11-04-14

Blah blah blah. Disappointing.

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

Reviewed: 11-17-16

What disappointed you about Prince Lestat?

The novel doesn't really start at any set point at all, instead going on and on and on for hundreds of pages, rehashing - through endless conversations between countless characters - most of the Chronicles up until that point, in a tone that more than hints at self-praising. We meet almost every vampire ever to be mentioned by Rice in the Chronicles and the New Tales, with a host of new characters, some created by fleshing out characters that could be, with extreme generosity, described as extras from an earlier VC novel, and some created from scratch. While this is taking place we are fed small clues as to the latest calamity that has befallen the undead world, the true nature and solution of which is no mystery to any VC fan and the way it is revealed, as if it's the most surprising plot twist EVER, suggests Rice thinks her oldest and most faithful readers are a bunch of twits.

The fact that nothing happens for about 430 pages and then any meaningful action is compressed into a few pages towards the end and is extremely anticlimactic should come as no surprise to those familiar with Rice's work, as should the fact that vampires spend most of their time glistening, glowing in the dark, weeping blood, stating that they love each other, embracing each other, gaping in awe at each other and hearing voices in their heads. With some flying and fire thrown in for good measure.

Has Prince Lestat turned you off from other books in this genre?

I doubt I'll be picking up the next insallments, which is a shame considered I've read them all so far.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

I like Vance's timbre of voice, but his foreign accents are horrible. I understand it's difficult to give each character their own voice when you have some 20+ characters to create, but still...

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

Nothing but sentimental value, really.

Any additional comments?

If you're not familiar with the Vampire Chronicles, do NOT start here. Start at the beginning, at "Interview with a Vampire".

Jane Eyre audiobook cover art
  • Jane Eyre

  • By: Charlotte Bronte
  • Narrated by: Josephine Bailey
  • Length: 20 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 314
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 256
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 257

Initially published under the pseudonym Currer Bell in 1847, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre erupted onto the English literary scene, immediately winning the devotion of many of the world's most renowned writers, including William Makepeace Thackeray, who declared it a work "of great genius."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Better then Any Movie!

  • By Patrick on 11-08-11

Simply the best!

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

Reviewed: 09-11-16

Who was your favorite character and why?

I really liked Jane for being so sensible and grounded - many heroines in novels of the time were either nutcases or plain obtuse (look no further than the flagship novels of Charlotte's sisters, "Wuthering Heights" and "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall"), whereas Jane is somewhere in between, managing to be true to her nature while still remaining logical. And, of course, Mister Rochester. Oh, Mister Rochester. *sighs*

Which scene was your favorite?

So difficult to choose just one... I love all the scenes where Jane and Mr Rochester spar, exchanging tit for tat.

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

Yes!

Any additional comments?

Very well narrated, and good audio quality.

  • The Pillars of the Earth

  • By: Ken Follett
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 40 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,860
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 17,275
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,308

The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame...and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Couldn't Take My Buds Out

  • By Judith on 11-08-07

Goes on and on and on and on...

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

Reviewed: 09-11-16

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

Depends if they like sprawling epics that never end. I found it pretty frustrating, despite knowing from the beginning what I was up against - every time I thought the characters were in the clear something else befalls them, and them something more, and more... I get this is a metaphor for the process of building a church back in the day, but understanding this didn't do much to ease my frustration.

Has The Pillars of the Earth turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, but I doubt I'll be buying another audiobook that lasts 40 hours any time soon!

What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

John Lee is probably my favourite audible narrator, so can't be objective here.

  • A Strangeness in My Mind

  • A Novel
  • By: Orhan Pamuk, Ekin Oklap - translator
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 21 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 247
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 230
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227

Since his boyhood Mevlut Karataş has fantasized about what his life would become. Not getting as far in school as he'd hoped, at the age of 12 he comes to Istanbul - "the center of the world" - and is immediately enthralled by both the old city that is disappearing and the new one that is fast being built. He follows his father's trade, selling boza on the street and hoping to become rich like other villagers who have settled the desolate hills outside the booming metropolis. But luck never seems to be on Mevlut's side.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Strangeness in My Mind: A Delight for my Commute

  • By Andrea Frank on 03-19-16

A bit of a soap opera.

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

Reviewed: 09-11-16

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I was originally pulled into Pamuk's writing because of the mystical way he wrote about Turkey, especially in "Black Book". This seems to be missing in this novel, and although it is still an engaging read, it reads more like a soap opera than something deep and magical. It also seems the political subplots were added almost as an afterthought; they could have been removed and the main plot wouldn't have suffered or the big picture wouldn't have become much fainter.

Would you recommend A Strangeness in My Mind to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes, because Pamuk is a very good novelist. Although I'd only recommend this particular novel if you're already familiar with Pamuk's body of work.

Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I loved his Lynley novels. He is a bit of a slow reader, but speed the audio up to 1,5x and it listens wonderfully.

Was A Strangeness in My Mind worth the listening time?

Yes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Book of Strange New Things

  • By: Michel Faber
  • Narrated by: Josh Cohen
  • Length: 19 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 14

'I am with you always, even unto the end of the world . . .' Peter Leigh is a missionary called to go on the journey of a lifetime. Leaving behind his beloved wife, Bea, he boards a flight for a remote and unfamiliar land, a place where the locals are hungry for the teachings of the Bible - his 'book of strange new things'. It is a quest that will challenge Peter's beliefs, his understanding of the limits of the human body and, most of all, his love for Bea.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not sure Michel Faber does resolution...

  • By Julie on 03-15-15

Bad story, good narrator.

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

Reviewed: 09-10-16

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

It was okay, but not mind-blowing.

What was most disappointing about Michel Faber’s story?

It had a lot of potential that remained unexplored. The way I understand it, the author took on a very limited point of view of emphasise that it was Peter's outlook and priorities that counted, but then a first-person narrative would have suited this novel much better. As it is, the reader is left with the feeling that many important issues have remained unexplored.

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

He brings an boyish enthusiasm to Peter that fits his personality, and the way he reads the Oasans is also good (and not easy to pull off).

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

No, unless they fixed the plot holes in the novel.

  • The Light Between Oceans

  • A Novel
  • By: M. L. Stedman
  • Narrated by: Noah Taylor
  • Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,832
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6,998
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,963

In 1918, after four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes only four times a year and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Three years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel is tending the grave of her newly lost infant when she hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up on shore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful story.....terrible narrator.

  • By Sandra on 08-14-12

Mumbling narrator.

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

Reviewed: 08-14-16

Now before I'm accused of not understanding Aussie accents - it's not about the accent. I really enjoyed having the story read by a "geographically correct" narrator, but he mumbles like he hadn't eaten that day. It's okay to listen to on plug-in earphones, but put it on loudspeaker and you'll be backtracking every couple of minutes.

  • Doomsday Book

  • By: Connie Willis
  • Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
  • Length: 26 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,303
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4,376
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,399

For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Timely, beautiful, terrible and haunting

  • By mudcelt on 11-02-09

Jenny Sterlin makes this book unbearable.

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

Reviewed: 07-28-16

Someone please tell Mrs. Sterlin that already in the 1990s not everyone in Oxford spoke like a toff. And in the 2050's I daresay there'll be even less posh people around. The only people that aren't narrated like Eton alumni are the Americans. Narration aside, the novel is pretty meh, so to speak. There's no depth at all to either of the plotlines, the characters are forgettable clichés, it all seems as well-researched as a mid-term paper in secondary school, and the future seems to be devoid of things like cell phones and the Internet, which were hardly outlandish tech in the early 1990's.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Chimes

  • By: Anna Smaill
  • Narrated by: Luke Kempner
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 1

A mind-expanding literary debut composed of memory, music and imagination. A boy stands on the roadside on his way to London, alone in the rain. No memories beyond what he can hold in his hands at any given moment. No directions, as written words have long since been forbidden. No parents - just a melody that tugs at him, a thread to follow. A song that says if he can just get to the capital, he may find some answers about what happened to them.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • An already so-so book made worse by the narrator.

  • By Julia on 07-08-16

An already so-so book made worse by the narrator.

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

Reviewed: 07-08-16

What disappointed you about The Chimes?

The story is in no way original - and although that isn't always a problem (hello, Star Wars?), here there is little redeem it. The characters are unlikeable, and the way Luke Kempner narrates Lucien and Lucien's sister, you would believe they're 40 and 50 respectively. Also, the one thing that really makes it stand out - the accent placed on music, and musical narration, and musical theory - is lost one someone like me, who has marginal knowledge of musical theory and zero imagination when it comes to translating descriptions of music into actual sounds in my head.

Has The Chimes turned you off from other books in this genre?

I remember reading on Goodreads that the author intended this book to be a YA novel, and it was the publisher that re-shelved it. Bad idea. This is YA, period, and I wouldn't have touched it if I had known.

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

Boredom.