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Antonio Rojas

The Woodlands, Texas United States
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 18
  • helpful votes
  • 8
  • ratings
  • Moby Dick

  • By: Herman Melville
  • Narrated by: William Hootkins
  • Length: 24 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 963
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 852
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 849

"Call me Ishmael." Thus starts the greatest American novel. Melville said himself that he wanted to write "a mighty book about a mighty theme" and so he did. It is a story of one man's obsessive revenge-journey against the white whale, Moby-Dick, who injured him in an earlier meeting. Woven into the story of the last journey of The Pequod is a mesh of philosophy, rumination, religion, history, and a mass of information about whaling through the ages.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent, EXCELLENT reading!

  • By Jessica on 02-18-09

The Most Overrated Book I’ve Ever Read!!

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

Reviewed: 11-14-17

I have read other long and tedious works that are universally accepted as gems, masterpieces, or treasures of World Literature. None has been as uniformly horrendous as this exercise by Herman Melville. Goodness gracious, this book is horrible! The stupid whale does not even appear until 25 or so hours into the book -over 1K pages in the written book. And then the final is so anticlimactic! Don’t listen to the professional critics and academics. You will not enjoy this book, I guarantee it. I still don’t forgive myself for having wasted so many listening hours on this mess. By the way, the narrator tries his best but he is way over dramatic and histrionic to the point of ridicule. If you still HAVE TO read it, by all means get the abridged version.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

  • By: Mark Twain
  • Narrated by: Alan Munro
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 501
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 444
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 446

The definitive American novel. A great success since it was first published. Required reading. One of the most enjoyable novels ever written.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • awful narrator

  • By Maddie on 10-08-16

Black Lives Matter!

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

Reviewed: 09-28-16

Everything that can be said about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has probably already been said and written. So I'll be brief. Well deservedly so, it is The Great American Classic par excellence. While I am sure the book can be enjoyed by children and the young, the caustic social commentary thoroughly permeating its pages has vast cultural consequences more apt for the mature brain. Besides its well known literary accomplishments, its colorful vernacular linguistic expressions, the southern argot used by the different social strata, the beauty of the descriptions, the subplots, the depth of each of the characters, and the exquisitely fine sense of humor, the book is at its core quintessentially militant. The most superficial analysis of any of its passages unveils a not so concealed protest against the savagery of slavery. Every page reflects Mark Twain's love for the oppressed. If Twain were alive today, no doubt he would be a card-carrying member of the Black Lives Matter movement. Without being condescending, corny, or naive, he presents a very harsh though somewhat tamed acrylic of slavery and life in a not so distant past. His depictions of small town ignorance, religious fanaticism, disregard for life, lawlessness, vice, and abuse, truly strike a nerve on the reader due to Mr. Twain's superb skill as a painter of social landscapes and weaver of complicated characters. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn takes you effortlessly down the river of life. At first full of idyllic imagery and benevolent calm, then through a more turbulent storm where fundamental human values are mere idiosyncratic and relative concepts not necessarily shared by everyone. This version as narrated by Alan Munro -who by the way, was specifically born to narrate this book- is particularly monumental and awesome. Through his blessed voice and nuance you will truly feel and experience the majestic enormity of this work. Without any doubt, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one, if not the most important work in American Literature.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • La Fiesta del Chivo [The Festival of Chivo]

  • By: Mario Vargas Llosa
  • Narrated by: Jane Santos, Quirogas García, Jean-Marc Berne
  • Length: 18 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 331
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 304
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 305

Vargas Llosa, Premio Nobel de Literatura y Príncipe de Asturias de las Letras, relata el fin de una era dando voz al impecable e implacable general Trujillo, apodado el Chivo, y al sosegado y hábil doctor Balaguer (sempiterno presidente de la República Dominicana). ¿Por qué regresa Urania Cabral a la isla que juró no volver a pisar?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Crudo y Magistral, de lo mejor de Vargas Llosa!

  • By Antonio Rojas on 09-20-16

Crudo y Magistral, de lo mejor de Vargas Llosa!

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

Reviewed: 09-20-16

Sin ser una Obra Maestra cinco estrellas en la misma categoria con Los Miserables, Historia de mi Vida de Casanova, o Rojo y Negro de Stendhal, La Fiesta del Chivo es una de esas grandes obras que lo tienen todo: lectura amena y entretenida, tema relevante, personajes inolvidables, descripcion y prosa escrupulosamente cincelada, estilo original, suspenso, humor, en fin... Al igual que otras de sus novelas historicas ficcionadas, como El Paraiso en la Otra Esquina o El Sueno del Celta, el nivel y profundidad de la investigacion para lograr fidelidad historica es admirable. Los retratos psicologicos de cada uno de los personajes son tan agudos que no extranaria descubrir que, de haber sido posible, Vargas Llosa hubiese presenciado sesiones psicoanaliticas con cada uno de ellos. A diferencia de otras de sus obras en que los trucos en la manipulacion de la cronologia y los dialogos son confusos, artificiales y sobre todo no funcionan, como en La Casa Verde o Conversaciones en la Catedral, aqui los dialogos anacronicamente entretejidos en una pagina a traves de decadas, no unicamente funcionan sino que enriquecen la obra y le brindan un grado mas elevado de autenticidad.
Como sin lugar a dudas ya lo habran hecho notar otros resenadores, la historia se desenvuelve desde tres perspectivas: la primera, y vista hacia atras, es narrada a manera de recuerdos por Urania Cabral una de las victimas del dictador Rafael Trujillo, personaje principal de la novela; la segunda se encuentra tres decadas en el pasado y constituye la opinion o punto de vista del dictador, y la tercera, tambien en el pasado, refleja el punto de vista de sus futuros justicieros. Vargas Llosa es demasiado inteligente para hacer del ajusticiamiento de Trujillo la parte principal o cumbre del relato. Al contrario, aunque el lector no este familiarizado con la historia de La Republica Dominicana e ignore tal detalle, el autor lo divulga desde el principio y el tipo de giros y sorpresas que nos presenta avanzada la obra van mucho mas alla de lo que la imaginacion comunmente supondria. Magistral en el lenguaje y la descripcion del engranage y lubricamiento, asi como la fisiologia y patologia de una dictadura, por momentos, el relato se torna tan crudo y perturbador, que en mas de una ocacion es necesario detener la lectura debido a lo impresionante de las imagines mostradas. Los narradores contribuyen igualemente a la majestuosidad del relato. TODOS son unsuperables.
Si no el mejor, definitivamente La Fiesta del Chivo es uno de los mejores libros de este autor asi como de la literatura latinoamericana y universal.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Ethan Frome

  • By: Edith Wharton
  • Narrated by: Jim Killavey
  • Length: 3 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 85
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 65
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 64

Ethan Frome is a 1911 novel by Edith Wharton, set in turn-of-the-century New England, in the fictitious town of Starkfield, Massachusetts. It is the story of a poor farmer, lonely and downtrodden, his wife Zeena, and their pretty and vivacious cousin, Mattie Silver. This is a short but powerful and engrossing drama, and although it is the least characteristic of the author's novels, it has become her most celebrated book.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sad but Wonderful

  • By Sarah on 08-31-17

Not totally a waste of time but I'd skip it!

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

Reviewed: 09-19-16

Not entirely as dismal as it had been sold to me, the story never captured my imagination and the ending was somewhat of a disappointment especially because the final repercussions are for the most part self inflicted. The characters are flat and the plot line is rather dull and predictable. Besides, the chronological line of the story is somewhat hard to follow. "I had the story, bit by bit, from various people..." the narrator warns us at the beginning, and quite frankly, am not sure that I fully grasped how and when who learned what. Sadly, the work was so uninteresting that even though the book is very short, I did not care to go back and find out. The narrator doesn't help much either. His voice is monotone and boring, always conspiring with the plot to make you numb and fall sleep.
Not entirely a waste of time -precisely because the book is so brief- I would recommend you skip it since there are so many other great short works -Of Mice and Men, Fahrenheit 451, The Pearl, The Old Man and the Sea, The Tunnel- that I would recommend reading before Ethan Frome, unless, of course, you have to read it as a High School assignment.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Superintelligence

  • Paths, Dangers, Strategies
  • By: Nick Bostrom
  • Narrated by: Napoleon Ryan
  • Length: 14 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,067
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,712
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,682

Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life. The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful - possibly beyond our control.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Colossus: The Forbin Project is coming

  • By Gary on 09-12-14

Pure torture complete masochism!

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

Reviewed: 07-16-16

It is hard to imagine a more interesting topic rendered so utterly painful to listen. A very fascinating subject is reduced to the equivalent of a trip to the dentist minus lidocaine. The robotic emotionless reading makes the gobbledygook gibberish salad of words even more despicable. What a bad book! Do yourself a favor, skip it and just watch his TED talk on YouTube. It is far more interesting and entertaining. Yikes.

  • The Making of the Atomic Bomb

  • 25th Anniversary Edition
  • By: Richard Rhodes
  • Narrated by: Holter Graham
  • Length: 37 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,931
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,791
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,782

Here for the first time, in rich human, political, and scientific detail, is the complete story of how the bomb was developed, from the turn-of-the-century discovery of the vast energy locked inside the atom to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan. Few great discoveries have evolved so swiftly - or have been so misunderstood. From the theoretical discussions of nuclear energy to the bright glare of Trinity, there was a span of hardly more than 25 years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow... Grade A+ ... Exceptional.

  • By Amazon Customer on 03-15-16

Monumental, Breathtaking! H Graham is fantastic!!!

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

Reviewed: 06-05-16

Would you listen to The Making of the Atomic Bomb again? Why?

I am listening it again. Although I am new to Audible, in my relatively short experience, the narrator, Holter Graham, is unquestionably the best I have come across.

What other book might you compare The Making of the Atomic Bomb to and why?

Men Who Made a New Physics: Physicists and the Quantum Theory, by Barbara Lovett Cline, an excellent treatise on the history of Quantum Physics.

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

No but I would like to.

Any additional comments?

THE MAKING OF THE ATOMIC BOMB by Richard RhodesIs a breathtaking journey through the history of nuclear physics and the development of Atomic Theory. It is a masterpiece where Mr. Rhodes regales us with his gift for presenting difficult and intricate concepts in a very logical, insightful, colorful, and above all entertaining fashion.Loosely speaking, the first part of the book covers the key steps that carved the foundations of atomic theory: we get to witness J.J. Thompson discovering the electron; Ernest Rutherford realizing the existence of the nucleus and postulating his “Solar System” model of the atom; Niels Bohr, with a little help from spectroscopy improving that model and carving his more realistic Shell and Orbital design; Chadwick stalking and finally uncovering the neutron; Henri Becquerel and the Curies discovering radioactivity; Heisenberg working his Uncertainty Principle, Schrodinger developing wave mechanics, Pauli his Exclusion Principle. In addition, we become familiar with de Hevesy, John von Neumann, Wigner, Dirac, Millikan, Max Born, Arnold Sommerfeld, Paul Ehrenfest, in summary, all the big architects of Quantum Mechanics and modern physics. But what makes the book a truly superior piece is that Mr. Rhodes, while impeccably describing the science, he submerges the reader into the very personal and complex psychology of each of the characters and the historic context of the time. We see each of these great scientists come to life and wander through history in front of our eyes immersed in the chaotic social and military storm that surrounded the cataclysmic days of the First and Second World Wars.The second part of the book deals more specifically with the creation and the political steps leading to the use of the first atomic bombs on civilian populations by the United States government. We get to see Leo Szilard, the true brain behind the first idea of the atomic bomb and the first to conceptualize the science behind it and its potential consequences; we see Otto Hahn splitting the atom without realizing it and Lise Meitner and Otto Freisch interpreting and using for the first time the term “fission” to name the event; Enrico Fermi “slowing neutrons” and creating a sustained chain reaction; Wigner creating plutonium and enriching uranium; all of this, leading triumphantly to Los Alamos where we witness Edward Teller, Luis Alvarez, Hans Bethe, Lawrence and above all, Robert Oppenheimer, “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds”, where they orchestrated the biggest human effort and enterprise ever achieved: the ability to create the means of our own destruction. Mr. Rhodes cold and non-judgmental recompilation of first hand witnesses and victims of the explosions is both pathetic and truly horrifying. The harrowing images of children aimlessly wandering and holding strips of their own skin, women without feet walking on their ankles, or a man holding his eye in one hand create an infernal motion picture in our brain whose memory is very hard if not impossible to forget. At 790 comprehensive pages excluding Notes, Bibliography, Photo Credits and Index -886 in total- The Making of the Atomic Bomb is a monumental achievement that deserves all the accolades and awards it has gathered through the years. This book is a veritable must read, a must have, a genuine five stars, a classic.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

  • By: Mark Twain
  • Narrated by: Curtis Sisco
  • Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 602
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 525
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 530

Twain called this story a "hymn to boyhood". Loved by all ages in countless renditions in all media. A classic piece of American literature.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun story but the reading felt a little mechanical

  • By stephen on 09-26-14

Recommended but not a must

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

Reviewed: 06-05-16

Any additional comments?

THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER, by Mark Twain
Unlike Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, I don’t consider Tom Sawyer essential adult reading particularly if you have not read your own fundamentals (in my case, the Classics, Vargas Vila, Thomas Hardy, Hugo, Wilde, Dickens, Stendhal, Flaubert, and others). The narrator, Curtis Sisco, was fantastic in keeping pace and recreating the regional accents thereby making the experience more enjoyable. The book is entertaining, funny, and it is not entirely devoid of social message. Recommended (3 stars) but not Highly Recommended or a Must Read (4 stars), let alone a Masterpiece (5 stars).

The following is a book summary: don’t read unless you are not reading the book.

Tom Sawyer is a clever orphan boy who lives in St. Petersburg, a poor village by the Mississippi around 1840 with his Aunt Polly and his half-brother Sid. He is mischievous, smart, unafraid, and willing to do anything for a thrill. We first meet him in the pantry eating jam and hiding from his aunt Polly. The book narrates a series of adventures that famously include not only conniving his fellow friends to white wash (i.e. paint) a fence, a chore he must do as a punishment for a bad deed, but even more ignominiously, making his friends pay for it. He then uses the collection of assets gathered from the deal to exchange for tickets at church in order to get a bible. Obviously, he is not interested in bible study; he wants to use it to impress a girl named Becky Thatcher whom he eventually kisses and falls for him.
We soon meet Huckleberry Finn, a badass outcast boy whose latest acquisition is a dead cat which he plans to use “to cure warts”. Thing is though that It will only work if they witness The Devil take the soul of a wicked man buried at the cemetery at midnight. Sure enough, when they are there, they get to witness a bad guy, -Indian, of course- or at least “half-breed”, named Injun Joe to kill an accompanying doctor and blame his drunken partner Muff Potter. Fearing for their life Tom and Huck run away, swear and sign with blood never to tell what they just witnessed. Soon after though, knowing that an innocent man will surely be hanged, Tom gets depressed, feels remorse and escapes with his friend Joe Harper to a desolate island on the Mississippi to lead a life of pirates. Of course Huck Finn soon joins them and they hang out together for a few days. In the village meanwhile everybody mourns as they think they’ve drowned. The three boys get bored in the island and come back to town just in time to witness their own funeral. Of course they become instant heroes. Armed now with courage and plagued by remorse, Tom testifies at the trial of Muff Potter. Injun Joe is exposed, he escapes through a window and skips town.
From there on out, the adventures continue, Tom and Huck become aware of a treasure that Injun Joe is hiding. Tom and Becky get lost at a cave during a school trip. They spent three days lost in the cave. While trying to find his way out, Tom discovers Injun Joe hiding his treasure at the cave, and through a series of un-?-fortunate events, Injun Joe dies in the cave, trapped. Tom escapes, goes to town to get Huck to recover the treasure and the instantly become rich and famous.
Huck hates his new rich plush life where he must behave and follow rules and social norms. Fed up he escapes to the freedom of the wild. Tom knows where to find him. He convinces him to return to society only by promising him that they will become bank robbers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful