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lizzybethc

  • 12
  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 24
  • ratings
  • The Lost Wife

  • A Novel
  • By: Alyson Richman
  • Narrated by: George Guidall, Suzanne Toren
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,014
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,582
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,577

In pre-war Prague, the dreams of two young lovers are shattered when they are separated by the Nazi invasion. Then, decades later, thousands of miles away in New York, there's an inescapable glance of recognition between two strangers. Providence is giving Lenka and Josef one more chance. From the glamorous ease of life in Prague before the Occupation, to the horrors of Nazi Europe, The Lost Wife explores the power of first love, the resilience of the human spirit, and the strength of memory.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • BEST book I have read in a long time

  • By Kfcarter on 11-04-13

Couldn't stop listening.

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

Reviewed: 03-14-19

Having spent a lifetime listening to Holocaust history and stories, as well as visiting Holocaust museums and European centers of Jewish life, I was surprised at how compelling this story was in its characters, structure, and details. The author's incorporation of her research into the story was so well-done, I was riveted by how she made a simple love story (2 lovers, their families, their friends) come alive against the backdrop of WWII. George Guidall is a favorite narrator and his recitation of the Kaddish brought me to tears. This is heart-breaking, though hopeful and resilient story from a not-to-distant past, a story we should all know and remember.
“Six million of our people live on in our hearts. We are their eyes that remember. We are their voice that cries out. The dreadful scenes flow from their dead eyes to our open ones. And those scenes will be remembered exactly as they happened.” — Shimon Peres

  • Of Human Bondage

  • By: W. Somerset Maugham
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 28 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 299
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 273
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 271

Of Human Bondage is one of the greatest novels of modern times, and it is certainly Maugham's greatest achievement. It was published in 1914, when Maugham was at the height of his creative powers. The story concerns Philip Carey, afflicted at birth with a club foot, and his passionate search for truth in a cruel world. We follow his growth to manhood, his educational progress, his first loves, and the wrenching tragedies and disappointments that life has in store for him. In some of the finest prose of the 20th century, Maugham has presented us with the timeless story of one man's search for the meaning of life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the greats

  • By Locopelli on 11-14-15

Small, but epic, lives.

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

Reviewed: 01-12-19

First, the narration totally enhanced what is already an excellent story following a young man's coming of age and beyond. Taking place in England, we get a full array of accents which makes all the difference. At first, I wasn't sure I'd like it because the voice of the little boy was not appealing, but that passed quickly enough. The story, many times, elicited surprisingly strong reactions from me which kept me coming back more and more often, eventually giving up everything else in my life to listen and, finally, finish. It is a long story, but well- worth it, with so many sections bookmarked because of such insight into thoughts and experiences, relevant regardless of the time period. It is #66 on the Modern Library List, which has guided me to so many great books, many of them listened to on audio.

  • The Good Soldier

  • By: Ford Madox Ford
  • Narrated by: Robert Keiper
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 44

The Good Soldier is a 1915 novel by English novelist Ford Madox Ford. It chronicles the tragedy of Edward Ashburnham, the soldier to whom the title refers, and his own seemingly perfect marriage and that of two American friends. The novel is told using a series of flashbacks in non-chronological order, a literary technique that formed part of Ford's pioneering view of literary impressionism. Ford employs the device of the unreliable narrator, to great effect as the main character gradually reveals a version of events that is quite different from what the introduction leads you to believe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I would give the performance 6 stars if I could

  • By M. Leavell on 03-28-18

Not what I expected at all!

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

Reviewed: 11-26-18

I expected a war story. This was an interestingly, unusually told story which I somewhat enjoyed - I'm sure it's just a matter of taste. it was wonderfully narrated.

  • Appointment in Samarra

  • Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition
  • By: John O'Hara, Charles McGrath (introduction)
  • Narrated by: Christian Camargo
  • Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 152
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 136

In December 1930, just before Christmas, the Gibbsville, Pennsylvania, social circuit is electrified with parties and dances. At the center of the social elite stand Julian and Caroline English. But in one rash moment born inside a highball glass, Julian breaks with polite society and begins a rapid descent toward self-destruction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • O'Hara's Best?

  • By Steve M on 10-01-15

Not sure yet...

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

Reviewed: 11-06-18

Just finished and I'm a little stunned. Felt like I was finally figuring it out and it ended. It starts with many character, introduced quickly, then narrows it down to a manageable few. Still, I wasn't prepared for the end at all.... Narration was excellent and the author captured the times and society so well, I always liked forward to my next listen.

  • Breakfast at Tiffany's

  • By: Truman Capote
  • Narrated by: Michael C. Hall
  • Length: 2 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,785
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,203
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,199

Golden Globe-winning actor Michael C. Hall (Six Feet Under) performs Truman Capote's masterstroke about a young writer's charmed fascination with his unorthodox neighbor, the "American geisha" Holly Golightly. Holly - a World War II-era society girl in her late teens - survives via socialization, attending parties and restaurants with men from the wealthy upper class who also provide her with money and expensive gifts. Over the course of the novella, the seemingly shallow Holly slowly opens up to the curious protagonist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "Better to look at the sky than live there"

  • By W Perry Hall on 02-12-14

Makes me want to watch the movie again.

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

Reviewed: 10-25-18

I'm constantly amazed that these books from decades ago are still so relevant. Except for the slang and technological bits, the issues and themes are often still in the news and unresolved. It's been a long time since I've seen the movie and still watch it again with all the backstory in mind. The book was well worth it just for that. I look forward to other Truman Capote stories and other books with this narrator, who did a fine job.

  • Go Tell It On the Mountain

  • By: James Baldwin
  • Narrated by: Adam Lazarre-White
  • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,176
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,068
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,069

James Baldwin’s stunning first novel is now an American classic. With startling realism that brings Harlem and the black experience vividly to life, this is a work that touches the heart with emotion while it stimulates the mind with its narrative style, symbolism, and excoriating vision of racism in America. Moving through time from the rural South to the northern ghetto, Baldwin chronicles a 14-year-old boy’s discovery of the terms of his identity as the stepson of the minister of a storefront Pentecostal church in Harlem one Saturday in March of 1935.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Masterful First Novel

  • By Andre on 05-08-16

Excellent narration brings the book alive!

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

Reviewed: 10-25-18

I loved the parts of the book where the story moved along and developed. As a former church musician now atheist, I grew weary of all the preaching. The story and narration, tho, definitely brought me deeply inside the time period, culture, and history, not to mention how timely many of these subjects still are in 2018. The construction of this novel was interesting, though sometimes confusing as an audiobook as it jumped around in time and between characters. I wondered if that would've been easier to follow in a book. The character development continually surprised and added layer upon layer to the story. Again, excellent narration!

  • The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition

  • By: Margaret Atwood, Valerie Martin - essay
  • Narrated by: Claire Danes, full cast, Margaret Atwood
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,178
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,157
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,088

After a violent coup in the United States overthrows the Constitution and ushers in a new government regime, the Republic of Gilead imposes subservient roles on all women. Offred, now a Handmaid tasked with the singular role of procreation in the childless household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife, can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost everything, even her own name.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT

  • By ambER on 04-20-17

A must-read cautionary tale.

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

Reviewed: 08-15-18

I found the music bits between chapters to be so short as to be just a quick annoyance. Otherwise, the story and actors are excellent. The tv show gives the story a visual punch that resonates so powerfully, it's difficult to watch. The afterword by Margaret Atwood is a real bonus.

  • Main Street

  • By: Sinclair Lewis
  • Narrated by: Barbara Caruso
  • Length: 19 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 154
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 97

Widely hailed as a milestone in American literature, Sinclair Lewis' Main Street vividly describes a country on the verge of massive change, with traditional values being threatened by progress. The novel's heroine, Carol Milford, is a highly educated, ambitious woman who plans to join a newly enlightened society. But after marrying a small-town doctor, she finds herself trapped in the role of a dutiful wife. Carol's desires for social change conflict with the security of her comfortable married life, as she struggles to understand the cost of conformity...and rebellion. As relevant today as it was upon its 1920 publication, Main Street is both a masterful piece of writing and a fascinating microcosm of America's social evolution.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful reading of an excellent book

  • By Steve Bird on 06-14-05

Wow!

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

Reviewed: 02-09-18

I loved this book so much! There is a very good review at the top, so please go to that before reading. The comparison to Lake Woebegone was spot on. The story, themes and main character struck so many chords for me, personally, and continually amazed me how little things have changed in the last 100 years. The unrelenting listing of details is sometimes overwhelming in the audio format, but it completely put me right into the period to where I could visualize everything and will swear I could hear and smell Gopher Prairie as well as if I'd actually visited. The narrator is a favorite and she was fantastic here as well. If you've always wanted to travel back in time for a couple of weeks, read this book.

  • The Magnificent Ambersons

  • By: Booth Tarkington
  • Narrated by: Geoffrey Blaisdell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 209
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 130
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 133

The Magnificent Ambersons chronicles the changing fortunes of three generations of an American dynasty. The family serves as a metaphor for the old society that crumbled after the Industrial Revolution, as a Midwestern town spreads and darkens into a city.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Change - The only thing that is truly constant

  • By tracy on 03-16-13

Hoosiers will especially enjoy this.

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

Reviewed: 01-14-18

#100 on the Modern Library's 100 Best English Fiction of the 20th c. Being a Hoosier, I found it interesting to read about an area of Indianapolis at the turn of the last century, which was representative of how industrial changes were affecting families' fortunes, neighborhoods, attitudes and social customs. The main character is very unlikable, but becomes interesting in the end.

My biggest problem was the narrator. He was pretty good except when voicing older people, who all (including the old ladies) sounded like Zeke, the old miner in so many movies - I couldn't tell the difference btwn Grandpa, Uncle and other men older than 25. It was especially grating when he voiced older women.

Otherwise, it moved quickly and the writing easily put me back 100 years. Descriptions of clothing, architecture, manners and everything else were quite good. I felt like I had traveled back in time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Time Traveler's Wife

  • By: Audrey Niffenegger
  • Narrated by: Fred Berman, Phoebe Strole
  • Length: 17 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9,281
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,258
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,289

Clare and Henry have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was 36. They were married when Clare was 23 and Henry was 31. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Forget the Movie!

  • By Heather Feuerhelm on 03-31-12

3rd Time Listening

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

Reviewed: 12-14-16

I can't get this book out of my system. At my age, I don't reread anything, but this keeps drawing me back. Not only is the story a wonderful romance, intricate and inventive, but it takes place in Evanston IL and South Haven MI, two places I'm very familiar with.
Listened to mainly while commuting or driving long distances, it always draws me in, helping with my 'time travel'. The voice actors are excellent.
A couple of quibbles:
Although the author has included a lot of good location and period detail, she is pretty heavy-handed with the listing of music groups and songs - not being familiar with a lot of it, it was just tiresome. Ok, I get it, you liked punk music.
Secondly, Lake Michigan is not subject to tides, which she mentions twice - this is a huge mistake! Unfortunately, it immediately pulls me out of the story.
Other than that, I LOVE this book!