LISTENER

D. Donohue

New York, NY USA
  • 22
  • reviews
  • 72
  • helpful votes
  • 162
  • ratings
  • Kristin Lavransdatter

  • By: Tiina Nunnally - translator, Sigrid Undset
  • Narrated by: Erin Bennett
  • Length: 44 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,359
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,260
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,254

As a young girl in 14th-century Norway, Kristin is deeply devoted to her father, Lavrans, a kind and courageous man. But when as a student in a convent school she meets the charming and impetuous Erlend Nikulaussøn, she defies her parents in pursuit of her own desires. Her saga continues through her marriage to Erlend, their tumultuous life together raising seven sons as Erlend seeks to strengthen his political influence, and finally their estrangement as the world around them tumbles into uncertainty.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A grand listen

  • By Chicago & Indiana Scientist/Gardener/Hiker on 07-05-17

Thanks for bringing this to life!

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

Reviewed: 08-08-18

I've been trying to get to reading it for 20 years. At last you have brought together a great story and reader.

  • The Duke’s Children

  • By: Anthony Trollope
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 19 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30

The brilliant conclusion to the Palliser novels, this touching story follows the elderly Duke of Omnium, the former prime minister of England, as he struggles to overcome his grief at the loss of his beloved wife, Lady Glencora. To complicate matters, he must also deal with the willfulness of his three adult children as he tries to guide and support them - his plans for them are quite different from their own. While his two sons, sent down from university in disgrace, rack up gambling debts, the duke’s only daughter yearns to marry the poor son of a country squire.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Satisfying conclusion

  • By Tad Davis on 08-20-17

I will miss this series. it has kept me sane

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

Reviewed: 06-10-18

In this horrible era I have been luxuriating in Trollope's humor and wisdom. His women are #metoo women: smart, majestic, courageous. His political world is lame, fruitless, diminished. It's familiar, but wrapped up in Victorian mores, so palatable.

  • The Golden House

  • A Novel
  • By: Salman Rushdie
  • Narrated by: Vikas Adam
  • Length: 14 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 368
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 338
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 337

Our guide to the Goldens' world is their neighbor René, an ambitious young filmmaker. Researching a movie about the Goldens, he ingratiates himself into their household. Seduced by their mystique, he is inevitably implicated in their quarrels, their infidelities, and, indeed, their crimes. Meanwhile, like a bad joke, a certain comic-book villain embarks upon a crass presidential run that turns New York upside-down.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing.

  • By Garrett on 10-13-17

Delirious antidote to wallowing in self-pity

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

Reviewed: 09-20-17

Been suffering with the blues in these mindless deplorable days? Listening to this book may help. It's a reminder how much thinking, reading and humor heal. The narrator lacks some essential coaching on pronouncing some key names... Houston Street is not pronounced like that city in TX. Otherwise he is excellent.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Orley Farm

  • By: Anthony Trollope
  • Narrated by: Flo Gibson
  • Length: 25 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 29

Lady Mason's trial for forgery and perjury shocks the neighborhood. A cast of unforgettable characters views her with disdain, compassion, and disbelief. And then there are the love stories....

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Dreary effort

  • By Sharon on 08-03-13

I love Flo Gibson so dearly!

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

Reviewed: 08-22-17

so grateful that I happened upon a novel I had never heard or read with her lovely reading.

  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

  • A Novel
  • By: Haruki Murakami
  • Narrated by: Rupert Degas
  • Length: 26 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,731
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,493
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,494

In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat.... Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid 16-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan's forgotten campaign in Manchuria.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful book, flawed narration.

  • By REBECCA on 02-08-14

Narration almost unendurable

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

Reviewed: 06-30-15

I love the book, and, as usual with Murakami, the characters. The narrator performs female characters so disdainfully, I could almost not stand it. He is fine when doing male interior dialog or voicing men, but he ruins this women with his cruel voicings of them.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Tennessee Williams

  • Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh
  • By: John Lahr
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Ashley
  • Length: 26 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 158
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 145
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 141

Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh gives intimate access to the mind of one of the most brilliant dramatists of his century, whose plays reshaped the American theater and the nation's sense of itself. This astute, deeply researched biography sheds a light on Tennessee Williams's warring family, his guilt, his creative triumphs and failures, his sexuality and numerous affairs, his misreported death, even the shenanigans surrounding his estate.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A question for the audio engineers

  • By Tojo on 01-17-16

Enthralling drama its subject would have enjoyed

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

Reviewed: 04-14-15

I couldn't stop listening to Elizabeth Ashley's perfectly evocative performance of this biography... that felt more truly like a drama than a nonfiction work.
Good on you, John Lahr!! Thoughtful, even, wide open account with the perfect amount of detail. I loved the narrative structure being more dramatic than chronological.
Good on you, Elizabeth Ashley! You are now Tennessee Williams' voice in my subconscious. What a delicious voice you have for this text, although it is so much more than text, thanks to Lahr & Ashley (OK, and the late great T. Williams)!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Hare with Amber Eyes

  • A Family's Century of Art and Loss
  • By: Edmund de Waal
  • Narrated by: Michael Maloney
  • Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 784
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 675
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 673

The Ephrussis were a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who “burned like a comet” in 19th-century Paris and Vienna society. Yet by the end of World War II, almost the only thing remaining of their vast empire was a collection of 264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox. The renowned ceramicist Edmund de Waal became the fifth generation to inherit this small and exquisite collection of netsuke. Entranced by their beauty and mystery, he determined to trace the story of his family through the story of the collection.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A vagabond through history, clutching a tiny carvi

  • By SB Price on 01-19-12

I only wished for more

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

Reviewed: 03-18-15

The book was recommended to me thus: "It has everything you like! Art, literature, Proust, Paris, Vienna, fin de siecle, WWI, Japan, etc" I could not agree more, yet that barely does it justice...it ponders huge questions so nimbly and entertainingly that you might be excused to call it memoire or history, but it is more like a run on essay...and I would not have minded it running on and on.
The reader is one of the best I have ever heard...perfectly credible moving among languages and a variety of nationalities of names. Truly great

  • The Museum of Innocence

  • By: Orhan Pamuk, Maureen Freely (translator)
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 20 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 211
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 144

Kemal, scion of one of the city's wealthiest families, is about to become engaged to Sibel, daughter of another prominent family, when he encounters Füsun, a beautiful shopgirl and a distant relation. Once the long-lost cousins violate the code of virginity, a rift begins to open between Kemal and the world of the Westernized Istanbul bourgeosie - a world, as he lovingly describes it, with opulent parties and clubs, society gossip, picnics, and mansions on the Bosphorus, infused with the melancholy of decay.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • one of the very best I've ever heard

  • By Rebecca Lindroos on 03-06-10

The most amazing listen ever

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

Reviewed: 09-20-14

Would you listen to The Museum of Innocence again? Why?

I cannot believe how beautiful this book is. Some of the reviewers thought the narrator is pathetic or whiny. I could not disagree more. They were not listening closely enough. There is so much packed into the interstitial pockets between narrative...exacting detail, philosophical pondering and a depth of understanding. Today, having heard the end of the book, which crescendos into a brilliant meditation on museums, collecting, the east's way of defining itself in relation to the west, I feel a profound sense of loss that it is over, as I did when My Name is Red was over. I miss it already.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kemal and Orhan. I particularly love their relationship.

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

No, I have not. He was divine.

Who was the most memorable character of The Museum of Innocence and why?

Cetin Efendi, the chauffeur, pilot of a 1956 Chevrolet, and patient man.

Any additional comments?

This book is so thoroughly thought-provoking, I will not be able to read or listen to anything for a time, as I fully absorb all it provoked in me.

  • The Goldfinch

  • By: Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 32 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,375
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,044
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 23,068

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.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Stellar narration but depressing story

  • By DQmaine on 02-02-17

A terrific journey

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

Reviewed: 02-22-14

Would you consider the audio edition of The Goldfinch to be better than the print version?

I have not read the book. The recommendation that swayed me towards the audio book was my mother's deep appreciation of the print edition. I trust her implicitly. We are both librarians.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Goldfinch?

The beginning and the end. As it amped up, the terrain was so familiar and as it wound down, seemed philosophical, as a good book that is a deep and satisfying journey can do.

What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

He is EXTRA-ORDINARY! I will raise a huge stink if this book is made as a film and he does not gain a starring role. He encapsulated an an audio film of great complexity into his performance...accents, social class, mood, etc. Now, 10 minutes after completing the audio book, I go out in search of his other performances!

Who was the most memorable character of The Goldfinch and why?

Oh, I love Theo and Boris and Pippa and Hoby. There are some very endearing friends here.

Any additional comments?

This book was suggested to me because I grew up working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY, and the start of the book has details that I suspect folks wanted me to "fact check," but my own mother's intense fascination was the most persuasive. I am so grateful I stuck with it, although I arrived at work many days unwilling to remove my headphones. The written work is really delightful in a messy way I like. I love writing about visual art, chaos, the fantastic and the real world I live in, it turns out.
The ending reminded me of Sontag's The Volcano Lovers, which lays down a profound moral, philosophical conclusion. I love this audio book, in case you were wondering

  • My Name Is Red

  • By: Orhan Pamuk, Erdag Goknar - translator
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 20 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 369
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 264
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 271

At once a fiendishly devious mystery, a beguiling love story, and a brilliant symposium on the power of art, My Name Is Red is a transporting tale set amid the splendor and religious intrigue of 16th-century Istanbul, from one of the most prominent contemporary Turkish writers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Complex and interesting

  • By Kathleen on 05-13-10

Perfection

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

Reviewed: 02-14-14

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Everything I enjoy: art history, philosophy, great storytelling, and a beautiful voice to deliver it all.

What other book might you compare My Name Is Red to and why?

Salman Rushdie's Enchantress of Florence - same combination of art history, philosophy, great storytelling and a beautiful voice to deliver it all!

What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

He turns text into cinema, playing all the roles.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The details about miniature painting are seared into my memory. They have changed me.

Any additional comments?

My only complaint about the book is that it is a tough act to follow. I crave more and there are no more. I have heard other Orhan Pamuks. This one, however, was a perfect storm and I regretted its end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful