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Steve and/or Jodene

Springfield, Illinois USA
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 44
  • helpful votes
  • 70
  • ratings
  • Grimm Tales for Young and Old

  • By: Philip Pullman
  • Narrated by: Samuel West
  • Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125

In this enchanting selection of fairy tales, award-winning author Philip Pullman presents his 50 favourite stories from the Brothers Grimm in a 'clear as water' retelling, making them feel fresh and unfamiliar with his dark, distinctive voice.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fresh and Fast

  • By Virginia Waldron on 04-10-15

Good bedtime stories for adults

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

So, I've discovered that you're never too old to enjoy a good bedtime story (or at least I'm not), and that these work very well for listening to right before falling asleep (at least, if you enjoy folk and fairy tales). They're short, simple, and satisfying; well-told and well-narrated.

(The title says that these Grimm tales are "for young and old." Are they really suitable for children? Probably, though it depends on the children, and if you want something specifically for children there are other, more kid-friendly options out there. Both on the simple vs. sophisticated scale, and on the light-hearted vs. dark-and-grim scale, I'd put these somewhere in the middle. I'll just say that, as an adult, the kid in me enjoyed them.)

  • Psmith in the City

  • By: P. G. Wodehouse
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Cecil
  • Length: 5 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 176
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 128
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130

Psmith and his friend Mike are sent by their fathers to work in the City. But work is the last thing on Psmith's mind; surely there are more interesting things to do with the day than spend it in a bank? Unfortunately the natives aren't conducive to his socialising within work hours, but all's fair in love and work as the monocled Old Etonian, with a little grudging help from Mike, begins to rope in allies in order to reform the bank manager and make him A Decent Member of Society.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Master of the English Prose

  • By Ron L. Caldwell on 03-20-08

Not my favorite Wodehouse

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

After listening to and loving several other Wodehouse audiobooks (including some narrated, quite well, by Jonathan Cecil), I decided to give this one, from a different series, a try.

It got off to a bad start. The beginning was all about a game of cricket, and I, an American unfamiliar with the game, was lost. It got better after that, but it never really quite clicked for me, and I found the adventures of Jackson and Psmith harder to follow and to stay interested in than those of Wooster and Jeeves.

I don't want to scare anyone away from trying Wodehouse, or Cecil's narration, but I don't think this particular title is the best example.

  • How to Fight Presidents

  • Defending Yourself Against the Badasses Who Ran This Country
  • By: Daniel O'Brien
  • Narrated by: Richard McGonagle
  • Length: 5 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,034
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 961
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 958

As a prisoner of war, Andrew Jackson walked several miles barefoot across state lines while suffering from smallpox and a serious head wound received when he refused to polish the boots of the soldiers who had taken him captive. He was thirteen years old. A few decades later, he became the first popularly elected president and served the nation, pausing briefly only to beat a would-be assassin with a cane to within an inch of his life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely One of the Funniest Books on Audible.

  • By Josh on 03-24-14

U. S. History with Extra Testosterone

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

Reviewed: 06-29-16

The days when I was listening to this book on my drive in to work were some of the best days ever. It's genuinely funny (at least I thought so; humor is a subjective thing), plus it actually taught me a thing or two and made me want to learn more about some of these men.

Not for kids or those with delicate sensibilities; but you could probably inspire a love of U.S. History in a boy by giving him this book and telling him not to let his mother or his teachers see him reading/listening to it.

  • How Great Science Fiction Works

  • By: Gary K. Wolfe, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Gary K. Wolfe
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,756
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,576
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,543

Robots, spaceships, futuristic megacities, planets orbiting distant stars. These icons of science fiction are now in our daily news. Science fiction, once maligned as mere pulp, has motivated cutting-edge scientific research, inspired new technologies, and changed how we view everyday life - and its themes and questions permeate popular culture. Take an unparalleled look at the influence, history, and greatest works of science fiction with illuminating insights and fascinating facts about this wide-ranging genre.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Deserves a Hugo of Its Own

  • By Carol on 02-01-16

Doesn't really live up to its title

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

Reviewed: 06-29-16

I agree with other reviewers who have said that this is a good coverage of the history and major themes and subgenres of science fiction, but that it falls short in explaining just how great science fiction WORKS. Professor Wolfe clearly has a wealth of knowledge of, and love for, science fiction, from its earliest days to the present. This lecture series is probably best suited for people who don't have a very complete knowledge of the genre but would like to, rather than long-time fans who are looking for new insights (though it might be good for long-time fans who are only familiar with certain periods, authors, or types of science fiction and want to fill in the gaps in their awareness).

Compared to the similar lecture series by Michael Drout ("From Here to Infinity"), this one is more complete and comprehensive, but (in my humble opinion) a bit less interesting.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • The Modern Scholar: Giants of the British Novel, Part I

  • By: Timothy Baker Shutt
  • Narrated by: Timothy Baker Shutt
  • Length: 4 hrs and 4 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5

Professor Shutt begins by exploring exactly what a novel is - and what it isn't - and what defines this unique literary expression. He explores both its antecedents and precursors and where exactly its place in the literary landscape can be found. He then moves on to Defoe's great work Robinson Crusoe which arguably marks the birth of the novel. Subsequent lectures explore works by powerful literary forces such as Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Laurence Sterne, and Sir Walter Scott.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • As good as I'd hoped it would be

  • By Steve and/or Jodene on 11-13-15

As good as I'd hoped it would be

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

Reviewed: 11-13-15

Timothy Shutt has recorded quite a few of these Modern Scholar lecture series. Of the ones of his I've listened to, this is my favorite.

After an introductory lecture, he devotes one lecture each to Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, Smollett (along with a discussion of the sentimental novel and the gothic novel), Scott, and Austen. In each, he talks interestingly for about half an hour, giving biographical details, descriptions (with appreciation and criticism) of the works, and a few appropriate digressions and personal notes. (For instance, you'll learn what result he got on an online "Which Jane Austen heroine are you?" quiz.)

Shutt comes across as genial, avuncular, and conversational, yet very knowledgeable. My only complaint, aside from wanting more, is that his voice is an acquired taste (at times gruff, hoarse, or squeaky), and he speaks slowly enough that it would have bothered me if I were not listening on a device that allowed me too increase the playback speed.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Agent to the Stars

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,859
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,837
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,824

The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: They're hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish. So getting humanity's trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal. Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A stay-up-all-night-reading kind of book

  • By Katya A on 03-06-13

Wheaton's performance makes this work

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

Reviewed: 11-29-13

A while back, I tried to read this book for myself, but after the first couple of chapters I just wasn't getting into it, and so I gave up on it.

But then the audiobook showed up here on sale, I listened to the sample, and on the strength of Wil Wheaton's performance, I bought, listened to, and loved the audiobook.

The book is told from the first-person point of view of a Hollywood agent, not the kind of person I would have expected to be able to relate to, but Wheaton makes this character (and others) likable, sympathetic, and relatable. And he brings out the humor in the book, which wasn't really working for me in the print version. This is a funny book, but it's not played just for laughs: there's a serious alien-first-contact story here, with characters you can care about.

  • Modern Scholar: How to Think

  • The Liberal Arts and Their Enduring Value
  • By: Professor Professor Michael D. C. Drout
  • Narrated by: Professor Professor Michael D. C. Drout
  • Length: 5 hrs and 14 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 88
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86

In How to Think: The Liberal Arts and Their Enduring Value, Professor Michael D. C. Drout gives an impassioned defense and celebration of the value of the liberal arts. Charting the evolution of the liberal arts from their roots in the educational system of Ancient Rome through the Middle Ages and to the present day, Drout shows how the liberal arts have consistently been "the tools to rule", essential to the education of the leaders of society. Offering a reasoned defense of their continuing value, Drout also provides suggestions for improving the state of the liberal arts in contemporary society.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A defense of the Liberal Arts

  • By Steve and/or Jodene on 10-19-13

A defense of the Liberal Arts

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

Reviewed: 10-19-13

If you've heard any of Drout's other lecture series, or even just read their customer reviews, you know that Drout is one of the best lecturers available on Audible. In my opinion, this series is every bit as good as his others, both in content and presentation. Drout is, as always, engaging, erudite, thought-provoking, and funny. Maybe the subject matter doesn't have as broad an appeal, but if you're actually interested in a discussion, defense, or critique of the liberal arts, this is a good one.

In case it needs to be said, pay attention to the subtitle and the description, not just the title. Here's a description of the eight individual lectures:

Lecture 1: Where the Liberal Arts came from. Lecture 2: How the sciences split off from the liberal arts. Lecture 3: The liberal arts as "the tools to rule." Lecture 4: Can the liberal arts make you a better person? Lecture 5: The best reasons for studying the liberal arts: Solving complex problems, and preserving and transmitting culture. Lecture 6: Case study: Beowulf. Lecture 7: What's wrong with the liberal arts, and how to fix it. Lecture 8: Answering the critics of the liberal arts.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Modern Scholar: Tolkien and the West

  • Recovering the Lost Tradition of Europe
  • By: Professor Michael Drout
  • Narrated by: Michael Drout
  • Length: 5 hrs and 15 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 325
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 293
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 291

The works of J.R.R. Tolkien are quite possibly the most widely read pieces of literature written in the 20th century. But as Professor Michael Drout illuminates in this engaging course of lectures, Tolkien's writings are built upon a centuries-old literary tradition that developed in Europe and is quite uniquely Western in its outlook and style. Drout explores how that tradition still resonates with us to this day, even if many Modernist critics would argue otherwise. He begins the course with the allegory of a tower....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Professor Who Loves Tolkien As Much As You Do

  • By Phebe on 12-19-12

Recommended for Tolkien fans

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

Reviewed: 09-28-13

Professor Drout already had an earlier lecture series ("Rings, Swords, and Monsters") that focused largely on Tolkien; do we really need another one? In my opinion, after listening to both of them, the answer is a definite yes. Drout has enough to say about Tolkien that he isn't just repeating himself here (plus, this newer series gives him a chance to comment on the Peter Jackson movies). And, as in all his lectures, Professor Drout is a joy to listen to, lecturing with plenty of enthusiasm, expertise, insight, and humor.

This "class" is a bit more advanced, so start with the earlier series if you haven't already listened to that one, especially if you're not a die-hard Tolkien enthusiast. But if you're the kind of person who can't get enough discussion of Tolkien, don't hesitate to get this lecture series.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Modern Scholar

  • Literature of C. S. Lewis
  • By: Timothy Shutt
  • Narrated by: Timothy Shutt
  • Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31

In this course, we will look at Lewis's life and examine the influences that would help to shape Lewis both as a man and as a writer. We will take an in-depth look at Lewis's science fiction trilogy, his Chronicles of Narnia, his apologetic and scholarly works, and his other writings. In doing so, we will come to understand the major thematic elements that mark Lewis's work.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worthwhile for anyone interested in Lewis

  • By Steve and/or Jodene on 09-28-13

Worthwhile for anyone interested in Lewis

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

Reviewed: 09-28-13

As the title indicates, this lecture series mainly focuses on C. S. Lewis's fiction (the Chronicles of Narnia, the Space Trilogy, Till We Have Faces), though Professor Shutt does spend some time discussing C. S. Lewis's life and his non-fictional writings. Shutt assumes you've read the books he's discussing (at one point in one of the lectures, he says "You've read the book; what do you think?"), and you'll get the most out of the lectures if you're familiar with Lewis's books; but even if there are some you haven't read, or haven't read in a long time, the lectures are still worth listening to.

I found these lectures to be consistently interesting and insightful, and they left me with new appreciation for C. S. Lewis. Shutt is knowledgeable, not only about Lewis's own writings, but about the literary background that Lewis himself loved and was influenced by. Shutt comes across as an appreciator of Lewis, but not an uncritical, gushing fanboy. He doesn't hesitate to talk about what he or others have found flawed or unsuccessful in Lewis's writings in addition to talking about the things Lewis did particularly well. And Shutt doesn't shy away from talking about Lewis's Christian faith and its influence on his writing, but in a way that neither Christian nor nonchristian listeners should find off-putting.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Powder River - Season One

  • A Radio Dramatization
  • By: Jerry Robbins
  • Narrated by: Jerry Robbins, Derek Aalerud, The Colonial Radio Players
  • Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85

Former lawman turned rancher Britt MacMasters and his son Chad begin a new life in Clearmont, Wyoming until Britt’s past returns to haunt them. One of the toughest outlaw gangs in the west is headed to Clearmont for revenge. Episodes include: "The Preacher," "A Tangled Rope," "A Friend In Need," "Battle At Ricochet Rock," "The Gold Wagon," "Peace Of Mind," "The Lost Mine," "Never The Twain," "The Winter Soldier," "The Wind In The Mountain," "The Vengeance Trail."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertainment to the fullest

  • By Dana on 04-07-13

Not bad, but could be better

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

Reviewed: 09-28-13

This is a series of western audio dramas, in the style of the Old Time Radio dramas from the "golden age of radio." Unfortunately, it suffers in comparison with the best of the classic radio dramas. The sound and production quality are just fine, but the writing and voice acting occasionally struck me as distinctly amateurish (especially in the case of a few of the guest actors), to an extent that made it hard for me to suspend disbelief and lose myself in the story.

Earlier episodes seemed juvenile, focused around the young Chad McMasters, and some of them didn't have much action. Later episodes became "grittier" and more violent (though still not unsuitable for any but the most sensitive of young listeners).

My review only refers to this first "season"; I see there are others available, and if the show finds its feet they may be worth listening to, but this is the only set I've heard as of now.