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Doctor George

  • 8
  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 41
  • ratings
  • The Library Book

  • By: Susan Orlean
  • Narrated by: Susan Orlean
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,598
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,459
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,453

On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual false alarm. As one fireman recounted later, “Once that first stack got going, it was good-bye, Charlie.” The fire was disastrous: It reached 2,000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Needs a new narrator

  • By Jessica on 01-17-19

Fascinating

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

Reviewed: 03-29-19

Some reviews here have criticized the author/narrator's voice and style, but for me it is perfect for this book. She's a dedicated researcher who can tell a whopping good story, and her meticulous reading style compliments this. There's so much about the book to like: characters' backgrounds delved into and connected to the main story of the LA library fire; history of Los Angeles and its library, plus many other libraries; coincidences, serendipity acknowledged and explored; the tragedy of the fire thoroughly researched and told. She takes her reader on a fascinating ride.

  • Autumn Lightning

  • The Education of an American Samurai
  • By: Dave Lowry
  • Narrated by: Brian Nishii
  • Length: 6 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33

Dave Lowry juxtaposes his singular experience as an adept student of kenjutsu (the art of swordsmanship) under a Japanese teacher in St. Louis with a riveting account of the samurai tradition in Japan. Intertwining tales of the masters with reflections on his own apprenticeship in the samurai's arts, he reveals in their time-honored methods a way of life with profound relevance to modern times.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Inspirational

  • By Dustin on 01-21-19

Some good parts

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

Reviewed: 11-19-18

The story of Dave's experiences as a high school novice trainee of marital arts starts out well, describing his painful attempts to get a master swordsman to tutor him. His description of the rigors of the training is very good; you can feel the pain, the sweat, and the strain. But then he veers off for much of the book into telling the stories of the great swordsmen in the history of Japan from centuries ago. Some of this is interesting, but there's too much of it. It would have been good if he'd used it to enhance his own story, but he leaves his own story behind and gets us lost in many Japanese names and characters which I found hard to keep clear who was who. The performer is quite good at pronouncing the Japanese words and names, giving the reading an authentic flavor.

  • Educated

  • A Memoir
  • By: Tara Westover
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 46,212
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 41,776
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 41,595

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Other Side of Idaho's Mountains

  • By Darwin8u on 03-28-18

An Incredible Book!

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

Reviewed: 04-05-18

Would you listen to Educated again? Why?

Yes (theoretically, that is, I don't typically read books again). It is a deeply psychological story of a person's struggle for individuation and self-differentiation from a pathological family.

What did you like best about this story?

The author's courage in revealing the truth about her family. The way she explains how they use their religion to justify their disturbed, abusive, and delusional behavior. The story is tightly written, gripping, so I did not want to stop listening. She is a great story teller.

What about Julia Whelan’s performance did you like?

Her voice tone, accent, and cadence are perfect. She convincingly renders all of the male voices. She sounds like I would imagine the memoirist herself to be.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

A couple good laughs, and some crying, yes, though the latter more in relief.

Any additional comments?

One of the best memoirs I've read. A story of a woman who was a victim but who did not let it deter her from finding and keeping her self.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Pimsleur Italian Level 1 Lessons 1-5

  • Learn to Speak and Understand Italian with Pimsleur Language Programs
  • By: Pimsleur
  • Narrated by: Pimsleur
  • Length: 2 hrs and 38 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 684
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 535
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 471

Each lesson of Italian Level 1 Lessons 1-5provides 30 minutes of spoken language practice, with an introductory conversation and new vocabulary and structures. Detailed instructions enable you to understand and participate in the conversation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best audio for learning Italian

  • By Janeaustenruns on 04-14-10

Too Expensive to Be a Realistic Way to Learn

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

Reviewed: 03-03-18

What would have made Pimsleur Italian Level 1 Lessons 1-5 better?

it is excellent

Who was your favorite character and why?

all good

Which character – as performed by Pimsleur – was your favorite?

all good

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

it works for learning

Any additional comments?

The problem for me was that there are only 5 lessons per purchase and there are dozens and dozens of lessons, thus it use up so many points to actually learn a language this way. Maybe it would still be less than hiring a teacher. I did learn a lot in even a few lessons, however, and I recommend it if you feel you can afford it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques

  • By: James Hynes, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: James Hynes
  • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,683
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,409
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,339

From evoking a scene to charting a plot to revising your drafts, Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques offers a master class in storytelling. Taught by award-winning novelist James Hynes, a former visiting professor at the famed Iowa Writers' Workshop, these 24 insightful lectures show you the ins and outs of the fiction writer's craft.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theory AND Practice

  • By Madeleine on 11-19-15

Excellent Instruction on How to Write Fiction

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

Reviewed: 03-03-18

If you could sum up Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques in three words, what would they be?

One of the best audio books I've listened to. Prof. Hynes provides well-organized, thorough, and fascinating lectures. He is a pleasure to listen to. Like reading a great novel, I felt sad when the course was over. A bonus is that he provides reading lists of fiction and how-to for each lecture. He illustrates his talks with examples and analyses of great works of literature. I read these along with the course to enhance the experience.

What other book might you compare Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques to and why?

Francine Prose's Reading Like a Writer because it is another excellent book on how to write fiction. In some ways Prose's book is more thorough, has more sections, breaks it down into more detail, but Hynes, to me, is more lively and engaging. Though Prose is a truly great read also.

What does Professor James Hynes University of Iowa Writers' Workshop bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His enthusiasm for writing fiction comes through in his voice, tone, expression, and sense of humor. He is just as good as my best college, and grad school professors were.

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

No, it takes time to absorb these lessons. I liked doing some of the readings along with the lectures. Also, he has exercises that take some time and deepen the material, though since I'm already taking a writing class I did not do the exercises.

Any additional comments?

This book alone makes my subscription to Audible worth it. His lectures are masterpieces of teaching (and I have been a college lecturer for 43 years).

  • Thank You for Coming to Hattiesburg

  • One Comedian's Tour of Not-Quite-the-Biggest Cities in the World
  • By: Todd Barry
  • Narrated by: Todd Barry
  • Length: 5 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 248
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 229
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227

Hello. It's Todd Barry. Yes, the massively famous comedian. I have billons of fans all over the world, so I do my fair share of touring. While I love doing shows in the big cities (New York, Chicago, Cleveland), I also enjoy a good secondary market (Rochester, Springfield, Toledo). There's something great about performing in a place where they don't expect to see you.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Todd's Delivery and Dry Wit Make This Great

  • By Jen Si on 03-21-17

Didn't want it to end!

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

Reviewed: 04-18-17

Todd has an intriguing combination of homely warmth and dry humor. I like his self revelations of his little neuroses and foibles--makes him so human and relatable. He also has a sharp intelligent sarcasm that's a good release for commonly annoying aspects of our society. His descriptions of how well and poorly he's treated at the clubs should be helpful to anybody hoping to become a stand up.comedian. I liked his satisfying descriptions of hecklers and how he dealt with them. For me the book could have been longer and gone into even more detail about how he crafts his acts and jokes. I'd like to see him write that book next. I listened to this book while I wasn't feeling well with the flu. So thank you Todd for cheering me up and helping my recovery. You're a funny guy!

  • Thus Bad Begins

  • A Novel
  • By: Javier Marias, Margaret Jull Costa
  • Narrated by: Robert Fass
  • Length: 16 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 21

Madrid, 1980. Juan de Vere, nearly finished with his university degree, takes a job as personal assistant to Eduardo Muriel, an eccentric, once-successful film director. Urbane, discreet, irreproachable, Muriel is an irresistible idol to the young man. But Muriel's voluptuous wife, Beatriz, inhabits their home like an unwanted ghost, and on the periphery of their lives is Dr. Jorge Van Vechten, a family friend implicated in unsavory rumors that Muriel now asks Juan to investigate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating plot, superb performance, psychological depth

  • By Doctor George on 12-05-16

Fascinating plot, superb performance, psychological depth

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

Reviewed: 12-05-16

The narrator has an excellent Spanish accent that lends authenticity when pronouncing Spanish names. He has a rich, full-bodied voice that adds drama with differing inflections for each character. The plot is a classic Javier Marias intricate character-driven psychological mystery with satisfying revelations throughout. For those who like an earthy, long and complex story and who have the patience to wait for those revelations as they emerge from the detailed narrative.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The River Swimmer

  • Novellas
  • By: Jim Harrison
  • Narrated by: Traber Burns
  • Length: 5 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 45
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33

Jim Harrison is one of America’s most beloved and critically acclaimed authors, and this collection of novellas is Harrison at his most memorable - a brilliant rendering of two men striving to find their way in the world, written with freshness, abundant wit, and profound humanity.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Mixed experience

  • By Doctor George on 05-29-16

Mixed experience

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

Reviewed: 05-29-16

There are some beautiful passages and images of nature. Sort of a strange story that doesn't have a solid plot line. Narrator has an almost sarcastic tone and is not very good at women's voices, but has a certain dignity that gives the book strength. Parts of story are magical realism and parts are gritty human interaction, some quite violent. It both frustrated and amazed my and was ultimately worth listening to.