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P1967

Cincinnati, OH USA
  • 12
  • reviews
  • 16
  • helpful votes
  • 20
  • ratings
  • Defending Jacob

  • A Novel
  • By: William Landay
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 12 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9,390
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,305
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,300

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrific!

  • By cristina on 03-12-12

Terrific Story but a Flawed Main Character

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

Reviewed: 09-04-17

Where does Defending Jacob rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

SPOILER ALERT: I enjoyed listening to Defending Jacob, but with the caveat that the main characters, especially the father, became more and more unbelievable as the novel unfolded.

Any additional comments?

Grover Gardner is a wonderful reader, and he makes this book sound better than it really is.

  • Lincoln in the Bardo

  • A Novel
  • By: George Saunders
  • Narrated by: Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,777
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,291
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,251

The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented. February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln's beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A Mixed Bag

  • By Thomas More on 02-24-17

A Superb Audible Ensemble

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

Reviewed: 04-10-17

I can't imagine a better way to convey George Saunders' afterlife world than Audible managed with this effort. All who participated, from celebrity to family friend, did their bit convincingly and with just the right humor, pathos and deep sadness the story demanded.

My only criticism of Lincoln in the Bardo is that Lincoln himself was lost in the crowd, so to speak. Characters spoke about him, got inside him, heard his thoughts, and shared his grief over the loss of his son. But I wanted to hear directly from the man, the American icon. That wasn't possible given the book's imaginative premise yet it left me feeling somewhat unsatisfied.

Kudos to Audible for making this treat available.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Rogue Heroes

  • The History of the SAS, Britain's Secret Special Forces Unit That Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War
  • By: Ben Macintyre
  • Narrated by: Ben Macintyre
  • Length: 13 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 708
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 635
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 636

Britain's Special Air Service - or SAS - was the brainchild of David Stirling, a young, gadabout aristocrat whose aimlessness in early life belied a remarkable strategic mind. Where most of his colleagues looked at a battlefield map of World War II's African theater and saw a protracted struggle with Rommel's desert forces, Stirling saw an opportunity: Given a small number of elite, well-trained men, he could parachute behind enemy lines and sabotage their airplanes and war matériel.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Those Who Dared, Won!

  • By Matthew on 10-07-16

A Disappointment

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

Reviewed: 02-27-17

I eagerly anticipated Rogue Heroes, but ended up being largely disappointed. Why? Because nothing much happened in the narrative, which was filled with colorful characters who, at the end of the day, played an exceptionally minor role in World War II. Most of the book was as dry and boring as the Sahara desert where much of the "action" took place. Lots of mentions of points on maps and meters between this waddy and that oasis.

The second flaw was the decision to use the author, Ben Macintyre, to read Rogue Heroes. Please avoid doing that; Macintyre is a skilled writer (when he has sufficient material) but he is an untrained reader. It's not a matter of errors, etc., but one of inflection and emphasis. He gave me no reason to hang on every word, which is what a top-rate reader is able to pull off.

  • Hero of the Empire

  • The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill
  • By: Candice Millard
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,609
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,472
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,455

At age 24 Winston Churchill was utterly convinced it was his destiny to become prime minister of England one day, despite the fact he had just lost his first election campaign for Parliament. He believed that to achieve his goal, he had to do something spectacular on the battlefield. Despite deliberately putting himself in extreme danger as a British army officer in colonial wars in India and Sudan and as a journalist covering a Cuban uprising against the Spanish, glory and fame had eluded him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding work

  • By G on 10-04-16

Well Done but Familiar Story

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

Reviewed: 02-27-17

Candace Millard is a skilled story-teller, and her talent shines in Hero of the Empire, the saga of young Winston Churchill's escape from a Pretoria S.A. prison camp during the Boer War.

This is well-trod ground, by numerous Churchill biographers and Churchill himself, so the ending is well-known and hardly suspenseful. Yet Millard manages to hold interest by salting her narrative with brief bits of biography about many of the key figures in the story, as well as much more information about the Boers themselves, all of which I found interpreting and helpful.

The Boer War ended inconclusively, much like our wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Is there much in the way of lessons to be learned from Britain's conflict? Not much that I can see, except -- a large exception -- the conclusion that warfare is much the last option, or at least should be. If a nation finds itself in full war mode, virtually nothing will go as expected other than the deaths and injuries to thousands of combatants on both sides. The Boer War stands out in history, if at all, for how little was changed or settled. Even WC, for about the only time in his long life, played a bit part in the conflict, and only because he managed to be captured.

The book's narrator, Simon Vance, was superb, and managed a well-done Afrikaner-inflected British accent.

  • A Gentleman in Moscow

  • A Novel
  • By: Amor Towles
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Guy Smith
  • Length: 17 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,636
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21,909
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,829

A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in an elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Reprieve Amidst Ugly News, Relentless Negativity

  • By Cathy Lindhorst on 08-27-17

An Oasis from the Storm

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

Reviewed: 10-15-16

I loved this book and in part because it offered me a respite from the tawdry noise of this year's interminable Presidential campaign. While some readers will criticize Amor Towles' characters as too good to be believable, I very much enjoyed the decency and humaneness displayed by major and minor players in the writer's endearing yarn.

This elevating tone is embodied in the main character, Alexander Rostov, a Russian aristocrat sentenced in 1922 by the Bolsheviks to spend the remainder of his life inside Moscow's Metropole Hotel. From that unlikely stage, a diorama of inter-connected sub plots take flight, with Rostov always at the center as both participant and observer.

The ugly political campaign is nearly over as I write this. However, A Gentleman in Moscow will reside in my memory for a long time.

  • The Lion

  • By: Nelson DeMille
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 15 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,450
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,604
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,589

Detective John Corey now faces his toughest assignment yet: the pursuit and capture of the world's most dangerous terrorist -- a young Arab known as "The Lion" who has baffled a federal task force and shows no sign of stopping in his quest for revenge against the American pilots who bombed Libya and killed his family.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Totally predictable

  • By Patricia on 06-19-10

Boring and Predictable

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

Reviewed: 03-23-16

Don't bother. This novel is formulaic, predictable and boring, to boot. I was completely disappointed, mostly because I was looking for realistic mystery/espionage, such as novels by Alan Furst or LeCarre. The Lion is not even close.

  • The Wright Brothers

  • By: David McCullough
  • Narrated by: David McCullough
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,775
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,755
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,744

Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story behind the story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Wilbur and Orville Wright's Wright Flyer became the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard. The Age of Flight had begun. How did they do it? And why?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story but narration is a little boring

  • By Vince on 08-20-15

A Familiar Story Retold

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

Reviewed: 11-10-15

Not sure David McCullough needed to write this book, and certainly not narrate it. I have read other biographies of the Wright Brothers, but was curious about what McCullough could bring that as fresh or revealing.

The answer: not much. McCullough is a superb story teller, and this book fits right in with his previous works. Yet there is nothing new here, and the entire experience of listening to McCullough read his writing passed by like a cloud in the summer sky.

One other comment I'm loathe to make. McCullough's age has finally began to show in this reading, which includes numerous slurred words and hard to discern sentences. He is a national treasure for writing popular, accessible histories, and for being the familiar, comforting voice for dozens of television documentaries. I hope and pray he continues to write but leaves the reading to younger voices.

  • A God in Ruins

  • A Novel
  • By: Kate Atkinson
  • Narrated by: Alex Jennings
  • Length: 16 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,838
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,675
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,672

A God in Ruins tells the dramatic story of the 20th century through Ursula's beloved younger brother, Teddy - would-be poet, heroic pilot, husband, father, and grandfather - as he navigates the perils and progress of a rapidly changing world. After all that Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge is living in a future he never expected to have.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • FRUSTRATING BUT GOOD

  • By Janna Wong Healy on 10-27-15

A Portrait of a Lived Life -- Perhaps

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

Reviewed: 09-17-15

Kate Atkinson is a wonderfully inventive writer, as she demonstrated in "Life After Life," and now with its companion novel, "A God in Ruins." This is fiction at its best, hiding in a magnificent -- although at times boring and convoluted -- narrative. The core of the book is Teddy Todd, a WWII bomber pilot, whose entire life is laid out from birth to death in glimpses that follow no sequential rules. Teddy is a fully drawn character as are his time in history, his wife, children, siblings, parents, in-laws, lovers, fellow airmen, and assorted others. Sounds crowded and confusing, but isn't that each of our lives? Atkinson wants to paint on a large canvas by focusing on each and every brush stroke, and she amply rewards the patient reader with memorable images,scenes and bitter (or exhilarating) life lessons.

The reader, Alex Jennings, is superb. All the female voices sound the same, however, at times bordering on the satirical as if they were being read by John Cleese.

The book requires concentration by the listener. Doing so will bring deeply satisfying results

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Boys in the Boat

  • Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
  • By: Daniel James Brown
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 14 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 27,623
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 25,128
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 25,071

Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Do you believe in miracles??

  • By Janice on 07-12-13

A Memorable Tale

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

Reviewed: 06-27-15

Until The Boys in the Boat appeared, I doubt that many people outside the sport of rowing, and the larger circle of residents of the Seattle area, knew much about this stirring saga. It's a tale well worth the telling.

I listened to the Audible version, read by Edward Herrmann as well as any audiobook I've ever listened to, and made all the more poignant because Herrmann died not long after this recording was made.

The book is well written, compelling, and broad in both scope and in fascinating characters. The epilogue is especially moving. Highly recommended to readers and listeners.

  • Napoleon

  • A Life
  • By: Andrew Roberts
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 32 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,603
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,267
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,257

Andrew Roberts' Napoleon is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon's thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. At last we see him as he was: protean multitasker, decisive, surprisingly willing to forgive his enemies and his errant wife Josephine.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • What a dynamo!

  • By Tad Davis on 01-16-15

Exhaustive Without Being Exhausting

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

Reviewed: 05-30-15

Napoleon is one of those historical characters that people will never tire of reading about. Like Churchill, Lincoln and FDR, every facet of Napoleon's life has been extensively chronicled. This book is just the latest offering in what has become a veritable branch library of Napoleon biographies.

Roberts covers a lot of ground, political, military and social, and overall, his narrative provides a good listen. Yet I couldn't help feel rushed at times, hoping that Roberts would slow down to explain in a bit more detail some of the complications that were attendant to Napoleon's life and times.

Two areas in particular seemed to pass by more quickly than I thought they deserved. One involved Napoleon's coup in 1799; Roberts described how it came about and who was involved, but the reasons why the coup was successful were treated less fully. The other area where I thought more explanation was needed was Napoleon's demise after Waterloo. Everyone knows he was banished to St. Helena, but Roberts failed, I think, to describe the reactions of French citizens to the end of Napoleon's second go-round.

Still, and overall, a very well rendered biography.