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  • 248
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  • 495
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  • Maisie Dobbs

  • By: Jacqueline Winspear
  • Narrated by: Rita Barrington
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,055
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,200
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,197

Maisie Dobbs isn't just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligence - and the patronage of her benevolent employers - she works her way into college at Cambridge. After the War I and her service as a nurse, Maisie hangs out her shingle back at home: M. DOBBS, TRADE AND PERSONAL INVESTIGATIONS. But her very first assignment soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A delightful discovery

  • By Lori on 08-07-09

Beyond Charming

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

Reviewed: 11-11-18

Maisie Dobbs is perhaps the most endearing of detectives. This is the first in a wonderful series that charts her eventful life with psychological depth and vivid evocation of the earlier 20th century. Rita Barrington is perfect in bringing Maisie to life; I deeply regret that she did not record the rest of the series instead of Orlagh Cassidy, who though good is not nearly as touching or charming. This is one of my favorite series (others being those by Louise Penny, Philip Kerr, Daniel Silva, Henning Mankell, John Maddox Roberts, Michael Connelly...).

  • Red Swan

  • By: P. T. Deutermann
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 412
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 386
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 386

A behind-the-scenes operator at the CIA, Wallace was integral to the agency's secret war against China's national intelligence service, which infiltrates government offices, major businesses, and systems crucial to our security. Wallace had severely damaged China's Washington spy ring with a devastating ruse, a so-called "black swan", in which a deep-undercover female agent targeted and destroyed a key Chinese official. Now, Wallace's mysterious death suggests that the CIA itself has been compromised and that China has someone inside the agency.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not sure how Deutermann gets better and better...

  • By Dr. Meggin McIntosh on 11-20-17

Promising but...

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

Reviewed: 09-27-18

Noboby but nobody reads Lee Child like Dick Hill; his deep voice and reading style lend a sense of strength and irony that suits Reacher perfectly and makes Reacher addictive, and his name on a book nudges me to listen. But this is not a Reacher novel (not that Reacher novels are all good, though Dick Hill invariably gives them a particular charm). Red Swan does have intriguing elements and some good scenes, but the first half I found rather boring, and in the end I did not feel satisfied. Other reviewers have cited implausibility and poor research, and I agree. But I would not discourage you from listening for yourself.

Some reviewers dislike Dick Hill, and the slow, rather tedious beginning of this novel could create a certain distaste through association. But you have not heard Dick Hill unless you have heard him read Lee Child,

  • Saving Faith

  • By: David Baldacci
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,154
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,839
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,824

Not far from Washington, D.C., in a wooded area of Northern Virginia, a small house at the end of a gravel road serves a secret purpose. With its sophisticated security apparatus and hidden miniaturized cameras, it is being used by the FBI to interview one of the most important witnesses the agency has ever had, a young woman with an incredible story to tell. But a few people know about the secret meeting. And for them, a violent drama is about to begin.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointed.

  • By B. Yardley on 08-25-16

Passbly entertaining

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

Reviewed: 06-17-18

I'm writing a review only in response to some of the negative comments on Michael Kramer, the reader.

Admittedly, there is in this book a problem of Kramer's breathing. However, he is not nearly as bad as some reviewers make him out to be. Contrary to those who never want to hear him again, I am quite fond of him, and his name is among those that make me inclined to buy a book. I like his deep voice, and find that he reads well on the whole: I think of Thomas Perry's novels, for instance, which benefit from Kramer's performances.

Some reviewers observe that this is not Baldacci's best. I would say it is not his worst (e.g. True Blue). At least it contains a few elements that make it entertaining, even if, as so often, the writing make me grimace with its clichés and hackneyed images, and its strain on credibility.. Why do I listen to it then? For distraction when I'm too tired to listen to better things (of which there is plenty). I give a generous three stars because the idea of a lobbyist using his amassed fortune to bribe politicians into funnelling American aid to children in Africa or very poor countries has a quirky appeal.

  • Wait, What?

  • And Life's Other Essential Questions
  • By: James E. Ryan
  • Narrated by: James E. Ryan
  • Length: 2 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,617
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,463
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,460

In his commencement address to the graduating class of 2016, James E. Ryan, dean of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, offered remarkable advice to the crowd of hopeful men and women eager to make their marks on the world. The key to achieving emotional connections and social progress, he told them, can be found in five essential questions.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • This Author and Book Rambles On and On and On ...

  • By J Littlejohn on 06-23-18

Enriching for everyone

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

Reviewed: 06-12-18

This being based on a graduation speech, I got this thinking of my daughter, but it turned out to be extremely enriching for myself and, I think, to anyone who listens to it. Gently, unobtrusively, it brings us back to what counts. I thought I might be ‘above it’ at this point in my life, after all I’ve read and experienced, but the book showed me I was not, and I will be eternally grateful.

  • The Salt Fix

  • Why Experts Got It All Wrong - and How Eating More Might Save Your Life
  • By: Dr. James J. DiNicolantonio
  • Narrated by: Qarie Marshall
  • Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 191
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 190

We all know the dangers of sugar and salt: but the danger attributed to the second white crystal has more to do with getting too little of it, not too much. Too little salt can shift the body into semi-starvation mode, causing insulin resistance, and may even cause twice as much fat to be absorbed for every gram that's consumed. Too little salt in certain populations can also actually increase blood pressure as well as resting heart rate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good history of dietary guidelines for salt.

  • By Maya on 08-16-17

Essential, cannot recommend it enough

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

Reviewed: 10-24-17

This is one of the essential books of our day. I instantly notified my friends about it, even before I had finished listening, so important did I consider it to be to some of them.

To sum up my evaluation of the book: I would gladly pay ten times its price JUST TO HAVE LISTENED TO IT 4 MONTHS EARLIER, when it came out on June 6th.

  • The Habsburg Empire

  • A New History
  • By: Pieter M. Judson
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 18 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 154
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 139
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 139

Rejecting fragmented histories of nations in the making, this bold revision surveys the shared institutions that bridged difference and distance to bring stability and meaning to the far-flung empire. By supporting new schools, law courts, and railroads along with scientific and artistic advances, the Habsburg monarchs sought to anchor their authority in the cultures and economies of Central Europe. A rising standard of living throughout the empire deepened the legitimacy of Habsburg rule.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ideal for students of empires, nationalism, minorities and ethnic groups

  • By Uther on 02-11-17

Important insights and new perspectives

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

Reviewed: 04-16-17

What made the experience of listening to The Habsburg Empire the most enjoyable?

It constantly presents details that add up to a new understanding of the Habsburg Empire. And of history and historiography.

What does Michael Page bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Well read. Though he does not speak German like a native (no reason he should), he pronounces names and other words in a comprehensible and non-distorting way, something I highly appreciate.

Any additional comments?

I was most struck by the negative side of nationalism and 'self-determination'. In the case of the Austro-Hungarian empire, many individuals were better off under the rule of a universal distant bureaucracy than of smaller, ethnically biased governments. Self-determination meant that those who formed minorities became subjected to more constraints than under the Hapsburg and their more tolerant policies; whereas individuals could choose what language school they attended, suddenly the choice was made for them by the government which had a nationalistic agenda.

We are used to thinking of the Austro-Hungarian empire as backwards, repressive, and mired in bureaucratic apathy (think Metternich, Kafka, Musil...), but the picture that emerges from the pages of this book is quite different, far more nuanced and often going against common conception.

I found the plethora of details fascinating; the French adage "the good lord is in the detail" has never been more true than here.

To me, the book is a godsend, as it opened up new perspectives on any number of topics. And it makes me wonder what similar books on other times and places might do to change the ideas I have of these! A wonderful book that must not be missed, for anyone interested in European history and/or in history in general.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • No One Would Listen

  • A True Financial Thriller
  • By: Harry Markopolos
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, Harry Markopolos, Frank Casey, and others
  • Length: 13 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,597
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,816
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,812

No One Would Listen is the exclusive story of the Harry Markopolos-lead investigation into Bernie Madoff and his $65 billion Ponzi scheme. While a lot has been written about Madoff's scam, few actually know how Markopolos and his team - affectionately called "the Fox Hounds" by Markopolos himself - uncovered what Madoff was doing years before this financial disaster reached its pinnacle. Unfortunately, no one listened, until the damage of the world's largest financial fraud ever was irreversible.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Liked the story, but not the author

  • By Brock on 05-08-13

Important and illuminating

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

Reviewed: 04-16-17

What did you love best about No One Would Listen?

It conveys the plight of a whistleblower whose efforts are repeatedly frustrated by incompetence, obtuseness, and indifference. And that plight touches every one of us, so it is importance to know about it.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

An excellent narrator

Any additional comments?

This book alerts us to something more worrisome than even a colossal fraud like Madoff, namely the terrifying and disgraceful indifference, incompetence, and bureaucratic apathy of SEC officials (along with the special interests that motivate some of them). The attitude of these officials leads one to wonder about other government agencies supposed to protect the public's interests. Markopolos' book goes well beyond the Madoff case to point to serious systemic problems in the financial world as well as to some of the reasons why agencies like the SEC often cannot be relied upon.

In my book, SEC officials such as Megan Chang who unconscionably refused to consider Markopolos' amply documented warnings bear a very significant part of the responsibility for the suffering of Madoff's victims.

FREE: Ponzi Supernova audiobook cover art
  • FREE: Ponzi Supernova

  • By: Steve Fishman
  • Length: 2 hrs and 38 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,259
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,909
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,906

Free for a limited time. Ponzi Supernova is an original audio series that profiles Bernie Madoff, the Wall Street financier sent to prison for orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history. The series, hosted by journalist Steve Fishman, includes hours of unheard conversations with Madoff behind bars, as well as interviews with law enforcement and the victims.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • wow the story is a deep one

  • By Josh on 04-19-17

Not without interest

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

Reviewed: 04-16-17

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, I learned a few things

Any additional comments?

I cannot understand why no mention is made of Harry Markopolos who warned the SEC numerous times to no avail; I took a star off for this important omission. In Fishman's presentation, we gain more insight into how Madoff was able to keep up his game, but the SEC comes off in a far better light than it should (see Markopolos' excellent account 'No One Would Listen' which alerts us to something more worrisome than even a con man on the colossal scale of Madoff, namely the terrifying and disgraceful indifference, incompetence, and bureaucratic apathy of SEC officials (along with the special interests that motivate some of them) — and we might suppose of other government officials supposed to protect the public's interests. Markopolos' book goes well beyond the Madoff case to point to serious systemic problems in the financial world as well as to some of the obstacles that keep agencies like the SEC from doing what they should.

In my book, SEC officials such as Megan Chang who unconscionably refused to consider Markopolos' amply documented warnings bear a part of the responsibility for the suffering of Madoff's victims.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Rising Sun

  • A Novel
  • By: Michael Crichton
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,553
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,344
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,340

A riveting thriller of corporate intrigue and cutthroat competition between American and Japanese business interests. On the forty-fifth floor of the Nakamoto tower in downtown Los Angeles - the new American headquarters of the immense Japanese conglomerate - a grand opening celebration is in full swing. On the forty-sixth floor, in an empty conference room, the corpse of a beautiful young woman is discovered.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wasn't expecting this to be so interesting!

  • By Mel on 02-05-18

Great mysteries

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

Reviewed: 04-13-17

What did you love best about Rising Sun?

All that it teaches about Japan and the Japanese. Even though world economy is no longer as it was at the time of writing.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Connor, who has insight and smarts. If there were a series featuring him, I would immediately buy every book!

Which character – as performed by MacLeod Andrews – was your favorite?

MacLeod Andrews is wonderful, and he pronounces the many Japanese words and phrases in a convincing way! He is also excellent at distinguishing between different characters. A delightful performance.

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

Yes

Any additional comments?

I particularly like mysteries that are not only well written but from which I also learn something (e.g., Daniel Silva's books, or Henning Mankell, Don Winslow, Jacquline Winspear, Franck Thilliers).

  • Islam and the Future of Tolerance

  • A Dialogue
  • By: Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz
  • Narrated by: Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz
  • Length: 3 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,237
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,024
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,984

In this short book, Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz invite you to join an urgently needed conversation: Is Islam a religion of peace or war? Is it amenable to reform? Why do so many Muslims seem drawn to extremism? What do words like Islamism, jihadism, and fundamentalism mean in today's world? Remarkable for the breadth and depth of its analysis, this dialogue between a famous atheist and a former radical is all the more startling for its decorum. Harris and Nawaz have produced something genuinely new: they engage one of the most polarizing issues of our time - fearlessly and fully - and actually make progress.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Must read for an honest debate on the topics

  • By Andre Wallace Simonsen on 12-17-15

A must; enlightening and encouraging

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

Reviewed: 04-13-17

Would you listen to Islam and the Future of Tolerance again? Why?

Yes, to remember its contents more clearly so that I can communicate them to other people.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Nawaz brings the only ray of hope I've ever encountered regarding the future of Islam (and by extension to the future of all of us). It is all the more compelling in the light of Harris' lucid criticism of Islam (not just of Islamism).

I have always wondered why no Islamic religious authority has issued a fatwa against terrorists, and I took that as an indication that there is something wrong with the religion. However, I learned from this book that there is one against ISIS, and that there IS a way for Muslims to think about their religion in a different direction from the fundamentalists'. This is quite new to me and most heartening.

Have you listened to any of Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Both are articulate and lucid. A pleasure to listen to.

Any additional comments?

I think this is one book that everyone living today ought to read or be familiar with. Without exception.