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FinalFrontier

  • 19
  • reviews
  • 29
  • helpful votes
  • 28
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  • A Macat Analysis of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay's The Federalist Papers

  • By: Jeremy Kleidosty, Jason Xidias
  • Narrated by: Macat.com
  • Length: 1 hr and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5

One of the most influential works of political theory ever written, The Federalist Papers collects 85 essays from 1787 and 1788, when the United States was a new country looking to find its way politically. Thomas Jefferson, author of the country's Declaration of Independence and a future US president, called the work "the best commentary on the principles of government which ever was written".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just Right

  • By FinalFrontier on 12-04-18

Just Right

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

Reviewed: 12-04-18

This is a very good analysis of the Federalist Papers. It can compliment any of the additions found on Audible, and it's neither too long nor too short, but as Goldylox would say, it's just right.

  • How to Read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence

  • By: Paul B. Skousen
  • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
  • Length: 3 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38

Have you ever wanted to read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and really understand what they're saying? Millions of others have, too. But getting a real understanding of the legal language of 200 years ago can be challenging - and as a result, few Americans know these important documents as well as they should. Recognizing this, Paul Skousen has written exactly the book you've been looking for. It's an easy step-by-step guide that makes these documents come alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Simplicity

  • By Mr. Mitt on 07-01-16

The Best Book for Understanding These Documents

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

Reviewed: 11-13-18

Anyone who cares about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution may want to have this on their phone. If you're a student, you'll likely want to use this as you go through these documents in your textbook, especially if you're taking courses in history, social studies, or government. Teachers may wish to play parts of this book to their students or to make it available to them. Commuters, if you're tired of talk radio, you can use this to get past the headlines and sound bites to get just the facts about these documents.

The book is well-written, objective, and clear, and the narration is just right.

I know there are many longer books out there, but this one is short, clear, and to the point without insulting your intelligence. It's a good one to have on your phone around the Fourth of July or Constitution Day. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Moana

  • By: Disney Press
  • Narrated by: Rena Owen
  • Length: 2 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 93
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97

In the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, Moana, a born navigator, sets sail in search of a fabled island. During her incredible journey, she teams up with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui, to traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage. They encounter enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds, and ancient folklore.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Grear

  • By Robbie on 08-07-17

Beautiful Narration of a Beautiful Story

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

Reviewed: 07-27-18

The Moana story itself is beautiful. It's one of those stories that stands out immediately when you first see the film. At least, that's how it was for me. I enjoy the film, since it gives you a lot to think about. I love the idea of finding your life's call and purpose

This book adaptation is just as good, since you get to use your imagination and not just rely on the people at Disney to create pictures for you.

But enough about the story. The narration by Rena Owen is beautifully done. I'm not sure what she was thinking, but her pacing is perfect. Here, we have a New Zealand-based actor who knows something about how to tell a good story. She narrates slowly enough so you hang on every word, yet you don't fall asleep. She is also very clear and precise in her diction, so if anyone has trouble reading due to a disability, she seems to encourage you to hang in there. She is not unlike the storyteller at the beginning of the film, using the words, along with her skills as an actress, to create an atmosphere and tell the story.

Bottom line: This book is what you get when you merry a good story with a good narrator. Highly recommended.

  • The Untold Story of the Talking Book

  • By: Matthew Rubery
  • Narrated by: Jim Denison
  • Length: 11 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

Histories of the book often move straight from the codex to the digital screen. Left out of that familiar account is nearly 150 years of audio recordings. Recounting the fascinating history of audio-recorded literature, Matthew Rubery traces the path of innovation from Edison's recitation of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" for his tinfoil phonograph in 1877 to the first novel-length talking books made for blinded World War I veterans to today's billion-dollar audiobook industry.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Makes you Think about Audio Books

  • By FinalFrontier on 05-10-17

Makes you Think about Audio Books

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

Reviewed: 05-10-17

This is one of those books that makes you think. If you like audio books, as I do, it's stunning to learn the history of this art form.

As a member of the blind community, I am a user of the Library of Congress talking book program. But I also enjoy finding books on Audible that the Library of Congress program does not record.

I have also read books that have been recorded through both Audible and the Library of Congress. I often find that each version has its strengths and weaknesses.

The portion of this book that really stunned me was the chapters devoted to the origin of the audio books. The dreamers who predicted such technologies as the whispering machine could not have guessed that a portable media player along with a headset is fairly close to what was imagined.

The idea of professional actors narrating audio books seems to have been a common thread from the beginning of audio books until now. Many well known actors can be found narrating audio books, and others are narrated by voice talents that may not be as well known, but are very competent and capable.

The book often refers to Dickens in that section, and this prompted me to do a search for Great Expectations. That book couldn't be recorded in the early days of audio books, but today, it's possible to enjoy this book in full. I noticed several narrations of this book on Audible. Any of them would fit on a smart phone or media player with enough memory.

The rest of the book is indeed insightful. It sheds light on the issue of listening versus reading, and it does so in a way that encourages you to think about it.

If you like audio books, it's wonderful to learn about their history and think about where audio books have gone and what they can become.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Nutcracker and the Mouse King

  • A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation
  • By: E. T. A. Hoffmann, Brian Sibley
  • Narrated by: full cast, Tony Robinson
  • Length: 1 hr and 52 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22

Tony Robinson stars in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of E. T. A. Hoffmann's renowned Christmas story, which inspired Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker. It is Christmas Eve, and young Mary and Fred are opening presents from their godfather, Drosselmeier the toymaker. Mary's favourite gift is a nutcracker soldier, and she is disappointed when his jaw breaks on a particularly hard nut.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best Performance I've Seen of the Nut Cracker

  • By FinalFrontier on 12-26-16

Best Performance I've Seen of the Nut Cracker

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

Reviewed: 12-26-16

I'm so pleased that there now is a good performance of The Nut Cracker on Audible, just in time for Christmas. I looked at some of the other performances, and with one exception, all of them seemed to be missing something.

There is one performance on Audible that is straight narration, but I decided not to get it. But what was I to do if I wanted to have a performance of this story to play around this time of year?

Thanks to the BBC, this excellent dramatization won me over. They seem to be reminding us of the power of audio drama, something that somehow has gotten lost here in the states.

I must admit that I had some expectations going into this. I expected that I would hear young children in the two leading roles, and I get that. The two young actors bring a real child-like enthusiasm to the story.

As often happens with eh BBC, the whole

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Most Wonderful Tales of the Year

  • Holiday Memories Written and Performed by Our Favorite Narrators
  • By: Audible Narrators
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Kate Reading, Michael Kramer, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,945
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,292
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,281

Here at Audible, we know just how much of an impact a voice can have on a story - taking simple words and filling them with elation, wonderment, tragedy, or pure satisfaction. We rely on our narrators every day to bring our favorite stories and characters to life - to introduce us to new authors and genres, or even to a new (perhaps longer) commute. And though our narrators are the best story tellers in the business, it's usually someone else's that they're telling.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Is Some Kind of White Elephant Gift?

  • By Dave on 12-12-16

A Breath of Fresh Air

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

Reviewed: 12-26-16

There are so many versions of A Christmas Carol, and finding lesser known Christmas stories can be a real challenge.

Having Audible narrators share their own personal Christmas stories is a real breath of fresh air.

Two stories really stand out for me, the one narrator telling about wrapping presents for others, and the narrator who recounts watching her father, then her brother, performing A Christmas Carol in her community.

I really believe Audible has hit onto something with this idea. I think they ought to do it again. It's brilliant.

Star Wars (Dramatized) audiobook cover art
  • Star Wars (Dramatized)

  • By: George Lucas, Brian Daley (adaptation)
  • Narrated by: Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels
  • Length: 5 hrs and 56 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,346
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,923
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,929

This landmark production, perhaps the most ambitious radio project ever attempted, began when Star Wars creator George Lucas donated the story rights to an NPR affiliate. Writer Brian Daley adapted the film's highly visual script to the special demands and unique possibilities of radio, creating a more richly textured tale with greater emphasis on character development.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beyond the film...

  • By Matthew on 10-13-11

Audio theater Excellence

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

Reviewed: 10-22-16

Whether you're a major Star Wars fan, or, like me, you just like good stories told well, this is audio theater at its best. I discovered this on CD through my local library, but when I realized Audible had it, I picked it up on impulse.

This dramatization really adds a lot to the story, fleshing out Luke, Han Solo, and just about every other character. I'm sure it was both fun and challenging for many of the actors to rely on vocal tone and inflection rather than facial expression, but I think the challenge only adds to the enjoyment of this program.

Anyone who has seen the movie will recognize the music and sound effects. I'm thankful that NPR was able to use the sound effects and music, and that they didn't have to write a new musical score from scratch. For many fans, the music is a true star in these films, and it's used well in this audio dramatization.

I really enjoy this as a way to stimulate your imagination. In this age where there is so much visual stimulation, it's good to bring out a good audio theater producation like this, sit back with your iphone and a good sound system and let your imagination fly. You have all you need right in the story, since the characters describe what's happening, and you can fill in the rest by creating mental pictures of, for instance, what the ships might look like.

In summary, whether you're a major Star Wars fan, or you just enjoy a good story told well, you can fine value in this audio program.

  • Paradise Lost

  • By: John Milton
  • Narrated by: Anton Lesser
  • Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 254
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132

In words remarkable for their richness of rhythm and imagery, Milton tells the story of man's creation, fall, and redemption, "to justify the ways of God to men". Here, unabridged, and told with exceptional sensitivity and power by Anton Lesser, is the plight of Adam and Eve, the ambition and vengefulness of Satan and his cohorts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Epic Poem Narrated Well

  • By David on 01-09-06

This Voice Talent Totally Gets It

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

Reviewed: 08-18-16

Paradise Lost is one of those books that can be hard to deal with if you try to read through it on your own. The different spellings of words and the archaic language could drive you crazy.

Luckily, a good voice talent can bring the text alive, or, at the very least, give it clarity.

Anton Lesser is just such a voice talent. Even though I have only played the first few minutes of this recording, I can tell he really gets it.

Lesser is a Naxos regular, and he's recorded a lot of Shakespeare. Since Shakespeare and Milton both wrote in blank verse, I have to wonder if doing all that Shakespeare helped him prepare for Milton. He certainly knows how to pace the reading, and he truly understands the power of good poetry.

In short, this recording comes highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dante's Divine Comedy

  • By: The Great Courses, Ronald B. Herzman, William R. Cook
  • Narrated by: Ronald B. Herzman, William R. Cook
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 545
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 501
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 499

Professors Cook and Herzman provide you with an illuminating introduction to one of the greatest works ever written. One of the most profound and satisfying of all poems, The Divine Comedy (or Commedia) of Dante Alighieri is a book for life. In a brilliantly constructed narrative of his imaginary guided pilgrimage through the three realms of the Christian afterlife, Dante accomplished a literary task of astonishing complexity. In these twenty-four lectures, as you follow Dante on his journey, you'll learn how medieval literature offers insights into fundamental questions.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Commedia for Modern Readers

  • By Patti on 08-25-13

Excellent Commentary on the Divine Comedy

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

Reviewed: 08-14-16

This is an excellent introduction to this poem. The lecturers are engaging, lively and informative.

The format reminds me of a sports commentator who describes an event and is assisted by his color commentator who gives the audience additional information.

Just as Virgil and others serve as Dante's guides on his journey, these lecturers serve as our guides through the poem. They especially remind me of how Virgil patiently explains things to Dante, since they give us some idea of what to expect, no matter what translation of the Comedy we work with. Also, like Virgil, they step back and allow us to explore the poem without them having to be there.

If you're having trouble with the Divine Comedy, this lecture series is highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Aeneid

  • By: Virgil
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 15 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 338
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 224
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 220

The Aeneid represents one of the greatest cultural and artistic achievements of Western Civilization. Within the brooding and melancholy atmosphere of Virgil's pious masterpiece lies the mythic story of Aeneas and his flight from burning Troy, taking with him across the Mediterranean the survivors of the Greek onslaught. Aeneas, after many travails and adventures, including a love affair with Dido Queen of Carthage and a visit to the underworld to see his father, ends up in Italy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An epic in every sense of the word

  • By James on 01-06-05

Good Mix of Thoughtful and Theatrical

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

Reviewed: 07-23-16

The Aeneid is one of those "bucket list" books many people say they'll get around to at some point. If you ever do try to read it on your own, you could lose interest, either because of the length or the realities of life. That is why I'm pleased to see so many versions of this book on Audible.

The story itself is indeed a good book. Like most epics, it works well with a good voice talent.

Charleton Griffin is an excellent narrator. While he may not have the "voice of God," his voice is firm, rich, full, strong and authoritative.

Griffin seems to have been trained in classical theater. As a voice actor, he puts this training to work effectively. One benefit of this training is that we get some of the best diction I've heard from anyone this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Griffin also realizes that neither he nor his audience can see each other. Given this, he uses his abilities as a voice actor to add vocal nuances to his narration.

He paces the story in a way that allows you to think about it, yet he can be dramatic where it's needed.

As a result, you have a performance that takes the dramatic effects of the theater and combines it with the ability to tell the story as if you were the only one hearing it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful