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Leslie Grey McCawley

  • 34
  • reviews
  • 182
  • helpful votes
  • 420
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  • Alas, Babylon

  • By: Pat Frank
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,190
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,755
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,756

This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazingly contemporary

  • By SomervilleWhereElse on 12-25-10

Completely believable situation and characters

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

Reviewed: 09-30-17

This title was published in the late 1950's so the technology referred to is out of date, such as the old ConElRad civil defense communication system, but otherwise it feels utterly contemporary. The news items are about the turmoil in the Middle East, the adversary is still Russia, and the steps taken to survive after war are the same: competing with the rest of the population for access to shelter, clean water, medicines, sufficient food to survive, and protection from the others. This was so well written; the characters were so believable and sympatico, the situations they faced so realistic and well described. I just loved it, and was amazed I had never heard of it before. I am so glad I read a reference to it recently in a book review. It is an excellent book of its kind (dystopia, survivalist, etc). I really recommend it.

  • The Winter Sea

  • By: Susanna Kearsley
  • Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
  • Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,536
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,820
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,840

History has all but forgotten.... In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown. Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next best-selling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write. But then she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing Read

  • By Menon on 08-14-12

The Winter Sea

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

Reviewed: 07-21-11

I got this on impulse when the promo suggested it was like Gabaldon. I was seeking something simple, easy and light that would be pleasant to listen to and require little concentration. This fit the bill perfectly. The Scottish settings, accents and characters, the mysterious and tantalizing knowledge of the author's ancestor's life, and the story-line about the Jacobites was very nice, indeed. There was no time-travel, and no iconic male like Jamie, but it was a nice enough listen. I didn't care for the tones of voice the narrator selected for the characters but the overall effect wasn't bad enough to be distracting.

31 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Light in August

  • By: William Faulkner
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,523
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,900
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,902

An Oprah's Book Club Selection regarded as one of Faulkner's greatest and most accessible novels, Light in August is a timeless and riveting story of determination, tragedy, and hope. In Faulkner's iconic Yoknapatawpha County, race, sex, and religion collide around three memorable characters searching desperately for human connection and their own identities.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • so large, so powerful, so conflicted

  • By Darwin8u on 09-17-17

NOT "great literature" !

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-08-11

I wanted to like this, and to learn about the South from it. But I guess I have to just finally admit to myself that I am not sophisticated enough to appreciate "great literature". What I love and long for is a good story, well-told. This offering was so full of cruelty, hatefulness, anger, irrationality, and stunted, ugly human characters that I was left reeling, feeling sick at heart. For me there was no redeeming quality, at all, except that I have learned to strictly avoid Faulkner for the rest of my life! I would warn all sensitive souls away from this one.

8 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Memoranda During the War

  • By: Walt Whitman
  • Narrated by: Robert Gorman
  • Length: 4 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

"The real war will never get in the books," Walt Whitman wrote in this diary he kept during the Civil War. Whitman chronicled his visits to Washington, D.C. hospitals where he comforted wounded men and assisted nurses and doctors. This journal, written by one of America's greatest poets and writers, captures the details and ironies of war.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting and boring

  • By Elizabeth on 10-03-13

Poignant observations from a compassionate heart

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-14-11

I have always loved Walt Whitman's poetry but did not have a real sense of him as a man until I listened to these tender, insightful and achingly poignant observations of the field hospitals during and after the Civil War. They are very moving snippets from his journal, very honest and personal. I was surprised that I had not heard of them earlier, as I am a Civil War 'buff'. This is a valuable contribution to knowledge about that time. Whitman's kindness to both 'secess' and Union soldiers made me appreciate him all the more. I did not give this a 5 star rating because it is not 'of a piece', but an odd assortment of topics in a bit of a mish-mash rather than an integrated work; it is from a diary, after all, and not actually ever meant for an audience, perhaps. However, as a deeply caring and wonderful human being Walt Whitman earns 10 stars.

  • Not Exactly What I Had in Mind

  • By: Roy Blount
  • Narrated by: Roy Blount Jr.
  • Length: 2 hrs and 59 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 3

"It's my belief that sanity lies in realizing that reality is not exactly what we had in mind," says Roy Blount, Jr. in this witty collection of essays. With humor that's wry, dry, and warm, he delights and provokes us by confronting the reality of American life compared to the way we thought it would be. With his characteristic drawl (or "oral resonance," as he calls it), he reflects on John Wayne, the federal deficit, women's underwear, and more.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Genuinely funny--like a Southern Thurber

  • By Tim on 07-20-04

The Timing and Delivery Are Whats Funny

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-25-11

I don't think this would be funny if I was just reading it. And I surely think no other narrator could do it justice. It takes the author's comic delivery, the exact timing of the punchline, the very thick southern drawl - and then it all adds up to being hilariously wonderful. I had not noticed this was published in the mid 1980s and kept being surprised at the names being mentioned: the American politicians and celebrities of that era, which I had not paid much attention to at the time and if I had, had long forgotten. It was interesting and fun, anyway, even if I did not 'get' all of the snide comments about them. Mr. Blount has a genuinely humorous take on life and gave me some deep, delighted laughs, which I much appreciated. In fact, I am still laughing.

  • Bittersweet

  • By: Nevada Barr
  • Narrated by: Linda Stephens
  • Length: 16 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 317
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 151
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 149

Best-selling author Nevada Barr delights contemporary mystery fans with novels like Deep South and Blood Lure. In Bittersweet, she departs the mystery genre for a touching story of hardship, perseverance, and love in the old West.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Perfect Title for a Lovely Book

  • By Louella Eastwood on 10-06-07

19th c Women's history - painful, worthwhile read

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-08-11

I admire Nevada Barr for her courage in writing a novel like this, but do wonder who the intended audience was. I would think that it is not graphic, passionate or erotic enough to appeal to lesbians, and is probably cringe-inducing for many (if not most) straight women. The historical context is very interesting and disturbing: the lack of basic legal rights for women, the medical ignorance, and the sheer prejudice against lone women much less lesbians. I found it harrowing and hard going, and had to space it out over months, as I got too upset. The ending was oddly abrupt but I was still relieved it was finally over! The narration was good. I prefer the author???s usual genre over this work but am glad I listened to it as it has piqued my interest in women???s history in the settling of the American West.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • So Much for That

  • By: Lionel Shriver
  • Narrated by: Dan John Miller
  • Length: 17 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 125
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 76
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 77

Shep Knacker has long saved for “The Afterlife”: an idyllic retreat to the Third World where his nest egg can last forever. Traffic jams on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway will be replaced with “talking, thinking, seeing, and being” — and enough sleep. When he sells his business for a cool million dollars, his dream finally seems within reach. Yet his wife Glynis has concocted endless excuses why it’s never the right time to go.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • haunting...read this summer on the beach!!

  • By Linda on 07-06-10

Grim, ugly, unrewarding story, narrated well

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-12-11

Our faces are pushed mercilessly into the repulsive medical details of several diseased characters. We must endure endless crankiness, selfishness, and self-congratulation by truly unpleasant and stunted personalities who are all unhappy about something. This was almost unendurable except I kept hanging on, thinking the rave reviews could not get it so wrong. Well they did. Ugh. Nasty people, nasty diseases, nasty plot resolution through deception. However the narration was very good; this mess was not Mr Miller's fault.

0 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Endurance

  • Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
  • By: Alfred Lansing
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,040
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,549
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,540

In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb in so many ways

  • By David on 01-19-14

Now THIS is a hero!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-22-11

I admit I had no knowledge of, or particular interest in, the polar expeditions but was interested enough in the travel and adventure to listen to this book. The first half was a bit of a slog, as they hit bad luck pretty quickly and the day in and day out trying to wait out the pack ice holding them captive was slow going.

But the second half, as Shackleton leaves his crew behind to try to make it to any semblance of civilisation and eventual rescue is staggeringly impressive; it is only a series of extraordinary decisions made by Shackleton that allowed them to survive. And perhaps a few miracles, too: e.g. stuck on a razorback mountain with the temperatures dropping below zero, guaranteed to freeze to death if they stayed or tried to turn back, he chose to slide with his two men into the completely unseen, fogged in, precipice below - and against all odds they actually survived this without a scratch, picked themselves up and kept going!

The narration was utterly gripping, well paced with the action and emotion, a fantastic job. I was shaking for some time after finishing this, my heart was still pounding so hard and I could hardly catch my breath; I could only think 'men used to be like this!' Now I want to know everything about all the polar explorers because this is a breed of men I have never encountered. Shackleton is my new hero: he had a genius for survival and leadership, and he returned to rescue all his men without loss of life. Incredible. This is an exceptional story about human nature.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The English American

  • By: Alison Larkin
  • Narrated by: Alison Larkin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,082
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 430
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 436

When Pippa Dunn, adopted as an infant and raised terribly British, discovers that her birth parents are from the American South, she finds that "culture clash" has layers of meaning she'd never imagined. Meet The English American, a fabulously funny, deeply poignant debut novel that sprang from Alison Larkin's autobiographical one-woman show of the same name.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding

  • By Michael on 07-05-09

Unbearable

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-09-11

This author/narrator has a manic, relentlessly self-pleased and chirpy little manner and voice; if you can tolerate that you may enjoy the story. I couldn't, and didn't.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Climbing the Mango Trees

  • A Memoir of a Childhood in India
  • By: Madhur Jaffrey
  • Narrated by: Indira Joshi
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2

Born into a sprawling house by the Yamuna River in Delhi, Madhur Jaffrey has always been around fine Indian cuisine. In this book, she tells the story of her life, as well as including some of the recipes that have made her famous.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Warm Memoir of Growing up in Delhi India

  • By Leslie Grey McCawley on 01-01-11

Warm Memoir of Growing up in Delhi India

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-01-11

This lovingly told memoir is warm-hearted and engaging. The detailed descriptions of the marvellous spicy snacks and elaborate feasts served - whether on impulse from a street vendor or at formal family gatherings - have triggered my own preparing Indian food for weeks now; it is so wonderful! Also very enjoyable is the insight into the extended patriarchal family structure that generations of her family have lived within, as well as learning about the sub-caste they were part of, and the work they performed for the establishments of the era, whether Moghul or British. It is all told simply, as if to a sympathetic friend from whom nothing has to be hidden; sorrows and triumphs alike are shared simply and warmly. I loved listening to this book, and the narrator was excellent. This was a whole side of Indian culture that I had no idea about; very worthwhile!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful