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Chiwiz

Langdon, NH, United States
  • 33
  • reviews
  • 71
  • helpful votes
  • 57
  • ratings
  • The Heart's Invisible Furies

  • A Novel
  • By: John Boyne
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hogan
  • Length: 21 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,659
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,487
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,487

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery - or at least that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he? Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding. A Must listen.

  • By Keith G on 09-04-17

My new favorite novel of all time!

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

Reviewed: 11-13-18

I usually don’t take the time to write reviews after I listen to a book; however this was such a magnificent work of art that I am compelled to do so. What a story. And John Boyne never loses sight of the fact that he is telling a story. There are many otherwise brilliantworks that fall short because the author gets enamored of thee own voice and their editor fails to rein them in (“The Goldfinch” for one) NEVER happens here. Absolutely everything is brilliant: story, writing, pace, imagery, characters, setting, AND narration. I have heard lots of amazing narrators and Stephen Hogan blows them away. The entire book/production was like a fabulous meal at a 5 star Michelin restaurant. I better stop here because my praise would be endless.

  • Cathedral of the Sea

  • By: Ildefonso Falcones
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 22 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 759
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 373
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 378

At last: The international best seller - which has already sold nearly 2 million copies worldwide - comes to America! Cathedral of the Sea follows the fortunes of the Estanyol family, from their peasant roots to a son, Arnau, who flees the land only to realize spectacular wealth and devastating problems.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very good historical novel.

  • By Joseph on 01-31-10

Fun "Read" but a little too formulaic for me

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

Reviewed: 12-18-17

Pot boiler similar to Ken Follet novels. Heavy on plot, light on literary excellence, not particularly inventive in terms of plot, quite predictable. I enjoyed it but do not see how it deserves the praise or following it has gotten. If the novel "Shogun" were a 10, this is a 5 or 6.

Excellent narration though, a 10 there.

  • The Strangler Vine

  • By: M. J. Carter
  • Narrated by: Alex Wyndham
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,291
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,096
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,094

India, 1837: William Avery is a young soldier with few prospects except rotting away in campaigns in India; Jeremiah Blake is a secret political agent gone native, a genius at languages and disguises, disenchanted with the whole ethos of British rule, but who cannot resist the challenge of an unresolved mystery.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating historical novel

  • By Meg on 03-12-16

Deliciously excellent read

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

Reviewed: 12-03-17

Great plot twists and turns. Well written. Brilliantly performed. The story never lagged for me. Sometimes excellent writers can get bogged down in their love for the sound of their own 'voice.' (I.e. The Goldfinch) and the plot comes to a standstill. Not so here. Great writing AND a fine sense of storytelling. I loved being immersed in the India of the 1800s. A book that fluidly both teaches and entertains. Great combination. Let bed it without reservation. Can't wait to start the next in the series

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Street

  • A Novel
  • By: Ann Petry
  • Narrated by: Shayna Small
  • Length: 12 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 303
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 272
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 270

As much a historical document as it is a novel, this 1946 winner of the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship Award is the poignant and unblinkingly honest story of Lutie Johnson, a young black woman, and her spirited struggle to live and raise her son by herself amid the violence, poverty, and racial dissonance of Harlem in the late 1940s. Originally published in 1946 and hailed by critics as a masterwork, The Street was Ann Petry’s first novel, a beloved best seller with more than a million copies in print. Its haunting tale still resonates today.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant book. Superb narrator. Tacky sound effects

  • By Chiwiz on 11-13-17

Brilliant book. Superb narrator. Tacky sound effects

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

Reviewed: 11-13-17

As a white middle class male from the 21st century I found this book about a black woman in Harlem in the 1940s absolutely mesmerizing. The narrator is top notch with great voices for all the characters. I felt I was a fly on the wall in Harlem in that postwar era. The only reason I gave the performance three stars has nothing to do with the masterful narration. It has to do with the annoying, distracting, superfluous, tacky sound effects that keep popping up at seemingly random points in the story. Door slams, doorbells, high heels clicking, trains, etc. Puleeeeeeze!

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Blood Song

  • Raven's Shadow, Book 1
  • By: Anthony Ryan
  • Narrated by: Steven Brand
  • Length: 23 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,193
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,265
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,257

The Sixth Order wields the sword of justice and smites the enemies of the Faith and the Realm. Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of 10 when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order. The Brothers of the Sixth Order are devoted to battle, and Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate, and dangerous life of a Warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, but the narration did not live up to it.

  • By Anthony on 06-29-16

Brilliant

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

Reviewed: 09-12-17

Brilliantly creative. Excellent writing, leagues above what usually passes for writing in this genre. As good as Patrick Rothfus. Endlessly inventive plot twists and development. Listened even when I wasn't driving - always the sign of a great book.

  • The Big Rock Candy Mountain

  • By: Wallace Stegner
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 25 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,160
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 865
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 856

Bo Mason, his wife, and his two boys live a transient life of poverty and despair. Drifting from town to town and from state to state, the violent, ruthless Bo seeks his fortune in the hotel business, in new farmland, and, eventually, in illegal rum-running throughout the treacherous back roads of the American Northwest.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • deeply moving rollercoaster ride

  • By Heimo on 05-26-10

They don't write like this anymore!!!

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

Reviewed: 05-31-17

First Stegner book I ever read (or listened to) and I am now going to read them all. Absolute ear candy. This man knew how to work words and make sentences and a story so enticing that I would continue listening after my car was parked in the garage. Wonderful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Kartoss Gambit

  • Way of the Shaman, Book 2
  • By: Vasily Mahanenko
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
  • Length: 15 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3,298
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,083
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,075

A product of the latest technologies, Barliona is a virtual world brimming with fun and entertainment. The government has become the guarantor for the in-game currency, allowing its free circulation. As a result the population floods Barliona in pursuit of easy money. It doesn't take long for the game developers to discover a source of free labor: real-world prison convicts. While their bodies are locked in special auto-maintenance virtual capsules, the prisoners' minds are released into Barliona's virtual mines.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Narrator sets the Tone

  • By Don Gilbert on 05-18-16

Good story needs to edit technical descriptions

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

Reviewed: 05-10-17

Vasily gets too bogged down in stats descriptions and the story suffers. I am a former WOW addict, and am a fan of the first novel in this series, but this was too technical even for me. Just slowed things down too much. I often had the playback on 2.0 speed just to move things along.

  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

  • A Novel
  • By: Robin Sloan
  • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9,473
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,668
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,648

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A light, fun, easy listen

  • By january on 11-04-12

Witty, engaging, and unpredictable. Top rate story

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

Reviewed: 02-01-17

Perfect fit of narrator to story. Fun, engrossing story. Never dull. If you love both books and digital technology you will enjoy this book. The author has created a wonderful story where the two modes are f communication and storytelling converge. Delightful characters abound. You feel like you know them and therefore actually care what happens as the story unfolds. Lots of fun. The only fly in my enjoyment ointment is that the ending left me slightly less than satisfied. It was a quick wrap up to tie all loose strands together. I wanted the story to go on and explore the lives of the characters. In other words, I wasn't ready for it to be over. Had lots more bandwidth for more chapters.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Pride and Prejudice

  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: Rosamund Pike
  • Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 12,017
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 10,969
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 10,920

One of Jane Austen’s most beloved works, Pride and Prejudice, is vividly brought to life by Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike ( Gone Girl). In her bright and energetic performance of this British classic, she expertly captures Austen’s signature wit and tone. Her attention to detail, her literary background, and her performance in the 2005 feature film version of the novel provide the perfect foundation from which to convey the story of Elizabeth Bennett, her four sisters, and the inimitable Mr. Darcy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Truth Universally Acknowledged

  • By Gretchen SLP on 12-10-15

They don't write like this anymore!

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

Reviewed: 10-22-16

Brilliant lush language and turns of phrase. Astute insights into human behavior customs and manners of the times. Wonderful narrator. Almost as wonderful a novel as the Forsythe Saga😊.

  • Vatican Waltz

  • A Novel
  • By: Roland Merullo
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 115
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 107
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 106

Cynthia Piantedosi lives a quiet, unassuming life with her elderly father just outside of Boston. When she loses her beloved grandmother as a child, her faith takes a turn for the devout, and she begins experiencing what she describes as "spells" - moments of such intense prayer that she loses herself. Uninterested in boys and a social life, she develops a deep friendship with the parish priest, whose ideas are often seen as too provocative by his congregation but who encourages her to explore her spells.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Is Priest Her Vocation?

  • By jonmontanavega on 08-03-16

Slow to start. Getting-going middle. Fantastic last third.

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

Reviewed: 09-18-16

It takes this story a looooong time to get off the ground. It needs a more vertical takeoff. That being said it was an excellent story once it got going. I actually think it ended too soon - just when it got REALLY good; a twist that made me want it to not end. I think the author has a great concept going. Perhaps a sequel is in order! If so I would encourage him to move the plot along a little faster. I also really liked the spiritual philosophical and religious musings sprinkled throughout the book. Very thought-provoking and added to my enjoyment of the story. Truly, the only thing that keeps me from giving it 4.5 stars is how long the story takes to get going.