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M. Warren

North Carolina
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  • reviews
  • 25
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  • 67
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  • Michel Thomas Method

  • German Introductory Course
  • By: Michel Thomas
  • Narrated by: Michel Thomas
  • Length: 2 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12

Learn another language the way you learnt your own. You learnt your own language naturally and enjoyably: now you can learn German in the same way.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good, but the sighs. . .

  • By Heather on 02-28-12

Not for me

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-12-16

I listened to the first 20 minutes before I had to turn it off. Mr. Thomas' voice has an accent, and some of his English isn't clear; how can I expect his German to be clearer? He also speaks haltingly, as if he's busy doing something else on the side. Might have benefited from sticking to a script. There was also the "don't memorize anything" vs "here are three letter strings to remember". Paul Noble does this far better and in digestible chunks. I did understand the two students clearly, better than Mr. Thomas, but I didn't feel confident that this was the best option for me.

  • Learn German with Paul Noble, Part 2

  • German Made Easy with Your Personal Language Coach
  • By: Paul Noble
  • Narrated by: Paul Noble
  • Length: 4 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 150
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 117
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 112

Learn German with Paul Noble combines an exciting, new, non-traditional approach to language learning with the easy, relaxed appeal of an audio-only product. No books. No rote memorisation. No chance of failure.    

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • nearly identical to part one.

  • By rufusdampfer on 07-18-15

Reader's Digest Version of Part 1 - Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 05-07-16

I had learned from Paul Noble's "Learn Spanish" parts 1, 2 & 3, and thoroughly enjoyed all three parts; aside from learning a lot, they inspired me to go on to other Spanish sources for six full months! I hoped his "Learn German" series would do the same, and I am very disappointed.

Part 1 was conducted in the same manner as in the Spanish series. There were a few minor issues, of course, like distinguishing "dem" from "den" when it would have helped for Paul to spell out the words. But his accompanying PDF resolved those issues.

Others here had said "don't buy part 2 if you already have part 1!!" stating it was just more of the same, nothing new. Since I listen in the car while commuting, I figured it couldn't hurt to keep reviewing everything I'd learned in part 1 for a few more hours.

I HAD NOT EXPECTED TO GO BACK TO GROUND ZERO! Seriously 45 minutes into part 2, Paul says, "You may have noticed that we have different words for 'the': 'das' and 'der'." Part 2 is NOT continued review! It's just a condensed version of part 1 starting from the very beginning of part 1.

I cannot understand why Paul would stake his reputation on such a gimmick. I cannot bring myself to buy part 3; others say there's some new material but not much, and not much grammar there. I'd give his "Learn Spanish" a 5-star review for a novice, and the same for "Learn German" PART 1; but part 2 shouldn't merit even one star.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Maelstrom

  • A Whyborne & Griffin Novel, Volume 7
  • By: Jordan L. Hawk
  • Narrated by: Julian G. Simmons
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 235
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 218
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 215

Between his father's sudden - and rather suspicious - generosity, and his own rash promise to help Christine plan her wedding, Percival Endicott Whyborne has quite enough to worry about. But when the donation of a mysterious codex to the Ladysmith Museum draws the attention of a murderous cult, Whyborne finds himself in a race against time to unlock its secrets first. Griffin has a case of his own: the disappearance of an historic map, which quickly escalates to murder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Please tell me there will be more!

  • By SassiKassi on 04-26-16

Not my favorite...

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

Reviewed: 04-01-16

After listening to this, I went directly back to the original "Widdershins" for an encore performance. It's understandable that Whyborne continues to grow, but I miss his temerity and sense of turn-of-the-century propriety. In the six preceding works, Whyborne discovers a new magic skill or talent, but this time he only seemed to rediscover courage that he is, I'm not certain, glad he has or isn't so glad he has. And the fact that some metaphysical embodiment of Widdershins itself saves the day (and Whyborne) seemed an easy out for the situation, especially considering that neither Griffin nor Putnam have much to say about it. This just wasn't working for me personally, although I consider myself a huge fan (and apparently a neighbor) of Jordan, and search for her new releases with each new Audible credit.

Julian, the narrator, has always been spot on through six previous books. But this time, the low, sultry, seductive voice of Griffin is often replaced by Whyborne's slightly effected, higher-pitched and self-conscious voice, even when the chapter title says it's Griffin speaking. Granted, Whyborne's voice needed to change but even that didn't seem sufficiently distinct nor consistent.

Love you Jordan, love this series as well as SPECTRE, and will continue to devour each new Audible release (very anxious for some of the newer ones in other hard-copy series that I hope will appear on Audible very soon), but honestly this one just didn't work for me. Would really love a bit more tension between Whyborne and Griffin. We already know how Whyborne reacted when he thought Griffin might be straying, but...

  • Barefoot in the City of Broken Dreams

  • By: Brent Hartinger
  • Narrated by: Josh Hurley
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77

Twenty-four-year-old Russel Middebrook and his boyfriend have moved to Los Angeles so Russel can try to make it as a screenwriter. Almost right away, in a forgotten old house off of Sunset Boulevard, Russel meets Isaac Brander - a once-famous film producer who is convinced he can turn Russel's screenplay into a movie.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Didn't connect to the story.

  • By Belen on 04-22-16

Go back to Seattle?

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

Reviewed: 02-25-16

"Futon Years" just aren't working for me personally. Russel has his Hollywood dream bubble burst. Kevin who was all for the move to LA seems to have been all too ready to say "Seriously, wake up!" Daniel, potentially the most interesting character in the story and biggest personal (read: non-professional) challenge for Kevin & Russel as a couple - but that just falls apart. Daniel's sister comes on as a formidable challenge, but then evaporates, left wondering what happened to her brother. Otto's story is really the highlight of this story; I had empathy for him and, after a bit, for Daniel. But Russel and Kevin - nada. There's little that either of them are doing that's relatable, since I've never interviewed a star or had a screenplay rejected. The tension just isn' t there. I'll wait for others' reviews before I delve into Futon Years #3.

  • Spanish Sentence Magic

  • Learn to Create Your Own Original Sentences in Spanish with Amazing Speed - 5 Hours of Audio (English and Spanish Edition)
  • By: Mark Frobose
  • Narrated by: Mark Frobose
  • Length: 5 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34

Want to break free of boring drills and canned phrases and create and speak your own original sentences in Spanish with phenomenal speed and ease? Say hello to Spanish Sentence Magic! Here are just a few features of this fabulous program: High Frequency Vocabulary - Learn to speak the most common words and phrases that are easiest to learn and quickly understood by native Spanish speakers. Fast Sentence-Building Templates - Use cookie-cutter templates that you customize to fit your own unique language needs.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "Spanish Sentence Magic" Not Merely Optional

  • By Leonard on 02-06-14

Uneven but upbeat

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-05-15

Having just completed and enjoyed Paul Noble's three courses, I was looking for something that addressed actual grammatical sentence structure rules such as placement of the object pronoun before the verb, and reflexive verbs. While Sentence Magic gives a simple method for building present tense sentences, it didn't deliver on my objectives - at least not in the two-thirds that I could stand to get through. While the course was certainly cheerful and upbeat, which was nice, I don't think that after the first five minutes there's a bit of original material in here. It seems to be cut and pasted from his numerous other courses, and as a result the timing is uneven and the structure contradictory.

This course does not include a transcript. However, if you go to the Accelerated Spanish courses, you can download their transcripts, and it's easy to see where sections have been lifted verbatim. The second problem this causes is that, for instance, the narrator discusses "usted" for a couple minutes, ending with the comment that its use would be very rare in the course; but then the entire next lesson is repeating verbs with and without "usted"; in other words, the course flow contradicts itself in spots because the segments appear to have been cut and pasted from other courses. Third, there are several instances where a new word is taught by repeating it several times after "the native speaker" (couldn't they give her a name?), and then the next thing the narrator asks is if we can recall from memory what that word is. Geez, I just repeated it a half-dozen times; my memory isn't that bad! And other times, the narrator asks us to recall a word from memory, but that word was not yet taught. Finally, the timing between the narrator and "the native speaker" is frequently off; we're told to answer his question before "the native speaker", but "the native speaker" answers almost immediately; or we're asked to create a relatively complex, for beginners, sentence, but "the native speaker" doesn't give us enough time before answering, and I'm not that slow.

Yesterday I got to one of the "snapshots" which was about ten minutes of listening to the narrator say a word in English and "the native speaker" state the word or phrase in Spanish. We are not supposed to try to repeat the words, just listen (after which we get a "You did a great job listening!" - huh?) It went on and on and on. No involvement, and far too many words to be expected to recall later. At that point, I went off in search of a different course.

Finally, every single Spanish language book I have and every audio course I'd listened to tells us to pronounce a "v" as a "b". In this course "the native speaker" is quite distinctly using the "v" sound. Maybe there's some regional difference I'm not aware of, but if so it's not explained here.

However, I will say that "the native speaker" is very clear in her pronunciations, and I did like the way in which she would repeat a word or phrase slowly the first time, and then say it in a normal conversational pace (i.e. running the words together) as we can expect to find in conversation with other native speakers.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Boy Who Came in from the Cold

  • By: B. G. Thomas
  • Narrated by: Charlie David
  • Length: 7 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 182
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 176
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 178

Todd Burton has had enough of small-town Buckman. His abusive stepfather calls him a fag; his friend Austin makes him realize he may be gay, but Todd doesn't want to admit his stepfather is right; and he dreams of being a chef. Three good reasons to flee his hometown and pursue greener pastures. But when Todd reaches the big city, his luck runs dry. Soon he can't pay his rent and gets evicted. In the middle of a snowstorm.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sweet and fluffy

  • By Riva on 05-01-14

Sweet but too compressed

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

Reviewed: 11-12-14

I was hooked from the first word spoken by Todd Burton. Charlie David's characterization was the reincarnation of Topher Manning from Brad Boney's "The Return", and that naive but smartass attitude and tone is something I could listen to all day. But then Charlie David could read the Bible to me, and I'd think it was sexy.

The story is sweet, though in audio a bit confusing when Todd channels his step-father's voice or when he is unaware he's said something out loud. What tampered my enthusiasm was (something of a spoiler ahead) was that in less than one week, Todd goes from "I'm absolutely straight, though maybe a bit bi-curious, broke, jobless, lonely, and homeless" to the completely opposite extreme. And that Gabe, given his past experiences, rolls along with it. Strangers one day to "I love you" two days later? That's the part that really kept me from empathizing with and identifying with the characters.

Also a little disappointed that Austin didn't appear in this one, since Todd pops up in Austin's book. Would have liked to have heard Gabe's reaction.

All said though, I'll probably replay it in the near future, if for nothing more than to listen to Todd's confrontation with his step-father and mother.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Something Like Summer

  • Something Like..., Book 1
  • By: Jay Bell
  • Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,273
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,199
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,197

The hot Texas nights were lonely for Ben before his heart began beating to the rhythm of two words; Tim Wyman. By all appearances, Tim had the perfect body and ideal life, but when a not-so-accidental collision brings them together, Ben discovers that the truth is rarely so simple. If winning Tim's heart was an impossible quest, keeping it would prove even harder as family, society, and emotion threaten to tear them apart. Something Like Summer is a love story spanning a decade and beyond as two boys discover what it means to be friends, lovers, and sometimes even enemies.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Stick with it.

  • By Orlando on 06-26-13

Don't judge it by the cartoonish cover

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

Reviewed: 08-08-14

Very glad to have picked this up, and immediately started on "Something Like Winter" moments after finishing this one. Part one was pretty reminiscent of "The Geography Club" (which I also enjoyed - twice) except Ben has supporting and participatory parents. The entire story though is quite a roller coaster ride with Ben & Tim vs Ben & Jace. The only reason I didn't give the story five stars though is the very, very end. Trying to say this without becoming a spoiler, but if Ben was so excited at the chance to see Tim after more than two years, and if it was so easy for him to fall into it again, why had he waited so long? At least it squeezed in a potentially happy ending that I think every reader wanted and expected. Hoping "Something Like Winter" ultimately provides a little more from where this one ends.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Return

  • By: Brad Boney
  • Narrated by: Charlie David
  • Length: 11 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 166
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161

Music. Topher Manning rarely thinks about anything else, but his day job as a mechanic doesn't exactly mesh with his rock-star ambitions. Unless he can find a way to unlock all the songs in his head, his band will soon be on the fast track to obscurity. Then the South by Southwest music festival and a broken-down car drop New York critic Stanton Porter into his life. Stanton offers Topher a ticket to the Bruce Springsteen concert, where a hesitant kiss and phantom vibrations from Topher’s cell phone kick off a love story that promises to transcend ordinary possibility.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My First Audiobook Hangover!

  • By Morgan A Skye on 06-04-15

Answer the dang phone!!

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

Reviewed: 06-19-14

I loved this story the first time I listened to it. I decided to listen again, and it's even better the 2nd time around. All the little "breadcrumbs" that the author leaves from the very onset are significantly more meaningful. And of course I'm driving my car and yelling at Topher to answer his phone and say something! I admit to getting more moved as Starsky and Hutch start their relationship, knowing what's coming. Definitely glad I picked this up for a 2nd listen.

  • Purgatory

  • A Novel of the Civil War
  • By: Jeff Mann
  • Narrated by: Mikael Naramore
  • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 70

During the Civil War, two young soldiers on opposite sides find themselves drawn together. One is a war-weary scholarly Southerner who has seen too much bloodshed, especially the tortures inflicted upon the enemy by his vicious commanding officer. The other is a Herculean Yankee captured by the rag-tag Confederate band. When these two find themselves admiring more than each other's spirit and demeanor, when passions erupt between captor and captive, will this new romance survive the arduous trek to Purgatory Mountain?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sins of War: Confession, Penance, & Expiation

  • By James on 05-04-15

Well written, well narrated

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

Reviewed: 10-22-13

If you could sum up Purgatory in three words, what would they be?

Beautiful, brutal prose

What was one of the most memorable moments of Purgatory?

When it was down to Ian and Drew face to face with Sarge and rat-faced George

Which scene was your favorite?

Ian and Drew's discussions on why Ian needs to see his Goliath controlled, and why Goliath Drew is "just a scared little boy inside".

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I only laughed when Drew asked if he was "doing it" right, bless his heart. Otherwise I found myself emotionally invested in both Ian and Drew.

Any additional comments?

There are no more flattering comments that I could possibly add to the other 4- and 5-star (book) reviews of Mr. Mann's superb writing and his admirable talents with similes; he'd turn one every so often that had me think, "Wow, that was perfect." But I really want to recognize Mikael Naramore's superb narration. He puts you into Ian's mind. His pacing is perfect - slower during Ian's pensive, plotting moments; faster of course during sex scenes; and peaking during life-and-death situations. His drawled pronunciation of "Vuh-GIN-ya" is spot on. His voice characterizations are excellent and stopped short of being over the top: Ian's brusque war-weary tones; Drew's deep baritone; Sarge's downplayed arrogance and haughtiness; sweet but naive Rufus; and rat-faced George... If you didn't already despise George as a character, Naramore's interpretation as a grating, loud-mouthed, abrasive hypocrite should seal the deal.In the end, we're left with some unresolved items on the checklist, most notably Drew's promised reward to Ian, and a long trek offering potential encounters with both "Yanks" and "Rebs"; one only hopes those are part of a sequel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful