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Peggy

Washington, DC, United States
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 24
  • helpful votes
  • 271
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  • The Child Thief

  • A Novel
  • By: Dan Smith
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 665
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 619
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 612

A troubled World War I veteran races across the frozen steppe of 1930's Ukraine to save a child from a shadowy killer with unthinkable plans. Luka is a war veteran who now wants nothing more than to have a quiet life with his family. His village has, so far, remained hidden from the advancing Soviet brutality. But everything changes the day a stranger arrives, pulling a sled bearing a terrible cargo. In the chaos, a little girl has vanished, and Luka is the only man with the skills to find the stolen child and her kidnapper.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cold, Subtle, and Full of Suspense

  • By JD on 04-23-14

Plez forgit the aksent.

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

Reviewed: 10-31-14

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This was a good book almost ruined by a heavily accented narrator.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The plot was good, well paced, and moved in the just the right places.

How could the performance have been better?

Why do audible publishers and/or writers assume that heavily accented narration improves their story? The narrator did nothing to enhance Don Smith's story set in the Ukraine, and at times, was difficult to understand. (And I speak Russian and am familiar with Russian-accented English).

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Child Thief?

I would have cut nothing from The Child Thief; it was a well written book. I particularly enjoyed the beautiful descriptions of winter on the steppe.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Goldfinch

  • By: Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 32 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,347
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,021
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 23,046

The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow

  • By kurdis teed on 05-28-17

Tedious

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

Reviewed: 03-09-14

What disappointed you about The Goldfinch?

This book was so repetitive and mired in endless descriptions of drugs and alcohol that all potential for it's excellent plot was wasted. Why it got such good reviews and won so many prizes is beyond me.

Which character – as performed by David Pittu – was your favorite?

David Pittu's performance with all characters was great, especially with a book that needed so much editing.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was very disappointed in The Goldfinch.

  • Labyrinth of Kingdoms

  • 10,000 Miles Through Islamic Africa
  • By: Steve Kemper
  • Narrated by: Ed Phillips
  • Length: 14 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 35

In 1849 Heinrich Barth joined a small British expedition into unexplored regions of Islamic North and Central Africa. One by one his companions died, but he carried on alone, eventually reaching the fabled city of gold, Timbuktu. His five-and-a-half-year, 10,000-mile adventure ranks among the greatest journeys in the annals of exploration, and his discoveries are considered indispensable by modern scholars of Africa.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating

  • By Sarah Broadwell on 02-02-15

A journey without maps

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

Reviewed: 01-15-14

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The audio book outlining the travels of Henrich Barth would have been better with maps. If there were no maps in Kemper's book, then the fault is with the author; if there were maps and they were not offered in pdf format, then the fault is with audiobooks.

What was most disappointing about Steve Kemper’s story?

The most disappointing thing about Steve Kemper's story was being made acutely aware of the fighting in Central Africa. Tribal and religious violence, as described in Kemper's tale in the mid-nineteenth century is too much different from what we see on the evening news.

Which character – as performed by Ed Phillips – was your favorite?

Philips gave a clear performance throughout so all characters were clearly distinguishable.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Only if it were shot on location.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Lesson Before Dying

  • By: Ernest J. Gaines
  • Narrated by: Lionel Mark Smith, Roger Guenveur Smith
  • Length: 3 hrs and 3 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 428
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 297
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 293

Jefferson is an innocent and unwitting party to a deadly liquor store shoot-out in the 1940s. As the only survivor, he is tried and convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, a university-trained teacher at the plantation school, is persuaded to visit Jefferson in his cell. Wiggins is torn between staying in his native Cajun community or moving on. The 2 men gradually form a bond as they jointly discover the simple heroism of resisting - and denying - the expected.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Misses the mark

  • By Amie on 02-09-12

The past brought forward

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

Reviewed: 12-29-13

If you could sum up A Lesson Before Dying in three words, what would they be?

Hope from hopelessness

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Lesson Before Dying?

The prisoner, described by the prosecution as a hog instead of a man, demonstrates his self image by eating food from the filthy floor of the jail.

Any additional comments?

A Lesson Before Dying brings us back to the days when the American South still flew the confederate flag. And perhaps reminds us that in jails across the country those days may still prevail.

  • The Circle of Reason

  • By: Amitav Ghosh
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 14 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 34

Amitav Ghosh’s extraordinary first novel makes a claim on literary turf held by Gabriel García Márquez and Salman Rushdie. In a vivid and magical story, The Circle of Reason traces the misadventures of Alu, a young master weaver in a small Bengali village who is falsely accused of terrorism. Alu flees his home, traveling through Bombay to the Persian Gulf to North Africa with a bird-watching policeman in pursuit.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Ghosh, I was disappointed

  • By Gwen on 03-04-13

Circles within circles

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

Reviewed: 12-29-13

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Although Amitav Ghosh is one of my favorite writers, I found this book confusing and not very interesting. Too many people moving around without compelling purpose.

What three words best describe Simon Vance’s voice?

Excellent as usual.

  • The Complete Tiger Man Diaries

  • By: Alan Rabinowitz
  • Narrated by: Alan Rabinowitz
  • Length: 5 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

For the past decade, world-renowned wildlife conservationist Alan Rabinowitz has been leading the fight to save tigers in one of their greatest natural habitats, the remote Hukaung Valley in northernmost Mynmar (formerly Burma). In January 2006, Alan traveled to Myanmar to push forward this massive and, at times, dangerous project. Now, you can listen to all of the details of Alan's fascinating journey.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A true story with an untold after story

  • By Peggy on 12-29-13

A true story with an untold after story

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

Reviewed: 12-29-13

Alan Rabinowitz, a well known and respected conservationist, tapes his tiger story as he sets up a tremendous wildlife reserve in in the Hukaung Valley of Northern Myanmar (Burma) for the protection of tigers. He tells of his interaction with both the ruling military government for allocation of the preserve and permission to meet with and seek the cooperation of numerous ethnic groups. Groups living in the preserve were allowed to stay in the reserve if they refrained from poaching. The story was compelling, though hard to hear at times, as he taped in the jungle—or any place out of earshot (once in an outhouse). What Rabinowitz, accomplished, in setting up the preserve was amazing. However, the story told here has been amended by Rabinowitz himself in later public speaking engagements. Much of the pristine jungle has been ravaged by mining and other destructive activity, presumably with the approval of the government. And tigers, for obvious reasons, have failed to move into the preserve, as Rabinowitz had hoped.

The Scarlet Pimpernel audiobook cover art
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel

  • By: Baroness Orczy
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 604
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 477
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 495

The Scarlet Pimpernel hides the identity of a British nobleman who, masked by various disguises, leads a band of young men to undermine the Reign of Terror after the French Revolution. The Scarlet Pimpernel makes daring raid after daring raid into the heart of France to save aristocrats condemned to the guillotine. At each rescue, he leaves his calling card: a small, blood-red flower - a pimpernel - mocking the power of Robespierre and his Committee of Public Safety.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully Written Classic

  • By Sher from Provo on 09-16-10

A True Spy

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

Reviewed: 12-29-13

A compelling tale of spies and counterspies during the French Revolution, who—enabled by the British—helped save aristocrats from the guillotine. The Scarlet Pimpernel may have been one of the first true undercover agents of the 19th century fooling everyone, including the reader. Well narrated.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Stranger Beside Me

  • The Shocking True Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy
  • By: Ann Rule
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 18 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,774
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,351
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,344

Ann Rule was working on the biggest story of her career, tracking the trail of victims left by a brutal serial killer. Little did this future best-selling author know that the savage slayer she was hunting was the young man she counted among her closest friends. Everyone's picture of a natural winner, Ted Bundy was a bright, charming, and handsome man with a promising future as an attorney. But on January 24, 1989 Bundy was executed for the murders of three young women - and had confessed to taking the lives of at least thirty-five more women from coast to coast.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Another Good One from Ann Rule

  • By Malia on 08-24-12

Creepy

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

Reviewed: 12-02-13

The author tricked me into believing that Ted Bundy was a handsome, clever, ordinary guy--just as he tricked her. If we believe Ann Rule, it was long after capture and late in the judicial process that she saw the truth about the guy she had once worked with. And that's what makes the whole thing really creepy.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • And the Mountains Echoed

  • By: Khaled Hosseini
  • Narrated by: Khaled Hosseini, Navid Negahban, Shohreh Aghdashloo
  • Length: 14 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,308
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,815
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,805

Khaled Hosseini, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Does the End Justify the Means

  • By FanB14 on 05-24-13

Authors should not read their own books.

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

Reviewed: 10-26-13

And the Mountains Echoed is wondrous book, consistent with Khaled Hosseini's other work. He is an extraordinary writer, who tells of places few have visited. Each of his many characters come alive as he offers poignant glimpses into the life and culture of Afghanistan. Why, then, does he read his own stuff--causing the listener (or me at least) to strain at meaning, and even back up to re-hear to certain sections. We don't need poorly articulated reading (it's not just the accent) to understand the otherness of the culture and people he creates for us.

Normally I return such books. In this case, because the writing is so good, I am not going to request a refund. However, as a well read listener, I want to be heard on this issue--both to encourage author's not to read their own works, and to discourage publishers who permit or encourage such readings. It can almost ruin a beautiful book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Thirst

  • By: Andrei Gelasimov
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 2 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

Masterfully translated from its original Russian by award-winning translator Marian Schwartz, Thirst tells the story of 20-year-old Chechen war veteran, Kostya. Maimed beyond recognition by a tank explosion, Kostya spends weeks on end locked inside his apartment, his sole companion the vodka bottles spilling from the refrigerator. But soon Kostya’s comfortable, if dysfunctional, cocoon is torn open when he receives a visit from his army buddies who are mobilized to locate a missing comrade. It is through this search for his missing friend that Kostya is able to find himself.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Performance

  • By T. B. 193 on 11-13-17

Not as good as it could have been.

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

Reviewed: 04-16-12

War as it affects people is always difficult to portray. In this case, a maimed character is surrounded by cases of booze in the beginning but his life and thoughts on life are not really examined then or later. He reunites with war-time friends to find a buddy but the search reveals little about him or those searching. The narration is good, protraying a man who speaks with broken face, but the story is too sparse.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful