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H. Segal

Ithaca
  • 17
  • reviews
  • 15
  • helpful votes
  • 31
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Compelling, Funny and Intriguing

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

Reviewed: 07-11-18

There is a negative review of this audiobook claiming that the author was trying to imitate Stephen King but failed at it. I think this misses the point: King tells a great story and, along the way, touches on important human themes. J. Robert Lennon, like most strong novelists, speaks to human themes while telling the story. What is marvelous about "Familiar" is Lennon's effortless use of popular culture and genres - in this case, a parallel universe sci-fi idea - to explore issues of desire, identity and the nature of consciousness itself. And yet he does this effortlessly through his character Elisa who, discovering that she has inexplicably switched into an alternate life, comes to share with us the way she ultimately makes sense of her choices. She is a wonderful character, one that I will miss, a rare compliment to a work of fiction. And Bahni Turpin's narration is perfect - hearing this book made me want to listen to her read others.

A classic!

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

Reviewed: 09-14-17

I had no idea how strong a writer Truman Capote was. Deft prose, great storyline ... what a talent he was!

Haunting and Hopeful - A Post-Apocalypse Tale

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

Reviewed: 11-22-14

What did you like best about this story?

This is a subtle novel about the way the world's population responds to a devastating flu by following a small group of people who lived before and after the pandemic wiped out 95% of people on earth. Emily Mandel writes with a light yet honest touch, approaching the spectrum of human selfishness, violence and generosity. The Traveling Symphony, a group of musicians and actor who perform Shakespeare in these new times, remind us of the importance of art and the endurance of human-created beauty. Kirsten Potter reads well and lets the cadence of the prose inform her delivery. I was especially moved by the way she performed the last chapter of the novel.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Profound, Engaging, and Relentlessly Charming

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

Reviewed: 11-22-14

Where does Brief Encounters rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Dick Cavett reads this collection of his NYT columns with such perfect delivery that you almost forget that he is a master of the spoken word. Every chapter is engaging, and Cavett manages to teach you about some much without even seeming to. A must listen!

4 of 9 people found this review helpful

Fun with an Unreliable Narrator

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

Reviewed: 11-01-14

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It was interesting to hear about Kevin's rise from phone freak to (in)famous hacker. It was well narrated - Porter makes you believe he really is Kevin - but it was also difficult to tolerate Mitnick's tremendous lack of self-insight. He apologizes over and over to his family for his persistent hacking, but can't explain why it was compulsive or even guess about it. Still, a nice piece of late twentieth century history.

A Classic Novel - Beautifully Read

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

Reviewed: 09-10-14

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely - a harrowing but moving experience of World War I by a gifted novelist.

A bit thin on details and poorly read

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

Reviewed: 08-11-14

Would you try another book from Walter Isaacson and/or Nelson Runger?

It was good to hear the magical life of Ben Franklin, and to discover his selfish as well as generous sides, but Isaacson tends to repeat his formulaic read on Franklin over and over, while clearly hiding some of Franklin's more illicit behaviors in Europe. I found Nelson Runger's reading too slow and, even more irritating, he put on a "folksy" voice any time he quotes Franklin's letters or writings. Might be better to read this volume or find a better biography altogether.

J.K.Rowling Can Do Anything - including Mysteries

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

Reviewed: 08-11-14

Where does The Silkworm rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The Silkworm, written by Rowling under the pen name Robert Galbraith, is a fine sequel to Cucko's Calling, where we first meet Cormoran Strike and his charming Watson, Robin. Very impressed by A Casual Vacancy, Rowling's first outing post-Harry Potter, I find this series showcases her uncanny talent for taking an established genre and making it her own. The book is both funny and suspenseful, and Robert Glenister is the perfect narrator - a "must hear"!

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

A Wonderful, Old-Fashioned Novel

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

Reviewed: 08-11-14

Would you listen to All the Light We Cannot See again? Why?

This is a compelling novel that follows two children as they grow up in the midst of WWII. Doerr has respect and compassion for his characters, though he clearly loves Marie best, the blind daughter of the locksmith from the Paris Museum of Natural History. The narrative moves forward and backward in time, always vivid, never heavy-handed.

Zach Appelman does a fine job reading the novel. His subtlety is a good match for the novel, perhaps a challenge to most actors but not for him.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

A Tour de Force from a Master

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

Reviewed: 08-11-14

What did you love best about Crossing to Safety?

It's a beautifully written novel, psychological and reflective, that follows a friendship between two couples over forty years. Richard Poe's reading is as close to perfect as it can be.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful