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  • Manhattan Beach

  • A Novel
  • By: Jennifer Egan
  • Narrated by: Norbert Leo Butz, Heather Lind, Vincent Piazza
  • Length: 15 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,559
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,267
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,261

Anna Kerrigan, nearly 12 years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Anna observes the uniformed servants, the lavishing of toys on the children, and some secret pact between her father and Dexter Styles. Years later her father has disappeared, and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Narrative of a Girl Diver

  • By WillowGirl313 on 10-30-17

Well written but very slow moving

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

Reviewed: 12-03-17

Jennifer Egan is a great writer but this story is just so slow in evolving that I returned the book. The multiple narrators did not help and the book may have been better off with a single narrator.

  • The Force

  • A Novel
  • By: Don Winslow
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,675
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,355
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,340

All Denny Malone wants is to be a good cop. He is the "King of Manhattan North", a highly decorated NYPD detective sergeant and the real leader of "Da Force". Malone and his crew are the smartest, the toughest, the quickest, the bravest, and the baddest - an elite special unit given carte blanche to fight gangs, drugs, and guns. Every day and every night for the 18 years he's spent on the job, Malone has served on the front lines, witnessing the hurt, the dead, the victims, the perps.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Winslow continus to amaze

  • By Steve L on 07-13-17

An intense roller coaster of a ride

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

Reviewed: 06-27-17

The Force is a riveting, extraordinarily intense book that is spectacularly performed by Dion Graham.

The story covers career of Denny Malone, from its zenith to its nadir, giving the reader an up close and unflinching impression of police work in Upper Manhattan.. Although not necessarily a "page turner" the story commanded my attention and wouldn't let go, with vivid characters that I cared about, and many twists and turns.

Dion Graham's performance is spectacular. On several occasions throughout the book I had to check to confirm that there was only 1 narrator. I kept thinking: its impossible that one narrator could be so dynamic. Graham's range, depth and nuance is dazzling.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Traitor's Story

  • By: Kevin Wignall
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,800
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,558
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,556

When fifteen-year-old American Hailey Portman goes missing in Switzerland, her desperate parents seek the help of their neighbor, Finn Harrington, a seemingly quiet historian rumored to be a former spy. Sensing the story runs deeper than anyone yet knows, Finn reluctantly agrees to make some enquiries. He has little to go on other than his instincts, and his instincts have been wrong in the past - sometimes spectacularly wrong.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Complicated but pretty well done

  • By cristina on 09-12-16

Former intelligence officer gets pulled back in

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

Reviewed: 12-28-16

Finn Harrington, the protagonist in Kevin Wignall's The Traitor's Story, is six years removed from his career as a British intelligence officer now a historian working on a new book. A neighbor who has heard rumors that Finn is a former spy asks Finn to help find her missing 13 year old daughter. Finn reluctantly agrees and is pulled back into the his prior life.

Finn thus embarks on two journeys: one that takes him around Europe searching for the missing girl and an emotional journey trying to re-connect with his girlfriend who left him as the story begins.

It's a good story that has some brilliant flashes of writing and some wise commentaries on life. It's not a page-turner; instead it moves along at a steady pace. Simon Vance does a terrific job narrating.

  • Kill 'Em and Leave

  • Searching for James Brown and the American Soul
  • By: James McBride
  • Narrated by: Dominic Hoffman
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120

A product of the complicated history of the American South, James Brown was a cultural shape-shifter who arguably had the greatest influence on American popular music of any artist. Brown was long a figure of fascination for James McBride, a professional musician as well as a writer. When McBride receives a tip that promises to uncover the man behind the myth, he follows a trail that reveals the personal, musical, and societal influences that created Brown.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Captivating Narrative of a Complex Man

  • By Kindle Customer on 04-10-16

A contextual biography that is well worth the ride

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

Reviewed: 09-19-16

James Brown was one of the most influential and important American musicians in the last half of the 20th century and James McBride does a stellar job describing Brown's life and the environment--political, racial and musical--from which he emerged. McBride also describes the lasting impact Brown had on Michael Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton and others.

McBride only briefly mentions some of the troubling aspects of Brown's life, including his violence against women. The brief coverage of these apparently recurring episodes was inadequate and seemed out of place in an otherwise in depth review of Brown's life.

Dominic Hoffman turns in a dazzling performance narrating the book. Of particular note is Hoffman's treatment of a colloquy between Brown and a young Rev. Al Sharpton after Brown rocked the house at a Las Vegas concert. Sharpton wanted to stay for the after-party, but Brown felt that a true superstar shouldn't stick around after the show: "Kill 'em and leave, Rev. Kill 'em and leave."

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Palace of Treason

  • A Novel
  • By: Jason Matthews
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Bobb
  • Length: 20 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,525
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,172
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,142

Captain Dominika Egorova of the Russian Intelligence Service (SVR) has returned from the West to Moscow and the Center, the headquarters of her service. She finds things worse than when she left. She despises the men she must serve, the oligarchs and crooks and thugs of Putin's Russia. What no one knows is that Dominika is working for the CIA as Washington's most sensitive penetration of SVR and the Kremlin.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator's inconsistency

  • By Bruce P. Woodward on 10-23-16

Spectacular

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

Reviewed: 03-27-16

Palace of Treason is an intelligent and edgy page turner that is so riveting it may disrupt your day. I can't recommend a book in this genre more highly.

This is the second book in a series and although the first book isn't a prerequisite, it provides helpful context and background.

Jeremy Bobb does a terrific job narrating; his skills seem tailor-made for this book.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Perfect Theory

  • A Century of Geniuses and the Battle over General Relativity
  • By: Pedro G. Ferreira
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 727
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 656
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 652

Physicists have been exploring, debating, and questioning the general theory of relativity ever since Albert Einstein first presented itin 1915. Their work has uncovered a number of the universe's more surprising secrets, and many believe further wonders remain hidden within the theory's tangle of equations, waiting to be exposed. In this sweeping narrative of science and culture, astrophysicist Pedro Ferreira brings general relativity to life through the story of the brilliant physicists, mathematicians, and astronomers who have taken up its challenge.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Love Letter to General Relativity

  • By Michael on 07-10-14

The history of general relativity and what follows

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

Reviewed: 12-03-15

This book provides a good history of general relativity and other schools of thought in physics that developed from--or in response to--it. Although it is not a long book, it covers a lot of names, theories and and clashes within the field of physics. The book is written for non-scientists but that doesn't mean it's an easy read or listen: this is complex material and there is a lot going on.

  • America's Bank

  • The Epic Struggle to Create the Federal Reserve
  • By: Roger Lowenstein
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 250
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 225
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 222

Until the election of Woodrow Wilson the United States - alone among developed nations - lacked a central bank. Ever since the Revolutionary War, Americans had desperately feared the consequences of centralizing the nation's finances under government control. However, in the aftermath of a disastrous financial panic, Congress was persuaded - by a confluence of populist unrest, widespread mistrust of bankers, ideological divisions, and secretive lobbying - to approve the landmark 1913 Federal Reserve Act.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Important and Intriguing

  • By Jean on 11-02-15

The story of how a law was enacted 100 years ago

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

Reviewed: 11-14-15

While the Federal Reserve system is undoubtedly important, the story of how it was enacted into law 100 years ago is a snoozer. The narrator is dry and slow and, when combined with a boring story, makes for an unsatisfactory listening experience. I fell for the ads in the Wall Street Journal promoting this book and it was a mistake to do so.

5 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Lonesome Dove

  • By: Larry McMurtry
  • Narrated by: Lee Horsley
  • Length: 36 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,020
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,170
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,193

Larry McMurtry's American epic, set in the late 19th century, tells the story of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana, a drive that represents not only a daring foolhardy adventure, but a part of the American Dream for everyone involved.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best audio book I have ever listened to!

  • By James on 12-20-04

Story ruined by poor audio

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

Reviewed: 10-10-15

This audio has as poor (and distracting) audio quality as any book I have listened to on Audible. It seemed tinny as if coming from an old transistor radio and lacked any kind of audio "warmth." In addition, the narrator was not up to the task: his performance seemed rushed, it seemed to lack the breaks between sentences and paragraphs that give performances more depth and at times he seemed to speak way too loudly in a tone of voice that felt like fingernails on a chalkboard. I stopped listening after a couple of hours and will try to return the book.

  • Doc

  • A Novel
  • By: Mary Doria Russell
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 16 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 951
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 782
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 778

The year is 1878, peak of the Texas cattle trade. The place is Dodge City, Kansas, a saloon-filled cow town jammed with liquored-up adolescent cowboys and young Irish hookers. Violence is random and routine, but when the burned body of a mixed-blood boy named Johnnie Sanders is discovered, his death shocks a part-time policeman named Wyatt Earp. And it is a matter of strangely personal importance to Doc Holliday, the frail 26-year-old dentist who has just opened an office at No. 24, Dodge House.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great writing and narration

  • By Dennis on 06-02-11

A different kind of western, brilliantly performed

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

Reviewed: 06-08-15

I was expecting a traditional western and got something much more--and better--than that.

Doc: A Novel follows a linear, main-character-centric track until Doc Holliday and Kate arrive in Dodge City. At that point the book's trajectory changes and it isn't so much about Doc as it is the people in Dodge City--like planets orbiting the sun. Mary Doria Russel does an amazing job of blending all these stories together in a personal, moving and immensely engaging manner.

Mark Bramhall brings the characters, era and story to life with a stupendous performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Reagan

  • The Life
  • By: H. W. Brands
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
  • Length: 31 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 425
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 370
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 371

Ronald Reagan today is a conservative icon, celebrated for transforming the American domestic agenda and playing a crucial part in ending communism in the Soviet Union. In his masterful new biography, H. W. Brands argues that Reagan, along with FDR, was the most consequential president of the 20th century. Reagan took office at a time when the public sector, after a half century of New Deal liberalism, was widely perceived as bloated and inefficient, an impediment to personal liberty.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Comprehensive, fast-paced and well told

  • By Dave on 05-31-15

Comprehensive, fast-paced and well told

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

Reviewed: 05-31-15

This is a very interesting book that never gets bogged down. Although 30+ hours long, Brands narrative and Hoye's performance move along at a quick pace and I was left wanting more. Author H.W. Brands spends relatively more time on two aspects of Reagan's presidency: his face-to-face negotiations with Mikhail Gorbachev in Iceland and the mismanagement that led to the Iran-Contra affair, both of which were fascinating, but for different reasons.

One cannot help buy compare any presidential biography with Robert Caro's soon-to-be five volume biography on Lyndon Johnson. Caro's LBJ is to presidential biographies as Beethoven's 9th symphony is to later symphonic works--they are the gold standard. Brands does not provide the depth or context that Caro does and there were times when I wish he did. For example, I would have liked Brands to provide a contextual analysis of deterrence and nuclear weapons--a recurring topic in this book--in the same way that Caro provided background on Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the life-changing impact of rural electrification in southwest Texas.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful