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  • Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds, and Scandals

  • By: Elizabeth A. Murray, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth A. Murray
  • Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,179
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,047
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,047

Modern history is filled with terrible crimes, baffling hoaxes, and seedy scandals. The infamous Jack the Ripper slayings. The alleged survival of Anastasia Romanov, the youngest daughter of the murdered Tsar. Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong's public fall from grace. The Chicago Tylenol poisonings and the copycat crimes that followed.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • History of tabloid crimes - very little science

  • By Jouko on 05-29-15

Entertaining recounting of crimes

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

Reviewed: 01-13-18

What made the experience of listening to Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds, and Scandals the most enjoyable?

The speaker is great, both in her reading and in the her ability to grab your interest.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I would have liked more information on how the forensic evidence was discovered, analyzed and how it affected the investigations and subsequent trials. A lot of the stories were just rehashes of various crimes without more forensic information than you would get from pulp fiction.

What does Professor Elizabeth A. Murray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I think she clearly knows her subject and finds something fresh in every re-examination of the facts.

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

No, but I will say it’s an engrossing listen and would make a great road trip listen!

Any additional comments?

I bet Professor Murray would do a great job of a somewhat more in-depth discussion of various forensic tools, how they’ve evolved and how they change investigations.

  • The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague

  • By: Dorsey Armstrong, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Dorsey Armstrong
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,036
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 962
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 966

Many of us know the Black Death as a catastrophic event of the medieval world. But the Black Death was arguably the most significant event in Western history, profoundly affecting every aspect of human life, from the economic and social to the political, religious, and cultural. In its wake the plague left a world that was utterly changed, forever altering the traditional structure of European societies and forcing a rethinking of every single system of Western civilization: food production and trade, the church, political institutions, law, art, and more.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • informative, interesting, well organized

  • By Tricia Munter on 06-12-16

History in a conversational form

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

Reviewed: 10-25-17

This is as thorough and clear presentation on the history of the 14th century pandemic of the plague that you can hope for. The lecturer discusses her material in a well organized fashion but it’s as if she’s talking to you one on one. As long as it is, I look forward to listening to it again!

  • The Speckled Monster

  • A Historical Tale of Battling Smallpox
  • By: Jennifer Lee Carrell
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Length: 19 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 48
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46

The Speckled Monster is both a hair-raising tale of courage in the face of the deadliest disease that has ever struck mankind, and a gripping account of the birth of modern immunology. Jennifer Lee Carrell's dramatic story follows two parents who, after barely surviving the agony of smallpox themselves, flouted 18th century European medical tradition by borrowing folk knowledge from African slaves and Eastern women in frantic bids to protect their children. Their heroic struggles gave rise to immunology.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wish it was another 19 hours long!

  • By Book reader on 06-10-14

Wish it was another 19 hours long!

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

Reviewed: 06-10-14

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

Yes. The story brings home what a horrible disease smallpox was and the dangers faced by those who wanted to prevent the disease with inoculation. But it reads like a thriller -- you can't wait to find out what happened to this person or how that situation was resolved.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Speckled Monster?

The entire story of Zabdeal Boylston was entrancing. I had never heard of him, although I grew up near Boston. He comes alive in this book, not as a colonist, not as a historical character, but as a family man and conscientious doctor who has to fight on multiple fronts to do what he believes is right.

Which scene was your favorite?

No one scene sticks out. But I had never realized, as someone who received a routine vaccination as a baby, what a miracle it was that I was safe from what had been a common and devastating scourge. The descriptions of how people actually suffered and died from smallpox changes an abstract idea into a horrible, painful reality for so many generations of people.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Zabdeal Boylston's family's experience with the pox was absolutely wrenching.

Any additional comments?

I don't remember when I have enjoyed listening to a book so much. And the fact that, after 19 odd hours, I was disappointed to have it end -- well, I'm seriously considering going back to the beginning and listening again!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

  • By: Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer, Susan Duerden, Rosalyn Landor, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,586
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6,389
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,372

London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb.... As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends – and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • MUCH better than I ever expected! Give it a try!

  • By Kent on 10-19-09

Great performances, enhance story

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

Reviewed: 01-10-12

This is a sweet story with interesting characters although there were terribly dark parts when the Nazis actively entered into the plot. It somehow didn't convey the terror and claustrophobic sensation that "Island at War" on Masterpiece Theatre did, possibly because it was placed AFTER the central events had unfolded rather than while they were actually happening. Listening to the book was, for me, more enjoyable than reading it, as the characters were so strongly brought to life by the narrators. Wanting to find out what happened to the various personalities kept me going through some of the more tedious parts. Whoever played "Dawsey" grabbed me right at the beginning and kept me going through the whole book.

  • Persuasion

  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: Nadia May
  • Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 518
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 283
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 290

The last novel completed by Jane Austen before she died at 41, Persuasion is often thought to be the story of the author's own lost love. Sir Walter Elliot of Kellynch Hall has three daughters: Elizabeth, who shares his haughty vanity and, at 28 has found no one good enough to marry; Mary, who has, with some condescension, married the son of the local squire; and admirable Anne, who "was nobody with either father or sister".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful characters

  • By Tad Davis on 05-19-08

Great audible presentation...

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

Reviewed: 12-05-11

Would you listen to Persuasion again? Why?

If I wanted to listen to Persuasion again, I would definitely listen to this version again. The narrator is superb and the book is my favorite Austen novel. I do thing that some books are better read than listened to, and this is one, but as an audiobook, this version is perfect!

What did you like best about this story?

I just love the older, less attractive heroine getting her chance at last. It's a romantic story and there are always those arch little remarks Austen chucks here and there that you read and then go

Which character ??? as performed by Nadia May ??? was your favorite?

I never thought of them as separate roles, but different people speaking at any given time. You lose sight of the fact that it's one narrator inhabiting all the characters as they're all such individuals.

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

No, it's more a cozy, comfortable pleasure than a rock-your-world type book. It's a perfect book for a long, boring drive or a quiet listen when you want to sit and knit and drink a cup of tea.

  • The Circus Fire

  • A True Story of an American Tragedy
  • By: Stewart O'Nan
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 165
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 104
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 104

In 1944, the big top of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford caught fire during the middle of an afternoon performance. Nine thousand people were inside. In seconds, the big top was burning out of control. The toll of the fire, and its circumstances, haunt Hartford to the present day. But it is the intense, detailed narrative - before, after, and especially during the panic under the burning tent - that will remain with listeners long after they finish this book.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Harrowing and brilliantly detailed

  • By P. M. Morris on 09-14-08

Clear and tender recounting

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-26-09

This book has two faces: the first is a clear, comprehensive discussion of the infamous Circus Fire that struck Hartford in the 1940's; the second is a sensitive accounting of the victims, living and dead, who experienced such a terrifying few minutes, without being maudlin or sensationalist. I must say, I didn't expect the book to be so compelling -- I've just downloaded it to listen to it again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Columbine

  • By: Dave Cullen
  • Narrated by: Don Leslie
  • Length: 14 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,368
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,234
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,240

Over the course of this gripping narrative, Dave Cullen approaches his subjects with unrivaled care and insight. What emerges are shattering portraits of the killers, the victims, and the community that suffered one of the greatest - and most socially and historically important - shooting tragedies of the 20th century.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I feel like I've been hit by a freight train

  • By Dave on 06-23-09

Truth and heartache

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-19-09

This book should become the definitive retelling of the Columbine tragedy, and a classic true crime story as is Helter Skelter or The Executioner's Song. Its recounts what happened, how it happened and its effects on the victims and their families. It brings home the loss of each individual and how terrible the shootings really were.

34 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Cries and Whiskers

  • A Theda Krakow Mystery
  • By: Clea Simon
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

Music-journalist Theda Krakow is caught up in investigating the rise of a dangerous new designer drug that threatens the musicians and fans of her beloved club scene. But she puts her story on hold when she learns of an animal-rights activist who was killed in a hit-and-run accident while trying to rescue feral cats from a ferocious winter storm.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, great narrator

  • By Book reader on 03-10-08

Great story, great narrator

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-10-08

An unexpected delight! It seemed like an ordinary mystery-with-cats. But within the first few pages, you and the author have become co-conspirators in the enjoyment of a well-written, intelligent mystery read by a perfectly-matched narrator. It's set in Cambridge, MA (okay, Cambridgeport, an entirely different place than Cambridge, despite being part of the same city), primarily in the garage-band club scene, with cat-rescue being another thread in the story. The characters are well-drawn, the plot not predictable and all the subplots satisfactorily tied up at the end. The writing itself (apart from the plots and character crafting) is a pleasure to read, and the narrator enhances it beautifully.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Devil-May-Care

  • By: Elizabeth Peters
  • Narrated by: Grace Conlin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 158
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82

Ellie is young, rich, engaged, and in love. In the carefree days before marriage and new responsibility, she decides to house-sit at Aunt Kate's palatial estate in Burton, Virginia. With its nearly invisible housekeepers and plethora of pets, Ellie feels right at home. But when she opens an antique book about the town's aristocracy, she finds disturbing secrets that extend to her own family.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of Elizabeth Peters' best!

  • By Book reader on 01-19-07

One of Elizabeth Peters' best!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-19-07

This is an older work of Elizabeth Peters (she of the Amelia Peabody mysteries) but remains one of her best. It's a well-written romance with overtones of the supernatural and one of the funniest books she's ever written, although that doesn't dilute the spookiness of the scarier scenes. There are characters you'll like and characters you'll cheerfully detest. I heartily recommend this for any circumstances, but especially for long drives when you want to stay awake -- you can't stop listening because you want to know what happens, although other drivers may wonder why you're laughing like a loon when you're alone in your car!

29 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • 3000 Degrees

  • The True Story of a Deadly Fire and the Men Who Fought It
  • By: Sean Flynn
  • Narrated by: Richard Rohan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 164
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74

On December 3, 1999, the call crackled in to the men of the Worchester, Massachusetts Fire Department: a three-alarm warehouse blaze in a six-story windowless colossus of brick and mortar. What happened next - and how their lives and community were changed forever - offers an unprecedented look at these heroic men whose job it is to rush into burning buildings when everyone else just wants out.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating details

  • By Diana - Audible on 04-16-12

Excellent read & listen

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-11-07

This is a wrenching, detailed account of the fire in which six Worcester firefighters lost their lives. The deceased firefighters, their families and their colleagues are shown as full, breathing human beings caught in a tragedy beyond their control. I do agree that the fake Boston accent is a little distracting, but the book is too good to be badly affected by that. I highly recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful