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Chris

  • 9
  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 25
  • ratings
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

  • By: L. Frank Baum
  • Narrated by: Anne Hathaway
  • Length: 3 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,449
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,839
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,813

One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway ( Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • just wonderful!

  • By Amazon Customer on 08-16-16

Good Narration, Classic Story.

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

Reviewed: 09-24-17

Anne Hathaway does a good job. Definitely entertaining to listen to.

That said she doesn't have the vocal skills of a professional narrator. It's amazing how those guys can seemingly effortlessly create a variety of voices for story dialogue. Anne doesn't quite have that: you can feel her straining to create distinct voices. Some of her choices, like using a "valley girl" accent for one (thankfully small) character feel a little out of place.

As for the story: it was interesting to see how different the book was from the classic movie. For me this was a rare case where the movie surpassed the book. Still, a good story.

  • Footfall

  • By: Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 24 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,604
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,149
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,145

They first appear as a series of dots on astronomical plates, heading from Saturn directly toward Earth. Since the ringed planet carries no life, scientists deduce the mysterious ship to be a visitor from another star. The world's frantic efforts to signal the aliens go unanswered. The first contact is hostile: the invaders blast a Soviet space station, seize the survivors, and then destroy every dam and installation on Earth with a hail of asteriods.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle at Their Best

  • By Flatlander on 06-24-10

Horrible Performance.

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

Reviewed: 05-26-17

This is one of my favorite Niven books, particularly the description of the final battle. However, the narrator has made the decision to perform the alien voices with a pronounced slurring lisp. For me this just ruins the performance. It's an extremely unpleasant sound that raises my blood pressure and kills my enjoyment of the story.

In my opinion there's no excuse for this bad performance choice, but I'm guessing the narrator thought this lisp was faithful to Niven's description. However, I'd like to point out that although the aliens may have lisped when speaking English to humans, much of their dialogue involves them speaking to each other in their own language. Presumably they could speak their own language without any problem, but in the narration this dialogue is also rendered with the same irritating lisp.

  • Salt

  • A World History
  • By: Mark Kurlansky
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,914
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,298
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,307

So much of our human body is made up of salt that we'd be dead without it. The fine balance of nature, the trade of salt as a currency of many nations and empires, the theme of a popular Shakespearean play... Salt is best selling author Mark Kurlansky's story of the only rock we eat.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More than SALT

  • By Karen on 03-12-03

Half the Book is Salt Related Cooking Recipes

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

Reviewed: 05-26-17

Way too many recipes for my taste. The historical and scientific information was interesting but was overwhelmed by the numerous tedious recipes. Why would anyone want to hear a cookbook read aloud as if it were literature?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • TV (the Book)

  • Two Experts Pick the Greatest American Shows of All Time
  • By: Alan Sepinwall, Matt Zoller Seitz
  • Narrated by: Alan Sepinwall, Matt Zoller Seitz
  • Length: 16 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 166
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 153
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 155

What's the greatest TV show ever? That debate reaches an epic conclusion in TV (the Book). Sepinwall and Seitz have identified and ranked the 100 greatest scripted shows in American TV history. Using a complex, obsessively all-encompassing scoring system, they've created a pantheon of top TV shows, each accompanied by essays delving into what made these shows great.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Boring!

  • By digger on 10-23-17

Not a Great Audio Book

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

Reviewed: 05-10-17

The 1st 1/3 of the book consists of an essay on which is the greatest TV series of all time. This is okay. The second 2/3 of the book is a ranked list of a few hundred other TV shows of note along with brief descriptions. It gets tedious, and it's definitely not ideal material for an audio book. Not as bad as reading from the phone book, but sort of the same idea.

  • Brain Rules for Baby

  • How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five
  • By: John Medina
  • Narrated by: John Medina
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,020
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 804
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 784

In his New York Times best seller Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina told us how our brains really work—and why we ought to redesign our workplaces and schools. Now, in Brain Rules for Baby, he shares what the latest science says about how to raise smart and happy children from zero to five.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Neuroscience for the nursery

  • By cynthia on 01-23-11

Narrator is TERRIBLE

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

Reviewed: 02-03-14

The information in the book is interesting. Great stuff, especially for an expectant parent. But the narrator is so painfully bad that I'm having difficulty finishing the book. To illustrate its points the book is filled with quotes from new parents, and when reading these the narrator over-emotes like a ham actor. It's so uncomfortable to listen to that I have to stop. I keep coming back because the information is interesting, but I can't listen to more than a few minutes at a time. My advice is to avoid this audio book. Either read the written work or choose one if the many other audio books on child development.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Snow Crash

  • By: Neal Stephenson
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 17 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13,920
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,569
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10,655

Neal Stephenson is a blazing new force on the sci-fi scene. With the groundbreaking cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he has "vaulted onto the literary stage." It weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility - in short, it is the gigathriller of the information age.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Classic Stephenson

  • By A. Tuck on 10-16-08

A Sci-Fi Classic, Somewhat Annoying Narration

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

Reviewed: 09-16-13

The book is a widely acknowledged classic. It's full of great scenes, engaging characters and interesting future-technology. However, I'm giving it 4 stars rather than 5 because because the central premise is weak. What's worse is that there's a LOT of exposition, especially in the second 1/2 of the book, attempting to support the implausible central premise, and it really slows things down. Nevertheless it's a great book and a must-read for sci-fi fans.

It may just be my personal taste, but I found the narrator annoying to the point that it made it hard for me to appreciate the book itself.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Teeth of the Tiger

  • By: Tom Clancy
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
  • Length: 16 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,669
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,100
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,108

Charged with spotting terrorist threats, the top-secret "Campus" has its hands full when Middle East thugs and Colombian drug lords join forces. New Campus recruits include Jack Ryan Jr., son of master spy John Patrick Ryan, now President.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good start, abrupt ending

  • By Ben Anderson on 12-09-07

Bad Book, Annoying Narrator

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

Reviewed: 09-11-13

I've read all of Tom Clancy's previous novels up to Rainbow Six and really enjoyed them. For me the great thing about the books was the plausible political situations combined with realistic descriptions of high-tech military hardware and tactics. This book fails at every level. The premise is not only implausible, but it's so politically extreme and immoral that even a fairly conservative reader such as myself couldn't really root for the supposed heroes. The only high-tech in the book is an assassination weapon that 1) isn't really that high-tech 2) would almost certainly not work as described 3) seems like the kind of cheesy gimmick you would expect in an old James Bond movie. Finally, although others may feel differently, I found the narrator mildly annoying.

  • The Great Gatsby

  • By: F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Narrated by: Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Length: 4 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,684
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,575
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,581

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel of the Roaring Twenties is beloved by generations of readers and stands as his crowning work. This new audio edition, authorized by the Fitzgerald estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal ( Brokeback Mountain). Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Simple, Beautiful, and Exquisitely Textured

  • By Darwin8u on 04-09-13

Best Narration I've Heard

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

Reviewed: 09-11-13

The story is an acknowledged classic of American literature. The surprise for me was Jake Gyllenhaal. He does a really great job. He stands out for me as the best narrator of the 50 or so audiobooks I've listened to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The First Three Minutes

  • A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe
  • By: Steven Weinberg
  • Narrated by: Raymond Todd
  • Length: 5 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 62

Now updated with a major new afterword that incorporates the latest cosmological research, this classic of contemporary science writing by a Nobel prize-winning physicist explains to general readers what happened when the Universe began, and how we know.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Strong and Compelling Story

  • By Gregory on 01-01-05

The Narrator Mispronounces Words!

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-18-05

The narrator mispronounces the words 'tritium' and 'spectroscopy'. What if you didn't recognize this? After taking the time to enrich yourself by listening to this book, if you ever tried to speak about what you'd heard you'd sound like an idiot! There's no excuse for this.

As for the book itself, I found it interesting, but despite having a B.S. in biology I found some of the concepts difficult to follow. On the flip side the author can be annoyingly condescending. For instance, he won't call any number larger than a million by its' proper name. Is it really simpler to say 'a thousand, thousand million' than to say a trillion?

3 of 6 people found this review helpful