LISTENER

F Shaw

Berkeley
  • 35
  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 159
  • ratings
  • Don Quixote

  • Translated by Edith Grossman
  • By: Miguel de Cervantes, Edith Grossman (translator)
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 39 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,176
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,980
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,968

Sixteenth-century Spanish gentleman Don Quixote, fed by his own delusional fantasies, takes to the road in search of chivalrous adventures. But his quest leads to more trouble than triumph. At once humorous, romantic, and sad, Don Quixote is a literary landmark. This fresh edition, by award-winning translator Edith Grossman, brings the tale to life as never before.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A review for my governor

  • By Tony E. on 12-12-14

Wonderfully Lovable Character

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

Reviewed: 03-13-19

I forgot how funny Cervantes is. I liked the reader, great accents, not overly dramatic,
which I hate. I made it about 2/3 through. It does get slow at the end, for me. And I enjoy
hearing the classic episodes which are so much a part of our world as in the phrase
"tilting at windmills".

  • Born a Crime

  • Stories from a South African Childhood
  • By: Trevor Noah
  • Narrated by: Trevor Noah
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 116,006
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 107,389
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 106,872

One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting in the same way a fiction book can be

  • By Paul on 12-17-18

Moving ,funny and SO well read

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

Reviewed: 01-19-19

What else would you expect from this man? It is a very sympathetic and progressive personal story.
And can this guy read! His accents are truly amazing.

0 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Going to Meet the Man

  • By: James Baldwin
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 160
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 146

"There's no way not to suffer. But you try all kinds of ways to keep from drowning in it." The men and women in these eight short fictions grasp this truth on an elemental level, and their stories, as told by James Baldwin, detail the ingenious and often desperate ways in which they try to keep their heads above water. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Punch in the gut

  • By Rebecca on 05-08-17

Baldwin always rewards

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

Reviewed: 01-19-19

This is a collection of stories, so inevitably some of them are much better than others, but well worth reading. Not as good as
some of his great novels.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Future Is History

  • How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia
  • By: Masha Gessen
  • Narrated by: Masha Gessen
  • Length: 16 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 571
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 524
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 521

Hailed for her "fearless indictment of the most powerful man in Russia" (The Wall Street Journal), award-winning journalist Masha Gessen is unparalleled in her understanding of the events and forces that have wracked her native country in recent times. In The Future Is History, she follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy. Each came of age with unprecedented expectations, some as the children and grandchildren of the very architects of the new Russia, each with newfound aspirations of their own.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If you can keep the characters straight...

  • By Margot on 02-18-18

Brilliant account of authoritarian Russian history

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

Reviewed: 01-19-19

Gessen is an excellent writer. She covers a huge span of time in such a personal and literal way by telling the story of 4 (or is it 5?) families through the generations, from Stalin to contemporary Russia. It is pretty frightening about the use of terror, especially regarding Putin. It has some very inspiring brave people in it too. I highly recommend this book for a better understanding of the world we all have to deal with.

  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

  • By: Jules Verne
  • Narrated by: Alan Munro
  • Length: 17 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 202
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 177
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 177

A mysterious sea monster, theorized by some to be a giant narwhal, is sighted by ships of several nations; an ocean liner is also damaged by the creature. The United States government finally assembles an expedition to track down and destroy the menace. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a noted French marine biologist and narrator of the story, master harpoonist Ned Land, and Aronnax's faithful assistant Conseil join the expedition.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Deadpan of Alan Munro

  • By Eric on 04-15-17

Fun but slow

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

Reviewed: 01-19-19

Slow, because this is a very long book, full of elaborate made-up science. I guess that is the point but it was kind of plodding, I couldn't finish it. I loved Around the World in Eighty Days, which, although also very long, is much faster paced and has some humor.

  • The First Muslim

  • The Story of Muhammad
  • By: Lesley Hazleton
  • Narrated by: Deepti Gupta
  • Length: 11 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67

Muhammad's was a life of almost unparalleled historical importance, yet for all the iconic power of his name, the intensely dramatic story of the prophet of Islam is not well known. In The First Muslim, Lesley Hazleton brings him vibrantly to life. Drawing on early eyewitness sources and on history, politics, religion, and psychology, she renders him as a man in full, in all his complexity and vitality. Hazleton's account follows the arc of Muhammad's rise from powerlessness to power, from anonymity to renown.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Can't get past the narrator

  • By Robert Horan on 06-18-17

Interesting speculations

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

Reviewed: 01-19-19

I learned a lot from this book. I knew little about the life of the actual man, Muhammad. It is pretty fascinating history. The author told in a psychological way that I sometimes found really irritating, where the author assumed knowledge of how Muhammed or other people actually felt when such and such happened. Otherwise, I would have given it a higher rating. don't know why some reviewers couldn't get used to the narrators accent. I thought the narrator has a beautiful voice. I would like to learn more about this historical period in the Middle East.

  • Being Mortal

  • Medicine and What Matters in the End
  • By: Atul Gawande
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 8,167
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,171
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,158

In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending. Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Required Reading!

  • By Jeffrey on 10-13-14

Important Thoughtful,Compassionate

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

This is an amazing book. It is useful and very educational about the most basic human experience of all, death.
Beautiful thoughtful writing. This is a book that I feel like everyone should read.

  • The Monk of Mokha

  • By: Dave Eggers
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 481
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 454
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 453

Mokhtar Alkhanshali grew up in San Francisco, one of seven siblings raised by Yemeni immigrants in a tiny apartment. At age 24, unable to pay for college, he works as a doorman. Until: a statue of an Arab raising a cup of coffee awakens something in him. He sets out to learn the rich history of coffee in Yemen and the complex art of tasting and identifying varietals. He travels to Yemen, collects samples of beans, eager to bring improved cultivation methods to the farmers. And he is on the verge of success when civil war engulfs Yemen in 2015 and he is trapped in Sana'a.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • MOVING THE NEEDLE

  • By Dog Fish on 02-20-18

Inspiring Adventure Story

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

Reviewed: 08-13-18

I loved loved this book. I had some trouble with the narrator. Previously, I have liked this reader a lot. With this particular book he read with such an exclamatory voice I was sometimes irritated but then, I got used to it. Some people may not be bothered by this anyway. He has a really beautiful sounding voice, which helps.
The story is truly amazing. I am in awe of Dave Eggers. He writes with such respect and compassion for such a range of people, plus it is very informative. Most importantly, he reminds us that we are a nation of immigrants and we all benefit from this very rich history. And the characters are great. I'm going out to find some great Yemeni coffee right now.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Warlight

  • A Novel
  • By: Michael Ondaatje
  • Narrated by: Steve West
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,155
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,067
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,066

In a narrative as beguiling and mysterious as memory itself - shadowed and luminous at once - we follow the story of 14-year-old Nathaniel, and his older sister, Rachel. In 1945, just after World War II, they stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and they grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women joined by a shared history of unspecified service during the war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • BRILLIANT

  • By Linda on 06-03-18

Great First half

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

Reviewed: 07-31-18

I started off loving this book. I generally am a fan of the author. It was a kind of memorial mystery.
The voice was that of a teenage boy in the story. It was exciting and interesting. Then it got confused because Ondaatje wanted to go back in time to before the narrator was born. Ok, but that voice moved around and it just didn't all fit together. The second part was a good story but I was irritated by varying narrators when I had become attached to the first.
I absolutely loved this reader!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Unlikely Allies

  • How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution
  • By: Joel Richard Paul
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

Unlikely Allies is the story of three remarkable historical figures. Silas Deane was a Connecticut merchant and delegate to the Continental Congress as the American colonies struggled to break with England. Caron de Beaumarchais was a successful playwright who wrote The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love it

  • By jenney on 05-17-11

Weird and Fascinating

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

Reviewed: 07-25-18

What a strange episode of the early history of the United States.
I enjoyed this book a lot, though it jumped around a bit too much,