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Christopher

  • 29
  • reviews
  • 184
  • helpful votes
  • 427
  • ratings
  • Have a Nice Day

  • By: Billy Crystal, Quinton Peeples
  • Narrated by: Justin Bartha, Annette Bening, Dick Cavett, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 46 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,184
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 17,816
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,719

Tony and Emmy Award-winner Billy Crystal leads an all-star cast including Oscar winner Kevin Kline (President David Murray) and four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening (First Lady Katherine Murray) in a performance of this hilarious and poignant story about a man desperately scrambling to put his affairs in order: to save his presidency, his marriage, his relationship with his daughter – and possibly his life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Experience

  • By Stephen R. Grant on 11-05-18

I need a bigger thesaurus to praise this!

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

Reviewed: 04-12-19

This is a sparkling example of what happens when brilliant, funny, true writing meets realy good production, and is given voice by some of our finest acting talent. This story is by turns wise, funny, and deeply moving. It is true in the way that only great fiction and drama can be.
There is not a bad performance in the cast. There are complex and messy relationships here, for instance between Kevin Klein's and Annette Bening's characters, and evocations of love, loyalty, and courage that are balm in a mean and crazy world. I might have cried a little bit at points, though I'd never admit that of course. I certainly smiled a lot.
This one's a keeper, and one I'll be trotting out for friends and family at some time in the future. Enjoy!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Christmas Eve, 1914

  • By: Charles Olivier
  • Narrated by: Cameron Daddo, Xander Berkeley, Cody Fern, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 13 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,836
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,711
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,663

In 1914, the war which was to have been wrapped up by Christmas had - in reality - only just begun, as all sides entrenched themselves deeper into the Great War. Christmas Eve, 1914 follows one company of British officers as they rotate forward to spend their Christmas on the front lines, a mere 80 yards from the German guns. Upper- and working-class men and boys are thrown together into one trench and struggle to survive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully "illustrated"

  • By anonymous on 12-25-14

A good telling of this startling story.

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

Reviewed: 04-12-19

The story of the Christmas Eve 1914 truce on the western front of World War I is one that I've known about since I was little. This telling of that story adds in a nice bit of tension around how such a truce might have begun. You will be following a series of likable characters in a story that, for me, just misses being a perfect gem, as there is a bit too much obvious heart-string pulling. I'm dinging the performance only because I'd like to have had some more immersive audio in a play set against the backdrop of the western front. The actual performances are spectacular.
This one is well worth the time you'll spend with it, and some of you may need tissues.

  • The Dispatcher

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Zachary Quinto
  • Length: 2 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,286
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,748
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,649

Zachary Quinto - best known for his role as the Nimoy-approved Spock in the recent Star Trek reboot and the menacing, power-stealing serial killer, Sylar, in Heroes - brings his well-earned sci-fi credentials and simmering intensity to this audio-exclusive novella from master storyteller John Scalzi. One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone - 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don't know.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good Grief This Was Good

  • By Matthew on 11-09-16

A taut gem of suspenseful moral ambiguity

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

Reviewed: 04-12-19

This audible original is a spare and chilling evocation of a world much like ours, except for the fundamental difference that death need not be permanent under special circumstances that make morality a lot grayer and more interesting. Scalzi's taut writing and Zachary Quinto's delivery conspire to make this two hours extremely well spent. Fans of the sort of Golden Age science fiction that asks the question "What if thing X about the world were different," will find this a splendid throwback to this form, combined with excellent writing that was often missing in the older forms of the genre.
Enjoy! This one's worth your time.

  • Do No Harm

  • Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery
  • By: Henry Marsh
  • Narrated by: Jim Barclay
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,234
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,141
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,139

With compassion and candor, leading neurosurgeon Henry Marsh reveals the fierce joy of operating, the profoundly moving triumphs, the harrowing disasters, the haunting regrets, and the moments of black humor that characterize a brain surgeon's life. If you believe that brain surgery is a precise and exquisite craft, practiced by calm and detached surgeons, this gripping, brutally honest account will make you think again.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Neurosurgical struggles between hope & reality

  • By Bonny on 06-03-15

Meh.

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

Reviewed: 03-23-19

As I read "Do No Harm" I found myself by turns bored by the endless litany of case after case, horrified by the apparent emotional life of the authorial voice, and annoyed at the narrator's effort to inject drama into the story. The topic of neurosurgery and the ways in which it is used contains the possibility for fascinating stories, if those stories are well curated, and if the storyteller can get out of his own way. Henry Marsh does not do that, and, while a British reader may find his endless carping on about the deficiencies of the National Health System, American readers may, as I did, find it rather off-putting and beside the point.

  • Midnight in Chernobyl

  • By: Adam Higginbotham
  • Narrated by: Jacques Roy
  • Length: 13 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 321
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 293
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 291

April 25, 1986 in Chernobyl was a turning point in world history. The disaster not only changed the world’s perception of nuclear power and the science that spawned it, but also our understanding of the planet’s delicate ecology. With the images of the abandoned homes and playgrounds beyond the barbed wire of the 30-kilometer Exclusion Zone, the rusting graveyards of contaminated trucks and helicopters, the farmland lashed with black rain, the event fixed for all time the notion of radiation as an invisible killer. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A detailed account of the Chernobyl accident

  • By Stuart Woodward on 02-21-19

This is a profoundly scary book

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

Reviewed: 03-22-19

The story of the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in 1986 is one that rhymes with other chronicles of human disaster, such as the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters. In each of these stories, a constellation of institutional inadequacy, human error, heroism and the distortions of after-action investigations to serve institutional needs become the bones that are dressed out by accounts of terrible events that leave a thoughtful reader haunted by questions of how we allowed things to get to the point where people died.
Midnight in Chernobyl is a deft and powerful example of this genre of investigative writing. The book weaves the personal stories of those who lived through the horror of the accident with the story of how political considerations contributed to the conditions that led to it. The author also makes sure to highlight the heroism of relatively unknown men and women who sought to mitigate the disaster, to save lives, often at the cost of their own. The ticktock of what happened gives way at times to utterly haunting descriptions of the extreme phenomena that occurred at the epicenter of a nuclear catastrophe.
Midnight in Chernobyl leaves the reader with many questions about how we manage societies, large scientific projects and how we live in the world that are as apposite now as they were in 1986.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • After Anatevka: Live

  • By: Alexandra Silber
  • Narrated by: Ellie Fishman, Kerstin Anderson, Sheldon Harnick, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 23 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,957
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,783
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,770

Fiddler on the Roof revival cast member Alexandra Silber continues the story of the beloved characters from the Broadway classic.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing and pretentious

  • By Sundance Metelsky on 10-15-18

I really, really wanted to love this.

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

Reviewed: 03-17-19

I adore Fiddler on the Roof. Let's begin this review with that fact clearly in mind. I was excited to hear about this Audible original, telling the story after the close of the musical, itself in musical form.
What we get is, well something rather different that is as much about the author as it is about the story. Alexandra Silver is very likely a wonderful person whom I would very much enjoy talking to, and whose book I probably want to read. That was not what I wanted to do while listening to this title. I wanted to hear a story, and listen to beautiful music, not hear a process story about how she came to write the book upon which some songs are based.
This expectation mismatch is not something I will hold against the work or the author, as I feel the mismatch may be more due to how Audible has described what to expect. What I can hold against the work, and against the craft of the author is that the pieces of text that were read did not sing in the way I wanted them to. They did not feel like a continuation of the story. It is perilous to enter into another author's world, and I just didn't find Ms. Silver's prose to be compelling. Of the songs, I will say that a couple of them are absolutely stunningly beautiful in composition, and one carries that beauty through into its execution. I personally find the other performances to be just fine, but not great.
I cannot advise another reader with different expectations about this work. If what you want is to virtually attend a happening, this is an enjoyable one. That's not what I wanted, hence my less than enthusiastic rating.

  • Washington Journal

  • Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon's Downfall
  • By: Elizabeth Drew
  • Narrated by: Jo Anna Perrin
  • Length: 22 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81

Unfolding over the course of a single year, from September 1973 to August 1974, Washington Journal is the record of the near-dissolution of a nation's political conscience - told from within. In this book, we see corruption in its most prosaic and grandest forms, along with occasional flashes of decency, ethics, and humanity, and other sights rarely witnessed in the wilds of the capital.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating first hand view!!

  • By Kathy on 03-01-15

History doesn't repeat, but it rhymes

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

Reviewed: 03-05-19

This work of history has given me a new way to look at events I thought I knew very well, as I was becoming aware of politics when they were happening. In particular, Elizabeth DRew captures the feelings of doubt and fear that were in the air, concerning the ability of American political institutions to survive the acts of the Nixon administration. More than just a detailed ticktock account of the year of Watergate investigation, this book provides a window into the thinking of the time from a thoughtful observer of events.
It's eerie reading this book now, in the midst of another investigation of another administration. I recommend reading this book to people on all sides of the current political division for the parallels one can find between the current political uncertainty and the events of 1974. There are many possible cautionary tales to be gathered from Drew's excellent book that would be well for partisans on all sides, and for thoughtful readers of this book.

  • The Last Confession of Sherlock Holmes

  • By: Kieran Lyne
  • Narrated by: Andrew McGuirk
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 4

In the dawn of 1891, Sherlock Holmes is locked in a deadly game of wits with the sinister Professor James Moriarty, but events will soon transpire that will question the very outcome of Reichenbach. With Holmes presumed dead, the streets of London are panic-stricken as a resurrected terror takes hold of the city whilst in the upper echelons of government, a singular, undetectable force can once again be felt manipulating the criminal underworld. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • BORING REALLY BORING NARRATOR

  • By JOHN on 07-12-18

This just didn't get there for me.

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

Reviewed: 06-23-18

A musician friend of mine once said to me that if you're going to cover a song, you need to be bringing something new that makes it worth the effort to do, and to listen to. I feel much the same way about going into someone else's universe and writing a story in it. This book covers the somewhat worn territory at the intersection of Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper in a way that didn't really do anything new or exciting, that breaks the contract of allowing the reader to solve the mystery along with Holmes by withholding key information until the grand reveal, and doesn't even have the virtue of a shocking reveal at the end.
It almost gets there on all counts, which is why I gave it two, rather than one star. I won't spoil the experience for readers who want to see, as some of you may react differently, but in a world where Benedict and Martin do things to this franchise that are truly refreshing, I'm afraid this one's rather a squib.

  • The Complete George Smiley Radio Dramas

  • BBC Radio 4 Full-Cast Dramatisation
  • By: John le Carré
  • Narrated by: full cast, Simon Russell Beale
  • Length: 18 hrs and 59 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 512
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 476
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 475

The complete collection of acclaimed BBC Radio dramas based on John le Carré's best-selling novels, starring Simon Russell Beale as George Smiley. With a star cast including Kenneth Cranham, Eleanor Bron, Brian Cox, Ian MacDiarmid, Anna Chancellor, Hugh Bonneville and Lindsay Duncan, these enthralling dramatisations perfectly capture the atmosphere of le Carré's taut, thrilling spy novels.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • good reading but can't navigate

  • By RB Vancouver on 01-07-17

Utterly compelling

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

Reviewed: 03-27-18

Where does The Complete George Smiley Radio Dramas rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Definitely in the top tier

What other book might you compare The Complete George Smiley Radio Dramas to and why?

In the pantheon of BBC productions, this ranks with their Lord of the Rings.

What does full cast and Simon Russell Beale bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

George Smiley is such a wonderfully complex character, so frail in some ways and so utterly strong and humane in others. Beale's performance captured this in a way that brings le Carre's masterwork out of the page.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

It's been done, it wasn't as good.

Any additional comments?

The Bbc is justly famous for their radio productions of literature. The entire cast of this sprawling production is excellent, the music is precisely right, the audio production is, of course, beyond compare. All that serves to bring forth a story that was already amazing. I had read the Tinker Tailor books, but the performances here are now my definitive version.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Children of Hurin

  • By: J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lee
  • Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,969
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,293
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,284

There are tales of Middle-earth from times long before The Lord of the Rings. The story told in this book is set in the great country that lay beyond the Grey Havens in the West: lands where Treebeard once walked, but which were drowned in the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Powerful and Disturbing

  • By Catherine Collins on 12-19-09

This is every bit as wonderful as you want it to b

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

Reviewed: 08-30-17

Would you listen to The Children of Hurin again? Why?

The Christophers, Tolkien and Lee have between them created a magical product for the Tolkien fan. The tale of the children of Hurin is one of the foundational stories of the Legendarium, beautifully written by J. R. R., masterfully assembled by Christopher and read with love and skill by Christopher Lee.

Any additional comments?

For any lover of the Tolkien works, this is an indispensable performance.