LISTENER

J. Houghton

Encino, CA USA
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 40
  • helpful votes
  • 19
  • ratings

Can't believe the gushing over this book

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

Reviewed: 06-10-19

"Where the Crawdads Sing" is about as outrageous an example of soap opera as I've ever seen passed off as literature. Characters do whatever the author needs them to do in service of the story, whether it makes emotional sense (never mind logical sense) or not. Facts are moved around at will. Inconvenient facts are ignored in a book that purports, at least, to be taking place in the real world.

I am clearly out of sync with tens of thousands of readers. As someone who wrote soap operas for 15 years, I see every lame trick in the book keeping this story afloat and am dismayed. But I'm very much alone. So...

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

Needed a recording engineer

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

Reviewed: 10-11-18

This is a very interesting and informative take on America political history. Ms. Lepore reads well, if a bit too quickly -- she's a very nimble reader -- but her vocal range moves between a near-whisper and a strident near-yell. I found myself reaching for the volume button to hear better, then grabbing at it again to keep my ears from being blown out. I have top-notch hardware so I take none of the blame for this -- the producers/directors of this recording were either asleep at the switch or saw no need for a switch at all. Too bad, Ms. Lepore has put a ton of work into this book and this recording -- there's no reason it should suffer from such an easily-remedied deficit.

A chronology of battles, not what I was expecting

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

Reviewed: 06-11-18

For some reason, I thought Gen. Clark would be holding forth on the nature of our military, how it operated and on what techniques and philosophies -- and how they changed over the decades and centuries. IOW, something more of the intellectual side of war and the military. Instead, it's just another book about this battle and that battle and who took what hill or crossed what river. There are dozens and dozens of books out there that will lead a reader (or listener) by the hand through these details. Anyway, it's not Gen. Clark's fault -- the book he set out to write is not the one JH wanted to hear. His writing is clear, his reading is perfectly fine.

Like the book...not the music

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

Reviewed: 01-15-17

I've never been a BS fan. I decided to listen to his book because he wrote it himself and reads it himself and obviously a lot of people believe he's The Real Thing. Well, the book is good. He's a good writer, though he never saw a noun that didn't need a few adjectives or a verb that couldn't use an adverb. My problem is that I don't like his music. He simply isn't very good. No matter how much heart he puts into it, he's just a bad singer, singing simplistic songs. Still, as a story of how one man fought his way out of poverty and reached the pinnacle of Rock stardom...it's a good book.

Laugh Out Loud

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

Reviewed: 06-11-16

Buckley manages to create just the right degree of absurdity without ever going over the edge, so that his stories are just one shade beyond real-world-believable. Hilarious stuff, especially in today's political climate.

I don't remember ever seeing or hearing Anne Heche do anything. She is a WONDERFUL reader. Just terrific, giving each character tiny quirks so that you always know who's speaking without having to listen to outright accents.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I'm clearly in the minority here...

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

Reviewed: 06-11-16

I hate to diss someone else's hard work, but out of concern for other Audible shoppers, I have to say: this guy's delivery is beyond irritating. He has adopted the most random, choppy and hard-to-listen-to rhythms I've ever experienced in an audiobook. He clearly has enthusiasm for the subject matter, and believes that by inserting dramatic pauses at certain points he is increasing the sense of wonder and amazement at what he is revealing about notable presidents. But it doesn't work. It just irritates -- me, at least.
As for the subject matter, it's pretty good. It's what you'd expect out of a history course at a good private high school. No problem there, but...well, see above. I thought I'd get used to it after a while, but I'm on chapter six and that hasn't happened yet.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

Don't see the problem...

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

Reviewed: 08-02-15

I didn't buy the audiobook of "Infinite Jest" because of all the complaints about the foot-and-endnotes being omitted. I wanted me some DFW so I bought this book, which is a very pleasant listen. AND, it includes the footnotes. Wallace simply speaks to his listeners, explains how the notes will sound a bit different so you know when you're hearing them instead of the main text, and we're off. No problem. I had at first sympathized with the producers of IJ because it seemed like, yeah, that could be complicated. But it isn't. It's a bit mystifying that they didn't use the same technique. Oh, well...

Consistently bothered by...

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

Reviewed: 12-22-14

Would you listen to All the Light We Cannot See again? Why?

No. Once was enough.

Who was your favorite character and why?

xx

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Pronounce French.

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

xx

Any additional comments?

I thought I was going to be able to write a review, instead I'm answering questions that are not, IMO, the questions that this book raises. My only complaint about the book is that the narrator is a bit flat-toned and has no clue how to pronounce French words/phrases. Other than that, a thoroughly worthwhile book.

Alex Jennings!

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

Reviewed: 07-19-14

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

I started listening to this book, then wondered if the print version was in dialect. To an extent, but nothing like what Alex Jennings does with the voices and the accents. To my mind, this is a case where the spoken version is better than the written.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Lionel, obviously.

What does Alex Jennings bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The accents, the tone of the characters. It's a masterful piece of work.

If you could take any character from Lionel Asbo out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Certainly not Lionel!

Any additional comments?

I realize that life is short and there are only so many books a man can read. But please, let Alex Jennings do as many as possible before he's worn out. His reading of "A History of the World in Ten and a Half Chapters" by Julian Barnes is not to be missed!

Top drawer!

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

Reviewed: 07-19-14

Would you consider the audio edition of A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters to be better than the print version?

Because of Alex Jennings, yes. Though, of course, Julian Barnes is to blame. What a combination!

What was one of the most memorable moments of A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters?

Hard to say, when I was laughing so hard

Have you listened to any of Alex Jennings’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

He's always wonderful

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

Laugh

Any additional comments?

I would listen to Alex Jennings read the phone book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful