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Conrad Wesselhoeft

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  • How Winston Churchill Changed the World

  • By: Michael Shelden, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Michael Shelden
  • Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 63

Guiding you chronologically through the life and times of this master statesman, Professor Shelden takes you from the dawn of Churchill’s political career to his final years in a much-changed geopolitical landscape. You’ll examine Churchill’s beginnings as a young liberal statesman, his rise to the Admiralty and his relentless push for an imposing naval force, his fight against the Nazis, his equally dramatic postwar career suspended between two different cold wars (against the Soviets and Britain’s Labour party), and more.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • love the man even more.

  • By Kindle Customer on 03-11-19

A Sweeping, Fascinating Life

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

Reviewed: 11-30-18

Has anyone ever lived as full a life as Winston Churchill? Soldier, adventurer, statesman, historian, journalist, novelist, painter, raconteur, quipper, bricklayer, visionary, hero, pariah--all aspects and skills forged as much by failure as triumph. Michael Shelden brings the great man to life in graceful, forceful prose, with many humorous asides and quotes. He did the same with his lectures on George Orwell.

Highly recommended!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Avid Reader

  • A Life
  • By: Robert Gottlieb
  • Narrated by: Robert Gottlieb
  • Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128

After editing The Columbia Review, staging plays at Cambridge, and a stint in the greeting-card department of Macy's, Robert Gottlieb stumbled into a job at Simon & Schuster. By the time he left to run Alfred A. Knopf a dozen years later, he was the editor in chief, having discovered and edited Catch-22 and The American Way of Death, among other best sellers. At Knopf, Gottlieb edited an astonishing list of authors, including Toni Morrison, John Cheever, Doris Lessing, and John le Carré - not to mention Bruno Bettelheim and Miss Piggy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Lifetime of Reading and Editing

  • By Steve M on 12-06-16

Avid Fan!

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

Reviewed: 12-22-16

What did you love best about Avid Reader?

Insights into the lives of Gottlieb's stable of authors, including Joseph Heller, Ralph Ellison, Bernard Malamud, William Shirer, Irene Selznick, Katharine Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Doris Lessing, Susan Sontag, Charles Portis, Anthony Burgess, Toni Morrison, John Le Carre, Michael Crichton, Robert Caro, and Nora Ephron. I mean--really!

What other book might you compare Avid Reader to and why?

"Maxwell Perkins, Editor of Genius," by A. Scott Berg

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

A warm, avuncular voice and all the cadence and inflection that only he who lived it can bring.

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

"Don't write--type." (This is Gottlieb's advice to would-be authors.)

Any additional comments?

He was Bill Clinton's choice to edit the former president's memoirs. (Mr. Gottlieb, where was your red pencil on that one?) He seems to have retired wealthy, moderately famous, and immoderately happy. However, he never really retired. Editors never do.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 11-22-63

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Craig Wasson
  • Length: 30 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50,810
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46,215
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46,123

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • I want the 20hours of my life back...

  • By Dan on 06-08-12

Tour de Force King!

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

Reviewed: 07-25-16

What made the experience of listening to 11-22-63 the most enjoyable?

The bold plotting. Stephen King went farther and farther out on a limb with this one. Then he stood and did a backward triple gainer, hitting the pond in perfect, splashless form.

What did you like best about this story?

Narrator Jake Epping/George Amberson is a cool guy. He talks his way out of every tight corner--and sometimes fights his way. Well, almost every tight corner.

The Jake-Sophie love story.

I just had to know the answer to the big question--will he, or won't he, pull it off?

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

No, but he's great. However, in creating voices for various minor characters, I detected a few familiar Hollywood personalities, including Burt Lancaster, Jimmy Stewart, and John Houseman.

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

Dallas through a glass darkly

Any additional comments?

Many writers burn out as they age, but Stephen King burns brighter and brighter.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Tuesdays with Morrie

  • 20th Anniversary Edition
  • By: Mitch Albom
  • Narrated by: Mitch Albom
  • Length: 3 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,012
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,561
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,555

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient, and wise who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly 20 years ago. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom the way you once did when you were younger? Mitch Albom had that second chance.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live

  • By AudioAddict on 04-17-16

Love is the Only Rational Act

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

Reviewed: 05-15-15

Would you consider the audio edition of Tuesdays with Morrie to be better than the print version?

Here the spoken word transcends.

What did you like best about this story?

I cringed at the blatant sentimentality of the opening pages. But as I read along, the story began to spin its magic--or, I should say, Morrie did. His philosophy of love, compassion, and forgiveness--cliched as it may seem--bears repeating and repeating and repeating.

Which character – as performed by Mitch Albom – was your favorite?

Morrie, of course.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I wanted to stretch my vicarious friendship with Morrie for as long as possible. I listened over four or five days.

Any additional comments?

I think people hunger to hear what Morrie has to say (I sure do): "Take responsibility for each other. . . Love is the only rational act."

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • While My Guitar Gently Weeps

  • The Music of George Harrison
  • By: Simon Leng
  • Narrated by: Simon Leng
  • Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 39

Far from being "the quiet one," George Harrison was a writer and arranger of terrific power and beauty, and his guitar playing was fundamental to the Beatles' sound and success. Now fully revised and expanded, this new edition of While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison is the most comprehensive evaluation of George Harrison's musical career ever published.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Essential Harrison

  • By Conrad Wesselhoeft on 10-07-14

Essential Harrison

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

Reviewed: 10-07-14

What did you love best about While My Guitar Gently Weeps?

The author rolls back the long shadows cast by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and reveals George Harrison to be an artist and composer of the first rank.

What was one of the most memorable moments of While My Guitar Gently Weeps?

When the author tips us off to some of George's lesser-known gems, including "Long, Long, Long," "The Inner Light," "Your Love is Forever," and "Deep Blue."

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

No, but he does a good job. He certainly knows his subject--and the music scene.

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

Few books about the Beatles accord Harrison the respect he deserves as a composer. Leng's book does so--and that makes it necessary and important.

Any additional comments?

For George Harrison fans, While My Guitar Gently Weeps is essential reading

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Sky Is Everywhere

  • By: Jandy Nelson
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 625
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 556
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 558

Adrift after her sister Bailey's sudden death, Lennie finds herself torn between quiet, seductive Toby - Bailey's boyfriend who shares her grief - and Joe, the new boy in town who bursts with life and musical genius. Each offers Lennie something she desperately needs... though she knows if the two of them collide her whole world will explode. Join Lennie on this heartbreaking and hilarious journey of profound sorrow and mad love, as she makes colossal mistakes and colossal discoveries.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow.

  • By Pilot Chase on 04-06-12

One Romantic Read!

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

Reviewed: 02-05-13

If you could sum up The Sky is Everywhere in three words, what would they be?

Grief. Love. Hope.

What other book might you compare The Sky is Everywhere to and why?

"Adios, Nirvana." They are strikingly similar. However, "Sky" has lots more romance and is more serious in tone.

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

I haven't, but she did a good job.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No way! It's better to spread it out over time.

Any additional comments?

It's a great book with a lush, literary style--but also a street-smart contemporary voice. I especially like that Lennie did not find her mother--so there is that loose thread, thus avoiding a conventionally neat ending. It's so much better to leave a loose thread, now and then--because that's life.

Congratulations to author Jandy Nelson!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business

  • A Memoir
  • By: Dick Van Dyke
  • Narrated by: Dick Van Dyke
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 873
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 760
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 757

Dick Van Dyke, indisputably one of the greats of the golden age of television, is admired and beloved by audiences the world over for his beaming smile, his physical dexterity, his impeccable comic timing, his ridiculous stunts, and his unforgettable screen roles.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • You gotta Love Dick Van Dyke

  • By Jay on 03-29-12

A Jolly Holiday with Dick Van Dyke

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

Reviewed: 12-12-12

What did you love best about My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business?

The man telling the story. He speaks with friendliness, humility, and grace.

What was one of the most memorable moments of My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business?

Anything to do with the old "Dick Van Dyke Show" and the movies "Mary Poppins" and "Lt. Robin Crusoe, USN."

What about Dick Van Dyke’s performance did you like?

The warmth in his voice--testament to a life well and fully lived.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Nah, it's a fun book, but I preferred to break it up over a few days--which I did while walking my dog.

Any additional comments?

I'm a life-long Dick Van Dyke fan, dating to his old sitcom. His memoir scores on several levels--as a fascinating personal story, as an insider's view of the entertainment business across many decades, and as a blueprint for how to balance hard work, fun, and philanthropy. He cites luck and serendipity as key factors in his success--but underlying these are a strong work ethic, strong family, and a great respect for the talented people he's worked with, including Carl Reiner, Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett, Julie Andrews, his brother Jerry, and many more. All in all, a very good "read."

  • Papa Hemingway

  • By: A. E. Hotchner
  • Narrated by: Robert Stack
  • Length: 1 hr and 50 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 32

Between 1948 and 1961, Ernest Hemingway and A. E. Hotchner traveled together, fished the waters off Cuba, hunted in Idaho, and ran with the bulls in Pamplona. Everywhere they went, they talked. For 14 years, Hotchner and Hemingway shared their thoughts and as Hemingway reminisced about his childhood, recalled the Paris literary scene of the 20s, and recounted the real events that lay behind his fiction, Hotchner took it all down.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Drastically abridged

  • By Conrad Wesselhoeft on 11-29-12

Drastically abridged

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

Reviewed: 11-29-12

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Ironically, no--and I love the book. I've read "Papa Hemingway" at least twice over the years and loved it. But it begs to be read in its entirety, and not in this drastically pared edition.

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

It's a great story--truly one of the best of its kind (personal memoir) of that generation. However, so much of the richness of Hemingway's extraordinary life is lost in this slashed telling.

How could the performance have been better?

Robert Stack did lots of good work in his day--in movies, TV, and radio. But that's the problem, his performance sounds dated and staccato.

Could you see Papa Hemingway being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Yes, George Clooney as Hemingway--but wait a few years. Aaron Paul as Hotchner--he's ready now.

Any additional comments?

Dear Audible,
Please redo this one.
Sincerely,
A big fan of "Papa Hemingway."

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Fault in Our Stars

  • By: John Green
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,320
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,248
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,349

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Poignant Story

  • By AudioAddict on 04-25-13

A Stunning Book

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

Reviewed: 11-29-12

What made the experience of listening to The Fault in Our Stars the most enjoyable?

The story succeeds on all levels--character, dialogue, story arc, and much more.

What did you like best about this story?

Sixteen-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster, who is precocious, wise, strong, vulnerable, and--oh, yes--seriously ill with cancer.

What about Kate Rudd’s performance did you like?

Kate Rudd caught all the right inflections in a variety of voices and accents--but especially Hazel Grace. I was simply lost in the story, and I don't say that lightly.

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

Yes, extremely positive. I felt the range of emotions. I'm a walker, and I couldn't wait to hit the road and get back to this book.

Any additional comments?

It's been interesting to track John Green's trajectory as writer. I didn't care much for his first book, "Looking for Alaska." I found those characters narcissistic and unlikeable. (But in fairness, I didn't finish it.) Next, I read "An Abundance of Katherines," which I liked for its memorable characters and delicious dialogue. However, that book did not prepare me for "The Fault in Our Stars," which is a masterpiece. To say it possesses depth, beauty, humor, tragedy, and wisdom--doesn't do it justice. Simply stated, it possesses Hazel Grace Lancaster.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Elephant to Hollywood

  • By: Michael Caine
  • Narrated by: Michael Caine
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 786
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 645
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 641

Charming, engaging, and surprisingly forthright, Michael Caine gives us his insider's view of Hollywood and the story of his brilliant second act. When he was in his late 50s, Michael Caine believed his Hollywood career had come to an end. The scripts being sent his way were worse and worse. Salvation came in the unlikely form of his old friend Jack Nicholson, who convinced him to give acting one more shot. What followed was one of the most radical comebacks in film history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sir Michael is awesome

  • By Robert on 12-21-12

Thanks again, Sir Michael!

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

Reviewed: 04-03-12

Would you consider the audio edition of The Elephant to Hollywood to be better than the print version?

Not everybody deserves a second shot at memoir-writing--but Michael Caine does. He's a terrific storyteller, and this book offers vast amounts of new material compiled and lived since memoir #1 (

3 of 3 people found this review helpful