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  • 18
  • helpful votes
  • 31
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  • Paris in the Present Tense

  • By: Mark Helprin
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 14 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 735
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 686
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 676

In the midst of what should be an effulgent time of life, with its days bright with music, family, and rowing on the Seine, Jules is confronted headlong and all at once by a series of challenges to his principles, livelihood, and home, forcing him to grapple with his complex past and find a way forward. He risks fraud to save his terminally ill infant grandson, matches wits with a renegade insurance investigator, is drawn into an act of savage violence, and falls deeply, excitingly in love with a young cellist who is a third his age.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Greatest living "novelist". Top 10 narrator.

  • By BellevueMike on 10-14-17

Outstanding Narrator; Wonderful Book

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

Reviewed: 06-13-18

Bronson Pinchot is the best narrator I've come across in many years of listening on Audible. He is magical with accents. And fully invested in the characters, whom he brings to life with energy and caring. I can't imagine reading this book, rather than listening to it, since experiencing it through Bronson PInchot was so wonderful.
Mark Helprin's lyrical prose and captivating depiction of Jules, the central character, is as magical as Bronson PInchot's delivery. "Magical" is a word I want to use for this book. Not because it is fantastical. But because the author transports one so fully, with such immediacy and intensity, into the very essence of Jules' being. At another level the plot line is clever, and engaging. I felt quite bereft when the book came to an end.

  • Pachinko

  • By: Min Jin Lee
  • Narrated by: Allison Hiroto
  • Length: 18 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,586
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,253
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,250

Profoundly moving and gracefully told, Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them. Betrayed by her wealthy lover, Sunja finds unexpected salvation when a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and bring her to Japan to start a new life.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • And this was nominated for awards because...?

  • By NMwritergal on 04-05-18

Narration Detracts; Story Reminiscent of Folklore

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

Reviewed: 06-01-18

To my ear the narrator has a little girl's voice, which, although not unpleasant, doesn't feel appropriate to the story of a family's struggle in the face of war, deprivation and racial animus. The story reminds me of folklore, a tale of family that gets handed down over the centuries, with little convincing character development. The characters feel like instruments to achieve a result -- a portrait of a time and place. I kept listening mainly because I'm interested in the time and place (this is the type of book I listen to late at night when I don't want to be kept awake by compelling prose).

  • The Alice Network

  • A Novel
  • By: Kate Quinn
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 15 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,459
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,092
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,002

In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • We are standing on the shoulders of giants...

  • By Marie on 02-25-18

Great narration, good story

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

Reviewed: 03-03-18

The core story is engaging, the writing good, but the character development of Charlotte St. Clair is flawed. Charlotte, the child of privilege, remains immature in my eyes and not credible as a post-war sleuth. Nor is the parallel theme of post-WWII sleuthing nearly as compelling as the WWI spy narrative, which is based on a true life story. The narration, however, is skilful and pleasurable.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lost Among the Birds

  • Accidentally Finding Myself in One Very Big Year
  • By: Neil Hayward
  • Narrated by: Sam Devereaux
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132

Early in 2013 Neil Hayward was at a crossroads. He didn't want to open a bakery or whatever else executives do when they quit a lucrative but unfulfilling job. He didn't want to think about his failed relationship with 'the one' or his potential for ruining a new relationship with 'the next one'. And he almost certainly didn't want to think about turning 40. And so instead he went birding. Birding was a lifelong passion. It was only among the birds that Neil found a calm that had eluded him in the confusing world of humans.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Know a Birder? This will help you Understand.

  • By Carole T. on 08-27-17

Different and Charming

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

Reviewed: 12-03-17

The author's relating of his bird-identification chase during the course of his Big Year has whimsy and interest (assuming one is interested in bird-watching, even just a little). He has an appealing turn of phrase, and the narrator's voice and delivery are very appropriate. The interweaving of how the chase helped him fight his inner demons adds another dimension, which felt authentic.

  • A Rising Man

  • By: Abir Mukherjee
  • Narrated by: Malk Williams
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 236
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 217
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 216

Captain Sam Wyndham, former Scotland Yard detective, is a new arrival to Calcutta. Desperately seeking a fresh start after his experiences during the Great War, Wyndham has been recruited to head up a new post in the police force. He is immediately overwhelmed by the heady vibrancy of the tropical city, but with barely a moment to acclimatize or to deal with the ghosts that still haunt him, Wyndham is caught up in a murder investigation that threatens to destabilize a city already teetering on the brink of political insurgency.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Warning - Same book was issued May 5, 2016

  • By Katharine on 07-04-17

Excellent Narrator; Layered Murder Mystery

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

Reviewed: 10-13-17

The author skilfully weaves the socio-political complexities of 1919 India into the fabric of this murder mystery, an engrossing read that is masterfully narrated in a range of British, Irish, Scottish and Indian accents. I can't wait for Abir Mukherjee to author additional intrigues in what I hope will become a series. Please continue using Malk Williams, he was a big part of this delightful experience.

  • The Verdict

  • By: Nick Stone
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 21 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,409
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,937
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,914

Terry Flynt is a struggling legal clerk desperately trying to get promoted when he is given the biggest opportunity of his career: to help defend a millionaire accused of murdering a woman in his hotel suite. The only problem is that the accused man, Vernon James, is not only someone he knows but someone he loathes. This case could potentially make Terry's career, but how can he defend a former friend who betrayed him?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of THE best audiobooks ever!

  • By Sarah on 05-22-16

Fabulous narrator, excellent story

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

Reviewed: 08-29-17

This is a complex legal thriller, kept interesting through the many twists and turns by Nick Stone's artful storytelling. Some reviewers compare him to Grisham. For my taste, he is better than Grisham. The narrator is probably the best I have listened to, talented both in range of pitch and accents.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Italians before Italy: Conflict and Competition in the Mediterranean

  • By: Kenneth R. Bartlett, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Kenneth R. Bartlett
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 252
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 226
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 225

Take a riveting tour of the Italian peninsula, from the glittering canals of Venice to the lavish papal apartments and ancient ruins of Rome. In these 24 lectures, Professor Bartlett traces the development of the Italian city-states of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, showing how the modern nation of Italy was forged out of the rivalries, allegiances, and traditions of a vibrant and diverse people.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • European political history taken to the next level

  • By Quaker on 02-27-15

Narration Flawed; Subject Matter Difficult

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

Reviewed: 11-07-16

Professor Bartlett sounds like he's enduring a rather wearisome exercise. His tone is monotonous and he heaves great sighs periodically. In general, he does not appear to be engaged with, or excited by, his subject matter. (By contrast, Professor Tuck, who narrates The Mysterious Etruscans, sounds like he is having a wonderful time sharing his knowledge).
Separately, the course material is difficult to absorb. The details of the struggles in each city state at times are both tedious and overwhelming. Perhaps, because so many mini-histories comprise the history of Italy prior to the Risorgimento, it had to be this way. However, I'd like to believe that someone else could have made different choices in selecting and organising the course material.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Mysterious Etruscans

  • By: Steven L. Tuck, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Steven L. Tuck
  • Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 235
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206

How much do you know about the Etruscans? Many people, even those who are fascinated by ancient history, are less familiar with this intriguing culture than with the history of Greece and Rome - but the story of the Etruscans is equally captivating and far more important than you may have known. This ancient civilization prospered in the region of modern-day Tuscany, maintaining extensive trade networks, building impressive fortified cities, making exquisite art, and creating a culture that, while deeply connected to the Greeks and Romans, had striking contrasts.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Does What it Can with Limited Material

  • By Christopher on 02-22-16

Excellent Course

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

Reviewed: 11-07-16

Professor Tuck has a wonderful delivery -- he's at ease, personable, engaged with his subject matter, and uses accessible concepts and language. The course is well organised, one aspect of Etruscan life explored in each chapter. I am now enjoying it for the second time, having just returned from visiting several of the Etruscan sites. Wonderful way to learn!

  • The Light Behind the Window

  • By: Lucinda Riley
  • Narrated by: Gerri Halligan
  • Length: 15 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,502
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,378
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,371

THE PRESENT - After her mother’s death, Emilie de la Martiniéres finds herself the sole inheritor of a chateau in the south of France. There she discovers an old notebook which leads her along a journey to unravel the tragic love story of the mysterious Sophia. THE PAST (1943). Constance Carruthers, arrives in occupied Paris at the height of conflict. There she stumbles into the heart of a wealthy family and is drawn into a web of deception, the repercussions of which will affect generations to come.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic historical story... loved it!

  • By Maria on 07-13-15

Entertaining story; Great Narration

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

Reviewed: 11-07-16

This is not a genre I usually buy (historical romance, possibly even chick lit), but I became engrossed in the story. The characters are well developed and the narration is excellent. It's an escapist sort of book, undemanding, gently lilting. In short, a good read.

  • Lost in Translation

  • By: Nicole Mones
  • Narrated by: Angela Lin
  • Length: 14 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 214
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 168
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 167

A novel of searing intelligence and startling originality, Lost in Translation heralds the debut of a unique new voice on the literary landscape. Nicole Mones creates an unforgettable story of love and desire, of family ties and human conflict, and of one woman's struggle to lose herself in a foreign land - only to discover her home, her heart, herself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely fascinating!

  • By Brendan on 10-16-10

Treasure Hunt and Love Story, Excellent Narration

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

Reviewed: 07-17-16

And now for something a little different, that's how I think about this book. Without the excellent narration it might have been three star. With it -- the interweaving of the Chinese phrases, the well-done Texas accent (occasional) and the fitting cadence with which the main characters speak -- it's pleasurable. The American interpreter's struggle with her identity is authentic much of the time, but her desire to escape her father's racism (and the country she associates with it) is highly over-played, and often feels implausible. The hunt for Peking Man is fun. The suspense well maintained. The love story feels like a secondary thread, but it's not clear it was intended.