LISTENER

K. Konetzka

Goodrich, MI USA
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 15
  • helpful votes
  • 87
  • ratings
  • Against All Things Ending

  • The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Book 3
  • By: Stephen R. Donaldson
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 33 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 213
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 190
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 188

Award-winning author Stephen R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant books have sold more than 10 million copies. In the third volume of this trilogy, Linden Avery confronts the consequences of using magical power sufficient to wake the Worm, which is capable of destroying the Land. And although the only hope may rest with Linden’s son, the boy could also bring disaster upon everyone.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful language

  • By Jeph2005 on 06-11-11

The wrong narrator

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

Reviewed: 10-21-17

With all due respect to Mr. Reynolds, who would be capable for other books, he is the wrong narrator for this book. Scott Brick has read the other nine books in this series and he should be the one to read this one as well. Please, please correct this error.

The giants are not from Scotland. The Harrow doesn't sound like Robin Hood. The Haruchai (OMG) do not sound like extras in a Roman epic movie, Linden Avery does not sound like a Broadway diva, and Thomas Covenant does not sound like Campbell Scott or Keanu Reeves. It's straight-up wrong.

I will buy the book again, no complaints, if Scott Brick reads it.

Thanks.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Underground Airlines

  • By: Ben Winters
  • Narrated by: William DeMeritt
  • Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,694
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,435
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,429

It is the present day, and the world is as we know it: smartphones, social networking, and Happy Meals. Save for one thing: The Civil War never occurred. A gifted young black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter for the US Marshal Service. He's got plenty of work. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states called "the Hard Four". On the trail of a runaway known as Jackdaw, Victor arrives in Indianapolis knowing that something isn't right - with the case file, with his work, and with the country itself.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Original and disturbing novel

  • By Mark on 10-29-17

Great Noir Thriller

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

Reviewed: 12-26-16

This was a fantastic noir thriller with a gut wrenching premise: what if Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated while president elect and the Congress had made the needed compromises to keep the South in the Union with slavery intact? And what would the slavery system look like in modern times?

The story is told by Victor, a former slave who becomes a secret federal agent helping to track runaway slaves. And now, with his next tracking job, things are about to get complicated...

The story is wriggling with twists and turns. I won't give anything away except to say that I would be happy to read more of these books if this one turns about to be the beginning of a series.

The book was beautifully narrated by William DeMerrit, who brought out a full cast of voice characters. He's got a lot of chops and I'll be keeping an eye out for future books he's reading.

  • The King's Justice

  • Two Novellas
  • By: Stephen R. Donaldson
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, Kevin Orton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34

In The King's Justice, a stranger dressed in black arrives in the village of Settle's Crossways, following the scent of a terrible crime. He even calls himself "Black", though almost certainly that is not his name. The people of the village discover that they have a surprising urge to cooperate with this stranger, though the desire of inhabitants of quiet villages to cooperate with strangers is not common in their land, or most lands.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A far cry from his best work

  • By Audio Gra Gra on 11-03-15

Two novellas are great fun

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

Reviewed: 12-12-15

I've been a Donaldson fan forever and I very much enjoyed these stories.

The first novella, The King's Justice, is a dark fantasy. Another reviewer described it as reminiscent of a western. I agree: a western told told in rich nearly-poetic language. Its tone is is greatest strength. I highly, highly recommend listening to the audiobook version, read by Scott Brick, who knows exactly how to invoke a story like this.

The second novella, The Augur's Gambit, is a story of intrigue in the Queen's court, much in the same spirit as Daughter of Regals or Mordant's Need. Daughter is one of my favorite Donaldson stories, and this one is great fun as well.

In both of the stories I would have liked to have more of the story. Each could have been a full-length novel. But Donaldson makes the novellas work by hinting at much more history and background than he told directly. This is the case at whatever length Donaldson writes because he always imagines much more than he can ever get fully on the page.

These stories are very enjoyable and I heartily encourage you to try them.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Bel Canto

  • By: Ann Patchett
  • Narrated by: Anna Fields
  • Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,825
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,776
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,786

Ann Patchett’s award winning, New York Times best-selling Bel Canto balances themes of love and crisis as disparate characters learn that music is their only common language. As in Pratchett’s other novels, including Truth & Beauty and The Magician’s Assistant, the author’s lyrical prose and lucid imagination make Bel Canto a captivating story of strength and frailty, love and imprisonment, and an inspiring tale of transcendent romance. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Opera Has Charms to Soothe the Savage Guerillas

  • By Mel on 03-01-13

Excellent

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

Reviewed: 12-05-15

A meditation on the impermanence of life and the importance of appreciating every moment. Highly recommended.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Bad Feminist

  • Essays
  • By: Roxane Gay
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,604
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,345
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,326

A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay. In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman ( Sweet Valley High) of color ( The Help) while also taking listeners on a ride through culture of the last few years ( Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown).

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Worth the daily deal, not a credit

  • By Lindsay on 04-18-17

A fun and thoughtful book

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

Reviewed: 12-03-15

Consult the other reviews for details. I agreed with much of what Roxane Gay said, disagreed with parts of it, and learned something from all of it.

For me, the most entertaining essay was Gay's critique of The Help. I loved The Help. Gay didn't like it at all. Even though I thought she took an excessively ungenerous view of the book, her points were valuable for me to hear. But the best part, so worth it, was to listen to Bahni Turpin, who read the part of Aibileen Clark in the audiobook, read Gay's criticism of the book, including quoting Aibileen's lines in a completely different tone. I hope Turpin had as much fun reading it as I did listening. I have to wonder what she thought about it all.

Thanks to Roxane Gay and Bahni Turpin for their valuable work.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Half Has Never Been Told

  • Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism
  • By: Edward E. Baptist
  • Narrated by: Ron Butler
  • Length: 19 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,529
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,382
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,375

In The Half Has Never Been Told, historian Edward E. Baptist reveals the alarming extent to which slavery shaped our country politically, morally, and most of all, economically. Until the Civil War, our chief form of innovation was slavery. Through forced migration and torture, slave owners extracted continual increases in efficiency from their slaves, giving the country a virtual monopoly on the production of cotton, a key raw material of the Industrial Revolution.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The most definitive history of American slavery;

  • By Robert Fullerton on 01-04-15

One of the best antebellum history books I've read

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

Reviewed: 11-06-15

A social and economic history of the rise of slavery and cotton growing in the South. Fascinating, heart breaking, and beautifully written. I listened to the audiobook and the narration was also excellent. One of the best books I've read in a long time. A must for people interested in antebellum history.

  • Ethan Frome

  • By: Edith Wharton
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 3 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 298
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 225
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 231

Ethan Frome, a poor, downtrodden New England farmer, is trapped in a loveless marriage to his invalid wife, Zeena.When Zeena's young cousin Mattie arrives to help care for her, Ethan is immediately taken by Mattie's warm, vivacious personality. They fall desperately in love as he realizes how much is missing from his life and marriage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A time capsule not to be missed

  • By Anne on 11-11-03

A cold and suspenseful story

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

Reviewed: 07-12-14

I came back to this book after reading it in high school many years ago. I had forgotten how chillingly good it is. Alfred Hitchcock could have made an amazing movie from it. Then tension between Ethan and his wife is excruciating. A great story with a fantastic reading by Scott Brick. Try it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Pimsleur Hindi Level 1

  • By: Pimsleur
  • Narrated by: Pimsleur
  • Length: 16 hrs and 45 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

Pimsleur Hindi Level 1 includes 15 hours of spoken language practice and one hour of reading instruction in thirty 30-minute lessons. In the first 10 lessons, you’ll cover the basics: saying hello, asking for or giving information, scheduling a meal or a meeting, asking for or giving basic directions, and much more.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding training in spoken Hindi

  • By K. Konetzka on 12-01-13

Outstanding training in spoken Hindi

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

Reviewed: 12-01-13

Any additional comments?

Pimsleur Hindi provides excellent study and drill in spoken Hindi. The lessons start simple and steadily build on each other, using relevant everyday vocabulary and grammar. The approach to the lessons is to constantly challenge the student by giving many opportunities to think, listen, and repeat. They're like an aerobic workout for learning Hindi.

I highly recommend this course. It's worth it.

Once caveat: these lessons are completely focused on helping the student learn by immersive listening and speaking. There is almost no theory or grammar. Students who want "this is how it works" teaching on Hindi grammar will want to supplement this course with other materials.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

Shantaram audiobook cover art
  • Shantaram

  • By: Gregory David Roberts
  • Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
  • Length: 43 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,674
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,001
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,010

This mesmerizing first novel tells the epic journey of Lin, an escaped convict who flees maximum security prison in Australia to disappear into the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The keys to unlock the mysteries that bind Lin are held by two people: his mentor Khader Khan, mafia godfather and criminal-philosopher; and the beautiful, elusive Karla, whose passions are driven by dangerous secrets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Do Not Miss This

  • By Jamie on 06-19-06

A great Bombay adventure and personal journey

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

Reviewed: 10-14-13

Any additional comments?

This is one of the richest and most entertaining books I've ever read, and the voice acting - one guy reading dozens of unique voices and accents! - is beyond outstanding.