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Rudy

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  • The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace

  • A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League
  • By: Jeff Hobbs
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,158
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,945
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,947

When author Jeff Hobbs arrived at Yale University, he became fast friends with the man who would be his college roommate for four years, Robert Peace. Robert's life was rough from the beginning in the crime-ridden streets of Newark in the 1980s, with his father in jail and his mother earning less than $15,000 a year. But Robert was a brilliant student, and it was supposed to get easier when he was accepted to Yale, where he studied molecular biochemistry and biophysics.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Everyone Should Read this Book

  • By oldmanwagner on 12-02-14

A beautiful, elegiac remembrance of a friend

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

Reviewed: 12-05-14

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

Not possible, but yes.

Any additional comments?

Gorgeously written, deeply felt memoir of the author's Yale roommate, the ironically named Robert Peace. Whether he was 'Newark-proofing' himself as DeShaun or 'fronting' as Yalie Rob, Peace was a brilliant, engaging, profoundly conflicted young man. Author Jeff Hobbs writes as though he were born to tell his friend's story. The narrator George Newbern is one of the best I've heard on Audible. No embellishments; just a real understanding of and appreciation for the author's prose.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • The Wrecking Crew

  • The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret
  • By: Kent Hartman
  • Narrated by: Dan John Miller
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 639
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 591
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 593

If you were a fan of popular music in the 1960s and early '70s, you were a fan of the Wrecking Crew - whether you knew it or not. On hit record after hit record by everyone from the Byrds, the Beach Boys, and the Monkees to the Grass Roots, the 5th Dimension, Sonny & Cher, and Simon & Garfunkel, this collection of West Coast studio musicians from diverse backgrounds established themselves as the driving sound of pop music - sometimes over the objection of actual band members....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Juke Box Documentary

  • By Dubi on 03-31-14

The inside story remains a secret

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

Reviewed: 11-02-14

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Wish the author were a better, more inquisitive reporter with a stronger sense of who on the music scene of that era really mattered. In other words, more about legendary recording sessions, e.g., "River Deep, Mountain High" and "Pet Sounds," and less Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. Hartman also devotes as much time to book-report style recitations of the early lives of folks like the late Tommy Tedesco, guitarist extraordinaire, whose childhood was mercifully ordinary as he does to those who lived truly unusual lives, e.g. Glen Campbell and Phil Spector.

Would you recommend The Wrecking Crew to your friends? Why or why not?

Only the hardest of the hard-core music fans in which case, come to think of it, they probably know the history better than Hartman does.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Read all the parts in his own, natural voice! Listening to Dan John Miller do bassist Carol Kaye, Brian Wilson's girlfriend and Tommy Tedesco's mother in the high falsetto one more often associates with Flip Wilson's Geraldine or any of Monty Python's female characters is truly horrifying.

Do you think The Wrecking Crew needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

The musicians who made up the Wrecking Crew deserve a different, better book by a more gifted reporter and writer. This book has a quickie, knock-it-out feel.

Any additional comments?

I think I've said enough.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Rage Against the Dying

  • By: Becky Masterman
  • Narrated by: Judy Kaye
  • Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 394
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 355
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 357

You have never met an (ex) FBI agent like Brigid Quinn Brigid’s career - the disappearance and presumed murder of her young protégée, Jessica. Floyd knows things about that terrible night that were never made public, and offers to lead the cops to Jessica's body in return for a plea bargain. It should finally be the end of a dark chapter in Brigid’s life. Except…the new FBI agent on the case, Laura Coleman, thinks the confession is fake, and Brigid finds she cannot walk away from violence and retribution after all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I hope there are more of these on the way!

  • By Jan on 03-15-13

Beautifully read by Audible's most skilled reader.

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

Reviewed: 12-30-13

What did you love best about Rage Against the Dying?

I just wanted to keep listening!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Rage Against the Dying?

Opening scene.

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

Haven't heard the others.

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

Can't listen to any book in one sitting.

Any additional comments?

I generally prefer to read rather than to listen to books since audio versions tend to limit my imagination. Having said that, Judy Kaye's performance made those long hours in LA traffic thoroughly bearable! Unlike most audible readers, she doesn't act up a storm (I particularly dislike male readers doing all female characters in the same high, breathy voice!) nor mispronounce words and names, an annoyingly common trait. Ms. Kaye is thinking about the words she is saying and the story she is telling, and I suspect that, for me, this may be one book that is better listened to than read.

Becky Masterman is an interesting new author who uses language well and knows how to tell a good story. Too soon to tell if she's going to develop a truly distinctive voice as a writer or just start churning them out. Hope she chooses the former because she has talent.

  • Tearing Down the Wall of Sound

  • The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector
  • By: Mick Brown
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 17 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 229
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144

Phil Spector, born in the Bronx in 1940, grew up an outsider despised by his peers. But he formed a band, and had a number-one hit with "To Know Him Is to Love Him". He quickly became the top producer of early rock and roll and the originator of such girl groups as the Ronettes. Hit followed hit, and for all of them he used a new recording style called the "wall of sound". But the reign of the boy-man who owned pop music was doomed, and Spector spiraled into paranoid isolation and peculiar behavior.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Descent Into Madness

  • By Chris on 06-11-12

Fascinating book; irritating narrator

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-12-11

Author Mick Brown does a mostly excellent job of capturing rock & roll's early days and the seminal role Phil Spector played (although Brown could have benefited from fact-checking, e.g., Amy Heckerling, not Cameron Crowe, directed "Fast Times at Ridgemont High;" Bobbie Gentry, not Jeannie C. Riley, had a hit with "Ode to Billy Joe.")

But the narrator, Ray Porter, drove me nuts! How can the narrator of a book about rock & roll consistently mispronounce Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner's first name (as though it's the lady's name, Jan)? Worse, he has stock accents and intonations for each character "type": Women are all read in a fast, high-pitched breathless tone; British musicians are all Cockney-accented; British and Irish non-musicians have indeterminate accents that come and go; and German musician and legendary Beatles sideman, Klaus Voorman, is given a flossy British accent (although, on second thought, perhaps it's better that Porter didn't attempt Voorman's German accent). Why do so many audio book narrators feel compelled to act up a storm rather than rely on their natural vocal gifts?

2 of 4 people found this review helpful