LISTENER

Michael

Doylestown, PA, United States
  • 4
  • reviews
  • 19
  • helpful votes
  • 6
  • ratings
  • The Help

  • By: Kathryn Stockett
  • Narrated by: Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
  • Length: 18 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 37,843
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 23,716
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 23,730

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a great surprise!

  • By Jan on 12-02-09

Unsurpassed excellence

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

Reviewed: 12-29-12

This was one of the best audiobooks that I have ever listened to. The actresses were amazing in their performance. It is definitely worth listening to. You, too, will be hooked.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Signature Performance by Elijah Wood

  • By: Mark Twain
  • Narrated by: Elijah Wood
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,970
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,074
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,046

A Signature Performance: Elijah Wood becomes the first narrator to bring a youthful voice and energy to the story, perhaps making it the closest interpretation to Twain’s original intent.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Masterful Narration

  • By Michael Balzoa on 03-11-11

Wood Brilliantly Captures the Novel's Spirit

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

Reviewed: 12-29-12

I enjoy a novel that effectively encapsulates the social norms of the time without infusing them with modern sensibilities. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is just that sort of work. You really understand how and why people believed as they did and acted in kind. It is truly a masterpiece.

Wood does a phenomenal job as narrator. He is an accomplished actor and does not overly dramatize unnecessarily, which can bring a good novel to tedium. He switches from character to character with ease and seamlessly.

It might be shocking for modern ears to hear the language commonly used in the novel, but one must realize that people did indeed speak and think as such. However, the author successfully conveys to us that the only man of honor and scruples in the entire work is Jim, the escaped slave. That message transcends any previous disparaging comments and elevates his status in the reader's eyes. Even when they are behaving morally with good conscience according to the mores of the time, it is clear to the reader that Tom, Huck and the other characters in the novel are lacking in the moral substance. I believe that the author was trying to impress that point upon us.

The Other Boleyn Girl audiobook cover art
  • The Other Boleyn Girl

  • By: Philippa Gregory
  • Narrated by: Susan Lyons
  • Length: 22 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,420
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,193
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,200

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of 14, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both the golden prince and her growing role as an unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family's ambitious plots when the king's interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her powerfully ambitious sister, Anne Boleyn.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Phillipa Gregory Takes You There

  • By Theodore on 11-20-11

Good performance, but the story itself was flat

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

Reviewed: 03-03-12

Since I am very familiar with the history, I found myself continually have to verify events that were presented as fact by the author. For example, Mary was not the younger girl as told in this story, but was in fact the older sister. Additionally, it was unlikely that Mary was present at the execution. Most modern historians confirm that she was not even in the city at the time and had been banished to Rochford with her husband. Realizing that this is fiction, I am fine with an author taking some liberties with the truth, such as interpolating motives and thoughts to the characters, but I find it disconcerting when accepted facts are clearly changed to suit the author's plot

My other criticism was that the characters were portrayed as timeless archetypes instead of complex characters. Mary was the epitome of all that good and virtuous. She was the victim of her circumstances, completely manipulated by her family. Whereas, Anne was the essence of evil. She was vindictive, vain, manipulative, and cruel. I find this Snow White vs. The Evil Queen ploy to be an overly-simplistic way of looking at these complex characters.

Also, the description of Mary's second marriage was really unbelievable. The notion that she joyfully accepted the role of farmer's wife with no apparent difficulty was incongruent with the harsh realities of life on an English farm in that time period, especially for someone accustomed to life at the royal court. She would have had to work all day and well into the night. I was almost ready for her to pull a Snow White and break into "Whistle while you work."

I did appreciate that the author selected to tell the story from the point of view of minor character in history. I just think that she could have done a better job with her portrayal.

It also seemed she forced the Boleyn self-identification. I found myself rolling my eyes whenever Mary exclaimed, "I have to do as I am told. I am a BOLEYN girl!" This same line was very overused.

The actress who read the book was excellent. Her performance and depiction of the characters was superb.

Overall, I was entertained. I could even deal with the cartoonish characters if the history has been portrayed more accurately. That fact led to this mediocre review.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • 1776

  • By: David McCullough
  • Narrated by: David McCullough
  • Length: 11 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,047
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,329
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,297

In this stirring audiobook, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence, when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Front Seat on History

  • By Mark on 10-22-05

Not what I thought

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

Reviewed: 12-20-11

What disappointed you about 1776?

This books reads like a high school history book. There is no real story. Additionally, the author doesn't provide any good insights into the people and culture of the time. He just strung together facts and dates.

What was most disappointing about David McCullough’s story?

There are no real insights. I am about a third into the book and it's like listening to someone read Wikipedia.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator/author reads flatly, droning on and on. Because there are so many names and places involved in the retelling this piece of history, it's hard to keep track of characters by listening. This is not a book I would recommend that anyone LISTEN to. If you must read it, buy a real book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful