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Bowen

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  • 36
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  • Transformation

  • Rai-Kirah, Book 1
  • By: Carol Berg
  • Narrated by: Kevin Stillwell
  • Length: 16 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 220
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 202
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206

Seyonne is a man waiting to die. He has been a slave for 16 years, almost half his life, and has lost everything of meaning to him: his dignity, the people and homeland he loves, and the Warden's power he used to defend an unsuspecting world from the ravages of demons. Seyonne has made peace with his fate. With strict self-discipline he forces himself to exist only in the present moment and to avoid the pain of hope or caring about anyone.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Seriously Excellent

  • By Sharon on 09-25-13

Engaging and satisfying on every level

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

Reviewed: 01-28-17

The story is rich, with the unique twist of making us care about an abusive slave owner (or at least, care what happens to him). By creating a protagonist that is a slave, stripped of magical powers, yet HAS to come to the defense of his master who is threatened by demons, Carol Berg has set up near impossible scenario for the reader to identify with. And yet, she pulls it off magnificently. From the outset I was hooked into the struggles of the main character who despises his childish bully of a master, yet sees in the man a glimmer of greatness that must be protected from the evil ministrations of demons bent on overthrowing the empire (we think). Kevin Stillwell's narration is spot on, capturing the defeated, resolute disposition of our hero and the vast sweeps of emotions and behavior seen in his owner, the prince.

  • Walden

  • Life in the Woods
  • By: Henry David Thoreau
  • Narrated by: Alec Sand
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 915
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 773
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 776

Thoreau's classic account of the solitary life, describing his attempts to simplify his life and sort out his priorities by living alone in a cabin beside Walden Pond for nearly two years, is one of the most influential books ever written. The bible of the environmental movement, Walden vividly portrays Thoreau's reverence for nature, and his understanding of the idea that nature is made up of crucially interrelated parts.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Energetic but choppy presentation

  • By Dan Jensen on 03-17-10

waited to experience it; deeply disappointing

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

Reviewed: 02-23-15

Walden was a book I had wanted to experience since I fell in love with "My Side of the Mountain" in grade school. While its opening chapters lived up to the book's hype as an American classic, as Thoreau's tale went on I found the author to be a self-absorbed, self-righteous bigot, a squatter who gave to credence to the rights of others, and an all-out boor. If you want to know what it is like to go out to the woods and live deep, either do it yourself or read the aforementioned novel by Jean George.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dragons of Autumn Twilight

  • Dragonlance: Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 20 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,145
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,915
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,943

Lifelong friends, they went their separate ways. Now they are together again, though each holds secrets from the others in his heart. They speak of a world shadowed with rumors of war. They speak of tales of strange monsters, creatures of myth, creatures of legend. They do not speak of their secrets. Not then. Not until a chance encounter with a beautiful, sorrowful woman, who bears a magical crystal staff, draws the companions deeper into the shadows, forever changing their lives and shaping the fate of the world.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • COULDN'T FINISH LISTENING

  • By Eleanor H. on 04-01-15

Bland Performance Ruins Great Story

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

Reviewed: 05-15-13

Why is Paul Boehmer getting work narrating fantasy? I suffered through his inept performance of Brent Weeks' Way of Shadows Trilogy. I purchased the Dragonlance Chronicles out of love for the story and in hopes that Boehmer had gotten better. No such luck. Boehmer gives us a lesson in diction and pronunciation rather than a dramatic performance. His voice characterizations are weak and often don't fit the character as described in the text. Many are so similar as to confuse the listener about which character is speaking. His pacing is awkward and does not match the action or pace the story demands (i.e. scenes of relaxed conversation are performed with the same level of emotion as scenes of combat and suspense). He punches every word in a sentence as if he went to the William Shatner School for the Dramatic Arts. Arrgh! I love these books but cringe every other minute as I listen to Boehmer's precise recitation of each consonant in every word! I long for a performance of the Chronicles by Steven Pacey or Roy Dotrice, even the original reading by Peter MacNichol was better.

55 of 64 people found this review helpful

  • Shadow's Edge

  • Night Angel Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: Brent Weeks
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 20 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,646
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,741
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,765

Kylar Stern has rejected the assassin's life. The Godking's successful coup has left Kylar's master, Durzo, and his best friend, Logan, dead. He is starting over---new city, new friends, and new profession. But when he learns that Logan might actually be alive and in hiding, Kylar is faced with an agonizing choice: will he give up the way of shadows forever and live in peace with his new family, or will he risk everything by taking on the ultimate hit?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • more great action

  • By Charles on 11-30-09

Good story horribly read

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

Reviewed: 09-13-12

Brent Weeks has created an enjoyable, engaging story in his Night Angel Trilogy. However, and this is the crux of my review, Paul Boehmer's narration is terribly weak. Boehmer is unable to perform voice characterization. Conversations become convoluted due to his inability to give the listener distinct characters with distinct voices and emotions. Two of the main characters, Kylar and Logan, have almost distinguishable differences. He reads novels as if they were textbooks, providing no emotional flow to the narrative. Boehmer habitually emphasizes proper names by reading them louder then the surrounding text and by giving a pause after each. He reads each sentence as a separate entity, not part of a flowing story. His performance is focused on proper diction instead of giving the listener an engaging performance of an exciting story. He seems to think talking louder conveys intense emotion. That does not work when the performance itself lacks any form of emotional commitment. This is the fourth book I have tried read by Boehmer. Unfortunately, he seems to be the reader on many books that interest me (i.e. the Night Angel Trilogy, Solomon Kane, and The Heroes by Abercrombie). Weeks' books would benefit from being redone by artists like Steven Pacey, Todd McLaren, or Roy Dotrice or the creme de la creme, Patrick Tull (sigh).

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Thirteen-Gun Salute

  • Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 13
  • By: Patrick O'Brian
  • Narrated by: Patrick Tull
  • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 918
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 666
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 662

Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin set sail aboard the Diane for the South China Sea, shepherding a diplomatic mission to prevent links between Bonaparte and the Malay princes. If their mission fails, English merchant shipping in the area will be threatened. At the barbaric court of Pulo Prabang, the stage is set for a duel of intelligence agents, pitting the savage cunning of Stephen Maturin against the French envoys, who are already entrenched in the Sultan's favor.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story

  • By Jean on 09-07-11

The best narrator at his best

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-03-10

I have listened with joy to every Aubrey/Maturin novel thus far and all read by Patrick Tull. The man continues his phenomenal performance in this 13th audio novel. I had the misfortune of listening to book four in the series read by an another narrator and it lost all the love I had for the characters and the series. So, then I found the book read by Mr. Tull and stuck with his narration ever since. Patrick Tull masterfully portrays each character and keeps them individual throughout the series. His Aubrey and Maturin are ideal to the image in my mind. Tull's Jack Aubrey makes Russell Crowe a pale shadow of the character.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful