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snowy plover

Walnut Creek, CA
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 42
  • helpful votes
  • 235
  • ratings
  • Birds, Beasts and Relatives

  • By: Gerald Durrell
  • Narrated by: Nigel Davenport
  • Length: 6 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 275
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 248
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 247

The Durrell family returns to the island of Corfu, continuing the story begun in My Family and Other Animals. Already an ardent naturalist at the age of 10, the young Gerald lives in an unconventional and disordered household with his mother, sister, and two brothers. Convivial and open, the family plays host to a constant stream of quirky guests. But for Gerald, the main attraction is the wildlife of Corfu.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The antidote to stress

  • By Rebecca on 09-07-14

A Rollicking Good Time

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

Reviewed: 08-27-16

What was one of the most memorable moments of Birds, Beasts and Relatives?

There were too many great stories to choose just one. The narration really makes this book "sing." The ending was very lovely.

Which character – as performed by Nigel Davenport – was your favorite?

My favorite character was the mother. She had so many good retorts. The narrator gave so much life to each character though.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Especially in the second book, there were some really wonderful descriptions of the island and its inhabitants.

Any additional comments?

The production values in the first part of this book seemed off - very fast. So I slowed my IPod down to 1.75. After continuing to listen for some time, it sounded just like in My Family and other Animals which I had just read before I started this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • My Family and Other Animals

  • By: Gerald Durrell
  • Narrated by: Nigel Davenport
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,232
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,033
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,035

This memoir is soaked in the sunshine of Corfu, where Gerald Durrell lived as a boy, surrounded by his eccentric family - as well as puppies, toads, scorpions, geckoes, ladybugs, glowworms, octopuses, bats, and butterflies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A thoroughly delightful book!

  • By T.K. on 06-21-08

HILARIOUS!

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

Reviewed: 08-08-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes eccentric English families and/or animals, Corfu or a good laugh.

What about Nigel Davenport’s performance did you like?

The performance by Nigel Davenport was superb and lent a great deal to the enjoyment of the book.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

If you want a good time, listen to this book. I laughed throughout.

Any additional comments?

This book is a real gem and I'm moving on to the next one.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Rise & Fall of Great Powers

  • A Novel
  • By: Tom Rachman
  • Narrated by: Penelope Rawlins
  • Length: 14 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 117
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 104
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 103

Tooly Zylberberg, the American owner of an isolated bookshop in the Welsh countryside, conducts a life full of reading, but with few human beings. Books are safer than people, who might ask awkward questions about her life. She prefers never to mention the strange events of her youth, which mystify and worry her still. Taken from home as a girl, Tooly found herself spirited away by a group of seductive outsiders, implicated in capers from Asia to Europe to the United States. But who were her abductors? Why did they take her? What did they really want?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful book. Superb narration.

  • By Amazon Customer on 08-10-14

Tough to follow on tape

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

Reviewed: 06-27-14

What did you like best about The Rise & Fall of Great Powers? What did you like least?

Rachman switches the time frames back and forth from year to year and it's really hard to keep track of with the audiobook. This is a book I would much rather have gotten to read on my iPad or in paper.

Would you recommend The Rise & Fall of Great Powers to your friends? Why or why not?

I'm not done yet so not sure. This isn't just a straight story, but a very wandering narrative so it's impossible to tell where it's going.

  • Trustee from the Toolroom

  • By: Nevil Shute
  • Narrated by: Frank Muller
  • Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,744
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,570
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,570

Keith Stewart, a retiring and ingenious engineer, could not have been happier in his little house in the shabby London suburb of Ealing. There he invented the mini-motor, the six-volt generator, and the tiny Congreve clock. Then a chain of events sweeps him into deep waters and leads him to his happiest discovery yet.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hologram of a Decent Man

  • By Jim In Texas! on 05-28-12

Love this Book!

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

Reviewed: 06-12-14

Would you listen to Trustee from the Toolroom again? Why?

I would listen to this book again. It's different and it has a lot of heart. If you know a man who loves knowing how things work - it's a perfect gift.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The characters all came to life to make the story so delightful. It's a short book, but the characters are well fleshed out and the story line is terrific.

What does Frank Muller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator lends a lot to the story and brings the characters to life. And a fun life it is.

Any additional comments?

If you're looking for a hidden gem, this is a great choice.

  • The Lacuna

  • By: Barbara Kingsolver
  • Narrated by: Barbara Kingsolver
  • Length: 19 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,298
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 735
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 740

Born in the United States, but reared in Mexico, Harrison Shepherd finds precarious shelter but no sense of home on his thrilling odyssey. Life is whatever he learns from housekeepers and, one fateful day, by mixing plaster for famed muralist Diego Rivera. When he goes to work for Rivera, his wife, exotic artist Kahlo, and exiled leader Lev Trotsky, Shepherd inadvertently casts his lot with art and revolution.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth the wait for a new Kingsolver novel

  • By Tim on 11-17-09

An amazing blend of fact and fiction

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-29-10

A spell-binding story with passages of incredible charm and tenderness along with grim realities. A parable for our day. Amazing narration by the author. It doesn't get much better than this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Year in the World

  • Journeys of A Passionate Traveller
  • By: Frances Mayes
  • Narrated by: Frances Mayes
  • Length: 5 hrs and 16 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

A Year in the World is vintage Frances Mayes, a celebration of the allure of travel, of serendipitous pleasures found in unlikely locales, of memory woven into the present, and of a joyous sense of quest. An ideal travel companion, Frances Mayes brings to the page the curiosity of an intrepid explorer, remarkable insights into the wonder of the everyday, and a compelling narrative style that entertains as it informs.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Someone stop this woman

  • By snowy plover on 08-11-06

Someone stop this woman

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-11-06

Please do not let this author narrate a book again. Her southern accent is not a pleasant one and heaped on top of foreign pronunciations, it's deadly. Also the meals consumed by the author and her husband are the primary focus of the writing. This book is a weak effort.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

The Apprentice
    My Life in the Kitchen
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Jacques Pepin
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Michel Chevalier
    
    


    
    Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
    481 ratings
    Overall 4.4
  • The Apprentice

  • My Life in the Kitchen
  • By: Jacques Pepin
  • Narrated by: Michel Chevalier
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 481
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 286
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 285

In this captivating memoir, the man whom Julia Child has called "the best chef in America" tells the story of his rise from a frightened apprentice in an exacting Old World kitchen to an Emmy Award-winning superstar who taught millions of Americans how to cook and shaped the nation's tastes in the bargain.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • WHAT HAPPENED TO THE RECIPES???

  • By Linda Zimmerman on 02-06-05

Delightful and Interesting

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-04-04

Jacque Pepin's story has many facets which he relates in an honest and unpretentious way. I came away with a great respect for the man and an enhanced view of cooking, especially in the selection of ingredients. One hears about choosing fresh and seasonal items, but Pepin tells what that means in very specific ways. Be advised that this book can make you very hungry.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • On the Wing

  • To the Edge of the Earth with the Peregrine Falcon
  • By: Alan Tennant
  • Narrated by: Alan Tennant
  • Length: 5 hrs and 28 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3

In this extraordinary narrative, Alan Tennant recounts his all-out effort to radio-track the transcontinental migration of the peregrine falcon, an investigation no one before him had ever taken to such lengths.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thumbs up, Way up, for On The Wing

  • By snowy plover on 11-15-04

Thumbs up, Way up, for On The Wing

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-15-04

If you have an affinity for nature and if you like adventure, On the Wing will capture your imagination.

Tennant relates his story as only a Texan can, recounting bold and risky moves executed in pursuit of peregrine falcons in their seasonal migrations. The author's folksy narration is entertaining while his thoughts on our relation to nature and each other is wise and thought-provoking. I loved this book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Funny in Farsi

  • A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America
  • By: Firoozeh Dumas
  • Narrated by: Firoozeh Dumas
  • Length: 5 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,536
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,199
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,200

In 1972, when she was seven, Firoozeh Dumas and her family moved from Iran to Southern California, arriving with no firsthand knowledge of this country beyond her father's glowing memories of his graduate school years here.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Insightful, witty and funny

  • By Elfie on 05-02-05

I hated for it to end

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-09-04

The lives of the author's Iranian immigrant parents and extended family along with her own adventures and misadventures provide more than enough material for each chapter. Lively narration keeps the stories moving along. Beyond the upbeat rendition of the author's personal history, there's a poignant subtext regarding the plight of her native country and what it was like to be an Iranian immigrant in the US in light of the infamous hostage crisis.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • True Notebooks

  • A Writer's Year at Juvenile Hall
  • By: Mark Salzman
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 51
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51

True Notebooks is the story of Mark Salzman's eye-opening tenure as a writing teacher to a group of teenage boys in a juvenile detention facility in Los Angeles. Many of Salzman's students have been charged with murder, and he is initially apprehensive about teaching them. But his first encounter with them changes his mind: rather than the thugs he had expected, his students are vulnerable and carry terrible burdens.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Starts slow, ends too soon

  • By Richard on 11-02-04

Eye-opening

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-05-04

Salman's book will lay to rest the stereotypes you had of the young people in Juvenile Hall. Their stories, their lives are heart-breaking, yet Salzman is even-handed in his view, recognizing the reality of crimes they've commited. Narrator does a great job in creating the voices of the boys. A very worthwhile book. Kudos to Salzman for his work.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful