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Calliope

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  • 1,187
  • helpful votes
  • 422
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  • Johannes Cabal The Necromancer

  • By: Jonathan L. Howard
  • Narrated by: Christopher Cazenove
  • Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,255
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,924
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,925

Johannes Cabal, a brilliant scientist and notorious snob, is single-mindedly obsessed in heart and soul with raising the dead. Well, perhaps not soul... He hastily sold his years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. But now, tormented by a dark secret, he travels to the fiery pits of Hell to retrieve it. Satan, who is incredibly bored these days, proposes a little wager: Johannes has one year to persuade 100 people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Masterpiece Comedy

  • By Guillermo on 06-19-10

Supernatural comedy at a carnival - a great combo

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

I'd call this novel a supernatural comedy, and in some ways it reminded me of some of Christopher Moore's books. Johannes is a necromancer who makes a deal with the devil to get his soul back that requires him to collect 100 souls over a year by way of a traveling carnival.....which opens up the book to allow for episodic glimpses of things that happen along the way. Good narrator, a fun book, and I think I'll look in to some others from this author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Kindred

  • By: Octavia E. Butler
  • Narrated by: Kim Staunton
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,939
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,307
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,291

Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes she's been given a challenge.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Simply written, but full of wisdom

  • By Amazon Customer on 02-14-17

I had hopes this would be better......

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

I have only recently heard about Octavia E. Butler and, being a moderate sci-fi fan, I thought I'd listen to some of her books. I don't know if this one is representative of the quality of her bibliography, but I know it's one of her best selling novels. Unfortunately, I just didn't like the story or the characters - and the narrator didn't do a very good job either so offered no help in elevating my experience.

It's really more of a historical fiction novel - the time travel is just used as a device to move from the past to the current time zone, but the effect on the experience is slight (i.e. time in one place did not affect the experience in the other in any way). I found Dana, the protagonist, to be a frustrating character that inspired both sympathy and anger in me - in many ways, she seemed like a battered woman who doesn't leave her abuser, seemingly believing that "he's really not that bad" or that if only she were to wait a little longer or if she were only good enough, things would be better. There are a lot of strange, possibly anachronistic things, like how easily her sudden appearance and disappearance was accepted, or the fact that some of the items from her time period (like asprin, or ball point pens) were immediately accepted willingly and without questions.

The narrator was OK, but had a bad and used an inconsistant Southern accent, and Rufus sounded the same at age 7 or 8 as he did when he was almost 30.

  • An Obvious Fact

  • By: Craig Johnson
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,378
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,133
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,120

In the midst of the largest motorcycle rally in the world, a young biker is run off the road and ends up in critical condition. When Sheriff Walt Longmire and his good friend, Henry Standing Bear, are called to Hulett, Wyoming - the nearest town to America's first national monument, Devils Tower - to investigate, things start getting complicated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • No brainer. Use the credit.

  • By Boysmom on 09-19-16

A little ways back to being better

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

The series was taking a slide towards the 6/10 range, getting more worn and stagnant, but this one is a little bit more back to the greatness of the earlier books in the series. The familiar good is still there (in writing and narration), but it's not laying on it's laurels and giving us the finger, like the last few seemed to be on the verge of doing.

  • The Beekeeper's Apprentice, or On the Segregation of the Queen

  • Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, Book 1
  • By: Laurie R. King
  • Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,043
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,715
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,701

This program includes a preface read by the author. In 1915, Sherlock Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees when a young woman literally stumbles into him on the Sussex Downs. Fifteen years old, gawky, egotistical, and recently orphaned, the young Mary Russell displays an intellect to impress even Sherlock Holmes - and match him wit for wit. Under his reluctant tutelage, this very modern 20th-century woman proves a deft protégée and a fitting partner for the Victorian detective.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great mystery!

  • By Ruth on 03-24-14

A great, fun novel - first in a series

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

What if Sherlock Holmes was a woman (Charlotte)? I got it to listen to because I love Sherlock Holmes related stuff and the idea seemed clever. I realized halfway through that I'd been tricked into listening to a Victorian romance novel, but I liked it nonetheless......still, I don't recall Doyle spending so much time talking about people's bosoms and dark brooding eyes.

  • The Golem and the Jinni

  • A Novel
  • By: Helene Wecker
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 19 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,292
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,355
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,343

Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enchanting Debut Novel - Delicious!

  • By Tango on 04-26-13

Didn't quite live up to potential, great narrator

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

I think it's a little too long and convoluted, but it could have been a wonderful book with a good editor. As it is, it's just a good book, but it was read by one of my favourite audiobook narrators (George Guidall). It's the story of 2 human-looking supernatural creatures from the folktales of two cultures, who meet in New York in the turn of the 19th century: the golem, living in a tenement in the Jewish Lower East Side, and the jinni, living in Little Syria. They meet while wandering the Manhattan streets, and their lives cross back and forth throughout most of the novel, but it's more a story of each of them than the story of them together.

  • The Last Days of Night

  • A Novel
  • By: Graham Moore
  • Narrated by: Johnathan McClain
  • Length: 13 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,497
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,241
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,222

New York, 1888. Gas lamps still flicker in the city streets, but the miracle of electric light is in its infancy. The person who controls the means to turn night into day will make history - and a vast fortune. A young untested lawyer named Paul Cravath, fresh out of Columbia Law School, takes a case that seems impossible to win. Paul's client, George Westinghouse, has been sued by Thomas Edison over a billion-dollar question: Who invented the lightbulb and holds the right to power the country?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Favorite book of 2016

  • By Taryn on 12-19-16

Interesting historical novel

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

This is a 7/10 novel about the business battle between AC and DC current, between Westinghouse and Edison, in a war to light up the United States. Enjoyable, but not great.

  • The Intuitionist

  • By: Colson Whitehead
  • Narrated by: Peter Jay Fernandez
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 124
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 126

Lila Mae Watson - the first black female inspector in the world's tallest city - has the highest performance rating of anyone in the Department of Elevator Inspectors. This upsets her superiors, because Lila is an Intuitionist: she inspects elevators simply by the feelings she gets riding in them. When a brand new elevator crashes, Lila becomes caught in the conflict between her Intuitionist methods and the beliefs of the power-holding Empiricists.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fires on all cylinders; GREAT ! ! !

  • By Robert on 08-24-12

Had potential, but too remote and unengaging

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

This book with an interesting premise starts out as a kind of speculative fiction mystery about industrial espionage, and it ends up with some strange allegories about racism and sexism, and people's past and future desire to ascend. OK, that's kind of strange but could still be interesting - but I found Whitehead's writing style to be so passive and distant, everything that happened and everyone involved were really uninteresting.

  • Righteous

  • By: Joe Ide
  • Narrated by: Sullivan Jones
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,898
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,767
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,759

For 10 years something has gnawed at Isaiah Quintabe's gut and kept him up nights, boiling with anger and thoughts of revenge. Ten years ago, when Isaiah was just a boy, his brother was killed by an unknown assailant. The search for the killer sent Isaiah plunging into despair and nearly destroyed his life. Even with a flourishing career, a new dog, and near-iconic status as a PI in his hometown, East Long Beach, he has to begin the hunt again - or lose his mind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Joe Ide can write!

  • By 6catz on 10-20-17

Not as good as the first

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

I should have stuck to my guns and stopped at the first installment in the series, which I liked -- but this was on sale so I thought I'd give it a shot. It's a good book, 7/10, but I didn't like it as much as the first. This will probably be my last IQ book.

  • Fear

  • Trump in the White House
  • By: Bob Woodward
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,674
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,951
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,845

With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files, and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One, and the White House residence.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Repetitive

  • By Amazon Customer on 09-29-18

Journalistic research into a well-known story

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

Reviewed: 10-21-18

The story is well known in that Trump is Trump - he loves an audience and has no filter, so if we've been watching we're all pretty much aware of who he is and what he's doing. What this book gives is a deeply researched book from a journalist who has listened and listened and listened to key players around Trump, telling us what they said without embellishment and without personal observations or comments. I can't say it's objective -- nothing ever is perfectly objective -- but it's pretty close. No big surprises about the subject Trump, but a lot of interesting observations from those around him.

  • The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague

  • By: Dorsey Armstrong, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Dorsey Armstrong
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,071
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 996
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,000

Many of us know the Black Death as a catastrophic event of the medieval world. But the Black Death was arguably the most significant event in Western history, profoundly affecting every aspect of human life, from the economic and social to the political, religious, and cultural. In its wake the plague left a world that was utterly changed, forever altering the traditional structure of European societies and forcing a rethinking of every single system of Western civilization: food production and trade, the church, political institutions, law, art, and more.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • informative, interesting, well organized

  • By Tricia Munter on 06-12-16

Very Interesting without being superficial

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

Reviewed: 10-21-18

This was my first Great Course, and I loved it! I found I wanted to listen to the next chapter, and the next, and the next......Interesting and detailed without being esoteric and dogmatic.