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Kaui

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  • 364
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  • War and Peace, Volume 2

  • By: Leo Tolstoy
  • Narrated by: Neville Jason
  • Length: 31 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,421
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,155
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,159

War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A long book, but at least the chapters are short

  • By Tad Davis on 09-11-08

Well worth the investment

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

Reviewed: 12-12-17

This book is a masterpiece and well-deserving of its reputation as one of the finest books in literature. I was fortunate enough to read this while I visited Paris and got to see the Louvre (Napoleon's private apartments), Versailles (Josephine's mansion), Ecole Militaire and Hotel les Invalides (especially the Dome, the tomb of Napoleon) which brought this most excellent book truly alive for me. But aside from my personal good fortune at visiting these sights, the book brings forth the details of Russian culture and politics during a time of military invasion, political strife and cultural movement. I loved the different lenses Tolstoy used, from the lively dialogue in private rooms and evening soirees, to technical descriptions of battlefield positioning, to political backdrops motivating odd choices both in salons and on the battlefront. The characters are well-drawn and developed and somehow, Tolstoy makes 1,000+ pages fly by with masterful storytelling. This book is a big commitment, but well worth the effort. And, if you are interested in a wonderful "pairing," follow this up with Andrew Roberts' fantastic biography of Napoleon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • War and Peace, Volume 1

  • By: Leo Tolstoy
  • Narrated by: Neville Jason
  • Length: 30 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,799
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,454
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,449

War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome

  • By Stanley Hauer on 08-14-09

Well worth the investment

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

Reviewed: 12-12-17

This book is a masterpiece and well-deserving of its reputation as one of the finest books in literature. I was fortunate enough to read this while I visited Paris and got to see the Louvre (Napoleon's private apartments), Versailles (Josephine's mansion), Ecole Militaire and Hotel les Invalides (especially the Dome, the tomb of Napoleon) which brought this most excellent book truly alive for me. But aside from my personal good fortune at visiting these sights, the book brings forth the details of Russian culture and politics during a time of military invasion, political strife and cultural movement. I loved the different lenses Tolstoy used, from the lively dialogue in private rooms and evening soirees, to technical descriptions of battlefield positioning, to political backdrops motivating odd choices both in salons and on the battlefront. The characters are well-drawn and developed and somehow, Tolstoy makes 1,000+ pages fly by with masterful storytelling. This book is a big commitment, but well worth the effort. And, if you are interested in a wonderful "pairing," follow this up with Andrew Roberts' fantastic biography of Napoleon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Freedom (TM)

  • By: Daniel Suarez
  • Narrated by: Jeff Gurner
  • Length: 11 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,879
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,534
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,558

In a world of conflicted loyalties, rapidly diminishing human power, and the possibility that anyone can be a spy, what's at stake is nothing less than human freedom's last hope to survive the technology revolution.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • wow - a must read

  • By James on 07-11-10

Not necessary to listen to #1 to enjoy this, #2

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

Reviewed: 11-23-17

This is my third foray into the VR sub-genre of Science Fiction. It is definitely not as good as Ready Player One, but it is better than the book to which this is the sequel, Daemon. The role of the omniscient, deceased programmer is further developed and clarified, as is the role of VR as an augmented reality v. a full immersion in another reality. I liked the development of the corporate giant, but I didn't like the proselytizing. The book got an average rating (v. the below average rating of Daemon) for the tighter plot and clear editing influence. That being said, why the TM? to distinguish from Franzen's book? It is not necessary to read Daemon (the first book) to enjoy Freedom TM.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Daemon

  • By: Daniel Suarez
  • Narrated by: Jeff Gurner
  • Length: 15 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,093
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,693
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,735

Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Possibly The Best Techno-thriller Ever

  • By Erica on 01-22-09

VR augmented reality. It's a thing. LOL

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

Reviewed: 11-23-17

This is my second foray into the VR sub-genre of Science Fiction. It is definitely not as good as Ready Player One, but then again, this one was self-published (e.g. no editor guidance) and did so well it was eventually picked up by Signet. The role of the omniscient, deceased programmer is much more ambivalent in this book, and the role of VR in this book is more of an augmented reality v. a full immersion in another reality. I gave this book a below average rating due to the lack of editing guidance, the lack of tight language and plot development, and overall dissatisfaction with the general chaos that exists due to the daemon. That being said, the second book (Freedom TM - why the TM? to distinguish from Franzen's book?) is much better (editor on board!) and if you want to fully appreciate Freedom TM, then you should read this book first. I note it is not necessary to read this to enjoy Freedom TM.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 199,299
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 186,094
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185,694

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book.

  • By Julie W. Capell on 05-27-14

this was a great listen!

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

Reviewed: 11-23-17

This is what seems to be my first book in a nose-dive into the VR sub-genre of Science Fiction. It came highly recommended by several sources and they were spot-on. This is a wonderful romp for anyone who grew up in the 80s, and possibly others born later as well. It's a great David v. Goliath fable writ large in VR-land. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Aeneid

  • By: Robert Fitzgerald (translator), Virgil
  • Narrated by: Christopher Ravenscroft
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 84
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75

Profoundly poetic yet gloriously accessible, this is the best way to experience a work that has remained a centerpiece of Western civilization for 2,000 years. Fitzgerald's rendering speaks directly to the modern listener, inviting us to share the excitement, adventure, and human tears as Aeneas, the warrior hero, escapes from the burning city of Troy, embarks on a long and perilous journey, and eventually, triumphantly establishes a new nation: Rome.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Not complete

  • By Martin E Sargent on 04-16-16

Epic translation of an epic poem = an epic listen!

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

Reviewed: 11-23-17

ly the best epic poet the Romans had to offer. As such, this epic poem is the result of a commission by Augustus Caesar to write something rivaling the oral history of Homer. Does it live up to the task ? yes. Is it epic? oh, yes. But.... does it successfully emulate Homer? This is a tricky question, and potentially unanswerable. But in the end, does it matter if it emulated Homer? I posit no. The poem traces the path of Aeneas from the Trojan war to his assignment from the gods to found Rome. His path is littered with tragedy, both from the choices Aeneas makes to the choices other characters in the poem make, including the gods themselves.

I found this poem to be less majestic than Homer's Odyssey and Iliad, but due to the tragic overtones, much more human and thought provoking. The main questions that linger for me are what is one's duty to one's family v. nation, and what does self-denial buy? Dido certainly pursued her passion but to no end. Aeneas fulfills his pietas to Rome but to what end for him?

The dactylic hexameter falters in several places in the poem which makes me wonder how many drafts of the poem Virgil worked through. Certainly, the poem as it stands is missing some final pieces but regardless, it is an absorbing literary adventure filled with mythical and godly characters, as well as humans.

The Fitzgerald version of this poem reads easily and strives to remain faithful to the Latin version whilst inserting well-chosen words to help the modern reader get the gist of the poem. The audio book version is lovely; the narrator did an excellent job!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Aeneid

  • By: Virgil
  • Narrated by: Simon Callow
  • Length: 12 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 532
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 391
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 386

The publication of a new translation by Fagles is a literary event. His translations of both the Iliad and Odyssey have sold hundreds of thousands of copies and have become the standard translations of our era. Now, with this stunning modern verse translation, Fagles has reintroduced Virgil's Aeneid to a whole new generation, and completed the classical triptych at the heart of Western civilization.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not the best, but not bad

  • By Tad Davis on 11-25-08

narrator overdramatised but this is an epic listen

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

Reviewed: 11-23-17

Virgil was arguably the best epic poet the Romans had to offer. As such, this epic poem is the result of a commission by Augustus Caesar to write something rivaling the oral history of Homer. Does it live up to the task ? yes. Is it epic? oh, yes. But.... does it successfully emulate Homer? This is a tricky question, and potentially unanswerable. But in the end, does it matter if it emulated Homer? I posit no. The poem traces the path of Aeneas from the Trojan war to his assignment from the gods to found Rome. His path is littered with tragedy, both from the choices Aeneas makes to the choices other characters in the poem make, including the gods themselves.

I found this poem to be less majestic than Homer's Odyssey and Iliad, but due to the tragic overtones, much more human and thought provoking. The main questions that linger for me are what is one's duty to one's family v. nation, and what does self-denial buy? Dido certainly pursued her passion but to no end. Aeneas fulfills his pietas to Rome but to what end for him?

The dactylic hexameter falters in several places in the poem which makes me wonder how many drafts of the poem Virgil worked through. Certainly, the poem as it stands is missing some final pieces but regardless, it is an absorbing literary adventure filled with mythical and godly characters, as well as humans.

The Fagles version of this poem reads easily and deliberately inserts extra words and repeats phrases to help the modern reader get the gist of the poem. The problem with the audio book is that the volume of the narrator's voice fluctuates too widely to be easily understood at one volume setting. When driving in the car, it's difficult to adjust the volume every time the narrator raises or lowers his voice. I found that I could only listen while sitting and able to manipulate the volume constantly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Woman in White

  • By: Wilkie Collins
  • Narrated by: Ian Holm
  • Length: 24 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 400
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 346
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 345

Late one moonlit night, Walter Hartright encounters a solitary and terrified woman dressed all in white. He saves her from capture by her pursuers and determines to solve the mystery of her distress and terror. Inspired by an actual criminal case, this gripping tale of murder, intrigue, madness and mistaken identity has never been out of print since its publication and brought Collins great fame and success.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The outstanding narration is what I enjoyed most

  • By Leslie Grey McCawley on 12-03-10

A thriller you will not be able to put down!

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

Reviewed: 11-23-17

I read this book on an assignment I voluntarily accepted, and am I glad I did! This is an original thriller, written in journal/diary form from the various perspectives of involved characters. Like Dracula, we get a sense of each character from their writing style and narrative. This book is clever, compelling and wonderfully written. Though it was written in a time when women wielded limited power, this book explores the resources of a particularly resilient woman and how she prevails against nefariously devious men. The twists in this book are somewhat guessable but I would not say predictable. The ending is satisfying. The opening is thrilling. And reading this was pure pleasure. I highly, highly recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • In Harm's Way

  • The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors
  • By: Doug Stanton
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett
  • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,689
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,513
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,502

On July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed in the South Pacific by a Japanese submarine. An estimated 300 men were killed upon impact; close to 900 sailors were cast into the Pacific Ocean, where they remained undetected by the navy for nearly four days and nights. Battered by a savage sea, they struggled to stay alive, fighting off sharks, hypothermia, and dementia. By the time rescue arrived, all but 317 men had died. The captain's subsequent court-martial left many questions unanswered

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • incredible book

  • By Mark Baker on 10-26-16

an emotional, gripping MUST read!

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

Reviewed: 11-23-17

Do you like history? Are you interested in WWII? Do you enjoy drama and suspense? Does loyalty make you tear up? Well, if you answered yes to any of these questions, you should read this book. If you said yes to more than one of these questions, you should definitely read this book. And, if you answered yes to all of these questions, you should read this book immediately.

This book tells the tale of the U.S.S. Indiana and its fateful journey from SF to deliver nuclear warheads that will destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki. What happens to the ship and crew after it delivers its top secret cargo is both tragic and ironic. How the "Indy's" men show loyalty and perseverance after the fact brought me to tears and by the end of the book, I was openly weeping.

How can a non-fiction book make me weep? Well, I am kind of emotional and prone to tearing up when I encounter loyalty in the face of adversity. But I posit that even the most stoic reader will feel emotional reading this harrowing, gripping and informative account of a little-known side-story of WWII and the Pacific Rim drama that was the conflict between Japan and the U.S.A.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • BBC Radio Shakespeare

  • Henry IV, Part One (Dramatized)
  • By: William Shakespeare
  • Narrated by: Julian Glover, Jamie Glover, Full Cast
  • Length: 2 hrs and 17 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32

BBC Radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly formed company broadcast its first full-length play, generations of actors and producers have honed and perfected the craft of making Shakespeare to be heard.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Heavily abridged...

  • By M. W. Roberts on 02-16-10

Falstaff!!

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

Reviewed: 11-23-17

King Henry IV introduces one of Shakespeare's greatest literary characters, Falstaff. This historical play hops along nicely and has wonderful parallels in its characters that serve to emphasize the duality of each character's role in the play (and history). This is not one of my favorites and it seems that I prefer the tragedies over Shakespeare's historical plays, but of course, this being Shakespeare and all, it was well worth the read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful