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Maxwell

  • 12
  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 129
  • ratings
  • Animal Farm

  • By: George Orwell
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 3 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,574
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,056
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,062

George Orwell's classic satire of the Russian Revolution is an intimate part of our contemporary culture, quoted so often that we tend to forget who wrote the original words! This must-read is also a must-listen!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • If you hate spoilers, save the intro for last.

  • By Dusty on 02-18-11

Brilliantly done and timely.

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

Reviewed: 02-05-18

While not the obvious choice for a narrator, Ralph Cosham’s understated delivery turns out to give the satirical aspects of Orwell’s work even greater power.

  • Landscape Turned Red

  • The Battle of Antietam
  • By: Stephen W. Sears
  • Narrated by: Barrett Whitener
  • Length: 14 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 258
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 195
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 188

The Civil War battle waged on September 17, 1862, at Antietam Creek, Maryland, was one of the bloodiest in the nation's history: On this single day, the battle claimed nearly 23,000 casualties. In Landscape Turned Red, the renowned historian Stephen Sears draws on a remarkable cache of diaries, dispatches, and letters to recreate the vivid drama of Antietam as experienced not only by its leaders but also by its soldiers, both Union and Confederate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Book

  • By David on 08-16-06

A Challenge Mer

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

Reviewed: 12-11-16

The history of the most intense day of combat in American history is a major accomplishment on the page, but a triumph when read aloud. Aside from the wobbly pronunciation of Thomas Meagher's name--sometimes "Mahr" and sometimes "Meager" it is an excellent presentation of Sears's lucid story telling--a modern military history classic.

  • A Short History of Ireland

  • By: Dr Jonathan Bardon
  • Narrated by: Frances Tomelty
  • Length: 22 hrs and 51 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 225
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 149
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 148

In the wake of its 30th birthday celebrations in 2006, BBC Radio Ulster marked the beginning of a new broadcasting era by embarking on the station's most ambitious project to date: a recounting of the history of Ireland.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Three and a half?

  • By Anne on 07-06-08

A long history in bite size bits

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

Reviewed: 12-01-16

This is a wonderful overview of Irish history but be warned that:

Written for broadcast in Ulster, it emphasizes "local" (Ulster) history

The introductions to each brief episode are endlessly repeated until the last section when they mysteriously disappear

As a radio broadcast there is no place for notes or citations so you hear the work of distinguished historians cited or quoted from without credit

The Great Hunger--so important to Irish Americans--is described clearly and concisely, but is just one episode in Ireland's extraordinary history so is only fifteen minutes in more than twenty hours

The history only comes up through the Second World War

This list of qualifications seems like more reservations than this very fine overall effort deserves

  • A Hero of France

  • By: Alan Furst
  • Narrated by: Daniel Gerroll
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 549
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 494
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 489

Alan Furst's latest novel takes place in the secret hotels, nightclubs, and cafes of occupied Paris and the villages of France during the spring of 1941, when Britain was losing the war. Many of the characters are resistance fighters who run an escape line for British airmen down to Spain; they include men and women, old and young, all strong - an aristocrat, a Jewish teacher - and the hero is a hero, has a gun, and uses it.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By David Holroyd on 06-12-16

An Excellent Vintage of a Fine Wine

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

Reviewed: 06-12-16

For those who are familiar with Alan Furst's novels of espionage in Europe before and at the beginning of WWII, a review is superfluous, for everyone else, prepare yourself for an extraordinary artistic/historical/dramatic adventure. The audio recoding does full justice to the writing and will help you with the pronunciation of some less well-known Parisian place names to boot.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Ionian Mission

  • Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 8
  • By: Patrick O'Brian
  • Narrated by: Patrick Tull
  • Length: 15 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,090
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 860
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 850

Shoved into a temporary command in "that rotten old Worcester," Aubrey is off to the Mediterranean to join the Royal Navy's blockade of the French port of Toulon, where he will be dispatched by Admiral Harte (unfortunately the same Admiral Harte he cuckolded years ago) on a secret mission that promises to embroil Aubrey in political conflict. His friend Stephen's help notwithstanding, Aubrey faces some of the choppiest waters of his career.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • The Ionian Mission

  • By Jonathan on 01-16-08

If not the best in the series very well done.

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

Reviewed: 09-06-15

This is where the Aubrey-Maturin series settled down into a gigantic account that continues essentially as a single very long story for the following dozen titles in the series--if not the best, still very good indeed, not the least because of Patrick Tull's narration.

  • The Storm of Steel

  • By: Ernst Jünger
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,085
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 954
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 957

This classic war memoir, first published in 1920, is based on the author's extensive diaries describing hard combat experienced on the Western Front during World War I. It has been greatly admired by people as diverse as Bertolt Brecht and Andre Gide, and from every part of the political spectrum. Hypnotic, thrilling, and magnificent, The Storm of Steel is perhaps the most fascinating description of modern warfare ever written.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • World War I from a German Viewpoint

  • By Charles Fred Smith on 08-11-10

Extraordinary

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

Reviewed: 09-01-15

Junger challenges how we understand modern warfare, exulting in it; finding in it what a contemporary described as a "desperate glory." And all this written by a young veteran in the immediate aftermath of the "Great War." A bookend to "All Quiet on the Western Front" in any reading list of books on the First World War.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Lost Horizon

  • By: James Hilton
  • Narrated by: Michael de Morgan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 459
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 398
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 402

Celebrating the 70th anniversary of this magical and well-loved classic. Following a plane crash, Conway, a British consul; his deputy; a missionary; and an American financier find themselves in the enigmatic snow-capped mountains of uncharted Tibet. Here they discover a seemingly perfect hidden community where they are welcomed with gracious hospitality. Intrigued by its mystery, the travelers set about discovering the secret hidden at the shimmering heart of Shangri-La.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Love this story, performance not so much

  • By Jennifer Knight on 02-28-14

A story that will live forever

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

Reviewed: 10-01-13

Would you listen to Lost Horizon again? Why?

The movie version is an all-time classic, but it is good to revisit the original story again (and again).

What other book might you compare Lost Horizon to and why?

There is nothing quite like it--fantasy, romance, and utopian vision rolled into one. Prophetic of the age of darkness that was about to tall over the world.

Have you listened to any of Michael de Morgan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Have not heard him as a reader before--slightly below the very best Audible "voices."

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

Extreme relief that it lived up to my recollections of having read it in youth.

Any additional comments?

Sadness that there really are no longer any places beyond the edges of maps. It is flabbergasting that this could be the source material for a classic movie (1937?) and then one of the worst remakes ever--the musical version from 1973.

  • Alas, Babylon

  • By: Pat Frank
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,024
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,537
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,530

This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Timeless

  • By Celeste Albers on 05-24-17

After fifty years--this story holds up

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

Reviewed: 06-13-13

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

This was a book that I bought in junior high school as part of a school reading program, so re-reading it (listening to it) bathed me in nostalgia, but I am surprised how good a story it remains, although it has practically become a historical novel. What a window into the 1950s nuclear arms race and a "prehistoric" Florida.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Alas, Babylon?

The quiet decay of everyday life among the survivors of an apocalyptic event. The protagonist stocks up on frozen food, just before the power goes out. A near-sighted physician who loses his eyeglasses is a catastrophe for the isolated survivors of a calamity.

Which character – as performed by Will Patton – was your favorite?

The characters are well drawn and clearly delineated by the narrator's performance.

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

The brief, but completely plausible account of how an accidental nuclear war could begin. The fact that Syria remains a flashpoint all these years later is eerie.

Any additional comments?

I'd love to hear more of books of this genre/from this period.

  • Cinnamon Skin

  • A Travis McGee Novel, Book 20
  • By: John D. MacDonald
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180

When Travis McGee's friend Meyer lent his boat to his niece Norma and her new husband Evan, the boat exploded out in the waters of the Florida Keys. Travis McGee thinks it's no accident, and clues lead him to ponder possibilities of drugs and also to wonder where Evan was when his wife was killed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best of McGee

  • By Me & My Girls on 12-01-12

This was the place MacDonald should have stopped

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

Reviewed: 06-03-13

Would you consider the audio edition of Cinnamon Skin to be better than the print version?

Having read this book when it came out--and audiobooks were in their primitive infancy (remember all those cassettes in large boxes that came through the mail?), it really is difficult to compare the printed and audio versions of this series. I actually can remember when the earliest Travis McGee titles were paperback originals back in the late 1960s.

Who was your favorite character and why?

This is a book where Meyer has a star turn, but the first victim (in the story line) and the villain are three-dimensional, well realized characters.

Have you listened to any of Robert Petkoff’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

He has been remarkable consistent throughout this entire series--it must be approaching 175 hours of reading. It always is difficult taking on a well-known character, but for the most part his "voices" have been well thought out and logical. I would be happy to listen to him again.

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

I was pleased that this series recovered nicely after it flagged a bit as the number of titles approached twenty.

Any additional comments?

In the future (now) sociologists and environmental historians will have a field day reading through these volumes for the commentary on the decay of the American dream--and the destruction of Florida through over development--from the 1960s through the 1980s. These must be some of the earliest soundings of environmental alarms to appear in mainstream literature.Listen to these now.

Rumor has it that one of them will become a major motion picture soon and I would be surprised if they can do it without "damaging" the original material. Just compare MacDonald's "The Executioners" with either of the movie versions of it (both titled, "Cape Fear").

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 1

  • By: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 20 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,944
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,930
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,950

First appearing in print in 1890, the character of Sherlock Holmes has now become synonymous worldwide with the concept of a super sleuth. His creator, Conan Doyle, imbued his detective hero with intellectual power, acute observational abilities, a penchant for deductive reasoning and a highly educated use of forensic skills. Indeed, Doyle created the first fictional private detective who used what we now recognize as modern scientific investigative techniques.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • mouth watering

  • By David on 03-30-10

A wonderful pairing of content and narrator

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

Reviewed: 05-27-13

What did you love best about The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 1?

This is an extremely well done systematic retelling of the Holmes short novels and stories in the order in which they appeared. Charlton Griffin, clearly a very talented actor, seems to relish the many characters he is called upon to portray. An unexpected pleasure was the amount of 19th-century social history contained in the stories. A world where the new--typewriters and telephones--collides with the old, rigid class system of Victorian England. I had forgotten that Dr. John Watson is a disabled veteran of the Second Afghan War--chillingly familiar in the world we walk around in, 130 years later. There is much more humor in the stories than I had remembered: Watson's hilarious description of how he met and courted his future wife during the course of a story (that I will not spoil by describing further) is a good example.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 1?

When Holmes--whom Watson claims was entirely innocent of any knowledge of literature--quotes from Henry David Thoreau to explain deductive reasoning. I did not see that coming.

Which scene was your favorite?

And another spoiler alert: When Sherlock Holmes is bested by "the woman"--Irene Adler--but still saves his princely client, all he asks for, when he might receive any reward that he could name, is a photograph of her.

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

There is no accounting for taste, but I have been sharing my pleasure with these stories with many people--to the point that I probably seem to be obsessed with them, and I still have parts II and III (almost forty hours--including both "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and the "The Valley of Fear") of listening pleasure ahead of me.

Any additional comments?

Make note of the descriptions of Americans who play a surprisingly prominent role in the Conan Doyle novels and stories--an interesting combination of admiration for what are perceived to be our admirable qualities--and more than a few familiar and sometimes painful stereotypes.