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  • Forged in Crisis

  • The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times
  • By: Nancy Koehn
  • Narrated by: Nancy Koehn
  • Length: 16 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 153
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 138
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139

An enthralling historical narrative filled with critical leadership insights that will be of interest to a wide range of listeners - including those in government, business, education, and the arts - Forged in Crisis, by celebrated Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn, spotlights five masters of crisis: polar explorer Ernest Shackleton, President Abraham Lincoln, legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglass, Nazi-resisting clergyman Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and environmental crusader Rachel Carson.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Great Stories

  • By Researcher on 01-14-18

This should be great -

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

Reviewed: 03-14-19

This book chooses several stories to demonstrate "courage under fire," metaphorically speaking. They are good stories and this ought to be a great book. It's not. Somehow, the stories fall flat. The writing is a bit clichéd. The excitement, the tension, somehow just doesn't come through. In the story of Lincoln, for example, the author goes on way too long about Lincoln's childhood. There is just too much background material that is already well-known to Lincoln fans and largely irrelevant to the story at hand.
The stories would probably come across stronger with a better narrator. This book is a perfect example of why authors should generally not narrate their own books. The best professional narrators give the impression they are simply telling a good story. The author here reads very much like a well-read high school student. It's impossible to forget that she is reading. An occasional mispronounced word doesn't help. This book is a disappointment.

  • President Carter

  • The White House Years
  • By: Stuart E. Eizenstat, Madeleine Albright - foreword
  • Narrated by: Brian Troxell, Madeleine Albright, Stuart E. Eizenstat - preface & introduction
  • Length: 37 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52

Stuart Eizenstat was at Jimmy Carter’s side from his political rise in Georgia through four years in the White House, where he served as chief domestic policy adviser. He was directly involved in all domestic and economic decisions as well as in many foreign policy ones. Famous for the legal pads he took to every meeting, he draws on more than 7,500 pages of notes and 350 interviews of all the major figures of the time to write the comprehensive history of an underappreciated president - and to give an intimate view on how the presidency works.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Tons of insight, but a major slog

  • By B.A.B. on 08-28-18

Biased? Not biased!

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

Reviewed: 03-14-19

I delayed purchasing this book because some of the reviews indicated the author is too biased in favor of Carter. But Carter biographies are a bit limited on Audible, so I did finally get it. I'm so glad. It is a detailed account of Carter's years as president boy one of his highest staff advisors. It lays it all out - the successes, the failures, the flaws. I wish I'd paid more attention to what was going on politically back then, so now I understand, about forty years too late. But still - finally. Good book. Highly recommend.

  • A Gentleman in Moscow

  • A Novel
  • By: Amor Towles
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Guy Smith
  • Length: 17 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,613
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21,889
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,809

A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in an elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Reprieve Amidst Ugly News, Relentless Negativity

  • By Cathy Lindhorst on 08-27-17

Recommended by a friend

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

Reviewed: 12-24-18

A good friend recommended this to me as an antidote to the intense and non-stop political hysteria of the season. She described it as an old-fashioned English novel of manners that brings civility back to literature. Well, it does that. I admit that, for me, it starts very slow, and I couldn't see where it was going, or that it was going anywhere. But it did, and not where I might have expected. The story opens slowly, and just when you think you have the thrust of the plot, it turns on the winding staircase that is the plot and reveals another view.

The entire story takes place inside a single building, and even at the end, when you think: Aha! I've got it now!......you don't. There are many reasons to read this, not the least of which is to learn just how subtle and unexpected a quiet novel can be.

  • Suicide of the West

  • How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy
  • By: Jonah Goldberg
  • Narrated by: Jonah Goldberg
  • Length: 16 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 945
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 865
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 850

The West is dying from ingratitude. Democracy and liberty were accidents of history. If capitalism were natural, it would have popped up long before the 1700s, when humanity stumbled into a miraculous explosion in human prosperity. This miracle was not delivered by God or created by machines. It came from new ideas and values. But what is created by ideas and values can be destroyed them. In this age of resentment, we reject the gift of liberty and instead listen to the lesser angels of our nature.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • How did I get here? What are these scars on my wrists?

  • By Daniel J. Dewit on 04-27-18

Some excellent points, but -

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

Reviewed: 12-24-18

Over the last couple years I've come to appreciate Jonah Goldberg more than I ever did in the past. I don't always agree with his conclusions, but I can follow the logic that leads to them, even if I would have drawn different conclusions from the facts. And he does generally follow logic, not emotions. In this book, however, although his premises are generally sound (even for a liberal like me), I was very much put off by his very one-sided approach to the problems he discusses. In his view in this book, all the problems are exhibited by liberals, even though i could (in my head) list just as many instances where the conservatives have contributed just as much to the problems.

And his narration does not do his writing justice. He's not a monotone, far from it; in fact, he over-emphasizes at times to the point of seeming almost hysterical. He sounds a lot like a teenager who has been told to read with expression and who loses the naturalness of the reading in the effort. I think the ideas might come across better if they were read by a professional reader.

  • Christmas Eve, 1914

  • By: Charles Olivier
  • Narrated by: Cameron Daddo, Xander Berkeley, Cody Fern, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 13 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,800
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,676
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,628

In 1914, the war which was to have been wrapped up by Christmas had - in reality - only just begun, as all sides entrenched themselves deeper into the Great War. Christmas Eve, 1914 follows one company of British officers as they rotate forward to spend their Christmas on the front lines, a mere 80 yards from the German guns. Upper- and working-class men and boys are thrown together into one trench and struggle to survive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully "illustrated"

  • By anonymous on 12-25-14

Beautifully Performed

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

Reviewed: 12-08-18

An absolutely perfect Christmas Eve story, and helps consolidate the images that so many of us have heard of but have never seen/heard dramatized. My only complaint: the download would not open and play on my iPhone. I had to listen at my desktop.

  • Four Queens

  • The Provencal Sisters Who Ruled Europe
  • By: Nancy Goldstone
  • Narrated by: Josephine Bailey
  • Length: 11 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 217
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 104
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 105

Set against the backdrop of the turbulent 13th century, a time of chivalry and crusades, poetry, knights, and monarchs, comes the story of the four beautiful daughters of the count of Provence, whose brilliant marriages made them the queens of France, England, Germany, and Sicily.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining!

  • By Patricia S. on 05-29-07

This could/should have been so much more exciting

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

Reviewed: 11-18-18

This is a fascinating story about four sisters, daughters of a minor nobleman, all married powerful men who ruled important pieces of Western Europe. There is intrigue, jealousy, power clashes, backstabbing - everything you'd expect from such a situation. Unfortunately, a lot of the potential drama is lost because of the narrator. Josephine Bailey has a beautiful and well-modulated voice, very easy to listen to. The problem is, no matter how tense the action becomes, her voice is always - well- modulated. No excitement, no hoarse whisper when things get tense, never any difference in speed or expression. I've listened to a few books narrated by top-notch actors, and it makes all the difference in the world. And some narrators of fantasy fiction do a marvelous job setting a scene with the tone of their voices.

That said, this story would make a wonderful multi-season British TV series, every bit as interesting as "Victoria."

  • The Right Stuff

  • By: Tom Wolfe
  • Narrated by: Dennis Quaid
  • Length: 15 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,887
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,747
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,737

Millions of words have poured forth about man's trip to the moon, but until now few people have had a sense of the most engrossing side of the adventure: namely, what went on in the minds of the astronauts themselves - in space, on the moon, and even during certain odysseys on earth. It is this, the inner life of the astronauts, that Tom Wolfe describes with his almost uncanny empathetic powers that made The Right Stuff a classic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Splendid Narration of One of My Favorite Books

  • By M. Clarke on 02-08-18

A vote for the narrator

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

Reviewed: 10-01-18

The book is marvelous, but I especially want to comment on Dennis Quaid’s narration. He certainly has the right stuff for this book - the laid-back drawl, the perfect inflection, the sense that he is watching the events unfold before his eyes. The result is that I felt as though I were watching a movie and simultaneously reading the characters’ thoughts. Top-notch narration!

  • Uprooted

  • By: Naomi Novik
  • Narrated by: Julia Emelin
  • Length: 17 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,944
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4,635
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,610

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for 10 years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Narrator?!

  • By D. Hawkins on 07-24-17

Very entertaining book, very substandard narrator

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

Reviewed: 07-16-18

I'm a fan of Naomi Novik's Temeraire series, and I was looking forward to this book. It does not disappoint. The magic is imaginative, and the story is not predictable. I would give the audiobook a higher rating....except for the narrator. I cannot fathom the logic of having a book written in English read by a non-native English speaker. Perhaps I'm missing something? The strong accent, the mispronunciations, the very jerky reading with odd stops and pauses make the book very hard to listen to. VERY hard. I recommend the book very highly but suggest potential readers buy the book, rather than the audiobook.

  • The High Middle Ages

  • By: Philip Daileader, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Philip Daileader
  • Length: 12 hrs and 25 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 772
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 692
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 685

At the dawn of the last millennium in the year 1000, Europe was one of the world's more stagnant regions-an economically undeveloped, intellectually derivative, and geopolitically passive backwater, with illiteracy, starvation, and disease the norm for almost everyone. Yet only three centuries later, all of this had changed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful teacher

  • By Mary Elizabeth Reynolds on 03-02-14

Interesting, although ..,

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

Reviewed: 07-05-18

It would be impossible for anyone to cover the High Middle Ages in twelve hours, so there was more about some subjects, less about others, than I would have liked. I like the approach by subject, rather than timeline, as it maintained a focus within each lecture. For me, what I somewhat disliked was the narration. The professor is an animated speaker, which was excellent. But he tends to rush phrases to the point of speaking so fast that he drops whole syllables, while drawing out other phrases unnecessarily. So the pace was uneven. Occasionally he drops his voice so low at the end of sentences that I couldn’t make out the last several words. And he frequently sighs heavily in mid-sentence. I doubt I would notice any of this if I were sitting in a classroom, but with no visibility of body language, and with a mic amplifying everything, these became distractors for me. I don’t regret buying the course, though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The History of the Franks

  • By: Gregory of Tours
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 19 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

Gregory of Tours was a Gallo-Roman aristocrat and Catholic prelate born in 538. He died 56 years later, in 591, a period in which the brutal Merovingian rulers of the Frankish nation consolidated their power over most of Gaul. Gregory experienced the transition from the dying world of Roman antiquity to the new culture of early medieval Europe. He lived on the border between the Frankish culture of the Merovingians to the north and the Gallo-Roman culture of the south of Gaul. He struggled through personal relations with four Frankish kings.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect for a Medieval Historian, although -

  • By Doris on 03-21-18

Perfect for a Medieval Historian, although -

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

Reviewed: 03-21-18

I was hoping for insight into the daily routine of the Franks, what technologies they used, what their values and motivations were. This has none of that. This is, however, a complete-to-the-last-detail history of the kings, chieftains, petty rulers, and bishops of the Roman Catholic Church. It is exhausting, but it is as complete and (given the time in which it was written) accurate a history of the Franks as you can get.

Listening to it would have been painful except for the narrative. Man, this narrator is good! He could infuse a phone book reading (if we still had phone books) with intrigue and mystery. If what you want is the details of the wars, the assassinations, the jealousies, and the constant changes of rulers, this is the book for you. And this is the narrator for everyone.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful