LISTENER

D. Raynal

San Francisco,, CA USA
  • 26
  • reviews
  • 77
  • helpful votes
  • 38
  • ratings
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

  • A Novel
  • By: Robin Sloan
  • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9,487
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,680
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,660

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A light, fun, easy listen

  • By january on 11-04-12

Entertaining,

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

Reviewed: 07-11-16

If you could sum up Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore in three words, what would they be?

Was always waiting for it to develop into a really good story. Entertaining but not very serious. A story you can listen to when doing housework etc. as it does not require full attention.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

yes, but only mildly so.

Any additional comments?

A story for light-hearted fun. Good for long drives.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Sophie's World

  • A Novel About the History of Philosophy
  • By: Jostein Gaarder
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 16 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,175
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 894
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 903

One day, 14-year-old Sophie Amundsen comes home from school to find two notes in her mailbox, with one question on each: "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" From that irresistible beginning, Sophie becomes obsessed with questions that take her far beyond what she knows of her Norwegian village. Through those letters, she enrolls in a kind of correspondence course, covering Socrates to Sartre, with a mysterious philosopher, while receiving letters addressed to another girl.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great introduction to Western Philosophy

  • By Steven on 08-15-07

If only I was 14 again

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

Reviewed: 06-23-16

What did you love best about Sophie's World?

This was a sweet book that I would have enjoyed if I were 14 again. Very well done and creative but slightly naive and simplistic. With that said I enjoyed the story and the author's approach to sharing of the ancient wisdom.

What other book might you compare Sophie's World to and why?

can't think of one

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

no.

Any additional comments?

Enjoyed but noticed I tired of it by the end.

  • Cutting for Stone

  • A Novel
  • By: Abraham Verghese
  • Narrated by: Sunil Malhotra
  • Length: 23 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,322
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,481
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,486

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant story, pitch perfect narration

  • By Mary Lynn Richardson on 03-20-09

Superior writing and story telling

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

Reviewed: 06-14-16

Would you listen to Cutting for Stone again? Why?

Yes it is a rich story

What did you like best about this story?

The unique point of view of the story teller.

Any additional comments?

Worth listening to. Alive and deeply meaningful.

  • Shantaram

  • A Novel
  • By: Gregory David Roberts
  • Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
  • Length: 42 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,966
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,535
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,526

Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum-security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend Prabaker, the two enter Bombay's hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of My Favorite Books! Great Narration!

  • By Memphis on 06-16-14

Totally Enjoyable...Stories within a Story

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

Reviewed: 04-13-16

Where does Shantaram rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of my favorites. The reader does an excellent job at giving life to the many characters.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Shantaram?

His description of the slums he lived in. Robert's ability to bring the sights and sounds of India to life is remarkable

What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

One of the best readers ever.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Can't be done.

Any additional comments?

Completely and enjoyable experience. It is a must listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Magus

  • By: John Fowles
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Boulton
  • Length: 26 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 526
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 469
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 478

John Fowles’s The Magus was a literary landmark of the 1960s. Nicholas Urfe goes to a Greek island to teach at a private school and becomes enmeshed in curious happenings at the home of a mysterious Greek recluse, Maurice Conchis. Are these events, involving attractive young English sisters, just psychological games, or an elaborate joke, or more? Reality shifts as the story unfolds. The Magus reflected the issues of the 1960s perfectly, and it continues to create tension and concern today.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mystical Morality Tale of Love, Reality, Fidelity

  • By W Perry Hall on 03-24-14

A Must Read

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

Reviewed: 02-26-16

Would you consider the audio edition of The Magus to be better than the print version?

Both were equally great for me. While I read the book more than 30 years ago I was permanently changed by the skill of the writer's ability to change my world view. Now some decades passed I listened to the story and was equally impressed. The reader was suburb and the story remains timeless

What did you like best about this story?

I liked how the author twisted and turned my opinions and thoughts. He is truly a Magus.

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

Excellent reader. I believe he adds a quality that simply reading the book can not provide.

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

Many points were moving. In general I appreciated how the author pointed out how we as humans objectify and are steeped in righteous projection causing us to continually misread the situations we find our selves in.

Any additional comments?

This book must be read or listened to by anyone interested in what it means to have a meaningful relationship. No matter what that relationship is.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Simple Kabbalah

  • By: Kim Zetter
  • Narrated by: Theodore Bikel
  • Length: 4 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53

Simple Kabbalah shows how to bring esoteric knowledge into everyday life. Scholar Kim Zetter presents a brief history of ancient kabbalistic beliefs, explaining key tenets and the main symbol, the Tree of Life. Meditations and exercises help listeners learn to use kabbalah to calm the mind, sharpen awareness, and improve relationships.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nicely done

  • By Cai on 03-23-16

Simple Kabbalah

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

Reviewed: 12-20-15

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

Very enjoyable. Well read. And worth listening to twice. Overall good. Thought that the stories added to the quality of understanding. I enjoyed.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Simple Kabbalah?

na

Which scene was your favorite?

na

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

na

Any additional comments?

no

  • Letting Go

  • The Pathway of Surrender
  • By: David R. Hawkins MD. PHD.
  • Narrated by: Peter Lownds PhD
  • Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,103
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,686
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,666

Letting Go describes a simple and effective means by which to let go of the obstacles to enlightenment and become free of negativity. During the many decades of the author's clinical psychiatric practice, the primary aim was to seek the most effective ways to relieve human suffering in all of its many forms. The inner mechanism of surrender was found to be of great practical benefit and is described in this book.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Read it, practice it... and change your life

  • By ScottishLass on 07-22-15

Letting Go:

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

Reviewed: 11-24-15

What did you love best about Letting Go?

I really like the writings of Hawkins BUT this book has very little that is new in it.

What other book might you compare Letting Go to and why?

All the other books of Hawkins

Have you listened to any of Peter Lownds, PhD’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no

What insight do you think you’ll apply from Letting Go?

Letting go is essential--easy to talk about difficult to do.

  • The Wisdom Jesus

  • Transforming Heart and Mind - A New Perspective on Christ and His Message
  • By: Cynthia Bourgeault
  • Narrated by: Jo Howarth
  • Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161

If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. Cynthia Bourgeault is a masterful guide to Jesus' vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teachings for yourself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Excellent View Point

  • By D. Raynal on 08-31-15

An Excellent View Point

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

Reviewed: 08-31-15

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

yes this was an excellent book on the topic of transforming the heart through the eyes of the Christian point of view. I totally appreciated how the author presented her points without being ultra pious or not appreciating that other religious traditions are equally valid.

Any additional comments?

I believe that this is one of those books that deserves to be listened to at least three times as the information is rich and much can be missed with only one listening. A total pleasure each time I listened. Very worthwhile.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Gospel of Mary Magdalene

  • By: Jean-Yves Leloup
  • Narrated by: Jacob Needleman, Gabrielle de Cuir, Stephen Hoye, and others
  • Length: 6 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136

Perhaps no figure in biblical scholarship has been the subject of more controversy and debate than Mary Magdalene. Although she is discussed in the gospels of Philip, Thomas, Peter, and Bartholomew in the collection of writings known as the Gnostic gospels that were rejected by the early Christian church, there is no better insight into this mysterious and influential woman than Mary's own gospel.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Insightful look into early Christian Gnosticism

  • By Richard D. Shewman on 03-05-13

Magdalene's Gospel

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

Reviewed: 07-04-15

What made the experience of listening to The Gospel of Mary Magdalene the most enjoyable?

This was one of the best books I have read on Mary Magdalene. Extremely well researched and beautifully written. I have gotten much out of this audio presentation. A must listen to.

Any additional comments?

If one is at all interested in the Gnostic gospels, early Christianity or the inner teachings of Jesus this is a very good book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Gnosticism: From Nag Hammadi to the Gospel of Judas

  • By: David Brakke, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: David Brakke
  • Length: 12 hrs and 19 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 571
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 502
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 496

This fascinating 24-lecture course is a richly detailed guide to the theology, sacred writings, rituals, and outstanding human figures of the Gnostic movements. What we call "Gnosticism" comprised a number of related religious ideologies and movements, all of which sought " gnosis," or immediate, direct, and intimate knowledge of God. The Gnostics had many scriptures, but unlike the holy texts of other religions, Gnostic scriptures were often modified over time.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A excellent overview of early Gnostic traditions

  • By Jacobus on 03-07-15

Packed full of information

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

Reviewed: 06-27-15

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

This book contains an excellent overview of the early gnostic writings. It is a very worthwhile read and will add to anyones understanding. It is excellent in all ways.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful