LISTENER

Graeme

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 22
  • helpful votes
  • 20
  • ratings
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

  • A Novel
  • By: Haruki Murakami
  • Narrated by: Rupert Degas
  • Length: 26 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,724
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,486
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,487

In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat.... Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid 16-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan's forgotten campaign in Manchuria.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful book, flawed narration.

  • By REBECCA on 02-08-14

I Toughed The Narrator Out

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

Reviewed: 12-16-17

This book is so good and I was totally wrapped up in it the whole time. It kept me engaged from start to finish. The vivid imagery was so effective and everything that happened kept me asking questions. It was so good that I could tough it out with Rupert Degas.

Good lord. Why do narrators have to do voices? I looked it up and he does like kid’s shows voice overs too. It shows. Some characters were okay, but some others were just gearing beyond belief to the point I had to ask “what fevered part of this person’s brain decided that this voice was a good call?” I get that an audiobook is a different product than a book, so you have to accept that the way it’s read and the way you’ve decided to take in the information effects your interpretation of the story. So, I want to give some room for okay and accept that the story might sound differently than how it might in my head. But, I could not find any a real understanding for some of the garishly cartoonish voices used for some of the characters, especially the women.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Create Dangerously

  • The Immigrant Artist at Work
  • By: Edwidge Danticat
  • Narrated by: Kristin Kalbli
  • Length: 4 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

In this deeply personal book, the celebrated Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat reflects on art and exile. Inspired by Albert Camus and adapted from her own lectures for Princeton University’s Toni Morrison Lecture Series, here Danticat tells stories of artists who create despite (or because of) the horrors that drove them from their homelands. Combining memoir and essay, these moving and eloquent pieces examine what it means to be an artist from a country in crisis.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Narrator Does Not Do This Justice

  • By pam on 11-06-13

A Very Sobering Reflection On Art

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

Reviewed: 11-24-16

This collection of essays really provided an interesting take on the role of art, how it effects society, and it's importance in times of crisis. When people talk about the crucial role art has in times of collective hardship and grief, I believe it, but with limited evidence. What Edwidge Danticat manages to do—in an incredibly non-confrontational, yet entirely convincing manner—is make a case for this importance. She manages to show real instances that art serves its function to help us process difficult situations like immigration, domestic disputes, or even national emergencies. It is masterfully written.

  • Discipline & Punish

  • The Birth of the Prison
  • By: Michel Foucault
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 13 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 269
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 229

This groundbreaking audiobook by Michel Foucault, the most influential philosopher since Sartre, compels us to reevaluate our assumptions about all the ensuing reforms in the penal institutions of the West. For as Foucault examines innovations that range from the abolition of torture to the institution of forced labor and the appearance of the modern penitentiary, he suggests that punishment has shifted its focus from the prisoner's body to his soul-and that our very concern with rehabilitation encourages and refines criminal activity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • MORE FOUCAULT PLEASE!!

  • By Maggie on 01-02-14

Foucault Was Popular For A Reason

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

Reviewed: 03-15-16

What did you love best about Discipline & Punish?

Discipline and Punish was a very effectively balanced historical and philosophical dissection of power in European society. I listen to a lot of my books while working and there was a lot of content that resonated with me while doing so, specifically the information about how workers are disciplined in the same manner as prisoners.

Any additional comments?

Hell, is this ever a white guy book. I mean, he doesn't make any secret of the fact he planned to write about the European penal system and Foucault does plunk right into the middle of modern philosophy, which is a time and field dominated by white men. And that doesn't make it inherently bad, but just keep in mind if you're going to read this, it is written by a white guy with little intentional thought to the topic of race as it relates to the penal system.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Orientalism

  • By: Edward Said
  • Narrated by: Peter Ganim
  • Length: 19 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 286
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 230
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 233

This landmark book, first published in 1978, remains one of the most influential books in the Social Sciences, particularly Ethnic Studies and Postcolonialism. Said is best known for describing and critiquing "Orientalism", which he perceived as a constellation of false assumptions underlying Western attitudes toward the East. In Orientalism Said claimed a "subtle and persistent Eurocentric prejudice against Arabo-Islamic peoples and their culture."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • We're lucky to have this on audio

  • By Delano on 02-27-13

Really Powerful Content

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

Reviewed: 03-15-16

What did you like best about this story?

There were far fewer particular ideas and points in this book than than you might believe, given its length, but it's only because Said takes the time to expand upon each point with many historical proofs. If you want to learn about a history of racism towards people from the Middle East, start here. It will hammer the key points into your head very hard.

Any additional comments?

It is a difficult read. Emotionally for sure, but it gets hard to pay attention to after a while too. But, it's still very worth it to get to the end.

And the narration was fine. Did its job.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Mary

  • A Fiction
  • By: Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Narrated by: Nicola Barber
  • Length: 2 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 6

This story is, in essence, the novelization of Wollstonecraft's ultimate work, Vindication of the Rights of Women. It follows a girl who grows up in a moderately wealthy English family in 18th century, trying to find love and individuality in a time when such concepts are incomprehensible to society. Mary, the main character, follows life and love through a turbulent series of ups and downs while trying to remain true to herself.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Eh

  • By Graeme on 02-18-16

Eh

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

Reviewed: 02-18-16

It was okay. I can see why some might really enjoy it, as it has some interesting characterization. But I just couldn't sink my teeth into it.

  • Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights

  • A Novel
  • By: Salman Rushdie
  • Narrated by: Robert G. Slade
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 468
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 435
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 437

From Salman Rushdie, one of the great writers of our time, comes a spellbinding work of fiction that blends history, mythology, and a timeless love story. A lush, richly layered novel in which our world has been plunged into an age of unreason, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is a breathtaking achievement and an enduring testament to the power of storytelling.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 1001 whimsical, capricious, and wanton jinn

  • By Darwin8u on 09-16-15

I wish I could give this a 3.5

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

Reviewed: 01-11-16

I really do. When I think of a 4, that's too high, but 3 is too low as well.

This was a fun book. To be honest, I think it would make an amazing TV show. But still, between listenings, I wasn't really waiting for another chance to listen to it. Starting it up each time was a little bit of a chore. But, I was glad that I did each time, because once you get into the thick of the characters and situations, it becomes quite entertaining and fun. And it leaves itself open to a lot of interpretations, which I like.

The narrator did a great job too. No complaints there.

  • Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

  • And Other Lessons from the Crematory
  • By: Caitlin Doughty
  • Narrated by: Caitlin Doughty
  • Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,377
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,117
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,106

Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty - a 20-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre - took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. With an original voice that combines fearless curiosity and mordant wit, Caitlin tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters, gallows humor, and vivid characters (both living and very dead).

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Ms. Frizzle Takes the School Bus to a Morgue

  • By Ren on 06-02-16

Just so good

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

Reviewed: 12-08-15

This was just such a good book. Very readable, fun, and fascinating. Really does hit home it's message of death acceptance and makes excellent points I completely agree with.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Illustrated Man

  • By: Ray Bradbury
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 400
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 343
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 345

The images, ideas, sounds, and scents that abound in this phantasmagoric sideshow are provocative and powerful: the mournful cries of celestial travelers cast out cruelly into a vast, empty space of stars and blackness; the sight of grey dust settling over a forgotten outpost on a road that leads nowhere; the pungent odor of Jupiter on a returning father's clothing. Here living cities take their vengeance, technology awakens the most primal natural instincts, Martian invasions are foiled by the good life and the glad hand, and dreams are carried aloft in junkyard rockets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A haunting performance of a Bradbury classic

  • By M. Stephenson on 10-30-10

Wonderful

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

Reviewed: 11-27-15

Loved this collection and the performance of it. Really drives into a lot of the pressure points in the genre.

Any one notice though, the narrator's character voices all sound like they are just on the verge of weeping, no matter who they are or what they're doing? It's really effective, but gets sorta old after a bunch of these stories in a row.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Marx: A Very Short Introduction

  • By: Peter Singer
  • Narrated by: Kyle Munley
  • Length: 3 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 107
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 94
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 92

In Marx: A Very Short Introduction, Peter Singer identifies the central vision that unifies Marx's thought, enabling us to grasp Marx's views as a whole. He sees him as a philosopher primarily concerned with human freedom, rather than as an economist or a social scientist. In plain English, he explains alienation, historical materialism, the economic theory of Capital, and Marx's ideas of communism, and concludes with an assessment of Marx's legacy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cogent introduction

  • By Luke P. on 06-03-18

Very critical

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

Reviewed: 11-22-15

The information is there, but this guy obviously has a bone to pick with Marx. Maybe not the best choice for a simple introduction.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Running the Table

  • The Legend of Kid Delicious, the Last Great American Pool Hustler
  • By: L. Jon Wertheim
  • Narrated by: Butch Engle
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60

In most sports the pinnacle is Wheaties-box notoriety. But in the world of pool, notoriety is the last thing a hustler desires. Such is the dilemma that faces one Danny Basavich, an affable, generously proportioned Jewish kid from Jersey, who flounders through high school until he discovers the one thing he excels at - the felt - and hits the road.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • If you loved The Hustler...

  • By Rick on 10-05-13

Very fun

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

Reviewed: 01-02-14

What did you love best about Running the Table?

It was a fun, episodic story.

Any additional comments?

It's not written extremely well, but it's a very fun story. I see it exclusively as a good romp through one of my favorite places, the pool hall. And there's nothing wrong with that.