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Shirley

  • 11
  • reviews
  • 10
  • helpful votes
  • 39
  • ratings
  • The Federalist Papers

  • By: Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay
  • Narrated by: Alastair Cameron
  • Length: 19 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 68

Written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, The Federalist Papers have long been considered to be some of the most important works in political science ever written. The Federalist Papers establishes a method of constitutional government that was the building block for the type of government the United States has operated under for over 200 years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Constitutional Refreshment

  • By Charlie on 06-19-17

This guy talks like a droid.

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

Reviewed: 07-12-18

But not like a sincere earnest droid, like C-3PO, more like a mounted head, divested of its body, mechanically and perversely kept alive for a century, in which the only activity available was to memorize The Federalist Papers, and after achieving that, to recite it by reeling it off as rapidly as possible, without true inflection, barely pausing for breath, only the droning on and on and on in the monotone of every mounted head that ever existed, stereotypically searching for any purpose at all in its peerless eternal half life, and concurrently milking its listener of joy, liveliness, and connection, which can be detected before the reading of the second federalist paper begins by glancing into the glazed, surprised and disappointed eyes of said listener.

I thought the narration could have been better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Smartest Guys in the Room

  • By: Bethany McLean
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 22 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,038
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 878
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 876

The definitive volume on Enron's amazing rise and scandalous fall, from an award-winning team of Fortune investigative reporters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An excellent book, but with a missing chapter

  • By Augustus T. White on 03-07-12

Good story, so-so-writing, botched narration.

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

Reviewed: 06-22-18

I was very interested in the facts of this story, but the narrator made it so difficult to listen to. He consistently emphasized the wrong word or phrase to the point that the meaning of a sentence was unclear. I had to retroactively organize most sentences in my mind to reflect the meaning the author was trying to convey but that the narrator botched. It was like he had never read the book before, and so was winging it willy nilly, without regard to making it clear or understandable. Ugh. If you want to learn something interesting and be tortured while you're doing it, I recommend listening to this book. The Lay and Skilling Enron history is fascinating. The author could have written it with less sarcasm--we already know it fell apart in a grim and scandalous manner. The author should let that drama speak for itself, which is it well able to, rather she tries to inspire acrimony towards Enron by working in insulting jibes. Not necessary.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Hitch-22

  • A Memoir
  • By: Christopher Hitchens
  • Narrated by: Christopher Hitchens
  • Length: 17 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,750
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,398
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,385

Over the course of his 60 years, Christopher Hitchens has been a citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom. He has been both a socialist opposed to the war in Vietnam and a supporter of the U.S. war against Islamic extremism in Iraq. He has been both a foreign correspondent in some of the world's most dangerous places and a legendary bon vivant with an unquenchable thirst for alcohol and literature.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Truth, the whole truth and nothing but.

  • By Laura on 08-23-10

That guy is a mumbler.

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

Reviewed: 10-21-17

I am a huge Christopher Hitchens fan. I was so happy to find this book on Audible, and that is was narrated by himself. I lasted half an hour. I may have actually heard 50% of his words, and continuously had to guess at what he might be saying from the context I did understand. So so frustrating since I was truly interested, that he slurred words and phrases as though he were drunk, dropped his voice halfway through each sentence, changing the pitch and timbre of his voice throughout until it was plain irritating. Increasing the volume substantially did not help. I finally returned the book to Audible. It was probably a great book, but I will never know.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Invisible Man

  • A Novel
  • By: Ralph Ellison
  • Narrated by: Joe Morton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,993
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,436
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,440

Ralph Elllison's Invisible Man is a monumental novel, one that can well be called an epic of 20th-century African-American life. It is a strange story, in which many extraordinary things happen, some of them shocking and brutal, some of them pitiful and touching - yet always with elements of comedy and irony and burlesque that appear in unexpected places.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Masterfully written; perfectly narrated

  • By Imhokhai on 03-04-13

Kind of awful.

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

Reviewed: 06-09-17

This book was kind of awful, yet I listened to it till the end. The narrator was amazing. The story was richly told. I could not tell you what it was about or easily describe it. It wasn't even a very interesting story, but I had the sense it might get very interesting. It never did. There were no characters I wanted to connect with. It was all very strange. I'm not glad I listened to it, but also not sorry. It was just very weird and different. I was hoping for more of a learning experience.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Thieves of State

  • Why Corruption Threatens Global Security
  • By: Sarah Chayes
  • Narrated by: Sarah Chayes
  • Length: 8 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 218
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 195
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194

A former adviser to the Joint Chiefs of Staff explains how government's oldest problem is its greatest destabilizing force. Thieves of State argues that corruption is not just a nuisance; it is a major source of geopolitical turmoil. Since the late 1990s, corruption has grown such that some governments now resemble criminal gangs, provoking extreme reactions ranging from revolution to militant puritanical religion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic insight

  • By Keefer on 05-25-15

Could not handle the narrator's voice!

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

Reviewed: 05-27-17

What would have made Thieves of State better?

This may have been a great story--the recommendation came from Red Notice--but I could not get past the narrator's shrieky voice to listen. I appreciate the passion for reading her own book, but she seemed to be in a permanent state of hysteria. Sometimes less is more...

  • Deliverance

  • By: James Dickey
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,774
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,439
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,436

The setting is the Georgia wilderness, where the state's most remote white-water river awaits. In the thundering froth of that river, in its echoing stone canyons, four men on a canoe trip discover a freedom and exhilaration beyond compare. And then, in a moment of horror, the adventure turns into a struggle for survival as one man becomes a human hunter who is offered his own harrowing deliverance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "A river runs through it..."

  • By karen on 11-01-13

Amazing narration of a suspenseful story.

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

Reviewed: 04-07-17

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

One of the best!

What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

This story required the perfect narrator, and Will Patton was just that. He intelligently, softly, and matter of factly told the story, understating the deep emotion and horror, while allowing the listener to supply her own emotions. Such a rare ability, and so masterfully accomplished.

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

I usually listen only in my car, but for this book I listened for hours on my couch, unable to let it go til the next day.

Any additional comments?

I chose this book because of the high recommendation by Pat Conroy, in his book, My Reading Life. I was not disappointed. Each word, phrase, and sentence were artfully arranged, presenting a picture that flowed through my mind so beautifully I did not want it to end.

  • Look Homeward, Angel

  • By: Thomas Wolfe
  • Narrated by: Scott Sowers
  • Length: 26 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 263
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 202

The works of Thomas Wolfe cemented his legacy as one of the very best of the American Southern writers. Wolfe's largely autobiographical novel features Eugene Gant, who pines for a more expansive life after being born to a father whose bouts of maniacal raving are fueled by a prodigious appetite for drink.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One Of The Gret Novels Of The 20th Century

  • By Eric on 02-22-09

Nothing ever happened.

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

Reviewed: 03-30-17

What did you like best about Look Homeward, Angel? What did you like least?

I have never come across such a well-written book where nothing ever happened. Each character was worthless to every other character. Nothing ever made sense. I had no attachment or sympathy towards any character. I never discerned a plot or any point whatsoever. I desperately listened as the end approached and the author's brilliant writing swirled towards the punchline that would surely tie it all together, but it was one giant loose end in every regard. I did not get it. I just did not get it. What the heck was this guy's point? Why did he write this book? Why did he choose the title? I cannot even make a guess.

Did Scott Sowers do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

He took some getting used to, but yes. He has a nice speaking voice. In the beginning I resented a narrator reading with inflection as though to a child, but halfway through I rather enjoyed him. Nice singing voice.

Was Look Homeward, Angel worth the listening time?

Oh hell no.

Any additional comments?

I wanted to listen to this book because it was so highly recommended by Pat Conroy in his book, My Reading Life. The only reason I can imagine that Pat enjoyed it so much was that one of the characters like to read a lot.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Rosie Project

  • A Novel
  • By: Graeme Simsion
  • Narrated by: Dan O'Grady
  • Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,035
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,030
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,018

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a "wonderful" husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical - most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver. Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent - and on a quest of her own....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not a typical romance - so much more

  • By Gretchen on 10-03-13

Vague ending, but still worth it. Great narration

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

Reviewed: 01-20-17

If you could sum up The Rosie Project in three words, what would they be?

Approaches life differently.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Rosie Project?

Don's earnest and methodical approach to learning sexual positions with a book and a skeleton on the floor of his office with an unlocked door!

What does Dan O'Grady bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I think his narration makes the book. It is exactly at the right pace.

Any additional comments?


  • The Rent Collector

  • By: Camron Wright
  • Narrated by: Diane Dabczynski
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,522
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,368
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,364

Survival for Ki Lim and Sang Ly is a daily battle at Stung Mean Chey, the largest municipal waste dump in all of Cambodia. They make their living scavenging recyclables from the trash. Life would be hard enough without the worry for their chronically ill child, Nisay, and the added expense of medicines that are not working. Just when things seem worst, Sang Ly learns a secret about the ill-tempered rent collector who comes demanding money - a secret that sets in motion a tide that will change the life of everyone it sweeps past.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good story but has some issues

  • By BR on 02-23-16

Lovely narration.

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

Reviewed: 11-19-16

I was thoroughly invested in the character's desire to learn to read, and cheered her on through her dogged determination to do so, especially in her discovery of how this new skill could improve her life and those around her. An interesting depiction of life spent humbly yet honestly at a Cambodian dump.

  • The English Spy

  • By: Daniel Silva
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,323
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,009
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,997

Audie Award, Best Male Narrator, 2016. Master novelist Daniel Silva has thrilled readers with 17 thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back - from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By RBH on 07-31-15

Bored.

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

Reviewed: 09-18-16

This book never did capture my attention. I finally returned it for a refund. The narrator had a smooth voice, but blurry and inarticulate. He would drop the last syllable or word of every sentence so that I was constantly rewinding to figure out what he had just said. The lack of clarity and energy in his reading contributed to my suspicion that nothing interesting was going on in the story itself. I finally gave up hoping that I would ever be invested in any character or any direction the story might take.