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Mitchell Zimmerman

Palo Alto, CA
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 16
  • helpful votes
  • 18
  • ratings
  • American Pastoral

  • By: Philip Roth
  • Narrated by: Ron Silver
  • Length: 15 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,451
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,771
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,758

Philip Roth presents a vivid portrait of an innocent man being swept away by a current of conflict and violence in his own backyard - a story that is as much about loving America as it is hating it. Seymour "Swede" Levov, a legendary high school athlete, a devoted family man, a hard worker, and the prosperous heir of his father's Newark glove factory comes of age in thriving, triumphant postwar America. But everything he loves is lost when the country begins to run amok in the turbulent 1960s. Not even a most private, well-intentioned citizen, it seems, gets to sidestep the sweep of history. American Pastoral is the story of a fortunate American's rise and fall ... a strong, confident man, a master of social equilibrium, overwhelmed by the forces of social disorder. For the Swede is not allowed to stay forever blissful living out life in rural Old Rimrock in his 170 year-old stone farmhouse with his pretty wife (his college sweetheart and Miss New Jersey of 1949) and his lively albeit precocious daughter, the apple of his eye ... that is until she grows up to become a revolutionary terrorist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Powerful Masterpiece

  • By Sara on 03-10-14

Brilliant but unbearably overwritten

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

Reviewed: 02-16-19

Read the book but don’t listen to it, so you can skim the fourth time your told all about gloves ... or about the beauty pageant. Or so you don’t have to experience Lou Lvov being boring, not by reading about it but by being bored for fifteen minutes of reading.
Roth lost it in this book. He was by then too great for an editor so say “enough!” An abridged version would be great.

  • The Brothers Karamazov [Naxos AudioBooks Edition]

  • By: Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Constance Garnett - translator
  • Narrated by: Constantine Gregory
  • Length: 37 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,594
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,414
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,415

Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a titanic figure among the world's great authors, and The Brothers Karamazov is often hailed as his finest novel. A masterpiece on many levels, it transcends the boundaries of a gripping murder mystery to become a moving account of the battle between love and hate, faith and despair, compassion and cruelty, good and evil.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Spiritual and Philosophical Tour-de-Force

  • By Rich on 02-27-16

Excellent performance

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

Reviewed: 11-17-18

Gregori keeps all the many characters clear and unique in his reading and the long discursive sections are read with such reason and clarity that they are compelling

  • The Way We Live Now

  • By: Anthony Trollope
  • Narrated by: Timothy West
  • Length: 32 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 760
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 559
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 556

In this world of bribes, vendettas, and swindling, in which heiresses are gambled and won, Trollope's characters embody all the vices: Lady Carbury is 'false from head to foot'; her son Felix has 'the instincts of a horse, not approaching the higher sympathies of a dog'; and Melmotte - the colossal figure who dominates the book - is a 'horrid, big, rich scoundrel...a bloated swindler...a vile city ruffian'. But as vile as he is, he is considered one of Trollope's greatest creations.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Long, but well worth it.

  • By Nardia on 03-03-10

Pure delight

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

Reviewed: 07-28-18

This is a completely funny and engaging story, brilliantly written, morally complex, and reflective, but always lightened by Trollope’s wry and benignant tone. Wonderfully read by Timothy West. The anti Semitism of the period is sadly on display but even this is muted by Trollope’s development of real characters, not stereotypes


  • Death Comes for the Archbishop

  • By: Willa Cather
  • Narrated by: David Ackroyd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 350
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 319
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 319

Willa Cather's best known novel; a narrative that recounts a life lived simply in the silence of the southwestern desert.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A beautiful story, perfectly read

  • By Eugene on 01-25-17

Complicated

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

Reviewed: 11-19-17

This is a disturbing book to a modern reader. It is beautifully written but the picture of the relationship between the Catholic missionaries and the native Americans they have come to save is simplistic and often condescending. Cather respects the indigenous cultures but rarely questions the role of her two hero priests in the destruction of these cultures.
The reading by David Ackroyd is pedestrian but the language triumphs anyway

The Iliad audiobook cover art
  • The Iliad

  • By: Robert Fagles (translator), Homer
  • Narrated by: Derek Jacobi, Maria Tucci
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132

Robert Fagles brings the energy of contemporary language of this 2,700-year-old epic, while maintaining the drive and metric music of Homer's poetry, as well as the impact and nuance of Homer's mesmerizing repeated phrases.

As a scholar, Fagles praises Homer's directness and simplicity, the breadth of his imagination, and the power of his song. As a translator, he brilliantly captures these very qualities.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful translation and reading, but abridged

  • By Tad Davis on 11-16-08

Excellent

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

Reviewed: 11-04-17

Both performance and translation are stunning. The Iliad is a moving, maddening, living work, speaking to our current situation across the centuries

  • The Woman in White

  • By: Wilkie Collins
  • Narrated by: Josephine Bailey, Simon Prebble
  • Length: 25 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,099
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,787
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,801

One of the greatest mystery thrillers ever written, Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White was a phenomenal best seller in the 1860s, achieving even greater success than works by Charles Dickens. Full of surprise, intrigue, and suspense, this vastly entertaining novel continues to enthrall audiences today.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping novel, excellent production

  • By David on 01-18-11

Not good enough to hear aloud

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

Reviewed: 08-29-17

The Woman in White is a fine tale to read through but does not stand up to the trial of being read aloud since the ear cannot skip over the sections that are maudlin, overdone or just poorly written as the eye can. Save your Wilkie Collins energies for The Moonstone, an altogether better book and fun to hear aloud.

  • Possession

  • By: A. S. Byatt
  • Narrated by: Virginia Leishman
  • Length: 22 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 589
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 415
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 415

As a pair of young scholars research the lives of two Victorian poets, they uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and track their movements from London to Yorkshire - from spiritualist seances to the fairy-haunted far west of Brittany. What emerges is an extraordinary counterpoint of passion and ideas.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely Excellent

  • By Loujujoe on 05-12-09

I was so sad when it ended....

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

Reviewed: 08-21-17

This brilliantly written, smart, inordinately funny and ultimately deeply moving tale of literary love in two different generations is perfectly read by Virginia Leishman

  • Nicholas Nickleby

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 31 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,102
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 825
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 826

The most gorgeously theatrical of all Dickens's novels, Nicholas Nickleby follows the delightful adventures of a hearty young hero in 19th-century England. Nicholas, a gentleman's son fallen upon hard times, must set out to make his way in the world. His journey is accompanied by some of the most swaggering scoundrels and unforgettable eccentrics in Dickens's pantheon.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A knockout!

  • By Robert on 03-15-07

Brilliantly read

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

Reviewed: 07-07-17

Not Dickens' best book, but wonderfully animated by the reader who creates separate and distinct voices for the huge cast of characters with warmth and intelligence. Very enjoyable

  • Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know

  • By: Hamilton Wright Mabie
  • Narrated by: Samantha Worthen
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 286
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 229
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 228

This volume contains a collection of fairy tales from a wide array of classical works. These immortal tales include "The Enchanted Stag", "Twelve Brothers", "Puss in Boots", "Jack and the Beanstalk", "The Princess and the Pea", "The Ugly Duckling", "The Light Princess", "Beauty and the Beast", "Hansel and Gretel", "Jack the Giant Killer", "The Second Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor", and "The Story of Aladdin, or the Wonderful Lamp".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love it

  • By Chris Stringer on 06-26-15

Terrible performance

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

Reviewed: 04-30-17

Reader is stilted, arch and unable to effectively render different voices. Translation of stories also poor

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Grapes of Wrath

  • By: John Steinbeck
  • Narrated by: Dylan Baker
  • Length: 21 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,705
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,043
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,036

At once naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s, The Grapes of Wrath is perhaps the most American of American classics. Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation during the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s, The Grapes of Wrath is also the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, who are forced to travel west to the promised land of California.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wish I could give it 10 stars!

  • By P. Minor on 07-18-14

Fantastic and Moving Work, Brilliantly Performed

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

Reviewed: 12-15-16

This American classic is well-worth listening to. The oppression and contempt suffered by the Joads and the other Okies is movingly juxtaposed with their enduring decency and dignity. The tale resonates when we think of today's wretched of the earth. And the reading is completely brilliant.