LISTENER

Jay Quintana

  • 106
  • reviews
  • 233
  • helpful votes
  • 122
  • ratings
  • Killing Commendatore

  • A Novel
  • By: Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel - translator, Ted Goossen - translator
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 28 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 418
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 393
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 392

In Killing Commendatore, a 30-something portrait painter in Tokyo is abandoned by his wife and finds himself holed up in the mountain home of a famous artist, Tomohiko Amada. When he discovers a previously unseen painting in the attic, he unintentionally opens a circle of mysterious circumstances. To close it, he must complete a journey that involves a mysterious ringing bell, a two-foot-high physical manifestation of an Idea, a dapper businessman who lives across the valley, a precocious 13-year-old girl, a Nazi assassination attempt during World War II in Vienna.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Masterpiece and A Good Novel To Start

  • By Elif Kaya on 10-18-18

Nothing new, overly long, but...

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

Reviewed: 10-30-18

... if you like Murakami, you'll probably like this. All the familiar Murakami tropes are here -- wife leaving, a well, uneasy friendship between middle-aged man and young teenage girl, mysterious being, etc. No new ground is broken here, so if you've read all the other Murakami books, but don't read this one, you won't be missing out on much.

Killing Commendatore is basically the equivalent of a greatest hits album. You've heard it all before, but if you like the artist, you won't mind listening to it again. And you may, in fact, really enjoy it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Space Odyssey

  • Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece
  • By: Michael Benson
  • Narrated by: Todd McLaren
  • Length: 17 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58

Regarded as a masterpiece today, 2001: A Space Odyssey received mixed reviews. Despite the success of Dr. Strangelove, director Stanley Kubrick wasn't yet recognized as a great filmmaker, and 2001 was radically innovative, with little dialogue and no strong central character. Author Michael Benson explains how 2001 was made, telling the story primarily through the two people most responsible for the film, Kubrick and science fiction legend Arthur C. Clarke. Benson interviewed Clarke many times, and has also spoken at length with Kubrick's widow, Christiane.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A thorough and deeply enjoyable story about the making of an epic film

  • By E. Olsen on 08-17-18

Tells you everything you want to know about...

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

Reviewed: 08-20-18

... the making of 2001. It's not my favorite movie (confession: I've never been able to watch it in its entirety), so it was, for me, too much information. But if you loved 2001, this is probably a must listen. It should answer every question you have about the movie. I had a huge problem with the narrator doing dialects. Even if they were good, which they are not (his Carl Sagan sounds nothing like him and I have no idea what his accent for Kubrick's German wife sounded like), it was unnecessary. The narrator should never call attention to himself and by doing accents, he does exactly that. Had he not done so, I'd have given his performance 5 stars.

  • Natural Disaster

  • I Cover Them. I Am One.
  • By: Ginger Zee
  • Narrated by: Ginger Zee
  • Length: 5 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 904
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 820
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 815

Before becoming America's first-ever female network chief meteorologist or appearing on Dancing with the Stars, ABC News's Ginger Zee checked herself into a mental health hospital.

Natural Disaster: I Cover Them. I Am One. is Ginger's heartbreaking, hilarious, and harshly honest life story - from Dickhead's (you won't soon forget that name) deck on Lake Michigan to her storm-chasing dream at ABC News.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By Barb49 on 02-25-18

A Memoir About Someone with Depression, Not a...

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

Reviewed: 06-11-18

... a book about depression. Ginger Zee, though young, has lived a life worthy of being chronicled in a book. My relatively low ranking of this book has more to do with how it was marketed, than with its quality. She doesn't cover her depression and how she overcame it in any substantive way. Seems like it was cured after one or two sessions with her therapist. (Of course, it's never really cured, and she continues to see her therapist, but it appears to no longer be a major problem for her.)

This, frankly, is a beach read more than anything else. Had it been marketed as such, I'm sure my listening experience would've been much different.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • How I Found Livingstone

  • By: Henry M. Stanley
  • Narrated by: Felbrigg Napoleon Herriot
  • Length: 15 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

FNH audio presents an unabridged reading of How I Found Livingstone. In 1866 Dr David Livingstone entered the dark continent of Africa in search for the source of the river Nile and disappeared. In 1869 Henry M. Stanley, funded by the New York Herald drove his expedition into the heart of Africa to find and relieve Livingstone. Stanley's journey became a true-life adventure. Adversity of every kind stood in his way. Starvation, inundation, murderous natives, mutiny, thieves, extortionists, murderers, slavers, and even becoming embroiled in a war.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • My goodness this is long

  • By Jay Quintana on 02-18-18

My goodness this is long

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

Reviewed: 02-18-18

I don't recall how long it took Stanley to find Livingstone, but this feels like an account told in real time. Everything is covered -- tribes, flora and fauna, insects, weather, landscape. I honestly feel this could be cut in half and nothing essential would be lost. Having said this, if you plan on recreating Stanley's adventure or are just especially interested in it, this is a must have.

  • Thomas Merton on William Faulkner and Classical Literature

  • By: Thomas Merton
  • Narrated by: Thomas Merton
  • Length: 5 hrs and 33 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 9

William Faulkner was undoubtedly one of the greatest American writers. Now you can take Thomas Merton as your personal guide in discovering the literary and spiritual genius of Faulkner's works. Awarded both the Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes, William Cuthbert Faulkner (1897-1962) was a multitalented writer who wrote such beloved classics as The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying. In this series you will join renowned mystic and writer Thomas Merton on an extraordinary course on Faulkner and classicism in literature.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Lectures on Literature Marred by Poor Audio and...

  • By Jay Quintana on 02-14-18

Lectures on Literature Marred by Poor Audio and...

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

Reviewed: 02-14-18

... a startling amount of audience laughter. These are lectures Merton gave to his fellow monks. I had a hard time fully understanding what he said (the recordings are over 50 years old), but it didn't seem to merit all the laughter he elicited. I'm glad the monks enjoyed themselves, but it didn't make for a pleasant listening experience. If I attended these lectures, or read them, I'm sure I'd give this a much higher rating. To be blunt, this shouldn't have been produced.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Search for the Man in the Iron Mask

  • A Historical Detective Story
  • By: Paul Sonnino
  • Narrated by: Michael C. Jones
  • Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3

The Search for the Man in the Iron Mask triumphantly solves an enduring puzzle that has stumped historians for centuries and seduced novelists and filmmakers to this day. Who was the man who was rumored to have been kept in prison and treated royally during much of the reign of Louis XIV while being forced to wear an iron mask? Could he possibly have been the twin brother of the Sun King?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Book for French History Majors

  • By Jay Quintana on 11-12-17

A Book for French History Majors

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

Reviewed: 11-12-17

I believe a reviewer on Amazon compared this to listening to a very long lecture. I have to agree. If you need to study the era (late 17th Century, early 18th Century) covered in this book, you should probably get this. If you want entertainment, buyer beware.

  • The Possessed

  • Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them
  • By: Elif Batuman
  • Narrated by: Elif Batuman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

In The Possessed we watch Elif Batuman investigate a possible murder at Tolstoy's ancestral estate. We go with her to Stanford, Switzerland, and St. Petersburg; retrace Pushkin's wanderings in the Caucasus; learn why Old Uzbek has 100 different words for crying; and see an 18th-century ice palace reconstructed on the Neva. Love and the novel, the individual in history, the existential plight of the graduate student: all find their places in The Possessed.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Dear Russian Literary Diary...

  • By Darwin8u on 08-29-17

A Memoir of the Writer's Graduate Student Days

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

Reviewed: 10-23-17

In a nutshell, this book is too much about the author and too little about Russian books. Though she travels to exotic locales -- Hungary, Samarkand -- the author's life is just not that interesting. The parts about the Russian books are good, but there's too much extraneous stuff between them.

With editing, this would have made a great New Yorker article. Then again, perhaps that was its original incarnation and someone made the ill-fated decision to expand it into a book. I'm too uninterested to care. I'm done with this book.

  • Reading the Silver Screen

  • A Film Lover's Guide to Decoding the Art Form That Moves
  • By: Thomas C. Foster
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

No art form is as instantly and continuously gratifying as film. When the houselights go down and the lion roars, we settle in to be shocked, frightened, elated, moved, and thrilled. We expect magic. While we're being exhilarated and terrified, our minds are also processing data of all sorts - visual, linguistic, auditory, spatial - to collaborate in the construction of meaning. Thomas C. Foster's Reading the Silver Screen will show movie buffs, students of film, and even aspiring screenwriters and directors how to become accomplished readers of this great medium.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Movies 101

  • By Jay Quintana on 10-20-17

Movies 101

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

Reviewed: 10-20-17

If it were titled as such, I would give this 5 stars across the board. Alas, it's subtitled as a book for film lovers. It's not. Almost everything that is in it, I already knew. This is a book for beginners. In that regard, it's an excellent introduction to the subject.

A little OT, but I highly recommend the author's books on literature. They did provide me with a new way of looking at the classics.

  • Tales from Shakespeare

  • By: Charles Lamb, Mary Lamb
  • Narrated by: Nadia May
  • Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

A fabulous way to experience twenty of Shakespeare's thirty-seven plays, this retelling of the stories in prose was originally published just for children. Keeping Shakespeare's own words whenever possible, but making the plots and language easily understandable, this very readable collection has entertained and informed generations of adults as well. It is the ideal primer for anyone interested in becoming familiar with the works of the great bard.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great

  • By Erica on 01-07-08

Essentially, Synopses of the Plays

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

Reviewed: 10-02-17

With each tale, one listens and learns that this happened, and then that happened, etc. Occasionally, dialogue from the plays are inserted, but not much. I just found it hard to get into this. I forced myself to finish because a knowledge of Shakespeare's plays is a good thing. Ideally, though, one wants to listen for no other reason than enjoyment. That wasn't the case for me.

I found the Stories from Shakespeare series much more entertaining.

  • Walden Two

  • By: B. F. Skinner
  • Narrated by: Robert McCollum
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90

From author and psychologist B. F. Skinner, regarded by many as the most important and influential psychologist since Freud, comes Walden Two. This fictional outline of a modern utopia has been a center of controversy ever since its publication in 1948. Set in the United States, it depicts a society in which human problems are solved by a scientific technology of human conduct.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thought provoking and STILL relevant

  • By Aurora C on 02-01-18

A Novel of Ideas

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

Reviewed: 09-27-17

Alas, the ideas get in the way of the story. As a blueprint on how to build a Utopian society, I suppose this works. (At least theoretically. If you actually tried to do this, I'm pretty sure legal issues would arise.) But this is fiction and story should take precedence over everything. The plot, in a nutshell, is a group of skeptics visit Walden Two and engage in a dialogue with its founder over its value, effectiveness, and sustainability. I didn't expect a beach read, but I expected characters I could get behind, a pursuit that's engaging and difficult, and suspense on whether it would be achieved.