LISTENER

Redding Reader

USA
  • 15
  • reviews
  • 35
  • helpful votes
  • 196
  • ratings
  • Lake Success

  • A Novel
  • By: Gary Shteyngart
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey, Soneela Nankani
  • Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 239
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 224
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 220

Narcissistic, hilariously self-deluded, and divorced from the real world as most of us know it, hedge-fund manager Barry Cohen oversees $2.4 billion in assets. Deeply stressed by an SEC investigation and by his three-year-old son’s diagnosis of autism, he flees New York on a Greyhound bus in search of a simpler, more romantic life with his old college sweetheart. Meanwhile, his super-smart wife, Seema - a driven first-generation American who craved the picture-perfect life that comes with wealth - has her own demons to face. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A funny and story set very much in our time

  • By Diana on 09-10-18

Time Better Spent

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

Reviewed: 11-16-18

This book came with a positive review from a critic who usually hits the mark for me. Unfortunately, the book was a far miss and was unnecessarily long and tedious.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fortune's Children

  • The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt
  • By: Arthur T. Vanderbilt II
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 18 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 361
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 329
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 327

Written by descendant Arthur T. Vanderbilt II, Fortune's Children traces the dramatic and amazingly colorful history of this great American family, from the rise of industrialist and philanthropist Cornelius Vanderbilt to the fall of his progeny - wild spendthrifts whose profligacy bankrupted a vast inheritance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Rise and Fall of the Gilded Age

  • By Hilary on 10-22-14

Lessons Never Learned

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

Reviewed: 08-30-18

This is the same tale of many legacies, but on a much grander scale. Once the corpus of an estate is invaded, the cash cow withers. The non-working, spending generation lives in false belief that it will never end. The story of the Vanderbilts is in contrast to other dynasties of that era who worked to somewhat maintain their fortunes and strongly support philanthropic endeavors in art, medicine and preservation.

  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

  • By: Anne Brontë
  • Narrated by: Mary Sarah Agliotta
  • Length: 13 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 354
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 317
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 316

Probably the most shocking of the Brontës' novels, this novel had an instant and phenomenal success and is widely considered to be one of the first sustained feminist novels. A mysterious widow, Mrs. Helen Graham, arrives at Wildfell Hall, a nearby old mansion. A source of curiosity for the small community, the reticent Helen and her young son Arthur are slowly drawn into the social circles of the village.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A good story ruined by the narrator

  • By i. Ski on 04-17-14

Great story, poor narration

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

Reviewed: 01-31-18

I listen to a lot of books and sadly only seem to review them to warn people of poor or intolerable narration so here it is! This is a lovely book with great imagery only to be constantly interrupted by staccato narration that is often so inaudible or dropped in volume as to make me want to purchase a different recording. I suggest you do!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Killers of the Flower Moon

  • The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
  • By: David Grann
  • Narrated by: Will Patton, Ann Marie Lee, Danny Campbell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,782
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6,136
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,117

In the 1920s the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An outstanding story, highly recommended

  • By S. Blakely on 06-22-17

More Than Multiple Murder: Listener Assassination

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

Reviewed: 07-28-17

Would you try another book from David Grann and/or the narrators?

I might try the author again but never a narration by Patton or Lee. The poor narration was so distracting as the book wore on, it made it difficult to evaluate what became a long and overly detailed story.

Would you recommend Killers of the Flower Moon to your friends? Why or why not?

Not aggressively. The story could have been much shorter by eliminating excessive, immaterial detail. Unfortunately for the author, the narration detracted from the book.

How could the performance have been better?

The performance was annoying and poorly executed by Patton, who read his entire portion, regardless of quotes by other characters, as a poor comic imitation of George.W. Bush. Lee's portion was slow and absent appropriate inflection. I kept checking to see if my device was on half speed! I wondered, did the producers not listen to the recording before releasing it? I will definitely avoid these narrators in the future and the author deserves an apology.

Could you see Killers of the Flower Moon being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No.

Any additional comments?

I rarely give up on a book but came very close. I wanted to hear the end of the story so I stuck it out. This experience made me realize how many wonderful book narrations I have listened to without passing positive comment. Instead I tend to only review the narration klunkers. After this, I will be more conscious of writing positive attributions for good performances. Hopefully another version will be released for future listeners to enjoy.

  • Glory over Everything

  • Beyond the Kitchen House
  • By: Kathleen Grissom
  • Narrated by: Santino Fontana, Heather Alicia Simms, Madeleine Maby, and others
  • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,786
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,641
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,640

This new standalone novel opens in 1830, and Jamie, who fled from the Virginian plantation he once called home, is passing in Philadelphia society as a wealthy white silversmith. After many years of striving, Jamie has achieved acclaim and security, only to discover that his aristocratic lover, Caroline, is pregnant. Before he can reveal his real identity to her, he learns that his beloved servant, Pan, has been captured and sold into slavery in the South.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Painfully insipid. Couldn't finish.

  • By Dawn on 04-09-16

Terrible narration

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

Reviewed: 06-25-17

While the story is a decent sequel
To The Kitchen House, the narration is annoying. Belle stands out as the only and best single voice character. James, likewise can be given an acceptable review but when that narrator goes into other characters within his story, they are all whiny, poorly cadenced and out of accent. Pan's narration is a poor recreation of a child who should have something of a southern accent. Robert is raised British but that never comes through. This made for a distracting read and I hope any sequel carries only Belle who is a truly outstanding.

  • Behind Closed Doors

  • By: Hugo Vickers
  • Narrated by: John Telfer
  • Length: 16 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 92
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 81

The life of the Duchess of Windsor came to an end in Paris on 24 April 1986. She was almost 90. Many people assumed that she had died years before, since she disappeared from public view for over a decade. Sebastian Faulks wrote in the Sunday Telegraph, ‘She is seen as no more than the star of an old romantic film that most French have forgotten. ’But the world did take note, describing her death as the final curtain on one of the greatest love stories of the twentieth century. Embers of the feud between the British Royal Family and the Windsors in exile were fanned once more....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You Reap What You Sow

  • By Chris on 05-17-12

The Book of Agony

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

Reviewed: 10-25-15

What would have made Behind Closed Doors better?

Strong editing that would have excised massive repetition and eliminated many useless pieces of information, speculation and invention.

Has Behind Closed Doors turned you off from other books in this genre?

Not really but I certainly will not read anything else from this author....though I suspect he has no other books of purported insider knowledge.

Any additional comments?

This is subtitled "The Book of Agony" because it was a tortured tale that could have been successfully told in one hour or as a short story. There is endless repetition and irrelevant, agonizing detail that is more properly Appendix material for those who care about such minutiae The people are pathetic, selfish, hopelessly helpless and shamefully weak. The author wishes her knew more or that he was somehow actually connected in their story, but is clearly only an obsessed researcher. There is no romance nor levity in the story of this story of the personal relationship of the Windsors but rather a depressing and frustrating tale of friends and royalty who stood back and did nothing to help or protect a friend or the important artifacts and papers of the former King of England. Compounding the situation is an avaricious and bloodless attorney who stole and dissipated the Duchess' assets.

I never give up on a book while listening in hopes that there is some redeeming aspect but in this case, there is no reward here for the hearty optimist. Certainly, while some books are better than others, this one is way behind the pack and is a waste of time.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Alan Turing: The Enigma

  • By: Andrew Hodges
  • Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
  • Length: 30 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,558
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,393
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,401

It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that the British mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954) saved the Allies from the Nazis, invented the computer and artificial intelligence, and anticipated gay liberation by decades--all before his suicide at age forty-one. This classic biography of the founder of computer science, reissued on the centenary of his birth with a substantial new preface by the author, is the definitive account of an extraordinary mind and life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Fantastic Biography For The Patient Listener

  • By Sara on 02-22-15

Complex person

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

Reviewed: 08-04-15

Good story. Gets technical in a fair amount of sections but this helps explain this complex person and his life challenges/experience.

  • Bertie: A Life of Edward VII

  • By: Jane Ridley
  • Narrated by: Carole Boyd
  • Length: 22 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 310
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 284
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 279

Entertaining and different, this is an enjoyable study of a flawed yet characterful Prince of Wales seen through the eyes of the women in his life. Edward Vll, who gave his name to the Edwardian Age and died in 1911, was King of England for the final 10 years of his life. He was 59 when at last he came to the throne. Known as Bertie, the eldest son of Victoria and Albert, he was bullied by both his parents.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I cried when I finished

  • By J. D. Portnoy on 04-22-14

What? There's more?

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

Reviewed: 04-02-15

What disappointed you about Bertie: A Life of Edward VII?

Repetitive, minute details

Has Bertie: A Life of Edward VII turned you off from other books in this genre?

Not at all...this is one of my favorites!

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Nothing--She handles the material well.

Any additional comments?

You will be amazed at how slowly the telling of Bertie's life unfolds...and the lack of variety in it. Same circumstances over and over....just vary the names.

  • The Remedy

  • Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis
  • By: Thomas Goetz
  • Narrated by: Donald Corren
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 513
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 454
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 451

In 1875, tuberculosis was the deadliest disease in the world, accountable for a third of all deaths. A diagnosis of TB - often called consumption - was a death sentence. Then, in a triumph of medical science, a German doctor named Robert Koch deployed an unprecedented scientific rigor to discover the bacteria that caused TB. Koch soon embarked on a remedy - a remedy that would be his undoing. When Koch announced his cure for consumption, Arthur Conan Doyle, then a small-town doctor in England and sometime writer, went to Berlin to cover the event.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • History plus.

  • By William R. Toddmancillas on 08-03-14

Thoroughly engaging

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

Reviewed: 04-23-14

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

This is one of my favorites of the last year. There was information that Was new to me and the author cleverly put it into time and geographical context.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Remedy?

Koch's self-destructive adherence to some bad scientific theory after enjoying remarkable successes.

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

Forward flow

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, but it did add to my analysis and consideration of medical treatment and immunization.

Any additional comments?

Will read another book in this subject area.

20 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Ameritopia

  • The Unmaking of America
  • By: Mark R. Levin
  • Narrated by: Adam Grupper, Mark R. Levin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 793
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 704
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 702

#1 New York Times best-selling author Mark Levin explores the philosophical basis of America's foundations and the crisis that faces government today.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Man's basic nature : Liberty

  • By Virginia on 02-20-12

Restoring America's Focus to its Future

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

Reviewed: 02-22-12

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

Yes, when a random sidewalk survey of Americans reveals that they can name the finalists on American Idol, but not their elected officials nor major current events, we need to aggressively emphasize how the populus is voluntarily relinquishing their rights so they can be taken care of by the gov't and have time to waste viewing and believing

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The presentation of the historical progression of socialist theories.

What does Adam Grupper and Mark R. Levin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Personally, I enjoy the freedom to visualize the material as it it read by a narrator. In print, I tend to reread detailed material, which can detract from the flow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful