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jayzed

Israel
  • 5
  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 14
  • ratings
  • All the Rivers

  • A Novel
  • By: Dorit Rabinyan, Jessica Cohen - translator
  • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 51

When Liat meets Hilmi on a blustery autumn afternoon in Greenwich Village, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Charismatic and handsome, Hilmi is a talented young artist from Palestine. Liat, an aspiring translation student, plans to return to Israel the following summer. Despite knowing that their love can be only temporary, that it can exist only away from their conflicted homeland, Liat lets herself be enraptured by Hilmi.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Irreconcilable

  • By jayzed on 12-02-17

Irreconcilable

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

Reviewed: 12-02-17

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes

Would you be willing to try another book from Dorit Rabinyan? Why or why not?

Yes

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

Excellent narration albeit some fine-tuning errors with accents.

Was All the Rivers worth the listening time?

Yes

Any additional comments?

A fine etching in a place and time which brings a Palestinian NYC based artist and an Israeli women into a complex relationship of deep love and attraction and stark difference in national identity. Doomed to failure due to the cultural, national and religious schisms a kind of slow motion intensity pervades. Excellently written with some crafting errors creating a few too many metaphorical references and a problematic ending whereby the author (spoiler alert from here onwards), rather that work through the issues and take it to its ultimate problematic end (or rebirth) she kills the hero off thereby exhibiting the exact critique of Israeli society she so scrupulously adheres to.Worth the read and the dissonance it generates far from the comfort zone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • American Pastoral

  • By: Philip Roth
  • Narrated by: Ron Silver
  • Length: 15 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,483
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,801
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,788

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. Outsanding narration

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

Reviewed: 03-30-17

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

One of the best

What other book might you compare American Pastoral to and why?

Franzen's The Corrections. Social comment and family drama as a genre for reflections on American life.

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

Absolutely brilliantly narrated.

  • A Tale of Two Cities [Tantor]

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 13 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,763
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,141
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,195

A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens's most exciting novels. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, it tells the story of a family threatened by the terrible events of the past. Doctor Manette was wrongly imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years without trial by the aristocratic authorities.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • it's the singer not the song*

  • By Maynard on 11-09-13

Better and more engaging than any modern tv series

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

Reviewed: 08-14-16

Would you consider the audio edition of A Tale of Two Cities [Tantor] to be better than the print version?

The audio version of A Tale of Two Cities narrated by Simon Vance offers a far more enhanced experience to the modern reader (and listener) than the written version. Complex language, speech and nuanced sentences are richly delivered audibly by Simon Vance who masters accents, descriptive narration and vivid character portrayal. This is the finest piece of narration I have encountered in Audible.

Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

Simon Vance presented the array of characters in a way that the unique manner of speech really illuminates each personality to a position making it very difficult to choose which was a favorite. However, in this case, under the threat of "liberty, equality, fraternity or death", I would have to choose Jarvis Lorry whose apparent dull manner yet heightened sensibilities are cleverly handled by Vance.

  • Snow Falling on Cedars

  • By: David Guterson
  • Narrated by: Tim Pigott-Smith
  • Length: 3 hrs and 10 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

San Piedro Island in Puget Sound is a place so isolated that no one who lives there can afford to make enemies. But in 1954 a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese-American named Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder. In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than one man’s guilt. For on San Piedro, memory grows as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries - memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and a Japanese girl....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An adagio to love and loss

  • By jayzed on 04-15-16

An adagio to love and loss

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

Reviewed: 04-15-16

Powerful yet pensive. Deeply moving and finely structured. This is great literature without labored attempts at genre or style. Narration was superb. One of the best works on Audible I have encountered.

  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

  • By: Michael Chabon
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 26 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,750
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,409
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,436

It's 1939, in New York City. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdiniesque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat: smuggling himself out of Hitler's Prague. He's looking to make big money, fast, so that he can bring his family to freedom. His cousin, Brooklyn's own Sammy Clay, is looking for a partner in creating the heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book. Inspired by their own fantasies, fears, and dreams, they create the Escapist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Escape From Reality is a Worthy Challenge

  • By Dave on 07-11-12

Chabon Magic

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

Reviewed: 02-11-13

Would you consider the audio edition of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay to be better than the print version?

I would. Michael Chabon's writing is highly descriptive, evocative and complex with long sentences demanding a fair amount of grammatical agility on the part of the reader. This is why the audio edition is so good. Narration enables the reader to understand the tapestry of words without the effort involved in the reading process. Since this is a fairly long novel, with multiple character structures and a diverse plot, audio is a superb method of appreciating this piece of fiction.
With that, I would recommend alongside the audio, a text version, say in kindle or ebook format so as to enable the reader to refer back when he/she wishes and to read sections when audio is neither available or appropriate.

What did you like best about this story?

Creative original story, with strains of Jewish American culture presented in a very unique form compared to trends in the genre.

What about David Colacci’s performance did you like?

It was very good however, I was not always happy about accents - but this is minor. It was professional and engaging.

If you could take any character from The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay out to dinner, who would it be and why?

It would have to be Sammy. While Joe is mysterious, we know him from the book. Sammy evokes empathy and a need to understand. Something is still left unsolved and poignant with this character, which is in fact one of the wonderful features of the book and its final chapters.

Any additional comments?

I have read comments by readers regarding Chabon, may of whom have difficulty getting past the first chapters of his books; others who can't find the plot for the words. Michael Chabon is a huge persona on the stage of modern novelists. He is a master of words and verbal tapestry. Audiobooks are actually the finest method of fully appreciating his work.