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Andreea Marin

  • 33
  • reviews
  • 17
  • helpful votes
  • 42
  • ratings
  • Dostoevsky in 90 Minutes

  • By: Paul Strathern
  • Narrated by: Robert Whitfield
  • Length: 2 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 24

After narrowly avoiding a firing squad when he was just twenty-eight years old, Dostoevsky never took things lightly. His great novels burst upon the European literary scene like a succession of thunderbolts. His understanding of the darker and more extreme recesses of the human mind cast a forceful light into these areas of experience. The raw psychology and passionate involvement of his books galvanized writers and thinkers as disparate as Nietzsche and Kafka.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • loved it!

  • By Andreea Marin on 12-03-17

loved it!

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

Reviewed: 12-03-17

Great overview of Dostoyevsky's life and works. The reader captures the tone of Dostoyevsky's atmospheric works

  • Journey to the Center of the Earth (AmazonClassics Edition)

  • By: Jules Verne
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

A sixteenth-century cryptogram spurs modern geologist Otto Liedenbrock to embark on the most remarkable human quest ever taken. With his nephew and guide, he leads the descent from a dormant Icelandic volcano into the unexplored realm beneath their feet. There, a vast subterranean ocean, prehistoric creatures, and natural phenomena are but a few of the wonders hidden from all but the boldest eyes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Vernian Jouney

  • By Andreea Marin on 11-29-17

A Vernian Jouney

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

Reviewed: 11-29-17

I forgot how wonderful Verne was at describing an adventure with so many facts that one could actually have no doubt that it would be possible to accomplish!

Axel (the narrator) a young man, visits his uncle, Professor Otto Lidenbrock, who is an eccentric academic and adventurer. Lidenbrock has recently purchased a manuscript with Runic inscriptions which he and Axel decipher to be a cryptogram indicating how one can reach the centre of the Earth. Axel is in love with Lidenbrock’s goddaughter Gräuben, who promises to wait for him and marry him if he returns. The two leave and find themselves a guide, Hans Bjelke, who helps them reach their goal. The journey leads them from Germany, to Denmark. In Copenhagen they take a boat for several days which gets them to Iceland where “the centre’s” entryway is located. Walking through the inside tunnels of a volcano the explorers find fossils, interesting rock formations, water, and many other wonders.

The audiobook is fantastic and well-narrated. The performer has a wonderful voice, and very suitable for the text. I loved it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The House of the Dead

  • By: Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Narrated by: Walter Covell
  • Length: 13 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31

The House of the Dead is a fascinating portrait of life in a Siberian prison camp - a life of great hardship and deprivation, yet filled with simple moments of humanity showing mankinds ability to adapt and survive in the most extreme of circumstances. Dostoevsky tells his story in a chronological order, from his character's arrival and his sense of alienation to his gradual adjustment to prison life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • In the Prison House

  • By James C. Maddox on 10-25-09

The House of the Dead Indeed

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

Reviewed: 11-29-17

As it is famously known, Dostoyevsky spent a long time in exile, in Siberia. There he encountered many criminals on every point of the spectrum. This book is the first he wrote as he returned. Although he masks the main character as "not himself" they are all memories and an attempt to capture what life behind bars really was like. The book is overall depressing, perfect for a gray,cold day.
The audiobook is wonderful. I loved this narration most and it's a pleasure to listen to it. Because it's recorded in the '60s and sounds like an Orson Welles kind of podcast, the age to its recording somehow adds a layer of "time travel" when listening to this. It feels distant in a way that seems appropriate for a Dostoyevsky. I wish I knew who the translator was, as it is not indicated in the description.
I highly recommend this audiobook!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Lie Tree

  • By: Frances Hardinge
  • Narrated by: Charlotte Wright
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 146
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 133

Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy - a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men. But inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist mysteries: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. She knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible narrator and Boring philosophical rambling

  • By Inky on 10-21-17

Magical Book

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

Reviewed: 11-14-17

The audiobook really brought the story to life. The narrator read so clearly and differentiated between the character voices in a way that helped me visualize the piece altogether. I enjoyed the audio slightly more than the story itself, but it was time well-spent listening! Highly recommend!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Welcome to Night Vale

  • A Novel
  • By: Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor
  • Narrated by: Cecil Baldwin, Dylan Marron, Retta, and others
  • Length: 12 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,120
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,849
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,842

Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • This is so good, but

  • By Christopher on 04-30-16

The best experience

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

Reviewed: 07-14-17

Highly recommend this audiobook. I'm glad I got it, it's so well done. The music, the voice, everything comes together beautifully and captures the essence of Night Vale.

  • Central Station

  • By: Lavie Tidhar
  • Narrated by: Jeff Harding
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 22

A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. The city is literally a weed, its growth left unchecked. Life is cheap, and data is cheaper. When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris' ex-lover is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap in to the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin is infatuated with a robotnik - a damaged cyborg soldier who might as well be begging for parts.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good story, but I didn't like the reading

  • By Hamutal Yellin on 08-10-17

Great Sci-fi Work

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

Reviewed: 06-30-17

Lavie Tidhar’s Sci-fi Novel Central Station is one of the six on the shortlist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, was a finalist for the Locus Awards, and only two weeks ago has been awarded the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction of the year.
The composition of Central Station is known as a ‘fix-up’ novel, meaning that several stories that have been published in the past (in this case ranging between 2011-2015) have been brought together along several new added chapters to form one cohesive narrative.
In its essence Central Station is an in-between place, similar to an airport and/or port located between Jewish Tel Aviv and Arab Jaffa. We learn that trades and cargo play a huge role in this distant future, even on a spiritual level:

“Cargo came from everywhere. In space, cargo was a religion all by itself. It came from Earth, shipped up to orbit, to the massive habitat called Gateway. It came from Lunar Port, and it came from the Belt, from Ceres and Vesta where the wealth of the Belt poured.”

The location is the core of the novel because it’s the only thing all the characters have in common. In the prologue an author sits down and writes of a civilization in the future imagining and reminiscing of the past (which is still quite distant from us and what we know). The term often used is the “imagined past.” It reminded me of one of those notebooks that certain hotels or locations make you sign every time you visit. It’s as if all these species of ‘people’ from the future (from all over the Solar System) get to sign their names at Central Station and tell their story.

Every chapter focuses on one character and is told from a different perspective, and the same character will re-appear in future stories as a secondary character. What is astounding is that even though all these species of the future are so different they seem to be a lot more tolerant of each other and understanding than humans are now. They look to us and our history the way we look at Cavemen. There are a few characters that dominate the naraative, mainly Miriam (Mama Jones), Boris, Caramel, and Kranky.

What amazes me is that Tidhar managed to create entities so different from us and somehow breathe air into their lungs and humanize them giving them relatable cravings and vices. The story I found most fascinating was that of a creature called “Strigoi” which we follow in chapter five, by name of ‘Caramel.’ Strigois are data vampires and absorb everything one knows. We follow how Caramel herself became a Strigoi and what her feelings were being at Central Station:

“she had never imagined the Conversation as she experienced it just then –the nearness and yet the distance of it, the compressedness of it all. Billions of humans, uncounted billions of digitals and machines, all talking, chattering, sharing at once. Images, text, voice, recordings, all-immersive memcordist media, gamesworlds spill-over—it came on her at once, and she reeled against it.”

When she meets Boris and Miriam at Central Station her parasite-like nature is viewed by Miriam as a disease, something Caramel can’t help similar to the ways we look at depression or anxiety. For Boris, Caramel is a sexualized entity. He is

“aroused by her difference…all the while knowing his own weakness, admitting to his sexual infatuation with her, this human kink that made them lust for Strigoi, for the thing that could harm them.”

To me this story is representative of the whole. Tidhar takes something so distant from us and makes it relatable. As readers we empathize with the non-human and that is the result of great craftsmanship and storytelling. I absolutely love this book and I will read it again soon.

I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys science fiction. The reading and performance style of Jeff Harding is brilliant and he compliments the narrative with his voice.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 156,798
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 144,691
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 144,536

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth it even if you've seen the movie

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 12-08-17

To Mars!

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

Reviewed: 04-25-17

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

Near the top. I enjoyed it in audiobook format better than text.

What other book might you compare The Martian to and why?

Robinson Crusoe because it's a story about survival and isolation.

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

I wanted to, but it was a bit long for one sitting. It's about 9 hours. I listened to it while I was shelving books at the library. It was an overall pleasant experience.

  • The Slow Regard of Silent Things

  • Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 2.5
  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Length: 3 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,269
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,740
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,754

Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place. Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries. The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows.... In this book, Patrick Rothfuss brings us into the world of one of The Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • But No....

  • By Josh on 11-04-14

Auri's Story

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

Reviewed: 04-25-17

What did you love best about The Slow Regard of Silent Things?

I liked that it was a very concentrated daily experience, where one can get an idea of what it's like to be Auri. Because of its concentration one can listen/read in one sitting.

Would you be willing to try another book from Patrick Rothfuss? Why or why not?

Oh yes. Very much yes. I read the first volume in the Kingkiller Chronicles, and this Novella. I'm very excited to begin the second book. He's an excellent storyteller. He has great skill and it feels like you're sitting around the fireplace where a Scheherazade-like figure is telling you magical stories.

Which scene was your favorite?

This novella is not very plot-driven, so I cannot say there's a scene, but I like the idea of a Foxen which can be both an inanimate object/light, or a life-source.

Any additional comments?

I read a few reviews and people seem to be very angry at this novella for its lack of plot and character depth. I too expected a history of Auri. I hoped we would find out what happened to her, how she ended up in the Underthing, maybe some secrets she knows like overheard conversations. I had to connect some dots from the first book. First I remembered that Elodin told Kvothe that he had known Auri for many years around the University and that she herself had been a student studying Alchemy. Also Elodin with Auri are both mentally unstable characters so it’s subtly hinted that Auri may have also been affected by the Naming of things. Reading this novella is almost like a play or a very concentrated experience of what it’s like to be Auri. We don’t get a history, we don’t get much plot, or even much character development, but you get ‘a day in the life’ of Auri in case you wondered as a reader what she does all day.
In the novella she moves around the Underthing and has a lighted object or bioluminescent creature that she has named Foxen. She observes objects and rooms. I think this concentrated experience is in a way appropriate for Auri because it still keeps her a mysterious figure but it captures the isolation and loneliness of the most hermetic character in the series. Her experience of life is certainly going to be different and perhaps less exciting than Kvothe’s—who experiences more things than anyone else in the entire first book.
The novella is also accompanied by the beautiful illustrations of Nate Taylor which unfortunately is something you miss out on with the audio experience (which is why I recommend getting both formats)

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Name of the Wind

  • Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1
  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 27 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60,480
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54,940
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55,037

This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow!

  • By Joanna on 05-10-11

So Good!

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

Reviewed: 04-15-17

What did you love best about The Name of the Wind?

What I love most about this work is how it is told. The storytelling and world building makes me feel like I’m listening to one of Scheherazade’s stories. What really accomplishes that for me is the many stories within stories. There is a man at a tavern telling stories, there are songs being sung resembling medieval songs and filled with mythology and content. There are tutors, actors, guilds, dealers, different clans, a hierarchy of class systems, and languages. All these components added in while discussing the growth of Kvothe as a character give the reader a full experience of this world.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I would have to say Auri because she is very mysterious and I want to know more about her.

What about Nick Podehl’s performance did you like?

The pace of his narration was great, because much of this work contains different stories within stories, and his tone changes on each.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

It's Harry Potter with some toned down aspects of Game of Thrones, and the elements of the Enchanted Forest from Once Upon a Time.

Any additional comments?

Kvothe is the protagonist. He is a young, red-haired man who tells his life story to Chronicler (a scribe whose life he saves and who is ultimately writing the ‘true history’ of Kvothe) and Bast—a young man who is absolutely enchanted by his master Kvothe and is eagerly listening to his life story. There are few interruptions but overall, The Name of the Wind is a bildungsroman. We follow Kvothe in his childhood where he is raised by a guild of actors, follow him through several years on the Tarbean streets where he lives in absolute poverty, and eventually through his University education where he studies Sympathy (among other subjects). Finance and poverty drive Kvothe’s plot as he must always make another strategic move to earn a day’s living, or another semester’s tuition. By the end of this book you’ll feel like you understand their economic system and all about ‘jots’ and ‘talents.’ The characters he meets at University and in town are diverse and very interesting, though no character is as flushed out and dimensional as Kvothe himself. His main talent on top of his studies is being a skilled lute musician. What is particularly strange to me, is the “magic” system. It’s very difficult to explain because I’m not sure if it exists. At the university there is a study of “sympathy” and some professors study things that make them fall into madness like “learning the name of the wind.” The description of classes sound a lot like courses in our world (including tuition), and a little bit like alchemy. There are mysterious figures like Auri, the Chandrion, and the professor who is held up in what resembles the University’s ‘asylum.’ Things like ‘forbidden stories’ and the effects of ‘sympathy’ used outside of the university give off a ‘magic’ element, but when as the story is told I sometimes forget that this is a different realm at all. There is also a romance woven in, but it is not overpowering. This book is 722 pages, so being brief in describing what it’s about is complicated without giving too much away.

  • Shards of Honor

  • By: Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,648
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,016
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,034

I>Shards of Honor is the novel in which Lois McMaster Bujold introduced the science-fiction world to Barrayar and Aral Vorkosigan, Beta Colony and Cordelia Naismith. From this beginning the author has created a multigenerational saga spanning time as well as space. Bujold is generally recognized as the current exemplar of the character-based science-fiction adventure story.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • First story in the Miles Vorkosigan series

  • By Lifelong Reader on 06-18-09

Military, Hard Sci-fi, Great Narration

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

Reviewed: 04-15-17

Where does Shards of Honor rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It stands apart because it's different in both content and narration. It feels like I'm listening to a radio broadcast of what I envisioned sci-fi to sound like in an Orson Welles broadcast. I know it's futuristic but it somehow reminds me of the Welles broadcasts.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Vorkosigan's character was very cool and well performed.

Have you listened to any of Grover Gardner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not, but I do like this one.

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

It made me weirdly nostalgic. The Cordelia-Vorkosigan dynamic reminded me of Commander Rourke and Helga Sinclair in Atlantis: The Lost Empire and the narration of this novel reminded me of an Orson Welles broadcast. It was both futuristic and vintage. It's overall unique.

Any additional comments?

Hard Sci-fi and very militarily oriented, so if you are not into that perhaps be aware that this is what the novel/audiobook is about.