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Michael

  • 7
  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 74
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  • A Christmas Carol

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 2 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 204
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 204

A Christmas Carol is a novella by English author Charles Dickens first published by Chapman and Hall and first released on 19 December 1843. The story tells of sour and stingy Ebenezer Scrooge's ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation after the supernatural visitations of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best

  • By Tad Davis on 11-29-12

Great narration of great literature.

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

Reviewed: 01-03-15

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

I already gave this audio book to my sister as a gift. Why? It was Christmas! And she was, like me, an English major, and is, like me, a Simon Vance fan.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Christmas Carol?

When Scrooge wakes up and realizes that only a night has passed, and it is Christmas Day, and he is re-born.

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

He is the best narrator that I have ever heard. He reads books better out loud than I can hear them in my mind when I read them.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the spirit throws back at Scrooge his words about 'decreasing the surplus population'. I frequently read comments on places like Huffpost and Yahoo by people who believe in the 'population explosion' and population control and who think we have too many children and that more should not be born and many of those living should die. They do not even know that heartless, ignorant people were saying the same things 150 years ago when the world's population was a small fraction of today's.

Any additional comments?

Any person who thinks they know the real story of Ebenezer Scrooge because they have seen one or more of the many cinematic versions should, nay MUST!, hear the real story of Scrooge as read in this audio book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

The Fortune of War audiobook cover art
  • The Fortune of War

  • Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 6
  • By: Patrick O'Brian
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 470
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 303
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 300

Captain Jack Aubrey, R.N., arrives in the Dutch East Indies to find himself appointed to the command of the fastest and best-armed frigate in the Royal Navy. He and his friend Stephen Maturin take passage for England in a dispatch vessel, but the War of 1812 breaks out while they are en route. Bloody actions precipitate them both into new and unexpected scenes where Stephen's past activities as a secret agent return on him with a vengeance.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Elegant Tale

  • By Chip Atkinson on 04-13-16

Just another brilliant Aubrey/Maturin story

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

Reviewed: 02-25-13

Would you listen to The Fortune of War again? Why?

I will probably listen to the whole series again someday, starting again with the first one. O'Brien is a brilliant novelist by any measure and any standards, taking the sub-genre invented by CS Forrester to another level.

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

Simon Vance is as good as it gets for the narration of novels. There may be a few who are sometimes as good, but nobody I have heard is better. You quickly forget that he is 'just' a narrator, and you hear the voices of the different characters in 'their' voices. Amazing really.

  • The Modern Scholar: Liberty and Its Price

  • Understanding the French Revolution
  • By: Professor Donald Sutherland
  • Narrated by: Professor Donald Sutherland
  • Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 44

Esteemed professor Donald M.G. Sutherland provides a riveting account of the French Revolution, explaining how its effects varied greatly according to regional economies, social structures, and religious affiliations. He examines how massive counter revolutionary movements profoundly affected the course of the Revolution, Leading to the failure of constitutional government and, ultimately, to an elitist dictatorship that paved the way for many of the struggles of the 19th century.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Compelling overview of an amazing era

  • By Michael on 09-21-12

Compelling overview of an amazing era

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

Reviewed: 09-21-12

Would you listen to The Modern Scholar: Liberty and Its Price again? Why?

I do indeed plan to listen to it again, as I found not only the content to be interesting but the professor's presentation to be easy to listen to and follow. And I have his book on this subject now in my Audible wishlist and am looking forward to listening to it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Napoleon. Because, who else?

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

His clear fascination for the period and his references to his research.

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

No.

Any additional comments?

The French Revolution and indeed the history of the Continent in the early 19th Century was something of a blank space in my education. This lectures series went a long way towards filling it in.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Sharpe's Triumph

  • Book II of the Sharpe Series
  • By: Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,198
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 886
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 882

The paths of treachery lead Sharpe's company to join the army of Sir Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, to take on the Mahratta horde. Sharpe must survive the carnage and live to tell the tale of what will be remembered as one of the greatest battles of the 19th century.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great series!

  • By Mike Hart on 03-04-07

Great historical novel fun!

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

Reviewed: 06-08-12

If you could sum up Sharpe's Triumph in three words, what would they be?

Adventure Excitement Fun

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sharpe's Triumph?

The book led up well to the most climactic moments, which were at once the most memorable, and I don't want to be a spoiler.

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

I have read Audible books by many masterful narrators, none were better at creating and using character voices than Frederick Davidson. Brilliant, really.

If you could rename Sharpe's Triumph, what would you call it?

War in India, for King and Company

Any additional comments?

Do not expect great literature per se, and Cornwell's novels can be a bit formulaic. And he does not really capture the feeling of the era, not the way that CS Forrester did in the incomparable Hornblower series. However, come expecting fun and adventure and Cornwell will not disappoint.

  • Tubes

  • A Journey to the Center of the Internet
  • By: Andrew Blum
  • Narrated by: Andrew Blum
  • Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 252
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 222
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 223

Almost everything about our day-to-day lives - and the broader scheme of human culture - can be found on the Internet. But what is it physically? And where is it really? Our mental map of the network is as blank as the map of the ocean that Columbus carried on his first Atlantic voyage. The Internet, its material nuts and bolts, is an unexplored territory. Until now. In Tubes, Andrew Blum goes inside the Internet's physical infrastructure and flips on the lights, revealing a fresh look at the online world we think we know.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Don't listen to this while driving

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-24-12

This book was awful.

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

Reviewed: 06-08-12

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If it had contained more substantive information about the Internet and whole, whole lot less introspective rumination by the author about how he felt about novels he has read and what the weather was like on the day he took a train which passed through New Jersey ("a clear gray sky"???).

Has Tubes turned you off from other books in this genre?

It would had done so if I actually knew what genre this book fit into. "Wandering Self-absorbed Introspective Nothingness"?

Would you be willing to try another one of Andrew Blum’s performances?

Never, never, never.

What character would you cut from Tubes?

The author.

Any additional comments?

It really makes me feel bad to have to write a review like this, but this book should never have been written, published, or read aloud. I literally feel cheated.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Happy Return

  • By: C. S. Forester
  • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
  • Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 747
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 638
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 647

Horatio Hornblower sails South American waters and comes face to face with a mad revolutionary in a novel that ripples with risk and gripping adventure. Throughout his escapades, Forester's hero remains resourceful and courageous.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • AKA "Beat to Quarters"

  • By Carol on 11-29-10

Horblower is Great!

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

Reviewed: 04-23-12

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

As good as the best, maybe better.

What did you like best about this story?

Everything except that it ended. Fortunately, there is another in the series which takes up where this one leaves off.

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

I have listened to his other Hornblower narrations, and this is as good as the others, which are great.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

In the battle with the Natividad, when the crew cheered for "Hornie" as he berated and threatened them.

Any additional comments?

Lovers of historical adventure novels and just plain first class writing should start with Midshipman Horblower and get on board for one of the best reads in the English language. Churchill and Hemingway were big Hornblower fans. Find out why.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower audiobook cover art
  • Mr. Midshipman Hornblower

  • By: C. S. Forester
  • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,066
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 938
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 943

The year is 1793, the eve of the Napoleonic Wars, and Horatio Hornblower, a 17-year-old boy unschooled in seafaring and the ways of seamen, is ordered to board a French merchant ship and take command of crew and cargo for the glory of England. Though not an unqualified success, this first naval adventure teaches the young midshipman enough to launch him on a series of increasingly glorious exploits.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb narration of a great story

  • By Merlin on 01-20-12

Rousing tale of war at sea.

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

Reviewed: 03-01-12

What did you love best about Mr. Midshipman Hornblower?

Believable, entertaining, and even educational, giving a richly detailed glimpse at a way of life and war now long gone.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Hornblower. Who else?

Which character – as performed by Christian Rodska – was your favorite?

Hornblower again!

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

Adventure, Honor, and Excitement aboard His Majesty's Navy in the age of sail.

Any additional comments?

The narrator was brilliant, as good as any I have heard. He didn't overwhelm the story, faded into the background until you forgot he was there; an excellent job.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful