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James C.

San Luis Obispo, CA, USA
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 21
  • helpful votes
  • 19
  • ratings
  • Madame Bovary

  • Classic Collection
  • By: Gustave Flaubert, Eleanor Marx-Aveling (translator)
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 157
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 97

A brilliant psychological portrait, Madame Bovary searingly depicts the human mind in search of transcendence. Acclaimed as a masterpiece upon its publication in 1857, it catapulted Flaubert to the ranks of the world's greatest novelists and ushered in a new age of realism in literature.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A masterpiece. The narrator does it justice.

  • By I on 08-24-11

Beautiful and superficial

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-26-09

This was a big disappointment, having heard how great the book is. "Greatest novel ever written." But why? I liked the delightful naturalistic observations of plants, light, subtle details. But there were two problems: Charles is so dull, and Emma is an unsympathetic, uninteresting character. She is beautiful and superficial. I never engaged with her at any level, never cared what she did, what happened to her, had no empathy or interest in her. And certainly there was little else to do after that--the towns and other characters are of no interest either.

3 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Middlemarch

  • By: George Eliot
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 31 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 698
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 333
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 336

Middlemarch is a recognized masterpiece that explores the complex social world of 19th century England. It is concerned with the lives of several ordinary people, albeit ones with high social standing. The novel explores the very fabric of Victorian society in the 1800s, showing how various human passions, heroism, egotism, love, and lust, interrelate within this society.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Engrossing, non-stuffy entertainment!

  • By Jennifer on 06-21-06

Matchless

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-19-09

I loved both the book and the reader, Kate Reading. This may be my favorite book so far on Audible. The writing tends toward the intelligent, concise and wise, but then there are those inscrutable parts I could never discern. It's moving too, now that's different for me, to care so much about characters. Dorothea is a gem for all time. What a wonderful, wonderful book this is. I want to get more George Eliot and more books by Kate Reading.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Talk Talk

  • By: T.C. Boyle
  • Narrated by: T.C. Boyle
  • Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 152
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 52
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 51

The first time Bridger saw Dana she was dancing barefoot, her hair aflame in the red glow of the club, her body throbbing with rhythms and cross-rhythms that only she could hear. He was mesmerized. That night they were both deaf, mouthing to each other over the booming bass. And it was not until their first date, after he had agonized over what CD to play in the car, that Bridger learned that her deafness was profound and permanent. By then, he was falling in love.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Too Much Talk

  • By Pamela Harvey on 07-20-06

Eyes roll

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-19-09

This book has many problems, not the least of which is the irritating writing style of TC Boyle. After I picked up on it my eyes rolled ever time he started on one of those seemingly interminable lists of descriptors. They go on and on, it's pure torture. If this not the worst book I've gotten on Audible, it's close.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Moby Dick

  • By: Herman Melville
  • Narrated by: Duncan Carse
  • Length: 24 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 117
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 73
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 73

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville is a classic of American and world literature. Written in 1851, this is the incredible story of the crazed captain Ahab who, consumed by his desire for revenge, drives his crew to scour the oceans of the world for the fearsome white whale, Moby Dick. It soon becomes clear that Ahab will stop at nothing and is prepared to risk everything, his ship, his crew members, and his own life. Herman Melville (1819 - 1891) was an American novelist short story writer, essayist and poet.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • THANK YOU...

  • By JAY on 12-05-10

Uneven

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-25-09

The book could use major editing. It's an odd thing to have someone with a sort of Scottish accent reading this book, but I did get used to it. There were a dozen or more misspeaking events that went uncorrected. And a couple times a clunking sound came thru from the studio.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Tropic of Cancer

  • By: Henry Miller
  • Narrated by: Campbell Scott
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 550
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 413
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 413

Now hailed as an American classic, Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller's masterpiece, was banned as obscene in this country for 27 years after its first publication in Paris in 1943. Only a historic court ruling that changed American censorship standards, ushering in a new era of freedom and frankness in modern literature, permitted the publication of this first volume of Miller's famed mixture of memoir and fiction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome

  • By chris on 09-15-08

Surprisingly good

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-28-09

Excellent in every way, except for the music, which I would lose.

2 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Under the Volcano

  • A Novel
  • By: Malcolm Lowry
  • Narrated by: Nick Ullett
  • Length: 3 hrs and 45 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

Beneath the twin shadows of Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl in Mexico, the Consul is drunk. He staggers from bar to bar hoping to find salvation staining the bottom of the next glass. His lonely existence is disrupted when his former wife, Yvonne, returns with, Hugh, the Consul's half-brother. But the reunion turns sour when a local peasant turns up dead, beginning a series of events that will decide the Consul's fate. In the course of one day an entire life is chronicled, set against the backdrop of Europe during the Spanish Civil War.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Cratering out

  • By James C. on 04-28-09

Cratering out

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-28-09

I was able to finish this only through determination, not enjoyment. It's tedious, overblown and downright boring. A highly repetitious account of a drunk trying not very hard to kick his habit.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful