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  • The Women Who Flew for Hitler

  • A True Story of Soaring Ambition and Searing Rivalry
  • By: Clare Mulley
  • Narrated by: Christa Lewis
  • Length: 15 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

Hanna Reitsch and Melitta von Stauffenberg were talented, courageous, and strikingly attractive women who fought convention to make their names in the male-dominated field of flight in 1930s Germany. With the war, both became pioneering test pilots and were awarded the Iron Cross for service to the Third Reich. But they could not have been more different, and neither woman had a good word to say for the other.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Vividly Told Duel Biography

  • By Jean on 09-11-17

Interesting but strange tone

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

Reviewed: 06-19-18

I'm a CM fan but found the glamorizing of these two complicit aviators off-putting. By the end we know where the author stands, but along the way there's ambiguity in that made me uneasy.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Black Money

  • A Lew Archer Novel
  • By: Ross Macdonald
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 96
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 61

When Lew Archer is hired to get the goods on the suspiciously suave Frenchman who's run off with his client's girlfriend, it looks like a simple case of alienated affections. Things look different when the mysterious foreigner turns out to be connected to a seven-year-old suicide and a mountain of gambling debts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good book, great reader

  • By Peter on 03-30-11

Ugh: bland, tedious untrue to the genre

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

Reviewed: 02-17-18

I've read this clunker twice over the years, tempted by the cover, a sucker for a good noire story, and wanting to give RM one more chance. This one is so tedious, awash in uninteresting characters, virtually no action, and a convoluted story. It almost seems like it was written by a computer algorithm. It just goes on and on without spice or dramatic punctuation. Really truly don't bother.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Kitchen Confidential

  • Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
  • By: Anthony Bourdain
  • Narrated by: Anthony Bourdain
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,221
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,531
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,473

Last summer, The New Yorker published chef Anthony Bourdain's shocking, "Don't Eat Before Reading This." Now, the author uses the same "take-no-prisoners" attitude in his deliciously funny and shockingly delectable audiobook, sure to delight gourmands and philistines alike.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Kitchen Confidential

  • By Holly on 02-20-03

Bourdain has stood the test of time

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

Reviewed: 02-25-17

Any additional comments?

I believe that Anthony Bourdain's CNN series is perhaps the finest television journalism on the air today. This motivated me to listen to his early foray into entertainment, a best-selling book about his long dues-paying climb through New York's treacherous and sometimes rewarding restaurant scene. He reads his own story, which makes the audiobook the perfect format to enjoy the memoir of a truly gifted chef and now journalist who has paid his dues and stood the test of time. Bravo!

  • West of Eden

  • An American Place
  • By: Jean Stein
  • Narrated by: full cast
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 88
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 78

Jean Stein transformed the art of oral history in her groundbreaking book Edie: American Girl, an indelible portrait of Andy Warhol "superstar" Edie Sedgwick, which was edited with George Plimpton. Now, in West of Eden, she turns to Los Angeles, the city of her childhood. Stein vividly captures a mythic cast of characters: their ambitions and triumphs as well as their desolation and grief.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Random recollections

  • By RueRue on 10-29-16

An Engaging Thread in Hollywood History

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

Reviewed: 08-27-16

What did you love best about West of Eden?

Jean Stein's "West of Eden: An American Place," at first seems unimportant... an odd assemblage of oral history snippets curated by a grown up industry child (now 82 years old). By the book's end, however, I was converted, having understood that valuable insights can be gleaned from this unique effort. The author's father was Dr. Jules Stein, founder of MCA Universal, and a Hollywood icon and pioneer in talent representation and television and motion picture production. Jean Stein is perhaps one of the last articulate witnesses to the tail end of an era that started when a handful of immigrants created an industry that has now become one of the largest in the world. For this reason, her perspective illuminates some subtle and perverse undercurrents of the out-sized history of Los Angeles and its showcase enterprise. Some of Stein's inferences: being good at business does not necessarily equate with being good at relationships - your associates, your spouse, your children. Children of the powerful start life with extra baggage and some don't have the coping mechanisms to survive. Some go completely mad, some end it all. Ego and vanity in Hollywood is in a class by itself and the collateral damage is all around. The Angelenos Stein chooses to profile - oil and railroad barons, their mentally disturbed offspring, a legendary actress and a couple of moguls - are all a bit notorious, and could have been plucked from the firmament of Nathanael West's "The Day of the Locust."

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I'm a student of the early days of Hollywood and I've enjoyed reading many important biographies: A. Scott Berg's "Goldwyn," Neal Gabler's "Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination," Irene Mayer Selznick's "A Private View," Norman J Zierold's "The Moguls," among others. For the most part, these are exhaustively researched masterpieces. Stein's is not one of them. Rather, through her work, we gain a sense of the ephemeral nature of huge success, even groundbreaking innovation like her father's.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Jules Stein's widow Doris died in 1984, their large, beautiful hilltop Beverly Hills mansion "Misty Mountain," was snapped up by Rupert Murdoch in a hastily brokered deal on the condition that all contents -- furniture, china and silverware, even family mementos and photographs all come with it. Like a hermit crab, Murdoch was able to step into a home and lifestyle that spanned half a century of Hollywood history.

Any additional comments?

This is a book for industry types, Beverly Hills brats with a sense of history and I suppose people like me who are endlessly curious about early Hollywood, love LA, and rue the morphing and consolidation of this gem of an industry to into the corporate machine it has now become.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Everybody's Fool

  • A Novel
  • By: Richard Russo
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 18 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,050
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 972
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 969

Sully is staring down a VA cardiologist's estimate that he has only a year or two left, and it's hard work trying to keep this news from the most important people in his life: Ruth, the married woman he carried on with for years...the ultra-hapless Rub Squeers, who worries that he and Sully aren't still best friends...Sully's son and grandson, for whom he was mostly an absentee figure (and now a regretful one).

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant, hilarious, long-awaited sequel!

  • By KDW on 05-14-16

Ugh!

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

Reviewed: 07-10-16

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

I am the kind of reader that finishes every book that I buy, but this was a struggle. If your idea of a good read is endless blather about stunted, ignorant white-trashy characters, then you're in luck. Russo's original construct about the essentially noble lives of upstate New York 'salt of the earth' characters established in "Nobody's Fool," ploddingly continues to an exaggerated fault in this LONG tomb describing the endless travails of stunted, misguided, mis-shapen, misanthropic and ultimately uninteresting characters in the fictional town of North Bath, NY. In the end Russo ties the bow of this mess of a book, but too little, too late. Don't waste your time.

What three words best describe Mark Bramhall’s performance?

Undramatic read of a stultifying narrative.

Do you think Everybody's Fool needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Please put this weak franchise out of its misery.

Any additional comments?

I don't mean to be overly critical, but this is low hanging ($ advance) fruit that Russo should have avoided. Ground already covered.

  • The Book of Strange New Things

  • A Novel
  • By: Michel Faber
  • Narrated by: Josh Cohen
  • Length: 19 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 614
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 549
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 553

It begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, as he is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment, overseen by an enigmatic corporation known only as USIC. His work introduces him to a seemingly friendly native population struggling with a dangerous illness and hungry for Peter's teachings - his Bible is their "book of strange new things."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Unusual.

  • By Bellows Water on 04-22-15

A long and tedious slog....

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

Reviewed: 01-31-15

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

Imagine the plot of "Alien," complete with intergalactic travel, encounters with alien life forms, corporate evil-doers back home, and a diverse cast of strong and interesting characters. Now imagine it reshaped with no suspense, truly bland and moronic aliens, and a massive overdose of religious babble spread over this LONG yarn like a thick blanket of congealed butter. Here you have the plot of "The Book of Strange New Things." This 20 hour/500 page adventure in tedium, with its weak and unsatisfying dramatic arc, would have been much better shrunk down into a 30 minute short story.

What could Michel Faber have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Faber and his editors have clearly fallen in love with his prose and failed to apply even basic editing discipline on the manuscript. The book is way too long for such a thin story. Deeply religious readers will enjoy the hours of bible discussion woven into the narrative. People who enjoy made up languages will enjoy hearing long sections of unintelligible gibberish.

What three words best describe Josh Cohen’s performance?

He did the best he could, given the weak material.

Any additional comments?

A squandered opportunity.

  • The Andy Cohen Diaries

  • A Deep Look at a Shallow Year
  • By: Andy Cohen
  • Narrated by: Andy Cohen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,672
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,442
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,432

In this dishy, detailed diary of one year in his life, Andy goes out on the town, drops names, hosts a ton of shows, becomes codependent with Real Housewives, makes trouble, calls his mom, drops some more names, and, while searching for love, finds it with a dog. We learn everything from which celebrity peed in her WWHL dressing room to which Housewives are causing trouble and how. Nothing is off limits - including dating.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • I wanted to like this... But I just can't

  • By cyndi on 12-10-15

Yuck

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

Reviewed: 12-28-14

A narcissistic romp through recent time by the creator of the Housewives franchise. I like trash just as much as the next guy, but even trashy tell-alls need to be edited and curated. This is a heap of uninteresting drivel about 3rd rate players.

  • The Weather in Berlin

  • By: Ward Just
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 7

On a whim, aging director Dixon Greenhouse accepted the three month fellowship in Berlin, with a promise that nothing would be required of him but an interview about his moviemaking career. Thirty years have passed since he directed his greatest film, a cult classic called Summer, about a group of German artists between the wars.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Wonderful Novel, Beautifully Narrated

  • By H. Segal on 01-14-14

Unfortunately

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

Reviewed: 12-28-14

A great premise, but plodding and tedious. Waiting for this plot to advance is worse than watching grass grow...

  • Tinseltown

  • Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
  • By: William J. Mann
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,597
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,453
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,459

By 1920, the movies had suddenly become America's new favorite pastime and one of the nation's largest industries. Never before had a medium possessed such power to influence; yet Hollywood's glittering ascendancy was threatened by a string of headline-grabbing tragedies - including the murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association, a legendary crime that has remained unsolved until now.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Everybody's a dreamer...

  • By Steven on 01-08-15

Excellent on Hollywood history

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

Reviewed: 12-28-14

If you are a devotee of Hollywood history, then you will appreciate this meticulously researched and engaging examination of the murder of director William Desmond Taylor and the era in which it took place.

28 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Inherent Vice

  • By: Thomas Pynchon
  • Narrated by: Ron McLarty
  • Length: 14 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 928
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 701
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 698

It's been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. Easy for her to say. It's the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that "love" is another of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy", except that this one usually leads to trouble.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If you enjoyed The Crying of Lot 49...

  • By Phil Selman on 08-22-09

Unlistenable

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-09-09

I am a long-time Audible listener with a library of hundreds of titles - most of which I have enjoyed. Beware readers this is a dog - whose central character is a stoner detective with no compelling traits -- in search of an old flame who disappeared along with her real estate magnate boyfriend. Simply awful.

2 of 9 people found this review helpful