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A. Hawley

  • 24
  • reviews
  • 290
  • helpful votes
  • 126
  • ratings
  • The Quiet Gentleman

  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Cornelius Garrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 824
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 663
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 659

When Gervase Frant, 7th Earl of St Erth, returns at last from Waterloo to his family seat at Stanyon, he enjoys a less than welcome homecoming.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Love It....

  • By Sharon on 05-27-12

Not Georgette best

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

Reviewed: 09-06-17

I like the titular quiet gentleman, and it's pleasant to have a heroine whose strength is commonsense and practicality. Still, the romance is pretty hard to believe, and the mystery is fairly tedious. I don't know whether the secondary characters are annoying in the book, but the audiobook reader makes almost all of them quite grating. read by a Phyllida Nash or an Eve Matheson, it might have been more amusing. This isn't a Heyer novel I return to very often.

  • The Reluctant Widow

  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Cornelius Garrett
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,026
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 809
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 813

Penniless Elinor is rather surprised at the carriage that meets her from the stage, and more so at the decayed grandeur of the house to which she's transported. Realising that there has been a case of mistaken identity she agrees to an audacious plan.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Governess's New Position

  • By Joseph R on 02-28-10

Not Georgette's best

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

Reviewed: 08-18-17

I'm a huge Heyer fan, but unlikable characters in implausible situations make this story fall flat for me. Neither very Regency nor much of a romance, Reluctant Widow tries to be more of a period spy mystery, and gets a bit tedious in explaining its way through the convoluted and not all that interesting crime.

It does however, feature one of Heyer's best villains, the deceptively foppish Francis Cheviot, read in a wonderful over the top style by Cornelius Garrett.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Secret History of the World

  • By: Jonathan Black
  • Narrated by: Robert Powell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 38

Here, for the first time, is a complete history of the world based on the beliefs and writings of secret societies, researched with the help of an initiate of more than one secret society.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not for beginners

  • By Being of Light on 09-13-12

Good material, beautifully read, weirdly abridged

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

Reviewed: 07-18-17

I've ordered a print copy of this book because the fascinating material on the audiobook is strangely chopped up and incomplete. it's clear that the abridgement wasn't done very thoughtfully. Kind of a weird listening experience because of this, but the material is extremely tantalizing. I'd consider this audiobook an introduction or Cliff Notes version of what must be in the unabridged book. Publishers, why do your make these choices??

  • Psmith Journalist

  • By: P. G. Wodehouse
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Cecil
  • Length: 5 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99

Meet Psmith, with a silent 'P' as in psychic. A gallant, charming individual, Psmith has a gift for getting into awful scrapes, and when he takes over a gentile journal known as Cosy Moments with the aid of Billy Windsor, its sub-editor, he turns it into a radical publication...with alarming and hilarious results.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Very bad sound quality

  • By Hilary on 08-14-11

A fun, light story, narration a little problematic

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

Reviewed: 07-17-16

Psmith shines in this story of comic New York criminal shenanigans, effortlessly and suavely sidestepped He's a great character: a funny, brilliant, verbose and kind of ridiculous fellow who courts trouble just for the fun of subverting it--the inverse, if you like, of Bertie Wooster. Psmith Journalist may not be Wodehouse's most fast-moving novel, but it has some wonderful laughs and a lot of action.

Whether the 21st century reader can or should overlook the casual racism of the time (1909), which does make some explicit appearances, is up to the individual, but it's only right to mention it--and the fact that the whole story seems to inhabit a world entirely free of women.

While Jonathan Cecil seems to hit the bullseye with his Old Etonian voice for Psmith, he's less successful with Wodehouse's exaggerated and slang-filled New York street talk. This is unfortunate, because in this novel, Psmith himself is pretty much the only British character. I would happily listen to this narrator in a novel that doesn't call for so many American voices.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Warmth of Other Suns

  • The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
  • By: Isabel Wilkerson
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles, Ken Burns (introduction)
  • Length: 22 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,654
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,148
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,131

In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to previously untapped data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the most amazing books I have ever read!

  • By Ernest on 04-09-12

Stellar narration of a brilliant work of nonfictio

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

Reviewed: 04-14-16

Voices and accents beautifully rendered by Robin Miles. Yes, the story is recursive--a style choice on the part of the author that emphasizes the folkloric aspects of the work. She speaks as her subjects speak, emphasizing what's most meaningful through repetition, as people do when telling their own stories. Truly one of the most powerful and important books I've ever read.

  • Capital in the Twenty-First Century

  • By: Thomas Piketty, Arthur Goldhammer (translator)
  • Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
  • Length: 24 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,707
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,314
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,299

What are the grand dynamics that drive the accumulation and distribution of capital? Questions about the long-term evolution of inequality, the concentration of wealth, and the prospects for economic growth lie at the heart of political economy. But satisfactory answers have been hard to find for lack of adequate data and clear guiding theories.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Audio format still useful to get the gist of it

  • By Kazuhiko on 06-14-14

A heavy lift but worth the effort

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

Reviewed: 11-10-15

LJ Ganser makes tough material listenable. Big ideas couched in data. Worth the effort.

  • Moby Dick

  • By: Herman Melville
  • Narrated by: Anthony Heald
  • Length: 23 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,283
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 875
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 868

The outcast youth Ishmael, succumbing to wanderlust during a dreary New England autumn, signs up for passage aboard a whaling ship. The Pequod sails under the command of the one-legged Captain Ahab, who has set himself on a monomaniacal quest to capture the cunning white whale that robbed him of his leg: Moby-Dick. Capturing life on the sea with robust realism, Melville details the adventures of the colorful crew aboard the ship as Ahab pursues his crusade of revenge, heedless of all cost.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping despite the minutiae

  • By AmazonCustomer on 06-06-08

Brilliantly read

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

Reviewed: 10-29-15

A very long, difficult, archaic novel restored to vivid and thrilling life by great narration!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Big Magic

  • Creative Living Beyond Fear
  • By: Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Length: 5 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,640
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15,739
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,653

Readers and listeners of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert's books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Biggest Inspiration In a Long Time

  • By Gillian on 09-23-15

wonderfully inspiring and insightful

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

Reviewed: 09-27-15

loved it! I couldn't stop listening - even feel asleep last night with it playing in my ear.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

  • A Memoir
  • By: Felicia Day
  • Narrated by: Felicia Day, Joss Whedon - foreword
  • Length: 6 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,442
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,984
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,953

In the tradition of #Girlboss and Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, a funny, quirky, and inspiring memoir from online entertainment mogul, actress, and "queen of the geeks" Felicia Day about her unusual upbringing, her rise to Internet stardom, and embracing her individuality to find success in Hollywood.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don't dismiss this one out of hand!

  • By John S. on 09-09-15

Funny, fast-paced, thought provoking

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

Reviewed: 08-18-15

By the end of Felicia Day's memoir you're sort of left wondering how it is that you wound up buying it and giving it several hours of your life. I mean, it was a fast and often hilarious listen and all, but who IS she? Why has she written a memoir at the ripe old age of 30-something?

And that's what the book is about: a young woman with an odd-ish background, some notable talents, and an extraordinary case of overachievement/impostor syndrome, who blazes a unique creative trail, and succeeds. In many ways, You're Never Weird On The Internet is the great American success story.

But it's also the frank story of the anxiety, panic and depression that are the dark side of such a high-achieving personality. For all of her fans--nerds and geeks who are just as obsessively creative and devoted to the things they love as she is--Felicia's openness about her struggles is a gift.

She also gives the clearest overview of Gamergate I've yet encountered. Her perspective as a longtime gamer and a notable woman in internet culture (and also as one of Gamergate's prominent victims) lends weight to this section of the book.

I'm usually leery of audiobooks read by their authors, but in the case of a lively, talented actor and singer like Felicia Day, it's a joy. She's funny, she has a great voice, and she brings so much personal nuance to the reading that I'm sure the audiobook is richer than the text version.

  • The Sense of Style

  • The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century
  • By: Steven Pinker
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 12 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 338
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 280
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 281

In The Sense of Style, the best-selling linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker answers these questions and more. Rethinking the usage guide for the 21st century, Pinker doesn’t carp about the decline of language or recycle pet peeves from the rulebooks of a century ago. Instead, he applies insights from the sciences of language and mind to the challenge of crafting clear, coherent, and stylish prose.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great even if a bit jargony

  • By Neuron on 08-24-16

Pinker + Morey = Win!

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

Reviewed: 06-16-15

Disclaimer: I'm a huge fan of both Steven Pinker and Arthur Morey, and the combination of excellent writing and perfect narration they represent for me made this an automatic purchase and an easy 5-star rating.

What's more, I'm a language geek. I love grammar. I love writing. A whole book about the way English (note: American English) works, complete with abstruse technical terms and PDF charts, is a delight to me.

I mention all this because The Sense of Style is clearly not everybody's cup of tea, no matter how brilliantly read.

And it is brilliantly read, but still, I had to consult the charts several times, and listen to the whole book twice before some of its more abstract ideas sank in. (Yes, sank. Not sunk.) I thought I was well-versed in English, but Pinker covers a bunch of advanced concepts of language structure and the mind that simply weren't understood way back when I was in "grammar" school. I learned a lot. I'll probably end up buying a visual version for reference.

It's fair to say that Pinker's work is all biased to the political left, and to a liberal and progressive view of the world in general, and language in particular. His cultural references place his origins so squarely in time that I knew he was born in 1954 without checking Wikipedia, and I knew that he tended to the hippie side of the spectrum without looking at a picture of him. He is absolutely not a prescriptive grammarian, and readers interested in a conservative view of language and culture might find this book hard to swallow.

Not me, though. This book immediately changed the way I read, and is having a growing impact on how I write. It confirmed me in some of my language biases, showed me the error of my ways in others, and gave me tools for understanding more clearly than ever what makes bad writing bad and good writing beautiful.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful