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R. Hughes

New York, NY United States
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 66
  • ratings
  • Manhattan Beach

  • A Novel
  • By: Jennifer Egan
  • Narrated by: Norbert Leo Butz, Heather Lind, Vincent Piazza
  • Length: 15 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,038
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,694
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,691

Anna Kerrigan, nearly 12 years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Anna observes the uniformed servants, the lavishing of toys on the children, and some secret pact between her father and Dexter Styles. Years later her father has disappeared, and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Narrative of a Girl Diver

  • By WillowGirl313 on 10-30-17

Crossed lives in wartime

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

Reviewed: 10-23-17

Wonderful, thoroughly absorbing novel that explores the lives of almost-inadvertently remarkable everyday New Yorkers, in the 1930s and the early 1940s. Anna, her father Eddie, nightclub owner Dexter. They're so wonderfully alive. This novel is more "traditional" than Egan's Pulitzer-winning "Greetings from the Goon Squad," but it's nevertheless an utterly contemporary exploration of who we believe we are, and our relation to where we live and how that fuels our dreams.
More than the majority of novels set in New York, Egan's makes us aware of the sea that surrounds and defines the city. She plunges us into another age, and we are there as if by magic -- this is a historical novel that feels lived-in rather than researched.
The alternating voices in this audio book give it an added dimension, and Norbert Leo Butz, Heather Lind and Vincent Piazza capture the soul, longing and yearning of their characters. A triumph.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • It

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Steven Weber
  • Length: 44 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,120
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 34,206
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34,091

Welcome to Derry, Maine. It's a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real. They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But the promise they made 28 years ago calls them to reunite in the same place where, as teenagers, they battled an evil creature that preyed on the city's children.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Audiobook! Editing Clarification

  • By jeverett on 10-06-17

'It' is awesome.

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

Reviewed: 05-22-17

Stephen King's epic novel of childhood, horrors, memories, demons, evil, love, crime, salvation, desire and revenge is gripping from the start, and stays with you throughout the arc of the intertwining stories (the past of 1958 and the present of 1985). This audiobook is an enormous production as well -- at least in length, rivaling "Les Miserables" and "Gone with The Wind," both of which are 50+ hours long. At 44+ hours, "It" is a deep, immersive, frightening, enthralling and satisfying experience. Steven Weber is an excellent narrator (one small note: he muffs the pronunciation of certain French phrases), who is able to imbue individuality to all of the characters. He can also bring to life King's remarkable rendering of verbal grunts and shouts and sneers.
Now a word about the production - quite often the ends of words are cut off. Here, King himself sometimes breaks off words in mid-sentence for effect, only to pick up the sense in the immediate next chapter, or one following it quickly. But the producers have also clipped the ends of Weber's spoken words with alarming frequency. This takes you temporarily out of the story. It's also quite annoying - careful editing should have been a must with an audiobook by such an important writer as King.
Those quibbles aside, this is a terrific book (in both senses: horrifying and absolutely enthralling), and for the most part it's extremely well served by having it read by such a passionate reader as Steven Weber. Stephen King is a wonderful writer - a national treasure, really - and "It" is one of his most rewarding novels.

  • The Vicar of Bullhampton

  • By: Anthony Trollope
  • Narrated by: Peter Newcombe Joyce
  • Length: 22 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56

This comprehensive novel consists of three subplots which interlink to form the whole and supply a trio of targets at which Trollope aims his proselytising pen. The first treats on the courtship of a woman by a man whom she does not love and with whom she is not compatible. Mary Lowther will not accept such a marriage of dishonesty. The second deals with the plight of a young woman who has fallen prey to the wiles of an evil seducer and subsequently adopts a life of prostitution.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Trollope discovery

  • By R. Hughes on 04-30-17

A Trollope discovery

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

Reviewed: 04-30-17

It was a pleasure to discover a fine Trollope novel in audiobook form, outside of the wonderful Barsetshire and Palliser series, which are well represented as audios. In this novel, which explores forgiveness in many forms -- from personal grudges, to family shame, to broken hearts and the acceptance of a fallen women -- Trollope gives us another view of the clergy. The vicar of Bullhampton himself is at the heart of the story, and he's a man who's quick to action, quick to fight, quick to be offended, quick to do good, but slow to forgive grievances. The other stories that surround him, from Mary Lowther's romantic guilt, to Carrie Brattle's tortured journey to a sort of redemption, are equally vivid.
The narrator Peter Newcombe Joyce imbues the scenes with a vigorous emotion, and you can hear his voice break with real feeling as the characters reveal to each other their conflicted states of mind. I hope that Assembled Stories, which produced this volume, offers us other Trollope gems -- there are many more wonderful novels that we fans of Trollope would love to hear brought to life in this way. Especially if they're narrated with the full-hearted engagement that Peter Joyce has brought to The Vicar of Bullhampton.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Framley Parsonage

  • By: Anthony Trollope
  • Narrated by: Timothy West
  • Length: 19 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 324
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 255
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 251

In the fourth audiobook in Anthony Trollope's series known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire, the values of a Victorian gentleman, the young clergyman Mark Robarts, are put to the test. Though he lives a comfortable life, has a doting wife, children and a patroness in Lady Lufton, his ambitions stretch beyond the little village of Framley. Through a combination of naivety and social climbing, Robarts is compromised and brought to the brink of financial and social ruin by the disreputable politician, Sowerby.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "Is the Game Worth the Gamble?"

  • By Joseph R on 01-08-10

A Perfect Novel, Perfectly Read

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

Reviewed: 03-13-14

Framley Parsonage was Trollope's first big success, and you can see why. It's a perfect example of his great gifts of characterization, setting, humor and sympathy. This audiobook, narrated by the brilliant British actor Timothy West, captures every facet of Trollope's narration, the depths of his characters and the marvelous humor and insights that Trollope always brings to his tales of flawed human beings. I can't recommend this enough. And if you'd like to truly treat yourself, Timothy West has narrated all of the Barsetshire and Palliser novels. What a gift Trollope (and Timothy West) gave us.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Woman in White

  • By: Wilkie Collins
  • Narrated by: Glen McCready, Rachel Bavidge
  • Length: 27 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 291
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 226
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 229

Walter Hartright, a drawing teacher to two sisters, wants to marry Laura, though she is betrothed to another. But who is the mysterious woman in white he encounters? Wilkie Collins was a master of suspense, but his transfer to audiobook requires a cast of readers to faithfully reflect the11 different characters who tell the story. Naxos AudioBooks brings together a strong cast to bring alive the mystery and suspense of The Woman in White.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Writing; Superb Narration

  • By Liz on 08-15-09

Breathtaking Version of Breathtaking Novel

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

Reviewed: 06-14-13

This brilliant adaptation -- masterfully narrated by a series of gifted actors -- is compelling from first to last. I had read the novel some 15 years ago and while remembering the overall arc of the story, had forgotten some of the particulars. In any event, this version held me spellbound throughout its 27-plus hours. Not only is this one of the greatest thrillers ever written, it's also one of the best 19th-century works of English literature. This magnificent audio recording does justice to the plotting, pacing, characterization, suspense and storytelling mastery of Wilkie Collins. Now, if only Audible would release other Collins novels such as "No Name" in audio form! But just get your hands on this one -- this is a treasure.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Orley Farm

  • By: Anthony Trollope
  • Narrated by: Flo Gibson
  • Length: 25 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31

Lady Mason's trial for forgery and perjury shocks the neighborhood. A cast of unforgettable characters views her with disdain, compassion, and disbelief. And then there are the love stories....

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Dreary effort

  • By Sharon on 08-03-13

A great, almost tragic story of love and deceit

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

Reviewed: 05-21-13

Would you listen to Orley Farm again? Why?

This is a compelling story of great psychological insight. Flo Gibson's reading grows on you, and she carries you along through the turns of the tale.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Lady Mason, who was conflicted by her actions, and comes to realize that ultimately the love for her son was -- well, I won't give it away. It's a powerful portrait of a complicated woman.

Which character – as performed by Flo Gibson – was your favorite?

Perhaps Mrs. Furneval.

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

A confession -- to say more would be revealing too much of the plot.

Any additional comments?

I had at first thought Flo Gibson was rushing through the story, but her narration style grew on me, and I began to be under her sway before too long.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Wives and Daughters

  • By: Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Narrated by: Prunella Scales
  • Length: 25 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 618
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 455
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 454

Molly Gibson, the only daughter of a widowed doctor in the small provincial town of Hollingford, lost her mother when she was a child. Her father remarries wanting to give Molly the woman's presence he feels she lacks. To Molly, any stepmother would have been a shock, but the new Mrs. Gibson is a self-absorbed, petty widow, and Molly's unhappiness is compounded by the realisation that her father has come to regret his second marriage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb! Story and Narration A++

  • By Jo on 05-24-10

Enchantment and Wisdom

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-16-09

Prunella Scales brings great variety to the characters here, and her superb reading allows us to savor the profound depths of Elizabeth Gaskell's masterpiece. It's a great narrative of a great novel -- I didn't want it to end, and Ms. Scales is able to give us every character distinctly. A real triumph. I wish she read more Victorian novels!