LISTENER

G Barth

Cambridge, MA, United States
  • 14
  • reviews
  • 87
  • helpful votes
  • 36
  • ratings
  • Dropped Names

  • Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them
  • By: Frank Langella
  • Narrated by: Frank Langella
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 292
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 264
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 256

Captured forever in a unique memoir, Frank Langella's myriad encounters with some of the past century's most famous human beings are profoundly affecting, funny, wicked, sometimes shocking, and utterly irresistible. With sharp wit and a perceptive eye, Mr. Langella takes us with him into the private worlds and privileged lives of movie stars, presidents, royalty, literary lions, the social elite, and the greats of the Broadway stage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful

  • By Kathy on 04-03-12

Good Dishing

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

Reviewed: 06-03-12

Langella is a masterful narrator, to be expected of an actor I suppose, but still this is first rate. The writing is clever and smart and, necessarily, catty, mean, score-settling but...revealing of the actors craft: skill, rehearsals, the ruined family life, the travel, the rarified circle of friends and acquaintances. And the detailed memories of well-know people! This audiobook doesn't sound like People magazine, more like Insecure People magazine. George C. Scott, Liz Taylor, Paul Newman mix pathos with talent. Langella spares no one and certainly not himself. He sounds like he was a horse's ass of a young talent. Richard Burton comes off as a total ass no matter his age. Loved this audiobook.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Rabbit, Run

  • By: John Updike
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 627
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 426
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 428

Harry Angstrom was a star basketball player in high school and that was the best time of his life. Now in his mid-20s, his work is unfulfilling, his marriage is moribund, and he tries to find happiness with another woman. But happiness is more elusive than a medal, and Harry must continue to run--from his wife, his life, and from himself, until he reaches the end of the road and has to turn back....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great, but gritty and depressing

  • By Peregrine on 01-22-09

Wow

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

Reviewed: 05-30-12

A devastating, blistering, painful and brutal tragedy. A train wreck of a main character who blithely bruises and ruins the lives of those he touches as he stumbles like an oaf through adulthood no more aware of his impact than a blind bull. A cutting look at men, marriage and meaning --- pretty timeless in its tale and painful to listen to. Superb narration. An unforgettable book that haunts me long afterward. One of the best Audible listens. I could not stop listening and looked forward to this book like few others.

  • In the Garden of Beasts

  • Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
  • By: Erik Larson
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,895
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4,898
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,897

The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Frightening, Powerful, Deeply Thought-provoking.

  • By Chris on 06-04-11

Connecting the Dots

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

Reviewed: 05-30-12

A lot of friends recommended this book. For me, a mixed bag: narrator was over dramatic even for a book of such dramatic events. Despite evidence of class bias, anti-Semitism, politics and business interests, it still it not clear exactly why the US was so reluctant, blind or naive to Hitler's Nazi advance. Ambassador Dodd, a true student of history, could not come to terms with the facts before him until late in his tenure. In the end, a frustrating book and one that certainly marks the US and its allies as fools or, at worse, complicit in the advance of Nazis. What is stunning is how much murder and horror was afoot as early as 1934, many years before the US was directly involved in the fight. Dodd's daughter slept her way through the men of the early Reich and it is her story that is really..a story.

  • Nancy Wake

  • By: Peter FitzSimons
  • Narrated by: Stephanie Daniel
  • Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 648
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 552
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 546

In the early 1930s, Nancy Wake was a young woman enjoying a bohemian life in Paris. By the end of the Second World War, she was the Gestapo's most wanted person. As a naive, young journalist, Nancy Wake witnessed a horrific scene of Nazi violence in a Viennese street. From that moment, she declared that she would do everything in her power to rid Europe of the Nazis. What began as a courier job here and there became a highly successful escape network for Allied soldiers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Who The "BLEEP" is Nancy Wake??

  • By Simone on 09-04-12

Amazing woman

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

Reviewed: 09-01-11

This is a remarkable story of courage and grit in WW2. Nancy Wake is, or was, a real war hero. The audiobook is fair...maybe 20% too long, but that is a problem with the book. Not especially well written. The narration was about average. It was another time--an individual like this could really make a difference. Yes, these people really did exist.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Desperate Networks

  • By: Bill Carter
  • Narrated by: Dean Olsher
  • Length: 5 hrs and 19 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35

In a time of sweeping media change, the four major networks struggle for the attention of American viewers increasingly distracted by cable, video games, and the Internet. Behind boardroom doors, tempers flare in the search for hit shows, which often get on the air purely by accident. The fierce competition creates a pressure-cooker environment where anything can happen.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • How Sausage is Made

  • By G Barth on 03-04-07

How Sausage is Made

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-04-07

You have to be really be interested in corporate intrigue and the entire creative/business process to stick with this title. But for me, it was fascinating. How did three of the most recent TV hits --Desperate Housewives, American Idol and Lost -- ever get created? And how did highly paid executives MISS these hits in the development phase? Dean Olsher (confession, a former colleague) does a fine narration job. TV is an odd business of luck, talent, egos and score settling. Not a bad idea for a TV show...oops, it already exists on NBC!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

SparkNotes Guide for A Tale of Two Cities audiobook cover art
  • SparkNotes Guide for A Tale of Two Cities

  • By: SparkNotes
  • Narrated by: SparkNotes
  • Length: 25 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    2.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    0 out of 5 stars 0
  • Story
    0 out of 5 stars 0

Created by Harvard students for students everywhere, SparkNotes is a new breed of study guide: smarter, better, faster. Geared to what today's students need to know, SparkNotes provides chapter-by-chapter analysis; explanations of key themes, motifs, and symbols; and a review quiz and essay topics. Lively and accessible, these guides are perfect for late-night studying and writing papers.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Too Short

  • By G Barth on 03-04-07

Too Short

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-04-07

There's such a thing as too little knowledge. This particular SparkNotes guide like some others I have heard is just too brief. If this were half again as long, there would be more room to breathe, more room for nuance and pacing, more detail. As it is this production like the others follows a predictable and not very creative format. A Tale of Two Cities really cannot be distilled into 25 breathless minutes with any hope of retention.

  • Breakpoint

  • By: Richard A. Clarke
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 139
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 54

The global village: an intricately intertwined network of technology that binds together the world's economies, governments, and communication systems. So large, so vital, and so fragile. Now a sophisticated group is seeking to "disconnect the globe" by destroying computer grids, communications satellites, Internet cable centers, and biotech firms. Hard to do? If only that were so.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting but no cigar

  • By Edwin on 02-17-07

SciFi Thriller

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-04-07

I could smell movie all over this. The epilogue of notes should come first, because it really fleshes out some of the SF stuff in the complex story. Richard Clarke has written a better novel than his first thriller. The characters are cookie cutter but the plot pulls on all the sort of things he did as a top DC official: terrorism, military stuff, computer and internet security, etc. A great audio book for a long drive. The narration was very good. Made me want to look into the concepts Clarke weaves thru the story.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • After

  • How America Confronted the September 12 Era
  • By: Steven Brill
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

After is an astounding, inspiring, and exciting account of America in the first year of the September 12 era. Based on 347 on-the-record interviews and revelations from memos of government meetings, court filings, and other documents, award-winning journalist Steven Brill takes us inside the critical dramas of the year after the September 11 attacks, from the Justice Department's drive to find terror cells to Congress's decision to bail out the airline industry.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • New Material---Worth Hearing

  • By G Barth on 04-07-05

New Material---Worth Hearing

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-07-05

The narration of <i>After</i> is excellent and the story--one you think you <i>might</i> know--comes across as fresh, personal, gripping and ultimately frustrating. Hindsight is 20/20 after all, and I gritted my teeth hearing how unprepared and blind we were to the attacks heading our way. The detailed background of the INS screw ups, the creation of the TSA and the machinations in the Oval Office and on Capitol Hill are all very interesting. Brill's conclusions, though, are full of holes and inconsistencies. He ruins his own story by ending on what sounds like a naive civics lesson.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Chatter

  • Uncovering the Echelon Surveillance Network and the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping
  • By: Patrick Radden Keefe
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 217
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 62

In Chatter, Patrick Radden Keefe investigates the international eavesdropping alliance known as Echelon, sorting facts from conspiracy theories to determine just how much privacy Americans unknowingly sacrifice in the name of greater security.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really neat look at intelligence gathering/secrecy

  • By E. Lundin on 03-06-05

Fascinating

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-21-05

One of the delights of this audiobook is the clever and deft writing. For a guy who claims he is not an investigative reporter, he sure fooled me. This audiobook is full of "Really!" moments--and it does offer a good, critical evaluation of claims, counterclaims and explanations about intelligence gathering. The narration is wonderful and even those reasonably familiar with Elint and Sigint will find a LOT here of value. You'll be recommending this audiobook to friends!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • My Life Among the Serial Killers

  • Inside the Minds of the World's Most Notorious Murderers
  • By: Helen Morrison M.D., Harold Goldberg
  • Narrated by: Helen Morrison
  • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 413
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 154
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 152

Dr. Helen Morrison has profiled more than 80 serial killers around the world. What she has learned about them will shatter every assumption you've ever had about the most notorious killers known to man.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Boring reader,boring writing

  • By P. Minor on 02-03-08

Listen with the lights on

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-19-04

This is a terrifying audiobook. Gruesome--and it isn't just the gore and behavior of the killers that made me at times take a pause in the reading. Clearly, the author has restrained herself. But the real terror comes in some of the conclusions she has reached after a career of studying these people: serial killers kill without motive; they have no developed personality structure; they can ACT like healthy people; serial murder for them is an addiction. That being said, the author has some very strong opinions about these people and how to regard them: not as retarded, not as monsters per se, but as very complex puzzles to be understood---not out of academic interest but becuase we might better respond to serial killers in the future.Her most controversial statements have to do with whether nature or nurture creates serial killers---and she comes down firmly and totally on biology. "The serial killer is created before conception..."---she believes the role of DNA is key. And, this audiobook touches on the ethical implications of knowing that early whether a child has a propensity for serial murder. This audiobook would have been better if it had spent more time on those issues.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful