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BHL

NY, United States
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  • 163
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  • 26
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Niccolo Rising
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Dorothy Dunnett
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Gordon Griffin
    
    


    
    Length: 26 hrs and 16 mins
    252 ratings
    Overall 4.1
  • Niccolo Rising

  • By: Dorothy Dunnett
  • Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
  • Length: 26 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 252
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 226
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 226

Bruges, 1460. Street smart, brilliant at figures, adept at the subtleties of diplomacy and the well-timed untruth, Nicholas van der Poele rises from wastrel to prodigy in a breathless adventure that wins him the love of the strongest woman in Bruges and the hatred of two powerful enemies. Niccolo Rising combines history, adventure and high romance in the tradition stretching from Alexandre Dumas to Mary Renault.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Classic Favorite Returns

  • By Theresa on 05-05-13

Outstanding Historical Fiction

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

Reviewed: 11-13-17

We just returned from a trip to the Netherlands and Belgium and loved the old city Bruges. Somewhere I saw a reference to this book, Niccolo Rising by Dorothy Dunnett. Of course it helps that we were just there where we walked the narrow Medieval streets and boated the picturesque canals but I am enchanted. This woman can write, knows her history and can tell a story. This is the first in a series opening in the 1460s involving "Niccolo," the apprentice, otherwise known as Claes or Nicholaes. Niccolo isn't what he seems and does a fine job of rising beyond his station and sowing intrigue wherever he goes. Sometimes his adventures are so complicated, I have to rewind and listen a couple of times to understand what his deal is. Dunnett has a fan base and reviews of her works are consistently glowing. One reviewer compared enthusiasm for Dunnett's books with the Elena Ferrante phenomenon. The next thing I know I'll be joining the Dorothy Dunnett Society and buying the two volume companions to her works! The challenge so far is well worth it, I think. What took me so long to discover her?

  • A Gentleman in Moscow

  • A Novel
  • By: Amor Towles
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Guy Smith
  • Length: 17 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,600
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21,877
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,797

A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in an elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Reprieve Amidst Ugly News, Relentless Negativity

  • By Cathy Lindhorst on 08-27-17

A Lush Life - Lived in a Hotel

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

Reviewed: 04-24-17

There are many favorable reviews and highly positive ratings for this book so I don't need to repeat what has already been said but this book was so good that I had to put in a word. I read the author's earlier novel, Rules of Civility. I found it a bit stilted and a not so original story about the New York elite of the 1930s so I wasn't so quick to pick this one up. I am happy that I did. This one is indeed original and is funny, sad, and full of interesting characters. The narration is great too and made for one of the best audiobooks that I've encountered.

  • Barbarian Days

  • A Surfing Life
  • By: William Finnegan
  • Narrated by: William Finnegan
  • Length: 18 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,880
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,641
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,628

Pulitzer Prize, Biography, 2016. Barbarian Days is William Finnegan's memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Amazing Performance by the Author

  • By Laura on 02-01-16

Yes, A Life Well Lived

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

Reviewed: 09-06-16

Me read a book on surfing? Really? I picked it up because it has received such good reviews, got a Pulitzer Prize, etc. Early on I was struck wondering how could someone who lived through the same American decades as I did (he is one year younger) have experienced a life so incredibly different? My female, land bound, cautious, dutiful life bears little in common to his coastal-bred, free and independent spirit .... but that is the point. I was led to ponder how much life choices within the constraints of our environment, social and physical, shape and lead us to diverge in so many different arcs as human beings. Of course, Finnegan does go on a lot about surfing culture and technology and teaches us some oceanography and meteorology, which in parts was a slog (hence my unwillingness to give him five stars). But the most satisfying read, at the end of the book, of course, is the period of self-realization after nearly fifty years of pursuing a personal, often very selfish passion, when he arrives at good places of love and happiness. What a great ride it has been for Finnegan, and for me, each in our own, very fortunate ways! I wish I could tell my much less interesting story as well, whether written or spoken.

  • When Maidens Mourn

  • A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery, Book 7
  • By: C. S. Harris
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 794
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 736
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 732

Best-selling author C.S. Harris has received numerous awards for her historical fiction. Set in Regency England, this seventh series installment finds aristocratic investigator St. Cyr and his reluctant bride, Hero Jarvis, entangled in a dangerous mystery involving the myth of King Arthur and Camelot.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • History, romance, intriguing story and characters

  • By Book fan on 03-18-12

The 7th Guilty Pleasure

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

Reviewed: 09-06-16

This series satisfies my need for a guilty pleasure between more challenging reads. What places it a notch above the usual formulaic mystery/romance is that Harris writes well and develops attractive characters who change and grow from book to book. Also, the reader, Davinia Porter, never disappoints. In a novel full of dialogue, her voices for each character, male and female, young and old, are distinct and credible. Yes, the main characters survive tight spots a little too easily by single-handedly killing off their attackers and, yes, the somewhat complex plots stretch belief, but where most series lag by number seven, the author leaves enough intriguing unfinished business in When Maidens Mourn to make me want to skip reading challenges and blitz the remaining titles in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Waters of Eternal Youth

  • By: Donna Leon
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 412
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 375
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 370

Fifteen years ago a teenage girl fell into a canal late at night. Unable to swim, she went under and started to drown, surviving only thanks to a nearby man, an alcoholic, who heard her splashes and pulled her out, though not before she suffered irreparable brain damage that left her in a state of permanent childhood, unable to learn or mature. The drunk man claimed he saw her thrown into the canal by another man, but the following day he couldn't remember a thing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Leon & Colacci - Perfect

  • By Chris on 04-25-16

Addictive Formula Conquers All

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

Reviewed: 03-31-16

This is Donna Leon's 25th Brunetti and I've read them all. Yes, the stories are formulaic and predictable but if you are in love with Guido, his family, his associates and especially Venice, well .... yes. Love does conquer all, even a weak plot. An annual visit to savor Paula's cooking, admire a stylish get-up worn by Senora Eletra, or catch a glimpse of the Dolomites is well worth the Audible credit and several hours of my time. One Audible reviewer complained that she tried it and didn't like it. I'd say go back to #1, read a few more, and if you aren't charmed long, long before this one, scratch Venice off of your travel itineraries. Besides, David Colacci is the perfect narrator for this series .... as good as a singing gondolier!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The End of the Wasp Season

  • A Novel
  • By: Denise Mina
  • Narrated by: Jane McFarlan
  • Length: 13 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 464
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 404
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 399

When a notorious millionaire banker hangs himself, his death attracts no sympathy. But the legacy of a lifetime of selfishness is widespread, and the carnage most acute among those he ought to be protecting: his family. Meanwhile, in a wealthy suburb of Glasgow, a young woman is found savagely murdered. The community is stunned by what appears to be a vicious, random attack.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A good find for me!

  • By Jean on 01-10-12

2nd in Series with Developing Characters & Story

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

Reviewed: 01-29-16

Wow! Denise Mina was a nice discovery for me. Her writing is literate and descriptive and she is especially interested in developing complex characters. In this series, a police procedural, the main character, Alex Morrow, navigates many worlds including that of the police, a grieving but comforting home, a Glasgow full of baggage from a dysfunctional upbringing, and an array of victims, suspects and perpetrators of each plausible case. The plots are realistic and are sprinkled with surprises and twists. Other reviewers compare her to the best - Kate Atkinson, P.D. James, Ruth Rendell - and I concur ... I look forward to watching Alex and her companion characters grow in many future books ....

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • H Is for Hawk

  • By: Helen Macdonald
  • Narrated by: Helen Macdonald
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,075
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,793
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,784

When Helen MacDonald's father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer captivated by hawks since childhood, she'd never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators: the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk's fierce and feral anger mirrored her own.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mabel The Hawk--The Fire That Burned The Hurts Away

  • By Sara on 04-09-15

Disappointed.

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

Reviewed: 01-29-16

I don't understand how this book ended up on so many of the "Best of 2015" book lists. I struggled to finish it, and when I did, I felt I had limited understanding of T. H. White, hawking and MacDonald herself. Any reader who has suffered the loss of a beloved father (as I did recently) will empathize with her movement through the grievance process and her honesty about her emotions (often grumpy and lonely) and less than admirable actions (references to cigarettes and poaching) but it becomes tiresome ... I can accept that she anthropomorphizes her goshawk but the thread of her grief gets lost in other stories, particularly that of White's, which doesn't really parallel her own, including her superior knowledge of hawking, and the references to falconry books that an aspiring hawker may read on his/her own.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Hanging Girl

  • A Department Q Novel
  • By: Jussi Adler-Olsen
  • Narrated by: Graeme Malcolm
  • Length: 15 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,186
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,005
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,994

In the middle of his usual hard-won morning nap in the basement of police headquarters, Carl Mørck, head of Department Q, receives a call from a colleague working on the Danish island of Bornholm. Carl is dismissive when he realizes that a new case is being foisted on him, but a few hours later he receives some shocking news that leaves his headstrong assistant, Rose, more furious than usual.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gasp! This is marvelous!

  • By Ted on 11-21-16

Series Slump

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

Reviewed: 11-19-15

The Department Q series from Adler-Olsen may be the best of the flood of northern European mystery / detective / police procedural novels. The plots are intriguing and the characters are quirky and multi-dimensional but there does come a time in good fiction series, like the seven-year-itch in marriages and recessions in the U.S. economy, when there is a slump. No doubt The Hanging Girl is it for Adler-Olsen where the story line is a bit limp and the characters act so predictably.

If you too have read all of the Department Q's to this point, you, like me, are probably hooked and will look forward to an upswing in book #7. In any case, a B for Jussi-Adler is a C- for many other mystery writers and I did give it a 4 overall, but if you are considering reading these novels, you must start at #1 or risk disappointment here.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Girl Waits with Gun

  • By: Amy Stewart
  • Narrated by: Christina Moore
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,852
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,665
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,673

In 1914 collisions between motor cars and horse-drawn carriages are an everyday occurrence on the streets of Paterson, New Jersey. But when an out-of-control driver smashes into a buggy driven by Constance, Norma, and Fleurette Kopp, their lives change forever. Constance, the oldest, demands payment for the damages but quickly realizes that she is dealing with a madman.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Slice Of Life From Another Time

  • By Sara on 11-09-15

Girl Waits with Gun but Doesn't Shoot to Kill

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

Reviewed: 10-17-15

The author has done something clever here. She took a minor true crime story that was all over the papers in 1915 and built on it to create the confined world of three very different but each very strong-willed Kopp sisters. There are no major plot twists and turns, little violence, and only some subtle surprises, but it was the charm of the characters that kept me listening. I searched the New York Times and identified articles about the Kopps from as late as the 1920s. The last article refers to their work as private detectives; more fodder for the author for future stories. Overall, the book is pretty light, but I give kudos to the narrator who was very well "cast" as the central character and oldest sister, Constance. Her intonation is that of a practical and fearless woman who is careful with the irony and always emotionally restrained - perfect traits for a fledgling detective.

29 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • My Brilliant Friend

  • The Neapolitan Novels, Book 1
  • By: Elena Ferrante
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,258
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5,617
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,609

A modern masterpiece from one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila, who represent the story of a nation and the nature of friendship.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Parte Uno Dei Quattro--It's Worth it to Keep Goin'

  • By W Perry Hall on 09-14-16

Candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature?

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

Reviewed: 07-21-15

Yes, Ferrante is that good. Everyone who was ever a girl, particularly one born before 1960, should read this book ..... That is, anyone who has been admired as pretty and has felt ugly; anyone who is the apple of a parent's eye and has been misunderstood by one; anyone who has been praised by a teacher and has been demeaned by one; anyone who has excelled and has failed; anyone who has used a boyfriend or girlfriend and has been used by one; anyone who has exceeded her potential and hasn't. Need I go on?

Ferrante has her pulse on what it has meant to become a woman (and live as one in later volumes) in a post-WWII western world, constrained by society (family, friends, neighborhood) and resources (usually limited); in this case, the subject just happens to live in Naples, Italy.

No matter that the narrator may have (did she?) mispronounced Italian words and the names Lila / "Lena"/ Elena get mixed up ... Her voice embodies the intimate world view that the author intended.

No matter whether or not you were a girl .... You are human aren't you? ... Read it.

85 of 98 people found this review helpful