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  • The Price of Altruism

  • George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness
  • By: Oren Harman
  • Narrated by: Andi Ackerman
  • Length: 14 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 24

Survival of the fittest or survival of the nicest? Since the dawn of time man has contemplated the mystery of altruism, but it was Darwin who posed the question most starkly. From the selfless ant to the stinging bee to the man laying down his life for a stranger, evolution has yielded a goodness that in theory should never be. Set against the sweeping tale of 150 years of scientific attempts to explain kindness, The Price of Altruism tells for the first time the moving story of the eccentric American genius George Price (1922-1975), as he strives to answer evolution's greatest riddle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful audio book well worth listening to

  • By J. C. on 09-13-14

Meh

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

Reviewed: 06-01-18

I really wanted to like this book but although I finished it I couldn't really get as involved in the story as I had hoped. George Price comes off as rather lost and pathetic and I found myself thinking that he wasted his life and talent. His philosophical and research interests were difficult to understand, so maybe this is the kind of book that is better read -- and reread -- than listened to. It must have been difficult to research the life of someone who moved around so much and probably didnn't leave many personal papers behind, but after reading this book I don't think that I understood George Price or his ideas much bettter than I did when I started it.

  • The Woman in the Window

  • A Novel
  • By: A. J. Finn
  • Narrated by: Ann Marie Lee
  • Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17,027
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 15,651
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15,602

Anna Fox lives alone - a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times...and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn't, her world begins to crumble. And its shocking secrets are laid bare.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • STAY AWAY!!!

  • By Susan Olson on 06-02-18

Don't trust this narrator

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

Reviewed: 06-01-18

I usually avoid books that get so much positive publicity -- they always disappoint --- but this one didn't. The narrator, a child psychiatrist who is both agoraphobic and estranged from her family, is the hottest of hot messes and only seems to get worse, not better, as the story progresses. She is likeable, well-intentioned, funny, infuriating, and self-destructive all at the same time. I kept wanting to tell her "Girl, stop. Don't do it!" knowing that she would go ahead and do it anyway. And although some of the smaller plot twists were predictable and some of the characters were flat (the female detective seemed especially one-dimensional, maybe to make her partner look better in comparison), the main ones were quite a ride. The reader that Audible chose couldn't have been better.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Beyond Bad

  • By: Sandra Lee
  • Narrated by: Kate Hood
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 143
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 60

Here is the shocking, true story of Australia's most horrific crime. Katherine Knight showed no mercy when she butchered her lover in a crime that put her behind bars in an Australian prison for a record life sentence. Knight, a 44-year-old abattoir worker, had stabbed father-of-three John Price 37 times, skinned his body, cooked his head, and served him up as a meal for his children.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Oh Boy....

  • By Vikki on 07-02-07

Fantastic reading

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

Reviewed: 04-28-18

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I had a passing familiarity with this case but didn't know anything about the lives of the people involved. The author doesn't spare any details; the description of the crime and the crime scene could not have been more graphic unless it came with photographs. Not for the squeamish.

Who was your favorite character and why?

John "Pricey" Price. The author seems to have talked to everyone who knew him, not just his friends and family. He sounds like a genuinely nice, everyday guy with a big heart who never believed the worst of anybody, including his abusive girlfriend. It's hard not to read this book without feeling what a loss his death was to his community.

What about Kate Hood’s performance did you like?

She did a great job with all of the voices, and seemed to be enjoying the story.nIt was easy to imagine what each person looked like just based on the way that his or her voice was rendered. I listened to some parts over and over again (like the story told at the funeral) just because I loved the way that she narrated them.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

She killed one man's dog. She got another man fired. And she was just getting started.

Any additional comments?

I hope to hear more of Kate Hood's narrations.

  • The World of Yesterday

  • Memoirs of a European
  • By: Stefan Zweig, Anthea Bell - translator
  • Narrated by: David Horovitch
  • Length: 17 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 138
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 138

Stefan Zweig's memoir, The World of Yesterday, recalls the golden age of prewar Europe - its seeming permanence, its promise and its devastating fall with the onset of two world wars. Zweig's passionate, evocative prose paints a stunning portrait of an era that danced brilliantly on the brink of extinction. It is an unusually humane account of Europe from the closing years of the 19th century through to World War II, seen through the eyes of one of the most famous writers of his era.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lucidity whilst Civilization reverts to barbarism

  • By none on 06-25-17

What a loss

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

Reviewed: 01-09-18

Stefan Zweig was one of the great literary minds and social observers of the 20th century and deserves to be better known than he is.

His description of prewar Europe is better than anything that I’ve ever read in a textbook and although one might quibble over the details the affection for the culture and the fear that it is being destroyed are unforgettable. I wish that he had it given up on Europe and on himself.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Deviant

  • The Shocking True Story of Ed Gein, the Original "Psycho"
  • By: Harold Schechter
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,623
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,509
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,508

From "America's principal chronicler of its greatest psychopathic killers" ( Boston Book Review) comes the definitive account of Ed Gein, a mild-mannered Wisconsin farmhand who stunned an unsuspecting nation - and redefined the meaning of the word psycho.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best of true crime

  • By E F on 07-17-16

Okay, we get it. Gein was short.

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

Reviewed: 12-28-17

Would you listen to Deviant again? Why?

I've listened to it a few times, but I skip the first and last chapters.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

I found the story of his parents and his early life the most interesting parts of the book; his adult life not so much. His mother was a real piece of work.

What about R. C. Bray’s performance did you like?

He read the entire book as though he was really interested in it, even though the writing in some parts was a bit flat.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

I don't want to go to Wisconsin ever.

Any additional comments?

Why Schechter had to keep referring to Gein as "the little man" is beyond me. It was annoying.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Remembrance of Things Past

  • Swann's Way
  • By: Marcel Proust, Scott Moncrieff - translator
  • Narrated by: John Rowe
  • Length: 19 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 277
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 218
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 217

Swann's Way is Marcel Proust's literary masterpiece and the first part of the multivolume audiobook Remembrance of Things Past. In the opening volume, the narrator travels back in time to recall his childhood and to introduce the listener to Charles Swann, a wealthy friend of the family and celebrity in the Parisian social scene. He again travels back, this time to the youth of Charles Swann in the French town of Combray, to tell the story of the love affair that took place before his own birth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • EXCELLENT!

  • By Maggie on 08-18-10

Proust isn't for sissies

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

Reviewed: 12-06-17

What made the experience of listening to Remembrance of Things Past the most enjoyable?

It took me three years to get through those three volumes, and listening to it will only take about half as long. I like stories that take a long time to tell, and that don't rush the plot or the character development.

What other book might you compare Remembrance of Things Past to and why?

The Magic Mountain. These are books that take forever to get through because they are so dense, but in a good way. And rereading them is like reading them for the first time.

Which character – as performed by John Rowe – was your favorite?

Probably Sidonie Verdurin. She was a pretentious phony, but she knew how to get what she wanted.

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

When Swann knew that Odette was cheating on him but he couldn't bring himself to go into the house where she was with her lover and confront her. At the same time, he couldn't leave either. Swann usually got on my nerves, but this scene made me feel a little sorry for him

  • Buddenbrooks

  • The Decline of a Family
  • By: Thomas Mann
  • Narrated by: David Rintoul
  • Length: 26 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 189
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 189

First published in 1900, when Thomas Mann was 25, Buddenbrooks is a minutely imagined chronicle of four generations of a North German mercantile family - a work so true to life that it scandalized the author’s former neighbours in his native Lübeck.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Where Have You Been All My Life, Thomas Mann?

  • By Virginia Waldron on 03-30-17

Not an easy listen, but worth it

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

Reviewed: 12-06-17

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I read the novel when I was in grad school (loved it) and just rediscovered it here. The reading is incredibly good.This isn't audio wallpaper -- it's the kind of book that demands your attention, but that is because the story, the characters and the details are riveting. And this is a much better translation than the one that I was familiar with. (For example, the unspeakable insult that ended one character's marriage is rendered perfectly here -- and that scene is hilarious as a result.)

What did you like best about this story?

The little details about each character. There were so many people in this story, but none of them, not even the minor ones, are reduced to stereotypes or stock figures.

What about David Rintoul’s performance did you like?

He took his time reading the story, and was able to give each character a distinctive voice without caricaturing any of them.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

If you don't change with the times, the times will change you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Boston Stranglers

  • By: Susan Kelly
  • Narrated by: Lorna Raver
  • Length: 15 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 25

Beginning in June, 1962, the Boston area was terrorized for 18 months by an elusive serial killer who sexually assaulted and then strangled a succession of women. Boasting that he was the killer and that he had raped an additional 2,000 victims, Albert DeSalvo's horrific story became the subject of a best-selling book and a major Hollywood movie. But it was all a monstrous hoax: DeSalvo was not the Boston Strangler.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The other sides of the story

  • By Amazon Customer on 02-11-17

The other sides of the story

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

Reviewed: 02-11-17

What made the experience of listening to The Boston Stranglers the most enjoyable?

Lorna Raver's lively reading. There is a tremendous amount of information in this book, even for someone (like me) who has already done a lot of reading on the topic. I could imagine Ms. Raver winking and smiling at me at some points. Even the sections that I didn't find terribly interesting were read with great energy, and that kept me from skipping ahead.

What other book might you compare The Boston Stranglers to and why?

I read this book when it first came out in 1995. That book and Gerald Frank's probably should be read before this one just to get the background. The "Stranglers" podcast is worth a listen too; Susan Kelly is interviewed in it. I haven't read too many true crime books that are as thorough as this one.

Have you listened to any of Lorna Raver’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I had not listened to any of her other performances. Her reading of this book was excellent and I'd be glad to listen to her read something else.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but it is so long that I had to take breaks and relisten to some parts before continuing. (I love really long books and audiobooks, but they aren't for everyone.)

Any additional comments?

Someone who doesn't already have a good knowledge of the Boston Strangler(s) might not want to start with this book. This book goes into much more detail into the life and personality of each of the victims, and suggests why each woman might have been murdered, and the people of interest (other than Albert DeSalvo) that the police had looked at.

  • A Song Flung Up to Heaven

  • By: Maya Angelou
  • Narrated by: Maya Angelou
  • Length: 4 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 187
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97

This is the next installment in a six volume autobiography that began more than thirty years ago with the appearance of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. In A Song Flung Up to Heaven Maya Angelou describes her poignant encounters with Martin Luther King, Jr.; her work with the civil rights movement; and witnessing the Watts riots. Battered by the loss of revered black leaders, it takes writer James Baldwin to finally force her out of isolation with a dinner party that inspired her to write.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Being there is part of the strength of this book.

  • By Cecil on 07-26-04

Astonishing

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

Reviewed: 11-26-16

If you could sum up A Song Flung Up to Heaven in three words, what would they be?

What a life!

What did you like best about this story?

The description of historical events that she participated in before she was well known.

What does Maya Angelou bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The voices that she gives to her family members and to other people that she knew.

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

Her description of her reaction to Martin Luther King's assassination. She still seemed shaken by it.

Any additional comments?

I love reading Maya Angelou's books and always will. The audiobooks are a treat because they are in her voice, but I get more out of her books by reading and rereading them.

  • Adnan's Story

  • The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial
  • By: Rabia Chaudry
  • Narrated by: Rabia Chaudry
  • Length: 14 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5,102
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,670
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4,648

In early 2000, Adnan Syed was convicted and sentenced to life for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, a high school senior in Baltimore, Maryland. Syed has maintained his innocence, and Rabia Chaudry, a family friend, has always believed him. By 2013, contacted Sarah Koenig, a producer at This American Life. In 2014, Koenig's investigation turned into Serial, a Peabody Award-winning podcast with more than 500 million international listeners. But Serial did not tell the whole story.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating. Heartbreaking. Informative.

  • By Angela on 08-11-16

Where Serial Leaves Off (and What It Left Out)

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

Reviewed: 08-23-16

Where does Adnan's Story rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Among the true crime stories, one of the best. It is a little frustrating that the story isn't finished yet, but this book needed to be written.

What other book might you compare Adnan's Story to and why?

There are no good comparisons, but I did think about The Shawshank Redemption and The Eyes of Willie McGee (true story of a black man convicted of and executed for raping a white woman on the flimsiest evidence) while listening to this book.

Which character – as performed by Rabia Chaudry – was your favorite?

It is hard not to be fascinated by Adnan since the book is about him, and he has much more of a voice than in Serial and especially in Undisclosed. He is such a compelling figure. But Adnan's mother, Rabia's "Auntie Shameen" was a close second, because of her own life story. I would love to meet her.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

This isn't over.

Any additional comments?

I was not too eager to get this book, having listened to Serial, Undisclosed, Truth and Justice and read the associated blogs. I didn't expect to hear anything new and assumed that within a few chapters I would get bored with the book and return it. Was I ever wrong. There was so much more to this case than I had imagined. It is well worth listening to, and if Rabia ever gets tired of her day job, she should think about becoming a reader of audiobooks.