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Gann

  • 16
  • reviews
  • 61
  • helpful votes
  • 29
  • ratings
  • Kingdom of Shadows

  • By: Alan Furst
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 293
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 245
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 242

In spymaster Alan Furst's most electrifying thriller to date, Hungarian aristocrat Nicholas Morath, a hugely charismatic hero, becomes embroiled in a daring and perilous effort to halt the Nazi war machine in eastern Europe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of Nine Alan Furst/George Guidall Masterpieces

  • By Robert on 11-12-12

Too Much to keep up with

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

Reviewed: 05-22-15

What disappointed you about Kingdom of Shadows?

Too many characters; nothing really compelling. Couldn't remember from one listen to the next who was who and where was where.

What was most disappointing about Alan Furst’s story?

No real thread. Claimed to be a spy novel of sorts but nothing like other spy thrillers

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

Guidall is a marvelous reader. Although at times his deep voice drops in volume and it is hard to understand him, he is still excellent at portraying many voices, many accents.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Kingdom of Shadows?

All of them.

Any additional comments?

Furst seems to be quite popular; I guess you just have to like and understand his style.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Nightingale

  • By: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Polly Stone
  • Length: 17 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 48,284
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 43,751
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 43,679

Audie Award, Fiction, 2016. From the number-one New York Times bestselling author comes Kristin Hannah’s next novel. It is an epic love story and family drama set at the dawn of World War II. She is the author of twenty-one novels. Her previous novels include Home Front, Night Road, Firefly Lane, Fly Away, and Winter Garden.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Heroic & Harrowing Work Of Fiction

  • By Sara on 08-21-15

A MUST LISTEN for WWII devotees.

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

Reviewed: 04-21-15

Would you listen to The Nightingale again? Why?

Yes. The reader perfectly portrayed the individuality of each character. The story is compelling.

What did you like best about this story?

The vivid characters and the voice of each one.

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

I have not listened to her before but she did a terrific job in this book.

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

Yes, but my explanation would be a spoiler.

Any additional comments?

Get this book. As usual, descriptions about what the Nazis did boggles the mind and crushes the spirit, but the strength and determination of the French resistance is impressive.

  • A Train in Winter

  • An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France
  • By: Caroline Moorehead
  • Narrated by: Wanda McCaddon
  • Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 124
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 109
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 109

They were teachers, students, chemists, writers, and housewives. They distributed anti-Nazi leaflets, printed subversive newspapers, hid resisters, spirited Jews to safety, transported weapons, and conveyed clandestine messages. The youngest was a schoolgirl of 15 who scrawled “V” for victory on the walls of her lycée; the eldest, a farmer’s wife in her sixties who harbored escaped Allied airmen. Strangers to one another, hailing from villages and cities from across France, these brave women were united in hatred and defiance of their Nazi occupiers.<

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A real look at life

  • By Sher Sutherland on 04-20-12

Too Much and Too Little

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

Reviewed: 03-17-15

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Put it into first person of each character so the listener can picture her and know her as a person, not just a victim. Use dialogue instead of narrative. As graphic as the descriptions were listening to them over and over was boring.

Has A Train in Winter turned you off from other books in this genre?

No.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Wanda McCaddon?

Probably not unless it was a novel and she could play characters, not just describe them.

Was A Train in Winter worth the listening time?

No. I found myself waiting for dialogue.

Any additional comments?

This book, while well written, is told exclusively in narrative form. There is no dialogue among the major characters and therefore listening to the narration gets tedious and I could not identify with the women in any way except by name alone. Also, the story is not for the faint of heart. I found myself turning it off several times upon hearing about victims, including children, being burned alive or dismembered, poisoned, or starved to death. I know these things have occurred and people should be made aware of these acts but not over and over and over in the same story. I have read many books of all genres about the atrocities of the Nazi soldiers and officers alike, but none were as graphic and disturbing as this one.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Secret Rescue

  • An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines
  • By: Cate Lineberry
  • Narrated by: Erin Bennett
  • Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 63
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 59

When 26 Army nurses and medics - part of the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron - boarded a cargo plane for transport in November 1943, they never anticipated the crash landing in Nazi-occupied Albania that would lead to their months-long struggle for survival.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing story untold for so long

  • By Christi Milton on 06-18-14

A Bit Tedious

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

Reviewed: 07-31-13

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, unless the friend is a World War II fanatic

Would you listen to another book narrated by Erin Bennett?

No.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Maybe.

Any additional comments?

The research is excellent but the reader uncompelling and there's too much detail and repetiveness. This story would be a much better listen if written as historical fiction.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Bat

  • A Harry Hole Thriller, Book 1
  • By: Jo Nesbo
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,220
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,052
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,042

Harry is out of his depth. Detective Harry Hole is meant to keep out of trouble. A young Norwegian girl taking a gap year in Sydney has been murdered, and Harry has been sent to Australia to assist in any way he can. He's not supposed to get too involved. When the team unearths a string of unsolved murders and disappearances, nothing will stop Harry from finding out the truth. The hunt for a serial killer is on, but the murderer will talk only to Harry. He might just be the next victim.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Probably the best of this remarkable series.

  • By Charles Atkinson on 11-08-12

Geat story even greater narration

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

Reviewed: 12-07-12

What made the experience of listening to The Bat the most enjoyable?

The narration and the twists on who is the perp.

What other book might you compare The Bat to and why?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Same excellent writing, description, and intrigue.

Which character – as performed by Sean Barrett – was your favorite?

Andrew

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

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Although I've listed to more books than I can possibly recall I do believe Barrett's narration was one of if not THE best I have ever heard.

  • Unorthodox

  • The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots
  • By: Deborah Feldman
  • Narrated by: Rachel Botchan
  • Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 577
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 490
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 491

In this captivating memoir, Deborah Feldman takes listeners on an eye-opening journey into Orthodox Jewish culture. Raised in the suffocating world of Brooklyn’s Satmar Hasidim, Feldman was told what to read and who she was allowed to talk to. Married off at 17, she suffered from anxiety and was shamed by an inability to please her older husband. But after giving birth to a son at age 19, Feldman realized it was time to tear up her roots and make her own path in life.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A one-sided glimpse into a secretive world

  • By Ella on 03-10-12

Zzzzzz

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

Reviewed: 09-18-12

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Greater detail, more insight. This author is too young to write a memoir that reflects a true life experience gained from another twenty years of her life.

Would you ever listen to anything by Deborah Feldman again?

probably not.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I found the reader's voice irritating, although its youth was authentic for the story.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Few.

Any additional comments?

The writing was rudimentary and a bore to listen to. Of all the outstanding writers out there who have received rejection upon rejection, how did this one get published?

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • This Body of Death

  • An Inspector Lynley Novel
  • By: Elizabeth George
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 23 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 658
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 384
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 388

Thomas Lynley is called back to Scotland Yard when the body of a woman is found stabbed and abandoned in an isolated London cemetery. His former team doesn't trust the leadership of their new department chief, Isabelle Ardery, but Lynley may be the sole person who can see beneath his superior officer's hard-as-nails exterior to a hidden and possibly attractive vulnerability.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting Mix for Elizabeth George Fans

  • By Rebecarol on 08-14-10

Too many words

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-16-10

Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria told Mozart his most recent composition had "too many notes". Although I really like Elizabeth George's books, this one had "too many words". Much of the descriptions in one chapter or another could have been left out with no damage to the story. Still, Havers is my favoriate...next to Salandar.

I did not figure out whodunit on this one and for that reason I give it 4 stars.

I still like EG.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • City of Thieves

  • A Novel
  • By: David Benioff
  • Narrated by: Ron Perlman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,368
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,396
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,389

A writer visits his retired grandparents in Florida to document their experience during the infamous siege of Leningrad. His grandmother won't talk about it, but his grandfather reluctantly consents. The result is the captivating odyssey of two young men trying to survive against desperate odds. Lev Beniov considers himself "built for deprivation." He's small, smart, and insecure, a Jewish virgin too young for the army, who spends his nights working as a volunteer firefighter with friends from his building.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stunning Tale. Great Narration.

  • By Paul on 10-24-09

Zzzzz

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-14-10

This is a guy book, unless you like a lot of testosterone-based language. The reader is deadly; a monotone. Someone recommended this to me and I wish they had not.

5 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Paris Vendetta

  • A Novel
  • By: Steve Berry
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,222
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 750
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 739

When Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile in 1821, he took to the grave a powerful secret. As general and emperor, he had stolen immeasurable riches from palaces, national treasuries, and even the Knights of Malta and the Vatican. In his final days, his British captors hoped to learn where the loot lay hidden. But he told them nothing, and in his will he made no mention of the treasure. Or did he?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent novel

  • By Paul on 12-03-09

Uggggh

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-14-10

I have listened to about 1 hour of this book and could bear it no longer. The story is old, the language is hackneyed, and the reader, oh the reader...dull, dull, dull. Can't think of a reason to give it even one star.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Scarpetta Factor

  • By: Patricia Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 16 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,067
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 580
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 586

It is the week before Christmas. A tanking economy has prompted Dr. Kay Scarpetta - despite her busy schedule and her continuing work as the senior forensic analyst for CNN - to offer her services pro bono to New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. In no time at all, her increased visibility seems to precipitate a string of unexpected and unsettling events.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointed

  • By Lee on 10-22-09

Do not waste your time

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-03-09

I don't know which is worse, the writing or the narration. Cornwell needs to drop the Scarpetta, et al characters and start over. She should begin by reading PD James to see how really good mysteries are written really well. As for the narrator, oy. So monotonous I could hardly tell which character was speaking. The last straw for me was the 20 minute sleep inducing dialogue between Benton and Clark. The text is hackneyed, the plot simplistic, and the writing and dialogue nervewrackingly tedious. What was the editor thinking? Wake up, Cornwell. Splash some water on your face and write something that does not cause drowsiness in the listener/reader.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful