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alice webber

  • 18
  • reviews
  • 16
  • helpful votes
  • 20
  • ratings
  • The Song of Achilles

  • A Novel
  • By: Madeline Miller
  • Narrated by: Frazer Douglas
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,801
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,261
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,244

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks”—strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess—Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine—much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wasn't Expecting to Like It- BOY! was I wrong!!

  • By susan on 06-11-14

If you love Mythology and saga you'll love this

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

Reviewed: 01-23-19

This is the second Madeline Miller I have read and it as is good as the first (Circe). The Song of Achilles is beautifully narrated and seems to have been written to be read aloud. It's poetic, beautiful and a great story. If you are uncomfortable with fairly graphic sex scenes and a love story (between men) this may not be the book for you. The love story of Achilles and Patroclus is heartfelt and lovely. The story of the 10 year siege of Troy comes to life. I highly recommend this listen

  • Shadow on the Crown

  • A Novel
  • By: Patricia Bracewell
  • Narrated by: Katie Firth
  • Length: 13 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 494
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 452
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 452

In 1002, 15-year-old Emma of Normandy crosses the Narrow Sea to wed the much older King Athelred of England, whom she meets for the first time at the church door. Thrust into an unfamiliar and treacherous court, with a husband who mistrusts her, stepsons who resent her, and a bewitching rival who covets her crown, Emma must defend herself against her enemies and secure her status as queen by bearing a son. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating and intriguing.

  • By Michael on 02-22-13

Great story drawn out way too long

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

Reviewed: 01-23-19

I am always looking for good historical fiction about this time period in England so was thrilled to find a trilogy about Emma of Normandy - a fascinating person who few know about. Patricia Bracewell certainly did her research and her historical facts are fairly accurate and you can learn a lot about life in Saxon England before the Vikings really took over and before the Norman invasion. But this novel is really drawn out and tedious - it covers a 4 year span with far too much detail of emotional hand wringing, spousal abuse, constant metaphors comparing weather to physical states and endless ghost sightings by the tortured King Ethelred. And of course the obligatory forbidden sex scene between the Queen and her stepson which is a total fabrication. I certainly can't imagine listening to Book 2 of the trilogy which doesn't even get us to Emma marrying Cnut. Unfortunately there are very few books written about this fascinating time so if you have an interest it may be worth a listen but I can't recommend it without reservation - I was too relieved when it finally ended..

  • Dead Wake

  • The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
  • By: Erik Larson
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,255
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,212
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,196

On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Naivety VS Barbarians Of War

  • By Sara on 03-05-16

Great historical book

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

Reviewed: 01-08-19

This read like historical fiction; the characters came alive and it moved headlong into the fate of the Lusitania. Great WW1 background. Excellent narration.

  • Circe

  • By: Madeline Miller
  • Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,089
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12,247
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,173

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child - not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring, like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power - the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Refined writing with an intimate performance

  • By Michael - Audible Editor on 04-11-18

This is your next great listen

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

Reviewed: 01-08-19

Cannot express how much I love this book. If you are interested in mythology, the Odyssey, Illiad, etc this is a don't miss. The story is rich and detailed, the narration is mesmerizing, I loved everything about it. I even bought Madeline Miller's other book before I finished this one since I didn't want it to end. It's completely different from my usual genre of historical fiction and history but this is poetic and fascinating.

  • The Orphan's Tale

  • A Novel
  • By: Pam Jenoff
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Wydra, Kyla Garcia
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,641
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,360
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,342

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep. When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Sappy and tedious

  • By Churchill on 03-23-17

Don't bother

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

Reviewed: 01-03-19

I think maybe this is supposed to be juvenile literature. If you are looking for a good World War Two historical fiction this isn't it. You'll learn more about the flying trapeze in a circus than Nazis. Couldn't even finish it.

  • Legends of the Middle Ages

  • The Life and Legacy of William the Conqueror
  • By: Charles River Editors
  • Narrated by: Jack Chekijian
  • Length: 1 hr and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4

William's conquest of England arguably made him the most important figure in shaping the course of English history, but modern caricatures of this vitally important medieval figure are largely based on ignorance. William is a fascinating and complex figure, in many ways the quintessential warrior king of this period.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great overall history

  • By alice webber on 06-12-18

Great overall history

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

Reviewed: 06-12-18

I listened to this series prior to visiting the Bayeux Tapestry and giving a lecture on the Norman Invasion - it was one of many sources I used to prepare and it was the best - very entertaining and brought the ancient characters to life. Highly recommend if you are interested in the origins of England.

  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

  • By: John Irving
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 27 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,977
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,570
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,575

Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Painfully nostalgic

  • By Barry on 07-29-15

John Irving at his Best

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

Reviewed: 06-12-18

I loved the story of Owen Meany and think it resonates in today's world. It was laugh out loud funny and deeply sad. My only complaint was Joe Barrett's voice for Owen Meany - I found it off-putting and distracting - instead of really listening to the words Owen was saying I was trying not to be really annoyed at the delivery. The rest of his narration was absolutely great - he made all the other characters very real and wonderful but I had a hard time with Owen's voice. That being said I loved the book and felt bereft when it was over. Maybe it is a book better read than listened to?

  • Ordinary Heroes

  • A Novel
  • By: Scott Turow
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 13 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 924
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 324
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 321

Stewart Dubinsky knew his father had served in World War II. And he'd been told how David Dubin (as his father had Americanized the name that Stewart later reclaimed) had rescued Stewart's mother from the horror of the Balingen concentration camp. But when he discovers, after his father's death, a packet of wartime letters to a former fiancee, and learns of his father's court-martial and imprisonment, he is plunged into the mystery of his family's secret history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book, even better performance

  • By davidpvny on 11-28-05

Fantastic

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

Reviewed: 06-12-18

This was an unexpected delight since I didn't realize it would be totally a WW2 story. The narration is beyond good - Edward Herrmann is genius and is by far one of the best narrators I have ever listened to. The story is from the Battle of the Bulge and beyond and has a wonderful cast of characters that come alive. It is a mystery in a sense too. I give this book a full 10 on a scale of 1-10. If you are a fan of WW2 stories based on historical reality you will love this.

  • Surviving the Fatherland

  • A True Coming of Age Love Story Set in WWII Germany
  • By: Annette Oppenlander
  • Narrated by: Naomi Jacobson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 110
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 100
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101

Spanning 13 years from 1940 to 1953 and set against the epic panorama of WWII, author Annette Oppenlander's Surviving the Fatherland is a sweeping saga of family, love, and betrayal that illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the children's war.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Not worth my time

  • By alice webber on 06-12-18

Not worth my time

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

Reviewed: 06-12-18

I am a huge WW2 historical fiction and non fiction reader and thought this book, which I assume is based on real people, would give an interesting look at Germany during and after the war. It was very tedious, without a story arc just sort of lurching along year after year. The characters don't come alive and toward the end of the book the love story turns it into a sort of breathless teenage romance. Some of the facts of post war life in Germany were interesting but certainly not worth slogging through 13 hours - which felt like 20. The narrator is terrible - overly dramatic and sonorous. I can't recommend this book if you are a fan of good WW2 stories.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • The Caine Mutiny

  • By: Herman Wouk
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pariseau
  • Length: 26 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,755
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,501
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,499

Having inspired a classic film and Broadway play, The Caine Mutiny is Herman Wouk's boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life—and mutiny—on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater. It was immediately embraced upon its original publication as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of the Second World War. In the intervening half century, this gripping story has become a perennial favorite, selling millions throughout the world, and claiming the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Even Better than the Movie

  • By James on 06-20-12

Outstanding

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

Reviewed: 05-12-18

This is one of my favorite audio books ever. It is a great story, beautifully narrated, totally engrossing - after over 25 hours I hated for it to end.