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Frank

  • 16
  • reviews
  • 15
  • helpful votes
  • 88
  • ratings
  • How to Survive a Plague

  • The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS
  • By: David France
  • Narrated by: Rory O'Malley
  • Length: 24 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 200
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 192
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191

A riveting, powerful telling of the story of the grassroots movement of activists, many of them in a life-or-death struggle, who seized upon scientific research to help develop the drugs that turned HIV from a mostly fatal infection to a manageable disease. Ignored by public officials, religious leaders, and the nation at large, and confronted with shame and hatred, this small group of men and women chose to fight for their right to live by educating themselves and demanding to become full partners in the race for effective treatments.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sad story, beautifully told

  • By Michael on 07-03-17

Inspiring activism in the face of great odds

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

Reviewed: 06-12-18

Though consistently dark, this book is rarely bleak, and it proves itself a landmark in queer historical literature. From throwing a giant condom over a politician’s house to creating an illegal drug market that was both a protest and a means to survive, the AIDS Epidemic activists disrupted society with a relentlessness far greater than the disease that ravaged their bodies. We typically regard this period of Queer History with appropriate reverence and gravity, but if I had to pick one word to describe the ACT UP movement, it would be this: Badass.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Listener's Bible NIV audiobook cover art
  • The Listener's Bible NIV

  • The Complete Bible, Genesis to Revelation
  • By: Fellowship for the Performing Arts
  • Narrated by: Max McLean
  • Length: 75 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,202
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 829
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 823

Do you find the Bible hard to read? Do your thoughts wander as you try to make your way through a Bible reading program? If so then discover the joy of listening to the Bible. Now you can experience the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, wherever you are... with understanding you never thought possible. These digital recordings are a lifetime investment for your spiritual well-being. They are also the perfect gifts for senior citizens, the sight impaired and anyone who finds the Bible hard to read.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It's All There - And It's Wonderful

  • By Barbara Thompson on 02-27-12

The BEST Book

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

Reviewed: 11-26-13

Wonderful. This was a great book and I loved it. Thanks so much, God, for writing it.

  • Dimension of Miracles

  • By: Robert Sheckley
  • Narrated by: John Hodgman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,317
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,217
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,218

Dimension of Miracles is a satirical science fiction novel first published by Dell in 1968. It's about Tom Carmody, a New Yorker who, thanks to a computer error, wins the main prize in the Intergalactic Sweepstakes. Tom claims his prize before the error is discovered and is allowed to keep it. However, since Tom is a human from Earth without galactic status and no space traveling experience, he has no homing instinct that can guide him back to Earth once his odyssey begins - and the galactic lottery organizers cannot transport him home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Easily The Best Title I've Encountered on Audible

  • By Niels J. Rasmussen on 07-02-13

The Intelligent City

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

Reviewed: 07-31-13

I thought this short novel was fantastic. The plot is quite thin and easy to grasp: Tom Carmody, an Earthling, mistakenly receives a prize in the Intergalactic Sweepstakes. Having been teleported to a far-off planet, he is left stranded with little knowledge of how to return. He then travels from planet to planet, and from dimension to dimension, in search of home.

Along the way, he encounters a strange City, one of my favorite parts. It seems uninhabited, until the City itself begins to speak and interact with Carmody. It explains that it was built to facilitate health and comfort in the lives of its citizens. Carmody wonders why no one currently lives in the City, but he accepts the comfort that it provides him; or, rather, that it insists upon him. And though the City may have good intentions, Carmody soon finds that its nagging perfectionism and constant "suggestions" are overwhelmingly annoying.

Carmody eventually refuses to listen to the City. He understands that, for example, the costs of smoking a cigarette far outweigh the benefits; but there comes a point where Carmody's ability to make a choice becomes more important to him than the effects of the choices he makes. The intelligent City reveals something beautifully complex about people: even with clear evidence that a certain choice is the most correct or logical, a person is driven to maintain a sense that their choice (whatever it may be) is possibly the right one, even if it is quite apparently wrong.

Absurd yet enlightening moments like this make Dimension of Miracles an engaging and fulfilling listen. Narrator John Hodgman does a fantastic job as well. He gives a relatable exasperation to the main character and an ironic realism to all of the extraterrestrials he meets. It's quick, it's funny, and it really caught my ear.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Blade Runner

  • Originally published as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  • By: Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,686
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,925
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,930

It was January 2021, and Rick Deckard had a license to kill. Somewhere among the hordes of humans out there lurked several rogue androids. Deckard's assignment: find them and then..."retire" them. Trouble was, the androids all looked exactly like humans, and they didn't want to be found!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Asking the important questions 50 years on

  • By Ian C Robertson on 05-09-12

The Title Is A Question

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

Reviewed: 02-01-13

I wish the publishers had just stuck with the original title of this book (Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?). Although, I understand that sales are most likely increased because of its increased association with the popular movie, Blade Runner. Still, the original title is so much better! It literally poses a question, and it is so satisfyingly frustrating because by the end of the novel, you have no answers; only more questions.

The questions that this book tackles are difficult, and the way Dick attempts (and just manages to attempt) these questions is well-rounded; topics such as atheism versus theism and reality versus unreality (or perhaps surreality). They're handled with elegance and the beauty of imperfection and incompletion. The attempt to answer only leads to more questions. And such fantastic questions.

For a science fiction novel, it's also pretty accessible. Dick takes a lot of pointers from the noir and detective fiction genres; there's a lot of satisfying action alongside the difficult, intellectual subject matter.

As for the audiobook, the narrator is much too slow. Listening to him on 3x speed sounded like the normal speed of most narrators. But he was good, otherwise. Don't let it deter you from listening.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Let's Pretend This Never Happened

  • A Mostly True Memoir
  • By: Jenny Lawson
  • Narrated by: Jenny Lawson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,799
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,268
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,263

For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris - Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut. Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives - the ones we'd like to pretend never happened - are in fact the ones that define us. In Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • How the Bloggess almost made me crash my car!

  • By D. S. Smith on 05-19-12

Beyonce, the Five-Foot Metal Chicken

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

Reviewed: 01-21-13

This was a very funny, light read. I must admit, I pre-judged the quality of the book by the sound of the author/narrator's voice. However, she turned out to be a lot more interesting, and hilarious than I expected. I'm a big fan of vulgarity and impropriety for their own sakes, and this book is filled with anecdotes with those qualities. Though I do wish she had gone a little deeper and a little darker into her experience with the diagnosis of General Anxiety Disorder and OCD. There were a few really visceral moments that brought me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to really understand her psychological condition (e.g. how she carried her miscarry for over a month, leading to an emotional breakdown). I wanted more of those. But, for the most part, I was happy with the quality of uncomfortable, though light-hearted and funny, story-telling.

As always, my listening experience was enhanced because the author read her own work.

  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs / Pickles to Pittsburgh

  • By: Judi Barrett
  • Narrated by: Jerry Terheyen, Linda Terheyen
  • Length: 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 25

Two tall tales about the tiny town of Chewandswallow, featuring immense foodstuffs and distinct characters, are included this delightful collection.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cute and very well done

  • By Andrea Barker on 08-13-18

Good, But Lacking Something

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

Reviewed: 01-12-13

Any additional comments?

These are pretty good kids' stories; they're creative, funny, quirky, and relatable (in that kids love food). However, they lacked something that could have made them more creative. I think I disliked the bookends of realism; I disliked that Chewandswallow was merely a fantasy. Then again, the world of the Wild Things in Where The Wild Things Are is just as much a fantasy. Yet, it feels much more real than the fantasy land of these stories. I think most kids would enjoy them though. I just don't think they'll be the kinds of stories remembered vividly in later life.

Also, the male narrator was great, but the female narrator (especially in Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs) was really annoying.

  • The Hobbit

  • By: J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Narrated by: Rob Inglis
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,963
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36,995
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 37,203

Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Finally! Thank you Audible!

  • By Bryan J. Peterson on 10-20-12

Hobbit Hobbit Hobbit

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

Reviewed: 01-12-13

Any additional comments?

Finally, The Hobbit comes to Audible! This is my first time delving into this book in many years. I think I may have enjoyed it more in audio than I did in print. It's most certainly a story meant to be read aloud. It relies heavily on "storytelling" conventions. Listening to Rob Inglis feels like being a child again, hearing stories told by your grandfather while sitting comfortably at his feet. While it isn't as dark or gripping as The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (it can be rather goofy at times, though in an endearing way), it is a great story in its own right; a light prequel to the epic masterwork that followed.

Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome audiobook cover art
  • Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome

  • By: Maria Bamford
  • Length: 50 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46

Almost an hour of hilarious stories told with characters in her inimitable, idiosyncratic style. Maria Bamford is well-known from her two Comedy Central Presents specials, two critically acclaimed and strong-selling albums, her role in The Comedians of Comedy, and in Fox's series Sit Down, Shut Up, from the talk-show circuit, and from extensive touring.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Laughed out Loud over and over

  • By LMB on 12-11-11

Buy It If Even Just For The Cover

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

Reviewed: 01-12-13

Any additional comments?

My second review of a Maria Bamford Audible Audio Program! This is an excellent addition to her repertoire. Her depressive and derealistic view of everyday life seems almost like therapy; and I love being her therapist. Her voices are incredible as ever; jarring, accurate, and hilarious. There's nothing like being inside of her head for an hour; though don't stay too long. You may go insane.

Again, if you enjoy this, watch The Maria Bamford Show on YouTube!!!

The Burning Bridges Tour audiobook cover art
  • The Burning Bridges Tour

  • By: Maria Bamford
  • Narrated by: Maria Bamford
  • Length: 41 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36

Maria Bamford speaks in many voices. No, She is not an impressionist, unless you count the stellar impression of her mom. Maria feels her high-pitched voice does not command respect, as a result, she has taken on many voices to help her tell her wickedly funny jokes. Decidedly off-beat, Maria has a wide-eyed innocence that comes shining through on this, her debut recording.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wicked Funny!

  • By Joseph on 01-25-11

My Favorite Comedian

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

Reviewed: 01-12-13

Any additional comments?

Maria Bamford's weird, absurdist sense of humor is wonderfully dark, intimate, and hilarious. She has fantastic insights into the strange minutiae of every day interactions. She is a wizard when it comes to accurately expressing the awkwardness and weirdness of people that only an expert derealist can manage. If you like this, I highly recommend The Maria Bamford Show on YouTube!

  • Of Mice and Men

  • By: John Steinbeck
  • Narrated by: Gary Sinise
  • Length: 3 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,820
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,151
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,139

While the powerlessness of the laboring class is a recurring theme in Steinbeck’s work of the late 1930s, he narrowed his focus when composing Of Mice and Men (1937), creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness. But though the scope is narrow, the theme is universal: a friendship and shared dream that make an individual’s existence meaningful.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My First Steinbeck... I've Missed So Much!

  • By Jonathan Love on 08-31-16

A Classic Tearjerker

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

Reviewed: 09-04-12

Any additional comments?

This book’s reputation as a classic (sadly, one that is force-fed to teenagers and whose value thus diminishes) certainly precedes it. And though it is a deeply profound and complex story, one certainly deserving of that word, “classic”, when approached from the simplest perspective, it is still just a very good story. Steinback’s language is never pretentious or lofty. He uses the vernacular of the characters about whom he writes, and he surrounds this vernacular with a strong but subtle narrative voice.

The narrator of the audiobook is one of the best I’ve listened to. His command of the varying tones of the characters’ voices is evocative of Steinbeck’s narrative style. The melancholic subtleties of his voice in the story’s tearjerking conclusion absolutely destroyed my afternoon (in the best of ways).