LISTENER

Brigham

  • 67
  • reviews
  • 139
  • helpful votes
  • 122
  • ratings
  • Fair Ball

  • A Fan's Case for Baseball
  • By: Bob Costas
  • Narrated by: Bob Costas
  • Length: 3 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 45
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

Balanced by Costas' unbridled appreciation for what he calls the "moments of authenticity" that can still make baseball inspiring, Fair Ball offers a vision of our national pastime as it can be, a game that retains its traditional appeal while initiating meaningful changes that will allow it to thrive into the next century.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Prime Bob Costas

  • By Steven on 05-06-15

Fascinating...even 20-years later!

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

Reviewed: 03-07-19

This is an interesting listen for anyone who loves baseball. Unless you're on the fence, then don't dive in. He makes a liat of scathing comments that could easily poison the water of any fair-weather baseball fan.

  • Kill Creek

  • By: Scott Thomas
  • Narrated by: Bernard Setaro Clark
  • Length: 15 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,241
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,033
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,023

When best-selling horror author Sam McGarver is invited to spend Halloween night in one of the country's most infamous haunted houses, he reluctantly agrees. At least he won't be alone; joining him are three other masters of the macabre, writers who have helped shape modern horror. But what begins as a simple publicity stunt will become a fight for survival. The entity they have awakened will follow them, torment them, threatening to make them a part of the bloody legacy of Kill Creek.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • UNUSUAL PREMISE, COULDN'T STOP LISTENING

  • By Linda Likes to Learn on 12-02-17

If you like scary stories, don't miss this one!

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

Reviewed: 01-04-19

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC

I was WAY too into this book. The characters were so well thought-out and wonderfully developed. The plot was layered and just good enough to be called "rich." But the best part of it all was the tone.

Scott Thomas is clearly an accomplished writer, but a quick glance at his bio is illuminating. From the moment this book began I was gripped. Scene setting, world building, pacing, all formed a unique and excellent experience. Every scene is gripping and dark as he drags you into his world. It was as good as most Stephen King novels; better than some for sure.

The language is intense. The content of this book is very adult and readers should know that going in. But it always served a greater purpose and I didn't feel ig was gratuitous or beyond the barriers set by honoring his characrters. But it'll certainly offend some people.

  • The Christmas Hirelings

  • By: Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 3 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,218
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,603
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,568

Sir John Penlyon is planning to spend Christmas at his estate with his niece and his friend Danby, the closest thing he has to family since disowning his daughter years ago. (She eloped with the parson, who was, of course, penniless.) Danby suggests that at Christmastime the estate needs the presence of small children, and offers to find some - the “hirelings” - despite Sir John’s skepticism. Three children duly arrive, and the youngest, precocious four year-old Moppet, quickly endears herself to Sir John. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A warm and lovely Christmas story

  • By Elisabeth Carey on 12-13-18

Armitage Wins...Story Fails Right Away

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

Reviewed: 12-23-18

Ugh...I'm glad this was free. Usually, the Audible annual Christmas gift book is a delight. And, judging by the overwhelming majority of positive reviews I must be the exception here. That being said I don't have to like this story.

I thought it was entirely predictable. Boring and mercifully short. I read older stories like this often. So my issue had nothing at all to do with the language or anachronistic setting.

The one thing deserving of praise was the way the author depicted the thing I can't talk about for fear of spoilers. But it actually succeeded in making me sad. That was nice hahaha.

  • Etiquette & Espionage

  • Finishing School, Book 1
  • By: Gail Carriger
  • Narrated by: Moira Quirk
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,093
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,825
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,832

Fourteen-year old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. More interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea - and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy - Mrs. Temminnick is desperate her daughter become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish all right - but it's a different kind of finishing.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Light, Fun YA Steampunk Novel

  • By Rebecca on 02-11-13

Perfect Pre-teen/YA Stemapunk! Wicked Good Fun!

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

Reviewed: 12-07-18

How was this book so good?

Okay, this was another read outside my wheelhouse on purpose. Come on? A 19th century steampunk story about a group of girls shipped off to boarding school to (auspiciously) perfect their manners and fashion sense. When, in fact, they are learning deception, assassination, theft, poison, etc. . . how could this be bad?! Well, it wasn't. It was wicked good fun.

The principle character is a 14-year-old girl with more to offer than even she knows. The setting and plot were entirely age appropriate. The fact that it's set in the late 1800's only adds to the skillful layer of censorship the author achieves for the audience. The most offensive term I heard was "cleavage" and it was only used once or twice. Typically, the euphamism of choice was "decolletage." That lind of thing happened all the time and was totally impressive.

I would recommend this widely. Especially to the YA/Pre-teen female reader who wants a classy, fun, and strong female lead experience.

I should also be clear that the narrator was AWESOME! Even when she needed a (purposefully) terrible French accent she nailed it. That happens early, so don't abandon this if it pains you to hear bad French accents, it's worth it!

  • Critical Failures

  • Caverns and Creatures, Book 1
  • By: Robert Bevan
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Sleep
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,533
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,073
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,059

Tim and his friends find out the hard way that you shouldn't question the game master, and you shouldn't make fun of his cape. One minute, they're drinking away the dreariness of their lives, escaping into a fantasy game and laughing their asses off. The next minute, they're in a horse-drawn cart surrounded by soldiers pointing crossbows at them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Audible Studio...More Please!

  • By M. Maryanow on 02-01-15

Narrator Nearly Ruined It

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

Reviewed: 12-04-18

The story was fine. it wasn't complete. This also took me WELL outside my wheelhouse.

  • East of Eden

  • By: John Steinbeck
  • Narrated by: Richard Poe
  • Length: 25 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,067
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,283
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,297

This sprawling and often brutal novel, set in the rich farmlands of California's Salinas Valley, follows the intertwined destinies of two families - the Trasks and the Hamiltons - whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Why have I avoided this Beautiful Book???

  • By Kelly on 03-25-17

An American Allegory, If It's Anything!

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

Reviewed: 08-24-18

This is a luxurious read. Take it slow and let Steinbeck's mastery revitalize your mind. Anything I say will likely be perceived as absurd because I loved this book so much. Steinbeck is more than an author. This book is more philosophy than mere fiction. One might even classify it as allegorical in its exploration of deeply human and universal themes.

Everyone who reads this will likely get something wildly different out of it but one thing I think can be felt by all; this book epitomizes American literature. In fact, in the final chapters, Lee and Caleb discuss what it means to be American and it's brilliant. Not in the patriotic sense but in the core character of American rebellion and ingenuity and our sense of moral rightness (as held at the turn of the century). While much has changed in modern society, the values and evils and joys of American life are still prominent today.

One last note. I lived in Monterey, California, which sits just west of Salinas, where the bulk of this tale takes place. Steinbeck captures the charm and character of the setting so perfectly. He does so with a loving fondness that made me ache to spend more time in that wonderful county.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

The War of Art audiobook cover art
  • The War of Art

  • Winning the Inner Creative Battle
  • By: Steven Pressfield
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 2 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,799
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,319
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,263

Internationally best-selling author of Last of the Amazons, Gates of Fire and Tides of War, Steven Pressfield delivers a guide to inspire and support those who struggle to express their creativity. Pressfield believes that “resistance” is the greatest enemy, and he offers many unique and helpful ways to overcome it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A must-have for anyone creative (or not)

  • By kimberly on 02-01-12

Life-changing

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

Reviewed: 08-15-18

Pressfield's observations and candor are alarmingly important and undeniably timeless. Also, George Guidall was brilliant.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Billy Bathgate

  • A Novel
  • By: E. L. Doctorow
  • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 122
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 110
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 110

To listen to this audiobook is to enter the perilous, thrilling world of Billy Bathgate, the brazen boy who is accepted into the inner circle of the notorious Dutch Schultz gang. Like an urban Tom Sawyer, Billy takes us along on his fateful adventures as he becomes good-luck charm, apprentice, and finally protégé to one of the great murdering gangsters of the Depression-era underworld in New York City. The luminous transformation of fact into fiction that is E. L. Doctorow's trademark comes to triumphant fruition in Billy Bathgate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Gangster story. Beautiful prose. The best

  • By BarelyAudible on 06-01-14

It was...good. I wish I had enjoyed it more.

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

Reviewed: 06-03-18

The Good: Doctorow is clearly a master wordsmith. When it is well suited to the purpose of a particular scene, his skill flows in a rising and falling motion. His characters were vivid and believable. And the scene setting/world building engaged all of the senses with a fastidious attention to detail which he delivers almost carelessly. Billy's introspection makes room for Doctorow's philosophies and the man is as much a philosopher poet as a dealer in fiction. Fiction is often described as a lie used as a vehicle to convey truth; that is what you will get in this tale.

The Bad: Billy continually works to reconcile his natural innocence with his ever-increasing reality of, at first moral ambiguity, and progressively a criminal bent. Therefore, his streams of consciousness make dramatic leaps from rich prose to absolute crass vocabulary in an instant. While I am not thick skinned, it was arresting more often than I would have liked. I do not impune the use of vulgarity and many of the characters are well suited to it. Yet, despite the illustration of Billy's development, I repeatedly struggled with the particular descriptions (and Billy's perceptions) of almost all things sexual.

Overall, it was a good read but not my favorite yarn. Doctorow's philosophies and vocabulary, however, were masterful.

  • The Kremlin's Candidate

  • The Red Sparrow Trilogy, Book 3
  • By: Jason Matthews
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Bobb
  • Length: 17 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,799
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,553
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,544

Russian counterintelligence chief Colonel Dominika Egorova has been a recruited asset of the CIA, stealing Kremlin secrets for her CIA handler, Nate Nash, for over seven years. In the dazzling finale to the Red Sparrow Trilogy, their forbidden and tumultuous love affair continues, mortally dangerous for them both but irresistible. In Washington, a newly installed US administration is selecting its cabinet members. Dominika hears a whisper of a closely held Kremlin operation to place a mole inside a high intelligence position.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Torn from today’s news

  • By Gary on 02-15-18

Absolutely Perfect!

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

Reviewed: 05-23-18

There are zero alternative ways to have completed this trilogy. Its finalé was executed precisely as I would have hoped.

  • Moonglow

  • A Novel
  • By: Michael Chabon
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 14 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,320
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,201
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,198

Moonglow unfolds as the deathbed confession, made to his grandson, of a man the narrator refers to only as "my grandfather". It is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and desire and ordinary love, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at midcentury, and, above all, of the destructive impact - and the creative power - of the keeping of secrets and the telling of lies.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful novel, terrible narrator

  • By Joyce M. Bernheim on 12-30-16

Speculative history meets family laundry

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

Reviewed: 05-23-18

This is my second experience with Chabon, and it won't be my last...probably.

1) "Kavalier and Clay" was SO GREAT I likely expected too much from this book.

2) This is autobiography meets fiction which can be awesome when veiled. This was anything but veiled...which should work, but it didn't for me. The plot was really choppy, which was by design, I'm sure. That's where it got a fictional style and flair. Otherwise, it would have read as a narrative history and that would have been just plain boring. Because it's "fiction" we get to see Chabon do his thing a bit. Vivid details, exquisite descriptions, and geriatric sex. He just isn't going to cut that out, is he?

3) I'm not a space-enthusiast. To me, the final frontier is—well—death and I just don't care for the obsession with space travel, rockets, and that stuff. That's not Chabon's fault, by the way, I'm to blame there.

4) Early in the story, it flowed the way I hoped it would. I expected a meandering experience with a gentle start and a nice, soft landing into the finish. What I got was an excellent Chabonesque opening and a finale that seemed rushed, or bored, or fed up. Almost as though Chabon himself couldn't wait to put down the book. That would have been a major buzzkill if I had been buzzing at all.

5) Spies. I love spy stories. I love stories with mere tertiary spy angles. I love stories where kids run around pretending to be spies while they wait for dinner. This book presented Wild Bill Donovan and all I got was a rinky-dink story about a V2 rocket and a priest discovered in Europe; which, by the way NEVER WENT ANYWHERE! I'm a little pissed about the spy thing.

6) Is this speculative history? Yes. Is this reconstructionist? Yes. Is this family dirty laundry? Who f***ing knows

1 of 1 people found this review helpful