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Marbeth Skwarczynski

  • 12
  • reviews
  • 0
  • helpful votes
  • 34
  • ratings
  • Sarrasine

  • By: Honoré de Balzac
  • Narrated by: Sean Murphy
  • Length: 1 hr and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 3

"Sarrasine" is a novella written by Honoré de Balzac. It was published in 1830, and is part of his Human Comedy . Around midnight during a ball the narrator is sitting at a window, out of sight, admiring the garden. He overhears the conversations of passers-by regarding the origins of the wealth of the mansion's owner, Monsieur de Lanty.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Hard to hear, hard to listen to.

  • By Marbeth Skwarczynski on 07-20-18

Hard to hear, hard to listen to.

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

Reviewed: 07-20-18

At only an hour and a half, one would think this story would be a perfect choice for a quick listen. The performer keeps his voice low throughout so that he's barely audible or understandable. As for the story? Convoluted, silly, and overwrought.

  • Gulliver's Travels: A Signature Performance by David Hyde Pierce

  • By: Jonathan Swift
  • Narrated by: David Hyde Pierce
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,945
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,645
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,647

A Signature Performance: Four-time Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce delivers an air of lovable self-importance in his rendition of the classic social satire that remains as fresh today as the day it was published.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved every minute

  • By Rose on 01-16-11

Satire at it's finest.

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

Reviewed: 05-17-18

A satirical farce aimed at the government and culture of England during the rein of Queen Anne. Everywhere Gulliver goes, he can't help but compare his hosts to his countrymen. It can be wordy at times, but David Hyde Pierce moves the story along nicely.

  • Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End

  • Book 3
  • By: Jennifer Worth
  • Narrated by: Nicola Barber
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,219
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,097
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,094

When 22-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the poorest section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood's most vivid chronicler. Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End is the last book in Worth's memoir trilogy, which the Times Literary Supplement described as "powerful stories with sweet charm and controlled outrage" in the face of dire circumstances.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hated to see it end...

  • By Jan on 02-20-14

It is finished.

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

Reviewed: 05-12-18

A wonderful end to this well-written and picturesque series. A must for history lovers like me.

  • The Decameron

  • By: Giovanni Boccaccio
  • Narrated by: Simon Russell Beale, Gunnar Cauthery, Alison Pettitt, and others
  • Length: 28 hrs and 4 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20

The Decameron is one of the greatest literary works of the Middle Ages. Ten young people have fled the terrible effects of the Black Death in Florence and, in an idyllic setting, tell a series of brilliant stories, by turns humorous, bawdy, tragic and provocative. This celebration of physical and sexual vitality is Boccaccio's answer to the sublime other-worldliness of Dante's Divine Comedy.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not Up to the Usual Naxos Standard

  • By John on 11-15-17

Three's Company meets Medieval Times

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

Reviewed: 05-04-18

So glad I listened to this full-cast version. The vocal performers brought the stories to life. If you like Chaucer, you'll like Boccaccio. This cycle of short stories may be crude at times but it's never boring.

  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

  • Life Among the Lowly
  • By: Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Narrated by: Mary Sarah
  • Length: 15 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,554
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,414
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,414

Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible. It is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. In 1855, three years after it was published, it was called "the most popular novel of our day." A thrilling and important piece of American literature!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Narration

  • By Linda on 04-14-16

Review from 11-12th Lit class from CCS

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

Reviewed: 02-16-18

An honest look at the practice of slavery. At times snarky, sarcastic, and satiric as the author spreads the blame for such evil to everyone not actively engaged in destroying the institution. Since the book is a Christian novel, the symbolism of Uncle Tom as a Christ figure is seen throughout his story, not just at the novel's climax. Stowe' s final "sermon" at the end of the book encourages her Christian readers to end the sin of slavery before the judgement prophecied in Revelation falls upon their heads. This amazing novel resonates with the Christian reader even today.

  • Democracy

  • Stories from the Long Road to Freedom
  • By: Condoleezza Rice
  • Narrated by: Grace Angela Henry
  • Length: 12 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 208
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 190

From the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union to the ongoing struggle for human rights in the Middle East, Condoleezza Rice has served on the front lines of history. As a child, she was an eyewitness to a third awakening of freedom, when her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, became the epicenter of the civil rights movement for black Americans. In this book, Rice explains what these epochal events teach us about democracy.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Case for Democracy

  • By Jean on 05-18-17

Clear, insightful, and passionately presented.

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

Reviewed: 02-13-18

Democracy is an ideal that is obviously dear to the author's heart. Her experience on the world stage allows her to present concrete examples of personal observation. Her background in both politics and education comes through on every page as does her desire to see all peoples of the world realize peace and freedom, recognizing that those goals require hard work, effort, and sacrifice.

  • Emma [Naxos]

  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,007
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,511
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,504

One of Jane Austen's most popular novels. Arrogant, self-willed, and egotistical, Emma is her most unusual heroine.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful listen

  • By H. CRODDICK on 08-07-08

Too Many Silly Characters

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

Reviewed: 01-27-18

One of the hallmarks of a Jane Austen novel is her strong female protagonist. Emma lacks this important character. The one strong and sensible character is a man who spends precious little time in the novel but who swoops in to save the heroine from her mistakes and chides her for bad behavior. Elizabeth Bennett and Elinor Dashwood would have been disappointed and embarrassed by Emma's complete lack of self-awareness and likely would have rolled their eyes as often as I did while listening to this ill-conceived story.

  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

  • By: Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 3 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 489
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 452
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 450

Audible presents a special edition of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde narrated by Richard Armitage. With Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Richard Armitage tells the story of a conflicted man who seeks a remedy to free the monster inside him from the clutches of his conscience. Following his celebrated performance of David Copperfield, Armitage delivers another powerhouse performance as the narrator of this Gothic tale.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Changed my understanding of processing literature

  • By Brent W on 11-02-17

A Classic for a Reason

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

Reviewed: 01-14-18

Fantastic study of the Victorian struggle with the duality of man. It is as applicable today as it was when it was published.

  • Pride and Prejudice

  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: Rosamund Pike
  • Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 10,139
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9,212
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 9,172

One of Jane Austen’s most beloved works, Pride and Prejudice, is vividly brought to life by Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike ( Gone Girl). In her bright and energetic performance of this British classic, she expertly captures Austen’s signature wit and tone. Her attention to detail, her literary background, and her performance in the 2005 feature film version of the novel provide the perfect foundation from which to convey the story of Elizabeth Bennett, her four sisters, and the inimitable Mr. Darcy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A perfect narration of a perfect book

  • By Akela on 12-09-15

A listening pleasure.

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

Reviewed: 12-05-17

Rosamund Pike does a wonderful job bringing Jane Austen's book to life. This will be a repeated listening pleasure for me.

  • Rob Roy

  • By: Sir Walter Scott
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 18 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 84
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 48

Rob Roy follows the adventures of Francis, a businessman's son who falls out of favor with his father and is sent to stay in the Scottish Highlands. At the house of his uncle, he meets Rashleigh, the greedy and malicious youngest son, and Diana Vernon, Rashleigh's beautiful young cousin. Seeing that Diana is attracted to Francis, Rashleigh determines to destroy him. But Francis seeks the help of Rob Roy MacGregor, a powerful and enigmatic outlaw.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Don't buy unless you know the story!

  • By Kristine on 05-17-07

So glad it's over.

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

Reviewed: 11-20-17

If you love bad Scottish accents, the sound of swallowing, and a long, incomprehensible plot that goes absolutely nowhere, then this book and performance is for you.