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Larbi

Glen Ridge, NJ, USA
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 113
  • helpful votes
  • 27
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  • Born Standing Up

  • A Comic's Life
  • By: Steve Martin
  • Narrated by: Steve Martin
  • Length: 4 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,605
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,618
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,581

In the mid-70s, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. Born Standing Up is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic

  • By Andrew on 11-30-07

A good but not a great listen

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

Reviewed: 03-26-13

We were looking for a book we could both appreciate on a two hour drive and this was our compromise choice. The performance was very good and it held our interest both going up and coming back.

This is not a book of celebrity gossip or shallow reflection. That is its strength. It is a serious analysis of how Steve Martin evolved into a stand up comic, how he succeeded, and why he stopped. It candidly examines his relationship with his family, how his routine developed, who and what influenced him and how he succeeded at a particular moment in time. It also examines why he stopped at the height of his comic popularity and started making films.

Not surprisingly Steve Martin is a really effective reader and it was his performance that was the standout characteristic of the audio. Because it is a memoir it was effective to have it read by an author whose narrative skill is professional. The story is intelligent and carries you along and is very satisfying if you are looking for something to pass the time, but in the end it wasn't all that memorable.

If you grew up during Steve Martin's early career this is likely to be more of interest to you than to younger people unless you are familiar with his very visual brand of comedy during the 70s.

  • Cultural Amnesia

  • Necessary Memories from History and the Arts
  • By: Clive James
  • Narrated by: Clive James
  • Length: 6 hrs and 16 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 102
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66

From Anna Akhmatova to Stefan Zweig, via Charles de Gaulle, Hitler, Thomas Mann and Charlie Chaplin, this varied and unfailingly absorbing book is both story and history, both public memoir and personal record - and provides an essential field-guide to the vast movements of taste, intellect, politics and delusion that helped to prepare the times we live in now.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very enjoyable and well narrated

  • By Larbi on 05-18-08

Very enjoyable and well narrated

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-18-08

I'm usually not a big fan of authors' narration of their own work-I usually prefer more professional readings- but Clive James' reading of his own work was excellent and very enjoyable. I found the book fascinating from the preface right through the last essay. I only wish the version were unabridged.

The essays were both thought-provoking and insightful. They have already sent me back to many of the texts discussed with enhanced understanding and appetite.

This was a fascinating addition to my audio library and so engaging I never missed a beat though driving for hours at a time on a long commute.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • The Nine

  • Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court
  • By: Jeffrey Toobin
  • Narrated by: Don Leslie
  • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,136
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 594
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 592

Based on exclusive interviews with justices themselves, The Nine tells the story of the Supreme Court through personalities, from Anthony Kennedy's overwhelming sense of self-importance to Clarence Thomas' well-tended grievances against his critics to David Souter's odd 19th-century lifestyle. There is also, for the first time, the full behind-the-scenes story of Bush v. Gore and Sandra Day O'Connor's fateful breach with George W. Bush, the president she helped place in office.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating

  • By Stephen on 01-28-08

Great book, depressing tale

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-03-08

THis book is well constructed, it is suspenseful and gives enough personal insight in addition to the bare bones of legal issues needed to understand the major areas of dispute in US supreme court rulings over the last fifty years.

THe narrator is strong, the writing draws you in, but ultimately the status of the court is both depressing and disheartening. I saw Justice Scalia swagger across the screen on SIXTY MINUTES last week and almost wept at his arrogant unwillingness to admit he is a political hack with no shame or sense of honor.Leslie Stahl licked his feet. I felt lost in a circus tent. I was glad I had read the book so I could put Scalia's lies into context but I certainly don't feel more hopeful that things will change.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Pictures at a Revolution

  • Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood
  • By: Mark Harris
  • Narrated by: Lloyd James
  • Length: 17 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 343
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 208
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 210

Here is the epic human drama behind the making of the five movies nominated for Best Picture in 1967 - Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, Doctor Dolittle, and Bonnie and Clyde - and through them, the larger story of the cultural revolution that transformed Hollywood and America forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A good listen - A valuable book

  • By Sharon on 02-17-09

Great Book, Great Narrator

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-16-08

I really wanted to hear this book after I read some great reviews about it in the press. However, I was surprised at how quickly it became available on Audible and how TRULY EXCELLENT was the reader--I never heard him narrate a book before but this was exceptionally well narrated.

THe book is a very intelligent analysis of the five films nominated for Best Picture in 1967 and how the turning points of the movie business and America culturally were reflected in the styles, themes, and even operating processes of these films which so well outlined the lines of cultural battles of those times.

The author does a great job of analyzing cultural history without any sort of stodginess or over-intellectualizing. He creates suspense even for events and films I remember as if I'd seen them yesterday for the first time.

THis was maybe the most interesting non-fiction audiobook I've heard in months--really left me wishing the author had another book I could start right away. I also hope the narrator does other books soon because he's really a fine, fine reader.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Last Chronicle of Barset

  • By: Anthony Trollope
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 30 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 138
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 80

This last novel in the Chronicles of Barsetshire series involves Mr. Crawley, the impoverished curate of Hogglestock, who is accused of theft when he uses a large check to pay off his debts. The scandal fiercely divides the citizens of Barsetshire and threatens to tear apart Mr. Crawley's family.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb!

  • By Charles on 02-19-08

Long anticipated great pleasure, superb reader

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-01-08

As with all the other Barsetshire novels, Simon Vance made these stories passionate, suspenseful and more delicious than any group of novels I have read in years. I am now a really big SImon Vance fan and I am waiting for him to read Trollope's Palliser novels next! If you have any affection for mid-Victorian literature you are missing a treat if you don't hear Simon Vance's Barsetshire Chronicles.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Heat

  • By: Bill Buford
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 553
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 329
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 331

From one of our most interesting literary figures, former editor of Granta, former fiction editor at The New Yorker, acclaimed author of Among the Thugs, a sharp, funny, exuberant, close-up account of his headlong plunge into the life of a professional cook.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • If you're a foodie - you must read this book.

  • By Dr Woo on 06-10-12

well-read interesting book

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-01-08

I very much enjoyed Buford's book and the reading was pleasant and easy to follow. I was a little puzzled at how much the book focused on Mario Batali, but I enjoyed hearing about his restaurants, his management style, and the insights into other famous chefs cooking elsewhere in the world today. Back when I started travelling, everyone ate at fairly traditional restaurants with steaks and chicken and pretty blah side dishes. Now it's a global adventure and we can eat the excellent meals to which my generation was woken up by visits to Italy, France and THailand and even countries like the UK (which was world reknowned for having the worst food in the civilized world) have sophisticated cuisines well worth trying. We even great great food in the US with origins in many different countries--thanks to all these foodies who travel and bring back great ideas and great skills.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Lush Life

  • A Novel
  • By: Richard Price
  • Narrated by: Bobby Cannavale
  • Length: 13 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 824
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 321
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 316

What do you do? Whenever people asked him, Eric Cash used to have a dozen answers. Artist, actor, screenwriter...But now he's 35 years old and he's still living downtown, still in the restaurant business, working night shifts and serving the people he always wanted to be. What does Eric do? He manages.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By Leo X Cox on 08-10-08

Excellent Book Read by Great Narrator!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-01-08

This would be a great book under any circumstances but the reader really brought out both the drama of the story and the sense of place the story deserved. Great accents, great pacing--truly one of my audible favorites and highly recommended to anyone who loves New York.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Barchester Towers

  • By: Anthony Trollope
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 18 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 266
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 157
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 155

This magnificent novel, sequel to The Warden and second in the Chronicles of Barsetshire, satirizes the struggle for ascendancy among the clergy of a cathedral city. The contest is between the outgoing church authorities led by Archdeacon Grantly and the newcomers led by Mrs. Proudie and her protégé, the ambitious Mr. Obadiah Slope. Each wishes to become the dominant voice in the quiet diocese of Barchester, and they contend for the newly vacant post of warden of Hiram's Hospital.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Give Trollope a try

  • By Joseph on 08-17-09

WONDERFUL READER!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-15-07

I had always intended to read Trollope and never quite made the time. Listening to this engaging narration by Simon Vance made such a pleasure possible while driving to work. Although one must have a taste for much more intricate prose than is characteristic of today's fiction, Vance's interpretation makes all the different characters recognizable and brings out the humor and minute social observation that keeps Trollope's intrigues of small town and ecclesiastical life in England mid-19th Century so enjoyable even today.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Warden

  • By: Anthony Trollope
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 297
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 168
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 164

Anthony Trollope's classic novel centers on Mr. Harding, a clergyman of great personal integrity whose charitable income far exceeds the purpose for which it was intended. On discovering this, young John Bold turns his reforming zeal toward exposing what he regards as an abuse of privilege, despite the fact that he is in love with Mr. Harding's daughter, Eleanor.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful Reading of Trollope

  • By Larbi on 09-15-07

Delightful Reading of Trollope

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-15-07

I had always intended to read Trollope and never quite made the time. Listening to this engaging narration by Simon Vance made such a pleasure possible while driving to work. Although one must have a taste for much more intricate prose than is characteristic of today's fiction, Vance's interpretation makes all the different characters recognizable and brings out the humor and minute social observation that keeps Trollope's intrigues of small town and ecclesiastical life in England mid-19th Century so enjoyable even today.

48 of 48 people found this review helpful

  • Northanger Abbey

  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,846
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,461
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,457

When Catherine Morland, a country clergyman's daughter, is invited to spend a season in Bath with the fashionable high society, little does she imagine the delights and perils that await her. Captivated and disconcerted by what she finds, and introduced to the joys of "Gothic novels" by her new friend, Isabella, Catherine longs for mystery and romance. When she is invited to stay with the beguiling Henry Tilney and his family at Northanger Abbey, she expects mystery and intrigue at every turn.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome

  • By Johnny on 08-01-09

Great narrator, weak Austen

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-01-06

Juliet Stevenson is a wonderful narrator and does a great job reading what is unfortunately not the best of Jane Austen's books. Although the story is pleasant enough, it isn't up to Pride and Prejudice, or Sense and Sensibility, Emma or Mansfield Park. The story lacks complexity, the characters are merely sketched, and it just doesn't hold your interest like the other Austen works. The narration, however, is terrific.

23 of 27 people found this review helpful