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  • 189
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  • The Figure in the Carpet and Other Stories

  • By: Henry James
  • Narrated by: William Coon
  • Length: 4 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11

Mystery stories - not exactly the genre you'd typically associate with Henry James. The three stories in this collection, however, explore the mysteries of the human psyche and the human heart. This collection contains "A Light Man", "The Madonna of the Future", and "The Figure in the Carpet."

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible reader

  • By N. K. Shapiro on 02-22-15

Annoying at many levels.

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

Reviewed: 07-14-19

First annoyance was the narrator. The nasal voice and the monotonous tone.
Second annoyance was the affectation of the text peppered with French words.
And third is combination of 1 and 2: the narrator cannot pronounce French to save his life. I am French and I couldn’t always recognize the words.
Truth be told I may not be “connoisseur” enough to appreciate James. I am a mere “amateur”. ;)
I kind of like his Modern Madonna though.

  • 1984

  • New Classic Edition
  • By: George Orwell
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,722
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,615
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,642

George Orwell depicts a gray, totalitarian world dominated by Big Brother and its vast network of agents, including the Thought Police - a world in which news is manufactured according to the authorities' will and people live tepid lives by rote. Winston Smith, a hero with no heroic qualities, longs only for truth and decency. But living in a social system in which privacy does not exist and where those with unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or put to death, he knows there is no hope for him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Come one, Come all into 1984!

  • By Kit McIlvaine (GirlPluggedN) on 02-18-08

Even better than what I remembered

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

Reviewed: 07-01-19

Like many, I first read 1984... in 1984. I was in my mid 20s and even though I liked it at the time, I realized this time around how much I had missed. It is a very harsh book. It is powerful and scary because as a cautionary tale of the post communist (aka totalitarian) area, it is as relevant as ever in today’s world. I could appreciated by anyone who values democracy, and the four freedoms ( plus a few others.)

  • Zen in the Art of Writing

  • By: Ray Bradbury
  • Narrated by: Jim Frangione
  • Length: 3 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73

"Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a land mine. The land mine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces back together. Now, it's your turn. Jump!" Zest. Gusto. Curiosity. These are the qualities every writer must have, as well as a spirit of adventure. In this exuberant book, the incomparable Ray Bradbury shares the wisdom, experience, and excitement of a lifetime of writing. Here are practical tips on the art of writing from a master of the craft - everything from finding original ideas to developing your own voice and style.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Evocative fuel for any Muse!

  • By Amazon Customer on 03-22-18

Very inspiring!

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

Reviewed: 06-18-19

I found this book just as fascinating as the Martian Chronicles, for different reasons. It informs, educates, and entertains. My only peeves with this recording is the tone of the narrator. He read the entire book with a emphatic almost bombastic tone that didn’t match the content.

  • The Blind Assassin

  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Margot Dionne
  • Length: 18 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,587
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 966
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 964

With The Blind Assassin, Atwood proves once again that she is one of the most talented, daring, and exciting writers of the time. Like The Handmaid's Tale, this Book Prize-winner is destined to become a classic.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible audio quality

  • By G. Sierra on 04-12-10

Definetly not for me.

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

Reviewed: 06-16-19

My one start overall doesn’t mean the book was bad. I am pretty sure that it is indeed an excellent book. And I will admit that I love Atwood’s writing style, so rich, elegant, expressive. I love the way she conveys smells tastes, touches, and sounds. There is no denying that she is a great writer. So why one start? Because I found the story so upsetting, and the relationship in the central couple so twisted that I had to stop reading. I was getting sick to my stomach. The sadomasochistic over tone was unbearable. Nothing directly gruesome. Still it felt like psychological bounding. I had already notice in the Maddaddam trilogy that Atwood has a very dark vision of sex. It is either coerced, or traded. And when it is lovingly shared, it doesn’t last. I was okay with Maddaddam because the story was great, and sex was not the only thing she focused in. But here, one story line is solely focused on that sick relation ship. And sick I was.
My other peeve with the book is the narrator. What ever the text is she affects this conspiracy, intense tone of voice, half way between a secretive urgency and throaty bedroom loud whisper. The permanent tentions that it creates is exhausting and uncalled for. So that one star only reflects a very personal response to the book, and it doesn’t really contradict all the positive reviews left by other readers.

  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

  • By: Susanna Clarke
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 32 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,120
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,771
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,773

English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hang in there!

  • By D. McMillen on 05-31-05

Dragging

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

Reviewed: 06-13-19

I hate to say something negative about this book, and I would have loved to love it. I loved the movie and people whose opinion and taste I respect recommend it. But I just couldn't get into it. I found it impossibly wordy, like a 19th-century gothic novel (which, come to think of it, might have been the intent) but heavier, so much so that I couldn't get past the language--and I am a big fan of 19th-century gothic novels. Besides the language, I couldn't get past the first chapter (or was it the intro?), which hit me as a seminar on the history of magic. It like history. It could have been interesting. Sorry. It was not.. not to me. It was all slow and dragging. Maybe I should have persisted. Alas, Life is too short, and there are so many great books to read.

  • Fahrenheit 451

  • By: Ray Bradbury
  • Narrated by: Tim Robbins
  • Length: 5 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,973
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,516
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,505

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television "family."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wish I Hadn't Cliff Noted This in High School

  • By Joel on 03-27-17

Wonderfully reading

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

Reviewed: 12-04-18

I don’t think I can add anything significant to what has already been said about Fahrenheit 451, other than that I loved the book. But I would recommend this particular version of it for Tim Robbins’s remarkable interpretation of it. I know that some audiobook readers prefer neutral narrators because they want to chose their own tone. I am not one of those if the reading adds to the book. Tim Robbins reading is dynamic, sensitive, full of insight into situations and characters, and covers a wide range of emotions. He pulls you into the text from the very fist paragraph and never lets you go. I highly recommend this particular version of a masterpiece that has not aged one bit.

  • Focus

  • The Hidden Driver of Excellence
  • By: Daniel Goleman
  • Narrated by: Daniel Goleman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 616
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 525
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 520

Combining cutting-edge research with practical findings, Focus delves into the science of attention in all its varieties, presenting a long overdue discussion of this little-noticed and under-rated mental asset. In an era of unstoppable distractions, Goleman persuasively argues that now more than ever we must learn to sharpen focus if we are to survive in a complex world.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good subject, poor audio performance

  • By Alex Limon on 07-29-14

Déjà vu all over again

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

Reviewed: 01-27-15

For many years I have been a big fan of Daniel Goldman. I read all his books on SI and EI. I have taken them home and to work, trying to apply them to the best of my capacity.

I saw him live on stage in New York and at Omega. I even heard him talk about "Focus" before its release. So I was very eager to read the book.

But half way through the book, I still had not really encountered anything new. There is some kind of a teaser at the beginning, but why does he need to rehash what he has already written in other books and articles, many times before? I am sure that with a bit a perseverance, I would have reached the chore of "Focus", the new stuff. But I thought that it was disingenuous to spend so many pages on what had already been the topics of other books. What it tells me is that book, Focus, could have been a lot shorter. Maybe just enough for an article. I was angry enough to give up before I got to what I wanted to learn about Focus.

So if you've never read anything else by Goldman, this book will be a great discovery. But if you have, I suggest that you find the print copy in a library and only read the pages you have never read before in other of his publications. Not worth buying the whole book.





1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Art Forger

  • By: B. A. Shapiro
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,136
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,809
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,802

Making a living reproducing famous artworks for a popular online retailer and desperate to improve her situation, Claire is lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting - a Degas masterpiece stolen from the Gardner Museum - in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when that very same long-missing Degas painting is delivered to Claire's studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery. Her desperate search for the truth leads Claire into a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late 19th century may be the only evidence that can now save her life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Engrossing forage into art forgery and intrigue

  • By D on 11-28-12

So predictable

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

Reviewed: 01-27-15

This book seems to have been written by a software in which someone put in all the ingredients of what makes a good story. It is so mechanical and predictable, with no literary value what so ever. I love language. That was the wrong book for me.
So why did I pick it. Because I am an art educator/historian, the title was attractive, and I had read a good review on NPR. I didn't care about what happen to any of these characters who had no depth and less consistency than the figures in the painting. This read like the script of a mediocre movie.

The only part that really interested me, and that I would have enjoyed without all the cheesy fiction and pseudo art thoughts that surrounded it, is the accurate description of painting techniques, and to a degree, what it takes to make a fake.

  • How the Irish Saved Civilization

  • The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe
  • By: Thomas Cahill
  • Narrated by: Donal Donnelly
  • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 693
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 407
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 406

Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Europe evolved from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era. Without Ireland, the transition could not have taken place. Not only did Irish monks and scribes maintain the very record of Western civilization, they brought their uniquely Irish world-view to the task. As Cahill delightfully illustrates, so much of the liveliness we associate with medieval culture has its roots in Ireland. When the seeds of culture were replanted on the European continent, it was from Ireland that they were germinated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating book

  • By P on 08-15-04

Dragging

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

Reviewed: 01-27-15

I gave up. The Romans got to me. Everything you read, or will read, on the Roman Chapters is true. Bring us the Irish for crying out loud. The Roman section could have been summarized. It in deed necessary to establish the fall the Empire and the role of the Irish, but the author is clearly indulging himself with little consideration for his readers.
The slow pace of the reading doesn't help. I had it on fast speed (x 2) and still I dozed off a few times.
I may take it up again if I find where the Irish enter the stage.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass

  • By: Lewis Carroll
  • Narrated by: Alan Bennett
  • Length: 2 hrs and 28 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

Young Alice leads an ordinary sort of life until, one day, she follows a rabbit down a hole and embarks on a series of adventures with some of the most weird and wonderful characters anyone has ever encountered! She soon discovers that nothing is ordinary in Wonderland, least of all the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Cheshire Cat, the Duchess, and the Mock Turtle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Why 5 stars

  • By Mom 4 Quality on 07-27-16

Disappointed

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

Reviewed: 01-27-15

Granted I didn't grow in an English speaking country, it may be just a cultural thing. I had never read Alice in Wonderland. Decided to do so because my work required it.
I was bored. I didn't find the humor (I assume it IS humor) in the least entertaining. The lengthy repetitive scenes tired me to no end. There might be some deeper meaning to it, but I have read children and adult fantasy tales more apt at conveying depth. The Little Prince being one of them. But then again, it might be a cultural bias. And yet I love English and American gothic lit. Somehow, Alice didn't do it for me.

With that said, the performance was excellent. I loved more particularly the rendition of the rabbit. And anyone who likes Alice, will probably enjoy this version.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful