LISTENER

Peter

San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 37
  • reviews
  • 38
  • helpful votes
  • 50
  • ratings
  • Constant Princess

  • By: Philippa Gregory
  • Narrated by: Jill Tanner
  • Length: 18 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,130
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,886
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,884

Best-selling author Philippa Gregory introduces one of her most unforgettable heroines: Katherine of Aragon. Daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain, Katherine has been fated her whole life to marry Prince Arthur of England. When they meet and are married, the match becomes as passionate as it is politically expedient. But tragically, Arthur falls ill and extracts from his young bride a deathbed promise to marry his brother Henry, become Queen, and fulfill their dreams and her destiny.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful Story...

  • By Theodore on 12-06-11

Well written, a little too much royalty

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

Reviewed: 12-14-16

I picked this work because of the high reviews. I thought the quality of the writing and the performance were both very good. I find stories focusing almost exclusively on princesses and queens to be not very approachable, especially when the character is so obsessed with "becoming queen" and seemingly unable to examine her own motivations critically, except perhaps to realize her parents were "wrong". So I think I wouldn't recommend this book overall, unless you are especially obsessed with the details of 600-year-old stories of royal successes and betrayals. Find something a little more relevant, with a message beyond "hold constant to your craving for power".

  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 198,565
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 185,401
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185,004

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book.

  • By Julie W. Capell on 05-27-14

How can a video game be a cliffhanger?

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

Reviewed: 10-08-16

When I started reading this book and realized the protagonist was a video-game-addicted nerd, I thought I'd picked the wrong book. I do have a certain nerd-ish side to my personality, but a whole book about virtual reality and video games? Well, it turns out to be a real cliffhanger, with people trying to kill the hero, and all sorts of excitement. When the whole world is competing in a video game, it takes on a surreal dimension. I also feel the author has some good insights about where virtual reality and online interaction is taking us (haptic suits, powerful people controlling the internet, and people having no friends except those they meet online). I recommend getting through some of the computer nerdiness and total fixation on bad TV and movies of the 80's, and seeing the insights this author finds that suggest his dystopian future might be more real than we would like.

  • Whistling Vivaldi

  • How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do
  • By: Claude M. Steele
  • Narrated by: DeMario Clarke
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 319
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 284
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 276

Claude M. Steele, who has been called “one of the few great social psychologists,” offers a vivid first-person account of the research that supports his groundbreaking conclusions on stereotypes and identity. He sheds new light on American social phenomena from racial and gender gaps in test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men, and lays out a plan for mitigating these “stereotype threats” and reshaping American identities.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful!

  • By Miranda Legg on 06-11-16

A must-read about the roll of stereotypes

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

Reviewed: 06-02-16

I read this book, hoping to find suggestions and scientific results about the role of stereotypes in our society (in the US), and this book was a great place to start. The author doesn't just voice his opinion, but describes and gives results from painstakingly planned-out experiments that separate out how different groups of people do better and worse in academics, due to often subtle environmental cues that severely affect that performance.
Although I found listening to detailed scientific experiments a little heavy at times, it is so important to read and understand the conclusions that Steele found. As a parent of a girl, navigating her way through science and math, and an African American boy, navigating his way through academics in general, I am so glad I found this important book and educated myself on the effects of stereotypes on all of us.
I was impressed that the author didn't just discuss the effects of stereotypes on people of color, but also discussed testing on the effects of gender on female students' math performance, and why they might struggle in math classes when they are very intelligent and successful in non-math subjects.
Highly recommended. If the experiments weigh you down in listening, at least fast forward to the results so you can learn what they ultimately found.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Outlander

  • Outlander, Book 1
  • By: Diana Gabaldon
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 32 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50,864
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42,129
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41,992

Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Time Travel VS Romance Quandary

  • By Sara on 09-10-14

Gothic romance, but some good spots

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

Reviewed: 06-02-16

I'm not sure why audible is giving this book such high reviews. I barely made it through, having considered on multiple occasions to stop listening. If head-in-the-clouds romance novels about 20-something youngsters is your pleasure reading, this might be your book. I'm a bit older and married, and 30 hours of romantic platitudes is pretty dumb. The author is also a bit of a pain/sadism voyeur, which also makes me want to stop listening. Yes, the writing is good overall, and the "time travel" and contrasts that ensue are interesting to think about. But romance and love and sex should be only a part of a good story, not the focus of virtually every chapter. Unless you're a hormone-crazed 23-year-old, I guess, like the main character.
The narrator is pretty good, although I find her style of reading the most graphic violence in the same tone of voice as describing fields of flowers to be quite odd. She isn't dull or trite in the reading, not at all, but her range of speaking emotions is limited.
My suggestion is to find something better.

  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 156,520
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 144,437
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 144,279

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth it even if you've seen the movie

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 12-08-17

Great story! Unexpected angle.

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

Reviewed: 10-20-15

I wasn't expecting too much from this book, but I found it really riveting. I wish there was more, just so it wouldn't end! I didn't expect the issues involved in survival on Mars to be so realistic, and it is so refreshing (as an engineer) to see a rational, non-magical thinker solve ridiculously complicated problems in such logical and clever ways.

  • A Memory of Light

  • Wheel of Time, Book 14
  • By: Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
  • Length: 41 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 17,867
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16,292
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 16,306

Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time® burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, listeners have been anticipating the final scenes of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over 40 million copies in over 32 languages. When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Finally we have closure!

  • By Cliff on 08-29-13

Great conclusion to epic series

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

Reviewed: 07-15-15

This was an excellent conclusion to the Wheel of Time series. It takes an incredible amount of time to get through all these books, but after this great conclusion, it all seems worthwhile. At the end, it was tempting to go back and start re-reading because it ended so dramatically and suddenly, I wanted more. But that's a good ending: the reader wants more, instead of feeling "thank god it's over".

Word of warning: as Robert Jordan's writing skills began to decline around book 8, the series became complete garbage around book 10 ("Crossroads of Twilight"). I decided after quitting book 10 about half-way through that I was finished with the "Wheel of Time" series, no longer able to stomach the mindless repetition and pointless narration in book 10. But when Brandon Sanderson came on board as "2nd" author (really the main author, in my opinion), everything improved dramatically, with the quality returning to the earlier Jordan books. Both "Towers of Midnight" and this book are great stories and easy reading.

  • Middlesex

  • By: Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Narrated by: Kristoffer Tabori
  • Length: 21 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,216
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,134
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,170

In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Worth Waiting It Out

  • By D. N. Meads on 08-28-09

well written and thoughtful

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

Reviewed: 05-29-15

I enjoyed this work. although the subject matter is far outside my experience, that makes it more interesting. The writing is really good. No flourishing or artistic airs, just expressing what the characters are doing and seeing.

  • Unbroken

  • A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
  • By: Laura Hillenbrand
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 14 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38,915
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 31,768
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 31,845

Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.... 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Indescribable

  • By Janice on 12-01-10

My new favorite book

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

Reviewed: 09-10-14

Thanks to everyone who recommended this book. The story is amazing, and I really couldn't tell as I read how it would turn out, who would survive, etc. That this is a true story makes it especially gripping.
I suspect some people may be upset by the depiction of WWII Japanese atrocities, in some ways exceeding in barbarism what the Nazis did, but I think this is based on facts about the "Rape of Nanjing" and the treatment of WWII POW's (1% of POW's under Nazi's died, 37% of POW's under the Japanese died). It is a tough, unsentimental view of the war, yet not lacking in compassion or recognition of those within these awful regimes who saw the atrocities and were shocked at their own side.
My suggestion? Read it. Make it your next selection.

  • Crossroads of Twilight

  • Book Ten of The Wheel of Time
  • By: Robert Jordan
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
  • Length: 26 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,607
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9,304
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,312

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time. Crossroads of Twilight is book ten of Robert Jordan's best selling Wheel of Time series.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Almost nothing happened!

  • By Jessica on 01-26-14

End of a Series - for me

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

Reviewed: 05-28-14

Having listened to the first 9 books of the Wheel of Time, I must now say farewell to this series after listening to about one-quarter of this book, Book Ten. It is awful. I mean really low, boring, trash. I cannot say what Jordan's motivations might have been for turning this out, and since he's dead we can't ask, but he sold out. "Don't waste your time" hardly communicates my profound disappointment in what this series has become. I actually looked forward to each book, and hoped the decline in the last 2 books was a temporary setback, but now I must face the truth: the series is over, and Jordan decided it was time to sell out and keep producing pages of words with absolutely no point.

My personal final straw was listening to a full hour of description of women preparing for a momentous meeting, mostly by fidgeting, where the earth-shattering announcement was.... the final scene of the previous book. What drivel.

Other reviewers: add your personal "final straw", where you realized you were now wasting your time listening to a series that you had previously loved.

  • The Circle

  • By: Dave Eggers
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,797
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7,159
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7,177

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrifying look at a techno-destruction of privacy

  • By FinanceBuzz on 01-20-14

Good apocryphal tale of "Big Brother"

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

Reviewed: 02-18-14

As a member of the silicon valley tech culture, I really enjoyed this book showing the extreme of a company that pushes it's invasive software to the total extremes. I thought the NY Times criticism of the book complaining that the author seemed to have an incomplete understanding of the differences between an OS and a social website missed the mark. I understand the difference, but I still really enjoyed the story of this company (which I think sounds remarkably like Google) that went from being a social site to essentially taking over every aspect of people's lives. The only flaw, in this story as well as others that paint a picture of the all-threatening "Big Brother", is that even the most pernicious organizations show massive incompetence when it comes down to the details, but "the Circle" Incorporated seems to have mastered every level of expertise, never making a mistake. Not on this planet....

2 of 3 people found this review helpful