LISTENER

Rob S.

LANCASTER, PA, United States
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 17
  • helpful votes
  • 82
  • ratings
  • Inside Alcatraz

  • My Time on the Rock
  • By: Jim Quillen
  • Narrated by: Jeff Harding
  • Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47

Each day we saw the outside world in all its splendour, and each day that view served as a reminder that we had wasted and ruined our lives. Jim Quillen, AZ586 - a runaway, problem child and petty thief - was jailed several times before his twentieth birthday. In August 1942, after escaping from San Quentin, he was arrested on the run and sentenced to forty-five years in prison, and later transferred to Alcatraz.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Cautionary Tale of a Life Misspent

  • By Rob S. on 03-16-17

A Cautionary Tale of a Life Misspent

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

Reviewed: 03-16-17

What made the experience of listening to Inside Alcatraz the most enjoyable?

Obviously the authors perspective. This was his life told in an unvarnished monologue. I felt his words and descriptions were personal and authentic. His observations on incarceration vs rehabilitation were interesting and note worth.

What other book might you compare Inside Alcatraz to and why?

I'm not a big reader of this type of book, but having recently toured the famous or infamous facility was compelled upon returning home to explore some of the books that were featured in the gift shop as you exited the tour.

What does Jeff Harding bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I didn't think Jeff brought anything to the story. His reading was sort of flat and monotone, don't get me wrong it was competent and sincere - but it he certainly didn't add any flash or drama.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No not really. It was entertaining and had me shaking my head as this man's life spiraled out of control from one stupid mistake to another. His use of gangster language made me laugh out loud at times. "I got the drop on the store clerk before he could signal the cops." It sounded like terminology out of an old James Cagney movie...

Any additional comments?

The story of a man who put himself on the path of self-destruction. You are the company you keep is indeed true. But fate put him in the position to witness and experience one of the most notorious places on earth. I think it has a redemptive quality to have him share his experiences and unique perspective.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Final Reconciliation

  • By: Todd Keisling
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 3 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23

Thirty years ago, a progressive rock band called The Yellow Kings began recording what would become their first and final album. Titled The Final Reconciliation, the album was expected to usher in a new renaissance of heavy metal, but it was shelved following a tragic concert that left all but one dead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A story inspired in the works of H.P. Lovecraft

  • By Lomeraniel on 04-15-17

A well crafted tale blending the occult and rock.

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

Reviewed: 03-16-17

If you could sum up The Final Reconciliation in three words, what would they be?

spellbinding, compelling, entertaining

Who was your favorite character and why?

For me it was Adian (which mean means 'little fire, no coincident I'm sure). As the survivor/witness he was my anchor in this story. Told in flash back you could only be certain that he would be in it to the end. The other's fate was uncertain at best. The author did an amazing job of painting pictures and sound with words. I had to stop and realize I hadn't heard any music, but I felt like I had. And that would be different for each reader/listener.

What about Joe Hempel’s performance did you like?

Joe did an very competent job of narration. His voices and inflections were well done. His intonations added a nice dimension to the narrative of the story without lapsing into prose. Adian's country drawl was just enough.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I typically do not listen to this genre of books. I stay mostly with historical dramas, or biographies. But this kept my attention and give me chills at times. The pacing kept me coming back and looking forward to the next chapter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Until I Find You

  • A Novel
  • By: John Irving
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 35 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 308
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 180

When he is four years old, Jack travels with his mother Alice, a tattoo artist, to several North Sea ports in search of his father, William Burns. From Copenhagen to Amsterdam, William, a brilliant church organist and profligate womanizer, is always a step ahead, has always just departed in a wave of scandal, with a new tattoo somewhere on his body from a local master or "scratcher".

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, annoyingly read

  • By Katharina on 04-30-06

I GAVE UP

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

Reviewed: 11-28-16

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I gave up, I'm not a quitter when it comes to reading or listening to a book and I LOVE John Irving's books, I've read almost all of them - which is what lead me to purchase this one as I'm running out of titles. But as much as I tried I couldn't relate or learn to care about this story line or these characters. It dragged on and on, I don't care about hookers or tattoos or this woman's obsession with a worthless man who fathered her child then left. Give it UP! And the dregs of society - please. As an artist myself I realize they can't all be winners, but life is too short to waste time listening to this pointless tome.

  • The Stranger's Child

  • By: Alan Hollinghurst
  • Narrated by: James Daniel Wilson
  • Length: 19 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 65
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 63

In the late summer of 1913, George Sawle brings his Cambridge schoolmate—a handsome, aristocratic young poet named Cecil Valance—to his family’s modest home outside London for the weekend. George is enthralled by Cecil, and soon his sixteen-year-old sister, Daphne, is equally besotted by him and the stories he tells about Corley Court, the country estate he is heir to.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Hated For It To End

  • By Here-and-faraway on 01-19-13

Dreadful

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

Reviewed: 07-07-16

What would have made The Stranger's Child better?

I was 12 chapters into this tome and was still trying to find a reason to care or continue! Between the readers droning oration and the authors gun shy approach to this subject, ugh, I gave up and started skipping chapters just to finish it - i gave up during Daphne's insipid interviews at the end - I DIDN'T CARE anymore.

What could Alan Hollinghurst have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I wasn't expecting a torrid beach burner of a book, but his guys approach to writing about gay love was irritating to say the least. It was never written but every way implied to the point of madness.

What didn’t you like about James Daniel Wilson’s performance?

This man had the flat monotoned voice of a Penn station train announcer.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Listening to this book took my mind off the current election news - if only briefly.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Finding Zach

  • By: Rowan Speedwell
  • Narrated by: Paul Morey
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 235
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 219
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 220

For five years, Zach Tyler, son of one of the world’s richest software moguls, was held hostage, tortured, and abused. When he is rescued at last from the Venezuelan jungle, he is physically and psychologically shattered, but he slowly begins to rebuild the life he should have had before an innocent kiss sent him into hell. His childhood best friend David has lived those years with overwhelming guilt and grief. Every relationship David has tried has fallen apart because of his feelings for a boy he thought dead.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Overcoming the impossible...

  • By Donald on 03-15-12

Soap Opera

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

Reviewed: 09-24-12

Would you try another book from Rowan Speedwell and/or Paul Morey?

I find I have little patience for dime store romances gay or straight. I get tired of dialogue that seems purposely mundane and pointless. Example: "What's wrong Zack?" "I dunno..." now repeat that every chapter a dozen times.

What was most disappointing about Rowan Speedwell’s story?

The constant "one step forward, two steps back" exchanges between the two principle characters. Toward the end I was skipping chapters just to get this torture over with. I didn't care any more.

What three words best describe Paul Morey’s voice?

Just one - competent.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

If the unexamined life is not worth living the OVER examined life is certainly not worth listening to...

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Where the Allegheny Meets the Monongahela

  • By: Felicia Watson
  • Narrated by: Jeff Gelder
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85

Logan Crane’s life changed dramatically the day a blind fit of temper resulted in him accidentally injuring his wife. Although he’s now in an abuser counseling program, Logan cannot face the real source of his unhappiness: He’s always been attracted to men but has refused to accept it since witnessing an act of violence. During his therapy, Logan meets Nick Zales, a counselor at a shelter for victims of domestic violence. Nick is understandably suspicious of Logan despite an immediate attraction to him. Logan feels the same attraction....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Satisfying romance and a less-travelled setting

  • By pierre-luc on 10-01-12

Pleasant Diversion

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

Reviewed: 08-20-12

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This was a nice book to listen to, kept my attention. The characters were believable and interesting. I kept wondering where/how Felicia did her research for this book. A few weeks after listening I found myself at the point in Pittsburg - it's still under construction.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Moby Dick

  • By: Herman Melville
  • Narrated by: William Hootkins
  • Length: 24 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 787
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 686
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 683

"Call me Ishmael." Thus starts the greatest American novel. Melville said himself that he wanted to write "a mighty book about a mighty theme" and so he did. It is a story of one man's obsessive revenge-journey against the white whale, Moby-Dick, who injured him in an earlier meeting. Woven into the story of the last journey of The Pequod is a mesh of philosophy, rumination, religion, history, and a mass of information about whaling through the ages.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent, EXCELLENT reading!

  • By Jessica on 02-18-09

Classic in every respect

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

Reviewed: 08-20-12

Would you consider the audio edition of Moby Dick to be better than the print version?

The reading of this book is a performance! I've began looking up book specifically read by William Hootkins. The store is rambling and fragmented at times, you sense Melville has a destination but is in no hurry to get there. His side bar chapters of sailor stories and whale descriptions were like commercials for products I didn't want to buy. But it was all part of the lush tapestry he was weaving so I didn't mind. Overall I loved it! I'd give it a 10>

8 of 8 people found this review helpful