LISTENER

Abigail

arlington, VA, United States
  • 45
  • reviews
  • 289
  • helpful votes
  • 217
  • ratings
  • The Rise and Fall of the British Empire

  • By: Patrick N. Allitt, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Patrick N. Allitt
  • Length: 18 hrs and 9 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,397
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,255
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,244

What were the forces that thrust the British Empire to its extraordinary position of greatness and then just as powerfully drove it into decline? And why is nearly every nation on earth, in one way or another, the consequence of the British Empire?In these 36 lectures, Professor Allitt leads you through four centuries of British power, innovation, influence, and, ultimately, diminishment-four profound centuries that literally remade the world and bequeathed the complex global legacy that continues to shape your everyday life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Learn About Great Britain from a Great Briton!!!

  • By Mike on 04-26-14

Really Informative, but not a critical history

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

Reviewed: 01-02-18

The Professor tries to take a middle ground, but there is no missing his bias, especially in the later lectures. The bias isn’t really an issue, as the rosy tint to his perspective is hard to miss but he does gloss over or avoid completely some of the major issues caused by colonial rule. I’d have preferred he acknowledged the bias and spend at least one chapter really confronting some of the muckier and more complex issues. Perhaps he felt that was beyond the scope of this lectures series but considering there are chapters focusing on literature and one on cricket, I believe he could have delved a little deeper. That said (and it is a big that considering the impact continues today) this is a fabulous listen and the lens of empire is a really usefully way to examine history and the present world situation. This will be an absolutely fascinating lectures for lovers of American history who have only heard it taught in the rather disconnected way that is common in many American schools, and that for some reason almost completely leaves out Canada. I highly enjoyed this lecture series and would recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Neither Here nor There

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: William Roberts
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 256
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 210
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 210

In Neither Here nor There Bill Bryson brings his unique brand of humour to bear on Europe as he shoulders his backpack, keeps a tight hold on his wallet, and journeys from Hammerfest, the northernmost town on the continent, to Istanbul on the cusp of Asia.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Authentic Bryson, but that might be the problem

  • By M. Craft on 08-12-14

Might want to skip this Bryson

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

Reviewed: 11-15-17

In general terms this just isnt one of Bryson’s best. I love so many of his other books but this comes off more whinging and ranty than humorous without the usual wry and sometimes subtle wit you’d expect of Bryson. This is more like the stories you would get traveling with your drunk, entitled and mildly racist uncle across Europe with the tired blanket statements about cultures (the french are so rude!) and predictable sexual or derogatory statements about all the women he sees. These jokes were tired long before this book was written. He also is almost certain to insult half his audience at some point in this book be it from discussing the great childhood joy of pounding on the fat kid at school (a treasured memory), to the rather uncomfortable objectification of women, the hatred of dogs/idea that all dogs should be gotten rid of to a remote island except poodles which should all be shot because dogs dont like him (wonder why), the book is just filled with statements that are likely to fall flat to modern audiences. Of course much of this is just said in humor but that type of humor tends to fall flat and this book really does just that.

  • Superstar

  • By: Courtney Sheinmel
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Morris
  • Length: 2 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5

In Superstar, Stella gets the chance to audition for her favorite television show, Superstar Sam, after a casting director spots Stella out for dinner with her family. He said she is perfect for the role. Stella rehearses her lines until she knows the part by heart. Her little sister, Penny, is jealous, but sometimes older sisters get to do things little sisters can't. But the audition doesn't go as planned. Stella was sure she had the part. Now, will she ever get a chance to show her acting skills and meet her favorite actress?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lovely story very well read

  • By Abigail on 10-09-17

Lovely story very well read

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

Reviewed: 10-09-17

Really a wonderful story, and I will check out more. Just listened to it first to check it out and as an adult, it was a good listen but I could let my three year old listen and not worry. She may not get it all, but it would be safe on a car trip for kids of multiple ages but obviously the older kids would like it more. Characters were great and very real.

  • Sam the Sleepy Sheep

  • The Best Way to Get Children to Go to Sleep
  • By: Rory Z Fulcher, Dr. Kate Beaven-Marks
  • Narrated by: Dr. Kate Beaven-Marks
  • Length: 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

Join Sam the Sleepy Sheep and friends in this charming, magical bedtime story, which is also a completely natural, safe, and fun way to get children to go to sleep. The authors, Rory Z Fulcher and Dr. Kate Beaven-Marks, designed the story of Sam the Sleepy Sheep, so that it is easy-to-understand for children (and parents) of all ages.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Annoying

  • By Abigail on 06-19-17

Annoying

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

Reviewed: 06-19-17

Possibly if a real narrator read it, the story would be mildly less irritating but this is obnoxious. It may help some children but others will find the repetition irritating and might make bedtime worse.

  • How the Light Gets In

  • A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, Book 9
  • By: Louise Penny
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 15 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,455
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,165
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,163

Shadows are falling on the usually festive Christmas season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone. As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Welcome Home!

  • By Nancy J on 09-06-13

You'll be happy you read this one

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

Reviewed: 05-14-15

Some reviews that were upset about going too far into the conspiracy had me worried. I'd read many mysteries and similar genre where the main character gets raked over the coals in constant convoluted conspiracies and tortuous situations and that's just not why I love the Louise Penny Books. I love the characters and thoughtful writing about people and their motivations. Above that, I love a good satisfying mystery.
This has all of that, Penny's wonderful characters continue to grow and develop into even richer form, and the plot is thick with suspense as two mysteries are intertwined. Yes, one mystery involves the conspiracy, but man is it a satisfying mystery. Louise Penny doesn't endlessly torture her protagonist like many authors of best sellers. There's none of that filler suspense. This is definitely one of Louise Penny's better books in the series (not that any are bad, just some aren't as strong and falter a bit). Definitely worth a listen, especially with the excellent narration.

  • Princess Elizabeth's Spy

  • A Maggie Hope Mystery
  • By: Susan Elia MacNeal
  • Narrated by: Susan Duerden
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 923
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 837
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 827

Susan Elia MacNeal introduced the remarkable Maggie Hope in her acclaimed debut, Mr. Churchill's Secretary. Now Maggie returns to protect Britain's beloved royals against an international plot - one that could change the course of history. As World War II sweeps the continent and England steels itself against German attack, Maggie Hope, former secretary to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, completes her training to become a spy for MI-5.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible Narration

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-22-12

Light Silly Mystery

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

Reviewed: 09-30-14

The new narrator's extremely girly readings of the characters doesn't help the fact that Maggie is even more impulsive, entitled and prone to temper tantrums in this novel than the previous. If you have trouble suspending disbelief, this novel is not for you either. Maggie and her emotional maturity and stability of a14 year old would never be allowed yo be a spy. The history isn't very accurate or vivid either,. It seems like most of it was gleamed from recent novels and TV. The characters sensibilities and language are very modern.

That said, this is still a fun light novel with some engaging characters. The narrator isn't bad at all, even if she has a tendency to read the female characters as high pitched and bubbly. I could criticize it forever, but that isn't fair. It is an enjoyable novel, with sufficiently complex story and charters. Something you can smile your way through without ever worrying too much. At times that's just what is needed and I enjoyed it.

  • Little Elvises

  • A Junior Bender Novel, Book 2
  • By: Timothy Hallinan
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 61

Junior Bender is back to untangle one of the weirdest mysteries in Tinseltown. LA burglar Junior Bender has, unfortunately, developed a reputation as a competent private investigator for crooks. The unfortunate part about this is that, regardless of whether he solves the crime or not, someone dangerous is going to be unhappy with him - either his suspect or his employer. Now Junior is being bullied into proving aging music-industry mogul Vinnie DiGaudio is innocent of the murder of a nasty tabloid journalist he'd threatened to kill a couple times.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect Audio "Page Turner"

  • By Abigail on 01-09-14

Perfect Audio "Page Turner"

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

Reviewed: 01-09-14

I blindly bought this book knowing nothing about the author or the character and was delighted with my choice. The narration is excellent and I prefer it to the other narrator of Hallinan's books, though both are good, Berkrot gets the feel of the books just perfect.

The story is fun, face paced and filled with likable, outrageous characters. It is gritty but almost in a fun way like a James Bond film or good comic book. I'd say this is perfect summer or road trip reading. The story keeps you engaged and the plot just complex enough without being difficult to follow when heard aloud. (I often find books I'd otherwise have no difficulty with are harder to follow on a road trip.)

the plot follows two mysteries, the one about the "Little Elvises" and a side plot about a serial killer and a missing daughter of a friend. The "Little Elvises" mystery ends up being a little absurd but the serial killer side plot finishes off the book in an entirely satisfying manner.

So many authors write page turners that torture their main character, dragging you across emotional gravel until you come out bruised and exhausted at the end only to find a character you love has died and the book ends with the hero in limbo until the next absurdly long and tortuous book. I of course read the heck out of these as well but it is immensely satisfying to find a book that is compelling, without being tortuous, fun and that has a satisfying ending.

Just as much fun and just as little depth as a classic Bond film.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Modern Scholar: A History of Venice

  • Queen of the Seas
  • By: Prof. Thomas F. Madden
  • Narrated by: Thomas F. Madden
  • Length: 7 hrs and 42 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 93

Renowned professor Thomas F. Madden focuses his expertise on what has been called the most beautiful city in the world: Venice. In these lectures, Professor Madden explains how the city on the lagoon was established by refugees escaping the onslaught of northern “barbarians” invading the crumbling Roman Empire. Through its history, Venice housed the world’s leading merchants, thrived as a maritime powerhouse, and developed into an independent republic not unlike the present United States.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating history

  • By EmilyK on 06-04-17

Fascinating, Action Packed History

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

Reviewed: 01-08-13

Wow! Venice has the most amazing, influential and seedy history, I had no idea. This professor is very good at explaining a fascinating subject. One of my favorites under the Modern Scholar Michael Drout lectures. I wish there was more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Endurance

  • Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
  • By: Alfred Lansing
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,625
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,098
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,085

In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb in so many ways

  • By David on 01-19-14

Interesting, but wordy

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

Reviewed: 01-08-13

I definitely think this is worth a listen but I did space out from time to time in the narrative. I wish I could have edited parts and used the space to find out more at the end of the book.

  • Dressed for Death

  • By: Donna Leon
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 455
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 351
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 349

Commissario Guido Brunetti's hopes for a refreshing family holiday in the mountains are once again dashed when a gruesome discovery is made in Marghera--a body so badly beaten the face is completely unrecognizable. Brunetti searches Venice for someone who can identify the corpse but is met with a wall of silence. He then receives a telephone call from a contact who promises some tantalizing information.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I'm hooked!

  • By Robert E. Orlando on 08-14-12

This is my favorite in the series so far

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

Reviewed: 10-01-12

I havent read the whole series, nor have I read them in order, but this one definitely kept my attention better than the others I have heard.
Commissario Guido is called to a crime scene where the body of what appears to be a transvestite prostitute. However, something doesn't seem quite right to the Commissario and he refuses to just write the crime off because of the type of victim. Besides, the corpse has a body much like Guido's own and he doubts this is a figure people would pay for.
From the undercover world of the gay and transvestite scene in Venice to the seedy and even more covert world of Italian finance Guido must ferret out the truth while staying alive and thwarting very powerful men.
Honestly, the ways in which the characters have to confront ideas of italian masculinity in this maybe what amused me the most. However, it does have a good amount of action as well.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful