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charles watkins

  • 21
  • reviews
  • 102
  • helpful votes
  • 49
  • ratings
  • The Stars My Destination

  • By: Alfred Bester
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 926
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 855
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 861

Marooned in outer space after an attack on his ship, Nomad, Gulliver Foyle lives to obsessively pursue the crew of a rescue vessel that had intended to leave him to die.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Magnificent

  • By Frederick on 03-26-18

STILL AMAZINGLY GOOD AFTER 62 YEARS

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

Reviewed: 02-19-18

A Science Fiction classic by anyone's standards! A 25th century Count of Monte Christo, the classic story of revenge that Alfred Bester used for inspiration to write what was originally titled Tiger Tiger. I first read the Stars My Destination in 1957 at the age of 7 and was thunderstruck even at that young age. I've continued to re read it every year or two since and it never loses its ability to thrill me. When I saw the audio version available for the first time I was filled with excitement and a bit of trepidation. How would a narrator interpret the characters I knew so well after reading this story 40 times or more over six decades? I practically know the dialogue by heart. Listening was an interesting experience. The narrator certainly did not sound like what I had imagined the characters sounding like. But how could anyone? After a bit I got used to his voice(s) and overall I found the audio version of this amazing story well worth the listen. Listen to it with an open mind and remember that it was written in the mid 1950s when the average person's understanding of the universe and space travel was not what it is today. One of my favorite books of all time.

82 of 87 people found this review helpful

  • Matriarch

  • Queen Mary and the House of Windsor
  • By: Anne Edwards
  • Narrated by: Corrie James
  • Length: 16 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,499
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,366
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,366

The life of Princess May of Teck is one of the great Cinderella stories in history. From a family of impoverished nobility, she was chosen by Queen Victoria as the bride for her eldest grandson, the scandalous Duke of Clarence, heir to the throne, who died mysteriously before their marriage. Despite this setback, she became queen, mother of two kings, grandmother of the current queen, and a lasting symbol of the majesty of the British throne.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting, informative, and insightful

  • By Dr. Lance Moore on 06-08-17

Fabulous History!!

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

Reviewed: 02-11-18

This is a wonderfully written and beautifully narrated history of Queen Mary and her royal relatives. And, as importantly, of the times in which she lived, the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Anne Edwards as created a easily readable (or listenable) and lovely narrative of May, who took the name of Mary when she became queen, from her childhood to her death.
Anyone with an interest in history or the House of Windsor should thoroughly enjoy this. Having finished this I am eagerly seeking other histories of the mid and late 19th century Europe and the events leading to World War 1.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Victoria

  • A Novel
  • By: Daisy Goodwin
  • Narrated by: Anna Wilson-Jones
  • Length: 12 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,123
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,950
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,935

Early one morning, less than a month after her 18th birthday, Alexandrina Victoria is roused from bed with the news that her uncle William IV has died, and she is now queen of England. The men who run the country have doubts about whether this sheltered young woman, who stands less than five feet tall, can rule the greatest nation in the world. Surely she must rely on her mother and her venal advisor, Sir John Conroy, or her uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, who are all too eager to relieve her of the burdens of power.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Read!!

  • By Tommy on 02-06-18

Royal Historical

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

Reviewed: 01-24-18

An enjoyable fictional but accurate account of Queen Victoria's ascension to the thrown of Great Britain at the age of 18 and her relationship with Lord M and eventual marriage. If you enjoy historical fiction and the British Royalty you should enjoy this.

  • The North Water

  • A Novel
  • By: Ian McGuire
  • Narrated by: John Keating
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,151
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,072
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,064

Behold the man: stinking, drunk, and brutal. Henry Drax is a harpooner on the Volunteer, a Yorkshire whaler bound for the rich hunting waters of the arctic circle. Also aboard for the first time is Patrick Sumner, an ex-army surgeon with a shattered reputation, no money, and no better option than to sail as the ship's medic on this violent, filthy, and ill-fated voyage.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Reader / Listener Beware

  • By K. Agricola on 12-23-17

Gruesome and Absorbing

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

Reviewed: 01-13-18

The dark and disturbing story of a whaling vessel and its crew, non of whom are likeable, all of whom are damaged, flawed and dangerous. The author has an uncanny ability to described the mistreatment of humans and animals in a way that is frightening and stomach churning. For an animal lover like myself, many of those descriptions were hard to hear. The story is different and gripping and if you can deal with the repugnant and distressing depictions and characterizations its worth a listen. The narrator does a fine job

  • The Path to Power

  • The Years of Lyndon Johnson
  • By: Robert A. Caro
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 40 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,804
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,648
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,643

This is the story of the rise to national power of a desperately poor young man from the Texas Hill Country. The Path to Power reveals in extraordinary detail the genesis of the almost superhuman drive, energy, and ambition that set LBJ apart. It follows him from the Hill Country to New Deal Washington, from his boyhood through the years of the Depression to his debut as Congressman, his heartbreaking defeat in his first race for the Senate, and his attainment, nonetheless, at age 31, of the national power for which he hungered.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just fantastic...

  • By Casper Paludan on 07-30-14

Amazingly researched biography of LBJ

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

Reviewed: 12-22-17

This first of four volumes of Caro's Lyndon Johnson bio takes the reader back to LBJ's ancestors and their move to Texas from the southern US in the 1800s. Caro states that no understanding of Johnson can be had without understanding the Texas hill country and he provides excruciating detail of this and every aspect of Johnson's life through his first campaign for the Senate. There is so much detail that, having finished this volume, I believe the reader has a better understanding of what took place during those years than most of the characters who actually lived them. Even with so much detail I rarely became bored with the content. The narrator did a fine job as well. After a break for some lighter listening I will slog on through the second volume and perhaps beyond. Having spent my 20th year in the jungles of Viet Nam, I look forward to a better understanding of LBJ's role in putting me there.

  • Still Alice

  • By: Lisa Genova
  • Narrated by: Lisa Genova
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,875
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4,935
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,938

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At 50 years old, she's a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she begins to grow disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life - and her relationship with her family and the world - forever.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Very poor narrator, I returned it

  • By Laura on 01-26-14

A tragic but well told story

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

Reviewed: 11-26-17

I read the paper version of Still Alice when it was first published and thought it was wonderful. So, when the Audible version was offered as a Daily Deal I decided to listen. The story was as good as I remembered. A professional narrator or actress would have made the experience richer, but it was still enjoyable and worthwhile. The author's rendering of the decline of a relatively young woman's life into the despair of Early Onset Alzheimer's is so gripping that one can only imagine that the author must have personal experience with the subject.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Verdict

  • By: Nick Stone
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 21 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,971
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,454
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,435

Terry Flynt is a struggling legal clerk desperately trying to get promoted when he is given the biggest opportunity of his career: to help defend a millionaire accused of murdering a woman in his hotel suite. The only problem is that the accused man, Vernon James, is not only someone he knows but someone he loathes. This case could potentially make Terry's career, but how can he defend a former friend who betrayed him?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of THE best audiobooks ever!

  • By Sarah on 05-22-16

Okay but overly long and a little silly

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

Reviewed: 10-11-17

I agree with some of the other reviewers of this book that there was a lot of filler material that did nothing to move the story along. Did the author's agreement with the publisher require a minimum number of pages? Also, a lot of scenarios that really were not believable. Liked the narrator's accents.

  • Before the Fall

  • By: Noah Hawley
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 12 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,251
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,394
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,367

On a foggy summer night, 11 people - 10 privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter - depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later the unthinkable happens: The plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs - the painter - and a four-year-old boy who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • What you should know before listening...

  • By Snozzle on 07-31-16

Had to force myself to finish

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

Reviewed: 10-11-17

Thin plot with implausible scenarios. A lot of time spent on character development creating characters I did not care about and could not get invested in. Way too many metaphors. The writing and story got weaker and weaker as it went on. I forced myself to finish it, but without enjoyment. Cannot recommend it.

  • The Story of the Lost Child

  • The Neapolitan Novels, Book 4
  • By: Elena Ferrante
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 18 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,239
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,014
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,016

Here is the dazzling saga of two women: the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery, uncontainable Lila. Both are now adults; many of life's great discoveries have been made, its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, the women's friendship has remained the gravitational center of their lives. Both women once fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew up - a prison of conformity, violence, and inviolable taboos.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Incredible Series

  • By Pamela on 10-15-15

A long, wonderful story

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

Reviewed: 10-01-17

The final part of the long story of two girls in Italy who love and hate each other, support and fight each other, lose and find and lose each other over their lives from early childhood through late adulthood. All the characters in the story, the main ones and a multitude of supporting, are fascinating and well developed. Hillary Huber's narration is wonderful. Their story has stayed with me long after finishing all four books.

  • From Sand and Ash

  • By: Amy Harmon
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,655
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,243
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,226

As children, Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco were raised like family but divided by circumstance and religion. As the years go by, the two find themselves falling in love. But the church calls to Angelo and, despite his deep feelings for Eva, he chooses the priesthood. Now, more than a decade later, Angelo is a Catholic priest and Eva is a woman with nowhere to turn. With the Gestapo closing in, Angelo hides Eva within the walls of a convent.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Such beauty in the darkest of times <3

  • By featherlashes on 12-04-16

Romance during wartime

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

Reviewed: 10-01-17

The story of a Jew and a Catholic, a woman and a priest who fall in love as children and their trials and tribulations during WWII. The most interesting part to me was that it was told from the standpoint of being in Italy during that time, rather than Germany or other parts of Europe. I learned new things about how life was in Italy while it was occupied by German forces before their defeat by the Allies.