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just asking for some common sense

Massachusetts, USA
  • 63
  • reviews
  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 72
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  • Slaughterhouse-Five

  • By: Kurt Vonnegut
  • Narrated by: James Franco
  • Length: 5 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,251
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,452
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,437

Traumatized by the bombing of Dresden at the time he had been imprisoned, Pilgrim drifts through all events and history, sometimes deeply implicated, sometimes a witness. He is surrounded by Vonnegut's usual large cast of continuing characters (notably here the hack science fiction writer Kilgore Trout and the alien Tralfamadorians, who oversee his life and remind him constantly that there is no causation, no order, no motive to existence).

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Horrible narration.

  • By Walter W. Quinn on 07-05-18

Classic Vonnegut

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

Reviewed: 03-25-19

When I rated past read books in Goodreads based on memory I gave this 5 stars. Why 4 stars now? What changed for me? As an anti-war book it wasn't hard hitting enough for me. As fiction, it's got an interesting story and some great characters. It also is a little bit gimmicky. It's an important novel nonetheless. It's got time travel, irony and dark humor, but then Vonnegut was excellent at dark humor and irony so I'm not surprised.

This is my 5th book listening to books by favorite authors that I read decades ago. I did knock it down 1 star, but I can't speak highly enough about James Franco's narration.

  • Sackett's Land

  • The Sacketts, Book 1
  • By: Louis L'Amour
  • Narrated by: John Curless
  • Length: 5 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,816
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,431
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,431

After discovering six gold Roman coins buried in the mud of the Devil's Dyke, Barnabas Sackett enthusiastically invests in goods that he will offer for trade in America. But Sackett has a powerful enemy: Rupert Genester, nephew of an earl, wants him dead. A battlefield promise made to Sackett’s father threatens Genester’s inheritance. So on the eve of his departure for America, Sackett is attacked and thrown into the hold of a pirate ship. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I enjoy Louie L'Amour

  • By ABLA on 04-14-07

A good yarn written by a great storyteller

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

Reviewed: 03-22-19

This is my 4th book of listening to books I read decades ago by favorite authors. I was going in alphabetical order, but will skip around a bit (I'm out of Audible credits presently). Louis L'Amour was one of my favorite authors in my younger days; I read a whole lot of these while I rode on the subways of Boston.

This is the beginning of the history of the Sackett family. It's set during the Elizabethan era in England and America. L'Amour probably did extensive research and the settings of his books almost always feel authentic. This is one of the few not set in the west. While there is a simplistic overtone between who is good and who is bad, there are enough twists and turns to keep one wondering.

Was he the best writer? No. Was he a masterful storyteller? Yes, without a doubt. I give ot a
solid 4 stars because it's just a darn good book. But I still give this prolific author 5 stars. I think it's good to read at least 2-3 different books. Some you will even recognize as movies.

The narrator was great. He gave Sackett an English accent, not from London, but didn't make it so strong that it was difficult to understand. I read most of the Sackett books, but will listen to a book by him on occasion.

  • Snow Country

  • By: Yasunari Kawabata
  • Narrated by: Brian Nishii
  • Length: 3 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 100
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 86
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 88

The story of the doomed love affair of a wealthy sophisticate, Shimamura, and the geisha Komako, at a mountain hotspring resort in western Japan, one of the snowiest regions on earth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Tragedy...

  • By Douglas on 04-24-16

A beautifully written book

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

Reviewed: 03-19-19

I'm listening to books I read decades ago to see of they're still among my favorites. Kawabata is one of my favorite authors and this is considered his masterpiece. I was about to give it 4 stars. As I started writing my review I realized what the ending was all about. So if I could give it 4.75 stars I would, but 4 is too few.

Japanese literature is one of my favorite genres, but it can take some getting used to. This is about a man from Tokyo and a geisha. It's set in a snowy area of Japan that's popular with travelers. I love the female lead character who is much younger than the male. As time in the story passes by we see different facets of her.

I think it's better to savor this book over at least a couple of days and not to read or listen in one sitting, despite its short length. The ending was a complete surprise even though I read this in the mid 1980s. The Japanese really have mastered the novella, but there is so much to many of these books. I hope Audible continues to expand their offerings of Japanese literature. There were hardly any when I first signed up, but there are more choices all the time.

  • Giovanni's Room

  • By: James Baldwin
  • Narrated by: Dan Butler
  • Length: 6 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,097
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,004
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,006

Set in the 1950’s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin’s now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Baldwin: sensational. Butler: great. One caveat.

  • By Music Man on 06-28-14

I read this about 25 years ago & like it more now

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

Reviewed: 03-14-19

This isn't an easy book, but it is masterfully written. It's beautiful and sad, not very long, and it has left me with emotions exposed. James Baldwin published this in 1956 when there were few books about homosexuality. It was brave of him. He was African American, but the characters aren't. I remember being surprised by that in the past. But the book is perfect the way it is.

I usually listen at 10% faster, but after a couple of hours I put this on regular speed. I needed to savor it; the writing is just that good.

I've read lots of James Baldwin, both fiction and non-fiction. He remains one of my favorite authors. This is book 2 of 12 where I'm listening to books by my favorite authors that I read decades ago.

  • Sense and Sensibility

  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: Rosamund Pike
  • Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,530
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,401
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,392

In this Audible Exclusive production, Academy Award® nominee Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) narrates one of Jane Austen’s most beloved works, Sense and Sensibility. In this timeless tale of misguided romance and heartbreak, two teenage heroines must overcome the pitfalls of Georgian England’s high society in order to achieve the love and happiness they seek. The admiration that Pike has for Austen’s work is shown clearly through this passionate delivery of Austen’s first published novel.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stellar Performance Elevates Austen’s Work

  • By Gretchen SLP on 10-09-18

Still Wonderful After All These Years

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

Reviewed: 03-11-19

I've just started listening to books I read at least 20 years ago. I'm doing this in alphabetical order by author. I'm interested to see if I still love them.

I think I might have loved this even more; I doubt I've read any Jane Austen in the last 30 years since I rarely re-read anything and I read all of them (maybe missed one) in my younger days.

My feeling is that Austen is social satire first, romance second. She understood how society worked and I don't think she approved of practices like primogeniture.

I'm not going to go into the plot of the book, but if you've never read this, or seen one of the versions of movies, you might be surprised at the plot. There are some twists and turns that are masterfully written. This version is a joy to listen to; Rosamund Pike is just right for this book.

  • Americanah

  • By: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 17 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,106
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,307
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,285

As teenagers, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love in a Nigeria under military dictatorship. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America, where Obinze hopes to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Dazzling, Romantic, and Witty

  • By Anna-Bo-Banana on 04-28-14

I didn't want it to end, but had to finish it fast

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

Reviewed: 03-06-19

This book had me hooked in three minutes; I loved the main characters even when one of them sabotages their own relationships. I myself have been guilty of that! While I was listening to it to end my Black History Month, it's written by a Nigerian woman. It contrasts the experience between Ifemelu and Obinze. Ifemelu is the female who ends up in the USA. Obimze is the main male who goes to England. There were so many things I didn't think about, especially about racial experiences for African Blacks. Ifemelu comes to America to finish college and eventually writes a blog about race. The blog snippets we get are engaging. Obinze ends up in London and has very different experiences.

This book was amazing for me. A bonus was the talk about hair; I've known so many Blacks in my life, but I've never asked much about hair, not wanting to be rude. It's way different than mine and if you dont know anything you will when you are done with this book. I've often complimented and admired hair, and I want to thank the author for her frankness.

I'll be listening to more by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in the future. The narration was amazing as well, but some characters talk so fast I had to put it at 100% speed instead of 110%. It's okay, it just made it last a little longer.

  • Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story

  • King Legacy Series #1
  • By: Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Narrated by: JD Jackson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 335
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 311
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 310

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s account of the first successful large-scale application of nonviolent resistance in America is comprehensive, revelatory, and intimate. King described his book as "the chronicle of 50,000 Negroes who took to heart the principles of nonviolence, who learned to fight for their rights with the weapon of love, and who, in the process, acquired a new estimate of their own human worth."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A look into the mind of Dr King

  • By Georgia Burns on 02-06-16

A compelling listen that gave me greater understan

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

Reviewed: 02-28-19

I've known some about the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and certainly heard of him growing up. I was a kid when he was assassinated and Robert Kennedy soon after. They were tumultuous times.

Of course I've heard much about Rosa Parks, but I didn't know the other parties involved in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. MLK wrote this book soon after. He talks much of non-violence as a means of protest, in contrast to armed defense of the Black Panthers, or tactics promoting violence as a means to an end.

This was his first book and I'll read his others. I would suggest reading this first. This is my fourth book for Black History Month. I'll listen to one more starting tomorrow and it'll run into March

  • Black Against Empire

  • The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party
  • By: Joshua Bloom, Waldo E. Martin Jr.
  • Narrated by: Ron Butler
  • Length: 18 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 245
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 220
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 216

In Oakland, California, in 1966, community college students Bobby Seale and Huey Newton armed themselves, began patrolling the police, and promised to prevent police brutality. Unlike the Civil Rights Movement that called for full citizenship rights for blacks within the US, the Black Panther Party rejected the legitimacy of the US government and positioned itself as part of a global struggle against American imperialism.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • the explanation of rise and fall Black Panther

  • By Antwine Hurst on 03-24-17

Amazing history of which I knew little

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

Reviewed: 02-21-19

This history of the Black Panthers is so informative; I've learned so much. The were active when I was a kid growing up in Boston so I certainly knew of them along with the Students for a Democratic Society. I saw protests against the Vietnam War, civil unrest, race riots and more on the news. There were riots in Boston even. I understood many of the reasons, but this history gave me a broader understanding of how the Black Panthers came to be, what law enforcement and the government did to try to break them down, and why the organization ended.

I listened to this for Black History Month, but you can read or listen to this at any time. I recommend that you do, whether you know nothing or you know a lot about them. The narration is excellent which is important when there are so many names, dates, and activities.

  • Jim Beckwourth and Jim Bridger: The Lives and Legacies of America's Most Famous Mountain Men

  • By: Charles River Editors
  • Narrated by: Mark Norman
  • Length: 2 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

The American mountain man, with his myriad of practical skills, could endure isolation in a way most could not. He lived in constant peril from the extremes of nature and from the hostilities of cultures unlike his own. Given the illiteracy rates of the day, few tangible accounts of such journeys have survived, but one glaring exception is that of James Pierson Beckwourth, the only known African American mountain man to leave behind a detailed, if somewhat sensationalistic, account of his travels.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Okay and very matter of fact accounts

  • By just asking for some common sense on 02-10-19

Okay and very matter of fact accounts

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

Reviewed: 02-10-19

I got this because of Jim Beckwourth which I wanted to learn more about. I'm listening to books about and by African Americans for Black History Month. Jim Bridger was White, but the book was spilt up evenly between both.

Their lives were fascinating as frontier and mountain men. It looks like there's a movie in development about Beckwourth so it'll be interesting to see if it comes to fruition.

I have a beef about the narrator. He's British which is okay, but he pronounced names of Native American peoples and American places all wrong. Every time he said Montana or Cheyenne I cringed! They should record those parts again, or really the whole book. It's short, but the mistakes are all throughout the book. I won't listen to anything narrated by this man unless it's about England.

  • Yellow Crocus

  • By: Laila Ibrahim
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,924
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,112
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,093

Moments after Lisbeth is born, she’s taken from her mother and handed over to an enslaved wet nurse, Mattie, a young mother separated from her own infant son in order to care for her tiny charge. Thus begins an intense relationship that will shape both of their lives for decades to come. Though Lisbeth leads a life of privilege, she finds nothing but loneliness in the company of her overwhelmed mother and her distant, slave-owning father.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful southern historical fiction

  • By MissSusie66 on 02-27-15

Beautifully written book about a tough subject

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

Reviewed: 02-07-19

This book is the opposite of Gone With the Wind in that it is anti-racist and anti-slavery. While I loved the other long and more well-known book, this book presents a different side. The main characters of the book are Lisbeth and Mattie. Mattie was brought from the slave quarters to be Lisbeth's wet nurse, forcing her to leave her own child with relatives, and visit once a week. Mattie's husband is owned by another family so Mattie only gets to see him about once a month.

Lisbeth grows up in a society much like that in GWTW, but her life and beliefs change in very different ways. She is more likeable than Scarlett O'Hara which helps make this book a delight.

This writer really got to me and the narrator was perfect for this.