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Happy

Woodstock, NY, USA
  • 8
  • reviews
  • 30
  • helpful votes
  • 38
  • ratings
  • One Summer

  • America, 1927
  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Bill Bryson
  • Length: 17 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,295
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,929
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,919

One of the most admired nonfiction writers of our time retells the story of one truly fabulous year in the life of his native country - a fascinating and gripping narrative featuring such outsized American heroes as Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, and yes Herbert Hoover, and a gallery of criminals (Al Capone), eccentrics (Shipwreck Kelly), and close-mouthed politicians (Calvin Coolidge). It was the year Americans attempted and accomplished outsized things and came of age in a big, brawling manner. What a country. What a summer. And what a writer to bring it all so vividly alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Why 1927?

  • By Mark on 10-18-13

Fascinating Historical Detail

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

Reviewed: 09-14-16

This is a highly readable, fast-moving and fascinating book, filled to the brim with amazing, sometimes mind-boggling, details.

Although a clear and engaging writer, Bryson's reading is often off-putting. He drops final syllables and emphasizes others in what becomes an odd, artificial-sounding and often distracting cadence. The listening experience would have been greatly enhanced by a professional reader.

That said, I highly recommend this book. Its written content far outweighs Bryson's shortcomings as a narrator. One listens in awe and wonder as, chapter by chapter, you hear historical facts that put his chosen era into clear and sometimes dismaying focus. A truly brilliant book.

  • Just Kids

  • By: Patti Smith
  • Narrated by: Patti Smith
  • Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,042
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,728
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,711

Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the late 60s and 70s and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions. A true fable, it is a portrait of two young artists' ascent, a prelude to fame.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Overrated

  • By Stan on 04-28-13

Elegantly written, simply and beautifully read

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

Reviewed: 08-17-12

This was one of the most touching and emotionally gripping memoirs I've heard on recorded books. It relates the journey of two sensitive, intelligent, artistic kids, Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe, from self-imposed bohemian poverty to the heights of artistic achievement and fame. Throughout, the two maintained an abiding friendship and a deep love for one another.Their mutual trust and support through hardship, illness, shifting sexual preferences, friends and fashions, is an inspiration and a deeply compelling "read."

Patti Smith captures the New York musical, literary and artistic scenes of the late '60s and '70s with intimate, atmospheric detail. I loved hearing stories about Ginsberg, Burroughs, Corso, Dylan, Warhol, Sam Shepard and other denizens of the Village, the Lower East Side and the Chelsea Hotel, told by someone who was at once a wide-eyed observer and a mover and shaker in her own right. This is an engrossing and moving book, read with touching simplicity in Patti's heavy South Jersey accent. Above all, it is a love story about two odd, striving kids who achieved great fame and fortune. Sadly, this book is primarily an homage to Robert, who died of aids in 1989. He had lots more art to make and lost many years of a possibly fulfilled and a happy life.

Anyone interested in art or music in particular, and the NY bohemian, beat, glam, gay and transgener worlds in particular, that existed with the scene, will be fascinated. This book and its protagonists are fascinating and, if you don't fall in love with them, you might at least come away with respect and admiration for how they invented their lives and outsized personalities. The author, though, stay focused and tells the story so intimately that you feel you know her and are hearing the book over a cup of hot tea in a NYC apartment during those days of thrilling discoveries, brilliant artworks, and a restless, new freedom of behavior that, in some, ending tragically.

This is a book to read, listen to, and cherish.

  • The Silver Swan

  • A Novel
  • By: Benjamin Black
  • Narrated by: Timothy Dalton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 326
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 181

Two years have passed since the events of the best-selling Christine Falls, and much has changed for Quirke, the irascible, formerly hard-drinking Dublin pathologist. His beloved Sarah is dead, the judge lies in a convent hospital paralyzed by a devastating stroke, and Phoebe, Quirke's long-denied daughter, has grown increasingly withdrawn and isolated.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A great sequel!

  • By David on 04-07-08

Utterly compelling and brilliantly read

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-21-08

The richness of Benjamin Black's prose coupled with the emotive reading by Timothy Dalton made for an absolutely compelling listen. This is the kind of literary mystery book I love, laden with atmosphere and filled with arresting descriptions and deeply-drawn characters. I actually re-listened to many parts of this book just to hear the brilliant turns of phrase that Mr. Black has conjured from a seemingly deep well of creativity.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Christine Falls

  • A Novel
  • By: Benjamin Black
  • Narrated by: Timothy Dalton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,225
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 737
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 727

It's not the dead that seem strange to Quirke. It's the living. One night, after a few drinks at an office party, Quirke shuffles down into the morgue where he works and finds his brother-in-law, Malachy, altering a file he has no business even reading. Odd enough in itself to find Malachy there, but the next morning, when the haze has lifted, it looks an awful lot like his brother-in-law, the esteemed doctor, was in fact tampering with a corpse, and concealing the cause of death.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Listen

  • By Leo X Cox on 04-11-08

A literary tour de force

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-02-07

I have listened to dozens of books in the past few years, and "Christine Falls" ranks high on my list of the best of them. It is well plotted, with breathtaking descriptions and rich atmosphere, and the reader, Timothy Dalton, is superb. I was engrossed from its dark, moody beginning to its surprising and twisted ending. I love mysteries that combine a strong story line with good characters and a smart, literary sensibility - Le Carre is one of my favorite writers - and this book didn't disappoint me in any way. I highly recommend it.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Jolie Blon's Bounce

  • By: James Lee Burke
  • Narrated by: Mark Hammer
  • Length: 14 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 843
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 423
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 416

Return to James Lee Burke's "timeless, parallel universe" with detective Dave Robicheaux, as he investigates the murders of two women, tries to prove one man's innocence, and faces an enemy unlike any he has ever known. Gothic, dense, brutal, touching, and always compelling, Jolie Blon's Bounce is classic storytelling from a writer who has been dubbed "the Faulkner of crime fiction."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sorry I was wrong

  • By JD. on 08-25-03

Mark Hammer is amazing

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-18-06

I am surprised and disappointed by some of the comments about Mark Hammer's narration. I've now read (er... listened to) all the Dave Robicheaux books that have been narrated by Hammer. He so captures the feel of Southwest Louisiana, with its various accents, subtle innuendo and unusual characters, that I have found it almost impossible to continue listening to other JLB books. I know that Will Patton is a fine actor, but Hammer has gotten into my skin in a way that's rare in my experience, and I am a little grieved that there isn't more by him to look forward to. I certainly hope to hear more from him in the future.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Saturday

  • By: Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 678
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 315
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 315

New York Times best-selling author Ian McEwan's novels have inspired sweeping critical acclaim and won such prestigious awards as the Booker Prize for Amsterdam and the National Book Critics Circle Award for his modern masterpiece, Atonement. With Saturday, McEwan has crafted perhaps his most unique achievement to date.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extraordinary

  • By Deena on 04-25-05

An amazing, thought-provoking book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-08-05

Every word of this book is impeccably written, nuanced and insightful about things specifially personal to its characters as well as to society in general. McEwan displays a deep knowledge of politics, music, literature, medicine, sports and more, and he described them with often biting, sometimes hilarious accuracy. This journey through a day in the life of a middle-class London brain surgeon and his family is fascinating throughout. Although not the action-packed thriller some readers here seem to want, there are a few hair-raisingly tense moments where the air of impending violence was palpable. The reader had just the right tone of British sophistication and wry humor to keep me listening with great pleasure. I was sorry to hear it end, and highly recommend this book - contrary to the reviews of other readers on this page. Try it!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Skinny Dip

  • By: Carl Hiaasen
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
  • Length: 13 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,228
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,393
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,401

When Chaz Perron's wife discovers that he is running a scam (posing as a marine biologist to doctor water samples so that an agribusiness tycoon can continue illegally dumping fertilizer into the Everglades), he pushes her overboard from a cruise liner. Unlucky for Chaz, Joey survives clutching a bale of Jamaican pot. Rescued from the Atlantic by a former police officer, Mick Stranahan, she decides not to report him but instead haunt and taunt him, with Mick's help, by playing dead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Skinny Dip

  • By Bill Burton on 12-24-04

Hilarious... with a point

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-23-04

As usual, Hiaasen's over-the-top characters are hilarious, but there's always an underlying morality at work having to do with greed, avarice and the rape of our environment. None of this detracts from the fun, though. A couple of times I laughed so hard I almost went off the road. Definitely worth listening to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Da Vinci Code

  • By: Dan Brown
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,102
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 341
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 345

While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, a baffling cipher found near the body. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddle, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci, clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not What I Expected But Good

  • By Segij on 08-27-05

Bad accent

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-10-03

I'm in the middle of this right now so I can't give a totally educated opinion. However, a couple of times I laughed out loud because some of the characters sounded like Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouzot. I reserve further judgment until I find out how the plot develops. I can only hope it's as good as The Pink Panther!