Richmond, CA, USA
  • 14
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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-23-10

Silva and Gigante -- A Superb Team!!!

I have so thoroughly enjoyed Phil Gigante reading the Gabriel Allon series that I cannot bear to read them myself anymore. I had pre-ordered this book at Amazon, but was afraid they would send me the hardbound addition, so I cancelled it a week before the release date. Then came the long countdown until July 20th followed by an eager audio download, then a few hours of complete pleasure before the novel ended. I could not stop listening. It was that good.

This is perhaps my favorite of all the Allon stories. It depicts Gabriel with the rapid brush strokes of a master at the top of his craft. It enriches with the heartwarming and noble cast of Gabriel's team and a striking and an authentic new female protagonist whom I hope will return in future stories. It contains all the elements that draw me to Silva's work time and again: fabulous settings meticulously drawn, holocaust history sensitively presented, contemporary international intrigue that is both intelligently written and flawlessly paced.

My only wish for this book would have been more of all of the above. But I totally understand the reason for keeping Silva's novels somewhat short, so he can keep them coming. I'm ready for the next one TODAY but now will need to wait another year. Boo-hoo!!!

Bravo, Daniel Silva -- may your success continue for many years to come!

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25 of 31 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-25-10

Probably the Best Winspear Yet!

I really enjoyed this novel and, although I have not read the entire series, this is probably my favorite. It is a delight when an author grows in skill and insight. It is absolutely wonderful when she gains in popularity without losing the quality and complexity that brought her to the top of the list in the first place. Brava, Ms. Winspear!

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-23-10

Excellent Novel Superbly Read

I really enjoyed this novel. It was hauntingly lovely, and the readers were superb. I was very impressed with Sarah Zimmerman and John Lee, who read French-speaking characters, which can be particularly tricky. Ms. Zimmerman was especially charming. She made her character positively sparkle! Thank you, Elizabeth Kostova, and thank you to the entire cast for one of the most enjoyable listens I've heard this year!

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4 of 7 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-14-09

Extraordinary Story Read by Three Virtuosos!!!

This is a remarkable novel, wonderful in every regard. I thought I was tired of Southern writers and bored by their cliched material, but there is nothing cliched or boring about this novel. It kept me awake all night and glued to my iPod for an entire weekend. The suspense was so great and the characters so compelling that I absolutely could not turn the iPod off. THE HELP was sheer delight! The women who performed for the audiobook are superb, enhancing the stunning prose and filling it with genuine, authentic-sounding emotion. I loved this audiobook. Thank you, Ms. Stockett!
~ Alexis Masters, author of THE GIULIANA LEGACY

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-12-09


I found myself torn over this audiobook. The genre is one of my absolute favorites. I was drawn to the author because at Amazon, he was consistently touted as "heir to Le Carre." But the plot seems to me very cliched, and I had some difficulty liking most of the characters. On reflection and careful review of the reviews, I have come to suspect that my problems may have been with the narrator, not the author. At any rate, it was well worth the time invested, and it is important to support younger authors with promising careers. I'll be watching to see the reactions of other Audible customers.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-20-09

Two More of History's Little Known Women

I enjoyed this audiobook, particularly the chapters on Mary Nisbet's story. I wish Aspasia's story had been a little better integrated and her character more fully realized. I am not sure that the narration did justice to the author. The tempo of the narration seemed artificially slow, almost tedious a good bit of the time. But despite this shortcoming, the audiobook brought pleasure. And, I think it is important to support books like this and authors who seem committed to telling women's stories.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-07-09

Superb -- But Why On Earth Abridged ONLY???!!!???

Team of Rivals is a marvelous read, and Richard Thomas is the perfect reader. But I wanted to cry all the way through both parts, because I KNEW I was missing much detail and richness due to the abridging of the work. With each wonderful page of beautifully narrated prose, I felt my heart sinking into sadness that there is no full, unabridged audio book version available. If there were, I would pay double to buy it all over again because Team of Rivals is such an extraordinary contribution to our nation's presidential heritage. Thank you, Doris Kearns Goodwin. Brava!!!

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-31-09

Haunting and Heartrending

Beautiful, poignant and often poetic, the story of Sarah, a heroic, tragic child living in a time of horror left me breathless. At the same time, the novel portrays a believable, smart and quirky contemporary protagonist who is strong and honest. I enjoyed this novel immensely. The reader does a superb job with each voice. I especially enjoyed her rendition of the contemporary protagonist, and I had not expected that at all. Well worth the time and energy. Thanks you.

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9 of 12 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-29-09

Beautiful, essential biography!

Thank you, Mr. Kaplan and Brilliance Audio, for a wonderful rendition of this fabulous book. Every paragraph is beautiful, wise, insightful, and the narrator has done a splendid job with the reading. I strongly recommend this book to all readers and lovers of fine literature. It is destined to become a classic.

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5 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-16-09

Fascinating Historical Thriller About A Dark Time

I was pleasantly surprised by the suspense in this historical novel. Despite its relatively slow start, the story held my interest and filled in a missing chunk of what life must have been like for those enthralled by the Bolshevik philosophy that drove the Russian revolution and steered a nation through the dark waters of Stalin's macabre reign. The characterizations are strong, and Sashenka lingers as a haunting figure long after the author's last sentences fade to silence. The reader of this audiobook version is truly excellent--a true artist who brings the novel to full and vibrant life. I hope you enjoy this novel as much as I did.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful