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{ Category Archives } Audio

The Fire-Eaters

by David Almond I listened to this short children’s novel during the epic Labor Day drive to Florida and back. The Fire Eaters follows a few days in the life of Bobby, a British boy who lives in a coal-mining town and has just started at a new school.  The novel takes place during the Cuban […]

Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders

Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders by John Mortimer, read by Bill Wallis For the width and breadth of his career, Rumpole has often mentioned his most famous case, the Penge Bungalow Murders, when he went “alone and without a leader” to defend a murderer whom everyone else thought was guilty.  Finally, as he realizes […]

Profiting from Death

The 24 August episode of This American Life was about “loopholes,” and concentrated mostly on the story of financial advisor Joseph Caramadre, who found a loophole in an insurance policy that allowed him to make risky investments with no risk.  Here’s how it worked: Insurance companies offered a new kind of life insurance called “variable […]

The Technologists

by Daniel Pearl; narrated by Stephen Hoye Set just after the civil war in Boston, Daniel Pearl’s The Technologists follows the adventures of several students at the recently-founded Massachusetts Institute of Technology as they grapple with a madman attacking with plagues of science.  Pearl does a great job building a convincing environment for his story, […]

The Middle Temple Murder

by J. S. Fletcher; narrated by various Librivox readers When Spargo, the reporter for the Watchman, happens upon a man who has just found a dead body, he stumbles into a shocking story of murder and intrigue in the heart of the wealthy (and presumed safe) Middle Temple neighborhood.  A few thoughts: Unlike a lot […]

The Big Burn

The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America By Timothy Egan; narrated by Robertson Dean Egan’s new exhaustive history tells two stories.  It opens and closes with an enormous forest fire that swept big portions of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, using the tale of that fire as a framing device through which […]

The Trials of Rumpole

By John Mortimer; narrated by Leo McKern Rumpole is a grumpy but quick-witted old barrister who defends clients mostly accused of petty crime, though sometimes accused of much worse.  He does so with a wry grin and a glass of port to follow.  A few thoughts: It’s weird to learn that John Mortimer’s Rumpole books […]

The Intrusions of Jimmy

  The Intrusion of Jimmy by P.G. Wodehouse; narrated by Mark Nelson for Librivox It’s a good year when you read at least one Wodehouse book, and it’s even better when the book is narrated by Mark Nelson, perhaps my favorite narrator after Scott Brick (and perhaps Neil Gaiman).  In the usual Wodehouse mode, The […]

For Italy!

Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa by R.A. Scotti, read by Kathe Mazun In 1911, Scotti tells us, Harland and Wolff was building the biggest ship known to man, Scott was on his way to the South Pole, and the most audacious heist in art history was in the works.  By 1913, only […]

Beneath the Dark Ice

by Grieg Beck; narrated by Sean Mangan When superhuman special forces soldier Captain Alex Hunter leads the second recovery team to investigate a new cave found under the Antarctic ice, he has no idea what he’s getting himself into.   The elite military squad he commands, along with several scientists and other civilians, thinks they’re […]

On Voices 6

An update of the audio book narrators I’ve read since the last On Voices post. Scott Brick – Foundation; In Cold Blood; The Book of Fate; The Great Influenza; Mystic River; Sea of Glory; Isolation Ward; A Stir of Echoes; The Crime Writer; Game of Shadows; Moneyball; *Bill Bryson – Life and Times of the […]

June Music Roundup

Each month, I build a playlist of songs downloaded from emusic, newly purchased from other places, or drawn from my current music collection.  At the end of the month, I review that playlist. Emusic: Mike Doughty, Yes and Also Yes – More quality songs from Mike Doughty.  We don’t see a lot of differentiating in […]

The Fear Index

By Robert Harris, narrated by Christian Rodska One of the most successful hedge funds in the world has run into some trouble.  Its owner, the reclusive computer programming genius Alex Hoffmann, woke to find an intruder in his home, and seems to be at the center of a vast conspiracy designed for some unknown purpose […]

Packing for Mars

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach, narrated by Sandra Burr In Packing for Mars, you will learn how much volume of flatus a burrito causes the average human to expel, you will learn that Russian scientists regularly smuggle alcohol aboard to bribe cosmonauts to conduct their experiments […]

Darling Jim

by Christian Moerk, narrated by Stephen Hoye and Justine Eyre Moerk’s captivating gothic novel, Darling Jim, slowly reveals its story through a series of storytellers, each within a tale being told by someone else.  The core tale involves three sisters and the eponymous wandering cad, a man of entrancing beauty and style who lures women […]