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Literary

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Suzn F

Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US Member Since 2005

I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?

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  • "Lamb writes Fine Literature/What a ..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We Are Water is the story of family, marriage, parenting, love, homosexuality, suicide, death, murder, racism---overt and subtle, wealth and poverty, anger, violence, secrets, ghosts, atheists, religion, the power of prayer, classism, drowning in a flood, physical abuse, pedophilia, disabilities, theft, art, alcoholism, politics---liberal and conservative, trauma, and community.
    Each character in this book has her or his own voice in this story. The voices are braided together making this important novel unique and so special. The author narrates the voice of Orion Oh the patriarch in the book. Unlike some other authors, Mr. Lambs contribution to the narration is perfection.
    Annie and Orion Oh are married and they have three children Ariane, Andrew, and Marissa. Annie is first struggling, then becomes a successful artist. Orion is a psychologist who cannot heal his own family. Annie's traumatic childhood and time in foster care and Orion never knowing his father impacts both parents and their children in profound ways. After over 20 years of marriage they divorce; Annie leaves Orion for a woman.
    The backdrop of this story is the narrative of the short life of Josephus Jones and his brother. These black men are ostracized from and suffer abuse from their Connecticut community. Josephus's brother lives with a Dutch white woman. Josephus is a painter of "outsider art" never receiving recognition for his art until after his violent death. The story of the artist, his death and his art are woven throughout the book.
    Another voice in this book is Kent, Annie's cousin who is a pedophile. This part, hearing Kent's voice and of Annie's abuse is very difficult but is an integral part of this book. I think it very brave of this author to include this peek into the persona and psyche of this man. Fortunately in the afterword the author explains his reasons for including Kent's voice.
    This book touched me in a way few books do. I loved everything about this book; thank you Wally Lamb.

    More

    We Are Water: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Wally Lamb
    • Narrated By Wally Lamb, George Guidall, Maggi-Meg Reed, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1067)
    Performance
    (973)
    Story
    (972)

    After 27 years of marriage and three children, Anna Oh - wife, mother, outsider artist - has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her success. They plan to wed in the Oh family’s hometown of Three Rivers in Connecticut. But the wedding provokes some very mixed reactions and opens a Pandora’s Box of toxic secrets - dark and painful truths that have festered below the surface of the Ohs' lives.

    Suzn F says: "Lamb writes Fine Literature/What a Book!"
  • "Dreamlike Experience to Savor"

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    Performance
    Story

    This story envelops the reader. I cannot think of another book I have so thoroughly relished. With each and every sentence the author invites you to feel, taste and smell the Night Circus.This circus is like nothing else, beyond imagination. Yet I could see myself there, and although the circus is in only black and white, I was immersed in color and texture. Listening to this story is like eating the most amazing meal in the most beautiful placed you can imagine while sitting next to someone with whom you are infatuated. What a wonderful dream, I want to return and feel it all again, so sad when the book ended. And the narration brings it all alive, kudos to both author and narrator.

    More

    The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6306)
    Performance
    (5603)
    Story
    (5599)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
  • "Hattie and her Family Tragically Fl..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hattie bore eleven children. In the death of her first two, twins, Hattie becomes a shell of a woman. She is a victim of circumstance, from the times, from her relationships and from herself. Her husband August can't or won't be the man she needs yet he was the one person who shined with love, passion and tenderness toward the children.
    The writing was superb; the twining of the twelve tales worked. I felt the ending abrupt and a bit disappointing.And I am so glad to have experienced this book.

    More

    The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Ayana Mathis
    • Narrated By Adenrele Ojo, Bahni Turpin, Adam Lazarre-White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (551)
    Performance
    (475)
    Story
    (472)

    A debut of extraordinary distinction: through the trials of one unforgettable family, Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration, a story of love and bitterness and the promise of a new America. In 1923, 15-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented.

    Suzn F says: "Hattie and her Family Tragically Flawed"
  1. We Are Water: A Novel
  2. The Night Circus
  3. The Twelve Tribes of Hatt...
  4. .

A Peek at Taryn's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
1009
 
Suffern, NY, United States 161 REVIEWS / 319 ratings Member Since 2005 366 Followers / Following 1
 
Taryn's greatest hits:
  • Beautiful Ruins

    "Have recommended to my friends"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not sure I would have loved this book as much if I had read it, but listening was a wonderful experience! The Narrator was superb and I was transported to Italy, America and back many times. I did not find the switching between past and present difficult to follow as I do in other books. I enjoyed the intertwined stories and the way they were all tied up neatly in the end. Having a daughter who is currently studying film restoration and preservation at UCLA right now also made it quite interesting to me, as that was Claire's background. Great literature - NO, an enjoyable and entertaining listen - YES!!

  • A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty: A Novel

    "My first but not last for this author"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this story, having taken a chance on an author I didn't know. I was put off at first when I saw that the author was reading her own book, as that often doesn't work, but in this case she did a wonderful job and it added to the experience. It was a "southern, chick lit" book if that is a real genre - if not, that is my description. Being a northerner, I find it really interesting to read about the southern perspective and I always enjoy the accent. I will definately be listening to more of this author in the future!

  • The Dovekeepers: A Novel

    "Not The Red Tent"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was not at all like The Red Tent,as I thought it might be. It was too long, too depressing and 2 of the narrators were horrible. One narrator sounded like she was being tortured and the other sounded like she came from Brooklyn! I think the historical facts and descriptions of daily life were fascinating but that is where it ended for me. I agree with another listener who suggested that perhaps reading the book might be better!

  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    "My favorite book of 2013 so far!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I first read this book several months ago and fell in love with it. I talked my bookclub into reading it and decided to try the audio version since I didnt have time to reread. I was enchanted with the audioversion, the reader is absolutely the perfect HAROLD!!! The story unfolds slowly just like Harold's walk was painstakingly slow. Each encounter Harold has with the random strangers he meets, changes him and awakens his awareness about his life, his relationships, his mistakes and finally he finds his redemption. I have highly recommended this book to my friends and most have enjoyed it as much as I did. I think it's one of my favorites of the year!

Ryan

Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 03-07-12 Member Since 2005

Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.

HELPFUL VOTES
1377
ratings
REVIEWS
327
262
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
387
14
  • "Grown-up Hiyao Miyazaki"

    15 of 15 helpful votes

    I really enjoyed this book, though, as you can tell from other reviews online, it's not a novel for every taste. Let me put it this way: if you like the films of Hiyao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke), and relish a few dashes of metaphysics, literary/movie/music references, and existentialism, then Murakami's mix of fantasy, surreality, and realism might speak to you. If not, you'll probably be frustrated with the listening/reading experience. (If you don't know Hiyao Miyazaki, then get ye to Netflix first, then come back here.)

    On the surface, the book has two intertwining stories. One is about a 30-something loner guy with slacker tendencies and cyberpunkish skills who lives in Tokyo and takes a job with an eccentric scientist, a choice which soon sets off a cascade of strange consequences. This is interleaved with a second story, in which a man with no memory finds himself trapped in a fantastical, dreamlike town, trying to make sense of its fable-like inhabitants and his reasons for being there. As the novel progresses, the two stories begin to intersect. While "magic realism" is a genre that can really fly off the rails sometimes (see Mark Helprin's A Winter's Tale), Murakami keeps his story readable and grounded in a coherent flow of events.

    This is one of those books where (in my opinion), you'll enjoy it more if you don't expect the author’s stew of ideas and imagery to make perfect sense or try to analyze his science and philosophy too much. Yes, there are a few logic holes and not everything in the surface-level plot gets resolved in an obvious way. Rather, this is a novel to read for its oddball characters, the vision of the writing, the strange-but-fitting twists and turns of the story, the humorous juxtaposition of the surreal and the everyday, and the existential questions under its fanciful trappings. If you had only 36 hours to live, what would you do with the time? I found the way Murakami chose to answer this question unexpectedly moving. Even with the end of the world coming, you might still have to do laundry...

    I enjoyed the narration and voice-acting in the audiobook. The main character's voice reminded me of Spike from Cowboy Bebop, which (in my world) was a bonus.

    More

    Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Adam Sims, Ian Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (526)
    Performance
    (411)
    Story
    (416)

    Information is everything in Hard-boiled Wonderland. A specialist encrypter is attacked by thugs with orders from an unknown source, is chased by invisible predators, and dates an insatiably hungry librarian who never puts on weight. In the End of the World a new arrival is learning his role as dream-reader. But there is something eerily disquieting about the changeless nature of the town and its fable-like inhabitants.

    Ryan says: "Grown-up Hiyao Miyazaki"

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    Paul Bäumer is just 19 years old when he and his classmates enlist. They are Germany’s Iron Youth who enter the war with high ideals and leave it disillusioned or dead. As Paul struggles with the realities of the man he has become, and the world to which he must return, he is led like a ghost of his former self into the war’s final hours. All Quiet is one of the greatest war novels of all time, an eloquent expression of the futility, hopelessness and irreparable losses of war.

    Darwin8u says: "Escapes the Boundaries of Time and Place"
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    Performance
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    Story
    (0)

    Ikal is a student at Muhammadiyah Elementary, on the Indonesian island of Belitong, where graduating from sixth grade is considered a major achievement. His school is under constant threat of closure. In fact, Ikal and his friends - a group called The Rainbow Troops - face threats from every angle: pessimistic, corrupt government officials; greedy corporations hardly distinguishable from the colonialism they've replaced; deepening poverty and crumbling infrastructure; and their own faltering self-confidence.

  • The Paying Guests (






UNABRIDGED) by Sarah Waters Narrated by Juliet Stevenson

    The Paying Guests

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Sarah Waters
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
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    Frances had been picturing her lodgers in purely mercenary terms - as something like two great waddling shillings. But this, she thought, was what it really meant to have paying guests: this odd, unintimate proximity, this rather peeled-back moment, where the only thing between herself and a naked Mrs Barber was a few feet of kitchen and a thin scullery door. An image sprang into her head: that round flesh, crimsoning in the heat.

  • The Zone of Interest (






UNABRIDGED) by Martin Amis Narrated by Sean Barrett

    The Zone of Interest

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Martin Amis
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
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    What happens when we discover who we really are? And how do we come to terms with it? Can we even meet each other's eye, after we have seen who we really are? Fearless and original, The Zone of Interest is a violently dark love story set against a backdrop of unadulterated evil, and a vivid journey into the depths and contradictions of the human soul.

  • The Woman in the Picture (






UNABRIDGED) by Katharine McMahon Narrated by Harriet Carmichael

    The Woman in the Picture

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Katharine McMahon
    • Narrated By Harriet Carmichael
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    February, 1926. The city of London is tense in the days leading up to The General Strike. Evelyn Gifford, (protagonist of The Crimson Rooms) has now qualified as a solicitor - and is one of the first women to do so - but her life remains full of conflict. Embroiled in two new cases, Evelyn finds herself encountering both sides of the strike.

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  • The Thrill of It All (






UNABRIDGED) by Joseph O'Conner Narrated by Ciarán Hinds

    The Thrill of It All

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Joseph O'Conner
    • Narrated By Ciarán Hinds
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    At college in 1980s, Robbie Goulding, an Irish-born teenager, meets Fran Mulvey, a Vietnamese refugee. Together they form a band. Joined by cellist Sarah-Thérèse Sherlock and her brother Seán on drums, they set out to chase fame. Spanning 25 years, we fast-forward through an evocative soundtrack of struggle and laughter. Infused with blues, New Wave and punk, the tale stretches from the Glastonbury Festival to Long Island, culminating in July 2012, a night that changes everything.

  • Glass Half Full (






UNABRIDGED) by Felix Dennis Narrated by Felix Dennis

    Glass Half Full

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Felix Dennis
    • Narrated By Felix Dennis
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    Multi-millionaires are not supposed to write poetry. It offends against natural justice. But following a life-threatening illness, Felix Dennis, the man behind the magazine publishing powerhouse responsible for The Week and Maxim found himself scribbling lines in the oddest situations - in business meetings, at social functions, on aeroplanes, and even in his sleep.

  • Fallen Angels (






UNABRIDGED) by Bernard Cornwell Narrated by Fiona Paul

    Fallen Angels

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By Fiona Paul
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    A highly entertaining, wonderfully colourful story, now revealed to be written by one of our favourite historical novelists.The gilded family had been the envy and the pride of England for centuries. Never had the Lazenders seemed more powerful or more wealthy. And never had the unseen means of their destruction seemed so close…Yet the heir to the estate was absent. Toby Lazender worked for the British in Revolutionary France - where he hunted down the men who had murdered the innocent girl he loved.