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Literary

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Melinda

Melinda UT Member Since 2009

So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.

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12
  • "'Something Happened'..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "The tongue like a sharp knife, kills without drawing blood." Budha

    In 150 pages, about 4.5 hrs listening, Barnes--nothing less than a word wielding genius--has written a poignant little novel that packs a big psychological punch, wherein every perfectly placed word evokes powerful images and thoughts. [Refers to Henry VIII as the "polygamist royal butcher".] (*No doubt there will be philosophical discussions longer than this book about this book.) But, my lovely journey with this petite gem didn't start out so lovingly...

    Having read a few award winners in my time, I plugged in my earbuds and waited to be wowed while I indulged in the luxury afforded to us with audible books--multi-tasking. Two-thirds the way through this book I was about to toss it. Yes, the writing was masterful, the characters, though only briefly sketched out were still relevant and interesting, but the story itself seemed whiny and pretentious, overall depressing to the point of being a tiresome listen. But, In just a few words, I suddenly went from irritated to intrigued; ultimately I was awed and regretted an ending, so I listened again. I really listened. I sat down and this time was absorbed in the luxury of writing at its best. I've read the 6 books shortlisted for the Booker--my opinion is they got it right.

    Like one character says in the book, this is "like an onion and reveals itself in layers"--the reader is dropped in to walk along and sense this experience, not be wowed by a complex plot, not to have the mysteries neatly explained. Sleek, eloquent, precise, and Richard Morant is an articulate narrator that heightens the experience. I went to the book store and bought a copy. It's with me still, on my book shelf and etched in my mind.

    More

    The Sense of an Ending

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Julian Barnes
    • Narrated By Richard Morant
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (837)
    Performance
    (704)
    Story
    (699)

    Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour, and wit. Maybe Adrian was more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is retired. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove.

    Melinda says: "'Something Happened'..."
  • "Not So Far-Fetched -- Still Chilling"

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    Because this has been re-released as an *Audible A-List Collection,* a selection chosen by Clare Danes for narration, I'll begin with the narration. This is one of the rare cases where a straight reading, sans the voice characterizations and the nuances one would think an actor would use, earns top scores from me. Ms. Danes reads the story with strength and conviction, wisely chosing to let the words of an outstanding poet/author give voice to the characters in this cautionary tale. The feel of this book is dark and dispassionate, a story about a violent new world where feelings and thoughts are prohibited, yet it is at the same time visceral, strong with emotion, because of Atwood's writing skills, her ironic wit, and superb story-telling abilities -- matched perfectly with Danes' talents.

    I was introduced to this book in college. 1985, a women's rights to her body (i.e. abortion) was a hot topic, feminism was getting its first *report card,* and The Handmaid's Tale was either being showered with awards and praise, or being pulled from library shelves and crossed off reading lists -- a scene straight out of Farenheit 451, another *dystopian* novel where we see that repression of any kind has a price. (Atwood didn't think her work was sci-fi and argued that this was not science fiction, but rather speculative fiction.) In '85 I thought this was chilling and very futuristic.

    Dystopian? Future? Speculative? ... The world is struggling from the effects (or more accurately the consequences of) of pollution, chemicals, GMO's, and radiation; our government has been extinguished, world-wide war rages, religious conflicts a large part of the cause; disease and sterility are prevalent, conception and healthy live births atypical; many species have vanished, food is scarce and rationed along with water. The Republic of Gilead (a country established within the borders of the former USA) is a violent male dominated theocracy where women have no power, young women are owned for breeding purposes, sex is a disturbing biblical ritual, the Eyes watch constantly for heretics and dissenters (routinely put to death and openly displayed). ...*Dystopian* along the lines of Clockwork Orange,1984, (Stepford Wives?), but more like good *speculation* now in 2012, where burkas, honor killings, or young girls being married off to old coots in polygamist sects are weekly headlines.

    The ending of this book is troublesome for those that want a destination, or a wrap-up, as it leaves the reader unsure--left to decide between hope and complete despair. Atwood is a master at interrogating society and having the reader then try to explain it. Definitely one you will think about. Ageless and still chilling in 2012; a wonderfully distrubing tale made even better by Danes' insightful dead-on interpretation. (Fantastic to have this as a selection--great choice Audible.)

    More

    The Handmaid's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Claire Danes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3464)
    Performance
    (3124)
    Story
    (3142)

    Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....

    Melinda says: "Not So Far-Fetched -- Still Chilling"
  • "Heavy Load"

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    Like voices from the grave, devastatingly profound, and haunting. A review would be inappropriate, but my experience with this book was probably similar to other readers that were very young teens during the height of the Viet Nam war. Though I wore one of those MIA bracelets, sent neighbors and friend's older brothers off, went to Country Joe and the Fish concerts and yelled out the FISH cheer, I was young, distant, and naïve, and could only marginally intellectualize the atrocities and the nightly tally of deaths. Listening to Cranston narrate these stories gives faces to the words; the soldiers become flesh and blood -- not just characters and chapters. Their candid stories and Cranston's seriously brilliant interpretations were so achingly real that I could not listen long without pausing, or just stopping my device for a breather. (It took me 2 weeks to get through this.) This would be a much easier read, but hardly better; Cranston is able to convey the emotion, every chuckle, every hope, every pain, every horror. It's not always the obvious that is difficult to hear; the slaughter of the water buffalo wasn't half as savage as the fundamental experience that nurtured the attack... it's listening to the innocence and promise in these young soldiers as it ebbs away. It's looking back through the all-seeing eyes of retrospection and time, and probably also adding *mother* to the list of sister, daughter, girlfriend, neighbor. A vivid reminder of the fragility of life and the true cost of war. Like others have mentioned, there are several books concerning wars that give you that *boots-on-the-ground* feel, but this one, especially as it is performed here, is the emotional experience--to the degree that it can be shared.

    More

    The Things They Carried

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tim O'Brien
    • Narrated By Bryan Cranston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1028)
    Performance
    (951)
    Story
    (944)

    Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried’s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book’s hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.

    Melinda says: "Heavy Load"
  1. The Sense of an Ending
  2. The Handmaid's Tale
  3. The Things They Carried
  4. .

A Peek at Kathi's Bookshelf

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Votes
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245 REVIEWS / 447 ratings Member Since 2010 218 Followers / Following 2
 
Kathi's greatest hits:
  • Orphan Train: A Novel

    "Moving story of sharing and transformation."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a story of emotional, and at times, even physical survival. Two orphans, one who is now 91 and the other 17, cautiously reveal their life experiences to each other and find healing and transformation through the sharing. Each has been wounded by a series of cruel life events that have left them both feeling at times alone and vulnerable in life. Each has gone through childhood experiences that left them feeling at the mercy of others, not daring to trust that they could be loved just for being themselves.

    91 year old Vivian was a young girl who was put on the train of orphans taken to be resettled in the Midwest just prior to the Great Depression. She must endure many harrowing events before finding any security in life. 17 year old Molly is in the foster care system and has frequently been victimized by her treatment in various homes. She goes to Vivian's house to help her as a condition of working off community service hours rather than go to "Juvie." In the beginning neither can imagine the transformation that will occur as they start going through Vivian's stored possessions, which both hold and evoke the memories of a life she has largely put behind her. Molly, who is at first a prickly, resentful teen, suspicious of anyone who seems to offer her a kindness is slow to warm to Vivian's genuine generosity. This is the story of two women, who on the surface could not be more different, finding the deepest sort of connection through their recognition of similar experiences.

    This is a beautiful, touching book, filled with gripping emotional scenes that make it hard to put down. The writing is deeply evocative of the shifts of fortune each young girl is going through, and draws the reader right into the book. I almost felt I would know any of the characters if I were to meet them somewhere. Their courage is inspirational. More than this, though, this book forces the questions of how do we really care for and about those less fortunate? How often do we do things to salve own our conscience without deeply asking what is truly needed by others? This book raises all kinds of social questions about the role of the care and protection of children, and is, in one way, as unsettling at that level as it is heart-warming at another. The narrator is excellent, doing the voice of 91 year old Vivian or 17 year old Molly with equal ease. Such a wonderful listen. Highly recommend!

  • Traps

    "Memories/fears create the traps of our lives"

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    MacKenzie Bezos has written a very compelling story of four women, each of whom is struggling with something painful in her life--bad relationship with a father, loss of a daughter, loss of innocence, and letting go of defenses that keeps her from closeness with others. Dana, Jessica, Lynn and Vivian are beautifully portrayed with a sensitive hand by the author, as their lives intersect in sometimes surprising ways, while they are being transformed through facing their fears.

    I found myself unable to turn this off and go to sleep--so engaging was it. I rarely listen to a book straight through, but I didn't turn this off till the wee hours of the morning. It felt to me that to have turned it off for a while would have been like a surgical cut in the middle of it--[I felt] it was meant to be heard as a whole--just as the lives of these women had to keep moving toward each other as they did in order to face their fears and be transformed in their encounters. There seemed an internal unity to the story--and I just could never find a place that I could stop listening--as though it might have broken that unity.

    I feel that the author has good insight into the internal struggles of women, and can sensitively describe those feelings and needs--partly by leading the reader into their inner minds, and partly by designing situations that reveal what they have been dealing with. Her descriptions are given with a very creative view toward painting a picture of each woman's life that fleshes out what they are facing.

    Dina Pearlman does a wonderful job with many different voices--making each one distinct so that it was easy to distinguish which character was speaking.

    I will be recommending this book to all my friends. I think it would be good if read, but I believe it is great to have listened to it. Brought it all so much more alive for me--as the women (and people around them) all were clearly distinct, thanks to the narrator.

  • The Headmaster's Wife

    "Love, tragedy and descent into madness"

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    This is a novel which, by turns, reveals the agony of love, grief, and movement into madness. It begins with a dreamy, brief scene depicting Arthur Winthrop, a headmaster in a Vermont boarding school, with his wife and small son, enjoying a family moment in Central Park. This scene is told in a way that evokes sense of a lovely impressionist painting. This is quickly followed by an abrupt shift, Arthur having been arrested for nudity in the park, and now being pressured by the police for an explanation. Only his mind is a jumble of confused memories.

    Told in three parts, with only the first is related by Arthur himself, as he reveals to the listener an escalating plunge into confusion and loss of self control, losing his grip on the steady reserved life he has previously led. He says he is seeking "eternal truth," but the listener is witness to a man losing his hold on reality.

    This is a story told through flashbacks, first and third person viewpoint, and a great deal of poetic language providing the atmosphere and mood. We piece it together as the author gives us glimpses into the slow decompensation of a man's mind.Although Arthur is far from an admirable character, I felt compelled to want to learn what led to his dissolution, and what follows is a revelation of events that clarify emotions so powerful that they are, to him, almost incomprehensible. The narration is quite good. It is a challenge to write a review without saying things that would give too much away. However, I found this a very intense story, well-written and well read.

  • Fingal O'Reilly, Irish Doctor: An Irish Country Novel

    "Another Winner in the Series!"

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    Story

    I never grow tired of the books by Patrick Taylor, and narrated by John Keating, about Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly, the sometimes crusty, often surprisingly kind old doctor who takes care of a delightful group of villagers in Ballybucklebo. He began his career in the poorest area of Dublin, where he met the nurse Kitty O'Halloran, whom he loves but does not marry for the next 30 years.

    I cherish the stories that Taylor weaves in and out of his books--and this one gives us a look at the newly married O'Reillys, with contrasting flashbacks between the village where he practices now (at the time of this story--which I think is in the 1960's) and the earlier time in Dublin. If you have listened to all the books up till now, you will feel as though the characters are people you would love living amongst. Taylor's gift is to give what feels like wonderfully thorough depictions of the deep humanness of those who move in and out of these stories--with all their idiosyncrasies and quirks.

    Although this is (I think) the 8th book in the series--and it might help to have listened to others, it is not necessary. Each stands alone very well--and I might add, that even within the books themselves, different stories move in and out so that this whole series is somewhat a collection of vignettes about the movements (and ailments) of people who become (or usually remain) very much alive on the pages of his stories. I always feel I have been drawn into the tales in a very satisfying manner.

    I have read a couple of reviews that suggest this book is not quite up to the standard of past ones. I don't know--maybe there is some truth to that, but I still love it as much as every past book--and I hope there are many more in the pipeline for readers (listeners) who love them. And I have never read one of these in paper form--so to me, John Keating *is* Dr. O'Reilly and all the others. I doubt I would want to read them, so much do I enjoy his narration!

B.J.

B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 11-12-13 Member Since 2007

I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.

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15
  • "A stunning achievement - for author..."

    161 of 171 helpful votes

    No question, this will be on my "favorite books of the year" list - and very near the top. Tartt examines some very big topics - love, loss, death, life, forgiveness, redemption and addiction - and she does so with a skill that's secondary to none.

    The main characters are BIG - in personality, flaws, strengths - and enormously engaging. I adored Theo, Boris and Hobie and have loved having them live at my house while I was listening. There's a sense of loss now that they're gone.

    I've read some harsh reviews of the narrator and I don't understand that. I thought he was perfect for this book. It was a fresh take. His interpretation of both Boris and Hobie was delightful. I never would have imagined those voices if I'd read this in print. It was an added dimension that made it all the more enjoyable.

    With more than 30 hours of engaging story, this is one of the most credit-worthy books around. Really, what could be better? It's a good long listen that's beautifully read. I wish they were always this good.

    More

    The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8243)
    Performance
    (7554)
    Story
    (7561)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"

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UNABRIDGED) by Anthony Powell Narrated by Simon Vance

    A Dance to the Music of Time: Second Movement

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Anthony Powell
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
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    Performance
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    Story
    (7)

    Anthony Powell's universally acclaimed epic encompasses a four-volume panorama of twentieth century London. Hailed by Time as "brilliant literary comedy as well as a brilliant sketch of the times," A Dance to the Music of Time opens just after World War I. Amid the fever of the 1920s and the first chill of the 1930s, Nick Jenkins and his friends confront sex, society, business, and art.

    connie says: "not just for nostalgic posh Brits!"
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    La Odisea [The Odyssey] (






ABRIDGED) by Homer Narrated by Daniel Quintero

    La Odisea [The Odyssey]

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Homer
    • Narrated By Daniel Quintero
    Overall
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    Performance
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    Los viajes y aventuras de Ulises. La anecdota suele regodearse sobre la figura legendaria de Homero, supuesto juglar ciego que iba de pueblo en pueblo cantando sus grandes narraciones epicas. La Iliada, una narracion de la Guerra de Troya, originada en el rapto que hizo Paris de la mujer mas bella del mundo, Helena y La Odisea, la descripcion de las aventuras del sabio Ulises u Odiseo en su vuelta a Itaca, su patria, terminada la guerra...

  • 4.4 (6578 ratings)
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    • Narrated By Khaled Hosseini
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    Why we think it’s a great listen: Never before has an author’s narration of his fiction been so important to fully grasping the book’s impact and global implications. Taking us from Afghanistan in the final days of its monarchy to the present, The Kite Runner is the unforgettable story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them.

    Joseph says: "A storyteller's story"
  • 4.3 (5357 ratings)
    Atlas Shrugged (






UNABRIDGED) by Ayn Rand Narrated by Scott Brick

    Atlas Shrugged

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    • By Ayn Rand
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    In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts? In defense of those greatest of human qualities that have made civilization possible, one man sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went on strike.

    Mica says: "Hurt version decidedly superior"
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  • 4.3 (3650 ratings)
    Orphan Train: A Novel (






UNABRIDGED) by Christina Baker Kline Narrated by Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren

    Orphan Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Christina Baker Kline
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3650)
    Performance
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    Story
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    Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

    Susan says: "Fascinating Journey for Two"
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    Memoirs of a Geisha (






UNABRIDGED) by Arthur Golden Narrated by Bernadette Dunne

    Memoirs of a Geisha

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Arthur Golden
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    In a voice both haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri describes her life as a geisha. Taken from her home at the age of nine, she is sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. Witness her transformation as you enter a world where appearances are paramount, virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder, women beguile powerful men, and love is scorned as illusion.

    Stephanie says: "Best Book in a while"
  • 4.3 (3524 ratings)
    A Prayer for Owen Meany (






UNABRIDGED) by John Irving Narrated by Joe Barrett

    A Prayer for Owen Meany

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3524)
    Performance
    (2451)
    Story
    (2450)

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    Alan says: "Outstanding"
  • The Handmaid's Tale (






UNABRIDGED) by Margaret Atwood Narrated by Claire Danes

    The Handmaid's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Claire Danes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3464)
    Performance
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    Story
    (3142)

    Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....

    Melinda says: "Not So Far-Fetched -- Still Chilling"
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel (






UNABRIDGED) by Richard C. Morais Narrated by Neil Shah

    The Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Richard C. Morais
    • Narrated By Neil Shah
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (390)
    Performance
    (357)
    Story
    (351)

    Born above his grandfather’s modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps.

    Marci says: "Great details & writing in a flawed story"
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's (






UNABRIDGED) by Truman Capote Narrated by Michael C. Hall

    Breakfast at Tiffany's

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Truman Capote
    • Narrated By Michael C. Hall
    Overall
    (685)
    Performance
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    Story
    (638)

    Golden Globe-winning actor Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) performs Truman Capote's masterstroke about a young writer's charmed fascination with his unorthodox neighbor, the "American geisha" Holly Golightly. Holly - a World War II-era society girl in her late teens - survives via socialization, attending parties and restaurants with men from the wealthy upper class who also provide her with money and expensive gifts. Over the course of the novella, the seemingly shallow Holly slowly opens up to the curious protagonist.

    Michael says: "Subtle yet Extravagant"
  • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (






UNABRIDGED) by Kurt Vonnegut Narrated by Eric Michael Summerer

    God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Eliot Rosewater, a drunk volunteer fireman and president of the fabulously rich Rosewater Foundation, is about to attempt a noble experiment with human nature, with a little help from writer Kilgore Trout. The result is Kurt Vonnegut's funniest satire, an etched-in-acid portrayal of the greed, hypocrisy, and follies of the flesh we are all heir to.

    Scott says: "Please listen."
  •  
  • The Wicked Girls (






UNABRIDGED) by Alex Marwood Narrated by Anna Bentinck

    The Wicked Girls

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Alex Marwood
    • Narrated By Anna Bentinck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (667)
    Performance
    (610)
    Story
    (601)

    On a fateful summer morning in 1986, two 11-year-old girls meet for the first time. By the end of the day, they will both be charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of sickening attacks on young female tourists in a seaside vacation town when her investigation leads her to interview carnival cleaner Amber Gordon. For Kirsty and Amber, it's the first time they've seen each other since that dark day so many years ago. Now with new, vastly different lives - and unknowing families to protect - will they really be able to keep their wicked secret hidden?

    Lesley says: "I didn't want to like these girls..."
  • The Color Purple (






UNABRIDGED) by Alice Walker Narrated by Alice Walker

    The Color Purple

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Alice Walker
    • Narrated By Alice Walker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1108)
    Performance
    (708)
    Story
    (701)

    Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 - when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate - and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister", a brutal man who terrorizes her.

    Amazon Customer says: "Absolutely Wonderful"
  • The Goldfinch (






UNABRIDGED) by Donna Tartt Narrated by David Pittu

    The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8243)
    Performance
    (7554)
    Story
    (7561)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
  • Orphan Train: A Novel (






UNABRIDGED) by Christina Baker Kline Narrated by Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren

    Orphan Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Christina Baker Kline
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3650)
    Performance
    (3248)
    Story
    (3244)

    Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

    Susan says: "Fascinating Journey for Two"
  •  
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (






UNABRIDGED) by Erich Maria Remarque Narrated by Frank Muller

    All Quiet on the Western Front

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erich Maria Remarque
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (609)
    Performance
    (517)
    Story
    (524)

    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"
  • The Magicians: A Novel (






UNABRIDGED) by Lev Grossman Narrated by Mark Bramhall

    The Magicians: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Lev Grossman
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2646)
    Performance
    (1914)
    Story
    (1923)

    Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he's still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.

    Ki says: "Not an average book"
  • We Are Not Ourselves (






UNABRIDGED) by Matthew Thomas Narrated by Mare Winningham

    We Are Not Ourselves

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Matthew Thomas
    • Narrated By Mare Winningham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed. When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit.

    Kenneth says: "Outstanding Novel about a difficult subject"
  • Adultery: A Novel (






UNABRIDGED) by Paulo Coelho, Margaret Jull Costa (translator), Zoë Perry (translator) Narrated by Susan Denaker

    Adultery: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Paulo Coelho, Margaret Jull Costa (translator), Zoë Perry (translator)
    • Narrated By Susan Denaker
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    A woman in her 30s begins to question the routine and predictability of her days. In everybody's eyes, she has a perfect life: happy marriage, children, and a career. Yet what she feels is an enormous apathy. All that changes when she encounters a successful politician who had, years earlier, been her high school boyfriend. As she rediscovers the passion missing from her life, she will face a life-altering choice.

    Debbie says: "Disappointing & Depressing!!!"
  • F (






UNABRIDGED) by Daniel Kehlmann Narrated by Robert Fass, Jim Meskimen, Bronson Pinchot

    F

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Daniel Kehlmann
    • Narrated By Robert Fass, Jim Meskimen, Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    One day Arthur Friedland piles his three sons into the car and drives them to see the Great Lindemann, Master of Hypnosis. Protesting that he doesn't believe in magic even as he is led onto the stage, Arthur nevertheless experiences something. Later that night, while his family sleeps, he takes his passport, empties all the money from his bank account, and vanishes. In time, still absent from his family, he begins to publish novels and becomes an internationally renowned author.

  • The Carhullan Army (






UNABRIDGED) by Sarah Hall Narrated by Penelope Rawlins

    The Carhullan Army

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Sarah Hall
    • Narrated By Penelope Rawlins
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Set in the part of England once known as The Lake District and frequented by hordes of landscape-hungry tourists, The Carhullan Army is narrated by a young woman who has adopted the name Sister. Britain after its union with the United States and numerous unsuccessful foreign wars, has found itself in the grip of a severe fuel crisis and the country is now under the control of a severe body known as The Authority.

  • My Lynch's Holiday (






UNABRIDGED) by Catherine O'Flynn Narrated by Joe Simpson

    My Lynch's Holiday

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Catherine O'Flynn
    • Narrated By Joe Simpson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Eamonn Lynch stares at the letter announcing the imminent arrival of his father, Dermot. His first thought is: I’ll make an excuse, I’ll put him off. But it is too late. Dermot is already here, in southern Spain, and soon he’ll discover that Eamonn lives in an unfinished building site; that Laura’s left him; and that it’ll be just the pair of them for two long, hot weeks. Eamonn doesn’t seem to know what to make of his father’s arrival.

  • Becoming Abigail: A Novella (






UNABRIDGED) by Chris Abani Narrated by Robin Miles

    Becoming Abigail: A Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 57 mins)
    • By Chris Abani
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Tough, spirited, and fiercely independent Abigail is brought as a teenager to London from Nigeria by relatives who attempt to force her into prostitution. She flees, struggling to find herself in the shadow of a strong but dead mother. In spare yet haunting and lyrical prose reminiscent of Marguerite Duras, Abani brings to life a young woman who lives with a strength and inner light that will enlighten and uplift the listener.

  •  
  • The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit (






UNABRIDGED) by Graham Joyce Narrated by Gildart Jackson

    The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Graham Joyce
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    David, a college student, takes a summer job at a run-down family resort in a dying English resort town. This is against the wishes of his family because it was at this resort where David's biological father disappeared fifteen years earlier. But something undeniable has called David there. The characters have a suspicious edge to them.

  • The Carriage House (






UNABRIDGED) by Louisa Hall Narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan

    The Carriage House

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Louisa Hall
    • Narrated By Alyssa Bresnahan
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    For three generations, a carriage house has stood on the Adair property. Built by William's grandfather, it was William's childhood refuge and a sign of the family's prominence. Now held captive by a neighbor due to a zoning error, the house has decayed beyond recognition and may even be condemned. Rallying to save their father, Diana, Elizabeth, and Isabelle take on the battle for the carriage house that once stood as a symbol of their place in the world.

  • F (






UNABRIDGED) by Daniel Kehlmann, Nils Brunse (translator) Narrated by Jesper Bøllehuus

    F

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Daniel Kehlmann, Nils Brunse (translator)
    • Narrated By Jesper Bøllehuus
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Dette er den første sætning i Daniel Kehlmanns roman om tre brødre, der - hver på deres måde - er sølet ind i hykleri, fusk og falskneri. De har truffet deres livsvalg og tilværelse, da en afgrund åbner sig og truer med at sluge dem. Et enkelt fejltrin, en tilsyneladende meningsløs tilfældighed, et eneste forkert skridt og noget, der ligner et uklart, spøgelsesagtigt mareridt bliver virkelighed.

  • Adultery: A Novel (






UNABRIDGED) by Paulo Coelho, Margaret Jull Costa (translator), Zoë Perry (translator) Narrated by Susan Denaker

    Adultery: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Paulo Coelho, Margaret Jull Costa (translator), Zoë Perry (translator)
    • Narrated By Susan Denaker
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    A woman in her 30s begins to question the routine and predictability of her days. In everybody's eyes, she has a perfect life: happy marriage, children, and a career. Yet what she feels is an enormous apathy. All that changes when she encounters a successful politician who had, years earlier, been her high school boyfriend. As she rediscovers the passion missing from her life, she will face a life-altering choice.

    Debbie says: "Disappointing & Depressing!!!"