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Ryan

Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 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.

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  • "Grown-up Hiyao Miyazaki"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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
    (438)
    Performance
    (335)
    Story
    (338)

    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"
  • "Beautiful"

    Overall

    Having read the highly self-referential A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius a few months ago, I had no idea what to expect from Eggers in a novel about a Sudanese refugee. I couldn't imagine how the same writing style would work on that topic.

    But Eggers plays it straight this time and simply tells a story. And it's a beautiful, moving story told with thoughtfulness, compassion, and a sense of humor. The narrative of the central character, Valentino, doesn't fail to convey the horrors of the Sudan conflict, but neither does it beat the reader over the head with tragedy. Valentino's calm voice instead makes East Africa (and the American experience of an African immigrant) real, impressing the reader with the fact that the Sudanese are as colorful, complex, and rich in their lives as anyone else. The fact that Valentino's both remarkably aware and astonishingly naive as a character makes him a fascinating witness to this turbulent history.

    A wonderful book.

    As far as the audio aspect of the novel goes, the reader did a great job with Valentino's accents and mannerisms, as well as those of Afro-American characters. The voices he does for some of the side characters were a little too cutesy for my liking, but it didn't drag down the overall listening experience.

    More

    What Is the What

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (740)
    Performance
    (291)
    Story
    (290)

    Valentino's travels, truly Biblical in scope, bring him in contact with government soldiers, janjaweed-like militias, liberation rebels, hyenas and lions, disease and starvation, and a string of unexpected romances. Ultimately, Valentino finds safety in Kenya and, just after the millennium, is finally resettled in the United States, from where this novel is narrated.

    Susan says: "A Story Aching to be Told"
  • "A bleak, beautiful debut"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel's been mentioned on a few "best of 2013" lists and I think it well deserves the honor. In A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Anthony Marra explores the emotional complexities of life in a war-plagued place, as the upheaval of conflict and death reshape the ties of family, friends, neighbors, and tradition. The setting is Chechnya between 1994 and 2004, a period that included two nasty wars between Russian government forces and Chechen separatists. Because of the ties of the rebels to Islamic extremism, I believe, the US media never took much interest in the strife, much less its impact on the lives of regular people.

    It's those lives that Marra focuses on. The narrative begins in 2004, with a man named Akhmed watching Russian soldiers abduct his neighbor, who has already lost all his fingers to a previous interrogation by state security. Left behind is the neighbor's young daughter, who has escaped into the woods with a mysterious blue suitcase. Akhmed takes the girl to the only safe place he knows, the hospital in town. There, he meets Sonja, a cynical, exhausted ethnic Russian surgeon who spends her days amputating limbs shredded by landmines and is the last competent medical professional around. I say "competent" because Akhmed is himself a doctor, but one who, to his own shame, finished in the bottom tenth of his class and excels more at his true passion, painting. He's unable to help even his own wife, who's bedridden with a wasting disease.

    Such are the contradictions at the hearts of the characters, who are gradually revealed through a non-linear narrative that travels back and forth through time to unpeel the layers of their backstories, connections, and secrets. We also come to know Khassan, a WWII veteran who has spent the past few decades of his life writing a history of the Chechen people (and rewriting it, each time official guidelines change); Khassan's son, Ramzan, who turned informer for the Russians and hasn't been spoken to since by the father he provides for; and Sonya's sister, Natasha, who remained behind to endure her own horrors after Sonya went to medical school in Britain.

    There's both absurdity and fragile beauty in the story's small details. Akhmed is committed to painting portraits of the disappeared, which he leaves around town -- though he adds a long nostril hair to one vain woman's face, because she died still owing him money. There's some confusion between a former US president and the mascot of McDonalds, leading to the great line "I may be an idiot, but I would never eat a hamburger cooked by a clown". Two people in a truck argue over which dead radio station has the most pleasing static. An imam imprisoned in a landfill pit gives funerals for his fellow prisoners the moment after they ascend a long ladder heavenward, disappearing from view into the hands of their executioners.

    At the core of this book are the human entanglements that extend before and after wartime, but are complicated by its chaos, with people's faults and virtues both magnified. Actions motivated by pride, guilt, trauma, resentment, and shame become difficult to distinguish from those motivated by love. Even Ramzan, the informer, becomes sympathetic, when later chapters uncover a costly act of courage in his past, and whose sins, as an old proverb goes, are tied up with the sins of the father. Marra occasionally interrupts the narrative to give us little vignettes about incidental characters, a technique that's slightly distracting, but adds to a pervading sense that nothing happens in isolation from everything else. Our connections often seem to be subjective constellations, but that doesn't stop them from being. I admired his unusual choice to project a few threads decades into the future, a reminder that life will go on, with its cargo of good and terrible memories.

    A beautiful, bleak, affecting work of literary fiction, and one that got me a little teary-eyed at the end. My recommendation has some caveats: the scenes of brutality might be a little tough for some readers, and the sometimes confusing web of links between characters and events requires careful attention. I also can't comment on how true-to-life the novel's details are, having been written by an American whose knowledge of place can only be secondary, but whatever blemishes might be in the brush strokes, the overall picture reaches towards a universal statement. 4.5 stars.

    I didn't find Colette Whitaker to be a remarkable audio reader, but nothing about her performance bothered me, either.

    More

    A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Anthony Marra
    • Narrated By Colette Whitaker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (134)

    Anthony Marra transports us to a snow-covered village in Chechnya, where eight-year-old Havaa watches from the woods as Russian soldiers abduct her father in the middle of the night, accusing him of aiding Chechen rebels. Across the road their lifelong neighbor and family friend Akhmed has also been watching, fearing the worst when the soldiers set fire to Havaa’s house. But when he finds her hiding in the forest with a strange blue suitcase, he makes a decision that will forever change their lives. He will seek refuge at the abandoned hospital where the sole remaining doctor, Sonja Rabina, treats the wounded.

    Ryan says: "A bleak, beautiful debut"
  1. Hard-boiled Wonderland an...
  2. What Is the What
  3. A Constellation of Vital ...
  4. .

A Peek at connie's Bookshelf

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Votes
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Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 395 REVIEWS / 1442 ratings 1432 Followers / Following 142
 
connie's greatest hits:
  • A Son of the Circus

    "If you liked "Q+A"..."

    Overall

    ...you might like this bizarre tale of family, community, hierarchy, missionaries, twins separated at birth, and transexual serial murder in India. Unlike Q+A's Vikras Swarup, Irving isn't Indian, but he avoids cultural appropriation (I think--I'm not Indian) by stating upfront in the intro that he doesn't know India well, thanking a host of South East Asian artists for their help, and creating an ex-pat main character who is alientated from his birth country but not assimilated into the West.

    I found the novel humourous and tremendously entertaining, but it's not for everyone: Know that there are multiple quirkly characters weaving through several intersecting storylines highly dependent upon coincidence, like a modern day tale from Trollope or Dickens with a twist of PG Wodehouse's mania, all held together by excellent narration.

    Irving asks, in a postcolonial global village, "where are you from?" rather than the usual, "who are you?", and the only viable attitude he offers to complexities of human nature is that of a child's wonderment at a circus, despite the probability that the acts are based on cruelty to participants. The opposite of such wonder is fundamentalism. Many characters are shackled by fate, but a few escape predictable ends through human imagination or altruism.

    Irving presents an unflattering but loving portrait of Bombay/Mumbai in the late 80s, before the terrorist bombings of 1993 and economic boom of 2000s. I'm not sure how an inhabitant would respond to the outsider's view. Also I'm not sure how a transexual might react to some of the characters. Some also might be put off by the novel's use of "cripple"/"crippled" to describe what we refer to now as disability, but all the charaters are "crippled," if not physically than emotionally or socially.

  • A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement

    "The epic Ken Follett wished he could write"

    Overall

    James from Vancouver describes this series so well - I want just to add that the prose as an audiobook becomes music and underline the subtle humour in its unfolding. Simon Vance handles the words like a master musician. I so look forward to the remaining three "movements" because this series is new to me. If you like Brit lit, pass over Follett for Powell. I'm glad Follett wrote his "Giants" -- that's probrably why a publisher reproduced Powell for us now. Long live audiobooks for making accessible novels some of us would never otherwise experience.

  • Buddhaland Brooklyn: A Novel

    "engaging listen"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a feel good listen with dharma (though the Buddhist sect depicted is fictional). The novel is unique and not at all saccharine, though it fits in the "happily ever after without angst" category. It's such an easy read, yet this novel has substance and poetry! I'm tempted to call it Paulo Coelo light, but I don't mean that as negative.

    The publisher's label of "fairy tale" and "fable" may mislead fantasy fans. While it can be heard as a fable about finding oneself, it's a storyline/fictional memoir from everyday life with little of the fantastic except a belief in a spiritual world - one that is shared by many faiths.

    I listen to a lot of novels, and this one landed just as I needed something fresh - It really gave my spirit a lift. I've listened to many Christian and Buddhist books about becoming less judgemental-- this novel worked better than nonfiction at getting me there. I haven't enjoyed a listen so much since many, many books ago.

  • A Dance to the Music of Time: Second Movement

    "not just for nostalgic posh Brits!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unfortunately we can't hyperlink in these reviews, but even Ian Rankin testifies to the enjoyableness of this series. When replying to a question something like, "best gift book ever' he wrote in The Guardian: "I started reading the first book, thinking: not sure I'm going to like this. All snobby privilege and a world I won't be interested in. By volume two, I was hooked. Widmerpool and the others were such good company, and the writing was elegant and concise, so I bought the rest of the books in the series."

    No matter if you are an Oxbridge or a Rebus type, a Brit, a Yankee or a Commonwealther, give Powell a chance, and your mind will dance with delight: elegant, concise, good company -- what more can we ask of a novel? Maybe that it's beautifully read to you - and Vance does just that.

richard

richard San Anselmo, CA, United States 07-25-13 Member Since 2006

63 y/o psychologist with two sons, living in SF Bay Area. I absolutely love all the feedback I've been getting for my reviews. It's very gratifying. Thanks to all of you.

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2
  • "A genuine laugh riot. Balerini is a..."

    33 of 35 helpful votes

    Clearly I had never heard of Tonino Benacquista before. I have, however, become something of a student of Edoardo Balerini. I would be the president of his fan club, were he to have one. The man has engaged and entertained me in a way which beggars description. This book is the story of an Italian gangster and his family, who go into the Witness Protection Program (WITSEC) after he testifies against his former colleagues. The family ends up in a small town in Normandy, the name of which I swear to you sounds something like Schlong-sur-Mer. The gangster takes the name of Fred Baker, and tries to convince an entire town bristling with French gossips that he is a writer, engaged in some magnum opus mysterioso. His wife and chldren are dragged most unhappily into this fiasco. It is torture for them to keep the lie going, but of course it is essential that they pull it off, as unspeakable deaths await them if they fail. Mr. Baker's real name is Giovanni Menzano, I believe. The wife and kids have to invent names and full identities for themselves. They have one so-called friend, who is their supervisor in the WITSEC program, a man named Tom Quintiliani. (Please forgive me if I am messing up these names: it is very hard to memorize names when you are laughing out loud at the story, and at the exquisite predicament this family is in.)
    Edoardo Balerini has now reached a pinnacle (in my mind) which no other living narrator has ever come close to. It's not just that he's Italian; you can hear the pronunciation of his own name sound more Italian with each book. Since the book is set in France, Mr. Balerini must master a large variety of French accents and individual speech proclivities. You just cannot imagine how funny this is until you hear it. It is easy for Americans to make fun of the French, for reasons which have little to do with this book in particular (they are, though, so ENTIRELY full of themselves): please stop me now before I become quite tasteless. The plot ambles around in a good-natured sort of way. I actually got lost, as I was reading about four other books at the same time, and I discovered that it was a complete pleasure to start this book from the very beginning again. I realized that some of the jokes had just filtered through my cortex without being stored in memory (a fancy and preposterous way of saying that I forgot them), and so each was funny anew. This one is a winner. I hope Mr. Benacquisto has more up his sleeve. From the sounds of Mr. Balerini's voices I would guess him to be in his forties: how very, very lucky for us.

    More

    The Family - A Novel (Movie Tie-In), previously published as Malavita

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Tonino Benacquista
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (29)

    The Blakes are newcomers to a small town in Normandy. Fred is a historian researching the Allied landings, Maggie enjoys charity work, and their kids are looking forward to meeting other teenagers at the local lycee. Or so it seems. In fact, Fred is really Giovanni Manzoni, an ex-goodfella turned stool pigeon who's been relocated from New Jersey to France by the FBI's witness protection program. And when imprisoned mobster Don Mimino gets wind of their location, it's Mafia mayhem.

    richard says: "A genuine laugh riot. Balerini is a master."

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    connie says: "not just for nostalgic posh Brits!"
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    Stephanie says: "Best Book in a while"
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    Alan says: "Outstanding"
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    Lynda Rains Bonchack says: "A long time coming..........."
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    Katerina says: "Good book, well told"
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    (0)
    Performance
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    Story
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    Vacationing at a luxurious Tuscan island resort, Nicolas Duhamel is hopeful that the ghosts of his past have finally been put to rest.… He's now a best-selling author, but when he was 24 years old, he stumbled upon a troubling secret about his family - a secret that was carefully concealed. In shock, Nicholas embarked on a journey to uncover the truth that took him from the Basque coast to St. Petersburg - but the answers wouldn’t come easily.

  •  
  • The Things They Carried

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tim O'Brien
    • Narrated By Bryan Cranston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (585)
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    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"
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3718)
    Performance
    (3445)
    Story
    (3453)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
  • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Claire North
    • Narrated By Peter Kenny
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now.As Harry nears the end of his 11th life, a little girl appears at his bedside. "I nearly missed you, Doctor August," she says. "I need to send a message." This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

    A User says: "Sociopathic tendencies"
  • The Kite Runner

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Khaled Hosseini
    Overall
    (6227)
    Performance
    (1579)
    Story
    (1599)

    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"
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  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Anna Quindlen
    • Narrated By Carrington MacDuffie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (187)
    Performance
    (164)
    Story
    (163)

    Still Life with Bread Crumbs begins with an imagined gunshot and ends with a new tin roof. Between the two is a wry and knowing portrait of Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work made her an unlikely heroine for many women. Her career is now descendent, her bank balance shaky, and she has fled the city for the middle of nowhere. There she discovers, in a tree stand with a roofer named Jim Bates, that what she sees through a camera lens is not all there is to life.

    Jen says: "Exceeded My High Expectations"
  • Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (63 hrs)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (4902)
    Performance
    (2895)
    Story
    (2902)

    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"
  • And the Mountains Echoed

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Khaled Hosseini, Navid Negahban, Shohreh Aghdashloo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1874)
    Performance
    (1672)
    Story
    (1653)

    Khaled Hosseini, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.

    FanB14 says: "Does the End Justify the Means"
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Truman Capote
    • Narrated By Michael C. Hall
    Overall
    (238)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (226)

    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.

    FanB14 says: "Michael C. Hall in Your Ear + Capote = Bliss"
  • Bliss, Psychology, and Her First Ball

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 10 mins)
    • By Katherine Mansfield
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Ryder
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Three delightfully intriguing short stories from the pen of Katherine Mansfield (born Wellington, New Zealand, 1888 - died Fontainebleau, France, 1923). In "Bliss" the listener is introduced to 30-year-old Mrs Bertha Young. She has everything…. The nameless He and She in "Psychology": He is 31; she is 30. She has invited him to tea. Their discourse turns to the future of the psychological novel.... Exactly when the ball began 18-year old Leila would have found it hard to say. This, "Her First Ball", is an enthralling experience but, at the same time, quite terrifying.

  • Of Withered Apples

    • UNABRIDGED (21 mins)
    • By Phillip K. Dick
    • Narrated By Mike Vendetti
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Laurie, a city girl, marries and moves with her husband to Vermont and has an encounter with an apple tree, the only living tree in a dying orchard. The tree is determined to survive - somehow.

  • Follow Me Home

    • UNABRIDGED (14 mins)
    • By Cassandra R. Fowlie
    • Narrated By Cassandra R. Fowlie
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    There has been an accident. A girl sits inside a car, her behavior seemingly indifferent to the chaos outside. Karle has been there for hours. Her eyes will not focus on what is happening outside. Instead she remembers the hours before she came to be there. She and her mother had been in the airport waiting for her brother Benjamin to come home. Karle’s brother was a soldier who had just come home for shore leave. They had always been close.

  • Off Course: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Michelle Huneven
    • Narrated By Amy Rubinate
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The year is 1981, Reagan is in the White House, and the country is stalled in a recession. Cressida Hartley, a gifted PhD student in economics, moves into her parents' shabby A-frame cabin in the Sierras to write her dissertation. Cress, increasingly resistant to her topic (art in the marketplace), allows herself to be drawn into the social life of the small mountain community.

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  • The Salinger Contract: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Adam Langer
    • Narrated By Adam Langer
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    An enthralling literary mystery that connects some of the world’s most famous authors—from Norman Mailer and Truman Capote to B. Traven and J. D. Salinger—to a sinister collector in Chicago. Adam Langer, the narrator of this deft and wide-ranging novel by the author of the same name, tells the intertwining tales of two writers navigating a plot neither one of them could have ever imagined. There may be no other escape than to write their way out of it.

  • Casebook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Mona Simpson
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    From the acclaimed and award-winning author of Anywhere But Here and My Hollywood, a powerful new novel about a young boy’s quest to uncover the mysteries of his unraveling family. What he discovers turns out to be what he least wants to know: the inner workings of his parents’ lives. And even then he can’t stop searching.

  • The Steady Running of the Hour: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Justin Go
    • Narrated By Steve West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In 1924, the English mountaineer Ashley Walsingham dies attempting to summit Mount Everest, leaving his fortune to his former lover, Imogen Soames-Andersson - whom he has not seen in seven years. Ashley's solicitors search in vain for Imogen, but the estate remains unclaimed. Nearly 80 years later, new information leads the same law firm to Tristan Campbell, a young American who could be the estate's rightful heir. If Tristan can prove he is Imogen's descendant, the inheritance will be his.

  • Acts of Contrition

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jennifer Handford
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby, Christopher Lane
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Mary Morrissey is living the life of her dreams. She has a loving husband, Tom, two daughters, and twin boys. But beneath the shiny veneer, Mary hasn’t taken a calm breath in 10 years. She lives in a constant state of panic, afraid the secret she’s kept hidden for so long will be revealed, shattering her perfect life. When addictively charismatic ex-boyfriend Landon James reappears during his high-profile Senate campaign, Mary’s fears become even more real.

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  • The Other Story

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tatiana de Rosnay
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Vacationing at a luxurious Tuscan island resort, Nicolas Duhamel is hopeful that the ghosts of his past have finally been put to rest.… He's now a best-selling author, but when he was 24 years old, he stumbled upon a troubling secret about his family - a secret that was carefully concealed. In shock, Nicholas embarked on a journey to uncover the truth that took him from the Basque coast to St. Petersburg - but the answers wouldn’t come easily.