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  • Marie Antoinette: The Journey

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Antonia Fraser
    • Narrated By Donada Peters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    France's iconic queen, Marie Antoinette, wrongly accused of uttering the infamous "Let them eat cake", was alternately revered and reviled during her lifetime. For centuries since, she has been the object of debate, speculation, and the fascination so often accorded illustrious figures in history. Married in mere girlhood, this essentially lighthearted child was thrust onto the royal stage and commanded by circumstance to play a significant role in European history.

    Karen says: "Very Detailed"
    "Annoying Narration"

    I love the biography - it is well written and engaging (as are most of her books) but the narration really destroyed it for me. I quit listening 1/2 way through and went for the print edition. A thoroughly annoying English granny accent with atrocious English-public-school French pronounciations set my teeth on edge.

    I advise people to listen to the sample first to see if they can stand the narration before they decide to download this audio version of this great book.

    13 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Cape Refuge: Cape Refuge Series #1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Terri Blackstock
    • Narrated By Renee Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When Thelma and Wayne Owens are found murdered in the warehouse where they held their church services, their son-in-law, Jonathan, is arrested for the crime - but his wife, Morgan, and her sister, Blair, as well as Thelma and Wayne's daughters, are confident that he didnt do it and set out to find the real killer.

    Nancy says: "I'd love to say I loved this.. but..."

    I wish I could get my money back. The narration is over-blown, with a fake-sweet voice used specifically to introduce Christian messages of forgiveness and redemption. There is no character development or even plot development. This is a terrible book and I won't buy any others from this series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Deborah Feldman
    • Narrated By Rachel Botchan

    In this captivating memoir, Deborah Feldman takes listeners on an eye-opening journey into Orthodox Jewish culture. Raised in the suffocating world of Brooklyn’s Satmar Hasidim, Feldman was told what to read and who she was allowed to talk to. Married off at 17, she suffered from anxiety and was shamed by an inability to please her older husband. But after giving birth to a son at age 19, Feldman realized it was time to tear up her roots and make her own path in life.

    Ella says: "A one-sided glimpse into a secretive world"
    "D. Feldman is too young for a memoir"

    I wish I'd listened to other reviewers...D. Feldman isn't a bad writer. She's going to be good, I think. But I wish she'd put this in a drawer for about ten years so that she could reflect with some maturity on her experience. I quit listening after a couple of hours because the limitations of her experience of the world made everything flat - it reads as if it was written by a kid hanging out in the mall. No depth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bishop’s Man: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Linden Macintyre
    • Narrated By Graham Rowat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Award-winning Canadian journalist Linden MacIntyre’s The Bishop’s Man claimed the Scotiabank Giller Prize. This compelling tale follows Father Duncan MacAskill, who serves as an “Exorcist” for his bishop by disciplining other men of the cloth who have forsaken their vows.

    A User says: "Gave it a second chance...glad I did"
    "Gave it a second chance...glad I did"

    The first time I listened, I was outraged at the narrator's mispronounciation of Antigonish and couldn't get by it. It coloured my whole experience and I wrote the book off with a "two star" and some regret that I'd "wasted" a credit.

    On holiday this year, I decided I should give it another go - the book has won the Governor General's award & I like Lyndon MacIntyre. How glad I am that I did!

    The story unfolds in layers & the characters with it. It is both fresh & familiar. I love this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens
    • Narrated By Christopher Hitchens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the tradition of Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris' recent best-seller, The End of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos.

    ben capozzi says: "...Though Hitchens Is!"
    "A great listen..."

    I thoroughly enjoyed Hitchens' narration. I found myself laughing out loud several times - which startled my fellow commuters on the bus, no doubt.

    In some ways, the delivery reminded me of Spalding Gray's monologues (if Spalding Gray had been a tired, chain-smoking, British journalist writing for, of all things, Vanity Fair in New York). I'd love to see Hitchens deliver this as a lecture. Perhaps in a smoky jazz bar...

    The whole book is a delightful counterpoint to the absolute self-righteous earnestness of religious dialogue in America these days (not to mention the rest of the world). It's refreshing.

    Buy this book and listen thrice!

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes behind the Veil

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Deborah Rodriguez, Kristin Ohlson
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Most Westerners working in Afghanistan spend their time tucked inside a military compound or embassy. Not Deborah Rodriguez. Here, she tells the story of the beauty school she founded in the middle of Kabul and of the vibrant women who were her students. When Rodriguez opened the Kabul Beauty School, she not only empowered her students with a new sense of autonomy but also made some of the closest friends of her life.

    Becky says: "Thumbs down"
    "Kabul's Gossip Central"

    While I enjoyed listening to this book, I felt like I couldn't entirely trust the writer. I wasn't sure what her motives were for going to Kabul or for marrying an Afghani man (or for leaving half-grown children back in the states, for that matter).

    The writer's self-centred approach got in the way of the characters because each character was seen through a naive American lens that limited and flattened the residents of Kabul to stereotypical roles of warlords or former mujahadeen, victims of the Taliban ot helpless pawns in familial manoevering. Each episode she describes casts herself as the central American rescuer - facing up to kidnapping nasty neighbours, winning over unresponsive in-laws, saving the honour of not-so-virginal brides.

    Overall, it isn't a substantial book - rather like the light-hearted (or occasionally mean-spirited) gossip of beauty salons everywhere.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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