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Sharon

Member Since 2012

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 57 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • The Story of Music

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Howard Goodall
    • Narrated By Howard Goodall
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Accompanies BBC2's major new TV series and The Story of Music in 50 Pieces on Radio 3. Music is an intrinsic part of everyday life, and yet the history of its development from single notes to multi-layered orchestration can seem bewilderingly specialised and complex. In his dynamic tour through 40,000 years of music, from prehistoric instruments to modern-day pop, Howard Goodall does away with stuffy biographies, unhelpful labels and tired terminology.

    Sharon says: "Disappointing"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Since this was a book about music and it was an audio copy, AND a tv series exists, the book should have been illustrated with musical excerpts. How can one relate to theoretical information about the structure and development of music, without auditory examples? Very, very disappointing.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Howard Goodall again?

    No -


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9453)
    Performance
    (8656)
    Story
    (8668)

    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"
    "The Goldfinch - An Amazing Story, Well Told."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Goldfinch in three words, what would they be?

    Great plot, characterization, pace.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What made this story most especially interesting was that its main character was a very floored and complex individual who got into some very bad things, but was poignant, human and loveable. It was a story about the the unpredictability of life and how the only choice one may have, is how to live it. It is this which gives the story such great humanity.


    Have you listened to any of David Pittu’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, it was my first listening of a David Pittu performance and I'd love to hear him read more. His management of the different characterizations was simply amazing.


    If you could take any character from The Goldfinch out to dinner, who would it be and why?


    Any additional comments?

    Yes, let me know when new books by Donna Tartt become available!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Santini

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (389)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (257)

    Step into the powerhouse life of Bull Meecham. He's all Marine -- fighter pilot, king of the clouds, and absolute ruler of his family. Lillian is his wife -- beautiful, southern-bred, with a core of velvet steel. Without her cool head, her kids would be in real trouble. Ben is the oldest, a born athlete whose best never satisfies the big man. Ben's got to stand up, even fight back, against a father who doesn't give in -- not to his men, not to his wife, and certainly not to his son.

    cort says: "an excellent book"
    "A Long Charcter Sketch"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, I did not enjoy it and didn't finish 'reading' it.It reads like a long, overly detailed character sketch about an unusual and not very likeable, character. But there's no real plot or development - quite unlike Conroy's later books which are wonderfully constructed and resonant with plots, surprises and characters who grow and develop.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Pat Conroy again?

    Yes.


    What about Dick Hill’s performance did you like?

    Dick Hill's performance was great - it was all that saved the book and made me read on for some while.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes, I got impatient with the book and looked at the movie.I didn't enjoy it all that much but at least it told it's story in one sitting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beach Music

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (463)
    Performance
    (286)
    Story
    (287)

    Pat Conroy is without doubt America's favorite storyteller, a writer who portrays the anguished truth of the human heart and the painful secrets of families in richly lyrical prose and unforgettable narratives. Now, in Beach Music, he tells of the dark memories that haunt generations, in a story that spans South Carolina and Rome and reaches back into the unutterable terrors of the Holocaust.

    Ella says: "Memorable"
    "Wonderful Story of the Music of the South"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I loved this book from beginning to end.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Firstly, it's not just one story but a patchwork of many intersecting stories. Reading it is like peeling an onion as the author skillfully uncovers layer after layer and reveals its secrets. The dialogue is brilliant, the stories told with great passion and sincerity and I found myself laughing out loud in some of the scenes and I cried as the author personalized the impact of the holocaust on a Southern family.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Probably the scene of the four friends on the fishing trip, when they find themselves in the grip of terrifying nature and they can do nothing to avoid or control. Pat Conroy skillfully reveals levels of character, world view and spirituality in the way the characters endure their trial by water.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I couldn't put it down and it made me crazy every time my smartphone battery went flat and I had to stop reading till it re-charged.


    Any additional comments?

    In particular I would like to praise the reader of the book. I so enjoyed his beautiful Southern drawl and the way he expressed the different personalities. I would love to read more narrated by Jonathan Marosz.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Edmund de Waal
    • Narrated By Michael Maloney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (367)
    Performance
    (301)
    Story
    (302)

    The Ephrussis were a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who “burned like a comet” in 19th-century Paris and Vienna society. Yet by the end of World War II, almost the only thing remaining of their vast empire was a collection of 264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox. The renowned ceramicist Edmund de Waal became the fifth generation to inherit this small and exquisite collection of netsuke. Entranced by their beauty and mystery, he determined to trace the story of his family through the story of the collection.

    Amazon Customer says: "A vagabond through history, clutching a tiny carvi"
    "An Incredible Story of a Jewish Community Before W"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Hare with Amber Eyes to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the printed version and I prefer to listen rather than to read. The reader of this book does an excellent job and it was a pleasure to listen to him. He made the book come alive.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hare with Amber Eyes?

    For me, as a Jew, the story had special significance in highlighting the history of the wealthy Jewish community in London, Vienna and Paris before the world wars, and illustrating the dreadful antisemitism which overwhelmed them and sought - for not good reason - to exterminate them. I never knew about such an educated, cultured and wealthy Jewish class in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and their incredible contribution to the societies in which they lived, and which despised them simply for their 'otherness'.


    What about Michael Maloney’s performance did you like?

    I enjoyed his compassionate voice , his ability to make the different characters come alive - to act out the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was physically upset by the descriptions of the antisemitism and of vileness of the Nazis in the Time of Hitler. I was also upset by the descriptions of how ordinary Germans; so called friends, neighbors; so called decent, cultured people - could stoop to such degradations whether they purported individual acts of savagery themselves, or benefited from the murder of millions of people and their theft and destruction of the property and art treasures that the Ephrussi family amassed and which would have been a gift to mankind.


    Any additional comments?

    I found the first 50 or so pages, quite repetitive and could not understand such a prolonged peon to the arts and artifacts that are so passionately described. The story came alive to me when it moved into greater depth about the Ephrussi families and particular characters - and the circumstances that befell them. The fact that is based on fact, was very interesting to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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