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S

Writer, editor, translator.

United States | Member Since 2011

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 20 ratings
  • 57 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Don't Look Down

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jennifer Crusie, Bob Mayer
    • Narrated By Patrick G. Lawlor, Renee Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (192)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (75)

    Lucy Armstrong is a director of television commercials who's just been recruited to finish a four-day action-movie shoot. But she arrives on the set to discover that the directing staff has quit, the makeup artist is suicidal, the stars are egomaniacs, the stunt director is her ex-husband, and the lead actor has just acquired as an adviser a Green Beret who has the aggravating habit of always being right.

    S says: "Recommend for Cruisie fans"
    "Recommend for Cruisie fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Funny, entertaining, performance was very good, especially the little girl. Like most Crusie books, the plot thickens till it's a bit hard to follow everyone's motivation, but not impossible. The plot moves along at an energetic pace, the humor is just right, and the characters are great fun.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stettin Station

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By David Downing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (46)

    In the fall of 1941, Anglo-American journalist John Russell is still living in Berlin, tied to the increasingly alien city by his love for two Berliners: his fourteen-year-old son Paul and his longtime girlfriend Effi. Forced to work for both German and American intelligence, he's searching for a way out of Germany. Can he escape and take Effi with him?

    Buzz says: "Very Strong Addition to the Marvelous John Russe"
    "Another great David Downing novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this series and this was the first one I have listened to instead of reading. Simon Prebble's deep, resonant voice was nice, but his rapid pace took a little getting used to. Unfortunately, his female voices sounded a bit feeble, more like caricatures than real people. I forgot about it mostly, though, because Downing's story is riveting and his sense of place is impeccable.

    The other aspect to the narration that was distracting was the volume level kept changing, sometimes in mid sentence. Careless editing, perhaps?

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • An Echo in the Bone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5506)
    Performance
    (3699)
    Story
    (3704)

    Jamie Fraser knows from his time-traveling wife Claire that, no matter how unlikely it seems, America will win the Revolutionary War. But that truth offers little solace, since Jamie realizes he might find himself pointing a weapon directly at his own son - a young officer in the British army. And Jamie isn't the only one with a tormented soul - for Claire may know who wins the conflict, but she certainly doesn't know whether or not her beloved Jamie survives.

    Charles says: "Read all of Gabaldon's stuff before this one"
    "Wonderful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first of the Outlander series I have listened to instead of reading and I can't wait to listen to another one, as long as Davina Porter is narrating. She is one of the few narrators who can do voices of the opposite gender and not sound at least a little bit affected. She's very natural-sounding and infuses the text with warmth and genuineness.

    Love this series and can't recommend it highly enough! You won't really enjoy them out of sequence, though, so if you are considering this as your first Outlander book, please go back and start at the beginning.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil's Madonna: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Sharon Potts
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Pregnant with her first child and a recent convert to Judaism, artist Kali Miller at last understands the joy of being part of a loving family. But Kali must put her cosseted life on hold to care for her 93-year-old non-Jewish grandmother who has inexplicably lit dozens of sacred Yahrzeit Memorial candles throughout her decaying Miami Beach home, almost burning it down. Kali probes her enigmatic grandmother Lillian for an explanation and information about her roots, but Lillian becomes increasingly paranoid.

    S says: "Just terrible"
    "Just terrible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The reader reviews on Amazon were positive and I love to read novels set in WWII Berlin, but this audible book disappointed on all levels.

    Initially, I thought I was just put off by the narration. I hesitate to denigrate this narrator, as I know it was a lot of work on her part and she did try to create different voices for the characters, but the men's dialog just made them all sound like they had laryngitis and the expository text was delivered with the same intonation, a kind of final emphasis, as though every. single. sentence. was the most important one in the entire book. Instead of creating energy or excitement, it had the opposite effect, creating a breathless monotone that was, frankly, enervating.

    As to the storyline, it started off rather intriguingly, setting up an interesting situation and characters. I prefer more character development but was allowing for the fact that this was perhaps genre fiction and lighter than my usual fare. I did like the POV switching back and forth between the grandmother and granddaughter; it was a good way to move the story along. However, when I arrived at the crucial secret revelations, they were so ridiculous that what was a serious story became laughable. After that, characters began behaving uncharacteristically to how they had been set up to behave and the whole thing fell apart. Unfortunately, this was not where the book ended, and why I gave it 2 stars instead of 1. I did keep listening till the end; I wanted to know how she would end it, however bad it might be, so that was one tiny saving grace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rose Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Susanna Kearsley
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1583)
    Performance
    (1385)
    Story
    (1411)

    Acclaimed author Susanna Kearsley's previous works have won the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award, and finaled for both the UK Romantic Novel of the Year and the RITA awards.

    Eva Ward is a modern woman thrown back three centuries to 1715 - only to find that might be exactly where she belongs. There, she finds true love with Daniel Butler, but the discord surrounding Hanoverian King George plunges the lovers into a world of intrigue, treason, and romance.

    Angel Claire says: "Amazing story."
    "Loved it, but why is it called The Rose Garden?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book, even more than The Winter Sea, which I felt was a more uneven presentation--developing the plot of the past so much more than the present. In Rose Garden, the story is far more evenly told and therefore, we get a protagonist beautifully integrated in past and present.

    My big beef with this novel (tho' I won't rate it down because of it) is the title, which is fairly meaningless and banal. Even after finishing the book, I have no idea why it was called The Rose Garden. Sure, there WAS a rose garden, but it was not an important element. Perhaps the image of the hybridization process was supposed to evoke some metaphor for Eva?

    I agree with other reviewers who praised the romantic aspect of the story as being subtle and intense and therefore, very appealing. Also, I, too, would have liked the book to be a bit longer and contained more character development of Claire and of Daniel.

    The reader, Nicola Barber, did a great job with the voices, especially Daniel's.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Distant Hours

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1488)
    Performance
    (992)
    Story
    (999)

    Edie Burchill and her mother have never been close, but when a long lost letter arrives one Sunday afternoon with the return address of Milderhurst Castle, Kent, printed on its envelope, Edie begins to suspect that her mother’s emotional distance masks an old secret.

    Simone says: "Right Mood At The Right Time"
    "Over the top sad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As usual, Kate Morton combines Brontean tragedy with a Dickensian plot in an "I Capture the Castle" setting. Don't read if you can't stand open windows into other people's pain . If you can take it, however, it's Morton's typical well-plotted mystery unraveling at a slow and steady pace. As all her books do, the story pulls you forward, keeps you wanting to know what happened next, and why. And as all her books do, she evokes another time and place beautifully.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Forgotten Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5087)
    Performance
    (2878)
    Story
    (2916)

    Thirty-eight year old Cassandra is lost, alone, and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident 10 years ago, feels like she has lost everything known and dear to her.

    avid reader says: "Hours of enjoyable, fun listening"
    "Doom, gloom, and despair"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In other words, typical Kate Morton. I like long, wind-y plots that take hours to listen to and this book fit the bill perfectly. It was however, rather despair-invoking. Caroline Lee's perfect reading kept me going, as well as the humorous asides that very occasionally find their way into the story. The ending was more positive relative to the other two of her books available here, and for that reason, was mostly worth journeying towards.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The House at Riverton

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2560)
    Performance
    (1642)
    Story
    (1638)

    Summer 1924: On the eve of a glittering Society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again....Winter 1999: Grace Bradley, 98, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken, and memories, long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind, begin to sneak back through the cracks.

    Cathy says: "superbly written mystery"
    "Recommend with reservations"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love the time period of turn of the century into the 1920s and that is what drew me to this book. I was not disappointed by her evocation of the time, the clothes, events, and social mores. However, one really needs to have a high tragedy threshold with Kate Morton. I found The House at Riverton to be slightly less tragic than the other two of her books that are available at Audible.com. The narrator, Caroline Lee, is one of my favorites and I would like to hear her read more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
    • Narrated By Paul Baymer, Susan Duerden, Roselyn Landor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3177)
    Performance
    (1357)
    Story
    (1356)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The best book club you’ve never heard of – but will be eager to join, courtesy of a full cast of true characters. January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb....

    Kent says: "MUCH better than I ever expected! Give it a try!"
    "Even if you've read the book, give it a listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You won't regret the time spent to listen to the wonderful reading of this marvelous book. Every character comes alive. It's not long, but by the end, I wished it were.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah's Key

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Tatiana de Rosnay
    • Narrated By Polly Stone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1727)
    Performance
    (877)
    Story
    (889)

    Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a 10 year-old girl, is arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

    Benson says: "Important subject and plot, pedestrian execution"
    "Story better than the reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like a twisty story with lots of plot developments (and I do) you won't be disappointed in the plot of Sarah's Key (and I wasn't). However, I'm not sure that an interesting story really can survive being badly told.

    I am a fanatic about all things WWII Europe and I had high hopes for this book. I did very much enjoy the setting, character set-up, and basic storyline the author created. But I didn't enjoy the telling of the tale very much at all.

    My main problem with this book was the character development (meaning the lack of it) and the way the characters are drawn mostly by listing things they dislike about a given situation--obvious things, but we are forced to sit through these lists time and again.

    The POV goes back and forth between a girl of 10 or 11 and a woman of 45. There are interminable passages for both where we are forced to hear long lists of things they hate. It's rote and boring, as if after writing the story, the author went back to each plot turn and inserted a dutiful, lengthy list of dislikes in answer to the question, "and how did the girl/woman feel about that?" It drags the story down enormously.

    Another character development problem was people (especially the main character) not behaving consistently with who they are. We are told the main character is a journalist, but her lack of even the slightest fact-checking before acting on information (e.g., spending a lot of money for something, traveling a long distance to meet someone whose identity she hasn't verified ) is ludicrous to the extreme. Then, when she is unhappily surprised (which happen with tedious regularity), she just marvels at how no alternative to her preconceived notion had ever occurred to her. No reasonable adult would behave that way, much less a professional journalist; it was just a cheap and lazy way to move the plot in a specific direction.

    There are also dialog problems For example, the American woman never uses a contraction. The narrator reads every. single. dislike. with the same odd, unidiomatic intonation and emphasis. "She did NOT like it. She did NOT want to see it. She would NOT give in." In fact, every character gets this odd emphasis and inability to use contractions. I did NOT like listening to this and I will NOT be listening to another book by either this author or this narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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