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Sheila

Santa Rosa, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

19
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • The Sense of an Ending: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Julian Barnes
    • Narrated By Richard Morant
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (730)
    Performance
    (614)
    Story
    (618)

    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, rumor, and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little 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.

    Chris Reich says: "Stunning. I'm Guilty. Are You?"
    "What is the author trying to tell us?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Sense of an Ending?

    There was nothing about any of the characters I cared about - with the possible exception of Margaret, but even she wasn't very interesting. One wonders why she would have married Tony in the first place. Neither of them seem to have much of a life. The muddled plot never grabbed me. The book is mercifully short; had it contained two more pages I would have put it down without finishing.

    I lived in London for a short while and the various areas of the city caught my attention. And I did learn the meaning of "hand cut" fries.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Robert Caro's new book on Lyndon Johnson, "Passage of Power."


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    None whatsoever.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6930)
    Performance
    (6343)
    Story
    (6348)

    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"
    "Dickens Would Be Proud"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Goldfinch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Way near the top


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    So many! Boris - what an individual!! His optimism and casual approach to life blows me away. ("Well, nobody got hurt, did they?")


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Although quite predicable, when Boris appeared at Theo's hotel. Disheveled, ravaged, starving, but still as off-hand as always. I found it easy to close my eyes and see him downing the eggs and champagne in his sodden clothing and red-rimmed eyes. "Sure, I've got it." (Theo's passport). Like, why would anyone be worried?


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

    Hobie - He knows everyone in New York.


    Any additional comments?

    To some it was probably too long. For me - I could have done another 500 pages. I've never been to Amsterdam, but I can see the canals, the dark, wet, winter days.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 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
    (2175)
    Performance
    (1933)
    Story
    (1918)

    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"
    "Mr Hosseini Strikes Out"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made And the Mountains Echoed better?

    Clarity and continuity. The characters jumped all over the place. Just about the time i started caring about someone, he/she left the stage and i was thrown into a new plot, sub-plot, or continuation of three plots back.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I felt the accents were contrived.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. i enjoyed his first two books, but this one - not so much.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Ben Macintyre
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (277)
    Performance
    (248)
    Story
    (241)

    On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and suffered an astonishingly low rate of casualties. D-Day was a stunning military accomplishment, but it was also a masterpiece of trickery. Operation Fortitude, which protected and enabled the invasion, and the Double Cross system, which specialized in turning German spies into double agents, deceived the Nazis into believing that the Allies would attack at Calais and Norway rather than Normandy.

    Trip says: "A secret history of WWII crossed with Monty Python"
    "Are You Sure Ben Macintyre Wrote This?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Double Cross better?

    The reader is terrible. So many phoney accents, none of them good. The characters are confusing.

    I loved Macintyre's other books. this one - not so much


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    In every way possible


    19 of 48 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
    Overall
    (330)
    Performance
    (276)
    Story
    (274)

    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"
    "Headline"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Unorthodox? What did you like least?

    I enjoyed learning about the Hasidic people and their ways. The book left many things unanswered. I wanted to know more about how she got away. Did she have custody of her son? How did she settle with Eli? I cared less about her "feelings" than about the reality of her situation after she left. How did her grandparents take it? Is her son growing up in two cultures?


    Has Unorthodox turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    How could the performance have been better?

    To me the reader had a nasal quality in her voice.


    Do you think Unorthodox needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Yes, obviously, if she wants her story out there.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James L. Swanson
    • Narrated By Richard Thomas
    Overall
    (962)
    Performance
    (294)
    Story
    (302)

    The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history, the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild 12-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror and sadness.

    Elizabeth says: "Fascinating!"
    "What a Waste"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Manhunt to be better than the print version?

    Don't know yet


    What did you like best about this story?

    It read like a mystery novel


    What does Richard Thomas bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His wonderful phrasing


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

    No, I seldom have 9 hours to spare


    Any additional comments?

    I want the unabridged version. The shortened story was a disappointment. I feel it probably left out alot of interesting details that would have made the book even better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • True Compass: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Edward M. Kennedy
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (471)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (146)

    In this historic memoir, the late Ted Kennedy takes us inside his family, re-creating life with his parents and brothers and explaining their profound impact on him. For the first time, he describes his heartbreak and years of struggle in the wake of their deaths. Through it all, he describes his work in the Senate on the major issues of our time - civil rights, Vietnam, Watergate, the quest for peace in Northern Ireland - and the cause of his life: improved health care for all Americans

    Mark says: "A Walk through the 20th Century"
    "Poor Teddy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes - I think it's a good read


    Would you be willing to try another book from Edward M. Kennedy? Why or why not?

    Yes. He doesn't write great literature but it all seems very real and honest.


    What aspect of John Bedford Lloyd???s performance would you have changed?

    I thought someone with a more Bostonian accent would have told the story better.


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

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I admire Ted Kennedy's ability to take responsibility for all the dumb things he did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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