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Phyllis

Atlanta, GA, United States | Member Since 2008

81
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 411 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
6

  • Mr. Peanut

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Adam Ross
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (28)

    David Pepin has been in love with his wife, Alice, since the moment they met in a university seminar on Alfred Hitchcock. After 13 years of marriage, he still can’t imagine a remotely happy life without her—yet he obsessively contemplates her demise. Soon she is dead, and David is both deeply distraught and the prime suspect.

    Swad says: "Not Bad"
    "Mixed nuts is right."
    Overall

    You're going to find a lot you like and, possibly a lot you don't. I actually looked up the author to find another book for my wish list. A lot of this audio was fascinating. Maybe an editor could have helped make the book a little more cohesive. Also, as a woman, I had difficulty understand the female characters - who were written as depressed, needy, and unlovable. However, I admire an author who writes his own book and is not derivative.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20872)
    Performance
    (18714)
    Story
    (18781)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Perfect Summer Listen. Perfect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Gone Girl?

    This is one well-written thriller. Not only do the two main characters play the other characters in the book - but they play the listener/reader as well. Your allegiance will swing wildly. Why? Because these are the most likable unlikable main characters ever. Nick and Amy are both whip smart. And wickedly funny. They buy your affection with their wit. Plus - there's a rather intriguing battle of the sexes narrative going on throughout the story.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Gone Girl?

    Actually - there are so many - but one of Amy's diary entires - from early in the book - really made me laugh. She's starting her theme of being "the cool girl" and refers to her desperation to be liked by a man as taking her from mildly accommodating to full out Cabaret Liza Minelli bumping and grinding.


    Which character – as performed by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne – was your favorite?

    I'm going to punt and go with a tie. Both are..perfect. Just like Nick and Amy.


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

    No. I wanted to stretch it out. Forever.


    Any additional comments?

    Flynn does it all. She's a storyteller. And she creates characters with depth. She also gets you into a small town setting and the supporting characters are - and this is a tightrope act - neither romanticized nor caricatured. There's plenty of black humor - but Flynn never goes over the edge into easy jokes. Plus, the story really does confront today's sexual politics. The two main characters might not be the spokespeople you'd pick for a very frank discussion of the battle between the sexes...but there are some very real issues brought up by these fictional protagonists. Think of Nick and Amy as a very dark spin on Nick and Nora.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Family Fang

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Kevin Wilson
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (660)
    Performance
    (566)
    Story
    (564)

    Performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang dedicated themselves to making great art. But when an artist's work lies in subverting normality, it can be difficult to raise well-adjusted children. Just ask Buster and Annie Fang. For as long as they can remember, they starred (unwillingly) in their parents' madcap pieces. But now that they are grown up, the chaos of their childhood has made it difficult to cope with life outside the fishbowl of their parents' strange world.

    B. Westman says: "Surprisingly Deep"
    "Original, captivating storytelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Family Fang rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I'm going to put The Family Fang in the top 1/3 of my huge number of audiobooks listening.


    What other book might you compare The Family Fang to and why?

    I'd say Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - family dynamics portrayed with empathy, imagination, and magical realism.


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

    I have not listened to Therese Plummer before - and she is just wonderful. Possibly the best narrator I've heard so far. VERY impressed.


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

    Yes - but I listen to my audiobooks in the car and while at the gym. Almost never in one sitting - unless I have a long road trip.


    Any additional comments?

    I really appreciated the originality of this book - and the first rate narration.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Freedom: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jonathan Franzen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3539)
    Performance
    (1255)
    Story
    (1260)

    Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul - the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter - environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man - she was doing her small part to build a better world.

    Lawrence says: "Believe the Hype"
    "Wonderful. I loved this novel."
    Overall

    I was a big fan of The Corrections. And Freedom was every bit as good. In addition to complex, and fascinating, characters, there is Franzen's addictive dark humor. This is a funny book. But a funny book that is thought provoking - and occasionally - sad. So many subjects are satirized - hilariously. Our human frailties are so well delineated, you'll squirm with recognition. This is one you won't want to end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Discovery of Witches

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10259)
    Performance
    (7704)
    Story
    (7749)

    Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.

    haesel says: "Where was this woman's editor?"
    "I was so glad when I finally finished this one."
    Overall

    I felt like i had to get my money's worth and listen all the way to the end. But it was painful. I guess I just had my first romance novel experience along with my first young adult fiction experience. Actually, this book is probably more appropriate for moony 14 yrs. olds with overly romantic ideas about adult men and women -- which brings me to my main complaint. The main characters in this book are in no way reflective of adults. Our heroine, supposedly an esteemed historian, acts like a middle-schooler. Her main emotion is "barely suppressed anger". And the hero? Good grief. Another quick to anger character who requires careful, and submissive, ego stroking. This is a ludicrous book.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Rapture

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Liz Jensen
    • Narrated By India Fisher
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    In a merciless summer of biblical heat and destructive winds, Gabrielle Fox's main concern is to rebuild her career as a psychologist after a shattering car accident. But when she is assigned a patient who is the most dangerous teenager in the country, she begins to fear she has made a terrible mistake.

    Phyllis says: "Wow. I'm so glad I found Liz Jensen."
    "Wow. I'm so glad I found Liz Jensen."
    Overall

    I've already added another of her books to my queue. The Rapture is an intelligent thriller with fascinating characters. The story, reminiscent of Children of Men, is set slightly into the future. I was fascinated start to finish. We have an unlikely heroine who takes us on a wild ride complete with apocalyptic warnings, a prophetic child guilty of matricide, and a romance that features sex that is more real life adults than romance novel fantasy. This is one smart, well-written book. Enjoy.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Running Hot: Arcane Society, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jayne Ann Krentz
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (285)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (123)

    Ex-cop Luther Malone, lifelong member of the secretive paranormal organization known as the Arcane Society, is waiting to meet Grace Renquist. Hired as an aura-reading consultant in the quest for a murder suspect, she's got zero field experience. She's from tiny Eclipse Bay, Oregon. She's a librarian, for heaven's sake.

    As for Grace, she's not expecting much either from Malone, who walks with a cane and isn't so good with a gun. Nice resumé for a bodyguard.

    Roberta Rothwell says: "Another Great Arcane Society story."
    "Run from this one"
    Overall

    Ludicrous beyond belief. I rarely don't finish a book or audio. This one is an exception. Your intelligence is insulted with every sentence. Plus, the narration will make you laugh, not intentionally. Same for the sex scenes. I was reminded of one of those made for TV movies from the 1980's with the totally implausible plot lines and the overly dramatic dialogue. The main characters seem lifted out of a romance novel. You won't be able to run away fast enough.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Sharp Objects

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Ann Marie Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3696)
    Performance
    (2966)
    Story
    (2989)

    Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker's troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital, Camille's first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

    Kelley says: "I agree with Stephen King"
    "Definitely in my top 10"
    Overall

    There's so much more here than an absorbing mystery. Flynn really captures the dynamics of a small town. The characters, even those who only appear briefly, are layered. Plus, the main character is as intriguing as she is unusual. The narration is perfect. I'm looking forward to the next Gillian Flynn.

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Places: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, and others
    Overall
    (4711)
    Performance
    (3933)
    Story
    (3952)

    Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas". As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived, and famously testified that her 15-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who've long forgotten her.

    Glenda Jeffers says: "Riveting but brutal"
    "You won't mind the Monday morning drive to work."
    Overall

    The story is addictive. All of the characters are multi-layered, even the minor characters, and defy stereotypes. There is true menace throughout, coming from many directions. This is mystery writing on a level that never insults the reader's/listener's intelligence. The desperation of the adults is palpable. The pain and humiliation of the children is heart-wrenching. There is an honesty here about how people really feel, about how people really live their lives, that is too often missing. And I liked the main character. I wouldn't want her as a roommate. But her brutal honesty, and wit, were compelling. The narrators did the writing justice.
    Don't miss this one.

    34 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Child

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By John Hart
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1065)
    Performance
    (445)
    Story
    (437)

    his most powerful and intricately-plotted novel yet. Thirteen year-old Johnny Merrimon had the perfect life: happy parents and a twin sister that meant the world to him. But Alyssa went missing a year ago, stolen off the side of a lonely street with only one witness to the crime. His family shattered, his sister presumed dead, Johnny risks everything to explore the dark side of his hometown in a last, desperate search.

    Christine says: "Stick With It!"
    "This audio is not for adults."
    Overall

    The story seems to be written by a precocious fifth grader. The characters are borrowed from other writers (notably Stephen King's Green Mile) and lack development beyond crude caricatures. Plus, the narration is dreadful. Who knew the word "again" could be pronounced 3 different ways by the same character? Or that every character would pronounce ambulance ...am BU lance? Unless you're 12 or younger, skip this one.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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