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Wendy

VANCOUVER, WA, United States | Member Since 2000

49
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 164 ratings
  • 490 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • The Camel Club

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (3028)
    Performance
    (1205)
    Story
    (1209)

    It exists at the fringes of Washington, D.C., has no power, and consists solely of four eccentric and downtrodden members whom society has forgotten. Their simple goal is to find the "truth" behind their country's actions.

    Alex says: "The Good, Bad, and the So-So"
    "Very Disappointed"
    Overall

    I have listened to all of Baldacci's books on Audible.com and usually find them very entertaining, so I was looking forward to Camel Club. This one was a huge disappointment and I do not recommend it.
    It reads like he wrote the general plot outline and then contracted it out to a less-capable writer.

    The expositions (coming every chapter) on why the Moslem world has a bone to pick with Britain and US are overkill with a capital O. OK, we get it! Plus, it is all stuff everyone has heard before, ad infinitum, and often it does not fit into the scene. It is far beyond character motivation and background.

    The female Secret Service agent's constant whining and need to prove herself are an insult to female Secret Service agents. In the middle of stealthily crossing a darkened room that may contain assassins, she stops to complain that the male agent is going first!

    The entire conspiracy at the heart of the book is quite confusing - what did the plotter really hope to accomplish? Given that he almost blew up the planet, I'd say it was flawed logic from the beginning. And, eek, it looks like Baldacci plans to bring him back in future books.

    The actions of acting President were ludicrous in the extreme. The only person who would write that is one who truly thinks the other political side are evil simpletons without consciences. I found it completely unbelieveable.

    The ultimate actions of the intelligence director were also beyond belief - I didn't see the motivation at all.

    This all comes down to bad writing, and writing apparently colored by the author's need to expound on his own views of the world at the expense of a good plot and logical motivations for the characters. Baldacci needs to learn from authors who can do it right. I have found books like The Kite Runner very enlightening in understanding the recent history of the Moslem world. It can be done without insulting your audience.

    36 of 39 people found this review helpful
  • Neverwhere

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5968)
    Performance
    (2769)
    Story
    (2793)

    Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but shrewish fiancée. Then one night he stumbles upon a girl lying on the sidewalk, bleeding. He stops to help her, and his life is changed forever. Soon he finds himself living in a London most people would never have dreamed of: a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels. It is a world that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations.

    Thomas says: "Neverwhere is Great"
    "Spellbinding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I normally wouldn't read a book of this description, I'm not into fantasy. I'm not sure why I bought it. It sat in my My Library for a couple of years before I finally listened to it. Neil Gaiman's performance of his own work blew me away. He is an amazing reader, in addition to being a fantastic writer. His vocal performance of the different characters gave each of them an individual personality. And it really enhanced the listening knowing that the text was delivered exactly as the author intended.

    So while I would normally have been turned off by the subject matter, instead I was enthralled. I rate this as one of my favorite "listens" ever.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11603)
    Performance
    (7576)
    Story
    (7609)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Anastasia Burke says: "Hillenbrand could make even laundry fascinating!"
    "Stranger than fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You just can't make this story up. Louis is a complex guy. But how he managed to survive is beyond amazing. It's a story of resilience without making him out to be a hero. Just a human being like the rest of us who managed to come through. And you just have to wonder at the darkness of humanity that let such horrors happen. That he then found the grace to forgive is even more amazing. Edward Hermann's narration does it all justice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1st to Die: The Women's Murder Club

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By James Patterson
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1696)
    Performance
    (750)
    Story
    (760)

    There's a killer on the loose in San Francisco, and he's stalking newlyweds. When the usual procedures to stop him don't work, four women, each holding a piece of the puzzle, form a Women's Murder Club to collaborate outside the box and pursue the case. 1st to Die is the start of a new series of crime thrillers from James Patterson.

    Chuck says: "Skip the Prologue"
    "Not my thing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Narrator made poor accent choices and vocal character choices


    Would you recommend 1st to Die to your friends? Why or why not?

    I'd say to read the book if you like thrillers but skip the audiobook.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Suzanne Toren’s performances?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Why use an NYC accent for a SF cop? The villain's voice was just too overblown villain-y. I didn't like the way the narrator lingered over the gruesome details. As for writing -- the author completely messed up lab results for anemia. The counts were typical of low white cell counts, but NOT low red cell counts. Such a thing would be very easy to check, he should fire his medical advisor!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All Over Creation

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Ruth Ozeki
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (294)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (56)

    Meet Yumi Fuller. A Japanese-American prodigal daughter, Yumi (aka Yummy) is returning home to the Idaho potato farm she ran away from twenty-five years earlier. Then a freewheeling hippie chick, Yumi is now a fairly responsible parent and a professor with a side gig selling lava lots in Hawaii. But can she possibly be prepared to face her dying father, her Alzheimer's-devastated mother, and Cass, the best friend she left behind?

    Kim says: "fantastic"
    "Enjoyable"
    Overall

    I'd recommend reading "Omnivore's Dilemma" and "Botany of Desire" first before this novel, to get a good idea of the issues and potato farming today (and also because they are great reads.) I enjoyed this novel, the characters were interesting and complex. It didn't get too preachy for me, I thought it all hung together well.

    I appreciated the voice talent, but I almost abandoned the novel because, honey, those aren't Idaho accents. My dad and his family are from Idaho, and these characters sounded deeply East Coast. That really hurt it for me, especially since I chose the book because of our family roots in same setting as the book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Wild Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2442)
    Performance
    (908)
    Story
    (918)

    The Executive Board of an exclusive men's club meets to talk about 9/11 and finalize a retaliation plan, known by a code name: Wild Fire. That weekend, a member of the Federal Anti-Terrorist Task Force is found dead. It's up to Detective John Corey and his wife, FBI Agent Kate Mayfield, to unravel a terrifying plot that starts with the Custer Hill Club and ends with American cities locked in the crosshairs of a nuclear device.

    Joseph says: "Good, but the series is getting forced."
    "Disappointed"
    Overall

    I am a big fan of Nelson DeMille's other books, but Wild Fire was so contrived that it felt more like a badly-written James Bond movie. I hate having to say that because DeMille has never disappointed me before. The bad guy just has to gloat over his evil plot to the good guys. Even insane bad guys know that is too risky. Our heroes, Kate and John, do not have compelling enough reason to risk their careers in pulling maverick moves on the investigation. Kate seems to be just along for banter and window dressing, I am sure she would have shut down John's dumb moves in a better-written novel. Contrived plot points put them in the right places at the right times.

    On the good side, Scott Brick's narration is stellar as usual, he is my favorite. The banter is witty. I'll definitely listen to any other DeMille books, but this one was a big disappointment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Middlesex

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Kristoffer Tabori
    Overall
    (6015)
    Performance
    (2199)
    Story
    (2225)

    In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

    Christopher Allen walker says: "Great Pulitzer Winning novel!"
    "One of the best books ever"
    Overall

    My boss insisted I listen to this book IMMEDIATELY - she wanted to share it and discuss it. It is a book you loathe coming to an end because each character is fascinating and the story so rich in details, truth, and humor.
    Even without the hinge of the character's hermaphroditism, this is a great story with unforgettable characters and scenes - from the grandparents falling in love and escaping from Turkey to the parents upward mobility to the true-to-life teen angst. The author captures exactly what it was like to be a girl in the 1970's - right down to the shampoo, bath powder, etc.
    The reader is a likewise a true talent, he brings to life each character - I loved listening to him.
    If the hinge of the story puts you off, don't let it. This is not an "issues" book, although by the end you will have a deep appreciation of intersexed individuals. And you will have enjoyed the most entertaining book I have listened to - EVER.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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