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Daryl

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

ratings
270
REVIEWS
264
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
21
HELPFUL VOTES
261

  • All She Ever Wanted

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Lynn Austin
    • Narrated By Linda Stephens
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (87)

    A three-time Christy Award winner, Lynn Austin crafts rousing tales of hope and redemption. All She Ever Wanted stars Kathleen Seymour, a woman who seems to have it all, though she hides a dark family secret. To her horror, everything comes crashing down when she loses her job and her daughter is caught shoplifting. Desperate to regain control over her life, Kathleen returns to her estranged family to mend her severely broken relationships before it is too late.

    Carla says: "Pure Enjoyment"
    "Fantastic book by Austin!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! Austin's depictions of the roaring 20s, World War II, and the 1960s were stellar. The shutting off of emotions between mothers and daughters, their complex relationships, were well drawn.

    I would have liked to have more male characters be strong and dependable, such as Kathleen's husband... I didn't get to know him, and how he put up with Kathleen's shutting off of herself, I don't know... but this is a minor quibble in an otherwise good book.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was well-done all in all. Linda Stevens' performance was good, but her penchant for pausing at the end of each chapter drove me a little batty, but her emotional inflections were very good.

    Enjoy!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (4970)
    Performance
    (3413)
    Story
    (3442)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
    "What took me so long to read this?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks?

    I loved this book! It is by turns an autobiography, a biography of a family, a history of medical science... tackling issues of identity, consent, medicine, race, class...
    The performances by Cassandra Campbell and Bahni Turpin are both superb in this book as well!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    In particular, Deborah (though she frustrated me at times), and Rebecca, for being persistent and determined enough not to be put off by a (reasonably) suspicious family.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were many. Putting them down would do a disservice to the author...


    Any additional comments?

    READ THIS BOOK! I seriously don't know what took me so long to read it, but now that I have, I am SO glad I did! Well-written, with shining performances by Cassandra Campbell (who, at one point, sounds close to tears herself) and Bahni Turpin.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Center of Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Laura Moriarty
    • Narrated By Julie Dretzin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    The Center of Everything is the fictional story of 10-year-old math prodigy Evelyn Bucknow. Living in Kansas with her single mother and deeply religious grandmother, Evelyn believes she is destined to marry Travis, the boy next door. But as she grows up, she experiences the heartbreak of a love not meant to be. Author Laura Moriarty was a recipient of the George Bennet Fellowship for Creative Writing at Phillips Exeter Academy.

    Daryl says: "A terrific coming-of-age novel"
    "A terrific coming-of-age novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Center of Everything the most enjoyable?

    I read this book when I was about the same age as Evelyn at the end. I found I could relate to Evelyn in particular, and (at the time) I couldn't wrap my head around her mother and grandother. Fast-forward more than ten years and a ton of life experience, I understand many of the secondary characters more than I did before. I loved this book 10 years ago, for its look at growing up in middle America; I LOVE it now for its complex and flawed characters and its look at opportunities, hard knocks, and making choices.


    Which character – as performed by Julie Dretzin – was your favorite?

    Julie Dretzin was a terrific choice of narrator for this book. Her voice is young and emotive, and her cast of characters was wonderful!


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

    Evelyn, of course. She grows up so much in this book, and would grow up more in further pages. But besides her... probably Tina. She is tough, resilient, and wants to do her best for her children, even as she juggles the need to work and provide for two children of vastly different ages with vastly different needs.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a wonderful complex look at friendship, family and middle America. It's a character-driven novel, for sure, almost in a stream-of-consciousness style. Normally, this would drive me crazy, but Moriarty pulls this off - with its layers of determination and regret and choices and consequences - incredibly well.

    Well-written, well-read, well worth the time!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Celine's Landing

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Steven A. Segal
    • Narrated By Mary Jo West, Marty Manning
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    With the Second World War ravaging France, the Nazis prepare to annihilate the Jews living in the French Alpine village of Treaire. Six mid-20s Treaire citizens, lifelong friends - Remi, Celine, Amaury, Felicien, Daniel, and Alexis - all born within 10 days of one another, risk everything to rescue their Jewish neighbors and save the strategic Saint Laurnee railroad trestle and tunnel from Nazi sabotage.

    Daryl says: "Read this exciting book in Print!"
    "Read this exciting book in Print!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Celine's Landing?

    I loved the storyline, hated the narration. I got 1/3 through the book and it's still this old-sounding American narrator with poor dialogue.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Thankfully he didn't try to speak French, but his dialogue and voice-differentiation was terrible!


    Any additional comments?

    I will be reading this gripping novel in print... but the narration was terrible!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sweet Mercy

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ann Tatlock
    • Narrated By Morgan Hallett, Barbara Caruso
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    When Eve Marryat's father is laid off from the Ford Motor Company in 1931, he is forced to support his family by moving back to his Ohio roots. Eve's uncle Cyrus has invited the family to live and work at his Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge. Eve soon forms an unlikely friendship with a strange young man named Link, blissfully unaware that her uncle's lodge is anything but what it seems.

    Daryl says: "Shades of Gray Mercy"
    "Shades of Gray Mercy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Sweet Mercy?

    There were many. I could picture the town coming together for the Fourth of July, hear the band and see the games... it was terrific!


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

    It would be Eve and Cassandra... I liked the direction their relationship took as young adults, when the complications and simplicity of childhood were removed. I liked Eve's idealism, even as she was (due to her youth) so sure of herself; and Cassandra's wrestling with her guilt of how she lived her life.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this look at coming of age in Prohibition-era Ohio. Tatlock has a knack of providing Christian characters who are complex - doing something illegal for a good cause, or something good for the wrong reasons. I think Eve is older than many of Tatlock's other protagonists, which is both a blessing and a drawback. Either way, this book is a welcome addition to any Tatlock fan.

    Morgan Hallet and Barbara Caruso were terrific narrators for their parts - Hallett for the majority of the book, Caruso for the prologue and epilogue.

    Great work!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bridge Ices Before Road

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By S. Rose
    • Narrated By Jeanne Whitehouse
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    The year is 1970. In a blue-collar suburb of Boston, two eleven year-old Catholic girls struggle to come of age in a culture still very much dominated by men. They watch in dismay as their fathers and priests determine the lives of the women around them. Loyalty to family and church is paramount; women and children suffer in silence rather than expose the men who do them harm.

    Felita Daniels says: "All heart & a few nail-biting moments"
    "Couldn't get past narration!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator. her dialogue was very good, but her narrative passages were read in this really annoying way, with weird pauses, and she sounded SOOOOO bored. As a period piece, this was a good book, but will read it in print rather than audio.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Jeanne Whitehouse?

    No! While her dialogue was good, there was something stilted and off about her narrative first-person portions.


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted to like this book... but the narration was a poor choice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Girl in the Dark: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Anna Lyndsey
    • Narrated By Hannah Curtis
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Anna was living a normal life. She was ambitious and worked hard; she had just bought an apartment; she was falling in love. But then she started to develop worrying symptoms: her face felt like it was burning whenever she was in front of the computer. Soon this progressed to an intolerance of fluorescent light, then of sunlight itself. The reaction soon spread to her entire body.

    Daryl says: "Poetic look at an unusual life"
    "Poetic look at an unusual life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Girl in the Dark to be better than the print version?

    Definitely! Hannah Curtis BECAME Anna Lindsay. She is dry and whitty when needed, in the depths of despair when called for.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Anna, of course, and Pete, who loves her and supports her and treats her like a human, not just someone with a disability/


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

    yes! It is short enough to read on a long road trip, detailing all the ways Anna lives a happy and fulfilled life, with her hopes and dreams and successes and setbacks.


    Any additional comments?

    Terrific book! In some ways, ehr experiences are similar to living with blindness, yet very different. She is all-too-human, with an unusual disability, trying to find a way to carve out a fulfilling life outside the presence of many forms of light.
    What a fighter!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivor's Story of Life and Death in the People's Temple

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Deborah Layton
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (51)

    Told by a former high-level member of the Peoples Temple and Jonestown survivor, Seductive Poison is the "truly unforgettable" (Kirkus Review) story of how one woman was seduced by one of the most notorious cults in recent memory and how she found her way back to sanity.

    wendy williams says: "A remarkable telling from an eyewitness"
    "Brilliant, Haunting, Chilling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Seductive Poison again? Why?

    Definitely! For years I have been curious about Jonestown - more about the people who followed Jim Jones to their deaths than about the man himself. A couple of years back I read Julia Scheeres' "A Thousand Lives" (a brilliant book in its own right), a thorough journalistic look at Jones and his followers. Deborah Layton laid herself bare in "Seductive Poison," detailing how she herself got drawn in to Jones' orbit, her rise to power in Peoples' Temple, her disillusion, escape, and putting her life back together.

    I must also say that Kathe Mazur's performance was superb! Her depiction of Jones - in either his caring or brutal persona - was chilling and believable. Deborah's fear, sorrow, and fumbling are portrayed realistically.


    What other book might you compare Seductive Poison to and why?

    it is a great companion piece to "A Thousand Lives". ATL is more journalistic and deals more with the suicides themselves; "Seductive Poison" is more personal, about one woman's own journey of self-discovery and deprogramming. But these together and you have a comprehensive look at Jonestown!


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

    Her performance was superb here and turned a great memoir into a terrific audiobook


    Any additional comments?

    If you have any interest in Jonestown specifically, or indoctrination in general, or if you like to read about resilience against impossible odds, read this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rose Under Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Wein
    • Narrated By Sasha Pick
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (127)
    Story
    (126)

    Rose Justice is a young pilot with the Air Transport Auxiliary during the Second World War. On her way back from a semi-secret flight in the waning days of the war, Rose is captured by the Germans and ends up in Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi women's concentration camp. There, she meets an unforgettable group of women. These damaged women must bond together to help each other survive.

    Lulu says: "A Compelling and Disturbing Read"
    "Terrific story paired with passible narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The book, yes! I loved Elizabeth Wein's companion to this, "Code Name Verity". Even Maddie makes appearances in both books... But as an audiobook, I don't think I would recommend it. Sasha Pick has a cartoonish voice for Rosia, which made me want to cover my ears in protest. And her German and French pronunciations are also off.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    It did. As an American narrator, I did enjoy Sasha Pick, but for foreign accents (French, Polish) and Rosia's character in particular, I didn't enjoy so much.


    Any additional comments?

    Read the book, skip the audio, unless you can get this book on sale like I did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jonestown: "Don't Drink the Kool-Aid": The Complete Story Behind the Mysterious Jim Jones & His Exodus to Guyana

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Will Savive
    • Narrated By Mark Moseley
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    The life and death of Jim Jones and his followers in Jonestown still mystifies people to this day. "Drinking the Kool-Aid" became a famous metaphor for holding an unquestioned belief without critical examination. But was there a far more sinister play at hand than the official story revealed? This audiobook is a complete history of Jim Jones and People's Temple, with further analysis on what might have been the real cause of this tragedy.

    Daryl says: "In SERIOUS need of an overhaul"
    "In SERIOUS need of an overhaul"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Jonestown: "Don't Drink the Kool-Aid"?

    I have always been fascinated by Jonestown. What would cause people to give up their lives, minds and bodies to this man? At first, I thought this book was well-rounded and informative, but the narration was flat, with mispronounced words (possibly due to misspellings in the printed text?) and graphic sexual scenes that seemed to be only there for shock value.
    I read Julia Scheeres' "A Thousand Lives" and plan on reading "Seductive Poison", which I hope will bring humanity to this tragedy.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    It actually did. But 12 hours of slogging through this text just didn't do it for me, especially with this flat (not monotone, just flat) performance.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Lev Golinkin
    • Narrated By Daniel Gamburg
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Lev Golinkin's memoir is the vivid, darkly comic, and poignant story of a young boy in the confusing and often chilling final decade of the Soviet Union. It's also the story of Lev Golinkin, the American man who finally confronts his buried past by returning to Austria and Eastern Europe to track down the strangers who made his escape possible…. and thank them.

    Daryl says: "Touching, moving Memoir"
    "Touching, moving Memoir"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir again? Why?

    Definitely! I loved both the author and the narrator! They were both engaging, poignant and humorous in the right spots. I loved it


    What did you like best about this story?

    The whole thing was a tgerrific read about identity, race, family, and perceptoin.


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

    I have not. My quibble with his performance is less about his narration and more about the post-production. The narrator was very good, but switches in audio quality - even mid-sentence - became incredibly distracting to an audiophile with a good set of headphones...


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

    Both! I laughed out loud in some places, and cried at some moving moments.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is less about Lev's journey to find the people who assisted him as a child, and more about his experiences as a refugee, then an immigrant; as a Jew and an anti-Semite. While this was not a bad thing, the publisher's description talks more about his journey to locate the people who assisted him.
    Terrific read, either way!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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