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Daryl

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

ratings
206
REVIEWS
200
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
13
HELPFUL VOTES
163

  • Mosaic: A Chronicle of Five Generations

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Diane Armstrong
    • Narrated By Deidre Rubenstein
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (84)

    >i>Mosaic is compelling storytelling at its best - from the fascinating details of Polish-Jewish culture and the rivalries and dramas of family life, to its moving account of lives torn apart by war and persecution, this an extraordinary true story of a family, and of one woman's journey to reclaim her heritage.

    Margaret says: "Spectacular story"
    "A beautiful and haunting mosaic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This intensely pseronal and moving family history is an important book. Particularly stirring are the depictions of Mrs. Armstrong's family during the Nazi occupation of Poland during WWII - those who survived, those who did not, and the complex relationships that formed because of it.
    The narrator was incredible, with one reservation - she did not depict different voices during spots of dialogue. As there were very little scenes of such, her emotional reading was otherwise superb.
    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Freeman

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Leonard Pitts
    • Narrated By Sean Crisden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (104)

    Freeman, the new novel by Leonard Pitts, Jr., takes place in the first few months following the Confederate surrender and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Upon learning of Lee's surrender, Sam - a runaway slave who once worked for the Union Army - decides to leave his safe haven in Philadelphia and set out on foot to return to the war-torn South. What compels him on this almost-suicidal course is the desire to find his wife, the mother of his only child, whom he and their son left behind 15 years earlier on the Mississippi farm to which they all "belonged".

    Chrissie says: "After the Civil War"
    "Destruction and rebuilding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Freeman again? Why?

    Definitely. Another reviewer stated that many people assumed that the troubles of the slaves were mostly over when the Civil War ended. But this does not indicate the continued sorrow of thwarted reunions and lack of education and work opportunities and the hate that pervaded the society toward, not only the negros themselves, but those who assisted them in any way.

    it is gritty and hard to read, but well worth the time.


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

    His voice is well-modulated, and he does slight characterizations, well-done, of both northern and southern, black and white. Fantastic narration!


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

    There were many that made me sorrowful, those that made me cringe with the inhumanity of them...


    Any additional comments?

    Great book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Hope in The Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Ron Suskind
    • Narrated By Peter Jay Fernandez
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    New York Times best-selling investigative journalist Ron Suskind based this book on his Pulitzer Prize winning articles about Cedric Jennings, a black youth struggling to survive one of D.C.'s toughest school districts. A moving portrait of inner city life, A Hope in the Unseen offers a view of life through the eyes of someone trying desperately to make his way up from the bottom.

    Laura says: "Great Story"
    "Gritty and hopeful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about A Hope in The Unseen?

    I loved the hope in this book. Cedric was neither too good to be true, nor a real "bad boy", despite where he came from and some of the anger that engendered.
    Ron Suskind did a fantastic job juxtaposing the smarts of this young man with the rigeurs of an Ivy League school, and the fallout of higher education for those who receive scholarships for an education for whcih they are simply ill-prepared.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book. It neither sugar-coats the life on the street that Cedric and his mother lived, nor gives us gratuitous shock value for the hard life that Cedric is subjected to.
    I found myself rooting for Cedric, even while I was angry at an education system that short-changed him and kids like him; the kids have the smarts, but are not nurtured because the school system is so focused on dealing with the realities of a tough neighborhood. Classes are large, high absenteeism, gangs, drugs, guns... just everyday occurrences.
    I have started to seriously question race, and what that has to do with how one looks at the world. As a Canadian, I have witnessed the government's inquiry into First nations residential schools and the effect they have had on subsequent generations. The high school described in this book reminds me of the Native school I volunteered at several years ago.
    it is gritty and real and hopeful... worth your time!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • These Things Hidden

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Heather Gudenkauf
    • Narrated By Ali Ahn, Angela Lin, Angela Goethals
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (262)
    Performance
    (207)
    Story
    (203)

    Once the golden child of tiny Linden Falls, Iowa, Allison Glenn watches her reputation crumble as she is sent to prison for five years—convicted of a terrible crime. But what really happened that fateful night? Allison’s younger sister is the only other person who knows the truth. Now out of prison, Allison is more desperate than ever to set the record straight, but the revelation of the truth could have far-reaching consequences.

    MissSusie66 says: "great psychological thriller"
    "An ending I never saw coming!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about These Things Hidden?

    I loved the complex nature of the relationships to a little boy. The end was brilliant and unexpected!


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Bryn or Alison. Angela Lin is a good narrator as Claire, but I think another narrator might have been better as Charme.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved Heather Gudenkauf's "The Weight of Silence." This book was a well-written and well-read follow-up, well worth the time and credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Street Lawyer

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (612)
    Performance
    (226)
    Story
    (226)

    Michael was in a hurry. He was scrambling up the ladder at Drake & Sweeney, a giant D.C. firm with 800 lawyers. The money was good and getting better; a partnership was 3 years away. He was a rising star with no time to waste, no time to stop, no time to toss a few coins into the cups of panhandlers. No time for a conscience. But a violent encounter with a homeless man stopped him cold. Also available abridged.

    Nelson says: "A Gem"
    "The book that introduced me to Grisham"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Street Lawyer in three words, what would they be?

    Engrossing, heartbreaking, hopeful,


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Michael Brock grew the most in the book, but I loved most of the supporting characters


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

    Yes... and I have!


    Any additional comments?

    This was the first-ever Grisham book I read/listened to on Audio. At the time it was abridged, and narrated by Michael beck. Perhaps because of this, I did not find Frank Muller's performance as compelling as usual. One character is supposed to have a booming voice, and while Mr. Muller is a talented narrator, he just didn't pull it off with this book.

    That having been said, it is an engrossing read, moving and heartbreaking and hopeful all at once. It has a special place in my heart among Grisham's audiobooks, and is one of my favorites.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Place: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan, Lara Hutchinson
    Overall
    (345)
    Performance
    (317)
    Story
    (316)

    "The Secret Place", a board where the girls at St Kilda's School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.

    Pamela says: "Well...I really liked 50% of it"
    "A misstep for French"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    As part of her series, this is by far the weakest story in it. It takes on too many rabbit trails (mysticism, high school girls), and uses a narrator plucked from a previous book. This all mixes together in a passable novel on its face, but French can do so much better


    Would you be willing to try another book from Tana French? Why or why not?

    yes. All authors have a not-so-strong book, so I will be reading French's next offering.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved Tana French's first four books in varying degrees, but this one seemed a bit out there. Stephen hogan is a talented narrator, but he was the voice of Scorcher Kennedy in "Broken Harbor" , so it threw me for a loop. His teenaged girls' voices were really nasal and quite grating, and Lara Hutchison was neither a strong nor weak narrator.
    For fans of Tana French, this is only good so far as to complete your library; for those who are new to her, read any of her other books... this one isn't in the same league.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Harbor: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2412)
    Performance
    (2062)
    Story
    (2051)

    In Broken Harbor, all but one member of the Spain family lies dead, and it’s up to Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy to find out why. Mick must piece together why their house is full of cameras pointed at holes in the walls and how a nighttime intruder bypassed all the locks. Meanwhile, the town of Broken Harbor holds something else for Mick: disturbing memories of a childhood summer gone terribly wrong.

    Amazon Customer says: "Best in the Series"
    "Tana French has outdone herself"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Broken Harbor rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Quite high. Tana French is one of my favorite authors, and this book paired with Stephen Hogan's narration is superb! I never saw the end coming!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I can't say I have a favorite character; all characters were flawed and fractious and well-drawn.


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

    No, I haven't, but I want to get my hands on more!


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

    There were many. Tana French depicts the chaos of mental illness with realism and chilling accuracy, and while I couldn't accept some of the decisions that were made, I grew to empathize with many of the characters.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was a thrillride, woven around itself again and again and again, and I loved the sheer messiness of it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Faithful Place: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3668)
    Performance
    (2051)
    Story
    (2055)

    New York Times best-selling author Tana French has won the prestigious Edgar, Barry, Macavity, and Anthony awards. As her third novel featuring the Dublin Murder Squad opens, 19-year-old Frank Mackey is waiting in vain for Rosie, who he’s supposed to run away to London with. But when she doesn’t show, Frank leaves Dublin without her—thinking never to return.

    Buffalogal says: "Incredible"
    "French just keeps getting better and better!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was thrilled when this book became available for a short time on Audible in Canada, and scooped it up as fast as I could. Tana French has a gift for language and dialogue that is second to none.
    Frank mackey both engaged and aggravated me in French's "The Likeness", and his voice and pitch and ghosts in this novel are drawn by a master's hand. A light happy read, this is not, and in fact the first couple of hours detailed such a dysfunctional family that I almost gave up. I am glad I kept on going, and was rewarded with a smartly written novel with complex characters (even the ones I hated) and a setting so true to life that I could feel the rickety stairs beneath my feet and hear the goings-on of Faithful Place's inhabitants.
    Tim Gerard Reynolds became Frank Mackey. Though his voice differentiation was not very strong, his dialogue - funny, sad, singing Irish wake songs - was superb!
    All round, this is a welcome addition to French's booklist, and is a smartly written character-driven story of the ties that bind a man, a family, a neighborhood, and the wounds that tear them apart.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Likeness

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Heather O'Neill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2846)
    Performance
    (1748)
    Story
    (1756)

    Tana French's debut, In the Woods, hit the New York Times best-seller list and drew rave reviews from the Times (London) and Booklist. Picking up six months later, this riveting sequel finds Detective Cassie Maddox still scarred by her last case. When her boyfriend calls her to a chilling murder scene, Cassie is forced to face her inner demons. A young woman has been found stabbed to death outside Dublin, and the victim looks just like Cassie.

    Michael says: "Really on a Different Level"
    "Tana French: Storyteller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Likeness the most enjoyable?

    I love Tana French's gift of language. She can turn a phrase so well that you can feel the grass under your feet, see the moonlight in the night sky, and feel every emotional detail.This book relies on the most unlikely of premises, but Tana French carries it off with ease. This novel is tangled and messy and wonderful.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Likeness?

    The solving of the mystery, of course, though I found it was a bit drawn out... the descriptions of the parties, the five friends.


    What about Heather O'Neill’s performance did you like?

    She did a fantastic job with this one, even singing! Most narrators are not strong singing vocalists, but heather O'Neill was fantastic!


    Any additional comments?

    Other reviewers were not able to get past the unlikely premise and the length of this book. Don't let this stop you! I was able to get past the first, and the length of the book twists and turns around other parts, so any shortening may have detracted from the punches the story was meant to deliver.Chilling, tragic, well-crafted.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rest of Her Life

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Laura Moriarty
    • Narrated By Julia Gibson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    Leigh is the mother of high-achieving, popular high school senior Kara. Their relationship is already strained for reasons Leigh does not fully understand when, in a moment of carelessness, Kara makes a mistake that ends in tragedy, the effects of which not only divide Leigh's family, but polarize the entire community.

    Joan says: "Obnoxious musical interludes ruin the story"
    "Talented author; good character drama"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Rest of Her Life to be better than the print version?

    Hard to say. the audio version was much more readable, if for no other reason than the book is much moreof a character-driven novel than a plot-driven one. It moseys along nicely, but can be hard to get through.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the character developemtn, how the characters themselves changed, even as their relationship changed with them.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Julia Gibson is an OK narrator; she is not my favorite because she can read very flatly on occasion. But she does a good job with the emotions in this book.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved Moriarty's first novel, The Center of Everything, and her most recent offering, The Chaperone; this is not as strong as either offering, but Moriarty has a wonderful knack of depicting the everydayness of her characters' lives.
    A worthwhile read for her fans, but definitely not her strongest offering.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Scott Stossel
    • Narrated By Michael Goldstrom
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (93)

    Drawing on his own long-standing battle with anxiety, Stossel presents an astonishing history, at once intimate and authoritative, of the efforts to understand the condition from medical, cultural, philosophical, and experiential perspectives. He ranges from the earliest medical reports of Galen and Hippocrates, through later observations by Robert Burton and Søren Kierkegaard, to the investigations by great nineteenth-century scientists, such as Charles Darwin, William James, and Sigmund Freud, as they began to explore its sources and causes.

    Ryan says: "A must read for anxiety suffers"
    "Complex, informative, personal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely. I have a relative who struggles with depression and anxiety, and this book gives me much more empathy and understanding for people living with these afflictions.

    make no mistake, this book is not just a clinical treatise; it is very personal in its depiction of finding relief from debilitating anxiety of flying, vomiting, and performance.


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

    I enjoyed this narration immensely. It neither added unnecessary "pep" nor lulled me to sleep. It was just a good straight-up reading of this book.


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth your time and credit!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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