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Daryl

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

ratings
238
REVIEWS
232
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
17
HELPFUL VOTES
203

  • As Sure as the Dawn: The Mark of the Lion, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Francine Rivers
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (566)
    Performance
    (381)
    Story
    (391)

    Atretes, a German barbarian who has won his freedom in the Roman arena, finds his life changed forever by an encounter with a young Christian woman. Atretes vows to move heaven and earth to find his son--the baby he thought was dead, and take him back to Germany. Only one thing stands in his way: Rizpah, the Christian widow who has cared for the child since his birth.

    David says: "Why only the third book available?"
    "Story or sermon?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about As Sure as the Dawn? What did you like least?

    I enjoyed the messiness of charaters' lives. They are Christian but not perfect, and yet they are not demonized either. I didn't like the fact that all the Christians were perceived as "good" and the non-Christians as "bad." While that was not always overt, I was definitely left with that impression.

    I enjoyed Caleb's antics; they provided comic relief to an otherwise heavy series and trilogy.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Francine Rivers? Why or why not?

    I have read other books from her, and have had both positive and negative experiences with them


    What about Richard Ferrone’s performance did you like?

    He was able to catch the raw emotion of atretes in his pain, his anguish, and his anger.


    Was As Sure as the Dawn worth the listening time?

    Yes. The trilogy would not have been complete without it.


    Any additional comments?

    With the exception of the 1-hour sermon 2/3 of the way through the book, and the polarizing opposites of Christians and non-Christians, this book was a good read. It directly does point to Christ, but may be too heavy for those simply looking for a good story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Runaway Jury

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (806)
    Performance
    (363)
    Story
    (367)

    In Biloxi, Mississippi, a landmark tobacco trial with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake begins routinely, then swerves mysteriously off course. The jury is behaving strangely, and at least one juror is convinced he's being watched...

    Elizabeth says: "What fun!"
    "Grisham and Muller at their best!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Runaway Jury rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Right at the top. It is a thrill ride, pure and simple. It is not a particularly meaty book, but it is a fun, captivating book, and a great way to spend some time.

    Frank Muller has outdone himself here; I was a bit wary after disappointing performances in "The Street Lawyer" and "The Partner", but he was terrific in "The Runaway Jury"!


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Definitely! This is one of the first Grisham books that I read, but it was the abridged version. I borrowed this unabridged version on tape from a friend years ago, and don't know why I waited so long to buy it from Audible!

    The unabridged version includes more tension than the abridged one; we knew more than the characters did. I wondered what the outcome of the trial would be...


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

    Yes, I have. I have both liked and disliked some of his performances; this one showcases his amazing talent, and I would use this book to recommend him as a narrator.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local - and Helped Save an American Town

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Beth Macy
    • Narrated By Kristin Kalbli
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (55)

    With over $500 million a year in sales, the Bassett Furniture Company was once the world's biggest wood furniture manufacturer. But beginning in the 1980s, the Bassett company suffered from an influx of cheap Chinese furniture as the first waves of Asian competition hit, and ultimately was forced to send its production offshore to Asia. Only one man fought back. That man is John Bassett III, a descendant of the Bassetts who is now chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co, which employs more than 700 Virginians and has sales of over $90 million.

    Catherine S. Read says: "It's the Community, not just the Economy"
    "Entertaining, educational, enlightening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Factory Man rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Probably in my top 10... I have read many audiobooks and this one is a great one. The Author does interject herself into the story, but I disagree with the reviewer who says it is like a National Inquirer piece.

    It is sometimes hard to follow the family tree and many players in the business, but this is a very very minor setback in a well-written, well-performed masterpiece of journalism. Beth Macy breathed life into factory workers, CEOs, and everyday townspeople both in America and abroad, in particular John Bassett III - to some an ass, to others a hero.


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

    I have not yet, but I will be looking at her backlist shortly; terrific performance!


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a terrific piece of journalism - I can understand why the author chose to interject herself into it. Without her voice present, it would have been hard to develop it and move it along smoothly, particularly with several sources not wishing to speak openly.
    Well worth your time and credit!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Partner

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (970)
    Performance
    (464)
    Story
    (467)

    From a short distance away, Patrick watched his own burial. Then he fled. Six weeks later, a fortune was stolen from his ex-law firm's offshore account.

    Reg says: "Movie material"
    "Not a strong offering from Grisham or Muller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Meh... it is a passable Grisham offering. I found I couldn't understand or empathize with any of the characters, though the plot did keep me going...


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I enjoyed the idea about a man running away, doing a wrong thing for a right reason... but by the end of it, I just didn't care. I couldn't understand a character's motivations...


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

    I normally like Frank Muller as a narrator, but this one was just not a strong performance, either with dialogue or emotoin.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    As a movie, this book actually woudl work; if it hasn't been optioned for a movie, it should be.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked Grisham's earlier works - particularly "The Chamber", "The Rainmaker" and "The Runaway Jury"; I like Muller's performances in "The Rainmaker", as well as other offerings... unfortunately "The Partner" does not hold up to other books I have listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mountain to Mountain: A Journey of Adventure and Activism for the Women of Afghanistan

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Shannon Galpin
    • Narrated By Emily Woo Zeller
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Being inspired to act can take many forms. For some, it's taking a weekend to volunteer, but for Shannon Galpin, it meant leaving her career, selling her house, launching a nonprofit, and committing her life to advancing education and opportunity for women and girls. Focusing on the war-torn country of Afghanistan, Galpin and her organization, Mountain2Mountain, have touched the lives of hundreds of men, women, and children.

    Daryl says: "Self-discovery in Afghanistan"
    "Self-discovery in Afghanistan"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Mountain to Mountain the most enjoyable?

    I am fascinated by the stories of women in countries like Afghanistan that require them as mothers and wive sbut who want them to be hidden away. Shannon Galpin's Mountain to Mountain is a wonderful biography about one woman's organization, team, and self-discovery against the backdrop of Afghanistan.


    What other book might you compare Mountain to Mountain to and why?

    The Underground Girls of Kabul, in the Land of Invisible Women. There are several parallels between these books, and yet each approaches a traditional culture at a different angle.


    What about Emily Woo Zeller’s performance did you like?

    I loved her performance; she is an actress with incredible talent. her accents are a bit flat, and dialogue is not her strong suit, but this is minor when compared to the emotional performance she gave.


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

    When Shannon realized she was not as strong as she thought. She wanted a brutal attack not to define her, even as she came to the realization that NOT wanting it to define her defined her more than the attack ever did.


    Any additional comments?

    A terrific book that peaks into the culture of a war-torn country that is still in the process of rebuilding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Murderer's Daughters

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Randy Susan Meyers
    • Narrated By Susan Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (103)

    This emotional debut by Randy Susan Meyers tells of two sisters torn apart by domestic tragedy. When her mother throws her father out, young Lulu is told never to let him in again. But Lulu disobeys, and the consequences are heartbreaking. Lulu’s mother ends up killed, and Lulu and her sister Merry are orphaned. Now, as the sisters grow into adulthood, they find the ghosts of their past are difficult to outrun.

    Patricia says: "Excellent drama"
    "Searing, uncomfortable but unforgetable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Some would like this, others would not. I enjoyed this book in its portrayals of its main characters, who are complex, caught between their wishes and hopes to either bury the past or unable to do so.
    it is not a happy book, almost Greek tragedy in scope, particularly for the first third of the book, but it is uncompromising in its portrayal of two sisters and their bond with each other and their complicated relationship with their father.


    What about Susan Bennett’s performance did you like?

    Susan Bennett and Angela Goethles' performances are both very good, particularly in Lulu and Merry's childhoods. Merry's voice in particular did not fit her character's aging, but there's nothing really wrong with it.


    Any additional comments?

    This is almost like a train wreck - you don't want to look but you can't look away. I enjoyed this book in the sense of its character portrayals, but did not enjoy what happened to these characters. There was almost too much tragedy and too much anger, but ultimately Randy Susan Meyers is an author to watch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Baker's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Sarah McCoy
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (59)

    In 1945, Elsie Schmidt is a naive teenager, as eager for her first sip of champagne as she is for her first kiss. She and her family have been protected from the worst of the terror and desperation overtaking her country by a high-ranking Nazi who wishes to marry her. So when an escaped Jewish boy arrives on Elsie’s doorstep in the dead of night on Christmas Eve, Elsie understands that opening the door would put all she loves in danger.

    Morgan says: "War stories getting worn"
    "Two intertwining stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked Elsie's story much better than Reba's; I couldn't understand Reba's motivations, but Elsie's progression was natural.


    Any additional comments?

    I do agree with one reviewer that Reba as a character was really self-involved, and I couldn't understand why Ricky would put up with her. I loved Elsie as a character, because she cut through all the crap and got right down to business.
    Elisabeth Rodgers was a good narrator, though I found her German pronunciation was clunky in places.

    This is a worthwhile read, intertwining, bittersweet, and well-done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mourning Hours

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Paula Treick DeBoard
    • Narrated By Emily Sutton-Smith
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Kirsten Hammarstrom hasn't been home to her tiny corner of rural Wisconsin in years - not since the mysterious disappearance of a local teenage girl rocked the town and shattered her family. Kirsten was just nine years old when Stacy Lemke went missing, and the last person to see her alive was her boyfriend, Johnny - the high school wrestling star and Kirsten's older brother. No one knows what to believe - not even those closest to Johnny - but the event unhinges the quiet farming community and pins Kirsten's family beneath the crushing weight of suspicion.

    Daryl says: "Riveting drama"
    "Riveting drama"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Mourning Hours?

    I loved the descriptions of the family life from the point of view of a young child. She did not have all the experience needed to process what she felt and saw, and yet was carrying burdens she could not hold alone. In straight-forward prose, Paula Treick DeBoard depicts a family coming apart at the scenes due to both internal and external events.


    Which character – as performed by Emily Sutton-Smith – was your favorite?

    Emily Sutton-Smith was a great narrator, occasionally awkward, but her dialogue was pitch-perfect.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book, and greatly look forward to the author's next book. Perhaps the ending was a bit rushed, but the author's description of the midwestern town and the family dynamics carried this through to a satisfying bittersweet conclusion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By William B. Helmreich
    • Narrated By Mark Cabus
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    As a kid growing up in Manhattan, William Helmreich played a game with his father they called "Last Stop." They would pick a subway line and ride it to its final destination, and explore the neighborhood there. Decades later, Helmreich teaches university courses about New York, and his love for exploring the city is as strong as ever. Putting his feet to the test, he decided that the only way to truly understand New York was to walk virtually every block of all five boroughs - an astonishing 6,000 miles.

    Daryl says: "Not quite as I expected, but compulsively readable"
    "Not quite as I expected, but compulsively readable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The New York Nobody Knows?

    I enjoyed the premise, what the author did to get to know the city he grew up in. It is a comprehensive look at the many different "categories" of New Yorkers, their differences in race, class, religion, and the perceptions of living space, sidewalks, transportation... I think I expected him to go by neighborhood and describe the socioeconomic, racial and religious differences, but I think the finished product is more readable - broken up into different categories and sub-categories.


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

    I haven't, but I do like him as a narrator; will definitely check out his backlist.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book! I am going to New York in the very near future, and will definitely consider many points brought out in this book. I will re-read it again upon my return, contrasting my own perceptions as (admittedly) a tourist.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tiger Lillie

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lisa Samson
    • Narrated By Barbara McCulloh
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Lillie Bauer, co-owner of a Baltimore wedding planning business, is looking for romance. When she finally finds her own true love, her new outlook sheds light on her sister Tacy's increasingly destructive relationship with her deeply fundamentalist husband.

    Karyn says: "Highly recommend"
    "Pushing boundaries"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Tiger Lillie again? Why?

    I read this book several years ago, and for the most part enjoyed it. I am working my way through Samson's audio backlist, and while this is not her best work (Songbird is quite possibly my favorite) it is quirky and fun enough that I would likely reread it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I like Lily and Christoph, for sure. I found Gordon too good to be true, and Rollins too evil to be believable, but the humor in this book carries it through


    Did Barbara McCulloh do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    No! This is probably her weakest point as a narrator - her character differentiation. Beyond that, she embodies Lillie nicely. I wish another narrator had been chosen for Tacey's parts, because it was quite jarring to switch POV.


    Who was the most memorable character of Tiger Lillie and why?

    Christoph. To have a celibate gay character at home with himself and his relationship with Jesus was refreshing and beautiful.


    Any additional comments?

    I would give this book 3.5 stars, partially due to the narration, partially due to some of the over-the-topness of it all... but Samson is a gifted writer, keen to push boundaries in all the right ways and all the right places.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heft

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liz Moore
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Keith Szarabajka
    Overall
    (1856)
    Performance
    (1676)
    Story
    (1682)

    Forrmer academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career - if he can untangle himself from his family drama.

    Kathy says: "I couldn't stop listening"
    "Unforgetable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Heft the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed this novel, with two connected characters with separate story lines, both of whom are dealing with baggage - one physical due to morbid obesity, the other buried under the weight of his family life and pressures of being a poor kid in a wealthy school. These characters are linked through one woman - Arthur's former student and Kel's mother. it is almost like reading two parallel stories that may or may not intersect, and I find the hope shown once both men open themselves up to others is inspiring and a joy to read.


    Which character – as performed by Kirby Heyborne and Keith Szarabajka – was your favorite?

    Both. I normally do not like Kirby Heyborne for some reason I don't quite understand, but he in particular has exceeded my expectations. The other narrator was also spectacular. Performances like this can lift a mediocre book to goodness, or a good book (like this one) to greatness.


    Any additional comments?

    Just read this book! I wasn't sure about Kirby Heyborne, but am glad I got this book on sale - though I would have gladly paid a credit for this gem of a book. I can't wait until Liz Moore's next offering!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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