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Daryl

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

ratings
197
REVIEWS
192
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
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HELPFUL VOTES
148

  • Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Janet Reitman
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1078)
    Performance
    (894)
    Story
    (906)

    Scientology, created in 1954 by a prolific sci-fi writer named L. Ron Hubbard, claims to be the world's fastest-growing religion, with millions of members around the world and huge financial holdings. Its celebrity believers keep its profile high, and its teams of "volunteer ministers" offer aid at disaster sites such as Haiti and the World Trade Center. But Scientology is also a notably closed faith, harassing journalists and others through litigation and intimidation, even infiltrating the highest levels of government to further its goals.

    Matt says: "My cup of tea."
    "An important and comprehensive work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Inside Scientology in three words, what would they be?

    COMPREHENSIVE IMPORTANT GRIPPING


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Inside Scientology?

    The portions of interviews with children who grew up in scientology in the midst of a world where technology has exploded.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator has never, in my experience, been very good at portraying different voices, particularly female ones. His narrative portions are quite good, but his depiction of female subjects are no different from the narrative flow itself. I must also insert here that having a male narrator read a book written by Reitman, a female reporter, is an odd choice. At times, Reitman will insert herself in the story, and it's a bit of a shock having the narrator insert "personal" insights.


    Any additional comments?

    Many other reviewers have done better than I at describing this book, but I will add my voice to them. This book is intricate in its describing the many aspects of scienntology, from the beginnings of the religion to the personal stories of current and former scientologists. It is well-balanced and fair, though Reitman is quietly critical of scientology. There are spots that drag, particularly regarding scientology's battle with the IRS and obtaining tax-exempt statuus: and there are many interview subjects and language that gets confusing. Beyond that, this book is intense and should be of interest to anyone thinking of joining scientology or having a fascination with religions.

    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
    (26)
    Story
    (25)

    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
    (93)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (87)

    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
  • Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Hans Massaquoi
    • Narrated By Peter Jay Fernandez
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    What would life be like for a black boy growing up in Nazi Germany? This unprecedented autobiography answers that question with the spellbinding true story of Hans J. Massaquoi’s life in Hamburg during the height of Hitler’s regime. Hans is the son of a black Liberian diplomat father and a white German mother. His father returns to Africa at the beginning of the war, leaving them behind in poverty without the means to flee. Within this tense atmosphere, increasingly violent Nazi policies and Allied bombing raids make Hans and his mother’s lives a day-to-day survival struggle.

    Robert says: "A Well Told of a Life in the Head Winds"
    "Destined to Witness - a Gripping biography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Destined to Witness the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed Mr. Massaquoi's introspection, and his willingness to acknowledge his mistakes without beating himself up or excusing them. Things were the way they were, and- good, bad or ugly - everyone had to try and survive in nazi Germany even if one's race made them an obvious potential target.


    What does Peter Jay Fernandez bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I have never listened to his performances, but I will definitely check them out soon. His German is a little awkward, but this is a minor quibble in a stellar performance.


    Any additional comments?

    This book made me think about how any culture views race. Even as a white person, my lack of acknowledgement of race is, by itself, a comment on my racial views. I will pick up this book again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 3MPH: The Adventures of One Woman’s Walk Around the World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Polly Letofsky
    • Narrated By Polly Letofsky
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    On August 1, 1999, Polly Letofsky left her Colorado home and headed west. She traveled across 4 continents, 22 countries, and over 14,000 miles by foot to become the first woman to walk around the world. As an awareness campaign for breast cancer, survivors and wellwishers around the world came out to walk with her. Every day strangers welcomed her into their homes and shared meals. Across four continents she had dinner conversations with poets, politicians, country singers, olive growers, pig farmers and the female bomb maker in Australia.

    Daryl says: "The prologue alone makes this book worthwhile!"
    "The prologue alone makes this book worthwhile!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up 3MPH in three words, what would they be?

    Hilarious, inspiring, eye-opening


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

    Her narration has shades of brilliance! I laughed out loud in places. It's not polished, especially with accents in the beginning, but no one can describe their haircut from hell better than themselves!


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

    Saying goodbye to her friend in Thailand, reconnecting to friends and family in Minnesota.


    Any additional comments?

    The prologue alone is worth the money and/or credit. The rest of the book is fantastic, detailing some of the hardships along the way: unreliable crew, repeated questions, the constantly having to be "on," and more.
    I laughed and cried - mostly laughed - and will take on thing away from this book:

    Commitment:
    When you find a way over every hurdle in your path and nothing but success is an option.
    Commitment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 99 Jobs: Blood, Sweat, and Houses

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Joe Cottonwood
    • Narrated By Joe Cottonwood
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Joe repairs homes. With each job, he enters somebody's private world. Revealing a life. Or changing it. The life of a craftsman has its challenges, such as collecting an overdue bill from an irate psychopath - and its charms, such as the blonde in the hot tub. Joe has made every mistake and met every kind of homeowner - the good, the bad, the profoundly weird.

    Daryl says: "Lighthearted introspections on houses, family, lif"
    "Lighthearted introspections on houses, family, lif"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does 99 Jobs rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    it is a very unique read. All 99 stories are reflections on home repair, society, life, growing older, gaining experience, and the people that populate our world - the kind, flighty, sad, funny, and just plain weird. I normally don't like this style of book, but joe Cottonwood is so humorous - and I've lived through hellish home repairs - that I gobbled this boo's bite-sized portions in two gulps!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the accessible writing of Joe Cottonwood. he is just the type of construction worker I would want working on my house! he is streetsmart, witty, and introspective, and seems to learn from each new experience over the years.


    What about Joe Cottonwood’s performance did you like?

    I loved it! it is not polished and professional, but just like a great-uncle is telling me stories of his glory days.


    Any additional comments?

    this book is great! it flows, in a manner of speaking, but each of the 99 stories of home repairs, relationships, moving on and growing up stand on their own, so you can either - as I did - flip the pages speedily or pick it up and put it down. Well worth the nearly 12 hours and the credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • While We’re Far Apart

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lynn Austin
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (86)

    Five-time Christy Award winner Lynn Austin is acclaimed as “one of the genre’s best historical fiction novelists” (Library Journal). Set in Brooklyn, New York, during World War II, While We’re Far Apart is a brilliant blend of captivating characters, heart-tugging emotions, and vivid spiritual truths. While a motherless girl longs for her daddy and a young lady hopes for a second chance at love, this poignant tale explores the uncertainty that stalks the homefront as the “War to End All Wars” rages in Europe.

    Sara says: "Love, forgiveness and growth"
    "Not Austin's best, but a solid work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I wouldn't introduce a friend to her work with this book, but it's a good book that I would recommend.


    Which character – as performed by Suzanne Toren – was your favorite?

    Jacob Mendel. Toren's accent is perfect in this role!


    Any additional comments?

    this book moves along more as a character development rather than a plot-driven book. I enjoyed the growth of characters, particularly Esther's complex process of growing up and Penny coming out of her shell.
    The elements of Judeo-Christian faith are incorporated, for the most part, realistically. In some ways, most characters wrestle with real questions about God's existence, whether they doubt him or are angry with him.
    While some of the writing is simplistic - more so than Austin's other works - many characters tackle with real issues of growing up, facing painful truths, holding on to unnecessary baggage, and separation from loved ones.
    Suzanne Toren is a good narrator for Jacob Mendel, the letters from Hungary, and portions of penny's story; however, Esther is a young character, and her story might have been better served by another narrator. This is, however, a preference, and not a reflection of Toren's talent.
    A worthwhile read for inspirational fiction fans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • While I'm Falling

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Laura Moriarty
    • Narrated By Julia Gibson
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Author Laura Moriarty, a recipient of the George Bennet Fellowship for Creative Writing at Phillips Exeter Academy, melted the hearts of readers and critics alike with her stirring debut The Center of Everything - a novel in the tradition of To Kill a Mockingbird. Now, in While I'm Falling, Moriarty again crafts a dramatic tale filled withunforgettable characters.

    Daryl says: "Not Moriarty's best, buy..."
    "Not Moriarty's best, buy..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This is tough. it is not Moriarty's best work, but she has such a gift for describing everyday life in such a way as to make it relatable.
    It's a welcome addition to my library only so far as to nearly complete my Moriarty novels, but on its own there's something missing, or maybe too much present; I can't put my finger on it.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Both of these narrators are not my favorites. Dialogue is not their strong suits, and there is so much dialogue in this book that a better narrator may have improved the book.


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

    Actually, it would make a great drama pic!


    Any additional comments?

    This is not Moriarty's best work, but she set the bar high with her debut "The Center of Everything". But the book by itself seems to be too much bad stuff happening to the characters, though ultimately it depicts the changing dynamics of adult-child relationships quite well.
    See why this review is complicated?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Defiant: The POWs Who Endured Vietnam's Most Infamous Prison, the Women Who Fought for Them, and the One Who Never Returned

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Alvin Townley
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    The story of the indomitable American POWs who endured "Alcatraz," the Hanoi prison camp where North Vietnam locked up its most dangerous and subversive prisoners, and the wives who fought to bring them home. As these men suffered in Hanoi, their wives launched an extraordinary campaign that would ultimately spark the POW/MIA movement. When the survivors finally returned, one would receive the Medal of Honor, another became a U.S. Senator, and a third still serves in Congress.

    Rick says: "Wow! All I can say is Wow!"
    "Unforgetable history, biography, inspirational"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Defiant?

    I loved the resilliance of these men, who supported each other through depravations of food, contact, water, cleanliness... their defiance by creating a code to communicate - sometimes behind the guards' back, sometimes with their averted eyes.
    The torture depictions were difficult to listen to, but they were not grotesque for the sake of shock.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Defiant?

    The homecoming, but even some days in the jail where some members were feeling so guilty for "breaking the code", the support they offered each other was so touching that I teared up.


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

    I fully agree with the reviewers who said he told the story with incflection and feeling, but did not compete with a strong narrative that stands on its own.


    Any additional comments?

    This book, though not easy to read, it unforgetable and unputdownable. I knew very little of the Vietnam war, since many histories have been written about WWI and WWII (and rightfully so). Read it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Melanie Benjamin, Jenna Blum, Sarah Jio, and others
    • Narrated By Carla Mercer-Meyer
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    On any particular day, thousands upon thousands of people pass through New York City's Grand Central Terminal, through the whispering gallery, beneath the ceiling of stars, and past the information booth and its beckoning four-faced clock, to whatever destination is calling them. It is a place where people come to say hello and good-bye. And each person has a story to tell.

    Daryl says: "Beautiful tapestry"
    "Beautiful tapestry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Grand Central to be better than the print version?

    I would have to say no. If the narrator had read the book straight-up, or there had been multiple narrators, I might have enjoyed it more. In particular her accent in one story by Amanda Hodgkinson made me glad I could skip through. This did a disservice to an author who promises to be talented.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The characters in Sarah McCoy's "Branch of Hazel" were haunting and unforgetable, as were Gregorie and Liesel in the opening vignet by Alyson Richman.


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

    I liked her general reading, dialogue, and many aspects of it, but with "Tin Town" by Amanda Hodgkinson she put on this funny British-esque accent.


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

    Yes and no. The stories are linked and yet not linked, using Grand Central Station to tie them together.


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth your time and credit, particularly the entries by McMorris, McCoy, and Richman.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Aprons and Silver Spoons: The Heartwarming Memoirs of a 1930s Kitchen Maid

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Mollie Moran
    • Narrated By Nicolette McKenzie
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    At just 14, Mollie Moran left the Norfolk countryside to take up a position in the kitchens of a stately London townhouse. Getting through the endless chores, sneaking out with her best friend Flo the kitchen maid to go dancing at night, and flirting with Alan the footman and Harrods errand boys, Mollie quickly rose through the ranks. We see the “upstairs, downstairs” world through Mollie’s eyes: the politics and scandals, the friendships and secret liaisons, the many comings and goings.

    Rosemary says: "A Tale of how it was"
    "Wonderful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Aprons and Silver Spoons to be better than the print version?

    Oh yes! I love Nicolette McKenzie's narration; she can read a phone book and make it interesting. She didn't try tons of accents, but just read this wonderful memoir straight-up, and its simplicity is part of its charm.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    mollie, obviously, and Flo.


    Any additional comments?

    With the popularization of such TV series as Downton Abbey, this book is so important as to outline some of the good and bad things about domestic service. It neither sugarcoats the hard work nor exaggerates some of the bad things that could and did happen; Friendships were born, flourished, and some continued and some died; infatuation bloomed in close quarters; superiors were demanding... but years of wisdom have seasoned Mollie's recollections and made this memoir a fantastic and worthwhile read, a throwback to a time when America was gripped in the Great Depression while events conspired for England to go to war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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