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Daryl

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

ratings
246
REVIEWS
240
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
18
HELPFUL VOTES
207

  • Sisters in War: A Story of Love, Family, and Survival in the New Iraq

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Christina Asquith
    • Narrated By Miriam Laube
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    In Sisters in War, journalist Christina Asquith tells the story of the Iraq war and its aftermath through the eyes of four women who survived it: Iraqi sisters Zia and Nunu, US reservist Heather Coyne, and Washington, D.C. women's rights activist Manal Omar. Asquith weaves their fascinating stories together to create a larger picture of women's experience in Iraq during the occupation....

    Daryl says: "Sisters, strangers, friends"
    "Sisters, strangers, friends"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    I really enjoyed the different backgrounds of the women - conservatives, liberals, Americans, Iraqis, progressives, traditionalists, and all the stripes in between. It depicts, with emotion and historical accuracy, the messiness of Iraq since the US occupation.


    Any additional comments?

    This book, while dealing almost primarily with the struggles of women, should not be read solely by women. The history of Iraq told from the point of view of two Iraqi sisters, a Muslim progressive activist, and a liberal soldier, is descriptive, compassionate, and riveting.

    The narrator is dramatic, sometimes overly so, but does a passable job of differentiating the voices of the players; the occasional whiny bits are grating, but this narrator reads most of the story with feeling and expression.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Blue Mile

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Kim Kelly
    • Narrated By Zoe Ellerton-Ashley, James Harvy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    The week before Christmas, 1929, Eoghan O'Keenan loses his factory job, and has to flee the slums of Chippendale with his seven-year-old sister Agnes. On the north side of Sydney at Lavender Bay, Olivia Greene is working on her latest millinery creations and dreaming of becoming the next Coco Chanel. A job on the Harbour Bridge for Eoghan, designing couture for the Governor's wife for Olivia, and a chance meeting in the Botanic Gardens sees the beginning of an unconventional romance.

    Daryl says: "Unforgetable period piece, pitch-perfect narration"
    "Unforgetable period piece, pitch-perfect narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Blue Mile again? Why?

    Definitely! I have always been fascinated by the Great Depression, what people did to survive, the hope in the hopeless shanty towns, picking up and starting again. But I was never made aware of Australia's own history at that time. Throw in a terrific performance, a beautiful complex love story, and the urgency it all evokes... this is a fantastic novel.


    Which character – as performed by Zoe Ellerton-Ashley and James Harvy – was your favorite?

    Both narrators embodied their characters - Harvy depicted Eoghan's desperation, his hope, his love; Ellerton-Ashley was whimsical and somewhat flighty and over-dramatic, which were all required by Olivia's character. I want more from both these narrators; unfortunately, at this time, Audible does not have further offerings from either of them.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    No distance too Far


    Any additional comments?

    Using the bridge as a symbol to cross the distance in class, social standing, religion between Olivia and Eoghan... beautiful depiction! From the opening scene where Eoghan is fired from his job and goes home drunk, hoping that his father won't be there to tan him for getting sacked... to the completion of the bridge's construction and the resulting joblessness and hopelessness... this is a beautiful, emotional snapshot of a time and place unknown to me.
    Perhaps it ends a bit too neatly, but no other time period could have made it all work. The ending might have made me give the book 4 stars, but I loved the book too much for that. I plan on reading Kim Kelly's other novels soon!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Garden of Burning Sand

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Corban Addison
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    On a dark night in Lusaka, Zambia, an adolescent girl is brutally assaulted. In shock, she cannot speak. Her identity is a mystery. Where did she come from? Was the attack a random street crime or a premeditated act? The girl's case is taken up by Zoe Fleming, a human rights lawyer working in Africa. A betrayal in her own past gives the girl's plight a special resonance for Zoe, and she is determined to find the perpetrator and seek justice. Also investigating on behalf of the Zambian police is Joseph Kabuta. At first reluctant to work together, they team up.

    Daryl says: "Good book by a Talented author"
    "Good book by a Talented author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Garden of Burning Sand the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed this book for many of the same reasons as Corban Addison's previous book, "A Walk Across the Sun": a global issue, a foreign country, the underdog crusading for justice, flawed but not hopeless characters, descriptive writing. The same things I disliked about AWATS are present here: a few too many coincidences, the crusaders seem to be wealthy people saving the world. Overall, I did enjoy this book.


    Which character – as performed by Robin Miles – was your favorite?

    Robin Miles is generally a strong narrator. This is a good performance, but not her best offering.


    Any additional comments?

    Corban Addison has a way of putting human faces onto global issues - trafficking, corruption, AIDS, rape. If the story did not rely on affluence and coincidence, it would be a 5-star listen. As it stands, it is a gritty, real, yet not hopeless look at life in Africa.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Suki Kim
    • Narrated By Janet Song
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (96)

    Every day, three times a day, the students march in two straight lines, singing praises to Kim Jong-il and North Korea: Without you, there is no motherland. Without you, there is no us. It is a chilling scene, but gradually Suki Kim, too, learns the tune and, without noticing, begins to hum it. It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, the students sent to construction fields - except for the 270 students at the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST).

    Michael says: "The King and I meets Mary Poppins"
    "Unforgetable glimpses"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Without You, There Is No Us to be better than the print version?

    Probably. I enjoyed Janet Song's performance in this book. I am not familiar with many of her performances, but as a biography she narrated it terrifically!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Without You, There Is No Us?

    When Suki left the school to go back the the United States, the bittersweet non-farewell amongst the hope that her students would see her and her other teachers off.


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

    Both, in places. Since such a culture as North Korea involves duplicity on many levels, and Suki's position in particular adds another layer, it made me angry that one's life or livelihood or family is at stake for even one slip-up... It was difficult to read.


    Any additional comments?

    I read Barbara Demick's "Nothing to Envy" several years ago, and have been captivated by North Korea ever since. Both of these books capture different aspects of North Korean life, almost acting as continuations of each other. Both are worthwhile reads in their own right; Demick's journalistic eye and Kim's autobiography, before or after deaths of leaders, lives of peasants and schooling of the elite. You almost can't read one without the other, but they both stand on their own.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Oak Leaves

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Maureen Lang
    • Narrated By Anne Pepperidge Pepperidge, Beth Gulbrandsen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Talie Ingram is blessed with a devoted husband, a precious toddler, and a baby on the way. But her ideal world unravels when she uncovers a shocking family secret in the 19th-century journal of her British relative Cosima Escott. Only by reading Cosima's words can Talie make peace with the sobering legacy she has inherited - and already passed on.

    Dana C. Nicolay says: "An inpirational story of Faith, Hope and Love"
    "Beautiful story, passible narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to another book narrated by Anne Pepperidge Pepperidge and Beth Gulbrandsen ?

    Beth Gulbrandsen, yes; Anne Pepperidge, no. Pepperidge's delivery is flat and emotionless, and I almost gave up on this book due to it. Thankfully, Beth Gulbrandsen's narration of the historical portions carried this book through.


    Any additional comments?

    This book sheds light on a topic that, during Victorian times, was shut away and hidden. Developmental delays were considered a curse, a family's sin. A contemporary woman is dealing with a generic disorder that causes developmental and physical challenges, and discovers a journal written by a distant relative whose family line contains many boys who have these delays.


    By far, the historical portions, the journal, those characters were much more fleshed out than the contemporary one. perhaps this is due to Anne Pepperidge's flat delivery, but I found myself skipping through Talie's struggle to get to Cosema's story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Katherine Boo
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (783)
    Performance
    (667)
    Story
    (678)

    Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption.

    Dr. says: "An Antidote for Shantaram"
    "Powerful, difficult, inspiring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Behind the Beautiful Forevers the most enjoyable?

    I wouldn't call reading this book "enjoyable" in the sense of a happy book, or even a good sad fictionalized account; these are real people dealing with real poverty. But it was written in such a way that you could see the huts and taste the dust and feel like you knew the people who lived in these pages.


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

    His narration is understated and well-suited to the book's subject matter.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a well-written narrative about 5 people living in one of India's slums - their hopes, dreams, successes, and failures. A comment was made that no one in the book asked if they were happy; survival took on too much time for them to worry about happiness.
    The author's epilogue added an extra personal adendum to these pages. Well done!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Best Kept Secret: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Amy Hatvany
    • Narrated By Joy Osmanski
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    Cadence didn't sit down one night and decide that downing two bottles of wine was a brilliant idea. Her drinking snuck up on her - as a way to sleep, to help her relax after a long day, to relieve some of the stress of the painful divorce that's left her struggling to make ends meet with her five-year-old son Charlie. It wasn't always like this. Just a few years ago, Cadence seemed to have it all - a successful husband, an adorable son, and a promising career as a freelance journalist.

    Tina Garcia says: "amazing book!"
    "A little too much emotional handwringing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I like some aspects of this book, and disliked others. But at the end of the day it just moved along with emotions, not plot...


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

    I enjoyed Cadence's growth as a character, as she slowly let others into her world. But it really just wound up going back and forth and back and forth with her feelings and emotions, and those of other characters, without really moving along with a continuous plot.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    She did very well, overall. Her dialogue was OK, her emotions were great... perhaps because there were passages spoken by a child, she used a high-pitched whiny voice that I didn't like much..


    Any additional comments?

    I picked up and put down this book several times, and ultimately couldn't finish it.... I probably won't read more from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Forrest Pritchard
    • Narrated By Roger Wayne
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (160)

    One fateful day in 1996, after discovering that five freight cars' worth of glittering corn have reaped a tiny profit of $18.16, young Forrest Pritchard vows to save his family's farm. What ensues-through hilarious encounters with all manner of livestock and colorful local characters-is a crash course in sustainable agriculture. Pritchard's biggest ally is his renegade father, who initially questions his son's career choice and rejects organic foods for sugary mainstream fare.

    Sweetbay says: "Loved it! I wanted it to go on further"
    "Terrific journey to the Farm!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Gaining Ground to be better than the print version?

    Hard to say. Roger Wayne didn't take anything away from Pritchard's fantastic narrative, but he did not add to it, either. For the most part, the narration was terrific, though there are a few odd places where the emphasis was misplaced, or the tone was off. I would recommend it to audiobook readers, or those who choose to read the print book... but the performance doesn't make me scream out, "You HAVE to listen to this in audio!"


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Forrest and his family. Forrest for his grim determination, for falling and getting back up... again and again and again.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book! As someone who receives their beef, chickens and pork raised in this manner, it was an illuminating expose into the life of a farmer, particularly one who is attempting to reinvent the wheel. Forrest is up-front about his mistakes along the way, and presents a compelling - though not preachy - look at "old-school" farming.
    Terrific book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American Town

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Ellen Griffith Spears
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    In the mid-1990s, residents of Anniston, Alabama, began a legal fight against the agrochemical company Monsanto over the dumping of PCBs in the city's historically African American and white working-class west side. Simultaneously, Anniston environmentalists sought to safely eliminate chemical weaponry that had been secretly stockpiled near the city during the Cold War. In this probing work, Ellen Griffith Spears offers a compelling narrative of Anniston's battles for environmental justice.

    Daryl says: "Compulsively readable, but not a strong audio"
    "Compulsively readable, but not a strong audio"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Baptized in PCBs? What did you like least?

    I enjoyed this book as a book itself. Unfortunately, as an audiobook, it didn't quite commute. bernadette Dunn's narration is so smooth that it almost makes you ahve to rewind and see what you missed. The historical accounts, though well-researched, described so many characters that it got almost impossible to follow it.


    Any additional comments?

    I will pick up this book in print, when I am more likely to take notes on who did what, the military terminology, and other thigns that listening to this particular performance made nearly impossible.

    0 of 0 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
    (831)
    Performance
    (384)
    Story
    (388)

    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
    (65)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (60)

    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

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