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Daryl

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

ratings
230
REVIEWS
224
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
17
HELPFUL VOTES
199

  • Crossing the Borders of Time: A True Story of War, Exile, and Love Reclaimed

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Leslie Maitland
    • Narrated By Leslie Maitland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (62)

    Leslie Maitland is an award-winning former New York Times investigative reporter whose mother and grandparents fled Germany in 1938 for France, where, as Jews, they spent four years as refugees—the last two under risk of Nazi deportation. In 1942 they made it onto the last boat to escape France before the Germans sealed the harbors. Then, barred from entering the United States, they lived in Cuba for almost two years before immigrating to New York.

    Ellen says: "I didn't want it to end..absolutely wonderful!"
    "Riveting... with reservations"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Crossing the Borders of Time to be better than the print version?

    Yes and no. Reading it in print would have been more challening with the French and German language, and having the author narrate the book did add a few things to it... but I think the book stands on its own either way


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the historical and biographical connections. it was very well done


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes. The story is meant to be savored, not devoured, and Leslie Maitland's narration does succeed to that end


    Any additional comments?

    As another reviewer put it, Blackstone could and should have done a better job toward the end of the book of editing out the re-takes. There are several repeats of the same few sentences.

    Also, I have to say that I do not agree with the author's final conclusions regarding the love story in this book. She does do a good job of detailing the complex emotions of her parents' lives and marriages, balancing her love for her father with her anger at his faults; I wish she had done the same with the relationship between Janine and her long-lost love.

    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
    (10)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    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
  • Heft

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liz Moore
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Keith Szarabajka
    Overall
    (1797)
    Performance
    (1626)
    Story
    (1630)

    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
  • Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WW II

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Chester Nez, Judith Schiess Avila
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (626)
    Performance
    (541)
    Story
    (551)

    Chester Nez, the only surviving member of the original twenty-nine Navajo code talkers, shares the fascinating inside story of his life and service during World War II.

    Roxane says: "Interesting Listen for WWII Buffs"
    "Compulsively readable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Code Talker?

    I loved Chester's simple way of communicating his life experiences, interposed with Native spirituality, neither glossing over bad parts nor glorifying their horror. The complex relationship between a Navajo and the US Government is complex and sticky, and I never once considered it, even though we have similar concerns with First Nations people here in Canada.


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

    His narration neither dramatizes nor monotone, he was a fantastic narrative choice for this book.


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth your time, money and/or credit; I like this man's outlook, his faith, his courage.
    Read it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blind

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Rachel Dewoskin
    • Narrated By Annalie Gernert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    When Emma Sasha Silver loses her eyesight in a nightmare accident, she must relearn everything from walking across the street to recognizing her own sisters to imagining colors. One of seven children, Emma used to be the invisible kid, but now it seems everyone is watching her. And just as she's about to start high school and try to recover her friendships and former life, one of her classmates is found dead in an apparent suicide. Fifteen and blind, Emma has to untangle what happened and why - in order to see for herself what makes life worth living.

    Daryl says: "Potential, but..."
    "Potential, but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Blind? What did you like least?

    I think the story had potential, though perhaps it might have been more effective if Emma had been born blind, rather than (like most fiction involving blind characters) an accident caused her blindness.

    I liked some of the humour, as well as the descriptions of some of the adjustments that Emma had to go through. I didn't like Emma's pity parties (I would never drive a car, have a job, get married, lose my virginity...") While there are moments of this in every blind person's life, I found that she used this as an excuse. And taking Spark to school? Her behavior in this regard both shows her immaturity and could cause damage to ACTUAL blind high school students who have guide dogs...


    What about Annalie Gernert’s performance did you like?

    I loved her as a narrator. I am just sorry that she cut her teeth on this book.


    Was Blind worth the listening time?

    No. As a blind person myself, I have mixed emotions about blind people portrayed in literature and movies. I don't expect all authors to get it completely right, but I do expect someone who spent time around blind people not to get it THIS wrong...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Silent Tears: A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kay Bratt
    • Narrated By Shannon McManus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    When her family relocated to rural China in 2003, Kay Bratt was thrust into a new world, one where boys were considered more valuable than girls and poverty and the one-child policy had created an epidemic of abandoned infants. As a volunteer at a local orphanage, Bratt witnessed conditions that were unfathomable to a middle-class mother of two from South Carolina. Based on Bratt’s diary of her four years at the orphanage, Silent Tears offers a searing account of young lives rendered disposable.

    Daryl says: "Read this in print"
    "Read this in print"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    On one hand, as a book itself, it is compulsively readable, but as an audiobook, it doesn't quite work. It is entirely centered around a journal, which doesn't translate into good audio. I found my mind wandering while I was trying to focus, which is a tragedy, because this book - as a book - is a good read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wicked Girls

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Alex Marwood
    • Narrated By Anna Bentinck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1141)
    Performance
    (1025)
    Story
    (1015)

    On a fateful summer morning in 1986, two 11-year-old girls meet for the first time. By the end of the day, they will both be charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of sickening attacks on young female tourists in a seaside vacation town when her investigation leads her to interview carnival cleaner Amber Gordon. For Kirsty and Amber, it's the first time they've seen each other since that dark day so many years ago. Now with new, vastly different lives - and unknowing families to protect - will they really be able to keep their wicked secret hidden?

    Tina says: "Really my rating is 4 1/2 stars."
    "I couldn't finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Wicked Girls better?

    It started out terrific, but then it degenerated into almost a torture porn scenario. It relies on a pretty severe coincidence...


    Would you ever listen to anything by Alex Marwood again?

    I don't think so.


    Which character – as performed by Anna Bentinck – was your favorite?

    I loved this narrator... she did the best she could with the material she was given.


    Any additional comments?

    This book relies on one coincidence after another - two girls meet one day as children, and by the end of the day, their lives are changed forever. They never see each other again until, years later, with new names, a chance encounter has them recognizing each other when one is writing a news story at the amusement park where the other ie employed...
    Then it degenerates into mental walls with sex scenes in a hall of mirrors, and on and on we go...

    I wanted to like this, and I think the premise would've been handled differently in other hands, but Marwood just didn't do it for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wonderland Creek

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Lynn Austin
    • Narrated By Kate Forbes
    Overall
    (226)
    Performance
    (203)
    Story
    (202)

    Six-time Christy Award winner Lynn Austin has won a loyal following for her inspiring historical fiction. In Wonderland Creek, young Chicago-area librarian Alice Grace Ripley is left heartbroken when her fiancé breaks up with her just as the Great Depression forces her out of a job. To escape the local gossip, Alice volunteers to deliver donated books to a library in rural Kentucky. There she discovers that God still has a plan for her after all.

    Sara says: "Depression Era Kentucky as a Librarian"
    "A quirky, fun read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Wonderland Creek rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Better than most, because it IS Lynn Austin. It's quirky and lighthearted like "A Proper Pursuit", but doesn't handle the many issues with such grace...


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

    Both. It was quite amusing having a protagonist talk about the unbelievability of a life situation that wouldn't have been believable in a book...


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a welcome addition to Austin's collection of well-done inspirational novels.
    I am normally not a big kate Forbes fan, but her voice is actually well-suited to this one.

    This is not Austin's best book, but is well worth the light read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sleeping Dictionary

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Sujata Massey
    • Narrated By Sneha Mathan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    The term "sleeping dictionary" was coined for young Indian women who slept with British men and educated them in the ways of India. Set between 1925 and the end of World War II, The Sleeping Dictionary is the story of Kamala, born to a peasant family in West Bengal, who makes her way to Calcutta of the 1930s. Haunted by a forbidden love, she is caught between the raging independence movement and the British colonial society she finds herself inhabiting.

    K Cornwinkle says: "It is a romance but..."
    "A companion of Letters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Sleeping Dictionary?

    I loved the vivid descriptions of India, both before and during the war. I wish there were more well-rounded male characters, but that's a minor quibble. Massey has a wonderful gift of language.


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

    I love love LOVE this narrator... I would read just about anything she performs!


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book immensely, more as a character development than a plot-driven one - the plot relies on a couple of coincidences that might have, in less skillful hands, caused me to put the book down. But Massey can turn a phrase with a poetic ring that does not dip down to sentimentalism.

    There are portions that are difficult to read, but not explicit for their own sake; I had concerns about this based on the synopsis regarding what a "sleeping dictionary" is. I am glad that this book is so well-done and well-read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Silver Bay: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Stan Pretty, Nicolette McKenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (64)

    From the New York Times best-selling author of Me Before You and One Plus One, a surprising and moving romance set in an old-fashioned seaside town on the verge of unwelcome change. Liza McCullen will never fully escape her past. But the unspoiled beaches and tight-knit community of Silver Bay offer the freedom and safety she craves - if not for herself, then for her young daughter, Hannah. That is, until Mike Dormer arrives as a guest in her aunt's hotel.

    Leisha says: "Disappointed .. just could get into it"
    "Not up to Moyes' standards"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Let me start off by saying that I like Nicolette McKenzie as a narrator, and have read Jojo Moyes' other books (I immensely enjoyed "me before You" and "The Ship of Brides"). Moyes either writes really well - even for beach reads - or her books are just predictable and a bit frustrating. Unfortunately, Silver Bay is not up to Moyes' talents, and having two narrators voice 5 or 6 characters was just a bit too much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Club Sandwich

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Lisa Samson
    • Narrated By Barbara McCulloh
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Do you know what it's like give to 100 percent and still feel like it's not, and you're not, enough for anybody? To be caught between caring for an aging parent and raising young children? Ivy Schneider lives in this place, too, and she isn't at all happy about it.

    Daryl says: "Perhaps a bit overwhelmed, like her heroine"
    "Perhaps a bit overwhelmed, like her heroine"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    More the author than the book itself. In many ways it is over-committed, like Ivy, the protagonist. Lisa Samson has a wonderful knack of creating engaging characters who are Christians without being super-spiritual. But this book tends, like its heroine, to ramble on in a stream-of-consciousness style, taking on many themes and questions - some more successfully than others.


    If you’ve listened to books by Lisa Samson before, how does this one compare?

    I have read her books in print, and like them immensely overall. This is not her best work, but tackles some important issues of faith and family.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Lisa Samson?

    Lisa Samson did not narrate this book; Barbara McCullough did. She is a good narrator, with the exception of her dialogue, which is hard to differentiate between characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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