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Daryl

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

ratings
221
REVIEWS
215
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
15
HELPFUL VOTES
188

  • The Judge

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Randy Singer
    • Narrated By John McLain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (65)

    When a brilliant billionaire is diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, he realizes that all his considerable wealth cannot prepare him to meet his Maker. But he has an idea that might: he will stage the ultimate reality show. With his true agenda hidden, he auditions followers from all the world's major religions, inviting them to the trial of their lives on a remote island, where they must defend their beliefs against spiritual challenges. Oliver Finney, a feisty old judge with his own secrets, is chosen to defend Christianity. As the program takes a strange twist, he realizes he is trapped in a game of deadly agendas that may cost him his life.

    Andrew says: "EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT!!"
    "The Judge - on Trial"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Judge?

    I liked the premise fo a reality show to decipher the "true God." While obviously told from a Christian worldview, the members of other religions - and even those who believe in humanism or science - are drawn fairly three-dimmensionally.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    While all charcters had their high points, my favorite character, due to his surfer-dude persona, was the Swami (forgive the spelling). Randy Singer provided him with just the right amount of comic relief, and the narrator was fantastic at his portrayal.


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

    I would have if I could.


    Any additional comments?

    This book had a couple of drawbacks - cameras neglected in some scenes, secret codes - but was overall an interesting read. Keep it up, Mr. Singer!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Club Sandwich

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Lisa Samson
    • Narrated By Lisa Samson
    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
  • Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Rebecca Alexander, Sascha Alper
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Thirty-four-year-old Rebecca Alexander is a psychotherapist, a spin instructor, a volunteer, and an athlete. She is also almost completely blind, with significantly deteriorated hearing. Not Fade Away is a deeply moving exploration of the obstacles we all face-physical, psychological, and philosophical. Rebecca's story is an exquisite reminder to live each day to its fullest.

    Daryl says: "Loved this!"
    "Loved this!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Not Fade Away again? Why?

    Definitely. Rebecca's experiences are by turns unique and universal. She has had to come to terms with herself, her sexuality, what it manes to have a disability...


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

    I have, and for the most part, I do like her narration. I will definitely check out more of her performances.


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

    In portions, both.


    Any additional comments?

    Rebecca Alexander is by turns an enigma and an every-woman. She is both losing her sight and hearing, and has taken the controversial step of receiving a cochlear implant.

    She is strong, capable, and very self-aware. Kudos to her for writing this book; I hope she writes more!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Windfallen

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Michelle Ford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (78)

    The tiny, well-ordered seaside village of Merham holds little to interest the adventurous - except for Arcadia, the breathtaking art deco house perched above the shoreline. Attracted to this magical place, young Lottie Swift surrenders freely to its temptations and ultimately must face the hard consequences of her actions. Years later, another young woman comes to Merham. A designer hired to make over the now-empty Arcadia, Daisy Parsons seeks a new beginning, as Lottie once did. Fleeing a broken relationship, Daisy finds refuge at Arcadia, and something more - a love she thought she would never know again.

    Peter says: "Jojo hits another home run."
    "Moving character drama"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Windfallen rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Somewhere in the middle. It is definitely a beach read, but Jojo Moyes writes some of the best of those.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Probably added more plot. It held my interest for sure due to its complex and flawed characters, but it didn't generally hold a tone of tension...


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

    I haven't, but I plan to. She is a very good narrator!


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

    Portions made me smile, others did make me cry.
    I also have a unique perspective as a blind woman on the character of Camille. I loved how Jojo Moyes made her character just happen to be blind. Had she been sighted, some of the events would've still happened anyway. Camille is independent, flawed, and dealing with her blindness with its own complexity, neither an angelic "super" blind person who can do everything herself nor a woman entirely dependent on others.


    Any additional comments?

    This is definitely a light beach read, but one always needs a few of these. I like Jojo Moyes as a writer. Though this is not her best book ("Me Before You" and "The Ship of Brides" are my personal favorites), she depicts the small-town English life, both past and present, with fantastic flawed characters and a charming, haunting house.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Now I See You: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Nicole C. Kear
    • Narrated By Nicole C. Kear
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    At nineteen years old, Nicole C. Kear's biggest concern is choosing a major - until she walks into a doctor's office in midtown Manhattan and gets a life-changing diagnosis. She is going blind, courtesy of an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, and has only a decade or so before lights-out. Instead of making preparations as the doctor suggests, Kear decides to carpe diem and make the most of the vision she has left. She joins a circus school, tears through boyfriends, travels the world, and through all these high jinks, she keeps her vision loss a secret.

    Daryl says: "Wonderfully funny and insightful"
    "Wonderfully funny and insightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Now I See You in three words, what would they be?

    Hilarious, poignant, moving


    What other book might you compare Now I See You to and why?

    Ryan Knighton's "Cockeyed." Both have denied, then been forced to embrace, their visual impairment with humour. While both had preconceived ideas about what blind people could do, both have lived productive lives.


    What does Nicole C. Kear bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her acting talents are on full display here. She should definitely consider another career as a narrator!


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

    The epilogue, when Nicole was enjoying alone time with Lucia, her youngest baby. It shows that you do not need vision to have quality time with children.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book. All paths to blindness have different routes, but at their core, we all have had to face anger, denial, frustration. While Nicole's denial was frustrating to behold, and the book was definitely irreverent, it seems that she is finding ways to acknowledge - yet not be consumed by - her blindness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • And Then She Was Gone

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rosalind Noonan
    • Narrated By Erin Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (45)

    Eleven-year-old Lauren O'Neil vanished one sunny afternoon as she walked home from school. Six years later, her parents Rachel and Dan still tirelessly scour their Oregon hometown and beyond, always believing Lauren will be found. Then one day, the call comes. Lauren has been rescued from a secluded farm mere miles away, and her abductor has confessed. Yet her return is nothing like Rachel imagined. Though the revelations about what Lauren endured are shocking, most heartbreaking of all is to see the bright-eyed, assertive daughter she knew transformed into a wary, polite stranger.

    Lisa says: "Good but predictable"
    "Predictable, psychological textbook in novel form"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about And Then She Was Gone?

    It started out compulsively readable, but it went into such detail about therapy sessions that it felt like I was reading a psychological case history.


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

    I haven't, but I liked her performance immensely.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I did like some of the complexities of the post-abduction unification ...


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted to like this, but it was just all cliched dialogue. I feel like I know where this book is going, and the endless therapy sessions make me cringe with their predictability frustrate me. I find I don't even care about what happened to one of the characters, which is the emotional linchpin....

    Save your time and credit.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Color of Water

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By James McBride
    • Narrated By J. D. Jackson, Susan Denaker
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Who is Ruth McBride Jordan? A self-declared "light-skinned" woman evasive about her ethnicity, yet steadfast in her love for her twelve black children. James McBride, journalist, musician, and son, explores his mother's past, as well as his own upbringing and heritage, in a poignant and powerful debut, The Color Of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother.

    Daryl says: "Compulsively readable, moving"
    "Compulsively readable, moving"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Color of Water the most enjoyable?

    It deals with family separation and tragedy without being sappy, morose, or otherwise depressing. Both narrators were terrific, and the book is written in such a way as to be a quick read, dealing with some complex issues of race, identity, and the love of a family.

    I also loved the integration of faith in both James' and his mother's lives. It is not a conversion story in the sense of "I found Jesus and my life got better, the end"; the faith of James and his mother is more like a journey, an integral though not central focus of the biography.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked James' mom for the complexity and wisdom that was described of her... neither saint nor sinner, but complex and strong.


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

    Definitely. I read this book quickly, and will read it again to pick up some of the little thigns you always miss along the way during a book's first reading.


    Any additional comments?

    Terrific book! I normally don't like books that use race as a central concept, but I found this book - which, dealing with issues of race, particularly in the 1930s-40s - was so much more than a treatise on race and racial identity.

    Well worth the time, credit, or money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beneath the Night Tree

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Nicole Baart
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Christy Award nominee Nicole Baart delivers “this beautifully written, heartwarming” (Library Journal) tale. Living in a cozy Iowa farmhouse with her kindly grandmother, 24-year-old Julia Desmit struggles to support her five-year-old son and 10-year-old half-brother. Though her boyfriend is away at medical school, Julia harbors hope for a better life. And then the man who abandoned her six years ago rocks her happy world with one question: “Do I have a son?”

    Daryl says: "Wonderful continuation of Julia's story"
    "Wonderful continuation of Julia's story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Beneath the Night Tree the most enjoyable?

    I loved Nicole Baart's strategy of taking a break from Julia's life for a couple of books and then returning there to continue the story several years later. Julia and her little family have stretched and grown, both closer and further apart, in interesting and realistic ways. Johanna Parker's narration was superb in this book, as it was for the previous books, "After the Leaves Fall" and "Summer Snow."


    What about Johanna Parker’s performance did you like?

    She became Julia DeSmit, her grandmother, even the children. her voices were realistic and not grating, like so many narrators who try and portray children.


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

    yes. Julia's growth as a character, as well as the growth and changes in Parker, Michael, and the children made for wonderful and compelling reading. I also thought the depiction of Julia's wise grandmother was mostly well-done, but it doesn't seem that she struggled with any unforgiveness, impetuousness... perhaps she was just too "saintly" for my taste. This is why I could only give the book 4 stars.


    Any additional comments?

    Baart has a knack of putting everyday characters with faults and foibles front and center in her books. They are damaged without being tragic, sympathetic without being sappy.
    Great work, well worth the read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Regina Calcaterra
    • Narrated By Regina Calcaterra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (54)

    In this story of perseverance in the face of adversity, Regina Calcaterra recounts her childhood in foster care and on the streets and how she and her savvy crew of homeless siblings managed to survive years of homelessness, abandonment, and abuse. Regina Calcaterra's emotionally powerful memoir reveals how she endured a series of foster homes and intermittent homelessness in the shadow of the Hamptons, and how she rose above her past while fighting to keep her brother and three sisters together.

    Stefanie Jensen says: "I love the sound of Regina's voice"
    "Tragic, yet full of hope"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What about Regina Calcaterra’s performance did you like?

    Sometimes narrators overplay or underplay their own performance, but Regina Calcaterra did a wonderful job narrating her story. Her accent and pitch were terrific!


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

    No. There were portions that were very difficult to read, but I wanted to see how Regina and her siblings grew and changed and overcame the brutality and inconsistency of their childhood.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was not an easy read, and the portions regarding Regina's law suit got a bit confusing, but it is well worth the time and credit. Regina and her siblings are tough, streetsmart and resilient, doing what they had to do to stay together and make better adulthoods for themselves.
    Good work!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Summer Snow

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Nicole Baart
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    In the sequel to Nicole Baart's literary gem After the Leaves Fall, pregnant Julia DeSmit returns to her grandmother's home to begin a new life in small-town Iowa. But she's thrown off track when her long-lost mom shows up one frosty night - after 10 years. And yet as Julia herself faces what her mother experienced decades earlier, her comprehension of God's grace begins to trigger an unexpected change.

    Daryl says: "A wonderful followup"
    "A wonderful followup"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Summer Snow?

    There were very many. Julia DeSmit is growing as a character, as her author/creator is growing as a writer.


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

    I love this narrator. I want to pick up many more of her performances. Her depiction of Julia, her grandmother, and even young Simon was pitch-perfect.


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

    it made me laugh in spots and cry in spots. I felt Julia's understandable pain, anger, confusion and resolution as she grows to embrace and let go of people in her life.


    Any additional comments?

    I love Nicole Baart's writing. Her characters are flawed and believable, and faith elements are neither preachy nor glossed over. You would need to read her first book "After the Leaves Fall" to understand much of the build-up in this book, but Baart is certainly an author to watch!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • After the Leaves Fall

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Nicole Baart
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Abandoned by her mother at age nine, Julia agonizes over her father's lingering death six years later. Now living alone with her saintly grandmother, Julia is crushed to learn that her longtime best friend and secret love has a college sweetheart. Hoping to redefine herself, Julia attends a nearby university on an engineering scholarship.

    Daryl says: "A promising debut"
    "A promising debut"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of After the Leaves Fall to be better than the print version?

    Probably. I loved Johanna Parker's performance - she became Julia. Her performance made a descriptive coming-of-age tale into a pure joy to hear.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I would have to say Julia, just because she was messy and unpredictable. Beyond that, I liked Becca.


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

    I found Julia's choice of a Christmas gift for her grandmother was moving and special, and the ending was bittersweet, leaving many open-ended questions. Thankfully Baart wrote two more books with some of these characters, and I look forward to seeing where Julia's fictional life takes her.


    Any additional comments?

    Terrific debut. baart creates Christian fiction that doesn't like the easy answers. I think this is what I like about her writing, because life - and faith journeys - are not that simple.
    Great work!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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