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Daryl

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

ratings
210
REVIEWS
204
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
15
HELPFUL VOTES
172

  • Without a Map: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Meredith Hall
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (8)

    Meredith Hall's moving but unsentimental memoir begins in 1965, when she becomes pregnant at sixteen. Shunned by her insular New Hampshire community, she is then kicked out of the house by her mother. Her father and stepmother reluctantly take her in, hiding her before they finally banish her altogether. After giving her baby up for adoption, Hall wanders recklessly through the Middle East, where she survives by selling her possessions and finally her blood.

    Susie says: "Not Your Average "16 and Pregnant""
    "Poignant and moving biography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the everyday aspects of this book. Meredith Hall has a way of making words sing, making even ordinary things like the habits of childhood classmates sound poetic. Her use of the present tense continually through this novel both gives it immediacy and provides some confusion for the reader, as it seems to jump around with no particular purpose (particularly in the second half of the book).


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

    I have not, but I think I will. She did a very good job here, and I would like to hear more!


    Any additional comments?

    This is a good book, detailing the pain of being forced to put a baby up for adoption, with really no say in the matter; the cruelty of ostratization, the complicated relationships between parents and children.

    I would love to see Meredith Hall put her hand to novel-writing or poetry; I think she would do an amazing job as well.

    Perhaps the continuous present-tense narration was used as a device to denote aimlessness and being, as the title suggests, without a map; however, it is a bit frustrating as a reader because the shifts in time don't appear to make any particular sense, particularly at the end of the book. This aside, it is a solid biography, and I would love to read anything else Ms. Hall wishes to write.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Accidents of Marriage

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Randy Susan Meyers
    • Narrated By Susan Bennett
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Maddy is a social worker trying to balance her career and three children. Years ago, she fell in love with Ben, a public defender, drawn to his fiery passion, but now he's lashing out at her during his periodic verbal furies. She vacillates between tiptoeing around him and asserting herself for the sake of their kids - which works to keep a fragile peace - until the rainy day when they're together in the car and Ben's volatile temper gets the best of him, leaving Maddy in the hospital fighting for her life.

    Daryl says: "Searing, honest... I loved this book!"
    "Searing, honest... I loved this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Accidents of Marriage the most enjoyable?

    It wasn't "enjoyable" in the sense that it was a happy read - in fact, it really and truly was not a happy read - but it was well-written, with real characters that felt real, raw, honest emotions, without the over-flowery pretty language that authors who create such characters seem to use. The narration was spot-on, turning a good book itno an outstanding performance.


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

    yes. It was a difficult read, depicting a family already in crisis going through the necessary messy changes of recovery from a brain injury - the overwhelming expectations of older children and the other parent, the hopes and shattered innocence of the younger children...


    Any additional comments?

    I read Meyers' "The Murderer's Daughters" years ago, and I didn't like it then. Perhaps now that I ghave matured - and enjoyed this book so much - I will go back and read it.
    I will also check out Susan Bennett's other narrations; if they're half as good as this, time and credits well spent!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Wife: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Alyson Richman
    • Narrated By George Guidall, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1560)
    Performance
    (1388)
    Story
    (1395)

    In pre-war Prague, the dreams of two young lovers are shattered when they are separated by the Nazi invasion. Then, decades later, thousands of miles away in New York, there's an inescapable glance of recognition between two strangers. Providence is giving Lenka and Josef one more chance. From the glamorous ease of life in Prague before the Occupation, to the horrors of Nazi Europe, The Lost Wife explores the power of first love, the resilience of the human spirit, and the strength of memory.

    Sara says: "Love, Strength & Survival"
    "Unforgetable Love Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Lost Wife to be better than the print version?

    Definitely. The narrators were wonderful choices for the characters, depicting the dreams and fears and memories of two people who survived war and love and loss long ago, their marriages to each other and others, the longing... I can't even begin to describe how thrilled I am with these narrator choices.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lost Wife?

    The depiction of the concentration camps and some of the resistance work... the deprivation... it is not happy reading, but it is unforgetable.


    Have you listened to any of George Guidall and Suzanne Toren ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, both... and this one shines above them all.


    Any additional comments?

    This is not an easy read... depicting with an artist's precision the love and loss and anger and pain experienced by the main characters. I purchased this book on sale, but it would be well worth the credit.
    This is not just a love story, but a story of war, of family, of unforgetable tenderness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Breath Away

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Heather Gudenkauf
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean, Susan Ericksen, Laural Merlington, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (53)

    In the midst of a sudden spring snowstorm, an unknown man armed with a gun walks into an elementary school classroom. Outside the school, the town of Broken Branch watches and waits. Officer Meg Barrett holds the responsibility for the town’s children in her hands. As tension mounts with each passing minute, the hidden fears and grudges of the small town are revealed as the people of Broken Branch race to uncover the identity of the stranger who holds their children hostage.

    glamazon says: "Flat As An Iowa Prairie"
    "Not Gudenkauf's standard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Yes. This book would've best been served as a novella. It drags on so long, and honestly doesn't go anywhere. The characters just ring flat in some places and act emotionally overrun in others.
    Perhaps the narration also contributed to this thought; no narrator shines in this performance either.


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

    The relationship between Holly and her parents and children was the most interesting; the least interesting was probably the gunman and his identity and motive.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by the narrators?

    I have listened to some of these narrators before; some are better than others, but as an ensemble I just couldn't finish.


    Any additional comments?

    This is not up to the potency of Gudenkauf's "The Weight of Silence" or the strong female leads in "These Things Hidden." I wanted to like this book, but it just meanders along with rabit trails that lead nowhere and everywhere, and I know that Gudenkauf is up to better than this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Moment Between

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Nicole Baart
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (2)

    In The Moment Between by critically acclaimed author Nicole Baart, a woman is pushed to the brink of obsession after her sister's suicide. From Florida's beaches to British Columbia's vineyards, Abigail pursues a handsome, charis­matic man. On her quest, she is awash with memories of her beautiful yet vulnerable sister. But as past and present converge, Abigail's mission becomes even more complicated.

    Daryl says: "Snow in the summerlands"
    "Snow in the summerlands"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Moment Between to be better than the print version?

    Definitely! I first heard this narrator in Lynn Austin's "A Proper Pursuit". Her voice is soothing and modulated and emotive... she did a fantastic job!


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is not a happy read, by any stretch, but it is a hopeful one. Nicole Baart tackles the difficult subject of suicide - seldom addressed in Christian fiction - with grace and complexity. Abby's obsession with the man she blames for her sister's death is complex and all-consuming, and Baart tackles many difficult subjects and point-of-view changes well.


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

    No. Actually, I tried to get into this book several years ago and just couldn't; perhaps it was the brooding nature of portions, or the description of the suicide itself, but it took me putting it down years ago and picking it up again now, starting from the beginning, to really get into it.


    Any additional comments?

    As a Christian novel, it breaks many molds. Perhaps protestants will find the Catholic imagery a bit too heavy-handed, or Catholics may find it too protestant for their tastes, but as a Christian reader I have decided to take the book on its merits as a literary novel. It is skillfully drawn, with moments of beauty and moments of heartbreak, an ending I didn't see coming, and a fantastic performance by Jennifer Ikeda.
    Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Freeman

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Leonard Pitts
    • Narrated By Sean Crisden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (107)

    Freeman, the new novel by Leonard Pitts, Jr., takes place in the first few months following the Confederate surrender and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Upon learning of Lee's surrender, Sam - a runaway slave who once worked for the Union Army - decides to leave his safe haven in Philadelphia and set out on foot to return to the war-torn South. What compels him on this almost-suicidal course is the desire to find his wife, the mother of his only child, whom he and their son left behind 15 years earlier on the Mississippi farm to which they all "belonged".

    Chrissie says: "After the Civil War"
    "Destruction and rebuilding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Freeman again? Why?

    Definitely. Another reviewer stated that many people assumed that the troubles of the slaves were mostly over when the Civil War ended. But this does not indicate the continued sorrow of thwarted reunions and lack of education and work opportunities and the hate that pervaded the society toward, not only the negros themselves, but those who assisted them in any way.

    it is gritty and hard to read, but well worth the time.


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

    His voice is well-modulated, and he does slight characterizations, well-done, of both northern and southern, black and white. Fantastic narration!


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

    There were many that made me sorrowful, those that made me cringe with the inhumanity of them...


    Any additional comments?

    Great book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Hope in The Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Ron Suskind
    • Narrated By Peter Jay Fernandez
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    New York Times best-selling investigative journalist Ron Suskind based this book on his Pulitzer Prize winning articles about Cedric Jennings, a black youth struggling to survive one of D.C.'s toughest school districts. A moving portrait of inner city life, A Hope in the Unseen offers a view of life through the eyes of someone trying desperately to make his way up from the bottom.

    Laura says: "Great Story"
    "Gritty and hopeful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about A Hope in The Unseen?

    I loved the hope in this book. Cedric was neither too good to be true, nor a real "bad boy", despite where he came from and some of the anger that engendered.
    Ron Suskind did a fantastic job juxtaposing the smarts of this young man with the rigeurs of an Ivy League school, and the fallout of higher education for those who receive scholarships for an education for whcih they are simply ill-prepared.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book. It neither sugar-coats the life on the street that Cedric and his mother lived, nor gives us gratuitous shock value for the hard life that Cedric is subjected to.
    I found myself rooting for Cedric, even while I was angry at an education system that short-changed him and kids like him; the kids have the smarts, but are not nurtured because the school system is so focused on dealing with the realities of a tough neighborhood. Classes are large, high absenteeism, gangs, drugs, guns... just everyday occurrences.
    I have started to seriously question race, and what that has to do with how one looks at the world. As a Canadian, I have witnessed the government's inquiry into First nations residential schools and the effect they have had on subsequent generations. The high school described in this book reminds me of the Native school I volunteered at several years ago.
    it is gritty and real and hopeful... worth your time!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • These Things Hidden

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Heather Gudenkauf
    • Narrated By Ali Ahn, Angela Lin, Angela Goethals
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (330)
    Performance
    (270)
    Story
    (264)

    Once the golden child of tiny Linden Falls, Iowa, Allison Glenn watches her reputation crumble as she is sent to prison for five years—convicted of a terrible crime. But what really happened that fateful night? Allison’s younger sister is the only other person who knows the truth. Now out of prison, Allison is more desperate than ever to set the record straight, but the revelation of the truth could have far-reaching consequences.

    C. Morris says: "Please save yourself the time"
    "An ending I never saw coming!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about These Things Hidden?

    I loved the complex nature of the relationships to a little boy. The end was brilliant and unexpected!


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Bryn or Alison. Angela Lin is a good narrator as Claire, but I think another narrator might have been better as Charme.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved Heather Gudenkauf's "The Weight of Silence." This book was a well-written and well-read follow-up, well worth the time and credit.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Street Lawyer

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (621)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (233)

    Michael was in a hurry. He was scrambling up the ladder at Drake & Sweeney, a giant D.C. firm with 800 lawyers. The money was good and getting better; a partnership was 3 years away. He was a rising star with no time to waste, no time to stop, no time to toss a few coins into the cups of panhandlers. No time for a conscience. But a violent encounter with a homeless man stopped him cold. Also available abridged.

    Nelson says: "A Gem"
    "The book that introduced me to Grisham"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Street Lawyer in three words, what would they be?

    Engrossing, heartbreaking, hopeful,


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Michael Brock grew the most in the book, but I loved most of the supporting characters


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

    Yes... and I have!


    Any additional comments?

    This was the first-ever Grisham book I read/listened to on Audio. At the time it was abridged, and narrated by Michael beck. Perhaps because of this, I did not find Frank Muller's performance as compelling as usual. One character is supposed to have a booming voice, and while Mr. Muller is a talented narrator, he just didn't pull it off with this book.

    That having been said, it is an engrossing read, moving and heartbreaking and hopeful all at once. It has a special place in my heart among Grisham's audiobooks, and is one of my favorites.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Place: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan, Lara Hutchinson
    Overall
    (553)
    Performance
    (505)
    Story
    (502)

    "The Secret Place", a board where the girls at St Kilda's School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.

    Pamela says: "Well...I really liked 50% of it"
    "A misstep for French"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    As part of her series, this is by far the weakest story in it. It takes on too many rabbit trails (mysticism, high school girls), and uses a narrator plucked from a previous book. This all mixes together in a passable novel on its face, but French can do so much better


    Would you be willing to try another book from Tana French? Why or why not?

    yes. All authors have a not-so-strong book, so I will be reading French's next offering.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved Tana French's first four books in varying degrees, but this one seemed a bit out there. Stephen hogan is a talented narrator, but he was the voice of Scorcher Kennedy in "Broken Harbor" , so it threw me for a loop. His teenaged girls' voices were really nasal and quite grating, and Lara Hutchison was neither a strong nor weak narrator.
    For fans of Tana French, this is only good so far as to complete your library; for those who are new to her, read any of her other books... this one isn't in the same league.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Harbor: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2461)
    Performance
    (2104)
    Story
    (2093)

    In Broken Harbor, all but one member of the Spain family lies dead, and it’s up to Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy to find out why. Mick must piece together why their house is full of cameras pointed at holes in the walls and how a nighttime intruder bypassed all the locks. Meanwhile, the town of Broken Harbor holds something else for Mick: disturbing memories of a childhood summer gone terribly wrong.

    Amazon Customer says: "Best in the Series"
    "Tana French has outdone herself"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Broken Harbor rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Quite high. Tana French is one of my favorite authors, and this book paired with Stephen Hogan's narration is superb! I never saw the end coming!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I can't say I have a favorite character; all characters were flawed and fractious and well-drawn.


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

    No, I haven't, but I want to get my hands on more!


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

    There were many. Tana French depicts the chaos of mental illness with realism and chilling accuracy, and while I couldn't accept some of the decisions that were made, I grew to empathize with many of the characters.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was a thrillride, woven around itself again and again and again, and I loved the sheer messiness of it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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