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Daryl

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

ratings
145
REVIEWS
140
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
13
HELPFUL VOTES
85

  • Without a Map: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Meredith Hall
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (5)

    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
  • A Sliver of Light: Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal, Sarah Shourd
    • Narrated By Michael Goldstrom, Julia Whelan, Tristan Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Three young Americans captured by Iranian forces and held in captivity for two years tell their story.

    In summer 2009 Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourdwere hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan when they unknowingly crossed into Iran and were captured by a border patrol. Accused of espionage, the three Americans ultimately found themselves in Tehran's infamous Evin Prison, where they discovered that pooling their strength of will and relying on each other were the only ways they could survive.

    Jean says: "How a fun day hiking can change your life"
    "Compelling, gripping account"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. This book is the chronicle of three Americans who were lured across the Iranian border and sent to prison - 1 year for Sara, two years for Josh and Shane. Their complex relationship with each other, the pain, frustration and deprivations of prison, and their resillience in matters both emotional and physical was displayed in full in this chronicle.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The perspective that prison forced them to adopt. It was complex and gripping.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    The narrators for Shane and Josh were much better than the narrator for Sarah.. For some reason, her male voices were grating and annoying, and her "accents" were nonexistent. The male narrators were much more emotive and with better accents.


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

    Yes. This book scared me, made me angry, and astounded me with the wonder of little thigns that constitute freedom.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26039)
    Performance
    (12695)
    Story
    (12736)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "Worth all the hype!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Help again? Why?

    Yes! I have listened to it several times. The strength is in the narrations by Bahni Turpin and Octavia Spencer, who carry the rougher performances of Cassandra Campbell and Jenna Lamia. The story is multi-layered, the characters believable.


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

    Both! There are portions of this book that made me angry, others that made me cry


    Any additional comments?

    I normally don't read overly popular books, largely because they often don't live up to the hype. I'm glad I made an exception for this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Splendor of Silence

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Indu Sundaresan
    • Narrated By Sneha Mathan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (60)

    In 1942, Sam Hawthorne, a young U.S. Army captain, arrives in a tiny, princely state in western India. He carries combat wounds and several secrets, one of which is the real reason behind his visit: to find his brother Mike, an idealistic American soldier who disappeared after joining the local struggle for independence from the British.

    Alice says: "Loved this audiobook"
    "Lush descriptions"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What does Sneha Mathan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    her narration is wonderful. Many narrators have atrocious accents, but she is wonderful at all accents, emotions, and even narrative passages. I enjoyed this book, but her narration improved it immensely.


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

    No. This book is best savored in bite-sized pieces.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Coming Out of the Ice: An Unexpected Life

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Victor Herman
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (18)

    In 1931, a young American named Victor Herman accompanied his parents to the Soviet Union, where his father was to set up a Ford Motor Company plant. In 1938, he was inexplicably thrown into a Soviet prison. It was 45 years before he was able to return to America.

    A User says: "Unordinary personal content"
    "Inspiring, gritty, real"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, yes, YES! I read this book in print four or five years ago, and was thrilled when I found it, by chance, on Audible. The author's style was more oral than literary, as though I were sitting across the table from him, drinking a cup of coffee. The narrator is superb; I only wish there were more of his performances on Audible.

    The story is not always happy, sometimes brutal in its descriptions of the lengths one went to survive... and yet, it is not bitter - a testament to Victor herman himself.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Coming Out of the Ice?

    When Victor met Galina, and his descriptions of Galina's devotion to him.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is worth all the potatoes you can eat (read the book to understand). I would have gladly spent more than one credit on this book, and will be purchasing it for a friend to share in the fascinating read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Can't Buy Me Love

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jonathan Gould
    • Narrated By Richard Aspel
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    Nearly 20 years in the making, Can't Buy Me Love is a masterful work of group biography, cultural history, and musical criticism. That the Beatles were an unprecedented phenomenon is a given. Here Jonathan Gould seeks to explain why, placing the Fab Four in the broad and tumultuous panorama of their time and place, rooting their story in the social context that girded both their rise and their demise.

    Tad Davis says: "Light on gossip, rich on context"
    "Ambitious - this book's strength and weakness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes and no. I enjoyed the beginning of the book, describing the Beatles' start, their rise to fame, and the cultural backdrop that contributed to and caused their success. Toward the second half of the book, however, there are several passages that describe in verbose detail the making of albums and the attributes of each song. Several hours could have been removed from this book just from editing those out. One would have to be a HUGE fan of the Beatles and/or a musician to understand much of the later lingo.


    Any additional comments?

    Another reviewer indicated frustration with Richard Aspel's odd pauses, and I must confess I found them grating as well. With that exception, he did a very good job of narrating, particularly when he was being flippant.

    Overall, this book may appear to music history buffs, cultural history buffs, fans of the Beatles who may want a comprehensive biography... But I am not interested enough in these topics - or perhaps their intertwining as compiled by Gould - to wholeheartedly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • By Faith, Not By Sight: The Inspirational Story of a Blind Prodigy, a Life-Threatening Illness, and an Unexpected Gift

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Scott MacIntyre
    • Narrated By Todd MacIntyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    A piano prodigy, a nineteen-year-old college grad, a Marshall scholar, and an American Idol finalist: This guy had it made. What couldn’t he do? Even if you saw him in concert, you might not believe that Scott MacIntyre was blind, and you’d never guess that at 19, he faced a diagnosis that rocked his family and nearly took his life. So how did he do it? This is the story of how God used a dedicated family, a selfless acquaintance, hardship, and a host of characters to give him life, faith, determination, and experiences most can only imagine.

    D. Campbell says: "Very inspirational and interesting"
    "A good biography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to By Faith, Not By Sight again? Why?

    Yes. This book speaks to me on many levels. I have connections to visual impairment, Christianity, singer/songwriting, and organ transplant recipients. This book touches all those elements and more.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Scott, Christina, Scott's mom. I wish I had gotten to know Katelyn and Scott's father more. I felt like I learned about Scott, his mom, and his brother...


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Some of the narration was flat, some was a little too over-dramatic. Overall, he did a good job.


    Any additional comments?

    I found this book was, for the most part, a great addition to singer-songwriter biographies. Scott's description of life as a visually impaired performer was compelling. Though some passages are repetitive, self-agrandising, or over-dramatic, I will read this book again. I laughed and cried and was scared in equal measure for Scott and his family. Good job!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Baby's Coming: A Story of Dedication by an Independent Midwife

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Virginia Howes
    • Narrated By Julie Maisey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Virginia Howes was a mother of four doing the ironing when she had a revelation. Still broody, but not really wanting to add to her family, she realised that becoming a midwife was her true vocation. It was a long journey to get the education and qualifications she needed, especially with a young family, but she was determined and never doubted her decision. Following her training, she spent three years working within the NHS, but her naturally independent spirit fought against the constraints of the system and 12 years ago she decided to set up on her own.

    Daryl says: "Could have been good..."
    "Could have been good..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Baby's Coming? What did you like least?

    I enjoyed the comparisons of midwifery over the years, and Virginia's journey was fascinating reading...

    But I couldn't get past the egoism. "Every time *I* asked about the wisdom of this treatment, I kept being told no." "I do this because I was treated this way and I didn't like it." Perhaps it's the delivery, but it drives me crazy!


    What about Julie Maisey’s performance did you like?

    The narrator was beautiful! I will read more of her books as soon as I sarch for them.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sister: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Rosamund Lupton
    • Narrated By Juanita McMahon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (82)

    When Beatrice learns her sister Tess is missing, she goes to London to join the search. And when everyone else gives up, only Beatrice soldiers on—determined to cut through the dark secrets and learn the truth behind her sister’s disappearance.

    Susianna says: "Deliciously Dark Literary Thriller"
    "Compelling, wonderful novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Sister to be better than the print version?

    Yes. Juanita McMahon did a beautiful job narrating this book. Beatrice, her mother, even Tess came to life in startling clarity.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The weave between past and present... and the plot devices used... I didn't see many of them coming!


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

    Her narration was just pitch-perfect and brilliant! I wish she read more thrillers or general market fiction, and fewer romances... but that's just me.


    Any additional comments?

    I read this book when it first came out, and I adored it. When I found it on Audible, I snapped it right up! This book is more character-focused and more layered and nuanced than a standard thriller. Action scenes are minimal, so if you want a shoot-'em-up book this might be "boring" (to quote another reviewer). But if you want a beautifully rendered book with character realization and wonderful wordsmithing... this is so worth a credit!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Touching The World: A Blind Woman, Two Wheels, 25000 Miles

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Cathy Birchall, Bernard Smith
    • Narrated By Sherry Baines, Philip Bretherton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Touching the World is the extraordinary story of Cathy Birchall, a blind woman, who set off with her companion Bernard Smith, to become the first blind person ever to circle the world on a motorbike, an 18 year old BMW R100. What transpired has become an inspirational worldwide story that challenges people to question their own self-imposed boundaries.

    Daryl says: "I feel like I've traveled the world!"
    "I feel like I've traveled the world!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Touching The World?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book - the good, the bad, the ugly. The narrators were wonderful!
    As a visually impaired woman myself, I found that Cathy's journey expressed many of the frustrations that I have felt.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Touching The World?

    Riding the elephants... or climbing the mountain.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The whole description of Cathy and Bernard climbing the mountain in Peru. I could almost feel the exhaustion, the euphoria, and everything along the way.


    Who was the most memorable character of Touching The World and why?

    Cathy and bernard, of course... but the friends they met along the way were amazing!


    Any additional comments?

    I don't know what book John S. was reading... details about blindness were all over this book - the feelings, practicalities, even little annoyances. The one thing that made little sense to me was Cathy's insistence on Bernard guiding her through washrooms... perhaps it's a British thing, but I've never had a problem taking a cane or a guide dog into an unfamiliar washroom.
    I generally did not find Cathy used her vision loss as a crutch, but simply made statements like "the white cane didn't speed things along" in the Iranian embassy as more of a contrast to how she was treated in other countries, but that might just be me.

    This book is well worth your money or credit. Wonderful narration, fantastic descriptions, and a push to live a dream.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Barbara Demick
    • Narrated By Karen White
    Overall
    (1479)
    Performance
    (906)
    Story
    (909)

    Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years - a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung and the unchallenged rise to power of his son, Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population. Taking us into a landscape never before seen, Demick brings to life what it means to be an average Korean citizen, living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today.

    Gohar says: "The man who wants to be GOD"
    "Compelling and tragic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Nothing to Envy again? Why?

    Yes, I have listened to it twice, and each time I am shocked, pained, and heartened anew with the stories of these six ordinary heroes - and obviously others like them - who have been able to escape such a tragic totalitarian regime.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    yes. Karen White is not one of my favorite narrators, but she did a reasonable job on this one.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is well worth your read. It is well-researched but anything but dry. For those who don't have an interest in Korean War politics and want to know what life is like in North Korea, this is an un-put-downable read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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