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Anonymous

Member Since 2006

ratings
155
REVIEWS
23
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
160

  • Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Rich Roll
    • Narrated By Rich Roll
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (827)
    Performance
    (750)
    Story
    (744)

    An incredible but true account of achieving one of the most awe-inspiring midlife physical transformations ever

    In October 2006, the night before he was to turn forty, Rich experienced a chilling glimpse of his future. Nearly fifty pounds overweight and unable to climb the stairs without stopping, he saw where his sedentary lifestyle was taking him. Most of us look the other way when granted such a moment of clarity, but not Rich.

    J. Camara says: "Insightful conquering life's challenges"
    "I've been recommending this book to everyone!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Since I finished this book last week, I've been recommending it to my friends who are endurance athletes as well as to people who complain about their diets. My friends who are endurance athletes may not care for Rich's stories of his struggles with addiction but I was fascinated. Roll was a Stanford swimmer then a champion drunk then a cheeseburger addict and then an Ultraman only because the Ironman races have a one year waiting list. An amazing story. He details his plant based diet (vegan w/out the politics, I guess) and I was interested in this too, though I could see how someone interested in the book for the addiction stories could get bored through these descriptions. I liked all of it. I liked his narration. It is his story and he is pretty straightforward. He comes off as a jerk in some parts, even after his transformation from alcoholic to athlete, but I get the feeling he's pretty self aware. His honesty beats excuses any day. I've also listened to Chris Macca's "I'm Here to Win" and while both are good, I'd rather spend time with Roll than Macca. Roll has a podcast that I'll be looking up. His story does not cease to amaze.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Year Zero: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Rob Reid
    • Narrated By John Hodgman
    Overall
    (1095)
    Performance
    (1002)
    Story
    (1001)

    Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it's a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. And boy, do they have news. The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on humanity's music ever since "Year Zero" (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang.

    Robert says: "Fantastic Performance by Hodgman"
    "Just Fun. Don't Make Too Much Of It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    John Hodgman is a great narrator, and really made this book. Without him, it probably wouldn't have been as enjoyable. The premise of the book is just simple fun and a good listen when you need something light. Comparisons to Hitchhikers are a bit overwrought. This isn't the Titanic, it's Gilligan's Island.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Garth Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Evan Welch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5640)
    Performance
    (3581)
    Story
    (3592)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you’ve ever loved a dog - or even patted a dog - this book, told from the perspective of man’s best friend, will tug at your heartstrings...and won’t let go until long after Welch performs the last word. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master.

    FanB14 says: "Artful Surprise"
    "I Kept Passing This One Up-- Glad I Gave In"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't think by the description of this book that I would like it. Narrated from a dog's point of view? With heavy doses of racing minitiae thrown in? No thanks.

    Now I'm heartily recommending this book to friends. Where I thought the dog's telling would be contrived, this is a dog who is sure his next incarnation will be as a human. His intelligence makes perfect sense. What I was really not prepared for is that this book is a tear jerker.

    Also, a spot on performance by the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Loving Frank

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Nancy Horan
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (657)
    Performance
    (245)
    Story
    (251)

    I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current. So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them.

    Eva Gannon says: "Fascinating"
    "Dragged through the middle; poor narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My book club chose Loving Frank and I picked it up on Audible so that I could listen at work and have it done in time for our meeting. It's probably not a book I'd have gotten on my own choosing. About half way through I scrapped the Audible version and purchased the book because I couldn't take the narrator's rendering of Frank Lloyd Wright's voice. She made him sound as though he suffered from chronic, painful constipation.

    I thought the author did a fair job in recreating FLW in historical form. My grandfather was a tradesman who lived east of Spring Green, WI and though he never worked for Wright, had friends who did. Years ago my grandfather told me about how Wright typically didn't pay his laborers because they ought to have taken working for him as payment. I liked that this particular arrogance of his made a major plot point in the book.

    However, I thought the book really dragged through the middle. I pushed through, knowing the historical conclusion to the story so that I could see how the author presented the ending. I wish more time was spent developing the last few pages. If the book had no basis in history, I think readers would think that the author came up with some crazy hurried way to conclude the loose ends. As it is truth is stranger than fiction and the book would have been made better by spending a little more time in the truth than the conjecture of who Mamah Cheney was.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By David Wroblewski
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2855)
    Performance
    (763)
    Story
    (767)

    Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents and an unusual breed of dogs on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. But when tragedy strikes the Sawtelle family, Edgar flees to the surrounding wilderness. He comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him.

    Ella says: "Just OK"
    "Hate the ending? Blame Shakespeare."
    Overall

    The plot of Edgar Sawtelle is loosely based on Hamlet. Edgar's dad dies mysteriously, Edgar's uncle marries Edgar's mom there are ghosts etc. etc. The end has obviously left readers upset, but if you know - thanks to Shakespeare - that all is not going to end well but it will end with a bang, you may enjoy the book more.

    I recommend renting Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet and spending a few hours watching before listening to Edgar Sawtelle. Several passages in Sawtelle were riveting. I found it well worth my time.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Emma Donoghue
    • Narrated By Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Robert Petkoff, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4550)
    Performance
    (2026)
    Story
    (2014)

    To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, but what she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

    Kathleen says: "A truly memorable read"
    "Best since The Help"
    Overall

    In Plato's Allegory of the Cave, he says that if we were all prisoners chained in a cave, we would think shadows cast in the cave by the surface world were reality, and that if we were let out of the cave to see the surface world we wouldn't believe it. I wonder if Emma Donoghue decided to retell the allegory from the point of view of a five year old.

    I confess that at first I didn't care for the 5 year old's narrator, but I let that go because the story is so well written. It does not for a second insult the intelligence. Imagine a book written from a science fiction perspective about what life is like on our planet. And the person telling you is five. And he has passing knowledge of the world but only through what is shown on television. This is that book.

    Like The Help, this book uses several narrators which was a great choice. I am only at the halfway mark, but unless the end is horribly disappointing, I am halfway to one of the best books I've downloaded this year.

    31 of 40 people found this review helpful
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Junot Diaz
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Staci Snell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2212)
    Performance
    (935)
    Story
    (943)

    Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuku: the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.

    Kathleen says: "Fabulous listen"
    "We get it...he's a loser"
    Overall

    I am a recent fan of Junot Diaz from both his reading/interviews as well as his short stories as presented on the New Yorker's short story podcast. I think that Oscar Wao should have remained maybe a novella or a short story but even a writer with deft word skills can get dull when going back and forth and back and forth over the same territory. Oscar Wao is a loser. His life is brief. Those are my Cliff's Notes. I don't think there's much else to say - except he's from the Dominican Republic. Apparently, Oscar Wao is the first loser the DR ever produced. Interesting, but not novel-, or credit-worthy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What Is Left the Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Howard Norman
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    Seventeen-year-old Wyatt Hillyer is suddenly orphaned when his parents, within hours of each other, jump off two different bridges—the result of their separate involvements with the same compelling neighbor, a Halifax switchboard operator and aspiring actress. The suicides cause Wyatt to move to small-town Middle Economy to live with his uncle, aunt, and ravishing cousin Tilda.

    Elizabeth says: "Quiet, Yet Powerful"
    "Good work by Bronson Pinchot"
    Overall

    Bronson Pinchot, the narrator, shows how having a good actor, as opposed to a good reader, can bring much to a novel. He did a fantastic job with this. Great character development, interesting historical backdrop, and a decent plot add up to a good listen. The denouement was a bit overlong, but by then I liked the book so much I didn't care that it was hanging around a bit after it could've wrapped things up.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Secrets of Eden: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Chris Bohjalian
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall, Susan Denaker, Rebecca Lowman, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    "There," says Alice Hayward to Reverend Stephen Drew, just after her baptism, and just before going home to the husband who will kill her that evening and then shoot himself. Drew, tortured by the cryptic finality of that short utterance, feels his faith in God slipping away and is saved from despair only by a meeting with Heather Laurent, the author of wildly successful, inspirational books about ...angels.

    A User says: "Good beginning Good end. Stupid Middle.."
    "Good beginning Good end. Stupid Middle.."
    Overall

    This book is told from four different view points. The first character and the last character would make for a compelling novella. The middle two characters are unlikeable and strident. It's almost as if a different and inferior author took on the two middle characters. I confess I don't even get the subplot obsession with angels. Skip it.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Josh Lieb
    • Narrated By Marc Thompson
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Twelve-year-old Oliver Watson's got the IQ of a grilled cheese sandwich. Or so everyone in Omaha thinks. In reality, Oliver's a mad evil genius on his way to world domination, and he's used his great brain to make himself the third-richest person on earth! Then Oliver's father - and archnemesis - makes a crack about the upcoming middle school election, and Oliver takes it as a personal challenge. He'll run, and he'll win!

    Sasha L. Stowers says: "Wonderful"
    "Parents will like this one too"
    Overall

    The narrator for this book was spot on. I've been recommending the book in either form since finishing it, and have gone back and listened to it again. I downloaded this book for my daughter, but wound up loving it myself.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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