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Richmond, CA, USA | Member Since 2007

  • 14 reviews
  • 99 ratings
  • 168 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014

  • The Rembrandt Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Determined to sever his ties with the Office, Gabriel Allon has retreated to the windswept cliffs of Cornwall with his beautiful Venetian-born wife, Chiara. But once again his seclusion is interrupted by a visitor from his tangled past: the endearingly eccentric London art dealer Julian Isherwood. As usual, Isherwood has a problem. And it is one only Gabriel can solve.

    Alexis says: "Silva and Gigante -- A Superb Team!!!"
    "Silva and Gigante -- A Superb Team!!!"

    I have so thoroughly enjoyed Phil Gigante reading the Gabriel Allon series that I cannot bear to read them myself anymore. I had pre-ordered this book at Amazon, but was afraid they would send me the hardbound addition, so I cancelled it a week before the release date. Then came the long countdown until July 20th followed by an eager audio download, then a few hours of complete pleasure before the novel ended. I could not stop listening. It was that good.

    This is perhaps my favorite of all the Allon stories. It depicts Gabriel with the rapid brush strokes of a master at the top of his craft. It enriches with the heartwarming and noble cast of Gabriel's team and a striking and an authentic new female protagonist whom I hope will return in future stories. It contains all the elements that draw me to Silva's work time and again: fabulous settings meticulously drawn, holocaust history sensitively presented, contemporary international intrigue that is both intelligently written and flawlessly paced.

    My only wish for this book would have been more of all of the above. But I totally understand the reason for keeping Silva's novels somewhat short, so he can keep them coming. I'm ready for the next one TODAY but now will need to wait another year. Boo-hoo!!!

    Bravo, Daniel Silva -- may your success continue for many years to come!

    24 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • The Mapping of Love and Death: A Maisie Dobbs Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Winspear
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the latest mystery in the New York Times best-selling series, Maisie Dobbs must unravel a case of wartime love and death—an investigation that leads her to a long-hidden affair between a young cartographer and a mysterious nurse..... August 1914. Michael Clifton is mapping the land he has just purchased in California’s beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, certain that oil lies beneath its surface. But as the young cartographer prepares to return home to Boston, war is declared in Europe,,,,

    Helen says: "Didn't want it to in series!"
    "Probably the Best Winspear Yet!"

    I really enjoyed this novel and, although I have not read the entire series, this is probably my favorite. It is a delight when an author grows in skill and insight. It is absolutely wonderful when she gains in popularity without losing the quality and complexity that brought her to the top of the list in the first place. Brava, Ms. Winspear!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Swan Thieves

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Elizabeth Kostova
    • Narrated By Treat Williams, Anne Heche, Erin Cottrell, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe has a perfectly ordered life--solitary, perhaps, but full of devotion to his profession and the painting hobby he loves. This order is destroyed when renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient. In response, Marlowe finds himself going beyond his own legal and ethical boundaries to understand the secret that torments this genius, a journey that will lead him into the lives of the women closest to Robert Oliver.

    Sara says: "Such Potential Wasted"
    "Excellent Novel Superbly Read"

    I really enjoyed this novel. It was hauntingly lovely, and the readers were superb. I was very impressed with Sarah Zimmerman and John Lee, who read French-speaking characters, which can be particularly tricky. Ms. Zimmerman was especially charming. She made her character positively sparkle! Thank you, Elizabeth Kostova, and thank you to the entire cast for one of the most enjoyable listens I've heard this year!

    3 of 4 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

    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!"
    "Extraordinary Story Read by Three Virtuosos!!!"

    This is a remarkable novel, wonderful in every regard. I thought I was tired of Southern writers and bored by their cliched material, but there is nothing cliched or boring about this novel. It kept me awake all night and glued to my iPod for an entire weekend. The suspense was so great and the characters so compelling that I absolutely could not turn the iPod off. THE HELP was sheer delight! The women who performed for the audiobook are superb, enhancing the stunning prose and filling it with genuine, authentic-sounding emotion. I loved this audiobook. Thank you, Ms. Stockett!
    ~ Alexis Masters, author of THE GIULIANA LEGACY

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Tourist: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Olen Steinhauer
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the vein of John le Carré and Graham Greene, this contemporary international thriller follows Milo Weaver as he is drawn into a conspiracy that links riots in the Sudan, an assassin committing suicide, and an old friend who's been accused of selling secrets to the Chinese. Once the CIA and Homeland Security are after him, the only way for him to survive is to return, headfirst, into Tourism.

    Derek says: "I loved this book"

    I found myself torn over this audiobook. The genre is one of my absolute favorites. I was drawn to the author because at Amazon, he was consistently touted as "heir to Le Carre." But the plot seems to me very cliched, and I had some difficulty liking most of the characters. On reflection and careful review of the reviews, I have come to suspect that my problems may have been with the narrator, not the author. At any rate, it was well worth the time invested, and it is important to support younger authors with promising careers. I'll be watching to see the reactions of other Audible customers.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stealing Athena: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Karen Essex

    The author of the best-selling Leonardo's Swans traverses the centuries into the hearts of two extraordinary women to reveal the passions, ambitions, and controversies surrounding the Elgin Marbles.

    Jo Cunningham says: "Excellent historical fiction"
    "Two More of History's Little Known Women"

    I enjoyed this audiobook, particularly the chapters on Mary Nisbet's story. I wish Aspasia's story had been a little better integrated and her character more fully realized. I am not sure that the narration did justice to the author. The tempo of the narration seemed artificially slow, almost tedious a good bit of the time. But despite this shortcoming, the audiobook brought pleasure. And, I think it is important to support books like this and authors who seem committed to telling women's stories.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Doris Kearns Goodwin, Richard Thomas

    We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through. This brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history.

    Anders says: "wait for the unabridged version"
    "Superb -- But Why On Earth Abridged ONLY???!!!???"

    Team of Rivals is a marvelous read, and Richard Thomas is the perfect reader. But I wanted to cry all the way through both parts, because I KNEW I was missing much detail and richness due to the abridging of the work. With each wonderful page of beautifully narrated prose, I felt my heart sinking into sadness that there is no full, unabridged audio book version available. If there were, I would pay double to buy it all over again because Team of Rivals is such an extraordinary contribution to our nation's presidential heritage. Thank you, Doris Kearns Goodwin. Brava!!!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah's Key

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Tatiana de Rosnay
    • Narrated By Polly Stone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a 10 year-old girl, is arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

    Benson says: "Important subject and plot, pedestrian execution"
    "Haunting and Heartrending"

    Beautiful, poignant and often poetic, the story of Sarah, a heroic, tragic child living in a time of horror left me breathless. At the same time, the novel portrays a believable, smart and quirky contemporary protagonist who is strong and honest. I enjoyed this novel immensely. The reader does a superb job with each voice. I especially enjoyed her rendition of the contemporary protagonist, and I had not expected that at all. Well worth the time and energy. Thanks you.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Fred KaplanPh.D.
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Whether he was composing love letters, speeches, or legal arguments, words mattered to Abraham Lincoln. An admirer and avid reader of Byron, Burns, and Shakespeare, Lincoln was the most literary of our presidents. His views on love, liberty and human nature were all shaped by his reading and knowledge of literature. Kaplan explores Lincoln's life through his use of language as a vehicle for complex ideas and feelings and as an instrument of persuasion and empowerment.

    Geekazoid says: "This deserved a better reading"
    "Beautiful, essential biography!"

    Thank you, Mr. Kaplan and Brilliance Audio, for a wonderful rendition of this fabulous book. Every paragraph is beautiful, wise, insightful, and the narrator has done a splendid job with the reading. I strongly recommend this book to all readers and lovers of fine literature. It is destined to become a classic.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sashenka: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Simon Montefiore
    • Narrated By Josephine Bailey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the best-selling tradition of Dr. Zhivago, Sophie's Choice, and The Island, this is an epic story of revolution, passion, and betrayal - and one woman whose extraordinary secret lies hidden for half a century.

    Alexis says: "Fascinating Historical Thriller About A Dark Time"
    "Fascinating Historical Thriller About A Dark Time"

    I was pleasantly surprised by the suspense in this historical novel. Despite its relatively slow start, the story held my interest and filled in a missing chunk of what life must have been like for those enthralled by the Bolshevik philosophy that drove the Russian revolution and steered a nation through the dark waters of Stalin's macabre reign. The characterizations are strong, and Sashenka lingers as a haunting figure long after the author's last sentences fade to silence. The reader of this audiobook version is truly excellent--a true artist who brings the novel to full and vibrant life. I hope you enjoy this novel as much as I did.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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