This marks the first fictional audiobook that I have ever listened to! And it is quite an enjoyable experience! Although I probably would have read this book in one evening, listening to it for the last few weeks has really brightened those slow hours at work. At first the slowness of listening frustrated me as Christopher’s novel is certainly a gripping story! But as I grew accustomed to letting my ears paint the pictures, I started really looking forward to those quieter moments when I could listen to it. The audio version is narrated by one woman, who has a pleasant voice to listen to. The novel’s format is that of a long letter from the abducted sixteen year old, Gemma, to her captor, Ty. Listening to the “you” makes this a bit startling at first to listen to, but it really makes it easier to identify with the villain, too. The narrator’s gruffer voice for male voice and higher one for the other women is a bit startling at first, but even when handling the different accents the narration is clear and easy to listen to and never distracting.
The storyline itself is dark for the YA market - definitely targeted towards the older end with its swearing, drinking and the overall abduction premise. The perspective and overall style of the book really sets it apart from other kidnapping stories. The book also offers a fascinating insight into Stockholm Syndrome - though at times the sympathy for the villain is over-emphasized. Still, it has a ring of authenticity to it. But, it definitely romanticizes being kidnapped - another reason why this is more appropriate for older teens and adults. It’s an emotional story - evoking tears and some genuine chills.
This book seems like the perfect choice for an October audiobook! Heralded as one of the classic horror novels, I have been curious about it for some time. It’s been adapted into two movies - the original is one that my mom used to claim is the scariest film she has ever seen (though in later years she did revise this opinion!). And the remake, as a I recall, is a rather lackluster affair that bears little resemblance to the actual book. The woman who performs this audiobook does a nice job with both the range in her voice and in helping to augment the eeriness of Hill House.
It is an unsettling story, though perhaps not one that would make my personal top-ten of scariest books - though it is easy to see how it has so heavily influenced the horror genre. Its echoes are most certainly felt in later fiction. And I have always liked Jackson’s writing style - and it has a truly timeless quality to it that belies its 1959 publication date. That more than anything may speak to its continued success. It is the most certainly the perfect Halloween audiobook and I am happy to have listened to it!
This is the fourth audiobook of Chamberlain’s that I have listened to this year. The performer does a wonderful job of bringing all of the characters - young, old, male, female, Southern and Northern - to life. And Chamberlain takes a family drama with the darkest of elements - child molestation, incest and yet somehow makes her audience genuinely care about each of these characters, even while being repulsed at times by their actions. It’s an engrossing story and though it does feel on the predictable side, it is one of of those audiobooks that I found myself listening to as much as possible. I will definitely continue to both read and listen to her work!
This is the fourth book of Moriarty’s that I have read, but the first one that I have listened to on Audible. The narrator has done a simply wonderful job performing this story that focuses mainly on the lives of three women - Madeleine, Celeste and Jane. All three are mothers of kindergartners in the same class. What on its surface seems like a story of primary school politics actually carries along with it darker themes and violent actions. The book’s timeline wraps around the Trivia Night which culminates as the climax of the novel, but luckily, Moriarty includes enough of the “after” to make this a genuinely satisfying experience.
The book runs the gamut on emotion - from scenes full of humor all the way to heartache and touches on bigger issues as well. It is very well done and expertly performed. The narrator’s voice neatly keeps the large cast of characters straight and the Australian accents add to the fun of listening to it. It reminds me of just how much fun audiobooks can be - which can be easy to forget if you are suffering through one that you don’t enjoy at all - and here this is never a danger! I am looking forward to Moriarty’s next book - and I think I just may get it on audio as well!
This was the most recent book club selection - and the first time that I listened to one rather than read it. And I think this will probably be the last time that I chose to listen to our selection rather than read it. It took me forever to plod through this one. I regret voting for this one, that’s for sure! The performer who narrates this does a good job, but her careful speaking and precise accent adds to slowing down the already glacial pacing. And the alternating time periods would most likely be a lot easier to follow in a printed version. Not to mention that the redundancy of the letters themselves would be a lot easier to skim over on the physical page.
I also think that all of the adultery and sex would be more palatable in print than listening to it in the car (or heavens forbid, at work!). These are the first “love” scenes that I have encountered in an audiobook and I do hope that they are the last - it’s not pleasant to listen to.
As for the story itself, it’s rather underwhelming. The modern angle of the story came as an abrupt shift and quite frankly just takes too long to connect back with the main story between Jennifer and “Boot”. Part of my dislike for this aspect of the plot lies with Ellie herself - she is unlikable and completely unsympathetic. And her romantic entanglements are melodramatic and just too soap-operatic for them to be interesting. Not that the other characters are all that much better - I did not identify or particularly like any of them. And the plot - even with its ridiculous “twists” is actually quite predictable overall.
Perhaps if Ellie’s section had been removed entirely, I would have enjoyed this more, but since it greatly bogs down the book, it really slowed down my ability to muster up the energy or desire to listen to any of it. Frankly, I am surprised that I made it through all 15+ hours. I think I would have stomached the book a bit better in print, but even then, I don’t think it would have redeemed the characters or the plot.
I have truly enjoyed several of Chamberlain’s other books - both in print and in audio. This one, unfortunately, is far from my favorite of her work. Though Chamberlain’s books all have a certain Lifetime-movie-quality, this one feels more like a re-run... the story feels overly familiar and even the subplots fail to add an unexpected element (despite the bombings, even!). The performer narrates the audio version has a smooth voice, and though she handles the male characters well, the timbre she uses for Lucy in particular is almost painfully brash. It certainly makes me thankful that she is such a relatively minor character!
Originally published in 1997, this book certainly feels a bit dated listening to it now. Particularly in the way that the research is handled, and how many different factors would change in today’s world were the same story to be told. The Internet really has changed daily lives! The early computer technology that is mentioned here will certainly make modern readers reminisce over their own memories.
But, ultimately, these are not Chamberlain’s best characters. Suzanne/Kim is not easily likable and the other characters, like Peggy, just don’t feel as realistic or complex as other characters in Chamberlain’s other novels. The pacing drags in the middle, and unlike other audiobooks that I have listened to by Chamberlain, I never once found myself exploiting every opportunity to listen. I am still a big fan of Chamberlain, but this one just feels more bland by comparison.
I just love Chamberlain’s books! She is a wonderful writer who masterfully creates characters that tug on a reader’s (and in this case, listener’s) heartstrings. And her plots also hook in her audience so tightly that I set aside my usual audibook-listening routine of my commute and have instead been illicitly listening at work and even using headphones at home! The three narrators here each have distinctive voices and the performers all do a wonderful job. The North Carolina accents add to the authenticity of the characters. And though the plot ultimately plays out in a predictable conclusion, I don’t think that any other ending would have been satisfying and any predictability in no way diminishes the storyline.
Really, the only thing that nagged at me throughout the story is a rather minor detail. A house fire sets the entire book in motion and there is not a single mention of insurance... A fire is almost entirely covered, so no mention of it all sticks out a bit. But, without the fire, Tyler’s story would not have been as dramatic - or as engrossing - but I wish that at least a mention of how the homeowner’s insurance was overdue or something had been made... But, really, I am looking forward to both reading and listening to more of Chamberlain’s books. She is a talented author and this is a very well-performed audiobook!
Though I have read a few of Chamberlain’s other books, this is the first audiobook of hers that I have listened to and I love it! It’s a completely absorbing story and one that makes me sneak in listening to it at every opportunity - not just in the car like I usually do. It’s an engrossing plot with characters that it is impossible not to sympathize with. It reels you in from the very first chapter. With a variety of narrators (five in all), the performers do a wonderful job of using their voices to bring these characters to life. The plot - full of secrets, twists and turns - contains some expected paths and some surprises, too.
This family drama reminds me a bit of a Lifetime movie in some ways as the sheer amount of drama continues to amplify throughout the entire book. And with Chamberlain’s penchant for cliffhangers, the book is hard to turn away from. The story ranges through time and each character feels distinct, but still so relatable - even through some terrible choices. In some ways, Chamberlain’s books remind me of Jodi Picoult’s - though without the set formula. Chamberlain is very talented and I look forward to reading - and listening - to more of her work!
This audiobook was both a fascinating and fun listen! It was definitely the highlight of my commute - and brightened some household chores as well! I first encountered Hare’s studies in a magazine article and later in a documentary special (on PBS, I think). And though there was more context into the studies, there wasn’t quite as much detail and new information as I had hoped for. Despite some of this overlap, though, this was still a very interesting listen. The authors offered more of a historical perspective and also studies that showed conflicting results. Though the author’s obvious affection for dogs might seem like it would obviously skew the results, their devotion to the scientific method and maintaining genuine objectivity was still quite evident.
Amongst the clear descriptions of experiments, the authors offered anecdotes and examples of dog genius outside of the lab. I especially enjoyed the section of speculation on the true history of the domestication of the wolf and development of the dog. The conversational style worked well in the audio format, and I sincerely hope that the authors continue to publish their findings in this mainstream medium. While the narrator was not the most dynamic, his voice worked well for this non-fiction topic. A physical format, though, would lend itself better as a stepping stone for further independent research, so I will be keeping an eye out for the physical format as well. All in all, though, this was a great listen and I will continue to follow their research into dog-nition.
I first became curious about Burke’s books after reading his daughter’s mystery novel, If You Were Here, last May. Though I don’t usually listen to mysteries, I decided to give this one a try - and I am glad that I did! The narrator does a wonderful job of bringing Dave Robicheaux to life (and I was even more surprised to recognize the performer’s voice while flipping through channels - he played a DA in a made-for-TV movie!). The narrator brings the other characters - and their regional accents - to life quite well. And if the remainder of the series (nineteen more books!) were available in unabridged versions by this same narrator, I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase the rest in this format! That is how wonderful the performance is!
As for the storyline itself, the plot holds some big surprises, but the real strength of the novel lies in the way it captures New Orleans and its surrounds. The ending makes me curious to explore how this has spawned such a long-lived series as it feels quite complete. And though initially published in 1987, there is still something very modern about the book (though, naturally, there are hints to its time period in the lack of cell phones, some crime scene tech, etc). I am looking forward to following this series!
This audiobook is definitely the most star-studded one that I have ever listened to! From Martin Scorsese to F. Murray Abraham, each voice in this oral history sounds familiar - and in a way, it is a bit distracting - especially while driving and trying to listen and look up online just who’s voice is speaking. But, once the mystery of the identity is solved (some of the voices are instantly recognizable like Carl Reiner and Alan Alda), though it is easy to become absorbed in this history of the zombie apocalypse.
I have been hearing good things about this book for a long time - but though I own a printed copy, I am actually really glad that I listened to it first! It is such a fun experience to listen to this surprisingly global view on the history of the war of the zombies. Brooks offers a surprisingly full story. It’s a moving story in parts (the dog chapter really made me cry!) and is completely riveting. And because of the strength of the performances, this is one audiobook that I imagine that I will listen to again. Zombies may not be my favorite subgenre, but this is one of the better zombie books that I have experienced!
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