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bac

Greenbrier, TN, United States | Listener Since 2003

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 190 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
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  • Until I Find You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (61)

    When he is four years old, Jack travels with his mother Alice, a tattoo artist, to several North Sea ports in search of his father, William Burns. From Copenhagen to Amsterdam, William, a brilliant church organist and profligate womanizer, is always a step ahead, has always just departed in a wave of scandal, with a new tattoo somewhere on his body from a local master or "scratcher".

    Katharina says: "Great story, annoyingly read"
    "A disappointed Irving fan"
    Overall

    John Irving is my favorite contemporary author. I have everything he's written, including his pre-Garp books. And typically, I finish a book even if I'm not enjoying it. I want to give the author a chance to turn it around for me. This is one of the few books that I just couldn't finish. I particularly wanted to extend the benefit of the doubt to my favorite author. I managed to get through most of the first two parts and just couldn't take the idea of sitting through another 16 to 18 hours. The first several hours are devoted to Jack and his mother moving from town to town searching for his father with the same result and recycled characters in every town. That part could have easily been condensed to one or two chapters without losing any critical plot points. The story simply takes to long to advance. Along the way, the protagonist encounters so much sexual exploitation that it made my head spin...and I work in child welfare. Irving's books are always full of deviant and bizarre behavior. But my favorite thing about him is that by the time the character commits such behavior, the reader has such a through understanding of them that their actions seem quite reasonable. Irving makes us understand that we can understand just about anyone once we hear their story. But in the case of this book, I couldn't even care about the main characters. My primary thought while listening to the first half of this unreasonably long book was "please...just get on with it."

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7969)
    Performance
    (7304)
    Story
    (7331)

    Few books have captivated the imagination and won the devotion and praise of readers and critics everywhere as has George R. R. Martin’s monumental epic cycle of high fantasy that began with A Game of Thrones. Now, in A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth book of his landmark series, as a kingdom torn asunder finds itself at last on the brink of peace . . . only to be launched on an even more terrifying course of destruction.

    Pi says: "Jarring change in Dotrice's performance"
    "What happened Roy?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this series. I have enjoyed it as much as any series I have ever read, with the exception of Harry Potter. Roy Dotrice is brilliant. His voices bring the book alive and really allow the listener to connect with the characters. However, I'm about 1/3 of the way through this book and I don't understand what has happened to the character voices. Almost every voice sounds markedly different than in previous books. In addition to that, he has completely changed the way he pronounces some names. Catelyn went from Cat-lynn to Cate-lin. Petyr has gone from pa-tire to Peter. It is really quite disconcerting, especially, since I am listening to the series one after the other.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    Overall
    (23655)
    Performance
    (17635)
    Story
    (17691)

    In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow.

    DCinMI says: "Review of First 5 Books"
    "Best of both worlds"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is the best of two of my favorite genres--fantasy and espionage. I was actually surprised at how much I loved this book. Just couldn't stop listening. I love the way the characters are interwoven as the author switches back and forth from their respective story lines. By the time he switches back to a familiar character, I can wait to find out what's happening with them. The character development is excellent. You get to know them well, but this book is not a character study. Even the children in the story are so well developed that their own plot lines are as interesting as the adults. Must say, HBO also did an excellent job with this adaptation. But, of course, the book is always better. I couldn't wait to start the second in the series. I'm so glad the first 4 were written by the time I caught on to this series so I didn't have to wait for the next release. One word of caution...unlike many fantasy books that are appropriate for older kids and tweens, this one is NOT. It includes both graphic sexuality and violence. Well worth the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Twilight: The Twilight Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Stephenie Meyer
    • Narrated By Ilyana Kadushin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7299)
    Performance
    (2736)
    Story
    (2791)

    About three things I was certain. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him, and I didn't know how dominant that part might be, that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

    Mitch says: "My Not-So-Guilty Pleasure"
    "Just plain fun"
    Overall

    When I was in high school, my English Lit teacher said that every summer, right before school started back, she deliberately picked a book that was "pure trash" and immersed herself in it before diving back into fine literature. This is on of those books. I was a late convert to this series because I don't typically like romance novels, especially ones that make teenagers swoon. But a trusted friend recommended them and I thought I could at least give it a try. I read all four books back to back. Read several of them twice. In fact, when I got to Breaking Dawn, I only had one credit left in my account so I called Audible and had them turn my account over early so I could get the book that day. Are they serious literature? No, but who cares. Literature as Art has its place and I do love it. But this was a great ride, and those have their place too.

    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
    (2828)
    Performance
    (739)
    Story
    (741)

    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"
    "If you haven't read Hamlet...."
    Overall

    ...you won't enjoy this book. I was surprised to find that so many people were downright angered at the conclusion of this book. Not just on this site, but many others. But if you read carefully, you will notice that those who really enjoyed the book understood the retelling of Hamlet as a modern day story. Those who hated it tended to miss that critical reference. My recommendation is to read, or at least get a good synopsis of Hamlet before you read. You'll enjoy it much more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Life of Bees

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    Overall
    (2577)
    Performance
    (322)
    Story
    (325)

    Lily Owens has shaped her entire life around one devastating memory - the day her mother was killed. When she and her "stand-in-mother," a fierce-hearted black woman named Rosaleen, are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily enters a secret world of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of strong, wise women.

    France says: "Secret Life of Bees"
    "Don't wait for the movie"
    Overall

    This is a wonderful story. Every story line is woven into the fabric of the book beautifully. Some may find that unrealistic, but I believe it offers us the back story of people's lives and behavior that we don't get to see in our real lives. We all come to the events in our lives with our past experiences and those experiences shape our reaction to the world. But we rarely understand how the past influences the present of others (and sometimes not even ourselves). Sue Monk Kidd deftly demonstrates how the past is inextricable from the present. I only hope the movie does it justice.

    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
    (26607)
    Performance
    (13252)
    Story
    (13294)

    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!"
    "A book made to be read aloud"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If there was ever a book that was meant to be listened to, this is it. I typically prefer one narrator in a book. While this would be a 5 star book either way, I wanted to tell others to stop READING the book and start LISTENING to it. I usually listen to books on my long drive to work. In this case, I couldn't wait to back in the car each day. Stockett tackles the dynamic of race relations in the south so perfectly that it never feels patronizing or moralistic. This became one of my all time favorite books before I even finished it. It will become a classic to rival "To Kill A Mockingbird" (on my personal top 10 list). Don't miss this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mermaid Chair

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Eliza Foss
    Overall
    (435)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (99)

    Sue Monk Kidd's stunning debut, The Secret Life of Bees, has transformed her into a genuine literary star. Now, in her much-anticipated new novel, Kidd has woven a transcendent tale that will thrill her legion of fans and cement her reputation as one of the most remarkable writers at work today.

    Reid says: "Such a disappointment"
    "I really wanted to love this book."
    Overall

    I read The Secret Life of Bees and thought it was a 5 star book. So I was excited to find Sue Monk Kidd's second novel. While I enjoyed the book, it was not as compelling as "Bees." In "Bees" every story line is woven into the fabric of the book. I found the Mermaid Chair a bit lacking in that department. There are too many holes and not enough back story to fill them. I was left with an incomplete picture of why characters behaved in the way they did. It was a good read, just not so compelling that I would make a point to recommend it to friends.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • House of Sand and Fog

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andre Dubus III
    • Narrated By Andre Dubus III, Fontaine Dollas Dubus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (508)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (146)

    In this riveting novel of almost unbearable suspense, three fragile yet determined people become dangerously entangled in a relentlessly escalating crisis. Colonel Behrani, once a wealthy man in Iran, is now a struggling immigrant willing to bet everything he has to restore his family's dignity. Kathy Nicolo is a troubled young woman whose house is all she has left, and who refuses to let her hard-won stability slip away from her. Sheriff Lester Burdon becomes obsessed with helping her fight for justice.

    JOHN says: "Tremendous!"
    "Spoiler Alert"
    Overall

    For some reason, I find it hard to put down a book, even when I'm not enjoying it. I have to give the author a chance to put some hook in the story that will give me reason to keep listening. I hated this book from early on, but I preserved because I have never read an "Oprah" selection that I didn't enjoy. I even loved Edward Sawtelle, which many others panned because it didn't have a happy ending. The difference here is that there was no redeeming qualities about either of the primary characters. They even bring those around them to despicable behavior. I don't mind when characters meet an unhappy ending, but I at least want to like them. Give me someone to root for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beach Music

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Peter MacNicol
    Overall
    (180)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (42)

    From the American South to the ancient ruins of Rome, and from the horrors of the Holocaust to the lingering trauma of Vietnam, Beach Music sings with life's pain and glory. Jack McCall, an American expatriate in Rome with his young daughter, is trying to find some peace after his wife's suicide. But when his sister-in-law begs him to return home, he finds himself drawn into a painful, intimate search for the one haunting secret in his family's past that can heal his anguished heart.

    Chris says: "loud and lame music"
    "Another Conroy Classic"
    Overall

    I love Pat Conroy primarily for his ability to craft language so beautifully. The stories are enough to draw me in, but the craft he uses to write the story is what makes me want to read more of his books. Beach Music is no exception. While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I can never refrain from comparing Conroy's books to The Prince of Tides, by far his best book. Thus I give it 4 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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