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Susan

Jonesboro, ME, United States | Member Since 2006

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 46 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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  • Wild Cards I

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin (editor), Walter Jon Williams, Melinda Snodgrass, and others
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (509)
    Performance
    (454)
    Story
    (458)

    In the aftermath of WWII, an alien virus struck the Earth, endowing a handful of survivors with extraordinary powers. Originally published in 1987, the newly expanded saga contains additional original stories by eminent writers.

    Joseph Rispoli Jr says: "A True Classic!"
    "Great way to meet new authors."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had originally encountered Melinda Snodgrass in another of GRRMartin's anthologies. For me these are perfect. The stories last long enough for my commute to and from work. They are a great way to sample new authors, and Martin has a way of picking new ones. His introductions frame his selection process and are pieces I have used in school to introduce high school students to ways of thinking about literature.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dangerous Women

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Jonathan Frakes, Janis Ian, and others
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (140)

    All new and original to this volume, the 21 stories in Dangerous Women include work by 12 New York Times best sellers, and seven stories set in the authors’ best-selling continuities - including a new "Outlander" story by Diana Gabaldon, a tale of Harry Dresden’s world by Jim Butcher, a story from Lev Grossman set in the world of The Magicians, and a 35,000-word novella by George R. R. Martin about the Dance of the Dragons, the vast civil war that tore Westeros apart nearly two centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones.

    Hassan says: "To All Men Out There, Women Are Dangerous"
    "The Joy of an Anthology"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As did many of the other reviewers, I bought this for the presence of one story - "Virgins" by Diana Gabaldon. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I knew what I was getting into. I'd like to address two points they have made. I'm going to try doing this without spoilers, but be warned: I may slip and spoil.

    First, there were gender issue complaints, either that the women weren't really dangerous, or that there were too many stories from a man's point of view. I disagree on both counts. I don't think inherently dangerous women are necessarily aware of it. I would imagine, for example, that both of the women in "I Know How to Pick 'Em" thought of herself, not as dangerous, but rather as needy. It is only the narrator that saw the danger in the woman that picks him up, and only the reader that sees the danger in inherent in the narrator's mother. The same is true of "Wrestling Jesus." Only the narrator knows where the true danger lies.

    In these two stories, as in several others, the danger seems to be similar to the stance I heard described in North Africa. Boys would tell me, "Women are dangerous." When I asked them to explain, they would only repeat themselves, and perhaps add that I should be well aware of why women were to be feared and avoided. Listening to them I got the feeling that as an American, and a teacher, there were far more dangers about me that made the threat of my gender insignificant. As I lived there, for over seven years, I further came to understand that it was less related to the lure of sex, and more to the power that women had over sons, husbands, and brothers. It was less that they could hold others sexually in thrall, and more that they were not influenced by desire in the same way men were, making them more on top of a situation because of the lack of distraction. The dangerousness of many of the women in these stories is this sort of danger. They are intimidating, although they don't mean to be. They put themselves in danger both unwittingly and on purpose. But it is their logical, systematic approach to the tribulations of their lives that make them dangerous.

    Certainly there are some women who were truly dangerous and aware of it, but even they would say they were acting out of necessity and not because of some internal sense of daring-do. In the first story, "Some Desperado," the narrator is just trying to survive, and survive she does. She is ruthless, and certainly dangerous to the men she confronts. But the bottom line is that she does nothing to them that they wouldn't do to her first. Is this truly dangerous? I suppose in the sense that a stove is dangerous, yes, but not in the same way a wolverine is something to be avoided.

    This brings me to the second point. There is, among other reviewers, a certain amount of whining about the fact that these are short stories. I will be the first to admit that I buy the longer audiobooks because I like getting lost in a long story. But I buy short story collections on purpose. Often a story is long enough to last me in the car there-and-back. I get a nice sense of continuity and closure there.

    The thing I like best about these anthologies, is that I get to sample a variety of writers and readers. Stana Katic, for example, was a fabulous surprise as a reader. I love her on "Castle" but as a reader she has terrific range doing the different characters. The only reader I did not love (and this surprised me) was Johnathan Frakes. Even though he was too slow when doing the "narrator" voice, I enjoyed his change in tone during dialogue.

    I use this as an opportunity to revisit authors I have read before, Gabaldon (of course) as well as Landsdale, Butcher, Snodgrass, and Stirling are old favorites. It is also a chance to fine new writers to explore. I was particularly impressed by the three stories with older women as the protagonist and will read more by Lindholm, Kress, and Sanderson because of those offerings. I also found myself quite enjoying "Raisa Stepanova" by Carrie Vaughn. While other of the historic stories seemed to be more of a litany of events, I found myself immersed in the trials of they young fighter pilot. She was certainly dangerous to the enemy, and frequently put herself in danger, but she seemed like many of the young women flying today, passionate about her job, loyal to her family, and patriotic to a fault.

    I would heartily recommend this book to anyone. I think I benefited from listening to it. As a print-book reader I would have been tempted to skip some of the stories that have turned out to be gems. As an audio-book reader there was no such temptation. This is the third of George R. R. Martin's anthologies I have gotten. I will get the next one in a heartbeat.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The League of Night and Fog

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By David Morrell
    • Narrated By George Ralph
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (11)

    From the Vatican to the Swiss Alps, from Australia to the heartland of America, the two masterful operatives known as Saul and Drew are being drawn together to solve a violent riddle: Why have 10 old men been abducted from around the world?

    Susan says: "More of the same"
    "More of the same"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nothing new here. Tired characters, tired story, tired narration. Once upon a time this book had a cherished place on my bookshelf - it is now on the giveaway pile.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fiery Cross

    • UNABRIDGED (55 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3468)
    Performance
    (3039)
    Story
    (3027)

    The year is 1771. Claire Randall is still an outlander, out of place and out of time. But now she is linked by love to her only anchor: Jamie Fraser. They have crossed oceans and centuries to build a life together in North Carolina. But tensions, both ancient and recent, threaten members of their clan. Knowing that his wife has the gift of prophecy, James must believe Claire, though he would prefer not to. Claire has shared a dreadful truth: there will, without a doubt, be a war.

    Dawn says: "THANK YOU!!!"
    "Finally! Worth the wait"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started with Outlander several years ago, rejoiced with the availability of Drums of Autumn and Dragonfly in Amber. I sadly stalled when Fiery Cross was unavailable. I tried to listen to CDs borrowed from the library, but gave it up when changing CDs became tedious. When I was forced to actually read the books, Gabaldon's story IS compelling, I heard Davina Porter's voice in my head. Thank you so much for bringing this and A Breath of Snow and Ashes into the Audible fold. I look forward to many happy hours of listening. Starting the series over again is no trouble at all. In fact it is one of the very few series I've wanted to re-listen to. Thanks.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • An Echo in the Bone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4753)
    Performance
    (2983)
    Story
    (2992)

    Jamie Fraser knows from his time-traveling wife Claire that, no matter how unlikely it seems, America will win the Revolutionary War. But that truth offers little solace, since Jamie realizes he might find himself pointing a weapon directly at his own son - a young officer in the British army. And Jamie isn't the only one with a tormented soul - for Claire may know who wins the conflict, but she certainly doesn't know whether or not her beloved Jamie survives.

    Lisa says: "Excellent"
    "Leaves you waiting for more"
    Overall

    Davina Porter, as always, brings the time and characters to vivid life. Diana Gabaldon told us there would clearly be another sequel, and she didn't lie. The characters are still marvelous, with new texture being added with each book at the same time loose ends seem to be finished off. I am someone who reads the books myself and then listens, still rapt, to Porter's dulcet tones. These books offer the best of several worlds and modes. Hoping the two intervening books finally make it to Audible sooner than later - Susan Dewey

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (692)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (73)

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    Maxine Fuentes says: "Wonderful"
    "Wonderful and Thought Provoking"
    Overall

    A great book that is both well written and well read. The characters could easily be people I've met - and Owen - he is unforgettable.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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