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Kurt W. Swenson

Portland, OR | Member Since 2008

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 233 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11373)
    Performance
    (10437)
    Story
    (10492)

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    FanB14 says: "Sad Premise, Fantastic Story"
    "Engaging and thoughtful."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The philosophies discussed are both subtle and well thought out and explored. You care about the characters; you want to meet them for real. The story is about two teenagers who happen to have cancer. It is a big part of their lives, but they struggle to not have it be the defining parts of their lives. They accept the 'cancer perks' just like they accept the cancer tragedies, but this book does a great job of letting you see the humans beneath the circumstances. We all die, but most of us think we have lots of time to sort out what it all means first. These kids know that they don't, so they think a little harder about it, and they grow from the effort.

    The reader does an excellent job with the idiosyncrasies of the characters. I can't imagine it being read better.

    It seems remarkable to me that a 57 year old man can relate so well to the thoughts of a 16 year old teenage girl, but I guess it shouldn't be so surprising given that the teenage girl's thoughts were well conceived by a man in his 30's.

    In spite of the seriousness and sadness in this book, I came away feeling pretty good and was happy that I had taken the time to listen to it.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Pirate Alley: Tommy Carmellini, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Stephen Coonts
    • Narrated By Eric G. Dove
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (110)

    Grafton and Carmellini are back, battling terrorists on the high seas alongside a top-notch team of Navy SEALs in an action-packed tale by New York Times best-selling author Stephen Coonts. A luxurious vacation cruise to the exotic locales of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden turns into a nightmare for passengers and crew when their ship is suddenly attacked and captured by a band of bloodthirsty Somali pirates. An initial rescue mission ends in failure, and the decks are covered in blood. Unless they are paid a ransom of $200 million within seven days, the pirates threaten to execute all their hostages.

    Bob says: "Waste of a credit from one of my favorite authors"
    "A dull shoot 'em up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been a Coonts fan since "Flight of the Intruder". I've read them all, including the one where Coonts hops around the US in a Stearman. This one has no character development. Fighter technology is an interesting topic. The size of bullets and which gun to use for which job, not so much. The characters are recycled. The bad guys are one dimensional. The Teeth of the Tiger is the one where I finally said, I don't have to read any more Clancy books. This one is it for Coonts.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6416)
    Performance
    (5708)
    Story
    (5703)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
    "Many tenses"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In order to present many views of the same story, the author has intermixed first, second and third person styles and changes tenses, often using the present tense to describe past events. In addition, different timelines are interspersed. This must have presented a very challenging job for Jim Dale, who does a fantastic job of managing the transitions for you. These literary tricks can be distracting and even annoying, though. Character development is somewhat light. I did not become overly attached to any of the characters. The scenes are innovative and elaborately described.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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