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Kristen

Geneva, NY, United States | Member Since 2009

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • Wait for Me!: Memoirs

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Deborah Mitford
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, is the youngest of the famously witty brood that includes the writers Jessica and Nancy, who wrote when Deborah was born, "How disgusting of the poor darling to go and be a girl." Deborah's effervescent memoir chronicles her remarkable life, from an eccentric but happy childhood in the Oxfordshire countryside, to tea with Adolf Hitler and her controversially political sister Unity in 1937, to her marriage to the second son of the Duke of Devonshire.

    Irene says: "The last of the Mitford Sisters"
    "Glad I stuck with it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am an Anglophile of long standing, but it took me a while -- most of Part 1 -- to warm up to the Duchess and her story. Her tales of childhood painted scenes of privilege that I found off-putting, with little to endear the writer or her very young self to me. Once the narrator got older -- just on the brink of WWII and then into the war -- she became more of a real person, not only because she matured, but because she finally began to see hardship and sorrow, and to experience them, herself. Clearly, once Deborah Mitford had real responsibilities (raising children and running Chatsworth), she rose to them. Flosnik's reading is just fine, except when she attempts an American accent. In general, why bother if you can't do it well? In particular, Flosnik attempts the Kennedy version of the American accent when reading from letters to Mitford written by Jack and Bobby. It's appalling.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Persuasion

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1093)
    Performance
    (761)
    Story
    (771)

    Anne Elliot has grieved for seven years over the loss of her first love, Captain Frederick Wentworth. But events conspire to unravel the knots of deceit and misunderstanding in this beguiling and gently comic story of love and fidelity.

    Emily - Audible says: "Juliet Stevenson is Simply Amazing"
    "My favorite Austen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As I noted in the title, Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel. Anne Elliott is a believable, normal character whose concerns and frustrations don't seem dated in the least, even when they are shaped by outdated (I hope) notions of what it means to be a woman.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Annette Gordon-Reed
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (263)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (116)

    This epic work tells the story of the Hemingses, whose close blood ties to our third president had been systematically expunged from American history until very recently. Now, historian and legal scholar Annette Gordon-Reed traces the Hemings family from its origins in Virginia in the 1700s to the family's dispersal after Jefferson's death in 1826. It brings to life not only Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson but also their children and Hemings's siblings, who shared a father with Jefferson's wife, Martha.

    Dianne says: "Fascinating"
    "Spectacular"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had wanted to read this book since it was first published, and I'm so glad I was able to get it as an audiobook. I learned SO MUCH about U.S. history and 18th-century Western societies. Gordon-Reed does so well at contextualizing the people about whom she writes, their actions, and their expectations, that I felt I had a very reliable conduit to the time in which the Hemings family lived and worked and was enslaved at Monticello. I'm impressed that she creates such a lively narrative without, as far as I can tell, embellishing or creating dialogue.

    Listening to the whole work is a commitment. I stretched my listening over several months, but never lost the thread of the story. This is probably because of the many repetitions of the same concepts throughout the book, but, as Lenin said, "povtorenie -- mat' ucheniia" -- repetition is the mother of learning. I certainly found these repetitions more helpful than annoying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22956)
    Performance
    (9595)
    Story
    (9668)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Great fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I avoided this series and both films for quite some time because I generally don't like extremely suspenseful and/or violent stories, but finally saw the second version of the film. I enjoyed the film a lot, and so decided to listen to the book. No surprise, of course, to find much more detail and a few unsuspected plot twists in the original. I actually found myself going to the gym more frequently just so I could listen to the next segment of the book! Overall, I found the extensive detail about how various things worked/happened to be quite interesting, and even though I knew the basic plot from the film, the narrative kept me engaged.

    I wasn't crazy about the narrator's voicing of the female characters -- too much breathy little-girlishness in all of them. I suppose I can see where this kind of sound makes sense for Salander, but it just didn't work for me. It bothered me enough that I never quite stopped noticing it, but not enough to make me refrain from listening to the rest of the trilogy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Anthony Bourdain
    • Narrated By Anthony Bourdain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1772)
    Performance
    (1029)
    Story
    (1008)

    In the 10 years since his classic Kitchen Confidential first alerted us to the idiosyncrasies and lurking perils of eating out, much has changed for the subculture of chefs and cooks, for the restaurant business and for Anthony Bourdain. Medium Raw explores those changes, tracking Bourdain's strange and unexpected voyage from journeyman cook to globe-traveling professional eater and drinker, and even to fatherhood. Bourdain takes no prisoners as he dissects what he's seen.

    Andy says: "entertaining but not as good as kitchen conf."
    "Stick around for the end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought the ending, especially Chapter 18, was the best part of the book. The middle chapters dragged quite a lot, in my opinion, but the discussion of fish-cutting at Le Bernardin was beautifully detailed and mesmerizing. Totally worth the price of the book. I generally love Bourdain's opinionated approach to, well, everything, but some of the early chapters and much of the middle was just rehashing points he makes elsewhere. I almost gave up on this book about 2/3 of the way through. I'm so glad I didn't, because then I would have missed my beloved Chapter 18, but it was tough going for a while.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wives and Daughters

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gaskell
    • Narrated By Prunella Scales
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (272)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (137)

    Molly Gibson lost her mother when she was a child. Any stepmother would have been a shock, but the new Mrs Gibson is a self-absorbed, silly little widow, and Molly's unhappiness is compounded by the realisation that her father has come to regret his second marriage.

    Jo says: "Superb! Story and Narration A++"
    "Wonderful company"
    Overall

    This is my first audio book, so I don't have a lot of context in which to judge, but I enjoyed every second of it. I already knew the story, and was impressed with Prunella Scales's voicing of the characters. Unlike a reviewer below, I didn't find her narration "flat;" I don't want the reader's voice to overwhelm the text. I think I'm going to purchase more of Mrs. Gaskell, as read by Scales.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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