Austin, TX, United States | Member Since 2015
Dearest Michael Page, the respected narrator,
I love you, really I do. Your work in "The Lies of Locke Lamora," where you elevate the interjection/expletives of "Sh**!" and "F***!" to veritable art is amazing. And I'm totally enjoying your narration of "Ivanhoe."
So when I saw that, after purchasing "Persuasion," my favorite Jane Austen, on kindle for free would get me your version of it for .99 on Audible, it was a no brainer. And that was the problem. It's my fault, really it is: I should've used my brain.
WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?
A man? Doing Jane Austen?
No disrespect, and you do well, so well, with the general narrative, but really! Your female voices, and with J.Austen there are many, many of them, are dreadful. You've warped them into general caricatures, some whiny, some laughably imperious. Only Anne is delivered as a normal person, but her level-headedness comes off as masculine.
It's my fault, and I'm so sorry.
But I just couldn't finish this.
Maybe Anne should say sh** and f***?
The trials held against some of the last surviving perpetrators of the Cambodian genocide this past October really had me interested in looking into some of books out there on the subject. After listening to the deplorable "Soul of a Tiger," "First They Killer My Father" was so hard hitting as to be almost unbearable. It's extraordinary the way Loung Ung's character develops from a naive, whiny child (whiny because she hasn't a clue as to how dangerous the situation is) to a desperate individual who would do anything to survive, even if it means stealing food, killing sparrows, whatever. This is starvation and desperation at its most devastating.
This is not a light listen, but it's a good one. Just be prepared for some heartbreak, some hopelessness. But some love there too.
That said, you'll never think of earthworms the same way again...
The story is bad enough, simply unbelievable and it jumps back and forth without smooth segues. The characters are poorly developed, and they seem to be little scarred by what they went through. Their suffering doesn't seem to phase them; it's just written. Starvation doesn't move them to desperate acts. This does NOT seem to be a true story.
And what really, really KILLS this audiobook is the fact that this is the poorest recording I've ever heard. There is a radio in the background, appliances going, and I damned near lost it when a baby started crying.
Audible, Audible: What were you thinking?!?
Try "First They Killed My Father" if you really want a hard hitting look at the horrors of Cambodia
My muses have decided to take a loooong holiday, which I can ill afford. So, I'm about as desperate as it gets here. I was pretty thrilled to find this book, and was filled with hope that there might be tidbits on finding guidance, finding help, finding my way back "home" if you will. Instead, this book is filled with snippets of all of Walbran's sessions, and pithy little lessons from them (such as: "I sensed the client had healing powers, so I asked her to diagnose me, and she did."). These were not helpful at all.
Then she goes into a lengthy history of how she became aware of and developed her abilities.
I swear, if there was guidance on communicating with Spirit Guides in there, it was but a pinpoint of light, easily missed. Pass this one up. I'm sure there's better out there.
I've read praises for Hugh Howey for, well, forever, and recently bought the whole "Wool" deal but haven't had time to listen to it. When I saw "The Hurricane" and saw that it was in a different style, I was intrigued and thought I'd give it a shot. I'm really glad I did. It is a really wonderful, people as fish-out-of-water, coming together, looking for hope story. And from what I've read from other reviewers, it is so unlike Howey's other books, I would've been disappointed/disgusted had I read it/listened to it after said works.
Even if you've read other Howey, give this a shot, maybe just as a Daily Deal, or something as it's fairly short (I got it cheap as a kindle/audio bundle). Judge it on its own merits. The characters are likable and flawed, they're thrown into an interesting situation, and there's a sliver of sunshine in a life that looked very dark indeed.
What's not to like? Well done, Mr. Howey!
"The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat" really shouldn't be anywhere near the title of this book as Oscar is simply a device used by Dr. Dosa for contemplating end-of-life care, as the publishers summary states. Mostly, this is a book about dementia. If you judge the book without Oscar, then it's actually pretty good with really touching stories of how we age, what our minds/brains/lives become and how the lives of the people who love us are affected.
There are a few nice bits that show how well the elderly or those suffering from forms of dementia respond to animals. I know I would.
Still, kinda tricky and manipulative to use Oscar as the draw...
Boy, do I feel bad giving somebody with ALS 3 stars, but, while this book had a quite a bit going for it, it did indeed have a few notable drawbacks.
First the drawbacks. It wanders and could've used somebody to draw in the threads tighter so it didn't feel like we were jumping from one epiphany/adventure/loving thought to another without proper segues.
Two: Sure, this is about Life, not Death, but the ALS is soooo sanitized, you'd think it was easy. I'm working on my second novel, and a character of mine has ALS, so all I know about it comes from research, and it is brutal. I certainly don't expect Susan to make her book all about her suffering (especially as this is something her children will be reading later), but perhaps she could've put in some more about how hard the illness is. Her children could only be that much prouder of her, and people with ALS (PALS), and their friends and families could use the inspiration she provided. She missed a chance there. Really, it comes off as easy. She travels. Easy. Carried on the beach. Easy. Eats all her favorite foods. Easy. She wants this/that/the other and her family says no? Well, she wants it, so they're gonna do it for her anyway.
It's only at the end where she needs help toileting, and that's only a blip on the radar without embarrassment. Communication is the one thing that is difficult. For a woman whose life was words, I expected more emotion I suppose. Then again, I'm just big into emotion, so make of it what you will.
The best part of this book is that this is a loving family, and an adopted woman fitting pieces together before she dies, saying yes to life as much as she can.
And Karen White, who BRUTALIZED "Daring Greatly," does an admirable job here.
This is a good, credit-worthy book, well worth the listen, just park some expectations by the door.
I got this book because it addresses fear, (I have trouble ordering coffee, for gosh sake: "No, really, sir. I asked for a SOY mocha," etc. etc.) and I wanted to go at it from a different angle.
I think there were great concepts there, it was soothing, everything was okay.
But, really? A week later? I honestly can't tell you a thing about it, and that's not the book's fault. It's just that my mind jackrabbits around too much to hold onto anything. I have far too little experience with mindfulness/meditation, with focus.
I think other people who already practice meditation and are able to focus their thoughts will find this book to be wonderful, eye-opening, soothing. And maybe one day, after some taming of the hamsters running around in my brain, I'll be one of them. Alas, not at the moment
Lazar offers really good advice on eschewing dialogue tags (avoid like the plague!) in favor of beats, and... that's it! Nice bits on life lessons such as: Enjoy the little things (you know, in case you've never heard that before), but mostly reads excerpts from his own written works.
I must say, I'm glad I'm done with all three volumes. I'm actually prepared and happy to stop procrastinating and do what I was supposed to be doing. Which was starting on my second book.
At the time, it seemed like listening to something about writing would be easier than writing. Happily, I was wrong.
And I will, indeed, take one piece of advice Mr. Lazar suggested: I'll (try to) Write Like the Wind...!
Of all three volumes, Lazar offers precious little actual writing advice here. He does, however, go on and on and on about how he was able to stretch himself and write a steamy romance scene and he reads ALL of it. No, really. ALL of it. I kept fast forwarding it, and it went on and on, with the narrator sounding absolutely delighted. And that was it for the audiobook; nothing else offered that could actually be tucked away into a writer's toolbox for future, or immediate use.
I'm reviewing all three of Lazar's audiobooks together because I procrastinated like hell from doing something by listening to all three volumes one...right...after...the other. It got to be grueling. I usually jack up my listening speed to 1.25, but this narrator plods so dreadfully 1.50 had to do it for me. This Volume, however, of all three volumes, had the very, very important tip that certain words are dead giveaways to editors/agents that a writer's work is amateurish: "just" (I knew that one), "because" (yup, got it), "suddenly" (sure, kiss of death), and... "that" (what?!?). So this volume made me go back to my manuscript and pick through a MULTITUDE of "that"s. I suppose, then, it was good that I was procrastinating.
Other than that, expect a lot of personal anecdotes from Lazar's life and excerpts from his own writing.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go back to editing :(
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