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Jennifer

Jennifer B.

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2011

26
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 29 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 158 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
1

  • Trains and Lovers

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Robert Ian Mackenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (31)

    In the words of Alexander McCall Smith: "You feel the rocking of the train, you hear the sound of its wheels on the rails; you are in the world rather than suspended somewhere above it. And sometimes there are conversations to be had, which is what the overarching story in this collection is all about. It is a simple device: people brought together entertain one another with tales of what happened to them on trains. It takes place on a journey I frequently make myself and know well, the journey between Edinburgh and London. It is best read on a train, preferably that one."

    Jennifer says: "Nice, but somehow left hanging"
    "Nice, but somehow left hanging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am wondering if Alexander McCall Smith intends to revisit these characters again. Their stories are satisfying and thought-provoking, but one is left wondering what will happen to the characters in the future.

    The stories are supposed to be as told by strangers on a train, yet the narrators have very similar styles. They tell their stories in much too complex a manner, with events from years ago told in great detail, with even the conversations sounding as if they just happened yesterday. In one case, conversations are recounted third hand - the narrator was not even alive at the time, and the person speaking is not her father. Yet, every word was there. I often found myself wondering - is the person actually speaking, or is this supposed to be a flashback?

    Not one of his best, but still, hard to resist.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Night Film: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Jake Weber
    Overall
    (1086)
    Performance
    (962)
    Story
    (980)

    On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive, cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova - a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

    linda says: "Eerie, Relentless, Riveting"
    "75% excellent. Too bad about the other 25%"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's hard to put your finger on where this book goes wrong. It's certainly not the first three quarters, which is exciting, well plotted and with great character development. It's the last quarter, where it all falls apart. I'm not going to give any spoilers, but I can say that there are a lot of details that were set up in the first 75%, which seem to promise more excitement to come, and then are just simply left hanging there. It's like the author got tired of writing this book, and decided to take the easy way out, using a literary trick as an excuse for doing so. I loved the characters, and I feel resentment at the way the author has abandoned them at the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6865)
    Performance
    (6286)
    Story
    (6292)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Absolutely deserving of the hype"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a very long book, but worth every minute of those 32 hours and 24 minutes. Yes, there are a few parts that could have been edited a bit - particularly the stay in the Amsterdam hotel - but the ending is ultimately enriching, satisfying and will stay with you for a long time. It's a nuanced book, with amazing character development, and a keen sense of atmosphere and place. Bravo!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Silver Swan: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Benjamin Black
    • Narrated By Timothy Dalton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (216)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (82)

    Two years have passed since the events of the best-selling Christine Falls, and much has changed for Quirke, the irascible, formerly hard-drinking Dublin pathologist. His beloved Sarah is dead, the judge lies in a convent hospital paralyzed by a devastating stroke, and Phoebe, Quirke's long-denied daughter, has grown increasingly withdrawn and isolated.

    David says: "A great sequel!"
    "Fabulous narration, pretty good story too"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book even more than Christine Falls, but not as much as Elegy for April. Timothy Dalton is fabulous, fabulous, fabulous in bringing the characters to life. I can't imagine a better narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (5535)
    Performance
    (5031)
    Story
    (5043)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Can't wait for the next book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fully-realized novel, bursting with great characters who you can't wait to meet again. The other reviewers have described the story, and it's a great one. Fabulous layers of depth in the characters, diverse and real. Highly, highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Neighbor: A Detective D. D. Warren Novel

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lisa Gardner
    • Narrated By Emily Janice Card, Kirby Heyborne, Kirsten Potter
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    was a case guaranteed to spark a media feeding frenzy: a young mother, blond and pretty, disappears without a trace from her South Boston home, leaving behind her four-year-old daughter as the only witness and her handsome, secretive husband as the prime suspect. But from the moment Detective Sergeant D. D. Warren arrives at the Joneses - a snug little bungalow, she senses something off about the picture of wholesome normality the couple worked so hard to create.

    Lynne says: "A page turner"
    "Very absorbing, but ultimately implausible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the different narrators in this book. The characters were well realized. It's very addictive to listen to, but the ending is implausible. I don't want to say more, for fear of spoiling it, but I did feel that the author was really stretching to find a surprise ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ordinary Grace

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By Rich Orlow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (350)
    Performance
    (319)
    Story
    (316)

    Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.

    Ronna says: "best book to come along this year!!"
    "Almost perfect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book that makes you want to write one of your own, based on your childhood memories. But you could never do as well as William Kent Kreuger has done here. I was completely immersed in the Minnesota landscape, I could feel the heat and the worry, and the darkness. It's not often that I cry while listening to an audio book, but I cried many times while listening to the extraordinary work.

    The only nit I would pick is that it becomes almost unbelievable that the young hero is always present (through eavesdropping, or overhearing, or circumstance) in all of the key plot developments.

    Go ahead, and buy this one. It's almost perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Golden Egg: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery, Book 22

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Donna Leon
    • Narrated By David Rintoul
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (87)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (78)

    In The Golden Egg, as the first leaves of autumn begin to fall, Vice Questore Patta asks Brunetti to look into a minor violation committed by the mayor’s future daughter-in-law. Brunetti has no interest in helping his boss amass political favors, but he has little choice but to comply. Then Brunetti’s wife, Paola, comes to him with a request of her own. The mentally handicapped man who worked at their dry cleaners has just died of a sleeping pill overdose, and Paola loathes the idea that he lived and died without anyone noticing him, or helping him.

    PhilR says: "A British Brunetti"
    "Another welcome novel from Donna Leon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a good read/listen, with lots of interesting characters, and a subtle, engaging story. I don't want to say much more, for fear of spoiling the plot, but there are the complexities that we have come to expect from Donna Leon.

    Donna Leon is a highly visual writer. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the artwork.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Touch & Go: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Lisa Gardner
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2076)
    Performance
    (1746)
    Story
    (1757)

    Justin and Libby Denbe have the kind of life you’d find in the pages of a glossy magazine: A beautiful 14-year-old daughter. A gorgeous brownstone on a tree-lined street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. A great marriage, admired by all. A perfect life. When investigator Tessa Leone arrives at the crime scene in the foyer of the Denbes’ home, she finds scuff marks on the floor and a million tiny pieces of bright green Taser confetti. The family appears to have been abducted.

    lisa says: "Wait for it to go on clearance!"
    "Perfect summer time fare"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my first Lisa Gardner novel, and it won't be my last. While the plot has some inconsistencies, and I guessed the final twist, the entire venture is well done. The story has a heart-pounding kidnapping as the opening event, with sympathetic protagonists, and good character development. I have to say that the performance is a bit dragged out, with too much "fake" Boston accents to be entirely enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Dangerous Thing: An Adrien English Mystery, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Josh Lanyon
    • Narrated By Chris Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (161)

    Suffering from writer's block and frustrated with his tentative relationship with hot but closeted LAPD Homicide Detective Jake Riordan, gay bookseller and mystery writer Adrien English travels to northern California where he finds a body in his front drive. By the time the sheriffs arrive the body has disappeared, and Adrien once again finds himself playing amateur sleuth. But when the game turns deadly, Adrien turns to Jake. Jake may be confused about some things, but keeping his lover alive is not one of them - no matter what the cost.

    Paul Luthi says: "A Seamless Transition from the First Book"
    "Story good, yet beware of the prurient interest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a well-plotted story. It moves along in a contrived, written for the movies pace. The mind of the author is inventive, and the scenes it describes are full, and complete. The reader/listener feels part of the plot.

    But perhaps I can complain about the explicit nature of some descriptions. I felt, while listening, that I was meant to enjoy this, and to feel more connected with the characters as a result, but I only felt that the author was pushing this too far, and that it was too much information,and put into the book as a hook for shock value.

    Some subtlety would be welcome here. I love the characters, and would want to hear more from them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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