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JoEllen Arnold

Sacramento, CA United States | Member Since 2003

ratings
59
REVIEWS
7
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
7

  • A Bridge to the Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Francis Greenslade
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    On an icy night in Northern Sweden Joel is drawn outside to haunt the streets. He finds the night-time activity of his stolid town mesmerizing in its unexpectedness and variety. But can he deal with the knowledge that he gains about his neighbors, his father, and himself?

    JoEllen Arnold says: "A disappointment"
    "A disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made A Bridge to the Stars better?

    It would have been good if this book had a plot. It meandered around introducing us to the people in the boy's village and spent a lot of time with him kicking himself about mistakes he made. I kept waiting for the plot to begin.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Francis Greenslade?

    I was tempted to listen at double speed--this read is s l o w!


    You didn???t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I'm sorry I bought the sequel before listening to this book--it even has the same awful narrator. Bummer.


    Any additional comments?

    I've listened to some of Henning Mankell's detective novels for adults and liked them. This children's book went nowhere very slowly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Old Filth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jane Gardam
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcom
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (423)
    Performance
    (333)
    Story
    (325)

    FILTH is a lawyer with a practice in the Far East. A few remember that his nickname stands for Failed In London Try Hong Kong. But Old Filth is not as pompous as people imagine, and his past contains many secrets and dark hiding places.

    Michele says: "A Great Read, matched by a Great Reader"
    "The last page of the book is missing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Old Filth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I loved this book and the performance, but I was shocked to see that the last page of the book IS NOT INCLUDED! And it's an important final scene. Makes wonder what other pages have been lost in books which are supposedly "unabridged"


    What did you like best about this story?

    The writing is beautiful and unexpected.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope Audible will re-issue this book in its entirety.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Willow Run

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Patricia Reilly Giff
    • Narrated By Staci Snell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (5)

    Meggie Dillon's life has been turned upside down by World War II. Her older brother Eddie enlisted and was shipped off to fight in Europe. And people say that anywhere else Grandpa would be turned in because he's German, and people might think he's a spy. Is it true? Could Grandpa be taken away?

    JoEllen Arnold says: "Read Richard Peck's On the Wings of Heroes instead"
    "Read Richard Peck's On the Wings of Heroes instead"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a huge fan of Patricia Reilly Giff, but Richard Peck's book, On the Wings of Heroes is very similar in content and so much better. The plot, details, character development, setting are all so much richer and more believable--do yourself a favor and choose that instead--even the narration is superior.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • On the Wings of Heroes

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Richard Peck
    • Narrated By Lincoln Hoppe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    World War II has invaded Davy Bowman's home-front boyhood. There's an air raid drill in the classroom, and being a kid is an endless scrap drive. His brother, Bill, has joined up, breaking their dad's heart. It's an intense, confusing time, and one that will invite Davy to grow up in a hurry.

    JoEllen Arnold says: "Rich Homefront History"
    "Rich Homefront History"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to On the Wings of Heroes the most enjoyable?

    Richard Peck is a masterful storyteller. His "memories" of the tiniest moments are rich with sensual detail. Follow an after dark game of Kick the Can with a dad carrying his small son through the back yards and gardens of the small town and you are there.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The main character explains what life in a small town was like during World War II with his adored older brother off fighting the war. Every character is beautifully drawn and the boy's inner thoughts reflect the difficulties of the time. I really enjoyed the information about rationing and collecting scrap for the war effort, things I'd heard about but not fully grasped until I heard this book.


    Any additional comments?

    I've read other books of this type, but this one is head and shoulders above them in the quality of the writing. The narration was mesmerizing--I felt as though I was sitting on the narrator's lap and he was whispering in my ear.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • She's Come Undone

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Wally Lamb
    • Narrated By Linda Stephens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (312)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (263)

    Meet Dolores Price. She's 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Beached like a whale in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the Mallomars, potato chips, and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally rolls into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she's determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before really going belly-up.

    Jessica says: "Really disappointing narrator!"
    "Awful! Spare yourself the agony. NOTHING good here"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who like to be bored and disgusted by characters who make bad choices again and again.


    Has She's Come Undone turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I don't want to read/hear anything else by this author.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom, agony, frustration at the bang your head against the wall refusal of the main character to understand what she was doing to herself.


    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2324)
    Performance
    (1697)
    Story
    (1695)

    The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another....

    Patrick says: "compelling father-daughter story"
    "Hideous German pronunciation--painful to listen to"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you be willing to try another one of Stephen Hoye???s performances?

    Whoever chose Stephen Hoye to narrate this book should be fired! It should have been read by someone with excellent German pronunciation.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Desolation Island: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (291)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (129)

    Commissioned to rescue Governor Bligh of Bounty fame, Captain Jack Aubrey and his friend, surgeon Stephen Maturin, sail the Leopard to Australia with a hold full of convicts. Among them is a beautiful and dangerous spy and a treacherous disease that decimates the crew. With a Dutch man-of-war to windward, the undermanned, outgunned Leopard sails for her life into the freezing waters of the Antarctic, where, in mountainous seas, the Dutchman closes in.

    Robert A. Boyce says: "Terrific Narration"
    "Buyer, Beware!!!!"
    Overall

    This reading is by Simon Vance, a terrible reader! Do not make the mistake I did! Buy the version read by Patrick Tull!!!!!

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful

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