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Lisa

Member Since 2002

73
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 21 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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9

  • The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel of North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Adam Johnson
    • Narrated By Tim Kang, Josiah D. Lee, James Kyson Lee, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (906)
    Performance
    (786)
    Story
    (791)

    Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother - a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang - and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.

    Lisa says: "The most compelling listen I've ever owned"
    "The most compelling listen I've ever owned"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been an Audible subscriber since the beginning (1999). There are over 500 books in my library. This is the most compelling story I have ever heard. I seriously couldn't turn it off.

    To say it is the journey of one man through the "Looking Glass" that is the People's Democratic Republic of Korea, doesn't do it justice. Johnson draws characters that make you feel the oppression of life under that regime. He's obviously done serious study of the North Korean people and culture. The people of this book will live in my thoughts for a long time.

    And Johnson addresses this tale with a light touch. It's not maudlin or morose. But it is haunting.

    The performances by the readers is equal to this work. The producers uses a very interesting switch at a critical point in this story that brings everything into focus. No spoiler - you'll know it when it happens. But the production makes this recording nothing short of brilliant.

    Don't bother to hold the voting this year. I can tell you who wins the Audie.

    36 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5)

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Minnie Goode
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (921)
    Performance
    (846)
    Story
    (844)

    This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.

    Think about this says: "I was consumed by this story!"
    "Is this a "YA" book?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my first Hugh Howey novel - and it is an interesting idea. Not an original idea, but an interesting idea. There is no way to briefly describe the plot without spoilers. But then again, if you've read any dystopian sci-fi, the plot "twists" will not seem, well, twisty.

    But I can see a germ of an interesting premise here. Unfortunately it's buried under a dreadful narration. The central character is in her mid-thirties, and the voice is that of a 12 year old. In places she actually giggles. I don't believe this is meant to be a "Young Adult" novel - but its definitely read that way.

    I just can't recommend this version. Maybe I'll try another in the series in print format.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Talulla Rising

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Glen Duncan
    • Narrated By Penelope Rawlins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    The woman is Talulla Demetriou. She's grieving for her werewolf lover, Jake, whose violent death has left her alone with her own sublime monstrousness. On the run, pursued by the hunters of WOCOP (World Organisation for the Control of Occult Phenomena), she must find a place to give birth to Jake's child in secret. The birth, under a full moon at a remote Alaska lodge, leaves Talulla ravaged, but with her infant son in her arms she believes the worst is over - until the windows crash in, and she discovers that the worst has only just begun.

    ZenMuppet says: "Worst. Narration. Ever."
    "Oh I'm So Disappointed!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really (pause) really (pause) wanted to like this book. I absolutely adored "The Last Werewolf". Everything I loved in that book is absent in this one. The tale is told from the perspective of an oversexed, barely adult narrator. She whines about pretty much everything. She is annoyingly introspective, without much experience to look back on.

    I didn't much enjoy Penelope Rawlins performance - though I don't think the author gave her much to work with. There is nothing like the lyrical prose of the first book. I trudged on to the end of this work, hoping against hope that something interesting would emerge. Alas, I did not uncover any gems.

    This, my friends, is a dud.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3696)
    Performance
    (3218)
    Story
    (3190)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Amanda says: "WOW, WOW, WOW."
    "Not a bad story...desperately needed an editor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not averse to listening to long books. I have made it through both "War and Peace" and "Atlas Shrugged". In the hands of good narrators even the longest books are a pleasure.

    This, however, is only a fair story. And a pretty common one as science fiction goes. There's a mystery that ties together a couple of main characters. Their stories run parallel for a while then the stories intersect. In some places I could see the next scene coming a mile away. But all in all, it's not a bad story. A good editor would have made this a great story and cut down at least 30% of the text.

    But the narrators really spoiled this for me. For some reason, the female character's tale is told at an excruciatingly slow pace. At times I sped this up to double speed, something I have never done, in an effort to move things along. Even at double speed I wanted to reach into the recording and shake this narrator and scream, "All right already, get on with it!" The male readers are almost as bad. Seriously...where was the production director on this one?

    Can't recommend this audio. Get the print edition and skip liberally through this tale.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Sisters Brothers: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Patrick deWitt
    • Narrated By John Pruden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (341)
    Performance
    (292)
    Story
    (291)

    Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn't share his brother's appetite for whiskey and killing, he's never known anything else. But their prey isn't an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm's gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living - and whom he does it for. With The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt pays homage to the classic Western....

    Darwin8u says: "Beautiful, Absurd & Melancholic Frontier Noir."
    "If you liked "True Grit"..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    And I mean the book, "True Grit", you will find much to like in this story. I don't, as a rule, read in this genre. But the folks at "Books on the Nightstand" recommended this, so I listened.

    First of all, the language is wonderful! Again, if you've read the book "True Grit", or watched the Coen brothers version of that tale, you will find pleasant similarity. However, this book is not for children. Sensitive adolescents may find the violence too much.

    The reader is amazing! He reads each character with real style.

    The story is a bit predictable. But its a western! All happens as is should, with just a few twists to keep things moving along.

    I'm glad I found this little gem of an audiobook. I smiled all the way through, and I'll bet you will too.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Sparrow

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Mary Doria Russell
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (489)
    Performance
    (315)
    Story
    (320)

    Emilio Sandoz is a remarkable man, a living saint and Jesuit priest who undergoes an experience so harrowing and profound that it makes him question the existence of God. This experience - the first contact between human beings and intelligent extraterrestrial life - begins with a small mistake and ends in a horrible catastrophe.

    Yvette says: "Far fetched book but good summer listen."
    "Brilliant First Contact Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Like many tales of disaster, this one is a series of reasonable decisions."

    When Star Trek does first contact, it always seems to go reasonably well. Despite language barriers, cultural barriers, and physical barriers, communication and understanding are generally achieved.

    In this story, all the ingredients for successful first contact seem to be in place: we understand the language, we have cultural elements in common, and both cultures desperately want to communicate. So, what went so horribly wrong?

    This is a story told out of time. Be patient. You must walk a mile in these people's shoes in order to truly understand. Oh, and you MUST get the sequel (Children of God) to get to the whole story. It will be well worth the time.

    When people who don't generally read science fiction ask me for a "literary" science fiction book, this is where I send them. The writing is intense. The characters are beautifully drawn and deep. The issues examined will haunt you. I wish it wasn't in the Sci-Fi genre because then more people would know this amazing work.

    I am SO happy to see this available on Audible. For the usual reasons releated to copywrite, this brilliant tale has been on and off the Audible menu. This is an older work, so the audio quality is not up to more modern standards. But the performance is amazing. And it's here now, so I strongly suggest you get this and "Children of God" right away before they vanish again.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8862)
    Performance
    (8243)
    Story
    (8241)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "The Revenge of the Nerds!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel is a fun romp through 80s pop culture. (If you get every reference made, you win tons of "geek points!) The plot involves the ultimate video game, and the prize is a multi-bizzillion dollar gaming empire. The protagonists are likable young heroes. The plot clips along with lots of fun, twists, and turns. It's not going to win a Pulitzer, but it's a fun listen. And you can share this one with a bright young person above the age of 10. It might even spark some fun conversations!

    What makes it a fun listen is Wil Wheaton. He works well with this material, and his performance enhances the writing and the plot. He's become a very accomplished narrator for audiobooks. This one is a perfect match of reader and author - a fine match indeed.

    Have fun!

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Werewolf

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Glen Duncan
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (422)
    Performance
    (343)
    Story
    (345)

    Meet Jake. A bit on the elderly side (he turns 201 in March), but otherwise in the pink of health. The nonstop sex and exercise he’s still getting probably contribute to that, as does his diet: unusual amounts of flesh and blood (at least some from friends and relatives). Jake, of course, is a werewolf, and with the death of his colleague he has now become the only one of his kind.

    Squeak says: "Grizzly, just like a werewolf book should be!"
    "Finally! A horror novel for adults!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ever since the rise of the Harry Potter books, the fantasy genre has been overrun by "Young Adult" books. Personally, I am sick to death of angst ridden teenagers, coming of age, and rising hero stories. Really. I'm a grown-up. No matter how popular the book is, if the main character is under legal drinking age, I'm probably not interested.

    So when "Books on the Nightstand" featured this book, I couldn't wait for Audible to get it. Glen Duncan is an amazing writer. This is a book about growing old, finding love and a reason to live, and the pain of loss. There is mystery and intrigue, betrayal and alliance. Oh, and there are werewolves, vampires and lots and lots of sex.

    Robin Sachs blends his beautiful voice and lovely accent with Duncan's amazing prose. It's a wonderful piece.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Story: The Dresden Files, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By John Glover
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4867)
    Performance
    (4084)
    Story
    (4083)

    When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn't doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin. But being dead doesn't stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has nobody, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own. To save his friends - and his own soul - Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic....

    Bill says: "Not the best audio book in the series"
    "Yippee! Dresden's back.."
    Overall

    Enough already with the panic over James Marster's absence from this installment. It took a while to get used to hearing Harry with a New York accent - but I DID get used to it. John Glover does a fine job with Jim Butcher's words. After all, Harry's a ghost now - many things are different.

    Like most Dresden novels, this one is a good story with many fun twists - and to say more would spoil the plot. You won't believe which character emerges as the "strong one". It's unexpected - and fun!

    Jim Butcher wrote himself into a corner with "Changes", and for the most part he's gotten himself out without cheating ("then he woke up and found out it was all a dream..."). And Butcher has left me wanting to know more about what happens in this universe to all these people - not just Harry Dresden. This is the mark of a good sci-fi writer. It's taken Butcher 13 stories to get here, but patience has paid off. Harry has learned a lot over this time, and Butcher has too.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Agent to the Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2805)
    Performance
    (2395)
    Story
    (2398)

    The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: They're hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish. So getting humanity's trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal. Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents.

    C. Paget says: "excellent"
    "A Brilliant Pairing"
    Overall

    The best part of the Audible Frontiers project is that the editors know what makes a great listen. This is not John Scalzi's finest novel - but it's made infinitely better by a pairing with the best possible performer for this work - Wil Wheaton.

    Other reviewers are correct - this is just plain fun. But it's also an interesting attempt at commentary on American entertainment culture. I point that out because sometimes folks need an "excuse" to spend a credit. But never mind that - this story is a hoot and this is a great listen.

    Fun characters, interesting premise, satisfying conclusion. I consumed it over a weekend, and will likely listen again. I like these people. You will too.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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