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Christel

Pasadena, CA, USA

26
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 5 ratings
  • 152 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Tim Robbins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1430)
    Performance
    (842)
    Story
    (847)

    The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald's portrait of the Jazz Age in all its decadence and excess, is, as editor Maxwell Perkins praised it in 1924, "a wonder". It remains one of the most widely read, translated, admired, imitated, and studied 20th-century works of American fiction.

    Redhawk Readers says: "Something you won't fall asleep to..."
    "Listening to It Allows Even Greater Appreciation!"
    Overall

    As an English major, I had read Gatsby many times, both in undergraduate and graduate work. I THOUGHT I was downloading this for a nostalgic easy listen - and instead, by hearing the words read by Tim Robbins, I had a chance to experience the flow and poetry of the words in a different way (maybe because I wasn't busily highlighting sections to write a paper about the Death of the American Dream). The words that come to my mind are gorgeous, lyrical -- it is hard to describe how such fanciful language can explain a whole narrative incident or a character with such surgical clarity. Just listen to the descriptions of characters who wander in for cameo roles, never to be seen again, and yet note how they are as vividly drawn as the main characters - a man selling dogs to poor, gullible Myrtle, the three black occupants of a limo who laugh at Tom and Nick's amazement, etc. Near the end, Nick comments that this has been a story of the West - and yet so clearly it is a story of the expansion of this country and how we, as a people, have been as careles as Daisy and Tom in breaking anything that gets in the way of ours heart's desire, whether good or bad. Can't recommend highly enough!

    20 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Special Topics in Calamity Physics

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (544)
    Performance
    (184)
    Story
    (188)

    This is a darkly hilarious coming-of-age novel and a richly plotted suspense tale told through the distinctive voice of its heroine, Blue van Meer. After a childhood spent moving from one academic outpost to another with her father, Blue is clever and possessed of a vast lexicon of knowledge. But when a drowning and the shocking death of a teacher lead to a confluence of mysteries, Blue is left to make sense of it all with only her gimlet-eyed instincts and cultural references to guide - or misguide - her.

    Jeanie says: "Over 21 Hours of Bliss..."
    "Memorable and Impressive!"
    Overall

    This is strange, sprawling, and entirely wonderful book, unlike anything I have ever read. Teenage narrator Blue Van Meer begins speaking in a voice so clear and distinctive that for the first hour it's like having someone sit next to you on a bus bench and begin blurting out the most personal details of their life. Don't let the rambling beginning throw you -- you are about to be taken on a meticulouly crafted story of a high school senior in a new school who suddenty and inexplicably finds herself pulled into a popular and snobbish group who are the "teacher's pets" of a glamorous and mysterious film teacher. As the social mores of high school are recalled in painfully focused clarity, a murder mystery abnd the moral dilemma of a lifetime devolve. Long and dense, but you won't be sorry.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • By Order of the President

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By W. E. B. Griffin
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    Over the years, W.E.B. Griffin's stories of the military and police, told with crackling realism and rich characters, have won him millions of fans and acclaim as "the dean of the American war adventure" (Publishers Weekly). Now he vaults into the present day with a series as exciting as anything he has ever written.

    Meyer says: "Great Griffin!!"
    "There Should Be Minus Stars for This One!"
    Overall

    "Simple declarative sentence," he said. "Trite response," he said. "Barking orders," he said. Military acronyms, acronyms, acronyms. I am a big fan of books in this genre, but how I wish I hadn't wasted a credit on this one! I couldn't make it past the first hour. Slumping, limping careworn plot. To make it worse, the narrator has one of those 40s-style radio voices better suited for cornflakes commercials than fiction. I could say more, but I've already spent enough time on this sorry piece of fiction.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The House at Riverton Part 2

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    Overall
    (356)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Summer 1924: On the eve of a glittering Society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again....Winter 1999: Grace Bradley, 98, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken, and memories, long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind, begin to sneak back through the cracks.

    Virginia says: "Hurry before price goes up!"
    "Gorgeously written!"
    Overall

    It's as if Upstairs, Downstairs - Jane Eyre - The Great Gatsby - The Blind Assassin - and Atonement were all combined. If you love fin de siecle novels set in England, this is the one for you. The narrator has a pleasing English accent - my commute was much brightened by this find. BTW, for some reason, the CDs for this on Amazon are priced at well over $100, so apparently the download is a good value too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Crisis

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Robin Cook
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (338)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (61)

    When Dr. Craig Bowman is served with a summons for medical malpractice, he's shocked, enraged, and more than a little humiliated. A devoted physician who works continuously in the service of others, he endured grueling years of training and is now a partner in an exclusive concierge medical practice. No longer forced to see more and more patients while spending less and less time with each one just to keep his office door open, he now provides the kind of medical care he is trained to do.

    Linda says: "I should have read the reviews"
    "Don't listen to reader while driving!"
    Overall

    I am only about 2 hours into this book, and the reader has worn out his welcome! Slow, droning delivery such as one might expect in a commercial for cereal with extra fiber. The various characters are read so amateurishly -- added to the typical Cook adjective overkill, it's enough to make you crazy. Having paid for this thing, I will try to persevere, but I really meant the title -- usually my Audible keeps me aware and happy during my commute -- tonight I ended up actually turning the damn book off. Caveat emptor!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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