You no longer follow Erica Manfred

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Erica Manfred

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Erica Manfred

West Hurley, New York USA | Member Since 2009

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 42 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0

  • American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production)

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris, Daniel Oreskes, Ron McLarty, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4390)
    Performance
    (3919)
    Story
    (3941)

    First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this 10th anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author's preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.

    Michael says: "New to Neil"
    "This book goes on forever--and has no plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production)? What did you like least?

    The cast was great. I enjoyed the different voices. Also the folklore and other stories that were not part of the main narrative were mostly a lot of fun.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something with a plot


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I would never have gotten through this book on paper. it had no plot, no suspense, no reason to keep reading. The narration was the most fun part.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    probably not


    Any additional comments?

    Neil Gaiman is the most self indulgent writer I have ever read. He is a master of description and wonderful at inventing characters and settings but has no interest in plotting. The only reason I kept listening to this was the narration,which is terrific, and the fact that I could pick it up anytime and it wouldn't matter if I remembered what happened. It's so episodic you never lose track. When I listen to something suspenseful it's hard to stop listening. This book was easy to turn off.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Signature of All Things: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (928)
    Performance
    (850)
    Story
    (857)

    In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker - a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia.

    Dina says: "An Educational and Epic Oddity"
    "Great writing, loved characters, plot fell apart"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Signature of All Things rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best written for sure. Her writing is glorious. The evocation of the time and the botanical research was fascinating. I enjoyed it tremendously. Alma was a fascinating character and I loved all the details about botany about which I know nothing.


    What could Elizabeth Gilbert have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Tightened the plotting. It really falls apart after the death of Henry Whittaker when Alma leaves for Tahiti to discover the "truth" about Ambrose. I really had no idea why she went, why she needed to find out what happened to Ambrose, and when she got there and found out the "truth" it was still unclear what the hell really happened to him and why. It was very murky and inadequately explained. The plot had gaping holes. Also, the ending was contrived.

    I did love all the details about life in Tahiti at that time and Roger the dog was the most charming character in that part of the book.


    What about Juliet Stevenson’s performance did you like?

    Her reading was delightful and dramatic and brought the book to life. Her English and Dutch accents were charming. However her American accent was jarring. She couldn't get the American "r" right. I kept wishing she would have just given the American characters British accents and stopped making them sound like they'd taken bad elocution lessons.


    Any additional comments?

    I found Gilbert's portrayal of Alma's sexual attractiveness almost anti-feminist. Gilbert seemed to "buy" the explanation that because Alma was big and homely no man would want her even though her mother was big and homely and attracted her father who was no slouch (which she actually indicated she knew) So why was Alma, despite her simmering sexuality, not of sexual interest to any man. Chances are she would have had lots of suitors, she was going to be one of the richest heiresses in Philadelphia after all. I felt that Gilbert herself couldn't see men being attracted to someone who looked like Alma.

    Gilbert didn't seem to really "get" the sexual magnetism of Ambrose. From "Eat,Pray, Love" I gather that wispy-type men don't appeal to her so she really didn't understand why others were obsessed with him.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Charlotte Simmons

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (685)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (156)

    Dupont University: the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America's youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition....Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina, who has come here on full scholarship. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the upper-crust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.

    Eric says: "Decadence through the eyes of a ?good girl?"
    "You have to be in college to love it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about I Am Charlotte Simmons? What did you like least?

    I liked some of the descriptions of the background and events, like Charlotte's home (who knew anyone lived like that) and the dinner at the Sizzling Steakhouse (or whatever it was called). That was a hoot. The class differences between Charlotte and her roomate were spot on. But I was totally disinterested in the college setting, and the characters all seemed one dimensional and boring. Charlotte did not ring true. I don't think the author had a real handle on her--he doesn't understand women. Since the other characters seemed like stereotypes the book got boring quick. Plus I have no interest in football--college or otherwise. I gave up after Chapter 6 or so.


    What was most disappointing about Tom Wolfe’s story?

    The characters. None were the least bit interesting.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The Sizzling Steakhouse scene. Satirical gold.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Probably not.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't bother unless you are in college or went to college in the 90s. In that case you might love this book. I loved Bonfire of the Vanities, but then I worked in the Juvenile Justice system in the Bronx at the time so I knew whereof he wrote. I think unless have some interest in Wolfe's subjects his books fall flat--wish I'd got the book about Miami. But i don't want to waste another credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of Night

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5597)
    Performance
    (5018)
    Story
    (5010)

    Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches' cliff-hanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew's old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens. Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries.

    Hallie says: "Even better than A Discovery of Witches"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was really looking forward to this sequel to Discovery of Witches but it was really a slog to listen to it all. I often forgot who new characters were but it didn't seem to matter. Nothing much ever happened. Like many series authors Harkness succumbed to the temptation to just write and write without paying attention to building suspense or plot. She throws in historical characters for no rhyme or reason. Basically this book just rambles on with no compelling drama. People have compared Harkness to Diana Gabaldon, but at least Gabaldon puts her characters in jeapordy and creates suspense. There is only one mildly suspenseful scene in this book, but if you have a witch who basically can cast a spell to do anything it's pretty hard to endanger her. On the upside Harkness is a historian and some of the historical detail is fun. She doesn't really explain the time travel paradoxes satisfactorily and I was left wondering why Matthew didn't warn his father in the 1500s about the Nazis who eventually killed him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15698)
    Performance
    (13925)
    Story
    (13959)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Fabulous book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm only halfway through this book and it's so riveting I can't stop listening to it even when i don't want to. The writing is superb, her insight into people is incredible, it's by far the most absorbing audiobook I've listened to since Game of Thrones. I don't want it to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadows on the Hudson, Volume 1 (Unabridged)

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Isaac Bashevis Singer
    • Narrated By Theodore Bikel, Julie Harris, John Rubinstein
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    The late Nobelist's masterpiece takes a candid look into the lives of Holocaust survivors during the late 40s. Set in New York City, Shadows on the Hudson, Volume 1, the first in a four volume audiobook series, draws us into the intertwined lives of a circles of prosperous Jewish refugees.

    Erica Manfred says: "Masterpiece but ripoff by publisher--4 credits????"
    "Masterpiece but ripoff by publisher--4 credits????"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're a Singer fan you will love this book, and the performances by these great actors truly bring it to life. At first I didn't like the idea of 3 narrators because it was distracting, but I quickly got used to it. The opportunity to listen to a Singer book I hadn't read, narrated by three great actors, two of whom are favorites (Bikel and Harris though Rubinstein is fabulous as well) is why I sprung 4 credits for this ONE book that the publisher greedily split into four volumes, although it's a terrible ripoff. I actually contacted Phoenix Audio, the publisher, months ago, and was told they are reviewing their audiobook policies but they haven't done a thing about it. Audible was kind enough to refund me 2 credits on this. I just had to hear it and wasn't sorry -- I loved it. I tried reading part of it to save a credit, but it's tough going--the theme of how to be a Jew after the Holocaust is pretty depressing--but the narrators make all the difference.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11461)
    Performance
    (9969)
    Story
    (10006)

    Dubbed the American Tolkien by Time magazine, George R. R. Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the number-one New York Times best-selling author delivers the fifth book in his spellbinding landmark series - as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.

    Ryan says: "Enjoyable, but a lot of setup"
    "GRRM and Roy Dotrice are tired of this series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm slogging through this audiobook, mourning the fun I had with the first three books. As everyone has mentioned Roy Dotrice forgot the voices of the female characters and made them all sound the same. He also sounds tired of narrating the series in the first place. I suspect he turned down A Feast For Crows because he was sick of it, but they must have paid him extra to come back for this book because there were so many complaints. He got his revenge by doing a bad job

    Martin forgot the plot he was developing and went off into the never never land of gruesome violence including auto-cannibalism (geez, who ever heard of eating your own fingers), lengthy, boring, travel and battle plans ( we can cut them off at the Twins) and confusing new characters. Its as if he felt that if he was sufficiently shocking readers wouldn't notice that he'd dropped the plot ball.

    Anyway both Dotrice and Martin are no spring chickens and I'd be surprised if there is another book. Martin's characters will probably outlive him. If there is another book why not try a different, but equally talented narrator. How about a woman? Davina Porter who narrates Diana Gabaldon's books is incredible and does both male and female characters believably in all kinds of Irish, Scottish, English, Gaelic accents. She would be fabulous.

    Anyway, I truly hope that Martin gets back on the horse (or garan) and stops lopping off heads and putting them on spikes in the next book. Someone should do a count of how many heads wound up on spikes in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.