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D. Evans

Central New Jersey | Member Since 2008

25
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 152 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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  • Ulysses

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By James Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Norton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (635)
    Performance
    (369)
    Story
    (357)

    Ulysses is regarded by many as the single most important novel of the 20th century. It tells the story of one day in Dublin, June 16th 1904, largely through the eyes of Stephen Dedalus (Joyce's alter ego from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman. Both begin a normal day, and both set off on a journey around the streets of Dublin, which eventually brings them into contact with one another.

    Peter says: "Ulysses (Unabridged)"
    "Tried twice to listen, but can't get through it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I took a look through all the existing reviews and find it interesting that most of the reviewers are male, and those men have given the story 5 stars. The few women who reviewed it gave it considerably less than 5 stars.

    I am one of those women. I love classics and really wanted to get through this book. I tried twice to listen to the story, and both times I got through about an hour and a half and gave up.

    The narrator does a decent job. His inflection is good and most of the time I can understand the Irish. However, I have to listen using ear phones because Mr. Norton sometimes yells and sometimes whispers.

    I have this book in print and I'm going to try reading it that way, instead of listening to it. When listening, I can't seem to follow the flow of the story -- what are the thoughts and what are the conversations between the characters. Maybe reading the book will help.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Sister Carrie

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Theodore Dreiser
    • Narrated By Jim Killavey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Theodore Dreiser's first and perhaps greatest novel appeared in 1900. The story is about a young country girl who moves to the big city, where she starts realizing her own American Dream by embarking on a life of sin rather than by hard work and perseverance. On publication, it met with outraged disapproval and was immediately withdrawn as "too shocking and sordid for polite readers".

    Bill says: "I Loved this! Could not wait each time I listened"
    "Simply not a good narration of Sister Carrie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listened to Sister Carrier once, when I first purchased it, and didn't care much for the narrator. At that time, I hadn't had much experience with Audible books, so I didn't have much to compare it to. Now I've been listening for years; and I've heard some WONDERFUL narrations.
    This book was chosen by our book club as our classic for this year, so I tried to listen to the book again and simply could not take listening to it again.
    The cadence of the speech, the voice, everything, just isn't good.
    The story isn't a happy one, and it really shows you the customs and value of women (or lack thereof) for the late 1800s/early 1900s.
    If you really want to read this book, find another version, or get a printed copy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Edge of Always

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By J. A. Redmerski
    • Narrated By Daniel May, Leslie Bellair
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (116)

    Camryn Bennett has never been happier. Five months after meeting on a Greyhound bus, she and her soul mate Andrew Parrish are engaged - and a wedding isn't the only special event in their future. Nervous but excited, Camryn can't wait to begin the rest of her life with Andrew, a man she knows in her heart will love her always. They have so much to look forward to - until tragedy blindsides them.

    Jordy says: "5 EXTREMELY SWEET AND INSANELY SEXY HEARTS!"
    "why the different narrators? Disappointing!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was excited for this audiobook to come out. I LOVED the first story and couldn't wait to hear this sequel.

    I have to ask the publisher -- was the narrator of the first book not available to complete this one? That's the only reason I can think of that you wouldn't have the same person narrate both books.

    I grew to accept Lauren Fortgang as the voice of Camryn and Andrew, and I expected to hear her continue the story in this new book.

    I am SO disappointed that she didn't narrate this book. It changed the whole experience.
    These narrators are ok. But they aren't the voices I expect to hear.

    Bottom line, the story is good, but the overall experience was ruined for me because of the change in narrators. Overall -- disappointed.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Longest Ride

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Nicholas Sparks
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, January LaVoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1007)
    Performance
    (890)
    Story
    (901)

    91 year-old Ira Levinson is kept concious after a car wreck by visions of his late wife, Ruth, who recounts stories of their lifetime together. A few miles away, at a local rodeo, Sophia Danko, a senior at Wake Forest, meets a young cowboy named Luke. Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

    Hendie says: "I Understand!"
    "How about a sequel, Mr. Sparks!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my first Nicholas Sparks book. It won't be my last. I can only hope the next is as good as this story. I just finished listening, and wish there was more! I'd love a sequel to learn more about Sophia and Luke and their life together.

    What can I say? The narrators were excellent. I like that they had a male and female voice instead of just one person reading the whole book.

    While I listened, I found myself laughing, getting scared, getting teary-eyed. It was a love story, true, but it wasn't predictable. I always find myself trying to figure things out -- how everything will connect, and usually I'm pretty good at it. I figured everything would connect, and it did but not how I expected.

    While I loved Ira's story, I still couldn't wait to get back to Sophia and Luke's story, I guess because Ira's story was ending and Luke and Sophia were just beginning.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Edge of Never

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By J. A. Redmerski
    • Narrated By Lauren Fortgang
    Overall
    (472)
    Performance
    (431)
    Story
    (434)

    Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett thought she knew exactly where her life was going. But after a wild night at the hottest club in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, she shocks everyone - including herself - when she decides to leave the only life she's ever known and set out on her own. Grabbing her purse and her cell phone, Camryn boards a Greyhound bus ready to find herself. Instead, she finds Andrew Parrish.

    Lori says: "I couldn't finish it"
    "thoroughly enjoyed this story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wasn't sure what to expect when i stsrted listening but I got very invested in Camryn and Andrew's story. I'he been reading several romances lately and there is definitely a formula - the girl is ready to have crazy sex with no strings and the guy wants to please the girl before he takes anything for himself. And this story isn't really different in that sense. But I found I liked these people and I cared about them. I am looking forward to listening to the continued story - "the edge of always".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bel Ami

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Guy de Maupassant
    • Narrated By John McDonough
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (37)

    Guy de Maupassant is revered for his naturalistic fiction, which brilliantly captures flesh-and-blood characters as it evokes the most telling details of everyday life. Considered one of the finest French novels ever written, Bel Ami follows journalist Georges Duroy and his increasing stature among the Paris elite. With an immense thirst for power, Georges is not above an almost gleeful use of wealthy mistresses to achieve his ends.

    Neil Chisholm says: "Bel Ami or how to socially climb in 1885 Paris"
    "Scary to think people like Bel Ami actually exist!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened and listened and kept hoping one of the characters -- any of the characters -- would give Georges Duroy a good thrashing!

    If this story is any indication, Guy de Maupassant doesn't have a good opinion of women. Is there nothing he can do that would make them dump him?! Only one woman in this story had any self-respect, and even she gave in to him!

    In any case, while this was written in 1885, I could see the exact same story being written about people today.

    And that is scary!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2908)
    Performance
    (2588)
    Story
    (2590)

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    "Picked on a whim and thoroughly enjoyed!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know what made me select this story to listen to -- perhaps it was because it was narrated by Jim Broadbent. In any case, this was a good listen!

    Jim Broadbent's voice gave just the right amount of feeling to Harold's voice. This book was similar to a Faulkner work, in that the more you listened, the more you "peeled the onion" and learned what happened to cause the "Pilgrimage".

    The story wasn't one that you could say, "I've read/listened to something similar before." It was very unusual, and gave an excellent view of our current culture of celebrity.

    It seemed an incredible premise -- leaving the house to mail a letter to a friend, and instead starting to walk over 300 miles to see that friend. But the issues Harold dealt while walking were what we'd expect. And it was interesting to hear his voice and thoughts go through changes as the miles passed.

    The characters in this story were so well written. I could see the viewpoint of Harold, and that of his wife. I really felt for Harold throughout the story. I wanted him to succeed -- but I didn't want the story to end!

    I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Travels with Charley in Search of America

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Gary Sinise
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (286)
    Performance
    (247)
    Story
    (250)

    In September 1960, John Steinbeck and his poodle, Charley, embarked on a journey across America, from small towns to growing cities to glorious wilderness oases. Travels with Charley is animated by Steinbeck’s attention to the specific details of the natural world and his sense of how the lives of people are intimately connected to the rhythms of nature—to weather, geography, the cycles of the seasons. His keen ear for the transactions among people is evident, too, as he records the interests and obsessions that preoccupy the Americans he encounters along the way.

    Suzn F says: "On the Road Adventure"
    "An enjoyable listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an interesting story. I read that there is controversy over whether or not he really went "on the road" and met all the characters he described in the book. But I thought he did a good job describing America of the 1960's.

    I loved when he talked about his poodle, Charley. I thought those parts were highlights!

    Gary Sinise gave an excellent performance. I'd listen to other books he narrates, if there are any!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Absalom, Absalom!

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By William Faulkner
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (196)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (122)

    Absalom, Absalom! tells the story of Thomas Sutpen, the enigmatic stranger who came to Jefferson township in the early 1830s. With a French architect and a band of wild Haitians, he wrung a fabulous plantation out of the muddy bottoms of the north Mississippi wilderness.

    pilot says: "A long, enjoyable listen"
    "Not for the faint of heart"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love classics. I've said that before. This is my third Faulkner. I listened to "The Sound and the Fury" and "Light in August" and now, "Absalom, Absalom!".

    Faulkner is difficult, but I was able to follow each of the first two stories without a lot of difficulty.

    But Absalom, Absalom! was a disappointment.

    I didn't like the narrator at all. He didn't create a different voice for each character and it was hard to keep track of who was speaking. I read on the web that he has a beautiful reading voice -- but I was just irritated. I was frustrated through the entire first half of the story. When I got to the second half of the story, which was being told by the younger generation, I started to figure out what was going on.

    There was enough of a story to make me want to listen to the entire recording -- I didn't give up on it. But I actually listened at 1.5 just to get it over with. Maybe some day I'll see if there is another narrator available and listen again -- or maybe I'll try actually reading it!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Dog's Purpose: A Novel for Humans

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By W. Bruce Cameron
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2073)
    Performance
    (1376)
    Story
    (1378)

    After a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey is surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden-haired puppy. Bailey's search for his new life's meaning leads him into the loving arms of eight-year-old Ethan. During their countless adventures, Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog. But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey's journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders, will he ever find his purpose?

    Blythe says: "Best dog book ever!"
    "Wonderful story -- makes you appreciate your pets"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had no idea what to expect. I just chose this book on a whim and I'm happy I did.

    I was brought to tears and to laughter. I was anxious and upset at times, happy at others. Such a moving story. A dog's life, written from the dog's perspective and very well done. I don't want to give too much away. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a pet.

    I simply loved this book. I couldn't stop listening, and was sad when it was over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Vanity Fair [Tantor]

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By William Makepeace Thackeray
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (39)

    Vanity Fair features two heroines: the faithful, loyal Amelia Sedley, and the beautiful and scheming social climber Becky Sharp. It also engages a huge cast of wonderful supporting characters as the novel spins from Miss Pinkerton's academy for young ladies to affairs of love and war on the Continent to liaisons in the dazzling ballrooms of London.

    Joseph R says: "Clever, Witty, Splendid and Wonderful"
    "Story with no real characters to root for"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love the classics. I've listened to almost 100 books, most of them classics. I know Vanity Fair is considered a classic, and as I've not read anything else by Thackeray, I thought I'd give this a try.

    I had to get used to how Thackeray wrote -- it's like he's talking with the reader. His ramblings made the story somewhat longer than it had to be.

    This story laughs at the ridiculousness of the upper classes -- their ignorance, their greed, their falseness.

    The main characters are Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley. Neither one is very likable. Becky is a user and out to get whatever she can from whomever she meets. Amelia is a nice but simple-minded girl who never stands up for herself.

    Becky gets far by using the upper classes to gain popularity though she has no money and constantly performs theft of services. Amelia gets nowhere by being herself and not seeing the true character of the people around her.

    Amelia is loved by Dobbin, who waits years for her to return his affections. She is too in love with the memory of her dead husband to see the man her husband truly was, or to see the man she could have in Dobbin.

    Overall, the story was often frustrating, perhaps because while it reflects the character of people from the 1850's, it also reflects the people of today. How many financial scandals have there been lately? And aren't people famous today simply as a circumstance, and not for any true value they give to society?

    The narrator was excellent, each character had its own voice. The story was good in that you learned a lot about history (Waterloo and that time period), The characters were interesting and frustrating.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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