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Bonny

JHK

ratings
36
REVIEWS
35
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
18
HELPFUL VOTES
166

  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4194)
    Performance
    (3834)
    Story
    (3835)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Boy, am I in the minority on this one."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted very much to love this book. I loved Secret History. I'm almost 3/4 of the way through The Goldfinch, trying to hang in there, switching it off in irritation . . . thinking "this is getting such positive reviews; maybe it ends up somewhere better than this," switching it back on . . . and now I'm giving up. It has a great story idea. The opening, particularly once we get to the museum, is very well done. Most of the rest of the book I found incredible repetitive and overwritten. Often the writing is just not good. The author uses seven descriptive terms rather than choosing the best. The protagonist often walks around dazed, confused, blasted out of his mind, stoned out of his mind, and did I mention dazed and confused? It beggars belief that someone this drug- and alcohol-addicted could make it to the age of 27 or 30 able to function in his job and without the people around him noticing. I wanted to send him to rehab. People ask him questions and he repeatedly answers "huh?" "what?" "but –" There is some good in the book, certainly. Boris is a great character and David Pittu does such a good job with him that he keeps talking in my head. Overall I feel David Pittu tries too hard to inflect every single word, and it's exhausting. Let the words speak for themselves. I feel the book is at least half again as long as it should have been. How many detailed and exhaustive scenes of teenage boys getting blasted, stoned and drunk do we need to convey this part of the narrator's life? It just goes on and on. Like my review. So I'll sign off now.

    106 of 120 people found this review helpful
  • The Red Road: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Denise Mina
    • Narrated By Cathleen McCarron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (44)

    Alex Morrow faces her toughest opponents yet in this brilliant new thriller about criminals, consequences, and convictions. Police detective Alex Morrow has met plenty of unsavory characters in her line of work, but arms dealer Michael Brown ranks among the most brutal and damaged of the criminals she's known. Morrow is serving as a witness in Brown's trial, where the case hinges on his fingerprints found on the guns he sells.

    Bonny says: "Denise Mina does it again"
    "Denise Mina does it again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been waiting for this audiobook, and it happened to be released the day I had to start a 2-day solo drive. It got me from NC to Connecticut, then I had a couple of hours until Vermont to think about it. In my book, Denise Mina is right up there with Kate Atkinson in her ability to create a fascinating mystery and write vivid, believable characters. I'm not quite to putting her up there with P.D. James, but I'm considering it. I love the Alex Morrow series in particular; the Paddy Meehan books are darker and more violent. Still excellent, but not as much to my taste. She continues to develop Morrow's character . . . the books have so much more depth than your average lighter-weight mystery. The threads of the multiple plots twine around each other and lead you further until Mina unravels them and you find yourself thrilled with what you've listened to and sad that it's over.

    Cathleen McCarron is a terrific choice for this narration; the characters are spot-on and she has a beautiful delivery. She has only narrated a few audiobooks and I sure hope she'll do more. A real pleasure to listen to.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Child Thief: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Dan Smith
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (65)

    A troubled World War I veteran races across the frozen steppe of 1930's Ukraine to save a child from a shadowy killer with unthinkable plans. Luka is a war veteran who now wants nothing more than to have a quiet life with his family. His village has, so far, remained hidden from the advancing Soviet brutality. But everything changes the day a stranger arrives, pulling a sled bearing a terrible cargo. In the chaos, a little girl has vanished, and Luka is the only man with the skills to find the stolen child and her kidnapper.

    David says: "Brilliant--both the writing and the narration"
    "Breathtaking story and narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is simply mesmerizing. I bought this based on the positive review of one of the reviewers I follow, and am so glad I did. The setting is bleak: Ukraine, Winter, 1930. Soviet repression, neighbor turning on neighbor. But Luka, whose viewpoint we inhabit, is, in his imperfect way, ultimately compassionate and humane, and he fosters this humanity in the people he loves and in those he comes across by chance and misfortune. It's a remarkable book, and Bronson Pinchot more than does it justice. The narration is some of the best in the Audible universe. Take a good, long, deep breath before you begin listening, because you may not be able to exhale until it's finished. Very, very highly recommended.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Slumdog Millionaire

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Vikas Swarup
    • Narrated By Christopher Simpson
    Overall
    (734)
    Performance
    (431)
    Story
    (431)

    Vikas Swarup's spectacular debut novel, the inspiration for the award-winning film, opens in a jail cell in Mumbai, where Ram Mohammad Thomas is being held after correctly answering all 12 questions on India's biggest quiz show, Who Will Win a Billion? It is hard to believe that a poor orphan who has never gone to school could win such a contest. But through a series of exhilarating tales, Ram explains to his lawyer how episodes in his life gave him the answer to each question.

    J. Wigfall says: "Powerful"
    "Terrific book and the best narration ever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't sure I was going to like this; I tend not to go for much in the way of popular culture, and the movie tie-in made me leery. Thank heavens I got over it! This is a wonderful book with great writing and characters, alternately deeply moving and very funny. There is a lot of depth here; the humanity and compassion of the book's narrator and those who help him through life far outweigh the cruelty of his enemies and the grinding poverty he strives so hard to overcome. It's simply a terrific book. Christopher Simpson does a superb job with the narration. The characters are so vivid and real, and he never hits a wrong note. Please give us more books narrated by this guy!

    I can't recommend this highly enough. Go listen to it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tilt-a-Whirl

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Chris Grabenstein
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1183)
    Performance
    (613)
    Story
    (608)

    There isn't much fun in the sun when a billionaire real estate tycoon is found murdered on the Tilt-a-Whirl at a seedy seaside amusement park in the otherwise quiet summer tourist town of Sea Haven. John Ceepak, a former MP just back from Iraq, has just joined the Sea Haven police department. The job offer came from an old Army buddy who hoped to give Ceepak at least a summer's worth of rest and relaxation to help him forget the horrors of war. Instead, Ceepak will head up the murder investigation.

    A User says: "A Guilty Pleasure"
    "This seems really sophomoric . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm quitting this about 2 hours in, so take my review in that context. I love the Daily Deal and bought this because it had so many terrific reviews. The whole thing seems like a mediocre young adult book: forced "snappy" dialogue and, so far, a plot that simply isn't believable. It isn't terrible; it just isn't very good. I really need mysteries to be written well, and so many seem to scrape by on plot and/or character, leaving the prose sorely lacking. Oh, well. Onward.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To the Lighthouse

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Virginia Woolf
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (130)

    To the Lighthouse is a landmark work of English fiction. Virginia Woolf explores perception and meaning in some of the most beautiful prose ever written, minutely detailing the characters thoughts and impressions. This unabridged version is read by Juliet Stevenson.

    Jefferson says: "A Stark Tower on a Bare Rock, or a Hanging Garden?"
    "Utterly absorbing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The prose is lyrical, almost surreal, and places you directly in whatever character Woolf is voicing. I felt as though I were there, experiencing everything along with the characters. There is a clarity and immediacy to Woolf's writing, and I found it completely absorbing. Not a lot happens in this book; it is a portrait of a family, the individuals and their relationships. If you're looking for an exciting plot and action, this is not for you. We get to know these characters so intimately, and yet there is so much that we don't know about them and so much they don't know about each other. Their attempts to reach each other, with occasional success, are very moving. The book is like a very subtle but major earthquake, after which the reader looks at other people with new eyes and with more compassion.

    Juliet Stevenson is just perfect. Not a wrong note in the book. She has a beautiful voice that is pure pleasure to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Code Name Verity

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Wein
    • Narrated By Morven Christie, Lucy Gaskell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (934)
    Performance
    (850)
    Story
    (844)

    Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery. Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong....

    Suzn F says: "Haunting, Beautiful, Exquisite, Special Book"
    "Incredible listening experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't really know where to start; I can't say enough good things about this book. It's classified as young adult, but it is far more complex than much of YA literature, and holds its own as adult lit. The story itself is riveting, and the performances could not be better. The two protagonists are voiced perfectly. If the story itself weren't so compelling (which it is), you could just get lost in the characterizations. It's that beautiful. Neither narrator hits a wrong note. The writing is lovely, the story is intense and heartbreaking, and the two women are so *present* and believable. Just go listen to it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3547)
    Performance
    (2558)
    Story
    (2558)

    This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

    Noe says: "Outstanding story of post-apocalyse."
    "Intriguing and absorbing listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yet another book I would have missed but for the Daily Deal. I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The premise is frightening and all too believable, and the author treats it with seriousness and thought. In the second part of the book, the dialogue and descriptions veer toward the Wild West, but it's not bad, just cliched.

    As other reviewers have mentioned, the women are such cardboard characters that it becomes funny. Hey, women can do stuff! They can, uh, sew! Make breakfast! Organize a household! And there must be something else they can do . . . uh, no, can't come up with anything else. Did I mention they make a damned good cup of coffee? It's so retro that it's amusing, not irritating. I know it's 1959, but even considering that, it's unusually pathetic. Perhaps the author didn't know many women.

    Anyway, it's definitely worth a listen. It's a plausible view of WWIII and its aftermath. It would be interesting paired with James Howard Kunstler's The World Made By Hand and The Witch of Hebron, recent imaginings of the life of a small town after the breakdown of the U.S. political system and the disappearance of oil and electricity. I read both of these and can't comment on the audio editions, but I recommend both books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (5854)
    Performance
    (4223)
    Story
    (4242)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Shannon says: "Word Thief"
    "One of the best ever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to. It is a lovely story, funny and sad. It's particularly interesting to have this perspective on life inside Germany during World War II. The writing is stunning; the author continues to find unique ways to express everyday experience through the end of the book. I found myself wanting to write down each new turn of phrase; they are that good.

    Allan Corduner's narration is spot-on. I hope he will do much more audiobook narration. He's one of the best. His voicing of the characters was distinct, moving, often funny, pitch-perfect . . . one of those books where you feel you know each character and miss them when the book is over.

    I can't recommend this one highly enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lowland

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Jhumpa Lahiri
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (365)
    Performance
    (316)
    Story
    (319)

    Born just 15 months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other in the Calcutta neighborhood where they grow up. But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead. It is the 1960s, and Udayan - charismatic and impulsive - finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty; he will give everything, risk all, for what he believes. Subhash, the dutiful son, does not share his brother’s political passion; he leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America.

    Simeen says: "My least favorite of all her work."
    "Deeply felt, beautifully written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a lovely and intense book about (among other things) the consequences of our actions for those we love . . . the two brothers at the center of the book have profound effects on each others' lives, and, rippling outward, on the lives of their parents, spouses, children. Jhumpa Lahiri does a beautiful job of drawing us into the relationship between the brothers and then into the lives of their families.

    The narrator is generally excellent; I gave him four stars rather than five because I felt his women sounded a little insipid, but this is a quibble. I will keep an eye out for more of his narration; it was moving without being overbearing.

    Highly recommended!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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