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Carla

Sacramento, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

ratings
72
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
16

  • The Cutting Season: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Attica Locke
    • Narrated By Quincy Tyler Bernstine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (266)
    Performance
    (230)
    Story
    (229)

    Caren Gray manages Belle Vie, a sprawling antebellum plantation that sits between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where the past and the present coexist uneasily. The estate's owners have turned the place into an eerie tourist attraction, complete with full-dress re-enactments and carefully restored slave quarters. Outside the gates, a corporation with ambitious plans has been busy snapping up land from struggling families who have been growing sugar cane for generations, and now replacing local employees with illegal laborers. Tensions mount when the body of a female migrant worker is found in a shallow grave on the edge of the property.

    C. Telfair says: "Mystery + Atmosphere = A Definite Winner!"
    "Didn't live up to rave reviews"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It failed my test for novels, especially murder mysteries, namely that it keep me curious and the characters have to seem real enough that I care what happens to them. Also the reviews kept talking about atmosphere--well the author kept talking about atmosphere too but Rebecca this is not.

    There was never much question about the story-- you knew who did it and why and the big political behind-the-scenes stuff was right out in full view and the only real mystery was why the main character was so excited about her child's father's wedding to someone else. Maybe it was explained and I missed it. My mind wandered a lot.

    The most annoying thing was the reader. Not always, but often she made this little gasp just before starting a sentence. You'd think the sound engineer could have caught it. It's the kind of thing that really grates on the nerves after about the 40th pre-sentence gasp.

    This was pretty expensive. I was disappointed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Divorce Papers: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Susan Rieger
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Arthur Morey, Kathe Mazur
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (61)

    Twenty-nine-year-old Sophie Diehl is happy toiling away as a criminal law associate at an old line New England firm where she very much appreciates that most of her clients are behind bars. Everyone at Traynor, Hand knows she abhors face-to-face contact, but one weekend, with all the big partners away, Sophie must handle the intake interview for the daughter of the firm's most important client....

    Susan C. S. says: "Singularly unsuited for audio."
    "Is this billable?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listening to this audiobook felt way too much like work. Maybe, as was suggested in another review, it was better as an actual book where your eyes could skim over all the lists and cc addressees. Although the plot was kind of a tedious after awhile, the writing itself was snappy and smart--I may have another run at it later.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Complete Short Stories, Volume One

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By W. Somerset Maugham
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (24)

    There have been few masters of the short story as popular as W. S. Maugham. His dry wit, worldweary loftiness, pungent cynicism, and penetrating powers of observation have contributed to the creation of some of the greatest short stories ever written.

    J. J. Kuzma says: "A masterful production of Maugham's short stories."
    "King of the short story, narrator can't do women"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Somerset Maugham is by far my favorite story teller. His stories are masterpieces of constuction--it's no wonder so many were successfully made and remade as plays and movies. He traveled the world at the height of the British Empire, when it was still mysterious and each country had a distinct atmosphere not yet overrun with tourists and Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises. His longer books tend to get bogged down in philosophy but the short stories I can read again and again.
    My only complaint is the narrator. He was fine with male voices but when he is speaking for women he sounds like a schoolyard bully mimicking the new girl -- the same exagerated nasally whine for all the women characters, from glamourous femme fatales to cackling old crones. But if you can tune that out I recommend it highly.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Ian Frazier
    • Narrated By Cynthia Nixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Based on his widely read columns for The New Yorker, Ian Frazier’s uproarious first novel, The Cursing Mommy’s Book of Days, centers on a profoundly memorable character, sprung from an impressively fertile imagination. Structured as a daybook of sorts, with the Cursing Mommy - beleaguered wife of Larry and mother of two boys, twelve and nine - trying (more or less) valiantly to offer tips on how to do various tasks around the home, only to end up on the ground, cursing, surrounded by broken glass.

    Veronica says: "Laughed 'till I cried."
    "Not to be listened to in one sitting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The wrong narrator could really sink this one - Cynthia Nixon makes her lovable and not whiny or scary. Like any comedic piece, especially one originally written in installments, it should be listened to as it was meant: one episode at a time. Otherwise it gets pretty wearing and predictable. Taken in small doses, the inevitable format is part of the fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Go-Between

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 29 mins)
    • By L. P. Hartley
    • Narrated By Harriet Walter, Richard Griffiths, Lydia Leonard
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    A new adaptation of L. P. Hartley's story of a boy who is betrayed by a sophisticated young rich woman and her farmer lover who use him to ferry letters back and forth in the blazing summer of 1900 - with Richard Griffiths and Harriet Walter. It's best known from the 1970 film, which focused on the main plot line. But on re-reading the book, adaptor Frances Byrnes found within it another drama perfect for audio in which an old man finds a boyhood diary and is forced to unlock the trauma inside.

    Carla says: "The Go-Between does NOT NEED ADAPTING!!!!!"
    "The Go-Between does NOT NEED ADAPTING!!!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Now you have broken my heart. First the gutting of The House on The Strand and now turning The Go-Between,one of my all-time favorite books, into a radio play. Why would you do this? These are beautifully written books! I've been waiting for The Go-Between to come out in audio form for as long as I've known about audio rentals. I loved the movie, got curious about the book--loved the book. I was so excited when I finally found it on Audible. I even had one credit left to use which was good becauseThe Go-Between was expensive. Like The House on The Strand, the plot is good but it's the atmosphere created by the writing that makes it so memorable. When I think of all the crappy books there are available in all their spendor with every word intact and sometimes even an interview with the writer at the end and here are these two great books just hacked to bits... I love Audible, I am always impressed with the wide and up-to-date selection. This is my first scolding letter but as I say, I was so excited about having these books on audio--it was really a blow when they turned out not to be what they were supposed to be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The House on the Strand

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Daphne du Maurier
    • Narrated By Michael Maloney
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Dick Young stays in his friend Professor Magnus Lane's house in Cornwall, on the understanding he will be a guinea-pig for a new drug that Magnus has developed. As a result of the experiment he is transported back to fourteenth century Cornwall.

    Shanna says: "Too much left out! I miss theUNABRIDGED Version!"
    "Look What They've Done To My Song..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Rebecca is Daphne Du Maurier's masterpiece but this is one of those little gems you dig in an author's back catologue hoping to find. You would expect a book from the '60's about acid trips and time travel to be goofy and dated but D. Du M brings to it the atmosphere and sense of longing all her books have. Instead of Manderley, it is 14th century Cornwall the main character is helplessly drawn to, and the reader gets pulled in as well. Reading at it's best can be a form of time-travel itself if you think about it. However-- whoever decided to abridge this audiobook should be drawn and quartered. It took all the magic out so it was just flat and confusing. Based on this version, I would never have picked this title as one of my favorite books. I agree with the first reviewer: "Wait for the unabridged version!"

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Stephen Chbosky
    • Narrated By Noah Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1966)
    Performance
    (1787)
    Story
    (1809)

    Most people think 15-year-old Charlie is a freak. But then seniors Patrick and his beautiful stepsister Sam take Charlie under their wings and introduce him to their eclectic, open-minded, hard-partying friends. It is from these older kids that Charlie learns to live and love.

    FanB14 says: "Intelligent, Absorbing Coming of Age Story"
    "Not Catcher In The Rye"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got about mid-way through the book and I, a mild-mannered former high-school introvert, wanted to give this guy a swirly. What a drip!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Thorn in My Side

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 13 mins)
    • By Karin Slaughter
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (62)

    It could have been just any night, and they could have just been any two brothers - but it wasn't, and they weren't. The scene is an Atlanta bar. The music is loud and the dance floor is packed. The good-looking brother picks up a girl. But when dark deeds ensue out in the parking lot, what happens next can only be described in two words: vintage Slaughter. From the opening scene to the last line, "Thorn in My Side" is as wicked as it is entertaining.

    Sarah says: "Just Awful"
    "Amusing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Karin Slaughter's stories always draw me in. She's like a mean friend, always luring you into adventures and even though you get tired and the endings are downright nasty, you stay to the end and look forward, guardedly, to the next.

    This one is a classic example. The surprises are part of the fun so I won't reveal the story. Had it been longer or more expensive I might not give as favorable a review but as it is-- I enjoyed it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • An Amateur Corpse

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Simon Brett
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Mary says: "Charles Paris fan"
    "Can't stand Frederick Davidson!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Charles Paris is my absolute favorite mystery series character. I love all the theatre lore and those wonderfully painful "reviews" inserted whenever one of his performances is mentioned. The characters are recognizable and funny without being characatures or even unsympathetic. There is lots of sly humor but also pathos.

    I wish Audible had more of the Charles Paris series. I understand Simon Brett narrated one himself. I enjoy Geoffrey Howard’s narration-- he sounds like Charles Paris-- a seasoned performer who knows his way around all the various accents and personalities.

    But why, oh why did they unleash Frederick Davidson on so many of his audiobooks? Am I the only person that thinks he turns every character from Lord Peter Whimsey to Bertie Wooster and God knows who else into a smoke-gasping drag queen? Nothing against drag queens but his manner of speaking is so severe and affected it overwhelms any characterization this side of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and adds a dimension to these beloved old friends I just can't get used to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Past Imperfect

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Julian Fellowes
    • Narrated By Richard Morant
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (133)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (76)

    Damian Baxter is hugely wealthy and dying. He lives alone in a big house in Surrey, England, looked after by a chauffeur, butler, cook and housemaid. He has but one concern--his fortune in excess of 500 million and who should inherit it on his death.

    connie says: "strangely absorbing"
    "Modern Great Gatsby"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book! Julian Fellowes writes beautifully and Richard Morant has the perfect voice as the long-suffering friend of all the debutantes and the quietly bemused observer of British social history. Fellowes uses a small group of debutantes from the 1960's to demonstrate the huge changes to the British social structure from the last half of the 20th century to the present. But this is not "Sex and the City Goes to England", although it is just as lively and topical in references. I was struck by how much it mirrors The Great Gatsby in theme and characters. This book is every bit as good as that old war horse.

    As an ex-video clerk from Sacramento, CA I have no personal experience with British Aristocracy but there's something about authenticity, you can smell it like a ripe peach, and Julian Fellowes writing has all that.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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