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Anne

ratings
69
REVIEWS
14
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
21

  • The House of Mirth

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Edith Wharton
    • Narrated By Eleanor Bron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (145)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (104)

    First published in 1905, the House of Mirth shocked many by its candour. Lily Bart moves in the shallow, new-moneyed class of New York society in which men make the money and women spend it. There amongst the glib diversions of the newly rich, she seeks a husband who can not only maintain her in this charmed existence, but can also provide unstinting admiration.

    Catherine says: "Wonderful"
    "Time Has Taken Its Toll"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Edith Wharton's writing and how, for her time, she challenged society's perception of women. But time has taken its toll. The study of Lily Bart, sympathetically and yet clinically carried out, fails to resonate with today.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Accident

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Chris Pavone
    • Narrated By Mozhan Marno
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (98)

    As dawn approaches in New York, literary agent Isabel Reed is turning the final pages of a mysterious, anonymous manuscript, racing through the explosive revelations about powerful people, as well as long-hidden secrets about her own past. In Copenhagen, veteran CIA operative Hayden Gray, determined that this sweeping story be buried, is suddenly staring down the barrel of an unexpected gun. And in Zurich, the author himself is hiding in a shadowy expat life, trying to atone for a lifetime’s worth of lies and betrayals with publication of The Accident, while always looking over his shoulder.

    Dorothy says: "A Little Bit Like Cotton Candy"
    "Devilishly clever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Intricately plotted, a near perfect mystery/thriller and pretty well written within that genre, it is painful to have to interrupt listening. You will NEVER guess the ending. Narration is very good as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Woman Upstairs

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Claire Messud
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (301)
    Performance
    (263)
    Story
    (266)

    Nora Eldridge, a 37-year-old elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who long ago abandoned her ambition to be a successful artist, has become the "woman upstairs", a reliable friend and tidy neighbor always on the fringe of others' achievements. Then into her classroom walks Reza Shahid, a child who enchants as if from a fairy tale. He and his parents - dashing Skandar, a Lebanese scholar and professor at the École Normale Supérleure; and Sirena, an effortlessly glamorous Italian artist - have come to Boston for Skandar to take up a fellowship at Harvard.

    Beth Anne says: "Disturbing, Frustrating, Messed Up and AWESOME!"
    "Why bother?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I may not feel fondness for them, but I can usually grow interested in unlikeable characters as I come to understand the history or motives that drive them, or even the necessities of the plot. Liking the character is the least of my requirements for a compelling read. In this special case, I spent the entire considerable length of this recording feeling my dislike grow into loathing for the main character and feeling worse and worse about listening. What was the point of this unremitting avalanche of hatred, with every plot development and nuance carefully detailed? She comes across not as mentally ill, but just as a really crummy person.

    Why bother listening (or reading) about a person who is unremittingly self absorbed and selfish, who has no redeeming qualities and who is swindled by people equally selfish, albeit more glamorous and well dressed? In my case I guess I was holding out for some meaning beyond that there are people in life one should avoid. The only lesson I learned was to avoid Clare Messud.

    I disliked the narration as well, but given how awful the character was, perhaps that was good reading.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Local Souls

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Allan Gurganus
    • Narrated By Allan Gurganus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (14)

    With the meteoric success of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, Allan Gurganus placed himself among America’s most original and emotionally engaged storytellers. If his first comic novel mapped the late nineteenth-century South, Local Souls brings the twisted hilarity of Flannery O’Connor kicking into our new century.

    Eileen says: "Loved this!"
    "A Rare Gift"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Allan Gurganus offers listeners the rare gift of a beautifully crafted piece of fiction and a reading that displays its every nuance. I loved every minute of it and find myself thinking of the book and hearing his voice long after I've finished. The warm and humor of his work, both the writing and the reading, could seem "folksy," but it's deeper than that, and the insights seem more hard won. It left me with a feeling of gratitude that we have this guy around.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fashion in Shrouds

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Margery Allingham
    • Narrated By Francis Matthews
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    Both the skeleton and the corpse have died with suspicious convenience for Georgia Wells, a monstrous but charming actress with a raffish entourage. Georgia's best friend just happens to be Valentine, a top couturière and Campion's sister. In order to protect Valentine, Campion must unravel a story of blackmail and ruthless murder....

    Anne says: "Wonderful performance, dated story"
    "Wonderful performance, dated story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Margery Allingham's mysteries as a girl - such style and elegance. While the narration of The Fashion in Shrouds is pitch perfect and a delight, sadly the writing and the social attitudes in the book are terribly dated. The prose now seems mannered and overly fussy and I found myself impatient at times. But the scenes with Albert Campion's valet, Lugg, are so brilliant that I always went back for again, hoping to hear more of that rasping voice croaking out his sly and cynical zingers.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Helen Simonson
    • Narrated By Peter Altschuler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2399)
    Performance
    (1118)
    Story
    (1109)

    You are about to travel to Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of your own family. Among them is Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson's wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, Major Pettigrew is one of the most indelible characters in contemporary fiction.

    txkimmers says: "A great surprise"
    "Thoroughly satisfying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Everything about this book and the reading is just about perfect. The narrative is skillfully constructed to reveal character and events; the prose is witty, insightful, often funny; the main characters are extremely engaging; and the reading is skillful, especially since there are numerous characters and a wide variety of voices and accents. What is really special about this book, however, is how the author addresses several really important issues in the context of a romantic comic novel - love, loyalty, families, parenting of adult children, aging, racism, xenophobia. It's so satisfying that when I finished I started it all over again, just to be able to listen and hear how well structured it is.

    I will say that I had my doubts for the first few minutes, but I was hooked the minute Mrs. Ali came on the scene. A real winner.

    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
    (7657)
    Performance
    (5870)
    Story
    (5889)

    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"
    "I couldnt stand it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Book Thief better?

    I can't think of one thing. I just loathed the content from the first page, especially the personification of Death.


    Has The Book Thief turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I love Young Adult books (I am a librarian).


    Would you be willing to try another one of Allan Corduner’s performances?

    Yes. The book is not his fault.


    Any additional comments?

    I couldn't stand the book. I don't understand the rave reviews generated by the print version.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jung Chang
    • Narrated By Joy Osmanski
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (260)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (218)

    Few books have had such an impact as Wild Swans: a popular best seller which has sold more than 13 million copies and a critically acclaimed history of China; a tragic tale of nightmarish cruelty and an uplifting story of bravery and survival.

    Mike says: "A real shocker!"
    "important story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Wild Swans the most enjoyable?

    Wild Swans recounts the lives of the author, her mother and grandmother as they live through the transitions of China from an isolated imperial kingdom to the new millenium. It's an important story, dramatically presented in domestic detail which makes daily life an illustration of political realities.


    What other book might you compare Wild Swans to and why?

    I can't think of a comparison. The combination of historical fact and personal experience presented in a straightforward, no - nonsense way is unusual.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The performance reflects the authorial voice. That said, sometimes the authorial voice was a bit naive and callow, which I found annoying.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not likely. It's about 23 hours long and laden with detail. It was interesting, but one needed breaks.


    Any additional comments?

    I gave a stunningly detailed picture of life in China, particularly during the Cultural Revolution, but for a casual listener, the details were sometimes numbing. This is best suited to a listener with real curiosity about the subject. I'm glad I listened to it, but it is not for anyone wanting a fast paced experience that would sweep one away.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Shroud for a Nightingale

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By P. D. James
    • Narrated By Penelope Dellaporta
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (23)

    The young women of Nightingale House are there to learn to nurse and comfort the suffering. But when one of the students plays patient in a demonstration of nursing skills, she is horribly, brutally killed. Another student dies equally mysteriously, and it is up to Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard to unmask a killer who has decided to prescribe murder as the cure for all ills.

    Anne says: "A classic mystery"
    "A classic mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would, and have many times, recommended this book to a friend. It is a pure, classic mystery. The reader/listener is all the time being given the necessary clues and also being led down the garden path by the author. Absolutely delicious!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Shroud for a Nightingale?

    There wasn't one moment that wasn't memorable. The idiot who reviewed it as


    Have you listened to any of Penelope Dellaporta’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Haven't, but she is great.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes -- I listened at every moment I could and hated when it was over.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Chinese Chef

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Nicole Mones
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers, James Chen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (484)
    Performance
    (334)
    Story
    (337)

    When recently widowed Maggie McElroy is called to China to settle a claim against her late husbands estate, she is blindsided by the discovery that he may have led a double life. Since work is all that will keep her sane, her magazine editor assigns her to profile Sam, a half-Chinese American who is the last in a line of gifted chefs tracing back to the imperial palace. As she watches Sam gear up for Chinas Olympic culinary competition by planning the banquet of a lifetime, she begins to see past the cuisines artistry to glimpse its coherent expression of Chinese civilization.

    Dr. says: "Totally Satisfying - highly recommended"
    "A Little Trite"
    Overall

    This is a beach book, and while the narration was okay, and the narrator had pretty uninspiring (even at times embarrassingly trite) material to work with, her voice began to irritate me. Every sentence sounded the same, with a strange sound pattern and the breathiness made me think of old time radio thrillers. There was the predictable story, and then the predictable over the top quality of the food descriptions. All together a little too much for my digestion.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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