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John Condron

Avid reader

Pocatello, ID USA | Member Since 2008

32
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 6 ratings
  • 540 titles in library
  • 132 purchased in 2014
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  • Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By E. L. James
    • Narrated By Becca Battoe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15354)
    Performance
    (12675)
    Story
    (13316)

    When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

    Amazon Customer says: "Holy Crap minus the Holy"
    "The narrator never had a chance!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Exceptionally undiscerning romance novel fans. Apparently, fans of the much better, though still awful, Twilight books, and their evil fanfic spawn.


    Would you ever listen to anything by E. L. James again?

    No. Once was quite enough, thank you.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Becca Battoe?

    Yes. As I said in the title of this review, I don't think any narrator could have saved this awful book. The writing was terrible. The dialogue was insipid and extremely unrealistic. By halfway through the book, I wanted to kill the protagonist's "inner goddess," but that isn't the narrator's fault.


    What character would you cut from Fifty Shades of Grey?

    I suppose it would be cheating to say "all of them," but there were no major characters I didn't find unrealistic and annoying. Anastasia is remarkably naive, but suddenly knows words she shouldn't know, and understands concepts that should be well beyond her junior high level understanding of the world. She often tells us about her high GPA, but is actually amazingly stupid. Of course, no review can leave out Christian Grey, the 29 year old billionaire, who is gorgeous (Ana tells us this on almost every page), a sexual dynamo, flies his own helicopter, altruistically feeds the poor ... it goes on and on. I had no problem with the dungeon in his apartment; that was the most realistic part of his character! I did wonder who cleaned that room, since the housekeeper didn't seem to know about it. And then there's Ana's filthy rich roommate, who was Valedictorian of her college class, editor of the student newspaper (and apparently still running said publication post-graduation). The closest thing to a realistic character was Grey's driver, who had only a minor role.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a truly awful book. I have to assume it was put on the bestseller list by people who don't typically read books, but are more likely consumers of movies and reality TV. Unfortunately, people like me who ignored the reviews to "see what all the hype is about" contributed to these numbers, thereby feeding the problem of semi-literate people writing and publishing books. Next time, I'll listen to my "inner god," and not waste my money.

    31 of 36 people found this review helpful
  • Unwind

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Neal Shusterman
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    Overall
    (969)
    Performance
    (823)
    Story
    (825)

    Conner's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance.

    SoCalBonnie says: "It won me over completely"
    "I loved and hated this thought provoking book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I have already recommended this thought provoking young adult novel to several friends, some teens, some adults. It is guaranteed to hold the interest of any reader or listener who gives it a fair chance, regardless of age. It is well written and follows all of the "rules" for YA fiction, while not talking down to the reader. It raises questions regarding current social issues without being preachy.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unwind?

    The scene in which one of the teenagers is "unwound." It is explicit but not gory. I had a very hard time listening to it, and wondered about its appropriateness for teen readers, but it was exactly what the story needed. Without it, the story would have lacked context.


    What about Luke Daniels’s performance did you like?

    Initially, I questioned the choice of Mr. Daniels to read a YA book. He started out almost in a monotone, but it quickly became clear that his style was exactly right. He did a great job of giving voice to the various characters, while using an almost deadpan tone to deliver some passages that might have been very difficult otherwise.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A frightening ... and plausible ... view of a possible future.


    Any additional comments?

    Adult readers might have difficulty accepting some pretty implausible coincidences, especially toward the end of the book, but they aren't jarring.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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