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Ashley

Canberra, Australia

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 163 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Foreigner

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Francie Lin
    • Narrated By James Chen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Emerson Chang is a mild mannered bachelor on the cusp of 40, a financial analyst in a neatly pressed suit, a child of Taiwanese immigrants who doesn't speak a word of Chinese, and, well, a virgin. His only real family is his mother, whose subtle manipulations have kept him close, all in the name of preserving an obscure idea of family and culture. But when his mother suddenly dies, Emerson sets out for Taipei to scatter her ashes, and to convey a surprising inheritance to his younger brother, Little P.

    Diana Haynes says: "I Beg to Differ"
    "worth listenting"
    Overall

    I'm giving this 4 stars. In terms of narrative it's a bit flawed (who's perfect?) but for me there is a lot of interest in the main character and his experience of return to Taiwan as a "foreigner". Some nice observations on Taiwan, and also on Asian-American identity. One thing that annoyed me a little was one of the characters' tirades against a white American who has "gone native" in Taiwan, since I got a bit of an impression that this reflects the author's own feelings. So, what, white Americans are not meant to go to Asia? Or if they do they should remain superficial tourists? Why is it possible for an Asian migrant to the US to have an authentic hyphenated identity but impossible for a white expatriate in Asia to establish the same thing? Sure, these are somewhat different propositions, but come on, Francie, cultural belonging is flexible and negotiable, isn't it? For me this issue is seen through a bit of a crude orientalist lens. That gripe apart, I found lots to like here.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life - His Own

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By David Carr
    • Narrated By Charles Leggett
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    In The Night of the Gun, David Carr redefines memoir with the revelatory story of his years as an addict and chronicles his journey from crack-house regular to regular columnist for The New York Times. Built on 60 videotaped interviews, legal and medical records, and three years of reporting, The Night of the Gun is a ferocious tale that uses the tools of journalism to fact-check the past.

    Herbert says: "Night of the Gun"
    "Are you kidding?"
    Overall

    Can't believe this was picked as one of the best of 2008. This is nothing but the self indulgent rantings of a self confessed scumbag. This book is the ultimate proof (as if any more was needed) that Americans just can't help blabbing to the world about things that really, really shouldn't be shared. If this guy had an ounce of class he'd have stayed extremely quiet about his years as a coke fiend and just thanked God he'd come out the other side more or less intact. And by the way it's not even particularly spectacular or interesting as an addiction story! Vastly inferior to Jimmy Lerner's "You Got Nothing Coming".

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Wild Sheep Chase

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Rupert Degas
    Overall
    (278)
    Performance
    (127)
    Story
    (130)

    A Wild Sheep Chase is one of Murakami's most fantastical novels. An advertising executive, infatuated with a girl who possesses the most perfect ears (an erotic charge for him) uses a picture of a sheep with a star on its back. This catapults him into a weird adventure to find the mythical sheep up in the wilds of Hokkaido, Japan's northern island. There are strange encounters, a hotel with an extra disappearing floor, and other oddities.

    Louise says: "Counseling Needed"
    "Great read from Degas"
    Overall

    Murakami seems to divide critics somewhat but for me this is a great novel. I've read it a number of times, and got the audiobook mostly because I wanted to hear Rupert Degas reading it. I recognised his voice from the Raymond Chandler series and thought that his noir style read would really suit Murakami. And it did, in spades. A brilliant listen

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Cinnamon Kiss: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Walter Mosley
    • Narrated By Michael Boatman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (240)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (42)

    It is the Summer of Love as Cinnamon Kiss opens, and Easy Rawlins is contemplating robbing an armored car. It's farther outside the law than Easy has ever traveled, but his daughter, Feather, needs a medical treatment that costs far more than Easy can earn or borrow in time. And his friend Mouse tells him it's a cinch. Then another friend, Saul Lynx, offers a job that might solve Easy's problem without jail time.

    Scott says: "Easy Rawlins is way cool"
    "Mosley's still got it"
    Overall

    This was really compulsive listening. A brilliant performance by the voice actor and proof that Mosley's still got it. Easy Rawlins fits surprisingly well into the 60s, and Mosley's critique of that era's racial politics and popular culture is pretty sharp. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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