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hayward, CA, United States

  • 1 reviews
  • 20 ratings
  • 1566 titles in library
  • 69 purchased in 2014

  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "poorly written; poorly read"

    Drudging through the first half of this book was like reading elementary college creative writing papers. I wish I could remember all the things I wanted to "note" that really drove me nuts. For one thing, there was overstatement. The author would make a nice, subtle, point. THEN HE WOULD EXPLAIN IT, as if we were such immature readers that we couldn't get the inference. The book jumps between 1963 italy to "present day" hollywood and includes a "movie pitch" in more detail than we need (again ignoring any sophistication on the reader's part) about the Donner party (mid 1800's). All this is loosely tied together via weakly portrayed characters. Everything we are supposed to feel is dictated to us .. the writing is so inferior that even if we can "feel" anything, before we have a chance to ingest it, the author explains it to us. I think when I finally gave up is when we are told that a physician has told an actress that she has "the same symptoms as stomach cancer" in order to keep her from knowing that she is pregnant by her boyfriend/producer.

    The reader is another issue: he is drawing out every word sooo slowly that when I ran it at 2x I could hardly tell it was speeded up. He sounds like he's listened to too many Scott Brick narrations and he's trying to achieve the same sardonic tone.

    Overall I am disappointed because the book had some very good reviews

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Missing You

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By January LaVoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Number-one New York Times best-selling author Harlan Coben set huge sales records with last year’s Six Years - and he’s poised to do it again in his next breathtaking stand-alone thriller. Harlan Coben, author of six consecutive instant number-one New York Times best sellers and a total of 24 award-winning, best-selling, and internationally acclaimed novels, returns with another ripped-from-real-life thriller full of impossibly high emotional stakes and the real-to-life characters for which he has become famous.

    Susan says: "I Ain't Missing You"
    "Amateurish and disappointing"

    This is the first time I've listened to a Harlan Coben story that was outside his normal Bolitar series and it is debatable that i will give him "another chance." His light-weight, simplistic narration style does not lend itself to this intentionally convoluted tale. Our main character is a disfunctional woman officer who is stuck in a 20 year old past. Suddenly "things" happen so she can unravel and resolve issues ... it is all very amateurish. At one point when people's lives are at stake and she is hot on a trail of kidnappers, she pulls off to make a personal side-trip, abandoning all that is urgent to "take care" of something that can clearly wait. Even the ending, which was supposed to leave us "wondering" instead gave me the feeling that the author just didn't know how to write a decent ending so he dropped it.

    I wanted to like the characters .... uh, not so much. A few smatterings of humanity here and there, but overall they are forgettable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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