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Sherry

Bothell, WA, United States | Member Since 2004

ratings
52
REVIEWS
18
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
42

  • The Photograph: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Penelope Lively
    • Narrated By Daniel Gerroll, Patricia Kalember
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (24)

    Booker Prize¿winning novelist Penelope Lively's latest masterpiece opens with a snapshot: Kath, before her death, at an unknown gathering, holding hands with a man who is not her husband. The photograph is in an envelope marked "DON'T OPEN - DESTROY." But Kath's husband does not heed the warning, embarking on a journey of discovery that reveals a tight web of secrets within marriages, between sisters, and at the heart of an affair.

    Rebecca says: "good but sad"
    "Not her best"
    Overall

    You can always expect elegant writing from Penelope Lively but I can't recommend this novel for any other reason. Both characters and their situation are so cliched as to make them unsympathetic and boring. This book did not keep my interest.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Changeless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Gail Carriger
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1430)
    Performance
    (1207)
    Story
    (1214)

    Gail Carriger created a fascinating steampunk vision of Victorian England in her “intoxicatingly witty” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) debut novel Soulless—the first in the best-selling Parasol Protectorate series. Changeless is the second in the series and finds Alexia Tarabotti, now the Lady Woolsey, quite put out after her werewolf husband goes missing. So, armed with her trusty parasol, Alexia boards a dirigible and heads for Scotland to find him.

    Leanna says: "Loved it!"
    "A hoot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although not as surprising and fun as the first book in the series, this book is still a romp through a supernaturalized Victorian England. Narrator Emily Gray never puts a word wrong.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    Overall
    (1859)
    Performance
    (1069)
    Story
    (1071)

    In this Hugo-winner from Connie Willis, when too many jumps back to 1940 leave 21st century Oxford history student Ned Henry exhausted, a relaxing trip to Victorian England seems the perfect solution. But complexities like recalcitrant rowboats, missing cats, and love at first sight make Ned's holiday anything but restful - to say nothing of the way hideous pieces of Victorian art can jeopardize the entire course of history.

    Carol says: "Wonderful"
    "75% tedium, 25% novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like being told the same joke a dozen times and having the joke explained to you each time in case you didn't get it, then the book is entertaining. The first three-quarters of the book are filled with the kind of excruciatingly slow, repetitive dialogue that is the sign of an amateurish writer. Dramatic moments and interesting observations about books and history are completely obscured. The solution to the mystery is so obvious early on that only author manipulation, and not the normal course of fiction, prevents the characters from seeing what is right in front of them. The protagonist, Ned Henry, is a passive milksop of a character for most of the book, arousing my impatience rather than empathy. The writer may be trying to imitate the pace of a 19th century novel but fails miserably. Events may procede slowly in the works of Dickens and Trollope, but these writers are masters of tension, dialogue, and character who do not pad their stories with tedium.

    The cat and the dog, however, never discuss events and events-to-be ad nauseum and always conduct their actions promptly and without undue explanation. They are the only ones.

    This book is saved by the excellent performance of the reader and the final quarter in which questions are resolved and action takes place at a normal pace.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Slow Horses

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Mick Herron
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (140)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (73)

    Slough House is Jackson Lamb’s kingdom; a dumping ground for members of the intelligence service who’ve screwed up: left a secret file on a train, blown surveillance, or become drunkenly unreliable. They’re the service’s poor relations – the slow horses – and bitterest among them is River Cartwright, whose days are spent transcribing mobile phone conversations.

    Joanne says: "Patience pays off..."
    "Just keep listening"
    Overall

    I agree with the other reviewers that after the "slough" start, the book pays off with absorbing action and characters. It's a thriller that avoids the shallow, formulaic hero and spunky/beautiful, etc. heroine. The characters themselves take as many unexpected but well grounded turns as the plot and one of the most repellent characters becomes the most admired. (He also has the best lines, making this book a good listen for the humor alone.) Even the parts that I didn't find believable did not detract from my enjoyment of the book as it progressed.

    The narrator can make or break a book and Barrett's edgy reading was perfect.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Deborah Blum
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1242)
    Performance
    (780)
    Story
    (769)

    In The Poisoner's Handbook, Blum draws from highly original research to track the fascinating, perilous days when a pair of forensic scientists began their trailblazing chemical detective work, fighting to end an era when untraceable poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime.

    Reagan says: "Fascinating book marred by production errors"
    "Worst narrator award for a good book"
    Overall

    An interesting and detailed history of forensic science written for the lay reader is ruined by the worst narrator I've heard in over twenty years of listening to books. I can tolerate mispronunciations or emphasis in the wrong place but I can't tolerate a voice that makes intelligent characters sound like California slacker idiots in a cartoon. When trying to deepen her voice, Marlo sounds like someone with a plugged nose and mental damage. Her attempts at French and German accented English are simply excruciating.

    Give the author the respect her work deserves and read the hard copy!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • State of Wonder: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4201)
    Performance
    (3027)
    Story
    (3025)

    Research scientist Dr. Marina Singh is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on an extremely valuable new drug. The last person who was sent to find her died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding answers to the questions about her friend's death, her company's future, and her own past.

    F. B. Herron says: "Do yourself a favor and listen to this book!"
    "Wonder-ful"
    Overall

    Even Hope Davis's weak, nasal voice can't hurt this novel. (She's a fine actor but few actors are also fine readers.) Don't look for wild action, except for a few scenes. Patchett's fiction unfolds slowly but with a relentless tension. Characters are vividly drawn and the setting, especially in the Amazon, becomes a character in itself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bellwether

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (537)
    Performance
    (271)
    Story
    (276)

    Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennett O'Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of seemingly bad luck, they find a joint project in a flock of sheep. But a series of setbacks and disappointments arise before they are able to find answers to their questions - with the unintended help of the errant, forgetful, and careless office assistant Flip.

    Pam says: "Pattern Recognition" Meets "Office Space"
    "Didactic"
    Overall

    This book has several amusing moments but it's much too heavy-handed. Willis constantly beats the reader over the head with her "satire" of corporate insanity, trends, parenting, and work ethic (or lack thereof). I wanted to roll my eyes with impatience, just like some of the characters. The plot held few surprises. Definitely not Willis' best work.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By David Lindley
    • Narrated By Robert Blumenfeld
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (91)

    Werner Heisenberg's "uncertainty principle" challenged centuries of scientific understanding, placed him in direct opposition to Albert Einstein, and put Niels Bohr in the middle of one of the most heated debates in scientific history. Heisenberg's theorem stated that there were physical limits to what we could know about sub-atomic particles; this "uncertainty" would have shocking implications.

    Ryan says: "fascinating insight into the real drama of physics"
    "The struggle's in the listening"
    Overall

    What could be portrayed as a gripping story is flat both in the narration and the writing. The characters, supposedly the heart of this story, are portrayed at an uninspired distance and the reader sounds like a TV announcer from the 1960's.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jane Austen, Steve Hockensmith
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (777)
    Performance
    (490)
    Story
    (490)

    In this terrifying and hilarious prequel, we witness the genesis of the zombie plague in early 19th-century England. We watch Elizabeth Bennet evolve from a nave young teenager into a savage slayer of the undead. We laugh as she begins her first clumsy training with nunchucks and katana swords and cry when her first blush with romance goes tragically awry.

    Dawn says: "Fantastic Narrator for a Fun Story!"
    "There are two P & P & Z"
    Overall

    The overwrought reading style is perfectly suited to this book, adding an archness that makes it even more amusing. It wasn't until I went looking for more information after the reading, however, that I found out there are two zombie novels written by two different authors. The only relationship this version has with the original Pride and Prejudice (italics) is that there are some of the same characters. Otherwise, it's a romp all its own. The other one, the "classic Regency romance," is the one that includes much of the original wording. It's unfortunate that Audible didn't make the distinction clear.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • South of Broad

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1167)
    Performance
    (372)
    Story
    (372)

    Against the sumptuous backdrop of Charleston, South Carolina, South of Broad gathers a unique cast of sinners and saints. Leopold Bloom King, our narrator, is the son of an amiable, loving father who teaches science at the local high school. His mother, an ex-nun, is the high school principal and a well-known Joyce scholar. After Leo's older brother commits suicide at the age of 13, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death, and Leo, lonely and isolated, searches for something to sustain him

    Lisa S. says: "I gave up"
    "Stereotypes and cliches"
    Overall

    My expectations were low but I thought I could at least rely on Conroy's lush language. Not even that can salvage a book with such a collection of stereotyped characters and dialogue so bad that it reads like something I wrote in high school. If you're new to Conroy, listen to another of his books!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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