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Melinda

Shoreline, WA, United States

501
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 50 reviews
  • 95 ratings
  • 108 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2018
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
24

  • Salinger

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David Shields, Shane Salerno
    • Narrated By Peter Friedman, January LaVoy, Robert Petkoff, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (95)

    Shields and Salerno illuminate most brightly the last 56 years of Salinger’s life: a period that, until now, had remained completely dark to biographers. Provided unprecedented access to diaries, letters, legal records, and secret documents, listeners will feel they have, for the first time, gotten beyond Salinger’s meticulously built-up wall. The result is the definitive portrait of one of the most fascinating figures of the 20th century.

    Rich S. says: "Good biographical details marred by over analysis"
    "Ingenious novel or biography? Hard to tell...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow, am I glad I got the flu and was too uncomfortable to sleep and had to spend 2 days in bed. This book is GENIUS...the narration is perfection (sometimes multiple casts don't work for me, but this one is done brilliantly) and I have always wanted to know more about the man who wrote Catcher in the Rye, as it has so much significance. I know there is a documentary (that I hope will not be overlooked in favor of Anchorman, Spiderman 10 or some such drivel) coming out this fall and I wanted to read the book first, as the only book of JD Salinger's I have read is "Catcher". Now, I want to read everything...and this book suggests that there are 5 completed manuscripts that are going to start being released in 2015. These books are currently in the custody of his son. JD just did not want any more publicity in his lifetime.

    He reminds me of a male version of Harper Lee, only he had more than one book in him.

    It is an amazing blend of narrative, insights, real letters (never before published) and voices of those who loved the beloved writer who just wanted to be left in peace, but made pilgrimages to his house anyway, just to be blessed or given direction or were his lovers. Mr. Salinger kept saying "I am a fiction writer...I have nothing to offer you" to the many pilgrims. He participated in D Day and lived through WWII....which is an amazing feat in it's self.... But he was obviously shell shocked (or what we would call today PTSD) and just wanted to live a peaceful life and write. He never wanted our adoration.

    We get to hear from his first true love, Oona O'Neill, the saucy daughter of playwright Eugene O'Neill, who married Charlie Chaplain over JD and had 8 kids and flaunted their sexuality in JD's face. (that happens early on in the book, and I shall not reveal more)

    We get to hear from the few fans who were able to break through his impenetrable wall-o-silence life and exchanged letters with him or published articles about the reclusive author.

    Probably most of the facts could be looked up on Wikipedia, but then you miss the chance of listening to one of the greatest books ever recorded!

    Five stars isn't enough for this wonderful audiobook.... I would need a whole constellation of stars to do it right...

    BRAVO! This is the best book I have heard in a very long time. Totally captivating. But I have to wonder.... is it a novel (as listed here and other places) or a clever biography. You choose.

    26 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • The French Lieutenant's Woman

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Fowles
    • Narrated By Paul Shelley
    Overall
    (617)
    Performance
    (371)
    Story
    (375)

    At Lyme Regis on the Dorset coast, a young Victorian amateur palaentologist, Charles Smithson, is struck by a solitary figure standing at the far end of the Cobb, staring out to sea. It is Sarah Woodruff, known to the locals as 'poor Tragedy' since her apparent liaison with a French sailor who has since deserted her. Although Charles is already engaged to a young heiress, he is immediately beguiled and eventually infatuated with Sarah.

    Richard says: "Great drama, great reader."
    "A Difficult Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had a very hard time getting through this book. I wanted to love it, but I found it sort of frustrating.

    For once I am going to say the movie is better than the book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Redeeming Features: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Nicholas Haslam
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    With Redeeming Features, set mainly in New York, London, Arizona, and various parts of Europe, British designer Nicholas Haslam has written a completely engaging memoir about pretty much everyone you have ever heard of anywhere in the 20th and 21st centuries. Like a "WASP Zelig", from the 1950s until 2008, the frenetically social and ebullient Haslam has managed, according to Vanity Fair, to "pop up from decade to decade alongside some of the most fascinating people in our cultural history."

    Melinda says: "What a terrible book"
    "What a terrible book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was completely astonished by how horrid this book was. The performance is great... but that's it. This book has absolutely ZERO redeeming features, and it isn't even clear what the author is trying to redeem himself from. Maybe he had a bad hair day one day long ago.

    It's just a list of name dropping in fabulous places.

    Don't bother

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Mists of Avalon

    • UNABRIDGED (50 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Marion Zimmer Bradley
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (3611)
    Performance
    (3290)
    Story
    (3303)

    A posthumous recipient of the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, Marion Zimmer Bradley reinvented - and rejuvenated - the King Arthur mythos with her extraordinary Mists of Avalon series. In this epic work, Bradley follows the arc of the timeless tale from the perspective of its previously marginalized female characters: Celtic priestess Morgaine, Gwenhwyfar, and High Priestess Viviane.

    GH says: "Outstanding Must Listen Tome"
    "Loved this in print"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow. I was so disappointed with this book as an audio book. I haven't read it since I was young, but I remember loving it so much that I could barely but it down.

    I don't think it is produced or directed well. There is nothing wrong with the source material, so it isn't that. This just failed to grab me.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Timothy Egan
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor, Ken Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2348)
    Performance
    (1650)
    Story
    (1665)

    The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region.

    Sara says: "A Fascinating History"
    "Fantastic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't typically read non-fiction, but I truly loved this book. What amazes me is that we cannot learn to save our planet based on a mistake we made in the 30's.

    I really don't know how to heap more praise on this worthy book than has already been heaped... but if you haven't read it, it is beautifully performed and the research behind it seems solid.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cain

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jose Saramago
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (85)

    In this, his last novel, Saramago daringly reimagines the characters and narratives of the Bible through the story of Cain. Condemned to wander forever after he kills Abel, he is whisked around in time and space. He experiences the almost-sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, the Tower of Babel, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Joshua at the battle of Jericho, Jobe's ordeal, and finally Noah's ark and the Flood.

    Melinda says: "One Heck of Funny Book!!!!!"
    "One Heck of Funny Book!!!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Oh my gosh.... this is such a FUNNY book... I have listened to it quite a few times and I always get a kick out of this re-imagining of Genesis.

    Basically the lead character Cain goes around on his donkey creating havoc wherever he goes. He is NOT a nice person and he is endlessly quibbling with God and blaming all of his wrongdoings on God, who is also not a very "nice", um, God?

    Saramago can write VERY subversive books (The Gospel According to Jesus Christ.... which sadly is available as an audiobook, but not though Audible as far as I know) got the nobel-prize winning author kicked out of his home country. Sometimes Christians just cannot take a joke.

    So if you are one of those, don't get this book... you will hate it. But for you who aren't offended of someone making fun of the bible, go for it! It is so well narrated, too. Just the perfect amount of irony, scorn and smarmy-ness that tip the book from very funny to rolling on the ground laughing funny.

    One of my favorites!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Goodbye, Columbus: And Five Short Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By John Rubinstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (116)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (88)

    Neil Klugman and pretty, spirited Brenda Patimkin - he of poor Newark, she of suburban Short Hills - meet one summer and dive into an affair that is as much about social class and suspicion as it is about love. The novella, the first book published by Philip Roth, explores issues of both class and Jewish assimilation into American culture. It won the National Book Award in 1960.

    DJ says: "Jews Meet the Suburbs -- Sharp but Funny"
    "I can't even believe how bad this is"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read most of Philip Roth's books (my favorites are the Zuckerman books) and I had this one sitting around in my library for a long time. I listened to it yesterday up to the point where the stories started. Then I threw the book in my garbage can.

    Goodbye Columbus is just an insipid little story about a loser who can't get with the girls.

    And I need to mention how horribly it is read.... This John Rubinstein guy does a Jewish voice serviceably, but that's it. The protagonist isn't well done nor are the many female voices. This guy must be friends with Philip Roth or something because I seriously do not know how else he got the job.

    Maybe the director was deaf? That is the only reasonable explanation I can come up with.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Year of Magical Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Joan Didion
    • Narrated By Barbara Caruso
    Overall
    (2318)
    Performance
    (1322)
    Story
    (1338)

    "Life changes fast....You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends." These were among the first words Joan Didion wrote in January 2004. Her daughter was lying unconscious in an intensive care unit, a victim of pneumonia and septic shock. Her husband, John Gregory Dunne, was dead. The night before New Year's Eve, while they were sitting down to dinner, he suffered a massive and fatal coronary. The two had lived and worked side by side for nearly 40 years.

    Michael says: "Great book to Read, but I didn’t like it"
    "A Stunning Memoir on Grief"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a hard book, but so beautifully done that I feel I grow as a human being every time I read it or listen to it. I love the audio version. Joan Didion reflects so well on the little things that make up this big thing called life. Thank you for this brave memoir.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Song of Solomon

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Toni Morrison
    • Narrated By Toni Morrison
    Overall
    (309)
    Performance
    (250)
    Story
    (249)

    Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel Garcia Marquez. As she follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family's origins, Morrison introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized black world.

    JACK says: "Poorly Edited"
    "I love this book~~in print"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Toni Morrison's reading voice is like listening to a lullaby. I have always admired this book, but never loved it the way I love Beloved.

    This book could have probably come up on it's heels, if it weren't for the DISTRACTING man who pops in now and again to read a few paragraphs. I am stuck dumb by the producer's decision...

    Sometimes I like books that are a cast... but not this one. There is no purpose.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18759)
    Performance
    (15903)
    Story
    (15946)

    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.

    Robert says: "Glad I took a chance."
    "A beauty of a Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book when it was originally published. If one expresses interest in this book, I DO recommend the printed version, because of the drawings and the unusual font.

    I was skeptical of this making a good audiobook. It is masterful. Completely. The reader's voice is delicious to listen to... and if you you can do is get this book on Audible, then be sure to look up Max's drawings (The StandOver Man... and one other that I don't believe is named)

    The font used and the drawings are charming and can be found on the web.

    Unfortunately, it was a bad film. It's not really filmable. Please do not judge this book if you saw the superbad movie.

    But I digress. If you don't have access to the drawings, then LISTEN to this book. I can't believe I waited SO long to finally get it on Audio.... I just didn't think it would translate.

    Oh, but it does... and does so magnificently. I know it won an important children's literary prize... but it's for everyone who loves good writing and master story telling. This might be my all time favorite audio book (and I have lots)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Reconstructing Amelia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Kimberly McCreight
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2692)
    Performance
    (2423)
    Story
    (2424)

    When Kate, single mother and law firm partner, gets an urgent phone call summoning her to her daughter's exclusive private school, she's shocked. Amelia has been suspended for cheating, something that would be completely out of character for her over-achieving, well-behaved daughter. Kate rushes to Grace Hall, but what she finds when she finally arrives is beyond comprehension. Her daughter is dead.

    FanB14 says: "Gossip Girl"
    "Just awful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm guessing teenage girls might like this, but after 15 minutes of the snivelling voice actress, I gave up. I don't wanna go back to high school with this group of people.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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