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Marian

North Bonneville, WA, United States | Member Since 2009

20
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 73 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Burden of Proof

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Scott Turow
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (288)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (128)

    Presumed Innocent was the fiction debut of the decade - a magnetic work of suspense that earned Turow acclaim for his unparalleled storytelling gifts. Now, in a brilliant follow-up, Scott Turow stakes his claim as an American master, in a mesmerizing novel of law, family and deceit. Alejandro "Sandy" Stern - the brilliant defense lawyer from Presumed Innocent - comes home to discover that his wife of 30 years has committed suicide, leaving behind a web of mystery, money, and guilt.

    Suzn F says: "The Best Yet"
    "ONE OF TUROW'S BEST"
    Overall

    This is one of Scott Turow's best novels, and John Bedford Lloyd does an outstanding job as reader. "Burden" focuses on a character from "Presumed Innocent," the defense attorney, Sandy Stern.

    Turow doesn't flinch from exploring some of the more unsavory areas of human experience. There are scenes in "Burden" that are challenging in that regard. However, it's to Turow's credit that he is willing to delve into his characters' inner longings so fully.

    The plotting is very strong. Just as we think we're beginning to understand what's going on, a new level of chicanery introduces itself. Sandy Stern's extended family is made up of fascinating characters, well-drawn by Turow. As with all of his best novels, each step of the plot is intriguing and the ending utterly satisfying.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Pleading Guilty

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Scott Turow
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (60)

    When Gage & Griswell's star litigator suddenly disappears - along with $5.6 million of its most important client's money - the assignment of locating both goes to Mack Malloy, a 50ish ex-cop, almost ex-drunk, and partner-on-the-wane at G&G. Mack's search takes him into the inner sanctum of his firm and through the shadowy heart of the city itself, on a path that soon runs him up against his longtime nemesis as he plucks the threads of a dangerous web of corruption, deceit, and murder.

    Marian says: "Great novel"
    "Great novel"
    Overall

    I read this novel years ago, and didn't remember liking it that much. But I enjoyed it immensely with this re-reading. The characters are complex and the plot has plenty of twists and turns. The ending is a bit weak, although it would work extremely well in a film version. But that's just a little bit wrong with a great novel. The narrator is top-notch.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Forsyte Saga

    • UNABRIDGED (42 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By John Galsworthy
    • Narrated By Fred Williams
    Overall
    (272)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (88)

    The three novels that make up The Forsyte Saga chronicle the ebbing social power of the commercial upper-middle class Forsyte family through three generations, beginning in Victorian London during the 1880s and ending in the early 1920s. Galsworthy's masterly narrative examines not only their fortunes but also the wider developments within society, particularly the changing position of women.

    Kay in DC says: "A delight"
    "Too much of the same thing"
    Overall

    When I got started on this five-part audiobook, I was really interested, despite the narrator's rather limited range of inflection and characterization. I was still interested in Part 2 and pretty interested in Part 3. I had to make myself listen to Parts 4 and 5, especially Part 5. The plot gets weaker and weaker as the author examines and re-examines the same characters in the same way, without shedding any new light. When the author moves on to another generation, they are less interesting, and they have the same tendencies and rivalries as their elders. There just isn't enough plot to stretch out through this long, long book. Especially with a narrator with such a limited range.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Portobello: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Ruth Rendell
    • Narrated By Tim Curry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (33)

    Walking to the shops one day, 50-year-old Eugene Wren discovers an envelope on the street bulging with cash. A man plagued by a shameful addiction - and his own good intentions - Wren hatches a plan to find the moneys rightful owner. Instead of going to the police, or taking the cash for himself, he prints a notice and posts it around Portobello Road. This ill-conceived act creates a chain of events that links Wren to other Londoners - people afflicted with their own obsessions and despairs.

    Lynn says: "Portobello's Lovely Mean Streets"
    "FASCINATING AND WELL-READ"
    Overall

    The interweaving of the various plots and characters is masterful. This is one of the best of Rendell's novels I've read. The characters are fascinating. Their failings and struggles are involving and often touching. And, miracle of miracles, it doesn't end in misery! The narrator does a wonderful job with all the different accents. He portrays women well, which is challenging. This is an audiobook that you can read over and over again. Ten stars.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Angela's Ashes

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Frank McCourt
    • Narrated By Frank McCourt
    Overall
    (2458)
    Performance
    (1243)
    Story
    (1250)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: There’s no gentle way to put this – Frank McCourt’s performance of Angela’s Ashes is just better than the Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Frank McCourt shares his sometimes heartwarming, sometimes heartbreaking story of growing up poor, Irish, and Catholic in the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir Angela's Ashes.

    Karen says: "A classic book *and* a classic audiobook"
    "ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I'VE EVER READ"
    Overall

    I've read "Angela's Ashes" many times, in a hard-copy version and as an audiobook. It's one of my favorites of all time. And who could read it better than its author, Frank McCourt. I remember that the first time I read it, I thought to myself, "I'm not going to read any more if one more baby dies." Luckily for me, none more did.

    The depth of the tragic events of McCourt's family is intense. It would be unbearable, if it weren't for McCourt's ability to find humor in any relationship or circumstance. Not many books have made me laugh out loud. This is one of them.

    In fact, the balance between despair and humor is an essential element of the greatness of "Angela's Ashes." This is a book that I know I'll return to again and again and always find satisfying.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Eye of the Needle

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By Eric Lincoln
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1984)
    Performance
    (1049)
    Story
    (1052)

    One enemy spy knows the secret of the Allies' greatest deception, a brilliant aristocrat and ruthless assassin - code name: "The Needle" - who holds the key to the ultimate Nazi victory.

    Scott says: "A Classic WWII Spy Thriller"
    "TYPICAL FOLLETT"
    Overall

    I got "Eye of the Needle" as a special Audible offering. It is somewhat entertaining. When it comes to serious novels, I prefer fuller characterizations and more interesting plots. This is "standard fare."

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Careless in Red

    • ABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Elizabeth George
    • Narrated By Charles Keating
    Overall
    (288)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (56)

    After the senseless murder of his wife, Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley retreated to Cornwall, where he has spent six solitary weeks hiking the bleak and rugged coastline. On the 43rd day of his walk, at the base of a cliff, Lynley discovers the body of a young man who appears to have fallen to his death.

    Rebecca says: "Elizabeth George is Back...Whoo Hoo!"
    "A CHALLENGING NOVEL"
    Overall

    "Careless in Red" is extremely well-written. The reader, Charles Keating, is first rate. Luckily for me, I had read the novel in which Thomas' wife is killed, so I wasn't "at sea." I can't recall at the moment the title of that previous novel. I would recommend that, if you're new to George's Scotland Yard's Thomas Lynley novels, you start with an earlier novel. Of course, reading them in order would be best.

    Elizabeth George is a masterful writer and her novels are quite challenging. Her characters are multifaceted and often filled with inner turmoil.

    The reason I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 is that I think that there are just two many story lines to follow, involving minor characters. Or, I should say, characters I wish had had more minor roles in the novel. However, this is an excellent novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bridget Jones's Diary

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By Helen Fielding
    • Narrated By Tracie Bennett
    Overall
    (184)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (53)

    Here is the laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of a hilarious year in the life of the devastatingly self-aware Bridget Jones.- the basis for the film starring Renee Zellweger. And don't miss the sequel: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.

    A J says: "Better heard than read."
    "EXCELLENT IN ALL WAYS"
    Overall

    "Bridget Jones's Diary" is one of the funniest books I've ever read. The narrator, Tracie Bennett, is very good and does marvelous voices for all the various characters in the book. I've read this book about 20 times now--as an unabridged hard-copy book and an audio--but it never grows stale. As I recall the follow-up, "Bridget Jones, The Edge of Reason" was excellent, too.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Walking Across Egypt

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Clyde Edgerton
    • Narrated By Norman Dietz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (11)

    Meet Mattie Rigsby, 78, who keeps a clean house and bakes the best pound cake in Listre, North Carolina. Her children grown, she lives a comfortable and independent life. Her orderly days are about to be disrupted, however, by a stray. Unkempt and unloved, teenaged and delinquent, Wesley Benfield just might need a piece of her apple pie and a verse or two of "Walking Across Egypt", her favorite hymn.

    Marian says: "rating for novel"
    "rating for novel"
    Overall

    I haven't listened to the audiobook yet, so I will return and either edit this or add another posting about the audio version.

    THIS IS A FABULOUS NOVEL. There is no one (I know, there will be someone, a mean person, for instance) who will not enjoy this book.

    A close friend of mine who was prevented, by her *own father* to continue school after the 6th-grade (in the 1940s, in a dirt-poor, rural, black community), because she had to go to work and bring in money, LOVED THIS NOVEL (past tense only because she's deceased).

    I have a Master's in English, and I LOVE THIS NOVEL. And everyone in-between will love this novel, too. You will laugh so hard that you will be embarrassed if you're out in public. You will find yourself laughing at the memory of some of the priceless scenes, when you're sitting on the bus, and you'll have to cover your face, if you don't want everyone looking at you as if you're an outright crazy person.

    And it will touch your heart deeply and restore, if this is needed, your faith in the human race.

    Marian Cates

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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