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sherry

Kirkland, WA, United States | Member Since 2004

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 27 reviews
  • 59 ratings
  • 491 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • The Empress of Mars

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Kage Baker
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (165)

    When the British Arean Company founded its Martian colony, it welcomed any settlers it could get. Outcasts, misfits, and dreamers emigrated in droves to undertake the grueling task of terraforming the cold red planet - only to be abandoned when the BAC discovered it couldn't turn a profit on Mars. Mary Griffith and her struggles and triumphs are at the center of it all, in her bar, the Empress of Mars.

    Dave says: "I love this book."
    "Competent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Author Kage Baker creates a fully imagined, logical world peopled with colorful characters. Listening, especially during the cold season, you can almost imagine yourself being there. On the down side, the characters do not change or develop. Rather than building, the conflict tends to bump along, occasionally breaking down like one of the dust-covered vehicles that roam the settlements. Everything comes together in the end, as expected, but the journey benefits from some fast-forwarding through the repetitive problems the characters encounter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Half of a Yellow Sun: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (143)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (121)

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Adichie’s brilliant historical novel follows the fortunes of five characters living through the tumultuous 1960s—a time when the Biafran-Nigerian War raged in southern Africa.

    Mary-Beth says: "Brilliant narration of a captivating story"
    "Gone With the Wind in Nigeria"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm comparing this book to Gone With the Wind for the way it focuses intensely on a small group of people, through them showing the effects of a ruinous war. The book gives us personal melodramas enacted throughout changing times. Our personal absorption in these characters makes each event of the war all the more shocking. Although it's overly long, the extraneous details are absorbing, thanks to Robin Miles' brilliant narration through which each voice becomes a fully realized character.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Nic Pizzolatto
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (333)
    Performance
    (280)
    Story
    (282)

    From the creator, writer, and executive producer of the HBO series True Detective and soon to be a major motion picture comes a dark and visceral novel set along the wastelands of Galveston. On the same day Roy Cady is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he learns that his employer has put a hit out on him. After narrowly escaping an attempt on his life, Cady goes on the run with a young prostitute named Rocky and her three-year-old sister, from New Orleans to Galveston, Texas. But though they run, they cannot hide in this explosive, atmospheric, impossible-to-pause thrill ride.

    Stephanie says: "Richly Layered"
    "Just shoot me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book might win runner-up in the bad Hemingway contest. " I thought of Maria. I checked the .9 mm in my shoulder holster. I needed the .45, but it was lost somewhere in the sea of dust bunnies under Stella's bed." All read in a gravelly monotone that is supposed to sound hard-boiled.

    The hero is a wounded soul. Check. Everyone's a bad guy. Check. Everyone's corrupt. Check. A few have a spark of integrity. Check. I cannot finish. Check.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Kolbert
    • Narrated By Anne Twomey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (98)

    A major audiobook about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes. Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on Earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.

    Male Perspective says: "Better than expected! Great Book!"
    "Unendurable narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a popular science book that expertly combines research with anecdote. I thought I wouldn't mind the narrator but after an hour, couldn't stand any more of her. She reads in a hushed, whispery voice (reverence for the death of species?) with little change in intonation, expertly combining boredom with irritation.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Splendor of Silence

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Indu Sundaresan
    • Narrated By Sneha Mathan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (60)

    In 1942, Sam Hawthorne, a young U.S. Army captain, arrives in a tiny, princely state in western India. He carries combat wounds and several secrets, one of which is the real reason behind his visit: to find his brother Mike, an idealistic American soldier who disappeared after joining the local struggle for independence from the British.

    Alice says: "Loved this audiobook"
    "The book could use more silence"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In a great book, the author knows what to leave unsaid. This book would be improved by cutting half the overly detailed and sometimes overwrought description. You could practically hear the violins playing in the background when hero and heroine meet. We already know from previous heavy hints that they are to be star-crossed. Description sets scene and mood, but each detail should also serve a purpose in moving the story forward. There may be an engrossing story buried here, but I lost interest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (707)
    Performance
    (622)
    Story
    (634)

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

    Dennis says: "Dared to let the kids listen and they loved it..."
    "A can't-miss listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Expect a cross between a Coen brothers' movie and Candide--plus a touch of Forrest Gump. It's funny, absurd, and entertaining as the 100-year-old man collects equally eccentric characters while the plot snowballs along. Enter this book as you would a fable and you won't be disappointed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Monster Hunter International

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5939)
    Performance
    (5194)
    Story
    (5195)

    Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a 14th story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer. It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit.

    Konstantin says: "Suprizingly entertaining"
    "You can trust this writer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I do not read the kind of books Larry Correia writes. Yet I've listened to two and will probably listen to more because I can trust this writer to deliver kick-ass good guys (male and female); stinky slimeballs; strong-arm bad guys; the Supreme and Nearly Invincible Evil; and best of all, an action plot with characters who crack jokes and are individual and sympathetic enough to involve my interest. Correia's fight scenes amaze me--they go on and on and when you think they ought to end by now, they go on. I get bored with the longer fights but I can respect what the author is doing because he does it well. If he's corny, it's because he intends to be. Once the gun goes off at the starting gate, you're in for a fast ride. With guns and explosions, lots of 'em!

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

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Colum McCann
    • Narrated By Geraldine Hughes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (187)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (161)

    In the National Book Award-winning Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann thrilled readers with a marvelous high-wire act of fiction that The New York Times Book Review called "an emotional tour de force". Now McCann demonstrates once again why he is one of the most acclaimed and essential authors of his generation with a soaring novel that spans continents, leaps centuries, and unites a cast of deftly rendered characters, both real and imagined.

    Diane Colson says: "Good narrator miscast"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I hardly dare disagree with all the rave reviews, but this book takes me back to college assignments to read excellently written books that bored me out of my skull. I can't be sure if the problem is the narrator's repetitive, choppy rendition that rolls through every phrase and sentence at the same pace or if the pace of the writing itself is the same throughout. I suspect the problem is the narrator and plan to read the text instead.

    The research is meticulous and accurate, the writing as precise as you would expect from McCann. This book lacks the deep involvement with each character that Let the Great World Spin had. I read about each character from a distance, more like a newspaper report racing through events. In a novel, I want to live with the characters, be right on the ground with them rather than peering down from above.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Anatomist’s Apprentice: The Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mysteries, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Tessa Harris
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (211)
    Performance
    (181)
    Story
    (184)

    The death of Lord Edward Crick has unleashed a torrent of gossip through the seedy taverns and elegant ballrooms of Oxfordshire. Few mourn the dissolute young man - except his sister, the beautiful Lady Lydia Farrell. When her husband comes under suspicion of murder, she seeks expert help from Dr. Thomas Silkstone, a young anatomist from Philadelphia. Thomas arrived in England to study under its foremost surgeon, where his unconventional methods only add to his outsider status. Against his better judgment, he agrees to examine Lord Edward’s corpse.

    Sires says: "Gruesome but Deftly Plotted"
    "If you love melodrama"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author's historical research and detail are impeccable; the writing is highly competent. In her effort to heap up red herrings and plot twists, however, the author mostly succeeds in creating an unconvincing melodrama. Quite early in the book, I wanted someone to throttle the fair and frail Lydia, beloved of our hero only because she is a lovely lady in distress. She's a stock character, a non-entity. The so-brilliant Dr. Thomas Silkstone is reduced to cliché-spouting idiocy in her presence. He has to love her; otherwise he would have little motivation to work feverishly to solve the mystery. I have no doubt the series improves in later novels but this novel does not impel me to continue reading them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Junkyard Dogs: A Walt Longmire Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (1254)
    Performance
    (893)
    Story
    (889)

    Craig Johnson’s rough-and-tumble hero Walt Longmire is quickly becoming a fan-favorite and a critical success. Here Walt has his hands full as greedy land developers employ shady, violent methods to reverse their fortunes in recession-racked Wyoming.

    Kathy says: "At Last! What took so long to get this book??"
    "Some humor with your murders"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Warning: don't listen to the opening scene while driving; you might laugh so hard that you end up in a ditch. The marked humor in this one makes it my favorite of the six Longmire books I've read and listened to so far, a welcome relief from the grimmer stories, even despite the sub-freezing temperatures and snow that I dislike as much in novels as in life. With George Guidall narrating, this series is better heard than read.

    One element that grows tiresome is the way Longmire has to get physically beat up in every novel and give his all in a last-ditch chase, battling his injuries, the elements, and circumstances. It's a convention of the genre but stretches one's suspension of disbelief. Fortunately, you can even laugh about the injuries in Junkyard Dogs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Single & Single

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By John le Carre
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    A lawyer from the London finance house of Single & Single is shot dead on a Turkish hillside by people with whom he thought he was in business. A children's magician is asked by his bank to explain the unsolicited arrival of more than five million pounds sterling in his young daughter's modest trust. A freighter bound for Liverpool is boarded by Russian coast guards in the Black Sea. The celebrated London merchant venturer "Tiger" Single disappears into thin air.

    Darwin8u says: "The spy who came back to the bank"
    "Not Le Carre's best listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    John le Carre is a master at knowing when to cut a scene and what to leave out, how to give just enough information to make you pay attention and figure things out. The way he layers out information can be as puzzling as life but not so puzzling that, even listening, you can't keep track. Except with this book. I recommend it as a book to read rather than to hear because it jumps around in time and place so quickly and frequently that the listener is constantly playing catch-up, especially if you listen while doing something else and your attention is split.

    Those who find the book fully absorbing might be OK with it. It's harder to follow the narrative thread if you're not invested in the main character, Oliver Single. He's a cipher, a blank slate on which others write. That's his purpose in the book. He might summon up some backbone in the end--I won't know until I get a hard copy from the library and finish reading with my eyes instead of my ears.

    The main strength is that Michael Jayston is such a good narrator that you will know who is talking even when you don't know where or when the scene is occurring.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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