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Olympia, WA, United States | Member Since 2014

  • 2 reviews
  • 5 ratings
  • 84 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015

  • The Round House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Louise Erdrich
    • Narrated By Gary Farmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and 13-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

    "Vignettes of Brilliance"
    Where does The Round House rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Difficult to say -- This is a long string of vignettes, many of which are brilliant and made better by the excellent narrator. I listen during commuting and as such, didn't feel that the story was done justice by my split attention between driving and listening. This is a book better listened to with full attention. There are too many subtle gems to miss.

    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The interplay between native American assimilation and independence -- always in tension and a contrast that was always illuminating.

    What does Gary Farmer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Cadence, tone, and intonation. This was a story made to be read by Farmer.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me feel. It was raw and beautiful.

    Any additional comments?

    As I mentioned, this is a book to listened to as narrated by Farmer. Wouldn't have been nearly as special to have read this book. Just don't listen while distracted. Do yourself a favor and listen with intention.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Handmaid's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Claire Danes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....

    Emily - Audible says: "My Top Pick for 2012"
    "Immensely moving -- wonderfully performed."
    What did you love best about The Handmaid's Tale?

    How clear and lyrical the story was and how truthfully it was performed. I thought early-on in the story "this is beautifully poetic." It was no surprise to later find out that Atwood indeed is a poet.

    What other book might you compare The Handmaid's Tale to and why?

    I don't know of other books to which this compares though it did make me think of "Children of Men" probably more for it's dystopian feminism.

    Which character – as performed by Claire Danes – was your favorite?

    There wasn't a favorite. She was masterful with all.

    Who was the most memorable character of The Handmaid's Tale and why?

    Offred of course. She is the character through whom the story is told and through whom Margaret Atwood professes her best poetry.

    Any additional comments?

    I'm really glad that Atwood wrote this story and I cannot believe it took me this long to listen to it. The book really blew me away. I moved through dread, terror, and hope many times. Listening to It was a stark experience and sometimes evoked really powerful emotions. As a guy, I really appreciated the story and the feminist perspective.

    I cannot imagine that this story would have been as emotive and fully developed had it not been read by Claire Danes. She was magnificent! I had heard of her but never really had been exposed to her work. I am glad I was through this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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