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Member Since 2015

  • 5 reviews
  • 475 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 114 purchased in 2015

  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Helen Simonson
    • Narrated By Peter Altschuler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    You are about to travel to Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of your own family. Among them is Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson's wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, Major Pettigrew is one of the most indelible characters in contemporary fiction.

    Sara says: "A Surprising Treat!"
    "Charming book with an excellent narrator"

    Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is a finely-textured comedy of manners concerning a retired English gentleman's growing affection for a Pakistani widow amid his attempts to cope with the current generation's departure from the proper British ways he learned in childhood and the family conflicts surrounding his brother's death. Although the author provides a sensitive look at the culture clashes that inevitably result, she does so without being preachy or intolerably politically correct. The narrator's plummy accent is perfect for the upperclass Major Pettigrew, but he is also quite adept at giving each of the other characters a distinctive and believable voice. An excellent book if you like a rather slow pace and dry English wit.

    70 of 75 people found this review helpful
  • The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Charles Graeber
    • Narrated By Will Collyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    After his December 2003 arrest, registered nurse Charlie Cullen was quickly dubbed "The Angel of Death" by the media. But Cullen was no mercy killer, nor was he a simple monster. He was a favorite son, husband, beloved father, best friend, and celebrated caregiver. Implicated in the deaths of as many as 300 patients, he was also perhaps the most prolific serial killer in American history.

    FanB14 says: "More Chilling than Murder?"
    "The Good Nurse gets it right"

    I have read or listened to dozens of true crime books written by authors who are considered to be the masters of the genre. And almost none of them can hold a candle to The Good Nurse for sheer entertainment value.

    As an aging attorney who started out in the District Attorney's office nearly 40 years ago, I am usually irritated to some degree by the non-nuanced manner that the criminal justice system is treated in books, TV shows, movies, etc. But Graeber hits the nail right on the head in The Good Nurse. And he does it all without pandering to the perpetrator, the families of the victims, or the cops who eventually solve the case--a claim that in my opinion can be made by only one other true crime author (Vincent Bugliosi). If there is any justice in the world, The Good Nurse will become a classic like Helter Skelter.

    And when I finished listening, I couldn't remember anything specific about the narration, which is exactly what I want--a narrator who delivers the goods and gets out of the way. Excellent job by Will Collyer.

    Looking forward to more books by Charles Graeber.

    22 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • My Life with Ewa: The Early Years

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tim Pratt
    • Narrated By Tim Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This delightful true story, written in the first person by the spouse of the title character, will have readers reliving their own pasts. Baby boomers will surely savor references to the pop culture, history, and politics of their collective youth as they get caught up in the personal lives of the author and his spouse. In an afternoon you will learn how a speeding ticket and an interest in four-part a cappella harmony intersected with the Cold War to start the protagonists on the road to holy matrimony.

    jc says: "Delightful!"

    My Life With Ewa: The Early Years is a happily-ever-after story about the author's courtship of his wife Ewa (pronounced EH-va), whom he met in the 1970s during a trip to Poland with a barbershop singing group from Iowa. (He was part of a Cold War program designed to teach Eastern Bloc countries about the virtues of democracy by sending groups of ordinary Americans to eastern Europe as good-will ambassadors.) As indicated by the publisher’s summary, it is hard to decide what genre this book falls into—is it a romance, a humorous coming-of-age story, a travel book, or a lighthearted autobiography? Actually, it’s some of all of these things, but whatever it is, it’s really fun.

    Since I am frequently put off by the stilted performances of first-time authors who read their own books, I was pleased to discover that in addition to being an entertaining writer, Tim Pratt is also a gifted narrator. He’s not afraid to poke fun at himself, and he has a good-natured, I’m-just-telling-a-story delivery that is coupled with a willingness to sing and tackle foreign languages and accents. He handles it all with grace and style.

    The book never failed to hold my attention, and at the end, I found myself wanting to know what happened next. Even if married life turned out to be a bit more mundane than the courtship (as it often does), Mr. Pratt seems to be one of those people that unusual things happen to. Or maybe it’s just that he’s a born storyteller with the ability to make sock lint sound interesting (think Bill Bryson). Either way, I’m hoping for a sequel.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Betty Smith
    • Narrated By Kate Burton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A moving coming-of-age story set in the 1900s, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn follows the lives of 11-year-old Francie Nolan, her younger brother Neely, and their parents, Irish immigrants who have settled in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Johnny Nolan is as loving and fanciful as they come, but he is also often drunk and out of work, unable to find his place in the land of opportunity.

    Nancy says: "Leaves you wondering what happened next -"
    "Great narrator"

    Even after listening to over a thousand audiobooks, a mediocre narrator can still wreck my day. But I was delighted with Kate Burton's interpretation of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which delivered on all counts: excellent pronunciation, believable accents, and sensitive characterization. I must warn you, however, that her style is nuanced and understated rather than theatrical and in-your-face, so if you are a big fan of Scott Brick, you may be disappointed.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade that Gave the World Impressionism

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ross King
    • Narrated By Tristan Layton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    While the Civil War raged in America, another very different revolution was beginning to take shape across the Atlantic, in the studios of Paris. The artists who would make Impressionism the most popular art form in history were showing their first paintings amid scorn and derision from the French artistic establishment. Indeed, no artistic movement has ever been, at its inception, quite so controversial.

    Stephen says: "A marvelous book"
    "French pronunciation abominable"

    I'm a big fan of Ross King and this is an interesting history of a period of change in the world of painting. I would give it 5 stars if it were not for the narrator's incorrect and inconsistent pronunciation of the French words in almost every paragraph. This distracted me to the point that I found it difficult to pay attention to the substance of the book.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful

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