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M

WINTER PARK, FL, United States | Member Since 2012

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 108 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • Russka: The Novel of Russia

    • UNABRIDGED (39 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Edward Rutherfurd
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (108)

    Russka is the story of four families who are divided by ethnicity but united in shaping the destiny of Russia. From a single riverside village situated at one of the country’s geographic crossroads, Russia’s Slav peasant origins are influenced by the Greco-Iranian, Khazar, Jewish, and Mongol invasions. Unified by this one place, the many cultures blend to form a rich and varied tapestry. Rutherfurd’s grand saga is as multifaceted as Russia itself.

    Angelyn says: "Wonderful Historical Novel"
    "Sweeping"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Russka in three words, what would they be?

    Thorough, Sweeping, Surprising


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I began to find the relationships and outcomes somewhat predictable. Although I love historical fiction -- it's the only way for me to put the facts into a context -- I'm disappointed by pat outcomes and unlikely coincidences. I would have liked a little more time with fewer characters.


    What about Wanda McCaddon’s performance did you like?

    The delivery was clear and her shift between voices was adept. I never felt lost in a conversation.


    Any additional comments?

    I love this kind of giant, challenging novel. I'm always sorry when they approach the present and I know I will be leaving it all behind.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Locked On

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3729)
    Performance
    (3202)
    Story
    (3188)

    Although his father had been reluctant to become a field operative, Jack Ryan Jr. wants nothing more. Privately training with a seasoned Special Forces drill instructor, he’s honing his skills to transition his work within The Campus from intelligence analysis to hunting down and eliminating terrorists wherever he can—even as Jack Ryan Sr. campaigns for re-election as President of the United States. But what neither father nor son knows is that the political and the personal have just become equally dangerous.

    Joseph says: "Give me more! Loved it!"
    "A Little Too Dense and Rambo for My Tastes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Locked On rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I haven't read many thrillers recently, but Clancy, LaCarre, and Forsyth have been some of my favorite writers over time. My geopolitics are probably a bit rusty, but this was not one of my favorites. There were too many players for me to keep up with and the character depth was spotty.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Tom Clancy and Mark Greaney ? Why or why not?

    Probably not. I don't really take to the techy gun talk and macho swagger. I'm all for a good plan and fierce fight, but this one was just a bit too technically...well boring.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I liked all the scenes involving John Clarke. His was the most deeply drawn character.


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

    Not at all. Although the premise of loose Pakistani nukes in the wrong hands was scintillating.


    Any additional comments?

    Maybe you just have to be in the right mood for a spy thriller. When I first began to enjoy the genre, the cold war was just petering out. Revelations about our newest surveillance operations and the constant fearmongering EVERYWHERE has just diminished my tolerance for more cloak and dagger politicking and subterfuge, I guess.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By E. L. James
    • Narrated By Becca Battoe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15462)
    Performance
    (12777)
    Story
    (13415)

    When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

    Amazon Customer says: "Holy Crap minus the Holy"
    "Much Ado About Nothing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    If the author intentionally wanted to write like a college freshman, she pulled it off perfectly. If it was unintentional, then it was terrible.


    Would you recommend Fifty Shades of Grey to your friends? Why or why not?

    Probably not. It's embarrassing to admit actually reading all that S&M to the last page> However, it does shed a different light on the whole doninance/submission dynamic between partners, even without all the sex.


    Which character – as performed by Becca Battoe – was your favorite?

    I did not have one. I found Grey to be disturbed...and disturbing in that I'm sure there are selfish, emotionally crippled and inaccessible men like him just going their merry way and incurring no bill for their behavior.
    The heroine was too young and emotionally flat to engage with. Again, if that was intentional, perfectly done; if not, then a pretty sad excuse for a protagonist.


    Could you see Fifty Shades of Grey being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I'm sure it could be , and perhaps will be, given its popularity. Someone like Leonardo DiCaprio (only a bit younger), and maybe someone like Jennifer Lawrence (Hunger Games) would bring some nuance and depth to the main character.


    Any additional comments?

    Forcing myself to the finish of this book did not make me want to read a sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Agincourt

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By Charles Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1492)
    Performance
    (611)
    Story
    (622)

    Young Nicholas Hook is dogged by a curse, haunted by what he has failed to do and banished for what he has done. A wanted man in England, he is driven to fight as a mercenary archer in France, where he finds two things he can love: his instincts as a fighting man, and a girl in trouble. Together they survive the notorious massacre at Soissons, an event that shocks all Christendom. With no options left, Hook heads home to England, where his capture means certain death.

    Andrew says: "Fantastic!"
    "Let's Go Medieval!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Agincourt to be better than the print version?

    I LIKED this reader. I can't say that it's BETTER than a print version, I just happen to prefer audio. Keating made the distinction between voices obvious without resorting to caricature...it's a fine balance. It's difficult sometimes in audio books to follow conversations with only one reader, but this was seamless.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Don't want to spoil the best part. Talk about “goin’ all Medieval”!! This has the best and most graphic battles ever. Cornwell is acknowledged as one of the best historical fiction writers of all time, and this novel is one of the best. It’s 1415 or thereabouts, before Joan of Arc --1420 or so -- and Henry VIII—1515--, when Henry V is making his stand in France, during the 100 years war. Historical fiction with humor is rare and this one pulls it off in some wonderful dialog.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Sir John is hilarious and the rest of the dialog is very good. You’ll feel like your on the field with Hook, the Archer and the poor, arrogant French knights and men at arms.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I have the luxury of listening as long as I want almost all the time. I pick long books and generally don't miss a day without an audiobook as part of it.


    Any additional comments?

    I think this is Cornwell's best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Steven Kotler, Peter H. Diamandis
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (640)
    Performance
    (543)
    Story
    (537)

    We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. This bold, contrarian view, backed up by exhaustive research, introduces our near-term future, where exponentially growing technologies and three other powerful forces are conspiring to better the lives of billions of people. This book is an antidote to pessimism by tech-entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler.

    Ryan says: "A catalog of positive innovations on the horizon"
    ".Kotler & Diamandis Deliver"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Abundance the most enjoyable?

    I wanted some good news for a change. And I got it. In clear and accessible language, the book fairly brims with possibility without becoming pie in the sky. It gives me hope that my children and theirs may enjoy a life unrecognizable from where we stand now...and in a very good way.


    What other book might you compare Abundance to and why?

    Anything by TED speakers and Plan B. The Undercover Economist is another that explains a great deal, in ways most brains don't pursue. All three of these take us from the here to the what if? with good science, optimism and a healthy dose of 'not necessarily the news'.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The Future is Brighter Than You Think


    Any additional comments?

    It's nice to get some encouragement that we can still step back from the brink and take one of many new paths...instead of simply retracing our steps.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paris: The Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Edward Rutherfurd
    • Narrated By Jean Gilpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (351)
    Performance
    (313)
    Story
    (312)

    Internationally best-selling author Edward Rutherfurd has enchanted millions of readers with his sweeping, multigenerational dramas that illuminate the great achievements and travails throughout history. In this breathtaking saga of love, war, art, and intrigue, Rutherfurd has set his sights on the most magnificent city in the world: Paris. Moving back and forth in time across centuries, the story unfolds through intimate and vivid tales of self-discovery, divided loyalties, passion, and long-kept secrets of characters both fictional and real, all set against the backdrop of the glorious city.

    Kathi says: "Rutherfurd's "Paris"--C'est très bien!"
    "Not Rutherford's Best Effort"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. Too much predictable romance and not enough coherent story. In this one, Rutherford "tells" too much of political and social goings on through a pedantic adults to children in museum visits or verbal arguments between political opposites. Historical fiction should transport you to a time, not tell you about it. That's what textbooks are for.

    I would have appreciated the whole thing more if it had been more linear. It jumped back and forth between generations and was thus, confusing. Not familiar with french names, I found it difficult to follow. Therefore, I didn't have a character to love through most of it. I did connect with Tomas and was sad to see Luc become such a sociopath.


    Has Paris turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I will always enjoy historical fiction. This doesn't even put me off Rutherford...he's written too many other good ones.It just didn't measure up to his usual standard.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Most of the performance was good, but the elderly voices were much too shrill. Characters that the author 'doesn't like' were also too much of a caricature. The reader does however, have quite a range.


    Could you see Paris being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Any historical piece lends itself to film, but most of the French actors I know are too old to play most of the parts.


    Any additional comments?

    Not up to Rutherford's usual standard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (8190)
    Performance
    (4893)
    Story
    (4882)

    Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Fall of Giants is his magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.

    Keith says: "Ken Follett and John Lee / Audible's Dream Team"
    "Historical Fiction at its Richest and Best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Fall of Giants in three words, what would they be?

    Compelling, Thorough and Surprising


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Fall of Giants?

    It's difficult to select only one in 40 hrs of audio. The farcical trial of Billy Williams and masterful command of legal possibilities to achieve an end is one, as well as Gregory's shock and disillusion at a moment of helplessness after he has achieved so much. Another very special insight or revelation of another layer in a character is the little scene with Lev and the biggest sandwich in the world.


    Who was the most memorable character of Fall of Giants and why?

    Follet does such a consummate job of drawing all his characters, that it's very hard to pick just one. They are all multi-dimensional and flawed -- heroic in one moment and petty the next. What is surprising is his ability to create strong and thoroughly believable female characters.


    Any additional comments?

    I always enjoyed Follet's political thrillers and was delighted to pick him up again in my favorite genre -- historical fiction. I didn't think I'd take to the early 20th century and WWI. Big surprise! I've taught social studies and only now do I feel I actually understand how the assassination of some foreign royalty in an insignificant country could have drawn the entire world into one of the most wasteful and pointless wars in history. By the time it is too late to end it, no one seems to know why they are fighting. I never knew that.

    Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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