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SomervilleWhereElse

Somerville, MA | Member Since 2007

204
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 44 reviews
  • 50 ratings
  • 1755 titles in library
  • 53 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
38

  • The Art of Hearing Heartbeats: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Jan-Philipp Sendker
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (545)
    Performance
    (453)
    Story
    (460)

    When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be - until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the listener’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.

    Monica says: "Basic Story Interesting, But..."
    "Not so great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this book boring. I did finish it, but it was an effort. The story within the story is predicable and surprising only because someone thought it would be interesting. The location is the unusual part, but that doesn't do what better writing and better narration would have done. I think the book should have been read by a Southeast Asian person. That would have enhanced the locale. I cannot recommend this book, unless you need something to listen to that will put you to sleep.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Haj

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Leon Uris
    • Narrated By Neil Shah
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (125)

    Leon Uris retums to the land of his acclaimed best-seller Exodus for an epic story of hate and love, vengeance and forgiveness. The Middle East is the powerful setting for this sweeping tale of a land where revenge is sacred and hatred noble. Where an Arab ruler tries to save his people from destruction but cannot save them from themselves. When violence spreads like a plague across the lands of Palestine - this is the time of The Haj.

    Jean says: "Oversimplification of Middle East problems"
    "Racist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book might be able to be excused if it was written in the 1950's, but it wasn't. The Arabs in this are portrayed in a way that would be unacceptable for any other group (for example, Jews or African Americans). Leon Uris is a good writer, but that makes the racist piece even worse. I can't even call this historical fiction since it is so biased against Arabs that it's hard to imagine whatever else he wrote about being true. Neil Shah did an excellent job narrating this book.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ordinary Grace

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By Rich Orlow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (638)
    Performance
    (572)
    Story
    (566)

    Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.

    Ronna says: "best book to come along this year!!"
    "Extraordinary Grace"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book that was enhanced by the wonderful narrator. He did a superb job. At the end of the book, the author mentions that he thinks the book would be improved by being read aloud, and he is correct. The book is wonderfully written and the author evokes a time and place long gone in America. The characters are people I really cared for and the sorrow that comes to them in the story really moved me. I wished I could read a book just like it when it was finished.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Moonrise

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Cassandra King
    • Narrated By Jennifer James Bradshaw, Willow Hale, Elle Newlands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (112)

    When Helen Honeycutt falls in love with Emmet Justice, a charismatic television journalist who has recently lost his wife in a tragic accident, their sudden marriage creates a rift between her new husband and his oldest friends, who resent Helen's intrusion into their tightly knit circle. Hoping to mend fences, the newlyweds join the group for a summer at his late wife's family home in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

    Philip Miller says: "Not sure what all the complaints are about..."
    "Book ruined by readers!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like books read by multiple readers--it is often a performance that makes the book even better. These are three awful narrators. The voices they give to the characters are laughable. The story is ordinary--a southern retelling of the classic Rebecca (a much better book). If the book had been read by decent performers it would have elevated it to at least three stars. I will never listen to a book read by any of these people.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Red Sparrow: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jason Matthews
    • Narrated By Jeremy Bobb
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1234)
    Performance
    (1105)
    Story
    (1110)

    Drafted against her will to become a "Sparrow" - a trained seductress in the service, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer who handles the CIA's most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception, and inevitably, a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America's valuable mole in Moscow.

    Melinda says: "Sexy Saucy Spies"
    "Ordinary thriller with recipes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This thriller (which isn't too thrilling) has recipes thrown in. Normally I like books with recipes, but these interfere with the action, and the decision to include them was a mistake. Other reviews have mentioned the great character development. I didn't find that to be so. In addition to the recipes, the violence is also weird because it doesn't seem consistent with the rest of the story telling. I didn't much like this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Among Righteous Men: A Tale of Vigilantes and Vindication in Hasidic Crown Heights

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Matthew Shaer
    • Narrated By Pete Larkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Inside the hidden world of Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn's Crown Heights--a close-knit but divided community. On a cold night in December, the members of a Hasidic anti-crime patrol called the Shomrim are summoned to a yeshiva dormitory in Crown Heights. There to break up a brawl, the Shomrim instead find themselves embroiled in a religious schism which has split the community and turned roommate against roommate, neighbor against neighbor. At the center of the storm is Aron Hershkop....

    SomervilleWhereElse says: "Boring and poorly read"
    "Boring and poorly read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was a police procedural in a small insular community. It was boring, and only interesting at all because of where it was set. So the reading was particularly important--to pronounce the the people and places correctly. Pete Larkin did an embarrassing job. Why was he picked? Sorry I bought it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brideshead Revisited

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Evelyn Waugh
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (230)
    Performance
    (214)
    Story
    (215)

    Evelyn Waugh's most celebrated work is a memory drama about the intense entanglement of the narrator, Charles Ryder, with a great Anglo-Catholic family. Written during World War II, the story mourns the passing of the aristocratic world Waugh knew in his youth and vividly recalls the sensuous pleasures denied him by wartime austerities; in so doing it also provides a profound study of the conflict between the demands of religion and the desires of the flesh.

    Vieux Carré Blonde says: "Extraordinary"
    "First time this has every happened with Audible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Performance and story are a perfect match. However, this recording was bad. It sped up, slowed down, faded in and out and was like the problems that I sometimes have with CDs and never have had with Audible. I cannot imagine the issue. Anyway, back to the book. I saw the PBS Brideshead years ago with the gorgeous Jeremy Irons and his performance on this book is as good as it was then. His voice is like eating ice cream and having a massage at the same time. Great!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Middlesteins: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jami Attenberg
    • Narrated By Molly Ringwald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (188)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (160)

    For more than 30 years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago. But now things are splintering apart, for one reason, it seems: Edie's enormous girth. She's obsessed with food - thinking about it, eating it - and if she doesn't stop, she won't have much longer to live. When Richard abandons his wife, it is up to the next generation to take control. With pitch-perfect prose, huge compassion, and sly humor, Jami Attenberg has given us an epic story of marriage, family, and obsession.

    Lisa says: "Great story - Narration leaves A LOT to be desired"
    "Good writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This well written book isn't for everyone. Not one character is likeable, but the writing is very good and kept me listening to the whole story. Molly Ringwald is an awful reader for this book. All of the Yiddish words, or Jewish expressions, were mispronounced. The rest of the reading was flat.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jill Lepore
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (21)

    Renowned Harvard scholar and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore has composed a strikingly original, ingeniously conceived, and beautifully crafted history of American ideas about life and death from before the cradle to beyond the grave. How does life begin? What does it mean? What happens when we die? “All anyone can do is ask,” Lepore writes. “That’s why any history of ideas about life and death has to be, like this book, a history of curiosity.” As much a meditation on the present as an excavation of the past, The Mansion of Happiness is delightful.

    Sean says: "Disappointing"
    "Not As the Title Suggests"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was awful. The narrator spoke at a speed that was not good for my ears or brain. The book isn't about life and death or people's attitudes toward them at different time periods. It is about board games and trivia. It should have a different title and then maybe people interested in what it is about could purchase it. A waste of a credit.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Pushing Ice

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (2037)
    Performance
    (1698)
    Story
    (1713)

    2057. Humanity has raised exploiting the solar system to an art form. Bella Lind and the crew of her nuclear-powered ship, the Rockhopper, push ice. They mine comets. And they're good at it. The Rockhopper is nearing the end of its current mission cycle, and everyone is desperate for some much-needed R & R, when startling news arrives from Saturn: Janus, one of Saturn's ice moons, has inexplicably left its natural orbit and is now heading out of the solar system at high speed.

    Jesse says: "Proof that a good story doesn't require a trilogy"
    "Great Science Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't believe this book hasn't been made into a movie. It is a wonderful story, well told, and beautifully read. It is really science fiction--having a story written by an astrophysicist, makes for great science along with the fiction. The characters were believable and story huge in scope and time. It was fantastic listening all the way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1280)
    Performance
    (1124)
    Story
    (1113)

    No outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer. They grow vegetables, they tend chickens, they make chocolate. And they sing. Ironically, for a community that has taken a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as “the beautiful mystery.”

    Sparkly says: "Engaging, entertaining, and heartbreaking."
    "Perfect match of narrator and material"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoy this series. They are not exactly "cosy" mysteries, but they are not too gross or graphic. I like the characters, so this book was a revelation in what Louise Penny decided to do with the main ones. The setting in the abbey brought out things in the two main police inspectors that surprised me, but weren't out of character. It actually is something of a cliff hanger as I cannot wait to see if problems are resolved, or relationships torn apart forever. Ralph Cosham is just right as a narrator for this series; he knows how to pronounce the French place names and phrases, and keeps me interested in all that happens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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