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JerseyGirl

JerseyGirl

Annandale, NJ, US | Member Since 2012

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • When The Dancing Stopped: The Real Story of the Morro Castle Disaster and Its Deadly Wake

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Brian Hicks
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (47)

    In the best-selling tradition of The Devil in the White City, award-winning author Brian Hicks tells the explosive story of the Morro Castle, the elegant luxury liner that burned off the coast of New Jersey on September 7, 1934. The captain died under mysterious circumstances seven hours before his ship caught fire off the New Jersey coast.

    Susan says: "Gripping account of a needless disaster."
    "Fascinating story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to When The Dancing Stopped the most enjoyable?

    The story of the Morro Castle disaster (of which I heretofore knew nothing) was an amazing true American tale. Why was this not a part of American History class? We all know about the Titanic, but how many of us know about the Morro Castle tragedy? This is an excellent story, told very well by the author.


    What three words best describe Dick Hill’s performance?

    The narrator did a very good job with diction and annunciation, but I found that, listening to the book over a car audio system, his vocal intonations of the characters' quotes and spoken passages were not on the same listening level as the reading of the passages. As a result, I often had to adjust the sound levels; after a while, this became a bit of a chore, and detracted from the overall listening experience.


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

    Yes, in fact I would often try to listen to it in "snippets", doing chores, cooking, etc. (while I usually listen to audio books while driving to work).


    Any additional comments?

    This was an excellent tale, and very well written. The narrator did a good job, but, perhaps, the technical production needs to be "tweaked" so the listening levels are more fluid. Overall, a very worthwhile purchase!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12421)
    Performance
    (4821)
    Story
    (4856)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    Joseph says: "Good historical setting, but loose story."
    "A Very Long Book...That Ended Too Soon!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would absolutely recommend this audiobook! I had read the novel several years ago, and returned to this title in audiobook format to break up a long commute to work. Good choice! From the very first page, the author engages the listeners with an immediate connection to the characters. There's plenty of drama, mixed with architectural instruction against an historical backdrop. Follett has a true talent for blending all of these elements into a captivating story.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Pillars of the Earth?

    My personal favorite was Ellen's "pissing scene". If you didn't pick up on her spunk before that scene, her tirade left no doubt. It was a graphic illustration of how frustrating it must have been for women of that era to be living amongst self-righteous, pseudo-intellectual men.


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

    I did read the book first, and enjoyed it immensely. John Lee's narration was excellent, and did, actually, enhance the story for me.


    Any additional comments?

    I resisted recommendations to read this novel for a long time. I mean, really...twelfth-century English monks building a cathedral? Sounded so boring to me. Then my aunt pushed the paperback into my hands as I was leaving for a trip, and I opened it on the plane for lack of a better alternative. The plane landed too soon! I was hooked from the first pages, and enjoyed the audiobook just as much several years later.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7094)
    Performance
    (6176)
    Story
    (6160)

    Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever. Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she works at home designing sophisticated security systems.

    Amazon Customer says: "A great book"
    "Shallow...Just can't finish it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Given Nora Roberts' popularity, I guess I'm in a minority, but I just can't seem to latch on to her novels. This one had such high ratings, I thought I'd give it a listen. But, deep into the first download, I can barely keep my eyes on the road while commuting to work during the narrative; I find myself rolling my eyes at the pedestrian characters and the high-school-essay plot development. It may not help that I'm also reading an exquisite novel by Alan Brennert ("Honolulu"); by comparison, the writing in "The Witness" pales beyond redemption. I will return this one.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I will probably go to "Molokai" (Alan Brennert) or one of Ken Follett's magnificent novels ("Pillars of the Earth", "World Without End"), or "Devil in the White City".


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator does try to use vocal inflection to define the characters, but I have often thought that they were not really on target. Again, by comparison, the narrator of "The Crimson Petal and the White" was dead on with her vocal tempo and inflections, which truly enhanced the listening experience. That audio book actually had me completely addicted; I was listening to it at every opportunity. This one...not so much.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    I will try to return this one for something I can look forward to.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Crimson Petal and the White

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Michel Faber
    • Narrated By Jill Tanner
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (175)
    Story
    (182)

    NOW A MAJOR BBC DRAMA starring Romola Garai, Chris O'Dowd, Gillian Anderson, Richard E. Grant, Shirley Henderson and Mark Gatiss. 'Watch your step. Keep your wits about you; you will need them....' So begins this irresistible voyage into the dark side of Victorian London. Amongst an unforgettable cast of low-lifes, physicians, businessmen, and prostitutes, meet our heroine Sugar, a young woman trying to drag herself up from the gutter any way she can.

    anniepaints says: "Loved this Book!!"
    "Excellent audio book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I have actually recommended this audio book. I listened to it every day during a tough commute to work, but found myself sneaking away to see what happened to Sugar next...


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author did a splendid job of bringing humanity to the central character, Sugar.


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

    The narrator was simply perfect for this book. She had a smooth, engaging voice, with a most suitable British accent.


    Any additional comments?

    I was completely captivated with this entire audio book (a long one!), but I found the ending disappointing. In a way, I can understand why it ended the way it did, but I think I'd rather have known more about where and how certain characters ended up.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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