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Barbie Smith

Austin, TX United States | Member Since 2004

84
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 485 ratings
  • 830 titles in library
  • 48 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
23
FOLLOWERS
3

  • Killing Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Barry Eisler
    • Narrated By Michael McConnohie
    Overall
    (697)
    Performance
    (291)
    Story
    (293)

    In Killing Rain, Rain has a new employer, the Mossad, which needs an operator who can remove 'problems' in Asia, and a new partner: Dox, the ex-marine sniper and party animal first introduced in Rain Storm. He also has a new hope, that by using his fearsome talents in the service of something good, he might atone for all the lives he has already taken.

    Amazon Customer says: "I give this book my highest rating."
    "Wooden and boring"
    Overall

    Honestly I can't believe the good reviews of this book.

    First, I strongly dislike this narrator. He sounds like he was chosen for having a deep radio voice -- not for talent as a narrator. I found his delivery to be wooden and stilted.

    More importantly, the story was just boring and written at a fifth grade level. I had to force myself to finish it... Maybe I'm spoiled, because before this one I listened to In the Woods. Fantastic book, and supremely well-written.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20870)
    Performance
    (18712)
    Story
    (18779)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Stop reading at the end of Part 2."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Gone Girl better?

    I don't think Nick's persona was adequately fleshed out. He didn't make sense.

    The ending? Like a dull, reverberating thud.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Gillian Flynn? Why or why not?

    Possibly. Flynn is a talented writer and writes with an observant wit. However I'm not a big fan of dark disturbing stories - unless they resolve in a way that makes the journey worthwhile.


    Have you listened to any of Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne ???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Julia Whelan's narration is outstanding, as it was in Nora Robert's Witness. In fact I searched for more books she had narrated. Heyborne did a great job, too.


    You didn???t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The plot line kept me entertained and absorbed until the final quarter of the book, at which time I was longing for it to end.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Blackhouse

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Peter May
    • Narrated By Peter Forbes
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (102)

    A brutal killing takes place on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland: a land of harsh beauty and inhabitants of deep-rooted faith. Detective Inspector Fin Macleod is sent from Edinburgh to investigate. For Lewis-born Macleod, the case represents a journey both home and into his past. Something lurks within the close-knit island community. Something sinister. As Fin investigates, old skeletons begin to surface and soon, he, the hunter, becomes the hunted.

    dumbclub says: "Unputdownable"
    "Wow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Blackhouse the most enjoyable?

    The combination of the narrator, interesting fleshed-out characters, and the unique setting made this book a cut above the rest.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Interesting mystery, intriguing setting; and the motivations of the characters


    What about Peter Forbes???s performance did you like?

    Okay well I love Irish accents. But Forbes did a great job of telling the story without distracting from it. That makes a narrator stand out.


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

    It was melancholy throughout, but not too much so. The ending was quite satisfying.


    Any additional comments?

    Wish I could have given it 5 stars. But I save 5 stars for the tip-top cream of the crop -- such as The Help.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Match Me If You Can: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Susan Elizabeth Phillips
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2294)
    Performance
    (946)
    Story
    (959)

    Annabelle is tired of being the lone failure in a family of overachievers. She's endured dead-end jobs and a broken engagement. But that's going to change now that she's taken over her late grandmother's matchmaking business. All Annabelle has to do is land the Windy City's hottest bachelor as her client, and she'll be the most sought-after matchmaker in town.

    Daniela says: "Guilty Pleasure"
    "Narrate to me if you can"
    Overall

    I managed to listen to the entire book. Barely. However after listening to this book, and to others narrated by Anna Fields, I've decided not to download any more books narrated by her.

    Her male character voices are simply dreadful. Her male voices sound like a child imitating a man: chin down, muffled, swallowing the words. They are even hard to understand because of this. Additionally, her southern accents are the worse I've ever heard, after listening to many, many female narrators.

    Ms Fields, you need to modify your timbre only slightly, or make other simple speech modifications for a male character. The reader is intelligent enough to make the distinction.

    The story? Oh yes... Very cute. It's the sole reason I persevered.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daemon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    Overall
    (7383)
    Performance
    (4387)
    Story
    (4420)

    Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Really Fast Paced Sci Fi!"
    "Written by precocious geeky 13-year old videogamer"
    Overall

    Wow, I'm sorry, but this was painful to endure to the end. Written with all the depth and maturity of a precocious, sun-starved, puffy-thighed 13-year-old techno-nurd.

    The narrator was also abysmally gee-whizzy though I will say he fit perfectly with the tone of the book.

    How could this book _possibly_ have rated 4 stars up to this point?!

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Scarpetta

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Patricia Cornwell
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (890)
    Performance
    (253)
    Story
    (255)

    Leaving behind her private forensic pathology practice in Charleston, South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta accepts an assignment in New York City, where the NYPD has asked her to examine an injured man on Bellevue Hospital's psychiatric prison ward. The handcuffed and chained patient, Oscar Bane, has specifically asked for her, and when she literally has her gloved hands on him, he begins to talk - and the story he has to tell turns out to be one of the most bizarre she has ever heard.

    Becky says: "Don't waste your money"
    "Boring and remote"
    Overall

    Ugh. I find forensic science fascinating, but preferably balanced with enough plot and character development to balance it with light and humanity.

    Scarpetta is white bread served on a sterling silver platter. I mean, who cares? She is not an appealing or sympathetic character.

    This story droned on and ON with psychoanalysis of, and conversations between, the flat characters of Scarpetta, Benton, Berger and the only slightly more interesting Lucy. Marino is the only appealing character in this story. Heck, in this series.

    Finally, Kate Reading's narration has a brittle, patrician air to it, lending to the overall emotional inaccessibility of this book.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Death Without Company: A Walt Longmire Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (2434)
    Performance
    (1839)
    Story
    (1830)

    When an elderly local woman is found poisoned, Sheriff Walt Longmire begins an investigation that soon has him ensnared in a deadly spider's web. From Craig Johnson, author of the acclaimed novel The Cold Dish, comes this enthralling Sheriff Longmire mystery. With a distinctive literary flair, Johnson leads us into the wide open space of Absaroka County, Wyoming.

    Laura Harley says: "What a wonderful find!"
    "Simply the best"
    Overall

    Craig Johnson is now my favorite author. This is the second of his books I've read and it even exceeds his first, Cold Dish. Johnson is an immensely talented writer. Aside from the good mysteries, he has created unforgettable characters and sense of place. He combines a fantastic wit with just enough warmth to make you care about the characters and the story. I'm not a writer, so I can't do it justice...

    Finally, George Guidall does a _superb_ job of narrating this story. By God I think he was born for such a time as this. Don't think I've read a more perfect author and narrator combination (and i have read many, MANY audio books.)

    23 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Heart-Shaped Box

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang
    Overall
    (2192)
    Performance
    (1072)
    Story
    (1069)

    Judas Coyne is a collector of the macabre. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as his latest discovery, a thing so terrible-strange, Jude can't help but reach for his wallet. For a thousand dollars, Jude will become the proud owner of a dead man's suit, said to be haunted by a restless spirit. But what UPS delivers to his door in a black heart-shaped box is no imaginary or metaphorical ghost. It's the real thing.

    Lesley says: "Yikes! Five stars for fright"
    "Boring and tedious"
    Overall

    I simply can't finish this book. It's dark and disturbing. But that's not the reason I can't finish it... It's because I'm about 1/3 of the way through and frankly I could care less about the protagonist. I'm sure as the story proceeds one might grow to care or at least become interested in Jude.

    However I can't stick it out that long. The author/narrator reads like a reduced-speed automaton (which has been programmed to sound ominous) and the female characters all sound mentally challenged.

    The narration, along with the boring protagonist, don't provide the motivation I need to muddle through this dark story.

    The author is otherwise a talented writer. I wish his success with his next effort.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • A Good and Happy Child: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Justin Evans
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (22)

    Thirty-year-old George Davies can't bring himself to hold his newborn son. After months of accepting his lame excuses and strange behavior, his wife demands that he see a therapist, and George, desperate to save his unraveling marriage and redeem himself as a father and husband, reluctantly agrees.

    Barbie Smith says: "Fantastic"
    "Fantastic"
    Overall

    This might be the only book I've given 5 stars -- and i've been an Audible member for something like four years and have listened to many, many books. This one is un-put-down-able.

    The story is riveting and the author is a great talent. Mr. Evans, please keep writing! Can't wait for your next work.

    Mark Deakins: Hands-down the best narrator I've had the pleasure of hearing. We need more of you! In fact I'll go seek out anything else you have narrated when I finish this review.

    The ending felt slightly rushed and wasn't as satisfying as I had hoped for but left me thinking long afterward. So I guess that's a good thing.

    READ THIS BOOK.

    24 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • In the Woods

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    Overall
    (5047)
    Performance
    (3075)
    Story
    (3075)

    As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children, unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

    Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a 12-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery.

    Amazon Customer says: "A near-flawless audiobook (but for one thing...)"
    "so CLOSE, yet..."
    Overall

    Oh my, this book was written more artfully than any I have read in years (and i've read many). I grew to care about the characters and became utterly absorbed in the story. This promised to become one of my all-time favorite novels. Near perfect.

    But then the story declined, and left me cold. It became depressing to continue listening... One of the mysteries was solved, but I had the killer picked out early in the story. The second big mystery was left unsolved. I could have dealt with that, had the story involving the major characters come to a more positive resolution.

    Tana, you are incredibly talented. You came SO close to writing the perfect novel. Please just work on your story line in the next one, which I can't wait to read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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