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virginia

Adirondacks | Member Since 2000

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 598 titles in library
  • 33 purchased in 2014
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  • The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Tim Robbins
    Overall
    (1539)
    Performance
    (936)
    Story
    (943)

    The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald's portrait of the Jazz Age in all its decadence and excess, is, as editor Maxwell Perkins praised it in 1924, "a wonder". It remains one of the most widely read, translated, admired, imitated, and studied 20th-century works of American fiction.

    Redhawk Readers says: "Something you won't fall asleep to..."
    "Well done"
    Overall

    I have to admit I had no interest in reading this book in high school but listening to it read by Tim Robbins made it very enjoyable. Regarding the problems people are having with the women's accents, if memory serves me correctly both Daisy and Jordan were originally from Tennesee even though they lived in NY, hence the accents.

    7 of 8 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
    (21028)
    Performance
    (18858)
    Story
    (18925)

    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!"
    "Captivating, with some minor annoyances"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is definitely hard to put down, with unexpected twists and turns.... the action is constant, the characters compelling in a train-wreck kind of way and the dialogue engaging. I kept coming back to the story often because I had to find out what happened next. Others complain about the ending, which I won't spoil, but to me it adds to the haunting quality of the story.

    One thing that drove me nuts was the mixing of tenses in Amy's part of the book. Using the present tense to describe the past is bad enough, but then it switches tenses back and forth..... to the past tense for something that happened earlier than morning, and back to present tense to talk about an event that happened two weeks ago! "Two weeks ago, we are driving to...." instead of "we were" Very clumsy sounding.

    The other problem I had, and this is common, is Julia Whelan's narration of male voices. In fact, I have a message for half the female narrators who read audiobooks: Don't try to sound like a man. Don't bring your voice to an unnaturally low level or disguise it to sound like what you think is manly. The result will sound like a man with a really bad stomach ache. Instead, just bring the pitch down about a half-octave, but stay within your normal speaking range. The goal is to differentiate between characters, not sound exactly like they would sound. The audiobook-listening world will still be able to tell the male is speaking and won't be distracted by the fakeness of the voice. A good example of a female reader who can do this is Laurel Lefkow.... you can hear how she does a man's voice the the sample of "The Reckoning" by Alma Katsu.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wool: Silo, #1; Wool, #1-5

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Amanda Sayle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1783)
    Performance
    (1639)
    Story
    (1655)

    In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Post-apocalyptic life in a silo"
    "Excellent story, ridiculous narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am always happy to find a new series of books to keep me busy for all of the driving and walking I do, and this kept me interested throughout the entire story. I love the author's vision of an underground society, and the trip to the down-deep by the mayor and deputy, while a slower part of the book, was a great way to describe the makeup of the silo in a more dynamic way than just a narrative description which would have taken too long. The plot twists were well timed, the characters interesting and there was just enough left out to make you want to continue with the next book "Shift" which I will be reading next.

    Unfortunately, the narration for many of the character voices was horrendous. I read about narration problems in the reviews, but when I listened to the sample (in both versions of this book) I thought "well that isn't so bad".... of course, because there is no dialogue in any of the samples. Good thinking, Audible, I wouldn't want potential buyers of the book to hear the cringeworthy voice of Bernard, which is a cross between Paul Lynde and Edward G Robinson, or the Minnie Mouse voice of half the female characters. For other males she makes the same mistake as many other female narrators doing male voices... she tries to sound like a man rather than just using a lower version of her normal speaking voice. The result, for characters like Lucas and Holsten, is the voice of a man who has just been punched in the stomach. It is a shame because it takes away from what would otherwise be a very enjoyable and interesting book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Joyland

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Michael Kelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3307)
    Performance
    (3055)
    Story
    (3056)

    Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. Joyland is a brand-new novel and has never previously been published.

    Cozy Reader says: "The sweest and creepiest coming of age story!"
    "Why Judge a Book By its Predecessors?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a great summer read for my daily fitness walks.... the 70's setting, the traditional amusement park, the North Carolina shore and the detailed descriptions of character and setting really makes you feel like you are there while everything is happening. I could almost smell the fried dough and hear the carnival music coming from the merry-go-round. During my walks I felt like I was making that daily hike along the beach to Joyland.

    I too am a long-time fan of Stephen King, but have read enough of his books to know he occasionally departs from his usual thriller style.... he can do that because he is a talented writer. The stories that wander off the beaten path are just as enjoyable if you look at them for what they are, and not what they are not. If constant-suspense-thriller type novels are the only kind of reading you enjoy, you might be disappointed... but if your taste varies a bit from only one kind of genre I think you will find this an entertaining and enjoyable read.

    I do think there could have been more at the end describing what happened over the years between 1973 and the present to all of the characters... or maybe I was just disappointed when it was over. I know the first couple of times that I looked forward to listening and remembered that I finished the story, I felt a little bummed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadowfires

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (349)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (104)

    Rachel's request for a quick and clean divorce enraged her husband. She had never seen Eric so angry, so consumed by pure and terrifying hatred. Then, in the heat of the moment, Eric was struck down in a traffic accident. His death was instantaneous. Shocked and relieved, Rachel had nothing left to fear. Until Eric's body disappeared from the morgue - and Rachel was stalked by someone who looked like her dead husband.

    J. says: "Welcome to the Land of Oz"
    "Tiresome"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read and enjoyed many of Dean Koontz's books but I really can't believe how bad this one was.... the effort to finish was tiring.

    First of all, I am not an idiot so I don't need a long detailed explanation of why someone puts a chair under a doorknob or why someone is pointing a gun at the ceiling instead of the floor. In fact it really isn't relevant to the story at all how someone is holding a gun between action scenes while they are just talking.... if ever there was a need for an abridged version!

    Which brings me to the next point. I also don't need to know every item of junk in a garage. Or every piece of furniture in a room that the characters spend all of five minutes in. Sometimes it seems like the author is just looking for a chance to increase his page count, or use over-superlative hyperbolic descriptions of wealth, power or intelligence. Many times after a character's long-winded over-stated self reflection I'd actually say out loud "Can we move on now?"

    Then there are the inconsistencies..... Eric is fueled by rage, but controlling the rage in order to maintain normal behavior, so that he can ultimately carry out his rage. Rachel is another example, going back and forth from strong to whiney as it suits the plot just to make sure she is at the right place to be put in jeopardy. So contrived!

    Also, the psychic powers that some of these characters seem to have, which they have to painstakingly explain in the narration of what this person will probably do and what that person will probably do, in order to lead to the next likely chain of probable events that the next character just "figures out".

    And the reading... I have never heard and insect go "reee" "reee" the way that narrator sounded. Not even trying to do sound effects, just reading the letters on the page. SO annoying I cringed every time I heard it. Mens' voices too were just awful. Some narrators don't know how to read the opposite gender and they over act or over modify their voices, as was the case here. The key is to use your highest or lowest NORMAL speaking voice to differentiate, not sound like a munchkin!

    The characters were unsympathetic. In the first chapter I wanted Ben to either die or take Rachel's break-up with him seriously. I don't know if it was his wish that the Vietnam War would go on forever or his pompous, self-righteous preaching on morality but he became a very tiresome character from the get-go. In fact, the entire book got very preachy and I felt like I was getting more of an agenda than a story.

    I'd say skip this one and read "False Memory" or "Intensity". Those are the best Koontz books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Forever Odd: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By David Aaron Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3564)
    Performance
    (1216)
    Story
    (1238)

    He's the most unlikely hero you'll ever meet, an ordinary guy with a modest job you might never look at twice. But there's so much more to any of us than meets the eye, and that goes triple for Odd Thomas. For Odd lives always between two worlds in the small desert town of Pico Mundo, where the heroic and the harrowing are everyday events. Odd never asked to communicate with the dead, it's something that just happened.

    Bill says: "Great narration, disappointing story"
    "Definitely too descriptive"
    Overall

    Even though it kept my interest enough to finish the book, I really found my mind wandering a lot during his walk through the sewers, his climb up the ladder, and the never ending description of why he did each and every little thing... I don't need an explanation of why someone would turn off the ringer on their cell phone.

    However it was entertaining enough for me to listen each time I was in the car, and I finished it relatively quickly

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wedding

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Danielle Steel
    • Narrated By J.R. Horne
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (23)

    In Danielle Steel's forty-eighth best selling novel, a Hollywood wedding sets the scene for a vivid portrayal of a prominent family whose hopes and fears are as real as our own.

    Denise says: "The Wedding"
    "Most predictable Danielle Steel book I've read"
    Overall

    What a waste of time, you knew all along what was going to happen and the characters are all just a little too perfect to be normal and believable.

    Some things are totally out there... for exapmle, Allegra is woken up in the middle of the night to bail her client out of jail? Come on! Lawyers are not ethically permited to post bail for their clients. Do some research Danielle, like the rest of the authors do... don't rely on what you see on television. No lawyer would ever give out their home number, let alone answer calls in the middle of the night.

    And I am sick and tired of this obsession this author has with thinness. A size 10 is fat? Women like to read about characters who they can relate to and are like themselves... not the ideal woman created by the male world.

    Don't waste time on this book, unless you are still in high school.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Answered Prayers

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Danielle Steel
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (47)

    Faith Madison has enjoyed the good life as the wife of a successful Manhattan investment banker and mother to two grown daughters. But every step of the way she has carried within her a secret she could divulge to no one. With unerring insight into the hearts of husbands and wives, lovers and families, Danielle Steel tells a moving story about the secrets that wound and the choices that heal.

    Rita says: "Answered Prayers By Danielle Steel"
    "OK.... We get it!"
    Overall

    If you eliminted all the redundancies in this book it could probably be read in less than an hour. And why does Faith have to be such a weak pathetic character? Even when faced with the truth about her husband she doesn't want to leave him. This woman is totally incapable of feeling angry, just constantly blaming herself for all the trouble in her life. Great heroine, wonderful role model, Danielle! And why do all the "good" characters have to be thin?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Beach House

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Peter de Jonge
    • Narrated By Gil Bellows
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1049)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (192)

    Patterson's latest is "a slick, vastly enjoyable thriller." Jack Mullen's relentless crusade to discover the truth behind his younger brother's death puts him into a head-on collision with one of the most powerful and ruthless men in New York. As it unfolds that his brother was involved with some of the richest women and men in America - in ways Jack never imagined - his dream of justice fades. Only if he can somehow beat the rich at their own game will he be able to avenge his brother.

    B. Estes says: "Adventure and excitment"
    "Great book, except toilet flushing sounds"
    Overall

    This is by far my favorite of Patterson's books, probably because I've gotten tired of all of his stories being about cops and their investigations. This was more like Patterson meets Grisham, though I thought the "justice broadcast" was a little farfetched, and the final consequences to Mack, Pauline and Jack a little unlikely.

    The reading was very well done, though, I just didn't like the sound effects between chapters... ostensibly supposed to be waves crashing but sounded like someone flushing the toilet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • At Weddings and Wakes

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By Alice McDermott
    • Narrated By Alice McDermott
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    virginia says: "Pointless and plotless"
    "Pointless and plotless"
    Overall

    I wish I could get those three hours back, even if they were spent driving. The story is told as seen by three children who apparently have no names, as they are always refered to as "the boy" or "the older girl". The book is constantly jumping around chronologically so you never know where you are, and you have to wonder why the author bothered writing it, as there is no plot. Save your money!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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