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Donna

Reader, Writer, Artist, Film-Lover, Cook, Knitter/Crocheter, Gardener, Cat Enthusiast, and Marketing Professional.

Member Since 2011

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2014
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  • The Wolf Gift

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Anne Rice
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (772)
    Performance
    (695)
    Story
    (702)

    A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer... An older woman welcoming him into her magnificent family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency... A chance encounter between two unlikely people... An idyllic night - shattered by horrific unimaginable violence, the young man inexplicably attacked - bitten - by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness....

    Melinda says: "Nietzsche in Wolf's Clothing/Philosophy or Horror"
    "The Wolf Gift is No Gift"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Serious fans of Anne Rice may enjoy this book. Personally, I found it tedious. I think Rice's best book is Interview with a Vampire, and I largely attribute its success and acclaim to the fact that it was finely edited. Rice's latter works tend to run on and on with boring description after boring description. The Wolf Gift suffers from this verbal diarrhea. I gritted my teeth to the very end.


    What was most disappointing about Anne Rice’s story?

    As I mentioned earlier, Rice gets caught up in describing details which weigh the story down and bore the reader. Additionally, there is nothing unique in this story. It's been done before. I again have to mention Interview with a Vampire - a unique Gothic novel that turned everyone's idea about vampires around. Rice did not deliver a unique werewolf tale.


    Did Ron McLarty do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    He was okay as a reader. I did not like his female voice at all.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Wolf Gift?

    I'd cut out long descriptions of furniture, room settings, hospital settings, personal characteristics, etc. I'd boil down to the essentials.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend Interview with a Vampire and The Vampire Lestat to those who want to read a book by Anne Rice. Skip her series on witches and the series on wolves. The latter vampire novels should also be skipped.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ireland

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Frank Delaney
    • Narrated By Frank Delaney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (622)
    Performance
    (164)
    Story
    (162)

    One evening in 1951, an itinerant storyteller arrives unannounced at a house in the Irish countryside. In exchange for a bed and a warm meal, he invites his hosts and their neighbors to join him by the wintry fireside, and begins to tell formative stories of Ireland's history. Ronan, a 9-year-old boy, grows so entranced by the storytelling that, when the old man leaves abruptly under mysterious circumstances, the boy devotes himself to finding him again.

    S. Marie says: "A wonderfully read history of Ireland"
    "Frank Delaney - Amazing Storyteller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Ireland again? Why?

    Absolutely. Frank Delaney is not only a marvelous writer, he is an amazing reader, perhaps even more so since he created the characters and the realms they live in. I not only listened to the audible version of the story, I read it as well, but my reading and Delaney's reading were very different things! I couldn't wait to return to his narration. Delaney lives in every character, most particularly the Storyteller who wanders across the landscape of Ireland. Delaney is the Storyteller in more ways than one!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I don't know if I would have felt such fondness for the story if I had merely read the book. I think it is Delaney's reading of it that makes it wonderful. I laughed. I cried. I was on every adventure. I felt I had met some of the most marvelous people and I was sad when I had to leave them.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I liked the anticipation of the Storyteller's audience before he began a story. He told stories in different settings, and there were different people present for each new story, but every time there was a palpable excitement (wondering, whispering, stirring, settling, etc.) before a tale began.


    Who was the most memorable character of Ireland and why?

    John, Ronan's father, is the most wonderful character. He is the man you wish were your father, your husband, your brother, your friend, or your business partner. He is extraordinarily kind and loving to everyone. He is the glue that holds the family together.


    Any additional comments?

    This story has mystery, history, mythology, and so much more. I can't say enough good things about it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shakespeare: The World as Stage

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (709)
    Performance
    (281)
    Story
    (275)

    William Shakespeare, the most celebrated poet in the English language, left behind nearly a million words of text, but his biography has long been a thicket of wild supposition arranged around scant facts. With a steady hand and his trademark wit, Bill Bryson sorts through this colorful muddle to reveal the man himself.

    Charles L. Burkins says: "Too Little, Too Short"
    "Making Shakespeare Interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Anyone who would like to know more about Shakespeare, but not be bored by the lesson, will like this audio book. Bill Bryson absolutely brings his words to life. I listened to the audio book twice. You'll get to learn more about events that happened during Shakespeare's life, his competitors, the Globe Theater, document preservation, and more.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked that the story cleared up misconceptions about who Shakespeare really was. He was not any of the proposed imposters - Bacon, Marlowe, etc.


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

    I love his voice. He's spent a lot of time outside of the U.S.; therefore, his accent is a blend of British English, Australian, and American.


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

    Yes. I will likely listen to it again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14596)
    Performance
    (8998)
    Story
    (8869)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "Outlander - Perfect Combo of Fantasy and Romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, historical fiction, and romance.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jamie Fraser is my favorite character. Those who love the hero Darcy, will truly appreciate this fine and noble gentleman.


    Which character – as performed by Davina Porter – was your favorite?

    Davina Porter does an excellent job portraying all of the characters. Her reading of the male characters with their Scottish accents is fabulous. She has great reading ability and elicits the perfect tone for humorous, somber, adventurous, and romantic moments. SHE IS CLAIRE. I can't imagine any other voice reading the part of the heroine.


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

    Epic fantasy tale full of romance and daring adventure.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Heilemann, Mark Halperin
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1877)
    Performance
    (738)
    Story
    (738)

    Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Game Change is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, this is the occasion-ally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of the campaign of a lifetime.

    Joe says: "Best Audiobook of 2010!"
    "Game Change - Perception Change"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed listening to this book. The reader spoke clearly and with interest. The story is compelling, and I learned things which altered my perceptions about all of the candidates. I felt that each person was painted objectively; however, I'm not naive: I'm sure the authors had some prejudices. Yet, I do not feel that there was any content which was blatantly biased. The primaries and the general election truly were historic, and anyone with an interest in politics or American history should consider listening/reading this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Family Fang

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Kevin Wilson
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (629)
    Performance
    (535)
    Story
    (533)

    Performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang dedicated themselves to making great art. But when an artist's work lies in subverting normality, it can be difficult to raise well-adjusted children. Just ask Buster and Annie Fang. For as long as they can remember, they starred (unwillingly) in their parents' madcap pieces. But now that they are grown up, the chaos of their childhood has made it difficult to cope with life outside the fishbowl of their parents' strange world.

    B. Westman says: "Surprisingly Deep"
    "The Family Fang - A Review"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a story that had to grow on me. At first, I did not like it very much. I was reminded of Swamplandia by Karen Russell, in which all of the characters are eccentrics. I want a character or two to have traits and habits that are conventional. I guess about halfway through this novel, I became more interested, and that may be because a mystery surfaced. The resolution was on one hand surprising (related to Fang parents) and anticlimactic (related to children A and B).

    Therese Plummer is an amazing reader. I am impressed with her range of voices, especially male voices. I will look for other books read by her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elegance of the Hedgehog

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Muriel Barbery
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat, Cassandra Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2000)
    Performance
    (999)
    Story
    (1016)

    An enchanting New York Times and international best seller and award-winner about life, art, literature, philosophy, culture, class, privilege, and power, seen through the eyes of a 54-year-old French concierge and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl.

    Pyles says: "It surprised me"
    "Performance Excellence - Elegance of the Hedgehog"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Beautifully performed. The readers/actors were able to interpret the beauty of the English translation very well. I found myself listening to portions of text over and over. This book is heavy with ideas and it required adept readers who could not only tell a tale, but skillfully share knowledge.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26628)
    Performance
    (13270)
    Story
    (13313)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "The Help - A Great Listening Experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Help is an amazing and powerful story. I'm so glad I began my Audible experience with this novel. I listened to the novel on my Android phone as I walked around the neighborhood park. Often I found myself walking longer so that I could hear more. The performances of the readers/actresses are outstanding, making the listening experience even more profound. I highly recommend Audible and this novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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