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B. Simms

Bevpianolady

Indiana | Member Since 2007

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 116 ratings
  • 265 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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  • Hearts in Atlantis

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King, William Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1028)
    Performance
    (489)
    Story
    (493)

    All the stories in this collection from Stephen King are related to the Vietnam War. King fans will recognize echoes of The Dark Tower series in the collection's first story, "Low Men in Yellow Coats." As the characters develop over the next four stories, King's version of the Vietnam War becomes one of his most frightening tales ever.

    Steve says: "Touching, Funny - Amazingly well written and read."
    "Great Read"
    Overall

    This is a terrific book. As always, I'm impressed by the author's ability to write convincingly from a child's point of view, and to create a compelling story. William Hurt is stunning as narrator, and Stephen King is also excellent.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Gregory Maguire
    • Narrated By John McDonough
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4416)
    Performance
    (2083)
    Story
    (2113)

    Heralded as an instant classic of fantasy literature, Maguire has written a wonderfully imaginative retelling of The Wizard of Oz told from the Wicked Witch's point of view. More than just a fairy tale for adults, Wicked is a meditation on the nature of good and evil.

    Suzn F says: "I was not sure for a while then......."
    "Mildly Entertaining"
    Overall

    I had high hopes for this book, and did find it mildly entertaining. It is well-written and offers some fun and interesting "clues" that might explain how the wicked witch became wicked. However, I don't feel her character is fully -- or believably -- developed. It's a fun read, but I was disappointed overall.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Green Mile

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (1786)
    Performance
    (853)
    Story
    (860)

    At Cold Mountain Penitentiary, the convicted killers on E Block await their turn to walk the Green Mile and keep a date with the electric chair. Paul Edgecombe has seen his share of oddities in his years working as a guard on the Mile, but he's never met anyone like John Coffey.

    Orita says: "Both the book and the reader were just plain great"
    "I've Read it 3 Times!"
    Overall

    If you like a compelling story that is well-written, this book is for you. Stephen King is at his best here, and the book is hard to put down. Also see the movie - but AFTER you have read the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Catch-22

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Joseph Heller
    • Narrated By Jay O. Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2138)
    Performance
    (1191)
    Story
    (1209)

    Catch-22 is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever, even if he has to die in the attempt.)

    Phil says: "Phenominal Reading - Story and Damn Funny"
    "Hated it!"
    Overall

    I decided to read this book because it is a classic of 20th century literature, and because my English-professor husband recommended it. However, I had to stop listening after a couple of hours. I found the writing disjointed and choppy (perhaps the author's intention), and the characters unsympathetic. The book reminded me of the TV show, MASH, which I also hated. Although I do enjoy some kinds of black humor, I guess I am offended when it is applied to war. If you have similar feelings, con't waste your time on this cynical book.

    3 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Lisey's Story

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Mare Winningham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1523)
    Performance
    (555)
    Story
    (562)

    Lisey Debusher Landon lost her husband, Scott, two years ago, after a 25-year marriage of the most profound and sometimes frightening intimacy. Scott was an award-winning, best-selling novelist, and a very complicated man. Early in their relationship, before they married, Lisey had to learn from him about books and blood and "bools". Later, she understood that there was a place Scott went, a place that both terrified and healed him, could eat him alive, or give him the ideas he needed in order to live.

    A. Jack says: "Vintage, Mature SK"
    "Not memorable."
    Overall

    I enjoy many of Stephen King's works, although I am not generally into the supernatural or horror genres. He's a very good writer, and I have especially enjoyed MISERY, DESPERATION, DOLORES CLAIBORNE, THE GREEN MILE, THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON, and many of his short stories. His autobiography is also terrific -- a must-read for students who want to be creative writers. But this book just didn't do it for me. I did not find the characters compelling, and the story was not memorable.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Awakening

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Kate Chopin
    • Narrated By Liza Ross
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (3)

    This is the moving and powerful story of Edna Pontellier, a beautiful young wife and mother who discovers her true feelings and identity through her love for Robert Lebrun, and in so doing challenges the bourgeois assumptions of her day. First published in 1899 in America, it prompted shock and outrage, but has since come to be recognized as a modern classic.

    B. Simms says: "Very Disappointed"
    "Very Disappointed"
    Overall

    I gave up on this book after about an hour. The narrator was annoying, and I began to wonder if the book was abridged. It's already a short work, but this version seemed so compressed that it reminded me of some of the disastrous abridged versions I have accidentally downloaded previously. What a disappointment this was!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jon Krakauer
    • Narrated By Philip Franklin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1415)
    Performance
    (618)
    Story
    (622)

    In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself.

    Craig Mitchell says: "A Book that Never Left Me"
    "Fabulous."
    Overall

    I couldn't stop listening to this book. The story is compelling, the narration very good. Now I really want to see Sean Penn's movie version.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Until I Find You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (184)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (68)

    When he is four years old, Jack travels with his mother Alice, a tattoo artist, to several North Sea ports in search of his father, William Burns. From Copenhagen to Amsterdam, William, a brilliant church organist and profligate womanizer, is always a step ahead, has always just departed in a wave of scandal, with a new tattoo somewhere on his body from a local master or "scratcher".

    Katharina says: "Great story, annoyingly read"
    "Interesting but Disappointing"
    Overall

    I'm a real John Irving fan, and my absoute favorite book is A Widow for One Year. I had high hopes for this book, and was eager to get started on it. Unfortunately, it was a big disappointment, especially when compared to A Widow for One Year. The opening chapters are too long, and I got bored with the descriptions of the main character's travels. The story becomes interesting - and very disturbing - when the young boy experiences sexual abuse at the hands of adult women. But as the story progesses this becomes utterly absurd and unbelievable. At some point I realized I no longer felt sympathy for the young boy who seems as perverted and freakish as the women he is abused by. I also found the ending unconvincing. If you haven't read A Widow for One Year, download that one instead of this one!

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • A Widow for One Year

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (297)
    Performance
    (136)
    Story
    (135)

    Ruth Cole is a complex, often self-contradictory character — a "difficult" woman. Her story is told in three parts, each focusing on a crucial time in her life. When we first meet her, Ruth is only four. The second window into Ruth's life opens when she is an unmarried woman whose personal life is not nearly as successful as her literary career. The novel closes in the autumn of 1995, when Ruth is a 41-year-old widow and mother — and about to fall in love for the first time.

    B. Simms says: "Fabulous Story, Gets Better with Every Reading"
    "Fabulous Story, Gets Better with Every Reading"
    Overall

    I've read this book 4 times in the past couple of years, and enjoy it more each time I read it. John Irving is a master of character development, and the writing is impecable. A totally satisfying story.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Middlesex

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Kristoffer Tabori
    Overall
    (6198)
    Performance
    (2359)
    Story
    (2385)

    In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

    Christopher Allen walker says: "Great Pulitzer Winning novel!"
    "Interesting Topic, but Highly Overrated"
    Overall

    The description of this book, as well as the critical and customer reviews, made it intriguing. However, I was very disappointed overall. The subject matter is interesting, but this story is annoyingly far-fetched, particularly the last fourth of the book. I would much rather read a nonfiction account than this rambling tale. Although the author spends an enormous amount of time exploring several generations of a family, the characters are not really developed in an authentic way. I also found the performance annoying, particularly the ridiculous music/sound effects. No doubt the interesting subject matter has drawn many readers to this book, but I would not recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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