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Helen

Member Since 2009

17
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 54 ratings
  • 571 titles in library
  • 45 purchased in 2014
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  • The Circle

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1101)
    Performance
    (996)
    Story
    (1006)

    When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity.

    Darwin8u says: "A solid, just not great social network dystopia"
    "Meh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not so much


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The world and the culture that was created at The Circle.


    Could you see The Circle being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Yes, because it is very topical. A good vehicle for the stars of High School Musical.


    Any additional comments?

    This book attempted to be a jack of all trades but mastered none. It was engaging but not convincing. Never living up to its promise, it left me wanting more depth of detail, characters and their motivations.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Therese Anne Fowler
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (447)
    Performance
    (396)
    Story
    (396)

    Picture a late-May morning in 1918, a time when Montgomery wore her prettiest spring dress and finest floral perfume - same as I would wear that evening.... Thus begins the story of beautiful, reckless, 17-year-old Zelda Sayre on the day she meets Lieutenant Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald at a country club dance. Fitzgerald isn’t rich or settled; no one knows his people; and he wants, of all things, to be a writer in New York. No matter how wildly in love they may be, Zelda’s father firmly opposes the match....

    L.W. says: "Great! From the first page to the last....."
    "It is barely allright"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator and the author... but that's it.


    If you’ve listened to books by Therese Anne Fowler before, how does this one compare?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another one of Jenna Lamia’s performances?

    Probably not


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    It made Zelda's Fitzgerald's life boring....

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • To Be Sung Underwater: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Tom McNeal
    • Narrated By Susan Boyce
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (53)

    Judith Whitman always believed in the kind of love that "picks you up in Akron and sets you down in Rio". Long ago, she once experienced that love. Willy Blunt was a carpenter with a dry wit and a steadfast sense of honor. Marrying him seemed like a natural thing to promise. But Willy Blunt was not a person you could pick up in Nebraska and transport to Stanford. When Judith left home, she didn't look back. But 20 years later, Judith's marriage is hazy with secrets....

    Pauline C. Mac Kay says: "Nostalgic"
    "Meh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Tom McNeal and/or Susan Boyce?

    The romance was too smooth, the performance was too staccato, I wanted to like it but didn't. It would serve well for those who like Bridges of Madison County or any Sparks book.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The author was good at pulling you in.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Weird Sisters

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Eleanor Brown
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (436)
    Performance
    (244)
    Story
    (241)

    There is no problem that a library card can't solve. The Andreas family is one of readers. Their father, a renowned Shakespeare professor who speaks almost entirely in verse, has named his three daughters after famous Shakespearean women. When the sisters return to their childhood home, ostensibly to care for their ailing mother, but really to lick their wounds and bury their secrets, they are horrified to find the others there. See, we love each other.

    Sabrina says: ""I am not bound to please thee with my answers.""
    "Boring and Preachy"
    Overall

    I can usually find something good thing to say about a book ... not this time.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Sister Water

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Nancy Willard
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Sam Theopolis entered the Woolman household like a clown with treasures up his sleeve. He kept the absent-minded Jessie from permanently checking out of reality, and he brought an inconceivable joy to Jessie's younger daughter and grandson. But just when the current of their lives seemed smooth and untroubled, tragedy struck like a squall. With eccentric characters reminiscent of Anne Tyler, Willard takes the reader on a quirky journey of the heart.

    Helen says: "Lovely prose. but..."
    "Lovely prose. but..."
    Overall

    ... I kept falling asleep. I rallied because it was a good story that was well-written. I can only blame the narration. I couldn't understand why a man narrated what was a woman's story... and, why the man chosen used such a prissy voice when narrating the female characters.

    1 of 2 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
    (2157)
    Performance
    (1128)
    Story
    (1149)

    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"
    "Exhausting...."
    Overall

    ... and not in a good way. All of the references to War and Peace made it dreary. The mention of several philosophies made it boring. Rene's character was, as others have mentioned, melodramatic (or, possibly, just very French).

    The story is compelling, though, and Paloma's and Ozu's characters are charming. Unfortunately, for the listener, Rene's character carries most of the narration.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Lion in Winter

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 36 mins)
    • By James Goldman
    • Narrated By Alfred Molina, Kathleen Chalfant, Full Cast
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Insecure siblings fighting for their parents' attention; bickering spouses who can't stand to be together or apart; adultery and sexual experimentation; even the struggle to balance work and family: These are themes as much at home in our time as they were in the twelfth century. In James Goldman's classic play The Lion in Winter, domestic turmoil rises to an art form.

    Helen says: "Falls flat"
    "Falls flat"
    Overall

    I had thought that this play was so well-written that any reading would be wonderful.... I was wrong. This recording cannot begin to compare to Peter O'Toole's and Katherine Hepburn's Henry and Eleanor. What particularly hurt this recording was Eleanor's timing - so much was missed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Swan Thieves

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Elizabeth Kostova
    • Narrated By Treat Williams, Anne Heche, Erin Cottrell, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (809)
    Performance
    (257)
    Story
    (259)

    Psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe has a perfectly ordered life--solitary, perhaps, but full of devotion to his profession and the painting hobby he loves. This order is destroyed when renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient. In response, Marlowe finds himself going beyond his own legal and ethical boundaries to understand the secret that torments this genius, a journey that will lead him into the lives of the women closest to Robert Oliver.

    Sara says: "Such Potential Wasted"
    "Don't Listen When Driving!"
    Overall

    And allow for double the listening time because you will be constantly falling asleep... most especially throughout Treat Williams' readings. I don't place the whole blame on Treat Williams; Anne Heche was shrill (I get it - her character was shrill - but it was still very annoying). Finally, and ultimately, I don't think the greatest narrator could have saved this slow and tedious book.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil's Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Lee Smith
    • Narrated By Linda Stephens, Tom Stechschulte, Sally Darling
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, The Devil's Dream is an animated, lyrical novel that is meant to be savored as spoken word. Consummate storyteller Lee Smith's creation will delight anyone who enjoys the sound of language and a good story.

    Linda says: "Lyrical"
    "Such a Great Listen"
    Overall

    I really enjoyed the telling of this story... the narration elevated the story from an okay read to folk art.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Slumdog Millionaire

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Vikas Swarup
    • Narrated By Christopher Simpson
    Overall
    (863)
    Performance
    (547)
    Story
    (546)

    Vikas Swarup's spectacular debut novel, the inspiration for the award-winning film, opens in a jail cell in Mumbai, where Ram Mohammad Thomas is being held after correctly answering all 12 questions on India's biggest quiz show, Who Will Win a Billion? It is hard to believe that a poor orphan who has never gone to school could win such a contest. But through a series of exhilarating tales, Ram explains to his lawyer how episodes in his life gave him the answer to each question.

    J. Wigfall says: "Powerful"
    "Loved , loved, loved it..."
    Overall

    Great story and great narration....

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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