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Niki

Lawrenceburg, Kentucky | Member Since 2013

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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  • And the Mountains Echoed

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Khaled Hosseini, Navid Negahban, Shohreh Aghdashloo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2212)
    Performance
    (1963)
    Story
    (1948)

    Khaled Hosseini, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.

    FanB14 says: "Does the End Justify the Means"
    "Read it, don't listen to it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The structure was very interesting. I was frustrated with how it jumped around and it was not always obvious how the story lines were related. I do believe that this lack of understanding stems from the bad narration that I sometimes just couldn't follow. I'm assuming that when read, it is a lot more enjoyable.


    What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

    The woman's performance was ok. I found it a bit contrived and over-acted, but at least understandable and I could follow along.
    The other man's performance (not Mr. Hosseini's) was absolutely dismal. Could not understand the story. Words were mispronounced, he put the stress on the wrong syllables and the intonation of the sentences was completely off. I really can't remember a thing of the story line that he narrated.


    Did And the Mountains Echoed inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, buy it in print and re-read it. I hope that I will come to like it as much as Mr. Hosseini's previous books.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Natchez Burning: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By David Ledoux
    Overall
    (389)
    Performance
    (358)
    Story
    (359)

    Raised in the historic southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of honor and duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor has been accused of murdering Viola Turner, the African-American nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the 1960s. Penn is determined to save his father, but Tom, stubbornly invoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses to even speak in his own defense.

    Carolyn says: "Can't get past reader"
    "Not an easy read, but worth it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Did David Ledoux do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    There seems to be a lot of different opinions about the narrator in the reviews. I think Mr. Ledoux's performance is rather uneven. He does well when delivering dialogues and internal monologues and I had no issue differentiating between the characters and telling who talked when. On longer descriptions and historical background, however, Mr. Ledoux is somewhat difficult to follow and I'm having a hard time putting my finger on exactly why. Perhaps the best word is that he is overly monotone in these parts, whereas he does tend to be a bit theatrical and drastic with characters.


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

    It was a very interesting read but did take me a couple of weeks to finish due to the sheer length.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is by no means an easy read and it is even more challenging if you are listening to it. There are a LOT of characters and information introduced early on in the book all of which as vital details later on. You have to pay attention when you are listing, otherwise you could easily get lost in the connections between the characters, etc. Granted, the performance of the narrator adds to this.
    I have to say that it wasn't clear to me that this book is the first part of a trilogy and I only found out after I had finished the book. Initially I thought that there was a lot of background work done and loads of information presented, the plot was very slow-moving and then towards the end things just sped up and the ending was very abrupt and left a lot of things hanging in the air, a lot of questions unanswered. However, now knowing that this is part one of three, I am hoping that the other books, which I do plan to read, will pick up on all of these.
    I think Mr. Iles will do a good job with it. I have learned a lot about the reality of the 60s in the South. Many reviewers have commented that the violence and the brutality is unnecessary in the book. The truth is that this was reality for people in the past regardless of how uncomfortable it makes us feel now.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Wedding Gift

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Marlen Suyapa Bodden
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, January LaVoy
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (93)

    When Cornelius Allen gives his daughter Clarissa’s hand in marriage, he presents her with a wedding gift: the young slave she grew up with, Sarah. Sarah is also Allen’s daughter and Clarissa’s sister, a product of his longtime relationship with his house slave, Emmeline. When Clarissa’s husband suspects that their newborn son is illegitimate, Clarissa and Sarah are sent back to her parents, Cornelius and Theodora, in shame, setting in motion a series of events that will destroy this once-powerful family.

    C. Crawford says: "Wow! You must listen to this audio book!"
    "Superb narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Wedding Gift in three words, what would they be?

    Thought-provoking, in-depth, inspiring


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Theodora because she had such spiritual and emotional poise in light of her full awareness of her husbands dealings and how she treated Sarah. I would like to think that there were a some wives like her around at that time


    Which character – as performed by Jenna Lamia and January LaVoy – was your favorite?

    The narration absolutely made this book for me. I believe it would have been a different experience, I might not have even liked it so much, if I had just read it and not hear the characters come alive. I could choose one or the other. I thoroughly enjoyed the typical way of talking of these ladies and those who they represent. A superb job by both narrators!


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

    Yes, I finished it very quickly after I caught on to the pattern of the book. I was very interested in hearing the "flip side" of the same events.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fear of Flying

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Erica Jong
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (45)

    Originally published in 1973, the groundbreaking, uninhibited story of Isadora Wing and her desire to fly free caused a national sensation. In The New York Times, Henry Miller compared it to his own classic, Tropic of Cancer and predicted that "this book will make literary history..." It has sold more than 12-million copies. Now, after 30 years, the revolutionary novel known as Fear of Flying still stands as a timeless tale of self-discovery, liberation, and womanhood.

    Kristi says: "Glad I didn't give up on it..."
    "Put it in perspective"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Fear of Flying?

    I loved the narration by Hope Davis it made the book come perfectly alive. I loved the way she did the British and French accents (her German was a bit off). It was like listening to someone talking to you.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed getting an insight into the mindset of a woman growing up in the 50-60s and being fully emancipated. I did constantly have to remind myself of the period the story takes place. Amazing how progressive in tought and subject matter Fear of Flying must have been when it was first published. Today, after Sex and the City and 50 Shades of Gray, we are used to women being so outspoken about such topics. No way was that so in the 70s!Self-analysis was a bit annoying at times. I kept thinking whether I was so naive and clueless when I was 27. But then again, I had to remind myself of when Izadora grew up and how analysis was the answer to everything at that time.


    Which character – as performed by Hope Davis – was your favorite?

    Izadora! Her attitude and internal monologues and dialogues cracked me up


    Any additional comments?

    Don't try to judge the book according to 21st Century standards and background because you will have a completely different experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (7628)
    Performance
    (5844)
    Story
    (5862)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Shannon says: "Word Thief"
    "An insight into little miracles"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Book Thief?

    I absolutely loved the writing, the descriptions, the details (like "he had a tall voice"), just such wonderful associations.
    The book also showed everyday life in Germany during WW2 and how people had no choice but to carry on with the weekdays. The story showed the little miracles that made life in a war bearable, things that we take for granted in our world and our times. Makes you appreciate things more.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Book Thief?

    When Liesel is waiting for Max to get better and Rosa goes to the school to let her know (in code) that he woke


    What about Allan Corduner’s performance did you like?

    It is without a doubt the best performance from an audio book I've ever heard. Loved his voice and the accents he did, slightly German for Papa was my favorite. Also his pronunciation of the German words was flawless and he switched back and forth between English and German seamlessly. An absolute joy listening to him. A true performance, not just a reading.


    If you could take any character from The Book Thief out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I would take Rosa Hubermann. I'd like to find out more about her and why she showed a completely different personality and attitude to the outside world than what she was actually like


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend the book to anyone. Beautifully written and outstandingly performed, it shows the details of life in Germany during WW2 that few books do.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Dangerous Fortune

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2370)
    Performance
    (1079)
    Story
    (1095)

    In 1866 tragedy strikes at the exclusive Windfield School when a mysterious accident takes the life of a student. Among the student's circle of friends are Hugh Pilaster; Hugh's older cousin Edward, dissolute heir to the Pilaster banking fortune; and Micky Miranda, the handsome son of a brutal South American oligarchy. The death and its aftermath begin the spiraling circle of treachery that will span three decades and entwine many lives.

    Rebecca says: "Predictable Fun"
    "An enjoyable read, a nicely written Follett book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does A Dangerous Fortune rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I enjoyed the British accent of the narrator. It added to the story. It was easy to listen to and kept me entertained for hours. It certainly ranks among the best audio books I've listened to.


    What other book might you compare A Dangerous Fortune to and why?

    His first volume of the Century Trilogy: The Fall of Giants. I like how he shows various layers of English society, down to the tiniest detail of their everyday routines. Classic rags to riches storyline, but I didn't find it predictable.


    Which character – as performed by Michael Page – was your favorite?

    I loved Augusta Pilaster's character and the narrator's rendition of her.


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

    The books starts off a little slow as the many charaters are introduced (again, typical Follett). That's the only reason I gave 4 stars to the story. But then things take off. If not all in one sitting, but it took me less than a week to finish it.


    Any additional comments?

    If you love Follett's books, this will not disappoint! The performance is great and the story line is full of love, intrigue, murder, the rich and the poor all mixed up in late 19th century London.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lie Down with Lions

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By Eric Lincoln, Lary Bradenburg, Donald Brearley, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (214)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (88)

    Ellis, the American. Jean-Pierre, the Frenchman.... They were two men on opposite sides of the cold war, with a woman torn between them. Together, they formed a triangle of passion and deception, racing from terrorist bombs in Paris to the violence and intrigue of Afghanistan - and on to the moment of truth and a deadly decision for all of them.

    Daniel Mcafee says: "Good, but the multiple voice reading was poor"
    "The narration is so bad, I couldn' finish the book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Ken Follett and/or the narrators?

    An absolute yes on Follett! I love his books and will read the printed version of this one. An absoutely no on the narrators. The "female" voices were laughable. I don't know how a self-respecting director could deem these performaces acceptable.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ken Follett again?

    Yes and I already have - with a different narrator and it was great as I believe all of Follett's books are.


    Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

    No


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

    I didn't get far enough in the book (maybe an hour or so only) to find any


    Any additional comments?

    Don't buy the audio version of the book by these narrators. It is money out the window...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9535)
    Performance
    (8653)
    Story
    (8724)

    In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.

    linda says: "Well, I don't know what I was expecting"
    "Typical Dan Brown, but still great entertainment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Without wanting to spoil the plot for those who haven't read the book yet, I thought that the idea of the "plague" was brilliant. I never saw it coming. It is also interesting to think about the moral issues lying in the background.
    I love "travelling" through his stories and finding out so many details about places Langdon visits.
    I got exactly what I expected from the book: another great Robert Langdon story. I don't see how those who say the plot is the same old pattern expected anything else. Dan Brown is good at what he does, why should he stray from it?

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Atossa Leoni
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5027)
    Performance
    (1262)
    Story
    (1263)

    Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them, in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul, they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

    David says: "Somber but gripping"
    "Beatifully written and performed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    After reading the Kite Runner, I was excited to dwell into this book as well and did not disappoint. The characters are so vivid and well-rounded, I felt like I knew them. Their individual and then merging fate and stories are gripping. I had a "book hangover" after I finished it for several days. So memorable and meaningful.
    Atossa Leoni's performance absolutely added to whole experience. It was beautifully read. I felt like she was sitting with me and just telling me a story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (314)
    Performance
    (286)
    Story
    (287)

    Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do? Just how well can you ever know the person you love? These are the questions that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone.

    Janie says: "Get Gone Girl soon!"
    "Very surprising! Love the structure of the book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Gone Girl the most enjoyable?

    I loved the way the book was structured, not only shifting back and forth between narrators but back and forth in time as well.
    The narrators did a great job. They enhanced the content, you always knew exactly who was talking. I've listened to some bad performances recently, so I absolutely appreciated the lack of effort I had to put into concentrating.
    I also liked that the ending is not your typical everyone lives happily ever after and it's kind of up in the air.


    Which character – as performed by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne – was your favorite?

    I think Amy was brilliant. Seemed kind of flat at first, but that was part of her unpredictable character, wasn't it?


    Any additional comments?

    Would definitely recommend. It's a refreshingly different read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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