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Gayle

ratings
195
REVIEWS
51
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
67

  • The Persimmon Tree

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1659)
    Performance
    (1215)
    Story
    (1205)

    The Persimmon Tree opens in Indonesia in 1942 on the cusp of Japanese invasion and the evacuation of Batavia (Jakarta) by the Dutch. Seventeen-year-old Nicholas Duncan is on holiday there, in pursuit of an exotic butterfly known as the Magpie Crow. It's an uncertain, dangerous time to be in Indonesia, and Nick's options of getting out are fast dwindling. Amidst the fear and chaos he falls in love with Anna, the beautiful daughter of a Dutch acquaintance, and she nicknames him 'Mr Butterfly'.

    Corinne says: "An excellent sequel"
    "Disappointing ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Bryce Courtenay and/or Humphrey Bower?

    I have previously listened to The Power of One and Tandia by the same author and narrator. Thoroughly enjoyed The Power of One. Enjoyed Tandia a little less. I'm deducting a star from my rating of The Persimmon Tree because I was so disappointed by the ending. I thought at first that part of the book did not get downloaded and I missed a big chunk of the end. Will still try another Courtenay book but probably not Fishing for Stars (the sequel to The Persimmon Tree).


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    There was so much detail throughout the book until the end. I wanted a substantial ending!


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

    I cannot speak for all the accents, but his English with a Japanese accent is amazing.


    Do you think The Persimmon Tree needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Initially I would have said yes because I wanted the stories of Nick and Ana to continue. But after reading reviews of Fishing for Stars, I'm content to leave them as I envision them now.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ordinary Grace

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By Rich Orlow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (497)
    Performance
    (451)
    Story
    (447)

    Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.

    Ronna says: "best book to come along this year!!"
    "Compelling listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this book very much. The characters were consistent, believable, and wonderfully described. The narrator was great. He made each voice distinguishable, did not over dramatize.

    There is, however, one detail that keeps niggling at me. I even went back and listened to sections again, thinking perhaps I’d missed it. Why were the “treasures” kept? Other than this, I thought everything flowed beautifully. Despite my missing the explanation for this, I liked this book very much and found it a compelling listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 44 Scotland Street

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Robert Ian Mackenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (541)
    Performance
    (306)
    Story
    (305)

    The brilliant Alexander McCall Smith became an international sensation with his New York Times best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels. His award-winning wit, made famous through that series, is fully on display in 44 Scotland Street.

    J. Rogers says: "Smith's answer to Maupin"
    "Entertaining, lighthearted read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was originally published serially in a newspaper. I don't think I would have liked to read this book in that way--I would not have wanted to wait for each installment!

    I’m glad to see that there is a second book for I, like the author, have grown attached to the characters. I have also read a couple of the books in the author's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, and although I also liked those characters, I feel that this book somehow has a bit more substance and is, therefore, more interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Emperor's Soul

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Angela Lin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (917)
    Performance
    (833)
    Story
    (842)

    New York Times best-selling author Brandon Sanderson is widely celebrated for his Mistborn Trilogy and contribution to the final three books of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. In The Emperor's Soul, a Forger named Shai can copy and re-create any item by using magic to rewrite its history. After being condemned to death for attempting to steal the emperor's scepter, Shai is given one final chance. She' ll be allowed to live if she can create a new soul for the emperor, who hovers near death.

    debbie says: "A Great Short Novella that is Long in Story"
    "Enjoyable and Engrossing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I used to say that I’m not a fantasy fan, but perhaps I am. I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in Shai’s plight and marveled at the Sanderson-created world and its possibilities.

    Maybe because this is a novela, I felt less time was spent on the minute, stage-setting details of the "world", which allowed us to get to the heart of the story sooner. I like that aspect of this being a novela; at the same time, I would have loved for this to be a series. I want more Shai!

    I thought the narrator's voice was ideal for Shai and that she did very well with the other characters as well, making each one distinguishable.

    A very enjoyable and engrossing listen - even if it is fantasy! ;)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10663)
    Performance
    (5891)
    Story
    (5935)

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "Lighthearted fantasy - not quite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not what I expected. For some reason, I was expecting this to be kind of a lighthearted fantasy about a boy and his pet lion. Wrong. Instead, the first part of the book was an exploration of religion. The section on the boat was more adventure with education on animal training and other tidbits.

    I did not care for the conclusion. Am I supposed to choose what I believe happened? And is that choice supposed to indicate my view on religion? It was a little too nebulous for me. It's not that I object to books that make me think. I guess I just didn't expect this book to have an underlying religious theme.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In the Company of Cheerful Ladies: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Lisette Lecat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1669)
    Performance
    (906)
    Story
    (895)

    Readers everywhere have become entranced by the New York Times best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, from acclaimed author and award-winning wit Alexander McCall Smith. Each charming book in the series is a masterpiece of comic subtlety and a window for viewing the distinctive culture and landscape of Botswana.

    Nancy says: "Great Listen"
    "Pleasant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would best describe this book as "pleasant." The characters are pleasant; the narrator is pleasant.

    If you're looking for any sort of crime thriller, this is not it. The "mysteries" are pretty minor and easily solved by our ladies.

    The narrator had a very pleasant voice and represented each character well and captured the book's nuances very well also.

    I should say that this was my first book in the series (even though it's no. 6). I didn't feel that I'd missed a lot of background, but when I'm in the mood for a light listen, I will probably go back and start the series from the beginning. All in all, a lighthearted, pleasant listening experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Adam Makos
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (1008)
    Performance
    (921)
    Story
    (931)

    Four days before Christmas in 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail - a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber with the squeeze of a trigger.

    JerryL says: "An Absolutely Incredcredible Audiobook!"
    "Implausible fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If this were fiction, I'd have to say it was a little implausible. Being a true story, It's amazing. I think it's amazing that the incident occurred in the first place, and secondly that they were able to resolve it so many years later as they did.

    It was interesting to see two opposing sides but not necessarily two opposing conclusions.
    I think the story of these men shows there are good, noble people all over the world and that there are more than two sides to every story.

    A worthwhile listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4881)
    Performance
    (2279)
    Story
    (2291)

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Mary Lynn says: "Brilliant story, pitch perfect narration"
    "One Word - Wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wonderful story, wonderful characters, wonderful narrator. All interwove to create a memorable and fulfilling listening experience.

    With an audio book in particular, it is sometimes difficult for me to keep track of person, time, and place. I think both the narrator and author skillfully eliminated any such confusion for me.

    Oddly enough, as much as I enjoyed the book and loved the characters, this is not one of those books I hated to have end. I felt there were no loose ends, so to speak. Each character’s story and the overall story came satisfyingly full circle.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Town Like Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Robin Bailey
    Overall
    (1485)
    Performance
    (943)
    Story
    (946)

    Wanting to repay a wartime debt to the Malays, Jean Paget returns. There she hears a story which leads her to Australia.

    Barbara says: "Better still in Audio form"
    "Liked this a lot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this audio book a lot, although I can't say exactly why. It's not action-packed, not compellingly dramatic, not hilariously funny. The characters are not flamboyantly magnetic. All the same, I was drawn to the main character, Jean, and and her story and wanted to keep listening.

    The narrator is delightful. He brings the voices of each character to life and sets just the right tone for the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Watching You

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Michael Robotham
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (392)
    Performance
    (353)
    Story
    (353)

    Marnie Logan often feels like she's being watched: A warm breath on the back of her neck, or a shadow in the corner of her eye that vanishes when she turns her head. She has reason to be frightened. Her husband Daniel has inexplicably vanished, and the police have no leads in the case. Without proof of death or evidence of foul play, she can't access his bank accounts or his life insurance. Depressed and increasingly desperate, she seeks the help of clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin.

    bernadette says: "Wow!"
    "Maybe A Little Too Creepy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought the story was very well done. It had me trying to figure it out from the beginning. I like that all the details are laid out; we just need to put them together.

    I like that the characters are smart. No "oh-don't-be-stupid” scenarios. Professor Joe is particularly likeable. Very glad to realize this book is one of a series.

    I thought the narrator portrayed the gender, age, and emotions of the characters very well. He also captured “creepy” in the narration very effectively. Maybe a little too effectively for me.

    I think that the creepiness factor may be the reason for my less-than-four-star overall rating. I liked the story, the characters, the narration. Yet overall rating, I would have to go with a 3.8.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rose and the Thorn: The Riyria Chronicles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1915)
    Performance
    (1780)
    Story
    (1785)

    For more than a year, Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner, Hadrian Blackwater, from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception - Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn't realize is what the two are capable of - but she's about to find out.

    Cecil says: "Great Series but don't start here"
    "Insider info"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed the entire Riyria series. I usually like everything to be chronologically in order, but I'm glad I read the books in the order that I did - Revelations first, then Chronicles.

    As I was listening to The Rose and the Thorn, I enjoyed feeling like I was receiving insider info and making connections with what comes later. I liked learning more about Royce and Hadrian, the connections they made, and how Riyria came to be. I also liked the glimpse of Hadrian's future that was revealed through Gwen's eyes.

    Having now listened to the entire series, I think the narrator has done a remarkably good job. Royce and Hadrian's voices have remained consistent throughout. He imbues each voice with just the right touch of whatever is intended - sarcasm, humor, etc.

    I would highly recommend this series to anyone. Oh, I guess I should mention there is sometimes a bit of gore. But I definitely would not let that deter me from sharing in the adventures of these wonderful characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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