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Gayle

ratings
220
REVIEWS
58
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
89

  • Freeman

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Leonard Pitts
    • Narrated By Sean Crisden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (228)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (203)

    Freeman, the new novel by Leonard Pitts, Jr., takes place in the first few months following the Confederate surrender and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Upon learning of Lee's surrender, Sam - a runaway slave who once worked for the Union Army - decides to leave his safe haven in Philadelphia and set out on foot to return to the war-torn South. What compels him on this almost-suicidal course is the desire to find his wife, the mother of his only child, whom he and their son left behind 15 years earlier on the Mississippi farm to which they all "belonged".

    B.J. says: "Beware of spoilers in other reviews."
    "Makes You Care"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book I won't soon forget. I loved the characters--Prudence, Bonnie, Sam, Miss Jenny, Tilda. The author makes you care about these people and want them to succeed. They were all so real, and the author's portrayals were enhanced by the narrator. We even gain insight into the despicable people and their actions. That doesn't make their actions any less atrocious, but it does make them perhaps a little more understandable.

    This definitely makes my Top 10, probably Top 5!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Steelheart: Reckoners, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10261)
    Performance
    (9433)
    Story
    (9466)

    Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.

    D says: "He got the idea from a near traffic accident"
    "Totally satisfying!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is written from the perspective of an 18-year-old male, and when I first started listening I was thinking perhaps I wasn't going to enjoy it because it was too geared to young adults. I was wrong.

    I have to say, though, that with most books I enjoy the entire journey. With this book, I particularly appreciated the conclusion. I loved that all the information and clues were given to us throughout the book. There were no missing pieces of the puzzle that had we had we could have figured everything out earlier. Everything was there; we just needed to put it together.

    I thought the narrator was spectacular. He handled all the characters very well, sounded realistic and believable as a young male, young female, Epic, whatever.

    All in all, a totally satisfying listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Half of a Yellow Sun: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    Overall
    (446)
    Performance
    (394)
    Story
    (393)

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Adichie’s brilliant historical novel follows the fortunes of five characters living through the tumultuous 1960s—a time when the Biafran-Nigerian War raged in southern Africa.

    Alla says: "Horrifyingly human - mandatory reading"
    "Engrossing and Informative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked this book until the end, which for me was inconclusive. I felt too many of the lives in which I was so engrossed throughout the book were left in limbo. I still liked the book a lot, just felt a little let down by the conclusion. It seems a book should not have to end with the words "The End."

    I also felt sometimes the switching back and forth in time was confusing. Other than that, I enjoyed the book very much. I read mainly for entertainment, but when I can learn something at the same time, it's a big bonus, which this was. The narrator was wonderful, switching between characters smoothly. Her male voices were entirely believable. Her performance made me think I enjoyed this audio version better than I would the printed version. The characters were so vividly portrayed that I had to be emotionally involved.

    All in all, a very engrossing and informative listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5868)
    Performance
    (5396)
    Story
    (5401)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
    "A Little Dark"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This started out like a fanciful tale, the kind I've come to expect from Mr. Gaiman. He shook things up a bit, though, and this seemed a little darker than the books I've read before. Not sure I like it.

    I still found his narration very good, well-suited to the characters. I still enjoyed the characters -- the unnamed little protagonist, his friend Lettie and the rest of the Hemstocks. I wish his parents had been given more backbone and common sense. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book and am willing to try others by the same author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Defending Jacob: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Landay
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4701)
    Performance
    (4019)
    Story
    (4022)

    Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

    Kelli N. Perkins says: "Still Thinking About This Tale Weeks After"
    "Very Relatable Characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed and would recommend this book. William Landay makes it easy to see how one could end up in a situation similar to Jacob's parents, and he makes you wonder what you would do in their shoes. Landay makes each character and his/her actions understandable. And the narrator is very good at capturing the inflections of each character.

    One plot twist is perhaps a little contrived (thus the three stars for the story), but I still found the characters believable and the book interesting and enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death on the Marais

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Adrian Magson
    • Narrated By Gordon Griffin
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (17)

    France, 1963. Taken out of his home town as part of a nationwide “initiative”, Inspector Lucas Rocco finds himself in the village of Poissons-Les-Marais, Picardie – and answerable to his former army CO Francois Massin. On his first day he finds a murdered woman wearing a Gestapo uniform lying in a British military cemetery. When the body is removed from the mortuary before Rocco can finish his investigation, he traces the paperwork to the dead woman’s father, industrialist Philippe Bayer-Berbier.

    Henry Silva says: "Outstanding"
    "Interesting mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The unfolding mystery held my interest throughout. I thought the narrator did a very good job.

    One thing I found a little disturbing was that characters/events were mentioned but not satisfactorily explained or resolved by the end of the book. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading about and liked the character of Inspector Lucas Rocco -- not enough to immediately get the next book in the series, but if it goes on sale will certainly consider it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Forgotten Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5706)
    Performance
    (3417)
    Story
    (3463)

    Thirty-eight year old Cassandra is lost, alone, and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident 10 years ago, feels like she has lost everything known and dear to her.

    Robert says: "Six stars if I could"
    "Interesting mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book switches many times from when one of the characters, Nell, is a little girl to a mature woman to an elderly woman, and because of the frequent switches requires somewhat closer listening than is sometimes my preference.

    That said, I was completely absorbed in the mystery of Nell's past. I like that we are given all the clues and just need to put them together. The secondary story line of Cassandra putting her life back together is a little predictable but pleasant.

    Can't give this book a 4, but would give it a solid 3.5.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Narrated By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1482)
    Performance
    (1274)
    Story
    (1251)

    A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it's there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey's strong and big-hearted grandmother....

    Janice says: "I wanted to cheer out loud!"
    "Charming"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked this story of three generations of women and found myself pulling for each of them, even though they sometimes seemed to be at odds with each other. Underneath it all, they love each other and that comes through. I like that the characters are intelligent and have common sense and for the most part behave in such a manner.

    I thought the author's narration was delightful, that she captured the Southern accents and flavor of each character.

    I was a little disappointed that there was not more of a concrete, line-in-the-sand resolution to the situation, but I guess if the characters can go with it, so can I!

    1 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
    (1231)
    Performance
    (1105)
    Story
    (1099)

    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.

    Jen says: "Wonderful Wonderful - In Every Way"
    "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
    (787)
    Performance
    (526)
    Story
    (525)

    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
    (1274)
    Performance
    (1146)
    Story
    (1160)

    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

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