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Karen

ASHEVILLE, NC, United States | Member Since 2011

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 61 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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  • The Post-Birthday World

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Lionel Shriver
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby Sirois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (19)

    Children's book illustrator Irina McGovern enjoys a quiet and settled life in London with her partner, fellow American expatriate Lawrence Trainer, a smart, loyal, disciplined intellectual at a prestigious think tank. To their small circle of friends, their relationship is rock solid, until the night Irina unaccountably finds herself dying to kiss another man: their old friend from South London, the stylish, extravagant, passionate top-ranking snooker player Ramsey Acton.

    Susan D says: "A terrific examinination of relationships"
    "great writing;disappointing story telling"
    Overall

    I'm new to audible books and have quickly learned one lesson. A good read doesn't necessarily make good listening. The post birthday world has a central characted from south London, Hearing that accent in his speech is key. Disappointingly, this narrator has a completely unbeleivable English accent. I am English and could have forgiven an English accent from another region, but this is not recognizable. She makes Ramsey sound as if he lived half his life in a southern staate! Irritating to listen to and spoiled my enjoyment of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Me Before You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3547)
    Performance
    (3214)
    Story
    (3232)

    Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life - steady boyfriend, close family - who has never been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life - big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel - and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy - but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected.

    Michael says: "Who or What defines Quality of Life?"
    "will be a great movie!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    A story of a quadriplegic man who lived his pre-injury life in the fast lane and his sweet, carefree but not very adventurous or ambitious caregiver. Set in England, I was drawn to read this because it is so familiar to me - being British - the description of the local castle and its tea rooms and the conversations the family has etc etc. I had a trip down memory lane and thoroughly enjoyed it.
    The story was a warm somewhat predictable one but kudos to the author for keeping the reader in suspense about the direction the quadriplegic main character will choose until the last chapter. Funny and warm and sad and at times thought provoking - this is not high brow literature but its an enjoyable read and the narration was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Paris Wife: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Paula McLain
    • Narrated By Carrington MacDuffie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1972)
    Performance
    (1372)
    Story
    (1376)

    Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet 28eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

    Pris says: "Delighted in Del Mar"
    "Wine women and song = page after page"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The story of Hemmingway as told through the voice of his first wife, Hadley. I felt I was going to learn a lot about a great American author whom I knew little about and whose work I was not very familiar with. I learned Hemingway is not a likeable man - A womanizer to the point where he expected his wife to move in with him and his lover and enjoy the 'conveniences' of the threesome. An alcoholic - every event every day is described in terms of the drink that accompanied it - champagne breakfasts, absinthe with friends etc etc. I reserve judgement on his novels as I am about to start The sun also rises.
    The Paris Wife limps along from one scene to the next showing Hemingway indulging in wine, women and song. We move from one town to the next to explore which women he was lusting after and which drinks he was partaking of. I marveled at the patience of his wife, grew irritated at him and his faults, and wished the book would come to an end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bring Up the Bodies: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1252)
    Performance
    (1075)
    Story
    (1087)

    Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down.

    Darwin8u says: "Mantel Pulls the History out of the History"
    "disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I read reviews of this and with great anticipation bought the book - couldn't wait to delve into these pages - Mantel is lauded as a wonderful writer and this period of history has always been fascinating to me. I admit, it was disappointing. Extra stars to Vance who told the story masterfully and has a wonderful voice. But Mantel's style wasn't music to my ears. I found some of the descriptions of court politics tedious and the numerous characters - apart from the key players - hard to keep separate. Especially irritating was this use of the pronoun 'he' followed by the name 'Cromwell'. What an awkward construction! Why not use simply 'Cromwell', unless the use of 'he' is clear who it refers to?

    I am a great fan of historical fiction and was hoping to discover a new favourite author - but it's back to Ken Follett for me!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8638)
    Performance
    (5301)
    Story
    (5291)

    Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Fall of Giants is his magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.

    Keith says: "Ken Follett and John Lee / Audible's Dream Team"
    "Another amazing accomplishment for Follett"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    LOL that someone described Follett and Lee, the narrator, as the Dream Team. That's it in a nutshell. I read (listened) to Follett's Pillars of the Earth and marvelled at how he took an era and wove together such remarkable human interest stories with a text book of historical facts. He did the same with Fall of Giants. Incredible detail about the war and life at the time, but presented in such an easy to digest fashion, following the interwoven lives of aristocracy in Europe, miners from Wales.and assorted characters in the US. It is a long read (listen) but it is captivating and interesting from start to finish. Follett and Lee have managed double-handedly (does such a word exist?) to make me a convert of historical fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Tim Robbins
    Overall
    (1537)
    Performance
    (935)
    Story
    (942)

    The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald's portrait of the Jazz Age in all its decadence and excess, is, as editor Maxwell Perkins praised it in 1924, "a wonder". It remains one of the most widely read, translated, admired, imitated, and studied 20th-century works of American fiction.

    Redhawk Readers says: "Something you won't fall asleep to..."
    "a slow and monotonous story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Did Tim Robbins, an actor I admire, read this book so incredibly slowly because it is short and he wanted to spin it out to 5 hours? Did he use the same monotone voice for almost all the characters because he forgot his acting skills? And why did he talk so quietly into the microphone that I had to turn the volume way up to catch it all?
    I know this book is a classic and I never read it growing up so felt it was time to see what the hype was all about. I still don't know but I do look forward to seeing the movie and perhaps - contrary to the usual scenario - I will enjoy the movie more than the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Kitchen House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kathleen Grissom
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7106)
    Performance
    (5048)
    Story
    (5037)

    Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction.

    B.J. says: "Good, but with reservations"
    "Historical fiction great read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Kitchen House in three words, what would they be?

    Great historical fiction


    Any additional comments?

    I learned so much about this era and the lives of the slaves on plantations in the south. Fascinating, sad and at times appalling. There were a lot of characters in the story - every female character seems to have a new baby every other chapter and it was a bit hard to keep everyone straight ! But I realized you only need to keep the relationships of the main characters in order - who fathered whom -.
    The ending is bitter sweet and our heroine Lavinia doesnt end up with her all ducks in a row - happy marriage, beautiful children and wonderful home. So for that I was grateful as the story took on a more realistic tone. There is tragedy, there is heartache, decisions and actions go wrong. But you don;t drown in the misery of the lives of slaves - you learn how family can be comprised of people who arent biologically related and that these bonds can withstand many tests.
    Really enjoyed the Irish narrator, Cassidty, who brought the character of the small irish immigrant girl, Lavinia, to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (18666)
    Performance
    (16615)
    Story
    (16576)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "thoroughly enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to 11-22-63 the most enjoyable?

    I am not a big fan of time travel stories. When I hit the 'purchase' button I thought I was buying a book which explored what happened that day and why - a historical fiction perhaps. So I was surprised to discover the concept was about stepping back in time, changing the past and the ramifications of that. I found it fascinating. the tale has a perfect blend of romance, historical fact telling, adventure, character development and suspense. All beautifully told by Craig Watson.


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

    yes, but impossible given its length. however - a great book for a long plane journey or train ride.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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