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Ann Kirschner

Ann

New York, NY USA | Member Since 2002

25
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 91 ratings
  • 549 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
1

  • A Delicate Truth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By John le Carré
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (297)
    Performance
    (262)
    Story
    (260)

    A Delicate Truth opens in 2008. A counter-terrorist operation, codenamed Wildlife, is being mounted on the British crown colony of Gibraltar. Its purpose: to capture and abduct a high-value jihadist arms buyer. Its authors: an ambitious Foreign Office Minister, a private defense contractor who is also his bosom friend, and a shady American CIA operative of the evangelical far right. So delicate is the operation that even the Minister’s personal private secretary, Toby Bell, is not cleared for it.

    Darwin8u says: "A latter-day Jeremiah of espionage & statecraft."
    "Hang in there, it gets great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    le carre reading le carre, what could be better? I found the first few hours to be confusing and sometimes tedious, but once the story takes off, it is riveting. And ripped from the headlines: what an opportune time to be thinking about surveillance, privacy, outsourced military action, and overstepping governments. Terrific story, beautifully drawn characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Terry Hayes
    • Narrated By Christopher Ragland
    Overall
    (318)
    Performance
    (295)
    Story
    (298)

    An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid. A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square. A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard. Smoldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan. A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity.

    W. Perry Hall says: "Smartest Novel I've Heard or Read in Long time"
    "Perfect summer thriller, don't miss"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    don't be deterred by the length -- I never wished this book to be shorter. Lots of chills and thrills and great scenery along the way. Have recommended it to lots of different readers and all have enjoyed it.
    Narrator needs pronunciation lessons. Anything European throws him, esp French. Makes him sound amateurish. Does anyone listen into these recordings??
    Was annoying but in the end, I forgave.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Butcher’s Crossing

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By John Williams
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    In the 1870s, Will Andrews, fired up by Emerson to seek "an original relation to nature," drops out of Harvard and heads west. He washes up in Butcher's Crossing, a small Kansas town full of restless men looking for ways to make money and ways to waste it. One of these men regales Will with tales of the immense buffalo herds hidden away in the Colorado Rockies and convinces him to join an expedition to track them down.

    Ann Kirschner says: "The incomparable John Williams goes west"
    "The incomparable John Williams goes west"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Three such different books -- Augustus, Stoner, and Butcher's Crossing -- all memorable. This one takes the tired western genre and kicks it back up to literary masterpiece, a coming of age tale told with cinematic sweep and exquisite writing. Some sections were so thrilling that I listened 2X. I mean twice, not doublespeed!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stoner

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Williams
    • Narrated By Robin Field
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (408)
    Performance
    (329)
    Story
    (333)

    William Stoner is born at the end of the 19th century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar's life, far different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments.

    Anton says: "A story of sadness and serenity"
    "a great American novel, a great American audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There's a reason so many people admire, revere John Williams -- I then went and listened to Butcher's Crossing, so very different and also wonderful.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • One Kick: Kick Lannigan, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Chelsea Cain
    • Narrated By Heather Lind
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (136)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (123)

    From the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times best-selling Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell thrillers: The first in a nail-biting new series featuring Kick Lannigan, a young woman whose complicated past has given her a very special skill set. Famously kidnapped at age six, Kick captured America’s hearts when she was rescued five years later. Now, twenty-one, she finds herself unexpectedly entangled in a missing child case that will put her talents to the test.

    Marci says: "Good book. I hope the series gets better."
    "I'm chintzy with stars but an enjoyable story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    despite the horrifying context of pedophilia, our heroine will win your heart and i guess I would even read another one. I did keep waiting for Kick's hair to figure more prominentl in the action, didn't you??

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • You Should Have Known

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Jean Hanff Korelitz
    • Narrated By Christina Delaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (295)
    Performance
    (258)
    Story
    (258)

    Grace Reinhart Sachs is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. Devoted to her husband, a pediatric oncologist at a major cancer hospital, their young son Henry, and the patients she sees in her therapy practice, her days are full of familiar things: She lives in the very New York apartment in which she was raised, and sends Henry to the school she herself once attended. Dismayed by the ways in which women delude themselves, Grace is also the author of a book You Should Have Known, in which she cautions women to really hear what men are trying to tell them.

    Laurie says: "Maybe I should have known better"
    "watch out -- you will have trouble unplugging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    i listened at 2x for 2 reasons: i wanted the next plot twist (that's good) and the narrative was bloated (that's bad). But you'll overlook the latter for the former. I thoroughly enjoyed this, for all the yucky Upper East Side self-satisfied parts of it, found it insightful and always absorbing.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8401)
    Performance
    (7994)
    Story
    (8008)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "hang in there, it gets better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're gasping for air at the tedious engineering of it all, hang on for a while...once the real story of rescue kicks in, you'll enjoy this Robinson Crusoe - Apollo 13 sort of roller coaster romp. An exercise in critical thinking and imagination and solitude. Don't expect three dimensional characters (and the stereotype narration of German accents made me cringe) but I stuck with it till the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Keeper

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3123)
    Performance
    (2685)
    Story
    (2703)

    England, 1959: Laurel Nicolson is 16 years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime.

    Maria says: "Kate Morton (and Caroline Lee) does it again!"
    "Poignant, absorbing, lovely listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A roller coaster of a plot and several memorable characters. I suspect that this was far better as an audiobook than it would have been in print....a teensy shmaltzy, but forgivably so. And while the writing rarely soars, the story of family lost and found, the trauma of the war, and young women forging their lives and identities during the London blitz never lagged. Heroes to cheer, villains to hate, and a satisfying range of grey to provoke deep questions of ethical choices and as the title suggests, when to keep secrets -- and when to release them. I probably logged several thousand miles of flights with this book, and it was a welcome companion. Was sorry to see it end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Gods of Guilt

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    Overall
    (3208)
    Performance
    (2843)
    Story
    (2832)

    Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game. When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life.

    Ted says: "Luxury Vehicle… Does It All"
    "Connelly has run out of steam, so has this reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nothing good but the title.

    After several hours in which I had nary a moment of reader-delight, I abandoned ship -- something I rarely do. Thin characters, thinner plot. Narration OK but can't dress up a lackluster book. Leaving in search of richer reader waters.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    Overall
    (9287)
    Performance
    (8512)
    Story
    (8521)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "This is one to try Whispersync"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Book first, technology second. This is a masterpiece, a bildungsroman that is as unexpected as next year's news, but as traditional in its values of story-telling, characters, and insight into yup, the meaning of life and art. Guess you can tell that I loved it.

    This is the first book for which I bounced back and forth between text (well, e-text) and audio. The ability to have either one jump forward to the right spot was downright magical, gave me a giggle every time it happened. But also, i would not have missed either the fabulous narration (especially as voice of The Mother and Hobie) nor the power of the written word.

    don't miss. Only MIddlemarch-ian books get my 5 stars, so consider 4 my 21st century 5 stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Any Human Heart: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By William Boyd
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (96)

    Best-selling author William Boyd—the novelist who has been called a “master storyteller” (Chicago Tribune) and “a gutsy writer who is good company to keep” (Time)—here gives us his most entertaining, sly, and compelling novel to date. The novel evokes the tumult, events, and iconic faces of our time as it tells the story of Logan Mountstuart—writer, lover, and man of the world—through his intimate journals. It is the “riotous and disorganized reality” of Mountstuart’s 85 years in all their extraordinary, tragic, and humorous aspects.

    connie says: "very satisfying story-telling"
    "blech, what a guy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really tried to like this story but could not. I believe Restless is, for instance, a terrific book, but this one? I suddenly thought I'd missed the real William Boyd. As the story careened from improbability to improbability (and yes, I DO like fiction), I lost interest, and by the time our hero got to Nigeria, I was outta there. I rarely don't go the distance on an audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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