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Vanessa

V

Member Since 2014

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 65 ratings
  • 159 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015
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  • Divine Misfortune

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By A. Lee Martinez
    • Narrated By Fred Berman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (449)
    Performance
    (380)
    Story
    (383)

    Teri and Phil had never needed their own personal god. But when Phil is passed up for a promotion - again - it's time to take matters into their own hands. And look online. Choosing a god isn't as simple as you would think. There are too many choices; and they often have very hefty prices for their eternal devotion: blood, money, sacrifices, and vows of chastity. But then they find Luka, raccoon god of prosperity. All he wants is a small cut of their good fortune. Oh - and to crash on their couch for a few days.

    Amazon Customer says: "Office Space rewritten by Disney"
    "Simply Divine (I couldn't resist)"
    Overall

    This is a hilarious, funny, touching, and all-around wonderful story. I laughed out loud and got angry and sad and happy and all-in-all was completely enthralled. What a great audiobook!

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Legendarium

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Kevin G. Summers, Michael Bunker
    • Narrated By Robert Rossmann
    Overall
    (343)
    Performance
    (312)
    Story
    (315)

    In every generation, certain writers are chosen to be protectors of The Legendarium, a metaphysical library that exists at the nexus of the multiverse. Inside this library are doorways that lead to every world ever created in literature. There are forces of evil constantly at work to destroy the library and send the world back into an age of darkness. Now, in a time of growing illiteracy, two heroes are chosen to defend The Legendarium.

    Elizabeth Hauris says: "If Butcher & Fforde had a child, this would be it."
    "Total Disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Legendarium?

    I wanted to like this. It tackles a cool concept, but it does so without any style or wit. Not to be Foley, but I have so many problems with it. The only character I liked was Hugh Howie, who is clearly just a link to the one of the author's previous works. The two main characters are dull, flat, and entirely annoying. I hear that people like the other Bombo books, but I just don't get it at all. They repeat the same lines over and over, rehashing the same tired plot points. The story doesn't even make sense! I love sci-fi, but I could not suspend my disbelief for even a second in this story. Anytime a character would bring up something the audience might be thinking, another character would basically say, "We don't have time to explain!" That's bad writing, plain and simple.

    For those of you listening to the audio version, don't. I have honestly never heard a worse narrator in my life. I listen to about 12 hours of audiobooks a week, so I've listened to a lot. This guy was horrible. He was clearly trying to distinguish between voices, but he slipped between them all with no relationship to which character was speaking! Even the different accents he chose didn't make sense for the characters he was supposedly trying to perform. Lines that might have been funny fell flat, and I actually lost track of who was speaking at times. Seriously, this guy needs more training before ever picking up a mic again.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Shirley Jackson
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (679)
    Performance
    (572)
    Story
    (574)

    Six years after four family members died of arsenic poisoning, the three remaining Blackwoods—elder, agoraphobic sister Constance; wheelchair-bound Uncle Julian; and 18-year-old Mary Katherine, or, Merricat—live together in pleasant isolation. Merricat has developed an idiosyncratic system of rules and protective magic to guard the estate against intrusions from hostile villagers. But one day a stranger arrives—cousin Charles, with his eye on the Blackwood fortune.

    jaspersu says: "The narration changed my interpretation"
    "Sorry, but No"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I know this is a classic, and I really wanted to like it based on other works by Shirley Jackson, but I just can't. It's such a slow start, and the narrator (the character, not the voice actor) is so unreliable that I could not sustain my interest in her story. Dull.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26057)
    Performance
    (23104)
    Story
    (23174)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "What a Twist!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When you begin the second half of the book, be prepared to have your perceptions shaken to the core.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a perfect companion to "The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha Stout because one of the characters (I won't spoil who), could have been ripped from the pages of her clinical case studies! This is a brilliant piece of fiction made all the more terrifying for its realism.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sociopath Next Door

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Martha Stout
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    Overall
    (2893)
    Performance
    (1856)
    Story
    (1854)

    We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people, one in 25, has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in 25 everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath.

    Taryn says: "Reinforces what you have already known"
    "Fascinating and Thought-Provoking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Sociopath Next Door the most enjoyable?

    I listened to this immediately after Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl," and they were a perfect pair! It was fascinating to learn about real, clinical sociopathy and its various manifestations. Every day, I came home talking about some new thing I'd learned about sociopathy.


    What other book might you compare The Sociopath Next Door to and why?

    Definitely read this one either before or after reading Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl." One of the characters (I won't spoil which one), could have been ripped from the pages of Stout's book!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Room: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Emma Donoghue
    • Narrated By Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Robert Petkoff, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4712)
    Performance
    (2180)
    Story
    (2169)

    To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, but what she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

    Kathleen says: "A truly memorable read"
    "Fascinating and Annoying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Room to be better than the print version?

    Honestly, I feel quite torn about the audio and narration of this book. The audio components allow for a deeper realization of Jack's emphasis on words and ideas. However, the voice chosen for Jack is extremely annoying, almost unbearable in the beginning. I understand that the book is from Jack's point of view, but between the baby voice and the confusion of Jack's thoughts, it was a bit overwhelming.


    Did the narrators do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Generally, the narrators did a good job differentiating all of the characters, but some of the women's voices started to blur once Jack and Ma left Room.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm glad that the majority of the book's plot was spent outside of Room. I almost stopped listening because I simply could not stand to hear Jack talk about breastfeeding any more. I'm glad that I kept listening, because hearing his attempts to contextualize Outside into his schema was fascinating. If you can stand the narration and get through the first part of the book, it's worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Gods

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5523)
    Performance
    (2376)
    Story
    (2394)

    For the three years Shadow spent in prison, all he wanted was to get back to the loving arms of his wife and stay out of trouble for the rest of his life. But days before his release, he learns that his wife has been killed in an accident, and his world becomes a colder place.

    Joseph says: "Amazing, powerful book about America."
    "Amazing Book, Good Audiobook"
    Overall

    The story itself is pure genius and if you don't already read Neil Gaiman, start! However, the format of the book didn't translate perfectly into audiobook. The narration was wonderful and the characters truly came alive, but the book is filled with vignettes and quotes, which tend to get blurred into the rest of the story. I'm sure that on a written page, the visual cues would have been enough, but there weren't any audible cues that you were listening to a vignette or a quote -- which was often confusing! Still, I loved the story and think it is wonderful, I just wish they'd given more thought to the audio version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In the Woods

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    Overall
    (5385)
    Performance
    (3370)
    Story
    (3372)

    As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children, unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

    Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a 12-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery.

    Dottie B. says: "Very mixed feelings (semi-spoilers included)"
    "Good Story, Mediocre Ending"
    Overall

    I won't ruin it for anyone, but I found the ending of this story completely underwhelming. There were so many questions unanswered and the answers we got were unsatisfying. Additionally, there is only so much self-destruction in a character I can find believable before it seems absurd. I enjoyed the occasionally mystical musings, but after finishing the book I feel let down and wish that Tana French had simply told her (quite good) story without all the frills. Her second book, The Likeness, is much better and makes reading this one worth it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Likeness

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Heather O'Neill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3323)
    Performance
    (2183)
    Story
    (2189)

    Tana French's debut, In the Woods, hit the New York Times best-seller list and drew rave reviews from the Times (London) and Booklist. Picking up six months later, this riveting sequel finds Detective Cassie Maddox still scarred by her last case. When her boyfriend calls her to a chilling murder scene, Cassie is forced to face her inner demons. A young woman has been found stabbed to death outside Dublin, and the victim looks just like Cassie.

    Michael says: "Really on a Different Level"
    "Better Than Her First"
    Overall

    I enjoyed this book significantly more than "In the Woods" and I think this narrator is better as well. The story is engaging, surprising at times, and touching. However, I personally find it frustrating and annoying (especially in an audiobook where I can't just skip ahead) when a character consistently makes foolish or harmful choices. I don't really enjoy self-destructive characters and Tana French excels at writing them!

    Still, I'm giving it 4 stars because she is an excellent writer with an excellent narrator, even if I find her characters maddening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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