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Tom

ratings
373
REVIEWS
67
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
126

  • The Jewels of Paradise

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Donna Leon
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (53)

    Caterina Pellegrini is a native Venetian, and like so many of them, she’s had to leave home to pursue her career elsewhere, mostly abroad. With a doctorate in baroque opera from Vienna, she lands in Birmingham, England, as a research fellow and assistant professor. Birmingham, however, is no Venice, so when she gets word of a position back home, Caterina jumps at the opportunity. The job is an unusual one.

    Ruth says: "A "mystery" of a different sort, . ."
    "Not the Donna Leon I know"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I’m a big fan of Donna Leon so I had to try this book. First, I listened to an hour of the book. Then I went to other pursuits. Two months later, I tried again and made it all the way by stubborn perseverance. While well written and wonderfully narrated, the story is simply not very interesting. One follows the protagonist’s research about an 18th century composer/prelate of sorts, which I found I didn’t care about. The protagonist’s travails as the hired researcher to go through the papers of the composer are only mildly interesting. I’ll stick with Bruneti.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Potato Factory: The Australian Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3007)
    Performance
    (2071)
    Story
    (2069)

    Always leave a little salt on the bread. Ikey Solomon's favorite saying is also his way of doing business, and in the business of thieving he's very successful indeed. Ikey's partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from thriving nineteenth century London to the convict settlement of Van Diemen's Land.

    karen says: "Best audiobook of the year!"
    "a wonderful surprise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I expected a story of Australia. And yet, the first third (almost) of the book is spent in London. The intrigues abounded and when I realized that much of what I read had actually happened. The story grew, the characters expanded into the most interesting people. As with many of the best audio books, the narration is so very good, reminiscent of Simon Vance's performance of David Copperfield.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heartstone: A Matthew Shardlake Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By C. J. Sansom
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (423)
    Performance
    (301)
    Story
    (303)

    Consistently appearing on US and UK best-seller lists, C.J. Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake mysteries have earned considerable critical acclaim, including a CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award. At the behest of a former servant to Catherine Parr, Shardlake travels to Portsmouth to investigate claims of unspeakable crimes committed upon a young ward of the court. There, Shardlake uncovers disturbing evidence even as England’s continuing war with France rages around him.

    Marie says: "Shardlake has begun to annoy"
    "as usual a great story . . . but a bit too long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've liked all of the Shardlake books for their history and cleverness, Crossely is a great narrator. He, of course, is Matthew Shardlake, I wouldn't be able to listen to a Shardlake book if Crossely wasn't the narrator. I did think this book was a bit too long.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Keeper of Lost Causes: Department Q, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jussi Adler-Olsen
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1240)
    Performance
    (1069)
    Story
    (1067)

    Jussi Adler-Olsen is Denmark's premier crime writer. His books routinely top the bestseller lists in northern Europe, and he's won just about every Nordic crime-writing award, including the prestigious Glass Key Award-also won by Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson, and Jo Nesbo. Now, Dutton is thrilled to introduce him to America.

    Kelli N. Perkins says: "Maximum Thrill and Fabulous Characters"
    "antisocial protagonist but good story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found the story a good one. I did not find the premise to be plausible though I see some reviewers did not. The writing style was fine. Nothing special but straightforward.
    The protagonist is as the Audible blurb says, “deeply flawed.” I second that. He isn’t a drunk as many detectives are. I was going to call him a sociopath, but checking the traits of sociopaths (sometime charming, delusional), he isn’t that. I think antisocial fits the bill. He doesn’t like anyone. He is rude. He is lazy and irresponsible for the first half of the book. As the book nears its end, he improves a bit, but he really isn’t the least bit likeable.

    I give the narrator a rating of 4. Overall, he is excellent. The one downside is that the Danish accents he affects makes is hard to distinguish one character from another. One reviewer suggests simply using the narrator’s native English. Still, the Danish accent does give the English listener a Danish ambience, which is nice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A House in the Sky: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Amanda Lindhout, Sara Corbett
    • Narrated By Amanda Lindhout
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (153)
    Story
    (154)

    Amanda Lindhout reads her spectacularly dramatic memoir of a woman whose curiosity about the world led her from rural Canada to imperiled and dangerous countries on every continent, and then into 15 months of harrowing captivity in Somalia - a story of courage, resilience, and extraordinary grace. In August 2008, she traveled to Mogadishu, Somalia - "the most dangerous place on Earth." On her fourth day in the country, she and her photojournalist companion were abducted.

    Eric Schurr says: "Incredible story! Very well written and delivered"
    "Well worth it with a tinge of sadness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Memoirs read by the author are special. Amanda L. does a good job telling her story. Amanda, and others who travel the world with reckless disregard of others, engender mixed feelings in me.

    One gets an intimate view of what it is like to be a hostage. Things that occur are not surprising to anyone who reads the news but an unflinching first hand account. Amanda L. has taken an amazing tour of some of the most dangerous places in the world. One cannot help admire her bravery and inquisitiveness.

    That said, I could not help but be troubled by her trip to Somalia. She admits it was a mistake, but most would have known that at the outset. She put her family through a terrible ordeal. She endangered others.

    I didn't and don't dislike her. I admire her and I admire the work she has done since her release to help the women of Somalia. Still, my admiration is tinged with a bit of sadness that these events occurred.

    The book is well worth a listen.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Wedding Night: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Sophie Kinsella
    • Narrated By Jayne Entwistle, Fiona Hardingham, Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (529)
    Performance
    (475)
    Story
    (479)

    Lottie just knows that her boyfriend is going to propose during lunch at one of London’s fanciest restaurants. But when his big question involves a trip abroad, not a trip down the aisle, she’s completely crushed. So when Ben, an old flame, calls her out of the blue and reminds Lottie of their pact to get married if they were both still single at 30, she jumps at the chance. No formal dates - just a quick march to the altar and a honeymoon on Ikonos, the sun-drenched Greek island where they first met years ago. Their family and friends are horrified. Fliss, Lottie’s older sister, knows that Lottie can be impulsive - but surely this is her worst decision yet.

    Elle W says: "Overly Negative, Unlikable Characters"
    "Good, but . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A bit too long is my only complaint. Well, also, for me the book wasn't the equal of "I've Got Your Number" and "Can You Keep a Secret?".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ashford Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Lauren Willig
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (69)

    As a lawyer in a large Manhattan firm, just shy of making partner, Clementine Evans has finally achieved almost everything she’s been working towards - but now she’s not sure it’s enough. Her long hours have led to a broken engagement and, suddenly single at 34, she feels her messy life crumbling around her. But when the family gathers for her grandmother Addie’s 99th birthday, a relative lets slip hints about a long-buried family secret, leading Clemmie on a journey into the past that could change everything.

    Karen says: "A buried secret unravels the present"
    "Napoleonic war stories are better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Willig's other books. This one, however, didn't do it for me. Too much romance, too little history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Still Life

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1754)
    Performance
    (1138)
    Story
    (1150)

    Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's nothing more than a tragic hunting accident, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods.

    Sydney says: "a gentle mystery"
    "Ah, to discover a new really good author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good story, interesting characters, good character development, and life in rural Quebec new to me. I will buy more of her books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Runaway

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Tracy Chevalier
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (139)

    In best-selling author Tracy Chevalier’s newest historical saga, she introduces Honor Bright, a modest English Quaker who moves to Ohio in 1850, only to find herself alienated and alone in a strange land. Sick from the moment she leaves England, and fleeing personal disappointment, she is forced by family tragedy to rely on strangers in a harsh, unfamiliar landscape. Nineteenth-century America is practical, precarious, and unsentimental, and scarred by the continuing injustice of slavery. In her new home Honor discovers that principles count for little, even within a religious community meant to be committed to human equality.

    Tom says: "unjustified perseverance got me through"
    "unjustified perseverance got me through"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I trusted the author's reputation on this purchase. That plus an interest in the workings of the underground railroad. I found it rather boring. I kept listening with one ear so to speak since much was uninteresting to me. There is a lot, really a lot, of quilt making discussions. Some of the reactions of the English girl to life in America in 1850 are interesting, like how rude rocking chairs may seem. Runaway slaves do not appear until the last 1/2 hour of part one. The treatment of the issue I found mildly interesting.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cloud Atlas

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Cassandra Campbell, Kim Mai Guest, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2874)
    Performance
    (2104)
    Story
    (2108)

    A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation: the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history.

    Cynthia says: "Complicated and Not Good for Listening!"
    "strange"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not sure what I think. Three of the stories are quite interesting. One (the future) is ok. One, I can't even say what it involves. The writing is excellent. The narration as well, But,in one of the stories, the hillbilly-like accent and odd vocabulary sat ill with me. I had to skip over it to the next story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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