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Redlands, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

  • 15 reviews
  • 88 ratings
  • 241 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015

  • The Women: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By T. C. Boyle
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Told through the experiences of the four women who loved him, this imaginative account of Frank Lloyd Wright's raucous life blazes with Boyle's trademark wit and invention. Boyle's protean voice captures these very different women and, in doing so, creates a masterful ode to the creative life in all its complexity and grandeur.

    Diane says: "didn't work for me"
    "Whiney Women and One Cocky Man"

    The only thing I liked about this book was that I learned a lot about Frank Lloyd Wright and his work. Unfortunately, he comes across as a modern day U.S. Congressman with his "I do what I want" attitude about life and especially women. Frank's women all come across as whiney and manipulative. I also did not like that the book is told from the last wife forward. At times it was difficult to follow. This was complicated by the footnotes being read in the text giving the book as feel of backtracking even more. While this footnote information was generally educational, it disrupted the flow of the book. I could barely finish this listen and wouldn't except that I needed something to entertain me on a really long road trip! Don't bother!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • If I am Missing or Dead: A Sister's Story of Love, Murder, and Liberation

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Janine Latus
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In April 2002, Janine Latus' youngest sister, Amy, wrote a note and taped it to the inside of her desk drawer. "Today Ron Ball and I are romantically involved", it read, "but I fear I have placed myself at risk in a variety of ways. Based on his criminal past, writing this out just seems like the smart thing to do. If I am missing or dead this obviously has not protected me...."

    James Gordon says: "Spellbinding"
    Any additional comments?

    This book was frustrating and yet the story was told in such a way, I could not stop listening. It was frustrating in that I wanted to scream to the characters, "Get out of this relationship NOW!" It was also sad in that this is not fiction. On the other hand, it is also hopeful. The author eventually sees the light and goes on to a successful life although it is a life without her beloved sister, Amy.

    I felt background story leading up to Amy's murder was exceptional - full of detail and reflection by the author. I was, however, disappointed in that the book's description said it also dealt with understanding why these abusive relationships were tolerated so long. After Amy's murder, it just seemed to stop abruptly. I felt the author came up a little short in this area. I would have liked more insight into her mindset. She talked about wanting acceptance from men all through the book and clearly she blames her father, but I would have liked more analysis of this area at the end. I think it would be helpful for young women who could potentially end up in abusive relationships to see the abuser for what they are and to get out before things progress to something serious.

    All in all, this was a great listen. The narrator is excellent and I believe that can make all the difference when listening to a book verse reading it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By E. L. James
    • Narrated By Becca Battoe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Daunted by the singular tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house. But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist.

    "Oh my!"
    What would have made Fifty Shades Darker better?

    The sex in this book is not enough to warrant all the hype about the novel. This is one of the most poorly written books I have ever listened to or read. It reads like something a high school student might write wishing to shock the reader! I wish I had started counting the "oh my", "holy s*#%" and "holy f@#*" comments just to satisfy my curiosity as to how much these "literary" phrases were used! Not only was the writing sophomoric, it was clearly written by a much older person. The main characters engage in email conversations (complete with the headers and salutations read out completely - really?) People who graduated from college in 2011, as the main character did, DO NOT have conversations through email - they text! Also, I don't think there is a recent college graduate on the planet that went through four years of college without their own computer - please! This author is clearly way out of touch. Even the sex could have been more imaginative.

    Would you ever listen to anything by E. L. James again?


    What didn’t you like about Becca Battoe’s performance?

    I thought the performance was very poor. The narrator made Anna sound like a Valley Girl ditz. The narration was so slow it drove me crazy at first. Then I discovered that with my new Andriod app, you can adjust the speed. I turned it up to 1.5 and it actually sounded normal!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Suzn F says: "Dreamlike Experience to Savor"
    What did you like best about The Night Circus? What did you like least?

    I had heard this was a great book, but it did not live up to the hype. I felt like the story was just wandering and the ending was just okay. On top of that the narrator used the same voice (old man like) for characters that were not supposed to be aging because of the magic of the circus. I found it confusing at times. The concept for the book is fresh, but it just didn't excite me much.

    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jim Dale?

    He has a great reading voice, but he is clearly too old to be narrating for young characters.

    Was The Night Circus worth the listening time?

    Not really. I found myself wishing it was over instead of wishing it would never end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jeannette Walls
    • Narrated By Jeannette Walls

    Jeannette Walls's memoir The Glass Castle was "nothing short of spectacular" (Entertainment Weekly). Now, in Half Broke Horses, she brings us the story of her grandmother, told in a first-person voice that is authentic, irresistible, and triumphant.

    "Not sure that I would like this, but it was great!"
    What made the experience of listening to Half Broke Horses the most enjoyable?

    At first, I wasn't sure I liked the reading pattern of Jeannette Walls, but soon it became apparent that it contributed to defining the main character of Lily. I soon felt swept up in the story and couldn't wait to listen to more. The American southwest and an era I knew little about came alive in vivid color, smells, and so much more. This was a great listen.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Tom Franklin
    • Narrated By Kevin Kenerly

    Larry Ott and Silas “32” Jones were unlikely boyhood friends. Larry was the child of lower middle-class white parents, Silas the son of a poor, single, black mother - their worlds as different as night and day. Yet a special bond developed between them in Chabot, Mississippi. But within a few years, tragedy struck. In high school, a girl who lived up the road from Larry had gone to the drive-in movie with him and nobody had seen her again.

    Jami E. Nettles says: "Fantastic story in the south I know"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story is haunting and makes you think about the profound impact a single day or event or friendship can have in our lives. The relationships between Larry and Silas, the races, and life in the late 70s/early 80s and today make the story. On top of a beautifully written book, the narration is some the best I've heard - a pleasure on every level.

    2 of 3 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

    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"
    "Longer than need be..."

    I love history and politics, but this novel just beats it up in places - too much! It is to the point that at times it detracts from the story. Since this is a trilogy, I understand why it ends so abruptly with minimal wrap up, but it seems there was little climatic action in the plot. I did learn a lot about World War I. Unfortunately, this read like a novelized history book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Every Last One

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Anna Quindlen
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this breathtaking and beautiful novel, the #1 New York Times best-selling author Anna Quindlen creates an unforgettable portrait of a mother, a father, a family, and the explosive, violent consequences of what seem like inconsequential actions.

    Kimberly says: "Almost Unbearably Sad, Completely Wonderful"
    "Beautifully Written"

    Anna Quindlen has an amazing way with words. The greatest joy in listening to this book was her prose. The story is described so well, you truly feel for the characters as though you were going through the experience. It is, however, unbelievably sad. Be warned!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of One

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower

    Born in a South Africa divided by racism and hatred, this one small boy will come to lead all the tribes of Africa. Through enduring friendships with Hymie and Gideon, Peekay gains the strength he needs to win out. And in a final conflict with his childhood enemy, the Judge, Peekay will fight to the death for justice.

    Bob says: "Compelling story lifted higher by the narration"

    Terrific story, learned a lot about South Africa and you can see it with the words, excellent narrator! I highly recommend this listen!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Change in Altitude: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Anita Shreve
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman, Emma Walton Hamilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Twenty-eight-year-old Geraldine travels to Kenya with her new husband James with the intent of staying a year. In a dizzying multicultural city, she struggles to maintain her balance as well as her sense of self. Her marriage, and her understanding of the world, are shaken to the core.

    Justin says: "aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"
    "Altitude was pretty flat!"

    This book just never seemed to really get going. It was a though the author was trying to make a point, but never got around to making it clear. The worst part was the narrator. She talked so slow and emphasized ever punctuation mark. It was like having your first grade teacher read to the class. I could hardly stand it at first. This might be a better read than a listen. I would not bother downloading it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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