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Penelope Wisner

ratings
319
REVIEWS
4
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
56

  • Gilead

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Marilynne Robinson
    • Narrated By Tim Jerome
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (632)
    Performance
    (162)
    Story
    (161)

    In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son, an account of himself and his forebears. Ames is the son of an Iowan preacher and the grandson of a minister who, as a young man in Maine, saw a vision of Christ bound in chains and came west to Kansas to fight for abolition: He "preached men into the Civil War", then, at age 50, became a chaplain in the Union Army, losing his right eye in battle.

    Jim says: "The wonder of retrospect"
    "A book for dreaming over"
    Overall

    Usually, I gobble books. Not this one. Exquisitely written, it begs the reader to pause, to ponder, to wonder, to marvel. So delicate, like leaves rustling in a light breeze. As the narrator ponders his life, so you cannot help but ponder your own. Here is a book full of spirit, a sermon if you like, without the preaching down to the reader. Instead it is an invitation to think with compassion about oneself, one's failings, one's relationships with God and man. Amazing.

    40 of 41 people found this review helpful
  • Beatrice and Virgil: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (220)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (83)

    When Henry receives a letter from an elderly taxidermist, it poses a puzzle that he cannot resist. As he is pulled further into the world of this strange and calculating man, Henry becomes increasingly involved with the lives of a donkey and a howler monkey named Beatrice and Virgil and the epic journey they undertake together.

    S. Connors says: "Excellent writing and reading, but..."
    "Love and Death Await: Wake Up!"
    Overall

    The negative listener reviews nearly convinced me not to listen. But my sister had read the book and was so affected that she called needing someone to talk to about it. Having been prepared for something awful to happen, I could let the book happen, to be carried along by the narrator whose voice and tone I liked very much. The book is deeply affecting and haunting--the contrast between the palpable love the narrator conveys in the voices of Beatrice and Virgil and the horror of the story increase its effect. I cannot say I completely understand the ending of the book; but I remember having the same feeling at the end of Life of Pi. The author almost lulls you into a feeling of safety and then springs a trap. There is no escape. Suddenly life is revealed for what it really is. You cannot pretend or sleep through it. To survive, you have to wake up. And even this may not be enough. But that is what is most true. It is, I think, the author's intention not to make things easy. And it is the nature of parables to reveal their meanings only over time. So I encourage anyone interested in Yann Martel's work to take a listen. Like the hero of the story, I miss Beatrice and Virgil. You may, too.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The New Yorkers: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Cathleen Schine
    • Narrated By Nicole Roberts
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (8)

    Walking her dog, Beatrice, Jody falls under the spell of Everett's bewitching smile. Everett begins to appreciate his post-divorce life only when he falls in love with Howdy, Polly's puppy. Polly lives with her brother, George, and wants him to fall in love. George isn't so much looking for a love life as for life direction, and Howdy leads him right to it. Doris hates the trash on her block, she hates the pee on her SUV's tires, and, above all, she hates dogs. That is, until she gets one of her own.

    Penelope Wisner says: "The New Yorkers"
    "The New Yorkers"
    Overall

    I found this book to be a wonderfully diverting, amusing listen. It turned out to be quite touching, too, and as a dog lover, I enjoyed the dog angle. But dogs don't hog the spotlight. Instead, the author shines a warm, compassionate light on the foibles of her characters. I particularly enjoyed the reader. I am sorry not to remember who it was.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Him Her Him Again the End of Him

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Patricia Marx
    • Narrated By Hillary Huber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    A neurotic young graduate student looking for distraction from her doomed thesis is inexplicably swept off her feet by a narcissistic philosophy professor. The obsession continues even after he has dumped her for someone even needier and she has given up on school and become a television writer. Meeting again in New York, they begin an adulterous affair that, of course, can only end in some kind of crisis.

    Terri says: "No Humor Still No Humor End of Humor"
    "Him, Her, Him Again, The End of Him"
    Overall

    Someone suggested this book as an amusing summer read for our book group. Not amusing at all. Simply annoying. Pages and pages are devoted to lists. Once it might be slightly amusing, but the technique is used twice, thrice, 4x, 5x, and more. So it becomes simply boring. And annoying. How a character who, at the beginning of the book, is working toward a PhD at Cambridge, yet styles herself as having fewer brains than a stereotypical bubblebrain, is supposed to be believeable is beyond me. And her obsession with a syncophantic bore is also unbelieveable. Not funny, just annoying.
    The book sounds as if written by a group of friends who thought themselves very funny but forgot to check outside their own group. My sister was the smartest of us all, throwing the book across the room at page 12. The rest of us are simply angry that we'd spend money on it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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