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Polly

An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.

Philadelphia, PA, United States | Member Since 2010

122
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 84 reviews
  • 147 ratings
  • 295 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
8
FOLLOWERS
14

  • Celestial Navigation

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Anne Tyler
    • Narrated By Kelly Lintz, Marianne Fraulo, Ric Reitz, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (7)

    The Pultizer Prize-winning author of Saint Maybe and Breathing Lessons offers the beloved story of a man whose contented life in his rundown house in Baltimore is shaken to its core, after his sister moves in with him and his boarder starts bringing home babies.

    Polly says: "Love Anne Tyler But"
    "Love Anne Tyler But"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read so many of Tyler's books, and this is another excellent example of character development.

    However, be warned that it is perhaps the most depressing book I ever read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Partner in Crime: Joanna Brady, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By J. A. Jance, Stephanie Brush
    • Narrated By Gene Engene
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (28)

    An up-and-coming African American artist has been murdered on Sheriff Joanna Brady’s turf in Cochise County, Arizona. Unfortunately the victim happens to be in the Washington State Attorney General’s Witness Protection Program. As the most recent hire in AG’s Special Homicide Investigation Team, J.P. Beaumont gets the call. He reluctantly heads to Bisbee, Arizona where he tangles not only with Joanna Brady and a contract killer but with some of his own personal demons as well.

    Robin Barker says: "An ok job"
    "Light Reading, Book 16 in Beaumont Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I do love J.P. Beaumont, and Gene Engene, but this listen left me wondering ... "Are they getting more sappy? Or am I getting a little tired of them?"

    A good story, solid writing, but definitely a "light" mystery. This is the first time J.P. and Joanna Brady (new character to me) were partnered, as two different Jance series overlapped. Clever. But I am hoping that when I go back to the regular Beaumont series (without Brady), I will regain my former and greater appreciation of Ms. Jance's books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Big Little Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5749)
    Performance
    (5079)
    Story
    (5075)

    Pirriwee Public's annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder. In this thought-provoking novel, number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families.

    Sandy C. Jourdain says: "Not interesting"
    "Hilarious, Dark, Suburban Mom Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yes, hilarious and dark. Like real life.

    Some of the things the kindergarten moms say are so nasty as to be ridiculous and humorous, yet, at the same time, the "big and little lies" cover up some disturbing realities of marriage and parenthood.

    At first, I didn't think I could stand the "listen" because I am not a fan of the Aussie accent, but the story won me over.

    I highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Great North Road

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By Toby Longworth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1118)
    Performance
    (1014)
    Story
    (1021)

    A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family - composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone "brothers" have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies. Or maybe not so friendly....

    Flapjack says: "Get the Timeline and Cast of Characters"
    "Extremely long and complex, but GOOD!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    To enjoy this book, you have to enjoy a LONG story, a complex set of characters and at least three timelines. I would characterize this book as science fiction, so be prepared for LOTS of references to futuristic technology. Very cool.

    I was initially concerned: Could I keep track of everyone? But I encourage you to hang on because the result is well worth the effort.

    NO SPOILERS HERE:
    This is a story about a family of cloned brothers that is prominent on several different worlds and that - in particular - controls fuel production, so they are wildly rich. It is also a story of ecological ethics and carries a Biblical theme (the Garden of Eden comes to mind), in my opinion. "Humanity" is a central character in this book and resurfaces throughout.

    It is also a police murder mystery, a convoluted family drama, a commentary on politics, a monster-slasher story, a "who dunnit" and a morality play.

    Be prepared for one thing: Author Peter Hamilton periodically thrusts the reader back 20 years, but not necessarily in the order that would immediately clarify certain details. So he will toss you a moment in a brand new character's life for what seems to be no reason at all. Ten hours of listening later, he will bring this character back, and you will think, "AH HAH! I am beginning to get it."

    The only reason I gave the story 4 stars is because of the degree of complexity. It will discourage some readers and demands more effort.

    As I stated earlier: hang on, and ENJOY!



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Curse of the Spellmans

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Lisa Lutz
    • Narrated By Ari Graynor
    Overall
    (161)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (82)

    When Izzy Spellman, PI, is arrested for the fourth time in three months, she writes it off as a job hazard. She's been (obsessively) keeping surveillance on a suspicious next door neighbor (suspect's name: John Brown), convinced he's up to no good - even if her parents (the management at Spellman Investigations) are not.

    Sherri says: "What a difference the narrator makes"
    "Pretty Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a follow up to the introductory novel, this book was just OK. I still enjoyed getting to know the Spellmans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blue Labyrinth

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1401)
    Performance
    (1271)
    Story
    (1262)

    A long-buried family secret resurfaces when one of Aloysius Pendergast's most implacable enemies shows up on his doorstep as a murdered corpse. The mystery has all the hallmarks of the perfect murder, save for an enigmatic clue: a piece of turquoise lodged in the stomach of the deceased. The gem leads Pendergast to an abandoned mine on the shore of California's desolate Salton Sea, which in turn propels him on a journey of discovery deep into his family's sinister past.

    G. House Sr. says: "Twists and Tuns in the Pendergast Family Tree"
    "Way to Go, Constance!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is #14 in a series, so do NOT start with this one.

    I LOVE Agent Pendergast and all of the other characters in this series. I miss them when I am between books.

    I also love the fear-factor in the series; some of the plots are really scary, some tense, and some neither; this one is a good mystery but not at all scary, if that matters to you.

    What makes this story stand out is the fleshing out of the character of Constance Green, Pendergast's ward. She turns out to be quite an asset (no spoilers from me), and long-time fans will love her role in this novel. Wow!

    The writing of Preston & Child has gone up and down pretty dramatically. This book is somewhere in the middle, and definitely worth reading. Here is what bothered me: 1. Character omission: Lt. Vincent D'Agosta figures prominently, but his wife is invisible. As another police officer, she would have been a natural, even if on the sidelines. 2. HUGE unanswered questions: WHY was it necessary to stage the revenge activity (not really a spoiler) in the odd, remote spot out west, and why were the elaborate details necessary. They weren't, so why include them ???

    So, yes, read this book, but no it is not of the caliber of Relic and Reliquary.

    P.S. 5 stars for the narrator - Rene Auberjonois.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Spellman Files

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Lisa Lutz
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (128)

    Isabel Spellman may have a checkered past littered with romantic mistakes, excessive drinking, and creative vandalism - but she's good at her job as a licensed P.I. with her family's firm, Spellman Investigations. Invading people's privacy comes naturally to Izzy and all the Spellmans. If only they could leave their work at the office. Izzy walks an indistinguishable line between Spellman family member and Spellman employee. But when Izzy decides to get out of the family business in search of normalcy, she ends up taking on the most important case of her life.

    Lisa Worthen says: "The Spellman Files (Unabridged)"
    "Hilarious with a Small Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Zany. Unpredictable. The descriptions of this book sort of turned me off. I expected it to be "silly." But Lisa Lutz is a very good writer who has fleshed out believable characters I care about. She has also included one real mystery (one of the cases Izzy is working on as a P.I. in her family's firm) and a series of plot convolutions that held my interest.

    And the narrator is fabulous. Ms. Moore does not have to produce the menu of accents you might find in a Follett novel whose storyline crosses Europe, the UK and the U.S., but she has what I believe is a much harder task. She has to distinguish between a mother and two sisters in the same family, and several male characters using subtle differences in tone and cadence. I was really impressed.

    If you have any sense of humor at all, read this book. Fun.

    0 of 0 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
    (26075)
    Performance
    (23120)
    Story
    (23190)

    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!"
    "A Story Built Block by Block"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You all know what this book is about since it is now a major film. But I hope you don't know the complete plot. I didn't have any idea what was really going on, and I had no idea how it would end, until I listened to the book, I am glad to say.

    Ms. Flynn builds the story one step and a time, one brick after another. There is nothing missing, nothing skipped over. It would be a great book for a class on fiction-writing or story-telling.

    When the audio books begins, you may groan at the peppy voice of Kirby Heyborne, but hold on for a bit. It gets better. In fact, I am sure that Heyborne was intentionally annoying at the beginning to emphasize his character's journey.

    Worth reading? Yes.

    The best book ever? No.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Night Film: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Jake Weber
    Overall
    (1493)
    Performance
    (1329)
    Story
    (1351)

    On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive, cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova - a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

    Jacqueline says: "A M A Z I N G"
    "Good Story but not at all Scary"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am amazed at the number of reviewers who said this book would make you grab your pillow, have sleepless nights, get goosebumps. Not at all. Is it interesting? Yes. Are there many moments when I am not sure what is real and what isn't? Yes. But not scary.

    (If you want to be scared, read "Salem's Lot" by Stephen King, or read "Relic" and "Reliquary" by Preston & Child.)

    I enjoyed it, I recommend it, and I will miss the main characters, especially Nora.

    P.S. If you like narratives that tie up all loose threads by the final pages, do not read this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Edge of Eternity: The Century Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3036)
    Performance
    (2703)
    Story
    (2706)

    Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

    Elisa says: "Some good, some bad"
    "History of My World"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is part 3 of another fabulous Follett series, "The Century Trilogy." I highly recommend them all. Especially now that part 3 is available, I envy anyone who is just starting the set with book 1 "The Fall of Giants."

    The story follows the characters in families in England/Wales, Russia, the U.S. and Germany from the very beginnings of WWI through the election of Barack Obama. An overwhelming task, definitely fiction, but including and based on historical facts.

    The only criticism I have is that the stories are just a bit too positive. There certainly was tragedy and loss for each family, but it bothered me that so many of the characters become movie stars, elected officials, famous writers, etc. Narrator Lee excels at all accents except American, but I still love the series.

    VERY long - loved that too!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5247)
    Performance
    (4790)
    Story
    (4789)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "A Modern Hero: Cormoran Strike"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had serious doubts when I read Robert Galbraith's first novel, "Cuckoo's Calling." It was hard for me to imagine that RG -- widely known to be the pen name of J.K. Rowling -- could write something so different from the complex fantasy of the Harry Potter series. But she/he did, and it was excellent.

    In this second of the series, the characters of detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin have grown. I know and like them even more than I did before.

    The plot is just complex enough to make the mystery difficult to solve, but not so complex that I am confused and lost.

    The narrator, Robert Glenister, is one of the best I ever heard. He uses various types of British accents, and he perfectly represents one character who is British but spent a lot of time in the U.S. Absolutely superb.

    I STRONGLY RECOMMEND. Loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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