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Denise

Native Californian, but lived in TX for 2.5 yrs where I joined a neighborhood book club and never looked back! I listen and read books! After 5 years of raving about audiobooks, I finally got my husband hooked!

Valencia, CA, United States | Member Since 2007

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 21 reviews
  • 85 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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  • The Grapes of Wrath

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (1297)
    Performance
    (1126)
    Story
    (1133)

    At once naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s, The Grapes of Wrath is perhaps the most American of American classics. Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation during the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s, The Grapes of Wrath is also the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, who are forced to travel west to the promised land of California.

    Dan Harlow says: "Almost more relevant now than when it was written"
    "Could do without the Harmonica playing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good Classic story, taken from a hard slice of life of the Jode Fambly. Besides learning about the Great Dust Bowl and the migration of the "Okies" in the 30's, Mr. Steinbeck weaves a tale of the Jode Family's dilemma of living day to day with little to eat but with the hope of a better life. Through it all, they remain giving of what little they have, while those with much more will kill the keep what they have. Every character is drawn out warts and all, with Ma the Matriarch, keeping the family together. The only downside to this audiobook was the annoying harmonica playing between each chapter. The narrator was good, with nice changes is voice style bwtn characters. Just get rid of the harmonica!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Hunted: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2944)
    Performance
    (2746)
    Story
    (2746)

    For a 2,000-year-old Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan is a pretty fast runner. Good thing, because he’s being chased by not one but two goddesses of the hunt - Artemis and Diana - for messing with one of their own. Dodging their slings and arrows, Atticus, Granuaile, and his wolfhound Oberon are making a mad dash across modern-day Europe to seek help from a friend of the Tuatha Dé Danann. His usual magical option of shifting planes is blocked, so instead of playing hide-and-seek, the game plan is...run like hell.

    D says: "Another Serving of Hilari-tea"
    "Give me More Atticus and Oberon!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just finished books 1-6 in quick succession. LOVED it. I'm not a big Urban Fantasy fan, but this series was funny, adventurous, well written, well paced, built great characters, and just plain interesting. Did I say Funny as Hell too? The dog, Oberon, steals many a scenes and I want a hound just like him. The series isn't as "formulaic" as I would have thought, as many serial books can be. Books 1-4 follow similar outlines with an epic-like battle at the end, but books 5-6 vary slightly by having smaller yet more frequent "battles/conflicts" and seem to tie into each other, or build to something bigger in the foreseeable future...... Ragnorak! You get a Mythology lesson to boot. I don't know mythology, but I didn't have too, as it is spelled out enough for me to enjoy without being hit over the head with it. Now I must wait for book 7 for 6 months! I'm going thru withdrawls already. I want more Atticus, Oberon, and Granuaile! Luke Daniels does a BRILLIANT job in voicing all the characters.... especially Oberon!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition): An Oral History of the Zombie War

    • ABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Max Brooks
    • Narrated By Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, and others
    Overall
    (2343)
    Performance
    (2219)
    Story
    (2222)

    World War Z: The Complete Edition is a new recording of Max Brooks’ best-selling novel, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, featuring 21 additional Hollywood A-list actors and sci-fi fan favorites performing stories not included in the original edition. New narrators include Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, Spiderman star Alfred Molina, The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, rapper Common, Firefly star Nathan Fillion, Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg, and members of the casts of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes and more!

    Chris says: "Will never pre-order again"
    "Wow! Very cohesive, well put together."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't really sure what to expect from this book, but it was certainly more than I bargained for. I picked this book because a friend brought it too my attention as a possible "Walking Dead" prequel (she hadn't read it yet) and because my son and I were taking a road trip to see family and I wanted a book we both could enjoy. Both my Son and I were glued to listening. He never fell asleep the entire trip up or down (which he likes to do). He told his Dad when we got back home that he had to listen to the book and now he is and very much enjoying it too.

    Now the book. **POSSIBLE SPOLIER ALERT** but really a synopsis.
    Ultimately, this story is a case study in the Social and Economic Human Condition. There are a few epiphany moments, for me anyway. It is about the Good, the Bad, and certainly the Ugly of Humankind. We never find out the cause or find a cure for "Zack/G's...". And the "War" isn't really over. The interviews come from all over the world and from all kinds of people. From Geniuses to Children, and Military Soldiers to Clergy. The book is broken into parts that focus on a certain idea: Individual recounts of first sightings, the battle at Yonkers, the media, the economics, the aftermath/but not the end.... you get the idea.

    Bottom line: listen to this story. It is well narrated by all. My favorite tho, is Mark Hamill. I loved his character, and Martin Scorsese (loved chapter 12). Ultimately it is a story of survival, but that didn't need a spoiler alert! Happy listening.

    Oh, btw, I haven't seen the Movie for this book, and I don't think I want to like I usually do. It doesn't seem to resemble the book at all. This book would be too difficult to navigate on screen, so a first person account seems to make sense. But I don't see much resemblance btwn the two regardless. And to answer the "Walking Dead" question? It does seem like a WD prequel. I have watched all 3 seasons of WD and the TV series looks and behaves like WWZ in terms of how Zombies behave. If you are a WD fan, you will like WWZ.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3706)
    Performance
    (3228)
    Story
    (3201)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Amanda says: "WOW, WOW, WOW."
    "A little underwhelmed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't say this story is bad or good, I'm lukewarm to it. I don't really know how to feel about it. Perhaps I just feel nothing, which is sad after spending over 46 hours with it.

    The Pros:
    It was very well paced, neither too fast or too slow.
    Characters were well thought out
    Very interesting storyline

    The Cons:
    The few sex scenes or body part references were just awkward or weird.
    Very big disparity in the representation of Ushikawa's voice between Marc & Mark.
    Marc V's rendition of Ushikawa was great but made him seem dumb
    Mark B's rendition of Ushikawa was annoying
    Allison H's narration was good but way too slow, with a lot of hard "g" sounds
    I liked Marc V's narration for the most part.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie: Highland Pleasures, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jennifer Ashley
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1368)
    Performance
    (1243)
    Story
    (1247)

    It was whispered all through London society that he was a murderer, that he'd spent his youth in an asylum and was not to be trusted - especially with a lady. Any woman caught in his presence was immediately ruined. Yet Beth found herself inexorably drawn to the Scottish lord whose hint of a brogue wrapped around her like silk and whose touch could draw her into a world of ecstasy.

    Lupdilup says: "FANTASTIC BOOK, NICELLY PERFORMED."
    "His Madness is Asperger's."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story was okay, its a romance with sex scenes thrown in that are pretty decently written. Not bad, not great, but it was entertaining. The author never says but it is implied that Lord Ian has Asperger's Syndrome. There was no name for it during this time period, but it was viewed as a madness. While I liked the story, it wasn't enough to get me to buy into the other books that follow it. The narrator did a pretty good job too.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Before I Fall

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Lauren Oliver
    • Narrated By Sarah Drew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (701)
    Performance
    (535)
    Story
    (537)

    Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact.

    Penny says: "Beautiful."
    "This story builds with each day lived over."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was very surprised by this story. At first I didn't like Samantha much or her friends. She and her friends are "mean girls". But each day that is lived over again, peels back a layer of Samantha and her life, as well as her friends. You are made to realize that they are just as vunerable and flawed as everyone else. When Samantha learns that she dies, she goes thru the process of "grief", there is denial, pain/guilt, anger, depression, upward turn, reconstruction, and acceptance. She sees, with maturity, how her actions have affected others. By the end of the book, I was in tears and I already know from the beginning that she dies over and over again. The story builds with each day, and while each day is the same day, how she changes it is very different. The story flows until you cannot put it down. I highly recommend this book, especially to teen girls as well as parents.

    1 of 2 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
    Overall
    (5796)
    Performance
    (5145)
    Story
    (5138)

    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.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
    "Jim Dale, not Harry Potter."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought the story was okay. I just couldn't get really into it, tho I did finish it. This may not be the book's fault, I was possibly distracted at the time I was listening. But my overall feeling during and after listening was.....Meh. Jim Dale, however, was fantastic! It took me a little while to get over the voice of Harry Potter, but it didn't take long. Every voice was distinct. I think it was JD's performance that kept me going with this particular story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19982)
    Performance
    (11578)
    Story
    (11695)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
    "Good, just not my kind of story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't say this book was bad or poorly narrated, only that it just wasn't my cup of tea. My husband recommended it and loved it and has since moved on to the sequels. But when the movie comes out, I supposed I'll watch it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Tommyknockers

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Edward Hermann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (809)
    Performance
    (504)
    Story
    (512)

    Bobbi Anderson and the other good folks of Haven, Maine, have sold their souls to reap the rewards of the most deadly evil this side of Hell.

    Grant S. Burroughs says: "The old Stephen King"
    "Good story, Good Narration!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Very Stephen King! I enjoyed this story. I enjoyed it so much that I refused to watch the TV Movie version because it would soooo spoil it. IT and The Stand movie versions were so lame (by 2012 standards anyway). I'm only recent to SK's body of work but this is a very good story and has made me want to read more of his stories. I'm a long time fan of The Shawshank Redemption (movie), that I finally read the novella. It did not disappoint, as a matter of fact, I think the movie was even better. Anyway, because of TSR, I am a fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Talisman

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs)
    • By Stephen King, Peter Straub
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3346)
    Performance
    (1424)
    Story
    (1427)

    On a brisk autumn day, a 13-year-old boy stands on the shores of the gray Atlantic, near a silent amusement park and a fading ocean resort called the Alhambra. The past has driven Jack Sawyer here: His father is gone, his mother is dying, and the world no longer makes sense. But for Jack everything is about to change. For he has been chosen to make a journey back across America - and into another realm. One of the most influential and heralded works of fantasy ever written, The Talisman is an extraordinary novel of loyalty, awakening, terror, and mystery.

    Swad says: "Still Good"
    "Not SK's best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was probably the most disappointing SK book I've read to date. I wasn't the huge fan my Mom was (for decades) until recently. I listened to the entire audiobook, but was never so glad to get it over with. Only the very beginning was interesting to me. After that, I just slogged through. Maybe it was b/c it was cowritten, I don't know, as I have never read PS before. I also did not like the Narrator, may he rest in peace and I mean no disrespect. I just didn't like his "breathy" read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stand

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5450)
    Performance
    (4779)
    Story
    (4813)

    This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides - or are chosen.

    Meaghan says: "My First Completed Stephen King Novel"
    "Its SK, what more can I say?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not everything SK writes appeals to me, but this one did. I never read The Stand until recently, when "I" discovered him. I had already read "The Dome" and "11/22/63" and loved them. I then went backward to his older stuff. I have only touched the surface of his vast collection of stories. The Stand is a good, solid, and epic story. I was never bored and the Narrator was good enough, not to distract from the story. I've heard better narrators and really bad ones too. Grover Gardner kept the story moving, made distinctions between characters, and was NOT annoying in anyway. Overall, I would highly recommend this audiobook. I am only surprised that it took soooo long to get this in audiobook form.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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