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HunterJumper

ratings
13
REVIEWS
11
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
18

  • Rules of Civility: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Amor Towles
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1869)
    Performance
    (1493)
    Story
    (1476)

    Set in New York City in 1938, Rules of Civility tells the story of a watershed year in the life of an uncompromising 25-year-old named Katey Kontent. Armed with little more than a formidable intellect, a bracing wit, and her own brand of cool nerve, Katey embarks on a journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a brighter future.

    Emily - Audible says: "Like a Country Pastoral for City Rats"
    "Much better than the editor/publisher indicate"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    In the Audible Editor's review and the Publisher's review, Katy Kontent is portrayed as a scheming, wise-cracking social climbing legal secretary in the 1930s. I must have read a different book. Yes she is looking for a better life and she is socializing in the upper echelons of New York society but that seems to be more by circumstance than design. Maybe the editors were judging her by the company she keeps but in doing so, they missed the boat.

    Kontent is a legal secretary from a Russian immigrant background who has a far more insightful, thoughtful view of life than the empty socialites in her crowd. In that context she is a far more interesting character than portrayed.

    This is one of the best books on tape I've purchased. It was beautifully written and narrated and I found it surprising that one reviewer dismissed it as "overwrought" - I disagree completely with that assessment. The imagery is beautiful and while some of the dialogue between her socialite friends is a bit superficial and silly, it was probably very accurate for that time in history and was a perfect frame for Kontent's own quiet and thoughtful demeanor.

    Absolutely one of the best books I've "read" in years.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Paying Guests

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Sarah Waters
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (507)
    Performance
    (464)
    Story
    (466)

    It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

    B.J. says: "Great pacing, as always, but ..."
    "Characters become histrionic and irritating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes and no. It was beautifully written and the narrator was wonderful. But beautiful writing can only go so far when you start to dislike the main characters. By the middle of the book, at the height of the suspense, I found myself irritated at the stupidity of Lillian and Francis, and then I lost interest in what happened to them.


    What was most disappointing about Sarah Waters’s story?

    The way the characters fell apart.


    Have you listened to any of Juliet Stevenson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No but she was wonderful.


    Did The Paying Guests inspire you to do anything?

    Yes. Quit reading it halfway through.


    Any additional comments?

    Meh. It really REALLY is beautifully written but honestly, the characters became so irritating I couldn't continue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wildflower Hill

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Kimberley Freeman
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (519)
    Performance
    (439)
    Story
    (441)

    In 1920s Glasgow, Beattie Blaxland falls pregnant to her married lover Henry just before her nineteenth birthday. Abandoned by her family, Beattie and Henry set sail for a new life in Australia. In 2009, London, prima ballerina Lydia Blaxland-Hunter is also discovering that life can also have its ups and downs. Unable to dance again after a fall, Lydia returns home to Australia to recuperate.

    Sara says: "Story telling at its best!"
    "Meh..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Well when the alternative on my commute is listening to local radio deejays, yes. Otherwise, no.


    Would you recommend Wildflower Hill to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. It was too predictable. Her life was just TOO tragic and she never saw even the most obvious things coming. It was a decent story but it wasn't earth shaking like the other reviews led me to believe. And that Epilogue was cheap. C'mon - if I wanted something left to my imagination, I'd write my own book.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I would have loved Beattie to smack down some of her more obnoxious critics but it never happened.


    Was Wildflower Hill worth the listening time?

    Not really. I wish I had saved my credit for something else.


    Any additional comments?

    This book would have been terrible but for the talents of the Narrator. She is really very good.

    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
    (3152)
    Performance
    (2887)
    Story
    (2883)

    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.

    Joanne M. McGowan says: "I didn't want to press the stop button!"
    "Not great literature but hugely entertaining!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Big Little Lies rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Well for entertainment, top 10%. It is a great story and would be particularly entertaining to moms who have lived through the crazy life of a pre-school mother in an upper middle class setting. The characterizations of the super competitive mothers was just hilarious. And while one of the plots concerned domestic abuse, the author managed to handle it without being maudlin. Other than the dark parts relating to the abuse, the book was laugh out loud funny.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Big Little Lies?

    The random comments from the various characters at the beginning of each chapter were just priceless. After the end of the book, it was fun to flip back through and "re-listen" to them.


    Have you listened to any of Caroline Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes and she is awesome. She did a great job, as usual, with this book. Definitely in the top 10% of her performances so far. She really pegged each of the characters. I'm tempted to just start listening to all of the books she narrates.


    If you could rename Big Little Lies, what would you call it?

    Who knows. If I were that creative I'd be writing actual books - not online book reviews.


    Any additional comments?

    Very fun. Worth the credit if you're in the mood for something light and entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gray Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Catherine Taber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1215)
    Performance
    (1107)
    Story
    (1117)

    The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the "lucky" associates. She's offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she'd get her old job back. In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about.

    Jan says: "Sorry John... wanted to like it... love you anyway"
    "Did John Grisham really write this?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from John Grisham and/or Catherine Taber?

    Only if I read the reviews first. Never ever will I buy another one blind. It was so bad and so legally flawed that it's hard to believe John Grisham really wrote this. Beyond the glaring procedural inaccuracies, the whole story was just silly. A lawyer steals documents from a big corporation but "can't reveal" them until trial. Yeah right. I guess that lawyer has never heard of using the press. The FBI is investigating on behalf of a private coal company. Yeah right. The FBI gets numerous search warrants for a lawyer's privileged files without any resistance from the Court. Yeah right. John Grisham knows all this is not even remotely believable so why on earth did he write it? Did some hack pay him to use his name??!!

    The narration made the protagonist sounds like some chronically lazy nitwit. She almost never changed her inflection so it was difficult to tell who was speaking.

    And the story just dragged on and on and on and on. You could skip a whole chapter and miss almost nothing.

    Oh it was just awful. What a waste of a credit.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Anything would be an improvement. Even something written by a Kardashian.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Catherine Taber’s performances?

    Not if I can remember to avoid her.


    What character would you cut from Gray Mountain?

    All of them.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't waste your credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18884)
    Performance
    (17074)
    Story
    (17219)

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."
    "Your teen will love it. You will roll your eyes."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I bought this because I have a long commute with my teenagers and thought they would enjoy it. They did. I did not. My teenagers enjoyed it so much that I've bought the other two books in the series. We just finished the second and I don't think I can force myself to listen to the third, so it's going on the iPad for them to listen to on their own.

    The book's premise is silly. It's based in a walled off Chicago where society is set up into 5 factions. All the people in each faction are supposed to have one dimensional lives. They all live in a world lacking any sort of happiness. The food is bad, they live in institutional settings, even the relationships are marked by anger and very little love. Getting a tattoo is really cool. Having passionate arguments with your boyfriend so you can kiss and make up is really cool. Being tortured and living through it is really cool. Sigh…

    Apparently the reason for this societal division will be more thoroughly explained in the last book but I've now lost interest. Of course the 5 factions hate each other and the war that eventually erupts makes you hope they'll all kill each other off. The protagonist Tris is alternately cooing in love over her boyfriend and being physically assaulted in her quest to be the hero, save everyone, save herself and get back to groping her boyfriend. She is constantly having her head smacked against a concrete wall, her shoulder wrenched, her arm half torn off, shot, stabbed - you name it. You end up thinking that you wish someone would just kill her with an axe and get it over with already.

    Throughout the book, I found myself being unable to control the "You are an IDIOT" or "Oh how RIDICULOUS!" remarks that just came flying out of my mouth - to the great irritation of my daughter. If your kids would like it, buy it and let them listen to it. Don't torture yourself with it.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    We are going to listen to audio versions of some of the lit they've read this year at school as a refresher for up coming exams. They need it and I'll enjoy it. On our beach trip I'm going to look for something we can both enjoy. Something light.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Emma Galvin’s performances?

    Oh good Lord no. I think I might have been able to tolerate this book if it hadn't been for the narration. All of the dialogue - I mean all of it - is spoken with either anger, sarcasm or truculence. You feel like you're listening to several hours of an angry whiney child berate her friends. Even my children thought the narrator was terrible. I really might have actually liked Tris if it hadn't been for the narrator. UGH!


    Do you think Divergent needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Well, it has two follow up books but it shouldn't have. They should have killed everyone off in the first book.


    Any additional comments?

    Meh. There is better teen lit out there. Fault in our Stars, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, etc.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Saving Ceecee Honeycutt

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Beth Hoffman
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2777)
    Performance
    (1472)
    Story
    (1486)

    Laugh-out-loud funny and deeply touching, Beth Hoffman's sparkling debut is, as Kristin Hannah says, "packed full of Southern charm, strong women, wacky humor, and good old-fashioned heart." It is a novel that explores the indomitable strengths of female friendship and gives us the story of a young girl who loses one mother and finds many others.

    A User says: "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt"
    "A little overwrought, exaggerated southern accents"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. It was marginally entertaining, had moments of humor but being a southerner, I was irritated by the exaggerated southern accents. The story starts out with a little girl who has a mentally ill mother. She ends up going to live with her great aunt in Savannah and from that point on, it's saccharine.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Beth Hoffman? Why or why not?

    Probably not. She has a heavy hand with metaphors and her idea of what it means to be a southerner is silly.


    What three words best describe Jenna Lamia’s voice?

    She did a pretty good job. She worked hard to give everyone a different accent so you could tell all these southern belles apart, but for a couple of the characters, she got them all wrong. For example, the headmistress of the private school had a distinctly redneck accent.


    Could you see Saving Ceecee Honeycutt being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Maybe a Hallmark movie. Or straight to video.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a pretty good story but all the sweetness and light almost put me into insulin overload.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Etiquette & Espionage: Finishing School, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Gail Carriger
    • Narrated By Moira Quirk
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1340)
    Performance
    (1227)
    Story
    (1232)

    Fourteen-year old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. More interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea - and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy - Mrs. Temminnick is desperate her daughter become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

    But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish all right - but it's a different kind of finishing.

    Lynne Phelps says: "Fans of the Parasol Protectorate, Rejoice!"
    "I didn't realize it was a book for children/teens"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Etiquette & Espionage the most enjoyable?

    That it was a combination of Harriet the Spy and Harry Potter with a dash of Sense & Sensibility. I can't say it was more than the sum of its parts, though. As an adult, I was disappointed. I probably would have enjoyed it as a 12 - 14 year old.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The parallels with Harry Potter - wayward child going off to odd school with odd characters - was a little too much.


    What does Moira Quirk bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Very enthusiastic. The french accents were annoying. Would probably keep kids/teens interested however.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Harriet the Spy meets Harry Potter.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a cute book. I guess I didn't read the description well, because it's really more suited for kids and teens. It doesn't match up to Harry Potter or Harriet the Spy but it was a fun listen. For adults I'd rate it a 2. For kids, higher.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Forgotten Affairs of Youth: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (141)

    In the eighth installment of Alexander McCall Smith’s best-selling Isabel Dalhousie series, the inquisitive heroine helps a new friend discover the identity of her father. Jane, a visiting Australian philosopher on sabbatical in Edinburgh, has more questions than answers. Adopted at the age of six, she knows little about her father, other than he was a student in Edinburgh years ago. Always up for a challenge, Isabel is more than happy to help.

    glamazon says: "Smitten by Smith once again!"
    "Peaceful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Forgotten Affairs of Youth again? Why?

    Listening to one of the Isabel Dalhousie books is a great way to step away from stress when life becomes too rushed. Yes the book contains a large number of passages where Isabel contemplates "right vs. wrong", but I believe that is part of what makes this series of books enjoyable. Most of the time life does not give us time to think about these issues ourselves and these passages are uplifting, not judgmental. The only person Isabel "judges" on these issues is herself. It is refreshing to hear discussions of right vs. wrong from an author that is presented in a light context without preaching.


    If you’ve listened to books by Alexander McCall Smith before, how does this one compare?

    This is probably one of my favorites so far, but I have listened to only a few.


    What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

    Loved her accent and expression. Her voice makes me want to visit Scotland again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Litigators

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3967)
    Performance
    (3244)
    Story
    (3212)

    The incomparable master of the legal thriller takes us deeper into the labyrinth that is the American justice system, always drawing us in with an irresistible hook, pulling the thread of tension tighter and tighter, and then knocking us out with a conclusion that's never "by the book". Maybe that's why, after more than 20 years of consecutive number-one New York Times best sellers, a new novel by America's favorite storyteller is still a major publishing event.

    Amazon Customer says: "Typical Grisham, entertaining"
    "Fun light story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is entertaining. I listened to it on a long day of driving and when I arrived home, there were only a few chapters left. I walked into the house, put on my earphones and threatened the children with death if they didn't let me finish it.

    The character development was on the light side. I liked the protagonist but I didn't really form any kind of strong feelings one way or another. Findley and Figg were buffoons but entertaining. Kind of. There were a lot of good laughs.

    It's a fun story and will keep you entertained on a long drive but it's not that deep. If you're looking for a thought provoking novel on tort reform you won't get it here. But the next time you see a television ad for lawyers on television or on the side of a bus, you will laugh and remember this book.

    The narrator was pretty good but he didn't significantly change his voice for each character so if you like that kind of narration you won't find it here. But honestly, sometimes that's preferable to the screechy histrionics of some narrators.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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