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Vered

Tel-Aviv, Israel | Member Since 2008

130
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 31 reviews
  • 180 ratings
  • 342 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
7
FOLLOWERS
3

  • Indignation

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (133)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (36)

    It is 1951 in America, the second year of the Korean War. Marcus Messner of Newark, New Jersey, is beginning his sophomore year at the pastoral, conservative Winesburg College in Ohio. Why is he here? Because his father, a hard-working neighborhood butcher, seems to have gone mad.

    JOHN says: "Brilliant"
    "Mixed feelings"
    Overall

    On one hand, "Indignation" has the Philip Roth stamp all over it - it's an interesting listen, Roth builds a good, eye opening plot, and presents the atmosphere and state of mind of student life in 1952. Some Roth-brilliant sarcasm is ofcourse part of the package
    Altough the image of Marcus Mesner is a crossbreeding between a young Zuckerman and "the Swede" (from American Pastoral) - i wouldn't say Roth is repeating himself, this story does have it's own inimitable atmosphere and ideas.

    On the other hand, as powerful as this book may be, i don't think it's Roth's best work - possibly because it's a short novel, which doesn't allow much development.
    I do recommend the audiobook or the book - they are intense - but for those who never read Philip Roth before, i would recommend American Pastoral or The Human Stain.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Life After Life: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Fenella Woolgar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1321)
    Performance
    (1173)
    Story
    (1182)

    On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

    Diane says: "Life after life after life after life after life.."
    "Sharp and enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book reminded me of my favorite Kate Atkinson novel -Behind the Scenes at the Museum, but in many aspects Life After Life is even better written and developed.
    As noted by previous reviewers, the book is about a British Woman, nee 1910, that gets to live her life over and over again, while in each round we get to discover more about her family, her surroundings, her emotions.
    The story itself is very well written and creats a very good starting point for readers imagination to run wild,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By B. J. Novak
    • Narrated By B. J. Novak, Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (584)
    Performance
    (546)
    Story
    (550)

    B.J. Novak's One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is an endlessly entertaining, surprisingly sensitive, and startlingly original debut that signals the arrival of a brilliant new voice in American fiction. A boy wins a $100,000 prize in a box of Frosted Flakes - only to discover how claiming the winnings might unravel his family. A woman sets out to seduce motivational speaker Tony Robbins - turning for help to the famed motivator himself. A new arrival in Heaven, overwhelmed with options, procrastinates over a long-ago promise to visit his grandmother....

    Marci says: "It gets better, and better, and better, and better"
    "And now for something completely different"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to say, i was extremely sceptic when i started listening. when i was listening to the first few stories, the main impression was - come on - Alice Munro writes great literary short stories, The Curious case of Benjamin Button, is a brillian Novella, and F.S.F wrote more of those, why am i wasting my time on something that sounds like materials for a really funny, but still, at most a comic TV series?

    When i reached a story about a dating war lord and a story about John Grisham, i started laughing out loud, and got other people to listen in with me.
    As of the Artifical intelligence story, i started truely appreciating the writing (for more than some short sketch writing).

    So for sceptic literature lovers - this is not F.S.F, or Alice Munro, or Raymond Carver, it's different, completely different.
    Contemporary, i would say :-)
    Touching, relevant, talks to the reader.
    Most importantly - despite my reservations, i truely enjoyed the listen. (as the previous reviewer said, there's also a benfit of a brilliant performance, feels like it was written for an audio recording).

    on a side note, the 3rd story - "no one goes to heaven to meet...." reminded me of a book i read by an Israeli Author - "The World of the End".


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Rules of Civility: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Amor Towles
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman
    Overall
    (1795)
    Performance
    (1433)
    Story
    (1414)

    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"
    "Fascinating Debut"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Very well written debut novel. I expect most reviewers would say the book is foremost a homage to The Great Gatsby and Breakfast at Tiffany's, but in addition to the tribute, the stroy in itself is fascinating.
    You could say that while trying to follow the tradition of these great American writers Towels might be lacking in ingenuity, but I personally think that a writer should be a reader, at first. and when a writer pays tribute to his favorite novelists, it doesn't necessarily mean, he is giving up his own voice.
    I much enjoyed this book in it's own, and the tribute to these great writers was a much enjoyable bonus.
    Readers who love New York as i do (without ever living there), will be touched, by the referance to "Autumn in New York".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Muriel Spark
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    In the classic work that launched a play, a movie, and a song, Muriel Spark tells the darkly intriguing story of an eccentric Edinburgh teacher and the intense relationship she develops with six of her students. The scandalously outspoken Miss Brodie makes big waves in the conservative Scottish school, preaching the value of art, passion, and daring.

    Kathleen says: "creme de la creme"
    ""There was a Miss Jean Brodie in her prime""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this short novel. It is a very well written story about innocent impression, that evokes sympathies that change as the 'girls' grow up.
    I kept reminding myself that the book was published in the early 60's, but i'm not sure it required such reminders, being so much ahead of its time.
    unlike the initial impression, i found in the book, much beyond the 'growing up' aspect.

    It was especially touching, to recognize the author in 'Sandy', and realise that Spark was inspired by her own 'Miss Brodie in her prime'.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Handmaid's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Claire Danes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3587)
    Performance
    (3238)
    Story
    (3259)

    Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....

    Melinda says: "Not So Far-Fetched -- Still Chilling"
    "Feminist Dystopian novel, or is it?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I have already read this book 10 years ago, and the listen now after all this time, made it seem completely different.
    The novel was first released in the 80's, so the futuristic view did not consider mobile phones or Internet. which made me smile during the listen. It was a bit like reading classic Sci fi.
    When i first read the novel, the views seemed extremely feminist, but now they seemd more profound - Women being the cause of reactionary social revolutions.
    i have got really caught this time, in the causes of the Gileadian revolution, the views in this novel are much ahead of their time in this aspect.
    However, i felt this time that something is missing in this dystopian story, The Handmaid's Tale presented in very good prose some brilliant social views (as always with Margaret Atwood's biological perspective), but on second read the novel seems incomplete in a way, and I do hope Margaret Atwood will complete it, at some point.

    Impacable narration btw.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Pale View of Hills

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Kazuo Ishiguro
    • Narrated By Roe Kendall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    The story of Etsuko, a Japanese woman now living alone in England, dwelling on the recent suicide of her daughter. In a story where past and present confuse, she relives scenes of Japan's devastation in the wake of World War II.

    Vered says: "Delicate prose - intense book"
    "Delicate prose - intense book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is not the type of book that can generate a juicy recommendation.

    The prose in this book is very delicate, never mentioning the tragedie in Nagasaki directly.
    The protagonist in this story (who is also the narrator) doesn't relate to her own experience directly, but only as a listener to her family at the time, and by watching a close friends attempt to move to 'America'.
    Layer by Layer, it creats an intense picture.
    The author (through this story) carefully tells a story about the old Japanese way, which trigered a lot of emotions in me. (as a non Japenese reader) and another emotional stroy about parental choices.

    The narrator did a very good job.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cat’s Eye

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Barbara Caruso
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    In Cat’s Eye, Atwood goes straight to the heart with an intense evocation of the joys, secrecies, and betrayals that mark childhood, as seen through the eyes of a middle-aged painter, Elaine Risley. Elaine returns to Toronto, the city of her youth, for a retrospective of her art. Engulfed by vivid images of the past, she reminisces about a trio of girls who initiated her into the fierce politics of childhood and its secret world of friendship, longing, and betrayal.

    Vered says: "Margaret Atwood's best- brilliant and chilling"
    "Margaret Atwood's best- brilliant and chilling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have always thought i love Atwood mostly for 'The Blind Assassin', but after re-reading and listening to Cat's Eye (B. Caruzo narration), i am convinced that Cat's Eye is her greatest book.

    The story gives a multi layer perspective on growing up, on how evil little children can be. on one hand the focus on the pure evil and lack of scrupulous in kids is chilling, on the other hand, in wider scope, it seems that the kids in the story are more complex, not entirely evil, but actually small naive beings imitating the actual evil they see in the world.

    The story and its layers are intriguing, the prose is brilliant (even in comparison to other Atwood bests such as the blind assassin), and as usual not missing Margaret Atwoods modern/post feminist perspective layed out in later books in 'fantasy'/'scifi' format.

    Those who have already read Ann Marry Macdonalds book 'The Way the Crow Flies' might conclude that Cat's Eye was a source of inspiration.





    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Marriage Plot

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1741)
    Performance
    (1440)
    Story
    (1433)

    It’s the early 1980s—the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels.

    FanB14 says: "Esoteric, Vapid, Trite"
    "Much enjoyed this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Since, i did not connect well with the Author in his previous book Middlesex, The Marriage Plot was a delightful surprise.
    The story satisfied my attraction to 'growing up' novels, but there's more to it - the prose is sharp, the dive into each character is intriguing, and includes fun 'extra's for book lovers, who have a soft spot for Jane Austen/Brone Sisters.

    The read gave me the feeling the book has autobiographic aspects in unexpected characters, and that the author put his heart and soul into it.

    I am very likely to follow Jefferey Eugenides' writing from here on.

    Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17170)
    Performance
    (13318)
    Story
    (13354)

    A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

    Alisha says: "Good listen, but what's up with the chapter set up"
    "what a reword for the patient"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had experienced some ups and downs throughout this read, i sticked by patiently, and was highly rewarded for it.
    The prize offered includes, great fiction, an enchanting tale very well built, intrigues, thrills, action, complex characters and thought provoking ideas.

    but i have to agree, that good editing would have done the series (and this book in particular), much good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Boy's Life

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tobias Wolff
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (128)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (87)

    This book essentially launched the memoir craze that has been going strong ever since. The story is pretty grim: teen-aged Wolff moves with his divorced mother from Florida to Utah to Washington State to escape her violent boyfriend. When she remarries, Wolff finds himself in a bitter battle of wills with his abusive stepfather, a contest in which the two prove to be more evenly matched than might have been supposed.

    Darwin8u says: "Beautiful, unsentimental memoir of youth"
    "Powerful memoir"
    Overall

    Despite the fact memoirs are not usually my cup of tea, I found this one fascinating and touching.

    Tobias Wolff doesn't need my praise. I am much looking forward to finding his novel "Old School" in the audible catalogoue.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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