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Simone

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Member Since 2014

551
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 356 reviews
  • 488 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2015
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67

  • The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Robert M. Edsel, Bret Witter
    • Narrated By Jeremy Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (809)
    Performance
    (673)
    Story
    (686)

    In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture.

    Paul Bennett says: "Fine book, adequate narration"
    "Too many tangents"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The subject matter is interesting and I was eager to learn more about the Monuments Men, but overall the book disappointed me. It wasn???t a bad book, but there was more in it than I wanted to read about - so I found it long and tedious at times. Towards the end, I lost interest and started skipping ahead. I think a 60 minute TV documentary would have been fascinating but this book was too long for me.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Proof Positive

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Phillip Margolin
    • Narrated By Nanette Savard
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Amanda Jaffe, star of Margolin's biggest bestseller yet, Wild Justice, returns with a story of how the evidence that we think is the most reliable could be meting out a different type of "justice" than the public suspects.

    Charles says: "Margolin's Worst, Yet"
    "Part Legal Drama / Part CSI Thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book back in 2006 (9 years ago) but since I didn’t remember anything about it, it was like a free book! I rated it 2 stars back then, but this time I would give it 3.

    Part legal drama & part CSI thriller, it was suspenseful and intriguing – not really a whodunit, more like a howwillhegetcaught.

    This is Book 4 in a series and I am curious about other books, I went back to the start and added book 1 (Wild Justice) to my wishlist… I’m hoping it will be a good legal thriller. We’ll see!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sky is Falling

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Sidney Sheldon
    • Narrated By Karen Allen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    If America had a royal family, the Taylor Winthrops would wear the crown. The popular, charismatic Winthrops have captured the imagination of the world with their public service, their enormous charity, and their glamorous lives. But in the period of one year, all five members of the family are killed in a series of accidents. Beautiful young anchorwoman Dana Evans begins an investigation and starts unraveling compelling evidence that she can hardly believe.

    Nicholas says: "Predictable and boring"
    "Far-Fetched"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thanks to my lousy memory and my desire to save a few bucks, I decided to go back into my Audible archives and re-read books that I forgot all about... but there is a flaw in my plan. I think perhaps I forgot about this book (read about 9 years ago) because it's not good!! I rated it 2 stars at the time and I think that was pretty generous.

    A TV anchor gets suspicious after a 5 people from the same family are murdered and she decided to investigate. OK, good idea... but man oh man the execution is simplistic!

    I remember reading Sydney Sheldon in the 80s, books like "Master of the Game" "Rage of Angels" "Windmills of the Gods" and being enthralled.... but was I glued to those stories because I was a teenager and did not know better or is his early stuff just superior??? This book does not feel like it was written by a 'giant' in the pop-literary world; the plot twists are banal, it feels amateurish and it's beyond believable. This story is SO EASY to pick apart! It's is full of questionable human judgement and by that I don't mean that the characters make bad decisions, I mean that on multiple occasions I thought to myself "real people don't act that way". The book is low on the plausibility scale.

    For example: Dana goes to Aspen to investigate a fire, her cover story is: "I'm writing an article about ski resort fires". I laughed out loud. Suuuuuure, ok, great cover, totally believable (not!). She discovers that the fire was electrical, and that an electrician had just been to the house the day before, and then the day after the fire the electrician disappeared!!! Wait, the police didn't connect the dots? Thank goodness for our intrepid TV anchor! Another example is when she discovers that a witness to an accident was blind. Please - The world is not THIS full of bumbling police.

    Also, the secondary story line where Dana's fiancé takes off to Florida to nurse his ex through her struggle with cancer is preposterous.

    I think I know what attracted me to the book in 2006; I like reading books set in foreign cities I have visited and this one promised to cover Paris, Moscow and Brussels to name a few - but her globetrotting was absurd. Flying all the way around the world just to ask a guy a question? Please.

    To enjoy the story, don't bother with logic or common sense ... just go for the ride.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mightier than the Sword

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Harry Clifton is more successful than ever as a novelist, and has just been elected president of PEN Britain. He learns of a writer in Russia whose memoir of life inside Stalin's palace has landed the writer in prison for life, his book taken off shelves and destroyed. Harry becomes obsessed with freeing the writer and telling his story. His wife Emma, meanwhile is the chair of Barringtons Shipping, having escaped a plot to destroy their company by bombing one of their luxury liners, and now the company is thriving.

    Yvonne says: "Wonderful book!"
    "Really, what more can I say??"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am notoriously bad at remembering names from one chapter to the next under normal circumstances, so imagine how bad I am when I have to remember who is whom and why they matter in a story that has only 1 instalment per year!!

    In my review of Book 4 I wrote that before starting Book 5 I would give myself a little Wikipedia Reminder… it didn’t really help. (By the way, I also discovered that Book 5 is not the final instalment anymore, Archer is planning Book 6 and 7!)

    Ultimately, it didn’t matter that I forgot just about everything because Archer’s style is like a collection of vignettes and shorts stories within a longer more sweeping story so I just took them all at face value and enjoyed them for that they were. I also figured that if something was really super important to remember, the author would hopefully provide enough exposition to jog my memory.

    Not a very helpful review I know, but by now if you are up to Book 5 in the series you don’t need my input; you’ll read it no matter what I think!

    See you next year for book 6 (I predict the same type of review for that one!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ashford Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Lauren Willig
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (121)

    As a lawyer in a large Manhattan firm, just shy of making partner, Clementine Evans has finally achieved almost everything she’s been working towards - but now she’s not sure it’s enough. Her long hours have led to a broken engagement and, suddenly single at 34, she feels her messy life crumbling around her. But when the family gathers for her grandmother Addie’s 99th birthday, a relative lets slip hints about a long-buried family secret, leading Clemmie on a journey into the past that could change everything.

    RueRue says: "Guilty Pleasure"
    "Awful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was a HUGE disappointment!!

    I downloaded it on impulse after skimming over some promising reviews. I saw hopeful things like: “Downton Abbey” “Sweeping Saga” “Kate Morton” … what could go wrong?

    GROAN. So. Not. Good. I was expecting Kate Morton and instead got Danielle Steel.

    None of the characters are interesting, in fact they are maddening flat and cliché. Take our heroine for example, Clemmy. Ugh, that NAME! Clemmy, I hate it! It sounds like clammy. She is a modern super woman, but not too perfect since she has a crappy love life. Awww, good, now we mortals can relate to her and her silk hot pink lacy underwear. (When packing for a business trip to London, on a whim she decides to forgo the white cotton and be more risqué - was the point of that??? So dumb.)

    Through Clappy, ...sorry – Clemmy, we discover the story of her beloved Granny Addie (ugh – too cutesy) in a series of flashbacks mixed in with modern day revelations. This style of storytelling can be really good IF THE MYSTERY IS INTERESTING.

    I suppose you can say there are two “big events” in the story but I don’t want to give too much away. The first regards someone’s true identity and when Clippy, ...sorry – Clemmy, discovers the hidden secret she’s supposed to be angry and outraged and incensed, but instead she comes across more petulant than anything else which makes the whole story ten times more ridiculous. The second involves a disappearance and never really got juicy.

    I won’t even bother getting into criticizing the romances (Climpy’s, sorry – Clemmy’s, and Addie’s) because in all fairness I find romances boring anyway.… suffice it to say it was not very original and kinda predictable.

    I was ready to give up half way through and ask for my money back, but changed my mind and decided to hate-read it instead since I was not in the mood for anything else.

    This book would make good material for a drinking game: every time Cloppy, ...sorry – Clemmy, thinks “there was something about the way ______” take a sip!! Equally easy for every time she gets a “prickly feeling on her skin” … it happened so often I began to wonder if the poor woman had a skin disease!!

    Clearly, this book did nothing for me aside from providing me with perverse entertainment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wrong Mother

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Sophie Hannah
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Sastre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (37)

    Sally Thorning is watching the news with her husband when she hears an unexpected name: Mark Bretherick. It’s a name she shouldn’t know, but last year Sally treated herself to a secret vacation—away from her hectic family life—and met a man. After their brief affair, the two planned to never meet again. But now, Mark’s wife and daughter are dead—and the safety of Sally’s own family is in doubt.

    Sharon says: "Loved and hated"
    "Good but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this story and I like this style of cop-drama (more psychological mystery-thriller, less maniacal serial-killer blood-lust) but I still had a few issues with the book:

    •Not enough exposition regarding the reoccurring characters - the “Simon & Charlie” storyline.

    This series was recommended to me by a friend, and when I saw that Books 1 & 2 (Little Face & Hurting Distance) were not available on Audible, I asked her if I could start with Book 3. She said yes so I dove in not knowing anything about it. If you are wondering whether you can start with Book 3, I would say no. I felt lost regarding their arc and had no real idea what their story was all about. I read the synopsis of the first 2 books to try and fill in the blanks but it was not that helpful.

    •I SUCK AT NAMES!

    If like me you have a hard time keeping names in stories straight, I urge you to pay extremely close attention because the plot centers around false identities & fake names... very difficult for me!

    Aside from that, I think I will like this series. The mysteries seem very interesting... enough to keep going for now at least.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Three Wishes

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Heather Wilds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (438)
    Performance
    (384)
    Story
    (381)

    In this wise, witty, hilarious new novel, we follow the Kettle sisters through their 33rd year, as they struggle to survive their divorced parents' dating each other, their technologically savvy grandmother, a cheating husband, champagne hangovers, and the fabulous, frustrating life of forever being part of a threesome.

    Jen says: "It's Still Moriarty!"
    "What was the point?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really like this Liane Moriarty, this is the 4th book I have read and they have all been great so far (Little Big Lies, The Husband’s Secret and What Alice Forgot). This one was no exception, even thought I was never really sure what the point was.

    It was a glimpse into the lives of 3 women – their ups and downs, husbands, babies, neurosis… the soap opera of life!

    It was all very entertaining but it sort of lacked a beginning a middle and an ending. Still, it didn’t take away from the enjoyment; it was a fun story and I am looking forward to the next one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Frameshift

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Scott Aiello
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (69)

    This is the story of Pierre Tradivel, a scientist, and his complex battle against deadly illness, and ex-Nazi war criminal still hiding in the U.S., a crooked insurance company, and a plot to make Pierre and his wife the victims of a bizarre genetic experiment. Frameshift is hard science fiction at its best, full of complications and neat surprises.

    David S. says: "Great story, but very emotionally taxing"
    "Great Story / TERRIBLE narration!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In my opinion, Robert Sawyer is terrific. Every book is a hit every time.

    This time however, I have a lot to complain about – but it’s not directed at Sawyer, it’s regarding the narration. Absolutely the WORST interpretation of a French Canadian accent I have ever heard. Hands down.

    I live in Montreal, I do speak French, I am surrounded on a daily basis with French Canadians speaking English. This guy obviously never set foot in Quebec! His accent is so comically bad that it’s doing this otherwise compelling story a huge disservice. Really, it’s distractingly bad. (At the risk of being perceived as a lunatic, I even wrote to Robert Sawyer about it in case he has some sort of creative control over these things for future books).

    French Canadians ‘tok da en-glish like diss’. I promise you ‘Zay do not zound lika zizz’ ... (if you will allow me a tangent, they don’t speak English, they talk English. They don’t make decisions, they take decisions. They don’t turn off the light, they close the light. But those details are not related to their accent, and I can understand how Sawyer would not want to include a lot of phraseology that only a small percentage of readers would understand)

    If you aren’t Canadian or if you just don’t know what a Quebecois accent sounds like then you probably weren’t distracted. If like me, you are Quebecois – then you were annoyed and irritated the entire way through.

    When a French Canadian speaks English, The = da. This = Diss. They drop Hs when they should be there, and add them where they shouldn’t be, for example:

    I am happy to see you = “I am appy to see you”
    How are you = “Ow are you”
    It’s so hot outside = “It’s so ott hhoutside”
    Happy Birthday = “Appy Birdday”
    Can I ask you a question = “Can I hhask you a question”
    That guy always thinks he’s right = “Dat guy hhalways tinks ee is right”
    Is that her book over there = “is dat err book hhoe-verr derr”

    I won’t even get into examples of how they put the emphasis on the wrong syllable, more towards the end of the word – naturally where it would be in French.

    All this to say, the story was excellent but the narration disappointed me immensely.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9253)
    Performance
    (7754)
    Story
    (7759)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    L. O. Pardue says: ""Rear Window" Meets "Gone Girl""
    "A Riveting Thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I’m an early bird, and therefore I’m usually in bed by 9PM – sometimes earlier. The fact that was I was up until 11PM finishing the book should give you a pretty good indication of how into it I was!!

    It’s so satisfying to get your hands on a good book and being so immersed by the story that you devour it in just a few sittings (would have been one if I didn’t have to work!)

    The book had me on the edge of my seat, constantly wondering where it was going and what would happen next. It was gripping, enthralling and suspenseful; a great riveting thriller!!!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris
    Overall
    (3832)
    Performance
    (3484)
    Story
    (3465)

    From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new collection of essays taking his listeners on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences.

    FanB14 says: "Devout Fan Disappointed"
    "Perfect Medicine"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was the perfect book for my mood. After plodding though “Crime and Punishment”, I needed a light pick me up and this collection of comical essays did the trick!

    Regarding the performance, just like in “When You Are Engulfed In Flames” the laughs in the live-stand-up-speeches are BEYOND irritating.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Crime and Punishment

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky, Constance Garnett (translator)
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (554)
    Performance
    (387)
    Story
    (389)

    In this intense detective thriller instilled with philosophical, religious, and social commentary, Dostoevsky studies the psychological impact upon a desperate and impoverished student when he murders a despicable pawnbroker, transgressing moral law to ultimately "benefit humanity".

    Mubarak says: "Excellent Excellent Excellent!"
    "Not an easy read for me!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    How can you rate-evaluate-criticise a classic? There is a reason why it has been popular since 1866; almost 150 years! Overall I enjoyed the story very much…. but….

    My ever present difficulty for keeping track of people was made extra challenging by the Russian names; it seemed to me that everyone had the same name!! Example: Alyona Ivanovna and Avdotya Romanovna… I can’t keep them straight.

    I had to use mnemonics to help remember who was who, like for instance the main character’s name: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov. I would say to myself: “Raskolnikov is a rascal, and rascals are up to no good – therefore he’s the killer” but that only helped when I heard his name. I could not retain it 3 paragraphs later to save my life.

    It was extremely hard for me to keep up and I had to keep cheating and reread the synopsis on Wikipedia to understand the story; but that’s my problem, not the book’s. I think I have literary A.D.D.

    If there is a translation out there where the main characters are called Jim, and Bob, and Fred, I’d read it again – the core story was riveting.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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