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Amazon Customer

PARIS, TX, United States | Member Since 2008

ratings
377
REVIEWS
78
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
7
HELPFUL VOTES
42

  • Home: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Toni Morrison
    • Narrated By Toni Morrison
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (107)
    Story
    (106)

    Frank Money is an angry, self-loathing veteran of the Korean War who, after traumatic experiences on the front lines, finds himself back in racist America with more than just physical scars. His home may seem alien to him, but he is shocked out of his crippling apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and take her back to the small Georgia town they come from and that he's hated all his life. This is a deeply moving novel about an apparently defeated man finding his manhood - and his home.

    Melinda says: "not a novel, but a collection of short stories"
    "Home -- For Your BookClub or Classroom, or Brain!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Home to be better than the print version?

    Both are excellent. I listened first, then went and read it in order to study it and learn from a master.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Cee, she learns to stand tall and believe in herself regardless of her childhood and the wrong done to her.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Hard to pick, but three come to mind. First, the opening poem, it brings chills down the spine. Next, when Cee tells Frank that she has a right to cry. And finally, the ending poem and all its potential meanings. I'll give you the first just so you don't miss it on the audio version:

    “Whose house is this?
    Whose night keeps out the light
    In here? Say, who owns this house?
    It’s not mine. I dreamed another, sweeter, brighter
    With a view of lakes crossed in painted boats;
    Of fields wide as arms open for me.
    This house is strange. Its shadows lie.
    Say, tell me, why does its lock fit my key?”

    I don't know about you, but this resonates deep within me. It's the story of growing up, of finding yourself. Of finding out that home, for good or bad, has made a lasting impression on you, and, just maybe, you can reconcile yourself with that. Perhaps, on a grander scale, it is also a reconciliation to the awareness and owning of our country, good and bad.
    Finally, perhaps you can reconcile yourself with you, good and bad


    Any additional comments?

    I love the book for the imagery of the time that it invokes, and for the depth of each character that the author gives us. I love the use of many literary styles, and the fact that the book is still very accessible. I love the ending.

    Here is the low down:

    Frank is a Korean vet who was treated equally in the war but slips back into segregated America as it if it is still the norm, which is a good subtle shock for the modern reader, so far away from it. But Frank has bigger worries, mainly that he is haunted by the war. This book is the story of his quest to find his sister, and during his travels he finds himself. This is a very American theme, in the fashion of Mark Twain and Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain). Frank breaks through and speaks to the reader, and occasionally to the author; this is a highly effective, somewhat twisted, way to jar the reader out of the story itself and into deeper thought. Toni Morrison is skilled enough to pull it off.

    Cee (Ycidra) is Frank's sister, who thinks that maybe she'd have learned to think for herself if Frank hadn't been there to constantly protect her. She is an accident waiting to happen, a consummate victim, although she doesn't try to be, so trouble finds her when Frank leaves for the war. She and Frank bind each other to this earth, and eventually save each other, once they learn their own self worth. Something in that reminds me of Celie in the Color Purple, and Cee's story is very much an American girl coming of age story, with the honest portrayal of the plight of the black woman.

    There are other memorable characters, some snapshots, some deeper, and plenty of themes, all delivered in a punch at 160 pages on my Kindle. Morrison trueists don't like this book very much because it doesn't use the magical realism style that they all love. If that includes you, know that this is American realism fiction, and take the time to think deeper than the story. Ask yourself how the author is so talented to make us care in such a short time. Look at the wording and sentences, and see how she shows rather than tells. Search for all those little details that make the writing so good. Learn from a living legend, who makes you dissatisfied with the humdrum.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Wives of Los Alamos: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By TaraShea Nesbit
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (40)

    Their average age was 25. They came from Berkeley, Cambridge, Paris, London, Chicago - and arrived in New Mexico ready for adventure, or at least resigned to it. But hope quickly turned to hardship as they were forced to adapt to a rugged military town where everything was a secret, including what their husbands were doing at the lab. They lived in barely finished houses with P.O. box addresses in a town wreathed with barbed wire, all for the benefit of a project that didn’t exist as far as the public knew.

    Amazon Customer says: "Tedious"
    "We came, We saw, We sighed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Very interesting book. I used to go to Church Camp in the New Mexico mountains, from which I garnered a pen pal from Los Alamos. I had NO idea about this place. I loved the literary style of this book -- in the collective We, which managed to show the many many experiences of the wives, the families, and even the views of the scientists -- the lives of the creators of the atomic bomb during those years. Important read, well narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Kept: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James Scott
    • Narrated By Kate Udall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (52)

    In the winter of 1897, Elspeth Howell treks across miles of snow and ice to the isolated farmstead in upstate New York where she and her husband have raised their five children. Her midwife's salary is tucked into the toes of her boots, and her pack is full of gifts for her family. But as she crests the final hill, and sees her darkened house and a smokeless chimney, immediately she knows that an unthinkable crime has destroyed the life she so carefully built.

    Caroline says: "A Beautiful, Bitter Pill"
    "Not suited to Audio on the First Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Via Audio. Well written, but I can't figure out the deeper meaning, and it feels like there should be one. Just another one of the many American "heartland" books written in the Cormac McCarthy western tradition with the only point being to show our inescapable violent past (which I don't necessarily argue but also don't fully buy). I'm not getting it and don't know why I keep falling for it. But that is just me, if that genre is your cup of tea, you will like this.
    P.S. The audio was well narrated but I don't recommend it. It was very hard to follow because the POV switched frequently.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Code Name Verity

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Wein
    • Narrated By Morven Christie, Lucy Gaskell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1195)
    Performance
    (1082)
    Story
    (1076)

    Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery. Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong....

    Suzn F says: "Haunting, Beautiful, Exquisite, Special Book"
    "I am Telling the Truth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    (Via Audio, but now I now want to read it!) Well written unique book about two young English women who become friends despite social class difference because of World War II, which took them to their destinies. The book is told through their journals, so you get to see the story unfold through different view points. I was hooked from the first couple of sentences, which, along with the title, tells all:

    "I AM A COWARD

    I wanted to be heroic and I pretended I was. I have always been good at pretending. I spent the first twelve years of my life at the Battle of Stirling Bridge with my five big brothers, and even though I am a girl they let me be William Wallace, who is supposed to be one of our ancestors, because I did the most rousing battle speeches."

    (Now just try to put that down!) A true spy-coming of age novel, chalk full of historical and literary references. I cannot for the life of me figure out what book this is like, but I would say that if you liked "The Book Thief" and if you like intrigue, you will like this. I want to go back and read it now so that I can put together some things that are possible to catch the first time. Excellent Narrations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Anthony Marra
    • Narrated By Colette Whitaker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (204)

    Anthony Marra transports us to a snow-covered village in Chechnya, where eight-year-old Havaa watches from the woods as Russian soldiers abduct her father in the middle of the night, accusing him of aiding Chechen rebels. Across the road their lifelong neighbor and family friend Akhmed has also been watching, fearing the worst when the soldiers set fire to Havaa’s house. But when he finds her hiding in the forest with a strange blue suitcase, he makes a decision that will forever change their lives. He will seek refuge at the abandoned hospital where the sole remaining doctor, Sonja Rabina, treats the wounded.

    Ryan says: "A bleak, beautiful debut"
    "Read it to Know this Quote"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't love this book like everyone else did, but I do feel like I should have. I'm just not as big on the big interlocking short story book (meaning that this was a series of stories about the lives of the characters in this book, not pulling together the way they do in a big epic, but rather connected the way stars are, because we see the connection, we see the pattern even if it is random), and that is what this felt like to me. But I did love some of the thoughts that were universal, and not just applicable in war torn Chechnya, especially this one as it applies to the way we humans interweave and support each other or not: “Life: a constellation of vital phenomena—organization, irritability, movement, growth, reproduction, adaptation.” I am also glad I learned more about that conflict.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • My Life in Middlemarch

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Rebecca Mead
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    A New Yorker writer revisits the seminal book of her youth - Middlemarch - and fashions a singular, involving story of how a passionate attachment to a great work of literature can shape our lives and help us to read our own histories. Rebecca Mead was a young woman in an English coastal town when she first read George Eliot's Middlemarch,regarded by many as the greatest English novel. After gaining admission to Oxford and moving to the United States to become a journalist, through several love affairs, then marriage, and family, Mead read and reread Middlemarch.

    Doggy Bird says: "A Reader's Pleasure!"
    "A must for English Lit Lovers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a very interesting dissection of an important English writer's life and works, with a good tie in to the modern reader. This is not just a review of Middlemarch, rather it is a good look at George Eliot and her life, plus the influences on the writer's life. If you love English lit, you won't want to miss this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Against the Tide

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Camden
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (47)

    As a child, Lydia Pallas became all too familiar with uncertainty when it came to the future. Now, she's finally carved out a perfect life for herself - a life of stability and order with no changes, surprises, or chaos of any kind. She adores her apartment overlooking the bustling Boston Harbor, and her skill with languages has landed her a secure position as a translator for the U.S. Navy. However, it is her talent for translation that brings her into contact with Alexander Banebridge, or "Bane", a man who equally attracts and aggravates her.

    Robin says: "Are You Kidding Me?"
    "Very Interesting Historical Fiction on Addiciton"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I kept seeing this book pop up for me so I finally went for it. At first I thought I was going to be disappointed, but then the layers kept building. The book turned out to be satisfying, with good characters who had believable dillemas, plus a fun thriller aspect. It was also a subtle inspirational book, which was a pleasant surprise.

    Lydia's traumatic childhood leaves her with lasting needs, yet she is surprisingly resilient. She overcomes great odds to make a life for herself, a life with seemingly great order. Then she meets a man at work who likes to subtly throw chaos into her order, and off we go. This book explores the themes of drug abuse and addiction, redemption, love, and recovery. The historical setting makes the addiction and recovery theme safe, so that we can really experience that reality without our modern day prejudices. It also explores the human need for connecting with God and our tendency to try to do it all on our own, killing ourselves in the process. Thumbs up!


    NOTE: I think there are some historical inaccuracies, but being from the south I wasn't positively sure so I was able to look past them. In the end the drug addiction theme was very well explored, and not commonly found, so I think the book is a worthy offer. Also the historical aspect is pretty minor so not terribly distracting unless maybe you live in the area.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rosie Project: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Graeme Simsion
    • Narrated By Dan O'Grady
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1328)
    Performance
    (1210)
    Story
    (1210)

    Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a "wonderful" husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical - most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver. Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent - and on a quest of her own....

    Margaret says: "A fun listen"
    "Everything's Rosie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Very cute easy listen. Picture an Aussie Sheldon /Spock who logically deduces that he should marry but hates wasting his time on incompatible women so he designs the perfect test to find the perfect wife. In walks the delightfull Rosie with a project of her own, who, if she were taking the test, would utterly flunk it. When you are in the mood for something that will make you smile, read this!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • War Horse

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Michael Morpurgo
    • Narrated By Dan Stevens
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (44)

    At the outbreak of World War I, Joey, young Albert's beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. He's soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man's land. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to the trenches to find him and bring him home.

    Georgia Burns says: "Stevens brings adult sensibility to child's tale"
    "Fall In Love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This children's story will teach you about the Horrors of WWI while making you fall in love with a boy and his horse. Excellent for kids of all ages.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Iliad

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Homer, Stephen Mitchell (translator)
    • Narrated By Alfred Molina
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (138)

    The power and the beauty of The Iliad resound again across 2,700 years in Stephen Mitchell's exciting new translation, as if the lifeblood of its heroes Achilles and Patroclus, Hector and Priam flowed in every word. And we are there with them amid the horror and ecstasy of war, carried along by a poetry that lifts even the most devastating human events into the realm of the beautiful.

    Darwin8u says: "Mitchell's Translation is Brilliant Poetry"
    "Masterpiece!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you have never fallen in love with The Iliad, please listen to this right now, and hear the story the way the ancient Greeks did. Enthralling story telling about the human experience, not just a war book. And the narrator is a master, too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Marjorie Morningstar

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (116)

    Marjorie Morningstar is a love story. It presents one of the greatest characters in modern fiction: Marjorie, the pretty 17-year-old who left the respectability of New York's Central Park West to join the theater, live in the teeming streets of Greenwich Village, and seek love in the arms of a brilliant, enigmatic writer.

    Arken says: "An excellent storyteller"
    "Yawn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unfortunately, I think today's woman will be utterly bored with this. I was. Not up to the rest of Wouk's offerings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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