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Debra Garfinkle

author of books for teens and children

ratings
149
REVIEWS
35
FOLLOWING
10
FOLLOWERS
7
HELPFUL VOTES
57

  • How I Slept My Way to the Middle: Secrets and Stories from Stage, Screen, and Interwebs

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Kevin Pollak, Alan Goldsher
    • Narrated By Kevin Pollak
    Overall
    (207)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (190)

    Kevin Pollak rose through the comedy club ranks at the feet of Don Rickles and Bill Cosby, Johnny Carson, and George Carlin. Named one of Comedy Central’s Top 100 Stand-Up Comedians of All Time, he’s a killer impressionist — Falk, Shatner, Walken, Nicholson — a versatile actor with one of the most respected filmographies around, and an Internet pioneer. He’s done it all, and now he’s ready to spill the beans.

    S. Droski says: "Turns out I'm a fan...who knew?!"
    "Perfect for Audio"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Kevin Pollak is fantastic at doing impersonations, so audio is the best way to experience this book. In this audiobook, he impersonates Johnny Carson, Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Bill Clinton, William Shatner and many others.

    He knows how to tell a good story, dish dirt about celebrities he's worked with, and make people laugh.

    He does brag too much and I'm sure he's withholding some interesting things. For instance, he has only positive things to say about Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, and other controversial stars he's worked with, and he doesn't talk about why his marriage dissolved.

    But even though this memoir is somewhat shallow, it's a ton of fun.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Birds and the Bees

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Milly Johnson
    • Narrated By Becky Hindley
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (60)

    Romance writer and single mum Stevie Honeywell has only a week to go till her wedding when her fiancé Matthew runs off with her glamorous friend Jo MacLean. But Stevie knows exactly how to win her man back. Adam MacLean is aslo determined to get back his lady, Jo. All he needs to do is convince Stevie that they should team up – a prospect neither of them finds attractive, seeing as each blames the other for the mess they now find themselves in.

    Jan says: "Enjoyable read"
    "Really Fun Romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I took my dog for an extra long walk, ironed, and did other chores to give me excuses to keep listening to this audiobook. It's a fast-paced, sweet, funny love story with a wonderful, well-developed protagonist. If you're a fan of Sophie Kinsella, I bet you'll be a fan of this book too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flip: The Inside Story of TV’s First Black Superstar

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Kevin Cook
    • Narrated By Mirron Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    When The Flip Wilson Show debuted in 1970, black faces were still rare on television, black hosts nonexistent. So how did Clerow “Flip” Wilson go from Jersey City grade-school dropout to national celebrity, heralded on the cover of Time as “TV’s first black superstar”? Flip is a candid, entertaining biography of a consummate comedian who changed the face of American popular culture. Kevin Cook chronicles Flip’s meteoric rise through the Chitlin’ Circuit of segregated nightclubs to his breakthrough on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show to his hit variety show, on which he created outrageous and hilarious characters.

    Debra Garfinkle says: "Fascinating Entertainer and Individual"
    "Fascinating Entertainer and Individual"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an entertaining and well-researched biography of Flip Wilson, a popular and groundbreaking African-American TV star.

    Flip Wilson's life was fascinating. After Flip's mother abandoned him and his eleven siblings when he was seven years old, Flip had to tough it out in foster homes, juvenile hall, and in relatives' homes. He lied about his age in order to serve in the Korean War. Then he spent many years trying to make it as a comedian in an era in which African-Americans were openly discriminated against. He found huge success as the star and writer (along with Richard Pryor and George Carlin) of his own TV variety show, making millions and then semi-retiring and raising his children. He became a Vegas headliner, a motorcyle enthusiast, and a hot air balloon pilot.

    The author paints a full picture of Flip Wilson, showing his good sides and his bad sides. This audiobook is fast-paced, yet also thoughtful and inspiring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catching Fire: Hunger Games, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29789)
    Performance
    (22915)
    Story
    (23085)

    Katniss Everdeen continues to struggle to protect herself and her family from the Capitol in this second novel from the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy.

    FanB14 says: "Dissent Rules"
    "Terrific Story Narrated by a Prissy Old Schoolmarm"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Suzanne Collins' colorful characters, creative world-building, and exciting plot twists.

    I'm surprised a better narrator was not chosen for this bestselling book. The narrator sounded old and prissy, with a vague English accent at times, like Madonna's when she's trying too hard. She sounded more like Dana Carvey's Church Lady on Saturday Night Live than a brave teenage hunter.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Ann Leary
    • Narrated By Mary Beth Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1458)
    Performance
    (1316)
    Story
    (1310)

    The Good House tells the story of Hildy Good, who lives in a small town on Boston's North Shore. Hildy is a successful real-estate broker, good neighbor, mother, and grandmother. She's also a raging alcoholic. Hildy's family held an intervention for her about a year before this story takes place - "if they invite you over for dinner, and it’s not a major holiday," she advises "run for your life" - and now she feels lonely and unjustly persecuted. She has also fooled herself into thinking that moderation is the key.

    Rhonda Morrison says: "What a great book, Hildy is a great character!"
    "Great Story and Great Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story of an alcoholic realtor in a small Massachusetts town is not for those who love fast-paced action and adventure novels. But if you like character-driven novels with humor, heart, and depth, you'll love this book. The main character and all the characters are shown as unique human beings, with individual talents, good qualities, and serious flaws. And the small town setting really comes alive.

    After reading this novel, I understood a lot more about living in a small town, fishing, suffering from alcoholism, being a realtor in a one-person shop, owning horses, and, well, being human. I can't wait to read Leary's other books.

    Also, Mary Beth Hurt did a fantastic job narrating this book. She's one of the best narrators I've heard.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Coreyography

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Corey Feldman
    • Narrated By Corey Feldman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (283)
    Performance
    (265)
    Story
    (268)

    In this brave and moving memoir, Corey Feldman is revealing the truth about what his life was like behind the scenes: His is a past that included physical, drug, and sexual abuse, a dysfunctional family from which he was emancipated at age fifteen, three high-profile arrests for drug possession, a nine-month stint in rehab, and a long, slow crawl back to the top of the box office.

    R. J. Melton says: "Heartrending Loss of Innocence"
    "Self-serving"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Corey Feldman had it hard. His parents were awful and he was sexually abused as a teen. I felt really bad for him and admire him for speaking up now about the abuse.

    But he still blames virtually all of his adult behavior on other people. Almost every time he took a hard drug, he says someone duped him into it or at least worked hard to convince him. According to him, he was a devoted friend/boyfriend/husband, but was continually let down by others. He's outraged that Michael Jackson had the gall to accuse him of wanting to write about him in a book; yet this book spends a lot of time doing just that. Almost every schlocky movie Feldman did was because he was desperate for money or was fooled into believing it would be a good film when he signed onto the project, according to Feldman. It's just excuse after excuse.

    He brags about his current artistic and financial successes and charitable endeavors, but if you Google him you'll find him partying on multiple recent occasions with what look like cheap prostitutes and read that his landlord is trying to evict him for nonpayment of rent.

    He had a very difficult childhood, but now that he's in his forties I believe it's time for him to take responsibility for his actions instead of blaming everyone else. I like memoirs to be honest and open. This one seemed to have a lot of subterfuge.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Humans: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Matt Haig
    • Narrated By Mark Meadows
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (70)

    The critically acclaimed author of The Radleys shares a clever, heartwarming, and darkly insightful novel about an alien who comes to Earth to save humans from themselves. When an extraterrestrial visitor arrives on Earth, his first impressions of the human species are less than positive. But as time goes on, he starts to realize there may be more to this weird species than he has been led to believe. Eventually, the narrator sees hope and redemption in the humans' imperfections and begins to question the very mission that brought him there.

    cristina says: "Adorable alien story"
    "Fun Plus Depth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this imaginative, fast-paced novel in which an alien takes over the body of a British mathematician and develops feelings for and complicated relationships with the man's wife and son. It's a lot of fun as the alien learns about life on Earth, makes wry, sometimes painfully truthful observations about human beings, and starts to appreciate our world. It got a bit preachy at the end, but over all this is a really entertaining novel with depth.

    Also, the narrator gave a lively, well acted performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Don’t Care about Your Band: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I’ve Dated

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Julie Klausner
    • Narrated By Julie Klausner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (147)

    In the tradition of Cynthia Heimel and Chelsea Handler, and with the boisterous iconoclasm of Amy Sedaris, Julie Klausner's candid and funny debut I Don't Care about Your Band sheds light on the humiliations we endure to find love - and the lessons that can be culled from the wreckage. I Don't Care about Your Band posits that lately the worst guys to date are the ones who seem sensitive. It's the jerks in nice guy clothing, not the players in Ed Hardy, who break the hearts of modern girls.

    Stephanie says: "pretty raunchy"
    "Painfully Honest and Funny"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listening to this book made me grateful I'm married, because most of the guys Klausner dated seem like creeps and/or weirdos. I appreciated her honesty as she talked about sexual positions, sexual kinks, sexual diseases, and other topics most people keep private. While I didn't agree with some of Klausner's choices in life, I found her entertaining and funny and rooted for her to find a good guy or at least to stop sleeping with the bad ones.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Husband's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3159)
    Performance
    (2832)
    Story
    (2849)

    Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive....

    Margaret says: "Escape to the land down under..."
    "Loved It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of the best novels I read this year, and I read about forty of them. Each of the three main characters has her own unique personality, compelling story, and internal growth. Their lives intersect in fascinating ways. This book has it all: an engrossing plot, interesting characters, and depth.

    This novel is set in contemporary Australia, and features an unsolved murder, a marital separation, family tension, and not just a husband's secret, but small and large secrets of many characters.

    I only wish the cover and title of this book didn't make it seem like a romance novel. It is deeper and more literary than it first appears.

    25 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Andrew Solomon
    • Narrated By Andrew Solomon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (406)
    Performance
    (345)
    Story
    (341)

    A brilliant and utterly original thinker, Andrew Solomon's journey began from his experience of being the gay child of straight parents. He wondered how other families accommodate children who have a variety of differences: families of people who are deaf, who are dwarfs, who have Down syndrome, who have autism, who have schizophrenia, who have multiple severe disabilities, who are prodigies, who commit crimes, who are transgender.

    C. Beaton says: "A Gripping Masterpiece"
    "Good, But It Could Have Been Great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I learned a lot about disabled children and their parents. Much of it was very heartwarming. The book presented wonderful life lessons in love, acceptance, and struggling against the odds.

    However, it could have been a stronger book it if had been edited down. Many of the examples were repetitive (for instance, showing many different families similarly affected by schizophrenia), and there were entire chapters that didn't seem to fit within the topic of the book (for instance, children conceived from rape). It was as if the author felt compelled to use every bit of research he'd done, and no one at the publishing house stopped him.

    Also, sometimes the author didn't allow much room for alternate viewpoints.For instance, the idea that it is beneficial for children to change their genders if they desire, no matter their age, was accepted with little argument.

    That said, the book was emotionally affecting and I know that much of what I learned about people in difficult circumstances will stay with me a long time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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