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Susan

Main Beach, Australia | Member Since 2011

30
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 33 reviews
  • 73 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 43 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
3

  • Cross Roads

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Wm. Paul Young
    • Narrated By Roger Mueller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (333)
    Performance
    (285)
    Story
    (283)

    Anthony Spencer is egotistical, proud of being a self-made business success at the peak of his game, even though the cost of winning was painfully high. A cerebral hemorrhage leaves Tony comatose in a hospital ICU. He 'awakens' to find himself in a surreal world, a 'living' landscape that mirrors dimensions of his earthly life, from the beautiful to the corrupt.

    aaron says: "Blind read, and my outlook on life is changed"
    "life path challenges explored"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Being at across road myself, I downloaded this book based on the reviews written by other audible listeners and was not disappointed with the emotionally intelligent way Wm.Paul Young paints the unravelling of Tony's psyche as he makes the journey toward his own demise. There are philosophical, psychological, social, moral and spiritual confrontations all the way. I was seeking a read like this to accompany my own inner reflections at a time of upheaval and change in my own life.

    However, as a sceptic of organised religion, I found the domination of Christian religious icons, that is God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, difficult. The fact that these characters were depicted as ordinary people made it easier, but I just couldn't help thinking that the book would have an even wider appeal if Christianity wasn't so blatantly the dominating guiding spiritual force on this man's journey.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Serpent's Shadow: Elemental Masters

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Mercedes Lackey
    • Narrated By Michelle Ford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (540)
    Performance
    (400)
    Story
    (406)

    From the magical mysteries of India to the gaslit streets of Victorian London, Mercedes Lackey's unique departure from her Valdemar series follows a young woman doctor as she searches for the secret behind the sorcery in her blood.

    CatBookMom says: "Very enjoyable"
    "Enjoyable listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was lovely to meet the imaginary characters in this light and enjoyable fantasy, especially when they are placed in my favourite time period. I would have loved to work beside Maya and admire her strength of character and determination.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Mysterious Island

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Berny Clark
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (313)
    Performance
    (277)
    Story
    (284)

    Based on the true story of Alexander Selkirk, who survived alone for almost five years on an uninhabited island off the coast of Chile, The Mysterious Island is considered by many to be Jules Verne’s masterpiece. “Wide-eyed mid-nineteenth-century humanistic optimism in a breezy, blissfully readable translation by Stump” (Kirkus Reviews), here is the enthralling tale of five men and a dog who land in a balloon on a faraway, fantastic island of bewildering goings-on and their struggle to survive....

    Tad Davis says: "Wonderful novel, mediocre translation"
    "The brilliance of Jules Verne"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a wonderful insight into the brilliance of a man able to imagine things well before his time. The way he combines his knowledge of the natural world and invent the life preserving world that makes up the mysterious island shows a genius that is well worth listening to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Look at Me: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jennifer Egan
    • Narrated By Rachael Warren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (46)

    At the start of this edgy and ambitiously multilayered novel - a National Book Award Finalist - a fashion model named Charlotte Swenson emerges from a car accident in her Illinois hometown with her face so badly shattered that it takes 80 titanium screws to reassemble it. She returns to New York still beautiful but oddly unrecognizable. With the surreal authority of a David Lynch, Jennifer Egan threads Charlotte’s narrative with those of other casualties of our infatuation with the image.

    Denise says: "Good story, horrible narrator."
    "A most irritating story and narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had high hopes for this story, thinking it might underscore our obsession with appearance and then pull the rug out from under it. All it did was show how it doesn't matter what happens, appearances rule (for some unfortunates) . The narration was so over articulated I thought I was in pre-school. Sorry ... A total disappointment

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shantaram: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gregory David Roberts
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (283)
    Performance
    (263)
    Story
    (265)

    Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum-security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend Prabaker, the two enter Bombay's hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere.

    Mickey says: "Probably the best performance I've listened to."
    "colourful explosion of culture, morality & love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having read this book 5 or more years ago, I was tentative about listening to it, much in the same way that seeing a movie of a book you've read can often disappoint. Humphrey Bower saved me from that kind of despair ... Thanks Mr Bower.
    I have not travelled to India but now feel I can taste, smell, hear and see this most fascinating and diverse culture. The depth of feeling and the complexity of the myriad of characters in this novel are compelling and engaging. This personal journey's, unravelling in experiences of great fortune and desperate despair, connected me to Lin Ba Ba's world and at times, he felt like a brother having a deep and meaningful conversation with me.

    The story is unbelievable. There are people I know who say it is highly exaggerated, some who say it's all true. It seems unbelievable to me, but in a deeply moving way. This is a man who tries to face himself, tries to see, to forgive and to change. Despite all his crimes, all the responsibility he abandoned, I admired his courage, insights and philosophical reflections on the world, on humanity and what it means to be free.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dangerous Women

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Jonathan Frakes, Janis Ian, and others
    Overall
    (271)
    Performance
    (246)
    Story
    (249)

    All new and original to this volume, the 21 stories in Dangerous Women include work by 12 New York Times best sellers, and seven stories set in the authors’ best-selling continuities - including a new "Outlander" story by Diana Gabaldon, a tale of Harry Dresden’s world by Jim Butcher, a story from Lev Grossman set in the world of The Magicians, and a 35,000-word novella by George R. R. Martin about the Dance of the Dragons, the vast civil war that tore Westeros apart nearly two centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones.

    Linda Lou says: "A CONFUSED BUFFET"
    "Mostly average with a hint of danger"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a time filler listen. Good for listening on the go when you don't need to be immersed in the world of words and fully focused in a deep and consuming story. I'm lost for words of praise because, although I enjoyed most of the stories, none stood out and grabbed my attention.

    Janis Ian's voice does deserve a mention - soft, strong and deliberate -,it's always a pleasure to hear.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Sheri Fink
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (554)
    Performance
    (486)
    Story
    (490)

    In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days.

    Cynthia says: "Five Days in Hell/Years in Purgatory"
    "An ordeal that must be heard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As an Australian, far removed in distance from the horrors of 'Katrina', but close because of television and news media, I wanted to hear this story. Especially because I'm a Registered Nurse, the fact that the scene reported what happened in a hospital, stirred my interest further.

    The propensity to litigate is something that I have been sad to see grow in Australia over the past few decades. It is something I've always regarded as 'American' and I found it difficult to listen to the hours of dialogue that related the seemingly infinite ways individuals, companies and corporations sue, counter sue, wriggle and squirm to avoid basic responsibilities and accept the vagaries of life without the need to feed media and lawyers vast sums of money stretching and distorting facts, omitting details, and generally bludgeoning society with half truths and more.

    The detail in this book is magnificently detailed. The balanced view cannot be faulted. The horror for those involved is clear. That wrongs were committed - well - I'm not sure. How can any of us judge how we might behave in such a situation. Not only during 'Katrina' but in the life we would then have to lead afterwards.

    My husband died 13 years ago, of an aggressive cancer, that removed his quality of life from the day he was diagnosed until the day he died 9 months later. In his last month of life, he woke up every morning crying, begging me to kill him. He would have taken his own life if he had been able. Despite the fact that his eventual death has left a hole in my life that nothing will ever replace, I would have been willing to make his journey toward his inevitable end more expedient had it been legally possible. We afford our pets such respect.

    There can be no legal judgement about such matters. Compassion and kindness in the face of suffering are the only two things that really matter and if there is a god, I believe he would agree.

    Corporations should not be permitted to manage health facilities. The incongruities that exist in their basic functioning a re not compatible and will inevitably lead to more situations like 'Memorial' if it is allowed to continue.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Snow Child

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Eowyn Ivey
    • Narrated By Debra Monk
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1260)
    Performance
    (1103)
    Story
    (1088)

    Debut novelist Eowyn ivey’s experience living in the Alaskan wilderness brings a palpable authenticity to The Snow Child. Alaska in the 1920s is a difficult place for Jack and Mabel. Drifting apart, the childless couple discover Faina, a young girl living alone in the wilderness. Soon, Jack and Mabel come to love Faina as their own. But when they learn a surprising truth about the girl, their lives change in profound ways.

    Bonny says: "Magical, realistic and well worth listening to"
    "Lightweight dream in a cold climate"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is quite a beautiful story, imagined in the cold of the far, far north. You can feel the climate, the extremes of weather, of temperament, of love and loss, of being lost. You can see the beauty of the environment and feel placed there with the characters, some emerging from the ice of their past, some content with the raw pace of surviving.

    And the child, she is beautiful, foreign, mysterious and elusive.
    But I felt let down by this book, the ending felt contrived, as if the ideas were cut short at their birth and the child leaves the story deflated like a balloon loosing all it's air as soon as it reaches it's capacity. There could have been so much more....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7416)
    Performance
    (6802)
    Story
    (6806)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Golden"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Exquisite story, rich in depth of characters, beauty of human connection and the intensity of soul. I found it difficult to sleep while there were still words to hear of this novel. Thank you Donna Tartt...your work reflected a world both familiar and foreign and will remain with me, like the Goldfinch did to the characters who loved it's timeless beauty.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Signature of All Things: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (940)
    Performance
    (862)
    Story
    (869)

    In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker - a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia.

    Dina says: "An Educational and Epic Oddity"
    "A storyline to bathe the imagination"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love being transported back into earlier centuries and 'The Signature of All Things' did this expertly. I found the story rich and exciting, epic in proportions and fascinating. At one stage I thought that Elizabeth Gilbert must have studied botany herself, so detailed is the information about plants. And to then place all that information in another century shows her skill as a storyteller. Ugly Alma is a wonderful heroine and many of her ponderings about life, love and the universe have been my own, making her even more likeable as a character.

    My reason for only giving the story 3 stars is that I found the last third of the book somewhat tedious and slow, despite the fact that many issues are resolved here.

    All in all, though, I enjoyed this book thoroughly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brown Dog: Novellas

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Jim Harrison
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot, Ray Porter, Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (43)

    New York Times best-selling author Jim Harrison is one of America's most beloved writers, and of all his creations, Brown Dog - a bawdy, reckless, down-on-his-luck Michigan Indian - has earned cult status with readers in the more than two decades since his first appearance. For the first time, Brown Dog gathers all the Brown Dog novellas, including one never before published, into one volume - the ideal introduction (or reintroduction) to Harrison's irresistible Everyman.

    Susan says: "Falling for Brown Dog"
    "Falling for Brown Dog"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded this story simply because of the title"Brown Dog". Call me crazy but by the time I finished listening to the story of the hapless, hopeless, gentle, unaffected man, I was in love. Such a wonderful depiction of North American wilderness added immensely to this sometimes very funny, sometimes excruciatingly poignant story. Some overtly 'scenic' reflections of BD's sex life made me laugh out loud and/or cry.

    What a deeply "human" man, is Brown Dog.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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