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kate

Bellevue, WA, United States | Member Since 2008

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 451 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
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  • The Casual Vacancy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By J. K. Rowling
    • Narrated By Tom Hollander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2863)
    Performance
    (2515)
    Story
    (2535)

    When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

    cristina says: "I was surprised by how much I liked it"
    "I love this book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Casual Vacancy again? Why?

    I would definitely listen to it again because I like a good story well told -- and that's what this is.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Casual Vacancy?

    There's a funeral scene near the end where one character recalls her lost friend in better times, pushing back against systemic b.s. with sass and humor and guts. That recollection will stay with me.


    Have you listened to any of Tom Hollander’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I intend to. he's very good.


    If you could take any character from The Casual Vacancy out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Krystal. Because she's smart and gutsy and full of heart.


    Any additional comments?

    I glanced through the bad reviews before downloading this book and almost skipped it because they were so vehement. I'm so glad I didn't! This has nothing to do with HP; my advice is to think of this writer as someone you've never heard of and take the work on face value. It's a book filled with people most of us can recognize, some of them honorable, some of them wretched, some of them just lost. The prose is fine and the dialogue rings true.

    For those who say it's all just ugliness and vulgarity, I strongly disagree. I love this book.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Amanda Knox
    • Narrated By Amanda Knox
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (299)
    Performance
    (283)
    Story
    (281)

    Amanda Knox spent four years in a foreign prison for a crime she did not commit. In the fall of 2007, the 20-year-old college coed left Seattle to study abroad in Italy, but her life was shattered when her roommate was murdered in their apartment. After a controversial trial, Amanda was convicted and imprisoned. But in 2011, an appeals court overturned the decision and vacated the murder charge. Free at last, she returned home to the U.S., where she has remained silent, until now.

    Brock says: "A Fascinating Story- Buy it now!"
    "Well done, Amanda"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    She's a very, very good writer with a detailed, disturbing, ultimately inspiring story to tell. What more do we need in a memoir? (She's obviously innocent; if people think otherwise they don't understand how impossible it would be for her to have killed her friend and left no DNA at the scene.) I've read some comments from people whose knowledge of what happened comes from tabloids, and I have to say I hope she's able to ignore them. Most of us would have collapsed under the weight of what she faced; she didn't.

    Hats off to her parents and step-parents, too. The saddest part of this whole thing, for me, is her description of sitting in prison after three years, thinking about how isolated she was going to be from these people, even if she somehow got out and got home again. She knew there was always going to be a giant space between herself and others -- which is an insight anyone who's lived through a long trauma will recognize as the truth. She's an extraordinary person.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Me Before You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jojo Moyes
    • Narrated By Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3051)
    Performance
    (2772)
    Story
    (2783)

    Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life - steady boyfriend, close family - who has never been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life - big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel - and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy - but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected.

    Bonny says: "Will & Louisa - each has what the other one needs"
    "Wretched exploitation fiction."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Jojo Moyes is a gifted writer; she has a good sense of story, writes fine dialogue, and knows how to use detail.

    But she doesn't have any business distorting a world that millions of brave people live in every day for the sake of an imaginary and silly "hero." Knowing just barely enough to write coherently about spinal cord injury shouldn't be license to exploit other people, and that's what she's done. For some of us, this isn't fiction. It's not dramatic potential, it's life.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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