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M. Blackstock

Forest Hills,NN | Member Since 2009

20
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 136 ratings
  • 544 titles in library
  • 44 purchased in 2015
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  • The White Princess: Cousins' War, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (591)
    Performance
    (542)
    Story
    (535)

    The newest novel from #1 New York Times best-selling author and "queen of royal fiction" (USA Today) Philippa Gregory tells the passionate story of Elizabeth of York, daughter of the White Queen, who gets caught in the middle of a battle for the crown of England. A princess from birth, Elizabeth fell in love with Richard III, though her mother made an arranged betrothal for her with the pretender to the throne: Henry Tudor. When Henry defeats Richard against all odds, Elizabeth has to marry the man who murdered her lover in battle.

    Bonnie-Ann says: "My ears are bleeding"
    "Not her best work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The theme and dialogue is quite repetative, and feels boring. I had waited for this biik with such excitement and anticipaption and was disapointed. I am also tired of all the references to Melucina.


    What could Philippa Gregory have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    She did not need to keep repeating the same things in different ways over and over. I also think more could have been done with the alliance with Spain, Arthur's death and the arrival of the Infanta.


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

    Bianca Amato is a wonderful narrator and does as much as anyone can with a weak story.


    Did The White Princess inspire you to do anything?

    THe White Princess had so much potential and was such a disapointment.


    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Tapestry

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Nancy Bilyeau
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In the aftermath of the Protestant Reformation, novice Joanna Stafford is summoned back to London to face King Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell... who have made it their mission to expurge the Catholic faith from England.

    M. Blackstock says: "Could not put down!"
    "Could not put down!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Such a compelling close to this trilogy that I couldn't put this down. Stayed up all night to finish! And I got the ending I wanted!

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

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Susan Rieger
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Arthur Morey, Kathe Mazur
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (73)

    Twenty-nine-year-old Sophie Diehl is happy toiling away as a criminal law associate at an old line New England firm where she very much appreciates that most of her clients are behind bars. Everyone at Traynor, Hand knows she abhors face-to-face contact, but one weekend, with all the big partners away, Sophie must handle the intake interview for the daughter of the firm's most important client....

    Susan C. S. says: "Singularly unsuited for audio."
    "Delightful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As an attorney, a single/divorced mother, a child of divorced parents and an attorney, I related to this book. Also, the self-deprecating humor was just what I needed! Great "fluff" when you want something more substantial than commercial fluff.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Herman Koch, Sam Garrett (translator)
    • Narrated By Clive Mantle
    Overall
    (1121)
    Performance
    (977)
    Story
    (989)

    It's a summer's evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse - the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened. Each couple has a 15-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families.

    Jane says: "Dining at its most distubing"
    "Not a single likable or sympathetic character"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story was increasingly depressing, the characters increasingly unlikable and theme presented selfishness taken to a whole new level. Each layer of the story onion became more and more unbearable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Anne Frank
    • Narrated By Selma Blair
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (517)
    Performance
    (406)
    Story
    (399)

    More than 50 years after its first publication, Doubleday's definitive edition of Anne Frank's famous diary generated an extraordinary amount of excitement when it was published in early 1995. Enthusiastically received by critics and readers alike, it reigned for nine weeks on The New York Times best seller list and will remain for all time the version that millions of readers will cherish.

    Cynthianna says: "First review I've written - Had to write it"
    "Should be required reading for everyone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Anne's positive outlook on life in the face of so much hatred. Her last few entries are the most moving for me. So glad her diary survived to tell her story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14249)
    Performance
    (6574)
    Story
    (6653)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "Beautiful classic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a love story with amazing twists. Jacob and Marlena are drawn to each other, in part because of their mutual love and connection with animals, and in part because each is from another world and accidentally became part of a traveling circus run by heartless, greedy, ruthless men and it is set during the Great Depression. The characters come alive across the pages, including the animals. It is impossible to not love Rosie, Bobo and Queenie as much as you grow to love Jacob, Marlena, Walter, Camel and the rest of the team of close-knit community of the show. Friendships become solidified over mutual hatred for the unnecessarily and brutally cruel August. I love this book!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The King's General

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Daphne du Maurier
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Honor Harris is only 18 when she first meets Richard Grenvile, proud, reckless - and utterly captivating. But following a riding accident, Honor must reconcile herself to a life alone. As the English Civil war is waged across the country, Richard rises through the ranks of the army, marries and makes enemies, and Honor remains true to him.

    M. Blackstock says: "Outstanding"
    "Outstanding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't believe it took me 48 years to discover this classic! A must read and so brilliantly written! Daphne du Maurier weaves such a compelling story!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Go the F--k to Sleep

    • UNABRIDGED (6 mins)
    • By Adam Mansbach, Ricardo Cortes (cover illustration)
    • Narrated By Samuel L. Jackson
    Overall
    (12760)
    Performance
    (8062)
    Story
    (7946)

    Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction) rocks this mock bedtime story, capturing a hilarious range of emotions as the voice of a father struggling to get his child to sleep. Go the F**k to Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don’t always send a toddler sailing blissfully off to dreamland.

    Darwin8u says: "Read the F--king REVIEW!"
    "Brilliant!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This author must know my daughter!!! This is Brilliant and so funny!! My new favorite bedtime story. Thank you so much!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hospital: The FREE Short Story: The First Mountain Man Story

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 37 mins)
    • By Keith C. Blackmore
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1418)
    Performance
    (1280)
    Story
    (1296)

    "Mountain Man" Augustus Berry is a survivor in undead suburbia. He scavenges what he can from what's left over. He is very careful in what he does and where he goes, taking no chances, no unnecessary risks, and weighing every choice...until he decides to visit the hospital at the edge of town, and experiences terror the likes he's never encountered before.

    Yuvett says: "Not Your Usual Last Action Hero"
    "Will not be investing in this series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There was nothing good about the story. Not well written, no likable characters and basically a waste of time that I can't get back.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lady Chatterley's Lover

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By D. H. Lawrence
    • Narrated By Maxine Peake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (72)

    The story of the physical relationship between the aristocratic protagonist Constance Chatterley and gamekeeper Oliver Mellors - which occurs right under the nose of her wheelchair-bound husband, Clifford. In exploring the class system of the early 20th century, the novel also touches upon the declining coal mining industry, its effect on the workers, and the politics which surrounded it. Yet possibly the most important theme is the individual’s need for physical as well as intellectual satisfaction.

    Erez says: "Very good; not for the easily offended"
    "Uninspired"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Better narration. I am so uninspired by this narration that I just cannot continue. Have already purchased a different version.


    Has Lady Chatterley's Lover turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another one of Maxine Peake’s performances?

    Absolutely not.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Lady Chatterley's Lover?

    Can't answer, as I am so uninspired I simply cannot continue with it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of Life: All Souls, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4107)
    Performance
    (3778)
    Story
    (3771)

    After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness's enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew's ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches - with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency.

    Loren says: "too many loose threads in this weaving"
    "Simply MAGICAL!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book and this trilogy are among some of the best written, best researched and most compelling and developed that I have read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I fell in love with the characters from the beginning. This book reaches people on ALL levels, and especially has more to offer for those looking to go deeper than most Authors today actually permit.


    What does Jennifer Ikeda bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I love the varried nuances in Jennifer's readings. Her voice is alive and full of passion.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book was so compelling I lost a lot of sleep because I HAD to know what comes next.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the best books I have ever read!!!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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