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alison

Dallas, TX, United States | Member Since 2009

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 59 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 35 purchased in 2014
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  • The Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7165)
    Performance
    (6238)
    Story
    (6219)

    Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever. Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she works at home designing sophisticated security systems.

    Amazon Customer says: "A great book"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I gave it to stars because at least I felt compelled to finish it. But overall it was a waste of my time. All the positive reviews set my expectations a bit higher. But this is the first audiobook I've ever listened to that went on and on and on only to tell a very mediocre story. This is my worst experience with Audible so far and I'm really surprised that the book got so many great reviews. To each his own, I guess.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Keeper

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2844)
    Performance
    (2439)
    Story
    (2451)

    England, 1959: Laurel Nicolson is 16 years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime.

    Maria says: "Kate Morton (and Caroline Lee) does it again!"
    "Twists and turns keep you guessing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this book to be a delightful surprise. It kept me guessing. I hate it when books are so predictable that you groan and the clumsy foreshadowing. This book gives you hints, but still leaves you wondering. I couldn't put it down. I listened while I drove and while I worked around the house. Wonderful company! I immediately bought another book by Ms. Morton, which I'm downloading now, and I also bought a copy of the hardcover book for my local public library. It is definitely a book to read and share. The narrator of this book is wonderful. Very easy to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Casual Vacancy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By J. K. Rowling
    • Narrated By Tom Hollander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2745)
    Performance
    (2409)
    Story
    (2424)

    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"
    "Darkly beautiful...but not for everyone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't want to read any reviews before reading this book. I wanted only to have my own impressions first. During the first third of the book, I wondered where Rowling was going with this story. But like a train, the book picked up speed as it went along. When I reached the end, I went back to the beginning and read it again--just in case I had missed something.

    This is certainly not a book for those who thought that HP Book 4 was too dark. This one is often dark, grim and gritty. Most of the characters are not really likeable--at least not at first. Then you get to know the back story...or you see a flash of tremendous courage in a person who seemed weak and useless. And slowly, you begin to see these people in a different light. It is as Sirius Black said, "The world isn't divided into good people and Deatheaters." (Or something like that.) The world Rowling created is complex and difficult and many people are not what they seem.

    We don't get to know Barry Fairweather very well in the first few pages of the book. He dies right at the beginning of the story. (This is not a spoiler--his death creates the "casual vacancy" in the book.) It is only after the fact that you really get to know this man--through his friendships with the people who survive him.

    There are not enough books which reveal real, 3 dimensional characters--people who come to life and remain like old friends in your head. Maybe for all your life. Rowling has incredible insight into teenage angst, marriage, addiction and love. The book is beautifully written. As you can see from the widely different reviews, it isn't for everyone. But I am among those who feel it is extraordinary.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4749)
    Performance
    (2158)
    Story
    (2166)

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Audiophile says: "An Epic Medical Novel"
    "Fascinating story - best book in a long time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a wonderful story full of twists and turns, wonderfully developed characters and a sense of the sacred in ordinary things. I loved this book! In fact, right after finishing it, I went right back to the beginning to listen to the first 1/3 of the book again. I wanted to hear it again knowing what I then knew.

    I was never bored with this book. The narrator is wonderful, his use of accents (which can be very tricky) was right on target. It really added to the story. This is an exceptional story told by someone who is obviously in the medical field. But instead of feeling like an outsider, the reader is drawn into that field and feels along with the surgeon. And that is just a tiny part of what makes this redemptive story so special. Great book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11353)
    Performance
    (9053)
    Story
    (9160)

    This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

    Joanna says: "Wow!"
    "Brilliant moments, drags too often"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What this book needs most is a wise editor. There are passages of truly brilliant writing. I like the weaving of the present with the past and, overall, the book held my interest, despite my impatience. It has the makings of a great fantasy. Some passages are like poetry.

    The problem seems to be that the author does not distinguish between insignificant details - like why it is so hard to find books in the University library - and more important ones. The library explanation could have taken 30 seconds and been completely satisfactory. Instead, it drones on for about 10 minutes leaving you no more interested or enlightened than you were after the first 30 seconds. The story of the dragon-like creature goes on for hours when 30 or 40 minutes would have been more than adequate. The ending is weird. A relatively minor character shows himself to be different from what you thought. This does pique the interest a little, but also seemed a bit odd.

    Kvothe is an interesting character, though his insistence on making one bad decision after another is a bit hard to take. When you see a character do something foolish, you expect him to learn from it somehow. Instead, he generally compounds those errors and goes on making new, yet very similar ones. When he has to make a decision, you can pretty much count on it being the obviously wrong one. The story with Dena is also tiresome in the as other readers have noted. It just keeps going round and round.

    On the upside, despite my reservations, I'm seriously considering buying the second book. So there is something in this series and I'm curious to see how it ends up. I just wish an editor had taken a big chunk of rambling passages out or streamlined them. So I'm undecided about taking the plunge again.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Graveyard Book

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6312)
    Performance
    (3097)
    Story
    (3113)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Gaiman’s not just an award-winning author, but a narrator who earns rave reviews – and fields requests from other authors to perform their books, too! Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead....

    Guillermo says: "Masterful Fantasy for the Jaded Heart"
    "What a lovely surprise!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been an adult for many years now, but there are some children's books I still like (Narnia, Harry Potter, Despereaux, etc.) There are many others that don't move me at all. This was a wonderful surprise as I had never heard of it before. I cared deeply about the many diverse characters--the living, the dead and those who were neither. (I'm in love with Silas!) It is a classic, in the sense that it tells a tale of good and evil, of life and death and of love, friendship and loyalty. It is also a page turner, (if you can say that about a book in audio form.) I sometimes listen or read until I fall asleep, but this book kept me awake to find out what happened next! Highly recommend this tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Barbara Demick
    • Narrated By Karen White
    Overall
    (1560)
    Performance
    (973)
    Story
    (978)

    Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years - a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung and the unchallenged rise to power of his son, Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population. Taking us into a landscape never before seen, Demick brings to life what it means to be an average Korean citizen, living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today.

    Gohar says: "The man who wants to be GOD"
    "Fascinating book on N. Korea--Couldn't put it down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an amazing book. We know so little about N. Korea. It is the most isolated, repressive country in the world. They have no access to phones to call outside of the country, the radios and TVs are fixed on the government approved stations. I learned more about the country than I had ever known before. Unlike many non-fiction books, this one was so compelling it was hard to put down.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hiding Place

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Corrie ten Boom
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (384)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (227)

    Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker who became a heroine of the Resistance, a survivor of Hitler's concentration camps, and one of the most remarkable evangelists of the 20h century. In World War II she and her family risked their lives to help Jews and underground workers escape from the Nazi's, and for their work they were tested in the infamous Nazi death camps. Only Corrie among her whole family survived to tell the story of how faith ultimately triumphs over evil.

    AAW says: "Amazing Courage"
    "Reread and enjoyed after many years"
    Overall

    I read this book when I was very young. Reread it recently (thanks to an Audiobook sale!) and found it very well-written and compelling. I was recently in the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C, and Corrie Ten Boom's name was on a list (along with a large number of Dutch people) of those who made great sacrifices to help the Jews. It is a wonderful story and a reminder of what a small group of dedicated people can do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bossypants

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tina Fey
    • Narrated By Tina Fey
    Overall
    (17119)
    Performance
    (13017)
    Story
    (12957)

    Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....

    Warren says: "Tina Fey broke my new SUV"
    "Not as funny as I expected"
    Overall

    I love Tina Fey's work on SNL. I really expected to love this book. Many of the reviewers talked about laughing out loud. That rarely happened to me while reading this. The book is sometimes funny and I enjoyed some of the background stories. But I found the author somewhat self-absorbed. I don't know what I was expecting, but I came away from this book liking Tina Fey a little bit less.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What Is the What

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (798)
    Performance
    (345)
    Story
    (346)

    Valentino's travels, truly Biblical in scope, bring him in contact with government soldiers, janjaweed-like militias, liberation rebels, hyenas and lions, disease and starvation, and a string of unexpected romances. Ultimately, Valentino finds safety in Kenya and, just after the millennium, is finally resettled in the United States, from where this novel is narrated.

    Susan says: "A Story Aching to be Told"
    "What a story! What a storyteller!"
    Overall

    I feel as if I've been under a rock as this was the first book I'd read by Dave Eggers. I love the way he weaves this story. It is long, but I was never bored. It is an amazing story which reflects the real life stories of so many refugees. In addition to its literary merits, the book is also very informative. I learned so much about Sudan that I had never heard before. We've all heard of Darfur, but the story of Sudan is much broader and more complicated than the horrors of that one region. The narration is WONDERFUL. Kudos to Eggers and Graham for this great audio book. Highly recommended.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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