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Patricia

ratings
228
REVIEWS
19
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
6
HELPFUL VOTES
125

  • Out of Africa

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Karen Blixen
    • Narrated By Julie Christie
    Overall
    (308)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (187)

    After the failure of her coffee farm, Karen Blixen returned to Denmark, where she wrote this classic account of her experiences. Out of Africa is a celebration of her life there and her friendship with the various peoples of the area. Her sympathetic response to the landscape and animals are drawn with warmth and unusual clarity.

    Mark says: "Transported there"
    "Tedious"
    Overall

    Having seen the film many years ago, I thought that the book would be a similar biographical recounting of Blixen's time in Africa. Rather, it is a series of vignettes about the animals and the native Africans that she knew, and nothing really of her personal life, her troubled marriage, her romance with Finch-Hatton etc. There is no beginning, middle or end - no plot or climax really. I found it tedious, though Julie Christie does a fair reading. Also, though I recognize that Blixen is a woman of her time, I found the colonialist, racist and patronizing tone unbearable. In the almost 2 years that I have been downloading and listening to audible.com books, this is the first one that I could not finish. Disappointing.

    20 of 38 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
    (528)
    Performance
    (464)
    Story
    (468)

    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"
    "Beware - author has an agenda"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not a journalistic account; it is an agenda-driven hatchet job. I'm sorry I gave Ms Fink my money.

    3 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition): An Oral History of the Zombie War

    • ABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Max Brooks
    • Narrated By Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, and others
    Overall
    (2683)
    Performance
    (2536)
    Story
    (2541)

    World War Z: The Complete Edition is a new recording of Max Brooks’ best-selling novel, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, featuring 21 additional Hollywood A-list actors and sci-fi fan favorites performing stories not included in the original edition. New narrators include Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, Spiderman star Alfred Molina, The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, rapper Common, Firefly star Nathan Fillion, Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg, and members of the casts of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes and more!

    Kim Venatries says: "A Good Story with an All Star Cast but ABRIDGED"
    "Very interesting and gripping, but beware!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're reading the book because you think it mirrors the film or vice versa, be aware that the main characters in the film don't even exist in the book. The film bears little resemblance to the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cold, Cold Ground

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1237)
    Performance
    (1066)
    Story
    (1062)

    Adrian McKinty was born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. He studied politics and philosophy at Oxford before moving to America in the early 1990s. Living first in Harlem, he found employment as a construction worker, barman, and bookstore clerk. In 2000 he moved to Denver to become a high school English teacher and it was there that he began writing fiction.

    Alan says: "What a stunning book"
    "Another outstanding mystery from Adrian McKinty"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    and another superb reading by Gerard Doyle.

    McKinty's Michael Forsythe series blew me away with its powerfully evocative and violent storylines, and his charismatic Irish hero. Here's the first installment of a new series that looks to be even better.

    The action takes place against the backdrop of terrorist bombings, reprisals and the Maze prison hunger strikes of 1981. Sergeant Sean Duffy, a Catholic detective in the Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, investigates a serial murder preying on homosexuals in Belfast, while negotiating the bewildering, dangerous politics of Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

    Sean is funny, smart, tough, surprising, and oh so complex.

    If you like your heroes bad, your villains badder, the action bruising, and the themes thought-provoking, McKinty and Doyle will keep you in their grip right to the astonishing finale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mary Boleyn

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Alison Weir
    • Narrated By Maggie Mash
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (49)

    Mary Boleyn was the mistress of two kings, Francois I of France and Henry VIII of England, and sister to Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife. In this astonishing and riveting biography, Alison Weir’s extensive research gives a new and detailed portrayal, in which she recounts that, contrary to popular belief, Mary was entirely undeserving of her posthumous notoriety as a great whore.

    Cariola says: "Weir Seems to Have Lost Her Touch"
    "Dull"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed Innocent Traitor and The Lady Elizabeth, both by Weir, very much, but this biography is simply boring. I think I lasted about four hours in to the narration before I deleted it from my iPod. I wish I could get my credit back!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Then Again

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Diane Keaton
    • Narrated By Diane Keaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (192)

    “Mom loved adages, quotes, slogans. There were always little reminders pasted on the kitchen wall. For example, the word THINK. I found THINK thumbtacked on a bulletin board in her darkroom. I saw it Scotch-taped on a pencil box she’d collaged. I even found a pamphlet titled THINK on her bedside table. Mom liked to THINK.” So begins Diane Keaton’s unforgettable memoir about her mother and herself. In it you will meet the woman known to tens of millions as Annie Hall, but you will also meet, and fall in love with, her mother, the loving, complicated, always thinking Dorothy Hall.

    ronald says: "Wonderful. Sad. Hopeful."
    "Wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Much more moving and engaging than I expected. Diane juxtaposes her own diary entries and reminiscences of a very interesting life as an actress alongside the journal entries of her mother, a California housewife, a normal, but in her own way, quite extraordinary woman.

    If you are a woman of around Keaton's age, who remembers growing up in the 60s and 70s, if you are a mother, or an adult child who is caring for elderly and dying parents, Keaton's words and experiences (and those of her mom) are warm, emotional, funny, resonant and affirming. At times, it is not an easy listen (Keaton is obviously moved to tears during some of it) but it is very rewarding.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Katherine: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Anya Seton
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (327)
    Performance
    (262)
    Story
    (262)

    Set in the vibrant 14th century of Chaucer and the Black Death, the classic romance Katherine features knights fighting in battle, serfs struggling in poverty, and the magnificent Plantagenets - Edward III, the Black Prince, and Richard II - who ruled despotically over a court rotten with intrigue. Within this era of danger and romance, John of Gaunt, the king's son, falls passionately in love with the already married Katherine.

    Patricia says: "Wonderful the 2nd time around, forty years later!"
    "Wonderful the 2nd time around, forty years later!"
    Overall

    "Katherine" was the first work of historical fiction that I ever read - when I was about 13 and I discovered it in my high school library. I absolutely adored it, and borrowed it so frequently that I don't think anyone else had a chance to read it! It was the beginning of a life long love affair with historical fiction, especially fiction set in the English royal courts and tinged with romance (though I'm not a " mass market historical romance" fan) .

    A few years ago, I found the same hard cover version from my old library in a used book store and bought it, rereading it many times. And the older I get (I'm now 52), the more I appreciate this wonderful story of a love that survives the years.

    So, I was delighted to find that "Katherine" is now available as an audio book. And it's terrific. Wanda does the story justice with a lovely reading. Immerse yourself in it, and be whisked back to 14th century England and a great story of politics, family, intrigue, and love. I know you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Alison Weir
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (282)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (138)

    Best-selling author Alison Weir turns her masterly storytelling skills to the early life of young Elizabeth Tudor, who would grow up to become England's most intriguing and powerful queen. Sweeping in scope, The Lady Elizabeth is a fascinating portrayal of a woman far ahead of her time - whose dangerous and dramatic path to the throne shapes her future greatness.

    Karen says: "hard to stop listening"
    "Excellent writing and narration"
    Overall

    Historical fiction, faithful to fact but also with some intriguing speculation in certain areas. Weir captures the voice of Elizabeth extremely well as she tells the story of the princess's life from the time of her mother Anne Boleyn's execution to the death of her sister Queen Mary, when Elizabeth finally comes to the throne. She brings the entire court, with all its intrigue and danger, to life, and makes Elizabeth real and vibrant. I found "The Lady Elizabeth" thoroughly entertaining. I didn't want it to end and I hope Alison Weir will pick up the story again and continue after Elizabeth's coronation.

    As for Rosalyn Landor, I have listened to other books read by her and she is simply a delightful, accomplished narrator. So much so, that I often search for books narrated by her, rather than authors or titles, and I'm always pleased with what I discover.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Glass of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Michael Cox
    • Narrated By Multiple Narrators
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Esperanza is no ordinary servant. She has been sent by her guardian, the mysterious Madame de l'Orme, to uncover the dark and dangerous secrets that her new mistress has sought to conceal, and to set right a past injustice in which Esperanza's own closest interests are bound up.

    Patricia says: "Not as good as "Meaning of Night'"
    "Not as good as "Meaning of Night'"
    Overall

    The author's first novel, the prequel to this one, is one of my favourite novels ever. This is an attempt to provide "bookends" if you will, to the first novel, and it didn't totally succeed for me.
    It feels rushed and thrown together in parts and could have used a thorough editing. But there is something about the female lead character that just didn't feel true to me - an example of a male author who can't truly inhabit his creation.
    I will read The Meaning of Night over and over in the future, but not The Glass of Time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Historian

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Kostova
    • Narrated By Joanne Whalley, Dennis Boutsikaris, Rosalyn Landor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2709)
    Performance
    (1063)
    Story
    (1074)

    Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

    Branden says: "Phenomenallly detailed..."
    "Gripping story"
    Overall

    I am not a part of the current pop fad for vampire novels so I'm not sure why I chose this book, but I'm very glad I did. It's certainly not pop, but rather a deeply thought out story with loving attention to historical detail.

    (Sidenote - I have an interest in art and architecture, so I found the descriptions of, for example, Byzantine and Romanesque architecture fascinating, but I don't think they are too esoteric either for the average reader.)

    The novel is a long, somewhat demanding, listen, but be patient. Let the story unfold and envelope you, which it does, due to two lovely performances by the male and female readers, and a gripping plot.

    The novel follows three historians, one in the 1930s, one in the 1950s, and one in the 1970s, all linked, who are pursuing Dracula and in turn are being pursued by him. The historians are very real people and their stories are emotionally involving, at times bringing me to tears.

    The transitions back and forth between the three different decades, and indeed back to medieval times, is very well done and I never felt lost or left behind by the writer.

    And of course, this being a vampire story, it should be plenty blood-curdling too, and it succeeds.

    My one quibble would be that the finale of the novel feels rushed to me, and the long-awaited confrontation between good and evil not quite as apocalyptic as I wanted.

    Also, I had formed an emotional attachment to the Turkish characters who form such an integral part of the middle of the novel, and they are not mentioned at all in the denouement.

    Overall though, a very enjoyable journey through time, from one fabulous locale to another, in the company of people I really came to care about. What more can we ask of a novelist?


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Martyr: An Elizabethan Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Rory Clements
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (221)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (165)

    The year is 1587. One of Queen Elizabeth's cousins is found murdered, her flesh marked with profane symbols. A plot to assassinate Sir Francis Drake, England's most famous sea warrior, is discovered. One man is charged with the desperate task of solving both cases: John Shakespeare.

    vanessa says: "Excellent Thriller/Mystery, Flawless Narration"
    "Great entertainment!"
    Overall

    My favourite reader on Audible, and he delivers a great story - a thriller set in Elizabethan England. The hero is the older brother of William Shakespeare (who makes a cameo appearance in the story). John Shakespeare is a spy for Secretary Walsingham, attempting to foil a plot to assassinate Sir Francis Drake on the eve of the Spanish Armada. Some wonderfully evil villains, a beautiful heroine, lots of action and intrigue and a touch of romance. I enjoyed every minute of this novel.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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