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Jami E. Nettles

Columbus, MS USA | Member Since 2002

ratings
153
REVIEWS
63
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
29
HELPFUL VOTES
343

  • The Man from Beijing

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (571)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (172)

    January 2006. In the Swedish hamlet of Hesjvallen, nineteen people have been massacred. The only clue is a red ribbon found at the scene. Judge Birgitta Roslin has particular reason to be shocked: Her grandparents, the Andrns, are among the victims, and Birgitta soon learns that an Andrn family in Nevada has also been murdered. She then discovers the 19th-century diary of an Andrn ancestora gang master on the American transcontinental railwaythat describes brutal treatment of Chinese slave workers.

    Terry R. Mabry says: "The Man From Beijing is a keeper"
    "Not his best"
    Overall

    Despite the detailed history of the families involved in this story, there were still big chunks missing that made it difficult to follow the story or care about the people. It could all be pieced together in the end, but characters frequently did things that made NO sense at all. The deep understanding of the people involved and the way the community shapes their lives comes out in the other books, and I just got none of that in this one.

    I love Mankell's earlier books, but this is missing much of the charm.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Missing You

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By January LaVoy
    Overall
    (1389)
    Performance
    (1227)
    Story
    (1229)

    Number-one New York Times best-selling author Harlan Coben set huge sales records with last year’s Six Years - and he’s poised to do it again in his next breathtaking stand-alone thriller. Harlan Coben, author of six consecutive instant number-one New York Times best sellers and a total of 24 award-winning, best-selling, and internationally acclaimed novels, returns with another ripped-from-real-life thriller full of impossibly high emotional stakes and the real-to-life characters for which he has become famous.

    Susan says: "I Ain't Missing You"
    "Trying too hard to be relevant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a very weirdly paced book - with the thriller aspect taking a back seat to the personal life of the main character. And this life loops around in weird ways with just too many gimmicky characters. I won't give away anything, but the characters Aqua and Sugar seemed shoe horned in while tracking down the bad guys just kind of happened. The secondary mysteries - what happened to the fiance, who killed the dad and why - took away energy from the "will the victims be saved" pulse and space from developing those characters. It made me wonder if some of the plot elements were an effort to include current themes and seem relevant.

    I just can't recommend it. It did have interesting moments but it wasn't satisfying.

    15 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jennifer Egan
    • Narrated By Roxana Ortega
    Overall
    (1212)
    Performance
    (802)
    Story
    (807)

    Jennifer Egan brings her unique gifts as a novelist and short story writer to a compulsively listenable narrative that centers on Bennie Salazar, an aging punk rocker and record executive, and the beautiful Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs.

    Laurene says: "Excellent, subtle, moving"
    "Thoughtful book, well done audio"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The 13 intertwining characters grow old as we reflect on their lives. Depressing and uplifting as some people get what they deserve and others don't, but interesting and thought provoking. I like the music themes as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Taken in Death: In Death, Book 37.5

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    Overall
    (1055)
    Performance
    (940)
    Story
    (951)

    Two young children disappear from their East Side home in New York City, their nanny killed in cold blood. As Lieutenant Eve Dallas begins to unravel the crime scene and search for Henry and Gala MacDermit, she's drawn into the twisted mind of a kidnapper who will stop at nothing to take revenge. Horrific threats concerning the brother and sister hit far too close to home for Eve, drawing her back into memories of her own tortured childhood.

    Denice says: "Taken In Death"
    "Wow... that was awful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If I had paid more than $1.99 or had to listen much longer, I would be upset. It did keep my ears occupied during a 3 hour run, but I should have listened to my self breathe. The characters are just stupid - there were so many obvious plot holes and character inconsistencies that I couldn't engage with the story.

    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
    (7344)
    Performance
    (6731)
    Story
    (6737)

    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"
    "Lovely story, bombshell pacing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow....I absolutely loved this book. Everything about it was wonderful - the flawed but redeemable Theo and the cast of people in his life - from the honorable to the horrible. The pacing of the story, however, kept me hanging on every chapter. The lulls then the quiet bombshells were so well done that I just sat stunned several times.

    I generally hate when people review by comparison, but this reminded me of Pat Conroy and John LeCarre combined - the lovely writing and characters of Conroy, the intrigue and twists of LeCarre. If you like either author, buy this book.

    I highly recommend this book. I plan on buying and giving several copies as gifts.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Maria Semple
    • Narrated By Kathleen Wilhoite
    Overall
    (2263)
    Performance
    (2027)
    Story
    (2026)

    Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

    Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle - and people in general - has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands.

    S says: "One of my top 10 listens of the year!"
    "Charming story - just right realism"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. It is quirky, with a great mix of over the top and realism. It is so well written that characters' actions seem explicable while not always anticipatable.

    It is, at its heart, the story of a woman who struggles with her place in the world as a mother, a wife, a "genius", and a member of a community. Her story is set in a charming narrative that is almost comical but always feels real and fresh.

    I usually love dark and complex books so I don't know why I picked this - maybe it reminded me of Nick Hornby a little - but I'm very glad I did.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Michael Farris Smith
    • Narrated By Michael Farris Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    It had been raining for weeks. Maybe months. He had forgotten the last day that it hadn't rained, when the storms gave way to the pale blue of the Gulf sky, when the birds flew and the clouds were white and sunshine glistened across the drenched land. Following years of catastrophic hurricanes, the Gulf Coast - stretching from the Florida panhandle to the western Louisiana border - has been brought to its knees. The region is so punished and depleted that the government has drawn a new boundary ninety miles north of the coastline.

    Jami E. Nettles says: "Post apocalypse without the brutality"
    "Post apocalypse without the brutality"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If I say this was a sweet post apocalyptic novel it will sound crazy, but this is a story of a man coming to terms with harsh realities where he has a choice - join civil society or remain in both an idealized past and brutal future. I loved the author's gentle, unpolished voice and simple style. This is a little bit adventure, mystery and love story - hard to classify but moving and compelling. I highly recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Infatuations

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Javier Marías, Margaret Jull Costa (translator)
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    At the Madrid café where she stops for breakfast each day before work, María Dolz finds herself drawn to a couple who is also there every morning. Though she can hardly explain it, observing what she imagines to be their "unblemished" life lifts her out of the doldrums of her own existence. But what begins as mere observation turns into an increasingly complicated entanglement when the man is fatally stabbed in the street. María approaches the widow to offer her condolences, and at the couple’s home she meets - and falls in love with - another man who sheds disturbing new light on the crime.

    stl1111 says: "Skip this one!"
    "Narration makes the book impossible to listen to"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't remember ever being so put off by a narrator, unless it was something technical such as a ridiculous fake accent or slow pace. This narrator simpers and whines her way through various characters in a way that totally trivializes the book. The themes of this book should provoke thought and reflection, but instead I just wanted the main characters to grow up - I couldn't imagine them feeling any emotion other than self-pity. What a shame.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Night Film: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Jake Weber
    Overall
    (1110)
    Performance
    (985)
    Story
    (1003)

    On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive, cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova - a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

    linda says: "Eerie, Relentless, Riveting"
    "Eerie and gripping"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book - it captured my attention from the first, was far out and spooky without being stupid, and while not fine literature, was a cut above the average thriller. I love long books but expect some slow points, but this really was paced well. I can really recommend this to fans of many genres.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Michael Moss
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (993)
    Performance
    (872)
    Story
    (868)

    Every year, the average American eats 33 pounds of cheese (triple what we ate in 1970) and 70 pounds of sugar (about 22 teaspoons a day). We ingest 8,500 milligrams of salt a day, double the recommended amount, and almost none of that comes from the shakers on our table. It comes from processed food. It’s no wonder, then, that one in three adults, and one in five kids, is clinically obese.

    Michael says: "This is all too real, and YOU are the victim."
    "Just a little over the top"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a very worthwhile book; I would give it 4.5 stars if I could. My only complaint is the lack of balance on some of the issues, exacerbated by the incredulous-sounding narrator. I know it was not, nor supposed to be unbiased science, but there was a tinge of exaggeration in both style and substance that, as a scientist, made me uneasy.

    That being said, this deserves to be read by everyone who buys processed food. It helps to distinguish between what should be occasional, non-nutritious treats and those foods that are so artificial that they are hardly food. I often hear "everything in moderation" as an excuse to eat lots of processed foods - what is the harm in some Cheese Whiz now and then or a soda every day? - and this really puts these foods in an appropriate context for a healthy diet.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Hallgrimur Helgason
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (70)

    With some 66 hits under his belt, Tomislav Bokšic, or Toxic, has a flawless record as hitman for the Croatian mafia in New York. That is, until he kills the wrong guy and is forced to flee the States, leaving behind the life he knows and loves. Suddenly, he finds himself on a plane hurtling toward Reykjavik disguised as American televangelist Father Friendly. With no means of escape from this island devoid of gun shops, this country with absolutely no tradition for contract killing, he is forced to come to terms with his bloody past and reevaluate his future, to tragicomic effect.

    Jason says: "Funny moments but mostly a snore"
    "An un-redemption story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow, that was not at all like I though it would be. Funny moments, but written in a story with a main character that is both an over the top caricature and a brutally real a**hole. I found the main character's accent very distracting - so heavy that it drags - and this could have interfered with my ability to bond with him. The other characters had excellent narration, and some of these people could have been very interesting and funny, but there were so many missed opportunities to give them more depth.

    In the end, this was the story of the almost redemption of a hitman. Like the main character, the story just falls short in the end. The hitman is deep but unlikeable, the likeable characters shallow. It's too harsh to be light, and too funny to be bleak.

    I've thought about the book since I finished it, talked about it with several other people, it was well written, not at all a throw away mystery or a nordic copycat. I just didn't enjoy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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