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Gail

MISSION VIEJO, CA, United States | Member Since 2004

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 70 ratings
  • 1700 titles in library
  • 86 purchased in 2014
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  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Jonathan Aris, Paula Wilcox
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1485)
    Performance
    (712)
    Story
    (713)

    In 1799, the artificial island of Dejima lies in Nagasaki Harbor as Japan’s outpost for the Dutch East Indies Company. There, Jacob de Zoet has come to make a fortune large enough to return to Holland and marry the woman he loves.

    Darwin8u says: "A NEAR Perfect Novel."
    "History, atmosphere and love"
    Overall

    This is a great novel that delves into the Japan of 1799. If you love a story with history and a peek into the Japanese and Dutch culture of that time period, you will enjoy this novel. The only thing that was a little odd was that the narrator would portray a Japanese character with English Cockney accents.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16808)
    Performance
    (13242)
    Story
    (13317)

    As opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others, a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords.

    Troy says: "Chapter and part breaks are incorrect"
    "Love the story, but hate the narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read the first two books of this series and I have seen the TV portrayal. Then I wanted to switch to an audio version while I walked each morning. I really tried to get through the book because I know the novel is great. But the narrator just turned me off completely. He is very, very good with the various forms of English accents, but his raspy voice of an older man just doesn't convey properly the other characters of a woman, young man or boy. That is when I decided that it would be best to continue to just read the books and let my own imagination be the voices of the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bloodline: A Sigma Force Novel, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By James Rollins
    • Narrated By Peter Jay Fernandez
    Overall
    (526)
    Performance
    (455)
    Story
    (470)

    Galilee, 1025. A cunning Templar knight uncovers a holy treasure: the Bachal Isu - the staff of Jesus Christ - a priceless icon that holds a mysterious and terrifying power that will forever change humanity if unleashed. A millennium later, Somali pirates hijack a yacht off the coast off the Horn of Africa, kidnapping a young pregnant American woman and brutally killing her husband. Painter Crowe and his SIGMA team are enlisted for the top secret rescue mission. The kidnappee is the daughter of the U.S. President.

    Amazon Customer says: "Another Sigma Win!"
    "Exciting story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Bloodline the most enjoyable?

    Excitement and bravery by both men and women. It was not just one dimensional. I really liked the characters. It may be farfetched in some places, but it doesn't matter. It was still a great thrill ride.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Everything Is Illuminated

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jonathan Safran Foer
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman, Scott Shina
    Overall
    (681)
    Performance
    (303)
    Story
    (302)

    Jonathan is a Jewish college student searching Europe for the one person he believes can explain his roots. Alex, a lover of all things American and unsurpassed butcher of the English language, is his lovable Ukrainian guide. On their quixotic quest, the two young men look for Augustine, a woman who might have saved Jonathan's grandfather from the Nazis. As past and present merge, hysterically funny moments collide with great tragedy, and an unforgettable story of one family's extraordinary history unfolds.

    J. Kovler says: "What a brilliantly original work!"
    "Pretentious"
    Overall

    I tried listening for a couple of hours, but I just could not empathize with the concierge. She was as pretentious as the upper class patrons of the apartment building that she disdains so much. The girl? So naive, yet she believes she is worldly. Since I could not get into the characters, I could not enjoy continuing to listen to the book. Periodically I would go back to the book to see if it gets better. So far it has not.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Room: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Emma Donoghue
    • Narrated By Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Robert Petkoff, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4623)
    Performance
    (2092)
    Story
    (2080)

    To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, but what she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

    Kathleen says: "A truly memorable read"
    "Wonderful!"
    Overall

    At first I was distracted by the childish narration and struggled for the first few minutes. But after awhile I got it and relished the different perspective of a child whose entire world is living in a garden shed. There is so much to rave about. So heartfelt to see the world from the eyes of a child who has experienced the worst and best from humanity.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Black Cross

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (927)
    Performance
    (593)
    Story
    (591)

    It is January 1944 - and as Allied troops prepare for D day, Nazi scientists develop a toxic nerve gas that will repel and wipe out any invasion force. To salvage the planned assault, two vastly different but equally determined men are sent to infiltrate the secret concentration camp where the poison gas is being perfected on human subjects. Their only objective: destroy all traces of the gas and the men who created it - no matter how many lives may be lost...including their own.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "They Might Be Scum, But they were German Scum"
    "Exciting"
    Overall

    I usually listen to books while I'm doing other things such as cleaning house or running errands. So at times I can be distracted and miss a portion of a book. This was a book that held my attention and was so exciting. Very good and well worth credits or money spent. I am now a big fan of Greg Iles and I'm going to look for other books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Prisoner of Birth

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated By Roger Allam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2481)
    Performance
    (509)
    Story
    (518)

    One evening, Danny, an East End cockney who works as a garage mechanic, takes his girlfriend up to the West End to celebrate their engagement. He crosses the path of Spencer Craig, a West End barrister tipped to be the youngest Queen's Counsel of his generation. A few hours later Danny is arrested for murder and later is sentenced to 22 years in prison.

    Debbie McKelvey says: "Very Entertaining"
    "Loved it!"
    Overall

    I've listened to it twice, I've enjoyed it so much. The storyline might be familiar, reminiscent of a classic, but it has been updated

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Elegance of the Hedgehog

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Muriel Barbery
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat, Cassandra Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2144)
    Performance
    (1117)
    Story
    (1138)

    An enchanting New York Times and international best seller and award-winner about life, art, literature, philosophy, culture, class, privilege, and power, seen through the eyes of a 54-year-old French concierge and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl.

    Pyles says: "It surprised me"
    "Tiringly obnoxious"
    Overall

    I really wanted to like the girl and the concierge because of their intelligence. But I couldn't relate to them because of the disdain they had for the bourgeois and others who weren't as intelligent and aware as they were. Yes, I understand this is supposed to be a satire but I really had a hard time understanding the need to hide intelligence. I thought there would be some development or awareness, so I hung in there. But after 2 hours, I gave up. I have no use for characters who have no real compassion for others despite their faults. Hello, people! Humans are not perfect but should be admired for some positive aspect of their character.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dirty Blonde

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Lisa Scottoline
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (370)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (61)

    Cate Fante is strong and smart, but when she gets appointed a federal judge, even she wonders if she can do the job justice. She's in her 30s, and she feels like she's joining the world's most exclusive retirement village. But Cate keeps her doubts a secret. And, as it happens, much else. For she leads a dark, double life that she hides from everyone.

    Babs says: "Blonde of little brain"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall

    I'm a fan of many of Ms. Scottoline's books, both audio and written. I just could not empathize with the main character, wondering how in the earth she got to her profession by being morally weak, scatterbrained, high strung, then strong in other situations. I was thinking that I may not have listened long enough to "get it". So I kept with it, but when I was 3/4 through Part 1, I just stopped listening. I decided that if I wasn't caught up and rooting for the character by that time, I may wind up spending a few hours listening to the whole book and be disappointed. I'm too busy for that and part of the reason why I started listening to audio books. Sorry, but maybe another one of her books may rise to the occasion. I'm still too big of a fan to give up on Ms. Scottoline.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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