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Carla

Member Since 2017

101
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 213 ratings
  • 678 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2018
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  • The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Ian Frazier
    • Narrated By Cynthia Nixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    Based on his widely read columns for The New Yorker, Ian Frazier’s uproarious first novel, The Cursing Mommy’s Book of Days, centers on a profoundly memorable character, sprung from an impressively fertile imagination. Structured as a daybook of sorts, with the Cursing Mommy - beleaguered wife of Larry and mother of two boys, twelve and nine - trying (more or less) valiantly to offer tips on how to do various tasks around the home, only to end up on the ground, cursing, surrounded by broken glass.

    Kindle Customer says: "Laughed 'till I cried."
    "Not to be listened to in one sitting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The wrong narrator could really sink this one - Cynthia Nixon makes her lovable and not whiny or scary. Like any comedic piece, especially one originally written in installments, it should be listened to as it was meant: one episode at a time. Otherwise it gets pretty wearing and predictable. Taken in small doses, the inevitable format is part of the fun.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Complete Stories of Evelyn Waugh

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Evelyn Waugh
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (25)

    A book of brilliant entertainments: 39 stories spanning the entire career of a great modern writer and an undisputed comic genius, "a satirist whose skill at sticking pens in people rates him a roomy cell in the murderers' row (Swift, Poe, Wilde, Shaw) of English letters" ( Time).

    Stephan says: "Chips from the Master's Bench"
    "Evelyn Waugh sampler, just short stories-"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Very confusing, frustrating to listen to. I kept thinking I'd missed something until I read the other reviews. "Complete Stories" a very misleading title. Waugh is my favorite author. Favorite book: Decline and Fall.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jennifer Wright
    • Narrated By Hillary Huber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (235)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (220)

    Spanning eras and cultures from ancient Rome to medieval England to 1950s Hollywood, Jennifer Wright's It Ended Badly guides you through the worst of the worst in historically bad breakups. In the throes of heartbreak, Emperor Nero had just about everyone he ever loved - from his old tutor to most of his friends - put to death. Oscar Wilde's lover, whom he went to jail for, abandoned him when faced with being cut off financially from his wealthy family.

    Margaret says: "Terrific Fun"
    "My Absolutely Favorite Book in Every Way!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I heartily disagree with this book's bad reviews.
    The narrator's voice was quirky but "totally" right for the tone of the book. History served up for fun and consolation with a delicious mix of ancient fact and current idiom to drive home the fact that love hasn't changed much over the years and the rich and famous have always made good copy.

    It just goes to show--bad reviews may be robbing you of something uniquely wonderful to your particular sensibilities. Ever loaned a a book you just loved to a friend and they couldn't get through the first chapter? Okay then.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • It's Like Karaoke and Other Titty Bar Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Faith Streng
    • Narrated By Kendall Taylor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Get a peek behind the curtain of perfume and into the real world of a strip club dive bar. The days are slow, and everyone wants to chat. From stripper problems to swingers' parties to blood wrestling and correct thong sizes, at The Club there's never a dull moment. The characters are real, and the true stories are stranger than fiction. Grab a beer, and settle down for the humorous and shocking tales of a strip club bartender.

    Carla says: "Strictly Titillation"
    "Strictly Titillation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hoping for something with humorous insight like "True Porn Stories" by Ali Davis. I should have paid more attention to the "People who bought this also bought" panel with "Rett" Mason and his insatiable appetite or "Dray" with his broken heart and extreme fighting skills. This is just sexy girls talking dirty while the narrator wipes the bar and tugs on her bra straps. It was in the humor/memoir section--that is my only defense.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Sleeper

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Emily Barr
    • Narrated By Imogen Church
    Overall
    (2791)
    Performance
    (2574)
    Story
    (2572)

    A tense, gripping psychological thriller, with Hitchcockian overtones, perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, Sophie Hannah and Rosamund Lupton. Lara Finch is living a lie. Everyone thinks she has a happy life in Cornwall, married to the devoted Sam, but in fact she is desperately bored. When she is offered a new job that involves commuting to London by sleeper train, she meets Guy and starts an illicit affair. But then Lara vanishes from the night train without a trace.

    MM says: "Don't waste a credit"
    "Engrossing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Who would think a novel about a plague-ridden village would be so engrossing! Emily Barr is a wonderful storyteller, narrator---not so much.
    The weary monotone was a reasonable interpretation for the main character but when it came to the big fight between her father and a wrathful neighbor I kept thinking how much better it would have been if the reader had delivered the lines with some gusto.
    Toward the end her vocal tone sounded so tired it was almost a yodel.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • A Confederacy of Dunces

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By John Kennedy Toole
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4759)
    Performance
    (3547)
    Story
    (3555)

    The hero of John Kennedy Toole's incomparable, Pulitzer Prize-winning comic classic is one Ignatius J. Reilly, "huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter". His story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of New Orleans' lower depths, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures.

    Jon says: "Well Done"
    "Listen to the Arte Johnson version!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator is an Abomination!

    I heartily agree with Jennifer's 2012 review: "Cringeworthy Narration, Brilliant Story"

    This celebrated comic masterpiece should be narrated by someone who can do justice to all the ethnic and cultural voices John Kennedy Toole has rendered with such elegance and teasing affection.

    Barrett Whitener sounds like a math teacher from the midwest with no clear understanding of accent or cultural inflection.

    In Arte Johnsons' version the sailor-suited Timmy is sassy and fun. In Whitener's version he sounds like he has a severe cleft pallet. Mr. and Mrs. Levy, Johnsons's hilariously bickering Jewish couple just sound grim in Whitener's vaguely southern interpretation.

    I don't understand all the accolades Whitener received from other Audible listeners.

    I highly recommend the Arte Johnson version, a perfect marriage of book and narrator. I only wish it were unabridged. You have to search for it online which is a real shame as it is by far the better version.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • True Porn Clerk Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Ali Davis
    • Narrated By Ali Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (562)
    Performance
    (523)
    Story
    (521)

    Queue up these hilarious real-life stories from the video clerking trenches. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll wash your hands. No rewinding required!

    RMB says: "Sad has never been so hilarious"
    "Very funny and pretty compassionate actually"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not for conservatives, tea partiers. May have been too close to home for some reviewers... I thought it was absolutely wonderful and spot on as former video clerk myself back in the '80s when porn videos were mainstream for one brief shining moment. As in most humor, it's better not to read it all at one go. I hope there will be more from her in future.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Burton: A Biography of Sir Richard Frances Burton

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Byron Farwell
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (54)

    Explorer and inventor, soldier and poet, archaeologist and diplomat, Richard Francis Burton (1821-90) was the most versatile and remarkable man of his age. But he was foremost an adventurer: "an adventurer in the intellectual and the spiritual as well as the physical world". The pioneering traveler in Central Africa who was the first European to see Lake Tanganyika was also the translator of The Arabian Nights and the secret translator of Eastern sex manuals like The Perfumed Garden.

    A book reader says: "A balanced view of Burton"
    "Not sure about Byron"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The trouble with an audiobook is you can't look in the back and see what the documentation was on, say, the ugly nun who was spirited away from a convent by mistake. It sounds like some rowdy bar story to me. He clearly lived a larger life than most of us but I lost my confidence in Byron's perspective, especially after the blithe remark at the start of the book about women not having the mental capacity to be explorers.

    2 of 4 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
    (126)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (111)

    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."
    "Is this billable?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listening to this audiobook felt way too much like work. Maybe, as was suggested in another review, it was better as an actual book where your eyes could skim over all the lists and cc addressees. Although the plot was kind of a tedious after awhile, the writing itself was snappy and smart--I may have another run at it later.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Complete Short Stories, Volume One

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By W. Somerset Maugham
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (84)

    There have been few masters of the short story as popular as W. S. Maugham. His dry wit, worldweary loftiness, pungent cynicism, and penetrating powers of observation have contributed to the creation of some of the greatest short stories ever written.

    J. J. Kuzma says: "A masterful production of Maugham's short stories."
    "King of the short story, narrator can't do women"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Somerset Maugham is by far my favorite story teller. His stories are masterpieces of constuction--it's no wonder so many were successfully made and remade as plays and movies. He traveled the world at the height of the British Empire, when it was still mysterious and each country had a distinct atmosphere not yet overrun with tourists and Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises. His longer books tend to get bogged down in philosophy but the short stories I can read again and again.
    My only complaint is the narrator. He was fine with male voices but when he is speaking for women he sounds like a schoolyard bully mimicking the new girl -- the same exagerated nasally whine for all the women characters, from glamourous femme fatales to cackling old crones. But if you can tune that out I recommend it highly.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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