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Diane E. Sidener

Philadelphia, PA United States | Member Since 2010

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 46 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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  • Four Fires

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (1053)
    Performance
    (718)
    Story
    (710)

    The four fires in this story are passion, religion, warfare, and fire itself. While there are many more fires that drive the human spirit, love being perhaps the brightest flame of all, it is these four that have moulded us most as Australian people. The four fires give us our sense of place and, for better or for worse, shape our national character.

    Robert says: "Hit in the solar plexus"
    "Another compelling family from Bryce Courtenay"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another good Bryce Courtenay story, Four Fires is nonetheless a difficult story to listen to, especially the lengthy recapitulation of the horrors of his Borneo POW experiences as recounted by the protagonist's father. The tale's strength lies, however, in the complex, somewhat dysfunctional, but still powerful family relationships. Definitely a worthwhile read, which I found enriched by Humphrey Bower's performance and vocal characterizations (although he may be improving in this regard, I object to his accents for white Americans--nearly as bad as most BBC actors').

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mary, Called Magdalene

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Margaret George
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (35)

    Was Mary Magdalene a prostitute, a female divinity figure, a church leader, or all of those? Biblical references to her are tantalizingly brief, but we do know that she was the first person to whom the risen Christ appeared - and the one commissioned to tell others the good news, earning her the ancient honorific "Apostle to the Apostles". Today, Mary continues to spark controversy, curiosity, and veneration. In a vivid re-creation of Mary Magdalene's life story, Margaret George convincingly captures this renowned woman's voice.

    Diane E. Sidener says: "A well told story of a female disciple of Jesus"
    "A well told story of a female disciple of Jesus"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Considering how very little is known about Mary Magdalene, this is a masterful imagining of her story. It brings to life what it must have been like to be one of Jesus' disciples, and their struggles to understand Him, their fear at His arrest, and their desolation at His death. The one part I could have done without was the too-lengthy post-resurrection story of her attempts to find her daughter, and their many mis-communications: it was long and somewhat tedious. I understand its necessity in the story but just didn't find it compelling.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Chinese Chef

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Nicole Mones
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers, James Chen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (481)
    Performance
    (332)
    Story
    (336)

    When recently widowed Maggie McElroy is called to China to settle a claim against her late husbands estate, she is blindsided by the discovery that he may have led a double life. Since work is all that will keep her sane, her magazine editor assigns her to profile Sam, a half-Chinese American who is the last in a line of gifted chefs tracing back to the imperial palace. As she watches Sam gear up for Chinas Olympic culinary competition by planning the banquet of a lifetime, she begins to see past the cuisines artistry to glimpse its coherent expression of Chinese civilization.

    Dr. says: "Totally Satisfying - highly recommended"
    "It wasn't enough to listen to it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lovely book: very evocative. Made me realize how impoverished most American eating habits are--plus it should have come with samples!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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