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Grand Marais, MN, United States | Member Since 2015

  • 2 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 128 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015

  • This Is How You Lose Her

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Junot Díaz
    • Narrated By Junot Díaz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The stories in This Is How You Lose Her, by turns hilarious and devastating, raucous and tender, lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts. They capture the heat of new passion, the recklessness with which we betray what we most treasure, and the torture we go through - "the begging, the crawling over glass, the crying" - to try to mend what we've broken beyond repair. They recall the echoes that intimacy leaves behind, even where we thought we did not care.

    Roy Reiss says: "For narration leave the prose for the pros"
    "Yes, he lost her. So deservedly."

    Let's begin with the fact that Junot Diaz is an excellent writer and for his own work, he's a pretty listenable reader also. Wouldn't want to hear him read Lord of the Rings, but for this type of story and dialect he nails it.

    But honestly, not everyone is going to want to listen to this. The main male characters of the book are so profoundly disrespectful to females and so assinine in their behavior towards women that after awhile it gets hard to take. Women defined as p***y, defined by their sexual attributes -- over and over and over-- well, it stops mattering that it is well-written after awhile. It probably works for many readers, but personally I lose interest in "sexual escapades as great literature" fairly fast. I felt a little pity for the main character, but mostly I just despised him.

    I listened to the end because 1.) I wondered if there would be some great redeeming moment (not so much) and 2.) There are many short stories and some are more engaging than others. But forewarning,much of this may be offensive to many women listeners. It's not for everyone.

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Learning to Swim

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Sara J. Henry
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When she witnesses a small child tumbling from a ferry into Lake Champlain, Troy Chance dives in without thinking. Harrowing moments later, she bobs to the surface, pulling a terrified little boy with her. As the ferry disappears into the distance, she begins a bone-chilling swim nearly a mile to shore towing a tiny passenger. Surprisingly, he speaks only French. He'll acknowledge that his name is Paul; otherwise, he's resolutely mute.

    Howard says: "A Worthwhile Suspense/Mystery"
    "Great beginning and then....nothing."

    Sara Henry had a great idea, with a memorable opening line. But she didn't have any additional good ideas after that, and the ideas she did have strain credulity way beyond an author's creative prerogative to make a story flow. If at every turn of the plot the reader thinks, "Pfffft, no one would ever make that choice, no one would ever do that, no one would ever react that way," then it's not well-plotted. It's a non-story, with minimal action, and a somewhat "out of nowhere" culprit at the end. More needed to happen to make this a decent story. Many attempts at character development in this book seem more like building a word count than crafting a memorable protagonist.

    As a first time author, she probably is a pretty good writer, and I did listen all the way to the end, rather than give up on it. I wanted to know the outcome, even if I had to listen to the retelling of so much mundane activity.

    Suzanne Toren gives a good performance, but her voice seemed to me to be a little too old and experienced to be right for this character.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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