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Marilee

Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA | Member Since 2002

63
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 184 ratings
  • 268 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • The Black Tulip

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By John Bolen
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (7)

    The tulip craze of 17th century Holland has a dark side! Cornelius van Baerle, a wealthy but naive tulip grower, finds himself entangled in the deadly politics of his time, and he must decide where his true love lies.

    Ron says: "terrible narration"
    "A major disappointment"
    Overall

    I loved the idea of the book, but the execution of this audible recording is terrible. The most annoying aspect was the narrator, whose rising and falling inflections bore no connection to the words he was speaking. I recommend listening to a sample before selecting this title for yourself. I failed to do so, and deeply regret my error.

    Another problem was the awkward translation. It was overly wordy, convoluted and difficult. Dialog was stilted, and the poor reading of the text compounded my frustration.

    The story itself is compelling, and is worthy of a better rendition.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Poet

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3261)
    Performance
    (1937)
    Story
    (1927)

    Our hero is Jack McEvoy, a Rocky Mountain News crime-beat reporter. As the story opens, Jack's twin brother, a Denver homicide detective, has just killed himself. Or so it seems. But when Jack begins to investigate the phenomenon of police suicides, a disturbing pattern emerges, and soon suspects that a serial murderer is at work.

    Tom says: "Is Connelly the Best Crime Writer Or What?"
    "Another fine one from Michael Connelly"
    Overall

    It was interesting having someone other that Bosch as the protagonist in this Connelly book. The story had plenty of twists and revelations and as always with an audiobook, my test is whether I find excuses to listen longer, including sitting in the garage listening to the book on my car speakers for awhile longer when I get home. The Poet passed the test with flying colors.

    I don't understand the complaints about the narrator. I thought he was excellent, with varied voices and accents for the characters. His voice was deep and pleasant, his pacing spot on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22301)
    Performance
    (8977)
    Story
    (9051)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Original and compelling"
    Overall

    It's always a bit disturbing to read comments about books which the reviewers didn't actually listen to. In the case of this highly compelling, intelligently written novel, some just didn't like a character or two, or didn't like the theme, or the slow unveiling of the plot. Why give a low rating to a book you didn't actually listen to? I'd have a lot more respect for their opinions if they'd actually had the patience to complete the novel.

    On the other hand, many of us found ourselves unable to turn off our iPods, drawn in by the terrific character development, the descriptions, the realistically portrayed situations. I am anxious for the sequel, coming soon.

    19 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Diane Setterfield
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato, Jill Tanner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4534)
    Performance
    (1440)
    Story
    (1448)

    All children mythologize their birth... So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's beloved collection of stories, long famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale. The enigmatic Winter has always kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she summons a biographer to tell the truth about her extraordinary life: Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth remains an ever-present pain.

    PA Law says: "Haunting and beautiful tale"
    "For lovers of books"
    Overall

    Reading is highly personal, we know that what one loves, another may disdain. And so the reading of The Thirteenth Tale cannot please all. It's rare, however, to find so much divergence in reviews of this amazing story. Personally, I became enthralled after the first half hour of listening. As others have mentioned doing, I found excuses to listen. My sessions at the gym lengthened, I drove the long way home instead of taking the shortcut and I hung on every sentence. The narration is absolutely perfect for the story. Let's hope the author is hard at work on her next.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jasper Fforde
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Sastre
    Overall
    (809)
    Performance
    (120)
    Story
    (123)

    Great Britain, circa 1985: time travel is routine, and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, Special Operative in literary detection. But when someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature and plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Bronte's novel, Thursday is faced with the challenge of her career.

    Susan says: "What a gem!"
    "A head scratcher"
    Overall

    Maybe I was just unfamilair with the genre, but I listened for an hour without gaining a clue as to what this book was about. I'm fairly conversant with serious literature and love a good mystery, but I simply felt all at sea without a paddle as I listened. The way it all bounced back and forth between suddenly appearing characters without any insight as to who they might be, or their place in the narrative, left me drifting. After awhile I came to recognize a character or two, but found I really didn't care. It amazes me that so many people seemed to like The Eyre Affair.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Time Traveler's Wife

    • ABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Audrey Niffenegger
    • Narrated By Maggi-Meg Reed, Christopher Burns
    Overall
    (2544)
    Performance
    (309)
    Story
    (322)

    Clare and Henry have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six. They were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry was thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future.

    Herve says: "My Favorite Audiobook so far"
    "Time ran out"
    Overall

    There is much to like in this audio book. Certainly, the excellent dual narration added to the enjoyment and was quite cleverly done. The concept of time travel is intriguing, even as it is implausible. I had to think, to replay sections, to keep all the back and forths straight, which added to the enjoyment of discovery. However, like many other reviewers note, the latter part of the book is somewhat slow and repetitive, as if the author had run out of fresh ideas, but had to plod along anyway, to finish off what had been started. The book would have rated at least 4 stars had the last quarter been more original and better paced.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1169)
    Performance
    (254)
    Story
    (253)

    All along the Mediterranean coast, the Roman Empire's richest citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas, enjoying the last days of summer. But the carefree lifestyle and gorgeous weather belie an impending cataclysm, and only one man is worried. The young engineer Marcus Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, the enormous aqueduct that brings fresh water to a quarter of a million people in nine towns around the Bay of Naples. His predecessor has disappeared.

    Marty-Seattle says: "Brought my visit to Pompeii back to life"
    "Pompeii lives"
    Overall

    Always a student of history, and sceptical about much historical fiction, I began listening to this recording with keen interest and fear of disappointment. I shouldn't have worried.

    I was enthralled from the first chapter. Beautifully narrated in a lively and experience enhancing manner, I felt as if I was walking with the Aquarious. I've been to Herculeniium and Pompeii and seen many of the structures mentioned, but that isn't necessary for the enjoyment of this book, though it did enhance my listening experience. A book on the excavated cities would be a delightful visual supplement, if one is interested. I suspect many will be visiting the library after listening.

    I was amazed at how suspenseful the story was, even though we have a pretty darn good idea how the story concludes. Each character, whether fictional or historic, was well defined and interesting. The historic references were valid and true to the period. I was particularly delighted with the vividly portrayed Pliny.

    I didn't want the book to end. Highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Death in Holy Orders

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By P.D. James
    • Narrated By Charles Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (502)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (104)

    Atop a sweep of low cliffs stands the small theological college of St. Anselm's. Not far away, smothered beneath a fall of sand, lies the body of one of the school's young ordinands. When Commander Adam Dalgliesh is called to investigate the death, the college is torn apart by another death, a sacrilegious and horrifying murder.

    Jannice says: "Death in Holy Orders - good PBS"
    "P.D. James and Dalgliesh thrill again"
    Overall

    Once again, James has pulled me into Dalgliesh's world. As always, she slowly unrolls her story, always ordered, always beautifully described, always disturblingly undermined by corruption and murder most foul. This time we're at St. Anselm's, a theological seminary just holding on as an anachronistic institution, even while the buildings are barely holding on as the sea threatens to send them tumbling down the eroded cliffs. Murder strikes in this unlikely locale. We find ourselves pondering the extremes of human behavior, pitting tradition against modern venality.

    James is a superlative writer, skilled, measured, precise. This is not a thrill a minute story, Jame's never are, but if you allow yourself under her spell, if you give your attention to her narrative, get to know the well drawn characters, the rewards and pleasure are considerable.

    Keating is a wonderful narrator/reader who brings distinctive nuance to each character without histrionics.

    I usually "read" Audible books while commuting. There were times when I'd linger in the car, even after parking, just to hear a bit more from Death in Holy Orders.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ionian Mission: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 8

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Tim Pigott-Smith
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, veterans now of many battles, return to the seas where they first sailed as shipmates. But, this is a longer, harder, colder war than the dashing frigate actions of their early days. When a sudden turn of events takes them off on a hazardous mission, they must depend on all of their seamanship skills and Jack's proverbial luck.

    Browse more Patrick O'Brian.

    Marilee says: "Another great Aubrey-Maturin story"
    "Another great Aubrey-Maturin story"
    Overall

    Patrick O'Brian created a phenomenon with his 20 novels of the the English navy in the times of the Napoleonic Wars. His historic accuracy has never been matched, and his principal characters in all these books, Capt. Jack Aubrey and ships surgeon Stephen Maturin, bring the era to life. Each book is a story unto itself, but your appreciation is enhanced if you read/listen to each in order written. The character's lives, adventures and misadventures, changing fortunes, evolve subtly throughout the books, as people do when living through events. Some characters are ongoing, others meet their individual fates. The ongoing friendship of Jack and Stepen ties everything together.

    The naval battle scenes are exciting, matter of fact and never over done. You smell the smoke, feel the heat of the guns, duck the falling rigging, it's all so vividly described by O'Brian. Not to worry, however, there is room for some romance and wonderful wry humor.

    Through this whole series, you'll realistically learn more than you ever thought possible about the lives of sailors of the era between 1805 and 1820 or so, they way they spoke, their history, humor and inevitable problems and occasional triumphs. Each book leaves you a bit in the air at the conclusion, just whetting your appetite for the next.

    A combination of elements of several of the books from this series has been made into a movie directed by Peter Weir, starring Russell Crowe as Aubrey, to be released in Nov. 03. Give a listen to the books first, enter their world.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Music of the Spheres

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Redfern
    • Narrated By Tim Curry
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    With The Music of the Spheres, Elizabeth Redfern emerges as an evocative and elegant writer of startling power, her gifts for characterization, atmosphere, narrative, and rich moral drama marking her as a new star in her own right.

    Marilee says: "The little know world of emigre London, circa 1795"
    "The little know world of emigre London, circa 1795"
    Overall

    It took a bit of listening to come to know the characters, but Tim Curry's reading of this intriguing story soon had me hooked. Astronomy, the French revolution, political intrigue, "murder most dire", shady and sad characters, French aristocrats and subtrefuge, all wrapped up in a story set in the back streets and salon's of old London during the days of the French Republic. As you follow the trail of murders, you meet one interesting character after another. Many are not who they first seem to be, adding a wonderful element of unfolding surprise. Curry brings each to life. His French and various English class accents are spot on, and he changes vocal characterizations smoothly. Truly, a tour do force of dramatic reading.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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