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Silvia

Oakland, CA, USA | Member Since 2006

29
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 48 ratings
  • 458 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
5

  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10133)
    Performance
    (9179)
    Story
    (9259)

    In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.

    Livia says: "Formulaic and Hard to Finish...."
    "Wait for the Movie and then Don't Go"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Inferno read like a mediocre movie script. As a result, it was disconnected and disjointed with two dimensional and predictable characters. As a result, the book is boring and filled with unnecessary and repetitive scenes. Like John Grisham, Dan Brown has sold out his considerable talent for the sake of movie rights. This will probably be the last Brown book that I read or listen to.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Bruce Locke
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (100)

    The new novel - a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan - from the internationally acclaimed author, his first since IQ84. Here he gives us the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages.

    Darwin8u says: "Just below the Surface"
    "The Train Departs"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Murkarami's latest book shows his growing maturity as a writer and willingness to move beyond his established magical realism genre. I recommend this concise and tightly woven book to readers who are new to this author. He seamlessly balanced the psychological, emotional, and physical journey of the protagonist.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage?

    If I told you that, I might spoil the enjoyment of the reader.


    Which character – as performed by Bruce Locke – was your favorite?

    The protagonist, Tazaki, lived through Locke's rendition.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I became completely immersed in Tazaki's journey


    Any additional comments?

    Marakami has written a beautiful book that immerses the reader into the mind and world of Tazaki.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Haj

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Leon Uris
    • Narrated By Neil Shah
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (107)

    Leon Uris retums to the land of his acclaimed best-seller Exodus for an epic story of hate and love, vengeance and forgiveness. The Middle East is the powerful setting for this sweeping tale of a land where revenge is sacred and hatred noble. Where an Arab ruler tries to save his people from destruction but cannot save them from themselves. When violence spreads like a plague across the lands of Palestine - this is the time of The Haj.

    Carole says: "Still timely"
    "Bigotry and Bias Rule Reason"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Haj better?

    The Arab-Israeli conflict is a complex problem with both sides contributing to the struggle for each group to be autonomous. Had Uris acknowledged the equal culpability of the Jewish settlers in escalating tensions, the book may have been tolerable.


    What was most disappointing about Leon Uris’s story?

    His one-sided picture of a complex subject has done so much harm as he justifies the excesses of the Israelis in destroying a rich and ancient culture.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Neil Shah’s performances?

    Never.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    As I listened to this grossly exaggerated and inflammatory piece of garbage, I became more and more incensed by the author's willingness to blame the Palestinians for their homelessness and degradation.


    Any additional comments?

    Uris presnted This blatant piece of anti-Arab propagand in a blurred fact/fiction format that blames the displaced Arabs for their forced homelessness. His specious arguments come across as grossly biased, untrustworthy, drenched in bigotry. Gratuitous scenes of Arab sex-and-violence are inserted to remind the reader that this is a "savage, uncivilized people, hell-bent on revenge for having their lands and livlihoods forcibly stripped from them. Generalizations about the Arab "nature" abound. Similar remarks about blacks or Jews would probably be considered unpublishable and inflammatory.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Luminaries

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Eleanor Catton
    • Narrated By Mark Meadows
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (966)
    Performance
    (829)
    Story
    (847)

    It is 1866 and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.

    Melinda says: "Not So Luminous"
    "Ilumminating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! The author's ability to weave the stories of several complex characters stands out among writers. I felt as if I had been sucked into a swirling whirlpool that drew me deeper and deeper in the the plot.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Luminaries?

    The final chapter of the book in which all is revealed stands out.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    With a book of this length, selecting a single scene as a favorite is virtually impossible.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Luminaries and why?

    Anna became my most memorable characters for her depth.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Sleep: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (6580)
    Performance
    (6098)
    Story
    (6120)

    Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

    D says: "The sequel to the book; not the movie"
    "Dr. Sleep Indeed! Dr. Sleepy In Fact."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a huge Stephen King fan and consider him to be one of the best authors around. All that being said, Dr. Sleep left me sleepy rather than sleepless. The story seemed contrived and predictable. It certainly did not meet the usual high King standards. I almost felt as if he had run out of ideas and decided to dust off an enthralling tale of the super natural, hoping to touch on the glory of The Shining. Don't get me wrong--I still couldn't stop listening to this sequel; I just couldn't bring myself to care about any of the characters. Perhaps another and more serious problem was the narrator. Will Patton tried to inject the missing feeling into the book with an often sonorous voice that attempted to convey fear and tension. Instead, he interfered with the story, often detracting from the tale with his overly dramatic reading of simple sentences.

    However, an author as prolific and talented as Stephen King is entitled to an occasional miss. I will continue to look forward to his amazing offerings with anticipation.

    16 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • Guns

    • UNABRIDGED (49 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (915)
    Performance
    (829)
    Story
    (813)

    In a pulls-no-punches essay intended to provoke rational discussion, Stephen King sets down his thoughts about gun violence in America. Anger and grief in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School are palpable in this urgent piece of writing, but no less remarkable are King's keen thoughtfulness and composure as he explores the contours of the gun-control issue and constructs his argument for what can and should be done.

    Daniel E. Jacobs says: "putting his voice on what people have been saying"
    "A Shot In the Dark--Solving the Gun Conundrum"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stephen King brings his prodigious intelligence to a difficult task--addressing the growing gun violence in this country. He comes from a place in the middle of a mind-boggling controversy and presents a well thought out solution to this conundrum. It is a must read for anyone who agonizes over protecting our second amendment rights while controlling the proliferation of death-dealing firearms.

    4 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Florence Williams
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (105)

    In this informative and highly entertaining account, intrepid science reporter Florence Williams sets out to uncover the latest scientific findings from the fields of anthropology, biology, and medicine. Her investigation follows the life cycle of the breast from puberty to pregnancy to menopause, taking her from a plastic surgeon's office, where she learns about the importance of cup size in Texas, to the laboratory, where she discovers the presence of environmental toxins in her own breast milk.

    aaron says: "Every Person with Boobs Should Read This!"
    "Keeping Abreast of the Breast"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Americans are obsessed with breasts as sexual signifiers. As a result, their real beauty and purpose become obscured. This delightful, well-written, and carefully researched book examines many facets of our breasts including breast enhancement and the real role of the breast--feeding our young. I particularly enjoyed Williams study of the environmental hazards that we are exposed to on a daily basis. Finally, the narrator's matter of fact reading invited the listener to pause and consider that maginificent orb--the human breast.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bring Up the Bodies: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1188)
    Performance
    (1019)
    Story
    (1029)

    Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down.

    Darwin8u says: "Mantel Pulls the History out of the History"
    "Behind the door and under the bed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Bring Up the Bodies rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bring Up the Bodies?

    The book had so many outstanding and memorable moments that I could not possibly single out one.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    Vance has the ability to bring life to a variety of men and women with believable sh*ts in accents, intonations, and emotions.


    Any additional comments?

    As a student of the Tudor dynasty, I crave historically accurate and compelling interpretations. Until now, my attention has centered on the royals with barely a nod to the supporting cast. Mantel has done an outstanding job fleshing out Cromwell's character and bringing him out from behind the door. My only quarrel with this second book is that Henry VIII is portrayed as a buffoon, driven by his single minded desire for a male heir. Although Cromwell held considerable power, he did not match Henry in intelligence and ability to bring peace to a nation ripped apart by its devastingv civil war that brought the
    Tudors to the throne.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wolf Hall

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Simon Slater
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1996)
    Performance
    (1260)
    Story
    (1267)

    In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political powerEngland in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn.

    S. Marie says: "A unique perspective of history"
    "Crafty Cromwell and the Queen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If you love history and are fascinated by the players, read this outstanding .novelization of Cromwell's rise to power in Henry VIII's court


    What other book might you compare Wolf Hall to and why?

    Pillars of the earth by Ken Follet shares many of the same characteristics. Both books examine the uses and abuses of power by both secular and religious people and institutions. The authors weave facts into rich and complex fictions.


    What does Simon Slater bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Slater added verbal nuances that reflect the often cynical and sardonic voices that might have been missed in reading the books.


    If you could rename Wolf Hall, what would you call it?

    See the title of this review


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Come Home

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Lisa Scottoline
    • Narrated By Maggi-Meg Reed
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (263)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (202)

    Jill Farrow is a typical suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter's lives back on track after a divorce. She is about to remarry, her job as a pediatrician fulfills her - though it is stressful - and her daughter, Megan, is a happily overscheduled thirteen-year-old juggling homework and the swim team. But Jill’s life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter, Abby, shows up on her doorstep late one night and delivers shocking news: Jill’s ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer.

    Mary says: "Whining and crying make it impossible to finish"
    "You Can't Go Home: Tales of the Improbable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Lisa Scottoline and/or Maggi-Meg Reed?

    I usually enjoy Scottoline's stories but had this been the first one that I had read, I would never read another. Perhaps the book would have been tolerable had Maggi-Meg
    Reed not been the narrator. She failed to bring life to the characters. In fact, her whiny, and often overly dramatice oral interpretation eliminated all possibility of sympathy and belief. I doubt that I would purchase any other stories that she might read.


    What was most disappointing about Lisa Scottoline’s story?

    The plot was trite, the characters insipid, and completely unbelievable. Her other books may have tested credulity but this one was ridiculous and not up to her standards.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Maggi-Meg Reed’s performances?

    Emphatically NO!


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    I seldom talk back to books but this one was an exception.The protagonist, a supposedly intelligent woman, failed to engage my sympathy. Even for fiction, her behavior and thought process suggested a self-centered, self-involved fool who had no sense of consequences for her actions. I found myself muttering "how can you be so stupid? what else did you expect? you must be kidding." Please Ms. Scottoline, don't torture your readers with books that fall far below your usual standards.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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