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anne

Artist, publisher/editor

RICHMOND, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

58
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 23 reviews
  • 98 ratings
  • 201 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
11

  • Summer of Night

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (378)
    Performance
    (330)
    Story
    (335)

    It’s the summer of 1960 and in the small town of Elm Haven, Illinois, five twelve-year-old boys are forging the powerful bonds that a lifetime of change will not break. From sunset bike rides to shaded hiding places in the woods, the boys’ days are marked by all of the secrets and silences of an idyllic childhood. But amid the sun-drenched cornfields, their loyalty will be pitilessly tested.

    Jeff says: "Excellent well-developed thriller / youth story"
    "More like an after school special"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First to be fair, I stopped listening half way through the first of the 3 chapter breaks so if what I didn't like somehow changed, I'd be surprised. Regardless of what was going on at any given moment of the plot, Simmons doesn't convey any sense of dread or horror even during the "scary parts". The comparisons to King's Stand By Me or IT are warranted and would have been fine had it not been such at labored attempt at recreating the same vibe as those stories. For example, MUCH too much time dwelling on the details of a baseball game and the neighborhood kids to draw out that sense of camaraderie was really painful. That's when I called it quits. Disappointed. Right now, even though I feel I've drained all my options for horror fiction, I won't be going back to finish this. If the story is good it's still a huge bore because it simply isn't scary. The narration doesn't help but it's not all his fault. There is an art to horror that I'm afraid so many modern writers don't get.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23243)
    Performance
    (19327)
    Story
    (19312)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    L. O. Pardue says: ""Rear Window" Meets "Gone Girl""
    "Very engaging, hard to put down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes. The characters were very well defined. Great storytelling. The writing style seemed slow and meandering but in fact every word was there for a reason and proved to be essential in the all around story.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Most interesting? Not sure if it's interesting or just that I really liked how the location was introduced in a literal broad view, the view from a train and as the story unwound, we get more intimate with the physical scenes and characters. Least interesting was how the 3 women had something in common. Even though the great storytelling kept me tuned in to the very end, I did figure it out around the middle which is why I gave the story part of the rating a 3.


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

    The way they intoned the nuances and internal shifts of emotion or intuitions during the characters interacting with each other. They brought each character alive with different inflections and slang. Incredible they were all so great. You don't get that too often when there are several narrators. Usually there's a dud but not here. The one who did Rachel is my favorite though. So complex!


    Was The Girl on the Train worth the listening time?

    Yes. I don't typically like mysteries but this book is a psychological thriller. There isn't a lot of action, instead it comes from inside the heads of each character. Sound potentially boring but instead it keep me listening and finding reasons to drive so I could keep listening.


    Any additional comments?

    Given some of the comparisons to "Gone Girl" I pleasantly surprised that it wasn't similar. I liked gone girl but didn't want to 'read' a similar story, and it wasn't. The only thing the two stories have in common is a missing girl. Entirely different set up, circumstances etc.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Troop

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Nick Cutter
    • Narrated By Corey Brill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (663)
    Performance
    (610)
    Story
    (610)

    Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip - a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfre. The boys are a tight-knit crew. There’s Kent, one of the most popular kids in school; Ephraim and Max, also well-liked and easygoing; then there’s Newt the nerd and Shelley the odd duck. For the most part, they all get along and are happy to be there - which makes Scoutmaster Tim’s job a little easier.

    Charles says: "Engrossing"
    "HOrrors! In the best possible way"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Minus the gruesomeness I'd almost compare the inner dialogues and characterizations of to those of Cormac McCarthy's. Not a single heartbreaking action or thought out of place. Lord of Flies only much more harrowing and GRUESOME! The cause of the horror [I won't spoil it] happens to be my Achille's heel since I was 5 after an Army story my father told me - the single most horrific thing I personally could ever imagine to happen to a person, then multiplied by a thousand. In fact, it's a small paranoia of mine. For that reason, I had to skip over large chucks of narrative because Cutter spares no detail with gore, in fact he rolls around in it like a puppy in tall grass. I could not cope. Despite that, I loved this story through and through. To call it a coming of age story sounds trite, but the complex and morphing relationships and group dynamics of the these boys feels so true to reality it's easy to relate. How kids are to each other in small groups vs., large ones. How they are individually vs., together and how not everyone is redeemable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Weight of Blood: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Laura McHugh
    • Narrated By Dorothy Dillingham Blue, Shannon McManus, Sofia Willingham
    Overall
    (670)
    Performance
    (596)
    Story
    (594)

    The town of Henbane sits deep in the Ozark Mountains. Folks there still whisper about Lucy Dane's mother, a bewitching stranger who appeared long enough to marry Carl Dane and then vanished when Lucy was just a child. Now on the brink of adulthood, Lucy experiences another loss when her friend Cheri disappears and is then found murdered, her body placed on display for all to see.

    John S says: "Not too bad but you have to pay attention."
    "Hoped for southern gothic got Nancy Drew instead"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listend to it all the way through so it kept me in my seat painting hours which is what I needed to accomplish but the description had me hoping for more of a Southern Gothic flavor with the Ozarks and the dark family history. The ingredients were all there: the characters, the setting, the backstories... but it's not in the writing. I didn't feel any sense of atmosphere or dread. I Wasn't looking for horror but I can't explain without sounding like a pretentious jerk. It just didn't feel as 'dark' as I was hoping for considering the selling points in the description and title.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Speaks the Nightbird

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3327)
    Performance
    (2966)
    Story
    (2952)

    The Carolinas, 1699: The citizens of Fount Royal believe a witch has cursed their town with inexplicable tragedies -- and they demand that beautiful widow Rachel Howarth be tried and executed for witchcraft. Presiding over the trial is traveling magistrate Issac Woodward, aided by his astute young clerk, Matthew Corbett. Believing in Rachel's innocence, Matthew will soon confront the true evil at work in Fount Royal....

    aaron says: "Dark, Twisted Period Piece with GREAT Characters!"
    "Engrossing! Great story great performance."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I kept finding things to do like going for extra long walks or washing the dishes [my husbands chore] so I could keep listening. I purchased it based entirely on the ratings not at all interested in period pieces but I was more than pleasantly surprised.

    Never heard such a great narrated performance and given the amount of characters, accents and the time period, it could have gone horribly wrong. Instead it was perfect and so believable.

    The story is an A1 murder mystery [I usually hate mysteries] set in a time when supernatural beliefs were the norm. The characters are all so complex and I miss them already. I can't say enough. One the best I've audiobooks I've listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil in the White City

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5218)
    Performance
    (2807)
    Story
    (2841)

    In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Also available abridged.

    D says: "A Rich Read!"
    "Great for an Chicago enthusiast..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This might be a good book for someone interested in architecture or deeply interested in how the World's Fair came to be.

    I was interested in a story about HH Holmes that did not dwell on the gore so I thought this might be a good one to shed some light on the historical perspective and how it came to fit together so - terribly with him and his 'murder castle'. The story is sprinkled with Holmes' story during the World's Fair but so far [I'm struggling more than 1/2 through] it drones on and on and on in painfully minute detail on the ups and downs of how the fair was built, down the very bolts that hold the buildings together. Even if Holmes was not part of the story, anything else to break away from monotony of architectural and details would have provided some balance. Some nice bits of history here and there but I'm afraid it was a yawn for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wicked Girls

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Alex Marwood
    • Narrated By Anna Bentinck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1403)
    Performance
    (1243)
    Story
    (1237)

    On a fateful summer morning in 1986, two 11-year-old girls meet for the first time. By the end of the day, they will both be charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of sickening attacks on young female tourists in a seaside vacation town when her investigation leads her to interview carnival cleaner Amber Gordon. For Kirsty and Amber, it's the first time they've seen each other since that dark day so many years ago. Now with new, vastly different lives - and unknowing families to protect - will they really be able to keep their wicked secret hidden?

    Tina says: "Really my rating is 4 1/2 stars."
    "Engrossing from beginning to end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Wicked Girls again? Why?

    Yes. I don't like listening to audiobooks twice but theses characters were given such realistic motivations and personalities that I'm sure a second listen would reveal a few more details.


    What did you like best about this story?

    To me, the book was about the nuances of what makes a person good and/or evil and the characterizations illustrated those very clearly. Narrator was top notch too. Each character had their own distinct way of speaking and she went from one to the other flawlessly which could have easily gone sideways given all the different vernaculars and intonations.


    Which character – as performed by Anna Bentinck – was your favorite?

    Jackie [I think that was her name]. I hated this character but from the performance, I got a clear picture of who she was and who she wanted to be but wasn't. This character used a lot of slang and again is one of the characters that could have been over done but Bentnick did it with restraint.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Wicked Girls and why?

    Amber. She's a better woman than I'd have been.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended. I had to pace myself and not listen to it in one sitting. I saved it for time when I had to complete a painting which requires something to keep me in my seat.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13270)
    Performance
    (12048)
    Story
    (12080)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Charles says: "Completely Engaging"
    "Not scary - scifi fans might like it more."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a good, well written and very nicely narrated story. The characters are fleshed out to a medium degree but kept my attention. It does have a "made for tv" feel about it [yes I know it's a book]. The style of writing conveys no sense of horror however. A huge disappointment for a book that invokes Lovecraft lore. Still a good listen if you're driving or going for a long walk. Moves quickly, decent mystery and has lots of action. If I were more into SciFi I'd be less critical of the lack of 'horror' and probably would have given this one more star.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bag of Bones

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2971)
    Performance
    (1530)
    Story
    (1540)

    Even four years after the sudden death of his wife, best selling novelist Mike Noonan can't stop grieving, nor can he return to his writing. He moves into his isolated house by the lake, which becomes the site of ghostly visitations, ever-escalating nightmares, and the sudden recovery of his writing ability. What are the forces that have been unleashed here - and what do they want of Mike Noonan?

    Amazon Customer says: "My Favorite King Novel"
    "Ok for a long drive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love when an author reads his own work and I do love King's voice so 5 stars for narration. This story is not one of my favorites of Kings. It may be that I couldn't personally relate to the protagonist - a 40 something widower, though I did feel sympathy for him. What turned me off was that the only female character was - to me - depicted as a damsel in distress. Pretty, blonde, smart and a single mother who lights up rooms and everyone [all men] has a crush on her. Whether it's latent jealousy on my part or not, her character is grossly unrealistic. The scene where she's dancing on a frisbee finally forced me to put it away for a whole week before picking it up again to finish it. Unexpected ending, that was good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Victim: A True-Life Journey into the Mind of a Serial Killer

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Jason Moss, Jeffrey Kottler
    • Narrated By Thomas Fawley
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (65)

    It started with a college course assignment, then escalated into a dangerous obsession. Eighteen-year-old honor student Jason Moss wrote to men whose body counts had made criminal history: men named Dahmer, Manson, Ramirez, and Gacy. Posing as their ideal victim, Jason seduced them with his words. One by one they wrote him back, showering him with their madness and violent fantasies. Then the game spun out of control. John Wayne Gacy revealed all to Jason - and invited his pen pal to visit him in prison.... It was an offer Jason couldn't turn down. Even if it made him....

    Cheryl L. Ring says: "Narrator"
    "Too much gory detail - from a non-prude"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story focuses on the author's voice rather than on Gacey's deviant psychology. It is fascinating to see the 'why' and 'how' the author would set about doing what he did, putting himself in such a vulnerable position and how it as all accomplished. I did expect there would be more in terms of unearthing Gacey's own background. Instead, there's a LOT of lingering on the sexual and violent nature of the murders and not much to shed light on why Gacey might've been the way he was. I'm no prude but there was so much graphic detail that I skipped through much of that, not out of squeamishness but out of boredom. Again the author's story and his mind set is fascinating to read about.

    The narrator has a stilted quality but somehow fit the voice of the author and did like the reading quite a lot.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Say Goodbye

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Lisa Gardner
    • Narrated By Ann Marie Lee, Lincoln Hoppe
    Overall
    (610)
    Performance
    (382)
    Story
    (386)

    For Kimberly Quincy, FBI Special Agent, it all starts with a pregnant hooker. The story Delilah Rose tells Kimberly about her johns is too horrifying to be true; but prostitutes are disappearing, one by one, with no explanation, and no one but Kimberly seems to care.

    KSK says: "Not for the faint of heart"
    "A good detective story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not one for stories whose characters are mostly cops, FBI agents and detectives but for what it was it was a good one. If I'd based this solely on my particular preferences [I prefer a much darkly rooted mental sensibility a la Deliverance or We Need to Talk about Kevin] I may have given this a 3.5. The southern setting and creepy set up [arachnids, a serial killer and the deep south] is was attracted me to this story as I've been looking for good modern southern gothic. The setting, story and characters were all there but it did not have the deep seated eeriness that I was looking for. However, I did get the creepy crawleys and had a good few nights of bad spider dreams! Gardner weaves a fine story and if you like a good mystery this'll do ya.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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