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Allentown, PA, United States | Member Since 2010

  • 6 reviews
  • 6 ratings
  • 83 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014

  • Tenth of December: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By George Saunders
    • Narrated By George Saunders

    One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet. In the taut opener, "Victory Lap", a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In "Home", a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned.

    Molly-o says: "I could never have known"
    "Stunning, worth a re-listen"
    What made the experience of listening to Tenth of December the most enjoyable?

    Saunders has a unique writing style that is perfectly expressed by his own narration. It's not always a good idea for an author to read his/her own works---narration is usually better left to the professionals---but in this case it works. I can't imagine these stories in anyone else's voice. This is a mind-blowing work worthy of the praise he's getting, such as the New York Times already naming this the best book of the year.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Wolf Hall

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Simon Slater
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    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"
    "Five stars on all counts"
    Where does Wolf Hall rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to because it's such a fascinating, well-written literary achievement. Although exploring the mind and character of Thomas Cromwell, it has much to say to us today about the uses of political power and the clash of government and religion. The book's great strength is giving readers/listeners the view from inside Cromwell's mind---a very intelligent place to be. Hilary Mantel certainly deserved the Booker Prize for this book.

    What about Simon Slater’s performance did you like?

    Simon Slater captures a vast number of characters with his powerful and nuanced narration and he rendered perfectly the humanity and fierce intelligence of Thomas Cromwell, making me realize once again that audiobook narration is a high art that should be honored as such. I like Simon Vance too, but I wonder why Slater is not the narrator on the follow-up book to Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies. In any case, I'll look for Slater's work in the future and I'm grateful to have this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sins of the Father: Clifton Chronicles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings, Emilia Fox
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Only days before Britain declares war on Germany, Harry Clifton, hoping to escape the consequences of long-buried family secrets, and forced to accept that his desire to marry Emma Barrington will never be fulfilled, has joined the Merchant Navy. But his ship is sunk in the Atlantic by a German Uboat, drowning almost the entire crew. An American cruise liner, the SS Kansas Star, rescues a handful of sailors, among them Harry and the third officer, an American named Tom Bradshaw.

    Margaret says: "Can';t Wait for the Next One!!!"
    "Some weaknesses, but fascinating overall"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I'd recommend this book to those who had read or listened to the earlier title, Only Time Will Tell. It would be extremely confusing to start the Clifton Chronicles with Sins of the Father as so little backstory is given. Having finished that title, most listeners will be eager for the next installment as I am for the third one.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harry Clifton is the center of the tale and maintains our interest throughout.

    Which character – as performed by Alex Jennings and Emilia Fox – was your favorite?

    Both narrators are good, although it was startling at first to realize that the male narrator wasn't the same in Sins of the Father as in the earlier Only Time Will Tell.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Several, but to describe them would make me a spoiler.

    Any additional comments?

    This is an interesting story, an involving family chronicle which reminded me of Ken Follett's Fall of Giants---the two books cover the somewhat the same time period and both series intend to give a picture of the 20th century through the lives of various families. Archer didn't dwell on the realities of war to the extent that Follett does, but they both have longer tales to tell and it's all right that we don't stay on the battlefield too long in either one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Any Human Heart: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By William Boyd
    • Narrated By Simon Vance

    Best-selling author William Boyd—the novelist who has been called a “master storyteller” (Chicago Tribune) and “a gutsy writer who is good company to keep” (Time)—here gives us his most entertaining, sly, and compelling novel to date. The novel evokes the tumult, events, and iconic faces of our time as it tells the story of Logan Mountstuart—writer, lover, and man of the world—through his intimate journals. It is the “riotous and disorganized reality” of Mountstuart’s 85 years in all their extraordinary, tragic, and humorous aspects.

    connie says: "very satisfying story-telling"
    "A century-spanning tale told by a master"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. The story being told through journal entries brings an intimacy to the main character that wouldn't have been possible in another format. He lives his fascinating life to the fullest, even though his decisions weren't always the best ones. He's not a perfect human being, but he is an intelligent one, one who experiences great love and inevitable loss. He meets some of the great artists of the 20th century while living in England, the US, Nigeria and France, and his World War II experience reminds us of some of the myriad ways in which that conflict inflicted its great losses.

    What did you like best about this story?

    The breadth of the story and the close-up view of the main character's life.

    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Simon Vance is a masterful narrator here---as he is in everything I've heard him read. I heartily recommend his participation in Stone's Fall by Iain Pears.

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

    I missed Logan Mountstuart so much when the book was finished; I wanted it to go on and on.

    Any additional comments?

    Thank you for including such literary fiction on Audible!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Tenth Gift: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jane Johnson
    • Narrated By John Lee, Susan Duerden

    In an expensive London restaurant, Julia Lovat receives a gift that will change her life. It appears to be a book of exquisite 17th-century embroidery patterns - but on closer examination, Julia finds it also contains faint diary entries. In these, Cat Tregenna, an embroideress, tells how she and others were stolen out of a Cornish church in 1625 by Muslim pirates and taken on a brutal voyage to Morocco to be auctioned off as slaves.

    Linda says: "Great Listen"
    "People aren't perfect--even in fiction"

    This was a wonderful story---a modern day love affair (no angels there), 17th century pirates, women's changing place in the world, clashes of cultures, and embroidery. The narrators are perfect (thank you again, John Lee), and besides, any story that gets me up out of bed and walking in 90 degree heat has got to be engrossing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cloud Atlas

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Cassandra Campbell, Kim Mai Guest, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation: the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history.

    Cynthia says: "Complicated and Not Good for Listening!"
    "A remarkable experience"

    I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks over the past 15 years and I would put this one near the very top. I liked it so much I went out and bought the book, but reading it isn't nearly the artistic experience that listening to it affords. The various characters really come to life and their interwoven stories are compelling. I found it by searching for my favorite narrator, John Lee, and I am once again grateful for his skills because, although he narrates only a part of this title, my devotion to his work is what brought me to it. Thanks to all who made this performance a reality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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