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Dennis

Tell us about yourself! I am a former high school history teacher and now, a semi-retired physician assistant.

Washington, DC, United States | Member Since 2002

207
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 49 reviews
  • 102 ratings
  • 456 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • I Know This Much Is True

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Wally Lamb
    • Narrated By Ken Howard
    Overall
    (244)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (121)

    In the long awaited follow-up to the highly praised novel She's Come Undone, Dominick Birdsey must come to terms with himself, as well as with the schizophrenic twin brother he has spent his life both protecting and resenting.

    Douglas says: "Disappointing"
    "Family Matters"
    Overall

    Wally Lamb weaves a tapestry of rejection and forgiveness. In this story of twins, Dominic and Partick are the last remnants of the Tempesta family that are becoming unraveled; Dominic by his apparent rejection by his family and Patrick by his schizophrenia. Lamb tells the story through the eyes of the angry, self-pitying Dominic who inherits two things that change his life, his schizo brother and the memoirs of his cruel grandfather. How Dominic deals with his inheritence is the subject of the plot. Dominic comes to realize that this much is true; mutts make good dogs, out of the rich loam of forgiveness love is found and all things are circular. This book will appeal to anyone who has a disfunctional family, especially an immigrant family. The story is wonderous because Lamb combines the right amount of realism with myth and superstition to tell a most intriguing story. This book is in the top ten of bookk I have ever read.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • We Are Water: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Wally Lamb
    • Narrated By Wally Lamb, George Guidall, Maggi-Meg Reed, and others
    Overall
    (1098)
    Performance
    (999)
    Story
    (1000)

    After 27 years of marriage and three children, Anna Oh - wife, mother, outsider artist - has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her success. They plan to wed in the Oh family’s hometown of Three Rivers in Connecticut. But the wedding provokes some very mixed reactions and opens a Pandora’s Box of toxic secrets - dark and painful truths that have festered below the surface of the Ohs' lives.

    Suzn F says: "Lamb writes Fine Literature/What a Book!"
    "We Are Pleased"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wally Lamb has written his best book since "I Know This Much Is True". The characters are interesting and believable. He makes us care in spite of their frailties. I would like a sequel. The readers have good voices and keep a long book apace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Richard Wolffe
    • Narrated By Richard Wolffe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Revival, by best-selling author Richard Wolffe, is based on exclusive and extensive interviews with President Obama and his inner circle inside the West Wing. It is an intimate and revealing portrait of the Obama White House at work in a critical period for the country and for the president.

    Amr says: "Disappointing"
    "No Amen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Revival lacks the punch that Obama fans are used to when reading about their favorite president. Wolffe jumps from story to story and the pace is lugubrious. There are few interesting tidbits and the book needs divine help. Wolffe is much better on tv.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robin Sloan
    • Narrated By Ari Fliakos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2499)
    Performance
    (2247)
    Story
    (2233)

    The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything....

    Susan says: "Fun, thought-provoking, mysterious.... and FUN !"
    "From Gothic to Don Quixote to His Girl Friday"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A creepy bookstore run by a peculiar man inveigles a young man into a web of intrigue which involves a boy-girl investigation into an ancient cult with secret codes by using the tentacles of google to find a needle in a haystack. If you are not into fantasy, many references will be incomprehensible, but you may still enjoy the quest. There is little character development and the plot creates the tension of a well-used rubber band.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1560)
    Performance
    (1388)
    Story
    (1407)

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

    Sylvia says: "Full of Surprises and Unexpected Events"
    "Ages Well"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    How far can a story go when the protagonist starts off at 100? The answer is everywhere and anywhere. With a shifting time line, Jonasson weaves an incredible story about a remarkable man, Alan Carlson, an explosives expert with a calm temperament. Alan gets himself into more binds than Houdini, and like the great magician, wiggles his way out.

    The story is not only funny, but gives the reader a lesson in Twentieth Century history. Jonasson manages to combine "Forrest Gump" with "Zelig" and comes up with an unforgettable character whose exploits manage to effect world history.

    I could not give a fifth star for story only because Carlson found himself in way too many predicaments.

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Nineteen Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Carol Monda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2245)
    Performance
    (863)
    Story
    (878)

    Jodi Picoult delivers the riveting tale of one small town's entanglement with high-school violence.

    New York Superior Court Judge Alex Cormier is assigned to preside over the case of the alleged Sterling High School shooter. Lawyer Jordan McAffee represents Peter, the boy who, on the day of the shooting, was found in the corner of the gymnasium holding a gun to his head with a shaky hand. Detective Patrick DuCharme has one star witness, but her story keeps changing. And then there's the biggest problem of all: the star witness happens to be Judge Cormier's daughter.

    Suze says: "Mesmerizing"
    "19 Minutes Too Long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sappy, trite, obvious, cliched, boring, and sophomoric can't plumb the surface of this book overwrought with inane metaphors. The narration lacks inflection and the story is unoriginal. I could not get passed one hour and asked for my credit back.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Absolutist

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By John Boyne
    • Narrated By Michael Maloney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (120)
    Performance
    (113)
    Story
    (112)

    It is September 1919: Twenty-one-year-old Tristan Sadler takes a train from London to Norwich to deliver a package of letters to the sister of Will Bancroft, the man he fought alongside during the Great War. But the letters are not the real reason for Tristan's visit. He can no longer keep a secret and has finally found the courage to unburden himself of it. As Tristan recounts the horrific details of what to him became a senseless war, he also speaks of his friendship with Will - from their first meeting on the training grounds at Aldershot to their farewell in the trenches of northern France.

    Dennis says: "A Thin Red Line Between Love and Hate"
    "A Thin Red Line Between Love and Hate"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    WW1 has just begun and two English boys meet during basic training and become fast friends. Tristan lies about his age to enlist because he has been thrown out of his parental house with his father's condemnation that it would be best if he were killed by a German bullet. Will, the son of a vicar, enlists for patriotic reasons. The boys develop an emotional relationship that becomes strained when Will asks Tristan to support him in a point of principle. Tristan, the more pragmatic of the two, refuses because both he and WIll could be put into jeopardy if Will reveals what really happened to a prisoner of war.

    John Boyne deftly straddles the line between cowardice and honor and love and hate. He leaves us stunned as we careen toward an ending so unexpected that I cannot get it our of my mind. This novel is a true tour de force.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Creole Belle: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 19

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1626)
    Performance
    (1407)
    Story
    (1370)

    Creole Belle begins where the last book in the Dave Robicheaux series, The Glass Rainbow, ended. Dave is in a recovery unit in New Orleans, where a Creole girl named Tee Jolie Melton visits him and leaves him an iPod with the country blues song “Creole Belle” on it. Then she disappears. Dave becomes obsessed with the song and the memory of Tee Jolie and goes in search of her sister, who later turns up inside a block of ice floating in the Gulf.

    Richard Delman says: "Dave Robicheaux lives!"
    "A Well-Oiled Plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dave and Clete are tough,cynical, alcoholic,and world-weary, and operate on the edge of the legal system. Yet they ask seek the answers to life's eternal questions. Is it justice to blow away a piece of pond scum or should they make the tax payers bear the cost of his incarceration? Does the little guy still count in a world controlled by petro-dollars? Where does friendship end and duty begin? Does anyone really care about the down-trodden? Do the rich always win?

    Burke takes his characters from a Nazi prison camp, a mob family, hit men, pillars of the town, and everyman, and endows them with more idiosyncrasies than are found in a tax code. The occupants of Creole Belle are as loathsome as they are interesting and more than they appear. There emerges some good in some of the evildoers and some bad in the good-doers.

    Will Patton's narration is as smooth as a mint-julep on a summer evening, and he makes the listener feel like he's sitting cross-legged listening to his grandfather on a columned veranda.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (17897)
    Performance
    (15913)
    Story
    (15872)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "11/22/63: A Love Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jake is asked to go through a rabbit hole into the past and prevent the assassination of JFK. In Stephen King's world, we find this plausible because we want it to be. The protagonist finds that the past is obdurate and throws obstacles in his way. We are presented with the possibility of changing history for the better. But, at what price? King gives no clues along the way and keep us guessing until the end.

    Only at the very end, an ending that will be hard to forget, do we realize that changing one or two past events has more consequences that can be imagined. If a butterfly flutters its wings in Japan, the effects are felt all around the world, but what if it's prevented from fluttering, can anyone predict what will happen?

    I couldn't give the story a five because the pace is slow before Jake enters the past and the description of Lee Harvey Oswald's plans to kill the president are tedious. But, the love story that develops between people from different times is pure gold.

    This is not a horror story, it is a love story to rival Romeo and Juliet or Tristan and Isolde.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Marriage Plot

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1744)
    Performance
    (1443)
    Story
    (1436)

    It’s the early 1980s—the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels.

    FanB14 says: "Esoteric, Vapid, Trite"
    "The Plot Sickens"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The plot was boring, the characters moody, self-indulged, and tedious. They labored from one place to another without any real purpose. I persisted to listen to the entire story hoping that the end would reward my persistence, but I ended up unfulfilled. Also, I wanted to give Eugenides the benefit of the doubt because of his last, great novel,


    Which character – as performed by David Pittu – was your favorite?

    Pittu did a great job of differentiating voices, and does a particularly fine job with the women.


    Do you think The Marriage Plot needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It does not need a follow-up book because the characters are one-dimensional and not likable or interesting. The Plot was too long as it stands.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Death Comes to Pemberley

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By P. D. James
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (867)
    Performance
    (722)
    Story
    (740)

    It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.

    Michelle says: "Not As Interesting as Print Reviewers Suggested"
    "Woodland Mis-story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Death Comes to Pemberley in three words, what would they be?

    P.D. James writes in the style of Jane Austin and Rosalyn Landor gives voice to the many characters with the expertise of a trained actress. James tells an interesting story, but she gives too few clues to possibly guess whodunnit, and then she has to give too long an explanation of the culprit's motivation. I wish she had included the pomposity of Reverend Collins and Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

    It is well worth the read just to return to the characters immortalized by Austin in


    Would you be willing to try another book from P. D. James? Why or why not?

    Yes, she writes well.


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

    Her voices were spot-on. A good reader like Landor helps the listener keep focused on the characters.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Death Comes to Pemberley: Family Feud Fuels Fatality


    7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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