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Jean

Cambridge, MA, United States | Member Since 2009

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 23 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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  • The Trial of Elizabeth Cree

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Peter Ackroyd
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht, Simon Prebble, Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (8)

    If your tastes run to Victorian mysteries and murder, you’ll enjoy Peter Ackroyd’s special blending of fact and fiction in this magnificent recreation of the bizarre murders that rocked Victorian England. Drawing on surviving police records and court transcripts, Ackroyd paints a fascinating portrait of a savage murderer, the terror that rippled across London, and the innocent woman charged with the crimes.

    Virginia says: "Chilling and Gripping"
    "Pretty good!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Peter Ackroyd is not for the faint-hearted. The story is interesting and the performance is great. But it is a gory story. I liked the glimpses of London is the late 1880s and the references to actual people are neat. But I never know how much to believe of his writing and I don't like to be put in the position of maybe thinking something is true and then to find out, no, that part was fiction. Sort of how I feel about Doctorow.

    But a definite good listen.
    JK

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Gods and Beasts: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Denise Mina
    • Narrated By Moira Quirk
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (57)

    It's the week before Christmas when a lone robber bursts into a busy Glasgow post office carrying an AK-47. An elderly man suddenly hands his young grandson to a stranger and wordlessly helps the gunman fill bags with cash, then carries them to the door. He opens the door and bows his head; the robber fires off the AK-47, tearing the grandfather in two. DS Alex Morrow arrives on the scene and finds that the alarm system had been disabled before the robbery. Yet upon investigation, none of the employees can be linked to the gunman.

    D. says: "Wonderful writing, not-so-wonderful performance"
    "A challenge to expectations"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is gritty and dishearteningly realistic. It presents a depiction of corruption and its workings in an all-too-believeable weaving of elements of society and politics. I think Mina will go down as one of the finest writers of mystery fiction of our time.

    I read a lot of criticism of the reader of this book. I think she did a great job! Outstanding, in fact. But I, too, was disappointed at first not to hear the same reader who has done earlier performances and who seemed to me to be the voice of Denise Mina. As the reading went on, I got used to the new voice and I am sorry to hear her disparaged just because she wasn't the expected. I thought she gave a very measured and nuanced performance. In fact she was very clear and perhaps a little bit more easily understood than the previous reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nicholas Nickleby

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (420)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (192)

    The most gorgeously theatrical of all Dickens's novels, Nicholas Nickleby follows the delightful adventures of a hearty young hero in 19th-century England. Nicholas, a gentleman's son fallen upon hard times, must set out to make his way in the world. His journey is accompanied by some of the most swaggering scoundrels and unforgettable eccentrics in Dickens's pantheon.

    Robert says: "A knockout!"
    "Dickens with only four stars for story?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Dickens and it seems silly to give this a four, but it was so long and I'm afraid, predictable, that I can't give it a five. This may be due to the fact that I didn't have a lot of time to listen and therefore it was just with me for too long. But it did seem to lack the individual characters that I could really invest my attention in, like Pip and David. It seemed "padded" to me which I haven't felt with any other Dickens. The reader was fine, but maybe a more exciting reader would have given me more of the characters. The usual Dickens humor was there and really good.

    Unfortunately, the first Dickens I listened to was Great Expectations with Martin Jarvis as narrator, and so my standards were sent extremely high. This is still better than a thousand other stories and if you have more concentrated time to listen, I think you will enjoy it more wholeheartedly than I did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Slip of the Knife

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Denise Mina
    • Narrated By Jane Macfarlane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (58)

    Paddy Meehan is no stranger to murder - as a reporter she lives at crime scenes - but nothing has prepared her for this visit from the police. Her former boyfriend and fellow journalist Terry Patterson has been found hooded and shot through the head. Paddy knows she will be of little help - she had not seen Terry in more than six months. So she is bewildered to learn that in his will he has left her his house and several suitcases full of notes.

    Lehua says: "Another winner"
    "Another suspense winner from Mina"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although the level of coincidence strains belief, the suspense and the careful drawing of characters, along with the painstaking procedure of crime solving keep the interest high. The reader is one of the best and I'll listen to anything she reads!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Spies

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Michael Frayn
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    In the quiet cul-de-sac where Keith and Stephen live, the only immediate signs of the Second World War are the blackouts at night and a single random bomb-site. But the two boys suspect that the ordinary houses in the Close and their inhabitants are not what they seem.

    Kc says: "Gave up"
    "WWII home front story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is intelligent, suspenseful, poignant and told from one of the most genuine "child's points-of-view" I've ever read. The reader is terrific and his ability to differentiate the characters is amazing. He never sounds childish but invests the reading with a child's determination and earnestness. I loved it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Headhunters

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Steve West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (328)
    Performance
    (276)
    Story
    (280)

    Roger Brown is a corporate headhunter, and he’s a master of his profession. But one career simply can’t support his luxurious lifestyle and his wife’s fledgling art gallery. At an art opening one night he meets Clas Greve, who is not only the perfect candidate for a major CEO job, but also, perhaps, the answer to his financial woes: Greve just so happens to mention that he owns a priceless Peter Paul Rubens painting that’s been lost since World War II - and Roger Brown just so happens to dabble in art theft.

    PETER WADE says: "BETTER WEAR A SEATBELT FOR THIS ONE - GREAT STORY!"
    "well, it was okay at first..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another one of those crime novels that starts off well, and then seems to lose its way. It doesn't know what to do with itself so it just gets gross. Let's see how revolting we can be. Floating in an outhouse cess pool? Not gross enough? Let's try stabbing a fat man with little scissors and smelling his intestinal contents. It ended up being stupid and I didn't finish it. The reader was fine, but he was, of course, limited by the text.
    JK

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Island Beneath the Sea: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Isabel Allende
    • Narrated By S. Epatha Merkerson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (574)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (224)

    Born a slave on the island of Saint-Domingue, Zarit - known as Tt - is the daughter of an African mother she never knew and one of the white sailors who brought her into bondage. Though her childhood is one of brutality and fear, Tt finds solace in the traditional rhythms of African drums and in the voodoo loas she discovers through her fellow slaves.

    Madelaine says: "good story, ok narration"
    "A gory story..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't like it when a book tries to keep your interest by using sensational blood, gore and suffering. Some, sets the scene, but here I felt the author was salting the prose with one after another gruesome episode. Sort of a "if you think that was bad, wait till you hear this..."

    I have liked other books by Allende, very much, Paola, and The House of Spirits esp. but I think she's gone a little stale and is just telling very long stories without much in the way of substance.

    S. Epatha Meerkerson is an old friend from Law and Order and I felt good that she was telling me all this as if she knew me, too. But I got tired of her voice and expression mostly, I think, because the book just goes on and on.

    I liked hearing the Haitian history which I was really ignorant of before.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The End of the Wasp Season: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Denise Mina
    • Narrated By Jane McFarlan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (208)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (172)

    When a notorious millionaire banker hangs himself, his death attracts no sympathy. But the legacy of a lifetime of selfishness is widespread, and the carnage most acute among those he ought to be protecting: his family. Meanwhile, in a wealthy suburb of Glasgow, a young woman is found savagely murdered. The community is stunned by what appears to be a vicious, random attack.

    Kathy says: "misled by a review but I still liked it"
    "A good find for me!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this story a lot and I'm glad to have found this author. The story moves along with good psychological study. Altho the beginning was a bit gory for me, it serves the plot well and doesn't go on and on. I ended up feeling the characters had been fully realized, for a mystery book, and I felt sympathy for even the "perp". It was a struggle between wanting him to get caught and dreading him being found out. The spectre of a false solution to the case added tension.

    The reader was terrific. I found her Scottish accent to be understandable and it added a bit of color. The setting was well described and I enjoyed learning some about Scottish life - not the kilt-clad highland type.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Through a Glass, Darkly

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Donna Leon
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (42)

    On a spring day in Venice, Commissario Brunetti and his assistant, Vianello, play hooky to help Vianello's friend Marco Ripetti, arrested during an environmental protest. They secure his release, only to be faced with the fury of the man's father-in-law, Giovanni De Cal, who has made violent threats against Ripetti. Brunetti's curiousity is peaked, and he finds himself drawn to investigate. Is De Cal the type of man to carry out his threats?

    Jean says: "too much information!"
    "too much information!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like so many good series, the Brunetti books have gone from good stories to too much information. Not info about the crime or follow-up, but too much about our hero. Exactly what he eats and where? I blame word-processing and not enough plot.

    Also I found the Italian accent the reader used, to be unecessary and a bit silly.

    Who would like this book more than I did? An Italian cook or cook-wanna-be.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26690)
    Performance
    (13328)
    Story
    (13372)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "I loved this book!"
    Overall

    The readers were great, the story is good and full of tension and humor. It really captures the time - early '60s - and the atmosphere of small town Mississippi. At least it is a believable atmosphere, as I wasn;t there!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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