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Sheila

ratings
10
REVIEWS
2
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
3

  • The Gates: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By John Connolly
    • Narrated By Jonathan Cake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (208)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (160)

    Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund, Boswell, are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Halloween which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Road. The Abernathys don't mean any harm by their flirtation with the underworld, but when they unknowingly call forth Satan himself, they create a gap in the universe.

    Amazon Customer says: "Paging Tim Burton"
    "Hilarious!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have recommended this audiobook to friends! It's great fun, packed with wonderful characters (the demon Nurd is one of my favorites), and the narration absolutely makes it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters, and the footnotes (yes, the footnotes!) - very funny, yet still true to the facts they convey (science, history, etc.).


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

    No, but I will!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, although I didn't have time to do that, so it took 3 sittings.


    Any additional comments?

    Already a fan of John Connolly's thrillers, and now sold on his ability to write humor.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Bitter Veil

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Libby Fischer Hellmann
    • Narrated By Diane Piron-Gelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    It all began with a line of Persian poetry . . . Anna and Nouri, both studying in Chicago, fall in love despite their very different backgrounds. Anna, who has never been close to her parents, is more than happy to return with Nouri to his native Iran, to be embraced by his wealthy family. Beginning their married life together in 1978, their world is abruptly turned upside down by the overthrow of the Shah, and the rise of the Islamic Republic.

    Snoodely says: "Impending Doom"
    "History, Still Relevant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does A Bitter Veil rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Suspenseful thriller.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I was in graduate school, between jobs in the Middle East, during the Iranian Revolution, and teaching in Kuwait in the early days Khomeini's reign. I knew many Iranian students and saw first hand the devastating effects of life under both the Shah and the new regime. Hellman's book brought much of that era rushing back, and she certainly did her homework. Still, stories set in "enemy territory" can be problematic. Even when characters are varied and complex, it's very easy to reinforce stereotypes. People tend to embrace whatever supports their beliefs and miss those elements that challenge their beliefs. Hellman does a fair job of showing Nuri's descent into the madness of post-torture life under an oppressive regime, and of showing "good" and "bad" Iranians. I was nevertheless disappointed to see the portrayal of Nuri reinforce so many of the common notions about Middle Eastern/Muslim husbands -- he becomes emotional and sexually abusive; a holds his wife captive and cuts her off from her family and friends; he hides things from her; he cuts her out of his life. A bit too predictable, and unnecessary for a good story. A good read, but with cautions in place.


    Any additional comments?

    I found the last-minute introduction of a Kurdistani Jew as hero a bit gratuitous. Why not a Sunni Kurd, or even a Shi'ite Persian? Yes, there are Kurdistani Jews, but they don't figure into the rest of the story, so I have to wonder why the last-minute introduction was necessary. There is a suggestion of backstory with Anna's father, but that point is never developed. Perhaps a good question for an author interview.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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