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Cecilia

Member Since 2007

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 252 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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  • The Glass Palace

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Amitav Ghosh
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (131)

    Set in Burma during the British invasion of 1885, this masterly novel by Amitav Ghosh tells the story of Rajkumar, a poor boy lifted on the tides of political and social chaos, who goes on to create an empire in the Burmese teak forest. When soldiers force the royal family out of the Glass Palace and into exile, Rajkumar befriends Dolly, a young woman in the court of the Burmese Queen, whose love will shape his life. He cannot forget her, and years later, as a rich man, he goes in search of her.

    Janis says: "Wonderful Family Saga Set in Burma and Malaysia"
    "Mixed cultures?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I simply can't listen to Simon Vance reading this book about a boy from India in Burma. I completely enjoyed Vance's performances of other books, especially the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, so I did not hesitate to buy this. Unfortunately, I had just finished listening to The Far Pavilions, set in India and perfectly rendered by Vikas Adam. His accents were marvelous. I would not know if they were completely accurate, but I do know that Simon Vance sounding like an elderly Scandinavian is all wrong to read The Glass Palace.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Tale for the Time Being

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Ruth Ozeki
    • Narrated By Ruth Ozeki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (448)
    Performance
    (398)
    Story
    (398)

    In Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace - and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox - possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami.

    Karen says: "Engaging story beautifully read"
    "Downhill After the Hello Kitty Lunchbox"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Ruth Ozeki and/or Ruth Ozeki?

    No.




    What could Ruth Ozeki have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The premise of the Japanese girl's diary floating to shore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox is great. The story in the diary and especially the story of Ruth reading the diary, lacks direction or even the least interest.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Tale for the Time Being?

    Stigmatized and uninformed comments such as, "These ronin were scary dudes, kind of like what the homeless guys living under tarps in ... park might turn into if you gave them really sharp swords" make this book offensive. I've only listened to 1:18 of this book but there are multiple cynical remarks about suicide, and a reference to "shooters high on Zoloft."

    My theory is that writers use material related to mental illness when they are short on ideas. They also assume they can write about homeless people or suicidal people based on their on common sense. Research is just for local color such as the maid bars in Tokyo.


    Any additional comments?

    7 of 13 people found this review helpful

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