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S. J. Swan

S. J. Swan

United States | Member Since 2008

33
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 31 reviews
  • 168 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By John Boyne
    • Narrated By Michael Maloney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (371)
    Performance
    (176)
    Story
    (177)

    The story of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is very difficult to describe. Usually we give some information about the audiobook, but in this case we think that would spoil the listening. We think it's important that you start to listen without knowing what it is about.

    Jessica says: "Much Better than the Movie"
    "Good book"
    Overall

    Yes this book could be very disturbing for a child under 13, but it is a must read or listen. I loved how the narrator read this book and how innocent he made Bruno seem. I listened to this with my 10 Y/O daughter and she couldn't believe how niave Bruno was. I explained to her that it was a different time before TV and Internet. We both loved this book even with the disturbing parts.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Thirteen: Women of the Otherworld, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Kelley Armstrong
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (275)
    Performance
    (252)
    Story
    (253)

    A war is brewing - the first battle has been waged and Savannah Levine is left standing, albeit battered and bruised. She has rescued her half-brother from supernatural medical testing, but he's fighting to stay alive. The Supernatural Liberation Movement took him hostage, and they have a maniacal plan to expose the supernatural world to the unknowing. Savannah has called upon her inner energy to summon spells with frightening strength - a strength she never knew she had - as she fights to keep her world from shattering.

    itsallaboutthestory says: "LOVED IT!!"
    "All Good things must end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this book and this series, but I hate that this is the last of the series. I've always enjoyed Johanna Parker in the Sookie Stackhouse book series, but was aprehensive about her taking over the Women of the Otherworld series. She did a great job. I loved how all of the Women of the Otherworld characters were portrayed in this final book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of Night

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5148)
    Performance
    (4615)
    Story
    (4608)

    Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches' cliff-hanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew's old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens. Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries.

    Hallie says: "Even better than A Discovery of Witches"
    "Penguin Needs a new editor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In my review of the first book in this series I mentioned the editing of the audio. There are strange cuts, pitch changes and sound quality changes in this audio track that really distracted me while listening. I really liked the book and the historical background of the book, but there were times that it sounded like I was listening to two different narrators.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Discovery of Witches

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8686)
    Performance
    (6253)
    Story
    (6288)

    Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.

    Liz says: "Not as good as the hype suggests"
    "Interesting spin on the Vampires"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would recommend anyone who likes conspiracy theories and/or vampires.


    What other book might you compare A Discovery of Witches to and why?

    It is an intellectual version of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse mysteries. It deals with three mythical creatures including vampires.


    What aspect of Jennifer Ikeda’s performance would you have changed?

    The narrator's voice was pleasent, but I was having problems with the editing of this audio book. I could hear where the audio had been cut and edited in. It was distracting and mitigated the listening experience.


    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
    (16117)
    Performance
    (14270)
    Story
    (14221)

    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"
    "A CREDIT WORTHY LISTEN"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a long audio book, but very worth the length. It moves fast and you don't realize how long it is. The characters are well developed. I really felt like I was in the 1960's. Not to mention the history lesson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Be an American Housewife: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Margaret Dilloway
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington, Emily Durante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (118)

    How to Be an American Housewife is a novel about mothers and daughters and the pull of tradition. It tells the story of Shoko, a Japanese woman who married an American GI, and her grown daughter, Sue, a divorced mother whose life as an American housewife hasn't been what she'd expected. When illness prevents Shoko from traveling to Japan, she asks Sue to go in her place. The trip reveals family secrets that change their lives in dramatic and unforeseen ways.

    CAREY says: "Well told tale!"
    "Made me want to call my mother"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about How to Be an American Housewife?

    I have always loved the Aisian culture and history. I loved the details about the mother's life in Japan and her culture. I could easily visualize her village and her as a child. I love books that I don't have to strain to visualize the settings.


    What other book might you compare How to Be an American Housewife to and why?

    This book would compare to just about any of Amy Tan's books. It put me in mind of either The Joy Luck Club or The Bone Setter's Daughter which are two of my favorite books.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Sue and Helena got to Japan for the first time in their life


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

    There were too many moments that moved me to mention. The entire book gave me this overwhelming feeling of missing my mother. My mother passed away many years ago. I listened to this story of a mother who had so many things to tell her daughter before she died and each time she tried it always came out as a criticism or sounding like she was disappointed in her daughter. I found myself wondering if this is how my mother felt in the remaining months of her life. This book really hit home for me. I think many mothers and daughters will be moved by this book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Completely Smitten

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Susan Mallery
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (577)
    Performance
    (434)
    Story
    (433)

    Sheltered preacher's daughter Haley Foster ran away from her small town to do all the "bad" things she'd never done. She soon found herself in a hotel room with U.S. Marshal Kevin Harmon. But her knight in shining armor showed no interest in teaching a disappointed Haley Lovemaking 101....

    Judi says: "COMPLETELY SMITTEN"
    "Too predictable for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It wasn't well spent for me, but I am not into gushy romance type stories. I think the characters and the plot were a little predictable. However, I know other listeners who like romance and predictability. It wasn't so bad that I didn't finish the book and it did keep my attention most of the time.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Susan Mallery again?

    The narator did a good job at distiguishing the characters. She tends to act out the sequences of the book instead of just reading it. I like that in a narrator.


    Did Therese Plummer do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    She did a good job differentiating the characters, but they weren't believable. As I've said before the characters and plot were predictable to me.


    Did Completely Smitten inspire you to do anything?

    This book is not inspiring to me.


    Any additional comments?

    I have been very critical in my reviews of books in the past. I tend not to be on this book because I expected the book to be romance mush and I expected it to be predictable. So it met my expectations. This book was not for me, but it may be for you. If you get into the Harlequin Romance type books then you will like this. I am more of a Suspense Thriller type listener, but it was purchased during a sale and I was looking for a few books to get me through some long work hours of boring data processing. It worked for what I wanted it to and that was to keep my mind off of the boring work I had to do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Duma Key: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By John Slattery
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4770)
    Performance
    (1470)
    Story
    (1460)

    A terrible accident takes Edgar Freemantle's right arm and scrambles his memory and his mind, leaving him with little but rage as he begins the ordeal of rehabilitation. When his marriage suddenly ends, Edgar begins to wish he hadn't survived his injuries. He wants out. His psychologist suggests a new life distant from the Twin Cities, along with something else.

    Amazon Customer says: "Play the Book and Let the Book Play You"
    "Surprisingly Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Duma Key the most enjoyable?

    The characters were well developed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters and their relationship to each other.


    Have you listened to any of John Slattery???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've not listened to John Slattery before, but I am a stickler on narration and I enjoyed his narration.


    Any additional comments?

    You never know what you'll get with a commercial writer like Stephen King. Sometimes his books are great, other's you wonder what he was thinking. This book was not hyped like many of his other books and honestly, I didn't know about it. It was a very good book with great characters and it didn't flop at the end like so many of Mr. King's books do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12706)
    Performance
    (5169)
    Story
    (5231)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "The movie doesn't do the audiobook justice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Water for Elephants to be better than the print version?

    Yes, I liked the nararation of this book and the switch in narrators depending on past or present.


    What does David LeDoux and John Randolph Jones bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    Yes, I like how they switch narrators to let you know whether it's present or a memory.


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

    Not as good as the book. It is a movie now and it just doesn't compare to the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Geek Love

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Katherine Dunn
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    Overall
    (271)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (139)

    No one wants to be a victim, but most find the event too hypnotic to ignore. In order to save their traveling carnival from bankruptcy, the Binewskis are creating their own brood of sideshow freaks. Under Al's careful direction, the pregnant Lil ingests radioisotopes, insecticides, and arsenic to make her babies "special".

    Cayora says: "Shudderingly Good!"
    "A Guilty Pleasure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I hated what happened to the twins.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This story is so wrong, but yet you can't stop listening to it. It's like watching something on youtube, you know you should be offended, but you find you have to know what happens to all of these people.


    What does Christina Moore bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    I think she did a good job distiguishing the different characters and their personalities.


    Do you think Geek Love needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. The book takes you full circle and gives a final ending.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Red Tent

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Anita Diamant
    • Narrated By Carol Bilger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1482)
    Performance
    (405)
    Story
    (415)

    Passionate, earthy, deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable contribution to modern fiction: a vibrant new perspective of female life in the age that shaped present day civilization and values.

    If you like The Red Tent, try The Harlot by the Side of the Road, a recounting of some of the most startling and explicit writings from The Old Testament.

    R. S. Herron says: "The key word is 'fiction'"
    "One of my Favorite Audiobooks"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Red Tent again? Why?

    I have listened to this audiobook several times. The first time I'd bought it on audio tapes. I am not a biblical scholar, but I really liked the story of a lessor biblical figure and how she fit into the whole story of Jacob, Rachel, and Joseph.


    What about Carol Bilger???s performance did you like?

    I liked her performance very much. She can draw a listener in with in the first moments of the story. I liked her soft voice.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Red Tent and why?

    I liked Rachel.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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