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SamanthaG

Marietta GA | Member Since 2010

296
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 109 reviews
  • 291 ratings
  • 494 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2018
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
6

  • Terra Incognita: A Novel of the Roman Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Ruth Downie
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1048)
    Performance
    (802)
    Story
    (803)

    The edge of the Roman Empire is a volatile place; the tribes of the North dwell near its borders. These hinterlands are the homeland of Gaius Petreius Ruso's slave, Tilla, who has scores of her own to settle there: Her tribespeople, under the leadership of the mysterious Stag Man, are fomenting a rebellion, and her former lover is implicated in the murder of a soldier. Ruso, once again pulled into a murder investigation, is appalled to find that Tilla is still spending time with the prime suspect.

    Lucy says: "Great book, fabulous reader"
    "Love these Medicus books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A murder-mystery in ancient Rome, or at least an outpost of it. Love the characters, the story, and the attention to detail of life 2000 years ago in the Roman army and its interactions with the "natives." Great read. Re the performance, the accents of the Romans are more proper and erudite vs the accents of the natives of Britannia (Northern Britain, Scotland,) which are reminiscent of today's accents from those places, even though it's all in current-day English.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By George Saunders
    • Narrated By Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5334)
    Performance
    (5014)
    Story
    (4988)

    The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented. February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln's beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill.

    Betty Vance says: "George Saunders answer to Dante's Inferno"
    "Not Good for Listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The "op-cits" and the dialog of the folks (?) in the cemetery were incredibly bothersome. I'm sure there are legal reasons for the op-cit usage, but it made the book almost un-listenable. I did make my way to the end, but I can't say that I enjoyed it or was moved by it or thought it was a great piece of literature - as so many critics did.
    The cemetery people speaking were not identified until the end of their speeches and it was difficult to figure who was saying what to whom. They interrupted each other unmercifully which made it more difficult to identify the characters. The cemetery residents have been likened to the chorus in a Greek drama - but I wasn't looking for one of those.
    I have bought the e-book version of this and find it so much better. I know who's speaking and can ignore the op-cits. It comes across as much more tender and heart-rending.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Nate Blakeslee
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall, Nate Blakeslee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (874)
    Performance
    (806)
    Story
    (800)

    Before men ruled the earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in North America, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction in the lower 48 states by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves back to the Rockies, igniting a battle over the very soul of the West. With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, O-Six, a charismatic alpha female named for the year of her birth.

    Michael - Audible says: "An Epic American Story"
    "Avoiding Anthropomorphism at All Costs"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Yes - it's almost impossible to keep track of the characters whose names are numbers. Our heroine is only "06" and the rest of the characters are also numbers. 06 because she was born in 2006, but that rule isn't followed with most of the rest of the wolves' "namebers." I think this is an extreme example of avoiding anthropomorphism. Other than 06, the only one I could always remember was "Limpy," the only one with a name. We are finding that animals are more like us than we'd thought; they have emotions, "person"alities, intentions, varying degrees of intelligence and abilities, and, I would contend, souls. I think this is an effort to avoid interfering with wolves' natural behavior, but just watching them and recording their actions interferes with that very thing.



    Would you ever listen to anything by Nate Blakeslee again?

    Maybe. The quality of the writing was good, if somewhat academic.


    Have you listened to any of Mark Bramhall and Nate Blakeslee ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was American Wolf worth the listening time?

    Yes, the information presented was worthwhile, especially the contention between those who favored the reintroduction of Wolves and those who wanted to see them eradicated.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Artemis

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By Rosario Dawson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45784)
    Performance
    (42763)
    Story
    (42628)

    Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent. Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down.

    will says: "A ferrari with no motor"
    "The Martian it Isn't!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Artemis? What did you like least?

    I love the technology especially in Andy Weir's writing. I assume he's writing "down" to his audience since we wouldn't probably have the knowledge of how to cope with space, the moon, a vacuum, but he seems to have researched the subject well and is able to convince us that "this is how it is."


    Has Artemis turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Well, no. What genre is it anyway? Yes, it's Sci-fi on the surface (no pun intended), but couldn't this story have taken place anywhere? (on the Earth, that is). I think that the Moon, or Mars, or any outer space venue isn't necessary to the story.


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

    I think she's a good narrator and able to project her character (young woman) quite convincingly..


    Could you see Artemis being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Maybe - I'm not sure if I'd go to see it or not. I see difficulties with the story-line, but the Moon setting would be a draw for viewers.


    Any additional comments?

    I was so taken with The Martian and Weir's writing that it would be difficult to appreciate another of his novels so much. When I finished The Martian, I made all of my friends read it and also made my book club read it. Everyone except the idiots loved it! I found myself reading late into the night, and even praying that Mark Watney would survive another pickle he found himself in. Then I would remember, "oh, he's fiction." But an author who can engender that kind of empathy is special!!
    At the time, I looked for other books by Weir, but there weren't any, other thatn "The Egg," which isn't a book, but a 2 page meditation. I liked it, but, as I said, it isn't a book.

    So, Andy, Thank you and I'm waiting. Hope you're working on something wonderful!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Norwegian Wood

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By John Chancer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (692)
    Performance
    (619)
    Story
    (623)

    This stunning and elegiac novel by the author of the internationally acclaimed Wind-Up Bird Chronicle has sold over four million copies in Japan and is now available to American audiences for the first time. It is sure to be a literary event.

    Kelly McCarty says: "Sorry, but I didn't like the narrator."
    "A Long Meditation on Misery, Death and Sex"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes because I'm a huge Murakami fan and his writing is amazing, even in translation; no because it's about unhappy people who have a lot of sex (in great detail) of all kinds, most of whom are miserable and die young. As far as I'm concerned, the story went nowhere. Plot...what plot?


    Would you ever listen to anything by Haruki Murakami again?

    Yes, absolutely! This was my 4th of his books and the one I've liked least. So glad I didn't read it first. My favorite is Hardboiled Wonderland & The End of the World.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    They were all so similar, I did not have a favorite.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No way! Too depressing.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator was great! I loved his delivery and the way he believably voiced women. They sounded like women and did not all sound alike.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Joan Druett
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2603)
    Performance
    (2399)
    Story
    (2392)

    Auckland Island is a godforsaken place in the middle of the Southern Ocean, 285 miles south of New Zealand. With year-round freezing rain and howling winds, it is one of the most forbidding places in the world. To be shipwrecked there means almost certain death. In 1864, Captain Thomas Musgrave and his crew of four aboard the schooner Grafton wreck on the southern end of the island. Utterly alone in a dense coastal forest, plagued by stinging blowflies and relentless rain, Captain Musgrave inspires his men to take action.

    Tiffany says: "One of the Best Stories Ever Told!"
    "What a good adventure story - and true"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Island of the Lost rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among the top, but I've read so many that I can't place it.


    What other book might you compare Island of the Lost to and why?

    Alive, The Martian, Into Thin Air, Into the Wild and The Secret Wisdom of the Earth because they are true stories (well, not The Martian or Secret Wisdom, but they read like true stories) about very creative and unfortunate people caught in situations in which they will almost certainly die. But they don't give up.


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

    He's a very good narrator and tells the story with empathy but never over-dramatization.


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

    I don't particularly like the title of the book because it's too generic and hard to remember. Maybe something with the ship's name "Grafton" in it with a tag line about being shipwrecked on Auckland Island - or, more romantically, at the "Bottom of the World."


    Any additional comments?

    Yes, incidentally, my husband and I visited New Zealand a number of years ago and took a ferry from Invercargill to Stewart Island. It was a small ferry that was multi-tasking by delivering and picking up supplies and mail. There were not many people aboard and the small crew was friendly. From there, they were going on to the Campbell Islands for a few days and invited us to join them. We thought about it - seriously - but both needed to get home and back to work, so we declined their kind offer. I did not remember the name of the islands until I was well into the book. In considering this offer, we were absolutely unaware of the stormy weather and heavy seas that prevail in that part of the world. Thank goodness for having to get back to work!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Al Franken, Giant of the Senate

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Al Franken
    • Narrated By Al Franken
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14380)
    Performance
    (13285)
    Story
    (13144)

    Al Franken, Giant of the Senate is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect. It's a book about what happens when the nation's foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it.

    TerryPotter says: "Fabulous book; history, hard politics and lots of laughs"
    "Al Franken is best at comedy, not "senatoring""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Al Franken and/or Al Franken?

    Well, no. He seems naive and totally brainwashed.


    What could Al Franken have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Presented both sides equally


    Could you see Al Franken, Giant of the Senate being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No - I wouldn't see it.


    Any additional comments?

    He made me furious and I've always loved him as a comedian. There's no admission that ANYTHING the "other side" presents is worth consideration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Nick Lane
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    Overall
    (753)
    Performance
    (676)
    Story
    (667)

    The Earth teems with life: in its oceans, forests, skies, and cities. Yet there's a black hole at the heart of biology. We do not know why complex life is the way it is, or, for that matter, how life first began. In The Vital Question, award-winning author and biochemist Nick Lane radically reframes evolutionary history, putting forward a solution to conundrums that have puzzled generations of scientists.

    Irfan Khan says: "A must read for the interested, literate nonscientist"
    "Explores the amazing complexities of life on Earth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Possibly. Not being a biochemist, a lot of it was over my head. It includes a lot of information that would be over a lot of people's heads, but if you realize that you're probably not going to understand a lot of the science behind life, you will appreciate the incredible scope of this book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The exploration and history of life on Earth and conjecture about its origins. The intricacies of cellular biology were mind-boggling. It's hard (and sobering) for me to believe that I'm in charge, more or less, of one of these marvellous and intricate machines - the human body.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    N/A


    Could you see The Vital Question being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Could be a good PBS series with some simplification.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm glad I don't have to pass a final exam based on this book. That fact removes a lot of the pressure in trying to remember all the details, and the sheer number of details makes me appreciate the complexity of any form of life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Stacy Schiff
    • Narrated By Susan Denaker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    "In December of 1776 a small boat delivered an old man to France." So begins an enthralling account of how Benjamin Franklin - 70 years old, without any diplomatic training, and possessed of the most rudimentary French - convinced France, an absolute monarchy, to underwrite America's experiment in democracy. When Franklin stepped onto French soil, he understood he was embarking on the greatest gamble of his career. By virtue of fame, charisma, and ingenuity, Franklin outmaneuvered British spies, French informers, and hostile colleagues....

    SamanthaG says: "Enticing Title...Convoluted Story"
    "Enticing Title...Convoluted Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I'm not sure. I found the prose to be overly pretentious. There was much use of "big" words, e.g., disingenuous, duplicitous, etc. Not that I or anyone who would be attracted to this book would not know them, but unnecessary and less direct than simpler language.


    If you’ve listened to books by Stacy Schiff before, how does this one compare?

    I loved Cleopatra, a Life, and felt that it gave me great insight into the times in which she lived, and, more importantly, insight into the connections between characters (Plutarch, Augustus, etc.) whose names were familiar to me.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Susan Denaker’s performances?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I was disappointed that the book seemed so pretentious and that it was disjointed due to the fact that it jumped forward and backward in time and was difficult to know "when" we were in the narrative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Excerpts from The Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, Eleventh Edition

    • HIGHLIGHTS (13 mins)
    • By Various
    • Narrated By full cast
    Overall
    (3425)
    Performance
    (3144)
    Story
    (3035)

    Prepare yourself for the ultimate multicast performance. We've gathered many of Audible's most popular narrators to bring to life some of the most extraordinary words ever written. 19 words, in fact, carefully selected and arranged alphabetically as in their original source: the 11th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. We created this enlightening journey from AUDIENCE to LITERATURE because you asked for it.

    Kurt Schwoppe says: "Thank you Audible - Love It!"
    "April Fool! A good..but not great..prank!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Oh
    Well, title says it all.! Ok, 3 more words needed?
    There they were. Darn, still want one more. This should do it.)

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Brilliance

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Marcus Sakey
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5617)
    Performance
    (5028)
    Story
    (5038)

    In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible. They’re called "brilliants," and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in.

    Pam says: "Written like a movie script"
    "One star because I couldn't continue listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I don't know...someone who isn't bothered by inappropriate voices for characters.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Marcus Sakey again?

    Probably not


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Luke Daniels?

    I have no idea. But it needed someone who could do believable female voices....like a female... for those parts. I do recall the narrator for Girl on the Train (female - actually there were 3, Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher) did a good job of male and female voices. I didn't even notice or think it awkward when they voiced men.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Don't know...just couldn't listen any more


    Any additional comments?

    No

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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