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Ember

Member Since 2003

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 798 titles in library
  • 44 purchased in 2014
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  • Miss New India

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Bharati Mukherjee
    • Narrated By Farah Bala
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (87)

    Anjali Bose is Miss New India. Born into a traditional lower-middle-class family and living in a backwater town with an arranged marriage on the horizon, Anjali's prospects dont look great. But her ambition and fluency in language do not go unnoticed by her expat teacher, Peter Champion. And champion her he does, both to other powerful people who can help her along the way and to Anjali herself, stirring in her a desire to take charge of her own destiny.

    Ember says: "Worth the credit, and your ears!"
    "Worth the credit, and your ears!"
    Overall

    So I'm finishing up listening to Miss New India and it's just great! ♥ Believable, compelling characters! Farah Bala's narration is endearing and sweet. The comments about her "high, whiny voice" have to do with her Indian accent, which is to be expected. She confuses "condescension for "condensation" at one point, and far from being annoying, you can still tell what she means but it highlights the problem of Indian-American communication that the story tackles. I bought this one on a whim and am not disappointed. You find the characters behaving in refreshingly honest ways, from filching shampoo to losing their tempers in just the normal way. This one is worth your credit, as long as accents don't trouble you. If they DO trouble you... well... this one may not be for you.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Android's Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2732)
    Performance
    (2394)
    Story
    (2394)

    A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most unusual way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: A type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony. To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinaire.

    James says: "Philip K Dick meets Douglas Adams"
    "Far-fetched and FANTASTIC! Worth the Listen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Android's Dream to be better than the print version?

    I can't answer this one, as I don't read books anymore. I've been an Audible listener for 10 years come this August, (10 years man!) and my friends and family swear I CAN'T read. Well. I can. I read to my 2 year old each evening! (She's not old enough for audio-books JUST yet... but soon... soon...)


    What did you like best about this story?

    Wil Wheaton. He's a fantastic narrator! I have to admit a childhood crush on Wheaton (Gordie Lachance not Wesley Crusher) and I'm glad to see him diverge from acting to lend his voice to John Scalzi's work. He's by turns funny and somber, and he reads quickly, not stumbling over words and carrying the story faster than an inattentive mind may be prepared to accept. But the inflection and pitch keeps you listening and interested, and the characters are believable, male and female. His narration adds to the novel, guiding the story well.
    Ah, but you asked about the STORY.... Fine.
    The story's just great, and picking a "best" part is difficult because it's good entertaining fun from beginning to end. I love the way that the themes are serious, but the treatment is still light and irreverently optimistic. The story examines the rights of sentient species, international (inter-species, interplanetary) conflict, exploitation of those too weak to object, the true horror of war and the idea that we will continue to die in war as individuals long after we have escaped the solar system. Religion and faith, artificial intelligence, and life after death are ALL tackled head on and explored with great insight and sensitivity. But there is none of the "morality tale" feeling that you might observe in say, Orson Scott Card's treatment of similar broad themes. (Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide)
    While Card's books are also excellent listens, (once you finish this, use your next credit for Ender's Game and you'll be glad you did) there is much more real humor and joy in the overall feeling of The Android's Dream. I found myself laughing aloud more than once.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the scenes in which we reveal the true nature of the sought after Android's Dream, and in which each character responds from their various points of view. Without spoiling, there's a plot twist that doesn't wait until the end, and it's excellently crafted. I found myself laughing until tears came to my eyes, and then the tears were real because I was moved by the way that Scalzi shows us how fragile our perceptions of what is "normal" what is "real" or "legitimate" can be. Suffice to say that the way in which he prompts questioning the nature of our identities is masterful... are we a collection of cells and a slave to our genes? Or are we something more?


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

    I was moved by the friendship between Creek and Brian, and by their loyalty to one another. I think that the idea that a friend could be eternal, and that maybe all that makes a person could be preserved and then expanded is really a neat one.


    Any additional comments?

    I've also read Redshirts by Scalzi, and I really enjoyed both! Worth the credit and worth the hours.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4862)
    Performance
    (2259)
    Story
    (2271)

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Mary Lynn says: "Brilliant story, pitch perfect narration"
    "Wonderful listen!"
    Overall

    A well written and well read tragic love story wrapped in a comic masterpiece. I enjoyed it thoroughly and it's been added to my list of "listen again" books. Don't be discouraged by the Indian narrator, he reads beautifully and with great expression. A few small pronunciation slip ups do nothing to hinder the story line and endear you to the character, and the pace and pitch are just great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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