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Michelle

amesiowa

Member Since 2010

ratings
56
REVIEWS
9
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
2

  • The Rook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Daniel O'Malley
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1930)
    Performance
    (1746)
    Story
    (1747)

    Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.

    Ethan M. says: "Harry Dresden meets English bureaucracy"
    "Great book with GREAT narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is one some people will love and others will hate. Think X-men plus Alias plus Men in Black. I enjoyed it.

    There have been lots of criticisms of the narrator, and I don't understand it. I can be picky, and I thought she was fantastic. One of my most important assessment points for good versus bad narration is whether the narrator's differentiation of the voices of characters helps me keep them straight, or confuses me who is talking. I thought this narrator assisted me greatly to get to know the characters and keep them clear.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6952)
    Performance
    (6619)
    Story
    (6630)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "GREAT listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This may be my favorite fiction book of the year. The narration is great, the story is deep and engaging, and the characters likable. This was one that made me wish my commute was longer!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Being Buddha at Work: 108 Ancient Truths on Change, Stress, Money, and Success

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By BJ Gallagher, Franz Metcalf
    • Narrated By BJ Gallagher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    This book explores and answers 101 dilemmas that we encounter at work, with topics that include time management, goal-setting, conflict, job dissatisfaction, unemployment, and even workplace trysts. The authors emphasize practical learning and coping, not esoteric insights or metaphysics, applying concrete solutions from Buddhist teachings to real problems in easily digestible chunks.

    Michelle says: "Full of "shoulds""
    "Full of "shoulds""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read hundreds of Buddhist books, and one of the characteristics I appreciate most is the lack of judgmental, right/wrong attitudes and language. This book is the exception. It is written with a parental tone and is filled with "shoulds".

    As I listened, I envisioned a frustrated HR manager who wanted staff to behave more appropriately and framed a book with that underlying purpose using Buddhism to mask that intention. The recommendations that to be successful you should to come to work before your boss, leave after your boss, and never surf the web are examples that were presented in that tone. I also found that there was much more of a typical self-help orientation than a spiritual orientation.

    If you are a very new employee and need advice about appropriate behavior at work, I can imagine someone might recommend this book to you. If your challenges with work are more sophisticated than that, keep looking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Island in the Sea of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By S. M. Stirling
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (676)
    Performance
    (357)
    Story
    (366)

    During a perfect spring evening on Nantucket, a violent storm erupts and a dome of crawling, colored fire blankets the island. When the howling winds subside and the night skies clear, the stars appear to have shifted. The mainland has become a wilderness of unbroken forest, where tools of bronze and stone litter the beaches, and primitive natives scatter in terror.

    Kevin says: "Listen to this before "Dies the fire""
    "Great story and narration, but hard to follow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a good story, similar to SM Stirling's other books. Narration is competent and does a good job of differentiating the characters. Unfortunately, I found it so hard to follow, I broke down and bought the print copy so I could go back and forth. Within chapters, the book transitions from one storyline to another. In the print book, there are no subheadings, simply a few extra blank lines to show the transition. In the audio, these transitions run together giving almost no indication that a transition is happening. If you are doing anything at all that means you are not paying total attention every second, you will find yourself rewinding often to figure out what you missed. In combination with the print book to refer back to, I did really enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Redbreast

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1070)
    Performance
    (833)
    Story
    (835)

    It is 1944: Daniel, a soldier, legendary among the Norwegians fighting the advance of Bolshevism on the Russian front, is killed. Two years later, a wounded soldier wakes up in a Vienna hospital. He becomes involved with a young nurse, the consequences of which will ripple forward to the turn of the next century. In 1999, Harry Hole, alone again after having caused an embarrassment in the line of duty, has been promoted to inspector and is lumbered with surveillance duties. He is assigned the task of monitoring neo-Nazi activities....

    David says: "Bravura writing"
    "Fine story that is difficult to follow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased both the Kindle version and audio version of this book, and I'm glad I did. This story was very difficult to follow with only the audio book. I believe it was difficult to follow for these reasons: 1) the beginning of the story jumps around to different time periods with no explanation why or early assistance understanding how the story's pieces fit together, 2) for an American reader, the Norwegian names are difficult to differentiate when spoken, so it takes quite a while to keep the characters straight. This markedly increases the difficulties caused by #1. Seeing the names written in the Kindle version helped a great deal, and 3) because of #1 and #2, if you are doing anything else while listening and lose your concentration for a second, you can miss very important details of the plot.

    I did enjoy the book, found the story to be well crafted, and finished it. I'm certain that without the written version to refer to, I would have given up early on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16488)
    Performance
    (14657)
    Story
    (14698)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Not one likable character."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a well written book and the performance of the readers enhances its value. I cannot disagree with most of the positive reviews of this book, yet I did not enjoy this book at all. All of the characters in this book are unlikeable and shallow and elicited no connection for me. I did finish listening to Gone Girl Gone, but I cannot recommend it. It passed the time, but that was about it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (11363)
    Performance
    (9836)
    Story
    (9808)

    Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

    Chris says: "Good Biography, Fine narrator"
    "Great book, narration is FINE"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm writing this review primarily to provide balance to the group of very negative reviews about the narrator. Those reviews almost stopped me from buying a great book. After listening, I found the criticisms of Mr. Baker's narration to be overdone. As a mainstream person who knows about as much about Mr. Jobs as most, I didn't find anything offensive in the narrator's reading of quotes from Jobs. I think this book is well worth the credits and the time. It made a very long drive to Florida tolerable!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Susanna Clarke
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (3286)
    Performance
    (1280)
    Story
    (1283)

    English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.

    David says: "Hang in there!"
    "Boring with no likable characters"
    Overall

    Simon Prebble is my favorite narrator, so this clearly must have been my reaction to the book, not the narration. I found the book sloooooooow with not one single character that I liked or identified with.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Lisette Lecat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2511)
    Performance
    (1040)
    Story
    (1041)

    Mma "Precious" Ramotswe sets up a detective agency in Botswana on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, making her the only female detective in the country. At first, cases are hard to come by. But eventually, troubled people come to Precious with a variety of concerns. Potentially philandering husbands, seemingly schizophrenic doctors, and a missing boy who may have been killed by witch doctors all compel Precious to roam about in her tiny van, searching for clues.

    Gene says: "Transcends its Genre"
    "Narrator tick nearly ruins book....."
    Overall

    I had to work really hard to get into this book. I found the narrator's consistent over-enunciation of the lead character's name: "Mma Ramotswe", was almost enough to make me give up. Imagine that every time the main character's name is said, and it is often (!), the narrator takes an audible deep breath and then give an exaggerated pronunciation. Over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over. Someone else said it was like tripping repeatedly on uneven tile, and I agree!

    That said, the book was enjoyable and aside from the complaint above, the narrator fine.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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