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NYBackus

ratings
24
REVIEWS
4
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
3

  • Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Sara Gran
    • Narrated By Carol Monda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (70)

    When Paul Casablancas, Claire DeWitt’s ex-boyfriend and a popular musician in the Bay Area scene, is found dead in his apartment, his cherished guitars missing, the police are convinced it’s a simple robbery. But Claire knows that nothing is ever simple. With the help of her new assistant, Claude, Claire follows the clues, finding hints to Paul’s fate in her other cases - especially a long-ago missing girl in New York’s gritty East Village and a modern-day miniature-horse theft in Marin.

    Tavish McT says: "Suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride"
    "Started well and went downhill"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway?

    "I took a bump of cocaine" "I took two bumps of cocaine" "I found a bottle of percocet in his medicine cabinet, took two, and then pocketed the bottle." "I did a line." Etc. etc. The endless drug use of Claire DeWitt begins to be laughable. And Claire can't seem to say anything without qualifying it. "Maybe it was even the truth; I don't know; I was too f**ked up to care. I took a bump of cocaine." Okay, I'm not actually quoting the book, but the character of Claire DeWitt which starts out as intriguing ultimately becomes very boring and repetitive. It reads more like a send-up of noir crime novels than an addition to the genre. I was looking forward to this book based on a good review on NPR but I was finally very disappointed. That said, the narrator, Carol Monda, does a very good job of providing Claire with a voice as she goes from one cocaine "bump" to another, although the other characters tend to sound somewhat alike.


    Has Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not necessarily but I probably won't read or listen to the other Claire DeWitt book and any subsequent CDeW books.


    Which character – as performed by Carol Monda – was your favorite?

    Claire herself whose gravelly "I'm just barely hanging on here" voice was well represented by Monda.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment began to set in about halfway through the book, but by the end every time another "bump" of cocaine was referred to, it began to be humorous.


    Any additional comments?

    Sara Gran is not going to give the Scandinavian writers of dark crime fiction any competition at this rate.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kafka on the Shore

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett, Oliver Le Sueur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1598)
    Performance
    (900)
    Story
    (895)

    Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at 15, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down.

    Melinda says: "Brilliant Meandering--what was in those brownies.."
    "Haunting, Unsettling, Puzzling, Captivating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would recommend it. It may not be everybody's cup of tea as it leaves many things unanswered and puzzling, but I found it utterly captivating and couldn't wait to get back to it each time I had to put it down (if that's the right phrase for an audiobook). Murakami is a challenge in many ways (I've read others of his books) but he's constantly fascinating and engrossing and, lord knows, highly inventive.


    What other book might you compare Kafka on the Shore to and why?

    I also loved On Such a Full Sea by Chang Rae Lee which is a dystopian novel set in a future Baltimore (called in the book B-Mor). That, too, had fantastic and thought-provoking elements and was equally captivating.


    Have you listened to any of Sean Barrett and Oliver Le Sueur ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I was delighted to realize that Sean Barrett was reading the Nakata sections as I have been a fan ever since I listened to Bleak House read by him and Teresa Gallagher (a sensational performance by both of what is undoubtedly one of the best books in the English language). Oliver Le Sueur was new to me, but he was terrific.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it was much too long for that, I think, and I listen primarily while I'm driving.


    Any additional comments?

    Murakami is a wonderful writer and not to be missed by any serious reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tom Reiss
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    Overall
    (393)
    Performance
    (350)
    Story
    (353)

    Father of the novelist Alexandre Dumas, Alex Dumas has become, through his son's books, the model for a captivating modern protagonist: The wronged man in search of justice. Born to a black slave mother and a fugitive white French nobleman in Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti), Alex Dumas was briefly sold into bondage but then made his way to Paris where he was schooled as a sword-fighting member of the French aristocracy. He was only 32 when he was given command of 53,000 men, the reward for series of triumphs that many regarded as impossible, and then topped his previous feats by leading a raid up a frozen cliff face....

    Jean says: "Truth more unbelivable than fiction"
    "The Unknown Story of Alexandre Dumas Grandpere"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Black Count the most enjoyable?

    Tom Reiss writes extremely well and picks fascinating topics. This story of the son of a French marquis and a San Domaine (now Haiti) slave woman who rises to become a celebrated general in the French revolution during a brief era when all men (and women) were, in fact, considered equal. Because of highest ideals of the revolution, being half black was no longer an obstacle to accomplishing great things. Alas, the revolution was betrayed and the period was brief; racism quickly returned. It's a fascinating story of the man who would father the novelist Alexandre Dumas but who was clearly a remarkable man, a celebrity in his own right and a fascinating figure in French history.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Woman in White

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By Roger Rees, Rosalyn Landor, John Lee, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (329)
    Performance
    (253)
    Story
    (258)

    Secrets, mistaken identities, surprise revelations, amnesia, locked rooms and locked asylums, and an unorthodox villain made this mystery thriller an instant success when it first appeared in 1860, and it has continued to enthrall ever since. From the hero's foreboding before his arrival at Limmeridge House to the nefarious plot concerning the beautiful Laura, the breathtaking tension of Collins's narrative created a new literary genre of suspense fiction, which profoundly shaped the course of English popular writing.

    JGrace says: "Another multi-cast winner"
    "Splendid performances of a less than splendid book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Woman in White the most enjoyable?

    By far the most compelling thing about this audiobook are the performances which are absolutely first-rate.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The fact that it is told in the first-person by a number of the characters, both male and female, was quite interesting. The mystery of the woman in white does carry you along for quite a while and then the mystery of how Hartright will set things right takes over. Unfortunately, the ending is somewhat fortuitous and contrived.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The section which Frederick Fairlie narrates is hilarious.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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