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So many great books, and so little time to meet them all..this is why I adore audio books, I take them with me everywhere: studio, garden etc.

Mildura, Australia | Member Since 2011

  • 6 reviews
  • 113 ratings
  • 599 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015

  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "Do the outcomes justify life's sacrifices?"

    An aspiring young actress is sacrificed to protect a debauched major actor's reputation, a woman sacrifices her career to bear his child. Another young man sacrifices the love of his life and their illegitimate child to preserve the honour of his beloved's family. Was any of it worth it?

    Whilst not earth shattering material, this a beautifully written and quite well crafted yarn set alternatively in America and deeply rural Italy, moving from the 60's to the modern day.

    The characters, while not always likable are interesting and drawn with depth and credibility. My personal favourite was the youngest son, Pasquale, the proprietor of the hotel in Porto Vergogna, who dreams of building a cantilevered tennis court on the side of a mountain, to attract rich American tourists to his hotel, hopefully to resurrect the tiny, dying village. There are quite a few cameo characters in this story, all given their own detectable personalites with a few clever brush stroke sentences by the author. I particularly enjoyed the quirkiness of Pasquale and his village compadres.

    I always enjoy a long 'read' and quite happily enjoyed every minute of the 12 plus hours of this book, and will definitely read it again. My 21 year old daughter also recently listened to it and enjoyed it very much.

    Edouardo Ballerini reads this just beautifully. Quite amazing how he can deliver both a strident agressive male Hollywood studio executive, and the gentle Italian lilt of Pasquale and his mama. The female voices are also well done and not cringe making, which is a huge relief. I can recommend him as a narrator, with no reservation.

    Overall, I am very happy I purchased this book, and pleased to recommend it to other readers

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Eat, Pray, Love is a journey around the world, a quest for spiritual enlightenment, and a story for anyone who has battled with divorce, depression, and heartbreak. It's 3 a.m., and Elizabeth Gilbert is sobbing on the bathroom floor. She's in her 30s, she has a husband, a house, they're trying for a baby - and she doesn't want any of it. A bitter divorce and a turbulent love affair later, she emerges battered and bewildered and realises it is time to pursue her own journey in search of three things she has been missing....

    Dianne says: "ever get that sinking feeling..."
    "ever get that sinking feeling..."

    ...guess it had to happen eventually, only 21 minutes into this book and I realised I had made a terrible mistake and wasted my precious monthly credit. The feeling started to loom when the author, reading her book, made the announcement that it was not appropriate to share what had brought her to the point of writing this book, but apparently we were still expected to wade with her through her nobly avoiding lovers and maundering through her randomly and ramblingly defined concept of (oh no) 'god'...won't even give this a second chance...was hoping to deal with the real issues of marriage and depression, not the self indulgent memoir of a too wealthy, wet behind the ears thirty somthing...

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Saul Reichlin

    Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder - and that the killer is a member of his own family. He employs journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, truculent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet's disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history.

    Joe says: "worthwhile"
    "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

    Based on the reviews that I read I was looking forward to this book and whilst it was enjoyable enough I felt at the end that the whole thing was just slightly off key, and I won't be listening to it again. I did not feel that any of the characters really achieved their potential under the writer's hand although they came closest in the Lisbet character. The 'baddies' were just too bad, too black and white and I felt too, that the violence, grotesque as it was, was perhaps just a tad calculated to shock the reader.
    Perhaps Larsson's style lost something in the translation, but I found that the language was pretty wooden as if he was just churning through and trying to get the story told without much consideration for style. The narrator was just fine and I would be happy to listen to him again, but not in a Larsson novel...

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Interface

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson, J. Frederick George
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this now-classic thriller, he and fellow author J. Frederick George tell a shocking tale with an all-too plausible premise. There's no way William A. Cozzano can lose the upcoming presidential election. He's a likable midwestern governor with one insidious advantage - an advantage provided by a shadowy group of backers.

    reena says: "Interface"

    I confess I am biased, because I do like long and detailed books and I am happy to say that I think I have just found a new author to add to my list of favourites, this being my first Stephenson read. I found this book an absolutely ripper read, a good rollicking conspiracy yarn cleverly punctuated with wry humour, unpretentious but not inelegant use of vernacular in amusing asides to the reader. Some lovely quirky characters and even the baddies are amusing, the goodies not too sickly sweet! Now, which Stephenson to read next...? Oh, and an important addition, the narrator was excellent, none of the voices jarred, his timing,pacing and savouring of the language of the book perfect!

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The Company: A Novel of the CIA

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Littell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick

    "If Robert Littell didn't invent the American spy novel," says Tom Clancy, "he should have." In this spectacular Cold-War-as-Alice-in-Wonderland epic, Littell, "the American le Carre," takes us down the rabbit hole and into the labyrinthine world of espionage that has been the CIA for the last half-century. "Ostensibly a single novel, The Company can also be listened to as an anthology of cracking good spy stories," says (Publishers Weekly).

    Cynthia says: "Hang on to your Hat"
    "A Great Listen"

    What a fantastic listen, at no time did I think that 40 hours was too long: I found this novel interesting from start to finish and a great way to get a birds eye view of modern history. Littell's style has enough detail and originality of expression to engage the 'reader' without slowing it down too much for the listener who likes action. Definitely qualifies for a repeat listen before too long. The narrator was easy to listen to and characterised the voices very well without causing one to cringe.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Bones and Silence

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Reginald Hill
    • Narrated By Brian Glover

    Andy Dalziel of the Mid-Yorks CID has witnessed a murder, but it was though dark glass and he was being sick at the time. Now he finds the case shrouded in uncertainty and a string of contradictory statements. And who is his anonymous letter writer threatening suicide? Meanwhile Dalziel's colleague, Peter Pascoe, has returned from a long convalescence uncertain about his job, his marriage, or his motivations whilst having to act as a moderator to the strong-willed Dalziel.

    Mark says: "poor quality audio"
    "Sorry to say"

    I normally love the Dalziel and Pascoe books and have many read by Colin Buchanan and Shane Dooley. I am sorry to say that this the reader of this one, I find virtually impossible to listen to, the sound is so muffled. It's a great story, the usual complex of delights but I will be seeking out another version.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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