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farmington hills, mi, United States | Member Since 2018

  • 3 reviews
  • 81 ratings
  • 282 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2018

  • Gods and Beasts: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Denise Mina
    • Narrated By Moira Quirk
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It's the week before Christmas when a lone robber bursts into a busy Glasgow post office carrying an AK-47. An elderly man suddenly hands his young grandson to a stranger and wordlessly helps the gunman fill bags with cash, then carries them to the door. He opens the door and bows his head; the robber fires off the AK-47, tearing the grandfather in two. DS Alex Morrow arrives on the scene and finds that the alarm system had been disabled before the robbery. Yet upon investigation, none of the employees can be linked to the gunman.

    Brook says: "Wonderful writing, not-so-wonderful performance"
    "The narration :("

    I listened to the first two is this series in about three days and bought this one without listening to a sample or paying attention to the narrator. Huge mistake. Can't stand the nasally voice and the accent isn't Scottish. Going to have to read it. So sad.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon awakens in a hospital in the middle of the night. Disoriented and suffering from a head wound, he recalls nothing of the last 36 hours, including how he got there...or the origin of the macabre object that his doctors discover hidden in his belongings. Langdon's world soon erupts into chaos, and he finds himself on the run in Florence with a stoic young woman, Sienna Brooks, whose clever maneuvering saves his life.

    Livia says: "Formulaic and Hard to Finish...."
    "Dan Brown puts the "no" in Inferno"

    Inferno, Dan Brown's latest, holds no surprises. Langdon finds himself in Italy (this time Venice) to save the world (from a deadly virus) in the hands of a secret society (scientists trying to cut the world population by a third). Accompanied by an intelligent and attractive woman, Langdon scurries around the city and beyond pursued and in pursuit of people he doesn't know if he can trust.

    The literary tie in -- Dante's Inferno, the history and archaeology in the book, the killer virus aspect, and Langdon's charm did keep me reading. In fact, I couldn't get through it fast enough -- in that I wanted it to be over already so I could read something better.

    With Dan Brown we expect twists, but the never-ending twists back and forth in Inferno gave me whiplash. And like always the preachy sounding narrative was, like always, ad nauseum.
    Also two kind of minor things really bothered me. First was the blonde ponytail on the heroine - which (spoiler alert) turns out to be a wig. While I've never worn a wig, one swept up in a ponytail sounds implausible. I could be wrong.

    Second was the implausibility of secret code names of the secret society members, a combination of two letters and four numbers, a formula that in the book is supposed to be completely unique. Having one of these two letters four number code names proves that someone is part of the society. Far-fetched, no? Admittedly, I probably only noticed it because I have one of these combination code names myself - as does everyone who teaches or attends one of my alma maters - although not made of initials and hundredth birth dates.

    The flat narration (this was an Audible listen for me) didn't help. I'm no psychic, but I'd bet some money that the narrator didn't like the book.

    I've never been the biggest Dan Brown Fan although I have read most of his books, considering them guilty pleasures and not serious reads. Da Vinci Code especially was a fun read, but the formula is very tired now, and I probably won't read his next one, but who knows?

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fever: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Mary Beth Keane
    • Narrated By Candace Thaxton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Mary Mallon was a courageous, headstrong Irish immigrant woman who bravely came to America alone, fought hard to climb up from the lowest rung of the domestic service ladder, and discovered in herself an uncanny, and coveted, talent for cooking. Working in the kitchens of the upper class, she left a trail of disease in her wake, until one enterprising and ruthless "medical engineer" proposed the inconceivable notion of the "asymptomatic carrier" - and from then on Mary Mallon was a hunted woman.

    karen says: ""Faction" at its best"
    "Fever: a hot summer listen"

    I just finished listening to Fever by Mary Beth Keane, narrated by Candace Thaxton.

    Fever is a fictional account of the life of Mary Mallon (1869-1938) better known as Typhoid Mary. It's the the 27th book I've read (or listened to) in 2013 and so far my favorite.

    Keane brings Mary Mallon to life as a complex and even likeable character although as a cook and an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid fever Mary infects at least fifty people, at least three of whom die. After outbreaks are traced back to her, Mary is quarantined against her will on an island clinic for over two years and released only when she agrees never again to work as a cook.

    Mary is portrayed as realistically complicated in her fierce denial, good intentions, failures, doubts, financial struggles, and her role as enabler to her longtime live-in boyfriend.

    Keane is a master of description. I have a hunch that a couple of my book club friends might say there is too much description, but I would disagree. It is this element that transported me to early 20th century New York City where I felt a baby leave this world as I held it in my arms, bought a blue hat, hid from the authorities on a snow cold day, loved and hated and loved a man who was addicted to alcohol and then drugs, rationalized a return to my first-love - cooking, and finally accept my typhoid carrier status, my heart breaking under the weight of it.

    This book will haunt me for days.

    The many themes of Fever make it an ideal pick for a book club: the power of denial, forcible quarantine, co-dependency, this era of New York City.

    Candace Thaxton's narration is top-rate. As far as audiobooks go, perhaps my all-time favorite.

    Story: 5/5
    Writing: 5/5
    Narration: 5/5

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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