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Katherine

Georgetown, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2011

91
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 96 reviews
  • 98 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 40 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
7

  • Young Philby: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Robert Littell
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Best-selling novelist Robert Littell employs all his considerable skills in telling the story of Kim Philby through the eyes of more than 20 true-life characters. When Kim Philby fled to Moscow in 1963, he became the most infamous double agent in history. A member of Britain's intelligence service since World War II, he had risen to become their chief officer in Washington, D.C. after the war. The exposure of other members of the group of double agents known as the Cambridge Five led to the revelation that he had been working for Russia for even longer than he had been part of MI6.

    Darwin8u says: ""Ahistorical" Espionage Fiction"
    "Nobody does it better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was prepared for a book that I wouldn't enjoy as much as Robert Littell's masterpiece, The Company, and I also feared I wouldn't like it much at all, ruining him for me. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it was about Philby as a fairly young boy, to show how he took the path he did. There were some elements of that, but there was still a lot of intrigue, a lot of spycraft, especially as the story progresses.. Do hang on to the very end if you're enjoying it at all. You must!

    I also enjoy going back into a time before we know how things turned out and can see the sense in people's choices through that lens. Who could have said how far the revolutionary zeal in the U.S.S.R., for example, would spread? I never thought of Philby as making choices in an anti-fascist period, when all of Stalin's horrors weren't known and people feared the rise of Hitler.

    The book's format, with the story presented through interviews worked for me as well, as did John Lee's narration. A large amount of the book was read with dialects, which could be a bit distracting, but he pulled it off.

    It was a great book and definitely a new approach to a familiar subject.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Sisters

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Robert Littell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (251)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (58)

    Robert Littell has created the CIA "legends" Francis and Carroll, dubbed "The Sisters Death and Night" by their cohorts. They've located the perfect pawn, the Potter, the exiled ex-head of the KGB sleeper school - and, with artful deception, the Sisters coerce him into betraying his last and best sleeper, the man he considers his son. Once awakened, this sleeper, will launch a mission of death - unless the Potter can stop his protegé from committing the Sisters' perfect and world-shattering crime.

    John R. Brown says: "Littell Light"
    "Better than I expected, worth a listen."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Basically, if you like Robert Littell, you'll like this book. I waited a long time to listen, fearing I'd be disappointed from some of the reviews, but I think the issue is, when someone writes a masterpiece like The Company, everything else is pale in comparison. But, on its own, The Sisters is an intriguing spy story with rich characters. It's amazing how he links events that we're all familiar with and we have the sense that we're really peeking behind the veil into the world of intrigue that doesn't make it into the newspapers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Russka: The Novel of Russia

    • UNABRIDGED (39 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Edward Rutherfurd
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (87)

    Russka is the story of four families who are divided by ethnicity but united in shaping the destiny of Russia. From a single riverside village situated at one of the country’s geographic crossroads, Russia’s Slav peasant origins are influenced by the Greco-Iranian, Khazar, Jewish, and Mongol invasions. Unified by this one place, the many cultures blend to form a rich and varied tapestry. Rutherfurd’s grand saga is as multifaceted as Russia itself.

    Angelyn says: "Wonderful Historical Novel"
    "First one of his I didn't enjoy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Despite the wonderful history lesson each of Edward Rutherfurd's books provides, I stopped this one part way through. I did learn that Russians had been oppressed systematically long before the Soviets and got a sense of the vastness of the land and its effect on the people. However, the stories seemed too grim and not as engaging as his other books. I've usually found with Rutherfurd's books that if one period doesn't hook you as much, the next one will, but none of them did for me. Unless you are passionate to learn about Russia, this might be one to pass on. I still wish I'd finished it, but it turned into 'work', which isn't my goal with Audiobooks!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Berlin Diaries: 1940-1945

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Marie Vassiltchikov
    • Narrated By Alexandra O’Karma
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    A princess of White Russian descent, Marie Vassiltchikov was 23 years old when she was trapped in Berlin by the outbreak of World War II. In these secret diaries, she chronicles the glamorous rise and shattering fall of the Nazi Party, as seen from the vantage point of her desk at the Foreign Ministry. She also describes how she and her friends became involved in a desperate conspiracy to murder Hitler.

    Brendan says: "slow to start but gathers pace"
    "Unique perspective for people who like WW2 stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is taken directly from the diaries of a Russian aristocrat whose family had fled the USSR after the Revolution and who finds herself in Berlin struggling to make a living during the war. Despite it being from diary entries, it is not dry and the narrative flows along nicely. For those who enjoy reading about this period, it is a different perspective from a brave and likable person. I'm glad I gave this a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Days Without Number

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Robert Goddard
    • Narrated By Gordon Griffin
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Nick Paleologus is summoned to the unyielding bosom of his family to help resolve a dispute which threatens to set his brothers and sisters against their aged and irascible father. Michael Paleologus, retired archaeologist and supposed descendant of the last Emperors of Byzantium, lives alone at Trennor, a remote and rambling house on the Cornish bank of the Tamar. A ridiculously generous offer has been made for the house, but he refuses to sell despite the urgings of his children, for whom the proceeds would solve a variety of problems.

    Die Falknerin says: "A modern writer worth reading"
    "Engaging and convoluted, as always"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm writing this much later, so what I remember is that it did not disappoint me at all. I find Robert Goddard's books suck you into the plot, which is always a bit of a stretch for believability, but that's part of the fun. It takes you totally away from whatever else you might be thinking about into a world of its own, which remains intriguing throughout the book. What more could you ask for?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death of a Dreamer

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (72)

    Effie Garrand is quite delusional, having convinced herself and everyone else that local artist Jock Fleming is in love with her, and that they are engaged. After a huge fight with Jock, Effie is found in the mountains, poisoned by hemlock. Now, it's up to Hamish to find the dreamer's killer before any more nightmares unfold.

    Michele Charles says: "A warm and welcome place"
    "Very enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted some lovely escapist fun and this one was perfect. It had enough depth to be interesting, but without becoming painfully real. Most of the bad guys got their comeuppance in the end, which is great or 'grand', as Hamish would say. Hamish has women all around him and none of them changing his life much at all, which was fun. The real constants are his pets and his work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Man Without Breath

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Philip Kerr
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (97)

    Berlin, March, 1943. A month has passed since the stunning defeat at Stalingrad. Though Hitler insists Germany is winning the war, commanders on the ground know better. Morale is low, discipline at risk. Now word has reached Berlin of a Red massacre of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest near Smolensk. If true, the message it would send to the troops is clear: Fight on or risk certain death.

    Joyce says: "Greatest Series Ever."
    "Good writing, but too violent for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed the first part and don't mind the lead character's black humour. Germany and Russia in 1943 weren't the cheeriest places and his outlook lightens things up in a way that's necessary. I don't even mind the focus on death and despair. But for me personally, I can't handle details of rape and torture and after I'd skipped some sections to miss them and I could tell another one was about to begin, I called it quits. I also realized I didn't mind if I never knew how it turned out. After all, we know the ending of WW2, don't we?! I know we're all unique in what we can tolerate in terms of violence, so it's your call if this book's for you or not. There were a lot of characters with difficult names and that could be a bit confusing at times and I made a few notes to keep them straight. I do enjoy a good WW2 story and I took the risk here from an author I'd read before.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A History of the World in 6 Glasses

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Tom Standage
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1300)
    Performance
    (1106)
    Story
    (1107)

    Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than just quench thirst. As Tom Standage relates with authority and charm, six of them have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history, becoming the defining drink during a pivotal historical period. A History of the World in 6 Glasses tells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the 21st century through the lens of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola.

    Stoker says: "Fun and Informative"
    "Better than you might think"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was occasionally tedious, but overall I'm glad I listened. I learned lots of little tidbits (sips?) of history as related to each beverage. The author tied each drink into its historical period without lapsing into overstating its importance to world events. Surprisingly, I learned the most about the most recent one - Coca Coca - and in the epilogue he muses about drinks in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cell

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Robin Cook
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (294)
    Performance
    (264)
    Story
    (265)

    George Wilson, M.D., a radiology resident in Los Angeles, is about to enter a profession on the brink of an enormous paradigm shift, foreshadowing a vastly different role for doctors everywhere. The smartphone is poised to take on a new role in medicine, no longer as a mere medical app but rather as a fully customizable personal physician capable of diagnosing and treating even better than the real thing. It is called iDoc. George's initial collision with this incredible innovation is devastating.

    DebaDeb says: "There's an app for that!"
    "Some weaknesses, but well worth a listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wouldn't call this the strongest Robin Cook book, mostly because the characters didn't seem as fleshed out as they were in earlier books. But the premise of the book is so interesting and its effects so far-reaching that the book is fascinating. Plus, it's still better written than most books. It is a story that keeps you interested, with some surprises. For fans of Robin Cook, don't miss it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Dog Who Knew Too Much: A Chet and Bernie Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Spencer Quinn
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (670)
    Performance
    (580)
    Story
    (568)

    Combining suspense and intrigue with a wonderfully humorous take on the link between man and beast, Spencer Quinn's exceptional mystery series has captured widespread praise since its New York Times best-selling debut, Dog on It. The Dog Who Knew Too Much marks the duo's triumphant return in a tale that's full of surprises.

    LINDA says: "Mystery from the canine point of vew"
    "Lots of laughs"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a delightful book, with many smiles and laugh out loud moments, all due to the dog's perceptions and lack of them. There was enough of a plot to keep things moving along, but the charm is really seeing things from the dog's point of view. It's brilliant and charming, plus the narration makes it perfect. I'm sure I'll read more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Blue

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Robert Goddard
    • Narrated By Paul Shelley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (64)

    Harry Barnett, a middle-aged failure, leads a shabby existence. He is reduced to caretaking a friend's villa on the island of Rhodes and working in a bar to earn his keep. Then a guest at the villa - a young woman he had instantly warmed to - disappears on a mountain peak. Under suspicion of her murder, Harry becomes obsessed by the mystery that has changed his life and begins to trace back the movements and encounters that led to the moment where she vanished into the blue.

    John says: "Goddard never lets me down. Another great book."
    "Favourite of his so far"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was all set to find the middle section long, based on the other reviews, but I didn't at all. Nor did I find any characters or storylines abandoned, but maybe I missed it! This is my third Robert Goddard book and it seemed perfectly paced. There is lots to keep one's interest along the way and much to reveal at the end.

    I find that I can't listen to his books one right after another, because of the similar elements (revenge, betrayal, nothing is what it seems, etc.), but after a brief rest, I'll return for more. Clearly, it doesn't seem to matter what the external circumstance is in terms of plot and setting, because he makes it a good story in each case. I'm fond of plots with political overtones myself because it lifts things out of the merely personal into a wider sphere. I'll look forward to the next one soon! I'll have to remember to have a dictionary nearby next time for the occasional new word. That's the mark of a good novel for sure!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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