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Brent

Member Since 2009

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 244 ratings
  • 924 titles in library
  • 65 purchased in 2014
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  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Shirley Jackson
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (363)
    Performance
    (287)
    Story
    (291)

    Six years after four family members died of arsenic poisoning, the three remaining Blackwoods—elder, agoraphobic sister Constance; wheelchair-bound Uncle Julian; and 18-year-old Mary Katherine, or, Merricat—live together in pleasant isolation. Merricat has developed an idiosyncratic system of rules and protective magic to guard the estate against intrusions from hostile villagers. But one day a stranger arrives—cousin Charles, with his eye on the Blackwood fortune.

    jaspersu says: "The narration changed my interpretation"
    "Brilliant and creepy tale of agoraphobic sisters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some people might not "get" this book, but if it works for you, you are in for a treat. Shirley Jackson is a brilliant writer, and this is her at her best. It is not a horror novel like The Haunting of Hill House, but it's still very unsettling. It is about a family who live a secluded life. The protagonist is creepy, but also very sympathetic, so as the reader you root for her even as she does weird things, like doing things she considers to be magic spells (e.g., nailing things to trees), and trying to avoid society. She is a great example of an unreliable narrator, and seeing the story through her eyes makes it much more affecting and surreal.

    The narration is fantastic. Dunne's tone evokes the antisocial fear and strangeness that the text should have.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Shoggoth's Old Peculiar: A Free Short Story by Neil Gaiman, Plus a Preview of The Ocean at the End of the Lane

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 6 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    Overall
    (1185)
    Performance
    (1074)
    Story
    (1081)

    "Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar", a short story from Neil Gaiman's collection Smoke and Mirrors, follows an American student’s walking tour of the British coastline, which takes an odd turn when he comes to the town of Innsmouth.

    Janice says: "Change of selection"
    "Great short story. Preview will make you impatient"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was very sad to come to the end of the preview; I can't wait for Ocean to come out now.

    Shoggoth's Old Peculiar is a wonderfully narrated, excellent story. It's a funny and Lovecraftian, more than just a Lovecraft spoof or a funny story in which the Mythos is mentioned. I've seen it compared to the work of Douglas Adams, which is fair, but it reminded me more of Jerome K. Jerome, which is even higher praise in my book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rithmatist

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1696)
    Performance
    (1557)
    Story
    (1564)

    More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings - merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

    Brandon says: "Beware of the chalk!"
    "Top-notch magic system in YA story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has a good magic system, which the author is known for. I prefer his adult novels, but this one isn't YA in a bad way. It's just shorter and has a teenage protagonist, and the scope isn't as large as in his epic doorstoppers. Basically, it's great for teens and adults, although not as good as The Way of Kings or Mistborn. Compared to other YA, I'd say it's up there with Westerfeld's books.

    Michael Kramer is awesome, as usual.

    Definitely follow along with the PDF. You can store it on your phone and (when not driving) look at diagrams for the chapters you're listening to. The narration does a great job of covering the diagrams without you looking, but it's nice to see them too. It's not a big deal if you lag behind the audio when looking at the diagrams, but don't look ahead! There are major spoilers if you look at the diagrams before you get to that part of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • East of Eden

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1228)
    Performance
    (1057)
    Story
    (1072)

    This sprawling and often brutal novel, set in the rich farmlands of California's Salinas Valley, follows the intertwined destinies of two families - the Trasks and the Hamiltons - whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

    Suzn F says: "Epic story of Love and Loss"
    "Great book with excellent narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to East of Eden again? Why?

    Yes, I fully intend to. The characters and setting are so real and interesting that I want to experience the book again.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lee, because he was awesome and wise.


    Have you listened to any of Richard Poe’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    It's the first I've listened to with Richard Poe, but I hope it's not the last.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me laugh in parts.


    Any additional comments?

    I can see why it's considered a classic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doomsday Book

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2135)
    Performance
    (1443)
    Story
    (1464)

    For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong.

    Sara says: "A Haunting First Book in the Series"
    "Beautiful book with perfect narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is wonderful. The characters and story are great, and the author combines the subtle humor with the serious events expertly. The narration is spot-on. The voices are all perfectly done and add to the reader's connection to the characters. It's not supposed to be a fast-paced thriller, as the negative reviews seem to have mistakenly thought. It tells an amazing story at the appropriate pace for the story. Speeding it up to YA novel speed would have taken away from the book. It's an amazing novel; I highly recommend it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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