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Sonja

Wesley Chapel, Fl, United States | Member Since 2013

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 35 ratings
  • 110 titles in library
  • 35 purchased in 2014
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  • The Upper Room

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Mary Monroe
    • Narrated By Kevin Free
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    Nationally best-selling author Mary Monroe createsan unforgettable cast of characters in The Upper Room. Mama Ruby stole her best friend's baby girl, ran off to Florida, and raised her as her own. Maureen is the center of Mama Ruby's world, and she will do anything to protect her and their life together. Now Maureen wants to know what the rest of the world is like. She is determined to find out, but escaping Mama Ruby won't be easy.

    Catherine says: "Excellent follow-up to Mama Ruby"
    "The Upper Room will be a Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Upper Room in three words, what would they be?

    Characters on Parade


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mama Ruby is my favorite character. She is the center of a universe of misfits. While every fan of Mama Ruby knows she is unpredictable, her antics still have the ability to shock and amuse the reader. The hilarity of her perspectives and actions are magnified when contextualized by the reactions and perspectives of the cast of characters with whom Mama Ruby interacts daily.


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

    Prior to listening to the Upper Room, I listened to Kevin Free's narration of "Mama Ruby". Mr. Free is extremely talented and his ability to enliven characters from the page provided me with a brand new experience with this reading of the Upper Room. I had previously read the Upper Room years ago, but chose to listen to it again through Audible. I think I enjoyed the story far more with Mr. Free's narration. With both performances, Mr. Free does an excellent job, however, he exceeded the mark with the Upper Room.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Through out the story, Mama Ruby guarded against "maniacs" who may attempt to "rape" her or Maureen. When a true rape did occur, I found it ironic that the perpetrator was not "chastened" by Mama Ruby's methods, though one could argue that justice was still served.


    Any additional comments?

    Kevin Free's narration of Mary Monroe's The Upper Room results in the perfect storytelling experience!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heft

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liz Moore
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Keith Szarabajka
    Overall
    (1640)
    Performance
    (1482)
    Story
    (1489)

    Forrmer academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career - if he can untangle himself from his family drama.

    Melinda says: "Intriguing--Captivating--Altering"
    "Haunting Story of Love & Loneliness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Heft in three words, what would they be?

    Love's many faces


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Arthur Opp was undoubtedly my favorite character. I became his cheerleader throughout the story. From the first preview listen to the completion of the book, the professor's humanity tugged at my soul. The professor had many insecurities and vulnerabilities that began in his childhood. We all have insecurities and it was easy to identify with him as a result. With such a limited support system, it was easy to see how he had allowed himself to dwell in a self-imposed prison. With each chapter, I found myself rooting for him as he attempted to overcome his personal issues to get past the traumas of his life.


    What does Kirby Heyborne and Keith Szarabajka bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Authenticity. When reading we often perceive characters in the manner in which we can best identify. Kirby and Keith were able to present the characters with the same traits my mind's ear would have heard them as having.


    If you could take any character from Heft out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I would take Charlene out to dinner. She was equally traumatized by life as was the professor. I would have encouraged her not to isolate herself from the professor, because they needed each other.


    Any additional comments?

    The story made you think of the "what if's" and the "only if's" about these characters' lives. Just as everyone looks back on their own lives of the paths they left untraveled. In spite of the "what if's", I was satisfied with the conclusion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mister Slaughter: A Matthew Corbett Novel, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (955)
    Performance
    (873)
    Story
    (866)

    . Mister Slaughter opens in the emerging metropolis of New York City in 1702, and proceeds to take both Matthew and the reader on an unforgettable journey of horror, violence, and personal discovery. The journey begins when Matthew, now an apprentice problem solver for the London-based Herrald Agency, accepts an unusual and hazardous commission. Together with his colleague, Hudson Greathouse, he agrees to escort the notorious mass murderer Tyranthus Slaughter from an asylum outside Philadelphia to the docks of New York.

    Cheryl says: "Fantastic series!"
    "A Perfect Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Mister Slaughter in three words, what would they be?

    A satisfying tale


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Mister Slaughter?

    Learning the ingredients of Mrs. Such's sausages. The peppers were not enough...


    What about Edoardo Ballerini’s performance did you like?

    Mr. Ballerini's performance was masterful. Most notable is the fact that he maintains the consistent characterizations for all of the characters throughout the series.


    Who was the most memorable character of Mister Slaughter and why?

    Mr. Slaughter was most memorable character for this story. As the prevailing villain, I was intrigued to learn how he became so villainous.


    Any additional comments?

    It seems each installment of the Matthew Corbett series is better than its predecessors. The same is true of Mr. Slaughter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Swan Song

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3146)
    Performance
    (2743)
    Story
    (2782)

    Facing down an unprecedented malevolent enemy, the government responds with a nuclear attack. America as it was is gone forever, and now every citizen - from the President of the United States to the homeless on the streets of New York City - will fight for survival. In a wasteland born of rage and fear, populated by monstrous creatures and marauding armies, earth's last survivors have been drawn into the final battle between good and evil, that will decide the fate of humanity.

    Amanda says: "Simply an Amazing Story"
    "Not what I expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Swan Song the most enjoyable?

    The story quickly drew me in and didn't let me go until the very end. I did not intend to listen to it non-stop, but ultimately I did. I started the book thinking it would be similar to the Matthew Corbett series by the same author. Instead, it was a post apocalyptic novel and I love this genre. It had a bit of mysticism in it and it played better than I would have expected with the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My three favorite characters were Swan, Joshua & Sister. I liked these characters individually and I loved the way they interacted with each other. They all demonstrated that in the worst of circumstances the human spirit can remain compassionate, determined and faithful.


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

    This was my first time listening to this narrator.


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

    Yes. I listened to it all day and night.


    Any additional comments?

    I consider the Matthew Corbett series and Swan Song to be to very different literary genres. It is rare for an author to write across genres and be just as compelling of a storyteller in each genre. I applaud Robert McCammon for being able to do it so well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Going Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1590)
    Performance
    (1467)
    Story
    (1475)

    If society collapsed, could you survive? When Morgan Carter's car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: the country's power grid has collapsed. There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored - if it ever will be.

    Randall says: "A page turner, if. . ."
    "Would have been great without politics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I now regret the time spent on this book. I was enjoying the story until the political overtones became overwhelming.


    What could A. American have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The story would have been just as good if we didn't have to hear the author's views on socialism and conspiracy theories about the government revoking individual citizens' rights. I enjoy post-civilization fiction. However, this story felt more like Tea Party propaganda.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Duke Fontaine?

    Yes, Duke Fontaine can only read what is in the book.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Nope.


    Any additional comments?

    I was thoroughly disappointed by the end

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Chamber

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    Overall
    (619)
    Performance
    (303)
    Story
    (302)

    In the corridors of Chicago's top law firm: 26-year-old Adam Hall stands on the brink of a brilliant legal career. Now he is risking it all for a death-row killer and an impossible case.

    George says: "Best of Grisham"
    "Challenged My Personal Beliefs"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Chamber to be better than the print version?

    I would not consider it better, simply more convenient.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The subject matter (the death penalty) evokes strong opinions from most people. Going in, I had my beliefs on the matter, however, the skillful rendering of the story challenged my beliefs at various points. I believe a good story should challenge your preconceived notions on a topic.


    What about Michael Beck’s performance did you like?

    Michael Beck's characterizations were done so well, I often forgot there was just one narrator.


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

    Yes, but other obligations prevented listening to it all at once.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9078)
    Performance
    (8178)
    Story
    (8184)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "Return to Clanton, MS"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Sycamore Row again? Why?

    I would listen to this story again in a few years. John Grisham's characters in Clanton, MS live in your heart and mind long after the story is told. Sycamore Row returns to Clanton, the town in which we first got to know Harry Rex, Lucien and Jake. Its like visiting old friends.


    What other book might you compare Sycamore Row to and why?

    Sycamore Row will naturally be compared with The Last Juror and A Time To Kill. The two stories in which we previously visited Clanton, MS with John Grisham. Grisham's legal tales seem more compelling when told in the context of this slow-paced southern town, filled with the local eccentrics.


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

    I especially like Michael Beck's performances of John Grisham's books. I have heard him perform The Chamber as well. I will probably look for his other narrations on Audible as well.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The final scene was impactful.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mama Ruby

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Mary Monroe
    • Narrated By Kevin R. Free
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (56)

    In this stirring prequel, New York Times best-selling author Mary Monroe returns to the “cold-blooded yet fascinating” (Publishers Weekly) character from her acclaimed novel The Upper Room. Ruby is a wild youth, with a thirst for boys and booze by the age of 15. When she discovers she’s pregnant, the only person she can confide in is her best friend Othella. But Othella talks Ruby into giving up the child, leaving Ruby emotionally shattered and adamant that Othella is to blame for her loss.

    dee dee J says: "I am disappointed!!"
    "Excellent prequel to The Upper Room!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Mama Ruby in three words, what would they be?

    Hilarious, Shocking & Touching


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I love Mama Ruby! I read The Upper Room years ago and the Mama Ruby character was insane. She was hilarious, over-bearing, controlling and a bit unbelievable. However, in this book, the listener is able to experience the development of Mama Ruby and better understand how she came to be "Mama Ruby". Readers of the Upper Room questioned how Mama Ruby was able to commit the unspeakable act that was central to the plot line. In this prequel, while the reader may not agree about the appropriateness of Mama Ruby's behavior in committing the unspeakable act, they are now able to understand why she did it.


    What does Kevin R. Free bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Kevin Free's performance was flawless. I actually forgot that this book had only one person reading it. Well done!


    If you could rename Mama Ruby, what would you call it?

    The title is sufficient


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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