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Abby

New to audible but love the convenience of listening to books while doing mundane household tasks. Mother of 3 whose nest is 2/3 empty as the grown children move on to bigger and better things.

ratings
16
REVIEWS
16
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
8

  • The Bite of the Mango

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Mariatu Kamara, Susan McClelland
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (25)

    The astounding story of one girl's journey from war victim to UNICEF Special Representative. As a child in a small rural village in Sierra Leone, Mariatu Kamara lived peacefully surrounded by family and friends. Rumors of rebel attacks were no more than a distant worry. But when 12-year-old Mariatu set out for a neighboring village, she never arrived. Heavily armed rebel soldiers attacked and tortured Mariatu. During this brutal act of senseless violence they cut off both of her hands.

    Jan says: "Sweet Story of Survival, but..."
    "Human Spirit trumps Tragedy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Bite of the Mango rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a very touching human story of triumph over tragedy. A very good listen.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This is the story of Mariatu's life as she was touched by the most violent and the most compassionate of human spirits. She of course is the favourite character but she is shaped by all those who helped her survive.


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

    I have not listened to any of her performances before; I did however find her voice a bit annoying.


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

    It is a very emotional book. It shows the best and the worst of humanity and as it is a true story it is heartwarming that good triumphs over evil. It also shows the strength of the human spirit and its will to survive.


    Any additional comments?

    Another amazing story from a war torn country. For anyone who has always lived in a developed, "first world", peaceful, stable and democratic country, stories like this are quite unbelieveable. Most of us just cannot comprehend that this kind of thing happens, at least not in our lifetime. If you liked books like "A Long Way Gone" or "Left to Tell", you will like this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flight Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1626)
    Performance
    (1417)
    Story
    (1432)

    Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media.

    mj says: "Tough Message Delivered in Silk"
    "Monarch monotony."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Flight Behavior? What did you like least?

    I enjoyed learning about the Monarch Butterfly and it's migration pattern. I didn't really think the story surrounding it was very interesting.


    If you’ve listened to books by Barbara Kingsolver before, how does this one compare?

    I loved her book "The Poisonwood Bible" but that's the only other one I've read. This was not nearly as good.


    Do you think Flight Behavior needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Really nothing special about this book. I would not recommend it to friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Fisher Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2875)
    Performance
    (1426)
    Story
    (1433)

    Verily, the story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes. Even the considerable wiles and devotion of the Savior's pal may not be enough to divert Joshua from his tragic destiny. But there's no one who loves Josh more (except maybe "Maggie," Mary of Magdalan) and Biff isn't about to let his extraordinary pal suffer and ascend without a fight.

    Hope says: "A Worthy Book, indeed"
    "Interesting take on the Bible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Christopher Moore and/or Fisher Stevens?

    I did find their perspective amusing and definitely had some laugh out loud moments but for the most part, the hyperbole was a bit overdone.


    Would you recommend Lamb to your friends? Why or why not?

    There are so many good books to read and so little time; I would probably tell them to give it a pass.


    What about Fisher Stevens’s performance did you like?

    The performance was fine.


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

    Not sure; maybe.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not religious so I found this book amusing but I think very religious people may find it offensive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1830)
    Performance
    (1630)
    Story
    (1650)

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

    Sylvia says: "Full of Surprises and Unexpected Events"
    "Geriatric hero"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared?

    There was some interesting parts of this book but I found it went on a bit too long and I lost interest. I loved the main character and his spirit as well as his interesting past but that is where my love for the book ends.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jonas Jonasson again?

    I guess I might try one more to be fair before I rule it out entirely.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I actually think my favorite scene was the very first one where he slipped out to avoid his 100th birthday party that he did not want. It pleased me when the nasty nurse couldn't find him.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I always like learning about real historical events through a novel like this so I did like all of the stories about his past.


    Any additional comments?

    Although this book wasn't my favorite read, there were people in my Book Club who thought it was one of the best books they've read so give it a try.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Dinner: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Herman Koch, Sam Garrett (translator)
    • Narrated By Clive Mantle
    Overall
    (1013)
    Performance
    (887)
    Story
    (896)

    It's a summer's evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse - the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened. Each couple has a 15-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families.

    Jane says: "Dining at its most distubing"
    "Deception at its finest."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would prefer to see people doing "the right thing" so I would have liked to have seen one of the mothers try to get their sons to do the right thing rather than helping them to avoid getting caught.


    If you’ve listened to books by Herman Koch and Sam Garrett (translator) before, how does this one compare?

    Haven't heard another one.


    What does Clive Mantle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He did a very good job with intonations whether suggesting sarcasm or showing disdain for "Serge". I think this definitely added to the listen over reading it yourself.


    Do you think The Dinner needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, not really. Not sure where you would go from there. So much dysfunction; so little story.


    Any additional comments?

    It wasn't a "feel good" book and so much was implausible. While I totally understand the parental protectiveness I think very few people would "cross the line" like that even for their child. Most would feel that trying to help their child become a better person would trump helping them get away with something even if that means jail and rehabilitation. I also really didn't like the unrealistic, imaginary "mental disease" that was portrayed as something you could detect with amniocentesis. I don't think this was very scientifically plausible and sort of made the author look as though they hadn't done any research on this type of thing.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1581)
    Performance
    (1445)
    Story
    (1457)

    >When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.

    Tango says: "Beautiful story, beautifully written"
    "The best of mankind."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Elephant Whisperer in three words, what would they be?

    Compassion, generosity, intuition.


    What other book might you compare The Elephant Whisperer to and why?

    Gorillas in the Mist.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    I was always amused when he spoke the part of Francoise.


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

    When one of the baby elephants was born with deformed feet and the entire herd stood by trying to shade the helpless infant from the hot sun and trying to get it to stand so it could survive; I found this whole scene very moving.


    Any additional comments?

    This was an exceptionally well written account of an exceptionally generous undertaking by an exceptional man. With little regard for his own safety or economical repercussions, Lawrence selflessly saved a herd of elephants from death. With incredible intuition and unending generousity, Lawrence gave his time and resources in an effort to bond with these wild creatures in order to not "tame" but to "settle" this herd so that they would not be put to their death. It is a very moving story showing the great intelligence of elephants and demonstrating the best of mankind in Lawrence.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Potato Factory: The Australian Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3490)
    Performance
    (2488)
    Story
    (2493)

    Always leave a little salt on the bread. Ikey Solomon's favorite saying is also his way of doing business, and in the business of thieving he's very successful indeed. Ikey's partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from thriving nineteenth century London to the convict settlement of Van Diemen's Land.

    karen says: "Best audiobook of the year!"
    "An Intriquing Generational Saga"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Potato Factory again? Why?

    Yes I would. It is full of memorable characters interwoven into interesting historical scenes.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mary Abacus is my favorite. She is smart, kind and overcomes so many terrible obstacles while still hanging onto her incredible humanity.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    He was amazing with all the different voices and accents. A real treat to listen to. Whether male, female, Irish or Australian; he could do every character.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Potato Factory and why?

    Ikey Solomon is very memorable. As his life twists and turns you never know what he is going to get up to next.


    Any additional comments?

    Looking forward to Book 2 of this Trilogy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Defending Jacob: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Landay
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4286)
    Performance
    (3671)
    Story
    (3668)

    Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

    Kelli N. Perkins says: "Still Thinking About This Tale Weeks After"
    "Justice is served."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Defending Jacob?

    I liked how the narration twists the present day court case with the events leading up to it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the suspense and the story's twists.


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    The grampa in jail was pretty colorful.


    If you could rename Defending Jacob, what would you call it?

    Love is Not Always Blind


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Kitchen House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kathleen Grissom
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7062)
    Performance
    (5012)
    Story
    (5002)

    Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction.

    B.J. says: "Good, but with reservations"
    "Slavery; a sad part of history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Kitchen House?

    The characters were very unique and varied yet believable.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Kitchen House?

    Near the beginning when Sally dies; tragic scene.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When they killed off the nasty tutor and hid his body.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • City of Thieves

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By David Benioff
    • Narrated By Ron Perlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1514)
    Performance
    (776)
    Story
    (773)

    A writer visits his retired grandparents in Florida to document their experience during the infamous siege of Leningrad. His grandmother won't talk about it, but his grandfather reluctantly consents. The result is the captivating odyssey of two young men trying to survive against desperate odds. Lev Beniov considers himself "built for deprivation." He's small, smart, and insecure, a Jewish virgin too young for the army, who spends his nights working as a volunteer firefighter with friends from his building.

    Paul says: "Stunning Tale. Great Narration."
    "War cannot kill the will to survive."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does City of Thieves rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the middle; not the best; not the worst.


    What other book might you compare City of Thieves to and why?

    The Cellist of Sarajevo------a war story of human triumph.


    If you could rename City of Thieves, what would you call it?

    Eggs for the Colonel's Daughter


    Any additional comments?

    Interesting story but with gruesome, disturbing details. War is not pretty so a realistic portrayal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Betty Smith
    • Narrated By Kate Burton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1150)
    Performance
    (576)
    Story
    (578)

    A moving coming-of-age story set in the 1900s, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn follows the lives of 11-year-old Francie Nolan, her younger brother Neely, and their parents, Irish immigrants who have settled in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Johnny Nolan is as loving and fanciful as they come, but he is also often drunk and out of work, unable to find his place in the land of opportunity.

    Amazon Customer says: "Book: flawless. SKIP THE RECORDED INTRO!!"
    "Poverty is no match for love and family."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to be better than the print version?

    I had not read the print version but it had been on my "list" for years. The audio version did not disappoint so I'll assume it was at least as good as the print version.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn?

    There is a scene where Katie rescues her daughter Francie from an attacker by running for a pistol hidden in their home. That was quite a memorable scene.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene where the young children "catch" a large tree thrown at them to bring home as their Christmas tree was definitely one of my favorites.


    Who was the most memorable character of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and why?

    Katie is the most memorable character for me because she is such a strong woman who manages to bring up her children in such extreme poverty with such love and happiness despite their unfortunate lot in life.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator of this audiobook did a great job with all the characters. I also like how the book shows that money does not buy happiness and that the love of family can sustain you through the worst of circumstances. I also like how Francie, despite the less than fortunate upbringing, just loves Brooklyn, her childhood home.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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