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Constance

Lafayette, CO, USA | Member Since 2003

37
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 354 ratings
  • 887 titles in library
  • 47 purchased in 2014
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  • Sense and Sensibility

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Jill Masters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (8)

    Rule by head or rule by heart? Elinor Dashwood is a great believer in "sense," while her exuberant younger sister Marianne feels keenly that only "sensibility" (what today we'd call passion) serves to guide the heart. Through vicissitudes and, in the case of Marianne, outright betrayal by her lover, these two women learn the value in the other's outlook, and thereby prepare themselves for later domestic bliss that is the hallmark resolution of Jane Austen's novels.

    Glenn says: "Nicely Done"
    "Find another reader"
    Overall

    Don't bother listening to this one. S&S is a delightful, wonderful tale that reads beautifully (my 4 year old goddaughter and I read it with no problems last summer) but this reader sucks the life out of the story! On first listen, I thought that it was being read by my Macintosh. Any reader that I can compare to the Victoria voice is not a good reader. Even Elinor could not excuse this reader's lack of passion.

    The story, of course, is quite wonderful. There are other readers, and I DO hope that Audible investigates them, and spends more time acquiring audiobooks from Blackstone. I have yet to be disappointed by a Blackstone production.

    20 of 44 people found this review helpful
  • The Society of S: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Susan Hubbard
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Ariella Montero is seeking the true identities of her mother - and father and of herself. She's been taught literature, philosophy, science, and history, but she knows almost nothing about the real world and its complexities. Her world is one in which ghosts and vampires commune with humans, where Edgar Allan Poe and Jack Kerouac are role models, and where every time a puzzle seems solved, its last piece changes the entire picture.

    M. S. Cohen says: "Wonderful premise, horrible story, bad end"
    "Coming of age novel; side of vampires."
    Overall

    Back away if you're looking for Anne Rice or Laurel K. This probably won't work for you. It's mostly a coming of age novel -- far more like City of Light or To Kill a Mockingbird than Angel's Summer Vacation in the Buffyverse. However, for fans of the genre in general, looking for something new, it's excellent. There's a mimimum of mysticism, a decent level of rationality and hard logic as well as the emotional hooks that surround any adolescent story of growth. I found it fascinating for the language, the raw emotionalism and the slowly unfolding mystery; if you need action from page two and aren't at least as interested in the why people do things as the how they do them, then you may not enjoy this book. It's definitely a story of a family, fractured, and two parents doing the best they can to raise their very special child.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Don't Eat This Book: Fast Food and the Supersizing of America

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Morgan Spurlock
    • Narrated By Morgan Spurlock
    Overall
    (145)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (19)

    Can man live on fast food alone? Morgan Spurlock tried to do just that. For 30 days, he ate nothing but three "squares" a day from McDonald's as part of an investigation into the effects of fast food on American health. The resulting documentary won him resounding applause and a worldwide release that broke box-office records. Audiences were captivated by Spurlock's experiment, during which he gained 25 pounds, his blood pressure skyrocketed, and his libido all but disappeared.

    Jeff says: "A must-read!"
    "Recycled from Schlosser"
    Overall

    Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser covered all of the ground that Spurlock covers and more, and without the silly sensationalism of making himself sick in the process. I don't mind that the information that Fast Food is bad for you (duh) is getting out there, but this comes close to plagiarism. It's definitely strongly recycled.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Eleanor Roosevelt's Crusade for Freedom in the Fascist Era

    • NONE (1 hr and 15 mins)
    • By Blanche Wiesen Cook
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Constance says: "well done, short audio intro"
    "well done, short audio intro"
    Overall

    It's not an exhaustive history, but as an introduction to Mrs. Roosevelt, this is a very good one. It's also a good, high-level introduction to the Depression and WWII for people who are not familiar with it.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Holy Fools

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Joanne Harris
    • Narrated By Suzanne Bertish
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    In the year 1605, a young, pregnant widow seeks sanctuary at the Abbey of Sainte Marie-de-la-mer. After the birth of her daughter, she takes up the veil, and a new name, Soeur Auguste. But the peace she has found is shattered five years later by the events that follow the death of her kind benefactress, the Reverend Mother.

    Janet says: "Dark but compelling"
    "Beautifully done, lovely reading."
    Overall

    The book itself is well paced, beautifully plotted and well characterized. Ms. Harris did not miss a trick; she caught all of the spirit of the age, down to the tensions between Huguenots and Catholics leading to a more fundamentalist backlash on theology and behavior within the Catholic world. (And the potatoes are correct; once introduced to France in the 16th C., they quickly became a delicacy and a very important cash crop, much like convents who now support themselves on jam or printer cartridges.) The reading is enjoyable and never dull or monotonal.

    The only reason that I did not give this audio book full marks is that the music at the chapter breaks is annoying and was recorded at a volume considerably louder than that of the reading. Thus, it's rather jarring to listen to.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Matter: The Private Life of Sir Isaac Newton

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Philip Kerr
    • Narrated By Byron Jennings
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Skillfully weaving history with mystery, Philip Kerr sets this thrilling story in the 1696 Tower of London, where Sir Isaac Newton, warden of the Royal Mint (a post he actually held), and his apprentice Christopher Ellis (also a real person) track down a counterfeiting ring and, as the body count increases, a murderer. "An illuminating, often crackling exploration into the mysteries of science, mathematics, religion, and human nature," raves Booklist in a starred review.

    Jeff Parent says: "Great Historical Fiction"
    "Well done for an abridgment"
    Overall

    This is the only abridgment that I own from Audible, and it was a mistake. I'd planned to purchase the full version. I'm not unhappy that I bought the abridgment; this is very well done. However, if you have the option, the unabridged version is far superior. There's a sense of things missing in an abridged version, even if the story is complete.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Haunted Ground

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Erin Hart
    • Narrated By Jennifer McMahon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (466)
    Performance
    (181)
    Story
    (180)

    When farmers cutting turf in an Irish peat bog make a grisly discovery, the perfectly intact body of a young woman with long red hair, archaeologist Cormac O'Callaghan and pathologist Nora Gavin are thrown together by their shared scientific interest in human remains. Because of the preservative effect of the bog, it is difficult to tell whether the body has lain there for two decades, two centuries, or two millennia.

    Sara says: "Archeology, Folklore and Mystery in Ireland"
    "Beautifully written and beautifully read"
    Overall

    I picked this up on a whim, and now it's one of my favorite audio books. The reader is wonderful, the language is lyric and beautifully paced and the story is solid.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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