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Aptos, CA, USA


  • Everything Is Illuminated

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jonathan Safran Foer
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman, Scott Shina

    Jonathan is a Jewish college student searching Europe for the one person he believes can explain his roots. Alex, a lover of all things American and unsurpassed butcher of the English language, is his lovable Ukrainian guide. On their quixotic quest, the two young men look for Augustine, a woman who might have saved Jonathan's grandfather from the Nazis. As past and present merge, hysterically funny moments collide with great tragedy, and an unforgettable story of one family's extraordinary history unfolds.

    J. Kovler says: "What a brilliantly original work!"
    "iIlluminated?? Not quite yet ..."

    Though I really enjoyed the early sections of this book there was plenty in the middle that could and should have been omitted or heavily edited. I don't think the story would have suffered had some entire parts been halved. I also had many questions about details of the story that don't line up successfully. I saw the movie with hopes that some things would be Illuminated ... no such luck. Fortunately, the author's second book, 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' is a superior product. Foer's imaginative skill and tale telling talent can only continue to improve and I look forward to his future work.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Rupert Degas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Toru Okada is going through a difficult time. He is without a job, his cat has disappeared, and his wife is behaving strangely. Into this unbalanced world comes a variety of curious characters, a young girl sunbathing in a nearby garden; sisters who are very peculiar indeed; an old war veteran with a violent, disturbing story. Okada retreats to a deep well in a nearby house. And the story unfolds.

    Shelley says: "Bizarre"
    "lost in translation?"

    I just couldn't attach to the characters or the disjointed story line. Someone suggested the translation from Japanese to English may be the problem. Long winded episodes and recollections by some characters left me asking, "Why do we care about this?" In an attempt to create mystery the author instead combines too many bizarre, far fetched and frankly boring elements to get a toe hold on the story, if one was intended. The main character is a completely unsympathetic dolt! I wanted to scream at him, "Get a job and out of this story, you idiot!" Poorly connected plot, wandering dialogue, bizarre and unsympathetic characters ... I only made it through the first of the 3 segments. And I must agree with many other reviewers that the reader's attempt to give voice to the female characters is a disaster. Oh, how I tried to finish, to enjoy and find something worthwhile in this book. It's a rare book indeed that I just won't pursue to the end; add this one to that very short list. Maybe if I was alone on a deserted island I'd try to finish it. No, I think I'd be more engaged sifting sand! Do listen to a sample before you download.

    8 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Atonement

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Ian McEwan
    • Narrated By Jill Tanner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Atonement, three children lose their innocence, as the sweltering summer heat bears down on the hottest day in 1935, and their lives are changed forever. Cecilia Tallis is of England's priviledged class; Robbie Turner is the housekeeper's son. In their moment of intimate surrender, they are interrupted by Cecilia's hyperimaginative and scheming 13-year-old sister, Briony. And as chaos consumes the family, Briony commits a crime, the guilt of which she shall carry throughout her life.

    William R. Creech says: "Well written; well read."
    "Extraordinary book ... not for the ordinary reader"

    I had no trouble losing myself in this book. Descriptions and characters are precisely and comprehensively drawn. The author has skillfully crafted each sentence and it's a real treat to read a book that is so well written. The story stands on it own merit. If you savor good literature and language this book will more than satisfy.

    For pure entertainment read Skinny Dip, by Carl Hiaasen. Also a skilled author, his works are fast and fun reads.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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