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Donna

brooklyn, NY, USA | Member Since 2001

53
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 280 ratings
  • 791 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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  • Atonement

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Ian McEwan
    • Narrated By Jill Tanner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (963)
    Performance
    (261)
    Story
    (257)

    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."
    "Stellar selection"
    Overall

    I am a big consumer of recorded books, and I have rarely been moved to write a review. This book was so intriguing, so beautifully written, I couldn't resist singing its praises. It also has one of the most satisfying endings I've ever encountered. A lovely reading of a brilliant book.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ransom Riggs
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (584)
    Performance
    (485)
    Story
    (487)

    A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets 16-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

    FanB14 says: "Just Missed the Mark"
    "Story A+, Accents F"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children to be better than the print version?

    No, no, no. I finally had to give up listening. I was so distracted by the bizarre attempts at various English accents I just bought the paperback and finished it that way.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Jesse Bernstein’s performances?

    Not if you held a gun to my head.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Now with real English accents!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ambassadors

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Henry James
    • Narrated By Walter Zimmerman
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    When Chadwick Newsome lingers too long in Paris, his mother, a wealthy New England widow, sends her fiancé, Lambert Strether, to fetch him home. Newsome refuses, extending his stay, while Strether finds himself lured by the intrigue of Parisian life. Published in 1903, The Ambassadors is regarded as a masterpiece of American fiction for its exceptional structure, its moral significance, and its depiction of the contrasting New and Old World cultures. Henry James considered this his finest novel.

    Donna says: "Worst narration ever"
    "Worst narration ever"
    Overall

    The book itself certainly isn't H.J.'s finest work, but I knew that going in. My rating of one star refers only to the reader. His reading is so halting and without inflection, I actually found myself scrolling back and repeating sections to attempt to grasp what was meant. It sounds as if every word came as a (disconnected) surprise to him. Honestly, it's atrocious. I am an avid (and usually patient) reader and listener, and for me to quit a book as I did this one is unheard of. Save yourself the irritation.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Twilight: The Twilight Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Stephenie Meyer
    • Narrated By Ilyana Kadushin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7082)
    Performance
    (2531)
    Story
    (2585)

    About three things I was certain. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him, and I didn't know how dominant that part might be, that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

    Mitch says: "My Not-So-Guilty Pleasure"
    "strictly for the romance novel enthusiasts"
    Overall

    I didn't get when I purchased this book that it was geared to young adults. This, however, became quickly apparent. I stuck with it as long as I could, but finally gave up. It's honestly not bad, just very simple and a bit obvious. I did enjoy the twist on the standard vampire legends and would have liked to see them explored a little more maturely.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Memoirs of Cleopatra

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Margaret George
    • Narrated By Donada Peters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (211)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (86)

    This novel allows the unscrupulous and proud Queen of the Nile to recount her own tale. A masterful recreation of history.

    Michael A. Vasquez says: "I felt like I was there"
    "fascinating"
    Overall

    Don't let other reviewers' impressions of the narrators' voices put you off. This is a powerful story told from a unique perspective, and is not to be missed. If you're interested in ancient Egyptian culture, you won't be disappointed. If you're interested in intimate details of daily life - fashion, style, design, entertaining and religion - you won't be sorry.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • A Rose for the Crown

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Anne Easter Smith
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    In A Rose for the Crown, we meet one of history's alleged villains through the eyes of a captivating new heroine, the woman who was the mother of his illegitimate children, a woman who loved him for who he really was, no matter what the cost to herself.

    Michelle says: "One of the best audiobooks ever"
    "Truly hypnotic book, read beautifully"
    Overall

    I highly recommend this title. The book is truly engaging, and the narrator does beautiful job. As lightly historical novels go, this one is extraordinarily palatable.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Corner

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Brandon Massey
    • Narrated By J.D. Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    In Dark Corner, a Mississippi backwater harbors a growing evil. After David Hunter learns of his estranged father's death in a freak boating accident, he travels to the famed author's home in the quaint burg of Mason's Corner to discover the man he never knew, and something terrifying about himself.

    DMHVetSurveyor says: "Heading to the top of the genre!"
    "Indifferent book, read amateurishly"
    Overall

    The book was obvious and a bit dopey, and the narrator seemed like he was reading a bit above his level. Aside from the few hilarious mispronounciations, this was definitely not entertaining enough to make it worthwhile.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Forsyte Saga

    • UNABRIDGED (42 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By John Galsworthy
    • Narrated By Fred Williams
    Overall
    (258)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (76)

    The three novels that make up The Forsyte Saga chronicle the ebbing social power of the commercial upper-middle class Forsyte family through three generations, beginning in Victorian London during the 1880s and ending in the early 1920s. Galsworthy's masterly narrative examines not only their fortunes but also the wider developments within society, particularly the changing position of women.

    Kay in DC says: "A delight"
    "Thoroughly lovely"
    Overall

    In spite of the reviewers who were critical of the narrator, I decided to take the plunge and am quite glad I did. I was perfectly happy with the narration and utterly enthralled with the narrative. I would highly recommend this selection to anyone looking for a long, satisfying listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Wonder Spot

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Melissa Bank
    • Narrated By Melissa Bank
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Melissa Bank's runaway best seller, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, charmed readers and critics alike with its wickedly insightful, tender look at a young woman's forays into love, work, and friendship. Now, with The Wonder Spot, Bank is back with her signature combination of devilishly self-deprecating humor, seriousness, and wisdom.

    Carol says: "The Wonder Spot"
    "A wonderful listen"
    Overall

    I'm not generally given to writing reviews, but having just this minute finished "The Wonder Spot" and wanting to prolong it a few minutes more, I couldn't resist. This is a lovely, smart, funny work, and the author's read was at first disconcerting (she's a bit low key) but ultimately perfect. I highly recommend this audiobook.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Jane Smiley
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Set in the 1850s, The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton speaks to you in a splendidly quirky voice: the strong, wry, no-nonsense voice of Lidie Harkness of Quincy, Illinois, a young woman of courage, good sense, and good heart. It carries you into an America so violently torn apart by the question of slavery that it makes our current political battlegrounds seem a peaceable kingdom.

    Donna says: "Teriffic book, outstanding production"
    "Teriffic book, outstanding production"
    Overall

    I have been an avid audiobook listener for many years, and this is truly the best I've ever heard. The narrator is spectacular and the book is every bit as wonderful as the narration. I can't say enough good things about this production.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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