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Deborah

CONCORD, NH, United States | Member Since 2008

70
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 26 reviews
  • 50 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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21

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4354)
    Performance
    (4016)
    Story
    (4029)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Dave says: "Oh, the Wondrous Ocean!"
    "Another mesmerizing story from the master"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Neil Gaiman -- his stories are so fresh and original, his characters so beautifully drawn, and his voice makes me swoon. My only complaint about this story is that it's too short! This isn't really a novel; it's a novella. I was so sorry to have it come to an end, but so satisfied by the end, too. How I love the Hempstock women! Gaiman gives his female characters the depth, strength and complexity that they deserve but often fail to get at the hands of male authors. This is a dark story with some creepy details (that worm!) that I can't get out of my mind -- definitely not for kids, but it's not a horror story, either. Another wonderful tale from a master storyteller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (7413)
    Performance
    (5647)
    Story
    (5660)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Shannon says: "Word Thief"
    "Hauntingly beautiful story well-read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a thoroughly original take on a story that's been told many times before. Beautifully written and sensitively narrated. I laughed and wept. A piece of advice -- thumb through the print version of the book to see how the author lays out the stories within the story, the headlines and other narrative devices. I won't give it away, but it's very creative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    Overall
    (21263)
    Performance
    (12756)
    Story
    (12883)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
    "Glad I finally read (listened to) this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well-written, imaginative story, great characters. Multiple voices worked sometimes but not all the time. An odd choice to switch to a different reader who then does all the characters. Ender's voice should be Ender's, Valentine's should always be the same, etc. Confusing at times. This gets totally out of hand in the second volume, Speaker for the Dead, which I had to return because the narration was so dreadful. A shame because the story is even better than Ender's Game. Guess I'll read the rest of the series in print.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1017)
    Performance
    (919)
    Story
    (919)

    Shadows are falling on the usually festive Christmas season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone. As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines.

    Nancy J says: "Welcome Home!"
    "The best yet!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thank you, Louise Penny, for writing the most riveting, moving, suspenseful, and beautiful book of the series, and thank you for ALL the books in this series. Thank you, Ralph Cosham, for bringing these characters to life in my head with such skill and care. How I love them all! There are moments when I held my breath in fear and moments when I laughed out loud. Thank you both for creating a world and a group of people whom I feel honored to know and to have spent so much time with. It was time well-spent. But now the book is over - what'll I do now? Guess I'll just have to start the series over again! For those just discovering the series -- read them in order, PLEASE! You'll enjoy them so much more as you get to know the characters and hear the plot lines develop from book to book. I envy people just discovering Three Pines for the first time -- lucky you to have stumbled into this magical little village. Enjoy!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Bury Your Dead: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1004)
    Performance
    (662)
    Story
    (662)

    Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has come to Winter Carnival - not to join the revels but to recover from an investigation gone hauntingly wrong. But violent death is inescapable, even in the apparent sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society - where an obsessive historian’s quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder. Could a secret buried with Champlain for nearly 400 years be so dreadful that someone would kill to protect it?

    Judy says: "Another great tale!"
    "another wonderful tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am completely hooked on this series, in love with the characters, fascinated by the world that Louise Penny has created. This novel also offers a lot of Quebec history and we spend time in one of my favorite places - Quebec City, particularly the old walled city. I enjoyed the interwoven plots -- 3 of them -- and the further development of both Gamache's and Beauvoir's characters. I was a bit frustrated with the extensive recap of a previous story -- that usually drives me crazy in series. Here, though there's enough that's new that it's not all repetition. Most of all, I love Penny's exploration of the human heart. So many wonderful insights about grief and loss and love and hate. I like that her characters have depth and complexity. But they're also reliable -- Ruth, Clara, Gabri, Myrna. How I wish I could sit with them all in front of the fire at the Bistro and eat some of that amazing food that Penny is always writing about. Her books make me hungry - for more! Can't wait to download the next one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cruelest Month: A Three Pines Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1150)
    Performance
    (795)
    Story
    (780)

    It's spring in the tiny, forgotten village; buds are on the trees, and the first flowers are struggling through the newly thawed earth. But not everything is meant to return to life. When some villagers decide to celebrate Easter with a séance at the Old Hadley House, they are hoping to rid the town of its evil - until one of their party dies of fright.

    Leah says: "Excellent!"
    "My favorite so far"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I so enjoy spending time with these characters in Three Pines. How I wish I lived there! This mystery has a number of layers and reveals more about CI Gamache's past. It's darker, more serious but still filled with the wit and warmth and lovely literary allusions that make these stories such a delight. Can't wait to listen to #4. I'm missing Ruth and Clara already!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Fatal Grace

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1087)
    Performance
    (735)
    Story
    (734)

    No one liked CC de Poitiers - certainly none of the residents of the village of Three Pines, each of whom CC had managed to offend. Therein lies the challenge for the Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Quebec, called in once again from Montreal to investigate murder in this hamlet. CC has been killed in an apparent electrical accident, and everyone in town has a motive, even the inspector's good friends.

    Patricia says: "Complex, but worthwhile...."
    "Take me back to Three Pines"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'd love to live in this town and know these people. While the mystery was less believable than the first book, the larger stories of friendship, sorrow, cruelty and caring as conveyed by an endearing cast of characters make this book well worth the listen. I enjoyed the narrator more in this book than in the first one -- better differentiation of characters, with some wonderful voices. I look forward to downloading book 3 in the series. I miss these wonderful people already!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Still Life

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1860)
    Performance
    (1235)
    Story
    (1244)

    Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's nothing more than a tragic hunting accident, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods.

    Sydney says: "a gentle mystery"
    "Lovely writing, rich character study"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found the story very enjoyable -- evocative, refreshing setting (tiny village in Quebec in the autumn), interesting and well-drawn characters, and some really lovely writing. I wanted to have a cafe au lait and croissant in that bistro and sit around the fire with these endearing people. My only quibble is with the narrator. I thought he was great for CI Gamache, but he had too little variation in tone and style for the other characters. Sometimes it was hard to tell who was speaking. With such a large cast of characters, that's especially important, and I found it frustrating. Regardless, I'm going to download the next in the series. A fun summer listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Graveyard Book

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6262)
    Performance
    (3049)
    Story
    (3064)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Gaiman’s not just an award-winning author, but a narrator who earns rave reviews – and fields requests from other authors to perform their books, too! Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead....

    Guillermo says: "Masterful Fantasy for the Jaded Heart"
    "A sweet, magical tale beautifully told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Gaiman's trademark creativity -- a delightful mixture of fantasy and myth, humor and pathos, and a little horror (but of the mildest sort) all read beautifully by the author. Such endearing characters! I thoroughly enjoyed the story and listened to it twice. The musical interludes were just right, too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Swordspoint: A Melodrama of Manners

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ellen Kushner
    • Narrated By Ellen Kushner, Dion Graham, Katherine Kellgren, and others
    Overall
    (707)
    Performance
    (627)
    Story
    (630)

    On the treacherous streets of Riverside, a man lives and dies by the sword. Even the nobles on the Hill turn to duels to settle their disputes. Within this elite, dangerous world, Richard St. Vier is the undisputed master, as skilled as he is ruthless--until a death by the sword is met with outrage instead of awe, and the city discovers that the line between hero and villain can be altered in the blink of an eye.

    Stacy says: "What a beautiful book..."
    "Boring story, poorly read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Neil Gaiman's glowing review attracted me to this title. What a mistake. No wit, flat characters, and annoying voices. As a Jane Austen fan, I can tell you in no uncertain terms that this story has none of Austen's wit or depth of human understanding. I am baffled by the comparison. Really disappointing.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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