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Barbara

ratings
147
REVIEWS
14
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
46

  • The Tourist: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Olen Steinhauer
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (685)
    Performance
    (222)
    Story
    (224)

    In the vein of John le Carré and Graham Greene, this contemporary international thriller follows Milo Weaver as he is drawn into a conspiracy that links riots in the Sudan, an assassin committing suicide, and an old friend who's been accused of selling secrets to the Chinese. Once the CIA and Homeland Security are after him, the only way for him to survive is to return, headfirst, into Tourism.

    Derek says: "I loved this book"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall

    This book might be good, but the reader is not. He seems like he is reading the news, rushing through the sentences, all in the same cadence (except when he does an accent). If this book plot is nuanced as the reviewers say, why not get a nuanced reading? Or at least some expressiveness or variation in tone or inflection. If I had a slow speed on my iPod, I would use it, just to get through the book. But after about an hour of straining to keep up with his reading, I have lost track of the plot and I have absolutely no connection with the main character. This is a disappointment. I wish I had not bought this one, but I got sucked in by all the promotion.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (607)
    Performance
    (556)
    Story
    (555)

    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Hank Reads! says: "Completely absorbing!"
    "Beautiful, touching, intricately plotted"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of those books that will stay with me, like a charm or maybe a dream. It is one of the most poignant stories I've ever heard/read about how lives are affected by war. In this case, WWII. I will never think of that war--or of France and Germany--the same way again. And I'll remember these characters as if they had been real.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In the Morning I'll Be Gone: Troubles Trilogy, Book 3 (Detective Sean Duffy, Book 3)

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (465)
    Performance
    (420)
    Story
    (410)

    It's the early 1980s in Belfast. Sean Duffy, a conflicted Catholic cop in the Protestant RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary), is recruited by MI5 to hunt down Dermot McCann, an IRA master bomber who has made a daring escape from the notorious Maze prison. In the course of his investigations, Sean discovers a woman who may hold the key to Dermot's whereabouts; she herself wants justice for her daughter who died in mysterious circumstances in a pub locked from the inside.

    B.J. says: "Great conclusion to a terrific trilogy."
    "Wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this on so many levels. McKinty has created a great character here and succeeded in realistically depicting the culture and the politics of Ireland during The Troubles. He brings it alive. I can't wait for the next in this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fool Moon: The Dresden Files, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7478)
    Performance
    (5542)
    Story
    (5520)

    Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is Chicago's only openly practicing wizard. He is also dead broke. His vast knowledge and magical skills are unfortunately matched by his talent for making powerful enemies and alienating friends. With little more than his integrity left, he accepts an offer of work from Lt. Karin Murphy of Chicago's Special Investigations Unit. He wants to redeem himself in Murphy's eyes and make enough money to quiet his rumbling stomach.

    pterion says: "I'm liking Harry more and more"
    "I had to stop listening to this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the first in the series, mainly because the focus was more on the very-likable main character and his life as an actual wizard working in Chicago alongside the police. I'm not a fan of the blood-and-gore schtick and tiptoed my way through that part of book one. No way to avoid it in the blood bath that is the second book in this series. Yuck! No thanks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Envy

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Victor Slezak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1468)
    Performance
    (632)
    Story
    (631)

    New York book editor Maris Matherly-Reed knows a best seller when she sees one - even if it is just a tantalizing partial manuscript submitted by a writer identified only as P.M.E., with the return address of an obscure island off the Georgia coast. Maris is intrigued enough to search for him.

    DMHVetSurveyor says: "Envy"
    "No thanks: A waste of time."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sorry to be one of the only naysayers, but this book is so shallow that I can't continue listening to it. Its cardboard characters include over-the-top, really-evil villains sneaking around and manipulating and blackmailing upstanding people who may not be perfect but have integrity and are, for the most part, sympathetic characters. Everybody seems to be sexually charged, and some of them are hopping in the sack on a regular basis. The plot, with its flashbacks, etc, doesn't engage me at all. Think goofy soap opera. Call me cynical, but I'm guessing this plot-driven story was written specifically to be a bestseller. Obviously this is what happened, because a lot of people have given it rave reviews. Whatever...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5438)
    Performance
    (4953)
    Story
    (4938)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "A great, haunting story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book reveals the lives and mindsets of house slaves in early 1800s Charleston. Also: Its enduring (and endearing) characters were pioneers in the antislavery and women's rights movements. The main characters, the Grimke sisters, are based on real people. But this isn't just history; it is elegant, memorable literature.

    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
    (1096)
    Performance
    (990)
    Story
    (990)

    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!"
    "Delighted to discover this writer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Why haven't I heard about Louise Penny before? I absolutely love her storytelling. Distinctive characters portrayed with wit and insight into the human condition, a sense of community and place that made me feel I was there (and wanted to be there), a story line that kept me happily tuned in and guessing. My only negative was the narrator. I know, I know--everyone else gives him five stars. But initially I had a dickens of a time "hearing" him and figuring out which of the characters was speaking. I even tried listening to the audio book at half speed. I think it's the steady cadence of his speech and the fact that he seems to drop the last words of sentences. He seems to "read" rather than to act or portray the characters with different voices. I persevered (glad I did), and towards the last part of the book I began getting used to his style of speaking and could follow him better. I realized this required intense listening, rather than the more casual listening I can do when the narrator is using different, or at least more distinct, voices for each character. Now that I have this down, I may re-listen to the book because I know I missed things in the beginning.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Case of Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Adam Mitzner
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1520)
    Performance
    (1310)
    Story
    (1323)

    A high-profile attorney in the middle of a leave of absence following a personal tragedy is drawn back into the legal arena amidst a media firestorm when he agrees to represent a popular rap artist accused of brutally murdering his pop star girlfriend. With its powerful voice, pause-resisting tension, and strong cast of characters, Adam Mitzner’s novels are reminiscent of such best-selling authors as Scott Turow and John Grisham.

    cristina says: "Excellent"
    "Good, but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this to the end and found it to be interesting, with some good (though at times, didactic) information about legal proceedings. But I felt frustrated that the investigatory part of this legal case was so thin. Key elements of the investigation were shallow, taken at face value, and not delved into or nailed down. It drove me crazy. Many possible explanations and variables weren't addressed at all. Going to court with such thin evidence seemed implausible to me. On the plus side, a couple of the characters were interesting.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24865)
    Performance
    (18768)
    Story
    (18829)

    In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow.

    DCinMI says: "Review of First 5 Books"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This could have been an interesting listen, but the narrator was not right for it. This needs someone like the narrator for the Harry Potter series, someone who uses inflection and emphasis and wit and differentiates among characters. But this voice churns along with the same tone, on and on. Too bad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Likeness

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Heather O'Neill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2762)
    Performance
    (1672)
    Story
    (1680)

    Tana French's debut, In the Woods, hit the New York Times best-seller list and drew rave reviews from the Times (London) and Booklist. Picking up six months later, this riveting sequel finds Detective Cassie Maddox still scarred by her last case. When her boyfriend calls her to a chilling murder scene, Cassie is forced to face her inner demons. A young woman has been found stabbed to death outside Dublin, and the victim looks just like Cassie.

    Michael says: "Really on a Different Level"
    "Loved it"
    Overall

    The characters, the sense of place, the plot combined to make a world that engrossed me. It is long, but I didn't want it to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Faithful Place: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3579)
    Performance
    (1973)
    Story
    (1976)

    New York Times best-selling author Tana French has won the prestigious Edgar, Barry, Macavity, and Anthony awards. As her third novel featuring the Dublin Murder Squad opens, 19-year-old Frank Mackey is waiting in vain for Rosie, who he’s supposed to run away to London with. But when she doesn’t show, Frank leaves Dublin without her—thinking never to return.

    Buffalogal says: "Incredible"
    "Fascinating"
    Overall

    I was intrigued throughout this story. It was smart, often funny, evocative writing. Much about the characters seemed real, especially the dysfunctional Irish family. As the mystery unfolded, I gained insights into how the lives of people in a family are forever intertwined, for good or ill.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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