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Barbara

ratings
144
REVIEWS
11
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
46

  • The Power of One

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (2684)
    Performance
    (1509)
    Story
    (1513)

    Born in a South Africa divided by racism and hatred, this one small boy will come to lead all the tribes of Africa. Through enduring friendships with Hymie and Gideon, Peekay gains the strength he needs to win out. And in a final conflict with his childhood enemy, the Judge, Peekay will fight to the death for justice.

    Bob says: "Compelling story lifted higher by the narration"
    "Engrossing"
    Overall

    I loved the characters in this, and they have stayed with me. Maybe not the most smoothly edited novel here and there, but the story and characters made up for it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Envy

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Victor Slezak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1452)
    Performance
    (615)
    Story
    (614)

    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
    (4826)
    Performance
    (4394)
    Story
    (4385)

    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
    (1042)
    Performance
    (939)
    Story
    (938)

    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
    (1473)
    Performance
    (1269)
    Story
    (1281)

    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
    (24067)
    Performance
    (18013)
    Story
    (18070)

    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
    (2717)
    Performance
    (1628)
    Story
    (1636)

    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
    (3514)
    Performance
    (1914)
    Story
    (1917)

    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
  • The Kitchen House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kathleen Grissom
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6728)
    Performance
    (4705)
    Story
    (4690)

    Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction.

    B.J. says: "Good, but with reservations"
    "Unrelenting tragedy"
    Overall

    I bought this book because I absolutely love "The Help." The premise for this story is really interesting, about an Irish orphan girl who lives and works with slaves on a plantation. But I had to stop listening to "The Kitchen House" because it devolved into a series of awful, terrible, sickening events--and dread about what horrible thing would happen next. Yuck, give me a break.

    38 of 49 people found this review helpful
  • World Without End

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8659)
    Performance
    (3108)
    Story
    (3136)

    In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, set in 12th-century England. Readers and listeners ever since have hoped for a sequel. At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End also takes place in Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral. The cathedral is again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.

    Laura says: "Repetitive, but still enjoyable"
    "A Great Listen"
    Overall

    I thoroughly enjoyed this and the earlier one, Pillars of the Earth. I learned so much about life in medieval times and was really caught up in the plot and characters. The sex scenes were too vivid for my taste, but the story lines and political intrigue of village life and church hierarchy made up for it. Interesting and engrossing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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