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Toni

LAKE SHERWOOD, CA, United States | Member Since 2002

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 479 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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  • Italian Shoes

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Henry Strozier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (69)

    With more than 30 million copies of his works published, in 37 languages, award-winning author Henning Mankell may be Sweden's most accomplished novelist. Here he crafts the icy, atmospheric tale of Fredrik Welin, a disgraced surgeon living in exile on a small island. When Fredrik receives a surprise visit from a lover he abandoned decades earlier, he begins the difficult road to redemption.

    E. Golladay says: "Wonderful"
    "Waiting for the Other Italian Shoe to Drop"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Italian Shoes rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    This story is a complete departure from the hugely popular Kurt Wallander series and Mankell's many other excellent stories. The Italian Shoes is pensive, much more introspective and reflective. It wanders slowly across the lifespan of an intelligent but ego-centric physician with minimal people skills and zero ability to form intimate, meaningful relationships. Even his "good deeds" were performed with a cold, clinically detached, sterile touch. The pace is slow and the writing does not convey the excitement and sense of urgency one expects, based on Henning Mankell's other works. I kept waiting in vain for the other shoe to drop.


    Would you recommend Italian Shoes to your friends? Why or why not?

    I'm not comfortable recommending it because it is so slow and meandering. Henning Mankell is a wonderful writer. He infuses his characters with idiosyncrasies and human frailties that breathe life into them. The lives in Italian Shoes were simply not ones I felt compelled to know more about. I listened to every word of this book because I am a loyal fan and kept hoping for the "payoff" that didn't arrive.


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

    The never-ending story.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Drums of Autumn

    • UNABRIDGED (44 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7070)
    Performance
    (4700)
    Story
    (4694)

    Twice Claire has used an ancient stone circle to travel back to the 18th century. The first time she found love with a Scottish warrior but had to return to the 1940s to save their unborn child. The second time, 20 years later, she reunited with her lost love but had to leave behind the daughter that he would never see. Now Brianna, from her 1960s vantage point, has found a disturbing obituary and will risk everything in an attempt to change history.

    Frances M says: "You listened, Audible!"
    "Beautifully done!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a wonderful yarn for anyone who enjoys historical novels. There is something for everyone... romance, humor, intricate multiple story lines, mystery and suspense.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Diana Gabaldon is a very skillful storyteller. Her use of language is beautiful and the depth of accurate historical research and attention to every detail is amazing. The character development is complete and satisfying.


    What does Davina Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Davina Porter is a captivating actor/narrator and the perfect match for Diana Gabaldon's work. She breathes life into each character and adds a subtlety and dimension of clarity to each of them that truly enhances the listening experience. Porter's mastery of dialects is exceptional and she has the unique ability to read the male and female roles convincingly.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Ian, a teenaged Scottish highlander and nephew of James Frasier, makes the independent decision to remain forever with a Mohawk Indian tribe in exchange for the safe release of his beloved uncle, aunt and their new son-in-law.


    Any additional comments?

    Completely enjoyable. This book is long... but not long enough!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Faceless Killers: A Kurt Wallander Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (809)
    Performance
    (400)
    Story
    (393)

    It was a crime of senseless violence. On a cold night in a remote Swedish farmhouse, an elderly farmer was bludgeoned to death, his wife left to die with a noose around her neck. As if this didn't present enough problems for Ystad police inspector Kurt Wallander, the dying woman's last word, his only tangible clue, were foreign. If publicized, they could be the match that would inflame Sweden's already smoldering anti-immigrant sentiments.

    Joanna says: "A new favorite detective series!"
    "Faceless Killers: Deliciously satisfying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Faceless Killers again? Why?

    Perhaps at a later date but because Henning Mankell is so prolific, there are many of his books I have yet to read. The Kurt Wallander series is exciting and I look forward to moving on, sequentially, through every one of these books and to watching the Wallander character develop.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Henning Mankell has humanized detective Kurt Wallander by allowing him to be somewhat flawed and vulnerable. The realistic interaction between all the characters, coupled with natural dialogue, reinforces the storyline so it seems completely plausible. This story is set in the early 1990s so the communications, the technology and the overall pace of life is a fraction less frantic and uncensored than the life we know today. It may be one reason that the discovery of two dead bodies in a life raft on the open sea is marginally less shocking to the 21st century reader than it might have been a little more than 20 years ago.


    What does Dick Hill bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    There is no question that Dick Hill's interpretation of every character enhances the listener's experience on many levels. Mr. Hill is an extraordinary reader who distinguishes each personality by a nuanced speech pattern and subtle rythm, making the listener feel like an eavesdropper on the actual conversation.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I'd love the luxury of listening, uninterrupted to the entire book... or the entire series for that matter. The great advantage of Dick Hill's reading is that it is both exciting and natural, so if I have to stop listening and start again later, I don't feel the need to


    Any additional comments?

    The entire Kurt Wallander series is entertaining, exciting and interesting. You will love this intelligent and completely believeable sleuth. The mysteries are just that... mysterious and perplexing. These are murder mysteries so there is the expected violence but it is generally contained in the opening chapter and not of the extremely graphic nature one frequently finds in other works in this genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sister Carrie

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Theodore Dreiser
    • Narrated By Rebecca Burns
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (6)

    Sister Carrie is about a young country girl who moves to the big city, where she begins to realize her own American Dream by embarking on a life of sin rather than hard work and perseverance. At the time of its first publication, the novel caused a minor scandal, and Dreiser had difficulty finding a publisher for it. This was due to its blurred division between good and bad and the fact that, at the end, Carrie is rewarded rather than punished for her immoral life.

    Cheryl says: "Narrator ruined it"
    "Boring Narration"
    Overall

    Rebecca Burns narration is so dull that it makes the experience of listening to this great classic a chore. Audible.com. offers three narrated versions of Sister Carrie. The one by Jim Killavey is the worst and the one by narrator C.M. Hebert is the best choice by far. Unfortunately, C.M. Hebert's rendition is not yet offered in the enhansed format.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sister Carrie

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Theodore Dreiser
    • Narrated By Jim Killavey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Theodore Dreiser's first and perhaps greatest novel appeared in 1900. The story is about a young country girl who moves to the big city, where she starts realizing her own American Dream by embarking on a life of sin rather than by hard work and perseverance. On publication, it met with outraged disapproval and was immediately withdrawn as "too shocking and sordid for polite readers".

    Bill says: "I Loved this! Could not wait each time I listened"
    "Sister Carrie"
    Overall

    The narrator's voice is so unsuited to this classic literature that there is no point in listening. In a word, terrible.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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