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Dorothy

Member Since 2012

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 22 ratings
  • 88 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • 8

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Dustin Lance Black
    • Narrated By George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, and others
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (65)

    This play is a powerful account of the case filed by the American Federation for Equal Rights (AFER) in the U.S. District Court in 2010 to overturn Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that eliminated the rights of same-sex couples to marry in the state of California. Framed around the trial's historic closing arguments in June 2010, 8 provides an intimate look at what unfolded when the issue of same-sex marriage was on trial.

    Dorothy says: "gives me hope for humanity!"
    "gives me hope for humanity!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    this was so inspirational to listen to! The actual performance is quite short, only about half of the recording time. The rest is interviews with the cast, director and screenwriter, and lawyers involved in the actual case.
    The only difficulty I had was sometimes to identify who was speaking. Not being a big movie fan, I do not immediately recognize the voices of the actors, even if they are big names. But with context I figured out what was happening.
    I didn't follow along the Proposition 8 case as it happened, but after listening to this, I sure am following the developments now as the US heads towards another election.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    Overall
    (567)
    Performance
    (327)
    Story
    (323)

    An old Chinese proverb says "Women hold up half the sky." Then why do the women of Africa and Asia persistently suffer human rights abuses? Continuing their focus on humanitarian issues, journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn take us to Africa and Asia, where many women live in profoundly dire circumstances.

    Nancy says: "This unabridged book is abridged"
    "Must-read!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If any book will ever motivate you to care about larger global human rights issues and living conditions, this one will! The problems the authors describe are horrendous, yet they manage to bring a message of hope and success, and offer suggestions on what can be done to help.
    I didn't agree with their overly politically correct attitude towards the role of culture and religion in contributing to third-world problems, but they certainly have a wealth of experience to bring to the discussion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Keeping Faith

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Julia Gibson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (716)
    Performance
    (223)
    Story
    (220)

    Mariah has just discovered her husband Colin is having his second affair. During the divorce process, their seven-year-old daughter, Faith, meets an imaginary friend who may be God. Amidst much controversy, Colin sues for custody of Faith, compelling Mariah to find her inner strength.

    DMHVetSurveyor says: "Keeping Faith"
    "Hocus-pocus"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was warned about the religious theme of this book by previous reviewers, but I was curious enough to want to listen anyway. So I'll just say this - to an atheist like myself, this storyline is about as realistic as the Exorcist or Rosemary's Baby or Harry Potter.
    If you can put that aside, and treat it as fantasy, then it's a fairly good story. There were times it was so far-fetched that I was tempted to give up, but Picoult strung me along enough that I had to stay with it to the end just to see how she wrapped it up.
    I have to give the author credit for her portrayal of an atheist based on the fact that this book was published in 1999 and non-belief was less well-known back then. This book precedes 9/11, Dawkins' The God Delusion, and the rise of the 'nones'. Picoult obviously did her research and gets Ian Fletcher's character pretty much dead-on for most of the book, but unfortunately he 'wimps out' in sappy political correctness at the end.
    The narrators were good but I had difficulty distinguishing the two different voices, and not sure why it was necessary to have two narrators anyway.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kissed a Sad Goodbye: A Duncan Kincaid / Jemma James Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Deborah Crombie
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (99)

    A stunningly beautiful young woman is found strangled in London's Mudchute Park, her clothing carefully arranged to preserve her modesty. With that unusual detail in mind, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his partner Sergeant Gemma James suspect the crime was more than a simple assault gone awry. As they collect the strange facts surrounding her death, they discover the victim's life was a mystery even to those who knew her best.

    Constance says: "Complex, compelling mystery"
    "Check a map before reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I do all of Crombie's. But I found it confusing for the first hour or so. I paused it and did some research before continuing. It takes place on the Isle of Dogs, and if you aren't familiar with that, you won't understand what the author is talking about and the geography of the crime scene. Before listening, take a minute to look it up on a detailed map such as google maps, and zoom in to Mudchute Park and find Ferry Road and the docks. It's a fascinating place with a fascinating history. After looking at the map, take a quick look at the article about it on Wikipedia. You'll find the book much more enjoyable once you are familiar with the scenario.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elmer Gantry

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Sinclair Lewis
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (329)
    Performance
    (148)
    Story
    (149)

    A greedy, philandering Baptist minister, Elmer Gantry turns to evangelism and becomes the leader of a large Methodist congregation. Often exposed as a fraud, he is never fully discredited. Elmer Gantry is considered a landmark American novel and one of the most penetrating studies of hypocrisy in modern literature. It portrays the evangelistic activity that was common in 1920s America as well as attitudes toward it.

    Erez says: "Halleluja, Brother Lewis!"
    "nothing's changed in 90 years"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was a best-seller in 1927, when it created a furor and was apparently banned in several cities. I got it on a whim, because it was on sale and i had vaguely heard of it, but it turned out to be a whopper of a book. Billed as a satire of organized religion, it tells the story of a ruthless, narcissistic evangelist. Only i didn't find it particularly satirical; the story rings far too true-to-life to me, as a non-believer and ex-Christian. Really sad, tho, that it was written almost 90 years ago, and yet nothing has changed. It foretells the Moral Majority decades early, and Gantry could be almost any televangelist or mega-church pastor today. It's a long book, and there are times when the story does bog down a bit, but overall it's a very entertaining and biting look at our society. The narrator is excellent, giving the characters just the right amount of attitude without overdoing it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dreaming of the Bones

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Deborah Crombie
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (101)

    Often compared to both Ruth Rendell and P.D. James, Deborah Crombie is internationally acclaimed for her deftly written mysteries that combine suspense, with lyrical prose. Sharply etched characters further enrich this story of tangled relationships and dark secrets. Twelve years after their divorce, Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid receives a phone call from his ex-wife Victoria asking for his help.

    Rollin says: "A subtle british procedural"
    "calling all English majors"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    if you studied English and loved poetry, you're in luck with this book. The story centers around a poet and there are frequent quotations from the poems of Rupert Brook. I almost gave up on it during the first couple of chapters, because English was decidedly NOT my favorite class in school, and I abhor artsy poetry in particular. I stuck it out only because once I find an author I like, I always read his or her books in sequence.
    I'm glad i didn't give up on this. The plot became more interesting as the story wore on. Around the middle of the book there is another death, and suddenly it became a page-turner. In addition, it contains essential background info concerning Kincaid's personal life, which I would have missed if I had given up and skipped to the next book in the series.
    The author has mastered the disdainful upper-class drawl of the cultured English snob.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mercy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Alyssa Bresnahan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (364)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (96)

    Police chief Cameron McDonald has lived in idyllic Wheelock, Massachusetts, for most of his life, as has his beloved wife, Allie. Their lives are thrown into tumult, however, when Cam's cousin, Jamie, arrives in town, along with his wife's dead body. Jamie admits to the murder: a mercy killing to end the pain caused by a ravaging cancer. And now Cam is torn by his oath to uphold justice and his family obligations. Meanwhile, another new arrival in town threatens to drive a dagger through Cam's marriage.

    Corinne says: "Her books are always good"
    "poor representation of the main issue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If this is supposed to generate sympathy for 'mercy killing' or 'euthanasia', it's a poor example. First of all, no credible person advocates for true euthanasia, the deliberate killing of someone not capable of requesting it and giving informed consent. What many of of do support is 'medically assisted death', which is now legal in several US states and European countries, but that operates under very strict ethical rules, which limit it to people who are already actively dying from terminal diseases, request it of their own volition, give informed consent, and are too sick/physically weak to complete the act on their own. In this novel, while Jamie does kill his wife supposedly at her own request, he does so while she is still well enough to jitterbug the evening before; despite her cancer, no jurisdiction would support him killing her at this stage, and especially while she was clearly still strong enough to have taken her own life. While I did find myself sympathizing with Jamie's motives, the plot was just a little too bizarre to be believable.
    Actually, a lot of this novel is beyond belief. Suspend everything you know about police procedure and medical examiners, and transport yourself into the town of Brigadoon. What sort of employer would hire an unknown assistant right off the street without knowing anything about her? That's what Allie does. I kept wanting to know more about Mia's background and motivation throughout the novel, but she left as abruptly as she appeared and I never found out. And don't get me started on Cam's flaky mother. The characters in this book are all just weird.
    I didn't give up on it, and toward the end I did get a little more into it, but overall not one of the author's best.

    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
    (6752)
    Performance
    (4727)
    Story
    (4712)

    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"
    "a real page turner..... of tragedies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author didn't pull any punches in depicting the brutality of life during the time period of this book. Her website says that she lives in the area and toured a local plantation, read slave narratives, visited the Black History Museum, interviewed the descendants of slaves, etc., and I believe it.
    The narrators are perfect for the voices; one slightly Irish accent, one African-American. I immediately recognized Turpin's voice from House Girl and The Help. It took me 2 tries to get into the story; the first time I gave up after half an hour, rewound, and started again. There are just so many characters and situations introduced at the start, I had to sort them out in my head before I could proceed.
    But by the second hour of listening, I was hooked on the story with a morbid curiosity. It's a little like 'Upstairs, Downstairs' crossed with 'Gone with the Wind'. The tragic events tumble after one another like a train wreck, yet I can hardly put it down.
    I'm about three quarters of the way through now, and not holding out much hope for a happy ending. But I can't wait to find out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Songs of the Humpback Whale

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    Songs of the Humpback Whale is a powerful and sensitive novel of family life that questions how songs are passed down from male speaker to male speaker, but also examines the female tradition of listening that women unconsciously pass on to their daughters. Five rich narrative voices interweave to tell this story of love, loss, and self-discovery.

    Stephanie says: "Worth a listen"
    "Confusing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked this story, and I wish I could give it a higher rating. I'm glad that it's not the first book I listened to by this author. But the main reason I didn't rate it higher is that it's very confusing trying to follow the story because it is written in reverse sequence of events. Maybe my old high school English teacher would be able to give reasons why an author would do that, but I'm not in school any more and I just want to listen to a good story.
    In the first few chapters I almost gave up on this book. All of a sudden the characters were talking about the death of someone who had not even been previously introduced into the story. I turned off my player to check the track, thinking that perhaps I had jumped a chapter or downloaded incorrectly, but no, so I struggled to keep going. After a while I caught on. I think that the character's death would have made more of an impact if the story had been told in the correct order so that he died at the end; as it was, I knew what was coming all along and so the ending felt spoiled.
    Once I figured out the weird system of telling the story, I was able to follow along so it got easier, sort of like learning to count backward. So overall, it was a great story, just told in a strange way. If you like Picoult's novels, go for it and stick with it. If you're not already a fan, I'd give it a pass and try another one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All Shall Be Well

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Deborah Crombie
    • Narrated By Michael Deehy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (109)

    Perhaps it is a blessing when Jasmine Dent dies in her sleep. At last an end has come to the suffering of a body horribly ravaged by disease. It may well have been suicide; she had certainly expressed her willingness to speed the inevitable. But small inconsistencies lead her neighbor, Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, to a startling conclusion: Dent was murdered. But if not for mercy, why would someone destroy a life already doomed?

    Marci says: "Slow"
    "classic who-dun-it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    no nasty blood and gore or CSI in this novel. It's reminiscent of Agatha Christie. Suspicious death in an English town with a closed cast of characters, and a detective who solves the mystery with his little grey cells after interviewing all the suspects. The author is good at creating a lot of red herrings to keep the reader guessing til the end. An easy and enjoyable read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death Benefit

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Robin Cook
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (199)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (162)

    Wall Street whizzes turn their attentions from mortgages to another possible profit source: the $25 trillion life-insurance industry. By securitizing the policies of the old and sick, they hope to make another financial killing. At the same time, Natalie Savondnik and Ronald Goodall - two exceptional yet aloof medical residents - are working closely with their medical center's premier scientist on cutting-edge diabetes research. When their mentor dies suddenly, they launch a quiet investigation.

    P Carnell says: "Abrupt ending"
    "classic Robin Cook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read all of Cook's novels over the years, and thoroughly enjoyed almost all of them, but in a couple of his most recent ones he has seemed off form. I almost didn't bother with this one, but i'm glad i did. Cook is back to his classic style of having medical students discovering something underhanded and battling the evil establishment.
    The story was compelling all the way through. He lost me a bit in the financial stuff, but i could follow the gist of it. I liked the young med students but was glad he brought back Jack and Laurie further on.
    George Guidell is synonymous with Robin Cook to me. As soon as i hear his voice it's like an old friend.
    The only reason i didn't give this book 5 stars is because I agree with the reviewers who said it ended rather abruptly and implausibly. I think the wrap-up could have been done better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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