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Occasional Barista

New Orleans | Member Since 2001

  • 3 reviews
  • 3 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2014

  • Juliet

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Anne Fortier
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.

    Glory says: "Excellent! Merits 20 hours"
    "A rose by this name stinks"

    I like history; I like Shakespeare and I like Italy. You would think that this book would have been just perfect for me. Not so. This book seems to have been written for sexually frustrated females with no experience of foreign travel. The author goes on about fashion, shoes, girl talk and other chick oriented muck. The story goes on with two Juliet???s; one in the present and one in 1340 Italy. Neither story has any substance. Character and plot development are uneven and farfetched. Don???t look for any clever twist or turns. Everything is boring and predictable. As an extra bonus you are subjected to second rate poetry from Romeo, although I suspect that the author just paraphrased most of it from other sources. This is certainly true of Shakespeare. She mangles the old bard???s words many times and shoves them into her characters mouths. This book is just dreadful.

    16 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner

    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"
    "If you could only read one book, this is it."
    Any additional comments?

    It's been a long time since I've read a really good book. It always catches me by surprise when I do finally do come across a really great book. The beauty of language in the hands of a skilled writer is a joy that is hard for me to convey. I'm not a skilled writer, unlike Marcus Zusak who makes the words sing and fly like a great artist. Even if he were sallow, his use of language alone would make this book worth the read. But he is not sallow. This is a book that will reach into your soul and show you your heart. It's a book about the universal human condition. It's life and love. It's death and sadness. It's hope and dreams.
    I'll not give any spoilers, I'm sure you can find plenty if you look. This isn't a book that should be described; it should be experienced. Treat yourself and read the Book Thief.
    No regrets or disappointments, you'll love it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Almost a good book"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    While the story is pretty good, lot's of twist and turns, it's still the story of an immoral drug user. If you're OK with drug abuse (lots of graphic details about the effects, ups and downs of various drugs) this isn't such a bad book. If you strongly object to drugs; give this one a pass.

    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The author really fails here. The book is over. The points made in the extended ending only offer excuses , not any new depth to the story. There is a difference between a true work of literature and a fluff novel. This is fluff, not literature. Too bad the author didn't come to grips with that before writing the ending.

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

    This was a great audio performance. He never slips up with voice or accent. Even if you don't like the book so much, this audio performance is well worth the listen

    Was The Goldfinch worth the listening time?

    Yes, this one is worth the time. Even if you are not carried away with the book, the performance makes up for it. Add this one to your list.

    Any additional comments?

    It's difficult to enjoy a book fully when you just don't like the central character. Lazy, drug using, self centered and immoral main characters just don't appeal to me. Sure, there is the flip side of his character: charming, conflicted, tortured by guilt, intelligent and lonely. The glue that holds him and the other characters together is his appreciation for art and beautiful things. It's not enough in real life and not enough to really work in this novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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