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Alejandra Viaduc

Member Since 2011

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • I Capture the Castle

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Dodie Smith
    • Narrated By Emilia Fox
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (38)

    The head of the Mortmain family is Cassandra Mortmain’s father, a writer suffering from writer's block who has not published anything since his first book, a hit entitled, Jacob Wresstling. Ten years before the story begins, he took out a forty-year lease on a dilapidated but beautiful castle, hoping to find either inspiration or isolation there; now, his family is selling off the furniture to buy food.

    Paulette says: "love the accent"
    "It's abriged!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about I Capture the Castle? What did you like least?

    I like the Jane Austen meets Mystery aspect.


    Any additional comments?

    It felt fairly random at times and I couldn't connect why one thing would escalate to another. And then I realized it was Abriged. Shameful. I will have to buy this book in paper and re-read. I just didn't get into it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eating Animals

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jonathan Safran Foer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Todd Ross
    Overall
    (446)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (278)

    Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between omnivore and vegetarian. But on the brink of fatherhood - facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child's behalf - his casual questioning took on an urgency His quest for answers ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong.

    Natalie says: "Surprisingly Even-Handed"
    "Open your eyes."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Eating Animals to be better than the print version?

    I'm not sure. I haven't read the print version.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I appreciate the varying points of view, from farm owners of good, medium, and horrible farms... from employees who quit, employees who stayed, employees who give first-hand accounts of beating and torturing animals and why they did it.....
    Of course there is always some bias information in a book like this, but he did a good job of at least listing facts and numbers, and not as many opinions.


    What about Jonathan Todd Ross’s performance did you like?

    This was a one-man dictation. I think there wasn't really a way to mess it up.


    If you could give Eating Animals a new subtitle, what would it be?

    How YOU are perpetuating the situation


    Any additional comments?

    Foer is sly. He knew that everyone would be affected, and not everyone would take action, so I like his follow through in the last chapter. Well played.
    This book is monumental for me. I will be making all the changes that I can reasonably afford to make, based on the concept that if I'm not boycotting, I'm participating in the problem. If you're not with me, you're against me.... right?
    I won't be vegetarian, but I think we can handle less meat, and certainly glad to hear it was POSSIBLE to buy happy meat at places such as Whole Foods. I went there after reading this book and they actually have a rating system of how the animals were treated and how they lived. And what Foer doesn't mention (maybe because he's vegetarian, now) is that happy grass-fed, free roaming beef tastes WAY better.
    I'm definitely scarred for life. Bravo, Foer!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flowers for Algernon

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Daniel Keyes
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (998)
    Performance
    (778)
    Story
    (788)

    Charlie Gordon knows that he isn't very bright. At 32, he mops floors in a bakery and earns just enough to get by. Three evenings a week, he studies at a center for mentally challenged adults. But all of this is about to change for Charlie. As part of a daring experiment, doctors are going to perform surgery on Charlie's brain. They hope the operation and special medication will increase his intelligence, just as it has for the laboratory mouse, Algernon.

    FanB14 says: "Phenomenal Classic"
    "Fantastic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Flowers for Algernon the most enjoyable?

    Charlie changes and morphs a lot through this story. I love that the narrator changed with Charlie. It helped to capture what was going on.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is a very quick read that will make you feel something, and think something. Guaranteed.
    The honest emotion behind Charlie is so pure and believable, and it evolves so well as the story progresses.
    I also love that we are reading Charlie's diary the whole time. It adds another level of ethical dilemma to the story.
    Should we be doing this? And SHOULD we be DOING this??! (Science playing God, and reading someone else's diary.)


    Which character – as performed by Jeff Woodman – was your favorite?

    Charlie! He's the main event, so that makes sense.


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

    A journey inside an evolving mind.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
    • Narrated By Sarah Zimmerman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (173)

    The life Kamila Sidiqi had known changed overnight when the Taliban seized control of the city of Kabul. After receiving a teaching degree during the civil war - a rare achievement for any Afghan woman - Kamila was subsequently banned from school and confined to her home. When her father and brother were forced to flee the city, Kamila became the sole breadwinner for her five siblings. Armed only with grit and determination, she picked up a needle and thread and created a thriving business of her own.

    Susan says: "Excellent Listen"
    "Quick read, well written."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    If they were interested in all of the poverty/struggles of women in Afghanistan, I would. This book is based around a very specific topic.
    But, it's well written and concise. The author doesn't waste our time with useless details.


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

    I was proud of Kamila and her sisters.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Kind of. The narration had some emotion, but not enough. And the voices didn't really change. That's tough, since there are SO many characters in this book. I figured out who was speaking by context, usually.


    Do you think The Dressmaker of Khair Khana needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Nope. As I said before, it was concise and to the point. She covered everything she needed to to attach us to the characters, help us feel their struggles, and avoid kicking the dead horse- which is often the problem with stories of struggle.


    Any additional comments?

    No, thanks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Seth Grahame-Smith
    • Narrated By Scott Holst
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6638)
    Performance
    (5032)
    Story
    (5112)

    While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

    Haden says: "My friends thought I was crazy."
    "Great story. Dull performance."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter? What did you like least?

    Listening doesn't give light to the diary aspect. Maybe this just isn't one that should be listened to on audio.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the historical-fiction aspect of this story. Mixed in to the "fake" diary entries about hunting vampires, there are true life moments, true facts, true quotes by Abraham Lincoln.
    It's a fun way to think of the past, and a unique twist to assume that Abraham Lincoln's true tragedies were brought on by vampires.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Oh, the reading was sooo monotone. Anger was monotone. Love was monotone. Fighting was monotone. Passion and Fear, Monotone. You get it. It was not a performance, just a reading.


    Was Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter worth the listening time?

    I was slightly bored and distracted. It was very hard to stay engaged in Holst.
    But I really want to buy the book and read it. It really was a god story. I'd rewind when I found myself drifting out of listening.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Let the Great World Spin

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Colum McCann
    • Narrated By Richard Poe, Gerard Doyle, Carol Monda, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1155)
    Performance
    (489)
    Story
    (500)

    A Pushcart Prize-winning author and contributor to the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, and GQ, Colum McCann is renowned for his carefully constructed character studies. No exception, Let the Great World Spin follows the fortunes of a menagerie of New Yorkers through a day in 1974 - the day of Philippe Petit's death defying tightrope walk between the newly built Twin Towers.

    Robert says: "An essential addition to your Audible library."
    "This book wanted to be so much better than it was."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Colum McCann and/or the narrators?

    Probably not. The entire time, I felt like McCann was desperately trying to write a deep, insightful and life changing story. But his characters lacked a lot of depth. They were fairly cliche and took a lot of interest out of the book.
    I did enjoy the narrations. Each person played their part well.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would not use a priest, struggling with his oath. Nor a hooker who realized she messed up. Or the starving art student, or the lonely housewife. I just felt the characters left so much to be desired. YES, they were actually deeper than this. But not by much.... It was far from original. And far from deep or thought provoking.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Gloria. She was my favorite character and my favorite narrated. Probably because she was the most genuine on both ends.


    Was Let the Great World Spin worth the listening time?

    Nope :-/ I reallllly wanted it to hurry up and end. I can't bring myself to NOT finish a book.


    Any additional comments?

    The way the story wrapped up in the end was actually nice, and achieved some of the things you could tell the author was reaching for.
    Unfortunately, I had to read the entire rest of the book to get to that point.....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gideon's Sword

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By John Glover
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1026)
    Performance
    (619)
    Story
    (616)

    At 12, Gideon Crew witnessed his father, a world-class mathematician, accused of treason and gunned down. At 24, summoned to his dying mother's bedside, Gideon learned the truth: His father was framed and deliberately slaughtered. With her last breath, she begged her son to avenge him. Now, with a new purpose in his life, Gideon crafts a one-time mission of vengeance, aimed at the perpetrator of his father's destruction. His plan is meticulous, spectacular, and successful.But from the shadows, someone is watching. A very powerful someone, who is impressed by Gideon's special skills.

    k. says: "Pendergast fans beware"
    "Fast paced, and surprisingly suprising"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Gideon's Sword?

    I love action, thriller and mystery. This book is all of those things.
    At times, the author's descriptions or word choice seemed almost jouvenille, but somehow, I was still intrigued and addicted. And I couldn't wait to keep going.
    I guess I just laughed off the unbelievably un-believable parts and stuck to the guts of it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Gideon's Sword?

    Not really. It's just one of those quick reads you read for pure enjoyment. I'll take nothing away from it but a fun time. It's not deep or life changing in any way.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Bleh. Yes and no. There are times where it seems to technical and researched, and there are times where it seems like the author got tired and just made something up to keep it going.
    And then there's Orchid. I'm not sure if he just desperately wanted a James Bond-eque character who finds women along the way. But there was way too much connection and emotion for a 2 hour interaction. And too much feeling and heart break later on. She should have been left out completely.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The narrator is a man, and more than half of the characters are women. They all ended up with low voices that sounded more like a grandfather? Even the young ones. Thank goodness there are descriptions of the voices in the book so I could counter what I was hearing with what the Author was most likely picturing as he wrote it.
    The narrator seems to change up Gideon's voice quite a bit through the book as well which annoyed me. But only slightly.


    Any additional comments?

    Good read. Great for a short weekend trip or plane ride. Not too much thinking, just action, adventure and an ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, Benjamin Ajak, and others
    • Narrated By David Henry, David Zinn, Augustino Mayai, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    Benjamin, Alepho, and Benson were raised among the Dinka tribe of Sudan. Their world was an insulated, close-knit community of grass-roofed cottages, cattle herders, and tribal councils. The lions and pythons that prowled beyond the village fences were the greatest threat they knew. All that changed the night the government-armed Murahiliin began attacking their villages.

    Jane Lee says: "what's happening in the rest of the world"
    "What seems scattered comes together."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky again? Why?

    I'm not sure if I'd need to listen to the book again. I remember it well enough. And it's a sad/triumphant story. There are parts I never want to hear again.
    It's also read by people with certain accents that didn't allow me to speed up my reading pace, since I was concentrating on what they were saying.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky?

    Some of the specific tragedies they described are burned in my memory forever, and I choose not to revisit. I did expect some horrors and sadness, so I'm not upset. These types of books remind me why I am so happy to be healthy, safe and free.


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not.


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

    The same as the book's tagline. The stories of 3 lost boys from Sudan. I wasn't aware when I began that the term "Lost Boys" was not the Author's word choice, but a well-known term for those who escape.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you for this book. It hurts you heart in the right way.
    While the stories seem extremely scattered and far between in the beginning, hold tight. They begin to shorten and intertwine and make so much more sense later. Be patient :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14585)
    Performance
    (8988)
    Story
    (8859)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "It just kept going.........."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Probably not. I would warn them first. I think the author went WAY too far at the end of the book. To much information. Too much disgusting. It didn't fit with the first 2/3 at all. I hated the last 4 hours.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I love the true-to of the languages, the cultures, and the regions or Scottland. There was authenticity there SOMETIMES.


    What three words best describe Davina Porter’s voice?

    British. Low. Calming.


    Could you see Outlander being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Yes, Rupert Everett? No idea really. i don't that many red-headed actors.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was a 4.5 or 4 until the last section. It should have ended when Claire said the important words. Everything afer that is just absurd and ruined all the time I spent falling in love with the story. I understand WHY we needed to hate Randall, I don't understand why ANYONE needs to read that level of disgusting detail tha tis so freakishly random compared to the rest of the story line.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon & the Journey of a Generation

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Sheila Weller
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (64)

    Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Carly Simon remain among the most enduring and important women in popular music. Their stories trace the arc of the now-mythic generation known as "the 60s" - the female version. Filled with the voices of dozens of these women's intimates, this alternating biography reads like a novel. Except it's all true.

    N. Speroni says: "Good, but..."
    "Took a bit to get into, but enjoyed very much!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Girls Like Us? What did you like least?

    I had very little former knowledge about these three women, or any of the other artists I found out about in the book. I'm glad I chose a book tape format as opposed to the paper copy because it's very long and very slow. i would never have finished if I had to flip the pages. NOT because it was a bad book, because it was not. I had a hard time in the beginning, thinking that the mention of experiences or other characters was irrelevant, but it turned out to all come back around and put the pieces together through the middle and end. But I get very antsy. I listen to my books at 1.5x and 2x speed, if that helps you understand my antsy-ness. I like tot get tot eh point and this isn't a cut to the chase story. But it is still very much worth reading if you dig history in any way.


    Did Girls Like Us inspire you to do anything?

    Listen to the music, research some of the artists further, and talk o my mom about it :) Since that was her time. This book was her upbringing.


    Any additional comments?

    I got really cranky at how many time the phrase "Who would be" was used. You'll see.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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