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Anon

ratings
198
REVIEWS
17
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
231

  • A Prison Diary

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (209)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (50)

    On July 19, 2001, Jeffrey Archer is sentenced to four years in prison for perjury. He serves the first three weeks of his sentence in a high-prison that houses some of Britain's most violent criminals. Archer contemplates suicide; he is allowed out and followed by 100 reporters on the day of his mother's funeral; he's moved to the Lifer's wing because of the security; and he becomes a trusted confidant for fellow convicts. A Prison Diary is Archer's account of these events.

    Jeffrey says: "A Worthwhile Listen"
    "A tale of culture shock"
    Overall

    This book gives a very detailed account of the first few weeks of a privileged Englishman?s incarceration in a common British prison. It?s not exactly exciting, but it does paint a comprehensive picture. I am no fan of the British upper classes, so I listened out of sheer curiosity to see how he would survive.

    Jeffrey Archer suffered a very sudden and dramatic culture shock, and bore up extremely well. By his own account he accepted his new life, made the best of it, learned from it, contributed to it, was starting to become very interested in prison reform, and I'd have to call him "a good sport". I ended up respecting his ability to adapt and avoid self-pity.

    I checked on the Internet and Jeffrey Archer is out of prison now. He has become an extremely controversial figure, facing constant public censure from upper and lower classes alike. I am now quite curious to see how he will survive his disgrace, and whether he will manage to continue his efforts for prison reform.

    30 of 32 people found this review helpful
  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Helen Simonson
    • Narrated By Peter Altschuler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2493)
    Performance
    (1199)
    Story
    (1192)

    You are about to travel to Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of your own family. Among them is Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson's wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, Major Pettigrew is one of the most indelible characters in contemporary fiction.

    Sara says: "A Surprising Treat!"
    "Why do the Pakistanis sound Irish?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm halfway through. The story is delightful and well-written. I really want to hear what happens to Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali. The problem is that I'm English and the narrator obviously isn't. He is doing really horrible and random things to his vowels. The Pakistanis never actually sound Pakistani but they do have regular attacks of sounding Irish. Sometimes he uses his "child" voice for adults. English characters lurch unreliably between posh and common accents. Sloppy, sloppy.

    I'm putting up with him because the book has an "over the top" quality that enables me to laugh... but I also feel sufficiently irritated to write this midstream review and I'll avoid this narrator in the future. He is making this excellent book struggle for me.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fine Just The Way It Is: Wyoming Stories 3

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Annie Proulx
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (15)

    Returning to the territory of "Brokeback Mountain" (in her first volume of Wyoming Stories) and Bad Dirt, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Proulx delivers a stunning and visceral new collection. In Fine Just the Way It Is, she has expanded the limits of the form. Her stories about multiple generations of Americans struggling through life in the West are a ferocious, dazzling panorama of American folly and fate.

    Louis says: "Even the Devil can’t homestead in Wyoming."
    "Compelling tales of hard lives"
    Overall

    It took me a couple of tries to get into this book. The stories are harsh and bare and gritty, like the Western landscape. Life is extremely hard, mistakes cost dearly, and nobody lives happily ever after. Having said that, I did not find the stories depressing. Lifelike would be a better word. Once I caught on, I found the book compelling.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and with (Almost) No Money

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Dolly Freed
    • Narrated By Dolly Freed, Paige Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    In the 1970s, Dolly Freed lived off the land dirt cheap and plum easy. Living in their own house on a half-acre lot outside of Philadelphia for almost five years, Dolly and her father produced their own food and drink and spent roughly $700 each per year. Thirty years later Dolly Freed's Possum Living is as fascinating and pertinent as it was in 1978. Tin House is reissuing the survivalist classic with a foreword by David Gates and an afterword by the author.

    Anon says: "Thought I was frugal until I read this..."
    "Thought I was frugal until I read this..."
    Overall

    A possum (and Dolly) can live anywhere, hence the title of the book. She and her father managed to live an entirely self-sufficient life without employment or welfare. Of course you can't live independently if you have a "normal" outlook, which is the crux of the matter. The book is a fascinating account, written when Dolly was 18, of how she and her father spent their days. She shares her can-do attitude as well as practical details and recipes. Her straightforward enthusiasm makes the book easy listening, regardless of whether she is talking about how to catch, kill, and prepare a turtle for cooking or how to work up to running miles at full speed. She freely acknowledges that we might not all want to do these things. It's understood that she is just letting us know we can have choices.

    But there's more. I couldn't help wondering what kind of adult Dolly would grow into - would she live with her father forever? So for me, the most interesting part was at the end. Dolly gives her perspective on the book 30 years on, and tells us what happened to her between then and now. Listen to the very end. There is also an interesting article about her by journalist Paige Williams, and a commentary by novelist David Gates, who based a character on Dolly but clearly doesn't "get" possum living. Neither will all listeners, but that doesn't mean they won't find the book thought-provoking.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Faithful Spy

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Alex Berenson
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2294)
    Performance
    (921)
    Story
    (913)

    John Wells is the only American CIA agent ever to penetrate al Qaeda. Since before the attacks in 2001, Wells has been hiding in the mountains of Pakistan, biding his time, building his cover.

    Margaret says: "Faithful Spy"
    "Great road trip book!"
    Overall

    I was not familiar with this author and don't normally read political thrillers but - what a great book! It kept me alert and anxious to hear more during a 14-hour drive. I appreciated the balance shown in understanding the perspectives of east-west conflict, and also the balance between drama and everyday detail. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cage of Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jacquelyn Mitchard
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Twelve-year-old Veronica Swan's idyllic life in a close-knit Mormon community is shattered when her two younger sisters are brutally murdered. Although her parents find the strength to forgive the deranged killer, Scott Early, Veronica cannot do the same. Years later, she sets out alone to avenge her sisters' deaths, dropping her identity and severing ties in the process.

    Chuck says: "Mercy vs. Justice"
    "Couldn't put it down"
    Overall

    This book is so serene, and yet compelling. It deals with life's greatest subjects in such a... well, a sensible way. You'll learn a little about the Mormon religion, a lot about loving children and ethics. Highly recommended!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • On Beauty

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Zadie Smith
    • Narrated By Peter Francis James
    Overall
    (549)
    Performance
    (131)
    Story
    (135)

    Set on both sides of the Atlantic, Zadie Smith's third novel is a brilliant analysis of family life, the institution of marriage, intersections of the personal and political, and an honest look at people's deceptions. It is also, as you might expect, very funny indeed.

    Sarah says: "two thumbs up"
    "Updated, tweaked, and modernized"
    Overall

    When I began this book I was unaware that it was loosely based upon one of my favorite novels, Howards End by E.M. Forster. Updated, tweaked, and modernized, Zadie Smith's similar story unfolded at much greater length. Although some parts were entertaining, it mostly seemed like a very pale imitation. The narration, however, was excellent.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • ImmersionPlus: German

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Penton Overseas, Inc.
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    The ImmersionPlus series of original vignettes has been created especially for the intermediate to advanced foreign language students who want to improve their foreign language comprehension.

    Wayne says: "missing translation"
    "Yes, this really is useful"
    Overall

    You learned German in school and it's been XX years since you had to crank it up... this will remind you and renew your investment in the language. You'll hear conversations about all kinds of everyday stuff, with no English help except for a few words to introduce the general subject. That's good! Set your chosen digital device to wake you up puzzling this stuff out every day. If you need to brush up on more than one language, check out the other "Immersions" and experience the same conversation in many languages!!!

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • ImmersionPlus: French

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Penton Overseas, Inc.
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The ImmersionPlus series of original vignettes has been created especially for the intermediate to advanced foreign language students who want to improve their foreign language comprehension.

    Peter says: "An excellent refresher"
    "Yes, this really is useful"
    Overall

    You learned French in school and it's been XX years since you had to crank it up... this will remind you and renew your investment in the language. You'll hear conversations about all kinds of everyday stuff, with no English help except for a few words to introduce the general subject. That's good! Set your chosen digital device to wake you up puzzling this stuff out every day. If you need to brush up on more than one language, check out the other "Immersions" and experience the same conversation in many languages!!!

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen
    • Narrated By Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen
    Overall
    (713)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (124)

    Holiday gatherings can be stressful times for families, and occasionally the conversation around the holiday table can get heated. Difficult Conversations shows you a way out of this dilemma; it teaches you how to handle even the toughest conversations more effectively and with less anxiety.

    Jean-Pierre says: "A must-hear audiobook !"
    "How to have an easier, more pleasant life"
    Overall

    How do we upset one another without meaning to? How can we salvage a conversation that's going wrong? How can we say "no"? And how much time do we spend agonizing over this stuff? Here are methods and principles that can be used to improve all communications. The presentation is a bit stilted but the content is excellent. Through sample conversations, analysis of what went wrong, and examples of how to do it better, you start to build an understanding of how to hear other people's points of view and present your own. Why do we need to be told? That's covered too. Time spent with this book brought me some quick results, and it's obviously one to revisit.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo
    • Narrated By Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (611)
    Performance
    (199)
    Story
    (199)

    He's Just Not That Into You, based on the popular episode of Sex and the City, educates otherwise smart women on how to tell when a guy just doesn't like them enough, so they can stop wasting time making excuses for a dead-end relationship.

    Jenny says: "A good basic message."
    "Wish I'd known all this years ago!"
    Overall

    Everything in this book seems like plain truth to me, since I've already learned most of it the hard way. I'm approaching geezerhood, though. As for all you spring chickens - if you can get the message now, you will save yourself years of wasting time on the wrong guys.

    A couple of minor criticisms: the authors assume that all women are looking for The One (not necessarily true), and I found Liz's insistent tone a little irritating sometimes. Nevertheless, I heartily recommend this book to all women.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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