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Laura

Moncton, NB, Canada | Member Since 2011

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 311 titles in library
  • 84 purchased in 2014
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  • The Travels of Maudie Tipstaff

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Margaret Forster
    • Narrated By Jacqueline King
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Plagued all her life by her roisterous husband, straitlaced, outspoken, domineering Maudie is now on her own. Invited by her two daughters and her son to spend four months with each of them, she leaves Glasgow for the first time, uncertain of what awaits her. But what she finds in the very different homes of her children is not what she expects, causing her to reassess her life.

    colleen says: "Waiting for a change"
    "At first I didn't like it, but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found Maudie Tipstaff a very annoying character, but as the book went on, I began to see things a bit more through her eyes. It was a 3part book, and throughout each interaction of characters, the world of Maudie Tipstaff expanded.

    It was a satisfying book because it was so character-driven, filled with unusual situations and people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Human Stain

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Phillip Roth
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    Overall
    (320)
    Performance
    (270)
    Story
    (271)

    It is 1998, the year in which America is whipped into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president, and in a small New England town, an aging classics professor, Coleman Silk, is forced to retire when his colleagues decree that he is a racist. The charge is a lie, but the real truth about Silk would have astonished even his most virulent accuser.

    Darwin8u says: "Spooky how Roth bends the edge of the possible"
    "A character-driven novel, for sure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, let me say that the narrator did a great job, despite the fact that he didn't put much change of accent/inflection into each character's voice. The expressiveness of his reading kept the story moving with energy and passion.

    The story itself is very character driven. It is a dissection of one man's life; a gradual unfolding of all his secrets, strengths and flaws. It shows the individuals and events that shaped his motivation, and how, near the end of his life, a cataclysmic event soured him on conforming to "polite society", to the point that he begins an affair that shocks everyone who knows him.

    The author also dissects and reveals certain main characters, such as one of the colleagues, the new girlfriend, and her ex-husband. I do, however, feel that the book became a bit tedious in the exploration of the emotions of the ex-husband, who was a Vietnam war vet. The journey into his mindset of mental illness and violence became quite disturbing and overly-long. At one point, I skipped over part of a chapter, because I just couldn't take it any more.

    If you enjoy character-driven, mature, intellectual novels with a gritty, masculine tone, I guess this would be a good book for you. I don't regret the time I invested in this book, because I enjoy delving into other people's lives and expanding my understanding of the impluses and motivations that can drive others in directions that we may not understand. I felt like giving up a few times, because the book does demand a mental effort, but my sense of pride as an educated reader forced me to continue for all the times I bemoaned the deluge of literary "fluff" offered as "the next great thing"!

    It is not among "the great" novels I have read (see my review on "The Winds of War" or "War and Remembrance"), but the novel has made a lasting impression, and details of Colemen Silk's life will continue to resonate in my memory for a long time to come...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5994)
    Performance
    (5199)
    Story
    (5191)

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "Beautiful Ruins is a beautiful story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved how this novel switched from person to person, from past to present, until all the threads gradually wove together into a beautiful, colourful tapestry of people and events.

    The novel gave us glimpses of many different eras: Italy during and after the war, Hollywood in its new decadence, 1960's glamour starring Richard Burton and Liz Taylor, not to mention the life of a musician on tour in Edinburgh...

    If you enjoy a mysterious journey, and a format of seemingly unrelated short stories, blending into a majestic ending... read this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Two for the Dough: Stephanie Plum, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Janet Evanovich
    • Narrated By C. J. Critt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1279)
    Performance
    (1070)
    Story
    (1073)

    Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is back, packing a whole lot of attitude. This time around, she's on the trail of Kenny Mancuso, a boy from the working-class burg of Trenton, New Jersey, who has just shot his best friend. Fresh out of the Army and suspiciously wealthy, Mancuso's also distantly related to Joe Morelli, a vice cop with questionable ethics, a libido in permanent overdrive, and a habit of horning in on Stephanie's investigations.

    debra says: "2 for the Dough - Funny, funny, and funny"
    "Couldn't stand the narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I agree with the reader who said they chose a 50 year old smoker to narrate a 30 year old character. Yes, age shows in a voice!

    I am returning this book because the narration just GRATES on my ears. Also, the story didn't 't grab me right from the start.

    Just started "Gorky Park" , and, yes, it grabbed me from the first sentence!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • War and Remembrance

    • UNABRIDGED (56 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    Overall
    (1903)
    Performance
    (1611)
    Story
    (1597)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II, which begins with The Winds of War and continues here in War and Remembrance, stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    aaron says: "What can I say that hasn't already been said??"
    "Incredible story, incredible narrator!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a masterpiece! It is a learning experience, wrapped up in a good story... Exciting, interesting, heart-rending... I just couldn't wait for my next "session". I listened to it while commuting, doing my yoga, painting, cleaning, picking berries... It was 55 hours of GREAT entertainment! Some people might find the battle details a bit boring, but I enjoyed them because I learned so much about WW II, and the forgotten heroes.

    The narrator was incredible! He did accents from Roosevelt's, Churchill's, Hitler's, Stalin's, and Polish, Russian, German, British, Southern,.... I was so impressed, I just wanted to shake his hand and congratulate him personally! Haha!

    The Winds of War, and this sequel, War and Remembrance stand out among the great books of the 20th century... The don't make 'em like that anymore... If you have the attention span for a great work, this is it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Winds of War

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2721)
    Performance
    (2297)
    Story
    (2302)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    Robert says: "A Masterpiece"
    "Amazing story... amazing narrator!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to The Winds of War, and the sequel, War and Remembrance. I loved both. Such an in-depth portrait of WW II, through the eyes of various characters.

    Kevin Pariseau did an AMAZING job of all the characters and accents! He really brought the book to life in a FEAT of narration, acting and even at times - singing! I especially liked his Russian and German accents! Amazing!

    This audible book occupied my mind through many hours of home reno! I also feel as though I have gained a substantial amount of historical knowledge about the unfolding of WW II.

    Thank you Herman Wouk, Kevin Pariseau, and Audible!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Watership Down

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Richard Adams
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2817)
    Performance
    (2128)
    Story
    (2142)

    Fiver could sense danger. Something terrible was going to happen to the warren; he felt sure of it. They had to leave immediately. So begins a long and perilous journey of survival for a small band of rabbits. As the rabbits skirt danger at every turn, we become acquainted with the band, its humorous characters, and its compelling culture, complete with its own folk history and mythos.

    B. Cable says: "Still one of the best!"
    "Stressful at first, but then I relaxed and enjoyed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    At first I found the odyssey stressful, but when I relaxed and let myself stop worrying, I enjoyed these tough, resourceful little rabbits. When the story was over, I grieved to leave my friends! I will never see rabbits the same again!

    The narration was incredible! Bravo!

    0 of 1 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
    (2457)
    Performance
    (1168)
    Story
    (1160)

    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!"
    "Loved it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I loved the story and the narration! Being over 50 myself, I enjoyed this mature romance!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Tale of Two Cities

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Jon Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (54)

    In this staple of classic literature, Charles Dickens tells the tale of fueding classes set at the inception and escalation of the French Revolution. Amidst the upheaval, righteous former aristocrat Charles Darnay becomes wrongly tangled in unfortunate events, endangering his freedom and family. Sidney Carton, a cynical lawyer who squandered his life away, seeks to redress his unhappiness through Darnay's beautiful wife, Lucie.

    Linda says: "A Great Classic Performed With Perfection"
    "Horrible narrator!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I tried twice to listen because I do love Dickens, but the narrator was horrible. I gave up!


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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