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Anonymous

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 39 ratings
  • 255 titles in library
  • 42 purchased in 2014
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  • Empire Falls

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Richard Russo
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (131)

    Dexter County, Maine, and specifically the town of Empire Falls, has seen better days, and for decades, in fact, only a succession from bad to worse. One by one, its logging and textile enterprises have gone belly-up, and the once vast holdings of the Whiting clan (presided over by the last scion’s widow) now mostly amount to decrepit real estate. The working classes, meanwhile, continue to eke out whatever meager promise isn’t already boarded up. Miles Roby gazes over this ruined kingdom from the Empire Grill, an opportunity of his youth that has become the albatross of his life.

    margaret says: "Hugely Enjoyable"
    "A truly great read."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Empire Falls again? Why?

    Just when you think you know where the story is going, the author comes along, gives you more information, and heads off in another direction. I am tempted to listen again - now knowing "the full" story, would like to listen to the events from this new vantage point. How you understand a situation is based on what you know of the characters and their past - so adding new information as the author does, changes your perspective and your sympathies. A book that truly can be read (and enjoyed) multiple times.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Take Me Under: Dangerous Tides Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Rhyannon Byrd
    • Narrated By Aletha George
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (31)

    Ben Hudson had a thing for shy, sexy Reese Monroe from the moment he first saw her three years ago. Back then, she was married and living in Boston - two very good reasons for the Miami detective with a bad-boy reputation to stay away. But that was then. Now Reese is divorced and moving to Florida, where her mother has rented her a small beach house - one that happens to be owned by Ben.

    Kd says: "Love thru a lot of sex"
    "The story takes two paragraphs of the book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    No idea.


    What could Rhyannon Byrd have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Actually have a story to tell instead of attempting to have steamy sex scenes where the attempts at erotic only included vulgarity.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Frustration - kept waiting for an actual story to develop.


    Any additional comments?

    If you want "steamy sex" -read 50 Shades - if you want a story, then keep looking, don't stop here.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Barack Obama: The Story

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By David Maraniss
    • Narrated By David Maraniss
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (46)

    In a groundbreaking work based on hundreds of interviews, including with President Obama, and a trove of letters, journals, and other documents, one of our pre-eminent journalists presents a richly textured account of Barack Obama and the forces that shaped him. This book begins in Kansas and Kenya, decades before Obama was born, and ends as he prepares for a political life. The listener gains a deeper insight into the first black president of the United States, revealing as never before the arc of his history.

    Darwin8u says: "Solid Work @ Debunking Fairy-Tales & Dark Fantasms"
    "Where is the copy editor when you need one?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A bigography of Obama where the main character (the President) doesn't appear until over 6 hours into the story?! Yup that is right. You will hear the life story of his great grandparents etc - but then the book ends in the late 1980's except to say "oh yes, he got married and has 2 children"


    Would you ever listen to anything by David Maraniss again?

    NO - his reading of the book adds nothing to the story - but perhaps this is just because of the writing?


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Instead of reading like he is dictating a story to be typed, he could have added some feeling.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Barack Obama?

    The first 6 hours should just be cut totally - then after that heavy editing and you would have had a much better story.


    Any additional comments?

    The book reads like a dry newspaper account of something the writer has observed. There is very little explanation of the significance of any of the events and way too much of "he said" then "she said" My two star rating for this may be too generous and may just reflect my support of the President today rather than anything that the writer offers in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

    • ABRIDGED (11 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Charles C. Mann
    • Narrated By Peter Johnson
    Overall
    (1140)
    Performance
    (605)
    Story
    (614)

    In this riveting, accessible work of science, Charles Mann takes us on an enthralling journey of scientific exploration. We learn that the Indian development of modern corn was one of the most complex feats of genetic engineering ever performed. That the Great Plains are a third smaller today than they were in 1700 because the Indians who maintained them by burning died. And that the Amazon rain forest may be largely a human artifact.

    Case says: "Hotly debated new theories, but NOT revisionism"
    "A book that will change your views of history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What does Peter Johnson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The many Indian names used in the book are just read as if they were Tom or Jane - so you don't get hung up on the complexities of the names. Friends who read the book in paper form found that to be a problem.


    Any additional comments?

    Almost everything in the book was a new insight for me. I thought I knew American History - but after reading this book I found out how little I really knew. The book would be better if split by the author into 2 books - there is the "history text book" where he explains the factual/scientific sources for the information, and then there is the story portion - the lives of the people in the western hemisphere, prior to 1491. Unfortunately the inter mixing of these two texts into a single book, makes it a difficult read (or listen) but it is clearly worth it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lawgiver: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Peter Riegert, Zosia Mamet
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (28)

    At the center of The Lawgiver is Margo Solovei, a brilliant young writer-director who has rejected her rabbinical father’s strict Jewish upbringing to pursue a career in the arts. When an Australian multi-billionaire promises to finance a movie about Moses if the script meets certain standards, Margo does everything she can to land the job, including a reunion with her estranged first love, an influential lawyer with whom she still has unfinished business. Two other key characters in the novel are Herman Wouk himself and his wife of more than 60 years, Betty Sarah, who, almost against their will, find themselves entangled in the Moses movie .

    Amazon Customer says: "OMG, Herman Wouk is still brilliant at 97!!"
    "A very different type of story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Lawgiver the most enjoyable?

    This book is written in a very different format that other Wouk masterpieces - and it may take a bit of time to adjust to the approach - but it is clearly worth it. Who would have thought that a book could be written as a collection of emails, meeting transcripts etc - but Wouk pulls it off in this short but engaging book.


    Any additional comments?

    Herman Wouk demonstrates that even in his 90's he's still an incredible story teller.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Chasing Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1863)
    Performance
    (1321)
    Story
    (1334)

    Little else in life is as dangerous as fire jumping. Flying past towering pillars of smoke, parachuting down to the edge of an all-consuming blaze, shoveling and sawing for hours upon hours, days at a time, all to hold the line and push back against the raw power of Mother Nature. But there’s also little else as thrilling - at least to Rowan Tripp. The Missoula smoke jumpers are one of the most exclusive firefighting squads in the nation, and the job is in Rowan’s blood: her father is a legend in the field. She’s been fighting fires since her eighteenth birthday.

    M. Davis says: "Another winner by Roberts!"
    "The story begins half way thru the book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Chasing Fire? What did you like least?

    Roberts takes fully half the book to introduce her characters - way, way, way too long - I was about ready to give up on the book when the story finally started. This long intro is not typical for this author - and I was surprised to see it here.

    As to what I liked - the last half of the book was good - but the ending was quite weak.


    Would you recommend Chasing Fire to your friends? Why or why not?

    NO. Half the book is introducing the characters, then the "solution" to the murders in the second half was very weak. I think she hit the duplicate key way too often in telling about the various and repitious fires that were being fought.


    Did Chasing Fire inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, to reconsider reading any more books by this author. I expected a lot more from the author than was delivered in this book.


    Any additional comments?

    Skip the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2706)
    Performance
    (1419)
    Story
    (1424)

    Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.”

    Tina says: "Another wonderful Bryson"
    "Great history story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of At Home to be better than the print version?

    Did not read or see the print version.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Bill Bryson again?

    He reads very well and is easy to listen to.


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

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    This purported to be a history of the home - and limited parts of the story fulfilled that goal. However the author rambles to many other story lines and apparently he considers to be related - however often I failed to see the relationship - and simply tuned out till he finally would come back to something relevant.

    Would not have taken this selection if I had known before hand how he would choose to ramble.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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