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claire

berkeley, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 275 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
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  • The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Deborah Blum
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1375)
    Performance
    (904)
    Story
    (891)

    In The Poisoner's Handbook, Blum draws from highly original research to track the fascinating, perilous days when a pair of forensic scientists began their trailblazing chemical detective work, fighting to end an era when untraceable poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime.

    Aaron - Audible says: "CSI eat your heart out"
    "the book is fine, but......worst. narrator. ever."
    Overall

    I'm about 3/4s through.....The book is pretty good, the structure is interesting, but the narration! Otherwise, I'ld rate it higher.

    Almost every character is a man, and the female narrator just sounds silly (though to be fair, some of the women she does are even worse). THE worst are the foreign accents...the corny stereotype accent of french accent, etc.
    There was one, it's supposed to be british, but is more like the love-child of a cockney and an australian. At that point, I decided to enjoy it as camp. The book is interesting, but the author over does it on the adjectives and melodrama (instead of red, or crimson, it is a red the color of the red on the black widow spider, etc)
    Note to the squeamish - some of the descriptions of the victims suffering, and the parts on experimentation on animals are hard to take.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wait for Me!: Memoirs

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Deborah Mitford
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (20)

    Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, is the youngest of the famously witty brood that includes the writers Jessica and Nancy, who wrote when Deborah was born, "How disgusting of the poor darling to go and be a girl." Deborah's effervescent memoir chronicles her remarkable life, from an eccentric but happy childhood in the Oxfordshire countryside, to tea with Adolf Hitler and her controversially political sister Unity in 1937, to her marriage to the second son of the Duke of Devonshire.

    Irene says: "The last of the Mitford Sisters"
    "enjoy stories about remodeling? this is for you!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really wish I had enjoyed this more.
    I'm very interested in the mitford family (i wish audible had a version of the mary lovell biography that wasn't read by an american).

    This was challenging…..the parts about her family and childhood were interesting, but it's not particularly well written.
    It starts bogging down with anecdotes and fleeting interactions about people who were once well known, and now are not.
    "when biffy came to our house party" etc.
    Then it veered in to a long account of remodeling the estate - I had to admit defeat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Speak Memory: An Autobiography Revisited

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (180)
    Performance
    (154)
    Story
    (154)

    Speak, Memory, first published in 1951 as Conclusive Evidence and then assiduously revised in 1966, is an elegant and rich evocation of Nabokov’s life and times, even as it offers incisive insights into his major works, including Lolita, Pnin, Despair, The Gift, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, and The Luhzin Defense.

    meredith says: "this inspired me to read Nabokov's novels"
    "the american accent is so wrong….."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    nabokov is one of my favorite writers, and there are passages of "speak, memory" that are among my favorite in literature, like the recollection of his mother returning from a mushroom hunt.
    But I couldn't get through this - the accent is so wrong for this.
    I really tried, but it ruined it for me

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Death of a Gossip & Death of a Cad: The First Two Hamish Macbeth Mysteries

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Antony Ferguson
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (50)

    When society widow and gossip columnist Lady Jane Winters joined the fishing class, she wasted no time in ruffling the feathers - or was it the fins? - of those around her. Among the victims of her sharp tongue and unladylike manner was Lochdubh Constable Hamish Macbeth. Yet not even Hamish thought someone would permanently silence Lady Jane's shrills - until her strangled body is fished out of the river. Now with the help of the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, Hamish must angle through the choppy waters of the tattler's life to find the murderer.

    C. Morris says: "What a character!"
    "it's offal….."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    truly terrible and cliched, almost a parody of a mystery.

    1. though the murder doesn't happen until well into it, thanks to the title(s), there's not much suspense as to who is going to get bumped
    2. each character has to loudly proclaim, within earshot of the other characters, "why…..I'll, I'll …..KILL her!
    3. implausibility is ok, but this goes beyond implausibility into a realm of absurdity.
    4. profanity doesn't faze me, but I found so many women being called "bitch" kinda abrasive

    On the plus side, the narrator does an excellent job, at least to my american ears.

    use your credit on an agatha christie instead!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John Dies at the End

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By David Wong
    • Narrated By Stephen R. Thorne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1973)
    Performance
    (1798)
    Story
    (1816)

    STOP. You should not have touched this flyer with your bare hands. NO, don't put it down. It's too late. They're watching you. My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours. You may not want to know about the things you'll read on these pages, about the sauce, about Korrok, about the invasion, and the future. But it's too late. You touched the book. You're in the game. You're under the eye. The only defense is knowledge. You need to read this book, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why?

    Amazon Customer says: "Vulgar Funny. 4.95 Sale Win."
    "It started off so promisingly........"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While not my usual read, I thought the description was funny and gave it a try.,
    It is very funny (at first) and the gross out and horror parts of it were so over-the-top that, though I'm usually squeamish, they didn't bother me at all.
    But somewhere, a little bit before the midway point, it really ran out of steam and became repetitive. (I saw where it had originally been released on the net episodically, and it shows- it really could use an editor.)
    over and over, you get.....

    "I couldn't have known, at that moment, that my life was going to change for ever.
    There before me stood a ________(Insert weird thing here), that looked like a cross between a _______(Insert slimy or horrifying thing here) slug/spider/winged bat/ with seven ten inch long _____ (tentacles/stalks/antlers) emerging from it's back, each ending in what appeared to be a ________(hand/eyeball/ear).
    Strangely, it also seemed be wearing ____________(insert quirky pop cultural reference or banal household object here) a hoover vacuum cleaner/microwave oven/can of Vienna sausages) on what would've been its head. It shuddered, slightly, and then emitted a steady stream of _______ (flatulence,/bodily fluid/bodily gas product/weird sounds)"..

    I really enjoyed the first part, and the narrator does a great job. It just kept going way past the point where it should have ended. After the midpoint, it felt like it was being written with the idea of making it a movie in mind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. American

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By George MacDonald Fraser
    • Narrated By David Case
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (29)

    Mark Franklin came from the American West to Edwardian England with two long-barrelled .44s in his baggage and a fortune in silver in the bank. Where he had got it and what he was looking for no one could guess, although they wondered -- at Scotland Yard, in City offices, in the glittering theatreland of the West End, in the highest circles of Society (even King Edward was puzzled) and in the humble pub at Castle Lancing.

    John says: "Mr. America you had so much potential."
    "disappointing - couldn't finish it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I tried, and stuck with almost half way, but couldn't do it.
    Events just seem to happen to the protagonist, who is passively thrown into one remarkable situation after another.
    I think David Case is a very good narrator, I've probably listened to hundreds of hours of his narration. However.....I really don't like the american accent he does for the main character, I can't get past it, it's really off.

    I usually like when the current history of the time is blended into literature, but here, it's very awkwardly done.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (3941)
    Performance
    (2255)
    Story
    (2308)

    Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything: a fine reputation, an appointment as captain of a ship, and the heart of a beautiful woman. But his perfect life is shattered when three jealous friends conspire to destroy him. Falsely accused of a political crime, Dantès is locked away for life in the infamous Chateau d'If prison. But it is there that Dantès learns of a vast hidden treasure.

    Sanford Rosenberg says: "What a pleasure to read a classic!"
    "can I have 4 hours of my life back? and my credit?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really tried. I love reading the classics - the longer the better. I was swayed by the rave reviews, and the length.
    I have to say, I'm baffled by the gushing reviews- it was so cornball and over the top melodramatic. I stuck it out for 4 hours, and then realized - life is too short to suffer like this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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