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Annissa

I like Doctor Who.

Member Since 2012

67
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 31 reviews
  • 91 ratings
  • 168 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
9

  • Doctor Who: The Clockwise Man

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Justin Richards
    • Narrated By Nicholas Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (60)

    In 1920s London, the Doctor and Rose find themselves caught up in the hunt for a mysterious murderer. But not everyone or everything is what they seem. Secrets lie behind locked doors and inhuman killers roam the streets. Who is the Painted Lady and why is she so interested in the Doctor? How can a cat return from the dead? Can anyone be trusted to tell or even to know the truth?

    Annissa says: "Slow build to a great end"
    "Slow build to a great end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Doctor Who: The Clockwise Man again? Why?

    I would probably not listen to "The Clockwise Man" again. I tend not to reread books, and I didn't find this story compelling enough to break that habit.


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

    The end was satisfying in that typical Doctor Who sort of way. Revelations were had, sacrifices were made, and the baddies were defeated.


    What about Nicholas Briggs’s performance did you like?

    Nicholas Briggs has a very distinctive voice and he brings a lot of life to the story. He is clearly mimicking Christopher Eccleston's voice when he voices the Doctor, which is good for the most part, but sometimes comes off a bit odd.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The second half of this book is great! It has tons of action and the foreshadowing and revelations are flawless.


    Any additional comments?

    It was early days for the new series when this book was published and Rose's character doesn't feel as solid as it should be. Her thoughts and actions in the first half of the book could have been done by any teenager. She isn't quite the Rose we know and love in the TV show. Her characterization solidifies in the second half of the story.

    The first half of this book is slow, but the story needs the buildup for the ending to make sense.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Cary Elwes, Joe Layden, Rob Reiner (foreword)
    • Narrated By Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest, Carol Kane, and others
    Overall
    (955)
    Performance
    (878)
    Story
    (877)

    From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

    Anne Morris says: "I don't normally write reviews but..."
    "More than you ever wanted to know... Really"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a tricky book to rate and review because it's not bad, it's just too much. I get the impression that Elwes used this opportunity to tell every story fans have ever asked him about the making of this movie, which means there's a lot of stuff in here that I just don't care about. Further, every person involved in the making of this movie is the best, nicest person you could ever hope to meet. While this is ideal on a work site, it doesn't make for compelling stories. I felt happy that the cast and crew enjoyed their time together, but I wasn't particularly interested in their always kind and thoughtful interactions. I did find the very large section about André the Giant interesting, and listening to the cast tell stories about him made me wish that I'd had an opportunity to meet him.

    I don't want to be too negative about this. I didn't dislike the book, but I didn't particularly like it either. In my opinion, it deserves a solid "ok."

    I'd recommend this book only to hard-core fans of "The Princess Bride." If you've got the movie poster on your wall, you'll probably really enjoy this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gift from the Sea

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Anne Morrow Lindbergh
    • Narrated By Claudette Colbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (43)

    In this inimitable, beloved classic - graceful, lucid, and lyrical - Anne Morrow Lindbergh shares her meditations on youth and age; love and marriage; peace, solitude, and contentment as she set them down during a brief vacation by the sea. A mother of five, an acclaimed writer and a pioneering aviator, Lindbergh casts an unsentimental eye on the trappings of modernity that threaten to overwhelm us and helps readers find a space for contemplation and creativity within their own lives.

    Rebecca says: "A Treasure"
    "Didn't Speak to Me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this as a book club selection. It isn't one I would have chosen on my own, and to be honest, I didn't enjoy it. I found it a bit dull, and a lot dated. This is not to say that the information Lindbergh shares isn't relevant or important; it just didn't speak to me. I didn't learn anything new from the book and I didn't walk away from it feeling any stronger or uplifted. In my opinion, the postscript is the best part of the book as it gives an update on Lindbergh's view of the topics she covers in her essays.

    Claudette Colbert narrates it very well. Her voice adds nuance to the text and her reading feels very much like a theater performance. A very good one.

    I'd recommend this book only to spiritually-minded women. If you find yourself stressed and overwhelmed by the responsibilities placed on you and you also like sea metaphors, you'll probably enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bad Feminist: Essays

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Roxane Gay
    • Narrated By Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (93)

    A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay. In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking listeners on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown).

    K. Elle says: "A smart read from a refreshing voice"
    "Exemplifies what it means to me to be a feminist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Bad Feminist: Essays" is one of the best books I've read all year (and since it's only January, I'm including all of 2014 in that statement as well). These essays are well thought-out and well argued and I found that even when I didn't agree with Dr. Gay's conclusion, I understood how she got there and respected her opinion. Her writing contains all of the hallmarks of excellent academic writing, though they are more entertaining than any book or article I read in college. I especially enjoyed her essays on the representation of race in entertainment and her explanation of what it means, to her, to be a feminist. I'd give her six stars if it were an option. This is an excellent book.

    The narration by Bahni Turpin is also quite good, though her pronunciation of French and Latin words is a bit painful.

    I always like to finish a review by listing to whom I would recommend this book, but I can't narrow it down. For the first time ever, I would recommend this book to everyone. I'd recommend it to self-proclaimed feminists, to people who are feminists but refuse to label themselves as such, to people who claim they are anti-feminist because they might see that they aren't, and to people who are genuinely anti-feminist because they might gain a better understanding of what feminism is about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with All the Gifts

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By M. R. Carey
    • Narrated By Finty Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1780)
    Performance
    (1629)
    Story
    (1632)

    Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

    Megan says: "Worth it, 10x over!"
    "Excellent story, but may not be what you think"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If the cover of this book had given away what it was really about, I would never have picked it up. This sub-set of horror fiction will never be my favorite, but this was a good read with a great plot and an excellent, goose-bump-raising ending.

    Narration by Finty Williams was perfect. She has a nice, low-toned speaking voice with an English accent that is never difficult to understand and she gives each character a distinct voice without sounding silly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Dirty Job

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Fisher Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4429)
    Performance
    (1691)
    Story
    (1702)

    People start dropping dead around Charlie, giant ravens perch on his building, and it seems that everywhere he goes, a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Strange names start appearing on his nightstand notepad, and before he knows it, those people end up dead, too. Yup, it seems that Charlie Asher has been recruited for a new job, an unpleasant but utterly necessary one: Death.

    colleen says: "I loved it!"
    "Awful. Just awful."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was in the mood for something funny, so I did a search for Fiction / Humor and this one was at the top of the page. I was excited about it because I thought it would fill the "Dead Like Me"-shaped hole in my heart. Unfortunately, what I got was a huge list of one-note characters and ton of sophomoric humor. Literally every character in this book is a stereotype. The Russian neighbor says everything is "like bear." The Chinese neighbor speaks only in the present tense and eagerly eats the protagonist's dead pets. The lesbian sister steals the protagonist's tailored suits. The ex-cop employee is a meathead. The list goes on and on.

    Fisher Stevens does a decent job with the material. I couldn't help but think of him in his role in Short Circuit where he played a man from India (Stevens himself is white), but that's probably an unfair comparison. He's not responsible for the content of this book. However, his cadence was a bit off for an audiobook and he ended up sounding like Marc Summers narrating "Unwrapped." I can handle that for a one-hour documentary on how certain foods are made, but not for an audiobook.

    I listened to most of the book hoping that the plot would pay off. Souls are defined a bit differently in this story. In this book, people do not have souls, only personalities. However, souls look for vessels to inhabit and move from body to body. I was really curious to see how this would play out and hoped the book would discuss what this meant as far as people, as individuals, are concerned. However, after the part where the protagonist is humped by two four hundred-pound hellhounds that live in his apartment (because that's funny, I guess?), I no longer cared. This book is going back.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Yes Please

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Amy Poehler
    • Narrated By Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, and others
    Overall
    (5569)
    Performance
    (4737)
    Story
    (4727)

    Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you're invited! Welcome to the audiobook edition of Amy Poehler's Yes Please. The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy’s parents - Yes Please is the ultimate audiobook extravaganza.

    S.F. says: "Listen to this book for sure"
    "tbd"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like Amy Poehler. I'd like to say I've liked her since watching The Upright Citizen's Brigade, but that would be lying. I merely found her interesting back when that show was on the air and I was forced to watch it because my boyfriend liked it. No, I've only really liked Amy Poehler since LiveJournal's 2012 Fandom March Madness event. Leslie Knope's stans were so enthusiastic that I almost changed my vote from my own beloved Donna Noble. Almost. I knew from what those people showed me that I had to check out a little show called "Parks and Recreation." "Yes Please" is perfect for people like me.

    A lot of people will compare this book to Tina Fey's "Bossypants," and I want to recommend not doing that. It's tempting because these are both books by very smart, very funny women who happen to be good friends. But these books are the life stories of these ladies, and as such, are going to be wildly different from each other.

    Poehler is very clear that she is not good at writing books, and honestly, she's right. This is not the cleanest, best written autobiography I've ever read. However, there's a lot of really good advice for just being a good person. As I write this, it is election day in the United States, and things seem very angry and very grim and this book was both a breath of fresh air and a ray of sunshine. Plus, there are sex tips. Bonus.

    The recording is fun. Poehler got several celebrities to do little cameos and the last chapter was read in front of a live audience. Four stars for her performance. Three stars for the story. If you're already a fan of Poehler, check it out. If not, you might want to move on to the next title in your wish list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition): An Oral History of the Zombie War

    • ABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Max Brooks
    • Narrated By Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, and others
    Overall
    (3400)
    Performance
    (3212)
    Story
    (3218)

    World War Z: The Complete Edition is a new recording of Max Brooks’ best-selling novel, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, featuring 21 additional Hollywood A-list actors and sci-fi fan favorites performing stories not included in the original edition. New narrators include Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, Spiderman star Alfred Molina, The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, rapper Common, Firefly star Nathan Fillion, Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg, and members of the casts of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes and more!

    Kim Venatries says: "A Good Story with an All Star Cast but ABRIDGED"
    "An Exploration and Criticism of Culture"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Before you read any further, you should know two things. One: I have never seen the movie. Two: I hate zombie stories. So it's surprising that I not only picked up "World War Z," but that I absolutely loved it.

    This story is told through a series of interviews conducted after the Zombie War. It was this format that I found so appealing. It gave human faces to the events in the book. This isn't a book about a guy saving the world. This is a book about people coping with the horror of a seemingly unstoppable pandemic and threat of annihilation. Even though you only get to spend a small amount of time with each character (there is no hero's journey here), they're all realistic and you care about what happens to them. Max Brooks was incredibly ambitious with this project and I was thoroughly impressed with his grasp of international history, culture, and politics.

    I would be remiss if I didn't mention the cast in this review. The talent they got for this project is amazing and each reader gives an excellent performance. This is the most impeccably performed book I've ever purchased on Audible.

    I see a lot of criticism from people who would have preferred not to know the outcome of the war as they began the story, and their complaints are valid. However, I found that the point of the book wasn't the survival of human beings. The point of the book was discovering how the world's cultures (histories, governments, economies, militaries, technologies) would help or hinder us against an enemy like the zombie plague. The exploration of this question is what makes this book so fascinating, so horrifying, and so satisfying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Eden: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Chris Beckett
    • Narrated By Matthew Frow, Jayne Entwistle, Ione Butler, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (294)
    Performance
    (271)
    Story
    (268)

    On the alien, sunless planet they call Eden, the 532 members of the Family shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest's lantern trees. Beyond the Forest lie the mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it. The Oldest among the Family recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross the stars. These ships brought us here, the Oldest say - and the Family must only wait for the travelers to return.

    Amazon Customer says: "Hope to see a sequel soon"
    "Fascinating, but problematic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the story of the descendents of Tommy and Angela who were marooned on an alien planet in an unknown part of an unknown galaxy. The 500 descendents of Tommy and Angela have outgrown the little area of Eden they inhabit, but only one person is willing to face the challenge of spreading out across an unknown world.

    This was an interesting premise and the world building in this book is excellent. Everything from the source of the planet's warmth, to the lights on the living organisms, to the common birth defects in the Family Tree that never branches. It's these two points that made me give this a 3 star rating (if I were feeling less generous, that would be a 2 star rating). The rest of the book... not so great.

    Firstly, there is a language issue at the beginning of the book. The people in this story speak a different dialect of English that has evolved over the 160 or so years they've been on Eden. Certain "a" sounds are pronounced up in the sinuses which makes words like "lantern," "valley," and "family" sound like "lee-antern," "vee-alley," and "fee-amily." This was well-coordinated amongst the narrators so when you do finally get the hang of the lingo and accent, its not too difficult to follow the story. Still, it took at least 20 minutes for the words to begin to make sense as I was listening, and it still bothered me at least 3 hours into the recording.

    Secondly, the portrayal of women in this book is extremely problematic. The society on Eden is matriarchal, and yet the women just seem to be the administrators (when they're not busy procreating) while men do the actual leading. There are women leaders, but we don't really see them leading; we see them deposed. Additionally, the rules of their society state that men and women can only "slip" when the woman grants permission (and women in this book usually do the propositioning), but there are three rape scenes in this book. In the first, a woman makes a boy touch her and that is upsetting not just to the boy, but to his entire community and the woman who did it is ostracized. In the second, a girl is raped and just thinks to herself, "man, he must have been really upset!" and then there is no future mention of it. The third time, when the same girl is nearly raped, the incident is the catalyst for the big conflict in the book not because the girl is nearly raped, but because of what happens when that rape is interrupted.

    But let's go back to that procreation angle. The women do the vast majority of the propositioning in this book. But they don't do it because sex is fun, or because it's enjoyable, or because they like it. With the exception of the aforementioned rape scene, they do it because they want babies. They want the "baby juice." Grown women proposition 15 year old boys for the sake of procreation. This leads to some of the most awkward and unsexy sex scenes I've ever read. And that's before you're reminded for the umpteenth time that all of these people are very closely related.

    Thirdly, the characters are static. When I read a book, I expect the characters to learn and grow. That doesn't really happen. The protagonist remains handsome and arrogant. The antagonist remains ugly and belligerent. The main "love interest" (for lack of a better word) is the only character that changes, and her motivations for that change are never explained (see previous paragraph).

    Lastly, this book just stops. The dramatic structure is interrupted just before the climax. We have exposition, rising action, and then just when you think the climax is about to happen, the book ends.

    This is the first Chris Beckett book I've ever read, so I am unfamiliar with his personal beliefs. That said, I think that Dark Eden was meant not as a cohesive, stand-alone story, but as commentary on the Biblical Adam and Eve story. This would explain the static characters and the lack of any climax or resolution. It's an interesting thought exercise, but I feel this book would have been far more satisfying if it had used the creation story as inspiration rather than a source. This would have given him the opportunity to finish what he'd started, resolve the conflict, and let us know where the characters go from here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Neil Gaiman Audio Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    Overall
    (307)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (107)

    Four of beloved author Neil Gaiman's delightfully scary, strange, and hilarious children's tales read by the author, now available unabridged.

    T says: "Great story and he is an excellent narrator, too"
    "Great for kids in the car..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...and when the kids come out of the car, it doesn't have to be all over.

    I was looking specifically for an audio version of "The Wolves in the Walls" but decided to go with this collection first because it was inexpensive and second because it had so much supplementary material. All of the stories are good and both my son and I love Neil Gaiman's reading voice. The surprise favorite part was the interview between Gaiman and his daughter at the very end.

    The only complaint I have is there is no space left between the end of a story and the title of the next, which leads to a very jarring segue from story to story since it sounds like the title is simply a continuation of the last sentence of the previous story. A two-second pause wouldn't have gone amiss here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Year of the Flood

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne, Katie MacNichol, Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1287)
    Performance
    (802)
    Story
    (805)

    The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners - a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life - has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life.

    Melinda says: "thought-provoking, engaging dystopic fiction"
    "Not for everyone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I depend on reviews when deciding upon which book to buy next. The reviewers I follow have mixed opinions on this title and after listening, I understand why. This book is definitely not for everyone. The subject matter is extremely dreary and this book is not so much a continuation of "Oryx and Crake" than it is a supplement to it. That said, I found this book intensely interesting. Enjoyable? Maybe not, but it held my attention and now that I'm finished with it, I'm glad I took the time to listen.

    As I said above, this builds more on "Oryx and Crake" than continues it. "The Year of the Flood" contains stories of two new(ish) characters, Toby and Ren, and through them, an entire cast of characters outside the corporation compounds. In this, you get a better sense of the world in which Jimmy lived, as well as the people that were around him. Luckily, these people are all just as interesting as Jimmy. Some, even more so.

    The production values of this book are top-notch. I've enjoyed Bernadette Dunne's work in other novels, and she's even better here. Mark Bramhall is one of my favorites and my only criticism is that he doesn't have a larger role. Katie MacNichol holds her own among these other two narrators that I love. There's also music in this recording. Typically, music in audiobooks makes me cringe and while I can't say that any of the songs are going on my mp3 player, these aren't as cringe-inducing as the narrator simply reading the lyrics or half-heartedly singing them. The songs are well-produced, corny though they may be.

    With an author like Margaret Atwood, you know you're going to get a solidly constructed, beautifully written story, but I hesitate to recommend this book to everyone. This book is bleak and there is no comic relief. If you like apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic fiction, you may enjoy this, but don't expect to feel especially joyful when you're finished.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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