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Helen W. Karl

ratings
54
REVIEWS
7
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
35

  • New England White: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen L. Carter
    • Narrated By Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    In the New England university town of Elm Harbor, a murder begins to crack the veneer that has hidden the racial complications of the town's past, the secrets of a prominent family, and the most hidden bastions of African-American political influence. At the center is Lemaster Carlyle, the university president, and his wife, Julia Carlyle, a deputy dean at the divinity school - African Americans living in "the heart of whiteness".

    Joanna says: "perfect marraige of writing and narration"
    "Believe what you read!"
    Overall

    "What critics say" and the Publisher's summary are apt descriptions of this novel. Many chores were not accomplished because I was engrossed in this well-written and well-read audiobook. Can't wait to read Emperor of Ocean Park!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Eva Stachniak
    • Narrated By Beata Pozniak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (110)

    Her name is Barbara - in Russian, Varvara. Nimble-witted and attentive, she’s allowed into the employ of the Empress Elizabeth, amid the glitter and cruelty of the world’s most eminent court. Under the tutelage of Count Bestuzhev, Chancellor and spymaster, Varvara will be educated in skills from lock picking to lovemaking, learning above all else to listen, and wait for opportunity. That opportunity arrives in a slender young princess from Zerbst named Sophie, a playful teenager destined to become the indomitable Catherine the Great.

    Cookie says: "Not a bodice ripper!"
    "Don't waste your money"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Beata Pozniak?

    Anyone!


    Any additional comments?

    The performance was so poor that, despite several tries, I was not able to get past the first section.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jed Rubenfeld
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (160)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    The Interpretation of Murder opens on a hot summer night in 1909 as Sigmund Freud arrives in New York. Among those waiting to greet him is Dr. Stratham Younger, a gifted physician who is one of Freud's most ardent American supporters. And so begins the visit that will be the great genius' first and only journey to America.

    Carol says: "Hated it"
    "Voyerurism in the guise of history"
    Overall

    I did not like this book after listening for 30 minutes because I thought it was poorly written and banal. I found the reader's overly dramatic reading and silly accents irritating. The review I wrote at that time was returned unpublished because the Audible editor thought (fair enough) that I had not listened to enough of the book. I wish I had stopped there. The author's evident relish in the prurient details of childhood sexual abuse leaves me sickened.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Diane Setterfield
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato, Jill Tanner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4714)
    Performance
    (1605)
    Story
    (1614)

    All children mythologize their birth... So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's beloved collection of stories, long famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale. The enigmatic Winter has always kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she summons a biographer to tell the truth about her extraordinary life: Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth remains an ever-present pain.

    PA Law says: "Haunting and beautiful tale"
    "I stayed up far too late"
    Overall

    listening to the rich prose and compelling narrative in this outstanding debut novel. The author must be a voluminous reader. She and her characters share those delights with us. Her use of similes is particularly deft.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Rise and Shine

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Anna Quindlen
    • Narrated By Carol Monda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (298)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (48)

    It's Monday morning when Meghan Fitzmaurice blows her perfect life to bits. The host of Rise and Shine, the country's highest-rated morning talk show, Meghan cuts to a commercial break, but not before she mutters two forbidden words into her open mike. It's the end of an era, not only for Meghan, a household face who is not equipped to deal with disgrace, but for her younger sister Bridget, a social worker in the Bronx who has always lived in Meghan's long shadow.

    Marie says: "Don't waste your time or credit"
    "A real treat!"
    Overall

    Beaautifully written; beautifully narrated. Don't miss it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Forest Lover

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Susan Vreeland
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (7)

    It was Emily Carr (1871-1945), not Georgia O'Keeffe or Frida Kahlo, who first blazed a path for modern women artists. Overcoming the confines of late Victorian culture, Carr became a major force in modern art. Her boldly original landscapes are praised today for capturing an untamed British Columbia, and its indigenous peoples, just before industrialization would change it forever.

    Helen W. Karl says: "Trite and poorly read"
    "Trite and poorly read"
    Overall

    Ms Vreeland has found just about every cliche about women, artists, and Native Americans and repeated them relentlessly throughout this novel. It is read with great emphasis and excrable accents (the phony French is particularly painful). Save your money and your time; listen to one of the wonderful books at Audible!

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Taking

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Ari Meyers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (524)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (128)

    On the morning that will mark the end of the world they have known, Molly and Neil Sloan awaken to the drumbeat of rain on their roof. It has haunted their sleep, invaded their dreams, and now they rise to find a luminous silvery downpour drenching their small California mountain town. A strange scent hangs faintly in the air, and the young couple cannot shake the sense of something wrong.

    Jaimie says: "And the point was...?"
    "The WORST!!!"
    Overall

    I usually like Dean Koontz's books-engaging characters, quirky plots, etc. In contrast, characters in The Taking are flat, pseudo-spiritual caricatures; lists of unimaginative creepy stuff masquerade as plot. The ending is completely predictable, and the route thereto is lined with spiritual pablum. I kept waiting for it to get better, but that never happened. Save your money and read ANYTHING else.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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