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susan

I like to weed and read at the same time.

Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada | Member Since 2011

ratings
37
REVIEWS
18
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
15

  • The Fran Lebowitz Reader

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Fran Lebowitz
    • Narrated By Fran Lebowitz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (28)

    The Fran Lebowitz Reader brings together in one volume, with a new preface, two best sellers, Metropolitan Life and Social Studies, by an "important humorist in the classic tradition" (The New York Times Book Review) who is "the natural successor to Dorothy Parker" (British Vogue). In "elegant, finely honed prose" (The Washington Post Book World), Lebowitz limns the vicissitudes of contemporary urban life - its fads, trends, crazes, morals, and fashions. By turns ironic, facetious, deadpan, sarcastic, wry, wisecracking, and waggish, she is always wickedly entertaining.

    susan says: "Wonderful in her own voice."
    "Wonderful in her own voice."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My daughter read this and gave up less that half way through. I think you have to hear her deliver her own prose. She is a master. I adore her. I get her humor even though I'm not a New Yorker but I am an ex smoker. She makes me laugh out loud. She writes very well-although I understand she had a long period of writer's block. Until I read this I thought she was famous just for being all over the social pages of Vanity Fair. I hope she writes and narrates more for 'our listening pleasure'.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Fatal Gift

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Alec Waugh
    • Narrated By Aaron Abano
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    If you enjoyed the powerful atmosphere of Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby you may just have an inkling of the smoothly professional efficacy of Alec Waugh's The Fatal Gift. His novel breathes the values and attitudes of the early decades of the 20th century. Raymond Peronne has wealth, is bright, is devastatingly attractive to women: his fatal gift. Second son of a baronet, Perronne goes to Oxford (from which he is rusticated), then to New York (in the '20s and '30s) and is in Egypt during the war (moving in circles then, as in this novel, inhabited by such as Evelyn Waugh, Claud Cockburn and Robin Maugham).

    susan says: "Neglected older brother"
    "Neglected older brother"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Alec Waugh absolutely captures the pre-world war 1 rise of a smart wine merchant merchant and his family into respectability and wealth and on into the 1920s. The narrator has the accents and nuances down pat. I remember older people talking this way into the 1950s. The descriptions of character and place are vivid. The story held me and I was very unhappy when I had finished it. Shell shocked veterans and suffragettes are all there. Excellent escapist summer read and written in beautiful prose.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cheever: A Life

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Blake Bailey
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (17)

    John Cheever was a soul in conflict, a high-school dropout who published his first story at 18, a dire alcoholic who recovered to write the great novel Falconer, a secret bisexual who struggled with his longings and his fierce homophobia, whose groundbreaking work landed him on the covers of Time and Newsweek, a man who believed in the power of family love and sexual pleasure, a man whose desperate loneliness was never wholly offset by his faith in the joy of creation.

    susan says: "What feast for Cheever enthusiasts!"
    "What feast for Cheever enthusiasts!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A beautifully written,magnificently read chronicle of John Cheever's life and literary legacy.The authori is unflinching regarding Cheever's alcoholism,bisexuality, relationship with his wife and children and his friends and publishers;however he is compassionate and non-judgmental.The story is also very funny in parts. The author chronicles Cheever's alcoholism and also his final recovery .I had the feeling that the author loved his subject but was not blind to the many destructive issues in Cheever's remarkable life. I hated to come to the end of this book. I read Cheever's diary many years ago and must go back to it and the short stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Howards End

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By E M Forster
    • Narrated By Edward Petherbridge
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Howards End' is the story of the Schlegel sisters and their struggle to come to terms with social class and their German heritage in Edwardian England. Their lives are intertwined with those of the wealthy Wilcox family and their country house, Howards End, as well as the lower-middle-class Basts.

    susan says: "It's all in the narration"
    "It's all in the narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Edward Petherbridge has exactly the Edwardian delivery that Foster needs. Can I give the narrator 10 stars? I read this book years ago but this reading that I bought on the recommendation of a friend, uncovers humor and nuances that I totally missed before. I actually lost sleep not wanting to turn if off for the night.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catching Life by the Throat: How to Read Poetry and Why

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Josephine Hart
    • Narrated By Ralph Fiennes, Roger Moore, Juliet Stevenson
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Here is an audiobook of the hugely successful Josephine Hart Poetry Hours at the British Library. Actors such as Roger Moore and Juliet Stevenson have read poetry from Auden to Eliot and from Larkin to Plath.

    susan says: "For those who think they don't like poetry."
    "For those who think they don't like poetry."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was only exposed to metaphysical poets in high school and developed an aversion for adult poetry. There are much read children's poetry books on my shelf but the gifts of Auden, Frost ,TS Eliot etc. have sat unread and unappreciated. I woke up to the fact that I need to HEAR poetry after a visit to my brother who can recite reams of it. Catching Life by The Throat was my first venture into really listening to poetry. This is a great selection with interesting commentary and excellent readers. Who knew that Roger Moore could do such a good job with Kipling?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Golden Notebook

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Doris Lessing
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (84)

    Author Anna Wulf attempts to overcome writer’s block by writing a comprehensive "golden notebook" that draws together the preoccupations of her life, each of which is examined in a different notebook. Anna’s struggle to unify the various strands of her life – emotional, political, and professional – amasses into a fascinating encyclopaedia of female experience in the ‘50s.

    Victoria says: "Transcendent narration of a masterpiece."
    "Unexpected treat"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded this simply because Lessing died recently and I felt guilty that I had never read her. The narrator was also an incentive.
    To my surprise, although I loved the book , found the heroine to be completely believable and found it confusing, (had to go back and re-listen) it was the structure of the book as well as the writing that I found completely compelling and absorbing. This book was dismissed in the past as a 1960's feminist tract. It's so much more than a book about a woman in the 60's. Juliet Stevenson is a superb reader: there are accents and dialects involved and she nails every one. I think this book is a keeper and I will listen again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shooting Victoria: Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Paul Thomas Murphy
    • Narrated By Mark Whitten
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    From a hunchbacked dwarf to a paranoid poet-assassin, a history of Victorian England as seen through the numerous assassination attempts on Queen Victoria while she ruled the British empire. During Queen Victoria’s 64 years on the British throne, no fewer than eight attempts were made on her life. Murphy follows each would-be assassin and the repercussions of their actions, illuminating daily life in Victorian England, the development of the monarchy under Queen Victoria, and the evolution of the attacks in light of changing social issues and technology.

    D. Littman says: "a great slice of history book"
    "Fantastic true thriller."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the best books I have listened to. I knew nothing of the attempts on Victoria's life and their effect on her reign: the first one rescued it. The relationship between the Queen, Albert, the court and the police and how these attempts helped to modernize the police force and establish Albert's place in England are well researched and described .A really good detective story taken from records of the time.
    That said I wish I had read it.

    The narrator is not English and went to no effort to do his homework regarding speech patterns. Victoria was raised by her German mother and a German confident. (Albert hardly spoke English when he first married Victoria). The Upper class accents are ridiculous and if he had done some preparation he would have known the correct pronunciation and emphasis for a multitude of names places and things. An L is a pound an S is a shilling ,a d is a penny. Lazy and irritating ;however the narrator's voice is clear and his speech is fluent with no unnecessary histrionics.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • This Body of Death: An Inspector Lynley Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Elizabeth George
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (423)
    Performance
    (170)
    Story
    (172)

    Thomas Lynley is called back to Scotland Yard when the body of a woman is found stabbed and abandoned in an isolated London cemetery. His former team doesn't trust the leadership of their new department chief, Isabelle Ardery, but Lynley may be the sole person who can see beneath his superior officer's hard-as-nails exterior to a hidden and possibly attractive vulnerability.

    Rebecca says: "Interesting Mix for Elizabeth George Fans"
    "ExBrit infuriated by the narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For me the narrator completely ruined this reading. His background voice has a nasal Birmingham twang to my ears,which has no place in a London based book and was completely distracting. His female voices are awful and irritating. I am spoiled by the TV series in which Linley and Havers are played to perfection. I would not read another Linley narrated by this reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Alex Thorleifson, Scott Thorson
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (143)

    In this unusually frank book Scott Thorson, Liberace's longtime lover, tells all: the good, the bad, and the ugly truths about the legendary entertainer who went to outrageous extremes to prevent public knowledge of his homosexuality. Liberace's unhappy childhood, dominated by a mother determined to force him into a concert career, serves as the prologue for a story that goes on to detail Liberace's early appearances in honky-tonks, his move to New York to seek fame, and, finally, his first booking in Las Vegas, where he was courted by the Mafia.

    Jeffrey says: "Viciously honest, candid, sad, fascintating!"
    "Eight hours of sheer yawn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I should have known better. I don't think there is anything here that we couldn't have gleaned from a tabloid over the years. This book reads like a full length tabloid article and although I was fascinated by the man after about 10 minutes I was asking myself 'Why am I bothering?' I'll get a refund and watch the movie.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • How Many Camels Are There in Holland?: Dementia, Ma and Me

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Phyllida Law
    • Narrated By Phyllida Law
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Following Phyllida Law’s wonderful and acclaimed Notes to My Mother-in-Law - which comically and tenderly documented the author’s relationship with her husband’s mother who lived with the family for 17 years - we now have a chronicle of Phyllida’s relationship with her own mother who suffered from dementia. Recently widowed, bringing up her own two daughters (actresses Emma and Sophie Thompson), and working as a successful actress herself, Phyllida went up and down to Scotland to spend as much time with her ailing mother as she could manage.

    susan says: "Hackneyed I know but this is a MUST listen"
    "Hackneyed I know but this is a MUST listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book describes Phyllida Law's care of her dementing mother in Scotland while she was trying to sustain an acting career from her home in London. It is a glorious book full of gentle and rip roaring humor in the face of what must have been dreadful to witness. Phyllida had already cared for her mother-in law who was very deaf at the same time she was raising Emma and Sophie Thompson her actress daughters.Husband and father,Eric Thompson ( Magic Roundabout narrator for any Brits reading this) died very young.
    Phyllida has the most expressive, beautiful voice and narrates her exquisite prose to perfection. I listened to this book without a break and have bought another audible because she is narrating it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Reading My Father: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Alexandra Styron
    • Narrated By Alexandra Styron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (18)

    Alexandra Styron's parents—the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Sophie’s Choice and his political activist wife, Rose—were, for half a century, leading players on the world’s cultural stage. Alexandra was raised under both the halo of her father’s brilliance and the long shadow of his troubled mind. Reading My Father portrays the epic sweep of an American artist’s life. It is also a tale of filial love, beautifully written with humor, compassion, and grace.

    Douglas says: "William Styron Ranks..."
    "A must if you love someone brilliant and depressed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to admit to having been unable to read Sophie's choice and almost couldn't watch the end of the movie. What first drew me to Styron was his small volume on depression, Visible Darkness expanded from an article in the New Yorker. I never lent a copy that came back: I must have 'given' over a dozen away. Styron broke new ground writing from the perspective of someone who suffered from debilitating depression compounded by liberal use of alcohol. Alexandra grew up grounded by her mother Rose with a brilliant,difficult mercurial father. As a contemporary of Plimpton and Mailer he moved in high, rabble rousing literary, society and this aspect is fascinating. This is not a Mommy Dearest rant,rather a literate, thoughtful telling of a daughter's struggle to understand her father. That she loved him there is no doubt. Alexandra's training in the theater makes her an intelligent and clear narrator.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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