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Alhambra, CA, United States | Member Since 2010

  • 6 reviews
  • 22 ratings
  • 151 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014

  • Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Susan Orlean
    • Narrated By Susan Orlean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    "He believed the dog was immortal." So begins Susan Orlean’s sweeping, powerfully moving story of Rin Tin Tin’s journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon. From the moment in 1918 when Corporal Lee Duncan discovers Rin Tin Tin on a World War I battlefield, he recognizes something in the pup that he needs to share with the world. Rin Tin Tin’s improbable introduction to Hollywood leads to the dog’s first blockbuster film and, over time, the many radio programs, movies, and television shows that follow.

    Sandra L. Hackett says: "Hire a narrator!"
    "Performance was much better in movie 'Adaptation'"

    seriously, though, I don't mind Orlean's performance. True, she's not a pro, but there's nuance and wit to her reading.

    This very detailed biography starts with a bang, but loses a bit of steam in the last third or so. I loved hearing about the origins of Rin Tin Tin, and I cried when (SPOILER ALERT, I guess) Rinty I dies.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Norwegian Wood

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By James Yaegashi

    Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable.

    Louise says: "Lots of Fun"
    "Annoying Performance"

    I'm a pretty big fan of Murakami's work, but Norwegian Wood proved to be a rare disappointment. The story is a rambling male sexual fantasy, without any of the weirdness or resonance of other books like Wind-Up Bird Chronicles.

    Worse, though, is the irritating way that this narrator reads female characters' dialogue. He uses a squeaky, harebrained voice that really took me out of the story. Since this is Murakami, the conversations with various woman characters go on and on and on.

    Even if I liked the story, which I did not, I can't recommend this audiobook based on its wretched performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

    Evelyn says: "Excellent listen"
    "apocalypse yawn"

    Audible recommended this book based on a high rating I gave "The Road." Except for the very similar premise, this couldn't have been more different. Problems that come with living after nuclear war-- shoot! Why did we buy all that ice cream?-- are predictably solved. The characters are paper-thin, and slanted slightly towards racist and sexist stereotypes. Waste of a credit!

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel in Two Semesters

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Chip Kidd
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot

    It's 1957, long before computers have replaced the skillful eye and hand, and our narrator at State U is determined to major in Art. After several false starts, he ends up by accident in a new class called "Introduction to Graphic Design," taught by the enigmatic professor Winter Sorbeck - equal parts genius, seducer, and sadist. Sorbeck is a bitter yet fascinating man whose assignments hurl his charges through a gauntlet of humiliation and heartache, shame and triumph, ego-bashing and enlightenment.

    jonathan says: "voice acting on this is too distracting"
    "sentimental depravity"

    Here's how I describe this to my friends: 'A Christmas Story' meets 'Animal House' meets 'Art School Confidential.'

    This is a highly entertaining story about an artist's freshman year in the late 50's. The humor takes on its own personality through the performance of Bronson Pinchot. For some reason, one of the main female characters, the narrator's quasi-love-interest, is characterized with an odd Mr. Howell voice (that's Mr Howell of Gilligan's Island).

    I recommend this story to anyone who enjoys depraved, oddball comedy, and who enjoys a story about an artist learning to challenge everything he's ever been taught.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "more "Gone w/ Wind" than "To Kill a Mockingbird""

    It was hard not to listen to this story without constant eye-rolling. At first I thought that Stockett must have been incredibly bold to write a (partial) first-person story about the Black Experience during just-pre-Civil Rights Mississippi. Turns out, though, that this wasn't so much boldness as it was abject naivete. This is the story of three women whose lives were connected through the blurry lines of class and race. Essentially, it was supposed to be the way things 'really are' between black servants and their white employers. My main problem is that Stockett seems to have unconsciously tapped into stereotypes anyway, even if they are more modern and politically correct. In this story, there are only three types of people: Good white people, evil white people, and noble African-Americans. Oh, except for this one black man, who isn't mentioned much, except to serve as a villianous wifebeater. Stockett stays far away from issues which she doesn't understand: the black characters attend church but never discuss, outwardly or inwardly, their spirituality. The only love story involves the plucky white heroine. And there is only one brief exchange between aforementioned heroine-- who is bravely Risking it All in the name of brotherhood-- and an angry black woman, embittered by recent racial violence.
    OK, after all this, I must admit that, for all its unwitting condescension, this story was still engrossing and deeply entertaining. I still say that it would have been much more compelling and honest if it had been told entirely from the perspectives of white characters-- (Miss Celia, anyone?) I still found myself breezing through the entire story in two days' time. I recommend 'The Help' to anyone who likes a good story, and doesn't need too-deep exploration into murky race relations.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Glimpses of the Moon

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Edith Wharton
    • Narrated By Kate Harper

    Nick Lansing and Susy Branch are young, attractive but impoverished New Yorkers. They are in love and decide to marry, but realise their chances of happiness are slim without the wealth and society that their more privileged friends take for granted. Nick and Susy agree to separate when either encounters a more eligible proposition.

    Celia says: "Simple, lovely listen."
    "Not my favorite performance"

    Sorry, Kate Harper, but I kept picturing muppets talking whenever you do a man's voice. I blame the director, not you.

    'The Age of Innocence' is one of my favorite novels, and I'm even pretty fond of 'The House of Mirth' right up until that miserable ending, so I was excited to get into this novel, which I've heard to be lauded as Wharton's masterpiece of the Roaring 20's. 'The Glimpses of the Moon' wasn't exactly disappointing. The characters are lively and sharply drawn, and this is pretty satisfying on a level that enjoys a good romance novel.

    Besides the muppet voices, though, I think that my problem with this book is that I've seen this story way too many times. Girls were taking their futures into their own hands, but still letting their silly little hearts get in the way. Maybe in those days, it was fresh and exciting to suggest that a woman might enter into a sham marriage for business reasons, only to fall in love with her husband when it's seemingly too late. 90 years later, this is just about exactly the plot of movies like 'The Engagement' and 'The Wedding Date." Edith Wharton's version is at least more interesting, in that its' characters have more depth, and it wasn't so simple for me to figure out what choice I wanted the two protagonists to make in the end.

    Speaking of the end, without giving away any spoilers, the last 30 seconds may have been my favorite part. Good ol' Edith Wharton really came a long way in the art of ending a story with a balance of subtle symbolism, realism and a that's-a-wrap-but-what-could-possibly-come-next? that keeps me, the reader, coming back for more.

    Anyway, this book presents an interesting viewpoint that won't seem satisfying to today's feminists or yesterday's moralists: essentially, you CAN'T have it all, and trying to do so with your smarts will only complicate the matter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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