You no longer follow Francis

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Francis

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Francis

Corpus Christi, TX, United States | Member Since 2007

84
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 133 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2

  • Never Let Me Go

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Kazuo Ishiguro
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1673)
    Performance
    (507)
    Story
    (511)

    From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, comes an unforgettable edge-of-your-seat mystery that is at once heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous about what it means to be human.

    Christopher says: "Moving, haunting, but slow developing"
    "Our Selves, Our Society, Our Science"
    Overall

    Caution: This review reveals nothing that would spoil your relish at discovering this book.

    At the intersection of science, society and identity, lives can only be seen as through a frosted window alternately revealing glimpses of light, hazy figures and, finally, a frightening opacity. Few of us, or our favorite writers, can see the dangers and the possibilities at this intersection. Kazuo Ishiguro can and shares his view with simplicity and grace.

    Hailshum, a school for special children, reveals its nature and purpose slowly and always through the eyes of several of its don...uh...students. Cathy, Ruth, and Tommy are friends of a sort who, like all friends, play and fight and spar and love with each other in their years at Hailshum and later. Ishiguro shows them to us with all their charms, their weaknesses and their ugly parts. In this, he shows us their deep, confused, scarred humanness; he shows us the humanness they share with us.

    Cathy, Ruth and Tommy live at that intersection, the intersection of science, society and identity, living with bumpy stoicism the lives science prepared them for. Society has decided it needs them, it seems, and they need each other to find meaning and love in their neglected circumstances. They, like we in ours, find some.

    Ishiguro tells us their tragic and ordinary story with the gentleness that distinguishes his work. Let no one tell you otherwise; this book is masterful.

    R3W

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Never Go Back: A Jack Reacher Novel, Book 18

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2193)
    Performance
    (1962)
    Story
    (1946)

    Former military cop Jack Reacher makes it all the way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had. Reacher is there to meet - in person - the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone. But it isn’t Turner behind the CO’s desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to even think about.

    DMT says: "My favorite Reacher story yet"
    "Getting tired..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jack Reacher and his adventures have made for fabulous reading for years. Of course, all the books have the same plot, but this hardly matters as long as Lee Child keeps the action and the characters interesting. In Never Go Back, he doesn't. I've read all the Reacher books and loved most. Skip this one, but read one of the earlier Reachers. And, yes, I will still read the next Reacher. (As always, Dick Hill's reading is fantastic. Dick Hill IS Jack Reacher.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3896)
    Performance
    (3403)
    Story
    (3371)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "Oh, my, what a strange trip it's been..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 is a brilliant book. It must be. It's way beyond my understanding, and I'm a pretty erudite reader...1Q84 is probably best described as a meditation on the nature of reality. Sigh. Aren't all the really good books meditations on reality. Unfortunately, Mr. Murakami doesn't seem to believe in reality...or in fiction....The little people, the two moons, an immaculate conception, and a romance that runs 900 pages before the lovers meet are just samplings of the 'non-real' elements in 1Q84. Fortunately, Murakami, a dazzling writer, gives us an endless (really....endless) supply of intriguing literary devices to keep us entertained. Our heroine reads In Search of Lost Time, paralleling our own reading experience. Should her never finishing it give us a hint of what we might do with 1Q84? Other parallels and layer upon layer of character/reader shared experiences help to keep us awake and some are fascinating. Many are simply repetitious....Murakami tells a story, but doesn't treat it as anything approaching a representation of reality. I understand that this is common in his other works. The two conceptions of reality in 1Q84 are both incomplete, cloudy, and false. This seems to be intentional...I love difficult books. I love David Mitchell, Lionel Shriver, Tom McCarthy, Jennifer Egan and other writers who challenge the shape and purpose of the novel. 1Q84 challenges the relationship between the writer and his reader and keeps his effort engaging, if not fulfilling. And the length. Please, a short story would do, Haruki. This book is so long and develops so slowly it makes Proust's masterpiece (see above) read like the latest Jack Reacher novel. To paraphrase the classic Alice Playten commercial, "I can't believe I read the whole thing." And while much of 1Q84 is delicious, much is like certain Asian foods that leave you hungry no matter how much you eat....Good news, though. Lionel Shriver just published her new novel. Yeah! I need to cleanse my palette.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Swamplandia!

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Karen Russell
    • Narrated By Arielle Sitrick, David Ackroyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (364)
    Performance
    (243)
    Story
    (242)

    The Bigtree alligator-wrestling dynasty is in decline, and Swamplandia!, their island home and gator-wrestling theme park, formerly number-one in the region, is swiftly being encroached upon by a fearsome and sophisticated competitor called the World of Darkness. Ava’s mother, the park’s indomitable headliner, has just died; her sister, Ossie, has fallen in love with a spooky character known as the Dredgeman, who may or may not be an actual ghost.

    Suzn F says: "Sometimes Brilliant, Sometimes Disappointing"
    "Audible should not sell this book..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I am a long-term Audible customer and have read many audible books I didn't like or even finish. Fair enough; caveat emptor. Most audible books are great and have given me hours of pleasure. However, the narration of Swamplandia is so dreadful, so amateurish, I couldn't get past the first hour. Does audible exercise any quality control regarding its selection of the audio versions it sells? How bad does a book have to be before Audible editors take it off the shelf? Did the publisher of Swamplandia set a bored 13-year-old at a table and force her to read this book, a book she obviously hated? (Sorry, Arielle, but your producer/director did you a disservice by not giving you the support you needed. Most bad narrations are really producer/director generated.) And...please...Audible...ask the publisher to try again. The book itself looks great.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Female of the Species

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lionel Shriver
    • Narrated By Fred Stella
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    World-famous anthropologist Gray Kaiser has almost everything. She is brilliance, self-sufficient, and beautiful. But at 59, one thing is still missing from her life. She has never been in love. Her assistant Errol McEchern has loved her for many years, but she doesn't know.

    Ginette says: "unusual subject.. yet interesting"
    "Rare weak novel from the wonderful Lionel Shriver"
    Overall

    I LOVE Lionel Shriver's work. We Have to Talk About Kevin is a masterpiece. The Post Birthday World is the most intriguing, involving novel I've read in years. So Much For That was only a small step down from her usual brilliance. The Female of the Species is a not-so-good novel completely destroyed by its narrator. The novel is disconnected, a pastiche of half-realized characters bumping into each other. The analysis of relationships, usually so incisive in Shriver's work, is superficial. I'd like to think a good narrator might have saved it, but Fred Stella fell very short. He treats the entire book with an ironic tone that would be perfectly suitable if he were reading P.G. Wodehouse. Shriver's use of carefully-targeted irony; strained, often unbearable relationships; and spurts of telling violence require a much more versatile, more nuanced voice.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Post-Birthday World

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Lionel Shriver
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby Sirois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (18)

    Children's book illustrator Irina McGovern enjoys a quiet and settled life in London with her partner, fellow American expatriate Lawrence Trainer, a smart, loyal, disciplined intellectual at a prestigious think tank. To their small circle of friends, their relationship is rock solid, until the night Irina unaccountably finds herself dying to kiss another man: their old friend from South London, the stylish, extravagant, passionate top-ranking snooker player Ramsey Acton.

    Susan D says: "A terrific examinination of relationships"
    "What is wrong with these people?"
    Overall

    I cannot understand the negative reviews for this magnificent book. Lionel Shriver is one of the best writers working today, but, unfortunately, does not garner the plaudits and hype that fall to writers like Jonathon Franzen and (this year) Jennifer Egan. Both of these writers are great, but so is Shriver. Post-Birthday World is a challenging and completely engaging story of a woman faced with a critical life choice at a critical moment and Shriver takes us down both paths the woman could have chosen. Structurally, Post-Birthday world puts Shriver in good company with those other narrative benders, Egan and David Mitchell, but Shriver breathes such life and depth into her characters putting her on a level all her own. Read this book. Wow.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By David Wroblewski
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2829)
    Performance
    (740)
    Story
    (742)

    Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents and an unusual breed of dogs on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. But when tragedy strikes the Sawtelle family, Edgar flees to the surrounding wilderness. He comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him.

    Ella says: "Just OK"
    "Simply...the best..."
    Overall

    The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is in a category of its own. Like To Kill a Mockingbird or Light in August, it lifts you gradually to increasing levels of understanding and connectedness. Disregard the impatient reviewers and those who didn't like the ending...I have no idea what book they read. And...if you ever lived with a dog...or several...prepare for the most delicious book you will ever hear.

    Rides3Wheels

    PS...this book ends exactly as it should.

    22 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • The Return of the Native

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (5)

    Set in Egdon Heath, a wild tract of country in the southwest of England, this is a masterpiece of dramatic tension. Clym Yeobright, a diamond merchant in Paris, returns to his home in Egdon, where he falls passionately in love with the sensuous, free-spirited Eustacia Vye. She, while in a brief state of infatuation, marries him, hoping he will take her away to a more exciting life in Paris. But Eustacia's dreams of escape are not to be realized.

    jon says: "Great Narration"
    "Why do we love such sad stories?"
    Overall

    Hardy is unmatched at making the inevitable, unalterable disposition of our lives richer and more tolerable. Again, as in most of his other novels, we immediately meet a heroine/hero so flawed we know exactly where she will go and Hardy makes us want to go with her. Eustacia Vye may be Hardy's most transparent tortured soul, as passionate as she is headstrong, and he builds another Wessex community-this time the bleak Egden Heath-to frame her spellbinding, sad life.

    Men love Eustacia and Eustacia loves what men can give her: excitement, escape, and embodiment of her dreams. She, of course, is of another world, a world definately not Egden Heath, and those who love her are, for a time, lost. Hardy makes her story and the story of Egden Heath rich in character, locale and reflection on how we get where we are meant to go...R3W

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Anna Karenina

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (854)
    Performance
    (317)
    Story
    (321)

    Considered by some to be the world's greatest novel, Anna Karenina contains two plots: the tragedy of Madame Karenina, in love with a man who is not her husband; and the story of Konstantine Levin, a sensitive man whose personal philosophy is Tolstoy's reason for writing about him.

    D. Littman says: "A classic, classically read"
    "Oh, those Russians..."
    Overall

    Anna Karenina is a great book, of course. I prefer to think of it as grand book, a book that grabs huge stories and huge themes and packages them in brilliant writing. I just wish it were a good book.

    Perhaps the grand Russian soul plows too deep as it turns up one angst-ridden moment after another. Perhaps the grand sweep of Russian history engulfs too many tortured characters for a slightly anglophilic American to comprehend.

    I don't care. Reading the writing of Anna Karenina is joy on a page (or in an ear), but, oh, how I wish it told a story slightly less messy, slightly less cold, slightly less Russian; oh, how I would love a few more kernals of fat wheat in this achingly beautiful mountain of chaff.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Adam Bede

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By George Eliot
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (7)

    Adam Bede, the novel that Alexandre Dumas called "the masterpiece of the century", is set in the English Midlands at the turn of the eighteenth century. It is the moving story of three people troubled by unwise love. Adam Bede, a young man possessing dignity and character, loves too blindly; Hetty Sorrel, pretty, vain, and self-centered, loves too recklessly; and Arthur Donnithorne, a dashing young squire, loves too carelessly.

    Cydney says: "A pleasure"
    "Eliot will get you through it."
    Overall

    Adam Bede cannot match the rapid-paced, action-packed adventure of Middlemarch, written in Eliot's prime. As an early work, Bede caters more to the sentimental tone of the time, which for some readers equals slow...tedious...full of unnecessary scene setting, character developing and old English pub chatter. Don't believe the naysayers, the wretched multitaskers who demand action in every paragraph and a plot twist on every page.

    Eliot will guide you though Adam's story gently and show all the sweetness and sorrow of the time she describes. She does bend to the times a bit much though, seduced-and-abandoned, happy-but-oddly-contrived ending and all. But Adam Bede is better than 98% of all novels written since. Read it for the love of words and how they play over a hard-to-tell story with a felicity and grace abandoned after 1900, with the notable exceptions of Henry James and William Faulker. You will be glad you patienced your way through this magnificant book.

    R3W

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.