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Crystal Ockenfuss

germanjunkie

snata rosa, CA | Member Since 2013

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 ratings
  • 86 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
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  • The Age of Desire

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jennie Fields
    • Narrated By Meredith Mitchell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (15)

    They say that behind every great man is a woman. Behind Edith Wharton, there was Anna Bahlmann - her governess turned literary secretary, and her mothering, nurturing friend. When, at the age of 45, Edith falls passionately in love with a dashing, younger journalist, Morton Fullerton, and is at last opened to the world of the sensual, it threatens everything certain in her life - but especially her abiding friendship with Anna.

    Crystal Ockenfuss says: "Lovely story about a late blooming woman"
    "Lovely story about a late blooming woman"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Age of Desire?

    Edith Wharton! In her excellent novel, Fields delicately traces the sexual and sensual blooming of a mature woman, revealing both the immense joy and the inevitable complications of such a journey.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I love the Wharton character because I love Edith Wharton's own fiction but Anna, the unassuming secretary, may be the real heroine.


    What does Meredith Mitchell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    a variety of voices though the men who are supposed to sound Bostonian sound more southern to me


    Who was the most memorable character of The Age of Desire and why?

    Morton Fullerton - a lover and a cad but also a man capable of appreciating sensuality in all its forms


    Any additional comments?

    Someone should have coached the narrator on her German! The pronunciation was way beyond incorrect. It's a quibble but there are quite a lot of German phrases in the narrative- one actually key - and it would have taken no time at all to explain how to say them correctly. jarred my enjoyment every time!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Robert Kolker
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (106)

    One late spring evening in 2010, Shannan Gilbert, after running through the oceanfront community of Oak Beach screaming for her life, went missing. No one who had heard of her disappearance thought much about what had happened to the 24-year-old: She was a Craigslist prostitute who had been fleeing a scene. The Suffolk County Police, too, seemed to have paid little attention - until seven months later, when an unexpected discovery in a bramble alongside a nearby highway turned up four bodies, all evenly spaced, all wrapped in burlap. But none of them Shannan's.

    Sam says: "No answers"
    "Utterly Engrossing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Lost Girls the most enjoyable?

    The narrator's voice suited the material perfectly.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    all the girls were fascinating - so vulnerable and so brash. The author made it easy to see how the limited choices they had made the decisions they made seem reasonable. He was not uncritical but still deeply compassionate.


    Which character – as performed by Sean Pratt – was your favorite?

    He didn't really perform the characters (as this is non-fiction) but his voice seemed especially suited to the narrative thread surrounding Amber.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Lost Girls - America's Underside


    Any additional comments?

    It would be a mistake to simply view this book as 'true crime'. Kolker does not sensationalize the murders of these escorts. Instead, he take through their individual histories to show us how they each arrived at a point that made them particularly attractive to the killer. In addition, he offers balanced, intelligent social commentary on the changes the internet has wrought on the business of prostitution and shows the listener/reader how these changes (mostly cutting out the middle man pimp) both could have empowered and endangered the sex workers. This is a book that will make you rethink how the US regulates the sex trade - laws made to protect sex workers now seem to do more to force them deeper into the shadows, endangering them still further.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mirrored World: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Debra Dean
    • Narrated By Yelena Shmulenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (13)

    Born to a Russian family of lower nobility, Xenia, an eccentric dreamer who cares little for social conventions, falls in love with Andrei, a charismatic soldier and singer in the Empress's Imperial choir. Though husband and wife adore each other, their happiness is overshadowed by the absurd demands of life at the royal court and by Xenia's growing obsession with having a child - a desperate need that is at last fulfilled with the birth of her daughter. But then a tragic vision comes true, and a shattered Xenia descends into grief, undergoing a profound transformation that alters the course of her life.

    Crystal Ockenfuss says: "Perfect voice for this story"
    "Perfect voice for this story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Mirrored World to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version but - after this most effective reading - I will definitely consider it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is difficult to right about saints. Goodness, when depicted, often comes off as bland - somehow less interesting than evil. Not so for this book. Xenia's turn towards the disadvantaged of St. Petersburg, while surprising at first, has a logic of its own that the book does a fine job of developing.


    What about Yelena Shmulenson’s performance did you like?

    Her voice had lovely modulation and convincing Russian accents. She was able to make each character sound distinctively.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Mirrored World and why?

    though the story would go nowhere without its narrator, Dasha, its beatingheart is beyond doubt the character of Xenia.


    Any additional comments?

    Calming and thoughtful, I found The Mirrored World to be the perfect commuter listen. Xenia's attitude was a welcome corrective to hectic traffic. Listen and you'll know exactly what I mean.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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