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Holly

Great

Member Since 2011

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 207 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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  • The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Irving Stone
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    Overall
    (200)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (175)

    This is Irving Stone's powerful and passionate biographical novel of Michelangelo. His time: the turbulent Renaissance, the years of poisoning princes, warring popes, the all-powerful Medici family, the fanatic monk Savonarola. His loves: the frail and lovely daughter of Lorenzo de Medici; the ardent mistress of Marco Aldovrandi; and his last love - his greatest love - the beautiful, unhappy Vittoria Colonna.

    Richard says: "Don't go to Italy without reading this!"
    "Great Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Agony and the Ecstasy the most enjoyable?

    This is one of the best books I have ever had the pleasure to read.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Of course, my favorite character is Michaelangelo.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Arthur Morey?

    Sorry, but most anyone could have read this better. This guy simply drones.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This book takes many, many sittings!


    Any additional comments?

    I read this book over thirty years ago and loved it. I enjoy listening to books while I run, and I decided to choose this one. Because the story is so powerful, it did not disappoint me, but it is a shame that the narrator is not any better.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • An Echo in the Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Francine Rivers
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (786)
    Performance
    (501)
    Story
    (512)

    As a Roman trader grieves over a lost slave woman, he begins to learn about the faith that gave her enough strength to face death.

    Susan says: "Very well done!"
    "Sweet Story for Girls"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was one of the most memorable moments of An Echo in the Darkness?

    The theme of God's forgiveness permeates.


    Any additional comments?

    My husband could not make it through this series, but for us ladies ... Well, the characters are not realistic, but they are lovely. The author serves us well, because she creates characters that inspire.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Life After Life: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Fenella Woolgar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1397)
    Performance
    (1237)
    Story
    (1251)

    On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

    Diane says: "Life after life after life after life after life.."
    "This was painful."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I love books about people who get caught in time warps. I am proud to say, though, that I made it through this one, because it made me wince. By the way, my husband said the same thing ... It has been a week since I listened to this. I already forget how it ends.What I do remember is the dark and tedious overtones and the pathetic pessimism that the author must hold for life.


    What was most disappointing about Kate Atkinson’s story?

    The fact that endless dead bodies appeared so often that the reader is practically thrust into a major depression.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I felt disgust at a viewpoint this depressing. I would like to point out that I know Hitler's Germany is a great example of how evil sometimes triumphs in the world, and I do understand that it was a horrific time for the world. I just don't care for books that smear my face in it page after page, and I don't care for books that flippantly disregard the optimistic side of the coin.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Redeeming Love

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Francine Rivers
    • Narrated By Kate Forbes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (981)
    Performance
    (635)
    Story
    (638)

    Francine Rivers is one of America's favorite romance writers and a bestselling inspirational author. Her many heartfelt novels have won awards and the adoration of fans accross the country. In Redeeming Love, she retells the Biblical story of Hosea, setting it in the 1850s, amidst California's gold country.

    Jo says: "Not Just For Girls"
    "I am not sure I can finish this one ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Redeeming Love better?

    This is definitely a "girl" book, and its message is uplifting and romantic, but the main character is so silly that I may have to return this one before I finish it.
    Francine Rivers is talented. How I loved "A Voice in the Wind!" This one, though, has the same thing happening over and over again. If the main character can't get her head together in the next few pages, I will send this back to Audible and find something that provides a more believable and more interesting protagonist.


    What could Francine Rivers have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    She could have painted the main characters as real people. Gee, I don't care how Christian and faithful you are, any sane man would have kicked that silly woman out of the house! Any normal woman (We aren't talking plastic Barbies here ... Even an abused Barbie) wouldn't have given him trouble in the first place!


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I love the theme of Christian forgiveness.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rebecca

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Daphne du Maurier
    • Narrated By Anna Massey
    Overall
    (903)
    Performance
    (668)
    Story
    (676)

    After a whirlwind romance and a honeymoon in Italy, the innocent young heroine and the dashing Maxim de Winter return to his country estate, Manderley. But the unsettling memory of Rebecca, the first Mrs. de Winter, still lingers within. The timid bride must overcome her husband's oppressive silences and the sullen history of the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, to confront the emotional horrors of the past.

    P. Wade Thompson says: "A Great Listen"
    "Loved it as a kid..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Rebecca?

    If you are an adult who read this long ago, and you remember the nostalgic beauty, beware. Yes, Ms. DuMaurier was a fantastic author. The problem with this story, for a 60 plus girl, is that the main character is a complete idiot. Oddly, I can remember suggesting the book to my father and being offended when he said, "The girl in the story is kind of stupid. Don't you think?" Well, Daddy, I know you see this in Heaven: Yes, she is a dope.Please read it ... When you are young enough to appreciate the eery romance, and you will love the suspense and pity the narrator, but don't wait 'til you're in your senile years or you'll just be frustrated by the girl's stupidity.


    Which character – as performed by Anna Massey – was your favorite?

    Ms. Danvers


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yes ... I love the author, and I bet I could read some of her others again without giving up on a naive idiot.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Garth Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Evan Welch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5881)
    Performance
    (3801)
    Story
    (3814)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you’ve ever loved a dog - or even patted a dog - this book, told from the perspective of man’s best friend, will tug at your heartstrings...and won’t let go until long after Welch performs the last word. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master.

    FanB14 says: "Artful Surprise"
    "Absoluely Wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Art of Racing in the Rain to be better than the print version?

    Yes.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I fell in love with the characters -- especially Enzo.


    What does Christopher Evan Welch bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The reading is fantastic -- quite dramatic.


    If you could take any character from The Art of Racing in the Rain out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    It would have to be Enzo, at the very, very end of the story. I would have some pointed questions for him, but I also wouldn't mind taking out the twins, just so I could give them a piece of my mind.


    Any additional comments?

    Very few adjectives are necessary ... It is precious.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4963)
    Performance
    (2348)
    Story
    (2363)

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Mary Lynn says: "Brilliant story, pitch perfect narration"
    "This is mediocre ... couldn't make it to the end."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Cutting for Stone? What did you like least?

    This is not a memorable book.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


    What about Sunil Malhotra’s performance did you like?

    It was okay.


    Could you see Cutting for Stone being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    If it becomes a series, I will not watch it.


    Any additional comments?

    To me, this is just an okay book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Dog's Purpose: A Novel for Humans

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By W. Bruce Cameron
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2154)
    Performance
    (1448)
    Story
    (1451)

    After a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey is surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden-haired puppy. Bailey's search for his new life's meaning leads him into the loving arms of eight-year-old Ethan. During their countless adventures, Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog. But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey's journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders, will he ever find his purpose?

    Blythe says: "Best dog book ever!"
    "Sentimental and Sweet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Dog's Purpose to be better than the print version?

    The narrator is excellent.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The characters are all endearing, but -- of course -- Bailey is my favorite.


    What does George K. Wilson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator brings just enough drama; yet, he does not interfere with the rhythm of the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Parts of this book made me laugh and others made me cry. It is a delightful book.


    Any additional comments?

    Too many novels these days are full of sappy scenes. Authors too often are of the opinion that nothing good should ever happen to the characters. This book is different. It leaves a person with an uplifted feeling.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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