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Stuart

I like a variety of reading. Favorites: Prayer for Owen Meany Dragon Tattoos Candide by Voltaire, one of the great books! Hiiason

Hendersonville, NC, United States | Member Since 2004

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 198 ratings
  • 729 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
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  • Can You Keep a Secret?

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Sophie Kinsella
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    Overall
    (1268)
    Performance
    (466)
    Story
    (470)

    Emma Corrigan has a long list of secrets, one of which is that she is afraid of flying. Coming back from a thoroughly ruinous sales trip to Glasgow, the plane she is on encounters some air turbulence, and she ends up spilling her guts to the handsome American sitting next to her. He gets to hear that she fibbed to get her current job and that she has never been able to satisfactorily find her G-spot. Then, the plane lands...and the American turns up in her life again. He's the CEO of her company....

    A says: "Enjoyable Chick Lit"
    "wrong reader"
    Overall

    What a terrible mistake to have the Kate Reading narrate this book. She simply does not "sound" the part. I couldn't get beyond it. Much better to get the abridged version read by Emily Gray who is more the character. The book's good, but to have someone who seems too old and too mature reading a first person narrative is wrong. Listen to the two samples before choosing.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8717)
    Performance
    (8000)
    Story
    (8005)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Don't they use editors anymore???"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Caution, tedious book. The main character of the book is a liar, a thief, a drunk, a drug addict, a duplicate of his father, an alleged chronicler, and in the end a dribbling pathetic mournful philosopher. If you cut out 100 pages of the book, which one could easily do, if nothing else by cutting out the million times the dope says "What?" it might have been a better read. I stuck it out for the many hours waiting to be wowed after reading so many glowing reviews. Largely for naught.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All That Is: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By James Salter
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    After his experiences as a young naval officer in battles off Okinawa, Philip Bowman returns to America and finds a position as a book editor. It is a time when publishing is still largely a private affair - a scattered family of small houses here and in Europe - a time of gatherings in fabled apartments and conversations that continue long into the night. In this world of dinners, deals, and literary careers, Bowman finds he fits in perfectly. But despite his success, love eludes him.

    Anastasia Burke says: "The kudos are totally appropriate"
    "The rhythm of Updike without the language"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A long rambling story of a guy who is good, bad and indifferent. In the end I didn't much care for or about Phillip or any of the other characters one way or another.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • My Korean Deli: Risking It All for a Convenience Store

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Ben Ryder Howe
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (259)
    Performance
    (192)
    Story
    (194)

    This sweet and funny tale of a preppy editor buying a Brooklyn deli with his Korean in-laws is about family, culture clash, and the quest for authentic experiences. It starts with a gift. When Ben Ryder Howe’s wife, the daughter of Korean immigrants, decides to repay her parents’ self-sacrifice by buying them a store, Howe, an editor at the rarefied Paris Review, agrees to go along.

    lesley says: "Absolutely delightful!"
    "The author is a wuss."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked the story and the telling. By the end, however, the author was such a weakling who caved in to each and every character in the book, I simply disliked the guy. I'm surprised the man had the courage to write the book at all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lit: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Mary Karr
    • Narrated By Mary Karr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (300)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (118)

    Lit follows Mary Karr's descent into the inferno of alcoholism and madness - and her astonishing resurrection. Karr's longing for a solid family seems secure when her marriage to a handsome, Shakespeare-quoting poet produces a son they adore. But she can't outrun her apocalyptic past. She drinks herself into the same numbness that nearly devoured her charismatic but troubled mother, reaching the brink of suicide. A hair-raising stint in "The Mental Marriott" awakens her to the possibility of joy, and leads her to an unlikely faith.

    Kim says: "Finally! One for the "Win" column"
    "Somehow, there is a disconnect."
    Overall

    I've now read three of her books. I feel there is a disconnect between the life she describe in the beginning and where she is now. People and places and events are missing here. To me she has become quite tiresome in exposing, at great length and in greater detail, the failings of her life. I liked Liar's Club far more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Our Kind of Traitor

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By John le Carre
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (235)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (68)

    Perry and Gail are idealistic and very much in love when they splurge on a tennis vacation at a posh beach resort in Antigua. But the charm begins to pall when a big-time Russian money launderer enlists their help to defect. In exchange for amnesty, Dima is ready to rat out his compatriots and expose corruption throughout the so-called legitimate financial and political worlds. Soon, the guileless couple find themselves pawns in a deadly endgame.

    Darwin8u says: "Human heart in conflict with itself"
    "Unsatisfying"
    Overall

    As always, well written, and very well performed by Robin Sachs. In the end the story is not satisfying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Junot Diaz
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Staci Snell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2227)
    Performance
    (947)
    Story
    (955)

    Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuku: the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.

    Kathleen says: "Fabulous listen"
    "Trujillo was terrible, we get it..."
    Overall

    Disappointed. The violence, the redundancy of the evil notes about Trujillo were, in the end, boring. How many "worst beatings" can there be? In this story many. The Dominican Republic and Dominicans in general should be thoroughly insulted by their characterizations. Frankly, in the end it wasn't such an interesting story.

    6 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Charlotte Simmons

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (695)
    Performance
    (159)
    Story
    (166)

    Dupont University: the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America's youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition....Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina, who has come here on full scholarship. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the upper-crust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.

    Eric says: "Decadence through the eyes of a ?good girl?"
    "Charlotte was NOT believable."
    Overall

    After slogging through this meaningless tome, I realized how shallow Wolfe made his lead character. It was a poor and wrong characterization of a girl from rural North Carolina. In the end I was amazed that Wolfe completely left out the role of religion in such a persons life. It is extremely unlikely that Charlotte would have left Sparta without a religious thought in her head. Although Wolfe may be godless, rural Southerners rarely are. But he makes his character rather souless and not very sympathetic with almost no moral code of behavior. So Charlotte goes through her year in college with its very tedious situations and never once thinks to seek spiritual guidance of any kind. I'm not particularly religious, but I know people from my region and Charlotte Simmons rings very hollow. The book is a boring waste of time.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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