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Mylrea Estell

Lush Vineyard


  • The Dinner: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Herman Koch, Sam Garrett (translator)
    • Narrated By Clive Mantle

    It's a summer's evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse - the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened. Each couple has a 15-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families.

    Jane says: "Dining at its most distubing"
    "Happy Families Are All Alike"

    Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
    Thus begins The Dinner, a novel served up in courses. The food is minimalist, overly described, and at times not especially palatable. The same can be said for this little novel where characters we may not like are thrust before us. Just as the spaces on the plates are greater than the bits of food, what's unsaid about our characters is greater than what we are told.
    The Dinner is often compared to Gone Girl. Both feature people acting without conscience and narrators whose voices don't quite ring true. Most readers prefer Gone Girl for its strong narrative pacing, but I was dissapointed by GG, while I loved The Dinner. I found the characters here to be much more interesting, and I enjoyed the structure of this novel, where the current action takes place over a few hours, while recollections fill in the story.
    The audio narration by Clive Mantle was masterful. One of the best out of the several hundred books I've listened to. This is one where the audio narration elevates a good book to an amazing "reading" experience.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.

    Thug4life says: "Great for family car ride"
    "Entertaining Rendition of a Childhood Classic"

    Anne Hathaway's narration of the childhood classic is very well done. If the talented actress could record the rest of the series she would create a lasting treasure.
    I read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and some others of the series, as a youth, but had forgotten how much the book differs from the MGM classic film.
    With Disney's new Oz movie coming out, I thought I'd refresh myself on the story. I'm not sure how much of the new movie is based on the Baum source material, but MGM set a precedent by treating this book to a major re-write.
    In the book, we are introduced to a dazzling array of characters, creatures and lands, and also to a kind of corny humor that is not quite timeless. For the film, the story is tightened up, and many of the extraneous characters have been removed.
    I enjoyed the book, as I did as a child, but would say that this is one of the few instances that major changes to a story in adaption to film were a significant improvement.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Galore: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Michael Crummey
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When a whale beaches itself on the shore of the remote coastal town of Paradise Deep, the last thing any of the townspeople expect to find inside it is a man, silent and reeking of fish but remarkably alive. The discovery of this mysterious person, soon christened Judah, sets the town scrambling for answers as its most prominent citizens weigh in on whether he is man or beast, blessing or curse, miracle or demon.

    Mylrea Estell says: "spellbinding"

    Galore is a spellbinding novel set in far away Newfoundland. Author Crummey uses his exotic but fiercely real homeland to create the setting for a novel which is by turns magical and real.

    The Divine family takes in a stranger who slips from the belly of a beached whale. We follow the Divines and other families of the small shore village through generations, as they adapt to changes in faith and fisheries on the North Atlantic.

    John Lee's narration is outstanding as always. His sonorous voice and the prose of the book were so engaging that I found myself swept away and needed to backtrack a few times to follow the story.

    Galore is outstanding, but not perfect. I enjoyed the magical realism, but other readers may find it a bit too woo-woo...... 4 1/2 stars.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Riddle of the Sands

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Eskine Childers
    • Narrated By George Hagan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The plot involves the uncovering of secret German preparations for an invasion of the United Kingdom and is sited by Winston Churchill as one of the major reasons the Admiralty decided to establish naval bases at Invergordon, the Firth of Forth and Scapa Flow.

    Nancy says: "Excellent including narration"
    "perhaps a new recording would help..."

    The Riddle of the Sands has a reputation as an exciting spy story, but there was nothing exciting about this reading. I felt like I was enduring, rather than enjoying this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Poor People

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Narrated By Patrick Cullen, Julia Emlen

    Written as a series of letters, Poor People tells the tragic tale of a petty clerk and his impossible love for a young girl. Longing to help her and her family, he sells everything he can, but his kindness leads him only into more desperate poverty, and ultimately into debauchery. As a typical "man of the underground", he serves as the embodiment of the belief that happiness can only be achieved with riches.

    Rebecca says: "Background before listening recommended!"
    "a strange translation"

    The language of this piece did not flow well. Perhaps the translation was a fault, but I found it difficult to enjoy.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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