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Paula

Enjoying one good listen after the next!

Overland Park, KS USA | Member Since 2012

ratings
304
REVIEWS
161
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
92
HELPFUL VOTES
407

  • The Beginner's Goodbye

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Anne Tyler
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (147)

    Anne Tyler gives us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving new novel in which she explores how a middle-aged man, torn apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances: in their house, on the roadway, in the market. Gradually he discovers, as he works in the family's vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life, that maybe for this beginner there is a way of saying goodbye.

    Elizabeth Ward says: "Anne Tyler at her Best"
    "A Great Story that will Surprise!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had no idea what this book was. . . bought it on sale on a whim. . . and it turned out to be quite a nice experience. The story line draws you in quickly and because it is a short listen, a book you'll want to finish in one sitting if you can. No complaints here on the performance; but full disclosure is merited: after the first 30 minutes, I used Audible's 1.5 speed -- the narration was just as good a little faster in my view.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • False Prophet, a Legal Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jeff Rasley
    • Narrated By Lucas Schuneman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Jack Ross loses his soul but finds redemption representing an evangelical African American preacher. Jack's downward spiral begins with his idealistic but doomed defense of his best friend and colleague. It becomes an existential crisis. His wife leaves. His partner is in alcohol rehab. Jack's struggle to reclaim his professional standing and self-respect is aided by a petty criminal and a hot young reporter. Jack sets out to right the wrongs done to his Christian-prophet client.

    Paula says: "Sophomoric, Bland, Not the Least Thrilling"
    "Sophomoric, Bland, Not the Least Thrilling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't say much that is nice about this one, so maybe I should say nothing. In a nutshell, once you have read GOOD legal thrillers, this one doesn't even come close. The lawyers you are supposed to care about are immature, sophomoric boys who still hang on to their high school football days; can't develop the emotional maturity it takes to keep a relationship going unless it is all about their "needs"; and the bad guys are one dimensional characters who come and go in every dime store novel, so it is impossible to be held in suspense about what they will do next.

    On top of bad writing, add really bad narration. . . and this one becomes painful. Keep looking if you want a legal thriller. This isn't it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Bean Trees

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By C. J. Critt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (266)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (178)

    Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time Taylor arrives in Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired a completely unexpected child, a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity of putting down roots.

    Nancy says: "Barbara, can we have a "re-do?""
    "Narration Totally Ruins this Mediocre Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I tried, I really did. There was no getting past the narrator's gasping breaths between every sentence; the ungodly long pauses between paragraphs ( and even longer ones between chapters.) I tried to stick with it but after two+ hours, I gave it up. The story wasn't particularly engaging and that, combined with the dreadful narration was just too much to bare. Do authors have a say in who performs their books? I can't believe Barbara Kingsolver would approve of this awful production.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Reversible Errors

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Scott Turow
    • Narrated By J. R. Horne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (357)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (70)

    Scott Turow has written a supercharged, exquisitely suspenseful novel about a vicious triple murder and the man condemned to die for it. No other writer offers such a profound understanding of what is at stake when the state holds the power to end a man's life.

    Kent says: "An engaging story"
    "Stay With It, the Story is Worth Your Time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This Turow novel is different from his others. . . and at one point, I considered giving up on it. Am glad I didn't, because in this one, Turow reveals how police, investigators, lab techs, prosecutors, defenders, judges, press and public can get at cross purposes with each, creating tangles within the legal system that can hold men accountable for acts they didn't commit.

    Turow wrote this in such a way that the "back story" on the individual characters is intermittently revealed, making the book anything but chronological. If you miss hearing a date or dateline, you will be a bit confused at times, more than likely.

    The narration is superb and I ultimately enjoyed the way that this story untangled the horrific web that had developed around one unfortunate man. Good did prevail, but it came after years and much expense of others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hostage

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By James Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (455)
    Performance
    (318)
    Story
    (314)

    Jeff Talley was a good husband, a fine father, and a frontline negotiator with LAPD's SWAT unit. But the high stress, unforgiving job took an irreparable toll on his psyche. After a despondent father murders his wife and son and takes his own life, Talley hits bottom. His marriage ends, he resigns from SWAT, and he struggles to escape from his former life. But Talley's pursuit of peaceful small-town life is about to change.

    David says: "Wonderful clarity of plot and character"
    "Good, but the Ending is Without Suspense or Climax"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this book until the ending. . . then it was so anti climactic there was hardly a need to finish listening to the last 45 minutes. Too bad, because it had great potential and good narration. The story built and built and then just collapsed on itself with predictable events that made for an oh so happy ending. Too, too bad. Three stars at best.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fortune Cookie

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (307)
    Performance
    (245)
    Story
    (238)

    It's the 1960s and the world of advertising is coming alive - and it's an exciting world to be part of. Simon Wong, a Chinese-Australian and promising young advertising executive, is sent to Singapore to establish an office. He finds himself thrust into an environment that is at once strangely familiar and profoundly different; one where the rules that govern behaviour - both in business and in personal life - differ wildly from what he is used to. And where all is not what it appears to be.

    Lia says: "Enjoyable easy listen"
    "Grand, Delightful, Wonderful Story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read other Courtenay books, but in my view, this is one of his best. Perhaps that stems from the story being set in the 1960's Singapore when so much was happening in every corner of the world. Courtenay combines world history in a manner that is educational, engaging and well plotted. It was a wonderful listen.

    This story is exceptionally well told by Humphrey Bower. Lots of good voices to represent the many characters and just the right pace. I enjoyed the entire plot as well as the family history that was revealing itself in the then present-day characters' lives.

    If any fault is to be found, it is in the final minutes when finally the truths are revealed. I didn't want the story to end and it seemed too abrupt. However, when the pieces of the puzzle came together, they did so very fast, so perhaps it was in keeping with the plot.

    If you like historical fiction and want to learn more about the coming of age of Singapore, China and other parts of the east, you will enjoy this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Chris Ewan
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (469)
    Performance
    (414)
    Story
    (417)

    Charlie Howard travels the globe writing suspense novels for a living. To supplement his income - and keep his hand in - Charlie has a small side business: stealing for a very discreet clientele on commission. When a mysterious American offers Charlie 20,000 euros to steal two small monkey figurines to match the one he already has, Charlie is suspicious; the job seems too good to be true, and of course, it is. He soon finds the American beaten nearly to death, while the third figurine has disappeared.

    adrienne says: "A delightful surprise!"
    "Holiday in Amsterdam!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Simon Vance's narration is what drew me to this book and he was spectacular, as always. The story was a fun little diversion in the city of Amsterdam, and having spent time there myself, I enjoyed all the references and geographically staged events. Interesting plot and outcome. . . just a nice listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Jakarta Pandemic

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Steven Konkoly
    • Narrated By Joseph Morton
    Overall
    (723)
    Performance
    (647)
    Story
    (644)

    In the late fall of 2013, a lethal pandemic virus emerges from the Islamic Republic of Indonesia (IRI) and rages unchecked across every continent. When the Jakarta Flu threatens his picture-perfect Maine neighborhood, Alex Fletcher, Iraq War veteran, is ready to do whatever it takes to keep his family safe. As a seasoned sales representative for Biosphere Pharmaceuticals, makers of a leading flu virus treatment, Alex understands what a deadly pandemic means for all of them.

    deedeeg says: "Nice surprise"
    "Paranoia, PSTD and the Pandemic. . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a L-O-O-O-O-NG story. You get your money's worth if you buy books by the hour. However, it could have been told in a much more compact, exciting, interesting way. If you haven't ready many books about dystopian societies, this one will be entertaining; maybe even seem pretty realistic. If you are better read, leave this on the shelf. I gave up on hoping for reality in this story when the snow plows arrived and cell service continued, despite the loss of all other services, including shipments of food, availability of medical care, and the loss of electricity.

    The main character was Alex, a former Marine captain, who may or may not have PSTD eight years after the fact, and may or may not have a family he truly cares about, and may or may not make the darnedest decisions. . some of them borderline stupid. . when a global flu epidemic turns his Maine neighborhood into a combat zone.

    The characters are really little than cardboard, nothing multi-dimensional about them at all. That leaves the listener wondering if he/she should really care how all this turns out. In the end (spoiler) everyone lives happily ever after, just as you know logically that every 12-year old boy who plays video games, would after using a automatic gun to kill a man who was about to shoot his dad.

    The narration was solemn, slow paced and really fit the story, although it might put less committed listeners to sleep.

    Three stars only because I finished the book. It was somewhat engaging.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Is Where I Leave You

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jonathan Tropper
    • Narrated By Ramon de Ocampo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (908)
    Performance
    (611)
    Story
    (608)

    The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family - including Judd's mother, brothers, and sister - have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd's wife, Jen, whose 14-month affair with Judd's radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch's dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together.

    Jamie says: "Greatly entertaining, not for all audiences."
    "Funny, Crude, and Filled with Family Melancholy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Foxmans are a quintessential dysfunctional family, sans their recently departed husband/father. . . . five kids and their mom sit shiva and the dysfunction reigns supreme. Funny throughout, filled with coarse language and crude moments -- but somehow, quite believable. This is a family many can relate to; especially their varied states of discord and lack of emotional intelligence. Judd, a man reeling from infidelity, narrates the story and offers hilarious "mind thinks" about every situation.

    This one is likely not for everyone, because it has graphic sexual descriptions and a plethora of hard core four letter words. But it rings true, terribly, terribly true and for that reason is a good read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Euphoria: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Lily King
    • Narrated By Simon Vance, Xe Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (67)

    English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the territory of New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers' deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with colleagues, the controversial Nell Stone and her wry and mercurial Australian husband, Fen, pulls him back from the brink. Nell and Fen have just fled the bloodthirsty Mumbanyo and, in spite of Nell's poor health, are hungry for a new discovery.

    Paula says: "Great Anthropological Story of Anthropologists"
    "Great Anthropological Story of Anthropologists"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nell, Fen, Bankson and the tribes of New Guinea are the central characters of this novel with their surroundings well described, their depth of character well-established. The story reveals how professional jealousy, egotistic greed, and love can intermix into a painful, if not volatile circumstance. I enjoyed this story because of the story itself. . . anthropologists who themselves would have been good "case studies," studying the tribes of New Guinea while dealing with complex emotions, needs and relationships.

    Nell may have been fashioned after Margaret Mead and Fen and Bankson otherwise modeled. Perhaps this was why the story rang true and the unscrupulous behaviors of some anthropologists realistic given the 1930's setting.

    Great story, I think. . . would have listened to the narrators and story much longer had it been so.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Hidden River

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (614)
    Performance
    (286)
    Story
    (277)

    Alexander Lawson is a former detective for Northern Ireland's police force. After a disastrous six-month stint in the drug squad, he became addicted to heroin and resigned in disgrace. Now 24, sickly, and on the dole, Alex learns that his high-school love, Victoria Patawasti, has been murdered in America. Victoria's wealthy family sends Alex to Colorado to investigate the case, and he seizes the opportunity for a chance at redemption.

    Dawn says: "Gerard Doyle Is Terrific!"
    "Alex isn't as Keen as Sean Duffy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Enjoyed this one, but decided half way through that McKinty's Alex was not as brilliant and capable as my fav, Sean Duffy. Good story set in Denver CO which made it great fun. Lots of tragedy and violence, but closes with a semi-happy ending, nevertheless.

    McKinty hasn't written a bad one, so I will look forward to the next!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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