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Corinna

Richmond, TX, USA | Member Since 2004

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 970 titles in library
  • 82 purchased in 2014
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  • Panama Fever

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Matthew Parker
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (103)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    The building of the Panama Canal was one of the greatest engineering feats in human history. A tale of exploration, conquest, money, politics, and medicine, Panama Fever charts the challenges that marked the long, labyrinthine road to the building of the canal. Drawing on a wealth of new materials and sources, Matthew Parker brings to life the men who recognized the impact a canal would have on global politics and economics.

    CmH - HB, CA says: "Good book, marginal narrator"
    "Is there a francophile in the mix?"
    Overall

    Interesting tale of how the canal was built.

    Well read except for the many French phrases. I cannot imagine not choosing a narrator with a French background or at the very list someone working in the creation of the audio book, who is familiar with French pronunciation.

    The funniest part of the book was the phrase "annees horribles" which was so butchered it made me laugh for days. "A-NESS hor-RIB-ble-less" moved the focus from the narrative, to the narrator and surprise over the choice of this one versus other people who could have handled the language changes. A simple consultation and phonetic aides would have made the French entirely possible. This was very distracting considering how much French the author included.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18877)
    Performance
    (17067)
    Story
    (17212)

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."
    "What a terrible way to end a great series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved the first two books. And the third, until I felt like the author tossed the dice to determine the outcome of the characters. Evens, this one lives; odds, they die. To say I am disappointed in Roth's handling of the characters and particularly in the ending of an otherwise great series, is an understatement.

    It is a gift to create characters that are people we can relate to and embrace. To kill one off with so little thought or finesse that there is no emotional response in the reader, and particularly a character that made the series, is just proof of a lack of skills or a lack of emotional depth. The death of a major character is not something that should be done lightly or in this case, as I opined above, at the toss of the dice.

    I like to reread good stories and I am always recommending good reads to friends. This one will not make my list on either count.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Providence Rider: A Matthew Corbett Novel, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (869)
    Performance
    (782)
    Story
    (783)

    The Providence Rider is the fourth installment in the extraordinary series of historical thrillers featuring Matthew Corbett, professional problem solver. The narrative begins in the winter of 1703, with Matthew still haunted by his lethal encounter with notorious mass murderer Tyranthus Slaughter. When an unexplained series of explosions rocks his Manhattan neighborhood, Matthew finds himself forced to confront a new and unexpected problem. Someone is trying - and trying very hard - to get his attention.

    bionichands says: "This is a fun series"
    "Language is everything"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Love the series. Characters are real and fully embodied. Villains are bad and heroes are people faced with hard choices. Story line is not repetitive. This book is no exception.

    I believe, HOWEVER, that language is everything. The books are set in the late 1600s and early 1700s. What began for me as a bit eccentric became very irritating. Many of the idioms for example, did not exist at this time. Surely, there is a happy medium between using the antiquated language of the Bronte sisters, to the extreme modern expressions like “are you an item?” or “are you together?” and many others I can no longer remember.

    And there are modern conveniences that were not available at the time – like “chocolate chips”, baking soda for toothpaste or a tooth powder flavored with peppermint. Although there were cultures using various things as dentifrice from ancient times, it was not widespread in England, nor in the colonies until the late 18th century -- certainly not in 1702. This lack of dental hygiene was notorious in this period and many people were toothless.

    While I understand it is impossible to research absolutely everything for an historical novel, it is nice when a writer tries to think outside our modern world box.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Queen of Bedlam: A Matthew Corbett Novel, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1313)
    Performance
    (1190)
    Story
    (1180)

    Robert McCammon brings the hero of his previous novel, Matthew Corbett, to 18th-century New York, where a killer wields a bloody and terrifying power over a bustling city carving out its identity - and over Matthew's own uncertain destiny.

    The unsolved murder of a respected doctor has sent ripples of fear throughout a city teeming with life and noise and commerce. Who snuffed out the good man's life with the slash of a blade on a midnight street? The local printmaster has labeled the fiend "the Masker," adding fuel to a volatile mystery...

    Kathy says: "Addicting"
    "The Plot Thickens"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Matthew's character grows and new players are added. They make him a better man. Add to that the great island of Manhattan and some new puzzles to solve. I enjoyed the many layers McCammon added with this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mister Slaughter: A Matthew Corbett Novel, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1004)
    Performance
    (917)
    Story
    (909)

    . Mister Slaughter opens in the emerging metropolis of New York City in 1702, and proceeds to take both Matthew and the reader on an unforgettable journey of horror, violence, and personal discovery. The journey begins when Matthew, now an apprentice problem solver for the London-based Herrald Agency, accepts an unusual and hazardous commission. Together with his colleague, Hudson Greathouse, he agrees to escort the notorious mass murderer Tyranthus Slaughter from an asylum outside Philadelphia to the docks of New York.

    Cheryl says: "Fantastic series!"
    "Scary villain"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to admit the villain of this piece is horrifying. The descriptions of his sprees while Matthew searched him out, were beyond my imagination of evil. I truly had a hard time waiting for this book to resolve which kept me listening long into the night.

    The characters were again so vivid that I was attached to many that were merely passing through. Walker and Lark were particular favorites that stayed with me. This is a true gift to create people you wished you knew personally.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Speaks the Nightbird

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3014)
    Performance
    (2691)
    Story
    (2675)

    The Carolinas, 1699: The citizens of Fount Royal believe a witch has cursed their town with inexplicable tragedies -- and they demand that beautiful widow Rachel Howarth be tried and executed for witchcraft. Presiding over the trial is traveling magistrate Issac Woodward, aided by his astute young clerk, Matthew Corbett. Believing in Rachel's innocence, Matthew will soon confront the true evil at work in Fount Royal....

    aaron says: "Dark, Twisted Period Piece with GREAT Characters!"
    "Great series beginning"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am amazed by the beginning of this series. McCammon creates fabulous characters and the narrator performs each with such a gift for voices. It is a bit distracting to hear modern idiomatic expressions come out of these characters in 1699; I only wish now I had saved a list. Somehow I don't think they would have been said something like "she's not all that!" Regardless, the dialogue is engaging and in this particular tale, the puzzle's solution was worth the wait.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ordinary Grace

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By Rich Orlow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (691)
    Performance
    (612)
    Story
    (610)

    Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.

    Ronna says: "best book to come along this year!!"
    "Characters are everything"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    He has created a great small town world, and the plot keeps it interesting but the characters are what make this book. The relationship between the boys and their father, and the world seen from Frank's eyes is what kept me reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Angel's Game

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    • Narrated By Dan Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (418)
    Performance
    (250)
    Story
    (251)

    In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martin, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city's underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner.

    bluebelle says: "My Favorite Book!"
    "Inconsistent story line"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think Carlos Ruiz Zafon is one of the best writers. I have been relistening to the first two books of the series. Once again, I was enthralled to be in the world of Barcelona and the mystery Zafon weaves into his stories. Because this was a second read, I was astonished to realize the story was inconsistent in the death of a major character from Shadow of the Wind, who actually survives to old age as written in Shadow. There were also minor differences from the first book to the second book in the treatment of what happens to characters there. I suppose this happens, but it is disconcerting especially when the stories are read closely together.

    The reason for the review is the narrator. Why oh why does Mr. Stevens choose do do a less than successful imitation of Cary Grant. His other voices are nice, but this faux Cary is just so distracting I was pulled from the story each time. I remember this was the same reaction I had to this voice the last time I listened. With a great narrator in Davies, I cannot understand why anyone else would be used for this series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35982)
    Performance
    (26981)
    Story
    (27365)

    Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

    Teddy says: "The Book Deserves The Hype"
    "Riveting Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was reluctant to read the series having heard all the hype. I started on Friday evening and but for the forced periods of not listening, I have had my IPOD attached to my ear. I haven't read anything else recently that kept my attention so well. The characters are interesting and have the sense of real people behind them. How wonderful to breathe life into characters you have created. Ms. Collins does this very well. The story maintained my interest from start to finish. The plot twists were amazing.

    The narrator performs quite well, although her mature voice is difficult at first to embrace for a mere 16 year old. Regardless, her voice choices were well done, and she continued to maintain my interest through the series.

    Bravo.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18918)
    Performance
    (13015)
    Story
    (12909)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "Captivating listen"
    Overall

    I just relistened to this book thanks to the addition of the unabridged version with Porter. My first impression three years ago remains the same -- it is just everything I would want a book to be. The reader brings life to the characters who are already larger than life. I could listen to it repeatedly. Why listen to the abridged version and lose anything of Claire and Jamie's time together?

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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