"Molly Ringwald"--yeah, I had preconceptions, but I had a credit on my account and I had read good reviews, so I tried it. This book blew me away, and not just because it was this particular actor's fine literary debut. Each story on its own is true and touching, a perfect bubble in time. Well done. As you read on, it will take a minute or two into each story before you realize who the characters are, where we are in their lives, whose perspective we are seeing. It is so much fun, so surprising, so perfectly fitting together into a great 'novel'. I LOVED 'When it Happens to You', and I will enjoy listening to it again. The author herself is an enjoyable narrator.
Louise Erdrich is a fine storyteller, and this is a decades-long familial saga that depicts the difficult life of hard-working German immigrants to our Midwest in the early 20th century. It seems to contain every human emotion, from the sweetest love and loyalty to envy, to retaliation and murder, to war; and, or course, loving beautiful music. Easily my favorite by Ms. Erdrich. It is many hours long, and I could have listened longer. She is a wonderful narrator of her own work.
A man hears that an old friend, who once did him a favor he did not acknowledge, is dying. He is determined to see her before she dies, and on the spur of the moment starts walking to her. It's a 600 mile walk. He becomes convinced that this walk will keep her alive until he gets there. He becomes a national (British) phenomenon. His wife wonders where he is, and then, if he's gone nutty. And then their stale marriage is changed. It's kind of a crazy story that's written so well it is entirely believable, and I came to love poor old Harold very fiercely during his adventures. This book sounds 'unlikely'. But it is very likable.
This book is difficult to pigeon-hole. Beyond that....it's difficult to describe at all, short of writing a small novella of your own. Suffice to say that it's one surprise, or one delight after the other, celebrating love and family, a story that rambles and turns back on itself, but arrives at a perfect ending and you realize that every word was needed, every sentence was in its proper place. What a great book! What a talented writer!! When it was over, I just sat and marveled at this creation. I only wish I could ever ever write something like this!
I have loved George Carlin since we were both young. He was wacky, so inventive, so wildly irreverent and obscene. His monologue on war probably killed some people, because it left (still leaves) me limp and gasping for air from laughing too hard. He performed almost up to the time of his death from cancer, and he seemed haggard and frail, and I can easily believe that he might have been angry or bitter about it. But this collection of essays is so nasty I could not listen to the whole book. Although just hearing Carlin's voice can make me ready to laugh, these essays are just ugly. Ruthless insults, unjustifiable hostility and rancor towards people who are absent-minded, or maybe not as cool as he is, or who dare to bring kids into his general area. Very sad!! It really made me sad. Rest in peace, George.
I imagined this would be a light-hearted collection of goofy dog anecdotes from this therapy-dog owner, and I love a good goofy dog story. Instead, it is a self-indulgent narrative by a quite silly and shallow woman who imbues her dog with human-like reason and emotion. She is amazed to find that people who are old, infirm in body or mind, or alone are yet enjoying life, looking forward, making friends, and are not suffering in silence, but are serene in silence. The author is stunned and (falsely, it feels) humbled by her previous fears and ignorance. Yikes!! keep this dope away from MY nursing home, should I end up in one.
The narrator is one whom I have heard and not enjoyed before. She sounds like an old kindergarten teacher reading to Story Circle, all raised eyebrows, exaggerated emotions, and crazy character voices. Karen White. I will definitely remember to avoid this name in the future.
The author of this book is very proud of how unconventional she is, and thought that would make a great story. I have to wonder who published this book, as it is simply awful, deadly boring. Apparently the author finds her story fascinating, but I'm not sure why anyone else would. Unsettled and confused as a teen in the war-torn Middle East, she turns to partying, drugs, sex. Good gracious. The account is just a dry recitation of the facts; I did this, then I did this, then this happened, then I did that, then I did this.....
Complete disclosure: I did not finish this book. Way, way, way toooooo boring.
Horrifying story about a big city hospital suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Flooding, no power, no sanitation, almost no help from the outside; that was an awful situation. But it seems to me that the most devastating problem this hospital had was a confused chain of command and a really mystifying lack of common sense among the staff. The facility's 'Disaster Plan' was incomplete, so staff didn't know who had authority to lead; the guy from corporate HQ? Chief of Ops? Chief of Staff? Disaster Coordinator? the patients' doctors, the head nurses, the security guys? Everyone's either barking orders or pointing fingers at other people, and the stupidity of it is almost unbelievable. Amidst the suffering, of which the descriptions are truly heart-rending, no one lower on the food chain, meaning the docs and nurses, dares to make a move without orders from someone else. No common sense is employed. Toilets are not working, but continue to be used until they overflow with waste. What?!? No one thought to line wastebaskets with biohazard bags and replace them as necessary? how simple is that?!?! as the building filled with the aroma of feces in the 100-degree heat, no one could even decide to do that?!?
When the story of this horror, and the euthanizing of weak patients, was publicized, I sympathized with the doctors and nurses and bought their whole story about 'trying their best to care for' the patients. Now I think they should have been charged with murder; the ones who injected the fatal doses, the pharmacists who abetted them, and all the staff who had failed to start hydrating IVs and give regular medicines because someone who wasn't even on the floor had issued an order not to do so. They were 'just following orders'.
This is a sickening, infuriating story. The narration was awful, sounding for much of the book like a monotone NPR newsreader.
A tightly-wound guy sets off on a road trip with a holy man from Russia instead of with his sister, as he'd planned. It's very funny, thoughtful and thought-provoking, and the serene acceptance of ---everything!---by the Rimpoche is so perfectly described that just reading about it made me feel the calm. The narrator is perfect. The story is perfect. I loved every word of this!
oh, this audiobook is awful! Read by the author in a deliberate, listless, extremely careful monotone (someone must have told her to slow down her reading and she went nuts with that advice). Much as I wanted to hear the content, which subject fascinates me, I simply could not keep my mind from straying as I listened. It's a great soporific. Listen at bedtime and you'll zonk right out.
Buy the book. Read it.
what a triumph of meticulous historical reportage combined with a novelist's keen eye for the important threads of a story and how to weave them together into a fascinating saga. Again, a thoroughly disgusting and terrifying view of early 'medicine', and the way doctors 'practiced' on patients. By now, I have read enough of that horror to last me a lifetime. But I have become a true admirer of both President Garfield and his biographer after this book. Enjoyed it immensely, and learned a tremendous amount of history.
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