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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Member Since 2015

  • 17 reviews
  • 73 ratings
  • 261 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015

  • The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Gay Salisbury, Laney Salisbury
    • Narrated By Margot Dionne

    Alaska, 1925: the diphtheria serum is 674 miles away. Without it, the people of Nome will not survive. The port was icebound and the nearest railhead was almost 700 miles away. Only the dogs could do it. A relay was set up, and the drivers, many of them Native Alaskans, set off into the night at 60 below zero. Here, for the first time, is their story of legendary heroism and endurance.

    Pete says: "Read This Book!"
    "Who chooses these Narrators?"

    I can't rate the content, as I've listened to only 5 minutes and am ready to stick a fork in my eye.
    This woman sounds like she should be reading a children's Christmas story. Her floaty feathery voice over ennunciation should not be narrating anything longer than 10 minutes. The whispers that imply wonder and mystery when she's discussing the mundane; eggs, dogs chewing on a bone, it's ridiculous.
    I know you can't please everyone,
    I wish the book companies would do a better job of matching book to narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Richard Rhodes
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    What do Hedy Lamarr, avant-garde composer George Antheil, and your cell phone have in common? The answer is spread-spectrum radio: a revolutionary inven­tion based on the rapid switching of communications sig­nals among a spread of different frequencies. Without this technology, we would not have the digital comforts that we take for granted today. Only a writer of Richard Rhodes’s caliber could do justice to this remarkable story. Unhappily married to a Nazi arms dealer, Lamarr fled to America at the start of World War II; she brought with her not only her theatrical talent....

    Darryl says: "fascinating short bio"
    "Dull, painfully dreadfully dull. Richard !?!"
    Would you try another book from Richard Rhodes and/or Bernadette Dunne?

    I didn't think until now, Richard Rhodes was capable of such bland work. I am a huge fan, I'll give him another shot. Bernadette Dunne was just okay I wouldn't look for her as a narrator.

    What was most disappointing about Richard Rhodes’s story?

    This book was unfocused, covering too many topics leaving nothing of depth. Considering the scrupulous research that comprised "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" I can only assume there was not enough reliable information to make her story into a book.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I'm neutral about the narrator, she was serviceable, but she didn't add to the story.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Hedy's Folly?

    It's easier to say what I would have left in; Hedy's invention, more facts and anecdotes regarding the reaction to it, her feelings about it being dismissed, less supposition about what *may* have transpired.

    Any additional comments?

    I was very disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Accidental Happiness

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jean Reynolds Page
    • Narrated By Staci Snell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    After her husband's death, Gina Melrose becomes a "live-aboard" on his boat. Docked at a marina, she settles into a strange, borrowed existence. But this stillness is shattered when Ben's ex-wife, Reese, arrives with her daughter: an enigmatic little girl called Angel. After a bad start, Gina realizes that she's drawn to them. As pain and joy re-enter her world, Gina takes tentative steps towards the land of the living. This poignant novel explores the resilience of hope and the meaning of family.

    Betty says: "Flatline.."

    Superficial overall, The author seems to have
    little or no knowledge of the subjects she includes in this book. She tackled too many serious subjects superficially. Not even worth willing suspension of disbelief

    The treatment of Grief, Loss, Mental Illness were devoid of any gritty reality. A mentally ill person spends a few nights in a hospital and gets medicine to make her "all better" PulEEZE

    Then suddenly the story was tied up in one big happy bow. But without feeling the despair the happiness was meaningless.

    If anyone has seen "A very Brady Christmas"
    The vapid ending rivals that, and I didn't think anything could.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Outliers: The Story of Success

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

    S Prabhu says: "Excellent book; well adapted for the audio format"
    "I'm not worthy of reviewing such a brilliant book"

    I will try.
    My reaction to Gladwells work is much the same as my feelings toward Michael Moore when he became
    known. I want to say
    "Thank you, thank you for existing"

    Outliers is fascinating, immpeccably researched and accessible. Gladwell consistantly chooses research in areas that most of us think we know about, assuming our conventional wisdom must be
    based on something factual. The reality being, much of it is nothing more than long term societal brainwashing. When Gladwell reveals the big picture, which he does in a style as captivating as any novel; I'm left thinking
    "these topics affect us on an intimate level why was this not done before?"
    I suppose the answer is obvious. Sometimes we like our minds to stay comfortable.

    No pretense, no elitism, no shock value, it's not necessary. Brilliantly researched and narrated work that stands on it's own.

    Malcolm you rock!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Adrenaline Series: High, Epic, and Rough Water

    • ABRIDGED (17 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Matt Dickinson, Sebastian Junger, Greg Child
    • Narrated By uncredited

    For fans of Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air and other T-type personalities, comes this collection of thrill-seeking adventures: Epic takes you to the world's most famous peaks, High confronts Everest and K2, and Rough Water brings you survival stories from the sea.

    Chris says: "Great read, but frustrating"
    "Total Disappointment"

    Stories with little or no depth read by an overexcitable narrator who insists on slamming you over the head with whatever emotion you're supposed to be feeling. He's Kind of like the Celine Dion of narrators. Okay This is the scary must be because the narrator is hyperventilating.
    This was just plain boring and bad. Best of the Genre? Was Stephanie Pratt the judge?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Deep Survival: True Stories of Miraculous Endurance and Sudden Death

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Laurence Gonzales
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    After her plane crashes, a 17-year-old girl spends 11 days walking through the Peruvian jungle. Against all odds, with no food, shelter, or equipment, she gets out. A better equipped group of adult survivors of the same crash sits down and dies. What makes the difference?

    Betty says: "I'm not sure it can get better than this"
    "I'm not sure it can get better than this"

    Gonzales effortlessly weaves quantam mechanics, spirituality, psychology and James Bond into
    a fascinating book that is at first glance about physical survival, but it can be used as a metaphor for many facets of human experience.

    I'm in awe of how Gonzales uses information from such diverse sources - yet it all fits so logically. I can't say enough good about this book. It's intelligent, educational, emotional, and entertaining. And finally - the perfect narrator as a bonus.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Bitter Is the New Black

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Jen Lancaster
    • Narrated By Jamie Heinlein

    Jen Lancaster was living the sweet life-until real life kicked her to the curb. She had the perfect man, the perfect job-hell, she had the perfect life - and there was no reason to think it wouldn't last. Or maybe there was, but Jen Lancaster was too busy being manicured, pedicured, highlighted, and generally adored to notice.

    Amanda Sava says: "Better than I'd hoped."

    I keep reading about Lancasters "Sharp wit"
    I didn't hear it, she sounds like the teen queens on every rich kid high school series since 2000
    She laughs about stealing a bag from a "smelly" homeless man.
    After that I wanted her to fall, and hard. She really didn't suffer much, and seemed temporarily chastened but when things looked up became almost as obnoxious as she was before. Revolting on all levels.

    13 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Epilogue: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Anne Roiphe
    • Narrated By Lorna Raver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Weaving between heartbreaking memories of her marriage and the pressing needs of her new day-to-day routine, Roiphe constructs an elegant literary pastiche, not of grief but of renewal. She begins her memoir just as the shock of her husband's death has begun to wear off and writes her way into the then unknown world of life after love. In beautifully wrought vignettes, Roiphe captures the infinite number of "firsts" that lie ahead.

    Betty says: "Skip it."
    "Skip it."

    I feel bad saying anything negative about someone's grief. This is full of writing cliches, too wordy. It's as if she tried too hard to wax poetic. The narration was awful for this type of book. She'd be better suited to Dick and Jane.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • My Life Among the Serial Killers: Inside the Minds of the World's Most Notorious Murderers

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Helen Morrison, Harold Goldberg
    • Narrated By Helen Morrison

    Dr. Helen Morrison has profiled more than 80 serial killers around the world. What she has learned about them will shatter every assumption you've ever had about the most notorious killers known to man.

    P. Minor says: "Boring reader,boring writing"
    "This book is a crime"

    Sorry about that ; 0 but it was torture trying to listen to it.
    The subject is one I'm fascinated by, but Morrison
    managed to make it not just dull, but painful.

    It's unfocused, and full of unrelated personal anecdotes, but what drove me to finally shut it off was when I realized her excessive rhetoric, writers cliches, and inability to be concise was
    not a glitch, it's her writing style, and the subject was lost underneath it.

    The woman cannot use an absolute word like "never" without adding something like
    "not when he was a teenager, not when he fell of his bike, not when he was on trial, not when he was convicted.. never.
    Or after "No one"
    Not the F.B.I not the Police, not the Lawyers, not the psychiatrists..

    Okay, No one means no one. WE GOT IT!

    Additionally, she didn't seem aware that using four bland *and* redudant adjectives has the opposite of the intended effect.

    And do we really need to hear
    "As spring turned to summer, and summer to fall and fall to winter.."
    I felt like I had been listening to 4 hours of grade 9 essays

    Ironically, when discussing her cases, and detail was necessary, it wasn't there. I expected far more from someone directly involved in profiling.
    Where was her editor? if all the garbage had been eliminated this would have been about 30 minutes long.

    She made me admire all the more authors such as Joseph Wambaugh, who's judicious use of language and pointed descriptions hone the subject, not drown it.

    Admittedly what I found intolerable would not bother everyone to the same extent. But there's not enough (or any) new, or intriguing information to make it worth wading through.

    A definite pass.

    18 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of Myth: Programs 1-6

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers
    • Narrated By Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers

    An exhilarating journey into the mind and spirit of a remarkable man, a legendary teacher, and a masterful storyteller, conducted by TV journalist Bill Moyers for their acclaimed PBS series.

    Lucas says: "A series that changed my life"

    Joseph Campbell's quiet wisdom and Bill Moyers astute questions are life changing for the interested listener. What I love most about Campbell is that he doesn't *stop* teaching, he's a conduit, the opposite of the self titled "inspirational" speaker. He shares his knowledge without advising what one should draw from it. Almost magically, far more than facts alone, his words stay alive. The have the potential to completely transform the listeners life experience, yet each one will create something different from what he says.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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