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Paula

Member Since 2012

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 45 purchased in 2014
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  • Jack of Diamonds

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (592)
    Performance
    (511)
    Story
    (508)

    Born and raised in a poor, working-class family in Toronto, Jack Spayd is the son of an unhappy marriage. After being taken under the wing of "Miss Frostbite", the owner of a local jazz club, Jack becomes a gifted musician, playing piano and harmonica. Fame and the allure of gambling takes him to Vegas, and prospects of fortune take him to the Belgian Congo, where he's heard it's possible to earn big money working in the most dangerous parts of the local copper mines.

    Brodie says: "On the Day we lost Bryce"
    "Absolutely Brilliant Story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Jack of Diamonds to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version but will probably buy it as I have every one of Bryce Courtenay's books. He's the most amazing storyteller.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jack of course! He's flawed, but brave, innocent but inquisitive, talented and kind, unbiased in any way (like all Bryce's hero and heroines), picks his causes and they are always good ones. Loves his family, is loyal to his friends, and they to him. Makes enemies becos of his actions and views, but always sticks to his beliefs, and stands up for both those, and for others too weak, helpless or bullied to stand up for themselves. But yet, even though he sounds like a super hero he's very real.


    Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to any of Mr. Bower;s any other performances. His voice was perfect for this story.


    If you could take any character from Jack of Diamonds out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Jack of course!


    Any additional comments?

    I am heartbroken that this is Bryce's last book, and I loved that he realized that we would all want to know what happened in the next book which was "in the writing" and would have flowed out of him in 2013 - so he told us briefly what happens. I am so sad that all his brilliance was condensed into just a few chapters - when it could have been chapters and chapters more - but I am so grateful that he told us the rest of the story. Thank you, Bryce for all your wonderful characters, amazing stories, incredible observations, respect for the truth and for goodness. I loved every flash of writing brilliance, and there were hundreds and hundreds of them in every book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wild Lavender

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Belinda Alexandra
    • Narrated By Kate Hood
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (66)

    Simone Fleurier is wrenched from her home on a Provencal lavender farm at the age of 14 after the accidental death of her father. Forced to become a maid at the boarding house of her Aunt Augustine in Marseilles, Simone's life is hard and impoverished. But one of her aunt's boarders, the beautiful Camille Casal, a star at the local music hall, gives Simone a dream: that one day she too will be a famous singer and dancer.

    Wade says: "An Extrodinary Story"
    "Wonderful historic novel."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Wild Lavender rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top 10.


    What other book might you compare Wild Lavender to and why?

    The Tea Rose - for its terrific heroine.


    What about Kate Hood’s performance did you like?

    Love her voices and accents.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I cried many times in the book, there are a great number of moments which make you laugh or cry!


    Any additional comments?

    Loved this story and have since listened to 2 more of this author's novels. I love how she weaves history into fiction.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By M. L. Stedman
    • Narrated By Noah Taylor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1191)
    Performance
    (1051)
    Story
    (1033)

    In 1918, after four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes only four times a year and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel.

    Sandra says: "Wonderful story.....terrible narrator."
    "A story about doing integrity and love!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Light Between Oceans rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I totally looked forward to finding out what happened - even though the events were sometimes hard to listen to ... i very much enjoyed this book,and would rank it 3.5 out of 5 in comparison to other audio books.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Isobel... I so totally sympathized with her actions, and felt desperately sad for her.


    Have you listened to any of Noah Taylor’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to Noah Taylor before, but found the narration interesting and clear. The accent helps with the storyline too.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but I wouldn't want an abridged version... it was exciting to come back to.


    Any additional comments?

    I found it to be a heart rending story well written and well narrated. I would recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15684)
    Performance
    (13911)
    Story
    (13946)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Strange story, sad commentary on a relationship."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Gillian Flynn and/or Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne ?

    Yes probably. I found the story, while well told, to be depressing and sad.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would probably have changed the ending - made it more dramatic, more conclusive. The ending is very realistic - which makes it even sadder!


    What about Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne ’s performance did you like?

    i loved the commentary... having a male and female narrator reflecting the two main characters brought the book to life, their voices perfectly matched the characters.


    Could you see Gone Girl being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    If this movie were made into a movie, I could have seen a young Nick Nolte taking the male lead. The female lead is a bit more difficult, she would have to be very pretty, blond, petit, but capable of great calculation, and would definitely have to had some form of evil in her portrayal. She would need to be capable of being completely luminous. Perhaps Emma Stone - although she might be too generous.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Orchardist

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Amanda Coplin
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (479)
    Performance
    (403)
    Story
    (397)

    At the turn of the 20th century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a reclusive orchardist, William Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots as if they were loved ones. A gentle man, he's found solace in the sweetness of the fruit he grows and the quiet, beating heart of the land he cultivates. One day, two teenage girls appear and steal his fruit from the market; they later return to the outskirts of his orchard to see the man who gave them no chase. Feral, scared, and very pregnant, the girls take up on Talmadge's land and indulge in his deep reservoir of compassion.

    Marcia says: "Beautiful, rich, sweeping tale, not a fairy tale."
    "Great story, wonderfully drawn characters."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it's got good pace, you enjoy and empathize with the characters.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Orchardist?

    there were several and I would hate to give away the story by explaining them.


    What does Mark Bramhall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His pace of reading is perfect for the story, he gets totally involved. I loved his voices, he had given the characters lots of thought.


    If you could rename The Orchardist, what would you call it?

    The name is perfect.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a wondeful story and I couldn't wait to keep picking it up.. it makes my walks amazing no matter the weather.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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