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William

Winston Salem, NC, United States

ratings
619
REVIEWS
95
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
6
HELPFUL VOTES
273

  • Beatrice & Virgil

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Henry’s second novel, written, like his first, under a pen name, had done well. Yann Martel’s astonishing new novel begins with a successful writer attempting to publish his latest book, made up of a novel and an essay. Henry plans for it to be a “flip book” that the reader can start at either end, reading the novel or the essay first, because both pieces are equally concerned with representations of the Holocaust. But no one is sympathetic to his provocative idea.

    Ella says: "Disturbing, Bizarre, Brilliant"
    "Bailed out"
    Overall

    This is the closest I've ever gotten to the end of a book and bailed out. I quit listening with 47 minutes to go.

    As others have written, this is a book about words and descriptions. Maybe if I were reading the words on the page I would have enjoyed the book more, with my reading pace matching the pace of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Between You and Me: Confessions of Comma Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Mary Norris
    • Narrated By Mary Norris
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (8)

    Between You & Me features Norris' laugh-out-loud descriptions of some of the most common and vexing problems in spelling, punctuation, and usage - comma faults, danglers, "who" vs. "whom", "that" vs. "which", compound words, gender-neutral language - and her clear explanations of how to handle them.

    William says: "Surprisingly hilarious"
    "Surprisingly hilarious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mary Norris is very funny, both as a writer and a reader. While the book is mostly about stuff like pluperfect subjunctive gerund clauses and such, her hilarious asides were what I most enjoyed. I had to skip over much of the chapter about crude language, but was rewarded in the following wonderful chapter about pencils, the only downside being that it cost me a $40 order of Blackwing pencils.

    This is a book that I will enjoy hearing again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Breakfast with Buddha: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Roland Merullo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1146)
    Performance
    (983)
    Story
    (981)

    When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto Ringling, a confirmed skeptic, is not amused. Six days on the road with an enigmatic holy man who answers every question with a riddle is not what he'd planned. But in an effort to westernize his passenger---and amuse himself---he decides to show the monk some "American fun" along the way.

    Mary McCarthy says: "a thoughtful and often hilarious journey"
    "Quirky / Funny / Thought-provoking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Quirky and funny, but thought-provoking. The last half hour or so got to be a bit preachy, but still I was glad I listened to the book and some bits have stuck with me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Guests on Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Lee Smith
    • Narrated By Emily Woo Zeller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (48)

    When she is thirteen years old, Evalina Toussaint, the orphaned child of an exotic dancer in New Orleans, is admitted as a mental patient to Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. The year is 1936, and the hospital, under the direction of celebrity psychiatrist Robert S. Carroll, is famous for its up-to-the-minute shock therapies and for Dr. Carroll's revolutionary theory of the benefits of non-introspection. Evalina finds herself in the midst of a kaleidoscope of characters, including the estranged wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

    William says: "Typical Lee Smith Excellence"
    "Typical Lee Smith Excellence"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book very much, in no small part because my great grandmother was at Highland during the period of the novel. Lee Smith gives us her usual rich characters with interesting back-stories. The reader is quite good, but some of her mispronunciations makes one wonder if the editor was out for bagels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Not My Father's Son: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Alan Cumming
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1167)
    Performance
    (1073)
    Story
    (1072)

    With ribald humor, wit, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as the celebrated actor of film, television, and stage. At times suspenseful, at times deeply moving, but always incredibly brave and honest, Not My Father's Son is a powerful story of embracing the best aspects of the past and triumphantly pushing the darkness aside.

    Angie says: "If You've Been Through Something Similar..."
    "Superlative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't express too many superlatives for this book. Alan Cumming uses cuts from the present to the past, along with occasional wild humor, to tell us a disturbing story in a way that allows the reader to take it in a bit at a time. And what color and detail he brings as a reader!

    This is one of my favorite Audible books, along with Cumming's reading of "Macbeth".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Escape

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3580)
    Performance
    (3139)
    Story
    (3148)

    John Puller's older brother, Robert, was convicted of treason and national security crimes. His inexplicable escape from prison makes him the most wanted criminal in the country. Some in the government believe that John Puller represents their best chance at capturing Robert alive, and so Puller takes on the burden of bringing his brother in to face justice. But Puller quickly discovers that there are others pursuing his brother, who only see Robert as a traitor and are unconcerned if he survives.

    Kathryn says: "Worth the listen"
    "Turn off that background stuff"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While this was a well-crafted and very complex plot, for me the book really suffered from the female reader, from the cheesy background music, and from the ridiculous sound effects which assume that the reader is too addlebrained to figure out what the readers are saying without assistance. The worst was when a room with one lightbulb was mentioned and we heard the sound of the light bulb. Spare me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blue Labyrinth

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1888)
    Performance
    (1702)
    Story
    (1692)

    A long-buried family secret resurfaces when one of Aloysius Pendergast's most implacable enemies shows up on his doorstep as a murdered corpse. The mystery has all the hallmarks of the perfect murder, save for an enigmatic clue: a piece of turquoise lodged in the stomach of the deceased. The gem leads Pendergast to an abandoned mine on the shore of California's desolate Salton Sea, which in turn propels him on a journey of discovery deep into his family's sinister past.

    G. House Sr. says: "Twists and Tuns in the Pendergast Family Tree"
    "Game suggestion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Books in this series always make for a ripping story, and this one was especially good.

    On a a different subject, a fun drinking game would be to have a shot every time the authors mismatch a singular subject with a plural verb, as in, "No one knows what the active ingredient in these botanicals are." Down the hatch everybody.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Tom Robbins
    • Narrated By Keith Szarabajka
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (156)

    Internationally best-selling novelist and American icon Tom Robbins delivers the long-awaited tale of his wild life and times, both at home and around the globe. The grandchild of Baptist preachers, Robbins would become over the course of half a century a poet-interruptus, an air force weatherman, a radio DJ, an art-critic-turned-psychedelic-journeyman, a world-famous novelist, and a counter-culture hero, leading a life as unlikely, magical, and bizarre as those of his quixotic characters.

    Dubi says: "This Is the Story of Tommy Rotten"
    "Yes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had never read a Robbins book, but I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir. Whether or not you like what he has to say, his writing is a tsunami of simile, a monsoon of metaphor, with witty bon mots bursting forth like slick new-born puppies or ... well, you get the picture.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Island: Gideon Crew, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By David W. Collins
    Overall
    (647)
    Performance
    (575)
    Story
    (576)

    Gideon Crew, brilliant scientist, master thief, is living on borrowed time. When his mysterious employer, Eli Glinn, gives him an eyebrow-raising mission, he has no reason to refuse. Gideon's task: steal a page from the priceless Book of Kells, now on display in New York City and protected by unbreakable security. Accomplishing the impossible, Gideon steals the parchment - only to learn that hidden beneath the gorgeously illuminated image is a treasure map dating back to the time of the ancient Greeks.

    Mary says: "Their worst book!"
    "Learned a new word"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a big fan of the Preston & Child books, but this one struck me as rather silly. But if nothing else, I learned the plural of "cyclops".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fever Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Lincoln Child, Douglas Preston
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3223)
    Performance
    (1810)
    Story
    (1819)

    At the old family manse in Louisiana, Special Agent Pendergast is putting to rest long-ignored possessions reminiscent of his wife Helen's tragic death, only to make a stunning - and dreadful - discovery. Helen had been mauled by an unusually large and vicious lion while they were big game hunting in Africa. But now, Pendergast learns that her rifle-her only protection from the beast-had been deliberately loaded with blanks. Who could have wanted Helen dead...and why?

    Snoodely says: "Intelligent, spooky thriller"
    "One of the best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As these Pendergast books go, I thought this was one of the best, and a book that could almost stand on its own without reading others in the series. There was none of the red herring supernatural plot twists that are in other books, and none of those annoying mind journeys. Just a ripping good mystery with lots of bad guys and swamp mud. I said that the book could almost stand on its own. There is a sub-plot involving Pendergast's ward that would not make much sense if you didn't read the previous books, but it is not crucial. If you're tired of Sherlock Holmes, it's time for Special Agent Pendergast.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wayward: Wayward Pines, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1265)
    Performance
    (1137)
    Story
    (1140)

    Welcome to Wayward Pines, population 461. Nestled amid picture-perfect mountains, the idyllic town is a modern-day Eden - except for the electrified fence and razor wire, snipers scoping everything 24/7, and the relentless surveillance tracking each word and gesture. None of the residents know how they got here. They are told where to work, how to live, and who to marry. Some believe they are dead. Others think they're trapped in an unfathomable experiment. Everyone secretly dreams of leaving, but those who dare face a terrifying surprise.

    General Zod says: "I'm Hooked!!!"
    "Better than Book One"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was ho-hum about the first book so I don't quite know why I ordered the second book, but I'm glad I did. The characters were much more developed and there was a great deal more dramatic tension in the second book. As others have noted, it's hard to say much more than that without getting into the plot, but I'll just say, if you find yourself rolling your eyes in the first book, hang in there to Book Two.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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