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Linda Lou

Cave Creek, AZ USA | Member Since 2014

2990
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 266 reviews
  • 1687 ratings
  • 1275 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2018
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
311

  • The Quiet Gentleman

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Cornelius Garrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (751)
    Performance
    (596)
    Story
    (590)

    When Gervase Frant, 7th Earl of St Erth, returns at last from Waterloo to his family seat at Stanyon, he enjoys a less than welcome homecoming.

    Sharon says: "Love It...."
    "Excellent As Always"
    Overall

    This is the last of 23 Georgette Heyer books that I've bought here in less than 90 days. I've never read a romance novel in over 55 years as an avid reader but got hooked after falling upon "Frederica" when I couldn't find any available "real" history books to listen to. Impressed by Heyer's mastery of all things from the Regency period, along with detailed characters, I soon got over my aversion to "chick-lit". The narrator here is excellent, adding much to the story with his varied character voices. What makes this a stand-out is that it's more of a mystery story than the regular romance fare, with great suspense and plot twists. (Two of my other favorites are "Behold, Here's Poison" and "The Unfinished Clue", both mysteries. My least fave is "The Nonesuch"). Nobody can create a period gentleman's attention to his clothing like Georgette Heyer! As with all of her books, Heyer's ending here is predictable but only as it relates to who's going to fall in love. I just hate that, for me, it is the last book currently offered on here. I look forward to other titles soon. While waiting, I'll save some money - because, if there were more, I'd be buying them!

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Dangerous Crossing: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Rachel Rhys
    • Narrated By Katherine Manners
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    It is 1939. Europe is on the brink of war when young Lily Shepherd boards an ocean liner in Essex, bound for Australia. She is ready to start anew, leaving behind the shadows in her past. The passage proves magical, complete with live music, cocktails, and fancy dress balls. The voyage shows Lily places she'd only ever dreamed of and enables her to make friends with those above her social station. She even allows herself to hope that a man she couldn't possibly have a future with might return her feelings. But Lily soon realizes that she's not the only one hiding secrets.

    Linda Lou says: "DO NOT FALL FOR THIS SYNOPIS! "
    "DO NOT FALL FOR THIS SYNOPIS! "
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Agatha Christie, so of course I’d be interested to listen a story “in the style” of Christie. NOT EVEN CLOSE! This is not Death On The Nile. More like Death Of Eleven Hours Of Your Life! There is no mystery in this story. The characters are vapid, shallow and under-developed. The main character, Lily, is as dumb as a box of hair. She inserts herself into every aspect of every character in the book. Murder, abortion, disappearance - she’s there, front row seat, and not in a good way. A friend goes missing ON A CRUISE SHIP so Lily just goes to sleep then tours the port city the next day. She is in love with one man but gets caught about to have sex with the husband of a companion under the tarpaulin IN ONE OF THE UNDEPLOYED RESCUE BOATS! No moral compass at all.

    The author spends a lot of time with flashbacks of Lily’s life in England. But it’s unconnected snippets which are hard to follow. More importantly, I thought the book was about Europeans going to Australia to start anew. There’s too much focus on the impending World War II that makes no sense. So - enter Stage Left - a Jewish woman fleeing Nazi Austria.

    As I endured a day-by-day account of weeks on this ship, I felt like I was in labor - waiting for a baby that never comes. There’s no plot here, no compelling story, no interesting characters. What’s worse is that Lily is supposed to be based on a real character in the 1930s who sailed from England to Australia. The failure of this story is stretching it to 11 hours of the most boring saga ever! Download at your own risk!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Book of Serial Killers: An Encyclopedia of Serial Killers - 150 Serial Killer Files of the World's Worst Murderers

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Jack Rosewood, Rebecca Lo
    • Narrated By Kevin Kollins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (107)
    Story
    (106)

    There is little more terrifying than those who hunt, stalk, and snatch their prey under the cloak of darkness. These hunters search not for animals, but for the touch, taste, and empowerment of human flesh. They are cannibals, vampires, and monsters, and they walk among us. These serial killers are not mythical beasts with horns and shaggy hair. They are people living among society, going about their day-to-day activities until nightfall. They are the Dennis Rader's, the fathers, husbands, church-going members of the community.

    Linda Lou says: "GREAT FOR TRUE CRIME DEVOTÉES, BUT...."
    "GREAT FOR TRUE CRIME DEVOTÉES, BUT...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ........this is a 5-Star PRINTED book but just a 2-Star AUDIOBOOK. You get all the serial killing that you could hope for, with several spree killers thrown in. Narrator Kevin Kollins is absolutely perfect for this genre.

    So what’s the problem? Well, it’s written in outline form, making it difficult fully appreciate in audio. The author presents each killer in a non-chronological database form, which references and cross-references their crimes, which is often redundant. Also, he lists “Murder Victims” (by name and age), “Offenses” (including murder), and a “Timeline of Murders”. This is alright, albeit redundant, if there are less than 5 victims. However, in the case of prolific serial killers like Ted Bundy, Gary Greenway, and John Wayne Gacy, you will zone out by victim 10. Lord help you if there are 30+ victims! Or, in the case of Chinese, Korean, or South American killers (don’t ask me their names!) who killed as many as 100 people in their native countries......well, I think you get where I’m going with this.

    This book makes a better hard-copy version because the reader can skim or totally skip over the lists which add nothing to the accounts unless you’re a researcher. You get a pretty thorough synopsis in the narrative backstory included with exact killer.

    I am going to return the audio version and just buy the print version. I suggest you do the same. This is a great READ but an almost impossible LISTEN.

    34 of 35 people found this review helpful
  • The It Girls: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Karen Harper
    • Narrated By Saskia Maarleveld
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    From New York Times best-selling author Karen Harper comes a novel based on the lives of two amazing sisters. One sailed the Titanic and started a fashion empire. The other overtook Hollywood and scandalized the world. Together, they were unstoppable. They rose from genteel poverty, two beautiful sisters, ambitious, witty, seductive. Elinor and Lucy Sutherland are at once each other's fiercest supporters and most vicious critics.

    Linda Lou says: "GREAT SUBJECT RUINED BY POOR WRITING"
    "GREAT SUBJECT RUINED BY POOR WRITING"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unfortunately, I am the first person to review this book for Audible. I really wish some - ANYONE - had given me a heads up. This audiobook is in my TOP 5 WORST BOOKS OF ALL TIME. If it was just a bad story, I could understand. But the synopsis sets it up as being much more than it is. The main characters are one-dimensional. Best described as “Kardashianesque”. The two sisters, Lucille had Eleanor, are gold diggers who go after men whom, on first sight, are rich, gentle, and compassionate. Then, either during after or during the honeymoon, the guys turn out to be....ummm. Lamar Odom, Scott Disick, and/or Kanye - very flawed. One minute these women are married and suddenly “married in name only” but we aren’t privy as to what really happened. They keep referring themselves as “The Two Girls From Just Jersey”. No, not as the one next to The Big Apple. The Channel Islands Jersey. But WHY?!

    The author never develops any story lines or explains how the plot got from here to there. She will suddenly write “Then two (or six, or 12) months later” and we are there - but very confused. It’s not even as well-written as a fluffy romance novel with Fabio on the corner. There’s something missing on every level. Lucille is supposed to a fashion designer while Eleanor is a writer or something. The Victorian historical aspects such as local color, fashion, food, customs, etc. are so lacking that Eleanor could just as well be an internet blogger. All they do is drop names like the Prince of Wales, Lillie Langtry, designer Norman Hartnell Duchess Of York, Duke This And Lady That”. Neither of them has any prior training or education or life experience to advance as far as the do. It’s kinda like “Kourtney and Kim Take Miami”. They get there but don’t really do anything of substance. In the next chapter, it’s suddenly “Kourtney and Kim Take New York”, “ Dash Dolls”. Try to keep in mind that this during Queen Victoria’s time when “gentlewomen” didn’t do anything except go to balls.

    The narrator adds nothing. She reads way too fast. Just about every character sounds the same, especially Eleanor and Lucille. It becomes hard to stay engaged with her boring delivery. But she doesn’t have much to work with here.

    This book is more like “The WHAT Girls”. As in “WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT”!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Wideacre: Wideacre, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Emma Powell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (145)

    Philippa Gregory's first story in the best-selling Wideacre trilogy. A compelling tale of passion and intrigue set in the 18th century. From the author of The Other Boleyn Girl and The Virgin's Lover. Wideacre Hall, set in the heart of the English countryside, is the ancestral home that Beatrice Lacey loves. But as a woman of the 18th century, she has no right of inheritance. Corrupted by a world that mistreats women, she sets out to corrupt others.

    Ruth says: "Refreshing"
    "26 HOURS OF INCEST IS 25.75 HOURS TOO MUCH!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have always enjoyed Philippa Gregory's books of historically based fiction. A great way to learn about the Tudors, Plantagenets, Stuarts, etc. But this book is just too TOO!!! Too much murder, too much obsession, too much BDSM, too much psychopathy and way too much incest. The latter is overdone, uncomfortable, and adds nothing to the overall plot. It can't be called MAKING LOVE, if both parties are of legal age and KNOW their sexual behavior is unacceptable. Especially between an adult brother and sister, with no prior psychological or socio-economic reasons for their actions. The main character is only 18! Even if she was born a bad seed, with a severe personality disorder, it makes no sense that her sexual sociopathy would appear in her late teens, particularly in an era that many of the young women of her age, class and breeding are married with children. Her older brother, more worldly AND married, becoming suddenly sexually attracted to his sister defies common sense. The bondage/sadism aspect also has no historic background within the family makeup. Lord knows, Gregory had HOURS to give the reader a backstory first.

    The other problem with this book is that the entire story line takes place in a two year period. TWENTY-SIX HOURS of "Fifty Shades of Grey" meets "Flowers In The Attic" is ridiculous! This same story - if it really needed to be told - could have been done in less than 10 hours. That's with every act of incest and other crimes included. There is so much mind-numbing minutiae in this book that screams "ABRIDGE ME NOW!" The narrator brings nothing to this already flawed work. The length of the book overwhelms her pleasant but uninspiring voice.

    If this is the first of a series, I cannot see its successors being any better. In fact, the preview at the end suggests more of the same among the unsuspecting next generation of Wildacre cousins who are actually sister and brother and the result of incest. Enough, already! Most of us are appalled enough with Cersei and Jaime Lannister in "Game of Thrones". But this work is not even close to "GOT"! I sure hope it never becomes a mini-series! 😝

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Peter Guralnick
    • Narrated By Kevin Stillwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (230)
    Performance
    (203)
    Story
    (202)

    Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley is the first biography to go past that myth and present an Elvis beyond the legend. Based on hundreds of interviews and nearly a decade of research, it traces the evolution not just of the man but of the music and of the culture he left utterly transformed, creating a completely fresh portrait of Elvis and his world. This volume tracks the first 24 years of Elvis' life, covering his childhood, the stunning first recordings at Sun Records, and the early RCA hits.

    Linda Lou says: "A WASTE OF TIME"
    "A WASTE OF TIME"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I lived right behind Graceland from 1975 to 1978. I remember being unable to get home on the afternoon of August 16, 1977 due to the tens of thousands of people who filled the streets around Graceland after Elvis Presley was pronounced dead earlier that afternoon from a "heart attack". Two days later, since my husband and I were still not able to get near our complex, so we chose instead to stand in the sweltering Memphis, TN heat with that great mass of people - both rabid fans from around the world and just the merely curious - on what is now Elvis Presley Blvd., as the hearse carrying the body of "The King", followed by a dozen or so white limos with his superstar mourners, made its mournful way to nearby Forest Hill Cemetery.

    Many books have been written about Presley since that day, most of which I have read. Each account has a different view of this man's life - some factual, some more fiction than truth, some vindictive, some self-serving. But, combined, one can get a pretty good idea of Presley's life and music. In my opinion, the best of the lot is "Elvis" by Albert Goldman (1981). But I still wanted to know more. So I bought Peter Guralnick's book. I couldn't be more disappointed!

    After 22 hours, I still no idea what this book is about. It claims to chronicle the early years of Elvis Presley, yet there is very little about the REAL man in this book. The author writes like an 8 year-old doing a book report on a book he didn't read. The story is all over the place, his thoughts unfocused, no sense of chronology or local flavor. He will start telling us about an event or person but then not finish his point. The story is told in some weird, sometimes first-person manner, but you never know who is talking at the time. The narrator doesn't help, sounding bored, with no change in his voice for each person. He has a non-regional, generic voice, attempting to narrate a book about people from the seriously southern Mississippi and Tennessee!

    Save yourself some time and money. Guralnick's effort is lazy, amateurish and superficial. Buy the Goldman biography on Elvis Presley. Some critics called it controversial at the time, but at least it's INTERESTING! At the very least, you will get great insight into the King and his huge "posse" (second only to the Disciples).

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Young and Damned and Fair: The Life of Catherine Howard, Fifth Wife of King Henry VIII

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Gareth Russell
    • Narrated By Jenny Funnell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (71)

    Written with an exciting combination of narrative flair and historical authority, this interpretation of the tragic life of Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, breaks new ground in our understanding of the very young woman who became queen at a time of unprecedented social and political tension and whose terrible errors in judgment quickly led her to the executioner's block.

    Linda Erlich says: "Magnifent scholarly work"
    "NOT WORTH THE TIME OR CREDIT"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is about everything EXCEPT Catherine Howard. Irish Parliament, Scottish royalty, every person ever mentioned in books about the Tudor Dynasty. Poor Catherine was Queen Consort for 16 months before being beheaded by the tyrannical old pervert Henry VIII. She added nothing to history and would not even be remembered if she's married a country squire. The author tells us very little about Catherine, instead he filled a book with English mores and customs of the era. You can learn these same facts in Alison Weir's "Henry VIII: King and Court".

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Trevor Noah
    • Narrated By Trevor Noah
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (70426)
    Performance
    (65394)
    Story
    (65087)

    One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

    Marilyn Armstrong says: "Great book and perfect narration"
    "ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read tens of thousands of books in my lifetime and only about 3 really stand out as superb in every way. This is one of them. I have always like Trevor Noah as a stand-up comedian and talk show host. Somehow, I instinctively knew that this kid had more depth to him that his comedic banter and sexy dimples. His take on being black was unique and, even as a black American with my own history, I didn't quite get him. He was funny but there is an underlying poignancy and hidden pain in each of his "jokes". Once I listened to this book - his life, his journey, his struggles, his resilience - it suddenly all made sense. His pain isn't the pain borne from U.S. slavery or the subsequent racism that black Americans still live under today. It's one thing to be owned by another person - not being recognized as a human being and your existence being a crime is a whole 'nother level of hate and oppression. I really THOUGHT I understood what apartheid was until I heard it described first person by a young man who has experienced apartheid and its dissolution. Anyone who has read one of my Audible reviews knows how much I hate authors narrating their own work. However, for this book no one could have delivered the story better than Trevor Noah. An unforgettable read!!!

    17 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • The Rivals of Versailles: A Novel: Mistresses of Versailles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Sally Christie
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Wiley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (68)

    The year is 1745, and King Louis XV's bed is once again empty. Enter Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, a beautiful girl from the middle classes. As a child, a fortune-teller had told young Jeanne's destiny: She would become the lover of a king and the most powerful woman in the land. Eventually connections, luck, and a little scheming pave her way to Versailles and into the king's arms.

    Linda Lou says: "HOODWINKED! BAMBOOZLED! LED ASTRAY!!"
    "HOODWINKED! BAMBOOZLED! LED ASTRAY!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was very disappointed. This book is a fictional account of Versailles "side chicks" and includes way more sexual events than historic ones. But the narrator sounded like she was reading "Alice In Wonderland" rather than a racy sexually explicit romance novel! Listening to sex acts being presented as if this was a children's story is just creepy. Plus this is a story that takes place in 18th century FRANCE! Why is it being read by an American with a whiny midwestern voice?

    Enough about the narrator...... The author seemed to forget that this is a period piece. The story and dialogue includes terms and vernacular of the 20th and, even 21st, centuries. I was waiting for one of the mistresses to tell us how she just met Justin Timberlake at his VIDEO SHOOT!

    Finally, at 15.5 hours, this book is way too long to contain so little actual history. "Baby Mama Drama" is no substitute for a reasonable inclusion of actual historical data about fashion, food, religion, art, music, customs, transportation, classes other than the nobility, and a sense of local color. None of the palace mistresses were given any character development, making them vapid and unlikeable. Even the magnificent "Madame de Pompadour" - Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour, chief mistress and longtime friend of Louis XV, comes off as a silly golddigging airhead, instead of the dynamic and brilliant patron of the arts that she was. I never got a real sense in this book of her considerable contribution to French history, other than her oral "skills" in the boudoir with Louis and just about every male in his court.

    I bought this book based on the Ratings and Reviews of Audible.com members. However, I don't know WHAT they listened to but I felt "hoodwinked, bamboozled and led astray" by their assessments. Not worth "the price of admission". 😡

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Defense

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Marcia Clark
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1529)
    Performance
    (1361)
    Story
    (1355)

    Samantha Brinkman, an ambitious, hard-charging Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, is struggling to make a name for herself and to drag her fledgling practice into the big leagues. Sam lands a high-profile double-murder case in which one of the victims is a beloved TV star - and the defendant is a decorated veteran LAPD detective. It promises to be exactly the kind of media sensation that would establish her as a heavy hitter in the world of criminal law.

    Dubi says: "Middling Legal Drama by Famous Prosecutor"
    "CHICK-LIT CRIME STORY WITH A REALLY BAD NARRATOR!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Marcia Clark's writing is on par with her prior gig as a prosecutor: not bad but it won't get the job done. If you are a hard-core reader of crime novels with a female lead, Clark fails to deliver in any of the books that I've read in this series. However, that doesn't mean that there is no niche for her fluffy, incredulous books. I could have dealt with this new offering by Clark that I purchased two days before the 2016 Presidential election, Being familiar with Ms. Clark's work, I thought this would be the perfect diversion from the clown show that we call now call politics. I was not wrong - this book is light and ridiculous and great if you don't take it too seriously. The thing that made it difficult to listen to is the NARRATOR! She reads like this is "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe"!!! It's like eavesdropping on a "gaggle" of middle school girls talking about murder, mayhem and sex, to say nothing of the professional activities of a female detective and prosecutor. If this had a male narrator like John Lee or Dion Graham or Len Cariou, I could have overlooked the weak plot, under developed characters, and asinine dialogue. But Tavia Gilbert made my TEETH hurt!

    Overall, Clark is not a bad writer but her books require much stronger and experienced narrators.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Late Scholar: The Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jill Paton Walsh
    • Narrated By Matthew Brenher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (240)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (209)

    When a dispute among the fellows of St. Severin's College, Oxford University, reaches a stalemate, Lord Peter Wimsey discovers that as the Duke of Denver he is "the Visitor" - charged with the task of resolving the issue. It is time for Lord Peter and his detective novelist wife Harriet to revisit their beloved Oxford, where their long and literate courtship finally culminated in their engagement and marriage.

    Joan says: "This reader is very difficult to listen to."
    "AWFUL NARRATION!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I couldn't figure out if this book is just boring or the narrator was ruining the experience. He made no distinction between character voices so it's hard to tell who is talking. I kept getting confused and losing the thread of the story. Even if the book was less intriguing, a narrator like Simon Vance or Simon Prebble would have kept the listener's interest. Hopefully, the print version is better. But for the audio version, after just 2 chapters, I gave up.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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