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Elaine

I'm a country potter, gardener, flute player and tin tinker living with my husband, an electrical engineer & cabinet maker.

ratings
61
REVIEWS
44
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
39

  • The Cellist of Sarajevo

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Steven Galloway
    • Narrated By Gareth Armstrong
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (62)

    Sarajevo, in the 1990s, is a hellish place. The ongoing war devours human life, tears families apart and transforms even banal routines, such as acquiring water, into life-threatening expeditions. Day after day, a cellist stations himself in the midst of the devastation, defying the ever-present snipers to play tributes to victims of a massacre. A true story of a cellist's resistance helps to form this pivotal event in Steven Galloway's extraordinary novel.

    JLynn says: "Engrossing and Enlightening"
    "One wonders if humans will ever be civilized"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm very pleased to have the experience of this book. The cello music adds much to this particular story. It gives room for thought when the voice of the cello is there instead of the words.

    The book is well crafted to make one think. The performance is excellent.

    Could I be the cellist? What kind of life is my life? How would I behave? What makes any of us worthy of life, love, food, water, music? With war everywhere in all times, one can almost feel the weight of evil pushing from all directions. This book takes ideas of life, hope, and fear and braids them into some understanding of what war really is.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Voyager

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7512)
    Performance
    (4717)
    Story
    (4684)

    Set in the intriguing Scotland of 200 years ago, the third installment in the romantic adventures of Jamie and Claire is as compelling as the first. Now that Claire knows Jamie survived the slaughter at Culloden, she is faced with the most difficult decision of her life. She aches to travel back through time again to find the love of her life, but, in order to do that, she must leave their daughter behind.

    Kathy says: "Hurry up! I want them all!"
    "I love this world"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm sure that Davina Porter is a huge part of the reason why I so love this book. Porter's collection of voices are marvelous. How does she do it? Her Scottish ting is gorgeous. Her variety and suitability of voices for the characters is just so comfortable to listen to. I've heard this book before but want to listen again just to hear Davina Porter.

    Diana Gabaldon is no small contributor. Her characters are fun and reasonable. Of course nobody can move across time but she well considers the issues that one might encounter in doing so with a logic, if logic is the word.

    The series is well worth a visit and tour.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Virgin Suicides

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Nick Landrum
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (693)
    Performance
    (442)
    Story
    (444)

    This nationally best-selling novel from Pulitzer Prize-winner Jeffrey Eugenides was adapted into an acclaimed film by Academy Award-winner Sofia Coppola. A haunting yet wickedly funny tale, The Virgin Suicides has captivated countless readers with its intoxicating portrait of lost innocence. A brilliant fusion of dark humor and tragedy, it is an atmospheric, allegorical masterpiece about five oppressed, suicidal sisters and the boys who dream of rescuing them.

    Lexi Lou says: "Read this if you want to enjoy this audiobook"
    "Read the book instead of listening to it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, I'm a Jeffrey Eugenides fan but clearly not a Nick Landrum fan. It seems that his voices for characters in the book have some life but his voice for the narrator is plodding, measured and dull. It's not that I could do better but that I found listening to his voice un-engaging.

    Truth be told, some of the characters were annoying also. The parents would be crushed by the loss of a child, especially the suicide of a child but with 4 other children in the house, one would have to change, to be engaged, to draw together. Difficult of course but to throw away life in the face of 4 daughters seems impossible.

    Thankfully, I've no experience with suicide in my family and it's important to consider this issue from many sides so the book is a good experience to have and it's well written, as all his stories are.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (7733)
    Performance
    (5941)
    Story
    (5962)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Shannon says: "Word Thief"
    "Magical word artist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story captures one from the start but there is this other level in the work. The words are crafted with color and texture. The similes blossom from the page asking for a pause if not a rewind.
    If anyone told me that I would see death as a caring entity with an interest in life and those who live it as well as a tenderness and joy, I'd have denied the possibility. Yet Death was one of my favorite characters.
    This is a book of value and one to listen to again and then to read on paper.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Apple Orchard

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Susan Wiggs
    • Narrated By Christina Traister
    Overall
    (205)
    Performance
    (176)
    Story
    (174)

    Tess Delaney makes a living restoring stolen treasures to their rightful owners. People like Annelise Winther, who refuses to sell her long-gone mother’s beloved necklace - despite Tess’s advice. To Annelise, the jewel’s value is in its memories. But Tess’s own history is filled with gaps: a father she never met, a mother who spent more time traveling than with her daughter. So Tess is shocked when she discovers the grandfather she never knew is in a coma. And that she has been named in his will to inherit half of Bella Vista, a 100-acre apple orchard in the magical Sonoma town called Archangel. The rest is willed to Isabel Johansen. A half-sister she’s never heard of.

    Compute says: "Sweet Read"
    "Trite, Silly Romance Novel, Predictable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Perhaps this was written for a young adult audience. For junior high school readers? I just returned another book so didn't feel I could return this one but it was not worth the money and certainly not the time. I'm not saying I could write a book but honestly, this is not literature.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cold Days: The Dresden Files, Book 14

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5310)
    Performance
    (4929)
    Story
    (4927)

    After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad - because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard. He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long.

    Ethan M. says: "Thwarts Every Expectation - In a Good Way"
    "Don your duster and drive to Harry's house"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not my kind of story at all. I can't even remember how I got started. It might have been because of James Marsters' and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This is well written and full of similes. I love a good simile. It's not serious but it is fun and a great way to spend a summer working in the yard and traveling the underworld with Harry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Gregory Maguire
    • Narrated By John McDonough
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4242)
    Performance
    (1931)
    Story
    (1955)

    Heralded as an instant classic of fantasy literature, Maguire has written a wonderfully imaginative retelling of The Wizard of Oz told from the Wicked Witch's point of view. More than just a fairy tale for adults, Wicked is a meditation on the nature of good and evil.

    Suzn F says: "I was not sure for a while then......."
    "Just too confusing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've not listened to the entire book and maybe I won't. There are these huge leaps in time in the story. There's a baby and then the next thing you know, she's off to college.

    It feels as if the author had a goal and that he chose not to waste time bridging the ideas together. It feels wrong to be so critical of a book while there is no way I could write anything better but I can listen to a book and this one isn't feeling good to me.

    I'm not sure where the story is going. The names are so odd that it's hard to keep them straight.

    Then there is this idea of animals and animals. There are bears and bears or goats and goats and one can't tell the difference right off. The implication is that some animals have language and academic skills but others don't. The goat/professor can't handle paper because he has hooves and not hands but he does scientific research in his lab. Just how is that?

    I'm a little worried because I've tickets to see the musical and maybe it won't make any sense either.

    John McDonough is a marvelous narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • War and Remembrance

    • UNABRIDGED (56 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    Overall
    (1812)
    Performance
    (1528)
    Story
    (1515)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II, which begins with The Winds of War and continues here in War and Remembrance, stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    aaron says: "What can I say that hasn't already been said??"
    "An intense experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First I will admit that some of the details of administering a war seemed dry to me but after I time I came to understand war as a planning experience and the idea of war games meant more to me. It's not ever an accident. It's something that the military wants and hopes for.

    The story of the people, this family, is well done. Well placed in the events of time.

    The ideas of Hitler and the Holocaust are told in a way that shows how insane hatred and war are and how important education and taking a stance are.

    I'm glad for the many hours in this book as well as Winds of War.

    My appreciation for the narration by Keven Pariseau can't not be expressed. His work is marvelous. He has many voices. He sings. He speaks in accents that add color and texture to the story. Any book he narrates would be worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1300)
    Performance
    (1149)
    Story
    (1167)

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

    Sylvia says: "Full of Surprises and Unexpected Events"
    "Rube Goldberg meets World History"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked the story for a long time. It's totally cute and unexpected. The coincidents are creatively applied and it's really a fun review of world history but at the last 80 minutes it got to me for a while. Just too cute. Still, not a bad book for passing the time while weeding the garden and throwing pots.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris
    Overall
    (2918)
    Performance
    (2659)
    Story
    (2643)

    From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new collection of essays taking his listeners on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences.

    FanB14 says: "Devout Fan Disappointed"
    "Let's explore dark humor with David Sedaris"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I find many of his stories engaging but others push me into the abyss. The passport story is pretty amazing. I'd have written that if it happened to me.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Nancy Wake

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Peter FitzSimons
    • Narrated By Stephanie Daniel
    Overall
    (400)
    Performance
    (324)
    Story
    (320)

    In the early 1930s, Nancy Wake was a young woman enjoying a bohemian life in Paris. By the end of the Second World War, she was the Gestapo's most wanted person. As a naive, young journalist, Nancy Wake witnessed a horrific scene of Nazi violence in a Viennese street. From that moment, she declared that she would do everything in her power to rid Europe of the Nazis. What began as a courier job here and there became a highly successful escape network for Allied soldiers.

    Simone says: "Who The "BLEEP" is Nancy Wake??"
    "Learn and be impressed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'd never heard of Nancy Wake so all of this was new to me. She did everything she could to fight against the Nazis. Actually, to fight for humanity and against cruelty. It's amazing to think what suffering some people have endured and here we are in America willing to sell freedom for something as ordinary as cash.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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