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J. Simonton

Fun Happens

Texas, USA | Member Since 2012

25
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 32 reviews
  • 132 ratings
  • 300 titles in library
  • 75 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
1

  • She's Come Undone

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Wally Lamb
    • Narrated By Linda Stephens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (355)
    Performance
    (293)
    Story
    (299)

    Meet Dolores Price. She's 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Beached like a whale in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the Mallomars, potato chips, and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally rolls into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she's determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before really going belly-up.

    Jessica says: "Really disappointing narrator!"
    "A Rollicking Roll Through Dysfunction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, the story was good but just so sad and dysfunctional.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I really liked the main characters grandmother- she was a woman who was doing the best she could and I felt for her throughout the book.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I did not care for the narrators tone or the voice she used for the adolescent and adult Delores. It was a little bit distracting.


    Was She's Come Undone worth the listening time?

    Yes, I probably wouldn't re-listen to the book though.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is just sad- from beginning to end. If you are looking for a pickmeup story- might want to listen to something else.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Paul Collins
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1038)
    Performance
    (858)
    Story
    (859)

    In Long Island, a farmer found a duck pond turned red with blood. On the Lower East Side, two boys playing at a pier discovered a floating human torso wrapped tightly in oilcloth. Blueberry pickers near Harlem stumbled upon neatly severed limbs in an overgrown ditch. Clues to a horrifying crime were turning up all over New York, but the police were baffled: There were no witnesses, no motives, no suspects. The grisly finds that began on the afternoon of June 26, 1897, plunged detectives headlong into the era's most perplexing murder.

    deborah says: "Great look at NYC crime, forensics, and journalism"
    "Just an Okay Listen for Me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Murder of the Century? What did you like least?

    I really just got through this listen. It wasn't particularly interesting. I didn't find myself really listening on to found out what would happen. It was a very relaxing listen.


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

    The narrator did a great job- if I had not enjoyed his performance so much, I probably would have given up about halfway through the book.


    Was The Murder of the Century worth the listening time?

    I think so. It wasn't a riveting story, but it was okay. I did feel like it really took me back to a certain time and place. I would suggest this to anyone who likes real crime stories but maybe wants to tone down the sensational details of the crime.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Geek Love

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Katherine Dunn
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    Overall
    (325)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (189)

    No one wants to be a victim, but most find the event too hypnotic to ignore. In order to save their traveling carnival from bankruptcy, the Binewskis are creating their own brood of sideshow freaks. Under Al's careful direction, the pregnant Lil ingests radioisotopes, insecticides, and arsenic to make her babies "special".

    Cayora says: "Shudderingly Good!"
    "Creepy, dark and delightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Geek Love again? Why?

    Yes, because I like things with a kind of sinister, dark edge. This book is not for the squeemish- it goes through just about every social taboo that families try to avoid.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This book explores the darker side of human nature. The amazing ability for a father to exploit his children in a most merciless manner. He would be the craziest stage parent ever and would definitely have his own reality television show today.


    Who was the most memorable character of Geek Love and why?

    I tried to see the situations through the mothers eyes. She allowed everyone around her to exploit or abuse her children but at the same time saw herself as a loving and protective mother.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Columbine

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Dave Cullen
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1884)
    Performance
    (904)
    Story
    (916)

    Over the course of this gripping narrative, Dave Cullen approaches his subjects with unrivaled care and insight. What emerges are shattering portraits of the killers, the victims, and the community that suffered one of the greatest - and most socially and historically important - shooting tragedies of the 20th century.

    Book reader says: "Truth and heartache"
    "Gave me a new perspective on the this tragedy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Columbine to be better than the print version?

    I don't think I would have gotten through a print version. The audio version just seemed like a better fit for me.


    What other book might you compare Columbine to and why?

    I read this book shortly before reading, "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and there are definitely paralells. In a way I consider these shootings a type of domestic terrorism and both books convey that point.


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

    I feel like I learned a lot about the victims, especially the teachers and that was very moving to me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By George K. Simon
    • Narrated By Kevin Foley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (290)
    Performance
    (243)
    Story
    (243)

    Dr. George K. Simon knows how people push your buttons: your children---especially teens---are experts at it, as is your mate. A coworker may quietly undermine your efforts while professing to be helpful, or your boss may prey on your weaknesses. Manipulative people have two goals: to win and to look good doing it.

    Amazon Customer says: "A Must Read Primer on Manipulation"
    "Everyone should read this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to In Sheep's Clothing again? Why?

    Yes, I think I need to periodically re-listen to remind myself of the techniques suggested. Do you ever find yourself bullied into doing something you don't want to do and wonder how it happened? This book opened my eyes to so many things about dealing with underhanded people.


    What about Kevin Foley’s performance did you like?

    His performance was clear and even.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me realize that no one is all good or all bad. Even people who make you crazy or put you down will at some point do something nice.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Love in the Time of Cholera

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Gabriel García Márquez
    • Narrated By Armando Durán
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (547)
    Performance
    (481)
    Story
    (486)

    From the Nobel Prize-winning author of One Hundred Years of Solitude comes a masterly evocation of an unrequited passion so strong that it binds two people's lives together for more than half a century. In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career, he whiles away the years in 622 affairs - yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral....

    Darryl says: "Marquez is great, awaiting 100 Years"
    "What a sad story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not really- I did not enjoy the story and found a lot of it to be quite sad and at times disturbing. I know this book takes place in a different time, but the yuck factor was there for me on several occassions.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Gabriel García Márquez? Why or why not?

    Several friends have suggested I try 100 Years of Solitude. I might give it a try but will definitely read a lot of reviews first.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Peter Walsh
    • Narrated By Peter Walsh
    Overall
    (528)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (200)

    When you think of what it will take to clean your house, are you so overwhelmed you throw up your hands and cry, "It's all too much"? If somewhere along the way you've simply lost the ability to keep your home organized and clutter-free, then It's All Too Much has the solution you've been searching for.

    Ro says: "Most Life-Changing Book I've Read in Years"
    "Baby Steps"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does It's All Too Much rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It was an easy listen and definitely gave me a lot to think about as I try to organize my house.


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

    He is realistic- he knows that people cannot change overnight and that taking on too much at once leads to failure.


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    The idea I took is that change is gradual and small steps can lead to big changes. I feel like this book really helped me realize that I don't have to change everything all at once.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Mark Seal
    • Narrated By Erik Singer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (125)

    A real-life Talented Mr. Ripley, the unbelievable 30-year run of a shape-shifting con man. The story of Clark Rockefeller is a stranger-than-fiction twist on the classic American success story of the self-made man-because Clark Rockefeller was totally made up. The career con man who convincingly passed himself off as Rockefeller was born in a small village in Germany.

    Diane says: "Extreme Fraud"
    "So crazy it must be true"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, because I never could guess what was going to happen next. It was the creepiest book I have listened to yet and I loved absolutely every minute.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The way it made me realize how little we actually know about so many people in our lives. Anyone could be falsifying major details about their lives and who would know the difference? This man was so brazen that no one dared confront him. It's not the guy sneaking in the back, taking a nose bleed seat but the one marching straight through the front door and demanding you roll out the red carpet.


    What about Erik Singer’s performance did you like?

    His performance was entertaining and his sniveling prep school accent was spot on.


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

    Yes, I was enthralled from the very first moments.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Secrets and Wives: The Hidden World of Mormon Polygamy

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sanjiv Bhattacharya
    • Narrated By Sanjiv Bhattacharya
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    What do we really know about modern practicing polygamists - not fictional ones like the Henrickson family on HBO’s Big Love? We’ve seen the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the news, the underage brides in pioneer dresses on a Texas ranch. But the FLDS is just one of many groups that have broken with mainstream Mormonism to follow those parts of Joseph Smith’s doctrine disavowed by the LDS Church. Gaining unprecedented access to these communities, journalist Sanjiv Bhattacharya reveals a shadow country....

    J. Simonton says: "Hard listen and not that interesting"
    "Hard listen and not that interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Secrets and Wives in three words, what would they be?

    If you have already kept up with the news stories and court cases of polygamy over the last ten years then you will probably find this book boring and tedious. I think this book would be an interesting read for people outside the USA.


    Would you recommend Secrets and Wives to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would recommend the print version over the audio version. If someone is not at all familiar with the different polygamous groups in the USA, this book might be interesting.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narration was not good. I understand that the author is from the UK, but his attempts at Utah accents are just so bad they are comical. Definitely should have had someone else read the book if he was targeting an American audience.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    I didn't really learn anything from this book that hasn't already been published in newspapers or magazines.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Handmaid's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Claire Danes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4041)
    Performance
    (3648)
    Story
    (3676)

    Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....

    Emily - Audible says: "My Top Pick for 2012"
    "My favorite listen so far"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Handmaid's Tale rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is in the top two books I have listened to. I bought this as a Deal of Day because I love Claire Danes. The story is amazing and her narrtion was spot on. I can't believe I had never heard of this book before, but once I mentioned it to a few friends they all told me how much they loved it. I was afraid this might set my expectations too high, but I was not disappointed at all.


    What other book might you compare The Handmaid's Tale to and why?

    It really made me think of Going Clear- the story does not seem that far fetched when compared to small factions of religious extremism we see today. Up against what is reported about oppression occurring today in Saudi Arabia, Scientology or polygamous cults, this book is terrifyingly plausible.


    What about Claire Danes’s performance did you like?

    Her tone was perfect. She showed the right amount of emotion at the appropriate moments. At first it didn't really sound like how I remembered her voice being. But then I was probably thinking of her in My So Called Life from my teen years, so it isn't surprising that she sounds much more grown up now.


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

    I definitely was left wanting more, just a few more minutes each time I had to put the audibook down for a bit. I really wish there was a sequel, but in a way that might mess up the perfect ending to this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Lionel Shriver
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (578)
    Performance
    (500)
    Story
    (502)

    Eva never really wanted to be a mother - and certainly not the mother of a boy who ends up murdering seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his 16th birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin’s horrific rampage, in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin.

    aaron says: "A smart, chilling story. Told in a very unique way"
    "Could not put it down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, this book was the most captivating I have listened to on Audble. So many twists and turns that I was finding myself wanting to listen for just ten more minutes each time.


    What other book might you compare We Need to Talk About Kevin to and why?

    This book is definitely a thriller- I would compare it to House of Sand and Fog. You know the approximate ending but not how you get there.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene where Eva admits how she finally got Kevin to start using the toilet. I can feel her desperation and horror at her own behavior.


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

    Yes and no, I always wanted to listen to a little more. But on the other hand, there are so many scenes and revelations that I had to digest that sometime I just took a little time to think about the book before moving on.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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