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J Bel

Member Since 2013

  • 3 reviews
  • 667 ratings
  • 1088 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2015

  • Tenth of December: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By George Saunders
    • Narrated By George Saunders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet. In the taut opener, "Victory Lap", a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In "Home", a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned.

    Molly-o says: "I could never have known"
    "Tenth Of December: Stories?"
    What disappointed you about Tenth of December?

    Yeah, well, I know Mr. Saunders is like a genius or something and I know this is like a book of short stories, except that some of them aren’t so short, and it is supposed to be like great and like, since I am the kind of reader/listener who is really careful to read reviews so I can be more than sure that I am going to read something that I love or, at least like, or at least find interesting. And so, if like your brain is watering for a real treat like maybe Hamlet, or maybe that’s not fair, so like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. And what you end up with is like a rerun of How I met Your Mother and it’s like a weird one where all the characters have the same dream and you see it from each screwed up characters point of view, then you would know what Tenth Of December is sort of maybe like. And if you can follow the way this review is written without crying for the English language and you really, really like dysfunctional characters that are like professional at being failures, then you might, well probably, would sort of like this book.

    Any additional comments?

    Seriously folks, I can’t understand why this book has gotten so much attention. It’s not just that every character in is dysfunctional, a lot of great books from Tom Jones to Holden Caulfield abound with dysfunctional characters and those books work quite well. Maybe this is supposed to be postmodern dysfunction? I don’t know. What this ends up being is a collection of stories about that guy you went to high school with, who came from a family that had trouble getting by financially and maybe the father drank too much? And everybody said the guy was not really stupid but something wasn’t right in his head. Later when you learned about impulse control in Psych 101, you thought of that guy right away. Do you really think short stories about a bunch of guys like that would be interesting? Really? Really? Just saying, think about it before you invest your valuable reading/listening time in Tenth Of December.

    3 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Keeper of the Bride

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Tess Gerritsen
    • Narrated By Montana Chase
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    After Nina Cormier was jilted at the altar, the empty church exploded. Then someone tried to run Nina off the road, and she realized someone wanted her dead--but who? That's what Detective Sam Navarro needs to find With a nightmare unfolding around them, Sam and Nina decipher the stunning truth. Now they're at the mercy of a brilliant madman who plays for keeps.

    Edda says: "Not what I have come to expect from Tess Gerritsen"
    "Not what I expected"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This book is more of a romance novel than a mystery. Don't expect a Rizzoli and Isles style mystery. The essential elements of a good mystery are here but the book really revolves around relationship developing between the two main characters.

    Would you ever listen to anything by Tess Gerritsen again?


    What about Montana Chase’s performance did you like?

    The performance is fine and not an issue.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jewish and Indian and Other Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By H. C. Kim
    • Narrated By Jennifer Brent

    Jewish identity. Perhaps, no other socio-psychological phenomena has gone through so many shifts, tribulations, elation, and changes. Jewish identity and experiences have been a source of much intellectual interest and discussion for philosophers and literary geniuses in the history of humanity, such as Hillel, St. Paul, Ibn Ezra, Maimonides, Calvin, Mann, Levinas, Herzl, etc. In this fine tradition and in the class of such geniuses, H. C. Kim has produced a volume of literature that will certainly rank among the most elite in the genre.

    J Bel says: "A Political and Religious Polemic"
    "A Political and Religious Polemic"
    What would have made Jewish and Indian and Other Stories better?

    Less polemic and more plot and character development.

    Has Jewish and Indian and Other Stories turned you off from other books in this genre?


    Did Jennifer Brent do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Ms. Brent didn't have much to work with since there was so little character development.

    What character would you cut from Jewish and Indian and Other Stories?

    The Indian girl from the title story.

    Any additional comments?

    This work is a political and religious polemic masquerading as a collection of short stories.
    The stories themselves are quite amateurish; there is minimal character development. The stories are badly structured, with limited plotting, do not have any “falling action,” and end as if the author simply ran out of something else to say. The theme is uniform though out the stories which is that Jews are religiously, culturally, and politically flawed and can only be “saved” by giving up their Jewish identity. The author’s point of view is not per se anti-Semitic. It is more accurate to describe it as anti-Judaism. The publisher, Hidden Kingdom Books, has published several other books with the same and similar themes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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