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Elaine

Shaker Heights, OH, United States | Member Since 2010

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 25 reviews
  • 55 ratings
  • 227 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015
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  • The Sense of an Ending: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Julian Barnes
    • Narrated By Richard Morant
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (948)
    Performance
    (813)
    Story
    (814)

    Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumor, and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is retired. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove.

    Chris Reich says: "Stunning. I'm Guilty. Are You?"
    "So thought=provoking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A thoughtful, reflective book with unusual turns as it proceeds. Made me (at 65+) reconsider some of the stories I tell myself about my own history.
    the reader's voice fits the character so well, I may actually get the hard copy and read it
    again!
    If you want plenty of action, this book is not for you !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Terry Hayes
    • Narrated By Christopher Ragland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (793)
    Performance
    (710)
    Story
    (716)

    An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid. A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square. A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard. Smoldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan. A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity.

    W. Perry Hall says: "Smartest Novel I've Heard or Read in Long time"
    "Good spy/thriller story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to I Am Pilgrim again? Why?

    No, b/c once you know outcome, too many other books to choose.


    If you’ve listened to books by Terry Hayes before, how does this one compare?

    Have not, but would Cj
    Hose another


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5845)
    Performance
    (5145)
    Story
    (5156)

    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Sandra says: "Be prepared to love the characters."
    "children growing up in midst of war"
    Overall

    This is a poignant description of children' experiences in midst of WWII.
    A young French girl, who happens to be blind, and a young German boy
    Troubled by the excesses of Nazi rule. Beautifully written in short chapters, alternating between the two children and their different lives at the same moment in time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An Officer and a Spy: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By David Rintoul
    Overall
    (425)
    Performance
    (370)
    Story
    (374)

    Paris in 1895: Alfred Dreyfus, a young Jewish officer, has just been convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil's Island, and stripped of his rank in front of a baying crowd of 20,000. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, the ambitious, intellectual, recently promoted head of the counterespionage agency that Dreyfus had passed secrets to the Germans. At first, Picquart firmly believes in Dreyfus' guilt. But it is not long after Dreyfus is delivered to his desolate prison that Picquart stumbles on information that leads him to suspect that there is still a spy at large in the French military.

    Ryan says: "Top Notch Historical Fiction"
    "Excellent re telling of "the Dreyfus Affair""
    Overall

    OAs a college history major, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, based on a true story. It demonstrates, once again, that those in power will do whatever it takes to stay there. (Refer to House of Cards for current example). I listened to the book, and felt narrator did great job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Children Act

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Ian McEwan
    • Narrated By Lindsay Duncan
    Overall
    (442)
    Performance
    (397)
    Story
    (394)

    Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court. She is fiercely intelligent, well respected, and deeply immersed in the nuances of her particular field of law. Often the outcome of a case seems simple from the outside, the course of action to ensure a child's welfare obvious. But the law requires more rigor than mere pragmatism, and Fiona is expert in considering the sensitivities of culture and religion when handing down her verdicts.

    Bonny says: "McEwan has written perfection in this novel."
    "Marriage is an ongoing process"
    Overall

    Interesting book that focuses on a crisis in a long term marriage.
    The characters have led successful, conventional lives, respected by colleagues. The eruption of strong emotional responses to people outside their marriage, tests the limits of their commitment.
    Slow moving, thoughtful, and raises questions about the impact individuals have on others, and what responsibilities attend that impact.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Scott Anderson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (490)
    Performance
    (421)
    Story
    (422)

    Based on four years of intensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabiadefinitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.

    carolyn says: "A Middle East Built on Lies"
    "Exellent introduction to the current Middle East c"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Lawrence in Arabia again? Why?

    Yes, it is full of detail that I would like to listen to with a map
    of the Middle East in 1910 in front of me !


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

    His delivery and emphasis increased my understanding.


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

    The description of the folly of the english attack on the Dardenelles.


    Any additional comments?

    If you enjoy history told in an engaging manner, you will appreciate the detail
    in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shift Omnibus Edition: Shift 1-3, Silo Saga

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1627)
    Performance
    (1482)
    Story
    (1494)

    In 2007, the Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN) outlined the hardware and software platform that would one day allow robots smaller than human cells to make medical diagnoses, conduct repairs, and even self-propagate. In the same year, a simple pill, it had been discovered, could wipe out the memory of any traumatic event. At almost the same moment in humanity's broad history, mankind had discovered the means for bringing about its utter downfall - and the ability to forget it ever happened.

    Tango says: "Your ears are in for a real treat"
    "too much of same ??"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Hugh Howey and/or Tim Gerard Reynolds?

    I might try another one, but this got boring after awhile, so predictable.


    If you’ve listened to books by Hugh Howey before, how does this one compare?

    I liked WOOL much better


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2550)
    Performance
    (1888)
    Story
    (1892)

    The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another....

    Chris says: "Frightening, Powerful, Deeply Thought-provoking."
    "Something was missing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    the focus on the love affairs of Ambassador Dodd's daughter, while illuminating some of life in Berlin in the early 1930's, was too much a focus of the book. The writing, and
    the pertormance at times, was pedantic and at times almost trite.
    The subject, the gradual, invidious influence of the Nazi party in the early 30's and the brutality of the SS and the SA were startling against the backdrop of summer trysts in
    the German countryside.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Some focus on the lives of other characters.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Narration seemed stilted.


    Was In the Garden of Beasts worth the listening time?

    Maybe


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Clue of the New Shoe

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Arthur W. Upfield
    • Narrated By Peter Hosking
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (65)

    The nude body of a man is discovered entombed in the walls of Split Point Lighthouse on the South-East Coast of Australia. Investigating the crime Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte, the half-aborigine detective, wonders why a coffin is moved at night, who was the girl struggling with Dick Lake on the cliff top, and what caused the Bully Buccaneers to deal in death. Superintendent Bolt said, 'It's the toughest job we've ever had to bash open.' An ordinary policeman could afford to fail, but Bony never....

    Elaine says: "Mystery in Australia"
    "Mystery in Australia"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Clue of the New Shoe the most enjoyable?

    The reader did a great job w/dialect and descriptions of Australia were interesting.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Understated mystery, minimum of explicit violence, and interesting local characters


    Any additional comments?

    Fun to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Believing the Lie: An Inspector Lynley Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Elizabeth George
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (462)
    Performance
    (366)
    Story
    (359)

    Inspector Thomas Lynley is mystified when he's sent undercover to investigate the death of Ian Cresswell at the request of the man's uncle, the wealthy and influential Bernard Fairclough. The death has been ruled an accidental drowning, and nothing on the surface indicates otherwise. But when Lynley enlists the help of his friends Simon and Deborah St. James, the trio's digging soon reveals that the Fairclough clan is awash in secrets, lies, and motives.

    Joanne says: "Not Elizabeth George's best..."
    "so disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Yes, make the story interesting, and not so focused on issues having little to do with the
    'mystery'.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I have loved her books in the past, may go back and read an earlier one that I missed.


    Do you think Believing the Lie needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    NO


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7300)
    Performance
    (6496)
    Story
    (6500)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Grant says: "Something about this book bothered me."
    "Not my cup of tea"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not especially, never really engaged me


    What was most disappointing about Erin Morgenstern’s story?

    Too fantastical for me.


    What aspect of Jim Dale’s performance would you have changed?

    the performance was fine, it was the content I didn't enjoy !


    Do you think The Night Circus needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    no


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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