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Donnaleigh de la Rose



  • Life After Death

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Damien Echols
    • Narrated By Damien Echols
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The definitive memoir by Damien Echols of the "West Memphis Three", who was falsely convicted of committing three murders. Hear this unforgettable account of his 18 years on death row.

    Courtney says: "A compelling story-worthwhile listen."
    "One of the best books I've ever read"
    If you could sum up Life After Death in three words, what would they be?

    Life trumps fiction (or Modern-Day Witchhunt)

    What did you like best about this story?

    That the author was so articulate and real, that he was able to take the worst of situations and learn more from it than most of us learn in a lifetime of freedom.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    Every chapter had a favorite scene....

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

    I listened over a period of about a week. It was very intense, and each night I'd be digesting what I just wrote. It was hard to believe this could happen to another human being in this time and age.

    Any additional comments?

    This book was fantastic. It left me reeling and is one of the best books I have ever read. I tried to start another book afterward and had to stop. I found I couldn't pay attention because I was still thinking about this book and all the thoughts swimming through my head. You know a book is exceptional when you find you are changed forever after having read it. I am not the same person I was when I first picked it up. I had to give myself at least 24 hours to recover and digest before I could even consider another book. Superb. Please read this book if you can.

    Also, the author narrated the story himself, which made it even more real, and his voice is deep and soothing, very calming.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "Onegreat story buried by too many sub-plots"
    What did you like best about Beautiful Ruins? What did you like least?

    Bawled, bawled, bawled my eyes out at the end, because I bonded so deeply with Pasquale. This book has a *very* strong main character, and his (Pasquale's) story was woven so beautifully.

    The problem is, there are so many other characters and time frames and story lines, and they were completely ordinary (as far as books go) and uninteresting to me. So the book seemed to be about 25 - 30% good (Pasquale's story), and the rest...wasteful fillers. It has one of the best endings of just about any book I've read (again, the Pasquale part), but I'm not sure it was worth slogging through the rest of the stuffing to get to it where the characters were unlikable and seemingly insignificant. Parts of the book were very poetically and almost musically written, very talented prose. Yet I think the main character was too good and strong a character for the rest of this story...he was woven in with a bunch of senseless fluff, which took away from attention to his excellent potential. I wanted to read his story, and had to read past a bunch of other shenanigans to get to it. Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Only that good because Pasquale rose to the top.

    Would you be willing to try another book from Jess Walter? Why or why not?

    No. While I liked the story line about the Pasquale character, there were too many other things going on that polluted a good story.

    Have you listened to any of Edoardo Ballerini’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't heard him read an audio book before, but would definitely look for him again. The narrator was one of the best I'd ever heard, ever. Amazing voice, beautiful pace, acted out the characters. Loved the narrator.

    Do you think Beautiful Ruins needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. It's done. It spanned a lifetime, and they are at the end of a lifetime when the book closes.

    Any additional comments?

    If they could make a movie of just Pasquale's story, I'd be there. I fell in love with Pasquale. This story alone was excellent. I think Pasquale was a gem of gold.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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