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Kimberly

Pinole, CA, United States | Member Since 2006

329
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 51 reviews
  • 333 ratings
  • 303 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2018
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FOLLOWERS
13

  • The Orchardist

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Amanda Coplin
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1290)
    Performance
    (1135)
    Story
    (1130)

    At the turn of the 20th century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a reclusive orchardist, William Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots as if they were loved ones. A gentle man, he's found solace in the sweetness of the fruit he grows and the quiet, beating heart of the land he cultivates. One day, two teenage girls appear and steal his fruit from the market; they later return to the outskirts of his orchard to see the man who gave them no chase. Feral, scared, and very pregnant, the girls take up on Talmadge's land and indulge in his deep reservoir of compassion.

    Marcia says: "Beautiful, rich, sweeping tale, not a fairy tale."
    "Starts with a bang, fizzles slightly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would recommend this listen with a few caveats. I thought this book started out very well - I was extremely interested in the characters and the story line, and at one point even gasped out loud as a plot point was revealed. But after that point - about 1/3 of the way thru, the story itself seemed to run out of gas, as if the author had come to the climax of the story too early. Then I began to get frustrated with some of the characters, who fell into predictable patterns - Talmadge was always "confused; Della always "didn't understand," Angeline was always "quiet" and "watching." It got somewhat boring, always knowing how the characters would act and react. That said, I loved the writing which was very moving and poetic. And the narrator was superb, really involved with the emotional lives of the characters without being overly dramatic. I would love to read Coplin's next work as I think she shows great promise as a writer. She just had a bit of difficulty with this first effort.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Underground Airlines

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Ben Winters
    • Narrated By William DeMeritt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2658)
    Performance
    (2465)
    Story
    (2462)

    It is the present day, and the world is as we know it: smartphones, social networking, and Happy Meals. Save for one thing: The Civil War never occurred. A gifted young black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter for the US Marshal Service. He's got plenty of work. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states called "the Hard Four". On the trail of a runaway known as Jackdaw, Victor arrives in Indianapolis knowing that something isn't right - with the case file, with his work, and with the country itself.

    Mark says: "Original and disturbing novel"
    "Suspenseful, imaginative and oddly prescient"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Loved it. Kept me guessing and figuring until the end. The narrator and main character is beautifully conceived, very rich, and the performance -- of all the characters -- by William DeMerritt adds an extra level of depth and humanness. I absolutely loved it, kept me awake at night and has kind of haunted me in between listens.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • A Little Life: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Hanya Yanagihara
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8454)
    Performance
    (7847)
    Story
    (7853)

    When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.

    Angela says: "I had to call in SAD to work"
    "Sorry, I have to spoil this book's stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this book to be in serious need of an editor. The author says the same thing about each character over and over and over again. We get it. And the main character, Jude, I found to be unlikable, despite his tragic history. I just kept wanting to shake him and say SNAP OUT OF IT! Yes, you had a horrible, horrible childhood but life has been great to you since then, why do you keep making such bad choices??? I ran out of patience halfway through. Don't care what happens to any of these folks.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (149443)
    Performance
    (137902)
    Story
    (137768)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "LOOK BOOBIES"
    "Not a novel - a very poor screenplay"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If I hd known before I purchased this that it was first written in serial format on the author's website I would never have purchased it. It reads like a laundry list. "First, I did this, then I did this, then I tried that and then I tied this to that and I got water." This goes on for HOURS. I felt like the author was just trying to show me how much research he did rather than tell me a story. And the main character had zero inner life. I don't know about you, but I think if I were stranded on Mars I might, oh, I don't know, reflect on the meaning of my life, the meaning of my death, man's place in the universe - SOMETHING. I know I'd at least miss the people I left behind. But the most emotional or introspective this castaway on Mars gets is, "I wonder how the Cubs are doing." Wait for the movie. Don't bother with the "novel."

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Traitor's Wife: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kathleen Kent
    • Narrated By Ellen Archer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    In the harsh wilderness of colonial Massachusetts, Martha Allen works as a servant in her cousin's household, taking charge and locking wills with everyone. Thomas Carrier labors for the family and is known both for his immense strength and size and mysterious past. The two begin a courtship that suits their independent natures, with Thomas slowly revealing the story of his part in the English Civil War.

    Cariola says: "Somewhat Disappointing"
    "Troubled by a not very good narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A decent piece of historical fiction, but terribly marred by a poor performance by the narrator. She seemed to be be constantly in a rush, reading the entire book as if it were one paragraph. It was breathless! It sometimes took me a sentence or two to realize we had switched locales or characters. She also had a very set cadence and read every sentence as if it had equal weight and meaning. I suggest the print version.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • I Always Loved You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Robin Oliveira
    • Narrated By Mozhan Marnot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (73)

    The young Mary Cassatt never thought moving to Paris after the Civil War to be an artist was going to be easy, but when, after a decade of work, her submission to the Paris Salon is rejected, Mary’s fierce determination wavers.

    Cathy Carmack says: "A relationship of speculation investigated"
    "Not enough story for a novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was so disappointed in this book after falling madly in love with Oliveira's first novel, "My Name is Mary Sutter." This book felt to me underdeveloped - like a student project. I felt like after the publication of "Mary Sutter," her publisher said, "What else ya got," and Oliveira pulled this out of an old drawer. And note to all narrators - we don't need you to do French-accented English when characters are French. We know they are French by merit of the fact that the story takes place in Paris. It was just incredibly distracting to have major characters speak poorly-done French accents throughout. ICK. Stop it!!! I will definitely read/listen to Oliveira's next book, whatever it may be, because I thought "Mary Sutter" was the debut of a major talent. But three chances is all ya get.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23355)
    Performance
    (21185)
    Story
    (21208)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    Bonny says: "Boy, am I in the minority on this one."
    "Why is this one of the NYTimes 10 Best?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I gave up 2/3 of the way through this listen. Let it be known that is 24 hours - a whole day. And yet this book failed to grab me. I found it to be overly long. I don't think there is a point in the book that Tartt does not belabor - she told me 57 times that Theo's mother was a saint, his father a jerk, etc. But worse, there are only abut 3 hours of plot within the first DAY of listening. Tartt seems to be in love with the sound of her own voice, her own (very estimable) powers of description and gift for dialogue. But she needs the hand of good editor - someone who can say "kill your darlings" and get on with the story. A real disappointment - tho read by a very good reader.

    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Year of the Flood

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne, Katie MacNichol, Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2963)
    Performance
    (2322)
    Story
    (2332)

    The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners - a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life - has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life.

    Linda Novak says: "Atwood at her very best!"
    "Marred by poor performances"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did not enjoy this second book in the trilogy nearly as much as I did the first largely because of one the narrators - Bernadette Dunne - reads as if she is voicing a cartoon. Her characters come off as caricatures, not people. Really too bad. I also could have done with out all the hymn-singing, even tho they were written by Atwood. They were just silly and pulled me out of the narrative. I recommend listening to "Oryx and Crake," then reading the next two in the series. I think this would have sounded better in my head.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Moonstone

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (731)
    Performance
    (453)
    Story
    (462)

    No, the "Moonstone" isn't a celestial relic, it's a gigantic yellow diamond of unearthly beauty that was given to Rachel Verinder as a present on her 18th birthday - and stolen that very night! Betteredge, one of the most beloved butlers in English literature, is the focus of this seminal detective novel, which examines how one family's life is turned upside-down by the theft. And find out why the answers to all of life's problems can be found in the pages of Robinson Crusoe.

    Catherine says: "One of the best readings ever"
    "Patrick Tull makes this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had always been curious about this book, which I understand is the first mystery novel. It was very good, though marred a bit by time, especially in the way the women characters are drawn. But what made this a great listen was the way the several narrators brought the characters to life. The best by far was Patrick Tull's reading of the butler obsessed with "Robinson Crusoe." Definitely worth listening to if you are a fan of British lit - just let yourself get lost in the performances and don't worry about the silly women or the improbable plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brideshead Revisited

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Evelyn Waugh
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1132)
    Performance
    (1056)
    Story
    (1052)

    Evelyn Waugh's most celebrated work is a memory drama about the intense entanglement of the narrator, Charles Ryder, with a great Anglo-Catholic family. Written during World War II, the story mourns the passing of the aristocratic world Waugh knew in his youth and vividly recalls the sensuous pleasures denied him by wartime austerities; in so doing it also provides a profound study of the conflict between the demands of religion and the desires of the flesh.

    Vieux Carré Blonde says: "Extraordinary"
    "Better than reading the book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a huge fan of Masterpiece Theater's "Brideshead Revisited" and have tried to read the book at least twice. Just could not get through it. But this Audible version is the next best thing to the television production. In it, Jeremy Irons channels all his co-stars from the BBC series - my favorite is his John Geilgud impression - bringing the whole series alive again. He brings Waugh excellent prose to life in a way the physical book just couldn't for me.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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