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Waco, TX, United States | Member Since 2011

  • 4 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 205 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015

  • The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Catherine Bailey
    • Narrated By Stephen Rashbrook

    In April 1940, the ninth Duke of Rutland died in mysterious circumstances in one of the rooms of his family estate, Belvoir Castle. The mystery surrounding these rooms holds the key to a tragic story that is played out on the brutal battlefields of the Western Front and in the exclusive salons of Mayfair and Belgravia in the dying years of la belle époque. Uncovered is a dark and disturbing period in the history of the Rutland family, and one which they were determined to keep hidden for over 60 years. Sixty years on, The Secret Rooms is the true story of family secrets and one man’s determination to keep the past hidden at any cost.

    EJJ says: "Well Worth A Listen"
    "Very Disappointing"
    What disappointed you about The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery?

    Frankly, it was boring. There was no great secret involved and the one secret that interested me was never explained. And there was nothing gothic about it. It's just the story of a dysfunctional aristocratic family told mostly through letters.

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something truly gothic, not like this.

    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator was fine.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    None--unless the listener is an avid fan of World War I history.

    Any additional comments?

    I seriously wanted my money back on this one. It was a waste of money and time. I kept waiting for something to happen and it didn't. There was nothing very mysterious about the story and certainly nothing gothic about it.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Little Friend

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By Karen White

    From the author of The Secret History comes a dark, suspenseful novel of lost childhood. Harriet Dusfresnes is a child in Mississippi, haunted by the murder of her brother when she was just a baby. He was found hanging from a tree in their backyard; his killer was never identified, nor did the family ever recover. Only Harriet's teenage sister might have seen what happened that day, and she has blocked it out from her memory.

    Sam says: "Couldn't put it down"
    "One of the Best and Worst Books Ever"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Little Friend to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version, so I wouldn't know. But I'm glad I listened to the audio edition. The narrator does a fantastic job.

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

    I would have included a somewhat conclusive ending

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

    No, I haven't.

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

    The confrontation between the main character Harriett and the antagonist Donny in the water tower was gripping and suspenseful--even if a bit unbelievable.

    Any additional comments?

    I loved The Secret History and especially The Goldfinch. So I approached The Little Friend with anticipation and was not disappointed. It's a great story well written and well narrated. By the midpoint I was completely absorbed in the story and its characters. Then came the ending...a huge disappointment. If you're good at making up your own endings to stories, you'll enjoy this book. The ending leaves everything hanging in midair. It's almost like the author suddenly felt tired of writing the book and just quit. Every end is left loose.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    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.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Sad When It Ended"
    Where does The Goldfinch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The Goldfinch ranks among the best books I have ever read or listened to and I have read and listened to hundreds. I would put it among my top ten favorite novels.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Boris. I loved Boris because of his fierce loyalty to Theo (the main character). But I also loved Theo and felt intensely sorry for him. But Boris was complex--a loveable criminal.

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

    No I haven't. But his performance made the book especially great for listening. His accents may not have been perfect, but to the untrained ear (mine) they sounded genuine.

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

    My reaction to the book was so intense I sometimes had to stop listening. Sometimes I cried as I listened and sometimes I laughed--both very rare reactions for me. I became so wrapped up in the story I almost forgot it is fiction. I fell in love with the main characters and felt what they were feeling--fear, exhiliration, anger, love, disappointment.

    Any additional comments?

    This is a book that will stay in my memory and give me "food for thought" for a long time. It contains some very thought-provoking philosophy which the story illustrates--about fate, the meaning of life, life's lack of meaning, tragedy, God, spaces, relationships, loneliness, obsessions, etc. But best of all it is just a great epic story of a young man's tragic life, the people who care about him when he doesn't care about himself, and how good can come out of bad and bad often comes from good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Canada

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Richard Ford
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When 15-year-old Dell Parsons' parents rob a bank, his sense of normal life is forever altered. In an instant, this private cataclysm drives his life into before and after, a threshold that can never be uncrossed. His parents' arrest and imprisonment mean a threatening and uncertain future for Dell and his twin sister, Berner. Willful and burning with resentment, Berner flees their home in Montana, abandoning her brother and her life. But Dell is not completely alone. A family friend intervenes, spiriting him across the Canadian border.

    Susan C. S. says: "After the last word, went right back to beginning"
    "One of the Best Books I've Read OR Listened"
    Would you listen to Canada again? Why?

    Yes. But not until I digest it; I'll be thinking about this book for months. Then I'll listen again.

    What other book might you compare Canada to and why?

    The Last Child and A Place More Kind than Home. All are about boys and the terrible things that happen to them that most people they meet will never know about.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    Del (the main character) alone after his parents are taken away to jail.

    If you could take any character from Canada out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Del, of course. We have a lot in common.

    Any additional comments?

    This is a gripping, powerful story that's also philosophically and psychologically profound. And extremely well written and performed. I hate that it ended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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