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Cate

BRONX, NY, United States | Member Since 2011

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • If You Ask Me

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Betty White
    • Narrated By Betty White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (388)
    Performance
    (315)
    Story
    (313)

    It-girl Betty White delivers a hilarious, slyly profound take on love, life, celebrity, and everything in between. Drawing from a lifetime of lessons learned, seven-time Emmy winner Betty White's wit and wisdom take center stage as she tackles topics like friendship, romantic love, aging, television, fans, love for animals, and the brave new world of celebrity. If You Ask Me mixes her thoughtful observations with humorous stories from a seven- decade career in Hollywood. Longtime fans and new fans alike will relish Betty's candid take on everything....

    Martha says: "A delightful visit"
    "Great performance of mediocre material"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Betty White's excellent comedic timing helps the audiobook quite a bit. I don't think I'd have enjoyed the book nearly as much had it not been read to me by the lady herself. This is the first book I ever read by White, and I'm guessing that her earlier books are probably better. This was fine, I don't want my money or time back, but that's no ringing endorsement. If I lent this book to someone else and they never gave it back, I wouldn't care.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Last Night at the Viper Room: River Phoenix and the Hollywood He Left Behind

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Gavin Edwards
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (24)

    Hollywood was built on beautiful and complicated matinee idols: James Dean and Marlon Brando are classic examples, but in the 1990s, the actor who embodied that archetype was River Phoenix. As the brightly colored 1980s wound down, a new crew of leading men began to appear on movie screens. Hailed for their acting prowess and admired for choosing meaty roles, actors such as Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, Keanu Reeves, and Brad Pitt were soon rocketing toward stardom while an unknown Leonardo DiCaprio prepared to make his acting debut. River Phoenix, however, stood in front of the pack.

    karyn says: "Awful Narration"
    "Story A, Gossip B+, Performance/Story Cohesion D+"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    On the plus side, River Phoenix's life story is fascinating, from his extremely unique childhood to his development on movie sets and his young adult life. Also has some fun Hollywood gossip, as it draws quite a bit of the story from quotes from celebs like Johnny Depp, Ethan Hawke, and Martha Plimpton (who was his girlfriend for a few years).

    On the negative side, there are some major issues.
    1) Bad Narration: the narrator sounds too old and proper when he's reading the 3rd person narration but at least it's clear. All quotes, and there are a LOT, sound terrible. He makes almost every character sound the same way: creepy. Worse, the quotes are significantly quieter than the regular narration. I had to rewind many times because I couldn't make out what had been said, even when I had the volume up high. This was very frustrating.

    2) Lack of Coherent Storyline. The fact that the story bounces between the Viper Room and River's life story isn't the problem. The author seems to have bit off more than he could chew in trying to also provide back stories for certain other people, like Johnny Depp. Other times, he will just namecheck a bunch of people at once and move on. He will also approach something that feels important and not dig in further for the real story, maybe out of respect for Phoenix's memory. So there will be a description of some odd behavior Phoenix exhibited where you expect to hear more. Instead you get a non-sequitur about how sweet everyone always thought Phoenix was, and the story moves on. It feels more like the author compiled quotes found elsewhere than that he actually interviewed these people and was able to ask questions.

    Overall, a life story like this one is so interesting it ultimately is worth the experience despite the negatives, but I think the credit goes to the man's life, not to this telling of it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The House of Mirth

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Edith Wharton
    • Narrated By Barbarra Caruso
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (134)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (56)

    Lily Bart, a beautiful, intelligent, but penniless young woman, lives on the outskirts of New York's high society, craving the luxurious lifestyle of her wealthy contacts. But while Lily possesses the grace, taste, and morality of the ideal turn-of-the-century lady, her delicate innocence threatens her survival in that very world. As she fights to maintain her newfound place among the aristocracy, Lily struggles mightily against what lurks beneath all the glitter and gold - greed, vulgarity, and ruthless competition. In her brilliantly perceptive novel, The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton, the peerless, Pulitzer Prize-winning chronicler of Old New York, provides yet another heartbreaking glimpse into the world of manners, privilege, betrayal, and shocking falls from grace.

    Melanie says: "Beautiful Tragedy"
    "Compelling story, great narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story follows a beautiful young socialite with limited funds who is ambivalent about her marriage prospects (choosing between love and money). The book sets the scene of turn of the century New York society incredibly well and also has great dialogue. Initially, I thought the narrator's voice was too deep to work, but she does an excellent job of voicing the various characters. The overall experience is so enjoyable, I've listened to this book repeatedly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    Overall
    (10981)
    Performance
    (6995)
    Story
    (7027)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Anastasia Burke says: "Hillenbrand could make even laundry fascinating!"
    "Amazing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Highly recommend!!! The book has a minimalist style, just the facts for the most part, and it's a testament to how powerful the story is. The story is incredible and it's paced out really well. I couldn't recommend it more, and that's coming from a person who almost always goes for fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snow White Must Die

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Nele Neuhaus
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1216)
    Performance
    (1059)
    Story
    (1054)

    On a rainy November day, police detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein are summoned to a mysterious traffic accident: a woman has fallen from a pedestrian bridge onto a car driving underneath. According to a witness, the woman may have been pushed. The investigation leads Pia and Oliver to a small village, and the home of the victim, Rita Cramer. On a September evening eleven years earlier, two seventeen-year-old girls vanished from the village without a trace.

    C. Vincent says: "Great narrator, unbelievable, never-ending story"
    "Terrible. Boring performance of a bad translation."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Terrible. The translation is awkward and the reading is uninteresting. I repeatedly thought (and hoped) that it was almost over, only to be disappointed. Way too many meandering stories about way too many characters who you just can't bring yourself to care about.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris
    Overall
    (2890)
    Performance
    (2633)
    Story
    (2617)

    From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new collection of essays taking his listeners on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences.

    FanB14 says: "Devout Fan Disappointed"
    "Good on its own; no match for older Sedaris work."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I love David Sedaris. He's hilarious and brilliant. The experience of this book is what I would think of as Sedaris at a Tuesday dinner party vs the Saturday night of his best books. It's absolutely still worth the experience, just not the raucous, burst out laughing in public experience that originally made me recommend him to anyone and everyone.

    The random musical selections in between stories were weird and pointless. Most of the stories are read in a studio, with an occasional chapter that is from a book tour, and that felt disjointed - not a bad performance by Sedaris, more like bad producing.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bossypants

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tina Fey
    • Narrated By Tina Fey
    Overall
    (17118)
    Performance
    (13016)
    Story
    (12956)

    Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told....

    Warren says: "Tina Fey broke my new SUV"
    "Excellent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Bossypants rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Bossypants is great. Tina Fey is consistently smart and funny. The book is well paced and full of her self-deprecating humor.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Rob Lowe
    • Narrated By Rob Lowe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3215)
    Performance
    (2527)
    Story
    (2518)

    A teen idol at 15, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at 20, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences. Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last 25 years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.

    N. Belle says: "Great Book and Great Story"
    "Funny, interesting, boastful. Just like Rob Lowe!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Stories I Only Tell My Friends?

    The audiobook is excellent as it's read by Lowe himself, so it has the perfect inflection. The stories are interesting and amusing, and it runs at a good pace, full of Hollywood characters and just enough "behind the scenes" to keep you listening. You do get the sense that a famous guy is trying to re-craft the image of himself, but he does a great job and his perspective is totally worth hearing. He relates stories about his entire career, ups and downs included, and he tells them well.


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

    I definitely laughed and I appreciated how seriously Rob Lowe took the reading.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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