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Susan

Laurel, United States Minor Outlying Islands | Member Since 2007

32
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 56 ratings
  • 140 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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  • The Lock Artist

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Steve Hamilton
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (991)
    Performance
    (684)
    Story
    (695)

    Marked by tragedy, traumatized at the age of eight, Michael, now 18, is no ordinary young man. Besides not uttering a single word in 10 years, he discovers the one thing he can somehow do better than anyone else. Whether it's a locked door without a key, a padlock with no combination, or even an eight hundred-pound safe...he can open them all. It's an unforgivable talent. A talent that will make young Michael a hot commodity with the wrong people.

    G. Sabin says: "A decent story, a little slow"
    "Ugh. Clumsy and heavy handed."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Lock Artist better?

    I'm quitting this half-way through as I find the writing boring and pedestrian. Its written in a heavy, flat-footed style with obvious plot mechanics. I also find the reader to be one-noted and heavy handed.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Steve Hamilton again?

    Maybe.


    How could the performance have been better?

    More inflection and changes of tone by the reader.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Prodigal Summer

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (833)
    Performance
    (395)
    Story
    (398)

    Prodigal Summer weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives in southern Appalachia. At the heart of these intertwined narratives is a den of coyotes that have recently migrated into the region. Deanna Wolfe, a reclusive wildlife biologist, watches them from an isolated mountain cabin where she is caught off-guard by Eddie Bondo, a young hunter who comes to invade her most private spaces and her solitary life.

    Lily says: "Amazing!"
    "Rich and bountiful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Prodigal Summer the most enjoyable?

    Barbara Kingsolver can tell a story! In this case she tells three stories over the course of the book and her use of language is both precise and evocative. She writes really, really well. The stories in this book manifest a love for humanity and the earth that makes the reading very enjoyable.


    What other book might you compare Prodigal Summer to and why?

    This book reminds me of Flight Behavior, though I think I like this even better. For some reason it also reminds me of something by Jane Smiley.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My most favorite, in which I laughed out loud, was the last scene between Mr. Walker and Nanny. And I loved how the stories came together.


    If you could rename Prodigal Summer, what would you call it?

    Pollinating


    Any additional comments?

    There are a few sex scenes that you might not want to play in the car with young children, but they would receive a good education on pollination.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bastard: The Kent Family Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By John Jakes
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (315)
    Performance
    (284)
    Story
    (287)

    Set against the colorful tumult of events that gave rise to our fledgling nation, this novel of romance and adventure introduces Phillipe Charboneau. The illegitimate son of an English nobleman, Phillipe flees Europe and, as Philip Kent, joins the men who set our course for freedom. The Bastard is the first volume in the Kent Family Chronicles, a series of novels that details one family's journey in the early years of the American nation.

    will says: "An Amazing Tale"
    "Ridiculously bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This is so badly written I stopped after the first couple of chapters. It is also read with a melodramatic tone, perhaps in keeping with the bad writing.


    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • American Pastoral

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By Ron Silver
    Overall
    (867)
    Performance
    (316)
    Story
    (311)

    Seymour "Swede" Levov is a prosperous, hard-working family man who comes of age in America's triumphant postwar era. But when the country begins to run amok in the 1960s, Swede's perfect world crumbles.

    Thomas says: "A Masterpiece"
    "Beautifully written, perfectly read, but so sad."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, I wouldn't recommend this book because it is a story of such unhappiness and meanness. The last chapter emotionally disembowels the main character, a fine man who has always done his best in life, and the depth to which it dives into his emotional innards is championship writing. But there is so much sadness and the only happiness is shown in reminiscences of the past, so those are overlaid with even more sadness.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Philip Roth? Why or why not?

    I'm not sure.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The last chapter in which the main character is emotionally flayed is my favorite.


    Was American Pastoral worth the listening time?

    Yes, I guess so but it wasn't easy.


    Any additional comments?

    This is read perfectly with wonderful intonations and accents that make the characters come completely alive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rules of Civility: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Amor Towles
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1806)
    Performance
    (1441)
    Story
    (1422)

    Set in New York City in 1938, Rules of Civility tells the story of a watershed year in the life of an uncompromising 25-year-old named Katey Kontent. Armed with little more than a formidable intellect, a bracing wit, and her own brand of cool nerve, Katey embarks on a journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a brighter future.

    Emily - Audible says: "Like a Country Pastoral for City Rats"
    "Delicious and well written."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Rules of Civility in three words, what would they be?

    Delicious, delightful, de-lovely.

    This is one of the best Audible books I've downloaded. It is well read but more importantly it is well written. The story is intelligently interwoven, unpredictable in a way that seems natural, and has characters one likes and cares about. It is also interesting to have a peek at life in New York City in the late 1930's and what it might have been like to be in one's 20's in that time and place.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Rules of Civility?

    New Year's Eve, 1938.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter Sea

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Susanna Kearsley
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2765)
    Performance
    (2323)
    Story
    (2329)

    History has all but forgotten.... In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown. Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next best-selling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write. But then she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction....

    Martha says: "Get Out Your Hankies"
    "Overly sentimental and predictable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Though this was well read, and I particularly liked the scottish voices, the story is weak. It is overly sentimental and romanticized. I found I could predict the author's next words as they tended toward the cliche and the obvious.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Freddy and Fredricka by Mark Helprin.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I quit part way through the second part as I was annoyed by the predictability of the authors lines.


    Any additional comments?

    This is easy to listen to and has a romantic appeal.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Flight Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1554)
    Performance
    (1361)
    Story
    (1370)

    Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media.

    Marcia says: "Tough Message Delivered in Silk"
    "Beautiful, enthralling book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Flight Behavior in three words, what would they be?

    Beautiful! Everyday I looked forward to listening to this. Its a good story, beautifully written with some interesting science. I loved Barbara Kingsolver as a reader for this book. Her voice has great authenticity and always seemed on target.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The ending.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is well worth reading.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5994)
    Performance
    (5199)
    Story
    (5191)

    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"
    "Mediocre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Jess Walter and/or Edoardo Ballerini?

    I would not read another book by Jess Walter.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The reader did a good job but the characters were repellant and the writing mediocre. I quit half way through because the characters were so unlikable and the writing lacked value.


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

    The story had some entertaining value.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • 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
    (845)
    Performance
    (721)
    Story
    (724)

    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-so"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Sense of an Ending? What did you like least?

    This was well written, but ultimately kind of disappointing. I wanted more from it.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The perspective on the main character's life, from his point of view, was the most interesting. The plot itself was listless.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Harbor: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2413)
    Performance
    (2063)
    Story
    (2052)

    In Broken Harbor, all but one member of the Spain family lies dead, and it’s up to Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy to find out why. Mick must piece together why their house is full of cameras pointed at holes in the walls and how a nighttime intruder bypassed all the locks. Meanwhile, the town of Broken Harbor holds something else for Mick: disturbing memories of a childhood summer gone terribly wrong.

    Amazon Customer says: "Best in the Series"
    "Great fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Broken Harbor to be better than the print version?

    This is beautifully read.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    A great fun story, with depth and surprise; it kept moving and I wanted to keep listening.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Stand

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6613)
    Performance
    (5849)
    Story
    (5902)

    This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides - or are chosen.

    Meaghan says: "My First Completed Stephen King Novel"
    "Excellent yarn."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. It was fun and entertaining with great characters and addictive plot.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    He was perfect. His voice interpreted the story and characters yet never got in the way.


    Any additional comments?

    I've never thought of myself as a "Stephen King" fan, but this was tops! Really good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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