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Douglas

Hamilton, NJ, USA

19
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 34 ratings
  • 268 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman, Johnny Stange, John Randolph Jones
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Here are four unforgettable stories by Yann Martel, the New York Times best-selling author of Life of Pi. In the exquisite title novella, a very young man dying of AIDS joins his friend in fashioning a story of the Roccamatio family of Helsinki, set against the yearly march of the 20th century.

    Douglas says: "Tedious and disappointing"
    "Tedious and disappointing"
    Overall

    I really loved Martel's "Life of Pi"--a fascinating and engaging story. I had hoped to indulge in more fascinating stories by this promising writer, but evidently he hadn't yet honed his writing skills when he wrote these stories. I found all of the stories in this collection to be tedious and never really leading to an interesting conclusion. The "Helsinki" novella was so depressing, it took real effort to get through it. The "Discordant Violin" story just lacked interest; it was perhaps too ambitious for Martel to try to describe the power of a musical experience in his (here) underdeveloped style, and the way the main character hounded John Morton afterwards was a weak device intended to allow the author to express the anguish of the Viet Nam war second-hand, and it really didn't make any sense to me. "Manners of Dying" was an interesting concept, but I found the repetition of the warden's letters unnecessary and irritating. The continuous "blah, blah, blah" in the background during the "Mirror" story was an especially irritating device, although not completely ineffective.

    If you read "Life of Pi", quit while you're ahead. If you didn't, make sure to read it, because Martel really made a lot of progress beyond this book. I wouldn't recommend this book, however.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Diane Setterfield
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato, Jill Tanner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4530)
    Performance
    (1436)
    Story
    (1444)

    All children mythologize their birth... So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's beloved collection of stories, long famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale. The enigmatic Winter has always kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she summons a biographer to tell the truth about her extraordinary life: Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth remains an ever-present pain.

    PA Law says: "Haunting and beautiful tale"
    "Complex and engaging with some surprises"
    Overall

    With a substantial literary style and a story line complex enough to keep you fully engrossed, this novel is a satisfying read. You are led along the twisting and intertwining paths formed by a family's secrets, and you experience all of the surprise and emotion as the secrets are carefully revealed. Highly recommended!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12670)
    Performance
    (5135)
    Story
    (5196)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "Wow! I really enjoyed this novel!"
    Overall

    This was a truly engaging story. Not a complicated story line, but that's what I liked most about it. I enjoyed the two narrator perspectives, and I thought the narrators were both quite good. I am always seeking a nice long novel that keeps me engaged with the story 100% of the time; it's a rare treat to find one this enjoyable. Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Broker

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1320)
    Performance
    (270)
    Story
    (271)

    In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.

    Bull says: "Grisham wins a bet."
    "Eleven hours and 4 minutes you'll never get back"
    Overall

    This was one boring book. To its credit, it kept me listening all the way through, but I only hung in there because I assumed that the story would pick up (since it is a Grisham story, after all). It ended before that ever happened. Hours of pointless detail, a plot that was far from compelling and characters that were poorly developed, if developed at all. This was my first Grisham book--bad choice. Skip this one.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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