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Marsha

Pauma Valley, CA, United States

ratings
3
REVIEWS
3
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
36

  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5887)
    Performance
    (5101)
    Story
    (5092)

    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"
    "Ruins Include Thoughtful Review of Life's Choices"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is set in one of the most beautiful areas I've visited, and, like the setting, describes characters and contexts that are at once well-known and the hidden paths, seemingly discovered by chance. The novel tells many stories about how an intricate matrix of crass and benevolent characters make life-choices by following the paths to "what they want" and "what is right", and the tension when those paths are not always in parallel. Even though the "players" have flaws and can cause pain for each other, each choice shines by expressing eventually some of the better parts of human life.
    There are many examples of these choices, a small example is how Jess Walter describes the growth of one of the characters who has devoted himself to building a cantilevered tennis court along the beautiful Ligurian coast. He eventually discovers that unlike the photos he's seen of tennis (he's never played), every point in tennis includes a swing that misses.
    The romance, for me, is more poignant because it optimistically allows some of the best parts of human love to be expressed not through a standard "happily-ever-after" resolution, and that life includes the harder, more complex, "what is right" choices.
    The narrator Edoardo Ballerini brings a depth to the characters, Italian pronunciation, and even does a Welsh voice that you'd recognize. Well done!

    36 of 39 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of Air and Shadows: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Michael Gruber
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (403)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (80)

    Jake Mishkin's seemingly innocent job as an intellectual property lawyer has put him at the center of a deadly conspiracy and a chase to find a priceless treasure involving William Shakespeare. As he awaits a killer (or killers) unknown, Jake writes an account of the events that led to this deadly endgame, a frantic chase that began when a fire in an antiquarian bookstore revealed the hiding place of letters containing a shocking secret, concealed for 400 years.

    Nicholas Winn says: "Not your average story."
    "Combining the disparate!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just finished listening (for the second time) this book. I remember consuming the story when it came out in one big gulp the first time I read it, but this time I distinctly cherished each piece. The vast variety of characters (all well characterized by narrator Stephen Hoye) usually don't co-exist in the same book.This book, in its divided narratives, shows off the best of a Brooklyn young man and his American mother, the 1611 narrative of William Shakespeare's younger "cousin", and the lawyer-protagonist Olympic weight-lifter who is the Catholic son of a Jewish mobbed-up con man and his Nazi war bride. How do all of these disparate elements work together? Well.
    I recommend the book because it is a thoughtfully done mystery that expresses well each main character's inner motivations for the interesting circumstances and mystery they find themselves in. It also throws in the history of Shakespeare, his work and a take on what might have been his life in 1610-1611. Well done!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Absent One

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jussi Adler-Olsen
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (827)
    Performance
    (717)
    Story
    (721)

    In The Keeper of Lost Causes, Jussi Adler-Olsen introduced Detective Carl Mørck, a deeply flawed, brilliant detective newly assigned to run Department Q, the home of Copenhagen’s coldest cases. The result wasn’t what Mørck - or readers - expected, but by the opening of Adler-Olsen’s shocking, fast-paced follow-up, Mørck is satisfied with the notion of picking up long-cold leads. So he’s naturally intrigued when a closed case lands on his desk: A brother and sister were brutally murdered two decades earlier....

    Judith Baker says: "New favorite author"
    "The Absent One Carries On"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like the previous book "The Keeper of Lost Causes", I really liked the characters and the story, BUT the narrator's version of Assad is JARRING. My take on him was that in the previous book he was from Syria, a more brooding, sophisticated and intelligent person accidently in a lower-level police janitor job, whose misunderstanding of the idioms of his new home makes his verbal outbursts humorous. Steven Pacey makes him sound like someone who is funny because he doesn't get it...a person who could not be effective on his own... not the same thing... I hope the new book has a narrator that doesn't distract the story and the interaction between Morck and by giving Assad a silly sounding dialogue...
    I listen to it in spite of how it sounds, though...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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