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Ruth Lambert

New Haven, Connecticut | Member Since 2007

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2014
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  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6956)
    Performance
    (6367)
    Story
    (6373)

    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"
    "Terrorism, drugs, alcohol, drugs, no redemption!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Goldfinch?

    I loved The Secret History by the same author. It was beautifully crafted, carefully plotted, and the opening of the secret itself was deftly handled, like peeling a pomegranate! This book, by contrast, felt more like a clumsy mash up of a CSI: New York episode and a Rocky the Squirrel cartoon featuring only Boris and Natasha. I did see the cinematic aspects of the endless scenes in a forlorn Las Vegas suburb but otherwise that part of the book went on for eons.

    The beginning is a grabber, with the death of a beautiful and loving mother as related by her bereft young son. From that strong beginning, comes the start of a too-coincidental lifetime friendship and a jump to the now teenaged boy's encounter with drugs, alcohol, more drugs, better drugs, bad food, sloppy adults, a disaffected and alcoholic Russian friend (who will resurface 10 years later to deal with the Russian mob...) and so on and so on. The meditations of this poor drug addled kid on death and the impermanence of life were very dark, but frankly, not deep. Yes: everyone is snared in the net of life like the poor Goldfinch chained to a limb. And only great art survives. Hmmm. There is no redemption in this story, unless getting paid a tremendous amount of reward money constitutes redemption. The hero skulks off stage, whining about his ennui. UGH


    Has The Goldfinch turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Nope. I enjoy mysteries and thrillers and "secret" anything. It is fun to see how an author keeps something suspenseful but plays fair with the reader.


    What aspect of David Pittu’s performance would you have changed?

    Poor fellow was given a bad book to read. I think his excessive Boris accent was simply to be expected — as after all, the fellow's name was BORIS! I don't think he could have done anything to improve this limp story.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Annoyance, more annoyance, dismay (what a waste of a very good writer's talent), and finally worry that I'm the only reader anywhere who disliked this book so much!


    Any additional comments?

    The failed love story at the center of much of the 2nd half of the book felt utterly contrived. The two young people may not have been destined to marry and raise a family together, but the connection between them was either entirely untrue to start with, or was cancelled by the author in order to carry out the dark theme of dissolution that unpins the whole book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Defending Jacob: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Landay
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3849)
    Performance
    (3277)
    Story
    (3275)

    Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

    Shauna says: "Defending Jacob"
    "Shocking yet inevitable — an amazing haunting book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Defending Jacob the most enjoyable?

    The complex relationships among the family members were beautifully realized. The narration was fine: lucid and careful but not at all intrusive. I thought the pacing was masterful as this tale of family love and trauma opened slowly but relentlessly and inexorably to a breathtaking finish.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Defending Jacob?

    I can't share this as it would be a complete spoiler. Suffice to say that the denouement haunted my thoughts for weeks after I finished this book.


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    The narrator, the father in the story.


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

    Again, to share this would be a spoiler. I would not want to spoil this book for anyone! It is just too excellent.


    Any additional comments?

    Read it. Think about it. There's morality here, and love, and duty and anguish. WOW.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How It All Began

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Penelope Lively
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (185)

    When Charlotte Rainsford, a retired schoolteacher, is accosted by a petty thief on a London street, the consequences ripple across the lives of acquaintances and strangers alike. A marriage unravels after an illicit love affair is revealed through an errant cell phone message; a posh yet financially strapped interior designer meets a business partner who might prove too good to be true.

    Molly-o says: "Wonderful and beautifully written"
    "Clever and charming, never boring!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is based on the premise that a chance accident or other blow from the Universe (in this case, a mugging) has ripples that flow outward from the incident in an every-widening circle. It's an interesting idea, well presented in the form of a story with a wide cast of characters. I enjoyed the deft way this accomplished British author wove the overlapping stories into this narrative. ENJOY!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Edith Wharton: The Short Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Edith Wharton
    • Narrated By Janet Maw
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Perhaps best known for her classic novel The Age of Innocence, Wharton loved the short story form because its brevity allowed her to concentrate on telling the story. In these three powerful stories, Edith Wharton transports the listener to the turn of the century, where she depicts (without turning to sensationalism) the shocking topics of the time. Often, she opens just after an incident, allowing the listener to be immersed straight into the story.

    L. Kragh says: "3 great stories, sound quality could be better"
    "Entertaining stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These stories were very risqu?? for their time, and are interesting to read now. Wharton is a good, lucid and solid creator of character. Don't expect anything "modern" -- no faxes, cel phones, texting or email. The best story, ROMAN FEVER, is a quiet thriller.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Great Classic Stories: 22 Unabridged Classics

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Alphonse Daudet, Saki, Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Barbara Leigh-Hunt
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    A treasure-chest of the written and spoken word, this collection is read by brilliant actors who make this audio anthology a genuine treat for the listener.

    Wendy says: "Enjoyable listen"
    "Too much horror, not enough "literature""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm currently a student in an MFA in Creative Writing program, with a focus on short story.

    I am therefore trying to read a wide range of short stories, and bought this and 2 other collections from Audible.com

    I was sorry that so many of these stories were in the "horror" genre.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Fair and Tender Ladies

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Lee Smith
    • Narrated By Kate Forbes
    Overall
    (203)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (89)

    Author of many novels and short stories, best-selling writer Lee Smith has received numerous awards for her works, including two O. Henry Awards. Fair and Tender Ladies is an epistolary novel that traces the life of Ivy Rowe, born in the isolated Virginia mountain community of Sugar Fork.

    Vivian says: "roots"
    "Outstanding piece of nostalgia for a by-gone time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This beautifully written, gorgeously read book is set in the early 1900s in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia. It is a one-sided narrative, the letters of the main character Ivy, who is a precocious 12 year old when the book begins, and an elderly lady in her 80s as it ends. What a treat this book was! Like many other readers, I was sorry to bid Ivy goodbye, and grateful for being able to spend so many happy hours in her company.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Tenth Justice

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Brad Meltzer
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (284)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (105)

    Ben Addison, fresh from Yale Law, is a new clerk for one of the Supreme Court's most respected justices. But when he accidentally reveals the secret outcome of an upcoming decision, a blackmailer makes millions and Ben starts to sweat. Big time. He turns to his co-clerk, Lisa, and his housemates, Nathan, Eric, and Ober, for help.

    Theresa says: "The 10th Justice"
    "A sophomoric & moronic book ..."
    Overall

    Ridiculous! I'd give this histrionic nasty stupid and vile testosterone-zone book a negative 2 stars if that were only possible! I cannot believe that ANYONE enjoyed this poorly plotted unbelievable and simpering tale. Jeez! Did every single relative of the author write a review here?? I was truly embarrassed for the author and the reader. OY. Every woman in this story is a stereotype, every conversation a juvenile adolescent male diatribe, etc. etc. Every single joke (I kid you not) is about (a) vomit or (b) good beer.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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