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Karen

Brooklyn, NY, USA

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 48 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • After This

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Alice McDermott
    • Narrated By Martha Plimpton
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Alice McDermott's masterful new novel is a vivd portrait of an American family caught at the crossroads of the tumultuous middle decades of the 20th century. Witty, compassionate, and wry, After This evokes the social, political, and spiritual upheavals of its time through the experiences of a working-class couple, John and Mary Keane, their four children, and the changes radiating through their Catholic community on Long Island.

    Jeanne says: "A Jewel of a Book"
    "Wonderful portrait of a family"
    Overall

    This exquisitely written and beautifully read book takes some time to draw you in. As a prior review notes, not a lot 'happens' but the beauty of the story is in the fine details of the life of a family. Even the minor characters become vivid over time. Growing up on Long Island (the setting for the book), I can attest that it accurately captures the time, location and emotions of the period. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Duma Key: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By John Slattery
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4751)
    Performance
    (1452)
    Story
    (1442)

    A terrible accident takes Edgar Freemantle's right arm and scrambles his memory and his mind, leaving him with little but rage as he begins the ordeal of rehabilitation. When his marriage suddenly ends, Edgar begins to wish he hadn't survived his injuries. He wants out. His psychologist suggests a new life distant from the Twin Cities, along with something else.

    Amazon Customer says: "Play the Book and Let the Book Play You"
    "Inconsistent"
    Overall

    For about three quarters of this book, I was in awe: I cared deeply about the characters and their torments and was intrigued by the hint of something ominous. This is the King that I like the best; I have never been a fan of over-the-top horror.

    When moving to the final quarter of the book, things became more predictable and far less believable. Maybe I shouldn't expect any level of subtlety from King, but I have to admit that I was ultimately disappointed.

    If I had stopped listening after 3/4 completion (which, by the way, would have been impossible!), I might have given it 5 stars.

    Despite my final disappointment, I was consistently impressed by the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4541)
    Performance
    (1203)
    Story
    (1210)

    Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned 30, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be. To recover from all this, Gilbert took a radical step. She got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world, all alone. This is the absorbing chronicle of that year.

    Kerry says: "Witty and Wonderful"
    "Not what I expected"
    Overall

    Even though I read numerous other enthusiastic reviews, based on the basic description, I couldn't shake the feeling that this would be a jazzed-up travelogue. That sort of book doesn't appeal to me. And I'm not a huge fan of the memoir mode. Nevertheless, I took a chance. Was I glad to discover that my original concerns were unfounded! To quote another reviewer "I LOVED this book"! Although I haven't finished it yet, I can't wait to get back into my car, so I have an excuse to continue listening. The author/narrator reads beautifully, and the book is filled with sweet pain and humor. This is an audiobook with deep heart.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Special Topics in Calamity Physics

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (545)
    Performance
    (184)
    Story
    (188)

    This is a darkly hilarious coming-of-age novel and a richly plotted suspense tale told through the distinctive voice of its heroine, Blue van Meer. After a childhood spent moving from one academic outpost to another with her father, Blue is clever and possessed of a vast lexicon of knowledge. But when a drowning and the shocking death of a teacher lead to a confluence of mysteries, Blue is left to make sense of it all with only her gimlet-eyed instincts and cultural references to guide - or misguide - her.

    Jeanie says: "Over 21 Hours of Bliss..."
    "Several stories in one"
    Overall

    Listening to this book was a strange experience. For the first third, I have to admit that I just tolerated it. Although the narrator had a wonderful voice when speaking from the perspective of the young girl, I found the portrayal/voice of her father somewhat grating. Throughout, I found that the 'footnotes,' referencing literary works, were distracting for an audiobook, even though I probably would have enjoyed them in written form. Nevertheless, by the second third of the book, I was drawn in to the main character and her quirky band of friends, really caring about all of them. Strangely, the last third of the book switches tone quite a bit, becoming almost a mystery, which the main character strives to solve.
    Ultimately, very satisfying and engaging, but --if you find yourself, like me, somewhat disinterested at the beginning-- hang in there. It gets more engaging over time.

    10 of 10 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
    (12672)
    Performance
    (5137)
    Story
    (5198)

    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!!"
    "Hated for it to end"
    Overall

    I am a new audible member and this was one of the first books I downloaded. Although I had never heard of this book before, I am glad that I trusted prior customer reviews.

    In addition to the engrossing characters and plot, it gave me a vivid sense of a circus culture that I never before had found intriguing. I particularly liked the voice of the elderly narrator. The juxtaposition of the young narrator --full of drive, energy and longing-- against the helplessness of his frail, elderly self, was particularly effective. I really didn't want this book to end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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