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Alexandria Milton

Alexandria

New York | Member Since 2012

58
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 49 reviews
  • 94 ratings
  • 326 titles in library
  • 111 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
12
FOLLOWERS
5

  • Calling Me Home: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Julie Kibler
    • Narrated By Bahni Turpin, Lorna Raver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (322)
    Performance
    (290)
    Story
    (292)

    Eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister has a big favor to ask her hairdresser, Dorrie. She wants the black single mother to drop everything and drive her from Texas to a funeral in Ohio - tomorrow. Dorrie, fleeing problems of her own and curious about Isabelle’s past, agrees, not knowing it will be a journey that changes both their lives. Isabelle confesses that, as a teen in 1930s Kentucky, she fell in love with Robert Prewitt, a would-be doctor and the black son of her family’s housekeeper - in a town where blacks weren’t allowed after dark. The tale of their forbidden relationship and its tragic consequences just might help Dorrie find her own way.

    Alexandria Milton says: "I really wanted to like it"
    "I really wanted to like it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really wanted to like this book for two reasons: 1. Bahni Turpin, 2. The reader reviews were so overwhelmingly positive that it seemed I couldn't possibly go wrong picking this book as my next listen. Wrong I went.

    This is a book which reinforces stereotypes, simplifies complexities, and doesn't attempt to ask or raise a single question. The characters and plot are so absurd that it can't even count as entertaining. This book was not worth of such amazing narrations from these two fine women.

    The story is simplistic, the characters are flat. The narration of Isabelle is done in the past tense, while Dorrie's is in the present. Near the end, their stories clumsily converge.

    Isabelle is viewed by everyone in her life as perfect. Dorrie listens to her sad and depressing story for days on the way to a funeral, never once criticizing Miss Isabelle for a single thing. In fact, she holds her on a pedestal as the utmost example of a human being. This contrasts with the actual portrayal of Isabelle, which proves her to be an irritating, selfish, and implausibly naive girl and then woman.

    Dorrie's story, on the other hand, seems random and at odds with the major plot (Isabelle's story). It is also disturbingly reflective of negative stereotypes. Mostly, it seemed that Dorrie was only put into the story in order to praise Miss Isabelle and try to convince the reader of her goodness, and to revise her own life after having Miss Isabelle's bright white light shown upon her. Ick.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Absolutist

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By John Boyne
    • Narrated By Michael Maloney
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (115)

    It is September 1919: Twenty-one-year-old Tristan Sadler takes a train from London to Norwich to deliver a package of letters to the sister of Will Bancroft, the man he fought alongside during the Great War. But the letters are not the real reason for Tristan's visit. He can no longer keep a secret and has finally found the courage to unburden himself of it. As Tristan recounts the horrific details of what to him became a senseless war, he also speaks of his friendship with Will - from their first meeting on the training grounds at Aldershot to their farewell in the trenches of northern France.

    Dennis says: "A Thin Red Line Between Love and Hate"
    "Inconsistent audio ruins a good book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narration of this book was extremely frustrating and blocked me from enjoying it. Maloney melodramatically whispers the majority of the book, so that I found myself constantly tuning the volume instead of taking in the book. After whispering the voice of the main character for an extended period of time, he would suddenly switch to the booming voice of a supporting character, causing me to hurry to re-adjust the volume again. He differentiates the voices well, but he needs to speak up. The whispering melodrama does not benefit this audio in the least.

    I strongly suggest reading this book rather than listening to Maloney's narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Rhinos: My Battle to Save One of the World's Greatest Creatures

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (72)

    When Lawrence Anthony learned that the northern white rhino, living in the war-ravaged Congo, was on the very brink of extinction, he knew he had to act. If the world lost the sub-species, it would be the largest land mammal since the woolly mammoth to go extinct. In The Last Rhinos, Anthony recounts his attempts to save these remarkable animals. The demand for rhino horns in the Far East has turned poaching into a dangerous black market that threatens the lives of not just these rare beasts, but also the rangers who protect them.

    matthew says: "A mediocre adventure"
    "Front Line Conservation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book surprised me. First, it is important to note that, unlike the Elephant Whisperer, the rhinos in this book are more in the background; they are not all-pervasive and the personalities and personal stories of individual rhinos are not emphasized. Instead, it is much more a story about what happens outside the reserve, really touching on the human issues that help or hurt conservation efforts: politics, economics, social and welfare elements, war. Anthony's involvement in the Juba Peace Talks between the LRA and the Ugandan government provided a huge portion of this book, and with good reason: it emphasized the dueling roles of war and peace in conservation efforts, and also highlighted other not-so-glamorous roadblocks, like mundane paperwork and the absurdities of bureaucracy.

    This book is a fitting addition to Anthony's corpus of conservation memoirs, providing new perspectives and highlighting how even the minutiae of human existence play vital roles in saving (or losing) wildlife species like the white rhino.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (717)
    Performance
    (586)
    Story
    (595)

    Eliot Rosewater, a drunk volunteer fireman and president of the fabulously rich Rosewater Foundation, is about to attempt a noble experiment with human nature, with a little help from writer Kilgore Trout. The result is Kurt Vonnegut's funniest satire, an etched-in-acid portrayal of the greed, hypocrisy, and follies of the flesh we are all heir to.

    Darwin8u says: "Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth."
    "Not Vonnegut's best, but not bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The topic of this book serves as a satirical commentary on American capitalism and the place that money - and the people who have it - hold within society. It is a theme worthy of exploration, but this book lacks the typical spot-on punch of Vonnegut's best work. The message still gets through and in a fairly entertaining fashion, but it falls short of ensuring a lasting impression.

    Summerer's narration irritated me at first, but I soon warmed to him. His voice contains a gleeful irony that is perfect for Eliot Rosewater's particular brand of "madness."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How Much Land Does a Man Need?

    • UNABRIDGED (36 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Walter Zimmerman
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    Tolstoy is primarily know for his impressively long novels, but he also wrote some wonderful short stories. This one, dealing with ambition and greed, has an unforgettable message.

    James says: "Great story but..."
    "Eloquent parable about greed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is more of a parable than a short story. It is concise and to the point and very easy to reproduce orally. For example, after hearing this story just once, I know that I could repeat it easily and quickly to another person in order to illustrate a salient point about the human weakness for greed. Tolstoy does it beautifully all the way to the last line, which is perfectly ironic.

    Walter Zimmerman's halting, dispassionate, and monotone narration is all the more ironic for the story's exceptional oral qualities.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3814)
    Performance
    (2717)
    Story
    (2722)

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    A User says: "Outstanding"
    "Owen the faithful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a marvelous book, and exemplary of the level of achievement that can come out of an author's staggering commitment to the exploration of a specific theme. In this case the theme deals overwhelmingly with religion and morality and in particular Christianity - what might it really look like to be a person of faith in the modern world, and what might be the implications on an individual level? Is a human society capable of supporting non-hypocritical morality; and considering a person is capable of such a feat, how would it impact those around him/her? 'A Prayer for Owen Meany' is John Irving's nuanced by flawed answer to that question, and remarkably his Owen is the type of person whom Irving has said would not be able to survive in the modern world ("modernity" being a secondary theme of the novel) because of the weakness of the human character, the willful ignorance of the masses, and lack of faith of most "people of faith". Yet this fact is not explicitly stated in the book, which instead provides a complex exploration of how such a scenario might play out set against a modern Western backdrop whose forces are opposed to both morality and faith - while purporting to be both. Most religious people would probably not recognize themselves in Owen Meany, a fact which Irving exploits as a consuming, fascinating study of what faith actually means, and how it actually shows up. I am not a Christian, but you don't need to be to enjoy this book or take something from it; the message is complex and transcendent.

    John Barrett was an exquisite choice to read this book. The best singular narration I've ever heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • George Carlin Reads to You: An Audio Collection Including Grammy Winners 'Braindroppings' and 'Napalm & Silly Putty'

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By George Carlin
    • Narrated By George Carlin
    Overall
    (1222)
    Performance
    (1100)
    Story
    (1089)

    If one George Carlin audio is funny, then two are funnier and three must be funniest, right? That's our thinking behind this new collection. t's a HighBridge library of laugh-out-loud, award-winning recordings featuring George himself performing many of his best bits.

    Rick says: "Like a Cast of Thousands"
    "Ebb and flow, up and down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is audiobook made me laugh hysterically for a few bits, then bored me to tears for a few bits. But in the end, I really only remember laughing. George Carlin read to me before bed every night for about two weeks, and his extremely enthusiastic (if I can use that word) narration held me rapt, even while listening to long lists of oxymorons and Carlin's pet peeves for minutes at a time (some of them were quite witty).

    George Carlin reading to me was a nice change of pace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thérèse Raquin

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Emile Zola
    • Narrated By Kate Winslet
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (921)
    Performance
    (842)
    Story
    (830)

    Once upon a time, a teenaged Kate Winslet (The Reader, Titanic, Revolutionary Road) received a gift that would leave a lasting impression: a copy of Emile Zola’s classic Thérèse Raquin. Six Academy Award nominations and one Best Actress award later, she steps behind the microphone to perform this haunting classic of passion and disaster.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Winslet, Satisfactory Story"
    "A very grim classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not opposed to gloomy stories generally, but I found this book so profoundly depressing that it started to affect my quality of life and I was relieved when it was over. Kate Winslet's narration is quite good, but her tone certainly does nothing to relieve any of the darkness from the tale, though I doubt it was supposed to. The book is well written but at times seems directionless and un-anchored, though I think that may have been the point.

    If you enjoy some of the more grim classics, this is definitely for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Piper Kerman
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3483)
    Performance
    (3155)
    Story
    (3178)

    With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.

    Mark says: "My favorite book of the year, so far"
    "Good memoir on a woman's prison life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was conflicted on how to rate this memoir. It moves quickly and it is about a a subject matter people rarely hear about, providing a look inside a womens prison and into the how the war on drugs affects women. It is not fabulous writing, but its quick, to-the-point pace makes up for it. Cassandra Campbell's narration was intensely irritating at first, but it improves as other characters are introduced and Campbell has a chance to prove herself with the accents, which she does well, assigning different and distinct voices to each of the women so that they come alive.

    The author is hyper aware of her privileged status as an upper class white woman in the prison context, and she makes an effort to integrate a lower-class, minority perspective into her writing. But since the cards are not stacked so fiercely against her as they are against most of her fellow inmates, she can do little in this respect except offer empathy. There are several dialogue scenes between Piper and authority figures in the book, where it is more or less revealed that the drug laws in place are not intended for nice upperclass white people like herself, and she is repeatedly told that she doesn't belong there. This is irritating from a policy perspective, because it implies that the other less privileged women in the prison ARE supposed to be there, despite having similar convictions for drug-related crimes. Though she is undoubtedly writing from a place of privilege, it is to Piper's credit that she does try to shed light on the absurdity of drug policy and its motivations and highlight how devastating the war on drugs is for less privileged women, and how the prison system in the US makes the situation worse.

    It is worth the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Trick of the Light: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1144)
    Performance
    (985)
    Story
    (980)

    “Hearts are broken,” Lillian Dyson carefully underlined in a book. “Sweet relationships are dead.” But now Lillian herself is dead. Found among the bleeding hearts and lilacs of Clara Morrow's garden in Three Pines, shattering the celebrations of Clara's solo show at the famed Musée in Montreal.

    barbara says: "Amazing"
    "The Evolution of Penny"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've always liked these books despite their flimsy story lines and sappy characterizations. There's something comfortable about them and about Ralph Cosham's voice that keeps me returning to this series and helps me overlook the flaws in writing and conception. But this book surprised me.

    This is perhaps the best written and conceived book of the series so far. Penny's confidence is clearly growing as her characters and plot lines gain complexity and depth. The best part is that the ending was entirely a surprise, but not a sloppy one as she is prone to. This ending was clearly thought out, and I'm looking forward to the continued evolution of Penny's writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Collector

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2593)
    Performance
    (2320)
    Story
    (2335)

    From #1 New York Times-best-selling author Nora Roberts comes a novel of a woman who needs nothing, a man who sees everything, and the web of deceit, greed, and danger that brings them together - and that could tear them apart… As a professional house-sitter and freelance writer, nothing ties Lila Emerson down - not her work, not a home, and definitely not a relationship. She spends her life moving from one job to the next, sometimes crashing at a friend 's Manhattan apartment. And though she can appreciate her clients ' extraordinary homes, their expensive collections, and their adorable pets, Lila has never longed for possessions of her own. Everything she has, including her heart, is portable.

    Joan says: "Good author and good narrator"
    "Fast Romance, Flat Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The only other Nora Roberts book I've listened to was "The Witness" which I enjoyed because of the narrator - Julie Whalen - and the suspense in the plot. "The Collector" is the polar opposite. The story and characters are so flat and implausible that it seems almost as if the book was published as a rough draft rather than a finished product. But the larger crime was the lack of suspense. This book leaves nothing to the imagination - Roberts fails to lay groundwork for any of the plot lines to give the reader a reason to feel invested in the story or the characters. They all get exactly what they want and it all happens fairly predictably and quickly, with very little real conflict. In contrast, the main character in "The Witness" was on her own for most of that book, learning her lessons, developing her own personality, depending on herself. When a man was finally added, the reader was granted a lengthy period of suspense where it was entirely plausible that she would rebuff him or find herself happier alone. The story's resolution was not a foregone conclusion.

    Bottom line: Don't mistake "The Collector" as being on par with "The Witness". You'll be very disappointed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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