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Alice

I don't try write a review as if it were the only review a potential reader will see. I write things that I noticed.

Member Since 2011

ratings
116
REVIEWS
29
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
13

  • Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Tim Harford
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (83)

    In this groundbreaking work, Tim Harford shows us a new and inspiring approach to solving the most pressing problems in our lives. Harford argues that today’s challenges simply cannot be tackled with ready-made solutions and expert opinions; the world has become far too unpredictable and profoundly complex. Instead, we must adapt. Deftly weaving together psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, physics, and economics, along with compelling stories of hard-won lessons learned in the field, Harford makes a passionate case for the importance of adaptive trial-and-error....

    Joshua Kim says: "Will Prove Influential"
    "Tell the Brits to stop attempting American accents"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Interesting ideas expressed well.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Variety of examples.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Especially since this is non-fiction I dearly wish the (British) narrator had not attempted an American accent for any quote from an American. He does the usual things Brits do when (poorly) imitating Americans, for example very hard Rs and super flat "a" sound.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Probably not. Lots of ideas and history. One could, though, especially on a long drive or other trip.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall I like the narration. I am a half-Brit and Anglophile so I enjoy the basic British accent. He keeps the story moving and interesting. The writing is good, but it is non-fiction so it helps to have a good story-teller keeping it lively and supporting the writing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Broadchurch

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Erin Kelly, Chris Chibnall
    • Narrated By Carolyn Pickles
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    In the sleepy British seaside town of Broadchurch, Detective Ellie Miller has just returned from vacation, only to learn that she’s been passed over for a promotion at work in favor of outsider Alec Hardy. He, escaping the spectacular failure of his last case, is having trouble finding his way into this tight-knit community wary of new faces. But professional rivalry aside, both detectives are about to receive some terrible news: 11-year-old Danny Latimer has been found murdered on the beach.

    Steve Kaiser says: "Book and TV show in one day"
    "Amazingly visual experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    Without saying any thing that might "spoil" the ending, I love the way in the end the loose ends come together/pay off. Every character has a purpose.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. Very compelling.


    Any additional comments?

    I just started watching the TV series having first listened to this. And I keep feeling like I have already SEEN it. The way this is written and narrated I experienced the story completely, including visualizing it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An Incomplete Revenge: A Maisie Dobbs Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Winspear
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (482)
    Performance
    (289)
    Story
    (289)

    In the midst of the hop-picking season in the village of Heronsdene, Kent, Maisie Dobbs, Psychologist and Investigator, undertakes an assignment from James Compton, son of her long-time supporter, Lady Rowan Compton, to look into aspects of a land purchase on his behalf. Quickly drawn into the local community, Maisie soon becomes involved in an effort to discover the source of petty crime in the area as well as a spate of fires that has blighted Heronsdene for years.

    Amazon Fan says: "Good but not her best."
    "Accents matter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of An Incomplete Revenge to be better than the print version?

    No. I haven't read the print version, but the accents are confused. I wish the author had stayed with one of the earlier narrators who knew how to do southern rural English accents. The last straw was when the innkeeper kept complaining about the "east-Enders" in a broad Cockney. (Ie the very accent that would have been the main way to recognize a Londoner from the East End--and not the accent a rural Kent-er would have.)At first listen this narrator passes for British. But some pronunciations rang false so I looked her up, and she is indeed American. For an American, she does a remarkable job, but the lack of distinction between urban and rural accents is a big problem.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Orlagh Cassidy’s performances?

    Not in a British book.


    Any additional comments?

    I love this series, but I will be searching out the print version for the rest of the series since I see the rest are all recorded by this narrator. I am surprised that the author, who is British, and seems to well-understand the urban/rural cultural differences, has accepted these narrations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Assassin's Wife: A Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Roger Weston
    • Narrated By Kitty Hendrix
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Drama professor Meg Coles is in a state of shock after her husband is terminated and she barely escapes the killers. Now she is on the run, on the F.B.I.'s most wanted list, and a fugitive of the law and of government assassins. She learns that she knows very little about the man she's been married to for ten years. She must become a criminal to survive and to find out the truth, and she must get answers before the death teams silence her permanently.

    Tony says: "Fun Story of with a Strong Female Character"
    "True Thriller with a Female Protagonist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Assassin's Wife: A Thriller?

    I don't read many real Ludlum-style thrillers, but this seems to be a good example of one of those, but with a female protagonist. I love this idea. And Kitty Hendrix does a great job with Meg, the other characters, and the style of novel. I think true fans of this type of thriller, men or women, will enjoy this book. It has great descriptions of action. There are some really creative versions of cliffhangers and chases--worthy of a Bond movie. I don't know enough to know if they are realistic, but again, as with a Bond movie, I was willing to go along for the ride. (I purposely say Bond movie, not book--more like the movies than the dry style of the original books.)


    Would you be willing to try another book from Roger Weston? Why or why not?

    One more. I wanted to love this book for all of the above reasons, and I did like many parts. I applaud this writer for the idea of a female protagonist. Meg is generally smart, a quick learner, gutsy, and persevering. However, she sometimes stubbornly pushes through against informed advice (like the classic joke about men refusing to ask directions). To maintain respect for her, I wanted to understand her reasons for this. I like the dynamic of a woman having win respect from men used to a men-only world, but the way it played out in this book was unsatisfying and didn't ring true for me. Again, I applaud this writer for the idea of a female protagonist and I'd love to see him team up with either a female writer or male more adept at writing female characters.


    What does Kitty Hendrix bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I love the way Kitty reads this book. She bridges the gap between thriller style and general fiction style perfectly for me (more so than the book itself for me). She is a great story-teller. Her pace and tone vary perfectly to bring out the most from the text. Her characters are both clear and subtle--ie, you know who is speaking and don't feel like you are listening to a cartoon.


    Any additional comments?

    Again, I don't read many thrillers like this. This seems like kind of like the Gray Man books or Bourne. When I read those I tend to read one or maybe two of the series and then not read more. So I think readers who really love those books will enjoy this book more than I did.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lieberman's Law: The Abe Lieberman Mysteries

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Stuart M. Kaminsky
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Abe Lieberman, the Chicago PD detective, has never has it easy when it comes to emotional cases, but this time the action is getting little too close to home. His temple has been vandalized along with four others, and it looks like the vandals have more sinister plans in mind. Finding the culprit opens a window on the broiling ethnic tensions on Chicago's North Side, and what's happening in Abe's family life does nothing to turn down the heat.

    Amazon Customer says: "ONE OF KAMINSHY’S BEST ABE LIEBERMAN BOOKS"
    "Enjoying the series and hoping for more soon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Lieberman's Law again? Why?

    Yes, while I don't re-listen to mysteries often, these books have wonderful details about life and traditions of Lieberman's community.


    What other book might you compare Lieberman's Law to and why?

    I have recently discovered some English mystery series that bring modern procedural realism to "the cozy." This series brings "coziness" to the procedural.


    What about Richard Ferrone’s performance did you like?

    Great storytelling. Subtle but distinctive character voices. I find that with great narrators, like Richard Ferrone, it is hard to say why they are good--they just are. I forget that I am listening to a narrator--I am just experiencing the book.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    More thought-provoking that directly heart wrenching, but no criticism in that. I felt compelled and interested in what would happen.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm just hoping Richard Ferrone will record the rest of the series, the sooner the better. I am interested enough to switch to paper, but I really enjoy what Richard brings to the stories and characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Murder as a Fine Art

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By David Morrell
    • Narrated By Matthew Wolf
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (118)

    Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his memoir "Confessions of an English Opium-Eater", is the major suspect in a series of ferocious mass murders identical to ones that terrorized London 43 years earlier. The blueprint for the killings seems to be De Quincey's essay "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts". Desperate to clear his name but crippled by opium addiction, De Quincey is aided by his devoted daughter, Emily, and a pair of determined Scotland Yard detectives.

    Amy says: "Historical Fact + Fiction = Gothic Mystery"
    "Trip into Victorian London"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it is a great combination of a good thriller and history.


    What other book might you compare Murder as a Fine Art to and why?

    Kind of reminded me of The Maul and the Peartree, which makes sense since both discuss the same historical mystery.


    Have you listened to any of Matthew Wolf’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Not that I know of, but this one is great. I really appreciate that he didn't attempt an American (or Canadian) accent when reading the afterward.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, it was more of an intellectual journey, but a good one of those. It is pretty graphic about violence and crime scenes, though. I advise caution about eating while listening to it. (Or maybe I'm the only one who eats while listening to audiobooks;-).)
    Not for the extremely squeamish.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Spectacular Now

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Tim Tharp
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (209)
    Performance
    (194)
    Story
    (194)

    "So, my beautiful fat girlfriend, Cassidy, is threatening to kick me to the curb again, my best friend suddenly wants to put the brakes on our lives of fabulous fun, my mom and big sister are plotting a future in which I turn into an atomic vampire, and my dad, well, my dad is a big fat question mark that I'm not sure I want the answer to."

    Sash & Em: A Tale of Two Bookies says: "Wouldn't recommend to everyone but great story!"
    "Mixed Feelings--modern Confederacy of Dunces"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Hmmm...I don't want to "spoil" this book, but I'd like to have seen it go somewhere else. As someone who has lived and worked with alcoholics, this is tough to listen to. Sutter is the worst kind, in that he is charming and funny and smart and clearly has many good intentions. He seems to care about other people to the degree that he can, it's just that alcohol gets in the way--big time. But it is so frustrating that he can't see this. It is a great book for al the reasons it is painful and frustrating.
    The main problem I have is that this book, like drunks like Sutter, makes drunkenness and alcoholism look in many ways funny and charming. The dark comes through, but maybe not enough.


    If you’ve listened to books by Tim Tharp before, how does this one compare?

    First one.


    Have you listened to any of MacLeod Andrews’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I would like to hear more. Great tone and story telling. (Almost too good in a way for this book--adds to Sutter's charm even more.)


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I gather it is. I am curious to see it, though like many first person narrations I suspect a film will lack something that the book has. I also hope that the movie doesn't romanticize substance abuse any more than the book already almost does.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm sure some people would not see this book as making light of/minimizing/romanticizing alcohol abuse. The reader sees consequences that Sutter either misses or minimizes. Still since we are in Sutter's mind, we are inundated by his justifications and "spin." Brilliant look through the eyes of a young alcoholic. Also sad and frustrating, and to me, too close to an (attempted) justification.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Risk of Darkness: Simon Serrailler 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Susan Hill
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (160)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (120)

    Following on from the child abduction in her previous novel The Pure in Heart, Susan Hill explores the crazy grief of a widowed husband, a derangement that turns to obsession and threats, violence and terror.

    Nancy says: "Nail biting story and brilliant narration"
    "Sticking with the series a little longer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Risk of Darkness to be better than the print version?

    I only know the audio--I do love the way Steven Pacey narrates.


    Any additional comments?

    This book resolves much of the unfinished business that left me irritated by the previous one in the series. On the other hand, Simon's reputed horrible treatment of the women he dates is revealed in full detail. I know protagonists need to have flaws, but this one of his and the way both his sister and the author deal with it are frustrating to me.
    This book seems to be about "this is just how some people are and they can't be understood or changed." Not my favorite, but at least facts get resolved and Simon finally gets to experience being dumped. On the other hand, he can't seem to have empathy for the women he dumps even then. He still seems to see himself as a blameless victim of all women--incredibly self-centered.
    There are also almost too many story threads and it gets hard to keep track of them. But I do find myself wanting to keep listening/reading to find out what will happen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Pure in Heart: Simon Serrailler 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Susan Hill
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (226)
    Performance
    (176)
    Story
    (176)

    Detective Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler, first introduced in The Various Haunts of Men, is on a painting holiday in Venice when he is summoned home by a telephone call. He has family problems to face, and the stress and grind of running a busy police station. When a little boy is snatched as he stands with his satchel at the gate of his home, waiting for his lift to school, an ordinary community realises that terror and evil are in their very midst.

    Rebecca says: "Love This Series!"
    "I'm going to try one more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    With a caveat...I found the ending very frustrating. I get what the author intends, but it defeats the purpose of written mysteries to me. And the first one was irritating in a different, but in some ways similar, way. I'm going to try one more in the series, but if I don't get more of a positive vibe, I'll leave it there. If you like modern, depressing-equals-real, mysteries/procedurals, these are well written and interesting. I look to written mysteries to in the end give me a sense of hope and order, so far these don't. Side note--if you want proof that the British system of socialized medicine solves the problems of modern medicine--don't look in theses books. Simon's sister and brother-in-law constantly complain about paperwork and government oversight and how no one else is willing to be a GP...


    Would you be willing to try another book from Susan Hill? Why or why not?

    I'm going to try one more.


    Have you listened to any of Steven Pacey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Just this series, as far as I know--he is great.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Grand Sophy

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Sarah Woodward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (705)
    Performance
    (630)
    Story
    (630)

    Resourceful, adventurous and utterly indefatigable, Sophy is hardly the mild-mannered girl that the Rivenhalls expect when they agree to take her in. Kind-hearted Aunt Lizzy is shocked; stern Cousin Charles and his humorless fiancée Eugenia are disapproving.With her inimitable mixture of exuberance and grace Sophy soon sets about endearing herself to her family, but finds herself increasingly drawn to her cousin. Can she really be falling in love with him, and he with her? And what of his betrothal to Eugenia?

    Carol says: "The Full Sophy"
    "I'm not usually a reader of romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Grand Sophy the most enjoyable?

    Great to get a sense of classic romance. Light and predictable (now--probably because everyone copied Georgette Heyer. Kind of like a bridge between Jane Austin (and Thackery and Trollope) and modern romance. Reinforces for me also that though legally women may have not had full rights, decent men respected them and treated them well.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sophy, of course. She isn't perfect and she isn't quite believable, but her spunk and directness are wonderful.


    Have you listened to any of Sarah Woodward’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Not that I know of. This was certainly excellent.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I wanted to keep listening, certainly. It wasn't a stay-up-all-nighter, but I wanted to get back to it.


    Any additional comments?

    Enjoyable classic romance--not WAR AND PEACE, but much more than a Harlequin (and yes, I have read a couple of those...)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dante Club

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Matthew Pearl
    • Narrated By John Siedman
    Overall
    (216)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (87)

    In 1865 Boston, the members of the Dante Club, poets and Harvard professors Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell, along with publisher J. T. Fields, are finishing America's first translation of The Divine Comedy and preparing to unveil Dante's remarkable visions to the New World.

    Barbara says: "Fun, if a little long-winded"
    "I really wanted to love this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I'm not sure how I would change it. I love books with historical characters, but somehow this didn't hold me. I found myself having gotten distracted and not having taken in anything for five or more minutes. I think it could have been structured/edited better. The basic plot is fairly good and the writing style is enjoyable, but it both drags and doesn't quite hold together--for me at least.


    What was most disappointing about Matthew Pearl’s story?

    Really hard to say. I liked it in many ways, but it just didn't quite hang together or come together. Sorry to be so vague.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Late in the book a cool historical thing about (some) Boston churches comes out, which I enjoyed. (Saying any more would be a spoiler.)


    Did The Dante Club inspire you to do anything?

    Um, no. Except maybe return the book. I might try listening again in a month or so though, to see if it is just that I am distracted at the moment in general..


    Any additional comments?

    Narration is pretty solid. I hope this review is perhaps useful to some in spite of my vagueness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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