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Alison

Reading, MA, United States | Listener Since 2004

36
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 54 ratings
  • 136 titles in library
  • 39 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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  • Replay

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ken Grimwood
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (1040)
    Performance
    (684)
    Story
    (695)

    In 1988, 43-year-old Jeff Winston died of a heart attack. But then he awoke, and it was 1963; Jeff was 18 all over again, his memory of the next two decades intact. This time around, Jeff would gain all the power and wealth he never had before. This time around he'd know how to do it right. Until next time.

    Jonathon says: "Entertaining and more than worth the price!!"
    "Word of Mouth Recommendation Pays off Big!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Where has this book been all my life? It seems like anyone who gets his or her hands on Ken Grimwood's 1986 novel Replay can't wait to tell someone else about it.

    I imagine Replay would have a different impact on an individual at different points in their life, and for that I look forward to rediscovering this book again in the future. I wasn't halfway through when I was telling anyone who would listen about this book. There is something universally appealing of the premise of getting a do-over. Grimwood checks off all the essentials on time traveler's to-do list: Attempts to stop a major catastrophe check. Bets on sporting events and wins big (à la Biff Tannen in Back to the Future), check. Gets the girl(s) over, and over; check check check. Published in the mid 1980's, Replay holds up very well for readers nearly 30 years later.

    This thought provoking book is a great page-turner at times it feels like it should be a summer blockbuster film. I was most surprised at how much I reflected on my own personal experiences and choices I have made in my life. Would I like to do them over again? Would changing them have caused more serious consequences? Replay makes you think about your current and future path in life and will be a book that I will be thinking about for years to come.

    I was surprised to see so many people critical of the narration. William Dufris does a fine job in telling the story. My only issue would be his portrayal of female characters was subpar, but not enough to take me out of the story.

    Perhaps at times Replay is a bit overindulgent in trying to capture too much of the past. But I found most of the experiences to be delightfully rewarding. I look forward to doing my part in passing on Replay as it was passed on to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anne of Green Gables

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Lucy Maude Montgomery
    • Narrated By Mary Sarah
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (69)

    When Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert of Green Gables, Prince Edward Island, send for a boy orphan to help them out at the farm, they are in no way prepared for the error that will change their lives. The mistake takes the shape of Anne Shirley, a redheaded 11-year-old girl who can talk anyone under the table. Fortunately, her sunny nature and quirky imagination quickly win over her reluctant foster parents. Anne's feisty spirit soon draws many friends - and much trouble - her way.

    Julia says: "Fabulous narration of a classic"
    "A Delightful Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Anne of Green Gables is timeless and welcoming to girls of all ages. I wish I had read this as a girl because I would have wanted Anne to be my bosom friend! As an adult, I would recommend this story to those young and old.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Anne brings the story to live with her colorful descriptions and amusing mischief. Her awe and marvel of the world around her is what makes her such a wonderful character.


    Which character – as performed by Mary Sarah – was your favorite?

    Mary Sarah does a superb job as narrator of Anne of Green Gables. I particularly enjoyed her reading of Anne's long-winded tangents. Anne has a love for talking and Mary Sarah captures that love brilliantly.


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

    I was moved by the love Marilla and Matthew gave Anne despite the mixup when they requested a boy. We see them form into a wonderful family and experience the joys and hardships they face together.


    Any additional comments?

    I look forward to listening to the other Anne books in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Orphan Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Christina Baker Kline
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4261)
    Performance
    (3799)
    Story
    (3802)

    Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

    Kathi says: "Moving story of sharing and transformation."
    "Orphan Train Quickly goes off the Tracks"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    There are some interesting elements such as the historical depiction of the orphan trains. Between 1854 and 1929, more than 100,000 children were sent, via orphan trains, to new homes in rural America (PBS). I felt terrible for Niamh's plight and wanted to see her get to a place where she could be safe and loved. I felt like the author took pleasure in torturing this girl unnecessarily. I understand that the Irish face a lot of prejudice, but some of it seemed forced and over the top. I seriously doubt a young girl with red hair would cause such repulsion with EVERYONE she came across.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I was disappointed that there was no representation of a positive adoption or foster situation. It is important to note that children in the the foster care system do face hardships and abuse, but why not put a spotlight on the good cases? It would have felt like a nicer balance against the horrific path Niamh faced. I found Molly's predicament to be completely silly compared to what Niamh/Vivian went through. Fifty hours of community service for stealing a library book is beyond ridiculous. Why not just check it out and never return it? Molly's stepmother is portrayed as a stereotypical right-wing lunatic who easily gives up on her "difficult" vegetarian foster child while her doormat husband basically shrugs.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I initially found the narrator to be unpleasant. I'm confused as to which narrator was which character but I preferred the narrator who did Niamh's Irish accent the best. The Molly voice did not fit the character and was hard to listen to.


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

    I generally felt the most emotions while listening to Niamh face horrific situations. I felt really sad that she went so long without being loved. I also felt anger and confusion at some of the author's choices for Vivian as she is middle-aged.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Veronica Mars: An Original Mystery by Rob Thomas: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Rob Thomas, Jennifer Graham
    • Narrated By Kristen Bell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1182)
    Performance
    (1125)
    Story
    (1120)

    The first book in an original mystery series featuring 28-year-old Veronica Mars, back in action after the events of Veronica Mars: The Movie. With the help of old friends - Logan Echolls, Mac Mackenzie, Wallace Fennel, and even Dick Casablancas - Veronica is ready to take on Neptune's darkest cases with her trademark sass and smarts.

    Alison says: "Mars Attacks, succeeds!"
    "Mars Attacks, succeeds!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I highly recommend this to any Veronica Mars fan who has finished the television series and has seen the recently released movie. The audiobook picks up a few short weeks after the movie has ended and contains spoilers from the flick. While the audiobook does a great job of reminding Marshmallow's of Veronica's history in Neptune, the throwback explanations may be overwhelming to a newcomer. This is not just a throwaway novella to pass on, there are some major developments in Veronica's life that all fans will want to know about!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Veronica Mars is all grown up now but she's still the same tough as nails yet vulnerable character we fell in love with from her days at Neptune High. Veronica's amusing observations and quick wit gives the case she is working on substance. You can't help but root for our snarky heroine to stick it to the bad guys.


    Which character – as performed by Kristen Bell – was your favorite?

    Kristen Bell's superb narration skills shine as she brings to life the well loved cast of characters featured in the Veronica Mars series. Bell's interpretation of her hacker friend Mac hilariously captures Tina Majorino's style who played Mac in the series.


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

    Veronica's razor-sharp insight is both amusing and clever as she gives it all to solving her client's cases. That same quick-wit also protects a guarded and vulnerable disposition that makes Veronica Mars both approachable and human. When her heart breaks, so does the listener's.


    Any additional comments?

    If we never get another Veronica Mars television episode or full-length film, I will be perfectly content with the series continuing in book form, especially if Kristen Bell is narrating. I can't wait for the next installment of Veronica Mars in audiobook format!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Skinny Dip

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    Overall
    (2406)
    Performance
    (645)
    Story
    (656)

    When Chaz Perron's wife discovers that he is running a scam (posing as a marine biologist to doctor water samples so that an agribusiness tycoon can continue illegally dumping fertilizer into the Everglades), he pushes her overboard from a cruise liner. Unlucky for Chaz, Joey survives clutching a bale of Jamaican pot. Rescued from the Atlantic by a former police officer, Mick Stranahan, she decides not to report him but instead haunt and taunt him, with Mick's help, by playing dead.

    Phillip says: "Summer's Best Read"
    "Good, but not great."
    Overall

    The story certainly starts out with a splash, but by the middle, it begins to lose momentum. You'll love the characters, you'll love the plot, and the narrator does a terrific job of telling the story. I just felt disapointed with the lackluster finish.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Princess Diaries: The Princess Diaries Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Meg Cabot
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    Overall
    (179)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (68)

    She's just a New York City girl living with her artist mom. News flash: Dad is prince of Genovia. (So that's why a limo always meets her at the airport!) Downer: Dad can't have any more kids. (So no heir to the throne.) Shock of the century: Like it or not, Mia is prime princess material.

    Mark says: "Does not belong in the 7 and under catagory!"
    "I loved this series!"
    Overall

    Even being in my twenties, I still enjoyed listening to The Princess Diaries. Anne Hathaway's narration is great, and she will make you love Mia. The books are very different from the movies. I recommend all five books in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hearts in Atlantis

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King, William Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1016)
    Performance
    (478)
    Story
    (482)

    All the stories in this collection from Stephen King are related to the Vietnam War. King fans will recognize echoes of The Dark Tower series in the collection's first story, "Low Men in Yellow Coats." As the characters develop over the next four stories, King's version of the Vietnam War becomes one of his most frightening tales ever.

    Steve says: "Touching, Funny - Amazingly well written and read."
    "Could not finish."
    Overall

    Things were going so well with William Hurt narrating the first story of this audio book. His Narration was terrific, and the story was great. However, once I started part two, I was bored, and King's narration was very unpleasant to me. Perhaps I'll pick it up again soon, but for now, "Hearts in Atlantis" is on the shelf.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By David Sedaris
    • Narrated By David Sedaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3124)
    Performance
    (1121)
    Story
    (1136)

    In his newest collection of essays, David Sedaris lifts the corner of ordinary life, revealing the absurdity teeming below its surface. His world is alive with obscure desires and hidden motives, a world where forgiveness is automatic and an argument can be the highest form of love. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim is another unforgettable collection from one of the wittiest and most original writers at work today.

    FanB14 says: "Read on...Hilarity Ensues"
    "Laugh of loud funny!"
    Overall

    This is a collection of short stories read by the author, mostly about his some what disfuctional family. If you liked Sedaris' last book, "Me Talk Pretty One Day", you will certainly like his new audible selection "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim". David's narration may turn off some listeners, but I find it enhances his stories and makes them funnier. If you're new to Sedaris, check out the audio sample before your purchase. One minor complaint is that several stories (example: "six to eight black men") were taken from previous books of his. Still enjoyable none the less.

    20 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Sleeping Beauty

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Phillip Margolin
    • Narrated By Houston Suzanne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (120)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    Author Miles Van Meter is on a book tour to promote his sensational best seller Sleeping Beauty, a true-crime account of a deeply personal subject: the attack by a serial killer that left his twin sister, Casey, in a coma. Tonight the audience waits to hear Miles discuss recent developments in his sister's case, unaware that pieces of this complex puzzle of violence, unknown even to the author, are about to be revealed.

    Joel says: "I loved this book"
    "Predictable, but good."
    Overall

    Despite seeing the end of this novel coming a mile away, I still enjoyed listening to see how it played out. Hard core mystery fans might find Margolin's Sleeping Beauty cliche at times, but it's entertaining none the less.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Life of Bees

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    Overall
    (2609)
    Performance
    (352)
    Story
    (357)

    Lily Owens has shaped her entire life around one devastating memory - the day her mother was killed. When she and her "stand-in-mother," a fierce-hearted black woman named Rosaleen, are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily enters a secret world of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of strong, wise women.

    France says: "Secret Life of Bees"
    "Great book for the beach"
    Overall

    This is one of my favorites here on Audible. It's beautifully narrated by Jenna Lamia who manages to bring the characters alive through a number of different southern accents. You'll find yourself laughing and crying right along with Lily in her journey to discover the truth about her mother.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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