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Allegra

Boston, MA, USA

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 158 ratings
  • 162 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Being Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Jim Crace
    • Narrated By Virginia Leishman
    Overall
    (159)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (25)

    Jim Crace has been called "one of the brightest lights in contemporary British fiction" by The New York Times Book Review. His novels have won a Whitbread Prize, an E.M. Forster Award, the Guardian Fiction Award, the GAP International Prize for Literature, and have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Far-ranging in its imagery, Being Dead is a provocative examination of mortality.

    J. Cline says: "Contemplating Death"
    "beautiful, stirring"
    Overall

    Being Dead

    I know I shall read (listen to) Being Dead again and again for its language, its beach landscape interpolated with scenes from the main characters' lives and their shared histories, its study of the physical decomposition of two people (yet each had achieved a kind of peace with him/herself in life), for the author's power to focus on time, a time, on objects, on two people, and for the understated ontological and biological asking and answering, asking and answering that is a seamless part of the whole.

    Too, I was lucky enough to read Being Dead right after reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy...each book complementing the other in so many unexpected ways.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret of Lost Things

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Sheridan Hay
    • Narrated By Vanessa Benjamin
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Eighteen years old and completely alone, Rosemary arrives in New York from Tasmania with little more than a love of books and eagerness to explore the city she's read so much about. She begins her search for independence with appealing enthusiasm, and the moment she steps into the Arcade bookstore, she knows she has found a home. The gruff owner, Mr. Pike, gives her a job sorting through piles of books and helping the rest of the staff, a group as odd as the characters in a Dickens novel.

    Allegra says: "a gem"
    "a gem"
    Overall

    What a find this book was for me! It reminded me of just how a book should be, something that weaves through your days and leaves you with characters that you'll think upon all the days of your life. A little bit like Barbara Pym (eccentric and dedicated characters), Charles Dickens (rich storytelling and memorable characters), Paul Auster (love of Hawthorne and his era, though Melville's the man in this book), A.S. Byatt (lost manuscript search that never ceases to delight), Sheridan Hay touches the reader on many levels: intellectual, emotional, spiritual, along with enjoyment of her storytelling, the employment of her craft, and her narrator's knowledge of books, modes of employment, and understanding of the human heart.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Alexander Hamilton

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1167)
    Performance
    (411)
    Story
    (409)

    Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades", now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

    Robert says: "Captivating & Fluid Bio Unique American immigrant"
    "excellent"
    Overall

    This is one of my favorite biographies of all time: well-written, it shows us the complex and relentless Hamilton and his vision as a founding father. It shows us, too, his character--optimistic yet knowing depression (and grief), striving and intellectual yet at times self-destructive. I particularly enjoyed Chernow's crisp, fresh language and the mood and voice of the whole.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Life Interrupted: The Unfinished Monologue

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Spalding Gray
    • Narrated By Sam Shepard
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (14)

    Famous for his often manic and always humorous monologues, Gray was, by the late 1990's, in a happy marriage living in Long Island, doing yoga every day. But his life became unhinged after a devastating car accident in Ireland in 2001, which fractured his skull and crushed his hip. It sent Gray into a deep and unremitting depression.

    Paul says: "to go or not to go"
    "good introduction to Spalding Gray"
    Overall

    I found this audiobook to be an excellent introduction to Spalding Gray: his unfinished monologue, his short story, and his letter along with remembrance pieces from his closest friends, his wife, and his children gave me a better sense of him. Now I look forward to reading some of his other monologues.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Animals and Other Stories

    • NONE (1 hr)
    • By Jay Allison
    • Narrated By various
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    This radio series is a collection of short pieces reflecting on life, love, and death among the species. It contains monologues, montages, portraits, and dreams. Some are funny, some are strange, some enlightening, some sobering.

    Ylinne says: "random opinions about animals"
    "unusual, touching"
    Overall

    Each piece in this collection is fulfilling on several levels: emotional, structural, descriptive, and thought-provoking. Each story's way of being told (as either meditation or reflection or monologue or dream) matches the mood and atmosphere of the particular animal in that story. I particularly liked the memories of the older horse, the reasoning and understanding of cattle, and the prayer of the man who provided a home for orphan cats.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Road

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6054)
    Performance
    (2632)
    Story
    (2668)

    America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

    Taryn says: "Will touch your soul"
    "draws reader in"
    Overall

    I was immediately drawn in by the father/son relationship which covers so many emotions that every adult who loves a child experiences. I was drawn in, too, by the need to return (how the characters are forced to return) to the basics of finding water, food, clothing, safety, and shelter on a daily basis--a need initiated by trauma (a country now unrecognizable) and also, I think, from the specter of possibly dying before one's time. Perhaps, too, this return to basics is found among some elderly, some who live to be very old. Again, most of all, it's the father/son relationship that evokes so much for me--love, joy, fear, hope, hopelessness, terror, horror, all that is found in an adult's heart when he/she worries about a young one.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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