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Amanda

Probably reading something spooky...

San jose, CA, United States | Member Since 2012

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 70 ratings
  • 219 titles in library
  • 39 purchased in 2014
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  • Ghost Story

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Peter Straub
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    Overall
    (288)
    Performance
    (263)
    Story
    (262)

    For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past - and get away with murder. Peter Straub's classic best seller is a work of "superb horror" (Washington Post Book World) that, like any good ghost story, stands the test of time - and conjures our darkest fears and nightmares.

    Jaimie says: "Great Story! The Best of Peter Straub"
    "Fun and spooky, perfect for October"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ghost Story to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version, but it's definitely better than the movie!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The intricacies of the American Gothic represented. This is a traditional masculine Gothic tale that is complex and heavily character driven. Tons of embedded narratives allow for multiple ghost stories within "Ghost Story". And for the more horror-oriented it includes hints of witchcraft, ghosts, changelings, vampires, werewolves, haunted houses AND murder! What more could one want?


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I liked the embedded narrative about Fenny Bate the best. It is a story told by Sears about when he was a new school teacher in the town, and his experience trying to act as mentor to Fenny Bate. I don't want to give spoilers, but the tale is at once frightening, disturbing and tragic. There are many great scenes in the novel, but this one struck me the most.


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

    I couldn't if I tried! It's too long for that. I did have the urge to listen to it for large blocks of time.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is perfect for October. If you have seen the movie, don't let it fool you. "Ghost Story" is chilling and complex, and will keep you at the edge of your seat.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Accursed

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Joyce Carol Oates
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (70)

    Princeton, New Jersey, at the turn of the 20th century: a tranquil place to raise a family, a genteel town for genteel souls. But something dark and dangerous lurks at the edges of the town, corrupting and infecting its residents. Vampires and ghosts haunt the dreams of the innocent. A powerful curse besets the elite families of Princeton; their daughters begin disappearing. A young bride on the verge of the altar is seduced and abducted by a dangerously compelling man - a shape-shifting, vaguely European prince who might just be the devil.

    Jacqueline says: "Social Issues Abound in Mixed Genre--"
    "Not for the typical Horror fan"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Accursed the most enjoyable?

    The story. It was incredibly multi-faceted, and made me feel more connected to characters that are otherwise unattainable in our present. Upton Sinclair, Mark Twain, Teddy Roosevelt, Jack London, Woodrow Wilson are just a few people who appear in Oates' book. I loved that I was listening to canon-worthy gothic novel.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Puss and Upton Sinclair were the stars of the book for me. Though, Puss doesn't last though the whole book. Upton Sinclair provides a sense of moral concreteness in line with what most of us believe in today, and acted as the voice of reason for the present day readers, as well as serving as a contrast to the conservative bigotry of the early 20th century.


    What three words best describe Grover Gardner’s performance?

    Odd, uncanny, imperfect


    Who was the most memorable character of The Accursed and why?

    Upton Sinclair, mostly because he is a powerful (yet meek) voice in the novel. Perhaps I just "heard" him more because I fall in line philosophically more than other characters.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are looking for a horror novel, this is not it. However, if you enjoy well-written literature that is rich with history and meaning, but also delves into the gothic, this is the book for you. To get through this book you must possess more than a desire to be frightened. If you are intrigued by dysfunction, love history, and get a kick out of the mystical (in addition to possessing some literary prowess) then read this book. I personally loved it, and even found myself frightened at times (like the violent scene featuring Copplestone). I implore you, if you are a true literature lover (not book lover, but literature lover) read this book. It is incredible, and worth the decades of effort Oates put into it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Anatomy of Ghosts

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Andrew Taylor
    • Narrated By John Telfer
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (15)

    1786, Jerusalem College, Cambridge: they say Jerusalem is haunted by Mrs. Whichcote's ghost. Frank Oldershaw claims he saw her in the garden, where she drowned. Now he's under the care of a physician. Desperate to salvage her son's reputation and restore him to health, Lady Anne Oldershaw employs John Holdsworth, author of The Anatomy of Ghosts, an attack on the existence of ghostly phenomena. But his powers of reason have other challenges.

    Diane says: "Spooky historical mystery"
    "Interesting mystery with startling bawdiness!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I felt that the author was slightly non-committal with his choice of genre. I enjoyed the mystery of the story but the bawdiness of the text was so sporadic that it startled me at times. It's a bit jarring when the text isn't overall humorous.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Andrew Taylor? Why or why not?

    Maybe. I'd give it a shot, but if I didn't love it then I would probably give up on this author.


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

    He had amazing versatility with the characters' voices. It was as if I was hearing different actors for almost every character.


    Did The Anatomy of Ghosts inspire you to do anything?

    It inspired me to look for better mystery stories.


    Any additional comments?

    This mystery was interesting, I was just hoping it would be more so. It isn't an awful book. It's a fun read, and should only be read as such.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lord of the Dead the Secret History of Byron

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tom Holland
    • Narrated By Richard E. Grant
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (8)

    From the Levant to London's society salons to the canals of Venice, famed poet Lord Byron embarks on a life of adventure as the world's most notable vampire, following a dark trail of long-hidden secrets, ancient black arts, and the depths of evil.

    Amanda says: "Decent, but I wouldn't get this as an audiobook"
    "Decent, but I wouldn't get this as an audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes. It was entertaining, and relatively short. If it were longer my answer would be different. Although the novel was entertaining, it wasn't necessarily a quality piece.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Tom Holland? Why or why not?

    Maybe, it depends on the content and reviews. I wouldn't buy the sequel to this book though.


    What does Richard E. Grant bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He was great at portraying the characters. He did a great job with Polidori.


    Could you see Lord of the Dead the Secret History of Byron being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I suppose it could, but it probably wouldn't do very well. Or maybe it would; bad movies become blockbuster hits inexplicably. With that in mind I could see Robert Pattinson as Byron, Kristen Stewart as Caroline Lamb, Michael Cera as Polidori.


    Any additional comments?

    Try to get this one at the library, or find a used copy. It's worth reading if you're really into Byron and his connection to vampires (fictionally of course). But if you take your Romantics seriously, skip it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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