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Member Since 2014

  • 7 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 19 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015

  • River of Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Guy Gavriel Kay
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In his critically acclaimed novel Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay told a vivid and powerful story inspired by China’s Tang Dynasty. Now, the international best-selling and multiple award-winning author revisits that invented setting four centuries later with an epic of prideful emperors, battling courtiers, bandits and soldiers, nomadic invasions, and a woman battling in her own way, to find a new place for women in the world - a world inspired this time by the glittering, decadent Song Dynasty.

    David H. Diamond says: "Masterpiece"
    "Great performance, under-baked plot"
    What made the experience of listening to River of Stars the most enjoyable?

    Simon Vance's narrating was mostly great, aside from a few mispronunciations of Chinese words.

    Would you recommend River of Stars to your friends? Why or why not?

    Only to a select few who are interested in Classical China, but not knowledgeable enough about it to realize that Kay's book is not that historic.

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

    I have not.

    If you could rename River of Stars, what would you call it?

    The name is fine.

    Any additional comments?

    The writing style can be somewhat irritating. Kay has a habit of ending paragraphs with declarative statements like, "He had his personal ambitions" and following them up with matter-of-fact statements like "All people did" or "It was not unusual". It's hard to explain, but when you listen it does get annoying. It makes Kay's otherwise lovely prose seem too formulaic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hausfrau: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Jill Alexander Essbaum
    • Narrated By Mozhan Marno
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Anna Benz, an American in her late thirties, lives with her Swiss husband, Bruno - a banker - and their three young children in a postcard-perfect suburb of Zürich. Though she leads a comfortable, well-appointed life, Anna is falling apart inside. Adrift and increasingly unable to connect with the emotionally unavailable Bruno or even with her own thoughts and feelings, Anna tries to rouse herself with new experiences.

    NMwritergal says: "Wonderful writing; pathetic, passive protagonist &"
    "Not worth the hype."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A better, more developed story, rather than one where the same themes plod on for hours.

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something completely different - maybe a high fantasy. I need a break from what's being considered "literary".

    What about Mozhan Marno’s performance did you like?

    She did a good job, and was the least of the book's problems.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I honestly can't say. I liked the cover art.

    Any additional comments?

    Maybe I'll try again later, but this is the second month in a row I've felt burnt by an Audible rec.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Economics, 3rd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Timothy Taylor
    • Narrated By Professor Timothy Taylor

    Economic issues are active in our lives every day. However, when the subject of economics comes up in conversation or on the news, we can find ourselves longing for a more sophisticated understanding of the fundamentals of economics. These 36 lectures will help you think about and discuss economic issues that affect you and the nation every day-interest rates, unemployment, personal investing, budget deficits, globalization, and many more-with a greater level of knowledge and sophistication.

    Linda Chan says: "Econmics, 3rd Edition"
    "Good, but dense."
    Would you listen to Economics, 3rd Edition again? Why?

    To try and refresh my understanding.

    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The professor seemed genuinely passionate about the subject of economics.

    Which character – as performed by Professor Timothy Taylor – was your favorite?


    If you could give Economics, 3rd Edition a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Economics, 4th Edition

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Station Eleven

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Emily St. John Mandel
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

    Stacy says: "gah!"
    "All the ingredients out - but no one's baking"
    What disappointed you about Station Eleven?

    Station Eleven has about 5 or more point of view characters , none of whom you ever get to know really well, and all of whom seem to have the same internal "voice"; every POV character acts and thinks the same way. There are several plotlines which occur in the past and present, but they're just lose ends. Nothing ever really develops or ravels together the way you'd hope.

    Has Station Eleven turned you off from other books in this genre?

    As an apocalypse book, this one's soft: St. John Mandel actually seems to kind of yearn for the end of days as a liberation from the corporate grind in some cases. As a literary book - I don't know. It was OK. St. John Mandel presents several epiphanies which all seem to be a bit overdone and thoroughly explored.

    Would you be willing to try another one of Kirsten Potter’s performances?

    Probably. The narrator was not my issue.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Station Eleven?

    I would have cut out half of the characters.

    Any additional comments?

    Not really. Like my headline says, all the ingredients are out on the table. Someone forgot to do the actual baking.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • We Are Not Ourselves

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Matthew Thomas
    • Narrated By Mare Winningham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed. When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit.

    Paula says: "Profound Narrative of FantisizingTragedy, Regret"
    "Epic and wise beyond its years, but long"
    If you could sum up We Are Not Ourselves in three words, what would they be?

    Life keeps going

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Eileen. It's frustrating to follow her sometimes, but the majority of the book is from her point of view and we see every dimension of her personality as she evolves throughout the years.

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

    I haven't listened to any other Mare Winningham's performances, but her performance here was great.

    If you could rename We Are Not Ourselves, what would you call it?

    Things Fall Apart

    Any additional comments?

    The book can feel like an endurance test at times, but hey, that's life. Ultimately WANO is a worthy read.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Bone Clocks

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Jessica Ball, Leon Williams, Colin Mace, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Following a scalding row with her mother, 15-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: A sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as "the radio people," Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.

    Mel says: "Not Short Listed, This Time"
    "Captivating, Confusing, Cloud Atlas 2?"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Bone Clocks to be better than the print version?

    Probably? I haven't read the print version.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bone Clocks?

    The middle chapters are really strong - both are about middle aged writers and I suppose the author is being genuine.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    I really liked everything to do with Crispin Hershey.

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

    The conversation with the zealot in the final chapter.

    Any additional comments?

    One of Mitchell's more baffling tails, but ambitious and interesting as every.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Son

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Philipp Meyer
    • Narrated By Will Patton, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Shepherd, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim. Spring, 1849: Eli McCullough is 13 years old when a marauding band of Comanches takes him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to life among the Comanches, learning their ways and waging war against their enemies, including white men - which complicates his sense of loyalty and understanding of who he is.

    Mel says: "Five Stars for the Lone Star, The Son, & Meyer"
    "Immersive and brutal"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, the cast is talented and diverse, and the story is brutal but fascinating.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Eli. His story I felt was just the most compelling of all. Wish there were more chapters on him. He's like the anti Dances with Wolves type hero.

    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Eli. His voice was perfect.

    If you could take any character from The Son out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Probably Peter. Lots of scenes describing nice food with him.

    Any additional comments?

    Wish there were more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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