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Centerville, OH, United States | Member Since 2015

  • 22 reviews
  • 244 ratings
  • 323 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Overrated and Waaaay too Unrealistic"

    I loved the idea of the book and I thought Lizbeth's character was well done but overall I felt the book was amateurish. The characters seemed one dimensional and I couldn't get into the two mysteries, particularly the libel case.

    My meter in determining whether a book is good is whether I can't turn it off and sit in the car finishing the next section. My commute is only twenty minutes and on a good book I find myself eating lunch in the car and listening to a book or staying in the driveway. There was never a time during this book that I struggled with turning it off and getting back to it on another day. I really didn't care.

    I don't know much about writing novels but it seems to me that characters are best developed when the author writes scenarios and scenes that show the reader the character of the person. On too many occasions Mr. Larssen jumped into secondary characters' minds to tell us their great opinion of one of the main characters.

    Most of all, I found Blumquist to be an annoying character and felt that author tried to build him up as a heroic, morally-sensitive tough guy. Through his troubles, I kept thinking, "So what? "Who cares? Get over it!"

    I also felt that there were many unrealistic events and relationships in the book. I mean, c'mon, Blumquist's sex life is ridiculous and any one of the relationships would have been a stretch to believe but in combination, it is just so unrealistic.

    11 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Sharpe's Prey: Denmark, 1807

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Critically acclaimed, best-selling novelist Bernard Cornwell takes listeners back to 1807 for an exciting tale of the Napoleonic Wars. Cornwell’s beloved hero, Richard Sharpe, is sent from England to Denmark on a secret mission. But as England and France fight over the powerful Danish fleet, Sharpe finds himself trapped in the war-torn city of Copenhagen.

    Jean says: "Sharpe's Prey: Denmark 1807"
    "Worst of the Richard Sharpe Narrators"
    How could the performance have been better?

    I am not sure why Patrick Tull has been chosen to narrate. When he speaks for 30-year-old Sharpe it jolts the listener out of the story. He sounds like a dehydrated old man in a nursing home, missing his teeth. In addition, he mumbles at times so that I have to keep the sound very high to hear the story or swipe back 30 seconds to try to discern what Tull is saying. Tull is one of the worst narrators that I have heard.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 1356: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By Jack Hawkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On September 19, 1356, a heavily outnumbered English army faced off against the French in the historic Battle of Poitiers. In 1356, Cornwell resurrects this dramatic and bloody struggle - one that would turn out to be the most decisive and improbable victory of the Hundred Years' War, a clash where the underdog English not only the captured the strategic site of Poitiers, but the French King John II as well.

    Amazon Customer says: "A Classic Story Comes To Life"
    "AMAZING Narrator"
    Any additional comments?

    Cornwell wrote the book so everyone knows that the story will be amazing. However, this amazing plot is magnificently narrated by Jack Hawkins. His voices for the characters are varied, realistic and completely add to the story. He does Scottish characters, French women, boys, British men and women, Irish character, unread commonors, princes, French, Latin, English - his narration and accents are phenomenal.I hope that the book publishers re-make the abridged versions into unabridged and have Mr. Hawkins narrate. He is exceptional.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Conor Grennan
    • Narrated By Conor Grennan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In search of adventure, 29-year-old Conor Grennan traded his day job for a year-long trip around the globe, a journey that began with a three-month stint volunteering at the Little Princes Children's Home, an orphanage in war-torn Nepal. Conor was initially reluctant to volunteer, unsure whether he had the proper skill, or enough passion, to get involved in a developing country in the middle of a civil war. But he was soon overcome by the herd of rambunctious, resilient children.

    Angela says: "Amazing experience + Inspiring tale"
    "Amazing experience + Inspiring tale"

    The story is how Conor Grennan went to Nepal as a orphanage volunteer and gave his heart to the "orphans." Conor saw a problem and came up with an unrealistic solution to the problem: reconnect families in a remote part of the world that has no roads, limited air and telephone access. He did not have special connections or language talents but with the help of just a few others he was able to do some amazing things.

    If you liked "Three Cups of Tea," this book is in the same vein. It is astonishing what one person can do when he is committed.

    The book is equal parts sad, touching, poignant but overall amazingly inspiring. The first few hours of the book are good but a little slow. Stay with it because the middle is very good and from that point it becomes a "can't stop listening" story.

    Conor Grennan reads the himself and does a very credible job. His voice is well-modulated, clear and with just the right amount of nuance without being annoying or irritating.

    On another topic: Why won't Audible allow us to have paragraph breaks? Sorry for the single paragraph of many different ideas!

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Benny and Omar

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Eoin Colfer
    • Narrated By Euan Morton

    Two very different cultures collide in this hilarious audiobook about a young sports fanatic named Benny who is forced to leave his home in Ireland and move with his family to Tunisia. He wonders how he will survive in such an unfamiliar place. Then he teams up with wild and resourceful Omar, and a madcap friendship between the two boys leads to trouble, escapades, a unique way of communication, and, ultimately, a heartbreaking challenge.

    Angela says: "Modern Coming of Age Story"
    "Modern Coming of Age Story"

    Great book. My son (a 13 year old boy more interested in sports than books) and I are hooked on this story. I thought he wouldn't like it but it is a great book.

    This is a great audiobook because the narrator must use numerous voices and accents and does a very decent job of it. The author does a great job of recreating parental lectures and child/parent arguments - my son and I look at each other and laugh because they are so familiar.

    The book is well-written, very funny and yet poignant. It's a pleasure to listen to - although Benny can be sarcastic and rude, listening to life from the perspective of a 12 year old is very funny. Eoin Colfer must have sons of his own.

    We have about 40 minutes to go to finish the book but, as a parent, the theme is about maturity and decisions that young people must make.

    Benny thinks he has adults figured out and is always thinking two steps ahead of them. His parents are frustrated and want him to understand their perspective and, in essance, be mature. Lectures, lessons and chores do not work but a dose of Tunesian reality does.

    In rereading this, I make the book sound dull and simple but the book is not preachy while making an effective point to the listener. I strongly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "Sets a New Standard for a Good Audiobook"

    After this audio, I couldn't finish another book for about 6 months. I started and stopped listening to about 3 books - compared to The Help, they didn't sustain my interest.

    Incredible book with incredible narrators. It is the first book I have listened to where the narrators are better then the book. . . and the book is excellent.

    I gave this to my sister and she couldn't turn it off either and it was her first audiobook. My brother in law loves audible books and loved this book as well.

    If you enjoy audiobooks - this is a must!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
    • Narrated By Paul Baymer, Susan Duerden, Roselyn Landor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The best book club you’ve never heard of – but will be eager to join, courtesy of a full cast of true characters. January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb....

    Kent says: "MUCH better than I ever expected! Give it a try!"
    "A Listening Struggle"

    I looked forward to listening to this book because of the great reviews and many of the reviewers had the same tastes in audiobooks.

    However, I struggled with the letter format (the book, at least the part I listened to, is a series of letters that keeps that story going). I couldn't keep the characters and places straight and I stopped listening after about an hour.

    My sister gave me her copy of the book and I'll read the book and I am sure that I will enjoy it.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Alfred Lansing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

    David says: "Superb in so many ways"
    "Amazing Adventure!"

    I read this book several years ago and was looking for a good book to listen to.

    (The Help was so excellent it has raised my standards for audiobooks. I am finding it very difficult to listen to other books.)

    Although I know the beginning, end and middle of the story, I am still anxious to finish it. I'm not sure how a book that has been already read can be suspenseful but it is.

    The hardships that the men had to endure and how they faced it are amazing. The detail that the author included in the book is perfect - enough to understand the hardships and the backgrounds but not so much that it is boring and slow.

    The narrator does an excellent job with pacing and with the different voices.

    Excellent book!

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Canoeing with the Cree: A 2,250-mile voyage from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Eric Sevareid
    • Narrated By John Farrell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1930, two novice paddlers - Eric Sevareid and Walter C. Port - launched a secondhand 18-foot canvas canoe from the Minnesota River at Fort Snelling for an ambitious summer-long journey from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay. Without benefit of radio, motor or good maps, the teenagers made their way over 2,250 miles of rivers, lakes, and difficult portages.

    Angela says: "Seems like an abridged version"
    "Seems like an abridged version"

    I really enjoy this type of true life adventure story. It's amazing that these two people accomplished this journey - even more amazing is that they were so young and their equipment was not modern and high-tech.

    There are a couple of warnings: the story was written decades ago and some of writing is of the "golly gee" type style of the 50's. Also, there are some terms that are offensive today, i.e., "savages," "half-breeds," etc.

    However, the story and the journey is amazing. I would love to read someone else's take of their journey. It's like Ernest Shackleton writing of his own Endurance story. He probably wasn't dramatic, over-impressed with himself and emotional. Neither were these two characters so that the book tended to be a little dry at times, just mentioning the animals and people that they met. I wish that there was more detail of their personal hardships and emotions.

    Eric Severeid barely touched on the hardships of the journey. For example, they had to walk 5 miles carrying their equipment and sank into the mud every 2-3 steps but only two sentences were devoted to the difficulty. Mr. Severeid did write that it was a walk he would never forget.

    All in all, while their journey and exploits are very impressive, they did not do their story justice. Was listening to the book worthwhile? Yes, but it just seemed to skim the surface of a very exciting adventure. Also, not being able to follow their story with maps is a disadvantage. Maybe the hardcopy of the book has maps.

    The narrator is average. A more youthful sounding narrator would have improved the story. However, I am always happy when narrators don't have lisps or over dramatic voices and Mr. Farrell did not.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Wednesday Wars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Gary D. Schmidt
    • Narrated By Joel Johnstone

    Holling Hoodhood is really in for it. He's just started seventh grade with Mrs. Baker, a teacher he knows is out to get him. The year is 1967, and everyone has bigger things to worry about, especially Vietnam. Then there's the family business. As far as Holling's father is concerned, the Hoodhoods need to be on their best behavior: the success of Hoodhood and Associates depends on it.

    Angela says: "Funny and well-written"
    "Funny and well-written"

    It is rare when an excellent book is combined with a suitably excellent narrator. I've listened to many books and this is one of the best narrators that I've listened to. He is perfect for the book because his Holling voice sounds young yet his vivid voices provides faces of the book characters.

    A quick review in Amazon will show you that this is an excellent book to read, however, I think that it is even better to listen to it as an audiobook because of the wit and some of the Shakespeare lines.

    Before I listened to the book I thought it was about smart alec kid who outwitted his teachers and I was previewing it for my son because it did get high reviews. It's not, it's about a kid who it just doing his best. Holling (our young protagonist) is a thoroughly well-rounded character who is Every Boy. During the book, his experiences with his teachers, friends and family mature him and we laugh at some of his missteps and thoughts along the way.

    I highly recommend it.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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