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Ann

Denver, CO, United States | Member Since 2010

55
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 146 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Wish You Well

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Norma Lana, David Baldacci
    Overall
    (252)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (122)

    It is 1940 and a tragedy sends Lou and her little brother, Oz, along with their invalid mother, from New York City to the rugged mountains of Southwest Virginia to live with their great-grandmother. The story is told with both heartbreaking elegance and large doses of touching humor as the lives of Lou and Oz are changed forever.

    John says: "Not your usual Baldacci"
    "Average novel; pitiful narration"
    Overall

    "Wish You Well" could have been a fairly credible story about two young children from New York who, through tragedy, are brought to live on an impoverished farm in Virginia and who encounter the stereotypical Southerners who live in the surrounding area. I am generally a Baldacci fan, but I cannot recommend this book. The narrator, who is actually blessed with good vocal quality, unfortunately reads "Wish You Well" in a flat, tedious monotone throughout the story and saps any energy Baldacci may have written into the script. The death of a main character, potentially humorous incidents the two children encounter during their first days on the farm, and the ending of dramatic court scene are all read in the same, unvaried, lackluster tone. Further, the narrator's egregious rendering of a Southern accent is almost an insult to those of us who have lived in the South. The core of the novel is about the Southern way of life and its people, but the narrator reads the dialogue as if it were a foreign language whose dialect she had never encountered. Baldacci, himself, seems to recognize that "Wish You Well" is not one of his better novels; through the narrator, he spends significant time at the beginning of the story explaining what the novel is about, and he preaches at the end of the narration about the current plight of modern America. Take your children to the park or learn a new hobby; you'll get far more out of it than you will with "Wish You Well".

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Emperor's Tomb

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Steve Berry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1159)
    Performance
    (463)
    Story
    (459)

    The tomb of China’s First Emperor, guarded by an underground army of terra-cotta warriors, has remained sealed for more than 2,000 years. Though it’s regarded as one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world, the Chinese government won’t allow anyone to open it. Why? That question is at the heart of a dilemma faced by former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone, whose life is shattered when he receives an anonymous note carrying an unfamiliar Web address.

    Jackie says: "Fascinating Ride!"
    "Great book if interested in Chinese history ...."
    Overall

    Well-written book about Chinese history. Well narrated. If you're interested in a mystery story, however, it's not with the introductory price of $9.95 and definitely not worth a credit.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • In the Woods

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    Overall
    (4984)
    Performance
    (3015)
    Story
    (3015)

    As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children, unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

    Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a 12-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery.

    Amazon Customer says: "A near-flawless audiobook (but for one thing...)"
    "Good writing but a lot of dead air"
    Overall

    Tana French wrote a good novel, but Steven Crossley, normally a proficient narrator, narrates this audiobook way...too...slow. While the audiobook is about 20 hours long, Crossley could have easily cut down the time by at least two hours by merely reading in a consistent conversational pace. There are inexplicably many, many long pauses, leaving the listener with a lot of dead air, and painfully slow-paced reading as if the narrator thinks he is reading to an audience who doesn't understand English very well. Nevertheless, Steven Crossley is blessed with a great vocal quality, and Tana French knows how to write a good story. If Crossley had had a speed-up button I could have pushed, this might have been a great audiobook.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Tom Franklin
    • Narrated By Kevin Kenerly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1337)
    Performance
    (750)
    Story
    (760)

    Larry Ott and Silas “32” Jones were unlikely boyhood friends. Larry was the child of lower middle-class white parents, Silas the son of a poor, single, black mother - their worlds as different as night and day. Yet a special bond developed between them in Chabot, Mississippi. But within a few years, tragedy struck. In high school, a girl who lived up the road from Larry had gone to the drive-in movie with him and nobody had seen her again.

    Ann says: "Excellent story, terrific narrator."
    "Excellent story, terrific narrator."
    Overall

    The author deftly leads the reader into a small Southern town to watch and ultimately understand the way two boys -- one black, one white -- interpret friendship and loyalty, both as youths and later as adults, and how the judgment of the town's residents can destroy one of the boys' life. Plenty of action, with surprising twists all along the way, keep the story intriguing and unique.

    37 of 37 people found this review helpful

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