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CGJ

Seattle, WA United States | Member Since 2009

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 20 ratings
  • 264 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015
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  • This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Ann Patchett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (238)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (213)

    Blending literature and memoir, Ann Patchett, author of State of Wonder and Bel Canto examines her deepest commitments: to writing, family, friends, dogs, books, and her husband in This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. Together, these essays, previously published in The Atlantic, Harper, Vogue, and The Washington Post, form a resonant portrait of a life lived with loyalty and with love.

    Bonny says: "Entertaining, engrossing, and elucidative essays"
    "The Story of an unhappy life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage? What did you like least?

    Liked Rose the dog best. Author's narration was the worst. She sounded miffed, angry, just plain pissed off at so many things, people, places...the whole world.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Ann Patchett? Why or why not?

    Not really. Didn't like Bel Canto. Maybe this author is just not for me.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Ann Patchett’s performances?

    no. she does not have a reading voice that one wants to hear for more than 30 seconds.


    Do you think This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Oh NO!


    Any additional comments?

    Many of us have been waitresses. Perhaps less bitter because we weren't frustrated poets and didn't go to Iowa to study graduate writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The View from Castle Rock (Unabridged Selections)

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Alice Munro
    • Narrated By Kimberly Farr
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (7)

    In stories that are more personal than any that she's written before, Alice Munro transforms her family's history into gloriously imagined fiction.

    Wendy says: "Fine Writer, Disappointing Recording"
    "Disappointed in the narrator."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Alice Munro and/or Kimberly Farr?

    No.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Grew up in the UK so I like stories about the UK.


    What didn’t you like about Kimberly Farr’s performance?

    Scottish accent sounded fake & forced. Pronounciations were inconsistent in the point same words in one sentence was mispronounced. Later in the book when the accent is Canadian (N. American), it was easier on my ears. Maybe most Americans won't notice but it's difficult for me to hear narrators try so hard doing Scottish, Irish or even English accents and not succeed.


    Could you see The View from Castle Rock (Unabridged Selections) being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No. Too slow & too monotonous. Screen play would have to do all the Hollywood tricks to engage an on-screen audience.


    Any additional comments?

    Many LOVE Alice Munro, she's just not for me. Glad I tried and found out my own preferences.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Runaway: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Alice Munro
    • Narrated By Kymberly Dakin
    Overall
    (211)
    Performance
    (167)
    Story
    (161)

    Three stories concern the same woman - in the first, she escapes from teaching at a girls' school into a wild love affair; in the second, she returns with her child to the home of her parents, whose marriage she finally begins to examine; and in the last, her vanished child turns up caught in the grip of a religious cult. In these and other stories Alice Munro's understanding of the people about whom she writes makes their lives as real as our own.

    David says: "Poor Audio Quality"
    "Just not for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I read others reviews before deciding I wanted to try Alice Munro anyhow. I reckon I can at least try. But like one of the reviews, I find it too slow going for me. It is probably wonderful for people who enjoy the description of every minute detail and of every single ordinary thing, it's almost like cinematography but words without visuals didn't work for me.

    I've heard many rave about Alice Munro, it's like trying caviar. I tried, I didn't like it. It's wonderful that some people love it :-)


    Would you ever listen to anything by Alice Munro again?

    I listened to "View from Castle Rock" just to see if a novel would make a difference.
    Unfortunately it didn't. I almost stopped several times due to the bad fake Scottish accent. I'll write a review for that one separately.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes.


    Was Runaway worth the listening time?

    Worth it that now I know Alice Munro is not for me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Susannah Charleson
    • Narrated By Susannah Charleson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (184)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (139)

    After the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, Susannah Charleson was so impressed by the newspaper photo of an exhausted handler and his search-and-rescue dog that she decided to train a dog of her own. A dog lover and pilot with search experience herself, Charleson got Puzzle, a strong, bright Golden Retriever, who from the start, exhibited a unique aptitude for search-and-rescue work. But the puppy’s willfulness challenged even Susannah, who had raised dogs for years.

    #24 fan says: "Fascinating"
    "Good book for SAR dogs fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Scent of the Missing the most enjoyable?

    This is a story of working dogs. Having been a working dog handling, it is interesting to hear about tales of others doing similar work with their dogs.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Puzzles of course. What a rambunctious pup who grew into an amazing working dog!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Puzzles coming home to meet her new owners' group of Pomeranians (house pets).
    The antics, the attempts to establish dominance, friendships, disruptions etc.
    reminds me of so many other dogs causing havoc/comedy in their handlers' lives.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Wouldn't make a film about this book. A documentary maybe for dog handlers or SAR enthusiasts but not really "movie material" for today's audiences with such short attention spans.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bark: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Lorrie Moore
    • Narrated By Lorrie Moore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (46)

    In these eight masterful stories, Lorrie Moore, in a perfect blend of craft and bewitched spirit, explores the passage of time and summons up its inevitable sorrows and hilarious pitfalls to reveal her own exquisite, singular wisdom...Gimlet-eyed social observation, the public and private absurdities of American life, dramatic irony, and enduring half-cracked love wend their way through each of these narratives in a heartrending mash-up of the tragic and the laugh-out-loud - the hallmark of Lorrie Moore - land.

    CGJ says: "Enjoyable, intriguing short story collection"
    "Enjoyable, intriguing short story collection"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    For those who like short stories yes. Other reviewers complained about this collection being "thin" and that not enough stories. Well, this is not meant to be "War & Peace" (big fat novel). I find myself satiated with this collection & looking forward to more. I've always liked anthologies though I realize it's not for everyone.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The two former "consultants" who met up in a Paris cafe after years of being "together". A taste of secrecy, spies, intrigue yet such humane exposure of two human beings.

    Find out for yourself. I don't wanna spoil it.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The farm wedding (hehehe), laughed so hard! So tell-it-like-it-is REAL. Moore's storytelling is so good I can visualize the whole enchilada! The voices, wedding dresses (love the color descriptions), the ex-father-in-law's lust, the "entertainment" and chaos from unexpected snafu...hilarious.


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

    Yes, when the woman in the Paris cafe wondered if she should pronounce the two S's in "couscous". Is it just couscoooo since there's no letter after the 2nd "s"?

    Made me realize how silly it is when I worry about this kind of thing too. Made me have empathy for the character (key trait of good storyteller).


    Any additional comments?

    Well done Lorrie Moore! I dig even all the double entendres, alliterations, puns e.g. the title "Bark" and 1st story "Debarked". Debarked means so many things to me (a dog nut), it means one's unique voice has been taken away, like a cat declawed, a bull that's neutered - fundamentally altered.

    This collection of short stories is NOT "thin". I find them rich, full spectrum and engaging. I look forward to more stories from Ms. Moore.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shock Wave

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1603)
    Performance
    (1330)
    Story
    (1327)

    The thrilling new Virgil Flowers novel from the #1 New York Times best-selling author. The superstore chain PyeMart has its sights set on a Minnesota river town, but two very angry groups want to stop it: local merchants, fearing for their businesses, and environmentalists, predicting ecological disaster. The protests don't seem to be slowing the project, though, until someone decides to take matters into his own hands.

    aaron says: "Not the best Virgil ~ but it is still Virgil!"
    "Much slower pace than Davenport stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. Just too slow moving. I could guess the plot.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Back to Michael Connelly 's Harry Bosch. Already listened to all the Lucas Davenport series.


    Did Eric Conger do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    He did OK. Not spectacular. Bad accent when portraying eccentric fly fisherman. Was that supposedly English (from England)?


    Any additional comments?

    Not one of Sanford's best. The Virgil Flowers series is more about rural MN and not the big city cop stories as the Davenport series. I guess I prefer faster pace, more complex stories.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Joyce Carol Oates
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen, David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (54)

    Zeno Mayfield's daughter has disappeared into the night, gone missing in the wilds of the Adirondacks. But when the community of Carthage joins a father's frantic search for the girl, they discover the unlikeliest of suspects…a decorated Iraq War veteran with close ties to the Mayfield family. As grisly evidence mounts against the troubled war hero, the family must wrestle with the possibility of having lost a daughter forever. Carthage plunges us deep into the psyche of a wounded young corporal haunted by unspeakable acts of wartime aggression, while unraveling the story of a disaffected young girl whose exile from her family may have come long before her disappearance.

    Anne says: "A Major Disappointment!!"
    "Agonizingly slooooow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Carthage?

    Same incident rewritten 7 times from supposedly different points of view. The entire Part 1 could be deleted. NONE, not one of the characters elicited empathy or understanding. Least of all the missing girl - sounded like an awful, selfish, shallow girl. Cressida may be an uncommon name in the US but not in Europe.

    VERY disappointed in Joyce Carol Oates. I kept hoping something would happen, or the people would get more interesting. Nope.

    Oh yes, the entire part with the eccentric professor in Florida & Cressida's internship might as well be deleted too. Didn't connect to any other part of the book.

    Nothing made sense.None of the people made sense. There was no story.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Joyce Carol Oates again?

    Not anything new. Some of her old books were good.


    What didn’t you like about Susan Ericksen and David Colacci ’s performance?

    Droll. Dull. Monotonous.


    What character would you cut from Carthage?

    Cressida.


    Any additional comments?

    Still can't believe how bad this book is!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stoner

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Williams
    • Narrated By Robin Field
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (568)
    Performance
    (467)
    Story
    (475)

    William Stoner is born at the end of the 19th century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar's life, far different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments.

    Anton says: "A story of sadness and serenity"
    "Beautifully written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Stoner to be better than the print version?

    Not necessarily. Individual preferences in processing stories are different, even our moods can be different. Sometimes I like reading, sometimes I like listening.


    What other book might you compare Stoner to and why?

    Margaret Atwood's Hand Maid's Tale. Not the nature of the story (although both fiction) but the degree of detail, most intimate thoughts of the protagonist, the " naked truth" told, calm yet merciless.


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

    Did a good job articulating author/protagonist's calm, plain narrative dotted with exquisite agonies when he first experiences "Love" not until he was middle aged.


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

    When Stoner started to learn about true human caring and love.


    Any additional comments?

    Beautiful in the sense that it's some totally honest, bare, guileless. Ordinary human condition, extraordinarily written.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (Movie Tie-in Edition)

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jordan Belfort
    • Narrated By Eric Meyers
    Overall
    (365)
    Performance
    (328)
    Story
    (335)

    By day he made thousands of dollars a minute. By night he spent it as fast as he could. From the binge that sank a 170-foot motor yacht, crashed a Gulfstream jet, and ran up a $700,000 hotel tab, to the wife and kids who waited at home and the fast-talking, hard-partying young stockbrokers who called him king, here, in Jordan Belfort's own words, is the story of the ill-fated genius they called the Wolf of Wall Street.

    Elisabeth says: "My most inthralling listen in a while"
    "Watch "Margin Call" or "Wall Street" instead."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Wolf of Wall Street (Movie Tie-in Edition) better?

    Agree with another reviewer. Chop off Ch 2 - 4 when author went on and on about the pretty blonde 2nd wife. Her character was boring and annoying. Added nothing to the story. I was in NYC in that era and close to the Wall Street scene. The book "Less than Zero" as well as "Bright Lights Big City" were both FAR more realistic, gritty and better in storytelling. Jordan B simply wasn't engaging and didn't make me care about him or his other characters. In "Wall St" there were equally nasty characters but they were "human" and got me to pay attention even if I don't care about them. The 80's was AMAZING and a "blur".
    However, there were real people back then, Jordan's book just feels fake and plastic.

    I couldn't even listen to half way through and I tried to. Returned it.


    What could Jordan Belfort have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Shorten the 2nd wife. Flesh out character development. He did a better job with the Brit Aunt (but still with too surface of a treatment). I grew up in London and the know many Brits, French & Swiss. The description of these characters did not feel authentic. The accents were atrocious and plain wrong even the book doesn't even demand a very talented performer to distinguish amongst the German, Swiss, French and English accents and how each nationality speak French.

    Mr. Belfort was trying to describe brainlessness and vacuousness and addiction and
    perhaps perpetual fog with rare glimpses of clarity. This repeat & rinse rhythm was so mundane and boring maybe the pretty face of Leonardo Di Caprio and a better screen play can put some interesting tidbits for the movie audiences to chew on.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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