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Carol

Carol Deming Casey

Groton, CT, United States | Member Since 2011

19
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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  • From This Moment On

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Shania Twain
    • Narrated By Shania Twain, Sherie Rene Scott
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (48)

    By the time Shania Twain was two, her parents had divorced, and by early childhood, her family of seven was often without food, at times living in a filthy one-bedroom apartment. But when her mother and stepfather were tragically killed in an automobile accident when she was 22, Shania knew that the only way to lift her family out of poverty was to use her God-given singing talent. At an age when most young people have only themselves to think about, Shania moved her entire family to a nearby resort where she began performing, supporting her younger brothers and sisters.

    littlesheree says: "Disappointing"
    "Cathartic Mediocrity for the Writer NOT the Reader"
    Overall

    As I approached this book, I thought I would give this autobiography a chance. Alas, I couldn't even make it through the first 1/3 of the book. The writing rambles. Twain encourages everyone to write their life story, whether it is published or not. It is clear that in this case it should not have been published. Although there were sprinkles of expertly written descriptive short passages, on the whole I found her writing boring. Not only boring, but a tale of "oh whoa it me." Whether it was her goal to elicit sympathy from the reader and public or not - the part that I was able to make through this book - her goal was accomplished to some degree. This sympathy is folded into feelings of Twain whining and having her own pit party. This could have probably have been more of an entertain autobiography, and perhaps it gets more interesting as you continue on with the book, but I won't discover that because I won't go back to this book unless I absolutely have nothing else to entertain myself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Philomena: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Martin Sixsmith
    • Narrated By John Curless
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (467)
    Performance
    (424)
    Story
    (422)

    Now a major motion picture directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen, High Fidelity) and starring Judi Dench (Skyfall, Notes on a Scandal) and Steve Coogan (The Trip, Hamlet 2): the heartbreaking true story of an Irishwoman and the secret she kept for 50 years. When she became pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to a convent to be looked after as a "fallen woman". Then the nuns took her baby from her and sold him, like thousands of others, to America for adoption. Fifty years later, Philomena decided to find him.

    Julie Wenders says: "Rivetting Story and Performance"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Philomena? What did you like least?

    Although this book was entitled "Philomena: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search" this book only contained 1/4 (at best) the work from Philomena's perspective. The bulk of this literary work is about Michael A. Hess (Anthony Lee) and his plight throughout his life as an adoptee and not knowing his mother.
    I cannot imagine that a large part of this book, the part that depicted his personal life, was supposition of what his personal life might have been. This supposition is based upon interviews and data gathered by Sixsmith. I am extremely disappointed that so much of this work was based on Hess' journey and really Philomena Lee's perspective seemed to be thrown as an after thought. I do hope the movie delves more into Mrs. Lee's perspective and her experiences.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Black Duck

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Janet Taylor Lisle
    • Narrated By David Ackroyd
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (5)

    When Ruben and Jed find a dead body on the Rhode Island shore, they are certain it has something to do with smuggling liquor. It's the 1920s, Prohibition and bootlegging is in full swing, and almost everyone in the shore community is involved. Suddenly, the boys find themselves involved as well: didn't the dead man have something on him, and didn't they take it? It isn't long before Ruben is actually on the legendary Black Duck itself, caught in a war between two ferocious prohibition gangs.

    Carol says: "Excellant literature"
    "Excellant literature"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Black Duck in three words, what would they be?

    This is a prime example of the fact that I will read just about anything. This book targets young readers, but this avid reader could not put it down. Although this book is historical fiction is deftly captures the distinct essence of a time period and place. The essence of the story is inspired by Prohibition, when liquor was illegal and there were many


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13111)
    Performance
    (5555)
    Story
    (5621)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "No expectations, but glad I found it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Water for Elephants?

    I had no anticipation of what to expect when I began listening to Water for Elephants. The most enlightening aspect of the story was the education I received about the hierarchy of employees within the circus. From an outsider who has always been taught (but never believed it) that people in the circus where of lower class than others, I had no idea there were different ranks of people within the circus. Life behind the scenes at the circus was crude and inhumane. From the beginning the book was colorful with characters. The transitioning between the past and the present with the main character was an interesting transition. I try to approach a book with an open mind and throw other opinions out the window. I am pleased I have done this because the people that I know who have read this book have ranged from horrible to excellent. I found this book entertaining and engrossing. It was never a book that I just could not put down, but I enjoyed read it. Because the era in which the reference of the circus occurred the comparison of food lines and the great depression was evident. Although the inhumane treatment of the people and animals undoubtedly occurred during this time period, it wasn't easy to read it. Although the hierarchy of the class of people was evident within the circus, it was not unlike how society actually was during this time period. The author clearly did research to solidly base the sad realities of the treatment of people and animals during the depression era. The author weaved a story with vivid characters and animal characters in a sympathetic and favorable light. Sara Gruen's engaging


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Explosive Eighteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Janet Evanovich
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1893)
    Performance
    (1660)
    Story
    (1646)

    Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127, Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, and she’s flying back to New Jersey solo. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead, in a garbage can, waiting for curbside pickup. His killer could be anyone. And a ragtag collection of thugs and psychos, not to mention the FBI, are all looking for a photograph the dead man was supposed to be carrying.

    HappyMom says: "to quote Lula 'I really expected a better story'"
    "A Cruel Disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Explosive Eighteen?

    With the number 17 book, I declared I would not read the next installment. Being the curious yet fickle reader I am, I could not resist giving Explosive Eighteen a chance. After just finishing this installment of the Stephanie Plum novels, I realize I should have buried my curiosity with energies devoted to other books. I had been enamored with all the characters of this series. As the episodic installments of this series continued, the characters have not evolved, but rather there has been devolution of these once rich, full of potential characters. The initial installments of this once potentially multi-layered series were full of whacky humor, suspense, drama, and excitement. As each installment rolled off the press into my hands, I was in anticipation of what adventures Stephanie Plum would encounter. But as I progressed with each book, I grew more disenchanted progressing to this installment of being gravely disappointed. The book begins disjointed and as it continues only grows more disjointed to the conclusion that really left me empty, wondering where Janet Evanovich's talent for story telling disappeared. The obvious lack of suspense and absence of whacky humor usually intertwined within Stephanie and Lula's adventures was blatantly absent. I grew more anticipatory that there would have been some humor surrounding the other ancillary character of Stephanie's grandmother, only to be even more disappointed. Alas I suppose it will only be my last resort to read any more of the Stephanie Plum novels and if I may be so bold to recommend Janet Evanovich that she put this series to bed...as in my eyes, it is stale, cold, and concluded.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Portrait of a Spy: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (1278)
    Performance
    (938)
    Story
    (935)

    Haunted by his failure to stop a suicide bomber in London, Gabriel Allon is summoned to Washington and drawn into a confrontation with the new face of global terror. At the center of the threat is an American-born cleric in Yemen who was once a paid CIA asset.

    jb says: "Superb New Volume in Silva's Gabriel Allon Series"
    "Excellant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Portrait of a Spy in three words, what would they be?

    The quality of writing is even more superb. The descriptive of the scenes, time of year, and time of year is outstanding. The conversations and dialogue are so real and strong--no fillers, no fluff, just strong material. As you listen to the book, you get lost between fact and fiction - the topic is appropriate for the 21th century and the world on terror. I found this book a real page turner, suspenseful, and thrill-a-minute. This is my first book writing by Daniel Silva, I am already engrossed in his talented writing, and I can't wait to read more.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Smokin' Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Janet Evanovich
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1906)
    Performance
    (1281)
    Story
    (1279)

    Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and no one knows this better than New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. Dead bodies are showing up in shallow graves on the empty construction lot of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. No one is sure who the killer is, or why the victims have been offed, but what is clear is that Stephanie’s name is on the killer’s list. Short on time to find evidence proving the killer’s identity, Stephanie faces further complications when her family and friends decide that it’s time for her to choose between her longtime off-again-on-again boyfriend and the other bad boy in her life....

    Joan says: "Been there read that!"
    "Scattered writing, maybe a ghost writer?,"
    Overall

    99% of all of Janet eEvanovich's Stephanie Plum series have zany, crack-up scenes. This one did not - it was flat. It is as if she had a ghost writer on this one. Not the usual humor, the funny sayings. If it was Janet writing this one, it is as if she did it out of obligation, nothing else. The plot was scattered, the characters were disjointed. The characteristics of the characters were flat - no smokin' hot ranger, no Italian Stallion, no crack-up Grandma, even Stephanie's father was uncharacteristically talkative. Glad I didn't buy anything but the audio and kindle release. Sad to see this series stoop to this level. Maybe it is time for Stephanie to retire. I am giving this book 3 stars, but really, it is between 2 and 3 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • State of Wonder: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4140)
    Performance
    (2974)
    Story
    (2970)

    Research scientist Dr. Marina Singh is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on an extremely valuable new drug. The last person who was sent to find her died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding answers to the questions about her friend's death, her company's future, and her own past.

    F. B. Herron says: "Do yourself a favor and listen to this book!"
    "Superb!"
    Overall

    Ann Patchett writes lyrically in all of her descriptions, the eloquence in which she uses the written word to bring to life this memersizing story is beyond reproach. This is the first works of Ms. Patchell I have encountered and it has created a hunger in me for more. Absolutely worth the time to drive into this wonderful piece of work.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Rob Lowe
    • Narrated By Rob Lowe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3210)
    Performance
    (2523)
    Story
    (2515)

    A teen idol at 15, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at 20, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences. Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last 25 years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.

    N. Belle says: "Great Book and Great Story"
    "Engaging while brutally frank"
    Overall

    Rob's writing is intelligent, witty, and strikingly honest. Merely based on his vocabulary, he is a man of above average intelligence. His ability to descriptively paint a picture as he is telling his story is remarkable. He wrote is such positiveness, it was nice to not hear negativism, whining, and bemoaning. He is fortunate and he understands as well as appreciates this. He characteristically brings his story full circle to give these small chapters of his episodic life closure. He has always been an actor I admired. Now it is clear I have yet another reason to admire him. As a novice writer myself, his talent of writing and telling a story engrossed me. His interpretations and insightfulness contribute to his remarkable talent. It isn't every day I read (isten to) a book written by someone who is popular in Holywood. It is clear that I made the right choice in reading this book. My Thanks to Mr. Rob Lowe for giving me the opportunity to hear those stories you only tell your friends. Thank you. I look forward to more writing from you in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The First Deadly Sin

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Lawrence Sanders
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (692)
    Performance
    (534)
    Story
    (549)

    One of the most popular suspense novels of all time. A well-dressed man stalks the high-class neighborhoods of New York City. He is armed with an ice axe. His victims are strangers. And one cop, Captain Ed Delaney must solve a series of bizarre, gruesome murders that defy logic or method. This shocking story has captured the imaginations of millions like no other modern thriller.

    Parusski says: "Evening with an old friend!"
    "A Winding Tale of Mystery"
    Overall

    Although this book was orginially written 1973, it's relevance persists. The winding mystery can be compared to a beautiful winding road with many forks, not knowing which way it will proceed and when. It is fascinating to see how the story unfolds, how little evidence evolves in surmounting evidence and the ultimate conclusion. It is gripping and most definitely worth the time it took to enjoy it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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