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Cathleen

educatorandmother

Corrales, NM, United States | Member Since 2011

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 142 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • The Potato Factory: The Australian Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3514)
    Performance
    (2512)
    Story
    (2517)

    Always leave a little salt on the bread. Ikey Solomon's favorite saying is also his way of doing business, and in the business of thieving he's very successful indeed. Ikey's partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from thriving nineteenth century London to the convict settlement of Van Diemen's Land.

    karen says: "Best audiobook of the year!"
    "Unforgettable! Engaging Story, Great Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Potato Factory?

    I loved the characters, and how multifaceted they were. I also loved learning about New Zealand and Australia during this time.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The indomitable Mary's strength, integrity, courage and compassion in the face of incredibly difficult circumstances.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    He did all of the characters voices beautifully.


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

    When Mary saw the parrots as she first arrived and made them her talisman.


    Any additional comments?

    This entire series is absolutely gripping. Especially books 1 and 2. Book 3 is still good, but it diverges from the central characters and is weighed down by the first world war, losing momentum towards the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3820)
    Performance
    (2722)
    Story
    (2727)

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    A User says: "Outstanding"
    "BORING! Boring! BORING!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made A Prayer for Owen Meany better?

    The pace of the reader is excruciating. I love long, complicated books, but this one was terrible. The repetitive style of writing, coupled by the extraordinary slow pace of the read just about killed me. And I am unusually patient. After about hour 20, I simply could not take it any more.


    Would you ever listen to anything by John Irving again?

    NO! I liked a lot of his other books, but this one was insufferably preachy.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Joe Barrett’s performances?

    not sure.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Prayer for Owen Meany?

    50% of this book is repetitious description.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In the Morning I'll Be Gone: Troubles Trilogy, Book 3 (Detective Sean Duffy, Book 3)

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (604)
    Performance
    (543)
    Story
    (535)

    It's the early 1980s in Belfast. Sean Duffy, a conflicted Catholic cop in the Protestant RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary), is recruited by MI5 to hunt down Dermot McCann, an IRA master bomber who has made a daring escape from the notorious Maze prison. In the course of his investigations, Sean discovers a woman who may hold the key to Dermot's whereabouts; she herself wants justice for her daughter who died in mysterious circumstances in a pub locked from the inside.

    Daniel Mcafee says: "One of my Favorites"
    "Another Gripping Sean Duffy Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about In the Morning I'll Be Gone?

    I absolutely love Gerard Doyle's read, and I the use of Irish vernacular and rhythms. Adrian McKinty's stories abound with detail, but gather momentum almost unnoticeably until suddenly we realize (as readers) that we are in the maelstrom of a huge hurricane of tension and events coming to a nerve wracking conclusion.


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

    I think he is fantastic in all his performances.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jack Handey
    • Narrated By Jack Handey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (74)

    The legendary Deep Thoughts and New Yorker humorist Jack Handey is back with his very first novel - a hilarious, absurd, far-flung adventure tale. "Are you a fan of books in which famous tourist destinations are re-purposed as unlivable hellholes for no particular reason? Jack Handey's exotic tale is full of laugh-out-loud twists. A reliably unreliable narrator and his friend, who is some other guy, need to get out of town. They have a taste for adventure, so they pay a visit to a relic of bygone days - a travel agent - and discover an old treasure map."

    Cathleen says: "Mildly Entertaining, Not a good read"
    "Mildly Entertaining, Not a good read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Stench of Honolulu better?

    The read was not up to Audible's usual standards.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    It had it's funny moments.


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

    He is a clever writer. Needed a better reader, and maybe some music or something to pull it together.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Brené Brown
    • Narrated By Lauren Fortgang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1506)
    Performance
    (1231)
    Story
    (1212)

    Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we'd no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, What if I can't keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn't everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?

    A. Yoshida says: "Feel good therapy session"
    "Important Content but not a good delivery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Brene Brown and/or Lauren Fortgang?

    I found I prefer to read her books instead of listening to them. If she read herself, I would have liked them better.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    She covers psychological territory not often covered by others and particularly relevant to contemporary women.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Lauren Fortgang?

    Brene herself. I have watched all her TED talks, and her stories come across as very sincere, heartfelt, and true. This narrator distracted from the message by seeming too contrived, insincere.


    Did The Gifts of Imperfection inspire you to do anything?

    I bought two more of her books.


    Any additional comments?

    Please don't use this narrator for Brene's books. She sounds like an actress, which would work well in many works of fiction, but not in this type of book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tommo and Hawk: The Australian Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2057)
    Performance
    (1411)
    Story
    (1413)

    Brutally kidnapped and separated in childhood, Tommo and Hawk are reunited at the age of 15 in Hobart Town. Together, they escape their troubled pasts and set off on a journey into manhood. From whale hunting in the Pacific to the Maori wars of New Zealand, from the Rocks in Sydney to the miners' riots at the goldfields, Tommo and Hawk must learn each other's strengths and weaknesses in order to survive.

    Angie says: "Brillant Narration"
    "The story of two unforgettable Brothers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    One of my favorite audio books of all time.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Tommo and Hawk?

    The story was mesmerizing. Heartbreaking at times and uplifting at others. A woman who loves children but knows she can never have her own is given two amazing twins.

    Incredible sadness of a family torn apart, and then eventually mended, but not fully healed.


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

    He makes every character distinct (and there are many).


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

    It would be Hawk, the incredible "Black Maori." A man of great heart, incredible integrity, and intelligence who is most defined by the unwavering love he has for his brother.


    Any additional comments?

    I found the information about the history of New Zealand and the Maori people fascinating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10233)
    Performance
    (9363)
    Story
    (9383)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Slow start, great richness, stays with you"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Goldfinch to be better than the print version?

    I LOVED the audio version. Think I might have been tempted to skim over details in print as many are not immediately pertinent, but gradually become essential to the overall story. I got this for an 8 hour drive and the story was so gripping that I kept listening after I arrived at my destination.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I like the Boris the most. He was a complex person, with great heart.


    What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

    The narrator did a great job with the voices and accents.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but that is impossible. I found myself thinking about the story a lot between listening sessions.


    Any additional comments?

    Do not be deterred by the subject matter. When I tell others it is about a boy who loses his mother in a terrorist attack, among other things, they usually say "Sounds depressing." Far from it. "The Goldfinch is an uplifting, life affirming story that illuminates how the power of art to humanity.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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