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Cathy S.

Easily entertained and amused.

LAYTON, UT, US | Member Since 2012

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 21 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 318 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2015
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  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2344)
    Performance
    (2101)
    Story
    (2118)

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

    Sylvia says: "Full of Surprises and Unexpected Events"
    "Fun, Entertaining, Forrest Gump at 100"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like Forrest, outrageous and catastrophic events seem to swirl about Alan Carlson wherever he goes, while he remains practical, steady, true and oblivious to the chaos in his wake. The events are incredulous yet somewhat plausible, the actions of the various characters even make sense with one minor exception being the invention of the atomic bomb, which was just plain silly, however not enough to detract from the story. The reader did an excellent job of defining the characters.

    Warning: If you're like me and listen to audio books on discreet headsets, while at the gym, shopping, and doing various things in public - there are passages where you'll laugh out loud and draw concerned and annoyed stares from people around you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10621)
    Performance
    (8863)
    Story
    (8859)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    Paula says: "Mind Boggling Thrilling Mystery! Don't Miss It!"
    "Enjoyed it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You never really know until the end, who done it. This book was a fun, easy listen. The only reason I gave the performance a 4 is because, even though each character change is announced, I found the narrator's voices too similar and I had to back up a few times to figure out who was who. Still they did a good job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 299 Days: The Preparation, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Glen Tate
    • Narrated By Kevin Pierce
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (466)
    Performance
    (441)
    Story
    (439)

    299 Days: The Preparation, the first audiobook in the 299 Days series, depicts the inner struggles Grant must face as he exists in a social system he recognizes as unsustainable and on the verge of collapse, but one in which he has built his life around. What begins as a return to his roots, self-sufficiency and independence, becomes a full blown move to prepare for what may come.

    Louise Story says: "Just not that good."
    "I read all 10, but too lazy to write 10 reviews."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An entirely credible scenario of what the future may very well be, but liberals and Democrats beware, it is an extremely conservative Republican viewpoint. I believe the author also has religious convictions which are underlying but conspicuously absent from these writings in order to be more appealing to those who do not possess faith in deity. I suspect atheists will see through this anyway and object. I hope this doesn't stop anyone from considering all the events this book describes as serious possibilities to prepare for.

    I enjoyed the 9 books (though they could have been consolidated to probably 4) but 10 was a little contrived and not really necessary.

    0 of 1 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
    (14113)
    Performance
    (6449)
    Story
    (6529)

    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!!"
    "I loved this story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book on sale and found it to be the best sale book I've read so far. It should sell well even if not on sale.

    The story is an interesting insight on the circus of the past with a sideline insight to the circus of life in the present. The characters and story line credible enough to even doubt it's a work of fiction.

    My only reservations to giving 5 stars were the occasional profanity (which was understandably in character) and I did not like the background music in chapter transitions. I thought that was distracting and unnecessary since the voices were two different readers. I also don't want to give away the ending, but having just lost my own elderly mother after being her caregiver for 8 years, the ending was sweet, but a little improbable . . . just a little, and easy to forgive since the book was so good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sisterhood

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Helen Bryan
    • Narrated By Laura Roppe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (252)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (225)

    Reeling from a broken engagement, adopted 19-year-old Menina Walker flees to Spain to bury her misery by writing her overdue college thesis - and soon finds herself on an unexpected journey into the past. The subject of her study is Tristan Mendoza, an obscure 16th-century artist whose signature includes a tiny swallow - the same swallow depicted on a medal that is Menina’s only link to her birth family. Hoping her research will reveal the swallow’s significance and clue her in to her origins, Menina discovers the ancient chronicle of a Spanish convent containing the stories of five orphaned girls hidden from the Spanish Inquisition.

    Kafwood says: "Implausible & schoolgirlish"
    "I regret I was fooled by the stars."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This just wasn't for me. I read reviews before purchasing, but apparently I didn't read enough. I usually like to read the unfavorable reviews too, but somehow I missed them with this one so I felt obligated to add mine.

    First, I am a devout and fairly orthodox Christian, with Jewish ancestry and I have studied other religions as well, including Islam. I found this writer's interpretations and comparisons of these faiths to be incredibly naive and completely lacking in understanding. It felt to me as though she wrote from the perspective of an atheist while trying to describe the faith and piety of Catholic nuns. Her writing lacks the foundation of faith and spirituality. She ignores God and the purpose of faith and instead inserts mysticism and hedonistic rapes. But the ultimate insult to my Christian faith was the minimization and fictionalization of The Christ, His life, purpose and mission. It came near the end, at a point where I decided to just finish the thing and be done with it . . . and I don't write many reviews, so you know this one really annoyed me.

    I am also an avid genealogist. This book starts with a modern day generation and miserably fails at trying to link family history back 500 years, connecting 25 generations. Even worse, it utterly fails entirely, to link 2000 years of biblical history. Instead it claims to find new scripture (written in the 14th or 15th century) that sheds new light on the gospel.

    Overall, I know this book was fiction with a somewhat bland attempt to be a romance novel (which I don't care for) and I did buy it on sale (glad I didn't waste a credit) but I didn't like the incredibly improbable and contrived story. The characters were shallow and unrealistic in their behaviors. The reader wasn't bad, though I kept getting some of the characters mixed up and the main character Menina, should have had a distinct southern US accent (her parents did) and she did not.

    The only benefit I realized from this book was inspiration to resurrect my own pitiful attempt at writing a novel, dust it off, edit a little and try my hand at publication. If this author can do it, then why not I?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gate House

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1169)
    Performance
    (409)
    Story
    (413)

    When John Sutter's aristocratic wife killed her mafia don lover, John left America and set out in his sailboat on a three-year journey around the world, eventually settling in London. Now, 10 years later, he has come home to the Gold Coast, that stretch of land on the North Shore of Long Island that once held the greatest concentration of wealth and power in America, to attend the imminent funeral of an old family servant.

    Andrew Stone says: "DeMille writes another excellent book!"
    "This Sequel Did Not Disappoint!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to The Gold Coast first and even though the author recounts details of the first in the sequel, I'd still recommend reading Gold Coast first. They're both good.

    I took off one star for 'Story' for a minor detail (pertaining to Ethel's letter), which I thought lacked credibility and was a little too trite in its last minute rush to save the day and that the villains were just a wee bit too unjustifiably nasty.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gold Coast

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1354)
    Performance
    (544)
    Story
    (537)

    Welcome to the fabled Gold Coast, that stretch on the North Shore of Long Island that once held the greatest concentration of wealth and power in America. Here two men are destined for an explosive collision: John Sutter, Wall Street lawyer, holding fast to a fading aristocratic legacy; and Frank Bellarosa, the Mafia don who seizes his piece of the staid and unprepared Gold Coast like a latter-day barbarian chief and draws Sutter and his regally beautiful wife, Susan, into his violent world.

    Jack C says: "Unexpectedly Great!"
    "A Modern Gatsby Saga"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this in paperback nearly 20 years ago and have always remembered it as being really good, but after so long a time had forgotten many details. When I saw there was now a sequel, I purchased this audio along with The Gate House sequel. It was every bit a good as I'd remembered it, made even better with the reader's incredible performance.

    If you liked The Great Gatsby, you'll love The Gold Coast. DeMille gives his Gatsby-ish characters more depth and the story lines more details. There is a comedic element to The Gold Coast that softens the drama that made Fitzgerald's Gatsby a little more refined and classical (no one farts in The Gatsby), but for me, the humor better reflects real life and I love to laugh.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lightning

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4206)
    Performance
    (2590)
    Story
    (2609)

    A storm struck on the night Laura Shane was born, and there was a strangeness about the weather that people would remember for years. But even more mysterious was the blond-haired stranger who appeared out of nowhere - the man who saved Laura from a fatal delivery. Years later - after another bolt of lightning - the stranger returned.

    Barry says: "One of Koontz' best, entirely enjoyable."
    "Time Travelling Nazis?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you can suspend credibility for awhile (I think that's the whole point of science fiction), you'll enjoy this book. While not one of Koontz's best, it still ranks high with me - but then I'm happy to accept concepts and not dig to deep for realistic and credible explanations of how time travel might affect past and future events.

    Since history has long vilified Nazis, it was a little odd that one of the protagonists was a repentant Nazi acting out of an impetuous infatuation. It would make a little more sense had this character used his abilities to save millions of lives instead of one, but then the romance of this story would have lost it's point.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7961)
    Performance
    (6932)
    Story
    (6929)

    Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever. Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she works at home designing sophisticated security systems.

    M. Davis says: "Classic Nora - Outstanding!!!!"
    "Typical Romance, No Surprises"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just a good, light, entertaining listen. The characters are well developed, not superficial but typical for a romance novel. The reader did a great job. The good are very good, the bad are very bad. The romance is perfect fairy tale, almost typical harlequin formula. Boy meets girl, instant attraction, misunderstanding occurs, lack of trust ensues, boy and girl thrown together by events beyond their control, bad guys cause trouble, boy and girl resolve misunderstandings and prevail over bad guys, and then happily ever after.

    I listened to this book during a stressful time in my life (elderly parent terminally ill in hospital) where I welcomed the fluffy, feel good, light minded entertainment of a romance novel. This book filled that order.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7914)
    Performance
    (7134)
    Story
    (7140)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "History in disguise."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another slave story, but focuses on one particular family which makes it easier to follow the story line and individual characters. It presents both sides of the slavery issue, nicely. It predates the Civil War and for me, having never been a big history reader, it made the cause of the war more personal and understandable.

    What really made this book for me was Sue Monk Kidd's own afterword explaining how the book came about. I hadn't realized the book was based upon mostly true characters and events. I came away with even greater respect and admiration for those who stood for the abolition of slavery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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