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Amazon Customer

Los Angeles, CA USA | Member Since 2007

  • 4 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 206 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015

  • Someone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Alice McDermott
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    An ordinary life - its sharp pains and unexpected joys, its bursts of clarity and moments of confusion - lived by an ordinary woman: this is the subject of Someone, Alice McDermott’s extraordinary return, seven years after the publication of After This. Scattered recollections - of childhood, adolescence, motherhood, old age - come together in this transformative narrative, stitched into a vibrant whole by McDermott’s deft, lyrical voice.

    Annie M. says: "Each word chosen like a jewel"
    "An almost boring story, extraordinarily written"
    Would you try another book from Alice McDermott and/or Kate Reading?


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The ending wasn't a wrap, or even a final note. It was just another recounting of a detail, a small memory of our narrator, which may or may not have had any significance to the rest of the story (it's more or less up to the reader to decide). But this closing was definitely consistent with a narrative structure that simply flollowed the flow of one's past memories. One story can bleed into another completely different tale from a previous decade and come back to the present. And the present is just an opening to the future, which just Is: unknown, pending, not within our control.

    What three words best describe Kate Reading’s performance?

    In-character; measured and restrained.

    Do you think Someone needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I think this book was as complete as it could be. It's purview was well-defined and small; but not necessarily small-minded. The story deliberately pulls inward, as our protagonist never ventures far away from the small and ordinary and manageable. It's about one girl, one family, one brother, one friend, one neighborhood, one job, one life experienced completely within a limited psychic and geographic sphere. That McDermott describes everything in the most precise and exacting detail does not enlarge the book or the story, but pulls us more deeply into what many would typically regard as disconcertingly banal. Marie comes from an ordinary working class Irish family their very ordinary lives unfolding in an enclave of Brooklyn. There's very little questioning of their station in life (it was better than her parents' origins in another "home, Ireland". Unexplained or avoidable deaths. were sadly accepted as a matter of course. No deep thoughts, or major angst about life, death or even one's own inner confusion were even given a berth to rest. No fanfare, or drama, not even with the narrator's brother, whose life could not be fully lived. In this world and in this time, his altering the equilibrium---well, what would be the point? Leave well enough alone, his family would say. Perhaps this containment was very much in keeping with the tenor of a generation that came of age during and right after WWII, Social convention was a goal unto itself, loyalty to family, faith, and the job were all that mattered. For the 20 or so years this story spans, there's not an inkling of expansive thinking, of personal ambition or consideration of new possibilities for one's life; not even travel to another city, let alone another state. Well, the brother does go to England for WWII but that was duty- not an adventure. In that regard, there is no need for me to revisit Marie. The story was packaged tightly with all the seams taped down to perfection.

    Any additional comments?

    The tone of the book was so even, the pace so steady and the detail so precise, it is a set piece of fidelity to boundaries and containment. The writing was exquisite in its detail, but for me, as a reader, the absence of exuberance, bursts of humor or even tension was deadening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"

    Fabulous listen!! The story is compelling and the plot peaks and peaks again before an ending, which isn't so much of resolution than a "pause" button, a stop on a street corner with a sudden change of mind as to one's destination. A compelling drama. On to the next Volume. Simon Vance rocks!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Awakening

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Kate Chopin
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Edna Pontellier is married, twenty-eight, and at the cross road of her life. She is passionate and artistic, but has no one who understands her deep yearnings. She jumps at the chance to spend a summer away from her husband and the heat of New Orleans at a small costal retreat.

    Lucy says: "Amazing Story with So-So Narration"
    "The Awakening (unabridged)"

    Exquistely narrated by Shelley Frasier, who captures the accents, cadence, and tone of the New Orleans Creoles with near perfection. Her timbre and languid pacing vividly recreates the atmosphere and sense of culture of that unique corner of the South called New Orleans.

    The book, itself a classic, is almost painterly in its use of language and is abundantly reviewed elsewhere including an excellent annotated version of Cliff Notes! Suffice it to say this review is about the narration; listening to this version is worth every minute of time spent tethered to your computer, ipod or parked car (I did all three)!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar

    Today, encyclopedias, jetliners, operating systems, mutual funds, and many other items are being created by teams numbering in the thousands or even millions. While some leaders fear the burgeoning growth of these massive online communities, Wikinomics proves this fear is folly. Smart firms can harness collective capability and genius to spur innovation, growth, and success.

    Bruce says: "Editor please"

    The content of the book is excellent, especially for executives not really clued into the wikiness of the tech world. But the narrator, who has a beautiful and strong speaking voice, is so forceful with every sentence, one would think the book is a series of proclamations on how wiki will save the world. As a result the book's message and content began to seem redundant after Chapter 2. Less would have been more in this case.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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