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Colleen Calvert

Member Since 2010

ratings
45
REVIEWS
37
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
29

  • Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book Four: The Siege

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Kathryn Lasky
    • Narrated By Pamela Garelick
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (83)

    Soren's beloved mentor, Ezylryb, is finally back at the Great Ga'Hoole Tree. But all is not well. There's a war between good and evil in the owl kingdom. On one side is a group led by Soren's fearsome brother, Kludd, who wears a terrifying metal mask to cover his battle-scarred face. On the other side are the owls of the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, who must fight to protect their legendary tree from Kludd's attacks.

    jen says: "Fun book, but...that singing!!"
    "The Guardian Series is Excellent!"
    Overall

    My eight-year old and I listened to the first eight Guardians of Ga'Hoole books and enjoyed them all immensely. Being a bird lover, these tales are especially fun and for weeks on end, our world became the world of the Guardians. Pamela Garelick's narration is very good; only her voice for Gyflie was a bit annoying (the voice was very high) though I got used to it. Unfortunately, the next seven books have not yet been recorded so we're reading them ourselves!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Emma

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (871)
    Performance
    (573)
    Story
    (579)

    One of Jane Austen's most popular novels. Arrogant, self-willed, and egotistical, Emma is her most unusual heroine.

    H. CRODDICK says: "Wonderful listen"
    "Soap Opera of the 18th Century"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the narration is excellent, I was highly disappointed by this well-known Jane Austen book. It can't hold a candle to the likes of Pride and Prejudice. I couldn't get through it and gave up after 20 chapters. The plot (if you could call it that) was soap opera like in its preoccupation with who was a good match for whom. These people seemed incredibly lacking in substance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cider House Rules

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (790)
    Performance
    (463)
    Story
    (463)

    From one of America's most beloved and respected writers comes the classic story of Homer Wells, an orphan, and Wilbur Larch, a doctor without children of his own, who develop an extraordinary bond with one another.

    Patti says: "Wonderful"
    "Top notch all around"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just started reading and listening to John Irving. This guy is amazing. I loved so many things about this book. I love how human his characters; and their flaws make you love them the more. My daughter spent the first year of her life in an orphanage so I was super interested to read about institutional care, and Irving's portrayal of the mind of an orphan. Many characteristics resonated from my own experience. He has some unforgettable lines. This book is one of the best among the dozens I've listened to in the last two years.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10662)
    Performance
    (9929)
    Story
    (9933)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "Interesting and worth listening too"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this book; it isn't a genre that I usually read or listen to much. I learned a lot about video games. I found the references to 1980s culture interesting but almost obsessive in its documentation. I came of age in the 1980s but many of the references were not familiar to me. I found that some of the gaming scenes were overly long, though they did convey effectively how deeply into imaginary worlds the characters had gone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Garth Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Evan Welch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5693)
    Performance
    (3634)
    Story
    (3646)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you’ve ever loved a dog - or even patted a dog - this book, told from the perspective of man’s best friend, will tug at your heartstrings...and won’t let go until long after Welch performs the last word. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master.

    FanB14 says: "Artful Surprise"
    "Overrated and sentimental"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love dogs and this book started out well. But I found the plot too predictable and the book felt way too sentimental. After a particularly nasty twist in the story (I won't reveal it) I turned it off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jennifer Egan
    • Narrated By Roxana Ortega
    Overall
    (1248)
    Performance
    (832)
    Story
    (840)

    Jennifer Egan brings her unique gifts as a novelist and short story writer to a compulsively listenable narrative that centers on Bennie Salazar, an aging punk rocker and record executive, and the beautiful Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs.

    Laurene says: "Excellent, subtle, moving"
    "Disappointing - I didn't finish listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I stuck with this book for several chapters but finally dropped it. This seems like one of those highbrow award winners that lacks a good story. This may be judged to be top notch in terms of craft (I note that other reviewers admire how the story comes together... but I would have needed to get to the last chapter to understand that). I didn't feel like listening to a whole story I didn't find interesting to admire the job Egan does tying these stories together. I put this in the same category as Franzen's book "Freedom" - too much navel gazing. I read to enjoy and learn. Apart from the opening chapter about the kleptomaniac, from whom I learned a lot, neither was happening here.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ship Breaker

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Paolo Bacigalupi
    • Narrated By Joshua Swanson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (827)
    Performance
    (607)
    Story
    (613)

    In America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota - and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life.

    Rusty says: "Very good"
    "Ship Breaker's dystopian world not hard to imagine"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The scary part of this book is that the dystopian world is not that hard to imagine. Bacigalupi has drawn on all kinds of contemporary problems and followed them through to create a disturbing picture of life in the future. I've seen footage of children working as ship breakers in Bangladesh; it is not a pretty picture. This is a dark tale; on the other hand, the conditions of poverty, violence, scarcity of resources and drug abuse give rise to some interesting moral questions which the author explores in a compelling manner. The narration was okay, but not my favorite. I didn't find his Caribbean accent convincing and with a couple of the central characters having that accent, it was at times a little irritating. He was otherwise good.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Alan Bradley
    • Narrated By Jayne Entwistle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1558)
    Performance
    (1021)
    Story
    (1023)

    It is the summer of 1950 and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia's family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.

    Midi says: "Terrific story...spot-on narration"
    "Flavia is wonderful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started to listen to this for myself and soon realised my nine-year-old daughter would like the book. So we listened to it together. We absolutely adored Flavia and her quick comebacks with her sisters had us roaring. She's a compelling combination of witty, smart and ultimately, very human. I was astounded to realise that Bradley was not English, but Canadian. My daughter and I are now looking forward to listening to the next book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Saul Reichlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1347)
    Performance
    (684)
    Story
    (685)

    Lisbeth Salander is a wanted woman. Two Millennium journalists are murdered and Salander's fingerprints are on the weapon. Her history of unpredictable behaviour makes her the official suspect, but no-one can find her. Salander may be an expert at staying out of sight, but she also has ways of tracking down her most elusive enemies.

    Joe says: "Excellent"
    "The Larsson triology is a real treat!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Saul Reichlin does a fabulous job reading this trilogy. The stories are compelling and interesting. A great investment in downloading and listening to all three. I am certain I am not alone in being sad that Larsson died before completing the next book. Knowing nothing about Swedish society I found the books fascinating as a contrast to North American society. Loved all three books!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cryptonomicon

    • UNABRIDGED (42 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (2107)
    Performance
    (1451)
    Story
    (1471)

    Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.

    flaos says: "Finally Audible"
    "mediocre reading of story that will interest some"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like long audiobooks, but this one was too long. Only two of the characters really drew me in, with the others not interesting me at all. I would characterize this as book that is more likely to appeal to guys (reading the list of reviews confirms that the reviewers are mostly male). I did really enjoy the historical bits that introducted elements of the Philippines under Japanese occupation in WWII. This is a history I didn't know much about and I am compelled now to read more.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of One

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (2854)
    Performance
    (1659)
    Story
    (1665)

    Born in a South Africa divided by racism and hatred, this one small boy will come to lead all the tribes of Africa. Through enduring friendships with Hymie and Gideon, Peekay gains the strength he needs to win out. And in a final conflict with his childhood enemy, the Judge, Peekay will fight to the death for justice.

    Bob says: "Compelling story lifted higher by the narration"
    "Brilliant story and recording"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book drew me in from the the very beginning and didn't relent until it was over. A beautiful story of growing up and the ties to people that shape who we become. I thought the narrator was brilliant, too, in his ability to pull off the various accents with such authenticity (to a North American ear, anyway). Listening to this story led me to read about Bryce Courtenay,, as I wondered how much of this tale is autobiographical. Indeed, there are many aspects that are. I recommend his website to readers who enjoyed this story. I would rate the Power of One as one of the top five audiobooks among the 100 or 125 I've listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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