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Daryl

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

ratings
195
REVIEWS
190
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
13
HELPFUL VOTES
145

  • The Chaperone

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Laura Moriarty
    • Narrated By Elizabeth McGovern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2167)
    Performance
    (1912)
    Story
    (1900)

    >The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both. Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a 15-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip.

    Amanda says: "Perfection."
    "4.5 stars if I could!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Chaperone rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Quite high. I enjoyed Moriarty's debut "The Center of Everything" immensely, but was disappointed by her subsequent books. This book brings the changing social customs of the early 1920s to life with grace, complexity, and humor. It took about an hours to get in to Elizabeth McGovern's performance, but once I got into it, I allowed her soothing, expressive diction carry me along.


    What other book might you compare The Chaperone to and why?

    "The Other Typist", at least for New York Period details.


    Which character – as performed by Elizabeth McGovern – was your favorite?

    Oh, her dialogue was amazing! Joseph, Cora, Louise were all drawn with great emotion, accent, expression.


    Any additional comments?

    I agree with many reviews that Cora's backstory was much more compelling than Louise's present-day one, but there is only so much fiction Moriarty could create for a well-known figure.
    This is a welcome addition to my historical fiction library.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Hans Massaquoi
    • Narrated By Peter Jay Fernandez
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    What would life be like for a black boy growing up in Nazi Germany? This unprecedented autobiography answers that question with the spellbinding true story of Hans J. Massaquoi’s life in Hamburg during the height of Hitler’s regime. Hans is the son of a black Liberian diplomat father and a white German mother. His father returns to Africa at the beginning of the war, leaving them behind in poverty without the means to flee. Within this tense atmosphere, increasingly violent Nazi policies and Allied bombing raids make Hans and his mother’s lives a day-to-day survival struggle.

    Robert says: "A Well Told of a Life in the Head Winds"
    "Destined to Witness - a Gripping biography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Destined to Witness the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed Mr. Massaquoi's introspection, and his willingness to acknowledge his mistakes without beating himself up or excusing them. Things were the way they were, and- good, bad or ugly - everyone had to try and survive in nazi Germany even if one's race made them an obvious potential target.


    What does Peter Jay Fernandez bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I have never listened to his performances, but I will definitely check them out soon. His German is a little awkward, but this is a minor quibble in a stellar performance.


    Any additional comments?

    This book made me think about how any culture views race. Even as a white person, my lack of acknowledgement of race is, by itself, a comment on my racial views. I will pick up this book again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 3MPH: The Adventures of One Woman’s Walk Around the World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Polly Letofsky
    • Narrated By Polly Letofsky
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    On August 1, 1999, Polly Letofsky left her Colorado home and headed west. She traveled across 4 continents, 22 countries, and over 14,000 miles by foot to become the first woman to walk around the world. As an awareness campaign for breast cancer, survivors and wellwishers around the world came out to walk with her. Every day strangers welcomed her into their homes and shared meals. Across four continents she had dinner conversations with poets, politicians, country singers, olive growers, pig farmers and the female bomb maker in Australia.

    Daryl says: "The prologue alone makes this book worthwhile!"
    "The prologue alone makes this book worthwhile!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up 3MPH in three words, what would they be?

    Hilarious, inspiring, eye-opening


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

    Her narration has shades of brilliance! I laughed out loud in places. It's not polished, especially with accents in the beginning, but no one can describe their haircut from hell better than themselves!


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

    Saying goodbye to her friend in Thailand, reconnecting to friends and family in Minnesota.


    Any additional comments?

    The prologue alone is worth the money and/or credit. The rest of the book is fantastic, detailing some of the hardships along the way: unreliable crew, repeated questions, the constantly having to be "on," and more.
    I laughed and cried - mostly laughed - and will take on thing away from this book:

    Commitment:
    When you find a way over every hurdle in your path and nothing but success is an option.
    Commitment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 99 Jobs: Blood, Sweat, and Houses

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Joe Cottonwood
    • Narrated By Joe Cottonwood
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Joe repairs homes. With each job, he enters somebody's private world. Revealing a life. Or changing it. The life of a craftsman has its challenges, such as collecting an overdue bill from an irate psychopath - and its charms, such as the blonde in the hot tub. Joe has made every mistake and met every kind of homeowner - the good, the bad, the profoundly weird.

    Daryl says: "Lighthearted introspections on houses, family, lif"
    "Lighthearted introspections on houses, family, lif"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does 99 Jobs rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    it is a very unique read. All 99 stories are reflections on home repair, society, life, growing older, gaining experience, and the people that populate our world - the kind, flighty, sad, funny, and just plain weird. I normally don't like this style of book, but joe Cottonwood is so humorous - and I've lived through hellish home repairs - that I gobbled this boo's bite-sized portions in two gulps!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the accessible writing of Joe Cottonwood. he is just the type of construction worker I would want working on my house! he is streetsmart, witty, and introspective, and seems to learn from each new experience over the years.


    What about Joe Cottonwood’s performance did you like?

    I loved it! it is not polished and professional, but just like a great-uncle is telling me stories of his glory days.


    Any additional comments?

    this book is great! it flows, in a manner of speaking, but each of the 99 stories of home repairs, relationships, moving on and growing up stand on their own, so you can either - as I did - flip the pages speedily or pick it up and put it down. Well worth the nearly 12 hours and the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • While We’re Far Apart

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lynn Austin
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (86)

    Five-time Christy Award winner Lynn Austin is acclaimed as “one of the genre’s best historical fiction novelists” (Library Journal). Set in Brooklyn, New York, during World War II, While We’re Far Apart is a brilliant blend of captivating characters, heart-tugging emotions, and vivid spiritual truths. While a motherless girl longs for her daddy and a young lady hopes for a second chance at love, this poignant tale explores the uncertainty that stalks the homefront as the “War to End All Wars” rages in Europe.

    Sara says: "Love, forgiveness and growth"
    "Not Austin's best, but a solid work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I wouldn't introduce a friend to her work with this book, but it's a good book that I would recommend.


    Which character – as performed by Suzanne Toren – was your favorite?

    Jacob Mendel. Toren's accent is perfect in this role!


    Any additional comments?

    this book moves along more as a character development rather than a plot-driven book. I enjoyed the growth of characters, particularly Esther's complex process of growing up and Penny coming out of her shell.
    The elements of Judeo-Christian faith are incorporated, for the most part, realistically. In some ways, most characters wrestle with real questions about God's existence, whether they doubt him or are angry with him.
    While some of the writing is simplistic - more so than Austin's other works - many characters tackle with real issues of growing up, facing painful truths, holding on to unnecessary baggage, and separation from loved ones.
    Suzanne Toren is a good narrator for Jacob Mendel, the letters from Hungary, and portions of penny's story; however, Esther is a young character, and her story might have been better served by another narrator. This is, however, a preference, and not a reflection of Toren's talent.
    A worthwhile read for inspirational fiction fans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • While I'm Falling

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Laura Moriarty
    • Narrated By Julia Gibson
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Author Laura Moriarty, a recipient of the George Bennet Fellowship for Creative Writing at Phillips Exeter Academy, melted the hearts of readers and critics alike with her stirring debut The Center of Everything - a novel in the tradition of To Kill a Mockingbird. Now, in While I'm Falling, Moriarty again crafts a dramatic tale filled withunforgettable characters.

    Daryl says: "Not Moriarty's best, buy..."
    "Not Moriarty's best, buy..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This is tough. it is not Moriarty's best work, but she has such a gift for describing everyday life in such a way as to make it relatable.
    It's a welcome addition to my library only so far as to nearly complete my Moriarty novels, but on its own there's something missing, or maybe too much present; I can't put my finger on it.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Both of these narrators are not my favorites. Dialogue is not their strong suits, and there is so much dialogue in this book that a better narrator may have improved the book.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Actually, it would make a great drama pic!


    Any additional comments?

    This is not Moriarty's best work, but she set the bar high with her debut "The Center of Everything". But the book by itself seems to be too much bad stuff happening to the characters, though ultimately it depicts the changing dynamics of adult-child relationships quite well.
    See why this review is complicated?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Defiant: The POWs Who Endured Vietnam's Most Infamous Prison, the Women Who Fought for Them, and the One Who Never Returned

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Alvin Townley
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    The story of the indomitable American POWs who endured "Alcatraz," the Hanoi prison camp where North Vietnam locked up its most dangerous and subversive prisoners, and the wives who fought to bring them home. As these men suffered in Hanoi, their wives launched an extraordinary campaign that would ultimately spark the POW/MIA movement. When the survivors finally returned, one would receive the Medal of Honor, another became a U.S. Senator, and a third still serves in Congress.

    Rick says: "Wow! All I can say is Wow!"
    "Unforgetable history, biography, inspirational"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Defiant?

    I loved the resilliance of these men, who supported each other through depravations of food, contact, water, cleanliness... their defiance by creating a code to communicate - sometimes behind the guards' back, sometimes with their averted eyes.
    The torture depictions were difficult to listen to, but they were not grotesque for the sake of shock.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Defiant?

    The homecoming, but even some days in the jail where some members were feeling so guilty for "breaking the code", the support they offered each other was so touching that I teared up.


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

    I fully agree with the reviewers who said he told the story with incflection and feeling, but did not compete with a strong narrative that stands on its own.


    Any additional comments?

    This book, though not easy to read, it unforgetable and unputdownable. I knew very little of the Vietnam war, since many histories have been written about WWI and WWII (and rightfully so). Read it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Melanie Benjamin, Jenna Blum, Sarah Jio, and others
    • Narrated By Carla Mercer-Meyer
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    On any particular day, thousands upon thousands of people pass through New York City's Grand Central Terminal, through the whispering gallery, beneath the ceiling of stars, and past the information booth and its beckoning four-faced clock, to whatever destination is calling them. It is a place where people come to say hello and good-bye. And each person has a story to tell.

    Daryl says: "Beautiful tapestry"
    "Beautiful tapestry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Grand Central to be better than the print version?

    I would have to say no. If the narrator had read the book straight-up, or there had been multiple narrators, I might have enjoyed it more. In particular her accent in one story by Amanda Hodgkinson made me glad I could skip through. This did a disservice to an author who promises to be talented.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The characters in Sarah McCoy's "Branch of Hazel" were haunting and unforgetable, as were Gregorie and Liesel in the opening vignet by Alyson Richman.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I liked her general reading, dialogue, and many aspects of it, but with "Tin Town" by Amanda Hodgkinson she put on this funny British-esque accent.


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

    Yes and no. The stories are linked and yet not linked, using Grand Central Station to tie them together.


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth your time and credit, particularly the entries by McMorris, McCoy, and Richman.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Aprons and Silver Spoons: The Heartwarming Memoirs of a 1930s Kitchen Maid

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Mollie Moran
    • Narrated By Nicolette McKenzie
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    At just 14, Mollie Moran left the Norfolk countryside to take up a position in the kitchens of a stately London townhouse. Getting through the endless chores, sneaking out with her best friend Flo the kitchen maid to go dancing at night, and flirting with Alan the footman and Harrods errand boys, Mollie quickly rose through the ranks. We see the “upstairs, downstairs” world through Mollie’s eyes: the politics and scandals, the friendships and secret liaisons, the many comings and goings.

    Rosemary says: "A Tale of how it was"
    "Wonderful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Aprons and Silver Spoons to be better than the print version?

    Oh yes! I love Nicolette McKenzie's narration; she can read a phone book and make it interesting. She didn't try tons of accents, but just read this wonderful memoir straight-up, and its simplicity is part of its charm.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    mollie, obviously, and Flo.


    Any additional comments?

    With the popularization of such TV series as Downton Abbey, this book is so important as to outline some of the good and bad things about domestic service. It neither sugarcoats the hard work nor exaggerates some of the bad things that could and did happen; Friendships were born, flourished, and some continued and some died; infatuation bloomed in close quarters; superiors were demanding... but years of wisdom have seasoned Mollie's recollections and made this memoir a fantastic and worthwhile read, a throwback to a time when America was gripped in the Great Depression while events conspired for England to go to war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 72 Hour Hold

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Bebe Moore Campbell
    • Narrated By Pamella D'Pella
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    In this novel of family and redemption, a mother struggles to save her 18-year-old daughter from the devastating consequences of mental illness by forcing her to deal with her bipolar disorder. New York Times best-selling author Bebe Moore Campbell draws on her own powerful emotions and African-American roots, showcasing her best writing yet.

    Kevin says: "Very interesting book on mental health..."
    "Powerful, heartbreaking, yet not without hope"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up 72 Hour Hold in three words, what would they be?

    Hopeful, heartbreaking, enlightening


    Have you listened to any of Pamella D'Pella’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is my first exposure to this narrator. She did quite well for most of it, but occasionally had odd pauses and inflection.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Definitely. This book would make a great drama pic!


    Any additional comments?

    This book was informative even as it broke my heart. The hell that Keri and the many others in her world go through while wrestling with their children not being who they hoped.
    I could feel the frustration that Keri dealt with during Trina's spiral into mental illness, culminating in desperate measures to try and get her help. It was like a little piece of hell, but not without hope. I enjoyed Bebe Moore Campbell's gift of language, and her accessible way of writing that reached out not only to people of colour, but to a white Canadian with no experience with mental illness (knock on wood).

    It is not a light read by any means, but well worth your time and credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Qanta A. Ahmed
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (25)

    Unexpectedly denied a visa to remain in the United States, Qanta Ahmed, a young British Muslim doctor, becomes an outcast in motion. On a whim, she accepts an exciting position in Saudi Arabia. This is not just a new job; this is a chance at adventure in an exotic land she thinks she understands, a place she hopes she will belong. What she discovers is vastly different. The Kingdom is a world apart, a land of unparalleled contrast. She finds rejection and scorn in the places she believed would most embrace her.

    Kimmarie says: "Women under war"
    "Important work, somewhat too ambitious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does In the Land of Invisible Women rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I enjoyed this book for the most part. Nicola Barber's performance was spectacular, and Qanta Ahmed's observational skills - crucial for a physician - are on full display. I could feel the oppressive heat, sense the culture shock, and awed by her description of her Haj experience. It is, however, somewhat lost in brand-name-dropping (particularly in the first half). Once you get past that, it is a very important enlightening book, giving faces and names to "invisible" women in an uncomfortable reality of Saudi Arabia.


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

    The description of the Haj. I was blown away by such a mass amount of people, beautiful buildings, stones, waters, prayers... it was incredibly moving.


    Any additional comments?

    I did enjoy this book. The first half has a lot of brand name dropping - Mercedes, Rolex, etc. - and it gets a little bit grating. However, that aside, I will never forget this book, and will likely read it again.
    Qanta is a moderate Muslim who is thrown into a kingdom where women are veiled, and the veiling of Muslims is definitely described as a prison. Through two years, she learns what women - and by extension men - endure in the Saudi kingdom. She is blunt, to the point, observant, giving a realism seldom viewed. Unlike Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Infidel, Nomad), Qanta's Muslim faith remains intact, even though extremism as witnessed in Saudi Arabia does not persuade her to think as many do there, or to become resigned to her fate.

    Worth buying on sale, or even for its own cash value; I wouldn't spend a credit on it, but that's just me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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