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Debbie M.

New Hope, PA United States | Listener Since 2001

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 38 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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  • The Da Vinci Code

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    Overall
    (2953)
    Performance
    (186)
    Story
    (190)

    While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, a baffling cipher found near the body. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddle, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci, clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

    Jonas says: "Overall Good"
    "Engrossing, but unsatisfying"
    Overall

    Although I couldn't wait to get back in my car to continue listening to this book, I couldn't figure out why I didn't feel any satisfaction each time the characters solved a piece of the puzzle. Now I look back and realize that too many of those solutions were simply "flashes of insight" or "revelations" coming out of nowhere, but of course only at really opportune times. I had placed Dan Brown's earlier book, Digital Fortress, on my Audible wishlist but now I think I'll pass....

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Archetype

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By M. D. Waters
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (146)

    Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can't believe possible: memories of war, of a camp where girls are trained to be wives, of love for another man. Something inside her tells her not to speak of this, but she does not know why. She only knows she is at war with herself. Suppressing those dreams during daylight hours, Emma lets Declan mold her into a happily married woman and begins to fall in love with him.

    Katheryne says: "Stunning Debut Novel"
    "I wanted to like this book based on the reviews..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Archetype better?

    Tighter editing to cut it by at least 30%!


    What was most disappointing about M. D. Waters’s story?

    Confusing when characters were sometimes referred to by their first name and sometimes by their last name.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Daydreaming while listening to the endless sections of Emma's innermost thoughts. And I'm not even a guy.


    Any additional comments?

    This is comparable to a chick flick ... appealing to some, but not to me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Royal Blood: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1679)
    Performance
    (1447)
    Story
    (1431)

    Penniless and 34th in line to the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch finds herself in a truly draining state of affairs. To escape her hateful brother, Georgie accepts an invitation from the Queen to represent the royals at a wedding in Transylvania. But at the macabre- looking castle, Georgie finds the bride with blood running down her chin, and a wedding guest is poisoned.

    Amazon Customer says: "A little predictable"
    "Another fun listen, but an A- read and a B+ story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This series is perfect light entertainment! It's the only one where I've immediately downloaded the next book in the series rather than alternating with other genres or, heaven forbid, a more "literary" book. I've rated all of them 5-stars except this one for several reasons --

    1) In several places, Katherine Kellgren makes Georgie sound like Belinda ... for the first time in the series, which only serves to accentuate how good she normally is at breathing different personalities into each character.

    2) I lost some respect for Georgie, who is such an independent and grounded young woman, when she starts to seriously consider the existence of vampires and werewolves.

    3) Why would such a no-nonsense young woman as Georgie suffer as incompetent a maid as Queenie, no matter what her other character strengths? Not very believable, but I'll read on to see what Rhys Bowen plans for Queenie.

    Despite these compalints, I highly recommend the entire series! (BTW, I find listening at 1.25x via the Audible app to be perfect.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6152)
    Performance
    (5465)
    Story
    (5463)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
    "But Jim Dale was wasted on this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I fell in love with Jim Dale after hearing his absolutely amazing narration of the Harry Potter novels where each of the 20 or 30 characters had a distinct and identifiable voice. (No, not available through Audible.) Night Circus was a very enjoyable listen, both in plot and reading, but I was terribly disappointed that there was so little dialog for Jim Dale to work with. Way too much exposition ... not a good fit for Mr. Dale's remarkable voice talents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (3916)
    Performance
    (2482)
    Story
    (2508)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
    "Unexpectedly engaging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Half an hour into the book, I thought "how can there be enough material for an entire book?" Twelve hours later, I was disappointed there wasn't more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Chapters from My Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (43)

    This book is part memoir, part philosophical text, part study in human behavior, from one of America's greatest literary treasures. Narrated masterfully by Bronson Pinchot, this audiobook also includes Twain’s popular short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County".

    Avid Reader and Listener says: "Good stuff!"
    "Just not interesting"
    Overall

    I totally agree with Garrison Keillor in his NY Times Book Review (12/19/10) -- it's a "dreary meander of a memoir." I wonder how many people who put this book so high on the bestseller list actually read more than a few chapters....

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Language of Bees: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Laurie R. King
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (677)
    Performance
    (359)
    Story
    (355)

    New York Times best-selling author Laurie R. King has won or been nominated for every major award in mystery writing. King's beloved sleuth Mary Russell here attempts to reverse her legendary husband, Sherlock Holmes', greatest failure.

    mike says: "To all Holmes buff's,"
    "SO-O-O-O-O slow and plodding"
    Overall

    Several years ago, I discovered The Beekeeper's Apprentice and voraciously listened to the first 8 Mary Russell books in quick succession, but gradually lost interest with the increasing theological ruminations and weird religious sects. Still, I felt that I had to finish the entire series and soldiered on. After a break of a few years, I picked up again with The Language of Bees and I have to say that I am SO disappointed and can barely remember why I enjoyed the first few in the series so much. In The Language of Bees, both the writing AND the reading of is unbearably slow and I find my mind continually wandering. Thank goodness my car player has a Fast setting so I can listen to it at a near-normal conversational tempo!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil of Nanking

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Mo Hayder
    • Narrated By Josephine Bailey, Simon Vance
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    With the redolent atmosphere of Ian Rankin and the spine-chilling characters of Thomas Harris, Mo Hayder's The Devil of Nanking, takes the reader on an electrifying literary ride from the palatial apartments of yakuza kingpins to deep inside the secret history of one of the twentieth century's most brutal events: the Nanking Massacre.

    Alicia A. Jenson says: "The Best of Britain's Mystery Writers"
    "Neither engaging nor informative"
    Overall

    This book tries to be both a mystery and a commentary on a barbarous wartime atrocity and, to me, it succeeds on neither score. (If you're interested in the latter, I highly recommend Iris Chang's "Rape of Nanking" instead.) The primary female character is an interesting person, but in a clinical, curious way, never evoking any real empathy for her or her quest. The back story involving the primary male character simply dragged.

    As for the narrators, I appreciated their dramatic readings but was appalled at their total mispronunciations of Chinese, which detracted from their credibility and authenticity. Surely the producers could have provided an hour of coaching! One basic example -- "chi" (or perhaps it was spelled "qi," which isn't clear in an audiobook, of course) should be pronounced "chee" but the female reader pronounced it "key." When I think of how a native-speaking reader can transform an audiobook with the nuance, rhythm and intonation of even sparsely scattered foreign words -- just think of "Life of Pi" or "Kite Runner" -- I was sad to think of how rich this audiobook experience COULD have been.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Demon Under The Microscope

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Thomas Hager
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1516)
    Performance
    (828)
    Story
    (823)

    The Nazis discovered it. The Allies won the war with it. It conquered diseases, changed laws, and single-handedly launched the era of antibiotics. This incredible discovery was sulfa, the first antibiotic medication. In The Demon Under the Microscope, Thomas Hager chronicles the dramatic history of the drug that shaped modern medicine.

    John Mertus says: "A pleasure in listening"
    "Unexpectedly fascinating"
    Overall

    I bought this book during Audible's summer $5.95 sale (I guess "sales" do work!) and was unexpectedly drawn into this far-ranging history of the discovery and development of sulfa drugs. The author does a terrific job of providing details about the personal lives of the characters so that they're three dimensional, and descriptions of the social/politic environment so that their scientific work is placed in a historical context. I would have given it five stars except that I really disliked the reader -- his overly-dramatic reading actually detracted from the book. I especially disliked how he draws out the final word of each sentence into a falling cadence, changing the final syllable of the final word into two syllables. (Sorry, can't describe it more exactly.) End result is that he continually sounds patronizing and bored.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Charlie Bone and the Beast

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Jenny Nimmo
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (58)

    Something strange is happening at Bloor's Academy. Asa, one of the endowed students who changes into a beast at dusk, has suddenly gone missing, and a new endowed student named Dagbert Endless has enrolled. When Dagbert is seen hanging around with Manfred Bloor, Charlie is sure the pair is up to something wicked. With the help of the Flames, can Charlie and his friends rescue Asa before it's too late?

    Judith says: "Very entertaining, well written."
    "Disappointing reader"
    Overall

    My 11-year old son and I have enjoyed this fast-paced series -- great light listening! Unlike previous books in the series, though, this one is read by Simon Jones. We thought he was spectacular in the Bartimaeus Trilogy and very good in the Lion Boy series but were disappointed with his reading here, particularly of younger children and the women. His falsetto just sounds too fake! We still enjoyed the book, but for a really GREAT listen, try the Bartimaeus Trilogy!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Citizen of the Galaxy

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    Overall
    (1114)
    Performance
    (509)
    Story
    (511)

    Citizen of the Galaxy takes place far in the future, when the human race has spread out to colonize other planets. In a slave market in the capital of Jubbul and the Nine Worlds, an auctioneer announces, "Lot 97. A boy." Slavery is commonplace in Jubbul, and the sight of the ragged, starving boy, Thorby, on the auction block is not unusual. What does puzzle bystanders and Thorby himself is his purchase by crippled Baslim, the beggar who sits every day in a corner of the marketplace.

    L. says: "One of Heinlein's best"
    "Great story, great (hidden) lessons"
    Overall

    I listened to this with my 10 year old son driving to/from summer camps, and we both wished the drive were longer! He loved the story, a "rags to riches" plot as another reviewer notes where the main character gradually discovers and draws upon his unknown talents and core beliefs to become rich and important, but above all, someone who "does the right thing."

    But please don't think that this book hits you over the head with the "do the right thing" message! When my son and I described the book to my husband and I commented how much I liked both the story AND the message, my son asked, "What message?" Still, it's a sign of a well-written book for children or young adults in my mind -- look at Harry Potter, even look at Disney's Beauty and the Beast -- when any message is submerged in a good yarn. I highly recommend this very well read book for ages 8 and up!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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