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Deborah

HOUSTON, TX, United States | Member Since 2012

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 87 ratings
  • 212 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2015
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  • No Man's Nightingale: An Inspector Wexford Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Ruth Rendell
    • Narrated By Nigel Anthony
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (64)

    A female vicar named Sarah Hussain is discovered strangled in her Kingsmarkham vicarage. Maxine, the gossipy cleaning woman who finds the body, happens to also be in the employ of former Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford and his wife. When called on by his old deputy, Wexford, who has taken to reading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire as a retirement project, leaps at the chance to tag along with the investigators. Wexford is intrigued by the unusual circumstances of the murder, but he's also desperate to escape the chatty Maxine.

    Deborah says: "Perfect audiobook"
    "Perfect audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about No Man's Nightingale?

    Interesting characters, plot moved along with secrets revealed at a rapid clip. Interesting subtext about racial, gender stereotypes. Everything came together nicely at the end.


    What about Nigel Anthony’s performance did you like?

    Barely noticed his performance- all the accents were very realistic!


    Any additional comments?

    Light entertainment, but exceptionally well done. Fans of CSI-style forensic police procedurals may be disappointed- this is more of an Agatha Christie style pursuit of psychological deficiencies and motives for murder!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7139)
    Performance
    (6260)
    Story
    (6276)

    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Sandra says: "Be prepared to love the characters."
    "WWII from the perspective of children"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up All the Light We Cannot See in three words, what would they be?

    WWII told lightly


    What did you like best about this story?

    Beautiful prose


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

    Narration was very good; however, I found that I missed a lot with the audible version, so I bought the e-version so I could linger over the prose. The time-shifting became difficult to follow when listening in smaller portions. Also, the chapter #s were different in the Audible version, which made it confusing to FF or rewind.


    If you could rename All the Light We Cannot See, what would you call it?

    ?


    Any additional comments?

    I was a little confused by the ending, even after multiple readings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Jill Leovy
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman
    Overall
    (203)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (175)

    On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man is shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home--one of the thousands of black Americans murdered that year. His assailant runs down the street, jumps into an SUV, and vanishes, hoping to join the scores of killers in American cities who are never arrested for their crimes.

    tef1303 says: "Wow!"
    "Wish I liked it more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Jill Leovy and/or Rebecca Lowman?

    Jill Leovy is a respected journalist and her many interviews on radio were intelligent and interesting; however, this book really dragged for me. She spent several chapters glorifying the 2 white investigators who sound truly remarkable but don't really advance our understanding of the larger problem. The author expects us to be surprised that the many black men killed by police and each other have families that grieve for them years after their deaths- that's a given. It's important knowledge, but I don't want to read a book about grieving parents. Listening over several sessions, I became confused about the structure of the book- the central core was stretched way too thin, tidbits of facts were scattered throughout.


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

    Couldn't finish it.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Rebecca Lowman’s performances?

    No. I found the narrator to be too laconic for what given the topic should have had a harder edge. She sounded more like a tender-hearted social worker than a hard-nosed investigator. This book may have been better in hard print because you could skim read and possibly get a lot more out of it.


    Was Ghettoside worth the listening time?

    Couldn't finish it- got bored and wasn't learning anything new.


    Any additional comments?

    Surprised by the great ratings- did these people just like the concept or did they actually listen to the whole thing? I'm usually in sync with the majority.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dick Francis's Bloodline

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Felix Francis
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (63)

    When race caller and television presenter Mark Shillingford calls a race in which his twin sister, Clare, an accomplished and successful jockey, comes in second when she could have won, he believes the worst: that she lost on purpose, and the race was fixed. That night, Mark confronts Clare with his suspicions, she storms off after an argument - and it’s the last time Mark sees her alive. Hours later, Clare jumps to her death from the balcony of a London hotel...or so it seems. Devastated and guilty over her death, Mark goes in search of answers. What had led Clare to take her own life? Or was it not suicide at all?

    Su Co says: "Fast action packed without graphic sex & violence"
    "Very.slow.pace."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Felix Francis and/or Martin Jarvis?

    Regrettably, no.


    What was most disappointing about Felix Francis’s story?

    Just didn't seem realistic. Characters were too thinly sketched and not likeable. The plot had too many holes .


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I liked his baritone voice and crisp elocution, but he was not right for the main character (too old, too strong) and the women seemed like airheads (this is tough for all the male narrators).


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

    Disappointment- kept hope it would pick up.


    Any additional comments?

    I was a huge Dick Francis fan, but stopped reading his later works when the quality fell off. I knew his writing was a family affair, so when I saw Felix got 4 stars for Bloodline, I decided to give him a try. I'm sorry to say he doesn't have his father's touch. His "hero" began the book with a huge ethical lapse, and did not have the expected reaction to his sister's death, making him very unsympathetic He didn't ask the logical questions one would have after a sibling's presumed suicide, and it was frustrating that he seemed to miss obvious clues. The supporting characters behaved in arbitrary ways. His love interests (both of them) acted so suspiciously that I assumed they were being set up as conspirators or victims. Unlike Dick Francis, who would introduce new villains as the thriller progressed, Felix followed the "Law of Economy of Characters" so that the killer had to be one of the characters previously introduced. Once our hero identified the killer by sight, he was described only as "the man", which was really frustrating because it could have been 2 or 3 minor characters (either of them would have satisfied the plot). The setting of the race course broadcast booth was interesting, but most of the dialogue was really flat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Art Forger

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By B. A. Shapiro
    • Narrated By Xe Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1055)
    Performance
    (921)
    Story
    (924)

    Making a living reproducing famous artworks for a popular online retailer and desperate to improve her situation, Claire is lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting - a Degas masterpiece stolen from the Gardner Museum - in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when that very same long-missing Degas painting is delivered to Claire's studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery. Her desperate search for the truth leads Claire into a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late 19th century may be the only evidence that can now save her life.

    Cynthia says: "The Art Forger"
    "Hard to finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Learning about the "art" of art forgery and the commercial side of the art world was interesting, but the story was based on an "idiot plot" : no reasonable thinking person would have gotten him/herself in such a situation! I know that art forgers do exist and have their reasons, but I do not find them to be sympathetic. I continued listening to learn how the author would tie up the loose ends and vindicate her protagonist, which I knew she would do. The main character seemed likeable, but for a supposedly smart and strong-willed woman, was easily manipulated by men and lied too easily for her own good. By the end of the novel, I didn't understand how she had any friends or supporters. The story was so implausible, I ended up feeling cheated of my 10 hours.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Learning about art forgery, and the mystery of the fake Degas.


    What three words best describe Xe Sands’s voice?

    Men were irritating. She did well with the main (female) character's voice, but the men all were depicted in a deep-throated husky voice.


    Was The Art Forger worth the listening time?

    Yes and no. I could have spent more time in the world of the art world, less in the head of the main character, who was meant to be a heroine, but was really an unsympathetic character to anyone who cares about art and authenticity.


    Any additional comments?

    Dialogue was thin. Supposedly smart creative people should be much wittier.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Héctor Tobar
    • Narrated By Henry Leyva
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (322)
    Performance
    (278)
    Story
    (279)

    The exclusive, official story of the survival, faith, and family of Chile’s 33 trapped miners. When the San José mine collapsed outside of Copiapó, Chile, in August 2010, it trapped 33 miners beneath thousands of feet of rock for a record-breaking 69 days. Across the globe, we sat riveted to television and computer screens as journalists flocked to the Atacama desert. While we saw what transpired above ground during the grueling and protracted rescue, the story of the miners’ experiences below the Earth’s surface - and the lives that led them there.

    Deborah says: "Profound"
    "Profound"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Deep Down Dark to be better than the print version?

    Yes- narration enriched the story-telling and brought the characters to life more than reading from the printed page could invoke. Pacing and pitch were perfect.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Deep Down Dark?

    Many, many- was brought to tears several times. Although the story is well known, the author introduced many different layers of contemplation.


    Have you listened to any of Henry Leyva’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I will definitely look for them.


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

    Yes- listened in every spare moment. May listen again.


    Any additional comments?

    For those who liked "Unbroken", this is much, much better. The story is incredibly rich, on many levels. Author does a miraculous job of interweaving personal stories of 33 miners, their families, and the rescuers. Insightful and profound without straying from the real events and statements of the participants. One of the best "literary non-fiction" books I have ever read- on par with John Krakauer's "Into Thin Air".

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Wild Horses

    • ABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Dick Francis
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (57)

    When Thomas Lyon decides to make a movie based on an unsolved crime that shocked the horseracing world in Wild Horses, he discovers that someone will do anything - including commit murder - to make sure this story isn't told.

    Ruth says: "Love Dick Francis, but this is only 2 chapters"
    "Simply the best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    There is no one else like Dick Francis. I continued to listen for 9 straight hours without losing interest once. I love how he introduces a new setting for every mystery- this time it was the production of a film about horseracing. I appreciate his straighforward prose which propels the story forward and introduces interesting characters without expounding unnecessarily on background. Dick Francis' stories always have the right amount of tension and violence without gratuitous blood-letting. His hero is always smart, strong, and courageous while still seeming vulnerable and sympathetic. There are no loose ends in a Dick Francis mystery- the riddle introduced in the first page is answered by the final page, and many more besides.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wild Horses?

    Chasing the knife-wielding assailant in a jeep.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene with the wild horses on the beach pulled it all together for me. Before that, the title was a clever pun.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, but very entertaining escapism!


    Any additional comments?

    My only complaint would be about the female characters- while written to be strong and independent, their behavior does not exemplify those traits. Also, I don't believe the female victim would have acted in the way that the mystery revealed (can't say more than that without spoiling the ending).I don't understand the comments about the narrator for the first 3 chapters. The narrator was excellent throughout.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Faithful Place: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4163)
    Performance
    (2492)
    Story
    (2501)

    New York Times best-selling author Tana French has won the prestigious Edgar, Barry, Macavity, and Anthony awards. As her third novel featuring the Dublin Murder Squad opens, 19-year-old Frank Mackey is waiting in vain for Rosie, who he’s supposed to run away to London with. But when she doesn’t show, Frank leaves Dublin without her—thinking never to return.

    Amazon Customer says: "Incredible"
    "Didn't like narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Tana French is certainly a good writer and a critics darling and I liked the social context of the novel, but the male characters were all mercurial and unlikeable and the female characters all fairly flat. I did not want to spend 15 hours with this family! Much of the dialogue was pure sarcasm, got old fast. Many of the plot developments seemed totally implausible, it was hard to stay engaged. I've read 2 of her other novels, so I know not to expect a tidy procedural with all the mysteries tied up in the end, but this one left one murder still unsolved.


    What could Tana French have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Main character could have been more witty and charming to balance out the anger and rage.


    Have you listened to any of Tim Gerard Reynolds’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. Loved his soft Irish brogue and lovely singing voice. 2 of the male characters sounded a little like John Wayne- I didn't understand his accent there. Women were pretty unrealistic.


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

    Anger at the ridiculousness of the characters.


    Any additional comments?

    Probably won't read any more Tana French. This one was a slog.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death and Judgment: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Donna Leon
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (191)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (119)

    A truck crashes and spills its dangerous cargo on a treacherous road in the Italian Dolomite mountains. Meanwhile, in Santa Lucia, a prominent international lawyer is found dead aboard an intercity train. Suspecting a connection between the two tragedies, Commissario Guido Brunetti digs deep for an answer, stumbling upon a seedy Venetian bar that holds the key to a crime network that reaches far beyond the laguna.

    Anne says: "Escape to Northern Italy if you dare..."
    "This may be my last Donna Leon book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    While the mystery kept me interested, some of the interview scenes were very tedious (ex/ "Why did you do that?" "Do what?" "That." "This?" "No, that.") The family scenes seemed like unnecessary filler.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Realism is important, but the lack of justice in a murder mystery breaks an implicit agreement with the reader that the killer will be caught and crime and corruption will be overcome, if just for one fictional case. In this case, the true criminals were not brought to justice. One of the reasons I don't care for many of the male mystery writers (especially the Scandinavian authors) is the tendency toward sexual violence which propels the hunt for justice. The last 2 Donna Leon mysteries I have read have also fallen into this category. I do not want to read about rape and torture in an escapist novel.


    Which character – as performed by David Colacci – was your favorite?

    Does not do so well with the 14 year old daughter, and Guido sounded much older than the character in the novel.


    Did Death and Judgment inspire you to do anything?

    No


    0 of 0 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
    (1976)
    Performance
    (1389)
    Story
    (1390)

    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"
    "I think this was meant for a Young Adult audience."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Alan Bradley and/or Jayne Entwistle?

    No


    Would you ever listen to anything by Alan Bradley again?

    No


    What didn’t you like about Jayne Entwistle’s performance?

    Didn't want to listen to a child's voice


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

    Boredom


    Any additional comments?

    no no no no no no no no

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dry Bones in the Valley: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Tom Bouman
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    In Wild Thyme, Pennsylvania, secrets and feuds go back generations. The lone policeman in a small township on the sparse northern border, Henry Farrell expected to spend his mornings hunting and fishing, his evenings playing old-time music. Instead, he has watched the steady encroachment of gas drilling bring new wealth and erode neighborly trust. The drug trade is pushing heroin into the territory. There are outlaws cooking meth in the woods, guys Henry grew up with. When a stranger turns up dead, Henry’s search for the killer will open old wounds.

    Deborah says: "Good mystery rich with character and context"
    "Good mystery rich with character and context"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Dry Bones in the Valley?

    There may not be a better mystery writer publishing today. Mystery is well plotted without resorting to generic formulae. Characters, setting, and context are brought to life in literate prose. Rural Northeast Pennsylvania, with its methamphetamine labs and hydrofracking wells and contrast of newly rich landowners and down-and-out renters was richly described.


    What other book might you compare Dry Bones in the Valley to and why?

    Winter Bones, which brought the backwoods of Mississippi onto the big screen in a frighteningly realistic way. This book would make a great TV miniseries, like True Detective.


    Which character – as performed by Joe Barrett – was your favorite?

    Henry Farrell was the everyman- impossible not to relate to him.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Total immersion. Love a book that takes me to a new place and introduces me to characters I feel I already know.


    Any additional comments?

    I understand this is a debut novel- I can see the seeds have been planted for sequels, and I am looking forward to them!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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