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Deborah

HOUSTON, TX, United States | Member Since 2011

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 81 ratings
  • 188 titles in library
  • 45 purchased in 2014
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  • The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Matt Taibbi
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (450)
    Performance
    (403)
    Story
    (409)

    Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The prison population doubles. Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of the world’s wealth. The rich get massively richer. No one goes to jail. In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling trends - growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration - come together, driven by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: Our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty.

    Michael says: "Capitalism and Democracy Collide"
    "Highly worthwile"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Divide in three words, what would they be?

    Eye-opening, jaw-dropping, mesmerizing


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    We all are aware of the economic divide in American society today, but this book exposes the differential way our legal system treats the rich and powerful vs. the poor and disenfranchised. Taibii is enough of a journalist that he can paint the broad strokes with amazing statistics, but bring the story to life with personal stories, interviews, and e-mails.


    What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?

    Very conversational style, brings the story to life. I thought it might be boring, but this book I could not stop listening to. Sometimes the sarcastic tone seems unnecessary.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Comparing US legal system to that in Russia: there might be one set of laws, but they are disproportionately applied. The appalling rate of incarceration among urban blacks. The police state in large cities, such as New York. The locker-room mentality of wall street criminals. The terribly sad fate of so many poor people with no resources to fight injustice. The fact that some public defenders seem to have no understanding or sympathy for those they are assigned to defend.


    Any additional comments?

    The author has a point of view- if you don't agree with him, you will probably not enjoy this book. I agree 100%, and it was wonderful to hear it so well articulated.

    2 of 2 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
    (19)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    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".

    0 of 0 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
    (66)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (52)

    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
    (3826)
    Performance
    (2198)
    Story
    (2203)

    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
    (180)
    Performance
    (107)
    Story
    (111)

    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
    (1628)
    Performance
    (1087)
    Story
    (1089)

    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
    (15)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    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
  • Past Midnight

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Mara Purnhagen
    • Narrated By Tara Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (265)
    Performance
    (241)
    Story
    (244)

    "Let me set the record straight. My name is Charlotte Silver and I'm not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV...no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I'm usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven't gone unnoticed...."

    janice says: "fun with twinge of spooky"
    "Enjoyable light summer listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    This is more appropriate for a young adult (teenage) audience.


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

    Teenage girls should be a little more mean!


    What about Tara Sands’s performance did you like?

    Did each character well- easy to tell apart


    Was Past Midnight worth the listening time?

    Yes- short and sweet


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 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
    (70)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (61)

    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
  • Death on a High Floor

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Charles Rosenberg
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (814)
    Performance
    (714)
    Story
    (720)

    On the 85th floor of a glittering high-rise in Los Angeles, Robert Tarza steps into the lobby of the Marbury Marfan law firm to discover his partner Simon Rafer lying in a pool of blood - an ornate dagger plunged into his back. Robert had worked with Simon for decades, and their relationship was fraught with conflict. But he never imagined he would wind up as the prime suspect for his colleague’s murder. As the evidence stacks up against him with frightening speed, he quickly falls from his respected position to that of a criminal dragged through the tabloids.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Excellent Mystery, Brilliant Narration"
    "Entertaining, but totally implausible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Charles Rosenberg and/or Christopher Lane?

    Charles Rosenberg- possibly
    Christopher Lane- absolutely


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Oscar doing push-ups


    What character would you cut from Death on a High Floor?

    Jenna


    Any additional comments?

    Started with a great hook- high price corporate lawyer stabbed in the back on the 85th floor of an LA office building. From there, the" idiot plot" unfolded: if the main character (another corporate lawyer) acted like a reasonable person, the next 7 hours would never have happened. There was one dope-slapping decision after another, which made sleuthing Agatha Christie style to guess the "real killer" totally impossible. Eventually, I turned off my brain and went along for the ride, which wasn't boring and eventually wrapped up nicely.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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