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Dorothy Wimsey


  • The Hot Rock: The First Dortmunder Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Donald E. Westlake
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    John Dortmunder and company are hired by an U.N. African Ambassador to steal the famed Balabomo Emerald from the hands of a rival African country. But their daring and clever burglarly goes awry, and the emerald slips through their fingers. Undaunted, Dortmunder chases the gem by plane, train and automobile in hot pursuit of the hot rock.

    William says: "Dortmunder is on his game in this fun introduction"
    "Absurdist comic caper"
    Would you listen to The Hot Rock again? Why?

    I don't know that I'd listen to it again in a hurry, just because the plot isn't so subtle that you really need to re-read (or re-listen) again in a hurry. However, once I've had time to forget some specifics, I think it would be fun to re-listen.

    What did you like best about this story?

    It's one long series of near-misses that never quite veers into the slapstick. I enjoy that, and the heists planned by the characters are ingenious (and therefore delightful)

    Which character – as performed by Jeff Woodman – was your favorite?

    I think the narrator did a particularly good job with Stan Murch.

    A quick aside on accents--other reviews have taken the narrator to task for having a 'Pakistani-sounding' couple of African characters. I disagree with them. I've never been to Pakistan, but I've lived, studied, visited, and worked in multiple African countries on different regions of the continent (as well has having friends from different areas as well), and the characters' accents to me sounded completely reasonable as approximations of East African accents. (Many of which are influenced by emigration from Southeast Asia)

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

    It would have been fine to listen to all in one sitting, but I split it up over a week.

    Any additional comments?

    The reason I gave this book less than 5 entire stars was because there's some racist/racist-leaning (as well as some sexist)language. (Africans are referred to as "ebony-colored" and "colored", for example). The book is a product of its time, and I understand that, but I'm not an apologist. The reason I gave it four stars instead of five is that I'm also not in favor of retroactively editing/censoring past works. Be warned--for all its lighthearted capering and absurdist, deadpan humor--the book talks about non-whites and non-women in a decidedly non-modern way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Witness Wore Red: The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Rebecca Musser, M. Bridget Cook
    • Narrated By Rebecca Musser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Always seeking to be an obedient Priesthood girl, in her teens Rebecca Musser became the nineteenth wife of her people's prophet: 85-year-old Rulon Jeffs. Finally sickened by the abuse she suffered and saw around her, she pulled off a daring escape and sought to build a new life and family.

    Briley says: "Compelling and emotional read"
    "Heartwrenching, fascinating, haunting, depressing"
    If you could sum up The Witness Wore Red in three words, what would they be?

    Personal, epic, conflicted

    What other book might you compare The Witness Wore Red to and why?

    I'd compare it to The Escape, Stolen Innocence, and Lost Boys--all books that are written by FLDS apostates about their experiences with various sorts of abuse by FLDS leaders.

    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes....but the narration also had a consistent, but jarringly unusual, inflection pattern. I found it hard to get used to (normally I will get used to something in the first few chapters; this sort of twinged every time I heard it).

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

    The narrator/author does a particularly good job of portraying the world that she experienced as a child. I felt my heart in my throat when she was describing her fear of the beatings, her confusion at what she was being told to do...she sounded just like one of my young cousins.

    Any additional comments?

    This book makes a big effort to be objective and fair, and reminds you frequently that that is what it is doing. I find it a little weird, because of course there's no way that this could be other than partisan, but I do appreciate that the author/narrator really emphasizes the emotional turmoil that she experiences. The narration was acceptable, but distracting in its inflection. I feel a little bad criticizing it, because in comparison to what happened to the author, I have had a very very very easy and privileged life...on the other hand, it really isn't perfect.

    So: Overall, this is a fantastic book, but it's not a flawlessly executed book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Siddhartha Mukherjee
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Written by cancer physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies is a stunning combination of medical history, cutting-edge science, and narrative journalism that transforms our understanding of cancer and much of the world around us. Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist's precision, a novelist's richness of detail, a historian's range, and a biographer's passion.

    Paul Krasner says: "Spectacular!"
    "Too condescending in tone to be enjoyable"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who enjoy medical dramas told from the perspective of the doctor (rather than in sympathy with the patient)

    What could Siddhartha Mukherjee have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Refrain from sounding so incredibly self-impressed, and also from self-aggrandizement. For a "biography of cancer" this book is actually more "My experiences as an oncologist, as related by me, a fascinating individual". If he were any more full of himself, he would pop.

    What didn’t you like about Stephen Hoye’s performance?

    Stephen Hoye does a fine job of reflecting the tone of the writing, which is supercilious and self-satisfied. But it's painful to listen to.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Emperor of All Maladies?

    All the parts where Mukherjee waxes on about his own experience, rather than sticking to the story he promises--that of cancer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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