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E. Van Hook

New York, NY | Member Since 2005

  • 6 reviews
  • 50 ratings
  • 625 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014

  • To the End of the Land

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By David Grossman, Jessica Cohen (translator)
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Ora, a middle-aged Israeli mother, is on the verge of celebrating her son Ofer’s release from army service when he returns to the front for a major offensive. In a fit of preemptive grief and magical thinking, she sets out for a hike in the Galilee, leaving no forwarding information for the “notifiers” who might darken her door with the worst possible news. Recently estranged from her husband, Ilan, she drags along an unlikely companion: their former best friend and her former lover Avram, once a brilliant artistic spirit.

    E. Van Hook says: "Sample first"
    "Sample first"

    The reviews of this book have been strong and a book-friend highly recommended the written version. When I sampled the audible version, I hesitated because the reading sounded dull, uninspired, a bit whiney - but I took the plunge. I regret it.
    I quote another reviewer (different book, same reader) because it expresses my reaction: "I found myself mentally rolling my eyes at some of the dialogue, until it occured to me that the problem was the reader and not the prose. When I imagined reading the words I was listening to, everything fell into place and the book instantly improved. "

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The tsunami of cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering entire societies the chance to reveal aspects of their characters they could not normally afford to indulge. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a pinata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.

    Andy says: "we may not be the most stupid kids on the planet"
    "What Michael Lewis Does Best"

    A template for understanding recent financial market shenanigans based on human behavior and human limitations (of intellect, pride, greed). Lewis is always entertaining. Thoroughly enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "Wonderful Book"

    I hated for "The Help" to end. This is a book that I will listen to again, and I hope that Kathryn Stockett is hard at work writing a sequel. As one reader suggested, "The Help" may be better as a listen than a read. But that is because the narrators are outstanding. It is an unfortunate oversight that only Jenna Lamia is listed as a reader, given the magnificent voices of Bahni Turpin and Octavia Spencer who embody different characters. All 3 are perfect.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • What a Party: My Life Among Democrats

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Terry McAuliffe, Steve Kettmann
    • Narrated By Terry McAuliffe

    For a generation of Democrats, Terry McAuliffe has been the ultimate political insider: strategist and spokesperson for the party, confidant for the candidates, mediator among party leaders, and, without question, the most successful fundraiser in political history. Now, McAuliffe's energetic memoir provides readers with a fly-on-the-wall view, from the front lines to the back rooms where deals are made, strategies conceived, initiatives launched, and elections won. Or, sometimes, lost.

    Eric says: "great fun"
    "Great Listen"

    A wonderful,smart, personal, and funny account of our recent history through the perspective of an insider who is unabashedly passionate about our country's ideals and institutions, angry at the stupidity and cynicism of the current administration, and accepting of the rules of political battle. His account of the inner workings of campaigns - and of what was the matter with the Kerry machine - is fascinating. Uplifting. McAuliffe does the narration - very well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Special Topics in Calamity Physics

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This is a darkly hilarious coming-of-age novel and a richly plotted suspense tale told through the distinctive voice of its heroine, Blue van Meer. After a childhood spent moving from one academic outpost to another with her father, Blue is clever and possessed of a vast lexicon of knowledge. But when a drowning and the shocking death of a teacher lead to a confluence of mysteries, Blue is left to make sense of it all with only her gimlet-eyed instincts and cultural references to guide - or misguide - her.

    Jeanie says: "Over 21 Hours of Bliss..."
    "a great new voice"

    Marisha Pessl is wonderfully attuned to the nuances of relationships, solitude, and life in this world. She brings a clever twist to the use of metaphor. Humorous, lively, smart as heck, you will not bored for a second.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suite Francaise: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Irene Nemirovsky
    • Narrated By Daniel Oreskes, Barbara Rosenblat

    Irene Nemirovsky was arrested soon after completing the second part of Suite Francaise. Ten days later, on August 17, 1942, she died of typhus in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Her husband, Michel, perished in a gas chamber on November 6. Their daughters, Denise and Elizabeth, survived, hidden in safe houses and convents, carrying a suitcase packed with clothes, photographs, and their mother's manuscript written in tiny letters to save paper.

    Robert says: "The best book I've read all year"
    "Wonderful and Boring"

    I read most of the book and found it very satisfying in detail and feeling. Then I listened - and found it boring. The reader's voice is distracting, its modulations seeming inspired by something within the reader rather than by the narrative, and he employs a potpourri of not quite identifiable accents. Even the most basic French approximations are too far off-target: "monsieur" becomes "mushyur". The acting is overheated or boring. Disappointing.

    7 of 13 people found this review helpful

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