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Arlington, MA, United States

  • 5 reviews
  • 199 ratings
  • 319 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2015

  • Dorothy Parker

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Marion Meade
    • Narrated By Grace Conlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    She was known for her outrageous one-liners, her ruthless theater criticism, her clever verses and bittersweet stories. But there was another side to Dorothy Parker, a private life set on a course of destruction.

    Heimo says: "heartbreaking and hilarious"
    "Good bio, but I didn't care for the narrator"

    The author succeeds in creating empathy for Dorothy Parker, a very talented but very troubled woman. Her career spans four decades of American history, including the Jazz Age, the War Years and the McCarthy Era, and her life intersects with many other famous American authors. However, the narrator sounds rather bored and snobbish, and pauses often. Increasing the speed helped somewhat.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dog on It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Spencer Quinn
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione

    In this, their first adventure, Chet and Bernie investigate the disappearance of Madison, a teenage girl who may or may not have been kidnapped, but who has definitely gotten mixed up with some very unsavory characters.

    Maggie says: "Great entertainment!"
    "A literal cliff-hanger"

    This is a fast-moving detective story, told convincingly from a dog's point of view, neither too cute or too human. The narrator is excellent, especially in doing the voices of the villains. It makes a poignant case for the adoption of rescued dogs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lacuna

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Born in the United States, but reared in Mexico, Harrison Shepherd finds precarious shelter but no sense of home on his thrilling odyssey. Life is whatever he learns from housekeepers and, one fateful day, by mixing plaster for famed muralist Diego Rivera. When he goes to work for Rivera, his wife, exotic artist Kahlo, and exiled leader Lev Trotsky, Shepherd inadvertently casts his lot with art and revolution.

    Tricia Stevens says: "Great story!"
    "Not Kingsolver's best"

    I've read and liked all of Barbara Kingsolver's work, beginning with The Bean Trees, but found The Lacuna to be a big disappointment. The author neglects many elements of good fiction, including characters and plot, while focusing on history. Her reading does nothing to bring the book to life.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • After This

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Alice McDermott
    • Narrated By Martha Plimpton

    Alice McDermott's masterful new novel is a vivd portrait of an American family caught at the crossroads of the tumultuous middle decades of the 20th century. Witty, compassionate, and wry, After This evokes the social, political, and spiritual upheavals of its time through the experiences of a working-class couple, John and Mary Keane, their four children, and the changes radiating through their Catholic community on Long Island.

    Jeanne Kaiser says: "A Jewel of a Book"
    "poignant and poetic"

    This is a beautifully written book, with a lot of depth. Themes such as war, religion and the role of chance connect the stories, which take place in the lives of one family over thirty years. However, I don't think that the narrator, Martha Plympton, does it justice. She merely reads it aloud without assuming the voices of any of the characters. Adult or child, male or female, drunk or sober, nun or college professor, they all sound the same. I'd recommend reading the book, rather than listening to it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Last Man Out: The Story of the Springhill Mine Disaster

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Melissa Faye Greene
    • Narrated By Henry Strozier

    Melissa Faye Greene stunningly unfolds the story of the Springhill, Nova Scotia, mine disaster, a drama that seems especially hard-hitting in light of more recent mine collapses. In 1958, gases were propelled three levels upward, trapping men against the ceiling and burying them. One hundred men had entered the dangerously built mine Number Two; 75 never saw the light of day again. Two groups of men did survive, although their struggle was immense and almost unbelievable.

    Edie says: "Survival, segregation and post-traumatic stress"
    "Survival, segregation and post-traumatic stress"

    Last Man Out is the taut, harrowing story of the 1958 Spring Hill, Nova Scotia mine disaster which killed 75 men. But there's another twist. Following the dramatic rescue of 19 survivers, who had spent a week underground, an aide to Georgia's racist governor has a brainstorm: publicize the state's fledgling tourist industry by treating the heroic miners and their families to a vacation on Jekyll Island. The media spotlight indeed shines on Georgia when the lone black survivor is barred from the state's segregated facilities. This miner has his 15 minutes of fame, but with unforseen consequences. Melissa Faye Greene tells how the brief glare of international publicity, followed by years of neglect, affected the impoverished community of Spring Hill, Nova Scotia. It's riveting history, very well written and well narrated.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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