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Elena

New York, NY, United States | Member Since 2010

ratings
14
REVIEWS
14
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
17

  • Rules of Civility: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Amor Towles
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1777)
    Performance
    (1416)
    Story
    (1400)

    Set in New York City in 1938, Rules of Civility tells the story of a watershed year in the life of an uncompromising 25-year-old named Katey Kontent. Armed with little more than a formidable intellect, a bracing wit, and her own brand of cool nerve, Katey embarks on a journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a brighter future.

    Emily - Audible says: "Like a Country Pastoral for City Rats"
    "Such a pleasant surprise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did not expect a gripping story after reading the synopsis. It surprised me with more action than I've expected. The focus of the book is still an internal life of a smart, gentle young woman and her coming of age in NYC in late 1930s.
    It is beautifully written, the characters are nicely developed. You feel like you are reading one of the great classics the main heroine admires so much, but with a very modern twist to it.
    If you like Jane Austin and Charles Dickens, this is a book for you.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Human Stain

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Phillip Roth
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    Overall
    (311)
    Performance
    (263)
    Story
    (262)

    It is 1998, the year in which America is whipped into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president, and in a small New England town, an aging classics professor, Coleman Silk, is forced to retire when his colleagues decree that he is a racist. The charge is a lie, but the real truth about Silk would have astonished even his most virulent accuser.

    Darwin8u says: "Spooky how Roth bends the edge of the possible"
    "Powerful! If you love Philip Roth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is a typical Philip Roth book. Powerful, well-written, has multiple narratives, presents different points of view.

    It is never about who is write or wrong in the conflict. It is not "who'd done it". Roth tells you how the story ends in the first part of the book. No surprises in actions. It is the characters who surprise you after you get a deeper glimpse into their internal world.

    You need to get used to the narrator, the slight frustration I had went away after the first 10 min.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10551)
    Performance
    (5792)
    Story
    (5837)

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "Not for Kids under 14, Stronger than the Movie!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I absolutely loved the book, one of the top 10 reads ever. However, as a mother of a tween who loved the movie, I feel like I need to provide this warning.

    After all the commercials for the Ang Lee's movie, I guess most people know the plot. Comparing to the movie, the book has more of the back story about the young character exploring religions, his growing up at the zoo, and the unique time in India.

    The initial time on the boat with all the animals and their demise is longer. The story of how there is only the tiger left is much more visceral, bloody and heartbreaking.

    The final revelation of the "real story" tears your heart out, I felt stoned and overwhelmed at this point. It is present, but somewhat brushed off in the movie.

    The movie managed to get the PG rating and create a magical fantasy, while the book has a much harsher, almost graphic nature. If followed completely, it would be an R-rated movie.

    It is a life-affirming and uplifting story, just not for 10-12 year olds...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Remains of the Day

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Kazuo Ishiguro
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (265)
    Performance
    (235)
    Story
    (229)

    The Remains of the Day is a profoundly compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and of his fading, insular world in postwar England. At the end of his three decades of service at Darlington Hall, Stevens embarks on a country drive, during which he looks back over his career to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving "a great gentleman". But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington's "greatness" and graver doubts about his own faith in the man he served.

    Dan Harlow says: "Duty, Honor, England"
    "Beautifully written, but the relevance is gone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ishiguro is a master of detail. His research artfully brought to life in this book truly immerses you into the post WWII England. It is a requiem to the end of an era of british aristocracy and the "gentlemen who serve gentlemen".
    The first person narration demonstrates the depth of delusion and the disconnect between the protagonist and the reality. It can frustrate you at times.
    At the end, it is a beautifully written book, but its point is as old-fashioned as its hero.

    5 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By James Gleick
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (760)
    Performance
    (467)
    Story
    (474)

    James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Ge­nius, brings us his crowning work: a revelatory chronicle that shows how information has become the modern era’s defining quality—the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world.

    Ethan M. says: "Brilliant book, heroic reader, better in print?"
    "The book as boring as its cover"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was intrigued by the name. I am in the business, work in marketing for one of the large media companies, and was looking forward to exploring a scientific side of information and get a glimpse of the future. I am sorry to say that I could not get past first 30 minutes, my mind kept wondering, and I had to rewind multiple times to follow the story (or what the author uses instead of one). Boring. Disappointing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wolf Hall

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Simon Slater
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1958)
    Performance
    (1227)
    Story
    (1233)

    In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political powerEngland in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn.

    S. Marie says: "A unique perspective of history"
    "For History Buffs"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wolf Hall is a substantial commitment of time and patience. It describes the amazing rise to power of Thomas Cromwell in 16th century England. Although a fiction, it gives a strong factual foundation of historical events and attempts to unveil the insight into the psychology and brain of this extraordinary man. His relationship with his family, a series of personal tragedies, support of his mentor cardinal Wolsey and ultimately the relationship with Henry VIII (the one with many wives) and the Boleyn family are described from the Cromwellls perspective.

    At the end I felt historically enriched, but the book did not leave a lasting impression, which is unfortunate after 24 hours of listening...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (11387)
    Performance
    (9854)
    Story
    (9826)

    Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

    Chris says: "Good Biography, Fine narrator"
    "Simply Fabulous!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Couldn't stop reading. The author laid it out as is, the good, the bad and the ugly. There is a clear admiration for the subject, but without trying to cover up for his numerous character flaws. You follow the birth, the growth and the ending of the genius. It has a lot of educational and encouraging messages for all.
    The narrator is great. The only thing I wished for is to have photos that are part of the printed edition to be somehow digitized and downloaded with the audiobook.

    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
    Overall
    (2368)
    Performance
    (1541)
    Story
    (1539)

    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!"
    "Detailed, Slightly Tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book gives a great overview of humanity understanding, experimenting and fighting with the disease. Although the writing flows nicely and there are a lot of real human stories and anecdotes, you get somewhat tired by the middle of the book.
    The author has a somewhat unhealthy admiration for the enemy he is trying to conquer, and the conclusion that we need to learn how to live with cancer better since it is not going anywhere, is slightly on a philosophically depressing side.
    I would not recommend it to readers who fight with the disease right now and have a “religious” outlook on life, or especially their very close and emotional relatives. You have to be a pragmatic and a philosopher to take the book straight.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mockingjay: The Final Book of The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26950)
    Performance
    (20801)
    Story
    (21001)

    Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena live, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge....

    A User says: "Conflicting Emotions"
    "The Ending Worth the Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mockingjay is very different from the first two installments. The book's structure is different, not centered around the games. It is slower, reflecting the mundane life in a confines of a secluded district. I would encourage you to look beyond your expectations of the action-packed events set up in the first two books. The main fire is burning inside our heroine. She does not know it yet, but from a clueless survivor she transforms into a solid, contemplating, mature human being.

    The ending is beautiful. The last main event questions everything and puts everything in its place. Oh yeah, and she ends up with the “right” boy and for the right reasons.

    PS By the third book I got used to the annoying narration by Carolyn McCormick. And her voice and pace finally fits for the last 20 minutes of the book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catching Fire: Hunger Games, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29439)
    Performance
    (22600)
    Story
    (22762)

    Katniss Everdeen continues to struggle to protect herself and her family from the Capitol in this second novel from the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy.

    FanB14 says: "Dissent Rules"
    "A Great "Middle""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just when I thought it will be a Harry Potter-like model all over again - the same structure of the story (summer, train, school, end of school year in HP, here - life in the districts, game announcement, games and post-games), the book turns itself into "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"! You have to read the last installment, since "Catching Fire" ends in a massive cliff-hanger. After several weeks you can even forget there the 2nd book ends and the last one begins in the story.
    You will enjoy it. I flew through it in 2 (working!) days on my way to the great ending

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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