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Enthous

St. Paul, MN USA

ratings
12
REVIEWS
7
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
2

  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (7425)
    Performance
    (6749)
    Story
    (6760)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Totally addictive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wish I didn't know who really wrote this book, but I can't unring that bell. I'm such a big JKR fan, but I'd like to think I can separate that and assess this book in a reasonably objective manner. Once I started, I couldn't stop listening to this book. It hooked me from the get go and never got boring. There's a lot of depth to the characters and the back story gets filled in gradually so they evolve as the book progresses. JK's descriptive abilities continue to shine and make every scene a rich experience beyond the progression of the story. Besides all that, it's a rip roaring good mystery, with twists and false turns aplenty. I look forward to the future adventures of Cormoran Strike and Robin.

    The only thing better than the book itself may be the reading of it. This was a wonderful performance by a gifted actor/reader. I had a copy of the book and in many parts read along with the narration. I found his reading and interpretation so much more vivid and interesting than I would have done in my head if I read it. Each character's voice was so well done and unique, I could tell who was speaking before the text told me.

    You know it's a good one when you're sad when you get to the end because there is no more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Daniel James Brown
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1900)
    Performance
    (1720)
    Story
    (1731)

    Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

    Janice says: "Do you believe in miracles??"
    "Row, row, row that boat!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A great listen on so many levels. There's the rowing history, the international politics, the personal story of Joe Rantz, and of course the excitement of collegiate and Olympic competition. Somehow it's still exciting, even though I know how the race ends.

    I checked out the Kindle version of the book from my library and used the Whispersync feature to keep track of the book version as I listened. In this particular book it was really worthwhile to see the written version, as there were lots of pictures that really enhanced the experience.

    I'm a big fan of Edward Hermann as an actor and can remember performances of his when he was a young man in the 70's. However, I found his reading sometimes a little sing-song and he read very fast, almost to the point of seeming in a hurry. Normally I enjoy a fast pace, but as I listened I felt the switch between subjects and time frames were always a surprise. When I followed in the electronic print version I saw that most of those times there were section delimiters in the book (paragraphs separated by several blank lines and an ellipsis) that would indicate a change in focus, but Mr. Hermann would ignore those and just keep reading without a pause, making me feel that the subject had changed rather abruptly. Other than that I enjoyed his reading, especially at some of the more emotional moments.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3212)
    Performance
    (2855)
    Story
    (2862)

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    "I read it first and still loved listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book last year and recommended it as a selection for my book club. I was going to re-read it to refresh my memory and then decided to listen to it for a new experience. Wow, am I glad I did. Jim Broadbent brought such subtle nuance to the character and made his emotions so real. If they make a movie of this book, he should play Harold, although he might not want to: been there, done that.

    The themes of transformational introspection, love deprived and nurtured, and the healing power of forgiveness resonated with me. A lovely tale of an Everyman (and woman) on their Everyjourney.

    This book is beautifully written and the words seem to almost sing when listened to. This was definitely a case where listening to the audible version was better than the read, which, by the way, I loved. It's also a book I will listen to again, after a while. Kind of like a movie you watch about once every year or two.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Up from Orchard Street

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Eleanor Widmer
    • Narrated By Lorna Raver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (342)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (117)

    Three generations of Roths live together in a crowded tenement flat. Long-widowed Manya is the family's head and its heart. But Manya is no soft touch, except, perhaps, where her granddaughter Elka is concerned. Precocious Elka is her closest companion and confidante. Through Elka's eyes we come to know the fascinating characters who move in and out of the Roths' lives.

    Sara says: "Tenement Life From a Child's Point of View"
    "Good details of ghetto life, poor characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm usually a sucker for this kind of story. Families surviving their circumstances, love conquers all, etc. This one left me flat. I actually couldn't wait til it was over. I kept listening hoping it would get better, but alas, it didn't. The characters, other than the narrator (written in the first person from the perspective of a young Jewish girl) and her bubbe were not well developed and had no depth. Her parents were developmentally narcissistic teenagers. This family lived in a Jewish ghetto, supposedly very poor, yet these people indulged themselves in expensive clothes and entertainments, even professional manicures, while resenting the few dollars spent on clothes their daughter needed for school. I found nothing to like about them, as the only thing I was told about them was that they were beautiful and charming, which was reiterated so often it became insulting. Although the author is a good storyteller, none of the stories or episodes gave the listener any insight into the individuals, nor did they seem to learn or evolve throughout the book. There were no consequences, epiphanies or maturation. It was a series of this happened, then this happened, and it all seemed so random. Even Manya, the wise grandmother, escapes a relationship with a horrible man, not by her own choice, but it just works out that way. The family is often the beneficiary of the largesse of more successful family members and friends, and it all seems so contrived, always coming just at the right moment.

    I gave it 2 stars because the stories often held their own, being interesting vignettes, even though they didn't seem to be part of a larger whole with a plot line leading somewhere, and I learned some things about life in that era and environment.

    The reader, though a woman with a full, mellow voice, as evidenced by the tone she used when reading the narrative portions of the book, used the same, shrill voice for all the speaking parts, and the same accent. People raised in Connecticut had the same NY twang, just not quite as much. Although everyone sounded pretty much alike, the men's voices in particular were indistinct from each other, just louder and higher pitched, so they seemed to be yelling all the time. The text of this book contained a lot of dialogue that was back-and-forth conversation without explicitly stating who was speaking. If you were reading the book, each change of speaker would be a new paragraph, and it would be easier to discern who was speaking, but when listening without the benefit of distinct voices for each character, this was difficult to follow.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Flight Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1656)
    Performance
    (1443)
    Story
    (1459)

    Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media.

    mj says: "Tough Message Delivered in Silk"
    "Leave the reading to the pros"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Ms. Kingsolver's writing and have read most of her books, but I will never listen to the audio version of another one that she reads. This book, although not one of my favorites of hers, was a good story, and in the typical Kingsolver fashion, manages to educate about an important topic while keeping us entertained using wonderful prose and interesting characters. There was a lot of scientific detail about Monarch butterflies that some might find tedious, but I enjoyed. Apparently I'm as big a nerd as she is.

    However, she's not an actor and does not do her work justice by performing the reading herself. Her voice doesn't have the full, round tones we've come to expect in an audio book. I have seen her in person, when she read a few pages of a book and that was great, but she doesn't have the talent or training to pull off an entire novel.

    Her reading of the dialog was actually okay: not great, but a good amateur performance. I'm no linguist so I can't say whether her accents were accurate, but they were good enough for my untrained ear. Certainly better than I would have done in my head had I read the book. It was the narrative portions of the book that drove me to distraction. It was plodding and cumbersome, and I was constantly aware of her trying to enunciate each word carefully. The intonations were exaggerated and it felt like I was being read to by a kindergarten teacher who couldn't break out of her usual role.

    Please, Ms Kingsolver, keep to what you were born to do: write. After all, would any of us have benefited if Arthur Miller insisted he had to play Willie Loman?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Casual Vacancy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By J. K. Rowling
    • Narrated By Tom Hollander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3007)
    Performance
    (2641)
    Story
    (2668)

    When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

    cristina says: "I was surprised by how much I liked it"
    "An Anglophile's delight"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Casual Vacancy?

    I love British stories of all kinds, especially ones that take place in small hamlets. These characters were very vivid, made more so by Tom Hollander's narration. Everyone was a little flawed, yet no one had no redeeming qualities (well, almost no one). I was able to empathize with almost all the characters at some point, and see where each was coming from.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I listened a while ago and sadly, can't remember her name. The troubled teenage girl who was on the rowing team. I believe it was Crystal, but I'm not sure. I was particularly sympathetic to her attachment to her little brother, and her discouraging situation.


    What does Tom Hollander bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His normal voice is very deep and soothing, and he had well-defined voices for each character. I could tell immediately who was speaking before the text indicated it. There were a lot of characters in this book; I think his interpretations helped keep them vivid.


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

    Yes, but if I say it, it's a spoiler. Late in the book, involving the teenage girl I mention as my favorite character.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 7th Month: A Detective D. D. Warren Story

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 47 mins)
    • By Lisa Gardner
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    Overall
    (2491)
    Performance
    (2103)
    Story
    (2110)

    In Lisa Gardner’s first-ever short story following thirteen bestselling novels, The 7th Month takes listeners between the books and into a day in the life of Boston Detective D. D. Warren. In her seventh month of pregnancy, D.D. should be taking it easy. Instead, she accepts a small consulting role on the set of a serial killer film shooting in Boston.

    Kristi Richardson says: "A great short detective mystery!"
    "Nice short taste"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The 7th Month rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the middle somewhere, I guess. I've listened to much worse performances, but also much better.


    What other book might you compare The 7th Month to and why?

    Perhaps the Sue Grafton books, both having a strong female detective lead.


    Have you listened to any of Kirsten Potter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, this is the first of hers I've heard.


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

    Yes, although I didn't. But I enjoyed having a short, entertaining mystery.


    Any additional comments?

    This story was enough to make me interested in more stories in this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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