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Louisville, KY, United States | Member Since 2014

  • 4 reviews
  • 53 ratings
  • 153 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2015

  • Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Ben Fountain
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents at "the battle of Al-Ansakar Canal" - three minutes and forty-three seconds of intense warfare caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew - has transformed the eight surviving men of Bravo Squad into America's most sought-after heroes. For the past two weeks, the Bush administration has sent them on a media-intensive nationwide Victory Tour to reinvigorate public support for the war. Now, on this chilly and rainy Thanksgiving, the Bravos are guests of America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys....

    Mel says: "Oh-ooo Say, Can We See?"
    "No Catch-22 But Still An Entertaining Novel"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?


    Ben Fountain’s new novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, has been compared to Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. Such comparisons are optimistic.

    Billy Lynn's is a light if entertaining read that takes predictable potshots at Texas, former President Bush, conservatives and United States military strategy, the last a subject so complex and so interconnected to political and economic initiatives that many are simply too ill educated to discuss the topic knowledgeably. But that doesn’t stop anyone from trying, which is one of the points of Fountain’s book.

    Read Billy Lynn's for entertainment value. Don’t read it thinking it possesses the same brilliance as Catch-22; you’ll most likely be disappointed.

    That’s not to say Billy Lynn's isn’t without insight. The book boasts a few wondrous moments (mostly humorous) and some well-crafted passages that prompt serious introspection.

    Here’s but one example of a critical thought I suspect Fountain spent quite a bit of time polishing: “How does anyone ever know anything? The past is a fog that breathes out ghost after ghost, the present a freeway thunder run at 90 miles per hour, which makes the future the ultimate black hole of futile speculation.”

    That’s good stuff.

    It should be noted I found the narration quite good, too. The narrator's timely inflections and regional accents added to my enjoyment of this novel, definitely adding a star to the overall rating.

    Would you recommend Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk to your friends? Why or why not?


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The end.

    Was Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk worth the listening time?


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • This Is How You Lose Her

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Junot Díaz
    • Narrated By Junot Díaz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The stories in This Is How You Lose Her, by turns hilarious and devastating, raucous and tender, lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts. They capture the heat of new passion, the recklessness with which we betray what we most treasure, and the torture we go through - "the begging, the crawling over glass, the crying" - to try to mend what we've broken beyond repair. They recall the echoes that intimacy leaves behind, even where we thought we did not care.

    Roy Reiss says: "For narration leave the prose for the pros"
    "Memorable stories, compelling story writing"

    If you're in the mood for effectively written, heart-wrenching contemporary stories that might well leave you feeling sad, this is the collection for you. Note, I listened to the audiobook version, which earns an extra star for the author's earnest narration efforts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nine Inches: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Tom Perrotta
    • Narrated By William Dufris, Andi Arndt, Tom Perrotta, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Tom Perrotta’s first book, Bad Haircut, consisted of linked stories featuring a shared protagonist. Now, nineteen years later, he has written and compiled his first true short story collection. This twelve story book features a group set in Perrotta’s trademark suburban setting, focusing on the fissures in families and unexpected connections among members of typical American communities, including “Senior Season” and "Nine Inches".

    Mark says: "great short stories capture modern day life"
    "Wonderful collection"

    Perrotta's stories are first rate. I repeatedly found myself drawn to his characters, sympathizing with their broken relationships and celebrating their triumphs, however subtle. The collection is so good I'm sorry to have finished.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dept. of Speculation

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Jenny Offill
    • Narrated By Jenny Offill

    "The Wife" once exchanged love letters with her husband, coyly postmarked the Dept. of Speculation, their code name for all the uncertainty that inheres in life and in the strangely fluid confines of a long relationship. As they confront an array of common catastrophes -the arrival of a child and, later, a lover - the Wife puzzles over the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and romantic love.

    W. Spradlin says: "Offill. Truly awful."
    "Similar to a highly polished Moth reading"

    Jenny Offill's Dept. of Speculation is a tight, compact collection of letters written to her husband. I listened to the work as an audiobook. I felt as if I were hearing someone read intimate journal entries. I was reminded of a really long but highly polished Moth reading. Overall, I enjoyed the experience and found myself referring back to phrases and passages from the book, always a good sign the author's done something right.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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