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Fran Murphy

frannim

Kensington, MD USA | Member Since 2004

50
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015
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  • Twilight of the Elites: America after Meritocracy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Christopher Hayes
    • Narrated By Christopher Hayes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (370)
    Performance
    (336)
    Story
    (333)

    Over the past decade, Americans watched in bafflement and rage as one institution after another - from Wall Street to Congress, the Catholic Church to corporate America, even Major League Baseball - imploded under the weight of corruption and incompetence. In the wake of the Fail Decade, Americans have historically low levels of trust in their institutions; the social contract between ordinary citizens and elites lies in tatters. How did we get here? Christopher Hayes offers a radically novel answer.

    Matt says: "Listen To This Immediately!"
    "Our life and Times in Perspective"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Twilight of the Elites in three words, what would they be?

    Solid comprehensive timely


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Twilight of the Elites?

    Hayes skillfully reviews the unraveling of every major institution in the recent past.


    Which character – as performed by Christopher Hayes – was your favorite?

    His description of the Catholic Church's handling of pedophile priests over decades was especially revealing.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    It's how we got here.


    Any additional comments?

    Hayes narrates his book well. And while the book outlines the current state of our lives, I wish there were more solutions for our future were offered. Maybe that is his next book!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16675)
    Performance
    (13890)
    Story
    (13885)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    L. O. Pardue says: ""Rear Window" Meets "Gone Girl""
    "Strangers on and off a train"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sometimes we don't really know the people we love. And the blurry memories of the alcoholic heroine only add to the mystery. A great book for anyone who's ever watched other peoples lives from a train and that's probably just about everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Redeployment

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Phil Klay
    • Narrated By Craig Klein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (264)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (222)

    Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos. Across nations and continents, Klay sets in devastating relief the two worlds a soldier inhabits: one of extremes and one of loss.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Must Read - Fantastic Heart Rendering Shorts"
    "War on the Inside"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As an audio experience it was a little confusing because I never know when one story ended and another began. all in all a fascinating look at the impact of war before during and after.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Phantom

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (704)
    Performance
    (594)
    Story
    (592)

    When Harry left Oslo again for Hong Kong - fleeing the traumas of life as a cop - he thought he was there for good. But then the unthinkable happened. The son of the woman he loved, lost, and still loves is arrested for murder: Oleg, the boy Harry helped raise but couldn't help deserting when he fled. Harry has come back to prove that Oleg is not a killer. Barred from rejoining the police force, he sets out on a solitary, increasingly dangerous investigation that takes him deep into the world of the most virulent drug to ever hit the streets.

    Fran Murphy says: "Jo Nesbo hates Harry Hole"
    "Jo Nesbo hates Harry Hole"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Phantom again? Why?

    What has happened to our "hero" Harry Hole? Never a matinee idol, a current description of Harry is starting to sound like an introduction to a monster. A towering 6'4"' Harry's face now has more scars than a plastic surgery ward.
    And when I first started listening in on the Hole saga, there was humorous cultural commentary woven throughout the unfolding story. Lately following Harry is a dark, sometimes tedious, journey into the worst of human nature with no comic relief.
    Harry is constantly physically attacked, piling on more scar tissue as he goes. You can just imagine Nesbo wreaking his revenge on his signature character and defining a love - hate relationship.
    And at the end of this book, you may wonder if we have seen the last of our old pal Harry. Certainly, it seems, any chance he ever had of personal happiness is doomed. I don't know if I will tune into his next chapter.
    Jo Nesbo, lighten up and show your guy Harry a little love!


    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Charles Murray
    • Narrated By Traber Burns
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (138)

    In Coming Apart, Charles Murray explores the formation of American classes that are different in kind from anything we have ever known, focusing on whites as a way of driving home the fact that the trends he describes do not break along lines of race or ethnicity.

    Brent says: "great insights to today's culture wars"
    "Making sense of the Changing Face of America"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Coming Apart the most enjoyable?

    The Comparisons between "Belmont" the more advantaged and successful fictional town and the more downbeat lifestyles of "Fishtown" were a good method of explaining how our country is growing more divided.


    Which character – as performed by Traber Burns – was your favorite?

    Burns is a great narrator and helps make the content easy to absorb. What is most upsetting about the America Murray portrays is that it is a natural evolution of the things we have always valued, like the role of education in pulling Americans apart.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    having the lives we always wanted is tearing America apart


    Any additional comments?

    Alas to truly understand this book you probably should be consulting a hard copy. There are lots of statistics which are hard to keep in your mind as the narration moves along. Murray's theories are interesting and there does not seem to be a political bias behind them because he is a libertarian.I didn't think I would agree with the premises in this book but it is hard to disagree with the two Americas and how we got here that Murray reveals.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27676)
    Performance
    (24487)
    Story
    (24553)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Best Book of the Summer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Gone Girl the most enjoyable?

    The use of two narrators - both of whom did an excellent job - made the book more enjoyable.


    What other book might you compare Gone Girl to and why?

    I cant really compare it to any other book I have read or listened to recently. If I had to describe it I might call it a marriage version of War and Peace.


    What does Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Julia and Kirby were great voices...they gave the characters personalities that were at times very identifiable and at other times totally repellant. They brought the book to life for me and I am sure all the other listeners.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The book was very compelling. It kept you wanting to listen to more to see how it would all work out.


    Any additional comments?

    My biggest complaint about the book was its ending, which of course is the hardest part of bringing together any set of plot lines. Maybe the ending was more realistic but I would have preferred something more in keeping with the twists that constantly unraveled in the story itself.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Angle of Investigation: Three Harry Bosch Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Len Cariou
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (686)
    Performance
    (587)
    Story
    (586)

    LAPD Detective Harry Bosch tackles three tough cases that span a legendary career in this never-before-collected trio of stories. Utterly unputdownable, they are proof that "Connelly never stops doling out the suspense.... Once it grabs you in those first few pages, it won't let go of you" (Boston Globe).

    Jane says: "Too short to do anything in depth"
    "I love Harry Bosch"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These were great short stories about one of my favorite fictional detectives. Very enjoyable. I can't wait til the next Harry Bosch book comes out. I also recommend The Drop.

    0 of 1 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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28364)
    Performance
    (14906)
    Story
    (14958)

    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!"
    "The Help surprised me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didnt expect to like this book ... bought it mostly to find out what the fuss was all about since it was a runaway best seller.

    And I thought I couldn't get any more insight into the civil rights struggle, but I was wrong.

    I found the story and the tone very evocative of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

    The characters were memorable and there was plenty of dramatic tension.

    I recommend it to anyone who likes a good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flash and Bones: Temperance Brennan, Book 14

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Kathy Reichs
    • Narrated By Linda Emond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (604)
    Performance
    (495)
    Story
    (501)

    Just as 200,000 fans are pouring into town for Race Week, a body is found in a barrel of asphalt next to the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The next day, a NASCAR crew member comes to Temperance Brennan’s office at the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner to share a devastating story. Twelve years earlier, Wayne Gamble’s sister, Cindi, then a high school senior and aspiring racer, disappeared along with her boyfriend, Cale Lovette. Lovette kept company with a group of right-wing extremists known as the Patriot Posse.

    Tia says: "Don't start here if you're new to the series!"
    "Tempe goes to the races"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am usually a big fan of Ms. Brennan but honestly NASCAR was not a topic that appealed to me and there was just enough of it in there to be a drag [pun intended].
    Also very little Ryan in this book...barely a mention! I missed him even if Tempe didnt.
    It all took place in Charlotte when usually Tempe has some Montreal story woven into the plot.
    I will probably buy the next Reichs title but maybe the TV show is getting all the good stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Now You See Her

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge
    • Narrated By Elaina Erika Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (910)
    Performance
    (550)
    Story
    (568)

    A successful lawyer and loving mother, Nina Bloom would do anything to protect the life she's built in New York - including lying to everyone, even her daughter, about her past. But when an innocent man is framed for murder, she knows that she can't let him pay for the real killer's crimes.

    Cheryl says: "Now You See Her"
    "Maybe less is more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    James Patterson writes so many books...more in a year than some authors in a lifetime. I find them a guilty pleasure. But this one just seemed so predictable. Maybe it is time to start writing less and creating more! I found this a hack job and so for now I will be listening to Patterson less and enjoying it more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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