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J. C. Edens

Been on/off with Audible since '07, when I found myself long-term in China, desperate for English language books. Love a good story.

Georgia, USA | Member Since 2014

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 53 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015
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  • Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Novella Carpenter
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (167)
    Story
    (168)

    Novella Carpenter loves cities - the culture, the crowds, the energy. At the same time, she can't shake the fact that she is the daughter of two back-to-the-land hippies who taught her to love nature and eat vegetables. Ambivalent about repeating her parents' disastrous mistakes, yet drawn to the idea of backyard self-sufficiency, Carpenter decided that it might be possible to have it both ways.

    Sarah says: "Not an instruction book but a fun read"
    "I was really excited at first, then lost interest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Farm City?

    While at first I really loved the odd collection of neighbors and her interesting little block in urban Oakland, they eventually became uninteresting and there to make a hippie's story more colorful. I was very gung-ho rooting for Novella, urban farmer, but I just lost interest after awhile in her farming antics. It might just be because I don't have a huge frame of reference for the experience. Someone who is into farming, and urban farming, might truly connect with her and her struggles. I live in a total urban jungle and my grass is public parks, which I love because I don't have to garden or mow them. So maybe I'm just not the right audience.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I didn't have any complaints about the performance. That's a big factor for me before I buy an audiobook. She was good.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Superior Death

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Nevada Barr
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (330)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (148)

    Nevada Barr quickly attracted the attention of mystery fans when her first Anna Pigeon mystery, Track of the Cat, appeared. Now she immerses the intrepid park ranger in a perilous search that will take her far below the waters of Lake Superior. As Anna spends her days patrolling its shores, the surface of Lake Superior fills with tourists. In the depths below lie an ancient ship and the bones of its sailors.

    Charlene says: "Great mystery, totally enjoyed it"
    "Fun romp through a rugged landscape"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Fun easy listen, I learned a great deal about the technical components of humans underwater.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Superior Death?

    The main character, Anna Pigeon, is a great protagonist-park-ranger-mystery-solver.


    What about Barbara Rosenblat’s performance did you like?

    She was relatable and personified the characters, brought them to life. I would listen to other books by her for sure.


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

    Potentially, if I was a person who did that. But I've never done that ever! It was compelling though.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stand

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7535)
    Performance
    (6695)
    Story
    (6757)

    This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides - or are chosen.

    Keith says: "Worth the wait!"
    "So worthwhile. Might take you 2 years."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Stand in three words, what would they be?

    Humans: flaws & survival.


    What other book might you compare The Stand to and why?

    Other apocalyptic books. Obviously one of the characters in The Stand is a primary character in King's Dark Tower series, but I've never read the series. This is a classic in the genre of end-of-days books.


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    I found Nadine Cross and Harold Lauder to be so compelling - not favorite characters in that they are very likable, but favorite in that they add SO MUCH to the drama of the plot! And mister sociology professor Glen Bateman is so good at waxing poetic on the fate of us all.


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

    The whole first section, with the breakdown of civil society, is completely fascinating all on its own. I was also surprised at some of the people I really expected to survive the climactic Stand to not make it through. Drama through-and-through.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6989)
    Performance
    (6223)
    Story
    (6226)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Grant says: "Something about this book bothered me."
    "Just a love story, but told with EPIC BACKDROP"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Night Circus in three words, what would they be?

    mysterious, whirlwind, fated


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Night Circus?

    The black and whiteness of the circus. I am not a circus loving person, nor do I find them terribly romantic or magical. But this circus, I have never wanted to climb into a book more, and experience this place for myself. Impressed that this circus could do that to me. And in black and white - genius!


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

    Well I started listening to the Harry Potter series read by Jim Dale, but only after this series, so it's fun to hear some of the same accents of varying regional UK folk. Great narration!


    Who was the most memorable character of The Night Circus and why?

    The twins.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Historian

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Kostova
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre, Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2924)
    Performance
    (1262)
    Story
    (1275)

    Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

    Branden says: "Phenomenallly detailed..."
    "Epic, gripping, sweeps across the 20th century"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Historian?

    The way it cuts across several generations of the same, gripping story. And all their lovely travel throughout Europe--Amsterdam, Oxford, across the South of France, Istanbul, Romania and the Carpathians, with a few moments in the U.S. - dreamy!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Vlad Tepes, of course. Just kidding, Rossi.


    Have you listened to any of Justine Eyre and Paul Michael ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Nope, but this one is phenomenal! The voice of Dracula is insane. Insanely good.


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

    I felt moved often, especially when we uncover little new bits of the truth, and continue to be suspicious of pale librarians and the undead! I love that the people in this book are so very intelligent and logical, so that it takes us a bit longer to actually believe, as it takes them as well, that the rather unnatural things that are happening are really happening. Creepy!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Snowman

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2163)
    Performance
    (1488)
    Story
    (1489)

    Oslo in November. The first snow of the season has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Out his window, in the cold moonlight, he sees the snowman that inexplicably appeared in the yard earlier in the day. Around its neck is his mother’s pink scarf. Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter he’s received and the disappearance of Jonas’s mother - and of perhaps a dozen other women, all of whom went missing on the day of a first snowfall. As his investigation deepens, something else emerges: he is becoming a pawn....

    Anita says: "many layered thriller"
    "My first Jo Nesbo - did not disappoint!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend. It's a solid crime story, detective you care to keep up with, and the story is compelling.


    What did you like best about this story?

    From the first chapter, which takes place long before the modern Harry Hole mystery to solve, I was hooked. What a way to start the a story!!!!! It comes back around and fits so well later!


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

    Excellent pacing, I would say. I always listen to the sample first so I'm not burned with bad narration, and read reviews. He did a nice job.


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

    IT'S GONNE GET COLD!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Rupert Degas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (263)
    Performance
    (236)
    Story
    (237)

    In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat.... Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid 16-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan's forgotten campaign in Manchuria.

    Darwin8u says: "A Huge, Heavy, Creepy, Cool Murakami"
    "Tried to get through this one..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Haruki Murakami and/or Rupert Degas?

    Maybe. I could not get through it. No character was likable in any way that I could keep caring about the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bag of Bones

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2769)
    Performance
    (1345)
    Story
    (1354)

    Even four years after the sudden death of his wife, best selling novelist Mike Noonan can't stop grieving, nor can he return to his writing. He moves into his isolated house by the lake, which becomes the site of ghostly visitations, ever-escalating nightmares, and the sudden recovery of his writing ability. What are the forces that have been unleashed here - and what do they want of Mike Noonan?

    Amazon Customer says: "My Favorite King Novel"
    "Enjoyable listen, story kept me coming back"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Bag of Bones again? Why?

    Nah, it was a solid story that kept me listening and had excellent music. SK did a good job narrating it himself too. But, I've heard the story, so I'm OK closing it and moving along.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Stephen King? Why or why not?

    I've made it through The Stand. I've listened to The Shining twice and know I will continue to listen every few years. That one's THE BEST. Other SK I've liked... ehh not as much.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The small creepy things that keep you wondering, like the two sunflowers and the sticker, and the stuffed animal along the trail. You'll know what I'm talking about. Reminds me of some of King's best work, like the hedge animals and the elevator in The Shining. SO TERRIFYING. That's his best stuff. That same kind of unabashed stuff adds a lot to Bag of Bones too.


    Who was the most memorable character of Bag of Bones and why?

    Several main characters I actually found a bit annoying; I won't discolor them before you have a chance to read. I found Jo, his wife, compelling.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bel Canto

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    Overall
    (1793)
    Performance
    (941)
    Story
    (949)

    Somewhere in South America at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening, until a band of terrorists breaks in, taking the entire party hostage.

    Brian says: "Surprisingly engrossing"
    "Mesmerizing! A bit surreal."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Bel Canto the most enjoyable?

    The narration is quite dreamy, omniscient voice seems impossibly hard to do well, and it works here. Everyone is kind of floating through this crazy, insane traumatic event. I really found I couldn't stop listening, even though I kept wondering why I was so compelled.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bel Canto?

    The unraveling that finally--after so much tension has built up in the small space they all inhabit--happens. The climax.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The way the chips fell. Except the epilogue was quite cheesy and could be removed entirely from the book and do no one any harm.


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

    I did feel emotional at the end, after all that time invested in these people whose lives are so weirdly intertwined in this stalemate for so long, in such close quarters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (4407)
    Performance
    (2917)
    Story
    (2947)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
    "Impactful story, great narration, WOW."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I read this audiobook a couple years ago, but recently pegged it for my upcoming April book club reading, so I'll get to read it again, and this time discuss with friends. When I read this the first time, I was gushing about it to everyone. Highly recommend as a great read on women's health, 20th century medical history and innovation, changing medical rights and legal rights to our own bodies, and a saga of one African American family still struggling with a legacy that would confuse many. The author's own role in this story is also a great component, as she must navigate these complex, heavy waters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oracle Bones: A Journey Through Time in China

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Peter Hessler
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (73)

    A century ago, outsiders saw China as a place where nothing ever changes. Today, the country has become one of the most dynamic regions on earth. In Oracle Bones, Peter Hessler explores the human side of China's transformation, viewing modern-day China and its growing links to the Western world through the lives of a handful of ordinary people.

    Michael Moore says: "Another Excellent Work"
    "Believe the other reviewers - bad pronunciation!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This book was recommended to me by another China-lover, who had also spent a decent amount of time there. It was dry, and that was tough for me, but the narrator also butchers many pronunciations of Chinese words, and even to my American ear, it was painful. I bought this book ignoring the warnings, thinking those must be people who are very fluent. (I have taken about 2.5 years of Mandarin Chinese courses and spent a few months there years back.) But no, if you've ever studied Chinese, his narration will drive you INSANE. If you haven't, well then, you might enjoy this saga of new and old China.


    Would you recommend Oracle Bones to your friends? Why or why not?

    See above as well; I recommend it for the history and present-day juxtaposition of China. That's why I was interested. I found it too dull for my liking. If you've spent time studying the language, beware of this narration.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Peter Berkrot’s performances?

    Yes, so long as it's not a book heavily based in an Asian nation.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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