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Jami

VICTOR, NY, United States | Member Since 2013

79
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 144 reviews
  • 147 ratings
  • 266 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
4

  • The Year of Magical Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Joan Didion
    • Narrated By Barbara Caruso
    Overall
    (1404)
    Performance
    (511)
    Story
    (517)

    "Life changes fast....You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends." These were among the first words Joan Didion wrote in January 2004. Her daughter was lying unconscious in an intensive care unit, a victim of pneumonia and septic shock. Her husband, John Gregory Dunne, was dead. The night before New Year's Eve, while they were sitting down to dinner, he suffered a massive and fatal coronary. The two had lived and worked side by side for nearly 40 years.

    Darwin8u says: "Sharp, sometimes funny, but always clear & precise"
    "Interesting Book about a Difficult Topic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't sure what to expect based on the reviews, but I enjoyed this book. I didn't enjoy the circumstances that led to the writing of this book as they were incredibly sad, but I appreciate the author's openness and ability to write so honestly about her feelings during this difficult time of her life.

    I saw many reviews that rated this book low because they didn't like the author, felt she was a snob, etc. I am not sure what led to this, because many people who are well off have written memoirs and I didn't see these types of reviews. In her case, does she have more money than me? Yes. Does she live a different lifestyle than I do? Yes. (I don't have a "kitchen notebook" to track dinners I served, but then again, maybe I should start one to document the times I actually cook something edible!). Anyway, my point is that her life is completely different than mine, but that is why I want to read about it. I don't want to read about someone who has my life, as I am experiencing that myself. I didn't get the feeling she was snobbish or had the I-am-so-great attitude that I have encountered in some people I have met.

    As far as the book content, I could empathize with much of what she went through. While I have not lost a spouse, I have experienced other losses of loved ones and can relate to many of her observations. I completely agree with her statement that when you mourn, you not only mourn the loved one but also the person you were at various stages of your relationship. I have experienced this many times, but this was the first time I heard someone else articulate this experience. I, too, have looked back and thought what changes had occurred in my life that I went through with a particular person who is no longer here. When she describes how she measured time that year after her husband died by comparing to what they were doing on that same day last year, I got it; it was especially moving when she came to December 31, the day that when she looked back one year she realized it was the first day that her husband was not there one year ago.

    The author frequently references events that happened shortly before his death and ended with "and he had 48 hours to live" or however many days, months, etc. That is something I think about a lot when someone suddenly dies; I think of how they expected to do something that weekend, or go into work the next day and then suddenly were not there to follow through with those plans. When I saw my mother's glasses sitting on her bedside table after her death, no longer to be used, that really saddened me. It is things like this that really seem to get to me when someone passes away.

    For me, the most poignant part of the book was when the author talks about her daughter's belief as a child that the broken man ["death"] was going to come and that she realized that she alone had to do something to stop him from coming for her. That became more important when she was in a hospital fighting for her life years later, at the time her father had died. As a child, Quintana told her mother that if the "broken man" came for her, she would hold onto the fence so that he could not take her away. As the author is going through the experience of losing her husband and seeing her daughter fight for her life, she observes that Quintana "held onto the fence" while her husband did not. I found that particular line particularly moving.

    Overall, while the book dealt with sadness and death, I found the book to be enjoyable and moving at times. I listened to this on audio and I didn't have any issues with the narration. I felt that the narrator's voice perfectly suited how I pictured this author to be and I could easily imagine it was the author speaking

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Michelle Knight, Michelle Burford
    • Narrated By Maria Cabezas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (376)
    Performance
    (332)
    Story
    (336)

    Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world.

    Courtney says: "A True House of Horrors!"
    "Gripping Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book in two sittings. It grabbed me from the outset, as Michelle has been through a lot. I felt for her, having to deal with the issues of her early life and then being held by this monster for 11 years of her life. It was chilling to hear how close to death she came. I also admire her attitude about her son, and only wanting the best life for him. This truly is a story about survival. You go, Michelle, and keep working on taking your life back!

    The narration was good, and I forgot at times that I was not actually listening to Michelle narrate her story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Single Man

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Christopher Isherwood
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (182)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (115)

    When A Single Man was originally published, it shocked many by its frank, sympathetic, and moving portrayal of a gay man in midlife. George, the protagonist, is adjusting to life on his own after the sudden death of his partner, and determines to persist in the routines of his daily life; the course of A Single Man spans 24 hours in an ordinary day.

    Jean says: "loved the writing, loved the narrator"
    "George's Day"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was very interesting and much more than I expected. The book details a 24 hour period in George's life; while the description made me think it would focus on his experience as a gay man, that was not the sole focus. Yes, the issue is prevalent, but it was presented in the way of this is who he is. George's sexual orientation was part of many of his interactions, but the listener learns of many aspects of his life.

    This was written in 1964, and I found it interesting that the attitudes described about George due to his sexual orientation have not changed much today. It was also perceptive of the author when he observed that colleges campuses would soon be overtaken by the parking lots; I recall many a day circling my college campus looking for a place to park in the 90s and 2000s!

    The writing was excellent and I enjoyed the narrator. This is one of the books that I think I would have enjoyed equally in print and audio format. I was not prepared for the ending, but I like how it tied in with the opening scene of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Invisible Man

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By H. G. Wells
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (382)
    Performance
    (316)
    Story
    (318)

    On a freezing February day, a stranger emerges from out of the gray to request a room at a local provincial inn. Who is this out-of-season traveler? More confounding is the thick mask of bandages obscuring his face. Why does he disguise himself in this manner and keep himself hidden away in his room? Aroused by trepidation and curiosity, the local villagers bring it upon themselves to find the answers.

    Brian says: "Way ahead of its time!"
    "Interesting Ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought that the first half of the book was a bit tedious; however I'm glad that I stuck with it, as I found the second half much more entertaining. The narration was quite good as well. I don't think I would have stuck with the story in printed form, so audio was a better format choice for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Clockwork

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 31 mins)
    • By Philip Pullman
    • Narrated By Anton Lesser
    Overall
    (613)
    Performance
    (541)
    Story
    (543)

    A tormented apprentice clock-maker - and a deadly knight in armour. A mechanical prince - and the sinister Dr Kalmenius, who some say is the devil... Wind up these characters, fit them into a story on a cold winter's evening and suddenly life and the story begin to merge - almost like clockwork...

    David says: "A modern clockwork fairy tale"
    "Interesting Short Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this short story. The characters were definitely unique and the "story within a story" concept worked in this case. I also liked how the two stories converged at the end.

    The narration was very good. I recommend this in audio format; the narrator did a good job conveying the eerie appearance of the doctor in the middle of the story telling scene.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Plagiarist: A Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 29 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Alexander J. Masters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (340)
    Performance
    (296)
    Story
    (294)

    Adam Griffey is living two lives. By day, he teaches literature. At night, he steals it. Adam is a plagiarist, an expert reader with an eye for great works. He prowls simulated worlds perusing virtual texts, looking for the next big thing. And when he finds it, he memorizes it page by page, line by line, word for word. And then he brings it back to his world, the real world, and he sells it. But what happens when these virtual worlds begin to seem more real than his own? What happens when the people within them mean more to him than flesh and blood?

    Katherine says: "PKD could have written this story"
    "Unexpected Twist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was one of those stories where you don't realize how good it is until you are near the end. I was completely surprised by the twist at the end. This was very well written and entertaining; the story worked well on audio.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 1 min)
    • By Edgar Allan Poe
    • Narrated By Earl Hammond
    Overall
    (220)
    Performance
    (194)
    Story
    (193)

    A collection featuring three classic horror stories, read by actor Earl Hammond: "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Cask of Amontillado", and "The Black Cat".

    M.A. Wilson says: "Excellent Narrator Brought The Story To Life"
    "Excellent Trio"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my first listening experience with Poe's stories and it was quite enjoyable. I enjoyed revisiting these tales and the narration added to the eerie quality!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Butterfly Boy: An Avery Barks Dog Mystery: Avery Barks Dog Mysteries, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 4 mins)
    • By Mary Hiker
    • Narrated By Crystal Marcano
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    A small mountain town is surprised when murder comes for a visit. Volunteer search and rescue dog trainer Avery Barks and her butterfly loving dog Chevy find themselves smack dab in the middle of chaos. Avery is forced to solve a murder in order to keep herself off the suspect list.

    Jami says: "Fast Read"
    "Fast Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was just okay for me. I wasn't thrilled with the narration; the change between chapters was too raps and while I get the child's voice was supposed to be annoying, it grated on me. The mystery was average. On the positive side, the author gives a plug to rescue dogs, which is always a good thing!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Snow Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Hans Christian Andersen
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    Overall
    (5769)
    Performance
    (5059)
    Story
    (5108)

    This classic tale is a fantastical fable of two dear friends - one of whom goes astray and is literally lost to the north woods, while the other undertakes an epic journey to rescue him. This charming, strange, and wonderful story is a timeless allegory about growing up and the challenges of staying true to one's self, and it served as the wintry inspiration for the blockbuster hit Frozen.

    Sara says: "Strange & Fascinating"
    "Excellent Freebie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a free holiday gift from Audible. I am probably the only person who never saw Frozen, which I hear is based on this story. I enjoyed this short fable and the characters. Listening to it in the coldest winter on record here and hearing about the warmth after being in the Snow Queen's palace made me feel hopeful that our spring is right around the corner as well!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Everything That Rises Must Converge

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Flannery O’Connor
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot, Karen White, Mark Bramhall, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (419)
    Performance
    (325)
    Story
    (335)

    This collection of nine short stories by Flannery O'Connor was published posthumously in 1965. The flawed characters of each story are fully revealed in apocalyptic moments of conflict and violence that are presented with comic detachment.

    Ryan says: "Pride goeth before the fall"
    "Decent Short Stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I must be missing what everyone else sees in these stories. They are just ok for me; it's not the dark aspect of human nature that is bothering me, but rather, the characters all seem to me to be spineless whiners. Maybe its because I'm reading the entire collection of stories at once, but it seems redundant and tiresome to me. I liked four stories more than the others: Everything That Rises Must Converge, Greenleaf, The Lame Shall Enter First and Revelation. The narration was very good; I liked having four different narrators, which was a nice change of pace between stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Classic Love Poems

    • UNABRIDGED (22 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    • Narrated By Richard Armitage
    Overall
    (2035)
    Performance
    (1814)
    Story
    (1733)

    For anyone who's in love - or hopes to be - what greater celebration could there be than to hear the world's greatest love poetry read lovingly by Richard Armitage? With 15 poems by William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and more, Classic Love Poems is a listening treat for Valentine's Day - or any day.

    vc says: "Wonderful recitation by Richard Armitage"
    "Excellent Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a Valentine's Day freebie from Audible, although I listened to it well past the day of love! Poetry, much less love poems, is not my genre (hence the reason I don't have a shelf for it), but I figured it was free and it was less than 25 minutes, so why not? I'm glad I listened to it; the length was perfect for my commute home and Richard Armitage was much more pleasant to listen to than the crappy radio stations in our area. I particularly liked "Annabelle Lee" by Poe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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