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Jan

Arkansas | Member Since 2011

92
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 60 reviews
  • 109 ratings
  • 324 titles in library
  • 53 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
10

  • Edward Adrift

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Craig Lancaster
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (384)
    Performance
    (348)
    Story
    (348)

    That’s the flummoxed state of Edward Stanton, a 42-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome. His job, his therapist, and his best friends are all gone. Even his nightly ritual of watching Dragnet reruns has short-circuited. But a call from his friend Donna in Idaho, telling him that her son Kyle is in trouble, launches Edward from his rigidly scheduled existence in Billings, Montana, to the open road. He and Kyle, a sweet little boy turned sullen adolescent, debate football, music, and bodily functions (“Why do you pee so much?” Kyle asks).

    Madora says: "At first I was flummoxed...."
    "Laughing Out Loud Funny"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Edward is a 40+ year-old with Asperger's. He is high functioning, and has high self esteem. The compulsive traits of his Asperger's comes through and it's hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing. There's a coming of age story within the story. Not sentimental. Great Book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Summer Son: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Craig Lancaster
    • Narrated By J. D. Hart
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    When Mitch Quillen’s life begins to unravel, he fears there is no escape. His marriage and his career are both failing, and his relationship with his father has been a disaster for decades. Approaching 40, Mitch doesn’t want to become a middle-aged statistic. When his estranged father, Jim, suddenly calls, Mitch’s wife urges him to respond. Ready for a change, Mitch heads to Montana and a showdown that will alter the course of his life.

    Paula says: "A great story in need of a better narrator!"
    "This Sleeper Is Fantastic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story



    After reading Edward Adrift and 600 Hours of Edward, I was trying to get my hands on anything written by Craig Lancaster. While listening to The Summer Son, I realized Lancaster's true strength as a writer.

    Lancaster displays a similar writing style to Carson McCullers..tough, dark, and at times, harsh. Like Carson McCullers, he is passively descriptive one moment, and the next moment, is up and in your face.

    The Summer Son is the age-old Father/Son story written from a fresh and unheard perspective. It is the story of a boy who grew up with a father, but never had a dad. Lancaster writes of the heavy- hearted consequences men endure who live with unresolved father/son dysfunction.

    The story goes back and forth between childhood and adulthood, and flows as smooth as hot butter. The father's life unfolds for us slowly, slowly.. until we start getting glimpses of the man he was, and the man he is now. A man made of old worn out leather, but reaching out for a last chance.

    The ending is unexpected, and just a class act. This book isn't sad, and it's not depressing...but it does have a bite. It will linger in your mind.





    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Third Floor

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By C. Dennis Moore
    • Narrated By Gary Tiedemann
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (94)

    Welcome to Angel Hill, Missouri, a town that shot blood from the ground at its own groundbreaking. There are only two roads in or out of town, and everything within those borders is subject to the whims of reality. Those who grew up here are immune to the town's peculiarities. But Jack and Liz have just moved here, and for their young son, Joey, it's almost like coming home again.

    J. Dugan says: "Great Scary Story"
    "The Third Floor..It's Like An Audio Groundhog Day"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You never get to the third floor with this book because it's stuck in the basement. We have simply experienced this book before. Several times.

    A wife hears strange children in her house..she takes a shower, and sees a boy staring at her (and brushes it off, by the way)....she feels someone lie down beside her in the bed, but no one is there.

    I'm sure C. Moore is a gifted writer, and I know Mr. Tiedemann is an accomplished narrator. But you aren't going to meet either one in this book.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Hidden Things: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Doyce Testerman
    • Narrated By Doyce Testerman
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (4)

    A phone call from a soon-to-be-deceased ex-boyfriend launches a young woman on a bizarre road trip to a dark supernatural world hidden beneath America's heartland in this remarkably imaginative debut novel from an electrifying new voice in contemporary fantasy.

    Jan says: "Debut Author Rolls Out a Mystery/Horror/Fantasy!"
    "Debut Author Rolls Out a Mystery/Horror/Fantasy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not only was Doyce Testerman brave enough to debut with a multi-genre novel that will survive, he also narrated it as well as an accomplished narrator.

    This author chose a challenging storyline. Not unlike Dean Koontz, Testerman showed skill at maintaining the descriptive narratives that are needed for memorable horror scenes without giving away the mystery that remains "A Hidden Thing" until the end.

    The "Hidden Thing" refers to a world other than our own, which adds the fantasy and supernatural overtones the reader experiences throughout the novel.

    A minor flaw in the novel is that the flow becomes somewhat choppy when the author steps away from his progressive timeline. This usually occurs during character development. However, this is infrequent and is not a problem for the reader in regards to following the plot.

    I had given this novel a solid 3 until I did the review, and have had to move the overall score to a 4, even though it is an easy read. It kept my attention, the story was original, and I loved the saucy, gutsy female main character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tenth of December: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By George Saunders
    • Narrated By George Saunders
    Overall
    (480)
    Performance
    (425)
    Story
    (434)

    One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet. In the taut opener, "Victory Lap", a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In "Home", a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned.

    Molly-o says: "I could never have known"
    "There's Something About George..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Short Story is not my thing. Actually, there are a lot of "not my things" in regards to reading. I am so picky, and demand so much in an author, that I embarrass myself. It is apparent by the reviews that I am not the only one who notes that Saunders writes in a way that captivates most audiences. Similar to the way that Stephen King captures his readers, Saunders takes the naked word and strings them together with simplicity and a uniqueness that reaches a wide span of readers. In The Tenth of December, this talent shines through as Saunders donates "slices of life" to the reader. He has the ability, during the course of a ten minute short story, to introduce, evolve, and bring closure to his characters within their moment in time. The first selection, for example, addresses the most intense and sensitive subject out there. Yet, Saunders somehow manages to amuse the reader while maintaining reverance to the subject matter, and allows the characters we have grown to love (in 10 minutes!) to triumph in the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silent Sister: Riley MacPherson, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Diane Chamberlain
    • Narrated By Susan Bennett
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (38)

    In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she's in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?

    Jan says: "Chic-Lit Author Breaks Out And Delivers"
    "Chic-Lit Author Breaks Out And Delivers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Chamberlain has brought a strong, thinking, female role to life in this novel, and has done so without over-dramatization. The writing is fluid and the story line is well thought out, resulting in a solid mystery novel that keeps the reader's attention without effort. Although I didn't figure out the ending, it did lack something as compared to the rest of the novel. Narrator selection was right for this novel, and was character-consistent. Very glad I gave Diane Chamberlain another shot.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Big Driver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Jessica Hecht
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    The acclaimed number-one New York Times author and undisputed King of Horror Stephen King delivers five unforgettable short works, two of which will soon be adapted for film, and which Booklist called "raw looks at the limits of greed, revenge, and self-deception."

    Jan says: "Great Story/Stephen King...They Always Go Together"
    "Great Story/Stephen King...They Always Go Together"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    Stephen King doesn't captivate his readers, he captures them. "Big Driver" is no exception, and is just another great King story among many.

    There is an issue with narrator selection. Jessica Hecht, who is well recognized and professionally accomplished, narrates this story. I am unclear what the reasoning was behind this choice. She is like listening to Leave It To Beaver's mom. King and Hecht are an odd combo.

    Even considering the author/narrator dynamics, the story is well worth your time... it's Stephen King.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Good Marriage

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Jessica Hecht
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (54)

    What happens when, on a perfectly ordinary evening, all the things you believed in and took for granted are turned upside down? When her husband of more than 20 years is away on one of his business trips, Darcy Anderson looks for batteries in the garage. Her toe knocks up against a box under a worktable and she discovers the stranger inside her husband. It’s a horrifying discovery, rendered with bristling intensity, and it definitively ends a good marriage.

    Cynthia says: "Did she know?"
    "Nothing New Here..King Does What He Always Does"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Suspense doesn't grow, but unfolds, in this short story. As always, Mr. King gives what we readily expect from him...great writing. Narrator, in my opinion, seems ready to break out into a giggle while narrating, and is not a good match for the story. I had not read this story previously, but it is apparent that some readers had encountered it in one of his short story compilations. Audible, please take note. Customers are clearly asking to be notified when a short story has been previously, or is currently, offered within another audible selection. The aggravation seems to outweigh the overall satisfaction of listening to the selection. All of King's fans know, of course, that this is not so much due to money spent, but the disappointment of not experiencing something new by Stephen King. The Audible available date for his next book or short story is like a national holiday.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Leaving Time

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Rebecca Lowman, Abigail Revasch, Kathe Mazur, and others
    Overall
    (241)
    Performance
    (217)
    Story
    (218)

    Refusing to believe that she would be abandoned as a young child, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice's old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts. Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest.

    Jan says: "Pickiest Reader Would Be Willing to Give 6 Stars"
    "Pickiest Reader Would Be Willing to Give 6 Stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ms. Picoult has always been an average author for me. One that took advantage of current moral issues in society and exacerbated them into novels. This novel is so strong, so raw, and so captivating.. it is almost literature. I have never experienced an author that went from sophomoric to exceptional in one novel. The metaphoric parallels between humans and elephants are mesmerizing...but the book is not about elephants. The parallel between life and death allows us to suspend reality easily and without thinking,.. but the book really isn't about life and death. No matter what your reading preferences are...love story, mystery, suspense, or nature.. you are going to be glad you opened up this book and listened. Narration is stellar. I have nothing negative to say about this novel. Picoult has arrived.

    44 of 46 people found this review helpful
  • Farside

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ben Bova
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (267)
    Performance
    (242)
    Story
    (244)

    Telescopes on Earth have detected an Earth-sized planet circling a star some 30 light-years away. Now the race is on to get pictures of that distant world that show whether or not the planet is truly like Earth - and if it bears life. Farside observatory will have the largest optical telescope in the solar system and the most sensitive radio telescope, insulated from the interference of Earth’s radio chatter by a thousand kilometers of the moon’s solid body. But building Farside is a complex, dangerous task. And what they ultimately find stuns everyone, and humanity will never be the same.

    Gordon says: "Not super impressed to be honest"
    "What Were You Smoking, Ben?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Ben Bova, but don't know where he was when this novel was written. Definately not even close to his usual standard, which I think is among the best in Science Fiction. Stefan Rudnicki was what kept me going. His performance was stellar, as usual. The story does not have the "sense of presence" for which Bova is well known. I wasn't "right there" like I usually am. Read the book a month ago, and couldn't tell you the main character's name today, or for that matter, what the book was about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Until the End of the World

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Sarah Lyons Fleming
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (110)

    Cassie Forrest isn't surprised to learn that the day she’s decided to get her life together is also the day the world ends. After all, she’s been on a self-imposed losing streak since her survivalist parents died: she’s stopped painting, broken off her engagement to Adrian and dated a real jerk. Rectifying her mistakes has to wait, however, because Cassie and her friends have just enough time to escape Brooklyn for her parents’ cabin before Bornavirus LX turns them into zombies, too.

    Tess Stickles says: "Great start and then I lost interest"
    "Best of This Apocolyptic Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first book of this apolcolyptic series was significantly more developed and was less redundant than the rest of the series. In this novel, we are present for both pre, and post, apocolypse. There is a more slow and successful character development in this novel that eventually loses it's momentum in the second and third books of the series. I purchased all three, and am glad I read this one. It was worth a credit. Unfortunately, the rest of the series does not follow suit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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