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Karen

San Francisco, CA, United States | Member Since 2010

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 158 ratings
  • 488 titles in library
  • 42 purchased in 2014
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  • Joseph Anton: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Salman Rushdie
    • Narrated By Sam Dastor, Salman Rushdie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (221)
    Performance
    (195)
    Story
    (190)

    On February 14, 1989, Valentine's Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been "sentenced to death" by the Ayatollah Khomeini. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being "against Islam, the Prophet and the Quran". So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of a police protection team.

    Lynn says: "Informative, Timely"
    "Tedious name dropping and petty payback"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a disappointment. I love most of Salman Rushdie's work, but I gave up on this one after the first of the four parts. It was like listening to the journal of a petulant, star-struck wanna-be, with all the boring details left in--what he ate; when he was sick; where he went for vacation; blah blah blah--interspersed with bragging about the famous people he met and sniping at the ones he felt slighted by. I just couldn't take 20 more hours of it. I guess he has become too famous and self-important to allow a good editor to take a scalpel to his writing and trim out the dross.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Siege Perilous: The Mongoliad Cycle, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By E. D. deBirmingham
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (21)

    Ocyrhoe, a young, cunning fugitive from Rome, safeguards a chalice of subtle but great power. Finding herself in France, she allies with the persecuted, pacifist Cathar sect in their legendary mountaintop stronghold, Montségur. There she resists agents of the Roman Church and its Inquisition, fights off escalating, bloody besiegement by troops of the King of France, and shields the mysterious cup from the designs of many. Percival, the heroic Shield-Brethren knight from The Mongoliad, consumed by his mystical visions of the Holy Grail, is also drawn to Montségur - where the chalice holds the key to his destiny.

    Joseph Potts says: "Disappointed"
    "Unbearable voice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm hooked on the series, so I had to listen, but OMG what a terrible narrator! I increased the playing speed to make it sound like she was speaking at a normal rate, but of course that made her sound like a GPS voice. Still, it was better than listening at normal speed, and ended the torture sooner. If she is the narrator on the next one, I'm switching to the paper and ink version.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Bangkok Haunts

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By John Burdett
    • Narrated By Glen McCready
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (305)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (71)

    Critically acclaimed, nationally best-selling author John Burdett has earned starred reviews for the fast-paced action, snappy dialogue, and gritty realism of his thrilling tales starring Royal Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep. In this vibrant and witty novel, devout Buddhist Sonchai relies on his karma to guide him through the seamy underbelly of Bangkok as he pieces together the scattered clues of a complex mystery.

    Lehua says: "Funny, weird, horrible, terrific"
    "Wrong narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this series; however, they picked the wrong narrator this time. The story is told as a first-person account by a young half-Thai man, but the narrator's voice has the deep, fruity tone of an elderly BBC announcer. The dissonance between the character and the voice was an immense distraction and irritation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Damned

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Chuck Palahniuk
    • Narrated By Tai Sammons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (505)
    Performance
    (466)
    Story
    (464)

    “Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Madison,” declares the whip-tongued 13-year-old narrator of Damned, Chuck Palahniuk’s subversive new work of fiction. The daughter of a narcissistic film star and a billionaire, Madison is abandoned at her Swiss boarding school over Christmas, while her parents are off touting their new projects and adopting more orphans. She dies over the holiday of a marijuana overdose—and the next thing she knows, she’s in Hell.

    William says: "As a new Chuck Palahniuk reader, I liked it a lot!"
    "Hoping for a Sequel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was such a fun romp through Hell and back! The ending left the door wide open for a sequel, so I hope the author enjoyed it enough to continue the story...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bull from the Sea

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Mary Renault
    • Narrated By Michael York
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (8)

    Esteemed author Mary Renault picks up where her classic The King Must Die left off, relating the tale of Theseus's triumphant return from Crete to become King of Athens. Plunge into the thrilling world of the continuing adventures of this mythic ruler, from his famous capture of the Amazon Hippolyta to the bitter twist of fate that loosened the bull from the sea. Renault's writing is rich with color and drama, vividly capturing the heroism and uniquely Greek sense of destiny.

    Karen says: "WARNING! The abridgment ruins everything!"
    "WARNING! The abridgment ruins everything!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book on paper, but could not even listen all the way to the end of the recording. The abridgment eliminated all of the nuance, personality and motivations of the brilliantly written characters. The story no longer engages, no longer even makes sense. If only someone would record an unabridged edition!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The King Must Die

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Mary Renault
    • Narrated By Michael York
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    This is the classic story of the young Theseus - Prince of Troizen, King of Eleusis and Athens, slayer of the Minotaur. Mary Renault's powerful novel captures the modern imagination by weaving myth, legend, history, and fiction into the story of a young hero's search for his destiny, or moira. If you like The King Must Die, try The Bull from the Sea.

    Sarah Blair says: "Sad treatment for a classic of historical fiction"
    "WARNING! The abridgment ruins everything!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book on paper, but could not even listen to it after getting halfway through the prequel, The Bull From The Sea. All of the nuance, the personalities and the motivations of the brilliantly drawn characters has been deleted. If only someone would record an unabridged edition!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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