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Karen

Mars, PA, United States | Member Since 2007

80
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 158 ratings
  • 225 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
6

  • World Without End

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8776)
    Performance
    (3218)
    Story
    (3252)

    In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, set in 12th-century England. Readers and listeners ever since have hoped for a sequel. At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End also takes place in Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral. The cathedral is again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.

    Laura says: "Repetitive, but still enjoyable"
    "Amazing!"
    Overall

    Pillars has been my favorite book of all time since I first read it 7 years ago. WWE does not disappoint. I love Ken's books for the rich charecter development and strong females, who I can relate to, who question and reject irrational tradition in favor of scientific, logical reasoning. The historical aspects make the book so fascinating. I wish it was a book "without end", because I was sad to have finished it. My new favorite book.

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17913)
    Performance
    (8112)
    Story
    (8144)

    Lisbeth Salander—the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels—lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority.

    B.J. says: "Perfect."
    "Boring"
    Overall

    This is the one I couldn't finish. I started it the week it was first available. It seemed to have no suspense, nothing I couldn't bare waiting to find out. The first one was pretty good and I stuck with it to eventually find out what had become of the missing woman. The second book was a little like the third.. there seemed to be relatively little mystery, aside from who commited the murder, if it was not Salender. In this third book the narrator seems to be aware of everything and leaves nothing to the unknown. I'm not even sure what the plot is, its just meadering ramblings. I don't know if I will ever finish this book. Waste of a credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (7967)
    Performance
    (4680)
    Story
    (4667)

    Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Fall of Giants is his magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.

    Louis says: "Loved it and learned alot."
    "Not what I expected"
    Overall

    I'm a huge fan of POtE and WWE, have relistened to them many times. I listened eagerly to the first 2 parts of this book, but am finding myself trudging through the last 2 parts, now with 3/4 of part 4 to finish. I'm just not sure how I feel about the charecters or the book. The last 2 parts feel superficial and rushed and bogged down in war details.

    I yearn for a passionate, righteous charecters, like Pryor Philip, Aliena, Jack, or Caris. I wish for a charecter to hate or loath, rather than the dubious, enigmatic Czar. The story just does not move me and I find it hard to get worked up over a desire for Socialism and the battle between European Liberals and Conservatives, as I am an American Conservative and Constitutionalist/Libertarian.

    When the description mentioned Woodrow Wilson, I had hoped much more would be written of his heavy handed Progressive Fascist Nationalizing of private industry, but it was just a short blip in the 3rd part of the book.

    Perhaps the next books will delve more into ideology or at least have charecters with more depth. I just feel the scale of the book is too broad for making it a great, personal story. I'm so sad it wasn't better.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • A Certain Slant of Light

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Laura Whitcomb
    • Narrated By Lauren Molina
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (58)

    In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: for the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen, terrified, but intrigued, is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge.

    Alexis says: "Lovely, unusual ghost story"
    "I never stopped listening"
    Overall

    This book had depth I did not expect. It is a fantastic love story about death, living, and forgiveness. It seems a bit too mature for teenagers, to me. The sex in the book is not overly explicit or in bad taste, though. It reminded me a little of the Twilight books. The charecters were emotionaly very mature and noble, with some old fashioned type vaules.
    The narrators voice and style were perfect. All around an awesome book. I sure wish there were more like this. I wonder if this author has any other treasures in her future.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Middlesex

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Kristoffer Tabori
    Overall
    (5993)
    Performance
    (2183)
    Story
    (2209)

    In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

    Chris says: "Great Pulitzer Winning novel!"
    "Most memorable book I've listened to this year"
    Overall

    First of all the narrator is incredible. I love the Greek flavor he gives the story with his voice. I could listen to him all day tell stories. I found the book difficult to get into. For the first hour I was almosting regretting downloading it, but then after that I was in love with the story. The historical content and the social coming of age were the most interesting themes. I am so glad I listened to this and I plan to listen to it again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil in the White City

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4349)
    Performance
    (2056)
    Story
    (2075)

    In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Also available abridged.

    D says: "A Rich Read!"
    "Did not keep my attention"
    Overall

    I found the portions about HH Holmes interesting, but all the details and names of the people involved in the Fair's planning and construction had my mind wandering. I found it difficult to pay attention. I must be the only person who does not like Scott Brick. I find his narration too matter of fact and apparently it lulls me into a sleep after a short while. I may try listening to it again and see if it is easier to follow now that I am familar with the names and events.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cathedral of the Sea

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Ildefonso Falcones
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    Overall
    (514)
    Performance
    (148)
    Story
    (151)

    At last: The international best seller - which has already sold nearly 2 million copies worldwide - comes to America! Cathedral of the Sea follows the fortunes of the Estanyol family, from their peasant roots to a son, Arnau, who flees the land only to realize spectacular wealth and devastating problems.

    Joseph says: "Very good historical novel."
    "A great book"
    Overall

    I enjoyed this listen very much. The narrator does a superb job with all the different charecters voices. I didn't notice any mispronounciations at all. The writer is a good story teller and you become immersed in the tale. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23111)
    Performance
    (9750)
    Story
    (9821)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Parts 2 & 3 of the story were fascinating"
    Overall

    For the most part I found the story interesting. The beginning, part one, of the book is somewhat difficult to understand. Many charecters introduced at once with little developement. It wasn't until part 2 that the story began to flow and catch my interest. Part 4 drew out a story that could have ended shortly after part 3. Part 4 muddled the story and did not flow. All the email exchanges in part 4 were cumbersome to listen to.

    Salender's charecter seemed somewhat unbelievable. Many of the charecters were shallow, annoying charecatures.

    Then, suddenly, as part 4 began to get interesting the book ended abruptly. I was a little stunned and puzzeled. Perhaps a sequel is planned, another mystery for Mikail and Salender to expose.

    It was good, but not great.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China, and What It Means for All of Us

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Robyn Meredith
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (288)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (57)

    Exotic India is as near as the voice answering an 800 number for one dollar an hour. Communist China is as close as the nearest Wal-Mart, its shelves full of goods made in Chinese factories. But India and China are vastly different nations, with opposing economic and political strategies - strategies we must understand to survive in the new global economy. The Elephant and the Dragon explains how these nations have spurred a new "gold rush", and what this will mean for the rest of the world.

    R. Reed says: "Confused and not scholarly"
    "most important of economic books of our time"
    Overall

    Suprisingly easy to listen and thouroughly engaging. My understanding of the evolution of India and China's economies and what it means to the rest of the world now and in the future has been greatly enhanced. I found the book to be mostly objective, citing fault and acheivment where due, regardless of political affiliations. I, also, appreciated that the book was not a total doom & gloom forecast and was optimistic at times and forewarned of obstacles ahead. I wish this book was recommended reading for every student in the USA.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Life of Bees

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    Overall
    (2595)
    Performance
    (337)
    Story
    (341)

    Lily Owens has shaped her entire life around one devastating memory - the day her mother was killed. When she and her "stand-in-mother," a fierce-hearted black woman named Rosaleen, are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily enters a secret world of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of strong, wise women.

    France says: "Secret Life of Bees"
    "Very entertaining"
    Overall

    This is a fun book to listen to. The narrator is perfect for the story and quite talented. I really enjoyed this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12674)
    Performance
    (5048)
    Story
    (5087)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    CynNC says: "Captivating"
    "An amazing novel"
    Overall

    No one developes charecters like Follett. This is a true masterpiece. I wish the book would go on forever, I love it that much. The historical aspects are so fascinating. What book will I listen to next? Everything else seems to pale in comparison. This has been my favorite book since I first read it 10 years ago.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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