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Kat

Single white female. MFA candidate in poetry at NC State University. Instructor of freshman composition. Mother of two beautiful cats.

RALEIGH, NC, United States | Member Since 2014

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 33 ratings
  • 154 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • Lookaway, Lookaway: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Wilton Barnhardt
    • Narrated By Scott Shepherd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (103)

    Jerene Jarvis Johnston and her husband, Duke, are exemplars of Charlotte, North Carolina’s high society, a world where old Southern money and the secrets behind it meet the new wealth of bankers, real estate speculators, and carpetbagging social climbers. Steely and implacable, Jerene presides over her family’s legacy of paintings at the Mint Museum; Duke, the one-time college golden boy and descendant of a Confederate general, whose promising political career was mysteriously short-circuited, has settled into a comfortable semi-senescence as a Civil War reenactor.

    Carol says: "Great book, best narrator ever"
    "My Land!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wilton Barnhardt has produced something rare and beautiful with "Lookaway, Lookaway." Hilarious at times, tragic at others (and sometimes both at once), it is a compelling, compassionate portrait of a certain kind of family, and a certain kind of culture, and the mammoth pile of secrets needed to keep them both from crumbling. Buy it, already!

    Oh, and the narration is great too :)

    8 of 10 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
    (425)
    Performance
    (332)
    Story
    (342)

    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"
    "Artful Downers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" collection is by no means a mood-lifter, the writing is so beautiful and the characters vivid and just unlikable enough that it's not so hard to accept the horrible things that often happen to them. In this collection, that balance isn't there for me. "Everything that Rises Must Converge" tells mostly the stories of people trying very hard to be good and ultimately failing in tragic, unjust ways. They read more like cautionary tales than anything else. I found "The Comforts of Home" probably the most disturbing.

    It's true that O'Connor's trademark brilliant characterization and tension building is as present in these stories as it is in the rest of her work, but I ultimately wouldn't recommend this unless you're an immoral person who needs straightening out or you just really get a kick out of human suffering.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An Untamed State

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Roxane Gay
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (97)

    Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom.

    Jen says: "Not for the Faint of Heart"
    "Beautiful, But Disturbing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Untamed State" is beautifully, skillfully written and narrated. Roxane Gay creates such vivid, living--dying--characters that you're hooked almost from the beginning in SPITE of (not due to) the graphic subject matter. Although there's a lot of unspeakable violence throughout the novel, it is handled tastefully; you get the sense that the narrator is telling you this because it is necessary for you to hear, and for her to tell. You are not left feeling like a voyeur.

    Robin Miles does a wonderful job with the narration. I'm no expert, but it seemed to me that her accents and character voices were right on target.

    Fair warning: This book is not for the faint of heart, and it is EXTREMELY triggering. For me, personally, listening was sort of re-traumatizing, but also therapeutic. Listen at your own risk, and make sure there is at least one person you know whom you can talk to if necessary.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Flight of the Maidens

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jane Gardam
    • Narrated By June Barrie
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (8)

    This delightful novel describes the post-war summer of 1946 - and follows the growing-up of three young women in the months between leaving school and taking up their scholarships at university. Una Vane, whose widowed mother runs a hairdressing salon in her front room, goes bicycling with Ray, the boy who delivers the fish and milk. Hetty Fallowes struggles to become independent of her possessive, loving, tactless mother. And Lieselotte Klein, uncovers tragedy in the past and magic in the present.

    Kat says: "Easy Listening"
    "Easy Listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was actually directed to this book and this author by a brilliant lit professor of mine. And I suppose I might recommend it as well, but then I might not. The writing itself is more than competent, quietly funny, and the characters feel very authentic. But this is not a book for someone looking to lose herself in a lively adventure, succumb to side-splitting, tear-jerking, sleeplessness, or nail-biting. It follows its own pace, and reads almost like memoir, despite being written in the 3rd person. Barrie does a good job with the narration (which seems particularly tricky in this novel) though her take on the American accent is somewhat, er... different. A sort of female John Wayne. Overall, the book is solid. Likable, but for me... not quite lovable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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