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Kathleen

Wailuku, HI, United States | Member Since 2003

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 499 ratings
  • 881 titles in library
  • 35 purchased in 2014
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  • Life

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Keith Richards, James Fox
    • Narrated By Johnny Depp, Joe Hurley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2559)
    Performance
    (1398)
    Story
    (1390)

    Now at last Keith Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere....

    Jesse says: "Ins and outs"
    "had to put it aside"
    Overall

    Enjoyed the Clapton autobiography so much I really looked forward to Keith Richards'. The first section was fine, but then it devolved into a drunkalogue. The narrator--Hurley by that time?--didn't help. He sounded as stoned as the material suggested. Now halfway through, someday I'll try to finish it, but really couldn't go on for now. I like the Stones too much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fever Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Lincoln Child, Douglas Preston
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    Overall
    (3035)
    Performance
    (1636)
    Story
    (1646)

    At the old family manse in Louisiana, Special Agent Pendergast is putting to rest long-ignored possessions reminiscent of his wife Helen's tragic death, only to make a stunning - and dreadful - discovery. Helen had been mauled by an unusually large and vicious lion while they were big game hunting in Africa. But now, Pendergast learns that her rifle-her only protection from the beast-had been deliberately loaded with blanks. Who could have wanted Helen dead...and why?

    Snoodely says: "Intelligent, spooky thriller"
    "Getting tired of Pendergast"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston and/or Rene Auberjonois?

    Up to now, I've enjoyed Preston and Child's books, even ones about Pendergast and his bizarre family, but this one about Pendergast was my tipping point.


    What was most disappointing about Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston ’s story?

    The excruciating detail about the make and model of guns, the provenance of collector's items, the label and year of wine--Pendergast's limitless wealth and weirdness--I found myself wondering why I was wasting my time with this nonsense.


    What does Rene Auberjonois bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Hey--it's audible! If I read the book I wouldn't have the advantage of doing other things with my eyes and hands while my ears and brain were being entertained. Rene does a good job of characterizing the people and describing the settings, but perhaps it was his plodding, stumbling description of various elements that triggered my boredom?


    Could you see Fever Dream being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Of course it could be made into a movie or TV series. It has all the elements--an odd central character, a faithful sidekick, danger, romance, drama--it can't miss!


    Any additional comments?

    Please God let me not purchase another in the Pendergast series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Year of Wonders

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Geraldine Brooks
    • Narrated By Geraldine Brooks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (397)
    Performance
    (294)
    Story
    (303)

    When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great Story- Awful Narrator"
    "Courage and compassion in a desperate time."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Year of Wonders the most enjoyable?

    It made the era come alive. Detailed descriptions of living conditions--homes, clothing, food, work, sanitation--one can easily imagine oneself back then.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Do you ever wonder what it would've been like to have lived centuries ago, coping with harsh conditions we have no experience of today--feudalism, plague, witch hunts, etc.?What was it like to be an ordinary person back then? Year of Wonders describes how bubonic plague affected one Derbyshire village during 1666, through the life of one woman.
    Although events are harrowing, bringing out both the best and worst in villagers, there is a goodness and humanity that makes this book uplifting and hopeful.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Geraldine Brooks' voice and narration made me think she suffers from major depression. If the story hadn't been so engaging, I would not have been able to endure her narration. If there should be a choice among narrators in future recordings, I recommend anyone but Ms Brooks.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: and Other Clinical Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Oliver Sacks
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Oliver Sacks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (987)
    Performance
    (816)
    Story
    (821)

    Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

    Darwin8u says: "A Clinician's eYe, but a Poet's HEART"
    "Aaargh! I did it again--this narrator detracts."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Someday I'll learn to listen to the sample recording before purchasing a book. This narrator has a tendency to weight every word with so much drama and meaning that, like overly-seasoned, rich food, I found myself longing for relief from his narration.

    Other than that, the book (which I read in print for the first time in 1985) hadn't lost its power to bring the plight of the subjects into clear focus. It is a bit dated, although Sacks apparently made an attempt to update the chapters in '94. One would have to go into more recent clinical literature to see developments in the field since then, but for the layman, this book illuminates the neurology adequately, while emphasizing the humanity of the sufferers.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Defending Jacob: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Landay
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4154)
    Performance
    (3553)
    Story
    (3550)

    Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

    Kelli N. Perkins says: "Still Thinking About This Tale Weeks After"
    "A great read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Defending Jacob?

    Landay skillfully guides the reader into making assumptions. I don't want to spoil the book by saying more, but the end of the book was a surprise. You think you know where the author is heading, and--then the rug is pulled out from under you.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters were so well drawn, and then performed beautifully. Grover Gardner sure knows how kids would deliver the unerring teenage dialogue. Not only the kids, but everyone's characterization and the unspoken emotional content were unerringly interpreted by Gardner. He perfectly differentiated the characters with his spot on performance.

    I don't know about the accuracy of the psychological information presented, but it felt appropriate.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not having access to the printed book, I don't know how the prosecutor's name is spelled, but scenes in which Lejudas(sp?) struts about are all my favorites, mainly for the grim, subtly comic relief they provide.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    It keeps you guessing.


    Any additional comments?

    Aruba.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Historian

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Kostova
    • Narrated By Joanne Whalley, Dennis Boutsikaris, Rosalyn Landor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2820)
    Performance
    (1170)
    Story
    (1183)

    Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

    Branden says: "Phenomenallly detailed..."
    "A so-so read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book kept my interest enough to finish the 4 sections, but despite fine narration and what are probably meticulously researched historical facts, the story didn't measure up. One of my friends (a romance novel fan and Dracula afficionado) LOVED the book. I felt that most of book and particularly the ending, was predictable. But now I think I'll have to plan a trip to the Balkans and some of the former Eastern Bloc cities mentioned in the book, just to see them for myself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thunderhead

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1432)
    Performance
    (796)
    Story
    (793)

    Nora Kelly, a young archaeologist in Santa Fe, receives a letter written 16 years ago, yet mysteriously mailed only recently. In it her father, long believed dead, hints at a fantastic discovery that will make him famous and rich - the lost city of an ancient civilization that suddenly vanished a thousand years ago. Now Nora is leading an expedition into a harsh, remote corner of Utah's canyon country, but what she unearths will be the newest of horrors.

    Yurgel says: "Oh my god"
    "Never again, Scott."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After spending 17-some hours with this book I wonder how I managed to finish it, given the narrator's breathless, dramatic delivery of every word in the book. The story was interesting enough to overcome the narration. Barely. Someone, please tell Scott Brick that the authors deliberately included mundane details to provide a release from anticipated tension. Books should be read with a variety of moods and a selection of dramatic inflections to give the listener a break.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Tommo and Hawk: The Australian Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1999)
    Performance
    (1360)
    Story
    (1361)

    Brutally kidnapped and separated in childhood, Tommo and Hawk are reunited at the age of 15 in Hobart Town. Together, they escape their troubled pasts and set off on a journey into manhood. From whale hunting in the Pacific to the Maori wars of New Zealand, from the Rocks in Sydney to the miners' riots at the goldfields, Tommo and Hawk must learn each other's strengths and weaknesses in order to survive.

    Angie says: "Brillant Narration"
    "peters out"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am always disappointed when I read one of Bryce Courtenay's sequels. The first books (and I've read and loved several so far) have been excellently written, with fully-realized characters and interesting stories. They always end with a hook and a bit of a question: "What happened then?" But try as he might, none of Bryce Courtenay's excellent first books are ever matched by their sequels. In fact, it's as if he turns the writing of them over to another writer, someone who is not his match and fails miserably to deliver. My advice is to read the first of his books and forget any sequels. No matter how much you wonder what happened with the characters, how it all worked out, you will be disappointed.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Anthony Bourdain
    • Narrated By Anthony Bourdain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1852)
    Performance
    (1106)
    Story
    (1084)

    In the 10 years since his classic Kitchen Confidential first alerted us to the idiosyncrasies and lurking perils of eating out, much has changed for the subculture of chefs and cooks, for the restaurant business and for Anthony Bourdain. Medium Raw explores those changes, tracking Bourdain's strange and unexpected voyage from journeyman cook to globe-traveling professional eater and drinker, and even to fatherhood. Bourdain takes no prisoners as he dissects what he's seen.

    Andy says: "entertaining but not as good as kitchen conf."
    "@#$!%&* Raw, indeed"
    Overall
    Story

    Amusing anecdotes, particularly about the St. Bart's glitterati and their too-many-facelifts denizens, but really, Bourdain's abrasive stance and consistent use of the F word make me wonder if he's someone who has a severely limited vocabulary as well as lacking in nuance of character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tandia

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1197)
    Performance
    (657)
    Story
    (657)

    Tandia is a child of all Africa: half Indian, half African, beautiful and intelligent, she is only sixteen when she is first brutalized by the police. Her fear of the white man leads her to join the black resistance movement. With her in the fight for justice is the one white man Tandia can trust, the welterweight champion of the world, Peekay. Now he must fight their common enemy in order to save both their lives.

    Thomas Andrews says: "Thanks for this wonderful collaboration"
    "a disappointing sequel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After loving "The Power of One" I was eager to find out what happened to the characters. Tandia introduces more characters and does tell you what happened to them, but it lacked something. Maybe it was the personal connection the author had with Peekay in the first book--and Peekay's later life story too much a departure from the author's life. Or maybe Courtenay simply couldn't identify as closely with Tandia.

    However, I continue to be in awe of Humphrey Bower's narrative skills. It was due solely to his narration of "Shantaram" that I got "Power of One" and I'm glad I did. I almost gave up after Courtenay disappointed me with "Tandia" but I'm currently listening to "The Potato Factory", and it's another winner by Courtenay.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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