Davis, CA, United States | Member Since 2008
I read "Born To Run" twice and expected this book to be similarly fun. I was sadly disappointed in several ways. This autobiographical book reveals Jurek to be a very self-adsorbed and arrogant sounding individual. The arrogance was helped along by the narrator's tone. Dunn-Baker not only mispronounced names but also relatively common words, which was difficult to overlook.
After a brief history of a not-so-happy childhood (his mother had multiple sclerosis) and his father didn't cope well, we were led on a trip from his discovery of his running prowess to a play by play description how he won numerous races through his philosophy of life and running and through his healthy eating discoveries. As the book progressed, Jurek appeared to see himself as a nutritionist and a philosopher, and his philosophy became very prevalent and annoying toward the conclusion of the book.
What became most irritating to me was his complete self-absorption. I am aware that athletes who want to be at the very top of their game must be compulsively single-minded in doing everything they can to excel and outdo themselves. I read and really enjoyed Apolo Ohno's book, "Zero Regrets", and never once did I feel he was arrogant or self-absorbed as he described his rise to the top of the skating world. Jurek, on the other hand, sees himself as the center of the universe.
I would imagine this book would appeal to aspiring marathoners, particularly those who want to enter the ultra-classes. It might also appeal to athletes who are wanting to move toward more healthy eating. However, if running is not your avocation, I heartily recommend reading "Born To Run" and not wasting time or money on this book.
It didn't take long for me to become totally immersed in this mystery. And what a mystery it is! About half way into the book, a light bulb went on and I thought I had it figured out. How wrong I was, as there are twists and turns that are totally unexpected. This is a really good story that keeps you holding your breath til the end.
Sean Barrett's narration was amazing. It was truly a performance that I will long remember and it added greatly to the enjoyability of the story. Barrett did all the characters so well and had such a variety of voices and accents. His interpretation of one particular character certainly added immensely to the creepiness factor which made the experience such fun for me.
Collateral characters,while not as well described and developed, were also believable and interesting. This is a series and I think Watching You is the last one that was released. While it was a stand alone story, I imagine you might feel more at home with having previous experience with Joe O'Loughlin, the criminal psychologist. Still, despite entering the series in this later book, I found it thoroughly enjoyable and I highly recommend it.
(I have not described the story as Audible gives a good summary, certainly enough for you to decide if the plot interests you.)
The Age of Innocence was a daily deal and really not something that would interest me, but the reviews were all so enthusiastic that I had to give it a try.
Horovitch narrated it so wonderfully, I wasn't the least bit bothered by his English accent for New York characters. I will admit I did laugh out loud at another reviewer's comment about Countess Oleska sounding like she was from Transylvania. Despite that little blip, it was a perfect narration.
I particularly enjoyed the setting, 1870's New York City. The upper class families with their restrictive societal-driven behaviors fascinated me. I loved the description by Wharton of May and Ellen's grandmother, Mrs. Manson Mingott. It had me chuckling to myself as she described in detail Mingott's utterly fleshy state!
I had hopes for different decisions on Newland Archer's part, but it seems he was greatly limited by societal restraints of the day and of his class as mentioned above. It was a very unusual threesome, something that would never play out in this day and age of immediate gratification. And yet, I loved every minute of this book. It was an enjoyable and amusing listen for me.
There are so many things wrong with this book, I'm not sure where to begin. The thing that stands out the most for me is the skills of the narrator, which are seriously lacking. Stephanie Brush has a lovely pleasant voice and she does Joanna Brady nicely. However, she cannot do anyone else in a decent, convincing voice. When she does males, she uses a throaty, shrill voice that makes them instantly annoying and unlikeable. At first, I felt her husband had aphasia or a mental deficiency, the halting way he spoke. She was equally awful at doing crying children or crying women--ferociously awful! She needs to go to Narrator School, for sure! No, I would NOT listen to another of her narrations, even if it was for a favorite author.
Then, on to the story which was sorely lacking in credibility. We are to believe that a 9 months pregnant Joanna, only a week away from her due date, is working full-time, late into the evening, AND weekends in dangerous situations with no worries, no aching tiredness, or fears of doing damage to her unborn son? We are to believe her husband is perfectly okay with this, too? We are to believe she can fly down onto the ground, lie on her 9-months pregnant stomach, and shoot a bad guy from under her car? And the old tired cliche that parents must be inconsiderate, obnoxious idiots--both Joanna's AND also her husband's?
The story was not very believable, either, and much too easily wrapped up in the end. Oh yes, Joanna was perky and fine right after the delivery and continued to work from her hospital bed! It leads us to speculate that the baby will enter daycare immediately and perhaps never see his mother again.
I thought I really enjoyed Jance's books. I am thinking she is either resting on her laurels, relying on formula stories, or not using editors anymore. Too bad. I really like her settings and have even spent time in the Huachuca Mountains . . . .
I know there are folks who buy a book because of its cover. I got this one because of its title--I just couldn't resist it! Besides, time travel is 'in' right now and often can be very entertaining.
Over all, I found the story enjoyable and a fun read. The heroine is surprisingly able and competent to handle herself in difficult situations and to save the day for her colleagues. I found this a bit incongruous with the narrator's particular British accent, in that I just could not imagine someone who talked like that punching someone in the face or being rough and tough enough to carry the story. Yet, Max was just that kind of heroine. I guess you just can't judge a book by its accent!
In contrast to a previous reviewer, I enjoyed this book much more than Connie Willis' two World War II time travel books, which I found very unsatisfying and frustrating. Jodi Tayor's character, Max, has actual relationships with other characters and all these characters are more developed. I found Max's adventures in time travel into the past much more engaging. The Willis books, while expertly researched, were pure drudgery for me.
If you love time travel books and are happy with a very British sounding heroine, this book will be a fun read for you. Go for it!
for anyone interested in the current state of health care and the medical field, for professionals, and those like me who aspire to be a doctor in my next life.
Seriously, this is an excellent book that covers very interesting and surprising issues related to improving medical care and outcomes. A few of the things Dr. Gawande touches on are cleanliness, battle injuries, eradicating polio, doctors' salaries, hospital excellence (or lack of), and practice of medicine in impoverished areas of India. Each topic had surprising information and was compellingly interesting to me. The author's intelligence, clear-thinking, and caring came through as the book progressed. He has a great deal to offer medical professionals and also the non-medical, average person, too.
John Bedford Lloyd did a fabulous narration. I never felt that he was reading someone elses book. He read it like it was his own. His voice is simply wonderful, too.
Highly recommended if the topic is of interest to you.
This is a really wonderful book--I realized this more and more as the novel proceeded. It is such a different take on World War II and the Nazis, focusing on two youths on different sides. This said, I really don't see this as a YA novel but rather, for all age readers.
Marie Laure is a French girl who became blind at age 6. She lives in France with her beloved father. After the war begins, they flee to St. Malo to live with her father's brother who is an agoraphobic. Werner, on the other hand, is a young German orphan who comes of age in Hitler's Youth, being sent to fight at a very early age and staying alive due to his uncanny skills with radios.
This is a very touching, beautifully written story that I will remember and think about for a long time. The ending is not what I hoped for or expected, but we all know that a WW II story is unlikely to have a fairytale ending. This ending, however, was very satisfying and left me with good feelings.
Zach Appleman should be commended for his excellent and consistently sensitive narration. It is perfect for this story.
I wasn't sure, at first, if I could enjoy 8 hours of Billy Crystal. The beginning of the book had many laugh-out loud moments as Billy discussed growing old. It particularly resonated with me, as Billy and I are very close in age and grew up in nearby Long Island towns. Billy alternated chapters of his autobiography with standup comedy routines about the joys (or horrors!) of getting old. He also ranted about people's behaviors that frustrated him, many of which I could identify with.
Billy is a very likeable guy. He couldn't have made so many wonderful and amazing friends without having a genuinely great personality. I really liked his ability to look on the bright side of life and not focus on the negative. I also found it amazing that Billy has been married to his sweetheart, Janice, since 1970! You just don't see this happening in Hollywood any more.
This was a fun, easy listen for me, and I am glad I purchased this book. It was an unexpectedly pleasant listening experience.
This book was such a surprise for me. I didn't expect to be so riveted to the mp3 player--I finished the book in a day and a half! This is an audiobook I really hated to end and it is a hard act to follow for my next book.
Firstly, the narration is the best! Sean Barrett nails the main character, Guido Guerrieri, but without even needing an Italian accent. He also portrays the defendent, Abdou Thiam, impeccably. I will definitely seek our more books by this narrator.
I really like this sort of story. I felt I really got into the head of the main character, that he was actually speaking to me. What some other reviewers found "tedious", I found compelling. I could have listened to the character, Guido, musing on about his life for a really long time; I found myself interested in it all! I loved his incidental relationships, too. Perhaps this is an indication of the narrator's skill and the author's talent combined. The author and the narrator are an unbeatable combination for me.
I liked the story very much too. I could not imagine how all the circumstantial evidence and prejudices of the main players could be overcome. It certainly wasn't how I expected it to turn out. I also found the Italian justice system very interesting.
All in all, this was a fun listening experience for me, much to soon over. I am definitely wanting more of Carofiglio and Barrett!
I had hopes this book would be similar to Card's Ender series, in that they had wide appeal to adults and YA audiences, alike. However, I feel this book was written mainly for young adults, which is certainly understandable and reasonable. Therefore, I am not deducting stars because I was not the target audience.
I felt that this book was lacking in action, that is, too much time was spent in setting up the story and characters. Yet, there was very little description of the characters and in my mind, I couldn't begin to visualize them. This was a relatively easy listen but towards the end, I was just wanting to finish. I already figured out what was going to happen and when it did, it was just ho-hum for me. I guess this book was missing a sense of excitement for me. Perhaps I look for something else than a younger audience--actually, there is little doubt about this.
As for the narration, Lincoln Hoppe has always been a favorite of mine. I think he usually does a great job of narrating YA books. One problem, however, was that his voices sounded truly adult and not teen at all. I had difficulty with this and had to keep reminding myself they were teens, with the exception of the times they were creating fart viruses!
I am a bit concerned about this review as I always want to be fair to an author. I'd say, if you are a lover of YA literature and this sounds like a book you'd like, go for it!
There's a great deal to like about this book. It is a very unusual setting, a very unusual protagonist, and delightful collateral characters. As is mentioned in many other reviews and the description, the story takes place in Laos after the Communist takeover in the 1970's. Siri Paiboun is the 72 year old coroner, the only coroner in the country, who investigates a series of deaths. Siri would really like to retire after being a doctor for many years but it just isn't in the picture for him. He has been deemed to be a coroner and that is that.
For me, this is a book that you really have to listen to very carefully due to the unfamiliar sounding names, the many characters, and different plot lines. I got lost somewhere toward the end, and I had to listen to the last chapters over a couple of times. Thus, I rated it 3 stars and no higher. I think this book would be more enjoyed by a listener who can devote all their attention to it. My concurrent activities left me feeling lost in the story several times and this I can't really blame on the author.
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