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Kelly

PLYMOUTH, MN, USA | Member Since 2001

20
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 665 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Susanna Clarke
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (3312)
    Performance
    (1303)
    Story
    (1307)

    English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.

    David says: "Hang in there!"
    "I didn't want it to end."
    Overall

    This is not a book for individuals with attention spans the size of fruit flies.

    Yes, it is long. Yes, it takes some imagination and thoughtfulness to appreciate. There are those however, who appreciate an author who doesn't insult our intelligence or try to manipulate us by telling us exactly how we should feel in every scene. If you need your story spoon-fed to you and refuse to do any of the intellectual heavy lifting required to appreciate good writing then this book probably isn't for you.

    The story ultimately belongs to Jonathan Strange and his evolution from a callow and self-centered life of privilege to a man scarred by the losses of war and a literal darkness. Mr. Norrell's narrative is that of a man grown old, fearful of losing what he has, to see that it's nothing at all if he has no one to share it with. In this sense, it is NOT a story about magic, but about PEOPLE. It is the story of the relationship between Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, between Jonathan Strange and his wife, between Mrs. Strange and Mrs. Pol, between Mrs. Pol and The Man with the Thistledownhair, and so on... very rich, complex, interesting relationships.

    This book has many rewards for those who open themselves to its beautiful language and the way its story unfolds - with grace and dignity. Not the least of its rewards is how Mr. Segundus' steadfast faith and love for the study of magic is rewarded in the end. It is unfortunate that it has been unfairly maligned in the reviews for not being what some people think it should be, which is shallow and unreflective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Murderer Next Door: Why the Mind is Designed to Kill

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By David M. Buss
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    As acclaimed psychological researcher and author David Buss writes, "People are mesmerized by murder. It commands our attention like no other human phenomenon, and those touched by its ugly tendrils never forget." Though we may like to believe that murderers are pathological misfits and hardened criminals, the vast majority of murders are committed by people who, until the day they kill, would seem to be perfectly normal.

    Ellen says: "Stays with me"
    "Good book, horrible reading."
    Overall

    I have literally bought hundreds of audio books on Audible and the reading of this book is by far the worst I have ever heard. It is quite possible that the topic is interesting, captivating even, but the narration and delivery is soulless, and insipid. I should have listened to the sample before purchasing, but it is hard to imagine a reading this bad. Try "Stiff" by Mary Roach instead if you like this genre.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Partly Cloudy Patriot

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sarah Vowell
    • Narrated By Sarah Vowell, Conan O'Brien, Seth Green, and others
    Overall
    (1575)
    Performance
    (379)
    Story
    (379)

    Sarah Vowell travels through the American past and investigates the dusty, bumpy roads of her own life. Her essays confront a wide range of subjects, icons, and historical moments: Ike, Teddy Roosevelt, and Bill Clinton; Canadian Mounties and German Filmmakers; Tom Cruise and Buffy the Vampire Slayer; twins and nerds; the Gettysburg Address, the State of the Union, and George W. Bush's inauguration. The result is an engrossing audiobook, capturing Vowell's memorable wit and her keen social commentary.

    Erik says: "A great listen"
    "Outstanding."
    Overall

    This is one of the best Audible books I have ever purchased. Vowell's insights are sharp and witty, and at times even poignant. Her delivery is always right on the money (and they are, after all, her stories). My favorites are "Pop-a-shot" and the story about people who compare themselves to Rosa Parks. Still, this whole book is a winner. GET THIS AUDIBLE BOOK NOW!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Mary Roach
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3573)
    Performance
    (2041)
    Story
    (2055)

    For two thousand years, cadavers have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They've tested France's first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery, cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way.

    Matthew says: "Darn funny if you're open to the idea."
    "Interesting and Informative and Never Dull"
    Overall

    This is a gem of a book. It is interesting, and informative, and answers all the questions you've ever wanted to ask about being dead or what happens to you (your body, that is) when you die. Notwithstanding, in the end, it becomes an affirmation of life, as Roach always treats the subject not only respectfully, but calls out many instances where the dead can truly serve the living.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lovely Bones

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Alice Sebold
    • Narrated By Alyssa Bresnahan
    Overall
    (519)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (61)

    It may be difficult to imagine a life-affirming book which begins with the main character, a 14-year-old girl, recounting her rape and murder, but Alice Sebold's debut novel is just such a book. Having received advance critical acclaim that before now was reserved only for literary giants, this book will no doubt invite comparisons to works such as Tracy Chevalier's The Girl with the Pearl Earring and Toni Morrison's Beloved.

    Susanne W. says: "Don't Pass It Up!!!"
    "Blew me away."
    Overall

    This is one of the best audiobooks I have ever heard. Sebold's writing is amazing. She captures the main character's emotional growth and wistfulness without being emotionally manipulative or contrived.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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