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Kitty

Cranky elderly writer/copy editor

Pittsburgh, PA, United States | Member Since 2011

22
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 20 ratings
  • 616 titles in library
  • 58 purchased in 2014
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  • The 7th Month: A Detective D. D. Warren Story

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 47 mins)
    • By Lisa Gardner
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    Overall
    (2458)
    Performance
    (2074)
    Story
    (2081)

    In Lisa Gardner’s first-ever short story following thirteen bestselling novels, The 7th Month takes listeners between the books and into a day in the life of Boston Detective D. D. Warren. In her seventh month of pregnancy, D.D. should be taking it easy. Instead, she accepts a small consulting role on the set of a serial killer film shooting in Boston.

    Kristi Richardson says: "A great short detective mystery!"
    "A Disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nothing wrong with the narration, but the plot is tissue-thin and fraught with cliche after cliche, as is the writing. Most of the more interesting plot leads are dropped by the wayside which is a shame, because the protagonist, as self-absorbed as she might be, has potential as a lead. I'll think twice before downloading anything else in this series or by this author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lolita

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2076)
    Performance
    (1220)
    Story
    (1215)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Among the great literary achievements of the 20th century, Lolita soars in audio thanks to the incomparable Jeremy Irons, bringing to life Nabokov’s ability to shock and enthrall more than 50 years after publication. Lolita became a cause celebre because of the erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Nabokov's masterpiece owes its stature not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story that is shocking in its beauty and tenderness.

    Jim says: "An Absolutely Gorgeous Audible Experience"
    "Deliciously creepy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Lolita" is about so much more than a middle-aged man's inappropriate obsession with the daughter of his landlady -- about pretense, about ego, about cultural differences -- all bound together by one of the most self-serving, unreliable narrators around. Jeremy Irons caresses each syllable of Nabokov's wonderful wordplay and makes Humbert Humbert as human and fascinating as he is appalling.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2112)
    Performance
    (1957)
    Story
    (1946)

    One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.

    Thug4life says: "Great for family car ride"
    "Perfectly Delightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ms. Hathaway brought one smile, one grin after another to my face as she infused new life into old and beloved characters for me. Her diction was outstanding and even the most minor of players (the stork, for instance) got their opportunity to shine. Having grown up with the book rather than the movie, I am just tickled to pieces at this reading.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • I Am a Pole (And So Can You!)

    • UNABRIDGED (8 mins)
    • By Stephen Colbert
    • Narrated By Tom Hanks, Stephen Colbert
    Overall
    (664)
    Performance
    (592)
    Story
    (570)

    The story of a pole, searching for his purpose in life. "The perfect gift to give a child or grandchild for their high school or college graduation. Also Father's Day. Also, other times."
    —Stephen Colbert

    Phillip says: "It might be inspirational."
    "not much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Only real value of this is knowing where the money will go. Not much of a story and performance is only so-so.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Rage in Harlem: A Grave Digger & Coffin Ed Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Chester Himes
    • Narrated By Samuel L. Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (383)
    Performance
    (346)
    Story
    (344)

    Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Star Wars films), fresh off the success of his uproarious, Audie-nominated performance of the mock children’s book Go the F**k to Sleep, delivers a swaggering, darkly-humored rendering of Chester Himes’ classic first novel.

    Kitty says: "A Visit to Another Era"
    "A Visit to Another Era"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An astonishing experience for a suburban white woman, to be transported to Harlem in the 1950s, and Himes (whom I'd heard of, but never read before) made it an unforgettable trip. The story is deliciously convoluted and the characters are perfectly presented, universal figures, yet each utterly one of a kind.

    I was a little confused at first, because the lead characters in the series appear more than halfway through the story, and appear as secondary characters. This was Himes's first in the series, so perhaps he didn't realize he would use them again at the time he wrote it.

    What set the whole thing sizzling was Samuel L. Jackson's extraordinary, sharp and loving performance, making each character uniquely memorable. I can't say enough about how much his power and enthusiasm got me sucked into the story completely.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • All the King's Men

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Robert Penn Warren
    • Narrated By Michael Emerson
    Overall
    (726)
    Performance
    (356)
    Story
    (352)

    The fictionalized account of Louisiana's colorful and notorious governor, Huey Pierce Long, All the King's Men follows the startling rise and fall of Willie Stark, a country lawyer in the Deep South of the 1930s. Beset by political enemies, Stark seeks aid from his right-hand man Jack Burden, who will bear witness to the cataclysmic unfolding of this very American tragedy.

    Eric Berger says: "Marvelously written and read"
    "Language, Politics, and Truth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book takes its own sweet time getting to the point, but along the way you will realize that all those seemingly tangential observations spring these larger-than-life characters. They give the book its immediacy and compelling plot. Robert Penn Warren drew the characters with infinite care, and Michael Emerson voices those words perfectly.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Rachel Maddow
    • Narrated By Rachel Maddow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1463)
    Performance
    (1332)
    Story
    (1325)

    Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seriously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about how, when, and where to apply America's strength and power - and who gets to make those decisions.

    Dolf says: "Half the National Debt?"
    "Uncomfortable Tuths, Well Presented"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Carefully providing the historical underpinnings of both the intentions of the Founding Fathers and the "good" reasons for which "bad" laws have been put into place, Maddow lines out how we have handed off most of our freedoms for the illusion of security. Whether her liberal slant resonates with you or not, there's much here that should get your hackles up. I'm a Libertarian/Republican and I found much of interest here.

    Maddow is an exceptionally intelligent, articulate, and charismatic woman who also has a strong academic bent. My only complaint about this book was that in her narration I found a bit more of her liberal smug sarcastic delivery, the thing that keeps me from watching her news program, than I was entirely comfortable with.

    In the end, smugness aside, this is a book that everyone who really wants to believe that this is a free country needs to read and understand.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Heilemann, Mark Halperin
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1918)
    Performance
    (766)
    Story
    (771)

    Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Game Change is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, this is the occasion-ally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of the campaign of a lifetime.

    Sara says: "Out Dated Even When It Was Current"
    "Totally guilty pleasure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OK, to start with, the whole book is deep background, which means you'll just have to take the authors' words that they're giving you the straight scoop. The story never drags and it effortlessly keeps its cast of hundreds clear in the head of the reader/listener.

    It's a totally glib piece of maybe-faux-reportage but eerily enchanting in a gossipy train-wreck kind of way that I love every minute of though makes me feel dirty afterwards. (Admittedly, I have ambivalence issues.)

    Boutsikaris is just pitch-perfect, the only unabashed 5-stars I can give, hinting at the cadences of the better known speakers without flat-out imitating them.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Confederacy of Dunces

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By John Kennedy Toole
    • Narrated By Arte Johnson
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    Ignatius J. Reilly is a 30-year-old self-proclaimed genius out to reform the entire 20th century, which doesn't leave him time for an ordinary nine-to-five job. Then one day Mrs. Reilly pushes her reluctant son out of the nest and into the working world of New Orleans--a decision with unforeseeable hilarious results.

    JACK says: "Brings the Comic Novel to Life"
    "But cut so short ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a brilliant performance of Toole's amazing "A Confederacy of Dunces" by Arte Johnson. The voices, the accents ... it's all pitch-perfect. But oh, dear, it is severely abridged. This is about 3 hours of a novel that it takes 9 or 10 hours to read. It certainly gives you the flavor and unforgettable characters, but too many of the little plot details that make the whole story fall together so perfectly are missing, victims of the editor's axe.

    Perhaps this will prompt more than one person to go out in search of a more complete version of the novel... but it's a pity that it will not be read with Mr. Johnson's enthusiasm and glee.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1526)
    Performance
    (1333)
    Story
    (1336)

    Prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial Vincent Bugliosi held a unique insider's position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the 20th century: the cold-blooded Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by Charles Manson and four of his followers. What motivated Manson in his seemingly mindless selection of victims, and what was his hold over the young women who obeyed his orders? Now available for the first time in unabridged audio, the gripping story of this famous and haunting crime is brought to life by acclaimed narrator Scott Brick.

    Larry says: "What a great book."
    "At last in unabridged format!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is the reason I joined audible.com! I have probably read it ten times since it first came out, and once even borrowed the most unsatisfying abridged version from the library. There are no wasted words in this story -- shortening it takes away from its immediacy. The crimes were horrendous for their era -- or for any era -- and there is an all-star cast. Tate! Polanski! The Beach Boys! And who would have expected that the scruffy little runt, Charlie Manson, would someday rival them for fame?

    This is crisp prose, crisply read by Scott Brick [I always wondered how to pronounce the name of the "Ouchterlony test"] without unnecessary dramatics. The "updates" that take up the last hour or so, while out of date now, are still more than were included in the copy I owned. Final word: Anything that can engage my I-hate-true-crime husband and drag him away from his computer the better to listen intently is a real winner.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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