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LJ Web

CA USA | Member Since 2005

ratings
42
REVIEWS
19
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
73

  • Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Garrison Keillor
    • Narrated By Garrison Keillor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (658)
    Performance
    (401)
    Story
    (402)

    Garrison Keillor's latest book is about the wedding of a girl named Dede Ingebretson, who comes home from California with a guy named Brent. Dede has made a fortune in veterinary aromatherapy; Brent bears a strong resemblance to a man wanted for extortion who's pictured on a poster in the town's post office. Then there's the memorial service for Dede's aunt Evelyn, who led a footloose and adventurous life after the death of her husband 17 years previously.

    A User says: "Brillliant but not lighthearted"
    "Vintage Keillor"
    Overall

    Those of us who've been listening to PHC for several decades recognize as familiar old friends pretty much every thread in this story, but we don't mind. It's the human condition. Some people complain about Garrison's deadpan delivery on this audio book, but not those of us who love him...his mere voice reminds of us a generous, quirky view of life that comes along with it.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The London Train

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Tessa Hadley
    • Narrated By Juanita McMahon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    Acclaimed author Tessa Hadley was longlisted for the Guardian first book award for her novel Accidents in the Home. In The London Train, Paul leaves his family to search for Pia, his daughter from his first marriage. He finds her pregnant and living in less than ideal conditions - but with an outlook on life that’s strangely compelling. Paul decides to start a new life and joins Pia in London. But he doesn’t know that a chance encounter with a desperate woman will change his destiny.

    Cariola says: "Interwoven Stories"
    "couldn't get the characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Enjoyable atmospherics & observations of the human condition and I wanted to love this book, but the 2 main characters never came alive for me. Paul's wandering off from his happy home, with never a word about how or why, and Cora's similar departure from her husband, just made them seem like wraiths; no flesh & blood. Interesting ending, though. I actually wished it had started there!
    The narration is perfect. You can almost always tell who's speaking, and yet the different voices aren't overdone. An enjoyable tone and pace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (6319)
    Performance
    (5754)
    Story
    (5762)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Cuckoo's Calling rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Even though detective fiction isn't my favorite genre, I did enjoy this story, and appreciated the fact that it wasn't filled with violence. I can relax with a whodunit if it's not making me cringe all the time. This one kept me up most of one night.
    Fascinating plot twist at the end.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Susan Spencer-Wendel, Bret Witter
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (37)

    Susan Spencer-Wendel's Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy is a moving and inspirational memoir by a woman who makes the most of her final days after discovering she has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). After Spencer-Wendel, a celebrated journalist at the Palm Beach Post, learns of her diagnosis of ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, she embarks on several adventures, traveling to several countries and sharing special experiences with loved ones.

    Bonny says: "Until I Say Good-Bye is a paradox for me."
    "spunky gal goes out LIVING & writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author bravely bares much of her family life, her work life, and her physical struggles with ALS. She is a courageous reporter on the crime beat for her newspaper for 20 years, until she can no longer make it up and down the courthouse steps without falling. Unlike some who might stop working before that humiliating point, she does not. We begin to see she's like that throughout all the domains of life, including this writing.

    Many parts of this rather short memoir are full of juice, others are a little flat, obviously padded out to complete the book she was rushing to publish before she could no longer communicate. She typed much of this book on an iPhone, using only 1 finger, so who am I to complain about any of it, including the fact that it feels like this was a magazine article stretched out to become a book.

    The writing itself is good. It's the content that left me feeling there was a point in her life after being diagnosed with ALS where she started pushing friends and family into colorful situations in order to create material to write about, and the material suffers for this.

    She's careful to not invade the privacy of her husband and children too much, and so we see them only glancingly, and only in specific anecdotes. One of the most fascinating aspects of her story might have been how a marriage relationship endures, changes, suffers, or grows in such a struggle, but she avoids that mostly, and it leaves a yawning gap in the picture.

    But clearly, this memoir screams the message that she is doing ALS and end-of-life on her own terms, and so she does. Despite its flaws and gaps, the book is compelling reading.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Sense of an Ending: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Julian Barnes
    • Narrated By Richard Morant
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (812)
    Performance
    (690)
    Story
    (693)

    Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumor, and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is retired. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove.

    Chris Reich says: "Stunning. I'm Guilty. Are You?"
    "brief, depressing glimpse into a bleak life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Shades of brown and black, relieved only by the stark white light shining upon the too-frequent masturbation scenes. Characters you don't even want to like, let alone care about. I persevered through the entire ~5 hours, which seemed like 20, and nothing improved. There is a strange plot twist at the end, but it feels absolutely meaningless, since it involves characters we know virtually nothing about. On the up side, the narrator is great. I just hope he didn't feel suicidal after spending so much time with this author's work.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Red Queen: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (785)
    Performance
    (474)
    Story
    (484)

    Heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, Margaret Beaufort never surrenders her belief that her house is the true ruler of England and that she has a great destiny before her. Her ambitions are disappointed when her sainted cousin Henry VI fails to recognize her as a kindred spirit, and she is even more dismayed when he sinks into madness.

    Karin says: "Good book, unsympathetic heroine"
    "boringly repetitive"
    Overall

    The author seems to have run out of energy and now feels it's ok to make a novel out of one sentence: "This is my destiny, to mother a king." Waste of time & money.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Time I Saw You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Berg
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Berg
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    From the beloved best-selling author of Home Safe and The Year of Pleasures comes a wonderful new novel about women and men reconnecting with one another - and themselves - at their 40th high-school reunion.

    LJ Web says: "completely entertaining"
    "completely entertaining"
    Overall

    Elizabeth Berg's narration sparkles with each character's different voice, catching the local inflections and the personality tones just perfectly. Her story is totally engaging, though yes, I'll admit the characters she chooses to highlight include some of the extremes of high school categories, but they are played out to realistic perfection, and the situations are moving as well as thought-provoking. I found the overcoming of challenges uplifting rather than depressing, and I had to laugh out loud at the way one particularly bitchy woman talks to herself inside her head. A very entertaining listen, over too soon.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Woman Trapped In A Woman's Body: (Tales From A Life Of Cringe)

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Lauren Weedman
    • Narrated By Lauren Weedman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    From the uproarious account of her time at the Daily Show, where she developed an entirely one-sided infatuation with Jon Stewart, to the time she read her boyfriend's diary with disastrous results, Lauren's work is filled with the wit, honesty, and personality that make for great personal writing.

    LJ Web says: "Funny, funny, funny!"
    "Funny, funny, funny!"
    Overall

    Lauren Weedman is hilarious! She writes with side-splitting accuracy about life and work and love and everything, and she narrates the book herself with the zing that only a professional actor, which she is, can give. Why is her name still such a secret? She is an incredibly talented writer and performer, and I'm certain we're going to see more comedy from her. Don't let the fact that you haven't heard of her stop you from getting and savoring this funny, funny book. And I found her website where you can see clips of her doing other pieces. The one where she portrays a woman trying to videotape herself doing a little striptease dance as a birthday present for her boyfriend is killer.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Red and the Black

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Stendhal
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (46)

    So what would Al Gore choose if he had a book club? Gore named Stendhal's The Red and the Black, a 19th century classic chock full of adultery, betrayal, and moral vacuity, as his favorite book on a recent broadcast of Oprah. It's a bit shocking of a choice, given his wife and running mate's position on clean, wholesome literature. Listen and decide for yourself the merit of this presidential pick.

    Elisa says: "I wish it was better..."
    "guess I'm just not mature enough for Stendhal"
    Overall

    Garrison Keillor said that "The Red & The Black" was his favorite novel, and he's a hero of mine, so I gave this a try, I really did. I'm a great fan of audio books; have read at least 400 of them from various sources, and have given up on only a handful. This is one of the handful. I realize that it's from another culture in time and place, so I knew it might not be a quick, easy read. But sheesh! Feels like slogging through mud. Too bad. Any study tips, Garrison? Or, perhaps later, in my dotage....

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Woman on the Bus

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Pauline McLynn
    • Narrated By Pauline McLynn
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    The bus from Dublin to Limerick has never meant much to the inhabitants of Kilbrody, until a woman steps off it, marches into the pub, and drinks herself into oblivion. When she finally wakes up, several days later, it is to discover that Charlie Finn (who put her to bed), the local garda, and indeed the whole village are talking about her. Who is the woman on the bus? The question is, will she tell them?

    Marsh says: "Happy Surprise"
    "slice of Irish life -- okay; not fabulous"
    Overall

    Not McLynn's finest writing, but an interesting and enjoyable listen, especially if, like me, you have a hard time finding novels that don't feature murder, mayhem, & gratuitous porn. This piece is narrated by McLynn herself, and she is a professional actor, so it's well done, with perfect emphasis in all the right places, in a brogue that is mostly easily understandable for an American listener. The only quibble I have is that her voice is breathy and therefore difficult to hear in a noisy environment. McLynn's more recent book, "Bright Lights & Promises," is definitely a 5-star read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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