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Laura

Aspiring paperback novelist, living a small town life with a big imagination

Member Since 2011

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 67 ratings
  • 138 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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  • A Town Like Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Robin Bailey
    Overall
    (1449)
    Performance
    (912)
    Story
    (914)

    Wanting to repay a wartime debt to the Malays, Jean Paget returns. There she hears a story which leads her to Australia.

    Barbara says: "Better still in Audio form"
    "One of the greatest female characters of all time!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a good old-fashioned love story, timeless and inspiring. A must read, especially for anyone suffering a midlife crisis or simply in need of a positive, strong female role model, you will find it in Jean Pagent - she makes you want to be a better person.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Son

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Philipp Meyer
    • Narrated By Will Patton, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Shepherd, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1275)
    Performance
    (1137)
    Story
    (1159)

    Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim. Spring, 1849: Eli McCullough is 13 years old when a marauding band of Comanches takes him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to life among the Comanches, learning their ways and waging war against their enemies, including white men - which complicates his sense of loyalty and understanding of who he is.

    Melinda says: "Five Stars for the Lone Star, The Son, & Meyer"
    "Earns its place among the Great American Novels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Terrific characters with the exception of the one woman - it was like the author couldn't decide if he wanted her to be strong or weak and the narrator for her part, way overdid the Texas twang, making Jeanne even more unlikeable - Eli and Pete will stay with you for weeks after putting this book down. The male characters are deep and complex and their stories are redolent with rich tales of love and loss. The dynamics between the white man, Native American Indian and Hispanics are simply fascinating; the violence and tragedy this country is built on is simply staggering. Its been a month since I finished the book and I'm still chewing on it - really makes you think and reflect on our country's history with guarded respect and a small amount of horror.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Savage Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Jean Zimmerman
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Jean Zimmerman's new novel tells of the dramatic events that transpire when an alluring, blazingly smart eighteen-year-old girl named Bronwyn, reputedly raised by wolves in the wilds of Nevada, is adopted in 1875 by the Delegates, an outlandishly wealthy Manhattan couple, and taken back East to be civilized and introduced into high society. Bronwyn hits the highly mannered world of Edith Wharton - era Manhattan like a bomb. A series of suitors, both young and old, find her irresistible, but the willful girl's illicit lovers begin to turn up murdered.

    RueRue says: "Exceptional !"
    "Niles Crane as Hugo Delegate"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great premise, boring story. Narrator is Hugo Delegate read by Edoardo Ballerini, who seems to be channeling David Hyde Pierce's Niles Crane. The character of Hugo Delegate is an improbable one that feels like it was written by a woman: He is a sensitive male, androgynous to a fault, prone to regular fainting spells and his thoughts and speech are fussy and affected: not your typical "leading man" type and therefore an unlikely suitor for Savage Girl. The girl herself is enigmatic but undeveloped as a character and it is hard to stay interested in the plot, which wants to be bigger and more important than it is. By the end, when the twist reveals itself, it is unimpressive, hardly surprising and disappointing. The whole thing is unbelievable and would have been better written as a fairytale, not historical fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • And Sons: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By David Gilbert
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (72)

    Who is A. N. Dyer? & Sons is a literary masterwork for readers of The Art of Fielding, The Emperor’s Children, and Wonder Boys - the panoramic, deeply affecting story of an iconic novelist, two interconnected families, and the heartbreaking truths that fiction can hide.

    Doug P. says: "Full of brilliant bits and pieces"
    "Like Eating Broccoli at 6 AM"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book starts off with great promise and then wades into a tedious, in-cohesive muck. And so many people (claim to) love this book!
    Was Mr. Gilbert's editor on vacation before this book went to print and told the publishing house, "I'm sure its great - print the whole thing, ramblings, musings, stoner philosophy - It's all good." Yes, I picture the author's editor as one of those irritating people who sum up every conversation with "It's all good".
    Great premise, horrible execution and cloning? really??
    This book should have stayed in a drawer.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Racketeer

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By J.D. Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4027)
    Performance
    (3395)
    Story
    (3386)

    Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered. Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five.... Nothing is as it seems and everything’s fair game in this wickedly clever new novel from John Grisham, the undisputed master of the legal thriller.

    Charles says: "Eh."
    "Simply Awful - Don't waste your time or money!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Very disappointing for a Grisham novel - almost like he had a teenager write it for him... dialogue was so juvenile as to be uncomfortable ("shut up! No, you shut up." ) REALLY?? The narration was elementary and vocal inflections only move the reader to loathe the main character. I was rooting for the main character to be busted or killed nearly the whole way through the book. Seriously awful writing, dull narration and a weak, unbelievable plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flight Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1542)
    Performance
    (1349)
    Story
    (1359)

    Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media.

    Marcia says: "Tough Message Delivered in Silk"
    "Great Story, Abysmal Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Why she chose to narrate her own book, I cannot begin to understand...
    As a reader I found it distracting and annoying to be read to as though I were under the age of five or mentally challenged. The story itself is lovely and very interesting as it addresses the extinction of, not only the monarch butterfly, but our very ecosystem as we know it. The characters are well developed - I already picture Jessica Chastain cast in in the role of Dellarobia for the big screen - and Dr. Byron, her intellectual crush, who is described as a gorgeous African American scientist. However, the muddied accent audibly bestowed upon him by the author makes him sound like a depressed Jamaican crossed with Arnold Schwarzenegger; I cringed each time "he" spoke.
    Unfortunately, Ms. Kingsolver joins the ranks of Anne Lamott and Colm Tolbin in a group of authors who should never read aloud. In my brief history with audible performances the only author who successfully narrates his own story is the beguiling Michael Ondaatje whose melodious reading of THE CAT'S TABLE is one of the best performances I've had the pleasure of listening to.
    Do yourself a favor and buy a hard copy or an e-book version of FLIGHT BEHAVIOR for best results.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Canada

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Richard Ford
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (553)
    Performance
    (461)
    Story
    (464)

    When 15-year-old Dell Parsons' parents rob a bank, his sense of normal life is forever altered. In an instant, this private cataclysm drives his life into before and after, a threshold that can never be uncrossed. His parents' arrest and imprisonment mean a threatening and uncertain future for Dell and his twin sister, Berner. Willful and burning with resentment, Berner flees their home in Montana, abandoning her brother and her life. But Dell is not completely alone. A family friend intervenes, spiriting him across the Canadian border.

    Susan C. S. says: "After the last word, went right back to beginning"
    "Good Narration Can't Save A Boring Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What seemed like a great premise was turned dull by the writer using words, so many unnecessary words, as filler and never really getting anywhere. You'd think bankrobbing parents and a murder would make for a great read but what this book needed was a great editor and someone to say "Get to the point, already!" I stuck with it through Part 2 because of the narrator, Holter Graham, who I'd just heard narrate a great book, "The Art of Fielding", but even Mr. Graham could not save this book - too bad, it sounded like a potentially great story.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Private Life

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jane Smiley
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    Margaret Mayfield is nearly an old maid at 27 in post-Civil War Missouri when she marries Captain Andrew Jackson Jefferson Early. Hes the most famous man their small town has ever produced: a naval officer and a brilliant astronomer, a genius who, according to the local paper, has changed the universe. Margaret's mother calls the match a piece of luck.

    Annette says: "Interessantes Buch"
    "Terrible Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of my favorite authors but I am dropping the audio book after a few hours of listening to this woman read it as if to rest home inhabitants - so boring!
    I will pick up the book from the library and proceed with the rest of the story which I'm sure is a good one, but not when read by this narrator!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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