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Amazon Customer

Stockholm, Sweden | Member Since 2013

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 163 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015
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  • Wolf Hall

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Simon Slater
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (215)
    Performance
    (159)
    Story
    (159)

    Tudor England. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is charged with securing his divorce. Into this atmosphere of distrust comes Thomas Cromwell - a man as ruthlessly ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.

    Margaret says: "Wolf Hall"
    "Much too constructed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to love this, but despite many efforts over at least 15 hours I can't even like it. There is absolutely no emotional involvement in any of the characters nor the story. It would be like reading the driest newspaper article summing up the events, which isn't what I would expect of a novel, if it weren't for the laboured construction that made it much more inaccessible and frankly uninteresting.

    And I tried. I read the first third on my Kindle, but kept falling asleep (has only ever happened with the ridiculously bad Fifty shades of Grey). Switched to the audio book hoping that a lively narration would bring the characters to life and thus start to matter, in any way, to me. It didn't.

    As I read it for a book club I persisted, but a little over half way through I gave up. I just couldn't bring myself to give it another eleven hours of my life. Out of the six serious book nerds in my book club I was the one who got the farthest, by far. One, who is extremely interested in Henry VIII, had finished and thought it dry and uninvolving, but we soon realised she had unwittingly listened to an abridged version of eight hours. That's one third of the original book's length. She said she'd never ever spend over 24 hours of reading time on the full version. The book club even reads quite a bit of award winning lit, many of my favourites are Pulitzer winners for instance, so it's not a question of that.

    I even tried reading it just to explore the construction, but that didn't grab my interest either. To me, this is simply a boring book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11114)
    Performance
    (6287)
    Story
    (6336)

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "Original and partly great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is so original it's impossible not to like it. I adore the beginning of the book as Pi and his back story is introduced. He is a highly interesting character and his musings on religion, the existence of zoos etc are entertaining.

    Later on, in the boat, this part of Pi is lost in the struggle to survive. It surfaces every now and then, but mainly it becomes a Robinson Crusoesque account of staying alive under dire circumstances. Not my cup of tea, but it does have moments that are a bit more fantastical and fascinating.

    Then there's the ending, which I won't spoil of course, but I can say it's good and fitting. It's different from the movie if you've already seen it, and I much prefer the book's ending.

    If the middle part had been skimmed down to a much shorter passage this book could have been a favourite. As is, it's a fairly pleasant read but only the beginning and the ending affects me as a reader.

    Nicely narrated, I think it is quite true to the character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anna Karenina

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (53)

    Sensual, rebellious Anna falls deeply and passionately in love with the handsome Count Vronsky. When she refuses to conduct the discreet affair that her cold, ambitious husband - and Russian high society - would condone, she is doomed. Set against the tragic love of Anna and Vronsky, the plight of the melancholy nobleman Konstantine Levin unfolds. In doubt about the meaning of life - a mirror of Tolstoy’s own spiritual crisis - Konstantine is haunted by thoughts of suicide.

    K. W. Lowery says: "Flawless novel, masterfully narrated"
    "A classic is a classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I figure it's unnecessary to introduce the storyline so let's just say it is quite a modern love story though set in a different pace (with more parallel stories) than the standard today. For instance, Anna Karenina doesn't make her entrance into the story until around page 70.

    Nice narration and I'd highly recommend listening to this book rather than reading it as this recording brings it to life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13295)
    Performance
    (12168)
    Story
    (12237)

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    FanB14 says: "Sad Premise, Fantastic Story"
    "Oh, how I love this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Imagine the movie character Juno had a sister, her name would be Hazel. She is a smart, witty, observant and idealistic yet cynical young girl - who has cancer. She has normal teenage worries, like will she ever fall in love, and then there's the lonely and heavy reality of her disease that sets her apart from, almost, everyone else her age.

    It had me laughing out loud, crying hard, awwing at the sweetness and smartness - and just wishing I could step into this story and live there. Really, I would. It's never too rich, nor too careful about the darker parts of Hazel's reality. The sad parts are beautiful, the sweet parts incredibly moving without becoming sticky. It is simply perfect.

    I also have a Kindle edition of this book and had to put the audio book on pause so, so many times to underline sentences, even whole conversations, that were so smart, moving or philosophically brilliant. As a writer I am in awe of John Green's tremendous characterisation and dialogue.

    It is brilliantly narrated by Kate Rudd. Unlike a few other narrations of YA, this narration is convincing in this being is a teenager telling her very own story, from a unique perspective.

    I want everyone to read this book, from teenagers to adults: it doesn't matter what age you are, this story is universal and the novel extremely well written. It is, by far, the most moving story I have come across for a long, long time. It is a precious story that I am so happy to have read and long to read again.

    I rarely fall head over heels for a book, but this story I will love for life.

    Just read it and love it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robin Sloan
    • Narrated By Ari Fliakos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2772)
    Performance
    (2493)
    Story
    (2480)

    The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything....

    Susan says: "Fun, thought-provoking, mysterious.... and FUN !"
    "A good start but it just doesn't take off"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved the beginning of this book. As a long time book geek, the strange bookstore and its mysterious owner is a nerdilicious concept that really got me hooked. But then the story goes to too strange places for me and I lost the feel for it completely. The characters were also quite lost on me as none of them really touched me in the slightest. They're quite flat, bordering on boring, really.

    The last third I listened to purely to have finished the book and not quit, just in case it would turn around again. But it didn't.

    Great start, but the last half to third really isn't worth the effort. The beginning deserved a better ending.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Silver Linings Playbook

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Matthew Quick
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Now a major film starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro.Pat Peoples knows that life doesn’t always go according to plan, but he’s determined to get his back on track. After a stint in a psychiatric hospital, Pat is staying with his parents and trying to live according to his new philosophy: get fit, be nice and always look for the silver lining. Most importantly, Pat is determined to be reconciled with his wife Nikki. Pat’s parents just want to protect him

    Barry says: "I'm a bloke and I loved this book"
    "Feel good indie listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a feel good story, but with an indie not-everything-is-perfect touch to it which gives it more depth. It is as much a story on healing and dealing with life as it is about loneliness, friendship and all kinds of love (family, friendship and romantic). Two people more or less dented by life meet and become quite original friends. It's a lot like what Dr Seuss says:
    "We are all a little weird and
    Life’s a little weird,
    And when we find someone whose
    Weirdness is compatible with ours,
    We join up with them and fall in
    Mutual weirdness and call it love."

    A nice gallery of characters, all humanly flawed in their own personal way. I love the quirk. The first person perspective of a main character who's quite messed up himself could have become disastrous in the hands of the wrong narrator, but it is spot on.

    You get a big chunk of story, without unneccessary and flat plot, for the feel good genre and such a quick listen. If you're in the mood for an indie feel good, go for it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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