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Huntington, WV, United States | Member Since 2009

  • 5 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 311 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2014

  • Stein on Writing: A Master Editor Shares His Craft, Techniques, and Strategies

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Sol Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane

    Stein on Writing provides immediately useful advice for writers of fiction and nonfiction, whether newcomers or accomplished professionals. As Sol Stein, renowned editor, author, and instructor, explains, "This is not a book of theory. It is a book of usable solutions, how to fix writing that is flawed, how to improve writing that is good, how to create interesting writing in the first place."

    ddsharper says: "Excellent Content and Listen"
    "So glad I listened"

    This book is like sitting through an interesting college course in writing. My bookcases and hard-drive is full of books on writing. I have to say that this book has been the most helpful so far. Sol Stein made me think of P.O.V. and suspense differently. I highly recommend this book to anyone that would like to improve their writing. I do admit that at times it is hard to swallow Stein's ego, the worst for me is the "Thou Shall" stuff at the end, but the techniques he teaches are priceless.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Magicians: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Lev Grossman
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he's still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.

    Ki says: "Not an average book"
    "I'm not sure I can finish it! I'm trying"

    I bought this book because I was told it was like "Harry Potter for Adults"... ummm NO! The author tried to be the "Adult Harry Potter" but failed horribly. But hey, I could get over being misled if it was a good story. I could even overlook the highjacking ideas from Harry Potter and Narnia IF IT WAS A GOOD STORY. This book goes wrong in every way.

    As a beginning writer I have heard the advice "show don't tell" over and over again but this book has made the meaning to that advice abundantly clear. The narrator tells the reader everything. I was not able to connect with any of the characters because I really never got to see them in action.

    I spent a lot of time re-listening to parts because I just knew I must have missed something only to find out I didn't miss anything. Things just randomly happened with no lead up or explanation. One of MANY examples is in chapter 6 when, out of the blue, Penny comes in and punches Quentin. By the time the narrator TELLS the reader Penny's jealously caused the seemingly random violence the characters are over it. Once again no lead up, foreshadowing, or mentioning of Penny's jealous beforehand.

    The book has weird pace. The narrator spends 20 to 30 minutes on the testing for Quentin's Magical Discipline only to be tell the reader Quentin will have to wait until next year, "people put too much emphasis on that kind of thing". The next scene the narrator TELLS the reader that summer vacation drags and spends maybe one to two minutes telling the reader nothing happens and it is Fall and back to school. The story jumps though time without reason or any explanation. Its like the author didn't have a story for time periods so he just skip them and left big gaping holes in the characters lives.

    When the students use their magic it does not feel genuine. They are new students yet somehow Quentin is able to figure out how to use everyone's magic without the benefit of a book or teacher. He just kind of comes up with what to do and boom, it is right! The reasons for the students using magic are arbitrary.

    I have not listen to it all but so far the story really isn't going anywhere. Things are happening but it really doesn't seem to be connecting or propelling the story in any way.

    Lastly, the best part of listening to this book so far was my 16 year old son's reaction to the profanity. In some stories profanity can be used as a powerful tool but sadly not in this story. The profanity comes off as an "oh, look at me I'm cussing! Aren't you shocked? Oh, Oh let me put the F-bomb or GD here.... Isn't this so adult?" kind of tactic. Every time the narrator used profanity my son laughed so hard because it was so out of place, stiff, and engineered.

    How did New York Times name this book one of the best books in 2009? I wonder if there may have been some greasing of the palms to get that kind of review. This book is horrible. I'm actually thinking about using it as a writing exercise. I believe this would be a great exercise for any writer to rewrite some scenes in this book using things like plot, subplots, a theme, foreshadowing, and show don't tell advice. Unless you are going to use it as a writing exercise please don't waste your money on this one.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Fiction

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin

    Ayn Rand discusses how a writer combines abstract ideas with concrete action and description to achieve a unity of theme, plot, characterization, and style, the four essential elements of fiction. Here, too, are Rand's illuminating analyses of passages from famous writers, rewrites of scenes from her own works, and fascinating rules for building dramatic plots and characters with depth.

    Lois says: "Get Stein on Writing"
    "Get Stein on Writing"

    First, let me say there are very good nuggets of information in this book. The problem is that the nuggets are hard to hear over her huge ego. 90% of this book is her tearing apart other people's work and never giving any examples of how it could have been done better. The book also gets political from out of nowhere. I'm sure there is good information here, but I struggled to finish listening to this book. If you want to listen to a book on techniques and strategies, I would suggest listening to Stein in Writing. Yes, Sol Stein has the huge ego too, but at least he gives examples to help the listener.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Jarka Ruus: High Druid of Shannara, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Terry Brooks
    • Narrated By Scott Brick

    Despite denouncing her former life as the dreaded Ilse Witch, Grianne Ohmsford still has bitter enemies within the Third Druid Council. Among the highest ranks lurk those who cannot forget her reign of terror, who covet her seat of power, and who will stop at nothing to see her deposed, or destroyed. Even Grianne's few allies know of the lots against her. But they could never anticipate her sudden, ominous disappearance in the dead of the night without a trace.

    Jimmy says: "Brooks is Back!"
    "I really wanted to like it"

    Am I missing something? When I started this book it felt like I started in the middle of a story not the beginning. I tried to listen in the hopes it would get better, but I found myself repeatedly checking to make sure I was listening to book one part one. I ended up giving up on the story

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Redeeming Love

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Francine Rivers
    • Narrated By Kate Forbes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Francine Rivers is one of America's favorite romance writers and a bestselling inspirational author. Her many heartfelt novels have won awards and the adoration of fans accross the country. In Redeeming Love, she retells the Biblical story of Hosea, setting it in the 1850s, amidst California's gold country.

    Jo says: "Not Just For Girls"
    "Loved it"

    At first I wasn't sure if I would like this story. Soon after I started listening I fell in love with this book. So many inspirational books do not deal with real world situations. This book did it wonderfully. It truly is a must read.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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