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Marcia

Member Since 2007

ratings
121
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
28
HELPFUL VOTES
61

  • For Whom the Bell Tolls

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Ernest Hemingway
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1412)
    Performance
    (697)
    Story
    (707)

    In 1937, Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from "the good fight", For Whom the Bell Tolls.

    A User says: "The Mountains of Spain"
    "There's better out there."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Perhaps a different narrator would have made a difference. I've enjoyed Campbell Scott's performances in the past. This time he sounds completely different, uninterested and in need of a cup of coffee. It's a short read in print or find a different narrator. Reading took away from the story so I can't give it more stars.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Place of Greater Safety

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (29)

    It is 1789, and three young provincials have come to Paris to make their way. Georges-Jacques Danton, an ambitious young lawyer, is energetic, pragmatic, debt-ridden - and hugely but erotically ugly. Maximilien Robespierre, also a lawyer, is slight, diligent, and terrified of violence. His dearest friend, Camille Desmoulins, is a conspirator and pamphleteer of genius. A charming gadfly, erratic and untrustworthy, bisexual and beautiful, Camille is obsessed by one woman and engaged to marry another, her daughter.

    Amazon Customer says: "Disaster"
    "Enlightening and worthwhile."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Once again Mantel offers an interesting perspective on a tumultuous time in history. Perhaps a bit drawn out and rushed in the end but definitely worth the time. The narrator is excellent and in no way detracts from the story. I wouldn't have finished the book in print (knowing how it must end) however Keeble's performance made it enjoyable and easy to follow. Not to be missed if you have an interest in this era or enjoy Hilary Mantel's other books!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By M. L. Stedman
    • Narrated By Noah Taylor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1251)
    Performance
    (1101)
    Story
    (1083)

    In 1918, after four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes only four times a year and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel.

    Sandra says: "Wonderful story.....terrible narrator."
    "Heart-wrenching tale, PERFECTLY narrated."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Gripping story of choice and consequence. Australian story written by an Australian born author, and narrated by an Australian born actor with an Australian accent. To forgo this novel due to negative reviews of the narrator would be missing out on a fabulous portrayal of human nature--it's shortcomings and strengths. At no point did I find the narrator difficult to understand. Noah Taylor's slow, somber voice expertly portrays the mood of the book. ML Stedman tells the story of unfortunate people working their way through great sadness, their memories and hopes of great joys, and the reality of their lives. It's a tale of kinship, understanding and misunderstanding, forgiveness and grief. Although rarely uplifting, it is a conceivable, thought-provoking, moving debut novel.

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • The Orchardist

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Amanda Coplin
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (514)
    Performance
    (435)
    Story
    (431)

    At the turn of the 20th century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a reclusive orchardist, William Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots as if they were loved ones. A gentle man, he's found solace in the sweetness of the fruit he grows and the quiet, beating heart of the land he cultivates. One day, two teenage girls appear and steal his fruit from the market; they later return to the outskirts of his orchard to see the man who gave them no chase. Feral, scared, and very pregnant, the girls take up on Talmadge's land and indulge in his deep reservoir of compassion.

    Marcia says: "Beautiful, rich, sweeping tale, not a fairy tale."
    "Beautiful, rich, sweeping tale, not a fairy tale."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are able to get lost in a story, sink into the lull and cadence of Mark Bamhall's voice , you will love this story. I listen to books constantly and often think the narrator tells the story far better than any 'voice inside my head' and this is yet another example. This is my first listen to Bramhall and I will look for his others. I found the story refreshingly ambiguous regarding the darker aspects of human nature. If you enjoy the likes of Faulkner or Steinbeck, or Norman Maclean, you will love this one. Bravo Amanda Coplin, your sentences are poetry and your characters memorable. I haven't read anything nearly as elegant or absorbing since David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars. An impressive first novel, compassionately written, and thankfully bereft of the modern temptation of wrapping up perfectly to make sure everyone gets what they deserve.

    27 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • Marjorie Morningstar

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (122)

    Marjorie Morningstar is a love story. It presents one of the greatest characters in modern fiction: Marjorie, the pretty 17-year-old who left the respectability of New York's Central Park West to join the theater, live in the teeming streets of Greenwich Village, and seek love in the arms of a brilliant, enigmatic writer.

    Arken says: "An excellent storyteller"
    "OOF, is it Wouk or Zackman who makes this so dull?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Marjorie Morningstar?

    I listen to several books a week due to the nature of my work. After nodding off and forcing myself to listen to a mere 2 1/2 hrs of this I give up. Listen to War and Peace or Wouk's Winds of War and War and Remembrance--all excellent.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Zackman's monotone drone and s l o w manner of speaking made it an agonizing 2 1/2 hrs, I'll steer clear of her in the future.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The book may be a better read on paper. I won't give up on Wouk.


    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jamie Ford
    • Narrated By Feodor Chin
    Overall
    (1933)
    Performance
    (862)
    Story
    (861)

    In the opening pages of Jamie Ford's stunning debut, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

    Christopher says: "Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet"
    "agonizing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    A reader may enjoy this book more than a listener. The narrator pauses in the wrong places, is somewhat monotone and places emphasis in the wrong places.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jamie Ford again?

    No. The author seems repetitive, explaining every detail rather than allowing for the possibility of a reader having some intelligence.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Feodor Chin’s performances?

    ABSOLUTELY NOT


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    This book came highly recommended however I am so bored by Chin's slumbering voice that I can't stay awake and the story is lost.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
    Overall
    (26950)
    Performance
    (13581)
    Story
    (13629)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"
    "American literature."
    Overall

    I usually avoid books with more than one reader and I certainly would have missed out had I not kept an open mind for this one. The story is moving, well written, and expertly read by all four narrators. I think the different voices were essential to properly express the book for listeners. The author's method of first person narrative with her three main characters weaves through an engrossing glimpse of Mississippi society life and segregation in the 60's. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Septembers of Shiraz

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Dalia Sofer
    • Narrated By Firdous Bamji
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Accused of spying for Israel, Isaac Amin's real crime is simply being Jewish, which gets him tossed into jail after the Iranian Revolution feeds the flames of Islamic fanaticism. As Isaac endures the brutality of imprisonment, his wife fights despair while searching for answers. Hoping to prevent further injustices, his precocious daughter steals files from the man in charge of the prison. And half a world away in Brooklyn, Isaac's adult son suffers when his family's financial support vanishes.

    Amazon Customer says: "Beautiful book"
    "Poignant."
    Overall

    Well written, well read. Worth reading. A thought provoking piece of the atrocities the people of Iran have faced told through the experiences of one family.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Assassin's Song

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By M. G. Vassanji
    • Narrated By Firdous Bamji
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    The Assassin's Song is the story of Karsan Dargawalla, who leaves India for a new life before attempting to come to terms with his heritage - and the father he left behind.

    Marcia says: "Thoughtful, complex, worthwhile."
    "Thoughtful, complex, worthwhile."
    Overall

    Having enjoyed "The In-Between World of Vikram Lall" by the same author it pleased me to find this on Audible. I found the Assassin's Song intriguing with complex characters and topics (spirituality, religion, loyalty to family & tradition, differences between modern countries, illusion v. reality). The author's interesting style of reflective writing make it much more than the mere memoir so common in much of modern literature. This isn't an all-out happy or sad story with a 'wrap it up nicely' ending. Many of the author's simple questions in the face of life's apparent complexity are thought provoking and left unanswered. The narrator was excellent and the book moves along without lagging throughout. I prefer novels with dynamic characters who develop deeply throughout the course of a book and authors who want to take the reader through the range of human emotion and experience: M.G. Vassanji does just that.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Younger Next Year for Women

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Chris Crowley, Henry S. Lodge
    • Narrated By Norman Dietz, Richard Harries
    Overall
    (136)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (66)

    With the New York Times best-selling Younger Next Year, coauthors Crowley and Lodge showed countless men how to change their lives to achieve peak fitness and live longer, healthier, happier lives. Now they are back with an equally insightful, important, and, at times, downright hilarious version for women.

    Angie says: "Outstanding Guide for Life"
    "Lose the patronizing crass geezer."
    Overall

    A few friends were reading this book and I thought I would give it a go. HUGE mistake, waste of a credit. Like so many other books these days the author took his format from his preceding book, added a few female issues and 'made bank' on a pathetic sequel--keeping a man as the case study. The bottom line is move, eat balanced meals, take care of yourself and those you love. Ever heard that before? I think Dr. Lodge presents valuable points but his means of delivery is to painful to endure.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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