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MOHEGAN LAKE, NY, United States | Member Since 2006

  • 4 reviews
  • 665 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2015

  • The Story of a Marriage: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Andrew Sean Greer
    • Narrated By S. Epatha Merkerson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It is 1953 and Pearlie, a dutiful young housewife, finds herself living in the Sunset District in San Francisco, caring not only for her husband's fragile health but also for her son, who is afflicted with polio. Then, one Saturday morning, a stranger appears on her doorstep and everything changes. All the certainties by which Pearlie has lived and tried to protect her family are thrown into doubt.

    Margaret says: "disappointed as well"
    "disappointed as well"

    I too was disappointed by this book. Somehow it felt too wordy -- I almost felt like the story could have been told in a short story more effectively. I didn't understand the motivation behind the actions of various characters, and I could predict what was going to happen at the denouement. I gave the novel three stars for managing to grab my attention for at least a while. "The Confessions of Max Tivoli" is a much better read.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Moloka’i

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Alan Brennert
    • Narrated By Anne Noelani Miyamoto
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The powerful debut novel from Alan Brennert, Moloka’i tells the story of Rachel Kalama, a seven-year-old Hawaiian girl who contracts leprosy and is quarantined on the island of Moloka’i during the 1890s. Separated from her family and forced to grow up in the leper colony of Kalaupapa, Rachel experiences intense isolation. But she remains strong, finding moments of joy, and even love. Rich in Hawaiian history, this novel proves itself a stellar piece of historical fiction.

    Blaine says: "Unexpected Jewel"
    "What a great narrator!"
    What made the experience of listening to Moloka’i the most enjoyable?

    The narrator did such a great job. She was great voicing both guys and girls, and gave Hawaiian and Japanese names an authentic sound. Her accent when she spoke as Hawaiian/Asian characters was fantastic. It reminded me of my aunt.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Moloka’i?

    I felt at times that the book was a bit long. I enjoyed the beginning and parts of the middle, but then started wondering what else could happen. But then the last part of the novel came. I was crying so often -- so moving.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Two Hotel Francforts: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By David Leavitt
    • Narrated By Stephen Bel Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It is the summer of 1940, and Lisbon, Portugal, is the only neutral port left in Europe - a city filled with spies, crowned heads, and refugees of every nationality, tipping back absinthe to while away the time until their escape. Awaiting safe passage to New York on the SS Manhattan, two couples meet: Pete and Julia Winters, expatriate Americans fleeing their sedate life in Paris; and Edward and Iris Freleng, sophisticated, independently wealthy, bohemian, and beset by the social and sexual anxieties of their class.

    Jeff Gillman says: "boring characters, uninspired performance"
    "poor narration of a somewhat interesting book"
    Would you try another book from David Leavitt and/or Stephen Bel Davies?

    Yes. I've read around and it does sound like some of his earlier novels were good ones.

    What didn’t you like about Stephen Bel Davies’s performance?

    The narrator gave his performance a rather flippant tone which detracted from the story all together. He tended not to differentiate between characters' voices well enough so that it was hard to tell who was speaking during a dialogue. And worst of all, he couldn't pronounce any words in French or other languages at all. Which was unfortunate since there were times when French was used. He also mispronounced English words often enough that I was distracted and annoyed by it. I don't usually have problems with narrators, but this one I will avoid in future.

    Was The Two Hotel Francforts worth the listening time?

    I have to say I'm not positive it was worth the listening time. It was an interesting story, but the plot at times just left me wondering about the characters and their emotions. It was hard to understand why they did what they did or why they didn't care more about various things. Really, the story is between 2 and 3 stars, but I suppose that might have been a higher score with a different narrator. The flippant tone just didn't help the story one bit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Junot Diaz
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Staci Snell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuku: the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.

    Robert says: "Wondrous Book!!!"
    "great but...."

    I was on the fence on how to rate this book. First off, I do want to say that one of the things I was wondering about was whether the fact that I don't speak Spanish would affect how well I would enjoy the book. I discovered to my pleasure that I was fine not knowing the exact meaning of the various phrases used. I could guess with some and with others it wasn't a problem just not knowing.

    As for why I wasn't sure how to rate the book, it was really the ending that made it a problem for me. The writing in this book is wonderful -- it catches you from the beginning and really keeps you wanting to know more. But that's part of the problem for me. When the ending came, I felt it was a big letdown. I wanted more to it than there was. I didn't feel a sense of closure, if you will. Hard to explain without giving the ending away.

    The upshot is that this is a great book, but don't expect much from the ending. And if that's more important to you than good writing and a good middle story, then think about whether it's worth the read.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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