You no longer follow Mary

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Mary

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Mary

Madison, WI, United States | Member Since 2013

19
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 84 ratings
  • 228 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
0

  • The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (174)

    Pat Conroy's father, Donald Patrick Conroy, was a towering figure in his son's life. The Marine Corps fighter pilot was often brutal, cruel, and violent; as Pat says, "I hated my father long before I knew there was an English word for 'hate.'" As the oldest of seven children who were dragged from military base to military base across the South, Pat bore witness to the toll his father's behavior took on his siblings, and especially on his mother, Peg. She was Pat's lifeline to a better world - that of books and culture.

    Candace says: "Brutal Narration - couldn't finish"
    "Pat Conroy Settles Scores"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes. I am a big fan of Pat Conroy's novels and this memoir, though self-serving, gives additional depth to his novels. Having said that, he's not a very likable person.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    It was extremely interesting to me that while he has spent a lifetime attacking his own abuser (his father), he supported and excused his sister's abuser (their mother). No wonder she hated him--I would have, too.


    What about Dick Hill’s performance did you like?

    I can't say I loved it. Maybe because I have always imagined Pat Conroy's voice to be more like Nick Nolte's in Prince of Tides. It took me a while to get used to it.


    Could you see The Death of Santini being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I can see it, but I don't it should be made into a movie. He's hurt his family enough. This memoir is supposed to be the one that puts his relationship with his father to rest. Making a movie of it would make a lie of the premise of the book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The President's Pilot

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Robert Gandt
    • Narrated By Thomas Block
    Overall
    (457)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (411)

    A year and a half into her first term as President of the United States, Libby Paulsen is in a world of trouble. Her controversial agenda has placed her in a doomsday clash with a right wing cabal led by an enigmatic Air Force general. The conspirators will stop at nothing - including assassination - to remove Libby Paulsen from office. When the cabal targets Air Force One, Libby's Presidency - and her life - rest in the hands of a maverick pilot named Pete Brand, a man with whom the President shares a long-smoldering secret.

    Matthew says: "Gives a whole new meaning to Snakes on a Plane!"
    "Very Little to Recommend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book got off to an atrocious start, mainly due to the narrator, who sounded drunk throughout most of the book. I was not going to finish it. I gave it a little more time and have to admit I wanted to know the outcome. Once I got past the beginning and the narration, the story was compelling. But that is not to say it was good.

    There is really very little to like here. The outlandishness of the conspiracy was eclipsed only by the cynical and sexist premise that a child-like, insecure, hapless woman was propelled into a figurehead presidency by cynical party leaders. It's a typically condescending story of a poor little insecure girl whose inner strength comes through, mostly because a man believes in her and rescues her, and she is redeemed in the end.

    A lot of people died to protect this vapid and unworthy person, which leads to the only valid premise in the book. It is the presidency, not the person, that must be protected and is worth dying for. At one point in the book, when she seriously considered resigning, I found myself feeling that she was exactly the coward and traitor that the conspirators believed her to be.

    I doubt that I will read anything more by this author. I know I will not listen to anything more by this narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fear City: Repairman Jack: Early Years, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By F. Paul Wilson
    • Narrated By Alexander Cendese
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (94)

    Centered around an obscure group of malcontents intent on creating a terrible explosion in New York City in 1993, Fear City shows the final stages of young Jack becoming Repairman Jack. It is a dark and terrible story, full of plots and needless mayhem, with secret agents, a freelance torturer, a secret society as old as human history, love, death, and a very bleak triumph.

    Juan Hernandez says: "Everybody gets to die"
    "Five Stars Because I Just Couldn't Stop Listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't normally think of books in this genre of book as 5-star books; usually 3 or 4 at most. But I couldn't stop listening. I read the first book, then immediately had to get the next one. Then the third one. If that doesn't deserve my 5 stars, I don't know what does.

    The author uses current events of the time and very cleverly inserts his characters as key players in those events. I don't always like this plot device, but it worked well here. These are prequels to the Repairman Jack series. I had not previously read any Repairman Jack books, but I will certainly start reading the series (after a short break to catch up on other new purchases).

    Jack is a paladin, a righter of wrongs. He has come to New York after avenging his mother's murder. He is barely more than a teenager, but his natural tendencies cause him to become involved in many people's problems. His solutions are, let's say, less than legal. He meets many memorable characters, some of whom he helps, some of whom help him. By the end, he has grown into his eventual role as Repairman Jack.

    Be warned: these books are very violent and there is a high, and gruesome, body count. And some very like-able characters die.

    I think what distinguishes this book from others of its genre is its characters. They are richly drawn, even though many are stereotypes. You care about them, even when you can't possibly care for them.

    The narrator was perfect! His Jack voice sounded just like I would expect Jack to sound, but he managed a large cast of other voices as well, very believably!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Everything I Never Told You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Celeste Ng
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1054)
    Performance
    (910)
    Story
    (912)

    Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet.… So begins the story in this exquisite debut novel about a Chinese American family living in a small town in 1970s Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos.

    colprubin says: "Character Novel"
    "Sad and bleak with a totally implausible ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a sad and bleak story of the price that narcissitic and poisonous parents exact on their children. There was was good writing and some good insights until the end. But it was so, so sad.

    These parents care only for themselves. They supposedly care for each other, but neither gives even a single second's thought to what the other needs or wants.They care only for Lydia to the extent each parent believes she will live out their, impossibly conflicting, fantasies of the lives they wish they had had. They care for their two other children not at all. The story paints a bleak and believable picture of how it is as impossible to be the chosen child as it is to be the neglected ones. More so, because the neglected ones have a chance to escape, whereas the chosen one is doomed. The metaphor of the prehistoric fly trapped in amber is apt. The story marches, sadly, toward its seemingly inevitable end.

    SPOILER ALERT. But the author must believe in magic. Because everyone, including the poor, dead girl, is transformed in the end---all in one one day, no less. However, the parents haven't really changed. Their "transformation" is just an opportunity to exercise more of their own self-absorption. There is not a moment's guilt for what they eventually, and implausibly, realize they did to Lydia, or for the price she paid for their now, supposedly, functional family, cleansed magically of its toxicity.

    I give the story 2 stars, because I did care enough to read through and find out what happened. But I don't give it 3 because of the ridiculous and unbelievable ending.

    I did not like the narrator at all. Her voice was fake: all smarmy and soothing and pregnant with feeling.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Way Home

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Karen McQuestion
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (231)
    Performance
    (202)
    Story
    (201)

    Marnie is just 35 when her boyfriend, Brian, drops dead of a sudden heart attack. Stunned by his death, Marnie finds her greatest grief is for Troy, Brian’s son whom she has raised as her own since he was a kindergartener. When he is reclaimed by his train wreck of a birth mother, Troy’s departure drives Marnie to a grief group at the local rec center. There she finds unexpected allies, three strangers who join her in an impulsive road trip from Wisconsin to Las Vegas to reconnect with Troy.

    Gillian says: "I You Liked "Enchanted April"..."
    "Light, Fun, Perky Chick Lit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is very, very light reading. The characters are caricature, the plot is light and predictable. But sometimes that's just what you want to read. The narrator was perky, which was the right tone for this book. I can't recommend it as literature, but as chick lit escape, it was enjoyable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ready to Kill: Nathan McBride, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Andrew Peterson
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1017)
    Performance
    (934)
    Story
    (938)

    When a mysterious note referencing a top-secret US operation is tossed over the wall of the embassy in Nicaragua, Nathan McBride and his old pal Harv are called out of retirement by CIA Director Rebecca Cantrell and sent to Central America. Cantrell wants the situation resolved quickly and knows that Nathan is the man to do it; after all, he has a history with the place. The jungle he and Harv are about to land in is the same one that Nathan barely escaped with his life decades before, an ordeal that left him physically and psychologically scarred.

    Gabe says: "Not the strongest outing of the four books."
    "Disappointing 4th Book-Hope the Next One is Better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've enjoyed the first three books in this series, but this one disappoints. It's boring and repetitive. I don't need any more reminders of Nathan's torture and rescue many years ago. I'm tired of characters from their pasts. It's time for Nathan and Harv to move on to their present lives, instead of reliving their past lives.

    I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, but if these don't characters don't move on, I'm done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Legends: A Novel of Dissimulation

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Robert Littell
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (271)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (86)

    It's a deadly dilemma for Martin Odum: both remembering and forgetting his past are dangerous options. A discharged CIA agent turned private detective, Odum is struggling through a labyrinth of memories from past identities, "legends", in CIA parlance. Is he really Martin Odum? Or is he Dante Pippen, IRA explosives specialist? Or Lincoln Dittmann, Civil War expert? Or another, hidden legend?

    Johnnie Walker says: "Outstanding Reading"
    "Dry as Dust"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Legends?

    It was boring and repetitive. Even the suspense, such as it was, was boring.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Robert Littell again?

    Possibly. It's the first book I've read by Littell. Even my favorite authors sometimes write books I don't care for. And a different narrator might have helped immensely.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Different narrator. Every sentence was declarative. They all sounded the same, even with the accents. Every character sounded the same, even those that he voiced differently.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Legends?

    Every repetition. It seems like several whole passages were repeated. One small example is the description of how Fred dressed. We didn't need to hear twice about her pantsuit with the wide legs and frilly shirt. There were others. The book could probably have been cut by an hour by editing out all the needless repetition.


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted to read this because I am watching the television series. It's hard to see how one came from the other. Only the names are the same. The characters themselves are completely different. Sometimes it is a good thing to read the source novel, other times not so good. This was a not so good time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Coroner’s Lunch: The Dr. Siri Investigations, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Colin Cotterill
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (633)
    Performance
    (525)
    Story
    (524)

    Laos, 1975: The Communist Pathet Lao has taken over this former French colony. Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old Paris-trained doctor, is appointed national coroner. Although he has no training for the job, there is no one else: the rest of the educated class have fled.

    Jane says: "a splendid story"
    "My Favorite Detective Ever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is full of delightful characters, with Dr. Siri leading the way. What fun! I plan to give this to a friend as a gift.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Case of Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Adam Mitzner
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1703)
    Performance
    (1470)
    Story
    (1485)

    A high-profile attorney in the middle of a leave of absence following a personal tragedy is drawn back into the legal arena amidst a media firestorm when he agrees to represent a popular rap artist accused of brutally murdering his pop star girlfriend. With its powerful voice, pause-resisting tension, and strong cast of characters, Adam Mitzner’s novels are reminiscent of such best-selling authors as Scott Turow and John Grisham.

    cristina says: "Excellent"
    "Watch out for bruised and bleeding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A good friend of mine used to say "watch out for bruised and bleeding," meaning someone who is still in too much pain from the last heartbreak is not a good candidate for a relationship. It's hard to say more without giving too much away. I do think the author effectively used vulnerability as a motivator for more than one of the characters.

    Several characters, especially the ADA and the judge, were one-dimensional and unbelievable.

    Several reviewers have said the ending was predictable and obvious. I don't usually spend too much time trying to figure out the twist, so maybe that's why I missed it.

    I didn't love the narrator--too earnest.

    It was a good "read"--not great, but good. I recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Brilliance

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Marcus Sakey
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1802)
    Performance
    (1596)
    Story
    (1606)

    In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible. They’re called "brilliants," and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in.

    Charles says: "Slow to Start"
    "I get the point, already!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a good story and a good read. I would have liked to give it four stars.

    But the author doesn't trust the reader to get the point. He hits the reader over the head with it, over and over again. It's like the Holocaust (boink!). It's like making the Jews wear a yellow star (boink!). It's like the WWII Japanese internment camps (boink!). It's like racism (boink!). It's like homophobia (boink!). And then I read an article he wrote and he also says it's about autism.

    By doing this, he disrespects the reader and adds a falseness to the story. He's not black. He's not gay. He's not Japanese. He's not autistic. (I don't know if he's Jewish, but even if he is, he grew up in America and never had to wear a yellow star!)

    It's always risky to tell a story not your own. But, hey, that's what fiction is. But then just tell the story and trust the reader to make her or his own connections and comparisons.

    The narrator was okay, but not my favorite. He only had one alternate voice other than Cooper's and it was rather annoying.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Philomena: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Martin Sixsmith
    • Narrated By John Curless
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (596)
    Performance
    (541)
    Story
    (539)

    Now a major motion picture directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen, High Fidelity) and starring Judi Dench (Skyfall, Notes on a Scandal) and Steve Coogan (The Trip, Hamlet 2): the heartbreaking true story of an Irishwoman and the secret she kept for 50 years. When she became pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to a convent to be looked after as a "fallen woman". Then the nuns took her baby from her and sold him, like thousands of others, to America for adoption. Fifty years later, Philomena decided to find him.

    Fajola Wenders says: "Rivetting Story and Performance"
    "Bad fiction disguised as memoir"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I only give this book one star, because I can't give it zero stars.

    This book is filled with thoughts and imaginings that the author cannot possibly know occurred. He cannot possibly know what happened in the final conversation Michael had with his uncle. He cannot possibly know how Michael or Mary felt when they were three years old. He has invented his version of Michael for his story. When I began to wonder how he could possibly know these and other things, I went to the internet and found that a number of Michael's friends have objected to the invented darkness that the author created to foreshadow his later life and death.

    The author should have stuck to Philomena's story.

    As a memoir, this is fake. As fiction, it is melodrama. I do not recommend this book to anyone.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.