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Melissa

Fairfax CA Usa | Member Since 2009

48
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 29 ratings
  • 372 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
3

  • A Cure for All Diseases

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Reginald Hill
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (69)

    Convalescing in Sandytown, Dalziel befriends Charlotte Heywood who is researching the benefits of alternative therapy. With much in common, the two soon find themselves in league when trouble comes to town. Sandytown's principal landowners have grandiose plans for the resort -- none of which they can agree on. One of them has to go, and when one of them does, in spectacularly gruesome fashion, DCI Peter Pascoe is called in to investigate -- with Dalziel and Charlotte providing unwelcome support.

    Ellen says: "Excellent!"
    "Somehow annoying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had listened to and very much enjoyed Hill's 'The Woodcutter' - so chose this as a follow on. But it was SO slow in developing any plot, and I found the overly cheerful Charlie character so annoying I could hardly listen. The main character, Dalziel seemed unbelievable too - all too jolly and witty. I struggled on for 3 hours to give it a chance - but no - that's it. Can't go on.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stoner

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Williams
    • Narrated By Robin Field
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (481)
    Performance
    (390)
    Story
    (396)

    William Stoner is born at the end of the 19th century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar's life, far different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments.

    Anton says: "A story of sadness and serenity"
    "A hauntingly beautiful masterpiece. Perfection."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What an extraordinary and deeply touching book this is.
    It is written so incredibly beautifully, the descriptions of the snow, of the eponymous hero's dying, of his love, his inner musings, his struggles, his hopes and his despair - all are written with such quiet and perfect observation, that one's own heart can follow almost inside of HIS heart.
    This is a great classic. The author never lived to see it's sudden trajectory to the tops of European best-seller lists - and that is a great shame. Maybe not unlike Stoner's own experience of being unappreciated.
    I cannot imagine why it has not reached the same appreciation in America as in Europe?
    It is a sad book for sure, but sad in the way that it is so true to life, to the common experience - it is not the 'hero' so often sought - as the critic in the New Yorker wrote - Stoner is the opposite of Gatsby. Maybe in america people want their heroes to be flamboyant, glamorous and dramatic. (I'm not knocking Gatsby which is of course a great novel - but as 'Hero's' go - Stoner is the opposite )
    The narration by Robin Field is also wonderful. He has a voice which seems to be naturally 'set' most of the time in the minor key - which is perfect for this book. However - at the other times where an outburst of anger or other emotion is called for - he conveys that in a way that is all the more shocking having listened to the almost melancholic tone of the rest of the reading.
    This is a book so precious and extra-ordinary that I have also bought its typed version.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • The Husband's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3610)
    Performance
    (3236)
    Story
    (3246)

    Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive....

    Margaret says: "Escape to the land down under..."
    "Daytime soap chick-lit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Liane Moriarty and/or Caroline Lee?

    no


    Has The Husband's Secret turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I'm not sure what the genre is - but this is, I think badly written, boringly conceived and really does remind me of the few times I have seen mid-day television - is there something called Desparate Housewives? I think this must be like that...
    I liked the reviewer who said it was suitable for Philosophy 101


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    it was ok - she did a very good job considering the text she was reading.


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

    Boredom. Annoyance.


    Any additional comments?

    I am rather sad (for the sake of an indication of the general level of intellect) that this has reached such heights in the New York Times best seller list - although I must say it is MILES above the Shades of Grey series...so I suppose that is a good thing.

    17 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Nothing to Be Frightened Of

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Julian Barnes
    • Narrated By Julian Barnes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (35)

    "I don't believe in God, but I miss Him." This book is, among many things, a family memoir, an exchange with Barnes' brother (a philosopher), a meditation on mortality and the fear of death, a celebration of art, an argument with and about God, and a homage to the French writer Jules Renard. Though he warns us that "this is not my autobiography," the result is a tour of the mind of one of our most brilliant writers.

    Robert says: "An accesible meditation on Death and Life"
    "Thought provoking- wonderful writing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Nothing to Be Frightened Of the most enjoyable?

    Following the thought process of Julian Barnes - on a subject that is so often avoided.
    He has a remarkable clarity of thought and the process of his enquiry and exploration is fascinating. Interspersed with great humour. A wonderful book.


    What about Julian Barnes’s performance did you like?

    He wrote it - and so he reads it perfectly (although in some books this isn't the case)


    Any additional comments?

    He is altogether a wonderful writer.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Madame Bovary

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Gustave Flaubert, Gerard Hopkins (translator)
    • Narrated By Ronald Pickup
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (104)

    Emma Bovary, a doctor's wife, seeks an escape from her dull life through having extra-marital affairs. Flaubert's novel scandalized its readers when it was first published in 1857, and it remains unsurpassed in its unveiling of character and society.

    A. Laprade-velasco says: "Fantastic Narrator"
    "Wonderful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Madame Bovary rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is such a wonderful reading by Ronald Pickup - and of course, the story is a classic for good reason. I did not want it to finish...highly recommended!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Under Milk Wood (Dramatised)

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 27 mins)
    • By Dylan Thomas
    • Narrated By Richard Burton
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Richard Burton’s voice has been digitally remastered and seamlessly mixed with an all-Welsh cast to create a magical, fresh visit to the unique but universally recognisable world of Llareggub. Richard Burton’s inimitable narration as the Narrator in the BBC’s 1963 recording of 'Under Milk Wood' was hugely acclaimed.

    Melissa says: "Timeless, Wonderful - a masterpiece"
    "Timeless, Wonderful - a masterpiece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A classic - that I have read many times but wanted to have handily on ipad to listen to at any given moment. It is magical...shut your eyes - and follow along the streets, meet the people - a masterpiece - of writing and reading.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Blaine Harden
    • Narrated By Blaine Harden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (609)
    Performance
    (537)
    Story
    (542)

    North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped - but Shin Dong-hyuk did.

    Amanda says: "Worthwhile, but difficult on many levels."
    "We should be aware of this horror!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had no idea as to the extent of horror being perpetrated in North Korea. It is happening NOW under our noses - just the way the Holocaust did (for a much shorter time) and we are often filled with disbelief when those generations say they were not aware of it happening.
    So now -the very least we can do is be aware of this situation and this book is a very fine way to do it. It easily holds your attention - it does not need to add anything to be 'sensational' or 'shocking' - it is that without trying - but written and read very very well.
    It is a terrible thing that this is happening. Thank you for bringing this to our hearts and minds.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shatter

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Michael Robotham
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (400)
    Performance
    (254)
    Story
    (254)

    Psychologist Joe O'Laughlin fails to stop a confused woman from jumping off a bridge to her death. Joe knows she had been talking on a cellphone. Now he needs to find out who - or what - was on the other end of the line.

    Old Hippy says: "First rate suspense story, great narration!"
    "Child abuse victims beware."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to write this review as someone who was abused as a child. The main 'baddie' is someone who goes into detail about his fantasies about abusing children - and as such, it was really extremely upsetting (impossible actually) to listen to.
    It disturbs me that the author even has the words and 'imagination' to create this character.
    That to be able to have the sort of mind that can re-create the sickness and words and mind of a pedophile - seems very horrible.
    Perhaps I am 'oversenstive' on this particular subject - and others that have not been affected may take it as no more then a good thriller.
    If theft or murder had ever affected my life, I may feel the same about murder mysteries - but, unless they are extremely grisly - I don't.
    So - this is written just as a warning to other victims of child abuse - I would not advise downloading it.
    The performance seems good enough - from the part that I listened to.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6593)
    Performance
    (5865)
    Story
    (5866)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
    "magic-wonderful story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really loved this book. It had me enthralled from the very first line- swept into the magic of it - so much that I did not want it to end. I usually keep the audiobooks for when I am painting, but this was so wonderful that I broke that rule - and had to listen to it at every possible moment. I highly recommend it if you love being swept away into a world of beautiful magic

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Prestige

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Christopher Priest
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (1073)
    Performance
    (507)
    Story
    (509)

    In 1878, two young stage magicians clash in the dark during the course of a fraudulent séance. From this moment on, their lives become webs of deceit and revelation as they vie to outwit and expose each other. In the course of pursuing each other's ruin, they will deploy all the deception their magician's craft can command. Their rivalry will take them to the peaks of their careers, but with terrible consequences.

    Andrew says: "One of a Kind."
    "a great story!"
    Overall

    I really enjoyed this - thinking it was going to be about just illusions - but it is much more interesting and mysterious. Wonderfully read by Simon Vance. It had so many twists that I had to re-listen to previous parts to understand fully what had happened.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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