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Melodie

Greensboro, NC, United States | Member Since 2003

ratings
46
REVIEWS
12
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
41

  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Alfred Lansing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2459)
    Performance
    (1766)
    Story
    (1776)

    In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

    Thomas says: "The best book I've had"
    "Could not put it down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Endurance rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    At the top of the list. This was a true story and one that will stick with me on many levels. It is a story of true endurance, amazing leadership and sheer determination. This book was jaw droppingly amazing. The conditions they had to deal with and how they survived is simply incredible. Worth every minute of your time. Put yourself in their boots! Would you have been able to do it? I wouldn't!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The various men in the crew. There wasn't a favorite. But you have to admire Shackleton's ability to hold a crew together. Simply amazing.


    What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

    He kept me totally captivated and excited throughout the story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    OMG- How did anyone live through all of that?


    Any additional comments?

    Curl up somewhere warm while you read this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4925)
    Performance
    (2314)
    Story
    (2328)

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Mary Lynn says: "Brilliant story, pitch perfect narration"
    "Beautiful story. Beautifully narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I would highly recommend this book to my friends. The story is beautifully told, the characters so well developed and the human emotions are woven in so elegantly. While it is a strong story of love, loss and life and death and family and forgiveness, it is however not maudlin or overwrought. There are some graphic surgical scenes in it which may make some readers uncomfortable but they are not gratuitous. They add to the tension in the story. I also loved the settings and contrast between Africa and the US. And the descriptions of the culture (and food) in Addis Ababa.
    I was not sure what to expect when I purchased it but it is well worth the credit and I would have paid full price for the book. It is well worth it. Simply beautifully done.


    What other book might you compare Cutting for Stone to and why?

    Life of Pi and Kite Runner


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Marion found out that his brother Shiva had betrayed him.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but I would have been still for a long time! The good news is that it would have been a happy long time. I looked forward to my commute morning and evening to listen.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator has a beautiful voice and handled the variety of accents easily. I would recommend him highly as a narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • NOS4A2: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Kate Mulgrew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2991)
    Performance
    (2772)
    Story
    (2776)

    Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

    Jacqueline says: "Finish to Start Excellent is Novel This"
    "Engaging and couldn't put it down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of NOS4A2 to be better than the print version?

    I don't have the print version, so I cannot comment on it. However, I will say that Kate Mulgrew's reading of this book is one of my all time favorites. Ms. Mulgrew caught the essence of each of the characters effortlessly and and brilliantly. I hope to see more readings from her in the future and would listen to anything she has recorded. Her accents were interesting and switching from male to female was also flawless. She really gave a true audio performance.
    The book itself was very, very enjoyable. The characters were those with human struggles in very unusual circumstances. I liked the theme of the book of both living in one's creative thoughts and the human world which all of us do. It was one of the few books that I really did not want to out down! It's also nice and long, which I enjoy. I didn't want it to end.
    And kudos to Mr. Hill for writing a believable and touching story about a woman and motherhood.
    I had previously read Joe Hill's story- " Horns", but enjoyed this book much more.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Vic!
    She had so much courage and mother energy even though she didn't so much have a model for how to be a great mom.


    Which character – as performed by Kate Mulgrew – was your favorite?

    Bing, Bing, you malevolent thing! Ms.Mulgrew captured the childlike qualities of this crazy man but also his evilness. Loved it!


    If you could take any character from NOS4A2 out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Lou. He had a big role to Olay and was s loving and supportive under ver chalking times.


    Any additional comments?

    Go read it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Darkfever: Fever, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Karen Marie Moning
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2120)
    Performance
    (1131)
    Story
    (1140)

    MacKayla Lane's life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she's your perfectly ordinary 21st-century woman. Or so she thinks...until something extraordinary happens.

    Dana says: "Stick with it!"
    "Didn't want to - couldn't help it"
    Overall

    I bought this series of books because I was going on a long flight. I didn't think I'd like them all that much. But I was wrong. They are a bit reminiscent of the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon but they have quite their own charm. The tension between the two main characters is delicious and I stayed up a few nights longer than I should have to get to a "stopping" point. (there weren't many) I read all five right in a row and honestly wanted more. The addition of the male narrator in later books didn't add to the story but weren't a big distraction either. Well done Ms. Moning. I enjoyed all five thoroughly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Elizabeth Lesser
    • Narrated By Susan Denaker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (68)

    In the more than 25 years since she co-founded Omega Institute - now the world's largest center for spiritual retreat and personal growth - Elizabeth Lesser has been an intimate witness to the ways in which people weather change and transition. In a beautifully crafted blend of moving stories, humorous insights, practical guidance, and personal memoir, she offers tools to help us make the choice we all face in times of challenge: Will we be broken down and defeated, or broken open and transformed?

    Mary says: "Fabulous Stories...Truly Deep and Moving"
    "Good content; ok narrator"
    Overall

    Elizabeth Lesser's framing of how we can learn from bad experiences should be required reading for everyone in their 20's. We'd all ignore it perhaps, but maybe some of it would stick as we mature and grow. If you have never considered what your "take-aways" or lessons learned are from really bad experiences, then read this book. Even if you understand this at your core, then read this book. I enjoy the framework that she uses especially in the last portion of the book to talk about what is possible. The parts that I didn't enjoy about listening to the book were twofold. I felt as if the narrator was talking in too "airy-fairy" a voice and was sing-songy. It made the text sound preachy and I don't think that was Lesser's intent. She seemed to modulate herself about halfway through the book, or maybe I just numbed out to the irritation because I wanted to get through the content.
    The second thing that I didn't appreciated as much was the metaphor of a hero's journey that Lesser applied to her own life. I think she was trying to apply perhaps, some objectivity? But I think it came off as seeming smug or not really taking accountability for the harm she inflicted on others. Calling her extra-marital affair a journey with her "Shaman Lover", I thought was a bit affected. Come on Ms. Lesser, you cheated on your husband- simply put. Your other descriptions of what it was, were very well written and you did accept accountability, but I felt put off by some of the labels that didn't seem quite as useful as the rest of your writing.
    Having said ALL of that, I still recommend reading the book, but this may be one that is better read than listened to.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Camel Died at Noon: The Amelia Peabody Series, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Peters
    • Narrated By Susan O'Malley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (294)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (92)

    The last camel is dead, and Egyptologist Amelia Peabody, her dashing husband, Emerson, and precocious son, Ramses, are in dire straits on the sun-scorched desert sands. Months before, back in cool, green England, Viscount Blacktower had approached them to find his son and his son's new bride, who have been missing in war-torn Sudan for over a decade. An enigmatic message scrawled on papyrus and a cryptic map had been delivered to Blacktower, awakening his hope that the couple was still alive.

    Debra says: "Good Story, Painful Narration"
    "Wrong Narrator"
    Overall

    This is an example of Susan O'Malley having a hard act to follow. Barbara Rosenblatt has read all the prior Amelia books, and frankly Ms. O'Malley's narration was dreadful. She made Amelia and Emerson sound like the Bickersons rather than lovers. I couldn't get through an hour of it. The Last Camel Died at Noon is a wonderful book but make sure you purchase the one narrated by Barbara Rosenblatt. Don't waste your time or money on this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Michael Norman, Elizabeth Norman
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (854)
    Performance
    (456)
    Story
    (449)

    For the first four months of 1942, U.S., Filipino, and Japanese soldiers fought what was America's first major land battle of World War II, the battle for the tiny Philippine peninsula of Bataan. It ended with the surrender of 76,000 Filipinos and Americans, the single largest defeat in American military history. The defeat, though, was only the beginning, as Michael and Elizabeth M. Norman make dramatically clear in this powerfully original book.

    Parusski says: "Riveting and heartbreaking"
    "I had no idea"
    Overall

    I had always heard of the Bataan Death March but knew none of the details. I am not normally a war type reader, but this was a very wonderful blending of individual stories of the courage and stamina and in some cases, sheer luck these individuals faced. You hear that war is "brutal" and this book brought this to life graphically, but not gratuitously. What these soldiers faced was beyond the limits of human endurance, and yet they prevailed. There is a reason why these folks are part of the "greatest generation". I agree with another reviewer that said this should be required reading before anyone enters a war. I was moved, horrified, informed and enlightened for reading this book.I had no idea of the horrific nature of what the Bataan Death March required and inflicted and what these soldiers continued to face afterwards. I highly recommend the book (and I am a female reader). The only reason that I did not give it a five star rating was the narrator. I felt as if at times I was listening to a 1940's radio announcer. His voice really grated on me. However, the story was so compelling and well done that I was able to stick with it. Thank you to Michael and Elizabeth Norman for an amazing book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Good Omens

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4304)
    Performance
    (2769)
    Story
    (2798)

    The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

    Lauren says: "Great voice adds to already amazing story"
    "What a pair"
    Overall

    If you like Neil Gaiman, and if you like Terry Pratchett, you're going to adore this book. What a great pairing of authors and a wonderful narrator. There is enough snarky humor in this little story to go around to the Brits and the Americans. It's well written, made me laugh out loud and I couldn't wait to get to it each day. If you don't enjoy British humor, you may not enjoy this book or understand the subtleties. However, anyone who can make you laugh at the Apocalypse and has the Four Horsemen on motorcycles is awesome in my opinion. Well done!! Thank you Mr.s Gaiman and Pratchett! Do another one please?

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jeannette Walls
    • Narrated By Jeannette Walls
    Overall
    (1013)
    Performance
    (480)
    Story
    (477)

    Jeannette Walls's memoir The Glass Castle was "nothing short of spectacular" (Entertainment Weekly). Now, in Half Broke Horses, she brings us the story of her grandmother, told in a first-person voice that is authentic, irresistible, and triumphant.

    Kathryn says: "A BETTER BOOK THAN "THE GLASS CASTLE""
    "A Good Story"
    Overall

    This book was nicely written and kept my interest. The story of Ms. Walls' grandmother captured how difficult living conditions were making a living on a ranch out west in the earlier part of the century. I would recommend the book. The only criticism I have is that I think a more professional narrator would have done a better job. Rather than really getting immersed in the story, I felt as if someone was reading to me. But it was not terrible. I just think one of the other audible narrators would have done a better job.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Wee Free Men: Discworld Childrens, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1313)
    Performance
    (482)
    Story
    (483)

    Armed only with a frying pan and her common sense, Tiffany Aching, a young witch-to-be, is all that stands between the monsters of Fairyland and the warm, green Chalk country that is her home. Forced into Fairyland to seek her kidnapped brother, Tiffany allies herself with the Chalk's local Nac Mac Feegle, aka the Wee Free Men, a clan of sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men who are as fierce as they are funny.

    Richard says: "First Sight and Second Thoughts"
    "Not just for kids"
    Overall

    This is an absolutely delightful book which the whole family can listen to. Although it is couched as a "kids" book- I recommend it to the adults too. It is nice to have an action oriented book with the main character being a girl. The characters are well developed, the narrator is terrific, and the story holds your interest the entire way through. There are some really funny moments in the book (especially involving the cat and the wee men)! I heartily recommend the book whether your 8 or 50+!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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