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Mike

Lafayette, CA, USA | Member Since 2003

28
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 78 ratings
  • 231 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13597)
    Performance
    (5991)
    Story
    (6072)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "BEAUTIFUL!"
    Overall

    This was just a wonderful, beautiful adventure and story. At first I wasn't so sure I liked the "older" voice, and where it was going. But after I settled in, it was a natural transition.

    The story is unlike and other I've read. Adventure, heartbreak, sorrow, and personal growth. I feel like I've traveled with the circus, and lived the life of a roadie. I buzzed through the book in no time, and was disapointed when it was over.

    Don't miss out on this, as it'll appeal to most everyone. The ending is especially great. Just a fantastic 60 minutes!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Interestings

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Meg Wolitzer
    • Narrated By Jen Tullock
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1241)
    Performance
    (1102)
    Story
    (1105)

    The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age 15 is not always enough to propel someone through life at age 30; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence.

    Tango says: "Needs a better title, but a good read (listen)"
    "Gets better as it goes on"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Interestings in three words, what would they be?

    This book started off a bit annoying & not very interesting. However, the character development is great. I really enjoyed the complex relationships built, and the way it circled back. Towards the end, you really knew the dynamics & personalities - and I was bummed it was over. I also enjoyed the reader - she did a great job.


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

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jon Clinch
    • Narrated By Ed Sala
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (128)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    Author Jon Clinch makes his debut with this extraordinary novel that tackles issues of race, slavery, and paternity while delivering a fully fleshed rendering of one of the most notorious characters in the history of American literature: Huckleberry Finn's father. It was more than a century ago that Mark Twain left the notoriously violent Finn dead, surrounded by such oddities as a wooden leg and women's undergarments. As we get to know this troubled man, we meet the people who shape Finn's life.

    Michael says: "Fantastic"
    "southern folk"
    Overall

    I liked the story, but the grammer is very difficult - and makes this a tough read.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Family Tree

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Carole Cadwalladr
    • Narrated By Josephine Bailey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    On the day Lady Diana married Prince Charles, Rebecca's mother locked herself in the bathroom of 24 Beech Drive and never came out. Was it because the holiday dinner didn't turn out just right? Because Rebecca's grandmother married her first cousin? Or was she simply, unalterably unhappy? According to Rebecca's scientist husband, our genes control our fate, but Rebecca isn't so sure. Leaving everything to science allows little room for the events that shape our lives.

    Mike says: "long but good"
    "long but good"
    Overall

    I wanted to give this 4 stars, as I was very attached to the characters, and the development of the story. But there were also some really draggy areas. I enjoyed the reader's english accent. All in all, this is very introspective - and a very detailed look into mental stability.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Magical Thinking: True Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Augusten Burroughs
    • Narrated By Augusten Burroughs
    Overall
    (267)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (62)

    A contest of wills with a deranged cleaning lady. The execution of a rodent carried out with military precision and utter horror. Telemarketing revenge. A different kind of "roof work". Dating an undertaker who drives a mini-van. This is the fabric of Augusten Burroughs's life: a collection of true stories that are universal in their appeal yet unabashedly intimate, stories that shine a flashlight into both dark and hilarious places.

    Jessica says: "His best yet!"
    "guilty pleasure"
    Overall

    Augustin is just so far over the top, you almost feel guilty that you enjoy it so much! His "correcting" of children is simply laugh out loud as it's just sooo wrong.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Life Expectancy

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (828)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (193)

    Jimmy Tock comes into the world on the very night his grandfather leaves it. As a violent storm rages outside the hospital, Rudy Tock spends long hours walking the corridors between the expectant fathers' waiting room and his dying father's bedside. It's a strange vigil made all the stranger when, at the very height of the storm's fury, Josef Tock suddenly sits up in bed and speaks coherently for the first and last time since his stroke.

    mdd says: "New life for Koontz"
    "Just Garbage"
    Overall

    This book was boring. I am usually a huge Koontz fan, but this book was just awful. It felt like the reader was speaking at a kindergarden level. Short, slow sentences. Plus the story line was just dumb. Don't wasted your money or your time.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being A Woman

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Nora Ephron
    • Narrated By Nora Ephron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (636)
    Performance
    (242)
    Story
    (237)

    With her disarming, intimate, completely accessible voice, and dry sense of humor, Nora Ephron shares with us her ups and downs in I Feel Bad About My Neck, a candid, hilarious look at women who are getting older and dealing with the tribulations of maintenance, menopause, empty nests, and life itself.

    Kestrel says: "Don't make me get out of the car..."
    "not for the under 60"
    Overall

    I bought this book because it looked so funny. I know at 42, I DO feel bad about my neck!! But this book should come with the caviat that it's really geared towards the 60 age bracket. Empty nests, the difficulty of riding a bicycle, etc are just not as funny if you haven't experienced them. Overall it was a very cute, upbeat book, and an easy listen. I would recommend it, but warn it's more of a chuckle than a belly laugh for the under 60 group.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Nanny Diaries

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (497)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (79)

    What do you do when you are a nanny to an obscenely rich Park Avenue matron named X? Mrs. X refuses to do anything for herself, including cook, clean, or take care of her 4-year-old son. You are expected to do everything, including maintaining the mental health of said 4-year-old, even while Mrs. X decides that it is time for a divorce. You'll have to bear up under the strain with wit and panache, even as the boundaries between your working life and your so-called private life blur, merge, and disappear.

    Rhonda says: "The Nanny Diaries"
    "Good, but not Prada!"
    Overall

    I downloaded this book, mostly because I enjoyed "The Devil Wears Prada" so much. The story line is similar: sweet, wonderful, educated, young woman being taken advantage of by a rich snob. I loved the story - but not as much as Prada. Maybe it's because I'm a mother of 2, and am pretty shocked by the culture brewing behind closed doors. All in all, a great listen though. FANTASTIC reader as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Husband

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1009)
    Performance
    (203)
    Story
    (204)

    With each and every new novel, Dean Koontz raises the stakes, and the pulse rate, higher than any other author. Now, in what may be his most suspenseful and heartfelt novel ever, he brings us the story of an ordinary man whose extraordinary commitment to his wife will take him on a harrowing journey of adventure, sacrifice, and redemption to the mystery of love itself, and to a showdown with the darkness that would destroy it forever.

    David says: "Excellent read!"
    "entertaining"
    Overall

    This book was an easy listen. It's his typical formula, but works. I enjoyed the plot twists & betrayal (which I saw coming). It was a great underdog story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The King of Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By John Hart
    • Narrated By David Chandler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (661)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (211)

    John Hart creates a literary thriller that is as suspenseful as it is poignant, a riveting murder mystery layered beneath the southern drawl of a humble North Carolina lawyer. When Work Pickens finds his father murdered, the investigation pushes a repressed family history to the surface and he sees his own carefully constructed facade begin to crack.

    Scott says: "Better than a Grisham novel"
    "don't waste your money"
    Overall

    I purchased this book based on a review I saw in People Magazine. It was touted as "fast paced" and "action packed" with twists and turns. It also eluded to being similar to a Grishim book.

    I can say NONE of this is true. This is a long, drawn out boring story with a terrible reader to boot. He's monotone, and very unconvincing that this story takes place in the South. The characters are dull, and offer little to spark the imagination. The most interesting piece of plot is about a homeless man - which goes nowhere.D

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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