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Nancy

Member Since 2013

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 68 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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  • Lust for Life

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Irving Stone
    • Narrated By Steve West
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (53)

    Lust for Life is Irving Stone's biographical novel about the life of the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh. Largely based on the letters Van Gogh wrote to his brother, Theo, the novel details the artist's difficult life, as well as describing the origins of many of his famous paintings, such as The Potato Eaters, Sunflowers, and others.

    Jean says: "Great story"
    "A Life of Struggle"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Lust for Life to be better than the print version?

    I never read the print version but thoroughly enjoyed the audio edition.


    Have you listened to any of Steve West’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Don't recall hearing Steve West before but will certainly consider him when making future selections.


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

    Until Death Do I Paint


    Any additional comments?

    Steve West was able to deftly convey the complexity of a life fraught with bouts of mental illness and disappointments. I was intrigued by Van Gogh's life, relationships and the hardships he endured in pursuit of his passion for art. Appreciated learning about his Impressionist peers and how they influenced Van Gogh's work.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Seventh Secret (Signet)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Irving Wallace
    • Narrated By Chet Williamson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (47)

    Eminent Oxford don Sir Harrison Ashcroft, on the verge of proving that Hitler did not die in the bunker, is murdered in Berlin. His daughter, Emily, continues this quest. Her life is endangered but she has new and unexpected protectors: Rex Foster, researching the vainglory of Nazi architecture; Nicholas Kirvov, curator of a Soviet art museum; and Tovah Levine, Mossad agent. The four prove a tough match for a coterie of neo-Nazis conspiring to perpetuate Hitler's image and obscure the details of his death.

    Keith says: "Solid Conspiracy Theory"
    "Better Narrator = Better Book..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Well spent in terms of "what-ifs" in the storyline, but I was distracted and put off by gratuitous sex and stilted narration.


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

    The whole premise of "did they" or "didn't they" die in the bunker is the crux of the story and gets your mental wheels spinning. The sex was an unnecessary distraction. And if sex was to be integral to the storyline, then the author needs to make it seductive rather than clumsy. I wasn't tantalized but rather exasperated; it got in the way of the storyline progression and served no purpose. Love erotic literature, but this wasn't it and didn't complement the plot.


    What didn’t you like about Chet Williamson’s performance?

    While I appreciate the rich timber of Mr. Williamson's voice, he needs more practice in breath control and portraying female characters; those characters weren't believable for me. Some narrators transport you through opposite sex characters with little effort and it becomes seamless. Mr. Williamson needs more experience.


    Do you think The Seventh Secret (Signet) needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3771)
    Performance
    (2677)
    Story
    (2681)

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    Alan says: "Outstanding"
    "Joe Barrett IS Owen Meany"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Prayer for Owen Meany to be better than the print version?

    Absolutely because the narrator WAS Owen Meany! Reading would have been too tedious to finish.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Owen was an intellectual with a heart and perseverance.


    Which character – as performed by Joe Barrett – was your favorite?

    Owen


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

    Not exactly


    Any additional comments?

    I would never have read this book, but listening to Joe Barrett made it possible and I'm pleased.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Night Film: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Marisha Pessl
    • Narrated By Jake Weber
    Overall
    (1289)
    Performance
    (1151)
    Story
    (1170)

    On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive, cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova - a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

    Jacqueline says: "A M A Z I N G"
    "Wanted more "umph"..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    sure


    What about Jake Weber’s performance did you like?

    Mr. Weber was able to keep my attention and hold it together for me to the end.


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

    not especially


    Any additional comments?

    The storyline was involved enough to keep my attention, but it was Jake Weber, who delivered me from start to finish. Some parts held more promise than others, and I'm not panning the book. Pessl seems to have talent. I was just looking for a little more in a "whodunit".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Color of Heaven

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Julianne MacLean
    • Narrated By Jennifer O'Donnell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (358)
    Performance
    (322)
    Story
    (322)

    A deeply emotional tale about Sophie Duncan, a successful columnist whose world falls apart after her daughter's unexpected illness and her husband's shocking affair. When it seems nothing else could possibly go wrong, her car skids off an icy road and plunges into a frozen lake. There, in the cold, dark depths of the water a profound and extraordinary experience unlocks the surprising secrets from Sophie's past, and teaches her what it means to truly live...and love.

    Cindy says: "Probably one of the best books I've read"
    "Yawn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Julianne MacLean and/or Jennifer O'Donnell?

    don't think so


    Would you ever listen to anything by Julianne MacLean again?

    probably not


    How could the performance have been better?

    Ms. O'Donnell's voice hit a raw nerve with me. Her cadence made what "might have been" a book worth listening to a "NOT" -- ouch!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8522)
    Performance
    (5198)
    Story
    (5189)

    Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Fall of Giants is his magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.

    Keith says: "Ken Follett and John Lee / Audible's Dream Team"
    "Informative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Fall of Giants rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Follet is a longtime favorite author; however, Fall of Giants didn't live up to my expectations. John Lee, on the other hand, is exceptional so I'll still get around to the next installment.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    pretty much everything


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • World Without End

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9077)
    Performance
    (3493)
    Story
    (3532)

    In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, set in 12th-century England. Readers and listeners ever since have hoped for a sequel. At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End also takes place in Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral. The cathedral is again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.

    Laura says: "Repetitive, but still enjoyable"
    "Life Is Harsh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

    John Lee can read my phone bill breakdown and make it compelling… Aliena is still may fav.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    more like cringe


    Any additional comments?

    Life is harsh and The Plague is in full force -- nuff said...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13124)
    Performance
    (5468)
    Story
    (5514)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    CynNC says: "Captivating"
    "Twelfth Century Mayhem"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Pillars of the Earth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Historical fiction is my "go-to genre" and so far is at the top of my list.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Aliena, because she perseveres in spite of all...


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not sure I can pinpoint one favorite scene because I was smitten from the get-go.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It started with the very first chapter of the book about Tom, his wife and newborn babe.


    Any additional comments?

    Learned a lot about the stone masons and the cathedrals they built -- amazing! You have to wonder how civilization continued with all the blood and mayhem, but it WAS the 12th century...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1583)
    Performance
    (1447)
    Story
    (1459)

    >When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.

    Tango says: "Beautiful story, beautifully written"
    "Compelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Elephant Whisperer the most enjoyable?

    I have experienced these amazing creatures in Kruger National Park and two private game reserves in South Africa. I wanted to hear some history.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    His performance conveyed empathy; however, his accent was more heavily weighted to British than the rich, lilting South African dialect.


    Any additional comments?

    I was overwhelmed by the author's sobering account of the African elephants' plight. He provides insight into the secretive life of the hierarchy within the herd. These sentient beings touched me by their extraordinary familial interactions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Son

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Philipp Meyer
    • Narrated By Will Patton, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Shepherd, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1357)
    Performance
    (1208)
    Story
    (1230)

    Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim. Spring, 1849: Eli McCullough is 13 years old when a marauding band of Comanches takes him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to life among the Comanches, learning their ways and waging war against their enemies, including white men - which complicates his sense of loyalty and understanding of who he is.

    Melinda says: "Five Stars for the Lone Star, The Son, & Meyer"
    "Compelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Son in three words, what would they be?

    informative, fascinating, visceral


    What other book might you compare The Son to and why?

    historical novels by James A. Michener


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    There were both male and female narrators and each did an admirable job; however, I most enjoyed Will Patton. His modulation and intonation always intrigue.


    Any additional comments?

    I was fascinated to learn about the rituals and mores of the Comanche Indians. Have to admit however, that some of the descriptions of capture and torture were a bit visceral at times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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