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Novie

Retired nightclub performer/computer technician, I now teach hula and ukulele to seniors, and record Hawaiian music for my halau!

Kailua Kona, HI, United States | Member Since 2002

191
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 55 reviews
  • 192 ratings
  • 801 titles in library
  • 112 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
5

  • The Descendants

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Kaui Hart Hemmings
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (811)
    Performance
    (700)
    Story
    (704)

    Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors who came to the islands were financially and culturally progressive - one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state’s largest landowners. But now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control - 10-year-old Scottie has a smart-ass attitude and a desperate need for attention and 17-year-old Alex is a recovering drug addict.

    Michael says: "Not Sappy instead honestly elicits tears & laughs"
    "An interesting perspective..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I saw the movie last year and have had a while to appreciate the underlying moral of this tale. Listening to the story was startling in some ways. For instance, as an old lady, I was a little shocked at Scottie's precociousness, while at the same time found it totally believable. The young people that I am around today behave much the same as this ten-year-old. Her father, Matthew King, is as shocked as I was, and constantly berates himself for being an absent father. Alex, his older daughter, is world-wise and smart-mouthed as many young teen aged girls are, and it is interesting to watch her develop into a role model for her younger sister as the story evolves.

    The mother is lying comatose in Queen's Hospital and the timeline is when the doctor tells Matt that they are going to pull the plug. He has to deal with this, and with other small details, like finding out his wife was cheating on him, and his children are potty-mouthed and spoiled -- you know, the everyday stuff we all go through. But there is another story! I haven't noticed that any other reviewer mentioned this.

    The most interesting aspect of the story for me was hearing Matt's turmoil regarding his family's history. We who live in Hawaii are always blaming the missionaries and land-grabbers of long ago, and even today tend to look upon their descendants as entitled S.O.B.s who don't belong here and don't deserve what they "lucked in to". As a descendant of royalty, Matt lives with some notoriety in the community, even though he is of Hawaiian blood. Although he lives only on his own earnings as a lawyer, people behave as though he has bags of cash laying around the house. His own father-in-law berates him because of this. But the truth is -- although he is the trustee of multi-million dollar real estate, he is more or less cash-poor. Now the family has offers to sell the land to out-of-state developers, and money hungry cousins are positioning themselves to receive their portion of the landfall expected by the sale. It's all in Matt's hands. He is the largest shareholder of the trust and he alone determines the disposition of the trust. Does he pave paradise or "malama the `aina" (take care of the land)?

    Matt struggles with this decision, one that will surely change the face and fate of the island state. I would like to think that all the descendants of Hawaiian royalty who control lands here in the islands have the heart and soul of Matthew King - Hawaiian man.

    Oh yes, and the narrator was not that bad. In fact, I only laughed once when he said, "High-low" for Hilo. It should be HEE-low". The rest of the time he was pretty good. He did his homework.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Ian Mortimer
    • Narrated By Mike Grady
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (81)

    Organized as a travel guide for the time-hopping tourist, The Time-Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England is an entertaining popular history with a twist. Historian Ian Mortimer reveals in delightful (and occasionally disturbing) detail how the streets and homes of 16th century looked, sounded, and smelled for both peasants and for royals; what people wore and ate; how they were punished for crimes and treated for diseases; and the complex and contradictory Elizabethan attitudes toward violence, class, sex, and religion.

    Amazon Customer says: "Elizabethan England... As Never Presented Before"
    "Unbelievable detail! Great listen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am listening to this book again as I write this. I am so hooked on the way Ian Mortimer gives us, the time traveler, a look at Elizabethan England like we never realized it existed. It's amazing...and sometimes horrible, and makes me glad I'm alive today in the 21st century. We take flush toilets for granted -- I never will again.

    And I found out that board games and other games for entertainment were against the law because the monarchy wanted them to practice archery. Women had NO rights at all, and Queen Elizabeth traveled in a stagecoach, along with a spare, and had a "convenience coach" in case she had to use the loo. Twenty was middle aged. Disease and plague were every day threats, and you should hear about the cures! The one using the goat's behind got me.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg! Seventeen hours was not enough. I had to listen to it again. Mike Grady is perfect as our guide through Elizabethan England. I hope there are more coming from this author. This was jaw-dropping fun. As my Southern relatives might say, "Y'all ain't gonna believe this sh....." Have fun with this one!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Sound and the Echoes

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Dew Pellucid
    • Narrated By David Radtke
    Overall
    (87)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (78)

    The Sound and the Echoes is a high-concept, fantasy adventure for middle grade and young adult listeners. Imagine that everyone around you has a mirror image living somewhere else. Your world is like a sound, which produced that other world of echoes. And in this land men are governed by a terrible law-no Echo is allowed to live after his Sound dies. One Sound especially must die. The Prince's Sound. The Fate Sealers and Fortune Tellers will make sure of that!

    Julia says: "Beyond Imaginative!"
    "Absolutely the WORST narration!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't even begin to tell you how poor the narrator is in this production. His wooden delivery definitely detracts from the story, however interesting it might be. I COULD NOT CONCENTRATE on the plot line because of the amateurish delivery of the narrator. Geez, I am 73 and can do a better job than that.

    I often purchase books on sale because I listen voraciously, and don't often listen right away. This book has been on my "shelf" for some time, and I didn't feel I could return it readily so the only satisfaction I have for owning this book is to tell everyone how awful this is.

    The reviewer who says that it was written for kids so adults should back off (and there were many who panned this book for the irritating narrator) probably doesn't care what his children listen to. Listening to a book can be magical for a child -- OMG, Jim Dale's narration of ANYTHING practically guarantees the book is priceless. This book might have had some potential, but I'm pretty sure the narrator, David Radtke, has demolished any books he has "talked".

    I always hate to give a book such a bad rating, because the author probably deserves better. I might has stayed with it longer if a decent narrator was telling the story. Get the book in print if you are into this stuff -- the Audible version is horrible.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ulysses

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By James Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Norton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (751)
    Performance
    (469)
    Story
    (456)

    Ulysses is regarded by many as the single most important novel of the 20th century. It tells the story of one day in Dublin, June 16th 1904, largely through the eyes of Stephen Dedalus (Joyce's alter ego from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman. Both begin a normal day, and both set off on a journey around the streets of Dublin, which eventually brings them into contact with one another.

    A User says: "Ulysses (Unabridged)"
    "Call me an idiot, but I just DON'T get it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book largely based on the customer reviews that so ardently raved on and on about it. I had to have it. Now I realize that there must be a conspiracy of lunatics out there trying to make art out of garbage. I just don't get it.
    In desperation, I finally went to Wikipedia to find out what the hell this book is about (after struggling through seven chapters). I could not believe what I heard. Basically it is the "stream of consciousness" running through a man's mind in the space of one day. Just rambling on and on, on and on. Wiki gives a great synopsis of the chapters, and I was totally surprised to find that there was a thread of thought to any of what I had experienced.
    People have called it it best book of the 20th century? If I have to have a translation to understand the English language, it's definitely not for me. According to Wiki, Joyce said he would gain immortality just because literary professors would forever be arguing about what he meant in the book.
    NOT entertaining! There is a Gutenberg Project of this book online and I skimmed over it to see if I could better understand it. It's a little better to READ it than to listen to it, but still--I don't find myself wanting to STUDY a book of 330,300 or so words to find out what the author is trying to say or the parallels to Homer's work. Leave this one to the pedantics. I had to put it down.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Off to Be the Wizard

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Scott Meyer
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1163)
    Performance
    (1093)
    Story
    (1100)

    It's a simple story. Boy finds proof that reality is a computer program. Boy uses program to manipulate time and space. Boy gets in trouble. Boy flees back in time to Medieval England to live as a wizard while he tries to think of a way to fix things. Boy gets in more trouble. Oh, and boy meets girl at some point.

    Charles says: "Fantastic"
    "Fabulous fun, but narration spoiled it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hilarious fun, this book. I certainly did enjoy the premise, and I am NOT the demographic that Scott Meyer is going for. I am a 73-year-old geek - and a great grandma, but I have computer programming background from way back - say, 1982 and the Timex Sinclair 4K personal computer. (Upgradeable to 16K for $79.95 -- big money back then)

    The story is very original, and I really did not have to "suspend belief" to get through the wacky story line. Great fun. But... Luke Daniels overdoes the narration to a point where I often got extricated from the plot thinking how dumb and out of character the voices were. Being jolted out of the story line because of the narrator's faux pas is unpleasant.

    He starts off well enough. Martin's voice is definitely in character. The FBI guys sound like 45 IQ mobsters, a little too intimidating, but its a humorous piece. Philip is charming, and right in character -- I can believe that his British accent comes from the length of time he has spent in 12th century England.

    I have to admire Luke Daniels for trying to give the various characters unique voices, but he forgot that all these "wizards" are actually geeks from the 20th century who have discovered a very interesting file and tampered with it. I do not think that Jimmy should sound like one of the Bowery Boys (for you youngsters, the Bowery Boys were a lowbrow street gang in the 1930s. Or, think Squiggie from "Laverne and Shirley".)

    All the computer geeks that I have ever come in contact with have much more eloquence in their speech. Plus, Jimmy has been in England almost as long as Philip, and continues to talk like that? See, every time he talked I just shook my head sadly.

    I am going find a copy this book and read it for myself. Sorry, Luke, but you have to pay attention to the details.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Japanese Phase 1, Unit 01: Learn to Speak and Understand Japanese with Pimsleur Language Programs

    • ORIGINAL (45 mins)
    • By Pimsleur
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (57)

    Japanese Phase 1, Unit 1 contains 30 minutes of spoken language practice, with an introductory conversation, and isolated vocabulary and structures. Detailed instructions enable you to understand and participate in the conversation. The lesson contains full practice for all vocabulary introduced in this unit.

    Carolyn says: "Good Language Learning"
    "Sixteen minutes of explanation..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Okay, you will learn about five sentences of Japanese. They are: Excuse me? Do you understand English? No, I don't understand, Do you understand Japanese? Yes, a little. Are you American? Yes, I am American. This is NOT a whole lot of information. There are better courses out there..

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Worst Ideas Ever: A Celebration of Embarrassment

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Daniel Kline, Jason Tomaszewski
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (625)
    Performance
    (570)
    Story
    (570)

    From memorable disasters such as New Coke, the XFL, and Tiger Woods’ marriage to less-remembered failures such as Yugo, Cop Rock, and Microsoft’s BOB, Worst Ideas Ever revisits history’s biggest blunders. Whether it’s a pop culture failure or a political one, Worst Ideas Ever uncovers the ridiculous stories behind mistakes so huge, you’ll have to constantly remind yourself that they actually happened.

    Sara says: "Wears out quickly"
    "Perhaps with pictures..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Okay, I paid a buck for this and I can't say I'm sorry. The other Audible reviews agree with me that it's just not that great. But Amazon reviews say something a little different. They talk about PICTURES -- in COLOR. That probably made all the difference.

    I have to say that I am not a sports fan, and a huge dose of sports "duh"s take up half the book. I don't remember hearing any comments about Tiger Woods' marriage either. Maybe I slept through that.

    It took up a morning for me, and is better than watching today's daytime TV. So, if you can't get this audible version on sale, get the book in print. It'll have PICTURES!

    0 of 0 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
    (536)
    Performance
    (487)
    Story
    (485)

    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.

    Linda says: "Misled by description"
    "BAIT AND SWITCH! Definitely not as advertised!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this book according to the publisher's comments, and discovered it to be a horse of an entirely different color! This is NOT the poignant tale of some poor illiterate Irish lady who spends fifty years looking for her son! This is a novel (I cannot even be sure whether it is truth or fiction) about a gay man's rise in Washington politics during the Carter/Reagan administrations.

    What can I say? It's like that line, "Where's the beef?" I am two hours away from the end of this story, and while the storyline itself is okay, my whole conception of this book is tainted by the fact that I WAS LIED TO by the publishers. I just wish that a more accurate synopsis of the piece were given in the first place. I would NOT have purchased this book as I don't care for political intrigue enough to spend fifteen hours listening to it.

    I gather now, after reading other listener reviews of this book, that there is currently a movie in the works that tells the story from the mother's point of view. This makes me very suspicious of the publisher's motives in presenting the story as "apples" when in reality it is "oranges". If, after a twelve-year very satisfactory history with Audible, I now have to do a background check on every single book I contemplate purchasing, it is, indeed, a sad state of affairs.


    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Nowhere is a Place

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Bernice McFadden
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (152)
    Story
    (156)

    Nothing can mend a broken heart quite like family. Sherry has struggled all her life to understand who she is, where she comes from, and, most important, why her mother slapped her cheek one summer afternoon. The incident has haunted Sherry, and it causes her to dig into her family's past. Like many family histories, it is fractured and stubbornly reluctant to reveal its secrets. But Sherry is determined to know the full story. In a few days' time, her extended family will gather for a reunion, and Sherry sets off across the country with her mother, Dumpling, to join them.

    Brenda says: "Richly textured and captivating"
    "I did not like this book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The beginning of this book was sketchy--what did Sheri and the piano player's vignette or her affair with the umbrella guy have to do with the rest of the piece. I was completely thrown off by this side trip, and struggled to make sense of it throughout the rest of the nine hours. It wasn't made clear that a historical timeline of this woman's family was unveiling through the trip, and I did not figure that out until much later. I was glad when it was over, I am also glad it was on sale and I did not waste a credit on it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • What Einstein Kept Under His Hat: Secrets of Science in the Kitchen

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Robert L. Wolke, Marlene Parrish
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    Overall
    (296)
    Performance
    (257)
    Story
    (254)

    Have you ever wondered why onions make us cry? Do you believe bananas contain more calories as they ripen and get sweeter? This sequel to the best-selling What Einstein Told His Cook continues Robert L. Wolke's investigations into the science behind our foods.

    Jerker says: "Funny and interesting, but badly edited"
    "I am lovin' this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Here is another terrific book I can listen to over and over again. I love Sean Runnette, the narrator, and I have to chuckle every time he throws out a "Food Fictionary" factoid. I totally broke down when he defined "hominy".
    Robert L. Wolke is a little crazy, you know, just like me. His tongue-in cheek-humor at the most unexpected moments is delightful. Even though you think he's pulling your leg, he is full of information about food, cooking, and unbelievable stuff about the kitchen, of all places. He talks casually, then throws in some solid "sidebar science" every once in a while. Great thing is, I can put the book down and pick it up again later and dig right in. It's golden.

    Be sure to get the 85-page PDF that comes with the book. You will be given instructions on how to get it in the very first part of the book. There are recipes to die for, and they are not for dieters -- OMG! The Jack Daniels Barbecue Sauce sounds amazing!

    Now I have been a little distracted--dieting for the last half year, and food just can't be my "thing" any more. But I have just been eating this book up (calorie free, even) and hate to turn it off. One of these days I might just have to splurge on a grilled chocolate sandwich (page 65 of the PDF!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 600 Hours of Edward

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Craig Lancaster
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (915)
    Performance
    (841)
    Story
    (842)

    A 39-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Edward Stanton lives alone on a rigid schedule in the Montana town where he grew up. His carefully constructed routine includes tracking his most common waking time (7:38 a.m.), refusing to start his therapy sessions even a minute before the appointed hour (10:00 a.m.), and watching one episode of the 1960s cop show Dragnet each night (10:00 p.m.). But when a single mother and her nine-year-old son move in across the street, Edward’s timetable comes undone....

    Lulu says: "A Very Good Book with a Very Difficult Hero"
    "Unexpectedly charming!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After reading reviews on "Edward Adrift", a sale item, I purchased this book at the same time. I am so glad I did! I have now read them both, and they kept me captivated for an entire weekend. "600 Hours of Edward" is the precursor to the second volume. This is a tale of a man with Asberger's Syndrome with a heavy dose of OCD.

    The disease is never mentioned in this book, but after a very short while, I got the picture that there was something peculiar (I love that word - peculiar) about him. I have been in Edward's head, dealing with his everyday problems of being "developmentally disabled, not stupid" and being so sad for this 39-year-old man who's comfort zone is so restrictive that for most people, his actions are incomprehensible.

    But as his narrative unfolds, he just wormed his way into my heart. After the Garth Brooks incident, which is never really explained, he is thrown out of his parent's home and set up in a little two-bedroom flat, a few miles away. Here he leads a monastery-like life, self-regimented by daily lists and timed activities. He struggles to understand his larger-than-life, good ole boy father who communicates with him through his lawyer. His lone champion, therapist Dr. Buckley, deftly encourages him to discover coping skills for his problems.

    Edward is thwarted (I love that word - thwarted) at every turn. Every opportunity to expand his realm of existence is squashed by his father, with threatening letters and contractual agreements which imprison him in his lonely regimented existence. His mother is no help at all, and at their monthly dinners at his parent's home, she is distant, leaving Edward to deal with his father's accusatory conversation which usually ends up in a quarrel between father and son.

    I can't tell you any more. You HAVE to read this book. It ends with the unexpected death of his father, and what happens after that can be found in Craig Lancaster's sequel, "Edward Adrift". You HAVE to read that book also.

    Luke Daniel's narration is perfect. Enough said.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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