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R

Reader

ratings
68
REVIEWS
12
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
10

  • Heft

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liz Moore
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Keith Szarabajka
    Overall
    (1480)
    Performance
    (1335)
    Story
    (1338)

    Forrmer academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career - if he can untangle himself from his family drama.

    Deborah says: "Mesmerizing Performance"
    "For the Most Part, Wonderful Characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved the character of Arthur Opp, and would have preferred the whole story be told from his point of view, but that would have been a radically different novel. The reader of Arthur was wonderful, too, with a gravelly, warm voice that seems to rumble from his depths — exactly what you imagine a 550-lb. cultured man would sound like. I didn't care as much for the reader for the young boy, nor did I like his character quite as much.

    The story as a whole is sad and disappointing, although the book ends on a possibly uplifting note. There are some minor inconsistencies, too, here and there throughout the book, which felt a bit sloppy.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5956)
    Performance
    (5166)
    Story
    (5156)

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "Amazing book, amazing narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stories within stories within stories, some of which are set on the sumptuous coast of Italy — a bonus!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Katherine Boo
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (669)
    Performance
    (574)
    Story
    (583)

    Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption.

    Dr. says: "An Antidote for Shantaram"
    "Bold, seering journalism and writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is easy to forget that one is reading a work of nonfiction with Beyond the Beautiful Forevers. Katherine Boo's writing is so vivid, her storytelling so precise, her insights eerily telephathic, or so it seems, that one gets quickly enveloped into this story of the ruthless struggle for life, death — and brief, aching glimpses of a better life — that these slum residents endure day after day. I am amazed by this book, by Boo, by her three years living in the slum, and by the horrors she depicts of those who are among the poorest in our unjust and inequitable world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shantaram

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Gregory David Roberts
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (3257)
    Performance
    (1593)
    Story
    (1593)

    This mesmerizing first novel tells the epic journey of Lin, an escaped convict who flees maximum security prison in Australia to disappear into the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The keys to unlock the mysteries that bind Lin are held by two people: his mentor Khader Khan, mafia godfather and criminal-philosopher; and the beautiful, elusive Karla, whose passions are driven by dangerous secrets.

    Jamie says: "Do Not Miss This"
    "This is a stale piece of writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was drawn in by the potential for drama, romance, great characters, wonderful portrait of Bombay, and the unbelievable story and plot that this novel seemed to promise. But I was disappointed. It's overwritten, cliched, and frequently mawkish. I stopped listening after Part II.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Boy's Life

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tobias Wolff
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (128)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (87)

    This book essentially launched the memoir craze that has been going strong ever since. The story is pretty grim: teen-aged Wolff moves with his divorced mother from Florida to Utah to Washington State to escape her violent boyfriend. When she remarries, Wolff finds himself in a bitter battle of wills with his abusive stepfather, a contest in which the two prove to be more evenly matched than might have been supposed.

    Darwin8u says: "Beautiful, unsentimental memoir of youth"
    "Over-rated book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For some reason, this book is highly touted. I found the writing uninspired and the young protagonist at times very unlikable (as in when he's beating his dog). I understand cruelty begets cruelty, and this boy certainly dealt with too many harsh men in his life, but it is still hard to find sympathy for a young boy who's sadistic at times, even if he feels shame afterwards.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • All the Little Live Things

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Wallace Stegner
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (31)

    Scarred by the senseless death of their son and baffled by the engulfing chaos of the 1960s, Joe Allston and his wife, Ruth, have left the coast for a California retreat. And although their new home looks like Eden, it also has its serpents: Jim Peck, a messianic exponent of drugs, yoga, and sex, and Marian Catlin, an attractive young woman whose otherwordly innocence is far more appealing—and far more dangerous.

    B.J. says: "Another winner from Stegner"
    "Sad story, lovely writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to All the Little Live Things the most enjoyable?

    Stegner writes about nature and people with heart-stopping beauty.


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

    Stegner's acute rendering of people, their complexities and struggles.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Every time he describes the land, the sky, a character's expression.


    If you could take any character from All the Little Live Things out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Jim Peck. Although he's an infuriating idealistic and naive hippie in narrator Joe Allston's eyes, he is also a character in search of truth, beauty and purity. But he inevitably gets tripped up by his own falseness and darkness, like we all do.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen Greenblatt
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (887)
    Performance
    (761)
    Story
    (757)

    Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late 30s took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic by Lucretius—a beautiful poem containing the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles.

    Ethan M. says: "Very compelling history, a less compelling thesis"
    "Bit boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    More about the book hunters of the Renaissance.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen Greenblatt again?

    Hmm. Maybe.


    Did Edoardo Ballerini do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I guess so.


    Could you see The Swerve being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Possibly as a documentary about Lucretius and the discovery of his poem. I'd avoid Greenblatt's over-wrought hypothesis that this one book changed the course of humanity, though.


    Any additional comments?

    I wouldn't buy this as an audiobook. Possibly it's better in hardcopy.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Middlesex

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Kristoffer Tabori
    Overall
    (6063)
    Performance
    (2241)
    Story
    (2266)

    In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

    Christopher Allen walker says: "Great Pulitzer Winning novel!"
    "Wonderful audio experience!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Middlesex to be better than the print version?

    Not sure. Probably equal?


    What other book might you compare Middlesex to and why?

    Gary Shteyngart — they both create lovable, wacky, sensitive characters who have to deal with difficult but endearing family and a society in which they don't quite belong.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Kristoffer Tabori?

    Probably.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    Overall
    (4062)
    Performance
    (3547)
    Story
    (3516)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "Too long! Too silly!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Only a diehard Murakami fan, or perhaps someone writing his dissertation on him.


    What was most disappointing about the authors’s story?

    The plodding pace of a pointless story. The hard-to-believe character of Aomame. Someone I know wrote about this book, "I wish I had those hours of my life back."


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Murakami's quite wonderful at creating eerie atmosphere.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Jonathan Aris, Paula Wilcox
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1456)
    Performance
    (689)
    Story
    (688)

    In 1799, the artificial island of Dejima lies in Nagasaki Harbor as Japan’s outpost for the Dutch East Indies Company. There, Jacob de Zoet has come to make a fortune large enough to return to Holland and marry the woman he loves.

    Darwin8u says: "A NEAR Perfect Novel."
    "Amazing book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet again? Why?

    I'd probably read it. The author is a master, and I'd like to savor his writing. That said, I really enjoyed the audiobook, too.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet?

    The escape of Jacob's love, as well as the botched rescue of her.


    Which character – as performed by Jonathan Aris and Paula Wilcox – was your favorite?

    They were all wonderful.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and why?

    Jacob de Zoet, of course. He's the one we got to know and follow.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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