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Rebecca

Birmingham, AL, United States

ratings
9
REVIEWS
6
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
15

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22929)
    Performance
    (9573)
    Story
    (9647)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Doesn't Need Another Glowing Review, But ......."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've heard and read rave reviews about this series and just couldn't bring myself to read it, for whatever reason. It may have something to do with the fact that I have absolutely no ear for languages and this is a foreign writer and I often cannot relate to foreign works of fiction. This hands down one of the best intrigue novels ever written and one of the best works of narration I've ever listened to. I'm astonished and grateful and have already purchased the other books and can't wait to get started on them. So what made me cave in? I was sitting in my den, flipping through the TV channels (which is in itself strange, because I don't watch much of anything other than the food channels) and came upon the last hour of the movie. I was curious so stopped and started watching. Well, the movie is riveting as well, particularly the ending, and the actress who portrayed the female lead was ...addicting to watch. I was intrigued with her character that I immediately bought the audiobook and thought I'd give it a whirl. What a whirl! Love, love, loved it. It has everything: characters that are real, strange, human, flawed, a twisty turney plot, suspense, a serial killer (who doesn't like that!)--no, wait--serial KILLERS, sadness, sex, revenge.....Oh my, it has everything that roars my engine. In terms of narration, there is no better. He is spot on accents, inflection, pace, and emotion. His old man voice is better than Like Water for Elephant's old man voice (I'm trying to not give away plots and characters, hence "old man"). For all of us who are addicted to the audiobooks: it is rare to find a book that hits your sweet spot on all elements. Maybe 10% of your studiously researched (through reviews/narrators) purchases make you lean back with a smile on your face and feel satisfied. This is one of them. I have hundreds of audiobooks and these are my favorites: The Green Mile, Middlesex, We Have to Talk About Kevin, The Prince of Tides, any of the Robicheux novels narrated by Will Patton, The Life of Pi, Stephen King novels narrated by Frank Muller, The Silence of the Lambs, The Hundred Secret Senses, Lonesome Dove narrated by Lee Horsey (get it!).....and probably 10 others. If you like any of these, then you will probably like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I travel (fly) twice weekly and while I should be sitting on the plane working on my laptop or working during those delayed flights, most of the time I'm listening to an audiobook because I've already put in a 10-16 hour day and need some down time and tension relief. Audiobooks have enriched my life immensely over the years and I'm so very happy to have found this new series and narrator. Thank you Audible!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silence of the Lambs

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Thomas Harris
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (666)
    Performance
    (592)
    Story
    (598)

    A serial murderer known only by a grotesquely apt nickname - Buffalo Bill - is stalking women. He has a purpose, but no one can fathom it, for the bodies are discovered in different states. Clarice Starling, a young trainee at the FBI Academy, is surprised to be summoned by Jack Crawford, chief of the Bureau's Behavioral Science section. Her assignment: to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter - Hannibal the Cannibal - who is kept under close watch in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.

    Parusski says: "Much more than the movie"
    "Well, Frank Muller Narrates It. Need I Say More?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Silence of the Lambs to be better than the print version?

    Absolutely. Frank Muller turns everything into gold and this is no exception. The characters are 3D and engaging. The author is so talented that I fell in love with Lector--how creepy is that?


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Absolutely. Circled the block and sat in the driveway listening to it. Can't think of a thing to make it better.


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

    I've listened to everything Mr. Muller has done, used to do audiobook searches by his name. The Green Mile is the best in my opinion, but this one is right up there. Mr. Muller can't do anything wrong, what a terrible loss to us all.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Silence of the Lambs and why?

    Well HL himself of course. Is there a more memorable character out there?


    Any additional comments?

    If you are remotely interested, get it. You won't be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deliverance

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By James Dickey
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1320)
    Performance
    (1168)
    Story
    (1169)

    The setting is the Georgia wilderness, where the state's most remote white-water river awaits. In the thundering froth of that river, in its echoing stone canyons, four men on a canoe trip discover a freedom and exhilaration beyond compare. And then, in a moment of horror, the adventure turns into a struggle for survival as one man becomes a human hunter who is offered his own harrowing deliverance.

    Katherine says: "excruciatingly vivid, marvelously written and read"
    "Top Notch Audiobook. Better than Movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Will Patton is one of my favorite narrators and this is one of his best works. He puts you in a mood--some sort of dreamlike state. His narration calls up an entirely different feel than the movie and I loved this audiobook. I found myself holding my breath with some of the passages and more than once I sat in my garage going round the neighborhood a couple of extra times because I couldn't bear to stop listening. Just wonderful--I wouldn't change a thing and know I will listen to it multiple times.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Prince of Tides

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (1962)
    Performance
    (1145)
    Story
    (1146)

    Spanning 40 years, this is the story of turbulent Tom Wingo, his gifted and troubled twin sister Savannah, and their struggle to triumph over the dark and tragic legacy of the extraordinary family into which they were born.

    Ella says: "A "Prince" amongst novels"
    "One of the best, a MUST read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At one time, The Prince Of Tides was my favorite novel and after all these years and countless reads, it's stll in my top three. The language is breathtaking and flowing and Conroy is surely a poet. The story is moving, over the top, and believable--if you can just suspend your incredulity that so much can happen to one family. More than anything, Conroy touches my heart and has the talent to relay the complex feelings and emotions that we all have. There are sentences that are profound and whole passages that are so beautifully written that you will try to memorize them. Mr. Conroy is not stingy a stingy author, in fact he stuffs you with words and imagery to the point of total gluttony. Having read pretty much everything he has written (loved most, didn't like others), my opinion is that this is his opus. One of my favorite lines: "At the end of every day, I drive through the city of Charleston and I cross the bridge that will take me home. I feel the words building inside me, I can't stop them, or tell you why I say them, but as I reach the top of the bridge, these words come to me in a whisper. I say these words as a prayer, as regret, as praise, I say: Lowenstein, Lowenstein." If you've ever loved and lost, you will be touched by this novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Halfway to the Grave: Night Huntress, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jeaniene Frost
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5340)
    Performance
    (3681)
    Story
    (3697)

    Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father—the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unlikely partnership. In exchange for help finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't end up as his dinner…are there actually good vampires?

    Stephenie says: "Great series. Worth every credit."
    "Pretty much awful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Halfway to the Grave?

    Narration was trite, making the lead female character into a valley girl even though she was anything but. I literally physically winced a few times while listening. A couple of times I just turned it off because I was saturated with her swaggering, challenging "if I don't kill you first you can drain my artery with my blessing" attitude. Really? Really? You're going toe to toe with a master vampire and you're going to issue a challenge? It just always came off as immature swaggering and posturing instead of true bravery. My opinion is that the narrator did not understand Kat and her isolation, thus her inflection was vapid, juvenile, and just awful. Her interpretation of other characters voices was consistently off-mark and her English accent was nothing short of atrocious. Think Eliza Doolittle cockney.


    Would you recommend Halfway to the Grave to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. No. No. While the concept of the novel was very much interesting, the immaturity of the female lead was off-putting and it was particular unbelieveable that a 200+ year old vampire would fall for a 22 year old who acts like a 14 year old. Listen, I like The Flame and The Flower for it's bodice ripping power as much as anyone else (especially when I was a teenager) but this is just badness on so many different levels. I mean, a night of the most incredible, passionate, loving sex you've ever had in your life, then jump up out of bed the next morning and run away--vowing to never see him again. C'mon. Who does that? Yes, it has some decent sex scenes, but predictable. Been there, done that. Just not with a vampire. And he leaves her neck and breasts covered with hickeys. Seriously? When is the last time you even saw a hickey? The fact that it is discussed at length in the book should tell you enough. It's just so high school.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Tavia Gilbert’s performances?

    Absolutely not. Her narration is not so bad that you can't listen to it, but you know how some narrators can turn the written work into a movie, a song, a thing of beauty? When you've read a book and it was pretty good, then listened to it and it was transformed into a masterpiece? Well, Ms. Gilbert's performance does the opposite. She makes me NOT like the female lead at all. She makes her petulant, silly, and immature while based on her history, she should be quiet, guarded, and hooded. Her narration brings to life gum smacking, hair flipping and her inflection is all wrong. This should have been a low voiced character, and I found myself repeating after her, in a different tone, just to try to make the character likeable and not annoying. If you could believe that Kim Kardashian could be a world class vampire slayer, virgin (and pretend slut at the same time), and could stake up a vampire without feeling, but then stop cold if confronted with a "real" bleeding body, then have at it. There were so many character contradictions. Let me see: "Even though we are both vampire bounty hunters now, now that I've slept with you I'm not going to take the bounty money because I'll feel like a prostitute. So instead, I'll got to Jr College full time, work park time, and also work as a part time vampire bounty hunter (free of charge)." Swear to God. So she lives with her mother, goes to Jr. College and is sleeping with a 200 year old vampire. It was teeth grinding to get through the narration and characters, but somehow the story was interesting enough to muster through, for whatever reason.


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

    Story line was interesting---really could have been an excellent read had the writing and narration not been geared toward middle school kids.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't like to leave reviews like this because of the negativity and let's face it, I've never published a book so who am I to pass judgement? I think the book is probably better than I'm saying because I was interested in the end, but the narration was so bad that it just tainted the whole thing. I've listened to hundreds of books, some of them multiple times and I can say without hesitation that I will never listen to this again nor recommend it to anyone, lest they think I am an idiot. I am so shocked at how good the reviews are and I think it must be because of the slightly explicit sex scenes. This really is just a vampire Harlequin Romance for teenagers.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The First Deadly Sin

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Lawrence Sanders
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (693)
    Performance
    (535)
    Story
    (550)

    One of the most popular suspense novels of all time. A well-dressed man stalks the high-class neighborhoods of New York City. He is armed with an ice axe. His victims are strangers. And one cop, Captain Ed Delaney must solve a series of bizarre, gruesome murders that defy logic or method. This shocking story has captured the imaginations of millions like no other modern thriller.

    Parusski says: "Evening with an old friend!"
    "If you've always loved the Sins, this is better."
    Overall

    First you need to realize that this novel was written in 1973 and may seem out of date. This book was my first introduction to Sanders when I read it in my late teens. I loved the Captain Edward X Delaney character and have waited for the Sins to come out in audiobook form forever. If you loved the novels back then, you'll love the audio version even more. The pace of the book is slow and the suspense is not going to kill you. You know from the beginning who the killer is. So why is this a good read? The characters are three-demensional, the setting plops you right down in the middle of New York and doesn't let you budge, and you have the first person view from not one, but two characters. Sanders spends a lot of time on each one for long periods of time, he doesn't switch back and forth much. If you love Dave Robicheaux (and I do), you'll love Delaney and want to read more and more. My taste in fiction runs the gamut: I love the Robicheaux novels and have read every one. I've read everything Stephen King has ever written. I love the novels Geek Love and Perfume, both Anne Rice and Ayn Rand, and the audiobook Middlesex is one of my top audiobooks (along w/ The Green Mile, Lonesome Dove, and The Life Of Pi). If you liked Sins and Delaney back in the day, you will not regret the audio.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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