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Rena Steinzor

Silver Spring, MD | Member Since 2013

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 120 ratings
  • 780 titles in library
  • 83 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Call for the Dead: A George Smiley Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By John le Carre
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (193)
    Story
    (194)

    George Smiley is no one's idea of a spy - which is perhaps why he's such a natural. But Smiley apparently made a mistake. After a routine security interview, he concluded that the affable Samuel Fennan had nothing to hide. Why, then, did the man from the Foreign Office shoot himself in the head only hours later? Or did he? The heart-stopping tale of intrigue that launched both novelist and spy, Call for the Dead is an essential introduction to le Carre's chillingly amoral universe.

    Darwin8u says: "Subtle story of friendship, espionage, guilt, etc"
    "LeCarre Fans Take Note"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Call for the Dead to be better than the print version?

    This obscure little book is the first in the Smiley series, introducing our unlikely hero, along with Mendel and Guillam. For fans everywhere, this is a must-read. Michael Jayston, who played Guillam in the original BBC versions of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People does A wonderful job as narrator. Not to be missed--I am reading all my favorites all over again.


    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8697)
    Performance
    (7845)
    Story
    (7849)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "Great Story, Mediocre Writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Sycamore Row in three words, what would they be?

    Overall, I am a Grisham fan. His ideas on race relations and his progressive critique of the legal system are worth considering and, in large measure, taking to heart. But he is a hamfisted writer, and this novel's length puts tolerance for that flaw to the test. Fortunately, the narrator is excellent.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spider Woman's Daughter: A Leaphorn & Chee Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Anne Hillerman
    • Narrated By Christina Delaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (140)

    Navajo Nation Police Officer Bernadette Manualito witnesses the cold-blooded shooting of someone very close to her. With the victim fighting for his life, the entire squad and the local FBI office are hell-bent on catching the gunman. Bernie, too, wants in on the investigation, despite regulations forbidding eyewitness involvement. But that doesn't mean she's going to sit idly by, especially when her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, is in charge of finding the shooter. Bernie and Chee discover that a cold case involving his former boss and partner, retired Inspector Joe Leaphorn, may hold the key.

    rick says: "The slide continues"
    "Apple and Tree"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Anne Hillerman and/or Christina Delaine?

    No


    Would you recommend Spider Woman's Daughter to your friends? Why or why not?

    In this case, the apple falls too far from the tree. Tony Hillerman's daughter is just not as good as he was--not even close. The writing is like a sledge hammer, the characters one-dimensional and the story violent without nuance.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    I did not like the narration--choppy, abrupt, but it could be the writing.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joyland

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Michael Kelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3081)
    Performance
    (2851)
    Story
    (2853)

    Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. Joyland is a brand-new novel and has never previously been published.

    Cozy Reader says: "The sweest and creepiest coming of age story!"
    "Exceptionally tender for Stephen King"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Joyland rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Joyland was a piece of chocolate after dinner. I enjoyed it thoroughly, found it relaxing to listen too, but not boring. Stephen King is a great writer and the narrator was terrific.


    What does Michael Kelly bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He reads with great animation and emphasis. The performance brings the characters to life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Leaving Everything Most Loved: Maisie Dobbs, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Winspear
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (406)
    Performance
    (350)
    Story
    (346)

    The year is 1933. Maisie Dobbs is contacted by an Indian gentleman who has come to England in the hopes of finding out who killed his sister two months ago. Scotland Yard failed to make any arrest in the case, and there is reason to believe they failed to conduct a thorough investigation. The case becomes even more challenging when another Indian woman is murdered just hours before a scheduled interview. Meanwhile, unfinished business from a previous case becomes a distraction, as does a new development in Maisie's personal life.

    C. Telfair says: "Mixed Feelings about Maisie"
    "Big Fan of Winspear But This Disappoints"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Winspear tends to be quite repetitive when she is sitting in Maisie Dobbs' head, having a cup of tea. Maisie frets and frets, worrying about marriage, not marrying, the dark mists of war, her dear old dad. It gets very tedious. And in the hands of this narrator, it devolves intyo treacle, running down your ears. Far better are her character profiles, and her evocative descriptions of London society at the time.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Stay focused on racism in London society, how India viewed its relationship to the Britain. The anxiety about the next war. Make it a genuinely historical novel not the ruminations of a 30-something introspective fretter.


    What didn’t you like about Orlagh Cassidy’s performance?

    She chirps and breathes like an ingenue when reading passages about Maisie's inner thoughts. Yuck!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sins of the Wolf: A William Monk Novel #5

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Anne Perry
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (200)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (142)

    When her wealthy Scottish employer dies of an overdose of heart medication, Nurse Latterly is charged with murder and locked up in Newgate Prison. To save his friend from the gallows, Inspector Monk works feverishly to identify a cold-blooded killer in the victim's greatly admired - and coolly silent - family.

    Jean says: "The Sins of the Wolf"
    "Anne Perry is good but repetitive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Anne Perry and/or Davina Porter?

    I have listened to five Monk novels, and now have had my fill of Anne Perry's verging on shrill condemnation of the British class system and its reactionary attitudes toward women. The Sins of the Wolf ends up ensnaring the charming Hester Latterly in the criminal justice system--and I was disappointed to suffer through what seemed like hours of Hester's terror at her plight.


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

    The plot itself was very interesting, the social commentary repetitive and tedious.


    Do you think The Sins of the Wolf needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    There is a book six in the series, which picks up the thread of Latterly and Monk's gradual romance, but Audible does not stock it.


    Any additional comments?

    It will be awhile before I do another Anne Perry. On the other hand, Davina Porter is great so I will keep an eye out for her.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Foreign Country

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Charles Cumming
    • Narrated By Jot Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (66)

    On the vacation of a lifetime in Egypt, an elderly French couple are brutally murdered. Days later, a meticulously planned kidnapping takes place on the streets of Paris. Amelia Levene, the first female Chief of MI6, has disappeared without a trace, six weeks before she is due to take over as the most influential spy in Europe. It is the gravest crisis MI6 has faced in more than a decade. Desperate not only to find her, but to keep her disappearance a secret, Britain’s top intelligence agents turn to one of their own: disgraced MI6 officer Thomas Kell.

    John says: "After a good start, story drifts"
    "Narrator Great, Story Starts Very slowly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed this book because the narrator was excellent (none of us chronic Audible devotees think the narrator is of marginal importance, of course). But the story got off to a VERY slow start. Once it got rolling, it was worth the wait, but persistence is required.


    What does Jot Davies bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He has a wonderful facility with the differentiation of accents and gender.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Depending on the casting, the book would make a good movie.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nemesis

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Thor Knai
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (561)
    Performance
    (408)
    Story
    (396)

    Captured on closed-circuit television: A man walks into an Oslo bank, puts a gun to a cashier’s head, and tells her to count to 25. When he doesn’t get his money fast enough, he pulls the trigger. The young woman dies—and two million Norwegian kroner disappear without a trace.

    Richard says: "What a difference a narrator makes"
    "Bad Narrator Great Writer and Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Nemesis again? Why?

    I would not listen again. I am hooked on Harry Hole. But this narrators id dreadful, He even gave Muller--Harry's boss--a fake southern accent. It was all I could do it get through the recording.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Nemesis?

    The Christmas scene, a very brief moment of happiness in Hole's chaotic life was great,.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Cruelest Month: A Three Pines Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    Overall
    (1253)
    Performance
    (893)
    Story
    (879)

    It's spring in the tiny, forgotten village; buds are on the trees, and the first flowers are struggling through the newly thawed earth. But not everything is meant to return to life. When some villagers decide to celebrate Easter with a séance at the Old Hadley House, they are hoping to rid the town of its evil - until one of their party dies of fright.

    Sara says: "Spring in Three Pines"
    "Gamache at His Gentlest and Most Determined"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Cruelest Month rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a quiet comfortable listen that still provides some mystery for the time.


    What other book might you compare The Cruelest Month to and why?

    The book reminds me of Agatha Christie work. Intricate plot, but low social tension.


    Any additional comments?

    Robin sachs is a great narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bury Your Dead: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1074)
    Performance
    (728)
    Story
    (725)

    Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has come to Winter Carnival - not to join the revels but to recover from an investigation gone hauntingly wrong. But violent death is inescapable, even in the apparent sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society - where an obsessive historian’s quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder. Could a secret buried with Champlain for nearly 400 years be so dreadful that someone would kill to protect it?

    Judy says: "Another great tale!"
    "Interesting atmospherics, lovely protagonist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The book is very pleasant without being insipid. The narrator is great, as is the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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