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S. Elder

Member Since 2009

39
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 136 ratings
  • 503 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2015
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  • Bridge of Sighs

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Richard Russo
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (471)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (123)

    Louis Charles ("Lucy") Lynch has spent all his 60 years in upstate Thomaston, New York, married to the same woman, Sarah, for 40 of them, their son now a grown man. Like his late, beloved father, Lucy is an optimist, though he's had plenty of reasons not to be: chief among them his mother, still indomitably alive.

    Victoria Wright says: "Wonderful"
    "Tedious"
    Overall

    I normally like Richard Russo's writing, but this book, read at the tedious pace that it was, has me pulling my hair out! It would seem to me he could have used an more ruthless editor. I finally gave up.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good: Mitford Years, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Jan Karon
    • Narrated By John McDonough
    Overall
    (402)
    Performance
    (363)
    Story
    (369)

    After five hectic years of retirement from Lord's Chapel, Father Tim Kavanagh returns with his wife, Cynthia, from a so-called pleasure trip to the land of his Irish ancestors. While glad to be at home in Mitford, something is definitely missing: a pulpit. But when he's offered one, he decides he doesn't want it. Maybe he's lost his passion. His adopted son, Dooley, wrestles with his own passion - for the beautiful and gifted Lace Turner, and his vision to become a successful country vet.

    Sara says: "Mitford Changes With The Times"
    "Just Like the Title Says"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would rank it high on my audiobooks. I think I was in the right place to hear it.


    What other book might you compare Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good to and why?

    Gilead by Marilynne Robinson - I appreciate the author's spiritual insights.


    Which character – as performed by John McDonough – was your favorite?

    Father Tim was my favorite, though many of the characters struck me as quite realistic.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cop Town

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Karin Slaughter
    • Narrated By Kathleen Early
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1117)
    Performance
    (943)
    Story
    (950)

    Atlanta, 1974: It's Kate Murphy's first day on the job, and the Atlanta Police Department is seething after the murder of an officer. Before the day has barely begun, she already suspects she's not cut out to be a cop. Her male uniform is too big, she can't handle a gun, and she's rapidly learning that the APD is hardly a place that welcomes women. Worse still, in the ensuing manhunt she'll be partnered with Maggie Lawson, a cop with her own ax to grind.

    Ronna says: "Women cops in bigoted 1974 Georgia"
    "Good story but Flat characters."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It couldn't have been that bad. I listened to the entire book, but I kept thinking it could have been better. I think Slaughter has written better. She had, essentially, two characters: evil, misogynistic men, and the tough, though mistreated, women who stood up to them. Her kind, Atticus Finch father was the only good guy in the book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was a good, interesting story. I liked the details about Atlanta. She could have thrown in more!


    What aspect of Kathleen Early’s performance would you have changed?

    As a native Atlantan, I know that Atlantans do not speak with the generic Southern accent that must be the way the readers are taught to "speak Southern." It probably is too much to expect the characters to speak with distinct regional dialects. If this were read with a New England dialect, or Midwestern dialect, I wouldn't know if there were differences.


    Was Cop Town worth the listening time?

    Perhaps


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Missing You

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By January LaVoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2255)
    Performance
    (1981)
    Story
    (1993)

    Number-one New York Times best-selling author Harlan Coben set huge sales records with last year’s Six Years - and he’s poised to do it again in his next breathtaking stand-alone thriller. Harlan Coben, author of six consecutive instant number-one New York Times best sellers and a total of 24 award-winning, best-selling, and internationally acclaimed novels, returns with another ripped-from-real-life thriller full of impossibly high emotional stakes and the real-to-life characters for which he has become famous.

    Susan says: "I Ain't Missing You"
    "Missing You Myron"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Missing You? What did you like least?

    This was a pretty good story, though it got awfully gory in parts. I miss Coben's wise cracking Myron Bolitar character. This book had one, oft repeated joke. The smarmy, horny man seemed to turn up everywhere. I think Coben could have done better. If you're going to have flat characters, at least make them entertaining.


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

    The way the bad guys used a dating website to trap people was a little interesting. The "love story" was ho hum.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes.


    Do you think Missing You needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    NO. No follow-up unless Myron is the hero - maybe he and Kat could get together.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • In Sunlight and in Shadow

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Mark Helprin
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (80)

    New York in 1947 glows with postwar energy. Harry Copeland, an elite paratrooper who fought behind enemy lines in Europe, returns home to run the family business. In a single, magical encounter on the Staten Island ferry, the young singer and heiress Catherine Thomas Hale falls for him instantly but too late to prevent her engagement to a much older man. Harry and Catherine pursue one another in a romance played out in postwar America’s Broadway theaters, Long Island mansions, and the haunts of gangsters.

    Leslie says: "Great Insomnia Listening"
    "Such Great Possibilities!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A different narrator and an editor with sharp scissors.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Sean Runnette?

    Almost any narrator would have been an improvement. Runnette's sentences had one cadence, no inflection and he sounded like the guy on "Prairie Home Companion" who extolls the virtues of catsup. I really wanted to listen to this book because I wanted to finish it and I had a long car trip when I could listen. But I just couldn't stand to listen to this narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a great idea for a story - a good plot line (I guess it is plausible that a humanities major would take on a mobster), and fairly well developed characters, but Helprin's digressions were so numerous and often so overblown that they just barely allowed you to suffer through them to get to the story.

    It was like going for a walk with a poet in a beautiful garden. Sometimes he stops, examines a flower and writes a poem. Other times, he stops, examines a flower and smokes a joint.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Six Years

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3344)
    Performance
    (2886)
    Story
    (2908)

    Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for...but she is not Natalie....

    G. House Sr. says: "Obsession, mystery, and you're hooked!"
    "Where is Jonathan Marosz?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Six Years in three words, what would they be?

    A Great Story


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jake. He loved Natalie unconditionally and was willing to do whatever it took to find her.


    What three words best describe Scott Brick’s voice?

    Whiny - shaky - distracting


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

    Loved the story. Nothing extreme though.


    Any additional comments?

    Nobody can tell a story like Harlan Coban. His books contain, for my money, the best combination of mystery story and wise cracking humor. This story lived up to his best so far, but the always-close-to-tears voice of the narrator nearly obscured the "lighter" side of the tale. Bring back Jonathan Marosz!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2635)
    Performance
    (1263)
    Story
    (1260)

    Over the past decade, Malcolm Gladwell has become the most gifted and influential journalist in America. In The New Yorker, his writings are such must-reads that the magazine charges advertisers significantly more money for ads that run within his articles. With his #1 best sellers, The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers, he has reached millions of readers. And now the very best and most famous of his New Yorker pieces are collected in a brilliant and provocative anthology.

    Rudi says: "Not Gladwell's best - and a recording problem"
    "Listened to this book without stopping!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up What the Dog Saw in three words, what would they be?

    Surprises abound!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Gladwell writes about the everyday- Coca cola, hair color, dog breeds, birth control pills are a few of his subjects. But he helps us look at them with new information. I really couldn't turn off the player. It was that interesting. For example, the doctor who invented birth control pills was a devout Catholic until the church attacked him for his work. He died away from the church.


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

    Maybe nothing. It made me want to own the book so I could more easily share parts of it.


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

    It really couldn't be a movie since it was aCompilation of articles.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Play Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (767)
    Performance
    (436)
    Story
    (436)

    Theirs was a marriage made in tabloid heaven, but no sooner had supermodel Laura Ayars and Celtics star David Baskin said “I do” than tragedy struck. While honeymooning on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, David went out for a swim - and never returned. Now widowed and grieving, Laura has a thousand questions and no answers. Her search for the truth will draw her into a web of lies and deception that stretches back thirty years - while on the court at the Boston Garden, a rookie phenom makes his spectacular debut....

    Debbie Woodruff says: "I love Harlan Coben, but..."
    "I should have paid attention"
    Overall

    Coben gives a disclaimer at the beginning of this recording, saying that it is a book he wrote when he first began to write. In other words, he's using the notoriety from his later to books to get us to read an early effort. There is none of the clever dialogue we hear from Myron Bolitar and way too many unnecessary melodramatic adjectives. Bleah. Though this is a later recording, it is not up to Coben's standards. He should have kept it in a file drawer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Home: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Marilynne Robinson
    • Narrated By Maggi-Meg Reed
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (163)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (71)

    Glory Boughton, aged 38, has returned to Gilead to care for her dying father. Soon her brother, Jack - the prodigal son of the family, gone for 20 years - comes home too, looking for refuge and trying to make peace with a past littered with tormenting trouble and pain.

    S. Elder says: "Wish that I had read this one"
    "Wish that I had read this one"
    Overall

    I loved Marilynne Robinson's last book, Gilead. As the mother of 3 sons and the only sister with 3 brothers, I read and reread Robinson's words in the voice of Ames, the Congregationalist minister, about the trust that parents must have before they, like Abraham, can send their sons into the wilderness. She writes beautifully, and she clearly has much theological thought and study behind her. This book, which included the same characters, shows what happens when that trust isn't enough. Jack Boughton, prodigal son of Ames' friend, Robert Boughton, comes home, bringing all his misery along with him. He seems repentant, but seems still to wallow, and perhaps even enjoy, his past transgressions. It gets rather tiresome and we lose patience with him. Robinson's beautiful theological reflections remain in this book, however, and, because I liked rereading and referring to them, I wish I had read the book instead of listening to it. Also, the reader's voice was a little too Charlton Heston for my taste. That too, got a little tedious.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Run

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Peter Francis James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (391)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (120)

    Since their mother's death, Tip and Teddy Doyle have been raised by their loving, possessive, and ambitious father. As the former mayor of Boston, Bernard Doyle wants to see his sons in politics, a dream the boys have never shared. But when an argument in a blinding New England snowstorm inadvertently causes an accident that involves a stranger and her child, all Bernard Doyle cares about is his ability to keep his children, all of his children, safe.

    Jeanne Kaiser says: "Disappointing"
    "Don't listen to the interview at the end."
    Overall

    "Bel Canto," Patchett's earlier book, is one of my all time favorite love stories and I was, I think, hoping to find another treasure in "Run." Using the same story line - strangers cast together through circumstances over which they have no control who must deal with a life changing series of events - "Run" lacked the passion and tenderness of "Bel Canto," and seemed instead a story with an agenda. Then, when I listened to the interview at the end, I found out that it was indeed, the author says,a story about politics. Maybe next time she could just write an essay.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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