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Stefanie

Gainesville, GA, United States | Member Since 2003

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 56 ratings
  • 512 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • And the Mountains Echoed

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Khaled Hosseini, Navid Negahban, Shohreh Aghdashloo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2487)
    Performance
    (2196)
    Story
    (2188)

    Khaled Hosseini, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.

    FanB14 says: "Does the End Justify the Means"
    "Requires More Attention than Typical Audiobooks"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does And the Mountains Echoed rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It was the most challenging to follow - a lot of characters and story lines going on. This is not a book to do housework to - better for a car ride or somewhere where you can really listen and follow.


    What other book might you compare And the Mountains Echoed to and why?

    Not sure. It's different than The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns in terms of structure and flow, but Hosseini's gift for painting a beautiful, rich detailed character and picture remains.


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

    You get different voices with this one - different narrators. Obviously brings it to life a little more. Not sure I loved all the voices.


    If you could rename And the Mountains Echoed, what would you call it?

    That actually is a perfect name - wouldn't change it.


    Any additional comments?

    Beautiful book. Some unresolved areas for me because so many characters were introduced.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Best Kept Secret: The Clifton Chronicles, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (643)
    Performance
    (558)
    Story
    (557)

    Best Kept Secret opens a moment after the end of The Sins of the Father, with the resolution of the trial and the triumphant marriage of Harry Clifton and Elizabeth Barrington, finally uniting their family. Harry, now a best-selling novelist; Emma; their son, Sebastian; and orphaned Jessica make a new life for themselves, but all is not as happy and secure as it could be. Emma's brother, Giles, is engaged to a woman who may be more interested in Barrington's fortune and title than in a long and happy marriage.

    cristina says: "Plot without characters"
    "Another Drop Off Ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Sort of. I am hooked on the Clifton Chronicles, so I had to listen. Overall, it was worth a listen, but I was disappointed.


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

    The last book left us at a cliff hanger and now this one does. In my opinion, a good series includes books that can stand alone and have merit, not require you to read the next to get the rest of the story. I would definitely change the ending. I also would have picked fewer characters and really did them justice rather than get so scattered.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the Rodin sculpture is opened up.


    Was Best Kept Secret worth the listening time?

    This question is redundant with the first.... If you are a Clifton Chronicles fan, you get more of the story. It just wasn't as good as the first, and if you were frustrated with how Book 2 ended, you will be super frustrated with the end of this one.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope we don't have to wait as long for Book 4, but I also hope Mr. Archer doesn't get sloppy with this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Storyteller

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Mozhan Marno, Jennifer Ikeda, Edoardo Ballerini, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3349)
    Performance
    (2919)
    Story
    (2933)

    Jodi Picoult's poignant number one New York Times best-selling novels about family and love tackle hot-button issues head on. In The Storyteller, Sage Singer befriends Josef Weber, a beloved Little League coach and retired teacher. But then Josef asks Sage for a favor she never could have imagined - to kill him. After Josef reveals the heinous act he committed, Sage feels he may deserve that fate. But would his death be murder or justice?

    Sue says: "Interesting...different than I thought it would be"
    "Tried a Little Too Hard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Storyteller? What did you like least?

    I normally like Jodi Picoult, and was excited to have another of her books to listen to, but this one was disappointing. It started out fairly interesting, and as always, Picoult has well developed characters. But as connections begin to be made, it just becomes too convenient and tiresome.


    What could Jodi Picoult have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    This is an important subject, so you can tell Picoult took a lot of care in it, but I also don't think it was edited well - drags quite a bit for no great reason other than to continue to make you understand how horrible the war was for the Jewish people. I don't mean to sound callous by saying that, it is just that the point is very well made over, and over, and over.


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

    I like hearing the voices - brings it to life a bit more.


    Was The Storyteller worth the listening time?

    Overall, worth a listen, but really could have been abridged.


    Any additional comments?

    Would not recommend this over other Picoult books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Winter of the World: The Century Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5226)
    Performance
    (4422)
    Story
    (4435)

    Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, Welsh - enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion.

    Tim says: "Brilliant Sequel"
    "Great Until the End"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Winter of the World in three words, what would they be?

    Unsatisfying sweeping epic


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

    This is a follow up to Follett's last book, Fall of Giants, and I was excited to keep following the characters through the end of WWI and through WWII. As always the story is engaging, the characters rich and narration excellent. Least interesting was that there was more sex in this book, which really didn't add anything, in my opinion. Not a prude or anything, I just felt like it sometimes kept the story dragging.


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

    John Lee is excellent and does well in this novel.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Hard to pick just one, but I liked when the nurse of a Nazi hospital dares to put her life at risk to right a terrible wrong.


    Any additional comments?

    Loved this book until the end, which was so abrupt it was ridiculous. I know the story will continue in his next book, but Fall of Giants ended much better than this one - it just drops off and leaves you unsatisfied after such a time commitment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Indulgence in Death: In Death, Book 31

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1398)
    Performance
    (805)
    Story
    (808)

    When a murder disrupts the Irish vacation she is taking with her husband, Roarke, Eve realizes that no place is safe - not an Irish wood or the streets of the manic city she calls home. But nothing prepares her for what she discovers upon her return to the cop shop in New York City....

    MJ says: "Good story, great Eve/Roarke relationship"
    "Narrator's Voice Grating"
    Overall

    The narrator is trying to show that Eve is a tough, no-nonsense woman, but she comes off as grating and annoying. I don't like to waste my money so I stuck it out and eventually got used to it, and the story was ok. Really far-fetched, and by the end you're just waiting for it to be over; but I did make it to the end.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Swan Peak: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1341)
    Performance
    (401)
    Story
    (400)

    Swan Peak finds Detective Robicheaux far from his New Iberia roots, attempting to relax in the untouched wilderness of rural Montana. He, his wife, and his buddy Clete Purcell have retreated to stay at an old friend's ranch, hoping to spend their days fishing and enjoying their distance from the harsh, gritty landscape of Louisiana post-Katrina.

    Deborah says: "Christmas/Birthday in July"
    "Too Much Testosterone and Melodrama"
    Overall

    I only got through all of this because I paid for it and am stubborn. As a female listener, I just couldn't get into the "masculine pain" of the characters that made them act like idiots. Many of the descriptions of scenery and emotions were also overwrought. Finally, the narrator annoyed me. Definitely listen to the sample before you commit.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Atossa Leoni
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5211)
    Performance
    (1435)
    Story
    (1438)

    Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them, in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul, they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

    David says: "Somber but gripping"
    "In Depth Characters"
    Overall

    This may even be better than The Kite Runner. The author pays attention to details that add richly to the story and help you feel like you've walked in the characters' lives. In many stories written by men, women's characters are flat or ingenuine. If I didn't know who the author was, I would have sworn it was an Afghani woman. Wonderful, tragic story told by a great narrator. One of the best downloads ever!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Good Guy

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    Overall
    (1323)
    Performance
    (223)
    Story
    (230)

    Timothy Carrier, having a beer after work at his friend's tavern, enjoys drawing eccentric customers into amusing conversations. But the jittery man who sits next to him tonight has mistaken Tim for someone very different and passes to him a manila envelope full of cash. "Ten thousand now. You get the rest when she's gone."

    Dawn says: "Dawn"
    "Where's the Beef?"
    Overall

    I like Dean Koontz, but this really disappointed me. It seems like he had some interesting ideas about an alternate universe in a mirror world and how our perception can be shaped. Then he tried to build a story around that. But the story is pretty weak, and I had utterly no feeling for the main characters - good or bad. The story needlessly drags on with dialogue and details that don't flesh out the story or the characters at all. The end was really sappy, and I felt like the book overall was a waste of time.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Mark: Left Behind, Volume 8

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (283)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (79)

    Those who were left behind after the Rapture must now make a crucial decision. Each person must choose whether to receive the mark of the beast, or die. Never has faith in God been more important for the group of believers called the Tribulation Force, who now face danger on all sides. Valiantly, they continue to urge new followers to accept Christ's love.

    Stefanie says: "Narrator Ruins It"
    "Narrator Ruins It"
    Overall

    The story is decent, but the narrator detracts so much from it, it is hard to focus. His Carpathia voice sounds like Count Chocula and it is annoying to constantly hear his mispronunciation of Zion. I think I'll read The Desecration because it looks like it's the same narrator!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lipstick Jungle: A Novel

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Candace Bushnell
    • Narrated By Cynthia Nixon
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    In her fourth novel, Candace Bushnell writes about three powerful New York City women at the top of their fields, each navigating her way through business, relationships, scandal, success, and betrayal.

    Vicki says: "Great Narration, So-So Story"
    "Good, story, disappointing end"
    Overall

    I recently finished Trading Up and decided to get Lipstick Jungle on audiobook. Some of the characters overlap and the tone is very similar. More characters lives are explored in this book and the storyline is engaging. I gave it 3 stars, however, for two reasons. Cynthia Nixon was great as Miranda on Sex and the City, but she is not a great narrator. The women are strong characters and her voice doesn't reflect that, nor does it change tone much. The second reason for 3 stars was the end. It may be that this is an abridged version, but the end seem rushed and I was hoping for something a little more substantial at the end - not sure what, but I felt disappointed. Still worth a listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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