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Susan

Ithaca, NY, United States | Member Since 2011

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 26 ratings
  • 81 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • Walk Two Moons

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Sharon Creech
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (103)

    In her own award-winning style, Sharon Creech intricately weaves together two tales, one funny, one bittersweet, to create a heartwarming, compelling, and utterly moving story of love, loss, and the complexity of human emotion.

    J. James-Long says: "Assigned Reading for School"
    "Such a great story wonderfully told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read this book years ago and loved it. Normally I wouldn't dare risk tainting the memory of such a great book by getting the audio as well, but I had read reviews that said Hope Davis was a wonderful narrator. She is. I laughed and cried listening to her tell this tale in the same spots that I laughed and cried when I read it myself.

    Some Newbery Award winning books are just not my cup of tea being that I am about 25 years older than the book's intended audience. However, for some books it doesn't matter what age you are. They just are great stories told well. Walk Two Moons is just a fantastic book about a young girl's journey. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Terry Hayes
    • Narrated By Christopher Ragland
    Overall
    (416)
    Performance
    (379)
    Story
    (380)

    An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid. A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square. A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard. Smoldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan. A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity.

    W. Perry Hall says: "Smartest Novel I've Heard or Read in Long time"
    "Exciting story/Terrible writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The good part of this book is that the story is riveting and well developed. The bad part is the awful writing style. If the book was shorter it would have been more bearable, but I couldn't wait to finish the book by about halfway through. I ended up speeding up the audio just to get it done.

    The author uses foreshadowing about every fifth paragraph which got really tedious after a while. He also switches between first person and third person narrative. He tries to justify this by claiming the narrator/protagonist pieced it all together later on from evidence, but this is thinly veiled BS. While I wouldn't completely pan this book, I feel like it could have been done so much better. It's a real shame.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2538)
    Performance
    (1776)
    Story
    (1815)

    December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.

    far_to_go says: "Annoying music"
    "Terrible narrator sullies an otherwise great story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My review headline pretty much sums it up. The narrator over dramatizes every other sentence and has a number of long, unnecessary pauses. This doesn't add to the story. Instead, I found it annoying and the narrator comes off as patronizing. Yes, it's a book for young adults, but young adults are not morons and can easily grasp the meaning of what is going on in the story without having to go at a snail's pace. Bummer because I thought the story was quite good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catching Fire: Hunger Games, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30383)
    Performance
    (23465)
    Story
    (23646)

    Katniss Everdeen continues to struggle to protect herself and her family from the Capitol in this second novel from the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy.

    FanB14 says: "Dissent Rules"
    "Poor narration and repetitive writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While this book in the trilogy is still an exciting tale, I found myself being irritated by the narrator's acting and the repetitiveness of the writing.

    Drama! -- I thought the narrator did a pretty darn good job on the first book. For the second book she seems to wail and overdramatize every event in the book turning Katniss into a whiny, unsympathetic brat rather than a 17-year-old, resourcefully enduring terrible events.

    More drama! -- Like the narrator, the writing also is a bit overdramatic and repetitive. Blood, blood, blood. Every third sentence seemed to have blood in it. OK, we get it. There is a lot of bloodshed. The overuse of the gore and the narrator's delivery didn't add to the story. Rather it was distracting because it seemed so lame. It made me chuckle thinking of Hyperbole and a Half's tale where Allie tries to come up with a scary story to tell her little sister.

    Repetition -- The author recaps Katiniss' thoughts again and again as if we are unable to retain any memory whatsoever. This made it seem like she was trying to pad a few extra pages in the book. It didn't advance any storyline. I'm ok with the slow start to the story, but after it started going this repetition ruined the flow and just felt like a waste of time. I'm hoping the 3rd book will be better.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35680)
    Performance
    (26697)
    Story
    (27076)

    Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

    Teddy says: "The Book Deserves The Hype"
    "Exciting and engaging story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After hearing from everyone age 12 to 50 how wonderful this series is, I finally got the audiobook. I'm glad I did, although I must admit that I would prefer to have read this one in print. The characters seem real to me and the story is very gripping. The narrator was top notch. Well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Wrinkle in Time

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Madeleine L'Engle
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (554)
    Performance
    (483)
    Story
    (491)

    Meg Murray, her little brother Charles Wallace, and their mother are having a midnight snack on a dark and stormy night when an unearthly stranger appears at their door. He claims to have been blown off course, and goes on to tell them that there is such a thing as a "tesseract," which, if you didn't know, is a wrinkle in time. Meg's father had been experimenting with time-travel when he suddenly disappeared. Will Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin outwit the forces of evil as they search through space for their father?

    Patricia says: "Thank You for a New Narrator"
    "Great story well told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a story I never read as a kid and now I wish I had. The narrator did a lovely job too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deja Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Kathy Reichs
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (546)
    Performance
    (451)
    Story
    (457)

    It's June in Montreal, and Dr. Temperance Brennan, who has left a shaky marriage back home in North Carolina to take on the challenging assignment of Director of Forensic Anthropology for the province of Quebec, looks forward to a relaxing weekend in beautiful Quebec City. First, though, she must stop at a newly uncovered burial site in the heart of the city. The remains are probably old and only of archeological interest, but Tempe must make sure they're not a case for the police. One look at the decomposed and decapitated corpse, stored neatly in plastic bags, tells her she'll spend the weekend in the crime lab.

    Kay says: "Mixed"
    "Terrible writing style--Waste of my time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you took out all of the similes and metaphors this story would only be half as long. Rather than add to the story, they end up breaking up the rhythm and become incredibly annoying. I got through about one third of the story hoping that it would get better, but it just got more painful. I ended up skipping huge chunks of the book and I'm not sure if I'll bother finishing it or just delete it from my library. I'm very disappointed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Martin Wenner
    Overall
    (337)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (118)

    It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden...and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.

    Willliam says: "Wishing I got the "unabridged" version"
    "Good story with a great narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As far as suspenseful books go, this is fairly well done. The last chapters tend to be a bit slow compared to the exciting build up in the middle of the book, but it is nice to have the loose ends tied up.

    I really liked the narrator. I've discovered how important it is for an audio books to have a good narrator as I've downloaded a few that are just painful to listen to. Thankfully, Martin Wenner did a very nice job. His pacing was great and I'd be happy to listen to another book by him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anathem

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman, Tavia Gilbert, William Dufris, and others
    Overall
    (1933)
    Performance
    (926)
    Story
    (936)

    In celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fras and suurs prepare to venture outside the concent's gates - opening them wide at the same time to welcome the curious "extras" in. During his first Apert as a fra, Erasmus eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn't seen since he was "collected". But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the perilous brink of cataclysmic change.

    Brandon Barton says: "All hail Oralow"
    "Great story, but marred by overdramatic acting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is typical of Neal Stephenson's work--highly detailed so that you get really invested in the story; containing scientific/technical concepts that puts it on a level above fantasy novels; protagonists and characters that are multi-faceted. There are few quibbles that I'd take up with the editors regarding consistency (Similarly, I found some trivial, but irksome errors in Reamde. I reckon it goes with making such long works.) That being said, I found this altogether enjoyable.

    The only real downside for me was the actor narrating the story. He was inconsistent and kept mixing up the voices he would use for the characters. I also felt he was overly dramatic in parts to the point where I would grow so frustrated that I sped up the reading to 2x and 3x speed to just get on with it already.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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