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Tom

ratings
408
REVIEWS
78
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
140

  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14400)
    Performance
    (6702)
    Story
    (6781)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "Wonderful, unusual"
    Overall

    Other reviewers comment on the wonderful and unusual story. But, the narrators. There are two, one who speaks as the protagonist in his 20s (and in the 1930s) and the other in his 90s. The former is good. The latter is extraordinary as an old man in a nursing home. The writer gives a touching view of one living out his last days in a situation many of us will experience. A bit scary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sharpe's Rifles: Book VI of the Sharpe Series

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Bernard Cornwell
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (370)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (189)

    It's 1809 and the powerful French juggernaut is sweeping across Spain. Lieutenant Sharpe is newly in command of the demoralized, distrustful men of the 95th Rifles. He must lead them to safety - and the only means of escape is a treacherous trek through the enemy-infested mountains of Spain.

    Joe says: "Historical Fiction at it's best."
    "not equal to the others"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read 8 or so Sharpe books and enjoyed them all. This one, however, fell a bit short. Sharpe is learning the ropes as to how to lead, having recently been appointed lieutenant. That's interesting. But his love interest is a stretch and his joinder with the Spanish is as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suspect

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Michael Robotham
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (660)
    Performance
    (482)
    Story
    (479)

    After a woman is brutally slain, investigators bring psychiatrist Joe O'Loughlin in for expert consultation. Joe is shocked to discover the dead woman is a former patient of his who cried rape when he rebuffed her sexual advances. Citing doctor/patient confidentiality, Joe hides this information. But the truth emerges, and suddenly he is the prime suspect.

    Bonnie says: "Found"
    "subtitle: a very stupid suspect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A very good story, wonderfully narrated. But, this is one of those books where the protagonist, an intelligent, well grounded, and educated person, does some dumb things (and one really dumb thing). Mysteries often have characters you otherwise like doing dumb things. Otherwise, there might not be must of a mystery. Characters, thus, must do some dumb things to get themselves in a mess. Then, they and others can help the dig themselves out of the hole.

    In this book, the actions taken by the protagonist can, I suppose, be justified by an impulse to panic that overrides the rational mind. If you can accept this proposition, then you will enjoy the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Royal Blood: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2220)
    Performance
    (1933)
    Story
    (1912)

    Penniless and 34th in line to the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch finds herself in a truly draining state of affairs. To escape her hateful brother, Georgie accepts an invitation from the Queen to represent the royals at a wedding in Transylvania. But at the macabre- looking castle, Georgie finds the bride with blood running down her chin, and a wedding guest is poisoned.

    BJG says: "A little predictable"
    "Another good book in the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked the book, but I found it slightly less interesting than the previous ones in the series (3 of them I think). The vampire aspect was a bit strange since it has Lady Georgeanna (sp?) wondering if there really are vampires. She has seemed so down to earth and rational in the prior books that I was a bit put off by her fear that there really might be vampires. It didn't ruin the book. I still liked it, just not as much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Town Like Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Neil Hunt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (259)
    Performance
    (226)
    Story
    (224)

    Eight hundred women and children begin a 1,200-mile journey on foot across Japanese-occupied Malaya. At journey’s end, only 30 will still be alive. This is the story of one woman, of her ordeal, and of how she was saved by the sacrifice of an Australian soldier. It is a story of rare individual courage in the face of certain death, and hope in the face of despair.

    Jean says: "Historical Novel"
    "interesting at first but story wanes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is loosely based on a true story. The main character is a no-nonsense, admirable young woman who becomes a leader of her prisoner group, likely saving many lives, and who eventually becomes an entrepreneur in the Australian outback restoring life to a town which is a mere shadow of its former self in the gold rush years. The prisoner portion of the story is quite interesting (though its not clear there ever was a march like this). When the story moves to Australia, for a good part (at least 1/2 the book) I found myself rather bored. I wish I had had a hard copy so I could have skimmed the last portion. All in all, the book would have been better as a long New Yorker or Atlantic magazine article. It isn't exciting and reads, a bit like a report, which isn't the narrator's fault.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An Untamed State

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Roxane Gay
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (95)

    Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom.

    Jen says: "Not for the Faint of Heart"
    "can't finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like another reviewer, I'm about half way through and now I'm skipping through chapters to see what happens. My problems. To describe the protagonist as "strong willed," as the synopsis does, understates the matter. She needs to be "strong willed" while in captivity but the way she behaves in the long and frequent discussions of her family and husband is quite irritating. Spoiled and insensitive to others, she is quick to pick up on insults and not a forgiving person.. The narrator is ok. Maybe it's the character she is reading, but the emphasis she puts on dialogue I find too strident.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Duet

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Kimberley Freeman
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (389)
    Performance
    (247)
    Story
    (248)

    From the London pop scene, to the opera stages of Europe; from a tiny Greek island, to a stifling manor house full of secrets and deceptions; from the sun-drenched Queensland coast, to the silent outback; Angela and Ellie are two women both looking for something. One in search of her identity and her memory; the other in search of the love that she had and lost; theirs is a duet whose last note will not be sung until the heart-stopping climax, when a shadow from the past returns to claim them both.

    A User says: "Gosh that was a great story!"
    "good but long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A well written, good story with a superb narration. I thought it a bit long, but that may be because I listened to it mostly in short sessions. There were a couple of unexplained matters that bothered me and the book ends with a number of story lines coming together in a believable, but remarkable way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Robinson Crusoe

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Daniel Defoe
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (215)
    Performance
    (163)
    Story
    (165)

    Widely regarded as the first English novel, Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe is one of the most popular and influential adventure stories of all time. This classic tale of shipwreck and survival on an uninhabited island was an instant success when first published in 1719, and it has inspired countless imitations.

    William says: "Fantastic Story and Excellent Narration"
    "good, but 2nd best in English fiction lit, no"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The only thing I knew of Robinson Crusoe was two guys, RC and Friday, stranded on a desert island. The story is a good one but I was surprised to see The Guardian list is as the no. 2 in the ranking of English novels. For today's reader, the fact that RC traded in enslaved Africans and saw nothing wrong with slavery is a downer. The occasional killing of animals for sport likewise. And, he had a dog for about 15 years who he never named! Or, didn't bother to reveal his name. He gets "religion" half way through but his proclamations of God's goodness seem shallow. When Friday asks him why, if God is all powerful,as RC tells Friday, doesn't God do away with the devil, RC has no answer, At least he acknowledges it to be a tough question.
    Simon Vance's narration is top notch.
    And, if like me, you want to educate yourself about classics of literature, the book is worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Fighting Chance

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Warren
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Warren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (770)
    Performance
    (708)
    Story
    (710)

    As a child in small-town Oklahoma, Elizabeth Warren yearned to go to college and then become an elementary school teacher - an ambitious goal, given her family’s modest means. Early marriage and motherhood seemed to put even that dream out of reach, but 15 years later she was a distinguished law professor with a deep understanding of why people go bankrupt. Then came the phone call that changed her life: could she come to Washington, DC, to help advise Congress on rewriting the bankruptcy laws?

    Amy says: "Great Book. Great Narration."
    "I'd vote for her"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Warren's personal story is interesting and it supports the sincerity of her policy positions. She writes of a sad chapter in our history and presents hard facts of how the banking industry and Wall Street, control so much of what Washington does. Through federal legislation, these vested interests, who mouth support for a free market, are subsidized by ordinary taxpayers.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8537)
    Performance
    (7680)
    Story
    (7688)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "Simply excellent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think one should know that the main characters, the Grimke sisters, did exist and did the things the book describes. The author tells that in the epilogue. I would save the details of the true story to the last, where the author places it. But, knowing Sarah Grimke was a real person takes away any doubt you have as a listener that the story is realistic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Killer Angels: A Novel of the Civil War

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Michael Shaara
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1354)
    Performance
    (755)
    Story
    (768)

    After 30 years and with three million copies in print, Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War classic, The Killer Angels, remains as vivid and powerful as the day it was originally published.

    Robert says: "One of my all time favorites"
    "Very, very good; read before you visit Gettysburg"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We listened to this book as we drove across the country to visit the battlefield. There is nothing bad to say about the book. Assuming one has not studied the battle, one learns a tremendous amount.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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