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cindy

st. paul, MN, United States | Member Since 2013

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 101 titles in library
  • 31 purchased in 2014
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  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9910)
    Performance
    (9069)
    Story
    (9081)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Don't waste 20 hours of your life on this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Who spends a handful of pages writing about a decision to wash clothes? Tartt. A few detailed chapters on being sick and even more chapters on being high? Tartt. I almost pulled my hair out trying to finish this book. Most chapters were unnecessary or could have been consolidated into a few paragraphs. I can only appreciate (at the most) the first quarter of the book, before Theo moves to Vegas. After that, it's just drugs, drugs, and more drugs.

    While I enjoyed some characters (like Hobie), I I found myself extremely frustrated with the main character, Theo at times because he had a tendency to ramble on and make no solid decisions. I don't know if he was ever sure of anything ... well ... he was sure that he loved Pippa but that's about it. Also, you would think that after 20 hours, Tartt would have written an ending that had some real closure, not just Theo found some peace with himself. Did Boris eventually kill himself off in a booze and drug laced orgy? Did Pippa ever move back to New York? What happened with Theo's engagement? It was so wrong of Tartt to just leave their relationship dangling. And what about Hobie? This book didn't end well and I felt cheated out of a good ending ... whether tragic or not.

    If you're reading this review and haven't purchased the book yet, then don't. Don't purchase this book unless you've got a lot of free time ahead of you and are perfectly okay reading a story at a snail's pace.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20045)
    Performance
    (17947)
    Story
    (18010)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Dance, Monkey, Dance!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would love an alternative ending.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    My reaction: What?!?!? I didn't like the ending of this novel because the ending was so slow to come. When it finally did come, the ending was rather ambiguous! I can't speculate out loud or say much without ruining it for other readers, so I won't. But you'll know what I'm talking about after you've read the novel!


    What does Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Whelan and Heyborne gave the character more rawness and emotion ... which is very important in this novel.


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

    Nope. I've wasted 18 out of the 19 hours this audio book took to finish.


    Any additional comments?

    The novel has a fantastic beginning story line and an awesome climax but I felt the author met me down at the end of the novel...like the story kind of just lost its steam.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anthony Doerr
    • Narrated By Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1837)
    Performance
    (1650)
    Story
    (1651)

    Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

    Annie M. says: "Time well spent"
    "No one wins in the end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Oh, the story line was such a disappointment! I hung on until the end hoping these characters would find some peace but peace hardly comes. No one wins at the end of this book. Questions go unanswered, people are never found, and bad memories never fade out. Instead, the main characters, even at the very end of their lives remain stuck in the past.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Headmaster's Wife

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Thomas Christopher Greene
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye, Kevin T. Collins, Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (95)

    Like his father before him, Arthur Winthrop is the Headmaster of Vermont’s elite Lancaster School. It is the place he feels has given him his life, but is also the site of his undoing as events spiral out of his control. Found wandering naked in Central Park, he begins to tell his story to the police, but his memories collide into one another, and the true nature of things, a narrative of love, of marriage, of family and of a tragedy Arthur does not know how to address emerges. Luminous and atmospheric, the novel is part mystery, part love story and an exploration of the ties of place and family.

    Kathi says: "Love, tragedy and descent into madness"
    "People never remember events the same way"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I listened to "The Headmaster's Wife" while I was working on something else or while I was driving. I'm glad I didn't waste any actual time listening to this story because the story is dragged on at times.


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

    The most interesting: The characters remembering the same events very differently. The least interesting: When Arthur elaborates on his fixation with Betsy. I felt like I was hearing the whispers of an aging pervert going through a mid-life crisis.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    There were parts of the book that made me want to just forward to the very end. The only reason I stuck through the entire book was just so I'd reach the end. The book is split up into three parts; 1) Arthur and Betsy (Arthur's version); 2) Betsy and Arthur (Betsy's version) and 3) the present.


    Could you see The Headmaster's Wife being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    The narrator's performance could have been better but he's not the reason I didn't enjoy the book very much.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a sad book. Don't read this book if you're depressed. This book did not make me feel any better about aging. If anything, the author only highlighted the insecurities felt by aging people.

    0 of 0 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
    (6667)
    Performance
    (6043)
    Story
    (6042)

    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!"
    "Slow start but gut-wrenching finish!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Invention of Wings?

    I really enjoy novels with historical context. While the story line is a bit slow in the first half of the book, reflecting back now on the wave of events, I suspect Monk was building up her characters and giving readers historical contexts of the early 1800's in Charleston, NC. I have to say, Monk did a great job with the historical facts.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Invention of Wings?

    "She'll outlive the last cockroach."

    The sentence above is my favorite in 'The Invention of Wings." Every time I hear this line, I crack up. You just have to be there in the moment to understand.


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

    I purchased Monk's novel mainly because I've become a fan of Jenna Lamia's and have enjoyed listening to a books she's narrated in the past.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Invention of Wings and why?

    You can tell that Monk spent a lot of time researching the Grimke sisters, Sarah in particular. I thought Monk succeeded in bringing the Grimke sisters back to life by giving them a voice again. Also, I thought Monk did a great job blending Handful and Sarah's lives together to the point where you realize that the two characters don't have very different struggles in their lives.


    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to the second half of Monk's audible book a few times since I finished the entire book (just to make sure I didn't miss anything) and have thoroughly enjoyed Monk's writing. I would recommend this book to my friends who enjoy American history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Wide and Starry Sky: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Nancy Horan
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (117)

    From Nancy Horan, New York Times best-selling author of Loving Frank, comes her much-anticipated second novel, which tells the improbable love story of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny.

    N. Thompson says: "Nancy Horan - another good one!"
    "Not your typical love story adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Finally, a love story that doesn’t end happily or tragically. Horan is able to portray Louis Stevenson and his wife, Fannie as they really are, human. They both make mistakes, act impulsively and drift apart, which really happens to couples. It wasn’t love at first sight and happily ever after. I really began to under Fannie and her moods towards the end when Louis had his revelation when she was ill. It takes a lot for person to step back and see the situation for what it really is and how they got there. Louis was accountable for his part in their hectic lives and was big enough to own it and tell Fannie so. A part of me hopes that Louis really did understand how much work Fannie put into keeping him alive and what a toll it took on her and her children. As far as Fannie, I understand how other viewers may say that Fannie is all about herself and to a certain extent that’s true but who isn’t? I think Fannie was a woman before her time, a woman willing to do whatever it took to get the job done.

    Overall, I enjoyed the audio book very much. I thought the narrator did a fantastic job differentiating the characters and their accents. I was very sorry that the book ended sooner than I felt like I knew each of the main characters so well by then. Even though the two parts of the audio book total about 16 hours, it sure didn’t seem that long. However, if I had read the book, I can’t say for sure that I would have finished the book eagerly. I have to admit there were chapters during the book that I thought the author could have hurried through.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Calling Me Home: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Julie Kibler
    • Narrated By Bahni Turpin, Lorna Raver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (280)
    Performance
    (251)
    Story
    (253)

    Eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister has a big favor to ask her hairdresser, Dorrie. She wants the black single mother to drop everything and drive her from Texas to a funeral in Ohio - tomorrow. Dorrie, fleeing problems of her own and curious about Isabelle’s past, agrees, not knowing it will be a journey that changes both their lives. Isabelle confesses that, as a teen in 1930s Kentucky, she fell in love with Robert Prewitt, a would-be doctor and the black son of her family’s housekeeper - in a town where blacks weren’t allowed after dark. The tale of their forbidden relationship and its tragic consequences just might help Dorrie find her own way.

    Alexandria Milton says: "I really wanted to like it"
    "Great book for a road trip!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Calling Me Home rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Calling Me Home is by far one of my favorite books this year. The story line is heartbreaking, gut wrenching but so so possibly true. The social reality revealed in Calling Me Home really helped me open my eyes to what it mean to be a minority during early American times.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Calling Me Home?

    Favorite: When Isabelle was tending to the rose bush outside her home and Robert showed up. My least favorite: When Isabelle's mother did the unthinkable. Ugh, that woman. Still gets me mad just thinking about what she did.


    What about Bahni Turpin and Lorna Raver ’s performance did you like?

    I loved the contrast of their voices in the audio book. Both readers read so well.


    Who was the most memorable character of Calling Me Home and why?

    Robert. Who doesn't want a man like Robert?


    Any additional comments?

    I was disappointed that Robert and Isabelle didn't get to spend but fragments of their lives together ... that Isabelle never knew Pearl existed.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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