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colleen

Carthage, NY, United States | Member Since 2010

ratings
52
REVIEWS
11
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
2

  • NW: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Zadie Smith
    • Narrated By Karen Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (125)

    Somewhere in Northwest London stands Caldwell housing estate, relic of 70s urban planning. Five identical blocks, deliberately named: Hobbes, Smith, Bentham, Locke, and Russell. If you grew up there, the plan was to get out and get on, to something bigger, better. Thirty years later ex-Caldwell kids Leah, Natalie, Felix, and Nathan have all made it out, with varying degrees of succes - whatever that means....

    BowedBookshelf says: "I believe this book is best listened to than read"
    "Not my favorite Zadie Smith, but not bad either"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does NW rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Kind of low on the list--White Teeth and On Beauty were so amazing, so I had high expectations.


    If you’ve listened to books by Zadie Smith before, how does this one compare?

    Not as listenable--maybe because it's more postmodern.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Karen Bryson?

    Yes


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

    No


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • We Are Water: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Wally Lamb
    • Narrated By Wally Lamb, George Guidall, Maggi-Meg Reed, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1071)
    Performance
    (976)
    Story
    (976)

    After 27 years of marriage and three children, Anna Oh - wife, mother, outsider artist - has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her success. They plan to wed in the Oh family’s hometown of Three Rivers in Connecticut. But the wedding provokes some very mixed reactions and opens a Pandora’s Box of toxic secrets - dark and painful truths that have festered below the surface of the Ohs' lives.

    Suzn F says: "Lamb writes Fine Literature/What a Book!"
    "Now I'm a Wally Lamb fan"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The characters are like real people and the story is pretty exciting.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of We Are Water?

    I don't want to put in any spoilers, so I can't say. There are plenty of intriguing surprises.


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

    Very good.


    If you could rename We Are Water, what would you call it?

    Three Rivers.


    Any additional comments?

    The character narrated by Wally Lamb himself is a little bit unimpeachable. His vulnerabilities should emerge sooner in the narrative--that's my only critique. I love all the other characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Life After Life: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Fenella Woolgar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1298)
    Performance
    (1153)
    Story
    (1161)

    On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

    Diane says: "Life after life after life after life after life.."
    "If you like Virginia Woolf . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Life After Life the most enjoyable?

    The tone of the story is so subtly emotional; it's beautiful in a way that is not sentimental or overwrought.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Life After Life?

    Several moments repeated, and the very idea of memory or of the way one small event can change the course of your life is in itself memorable. Particularly when Ursula avoids disaster and her life takes a better course, the story becomes more memorable.


    Which character – as performed by Fenella Woolgar – was your favorite?

    The awful Maurice was so well done, as was the heroine, Ursula.


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

    It's very thoughtful and lovely. It reminded me of Virginia Woolf for it's subtle power and existential questioning of individuality and interpersonal relationships, to put it in a way that robs it of its aesthetic wonder.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lit: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Mary Karr
    • Narrated By Mary Karr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (297)
    Performance
    (113)
    Story
    (115)

    Lit follows Mary Karr's descent into the inferno of alcoholism and madness - and her astonishing resurrection. Karr's longing for a solid family seems secure when her marriage to a handsome, Shakespeare-quoting poet produces a son they adore. But she can't outrun her apocalyptic past. She drinks herself into the same numbness that nearly devoured her charismatic but troubled mother, reaching the brink of suicide. A hair-raising stint in "The Mental Marriott" awakens her to the possibility of joy, and leads her to an unlikely faith.

    Kim says: "Finally! One for the "Win" column"
    "Poet tells great story . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Lit rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    mid-majors


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    her husband--she's very nice about it but he's obviously a tool


    Which scene was your favorite?

    first visit with the mother in law


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    sort of


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Half Empty

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By David Rakoff
    • Narrated By David Rakoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (448)
    Performance
    (302)
    Story
    (300)

    In this deeply funny (and, no kidding, wise and poignant) book, Rakoff examines the realities of our sunny, gosh­ everyone-can-be-a-star contemporary culture and finds that, pretty much as a universal rule, the best is not yet to come, adversity will triumph, justice will not be served, and your dreams won’t come true. The book ranges from the personal to the universal, combining stories from Rakoff’s reporting and accounts of his own experi­ences....

    Maeghan says: "Even better heard than read"
    "David Rakoff is a Genuis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Half Empty again? Why?

    Probably--it's a wittier version of Augustine Burroughs with no smut. But I like Burroughs--this is even better.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    David.


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

    A wonderful inflection of voice.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17964)
    Performance
    (8161)
    Story
    (8191)

    Lisbeth Salander—the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels—lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority.

    B.J. says: "Perfect."
    "Who wouldn't love this?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print, but it's such an amazing story what difference could it make?


    What other book might you compare The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest to and why?

    The other two in the Millenium trilogy--that's a dumb answer but they're hard to compare.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I listen for fun. The book is so descriptive and captivating I would say it's better to listen to it than see the film, especially the American version of the film. Great fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Touch

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Alexi Zentner
    • Narrated By Norman Dietz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    In Sawgamet, a north woods boomtown gone bust, the cold of winter breaks the glass of the schoolhouse thermometer, and the dangers of working in the cuts are overshadowed by the mysteries and magic lurking in the woods. Stephen, a pastor, is at home on the eve of his mother's funeral, 30 years after the mythic summer his grandfather returned to the town in search of his beloved but long-dead wife. And like his grandfather, Stephen is forced to confront the losses of his past.

    colleen says: "Enchanting"
    "Enchanting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Touch the most enjoyable?

    The magic, the setting, and the ever-so-real yet very unusual family of characters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The touch of magic realism in the Canadian back woods--this is something that hasn't been done before! And it's not as in-your-face magic and supernatural as Charlaine Harris, Twilight, and all the wanna-be authors. Dare I say it's as refreshing as the literary magician of our time--J.K. Rowling?


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I don't want to spoil it, but when they spared the dog during a long winter and found a better source of sustenance for their canine and themselves.


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

    Winter magic in the north woods.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • On Beauty

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Zadie Smith
    • Narrated By Peter Francis James
    Overall
    (537)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (123)

    Set on both sides of the Atlantic, Zadie Smith's third novel is a brilliant analysis of family life, the institution of marriage, intersections of the personal and political, and an honest look at people's deceptions. It is also, as you might expect, very funny indeed.

    Sarah says: "two thumbs up"
    "A Zadie Smith Must Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does On Beauty rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best. It's a provocative, witty, and really engaging story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters were terrific, and the intellectual questions in skirts are quite compelling. I am going to teach it in a college course because it's so thought-provoking and I want to discuss it extensively with a group.


    Which character – as performed by Peter Francis James – was your favorite?

    The main professor guy.


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

    What really matters?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Happy Accidents

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By Jane Lynch, Carol Burnett (foreword)
    • Narrated By Jane Lynch, Carol Burnett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (362)
    Performance
    (332)
    Story
    (333)

    In the summer of 1974, a 14-year-old girl in Dolton, Illinois, had a dream - a dream to become an actress. But it was a long way from the South Side of Chicago to Hollywood, and it didn’t help that she’d recently dropped out of the school play, The Ugly Duckling, or that the Hollywood casting directors she wrote to replied that "professional training was a requirement". But the funny thing is, it all came true....

    La Becket says: "I really wanted to love this"
    "I didn't even know I loved Jane Lynch!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Happy Accidents?

    Now I do love her. She's so honest--she used to be a bit of a jerk, now she's accepted herself and enjoying life's surprises. A rather smart bildungsroman. This is funny and authentic and makes you think about mistakes you have made, but also makes you think about accepting them and getting on with it.


    What other book might you compare Happy Accidents to and why?

    Maybe Rachel Dratch? Lynch is less performative and a bit less funny, but more down to earth in a fun way.


    Which character – as performed by Jane Lynch and Carol Burnett (foreword) – was your favorite?

    Jane. I might even watch Glee now. Definitely Best in Show.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes--it made a very long road trip relaxing and even reinvigorating.


    Any additional comments?

    I stole this when it was on sale--it's definitely worth a credit!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By William Davis
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (1829)
    Performance
    (1560)
    Story
    (1539)

    Since the introduction of dietary guidelines calling for reduced fat intake in the 1970s, a strange phenomenon has occurred: Americans have steadily, inexorably become heavier, less healthy, and more prone to diabetes than ever before. After putting more than two thousand of his at-risk patients on a wheat-free regimen and seeing extraordinary results, cardiologist William Davis has come to the disturbing conclusion that it is not fat, not sugar, not our sedentary lifestyle that is causing America’s obesity epidemic—it is wheat.

    Stacey says: "The program works, but the listen is technical"
    "Not bad for a diet-fad book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from William Davis and/or Tom Weiner?

    Probably not--I know everything I wanted to know about wheat and more.


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

    I would have liked to hear the recipes and dietary suggestions that are supposedly in a .pdf I can't find.


    What aspect of Tom Weiner’s performance would you have changed?

    A bit less clinical


    Was Wheat Belly worth the listening time?

    Definitely--I am drinking the kool-aid instead of eating the wheat.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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