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i. Ski

Duluth, Minnesota | Member Since 2005

126
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 47 reviews
  • 269 ratings
  • 1014 titles in library
  • 48 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
6

  • Jane Eyre

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Charlotte Brontë
    • Narrated By Emma Messenger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (180)
    Performance
    (167)
    Story
    (167)

    Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences of eponymous Jane Eyre, her growth to adulthood, and her love for Mr. Rochester, the byronic master of Thornfield Hall. The novel contains elements of social criticism, with a strong sense of morality at its core, but is nonetheless a novel many consider ahead of its time given the individualistic character of Jane and the novel's exploration of sexuality, religion, and proto-feminism.

    sam says: "emma messenger makes it all new again"
    "Take time to listen to a classic, well done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Many of us are likely to have read Jane Eyre when we were too young to understand the characters in the context of their era and mores. It was wonderful to listen to Charlotte Bronte's story again, part autobiography and part invention. Having recently read other books by the Bronte sisters and knowing their personal stories, Jane Eyre was especially worthwhile. Of course, the ending is unbelievably sappy for our times, but I imagine how it impacted readers of Bronte's time (1847). Some of the messages are difficult, for instance, the treatment of mentally ill people by confinement, or the impact that strict religious beliefs had on the "humane" treatment of orphans, or the emphasis on class distinctions to the exclusion of true character.

    Almost 22 hours makes this a long listen, but well worth the effort. Emma Messenger was a fine narrator.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4200)
    Performance
    (3875)
    Story
    (3874)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "Disappointing in so many wayas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) wrote an interesting first novel, The Cuckoo's Calling. Based on enjoying that and having familiarity with Rowling's story telling, I pre-ordered this book. What a mistake! This book is a slog. There is no plot, unless you are able to follow convoluted literary references and a group of ding-bat writers, publishers and agents who just can't seem to get it together. Sadly Galbraith/Rowlings couldn't either. Robert Glenister seems as confused by the plot as I was...his voices are harsh, unrelenting, and not at all a pleasure for the ear.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Yellow Star

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Jennifer Roy
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (211)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (191)

    In 1939, the Germans invaded the town of Lodz, Poland, and moved the Jewish population into a small part of the city called a ghetto. As the war progressed, 270,000 people were forced to settle in the ghetto under impossible conditions. At the end of the war, there were about 800 survivors. Of those who survived, only twelve were children. This is the story of one of the twelve.

    Amazon Customer says: "Amazing! Truly touching"
    "A young adult biography worthy for adults"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As Holocaust survivors age and die, we need records of experiences to remind us how hatred can transform societies. Lodz, Poland will never be the same nor will countless other European communities where Jews and other hated people were transported to death or made to work as subhumans. This book is the story of one of only 12 children who survived the ghetto in Lodz as well as a story of her family members, who were part of the 800 people (out of a quarter of a million) who also survived.

    For those of you who say you are "tired" of these books, I say: we need to remember so we can avoid the complacency that led to our country not believing what was happening to fellow human beings during World War II. Coping with systematic atrocities created heroes among those in the ghettos and camps. Yellow Star is an example of a family's strengths as well as luck in surviving. It is a well told, important story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Shady Palms

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Allen Dusk
    • Narrated By Rose Caraway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (387)
    Performance
    (345)
    Story
    (347)

    A sleazy motel, burrowed on the edge of town, is haunted by rumors of dead hookers found between mattresses and peep holes drilled through walls. When Special Agent Daniels targets the motel during an investigation, the nefarious owner, Sanjay, must scramble to conceal evidence of his own dark deeds. Just when he believes things can't get any worse, motel guests begin to vanish without a trace.

    John Grigas says: "Not for the timid - delicious graphic content!"
    "Sci-fi meets pornography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Imagine irradiated bedbugs morphing into man-eating monsters. Then imagine that a motel hosts a pornographic on-line service. Then think about women who are on work-release from prison cleaning rooms in said motel. That's all folks. This is the worst book I have ever listened to.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Anne Brontë
    • Narrated By Mary Sarah Agliotta
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (74)

    Probably the most shocking of the Brontës' novels, this novel had an instant and phenomenal success and is widely considered to be one of the first sustained feminist novels. A mysterious widow, Mrs. Helen Graham, arrives at Wildfell Hall, a nearby old mansion. A source of curiosity for the small community, the reticent Helen and her young son Arthur are slowly drawn into the social circles of the village.

    i. Ski says: "A good story ruined by the narrator"
    "A good story ruined by the narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narration of this classic made the entire experience PAINFUL. Although capable of reading, the narrator was not capable of dialogue -- something experienced Audible listeners have come to rely upon. So what happens is this: is it a man? is it a woman? which character is it, pray tell? Only those who have read the book in the past and are familiar with the plot line are able to tell.

    I hope Audible will avoid these disasters -- I am wondering how it was selected.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9444)
    Performance
    (8506)
    Story
    (8514)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "JOHN GRISHAM IS BAAACK!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My prayers have been answered. One of the best legal thriller writers has found his groove! Grisham spent 10 years drifting around the writing landscape and now has a great legal GPS. The story revisits one of his stellar characters and legal teams, telling a tale of holographic wills (didn't know what the term was, but they are handwritten wills -- legal in some states), greedy relatives (we all have those), personal secrets, and bad acts of predecessors. The quirky characters are back and legal tensions are writ through the entire tale. Bravo!

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Just One Evil Act: A Lynley Novel, Book 18

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Elizabeth George
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (379)
    Performance
    (331)
    Story
    (329)

    Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers is at a loss: The daughter of her friend Taymullah Azhar has been taken by her mother, and Barbara can't really help - Azhar had never married Angelina, and his name isn't on Hadiyyah's, their daughter's, birth certificate. He has no legal claim. Azhar and Barbara hire a private detective, but the trail goes cold. Azhar is just beginning to accept his soul-crushing loss when Angelina reappears with shocking news: Hadiyyah is missing, kidnapped from an Italian marketplace.

    Ruth Nielsen says: "Not a Fan Anymore!"
    "Is the plot the "Evil Act"?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a fan of Elizabeth George, but the telling of this particular mystery is convoluted and self-conscious. It makes me want to ask the author to reread some of her earlier mysteries. I suspect there will be a follow-up to this involving spiriting her Pakistani friends out of danger in some foreign land, but I hope not. That boat has sailed, and did so a few books ago. I found myself saying aloud: "How can Barbara Havers and Thomas Lynley be so stupid and still have 'jobs'?" At least Lynley is getting over the death of his wife (a few books ago), but a roller-derby veterinarian? Really?

    Davina Porter is a wonderful reader. She saves this book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Cloud Atlas

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Cassandra Campbell, Kim Mai Guest, and others
    Overall
    (3379)
    Performance
    (2558)
    Story
    (2569)

    A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation: the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history.

    Elizabeth says: "thoroughly enjoyed"
    "Awful...enough said"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Disjointed, dull, and just plain awful. Don't waste a credit or time with this dog.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Case of Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Adam Mitzner
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1614)
    Performance
    (1392)
    Story
    (1405)

    A high-profile attorney in the middle of a leave of absence following a personal tragedy is drawn back into the legal arena amidst a media firestorm when he agrees to represent a popular rap artist accused of brutally murdering his pop star girlfriend. With its powerful voice, pause-resisting tension, and strong cast of characters, Adam Mitzner’s novels are reminiscent of such best-selling authors as Scott Turow and John Grisham.

    cristina says: "Excellent"
    "Predictable good lawyer vs. bad lawyer story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is well read, but not well written. It was predictable from the early chapters, without subtleties in characters or plot. I was tempted not to finish this, except I had predicted who was "good" and who was ultimately "bad," and wanted to confirm my assumptions. A frustrating listen at times, focused on pubic hairs left on bedding, an incompetent jurist, and a missing baseball bat!
    One sometimes wonders how a protagonist can be so dumb, when the reader is screaming:
    "It's your girlfriend, idiot!"

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Keeper

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    Overall
    (3272)
    Performance
    (2810)
    Story
    (2832)

    England, 1959: Laurel Nicolson is 16 years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime.

    Maria says: "Kate Morton (and Caroline Lee) does it again!"
    "We all have secrets, could another discover them?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a fan of Kate Morton. This book is a story of a mother, with a secret to hold, that impacts generations of her family. I would like to reveal the secret, but that wouldn't be fair, and would ruin a major twist in the plot. However, I will say there is a murder, WWII bombing, class-warfare, childhood beliefs about causing deaths, and those things that we would just as soon not know but discover inadvertently. It is also a story of letting go of a parent -- first through the loss of intellectual faculties and then through actual death.

    As expected from Morton, the descriptions of characters, places, and experiences is wonderful.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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