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judy wiley

Philadelphia, PA, US | Member Since 2008

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 439 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2014
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  • The Solitary Envoy: The Heirs of Acadia, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By T. Davis Bunn, Isabella Bunn
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (37)

    Best-selling inspirational author T. Davis Bunn is well known for his collaboration with Janette Oke on the Christy Award-winning Song of Acadia series. Coauthored with his wife Isabella, The Solitary Envoy begins the glorious Heirs of Acadia series of historical novels set in the early days of the American Republic. Erica Langston's comfortable life in Georgetown is threatened when the British invade. Soon she must begin a journey that will change her life forever.

    W.Denis says: "Better read than listened to"
    "Christian propaganda"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Solitary Envoy better?

    Better writing and better narration.
    I suspected this was a sappy piece of work by the narration, but thought the historic content would compensate for the poor skill of the narrator. As I listened further it degenerated into total religious rubbish, so much so that I stopped listening altogether. I chose the book in haste before a long road trip, so it was a great disappointment. Fortunately, I had Faulkner's "Light in August" saved on my device. That is a book that I could listen to over and over again!


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Nothing called "inspirational".


    How could the performance have been better?

    A narrator would make the heroine, Erica, sound like a the strongly independent character (as she was written) instead of a simpering, whiny mama's girl.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Solitary Envoy?

    All of it.


    Any additional comments?

    A very regrettable choice.

    3 of 6 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
    (1196)
    Performance
    (1084)
    Story
    (1086)

    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!"
    "Wally's Waterloo!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I read reviews on Amazon to support the opinion I had about the triteness of this novel and not surprisingly found reviewers who liked it. So they enjoyed it far more than I.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Twelve Years a Slave


    How could the performance have been better?

    Wally Lamb should not read his or anyone's audio books. His voice was too weak and he isn't an actor.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I was listening to it rather than reading it; so I could come to the end in relatively short time and exercise while I listened.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved Wally Lamb's first 3 novels, especially "I Know This Much is True". So this book was a big disappointment!!! The only thing I liked about it was the prologue read by my favorite narrator of all times, George Guidall! In my long reading history, there have been only 3 books that I could not finish. This came close. The characters were completely irrational. The dialogue whether out loud or in their heads was sappy, trite, and sappier and triter than have ever read. I virtually gagged on much of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Intuition

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Allegra Goodman
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Sandy Glass, a charismatic publicity-seeking oncologist, and Marion Mendelssohn, a pure, exacting scientist, are codirectors of a lab at the Philpott Institute dedicated to cancer research and desperately in need of a grant. Both mentors and supervisors of their young postdoctoral proteges, Glass and Mendelssohn demand dedication and obedience in a competitive environment where funding is scarce and results elusive.

    Baby says: "Disappointing"
    "Unrealistic depiction of labs and scientists"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A more realistic depiction of the true nature of scientific investigations and creating truly believable characters!


    Has Intuition turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Other books by Allegra Goodman.


    Which character – as performed by Kathe Mazur – was your favorite?

    She did them all well, though Kate was probably my favorite.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Intuition?

    All of them.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Portrait of a Lady

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Henry James
    • Narrated By Marvin Kane
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    The novel tells the story of beautiful, intelligent, and headstrong Isabel Archer, as she leaves her native America and embarks on a journey of self discovery in Europe. Published as a book in 1881, it explores his familiar themes including the conflict between American individualism and European social custom and the situation of Americans in Europe. It also treats in a profound way the themes of personal freedom, responsibility, betrayal, and sexuality.

    judy wiley says: "The worst listen in over 280 audio books!"
    "The worst listen in over 280 audio books!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Portrait of a Lady?

    The production. The story was good - better than expected in that the lovers actually do consummate their romance and marry even if unhappily. But the narration and the production was not worthy of Henry James. There were long pauses and many errors in the reading. There was no enthusiasm in the reading and no attempt to get in character.


    What other book might you compare The Portrait of a Lady to and why?

    Dickens, Jane Austen etc.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Marvin Kane’s performances?

    Never!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Middlesex

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Kristoffer Tabori
    Overall
    (6199)
    Performance
    (2360)
    Story
    (2386)

    In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

    Christopher Allen walker says: "Great Pulitzer Winning novel!"
    "One of the best listens ever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Middlesex?

    What did I not love about Middlesex? It was great! I loved the writing, the narration and the production!!!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Character development and the cultural and historical setting. And the genetic info.


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

    He is one of the best narrators of all times. His accents and dialects were perfect! He read with a love of the writing and the characters!!!


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

    Born twice, first as Callie and then at 14 as Cal.


    Any additional comments?

    I've been listening to audio books nearly 10 years now and have listen to over 280 books. This is way up there, if not right on top!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (39 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (297)
    Performance
    (265)
    Story
    (266)

    No Ordinary Time describes how the isolationist and divided United States of 1940 was unified under the extraordinary leadership of Franklin Roosevelt to become the preeminent economic and military power in the world.

    BB says: "A rich and entertaining history"
    "Great content but narration and production weak."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about No Ordinary Time? What did you like least?

    The combination of biography and history. I learned a lot. It is very well written. Least was the narration and the 20 second pauses between sections of chapters. There was less pausing b/w chapters.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Not applicable.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Nelson Runger’s performances?

    No


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

    Absolutely


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Scarlet Letter

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Nathaniel Hawthorne
    • Narrated By Charles Minx
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is considered to be one of the greatest examples of true American literature. Its excellency of topic, characterization, and description has made it a permanent part of our history. Set in Salem, Massachusetts in the 1600s, it describes the life of Hester Prynne, a Puritan woman whose existence is marred by sin. The real genius of the book is found in its description.

    judy wiley says: "Narration is awful!"
    "Narration is awful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The narration needed to be done by a more skilled actor with a much younger voice. Mr. Minx' voice was far too old sounding and he did not do the female parts at all well. The minister himself was a young man, but did not sound at all young.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Scarlet Letter?

    The minister's blatant hypocrisy and calling out for the man who impregnated Hester while she stood on platform with babe in arms to take all the blame herself. Even though it had not been revealed that he was the father of the child, I suspected it and hated him for his not admitting it then and there.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Greatly!


    What character would you cut from The Scarlet Letter?

    none


    Any additional comments?

    Please provide at least one other production of The Scarlet Letter for your listeners to choose from.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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