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Diane

Louisville, KY, United States
  • 149
  • reviews
  • 1,012
  • helpful votes
  • 247
  • ratings
  • The Woman in the Window

  • A Novel
  • By: A. J. Finn
  • Narrated by: Ann Marie Lee
  • Length: 13 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11,431
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,525
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10,489

Anna Fox lives alone - a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times...and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn't, her world begins to crumble. And its shocking secrets are laid bare.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • An excruciating listen.

  • By Debra on 01-12-18

Hitchcock Updated

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-13-18

This is an entertaining psychological thriller with many references to classic film noir--both overtly and embedded within the story line. For fans of the genre it is sure to be a winner with many twists and head games to keep the reader guessing. Some of the twists seemed a bit over the top and I confess to having been frustrated at times with the obtuseness of the protagonist, but I still enjoyed the listen-held my interest until the end. A good beach book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Monsters of Templeton

  • By: Lauren Groff
  • Narrated by: Nicole Roberts
  • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 287
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 142
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 145

In the wake of a disastrous affair with her married archeology professor, brilliant Wilhelmina Cooper arrives back at the doorstep of her hippie mother-turned-born-again-Christian's house in Templeton, New York - a storybook town her ancestors founded on the shores of Lake Glimmerglass. Upon her arrival, a prehistoric monster surfaces in the lake, bringing a feeding frenzy to the quiet town. And Willie learns she has a mystery father her mother has kept secret for Willie's entire life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • SPOILER ALERT!!

  • By Dan's Gal Sal on 03-23-08

Multifarious Multidimensional Monsters

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-25-18

Having grown up not too far away from the Templeton of this novel (aka Cooperstown), I loved the setting and how Groff interweaves real history and legends with the fictions of her novel. It helps if you have read James Fenimore Cooper-or at least watched the movies-as his characters become real-life historical figures in this novel.

The monster of Glimmerglass Lake is a real legend but perhaps not nearly so monstrous as might be imagined. And there are other monsters as well-those of the human variety- but they are each complex in their own way. I agree with those who characterize this book as American magical realism.

The PDF which accompanies the book is really quite good but don't look at it until you have finished since it will give away the ending. In the meantime, don't get too caught up with the various lineages and just enjoy this quirky, sometimes mystical tale of a young woman trying to figure out who she is and what her connection is to the land that brought her forth.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Liar

  • By: K. L. Slater
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,990
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,535
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,517

How far would you go to protect your family? Single dad Ben is doing his best to raise his children, with the help of his devoted mother, Judi. And then Ben meets Amber. Everyone thinks this is a perfect match for Ben, but Judi isn't so sure.... There's just something about Amber that doesn't add up. Ben can't see why his mother dislikes his new girlfriend. And Amber doesn't want Judi anywhere near her new family. Amber just wants Ben and the children.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved It!

  • By TC on 07-03-17

Family Friction

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-24-18

Very well-executed psychological thriller revolving around the growing tension between the 2 main female characters. If you're paying attention you'll have your suspicions but the ending still comes as a bit of a shock. Not a good model for healthy mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relations LOL

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Before We Were Yours

  • A Novel
  • By: Lisa Wingate
  • Narrated by: Emily Rankin, Catherine Taber
  • Length: 14 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,847
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 28,119
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,007

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge - until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents - but they quickly realize the dark truth.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I was rivetted, finished in three days.

  • By Lin Cloward on 06-26-17

Children for Sale

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-24-18

The true story of Georgia Tann is a ghastly, if complex, one that continues to shape the world of adoptions, for better or worse, to this very day.This book does well in making that story more widely known. I just wish that this novel did a better job of reflecting the complexity of its subject. The characters are all pretty two-dimensional and the plot is more than a bit predictable with only one slim twist that would is easy to figure out if you thought about it for a minute. If you like books where the story line is straightforward and where you won't have any trouble telling the good guys from the bad, this is a good one for you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • House of Echoes

  • A Novel
  • By: Brendan Duffy
  • Narrated by: Allyson Ryan, George Newbern
  • Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 79
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 72

Ben and Caroline Tierney and their two young boys are hoping to start over. Ben has hit a dead end with his new novel, Caroline has lost her banking job, and eight-year-old Charlie is being bullied at his Manhattan school.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Scary Horror, Remarkable Characters

  • By Wasie on 07-03-15

Echo Chamber

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-12-17

Having grown up in upstate New York, I can personally attest to the weirdness that permeates much of its history and still lingers there to this day--something that I realize afresh every time I visit. I don't know the author's personal background, but I suspect it is similar to mine since the premise of this book links a very dark episode in the history of an isolated small upstate town to the oddness of its current inhabitants. (Having also lived in NYC for a number of years, I did have to chuckle at his implication that NYC is the place in NY where the "normal" people live.)

It is a good effort even though a bit contrived--at times seeming to be an awkward combination of the styles of Michael Connelly and Joyce Carol Oates. Hope he will continue to explore topics along the same lines and further develop the psychological and historical aspects. Personally, I would also like it if he did not shy away from specifics in locating his fictional town--there is much real history in upstate NY that would only add to the atmosphere of his story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Alias Grace

  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Margaret Atwood, Sarah Gadon
  • Length: 15 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,261
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,149
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,145

It's 1843, and Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer and his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders. An up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Read the book after watching the series.

  • By Sheri Martin on 12-30-17

Mixed Feelings

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-12-17

I wish I had known before listening that this novel was inspired by true events--something the author makes clear in her afterward. It would have made listening to long stretches where not too much happens more intriguing--as Atwood tries to imagine what might have gone into the making of the horrific double murder with which Grace is charged and of which she claimed to have no recollection.

Grace appears to be a very prim woman, seemingly incapable of participating in such an atrocity--so much so that a variety of evangelists and spiritualists lobby tirelessly for her pardon. The novel revolves around the efforts of a young doctor seeking to make a name for himself in the newly developing field of psychology to get to the bottom of her story.

As I mentioned, the book is slow at times but does have its moments of high tension--I confess that it is one of those that I like better in retrospect than when I was actually listening to it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Beside Myself

  • By: Ann Morgan
  • Narrated by: Lisa Coleman
  • Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,082
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 984
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 984

Six-year-old Helen and Ellie are identical twins, but Helen is smarter, more popular, and their mother's favorite. Ellie, on the other hand, requires special instruction at school, is friendless, and is punished at every turn. Until they decide to swap places - just for fun, and just for one day - and Ellie refuses to switch back. Everything of Helen's, from her toys to her friends to her identity, now belongs to her sister.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A brilliantly written but painful story.

  • By Deborah on 05-04-16

Seeing Double

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-30-17

Stories of look-alikes trading places have been around for a very long time and rightly so. When well told, they offer a glimpse of what it might be like to inhabit the life of another--something which I think most of us have contemplated, at least at some level. Sadly, this is not such a well told tale. We are expected to accept that two very young twin girls--one of whom is bright, outgoing and domineering, and the other who is shy, awkward and perhaps a bit slow due to a complication during birth--could decide to switch places as a prank one afternoon, only to be forever stuck with their switched identities. This despite the "bright" girl's almost immediate attempts to rectify the confusion. I listened to about 1/2 the book hoping that it might delve a bit deeper into questions of identity and how others' perceptions of us mold the person we become, but it just didn't get any better. Returning it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Whole Art of Detection

  • Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes
  • By: Lyndsay Faye
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,070
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 974
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 973

Internationally best-selling author Lyndsay Faye became enamored with tales of Sherlock Holmes and his esteemed biographer, Dr. John Watson, as a child and later began spinning these quintessential characters into her own works of fiction - from her acclaimed debut novel, Dust and Shadow, which pitted the famous detective against Jack the Ripper, to a series of short stories for the Strand Magazine, whose predecessor published the very first Sherlock Holmes short story in 1891.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Yay! More Sherlock!

  • By KadySiga on 03-13-17

Sherlock Revisited

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-08-17

While none of the stories in this collection quite live up to the standard of the best of the original Sherlock Holmes, the author does a fine job in capturing the style and feel of the original. A number of the stories are amiable, if prosaic, explorations of the character and history of both Sherlock and Dr. Watson. Don’t be put off by the first few stories which are just a bit boring, there is better to come. Simon Vance, as always, is excellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lincoln in the Bardo

  • A Novel
  • By: George Saunders
  • Narrated by: Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,926
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,564
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,537

The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented. February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln's beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • George Saunders answer to Dante's Inferno

  • By Betty Vance on 10-02-17

Tour de Force

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-06-17

Every now and then a work of art, be it a piece of music, visual art, a poem or literature, will take my breath away because of its originality, insight, beauty and sheer genius. Lincoln in the Bardo is just such a work. Often, it seems, when a book is labeled original or creative, it is code for incomprehensible. Happily, that is not the case here—Saunders’ original approach only makes his characters more accessible, conveying their thoughts and feelings in a way that is deeply affecting.

Interweaving history, spirituality, fiction and biography, the book revovles around the illness and death of Lincoln’s son, Willie, as told from both sides of the grave. I confess that this episode from history especially touches me as I can recall reading a biography of Lincoln as a 10-year-old and bursting into shocked tears when Willie died. The book captures Lincoln’s profound grief at the death of his favorite son and yet also contains many moments of humor and insight into the human condition.


The full-cast narration wonderfully enhances the book’s content and even the inclusion of footnotes, while a little distracting at first, is done very well—a real challenge in an audiobook. It is very rare that I give a book 5 stars all the way around, but this one is fully deserving of the highest ranking. Highly recommended!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Woman in Black

  • By: Susan Hill
  • Narrated by: Paul Ansdell
  • Length: 4 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,885
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,701
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,701

Eel Marsh house stands alone, surveying the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway. Once, Mrs Alice Drablow lived here as a recluse. Now, Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor with a London firm, is summoned to attend her funeral, unaware of the tragic and terrible secrets which lie behind the house's shuttered windows.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Classic Gothic Ghost Tale

  • By Mel on 01-25-12

Spooked

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-22-17

I did not have high expectations for this novella, having watched portions of the movie starring Daniel Radcliffe which was over the top with gruesome horror and jump out of your skin moments. The book, on the other hand, is much more subtle, to chilling effect— giving me goosebumps on more than one occasion. I loved the Gothic style and creeping horror that slowly envelopes the main character. Narration is pitch perfect. A wonderful, creepy Halloween treat!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful