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janis

OCALA, FL, United States
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 7
  • ratings
  • Unbroken

  • A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
  • By: Laura Hillenbrand
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 14 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,756
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 30,710
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 30,780

Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.... 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Indescribable

  • By Janice on 12-01-10

Put This One on Your Bucket List!

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

Reviewed: 03-11-13

Where does Unbroken rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Probably the best book I've ever listened to (loved Seabiscuit as well).

What other book might you compare Unbroken to and why?

The information presented on the Japanese POW camps was riveting. Honestly, I've never had an author tell a story so well and give a history lesson at the same time.

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

Listening to a book with a good reader allows me to focus in a way that is superior to my reading the book.

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

I cannot believe what our soldiers went through and how any of them came back undamaged. It certainly didn't make me laugh.

Any additional comments?

Powerful book!

  • Water for Elephants

  • By: Sara Gruen
  • Narrated by: David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,548
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,442
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,520

Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Blah...

  • By ~Beloved~ on 02-20-14

Gripping!

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

Reviewed: 03-11-13

What made the experience of listening to Water for Elephants the most enjoyable?

Loved the back and forth between the character as a naive young man and as a wise older man.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I thought the book gave us an insight into the depression years and a side of humanity (or inhumanity) that most of us are not exposed to...My favorite character, of course was Jacob.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The book begins with the ending. It takes the listener through the ups and downs of being part of a traveling circus to get us back to where we began.

Any additional comments?

Terrific story. Loved every bit of it.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Destiny of the Republic

  • A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President
  • By: Candice Millard
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,072
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,636
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,629

James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Marvelous, Magnificent, Millard

  • By Mel on 02-08-12

Terrific review of a relatively unknown president

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

Reviewed: 03-11-13

Would you consider the audio edition of Destiny of the Republic to be better than the print version?

I almost always prefer to listen to a book when the reader performs well.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved learning about the times, especially the medical foibles.

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

No extreme reaction, just a new found respect for Garfield.

Any additional comments?

The characters were very well developed, especially Garfield's assassin.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had

  • My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High
  • By: Tony Danza
  • Narrated by: Tony Danza
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 983
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 890
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 888

Long before he starred on some of television’s most beloved and long-running series such as Taxi and Who’s the Boss? and went on to distinguish himself in a variety of film and stage roles, Tony Danza was a walking contradiction: an indifferent student who dreamed of being a teacher. Inspiring a classroom of students was an aspiration he put aside for decades until one day it seemed that the most meaningful thing he could do was give his dream a shot. What followed was a year spent teaching 10th-grade English at Northeast High - Philadelphia’s largest high school with 3,600 students....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I may be a little biased, but ....

  • By Sibine on 04-13-13

A must for every teacher to read!

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

Reviewed: 03-11-13

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. Tony captures the difficulties of being a first year teacher and the challenges of working with 'at risk' students with honesty and compassion. I loved his sense of humor.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tony, of course.

What about Tony Danza’s performance did you like?

I loved Tony's reading of his own book. I felt like I was having a conversation with him.

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

It made me laugh and cry.

Any additional comments?

Fantastic book. One of my absolute favorites.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Killing Carla

  • A Novel of Suspense
  • By: Billie Sue Mosiman
  • Narrated by: Marshall J. Bean
  • Length: 6 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 22

He came out of nowhere and murdered Sully's wife, Frannie. Due to police negligence, the case was thrown out of court, and the killer never prosecuted. Sully wants revenge. Yet it's Carla, Frannie's sister, who means to right the wrong and make sure this killer doesn't get away with it. Now Carla is in the killer's spotlight and he's watching her, he's studying her, he's thinking about Killing Carla....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a Ride!

  • By Franklin E. Wales on 10-06-12

Average, Nothing Special

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

Reviewed: 03-11-13

Would you try another book from Billie Sue Mosiman and/or Marshall J. Bean?

Possibly, though doubtful.

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

It didn't really surprise me.

Did Marshall J. Bean do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes, I suppose the characters were developed well enough for the reader, but I kept thinking, 'how stupid' when Carla made choices that no reasonable human being would make.

Do you think Killing Carla needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. Carla needs therapy.

  • Play Dead

  • By: David Rosenfelt
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,770
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,003
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 991

Few can rival attorney Andy Carpenter's affection for golden retrievers, especially his own beloved Tara. After he astonishes a New Jersey courtroom by successfully appealing another golden's death sentence, Andy discovers that this gentle dog is a key witness to a murder that took place five years before. Andy pushes the boundaries of the law even further as he struggles to free an innocent man by convincing an incredulous jury to take canine testimony seriously. It will take all the tricks Andy's fertile mind can conceive to get to the bottom of a remarkable chain of impersonations and murder, and to save a dog's life - and his own - in the process.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant, Funny, a GREAT READ

  • By JD on 11-05-08

Wow!

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

Reviewed: 03-11-13

What did you love best about Play Dead?

I loved the author's sense of humor.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

I couldn't wait to see what came next.

Which scene was your favorite?

The courtroom scenes were hilarious.

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

It made me laugh, again and again.

Any additional comments?

I am ordering all of David Rosenfelt's books.

  • Dare to Die

  • By: Carolyn Hart
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33

Annie and Max Darling are completely unprepared when the arrival of a mysterious young woman shocks their sea island and stirs up more than just gossip.It turns out that Iris, the beautiful stranger, is a former resident of Broward's Rock. Her arrival throws the normally happy town into a downward spiral that pits neighbor against neighbor.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • another great story

  • By Eric L Aust on 01-18-17

Not Impressed!

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

Reviewed: 03-11-13

What would have made Dare to Die better?

Too chatty, too many extraneous characters...

Would you ever listen to anything by Carolyn Hart again?

No

What didn’t you like about Kate Reading’s performance?

I thought she did a poor job. The voices, other than the main character, were annoying.

What character would you cut from Dare to Die?

Too many to list. The author had a plethora of characters, none fully developed.

Any additional comments?

Enjoyed nothing about the book--only continued listening because it was this month's choice for our Mystery Book Club. Yuk!