LISTENER

Audrey J T

MATTAWAN, MI, US
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 38
  • ratings
  • Love as Always, Mum xxx

  • By: Mae West, Neil McKay
  • Narrated by: Julia Barrie
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44

The true story of an abused childhood, of shocking brutality and life as the daughter of notorious serial killer and master manipulator Rose West. You're 21 years old. Police arrive on the doorstep of your house, 25 Cromwell Street, with a warrant to search the garden for the remains of your older sister you didn't know was dead. Bones are found, and they are from more than one body. And so the nightmare begins. You are the daughter of Fred and Rose West.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing

  • By Anonymous User on 10-31-18

Whoa.

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

Reviewed: 10-05-18

It's pretty horrible to admit that one of the first things I thought before reading this book was what kind of people could these children have possibly become, being products of both the nature and nurture of Fred and Rose West? Mae West answered that question for me with such self-awareness and grace, a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit and the ability of very victimized people to embody tremendous beauty. Mae's account makes no excuses whatsoever for the actions of her parents, and she dives into the grittiest material, bravely facing all of it: the trajectory of her parents' lives and their truly appalling actions, her own relationship with her parents, her siblings, her daughter, herself. West is remarkably reflective. If you like true crime stories, you will enjoy this, but the book embodies much more than your typical crime ctory ever could. I read a lot of books and don't remember most of them, but I think I will always remember this book, and that is really saying something. Just...WHOA.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Tragedy Plus Time

  • By: Adam Cayton-Holland
  • Narrated by: Adam Cayton-Holland
  • Length: 5 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135

Adam Cayton-Holland went from a painfully sensitive kid growing up in Denver, Colorado, to a writer and performer with a burgeoning career in comedy. His father, a civil rights lawyer, and his mother, an investigative journalist, taught Adam and his two sisters to feel the pain of the world deeply and to combat it through any means necessary. Adam chose to meet life’s tough breaks and cruel realities with stand-up comedy; his older sister chose law; their youngest sister, Lydia, struggled with mental illness and ultimately took her own life. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Powerful.... Just WOW!

  • By Amazon Customer on 08-22-18

Honest and Heartbreaking; not for the suicidal.

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

Reviewed: 09-14-18

I found this book both good and bad; good for anyone seeking to understand suicide’s impact on families, good for family members or friends of the deceased, bad for those of us who are regularly suicidal.

I decided to listen to the book after hearing Adam on Marc Maron’s podcast, and I’m not sure if I’m glad I did or not. I realized pretty quickly upon listening that I had met Lydia once. We went to CC at the same time, overlapping slightly. She worked for the same small student newspaper the year after I had nearly brought the whole publication down with an epically poor decision. And Lydia and I had other things in common: we both had a psychotic breakdown in our twenties; we both empathized with roadkill, loved animals, enjoyed dark humor and morose topics, and embraced suffering a little too much (I’m still alive, and unfortunately still do all of these things); we both floated aimlessly after earning an expensive degree from an exclusive private college. And although Adam does not say so directly for whatever reason, we both suffered with bipolar (Adam’s descriptions of Lydia’s mania and depression seem to fit a bipolar diagnosis very well). The surprise that I had seen this bright and beautiful girl around campus, and the familiar knowing of her psychological torment sent me reeling.

What I liked about this book was Adam’s captivating storytelling ability and his earnest retelling of his feelings surrounding Lydia’s life and death. His openness brought me to tears many times. His struggle to metabolize his sister’s death and find its appropriate place in his own life broke my heart. His conclusions in his own process are understandable and evoke incredible empathy.

What I didn’t like about this book was that the very same conclusions have the ability to speak some lies to tormented minds. Why should I hang on in this life if I could be as free as a bird, knowing and free, in the next? Why should I hang on if it is destiny that I should fail? Why should I see a psychiatrist if all they can do is toss a bunch of drugs at me and see what works? It creates a problematic runaround for those of us with mental illness.

As someone deeply acquainted with psychological torment, emotional anguish, and physical pain, I would like to suggest that, rather than Lydia NEEDING to do it, that she FELT she needed to do it in that moment. Rather than viewing Lydia’s life as the path of a strange and beautiful child ending in a tragically poetic way, the reality may have been that a unique and beautiful woman simply tapped out, a prize fighter forced to fight for hours on end, doped up with sleeping pills. A quick and poor decision by an otherwise often erudite woman. It is also okay to appreciate the bright star this girl was, and still accept that, as I have discovered, finding the right drug combination can allow us to experience more good moments than bad, can quiet--at least a little bit--the manic noisiness banging around in our minds, can allow us to keep relationships without destroying them, can keep us f*cking alive in the end.

The main reason that I am writing this review, and the reason I hope the author actually reads it, is that his future children and his sister’s children may encounter mental illness, and his framing of this traumatic event in his life will likely shape the way they come to understand their own mental health. Psychiatrists are mostly useless, but mood stabilizers can be LITERAL lifesavers. ;) We bipolar people are often infuriating and require much patience, but we’re not destined to die by our own hand, even if we are destined to wrestle with the idea forever.

Thank you, Adam, for an impactful story I think I’ll always remember. Few writers have the bravery to examine their hearts to such a degree. It was memorable any way you slice it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Polaroid Guy in a Snapchat World

  • By: David Spade
  • Narrated by: David Spade
  • Length: 6 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,353
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,044
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,027

Written and performed for the Audible experience, Spade’s new comic memoir takes listeners along for the sometimes embarrassing and always hilarious ride of getting older in our fleeting “Snapchat World”. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Much better than the first one!

  • By Ashley on 08-12-18

Was hoping to be surprised; wasn't

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

Reviewed: 08-20-18

David Spade is the guy everybody loves to hate, so I was looking for a reflective look into the actor's life. Instead, I listened to hours and hours of David's meanderings on meaningless topics and flimsy stories- I'm quite sure his life has had many more memorable moments, but the listener doesn't get to hear them. I was really disappointed. This book may be especially annoying to women. The often-revisited topic of David's small penis makes him no more appealing (this is not the type of self depreciating humor that listeners are looking for), and David's long story about his flacid penis exposes his self centeredness (if you can't get it up, maybe focus on HER). Long descriptions of pornography scenes show up for seemingly no reason, and we get David's opinion about men's view of breast reductions as though that's important. As an older man and father, I was expecting more mature reflections that placed David as the main actor in his own story with real relationships.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • How to American

  • An Immigrant's Guide to Disappointing Your Parents
  • By: Jimmy O. Yang, Mike Judge - foreword
  • Narrated by: Jimmy O. Yang
  • Length: 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,585
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,464
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,454

Jimmy O. Yang is a stand-up comedian, film and TV actor and fan favorite as the character Jian Yang from the popular HBO series Silicon Valley. In How to American, he shares his story of growing up as a Chinese immigrant who pursued a Hollywood career against the wishes of his parents: Yang arrived in Los Angeles from Hong Kong at age 13, learned English by watching BET's Rap City for three hours a day, and worked as a strip club DJ while pursuing his comedy career.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Had to pull over I was laughing so hard

  • By Amazon Customer on 03-23-18

relatable and hilarious

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

Reviewed: 08-17-18

I am not an immigrant, an actor, nor a comedian, not even a watcher of Silicon Valley, but I found Jimmy O. Yang's book to be extremely funny and relatable. After hearing Jimmy on the Marc Maron podcast, I thought his book would probably be entertaining. It exceeded my expectations. I listened to it all in one long work day, and it was a great day with lots of out loud laughs. Thanks so much for sharing your story, Jimmy. I will be sure to look for the next one.

  • Sybil Exposed

  • The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case
  • By: Debbie Nathan
  • Narrated by: Marguerite Gavin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 109
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 95

Journalist Debbie Nathan reveals the true story behind the famous case of Sybil, the woman with sixteen different personalities.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Was it all a hoax? We’ll never know.

  • By Simone on 08-02-14

Fascinating and educational

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

Reviewed: 08-23-17

Very interesting book with solid research. Readers who questioned "so was it all a hoax?" after listening have missed the incredible depth and nuance of the story. I learned a lot about multiple personality disorder and gained a greater understanding of the mental health system.

  • The Porcelain Thief

  • Searching the Middle Kingdom for Buried China
  • By: Huan Hsu
  • Narrated by: Huan Hsu
  • Length: 11 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 31

In 1938, when the Japanese arrived in Huan Hsu's great-great-grandfather Liu's Yangtze River hometown of Xingang, Liu was forced to bury his valuables, including a vast collection of prized antique porcelain, and undertake a decades-long trek that would splinter the family over thousands of miles. Many years and upheavals later, Hsu, raised in Salt Lake City and armed only with curiosity, moves to China to work in his uncle's semiconductor chip business.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well written

  • By Pamela on 04-11-15

Best book I've read in ages

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

Reviewed: 10-07-16

I loved this book so much. Insightful and beautifully written. I resented having to stop listening each day. As an American who spent a short time in China, the author's descriptions and analysis of Chinese culture resonated so fully, I felt swept back to my time there. The author's narration is flawless, relaxing, and clear. I would recommend this lovely book to anyone.

  • I Am America (And So Can You!)

  • By: Stephen Colbert
  • Narrated by: Stephen Colbert
  • Length: 3 hrs and 33 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,464
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,035
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,033

What The Daily Show is to evening news, The Colbert Report is to personality-driven pundit shows. Colbert brings his sarcastic charm to a half-hour report, tackling the important issues of the day and telling his guests why their opinions are just plain wrong. Stephen stands for "truthiness" and his American right to copyright that word and claim ownership of it. The author describes this as a simple audiobook from a simple mind: Stephen Colbert's.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Funny, but disappointing.

  • By Ty A Hansen on 10-24-07

Ridiculous nonsense

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

Reviewed: 01-18-13

Foolishly nonsensical and thoroughly entertaining the way no one but Stephen Colbert could bring it. I enjoyed every minute of it.

  • Official Book Club Selection

  • A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin
  • By: Kathy Griffin
  • Narrated by: Kathy Griffin
  • Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,242
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 854
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 851

Official Book Club Selection is Kathy Griffin unplugged, uncensored, and unafraid to dish about what really happens on the road, away from the cameras, and at the star party after the show. (It's also her big chance to score that coveted book club endorsement she's always wanted. Are you there, Oprah? It's me, Kathy.)

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • HONESTY Is WHAT MAKES KATHY SO 'HUGE'!

  • By Tracy P. on 01-18-17

Funny and endearing

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

Reviewed: 01-18-13

Kathy Griffin's hilarious accounts caused me to erupt into laughter inappropriately at work on way too many accounts. More than just side-splittingly inappropriate, Kathy's brave openness about her often-uphill climb to the top consumed me with her endearing stories. I've seen Griffin's talk show, stand up comedy in person and on television, and "My Life on the D-List," and this book was by far my favorite. Often misunderstood and completely relatable, Kathy remains one of my top-five people I'd love to have dinner with. If you enjoyed Jenny Lawson's "Let's Pretend This Never Happened," you must listen to this book.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Let's Pretend This Never Happened

  • A Mostly True Memoir
  • By: Jenny Lawson
  • Narrated by: Jenny Lawson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,437
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,928
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,926

For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris - Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut. Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives - the ones we'd like to pretend never happened - are in fact the ones that define us. In Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • How the Bloggess almost made me crash my car!

  • By D. S. Smith on 05-19-12

Delightful, quirky, and relatable

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

Reviewed: 01-18-13

Would you listen to Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) again? Why?

Jenny's hilarious accounts of childhood and adulthood simply will never get old. My only wish is that the book didn't have to end so soon, though it was almost 9 hours, to be fair.

What other book might you compare Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) to and why?

The only other book I've read that was similarly delightful was Kathy Griffin's Official Book Club Selection.

Which scene was your favorite?

It's hard to decide which scene I enjoyed most in this book. From macabre taxidermy disasters to post-traumatic inducing goose poop adventures, Jenny's stories are all equally masterful.

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

This book was laugh-out-loud funny, causing me to burst out laughing inappropriately at work.

Any additional comments?

How about another book based on your SexIs blog?