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James

Seattle, WA, USA
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 35
  • helpful votes
  • 21
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  • The People We Hate at the Wedding

  • By: Grant Ginder
  • Narrated by: Dan Bittner, Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 218
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 195
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 195

Paul and Alice's half sister Eloise is getting married! In London! There will be fancy hotels, dinners at "it" restaurants, and a reception at a country estate complete with tea lights and embroidered cloth napkins. They couldn't hate it more. The People We Hate at the Wedding is the story of a less than perfect family. As this estranged clan gathers together and Eloise's walk down the aisle approaches, Grant Ginder brings to vivid, hilarious life the power of family and the complicated ways we hate the ones we love the most.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • It had potential.

  • By Makenzie on 06-22-17

Blech.

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

Reviewed: 06-26-17

What would have made The People We Hate at the Wedding better?

I wanted to like this so much -- the title is great. Sadly, the title is still my favorite part. There's so much potential here -- we've all been to really fraught and wretched family weddings (or I assume we all have...). I had read others' reviews about how unlikable all of these characters are but didn't think it would bother me. It did. This is a nasty, snarky group of people without any clear redeeming qualities. It would be one thing if the book were sharp and satirical but it isn't. By the end, the book seems to want us to feel sympathy for this family and it's pretty impossible. Not only is the family really unpleasant, none of them are particularly well-drawn. I kept going because I wanted to like it so much. I had hoped for the kind of wit I found in Julian Fellowes book "Snobs". I finished it because I kept waiting for something, well, fabulous to happen.

What could Grant Ginder have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

This would have been a great chapter of a much longer book -- there are about 30 pages of a story here.

What aspect of Dan Bittner and Khristine Hvam ’s performance would you have changed?

I couldn't tell if I disliked their performances (please don't do accents if you really can't do them) or if I just disliked the book. Sadly the answer was both. If the book is meant to be funny then please pick up the reading pace -- both readers had a really languorous pace which made the book even less funny and more tedious. There was an endless scene about kayaking that was made far worse by a slow and luxurious pace.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

  • A Novel
  • By: Gail Honeyman
  • Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41,318
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 38,117
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,969

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Close To Perfection--A Definite Thumbs Up!

  • By Kindle Customer on 08-07-17

Beautiful and so funny.

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

Reviewed: 06-26-17

What did you love best about Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine?

Lovely, smart and very funny -- really moving without being maudlin or saccharine. This is one of the best books that I've bought from Audible in the last few years. It's a really special book.

What about Cathleen McCarron’s performance did you like?

I love this reader.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It was a book that I listened to in a day. Too good to stop...

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Hillbilly Elegy

  • A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
  • By: J. D. Vance
  • Narrated by: J. D. Vance
  • Length: 6 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41,167
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,023
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36,964

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis - that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over 40 years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enlightening!

  • By Gotta Tellya on 09-11-16

Wake me up when something happens!

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

Reviewed: 03-13-17

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He's the author, he's not an actor, he's fine.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I have heard so much about this book and so was eager to listen. However, I kept waiting for some moment of revelation or new understanding. I felt that I learned nothing new and cared little for the characters. It's fascinating to me that this book caused such a stir.

  • Inferno

  • A Novel
  • By: Dan Brown
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 17 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23,547
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,191
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 21,266

Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon awakens in a hospital in the middle of the night. Disoriented and suffering from a head wound, he recalls nothing of the last 36 hours, including how he got there...or the origin of the macabre object that his doctors discover hidden in his belongings. Langdon's world soon erupts into chaos, and he finds himself on the run in Florence with a stoic young woman, Sienna Brooks, whose clever maneuvering saves his life.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Formulaic and Hard to Finish....

  • By Livia on 06-15-13

HORRIBLE. Don't do it.

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

Reviewed: 07-15-13

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Anybody looking for empty-headed, idiotic, badly written trash will enjoy this book

What didn’t you like about Paul Michael’s performance?

His performance was fine. He just had such horrible material to deal with he had to swim upstream the whole time.

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

No.

Any additional comments?

DaVinci code was entertaining, this is not.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Marjorie Morningstar

  • By: Herman Wouk
  • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
  • Length: 28 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 347
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 299
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 295

Marjorie Morningstar is a love story. It presents one of the greatest characters in modern fiction: Marjorie, the pretty 17-year-old who left the respectability of New York's Central Park West to join the theater, live in the teeming streets of Greenwich Village, and seek love in the arms of a brilliant, enigmatic writer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thoroughly Enjoyed!

  • By Teresa Levite on 06-20-12

Great story with really cheesy narration

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

Reviewed: 05-05-12

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I adore this book and have read it several times. I have waited for years for this book to come out on audio. I was so disappointed by the quality of the narration. I felt that the narrator had very little interest in the story and was quick to stereotype the various ethnic characters. You'd think that when a story has such a rich diversity of ethnic characters the producers would have found a narrator who could actually pull-off accents and/or dialects. Her German characters sound Irish and she turns the "slight drawl" of Sandy Goldstone into something that sounds Texan, and all of the Jewish adults sound like Shecky Green. Although this is a book about New York and New Yorkers the narrator sounded Midwestern most of the book except when she was mangling dialects/accents of ethnic characters.

32 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Scarpetta

  • Scarpetta, Book 16
  • By: Patricia Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 15 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,312
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 623
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 627

Leaving behind her private forensic pathology practice in Charleston, South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta accepts an assignment in New York City, where the NYPD has asked her to examine an injured man on Bellevue Hospital's psychiatric prison ward. The handcuffed and chained patient, Oscar Bane, has specifically asked for her, and when she literally has her gloved hands on him, he begins to talk - and the story he has to tell turns out to be one of the most bizarre she has ever heard.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Don't waste your money

  • By Becky on 01-20-09

Horrible reader

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-07-09

This reader was so over the top that listening to the book was nearly impossible. Her accents were absurd and kept me from being able to listen to the language. I blame the director, not the reader. Somebody should have told the reader to calm down and just read the book instead of trying so hard to act each role. Horrible.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful