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Janet

Allen, TX, United States
  • 68
  • reviews
  • 173
  • helpful votes
  • 141
  • ratings
  • Origin

  • A Novel
  • By: Dan Brown
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38,608
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,306
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 35,195

In keeping with his trademark style, Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Inferno, interweaves codes, science, religion, history, art, and architecture in this new novel. Origin thrusts Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon into the dangerous intersection of humankind's two most enduring questions - and the earthshaking discovery that will answer them.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Formula over fiction

  • By Evan M Carlson on 11-01-17

Still cinematic, but not convoluted.

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

Reviewed: 10-26-17

Dan Brown seems to have taken to heart all the comments about “Inferno” being too convoluted and obviously written as a film treatment. This story is certainly complex, with much discussion of chemistry and physics, but harkens back to earlier Robert Langdon books in that it selves into the inner lives of many characters. Although central to the story, Langdon doesn’t reveal himself in this book as he has in others. Still somewhat cinematic, the reader incisions scenes in and around Barcelona, with compelling descriptions. If you liked the first 2, read this. Where DID we come from??

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Knit Your Own Murder

  • A Needlecraft Mystery, Book 19
  • By: Monica Ferris
  • Narrated by: Susan Boyce
  • Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 71

The Monday Bunch and other local knitters are participating in a fundraising auction to save a community center, creating a growing pile of stuffed animals and toys right in front of the auctioneers as they bid. Among those contributing the most knitted goods is temperamental businesswoman Marsha Hanover, who keels over halfway through the event. After she is pronounced DOA at the hospital, an autopsy reveals that Marsha had been poisoned.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This series is still growing strong

  • By Dawn on 01-10-18

Terrible editing.

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

Reviewed: 04-26-17

This story was difficult to stay "in" due to very sloppy edits. There were at least 4 times in the narration where paragraphs were repeated. Not the best of the series anyway. The new characters were not compelling and I really had trouble caring "who done it."

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Crossing

  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Titus Welliver
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,054
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,897
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,848

Detective Harry Bosch has retired from the LAPD, but his half brother, defense attorney Mickey Haller, needs his help. The murder rap against his client seems ironclad, but Mickey is sure it's a setup. Though it goes against all his instincts, Bosch takes the case. With the secret help of his former LAPD partner, Lucia Soto, he turns the investigation inside the police department. But as Bosch gets closer to discovering the truth, he makes himself a target.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I just loved this book; every last bit of it

  • By Michele B on 11-10-15

One of the best in the series

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

Reviewed: 11-16-15

Of the books in which Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller both appear, this is the first that gives an equal position of strength to each character. Although primarily about Bosch, there is enough court room procedural to satisfy Lincoln Lawyer fans. What appears to be the set up of an impossible series of diverse clues comes together in a complex, but utterly believable story line. The auxiliary characters are well drawn and voiced quite well by the narrator. He does a variety of accents effectively, but woefully mispronounces a number of words. (Um, director??) A good addition to this series!

  • Maisie Dobbs

  • By: Jacqueline Winspear
  • Narrated by: Rita Barrington
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,153
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,293
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,288

Maisie Dobbs isn't just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligence - and the patronage of her benevolent employers - she works her way into college at Cambridge. After the War I and her service as a nurse, Maisie hangs out her shingle back at home: M. DOBBS, TRADE AND PERSONAL INVESTIGATIONS. But her very first assignment soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A delightful discovery

  • By Lori on 08-07-09

Good story and character - clunky structure

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

Reviewed: 05-28-15

Maisie is a refreshing twist on the cozy mystery, set in the WW I era. The story is unique although it includes a familiar wartime romance with several twists and turns. The character of Maisie has a unique mentor and education to become a psychologist and investigator. The subjects of her investigation are veterans of the war. The book gets a bit heavy handed at times with the subtext of "War is hell" while the mystery unfolds. The breakdown of the British class structure in this era looms large as well. The clunkiness of the structure lies in the technique of unfolding Maisie's personal life in flashbacks and flash forwards to before and after the war. The author abruptly jumps from one time to the other without a lot of finesse. I like the story line, so am hoping for an improved writing approach in successive stories.

  • The Girl on the Train

  • A Novel
  • By: Paula Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 131,599
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116,174
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116,044

Audie Award, Audiobook of the Year, 2016. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A festival of personality disorders

  • By Paula Dee on 04-20-15

Uniquely compelling

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

Reviewed: 03-04-15

I am glad I didn't read much about this story before purchasing the audiobook, or I might have missed a strangely unique book. It is true, as several reviewers have written, that most of the characters in this story are seriously flawed, narrow, prejudiced or otherwise weak, but they all come together believably in a highly believable tale. The perceptions we have of others as compared to our own realities are a recurring theme, told from the varying perspectives of the players. The author does a better job than most of keeping track of the story for the listener, even through the time-jumping and converging of the various voices. A quiet neighborhood in a quiet suburb of London is observed by a former resident as she rides the train to work everyday. Not much is happening, or so it seems...

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Leaving Time

  • A Novel
  • By: Jodi Picoult
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman, Abigail Revasch, Kathe Mazur, and others
  • Length: 15 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,698
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,480
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,462

Refusing to believe that she would be abandoned as a young child, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice's old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts. Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Pickiest Reader Would Be Willing to Give 6 Stars

  • By Jan on 10-18-14

Not at all the story I expected! Wonderful!

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

Reviewed: 11-07-14

It is hard to write much about this book without giving away elements of the story that need to unfold in the context of the telling of the tale. On one level, it is a good "Who dunnit?" mystery. On another, it is a moving account of the lives of elephants in the wild and in captivity. The most unique and moving aspects of the story have little to do with either of these story elements. The title of the book gives you a clue, but don't think you've figured it out, because you haven't....

33 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • The Glass Palace

  • By: Amitav Ghosh
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 17 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 533
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 398
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 397

Set in Burma during the British invasion of 1885, this masterly novel by Amitav Ghosh tells the story of Rajkumar, a poor boy lifted on the tides of political and social chaos, who goes on to create an empire in the Burmese teak forest. When soldiers force the royal family out of the Glass Palace and into exile, Rajkumar befriends Dolly, a young woman in the court of the Burmese Queen, whose love will shape his life. He cannot forget her, and years later, as a rich man, he goes in search of her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Family Saga Set in Burma and Malaysia

  • By Janis on 11-01-11

Sweeping Epic or Fictional Memoir?

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

Reviewed: 10-24-14

I expect that Ghosh intended this book to be a Ken Follett-like sweeping story of Burma, India and much of south Asia during the late 19th and early 20th century, but it reads more like a mood piece or memoir with its focus on scenery, social conventions and detailed analysis of family/caste relationships. The plot spans the lives of several families, starting with the deposition of the last Burmese king through the end of the 2nd World War, but isn't really plot driven, or character driven. It's more a series of stream of consciousness depictions of the thoughts of various related characters. The strong suit of this story is the beautiful, detailed description of the thoughts of the varied characters, illustrating the ways in which the misunderstandings between ruler and ruled fueled WW I and II. The author assumes that the listener is clever enough to understand some plot points without his spelling them out. He expects a lot from the reader, but that serves the progression of the book well. Simon Vance is always a great narrator, and does a remarkable job with the numerous dialects and languages.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Edge of Eternity

  • The Century Trilogy, Book 3
  • By: Ken Follett
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 36 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,008
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,064
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,044

Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Some good, some bad

  • By Elisa on 09-22-14

I didn't want this series to end.

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

Reviewed: 10-08-14

Having spent almost 100 hours with these characters and their ancestors over the course of this trilogy about the 19th and 20th centuries, I was sad to come to the end. As I have previously written, the first book was stellar, the 2nd was grim and uninspired, but the 3rd captured the ulginess of civil rights in the US, the end of WWII Europe and the Cold War in a fascinating tale of families overcoming their hardships along side their participation in world-changing events. History comes together as reality for me in books such as this in which events in one country are juxtaposed with events in other parts of the world occurring at the same time. If I have any complaint, its about the generally wonderful narrator, John Lee. He manages to get any number of European, Asian and the numerous confusing British dialects right, while completely mangling dialects of the Southern United States. He's not particularly good with Boston, either. He does improve as the book progresses, as if his ear is learning the sounds. Listen to or read this trilogy from the beginning!

  • The Secret Place

  • A Novel
  • By: Tana French
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hogan, Lara Hutchinson
  • Length: 20 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,773
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,394
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,386

"The Secret Place", a board where the girls at St Kilda's School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Well...I really liked 50% of it

  • By Pamela on 09-11-14

First 5-star ever!

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

Reviewed: 09-11-14

I'm a picky listener, and have never given 5 stars until now. Anything by Tana French is going to be "good," but the story telling in this book is terrific. It is told from a number of points of view, which isn't so unusual, but the detectives tell the story from start to finish, while the girls around whom the tale is centered tell it from pre-history to the start of this plot. French is so talented that it isn't messy or confusing in the least. This is among the best books in the Dublin Murder Squad series. I hope to see these characters again. Dual narrators is effective in this book, and probably wouldn't work as well with a single voice.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Long Way Home

  • Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 10
  • By: Louise Penny
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,306
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,027
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,005

Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has found a peace he'd only imagined possible. On warm summer mornings he sits on a bench holding a small book, The Balm in Gilead, in his large hands. "There is a balm in Gilead," his neighbor Clara Morrow reads from the dust jacket, "to make the wounded whole." While Gamache doesn't talk about his wounds and his balm, Clara tells him about hers. Peter, her artist husband, has failed to come home. Failed to show up as promised on the first anniversary of their separation. She wants Gamache's help to find him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamache feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. "There’s power enough in Heaven," he finishes the quote as he contemplates the quiet village, "to cure a sin-sick soul." And then he gets up. And joins her.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointment in the series

  • By Vermonter on 09-29-14

Shocking and wonderful

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

Reviewed: 09-02-14

If you do not know this series, don't start here. This book requires that you be intimately familiar with the back stories and characters of the previous books. If you are already a lover of the Three Pines series, you will find comfortable, familiar story telling in this book, but you will also be shocked at a couple of plot turns. I was really pleased to see Inspector Gamache's wife featured more prominently in this story, and I also noticed some subtle changes in the use of timeline of events that was a fresh approach for Ms. Penny. I always wish these books were longer!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful