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lsloan3

Saint Paul, MN
  • 3
  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 14
  • ratings
  • The Mill on the Floss

  • By: George Eliot
  • Narrated by: Laura Paton
  • Length: 20 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 165

Maggie Tulliver has two lovers: Philip Wakem, son of her father’s enemy, and Stephen Guest, already promised to her cousin. But the love she wants most in the world is that of her brother Tom. Maggie’s struggle against her passionate and sensual nature leads her to a deeper understanding and to eventual tragedy

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great compassion

  • By nina lalumia on 12-26-16

Incredible narrator, incredible book

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

Reviewed: 07-01-18

The narrator was incredible, giving such life and emotion to an already stunning book. George Elliot has such insights into the human heart and soul, and her characters are always so well developed and multi-dimensional. This book is no exception.

  • Turtles All the Way Down

  • By: John Green
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,900
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,387
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,384

It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly small amount of actual turtles.

  • By Meg on 11-03-17

No Spoilers Review

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

Reviewed: 10-11-17

To start, something good: "Daisy considered Attack of the Clones to be the most underrated Star Wars film." (198) Yes, thank you, John Green, for acknowledging this, even if it's only the opinion of a fictional character.

Now, to the rest of my review, which, I must admit, is far from positive.


To begin, the story, or, at least, where the main problem resolves, is fairly predictable if one think over what they had already read. One single clue lends itself to this. This is a minor complaint.


The dialogue and narration fades from fairly believable to unrealistic, sometimes from line to line. This makes the characters mostly unrealistic, a bit boring, and underdeveloped.


I understand this is a YA novel, but some critic has called it a modern classic. Either that person has never read a classic, doesn't understand what such a thing is, or is only out to flatter—all of which makes for a person terribly situated to be a literary critic. Read some of the classics referenced in the novel (maybe even a Tolstoy or Dostoevsky, or even a work like Slaughterhouse Five, which, in style, could be comparable), and one would soon find those works to be situated upon a higher shelf.


There's the cliche rich kid with daddy doesn't love me issues, everyone is beyond talented, and we learn, “Things are rough all over.” Which, if you don't know, is from the Outsiders, a true classic (and YA) that already taught us all this without the mental spiral of wondering how much of John’s imagining teenagers exploring each other sexually was left out of the book.


It's a swirl of poor characters and even worse philosophy. Here's an example of this bad philosophy: “Our destiny is coming into focus. We are about to live the American Dream, which is, of course, to benefit from someone else’s misfortune.” (23) Knowing a little about John and his opinions through things like Crash Course and VlogBrothers, I understand this is to be understood negatively. However, in the book’s context it's about giving information to the police that would bring justice to a situation and being rewarded for it. That's a positive understanding of the American Dream. The philosophy doesn't hold in the context of the book or IRL (used in Turtles a lot), for John himself, being wealthy and successful, is, by the logic, guilty of this.


There are many of these one-liners that express not this bad philosophy. Worst still, it's not the philosophy that one finds to exist in the minds of sixteen and seventeen years old girls, but that which exists in the mind of John Green. Obviously, it's okay for an author to put his own opinions into the minds and mouths of his characters, but unfortunately John Green is not a sixteen year old girl, which makes the times those lines of thought appear intrusive/invasive—infecting the narrative flow and character with something foreign to the setting.


On the whole, it was very hard for me to get through this book, wanting to put it down over and over. I began counting down the pages until finished when there were still nearly 200 left. This book was turtles all the way down in the worst possible way. John Green, I really enjoy your work on YouTube, but, if this is the best of your works so far (as many people are saying), then I really do not enjoy your fiction.


NOTE: This reviewer does not intend to imply the thoughts and feelings of someone with mental illness are unreal or unbelievable. My review concerns the fiction, not that of reality.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Beowulf

  • By: Seamus Heaney
  • Narrated by: Seamus Heaney
  • Length: 2 hrs and 13 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 739
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 543
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 528

New York Times best seller and Whitebread Book of the Year, Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney's new translation of Beowulf comes to life in this gripping audio. Heaney's performance reminds us that Beowulf, written near the turn of another millennium, was intended to be heard not read.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Why, oh, why is it abridged?

  • By Tad Davis on 09-25-08

Abridged but good

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

Reviewed: 09-17-16

Great except that it's abridged. Doesn't make much sense to abridge such a fantastic translation.