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A. Kathisia

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  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 2
  • ratings
  • The Plum Tree

  • By: Ellen Marie Wiseman
  • Narrated by: Madeleine Lambert
  • Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 313
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 280
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 284

"Bloom where you're planted," is the advice Christine Bolz receives from her beloved Oma. But 17-year-old domestic Christine knows there is a whole world waiting beyond her small German village. It's a world she's begun to glimpse through music, books - and through Isaac Bauerman, the cultured son of the wealthy Jewish family she works for.

Yet the future she and Isaac dream of sharing faces greater challenges than their difference in stations. In the fall of 1938, Germany is changing rapidly under Hitler's regime....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A good story, terrible narration!

  • By Tyler on 01-30-14

A Painfully Narrated Fairy Tale

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

Reviewed: 03-05-15

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I can't recommend this book. Incredibly unrealistic outcomes and most of the characters lack depth. Do we ever really get to know what's going on in Mary's head? The people who don't survive we seem to know least about so their loss is hardly devastating.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

You can't have that many people in incredibly dangerous situations for years and then have them all live. Too much of a fairy tale ending. There were some very moving parts in the book but it was ruined by fantastical outcomes for the majority of characters.

How could the performance have been better?

She was far too loud and her character voices were absurd. She had a lot of "wicked witch" tones to her voices and many of her male voices were terrible. She had no nuance to her voice and seemed to be yelling a lot. It seemed to me that they redubbed a lot of the German words because she often didn't sound like she did throughout the rest of the book. It seems unbelievable that she tackled difficult strings of German but pronounced "vater" with a "v" instead of an "f" There were simply too many vaters for them to go back through and redub it.

Do you think The Plum Tree needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Absolutely not. I knew there was something off with this book and I didn't make the connection until I finished. About a year ago I started her other book "What She Left Behind" and had to stop because it was too unrealistic. If I had realized this was the same author I wouldn't have bought this one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Shantaram

  • A Novel
  • By: Gregory David Roberts
  • Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
  • Length: 42 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,855
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,433
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,426

Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum-security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend Prabaker, the two enter Bombay's hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of My Favorite Books! Great Narration!

  • By Memphis on 06-16-14

The Best Performance to Date

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

Reviewed: 09-13-14

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

The book has lots of ups and downs and elicited a wide range of emotional responses from me. I literally laughed and cried throughout the book. There were some unexpected twists and good suspense as well.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Shantaram?

Painful deaths and rebirths of key characters.

What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

Amazing pacing and accents for a multitude of characters. His interpretation of the words is unsurpassed. There may be as good out there, but it's hard to imagine better. For the most part his accents were consistent during a very long performance. Very few annoying accents among a cast of scores of characters.

If you could take any character from Shantaram out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Seriously?

Any additional comments?

I like the way the author weaves past and present. The writer usually always came back to tie up loose ends when I was beginning to wonder about some uncompleted story. There are so many good adventures and vignettes throughout the book It's long, but did not feel like it was dragging on.