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Kat - Audible

NYC
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 337
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  • 20
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  • A Serial Killer's Daughter

  • By: Kerri Rawson
  • Narrated by: Devon O'Day
  • Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

In 2005, Dennis Rader confessed without remorse to the murders of 10 people, including two children - acts that destroyed seven families and wrecked countless lives in the process. As the town of Wichita, Kansas, celebrated the end of a 31-year nightmare, another was just beginning for his daughter, Kerri Rawson. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Who do you turn to when the bogeyman is your own father?

  • By Kat - Audible on 01-09-19

Who do you turn to when the bogeyman is your own father?

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

Reviewed: 01-09-19

When Kerri Rawson moved into her first apartment, her dad, Dennis Rader, showed her how to keep its sliding-glass door secure at night. It wasn’t until years later that she learned her father—better known as the BTK Killer—once threw a brick through a neighbor’s sliding-glass door and killed the woman inside.

Such devastating, irreconcilable memories haunt this extraordinary memoir—the most soul-searching, insightful, and compelling account by a serial killer’s loved one (and victim) I’ve ever come across. Rawson’s life was upended when Rader, a Boy Scout leader and church president, was exposed as the cruel predator who had tortured and murdered 10 people in Kansas over nearly two decades. What happened to her after that—the trauma and PTSD, the publicity, the fracturing of her family and entire world—can hardly be overstated. You’re unlikely to hear a memoir this jaw-dropping…ever. But Rawson’s nervy humor, her spiritual candor, and her capacity for compassion make her an endearing, even relatable, heroine—warmly voiced by narrator Devon O’Day.

I congratulate Rawson on writing a terrific memoir that must have taken immeasurable courage. Forget the monster; I want to know where this remarkable survivor is going next.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • My Year of Rest and Relaxation

  • By: Ottessa Moshfegh
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 894
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 841
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 840

Our narrator should be happy, shouldn't she? She's young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate; she works an easy job at a hip art gallery and lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like the rest of her needs, by her inheritance. But there is a dark and vacuous hole in her heart, and it isn't just the loss of her parents, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her best friend, Reva. It's the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love it...

  • By Claudia Gallegos on 07-12-18

Who doesn’t want to sleep through life sometimes?

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

Reviewed: 07-10-18

Strong, world-conquering heroines are everywhere these days. I admire them, which might be why I’m also a bit bored of them. Thank God for Ottessa Moshfegh, who has a knack for making miserable characters eerily seductive (I see you and I love you, Eileen). At the center of My Year of Rest and Relaxation is another disdain-able type: a beautiful, privileged twentysomething who tries to escape her angst—aided by enough pharmaceuticals to make Hunter S. Thompson bat an eye—by sleeping all. The. Time. It’s a simple, ingenious plot that yields more narrative tension than you might think (I was reminded at times of The Girl on the Train’s blackout-induced mysteries), made all the juicier by Oshfegh’s razor-sharp insights, a send-up of the New York art scene, odes to Whoopi Goldberg, and world-weary narration by the amazing Julia Whelan. A lavish ending caps off this wholly original novel. Don’t sleep on it!

34 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • There There

  • A Novel
  • By: Tommy Orange
  • Narrated by: Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Alma Ceurvo, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,576
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,434
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,425

Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle's death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle's memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and will perform in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and loss.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A gorgeous, white-hot debut

  • By Kat - Audible on 06-12-18

A gorgeous, white-hot debut

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

Reviewed: 06-12-18

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie once gave a TED talk called “The Danger of the Single Story,” outlining the negative effects of reducing complex people and histories to the same narrow, well-worn narrative. I’m convinced that her heart will swell, like mine, at the arrival of Tommy Orange’s incendiary first novel. Written—and narrated—from the perspectives of many characters, whose lives intersect in unexpected and technically impressive ways, the connected stories pay profound attention to the individual experiences of urban Native Americans. And yet for all its depth of purpose and history, it’s absolutely un-put-downable. Visionary, mind-bendingly virtuosic, and racing to a searing finish, There Thereis a work of sacred intensity. I’m still reeling.

38 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Tangerine

  • By: Christine Mangan
  • Narrated by: Barrie Kreinik, Erin Mallon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 760
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 706
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 713

The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the accident at Bennington, the two friends - once inseparable roommates - haven't spoken in over a year. Lucy - always fearless and independent - helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country. But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice - she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn. Then Alice's husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Goes downhill

  • By Karen on 03-31-18

A stylish slow burn.

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

Reviewed: 03-27-18

For a few gray days this winter, I was catapulted from the Northeastern drizzle to the sultry, swarming streets of 1950s Tangier. It’s not easy to describe such dazzling exoticism (from the midcentury Western perspective, anyway) without resorting to cliché, but nailing the setting is something Patricia Mangan’s first novel does with aplomb. Mangan’s doctoral thesis was in Gothic literature, and that defining sense of romantic terror drives the tale of two young women, Alice and Lucy, who meet in Morocco after a mysterious disaster at their Vermont college rips apart their close friendship. The dual perspectives—of the upper-crust, angst-ridden Alice, and of the pluckier, yet menacing Lucy—are masterfully narrated by Barrie Kreinik and Erin Mallon, making Tangerine especially perfect to devour in audio. Mangan keeps you guessing as identities shift and swap, in the style of Bergman’s Persona, spinning a tale of psychological obsession that’s perfect for fans of The Talented Mister Ripley and Rebecca. More literary noir than explosive thriller, Tangerine is a slow burn with a heart of seduction.

64 of 72 people found this review helpful

  • Fever Dream

  • A Novel
  • By: Samanta Schweblin, Megan McDowell - translator
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 3 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 71

A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She's not his mother. He's not her child. Together they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An amazing book

  • By Biff Turkle on 01-29-18

Ghastly tale, brilliantly told.

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

Reviewed: 03-22-18

Oh my, did I love this. Fever Dream is a work in translation—by an astoundingly inventive Argentinian writer—and while I prefer its original title (Distancia de Rescate, or “rescue distance”), a fever dream is exactly what it is: delirious, disorienting, dire. The entire novel is a conversation between two people—a woman, Amanda, who is ill in a clinic bed, and an unsettling young boy, David, who urgently whispers in her ear, demanding she recount the events that led her here so they can find the precise moment when things went wrong. As Amanda talks, a series of vivid images—a beautiful woman in a gold bikini, a dead bird in a stream, a three-legged dog—unfold along with a growing sense of horror, while David ruthlessly judges which details are important and which are not. It’s a fascinating concept, expanding the very idea of what a novel can be, and while I also bought the paper version it worked exceptionally well for me in audio. Unlike other reviewers I had no trouble following the voices of the different characters (I loved the throaty elegance of Carla, David’s mother; the children’s voices are deliciously creepy), and hearing them all in my ear enhanced the feeling of being utterly surrounded by dread. Part ticking time bomb, part excavation of the horrors of parenthood (I’m no helicopter mom, but Amanda’s obsession with calculating “rescue distance”—the constantly shifting space separating her and her daughter, which narrows in unfamiliar or dangerous situations—resonated with me instantly), this is an audiobook to consume in one sitting. It sinks its hooks in early on; good luck shaking it loose.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Conspiracy

  • Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue
  • By: Ryan Holiday
  • Narrated by: Ryan Holiday
  • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,182
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,092
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,084

In 2007, a short blogpost by Gawker Media outed PayPal founder and billionaire investor Peter Thiel as gay. Thiel's sexuality had been known to close friends and family, but he didn't consider himself a public figure, and believed the information was private. This post would be the casus belli for a meticulously plotted conspiracy that would end nearly a decade later with a $140 million dollar judgment against Gawker and its bankruptcy. Only later would the world learn that Gawker's demise was not incidental - it had been masterminded by Thiel.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I almost couldn’t make it through...

  • By Grant Hall on 04-06-18

Captivating account of one of media’s strangest sagas

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

Reviewed: 03-13-18

I was an avid Gawker reader who was horrified to learn that billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel had secretly bankrolled the Hulk Hogan lawsuit that brought down the website with a shocking $140 million verdict in 2016. I considered myself reasonably well informed about the ins and outs of the affair, as well as my opinion on the subject and its players. Nevertheless, Ryan Holiday's insanely good Conspiracy had me gasping at the audacity and intricacies of Thiel's plot -- from the ambitious young businessman who cooked up the scheme to the astonishing patience, calculated cunning, and ruthlessness required to pull it off. Holiday also reexamines Gawker from a 2018 lens, deconstructing its problematic approach and how errantly it drove the nail into its own coffin. Hubris plays a part in both sides, it turns out, and in Holiday’s hands the story takes on the outsize dimensions of Greek tragedy. With the Machiavellian concept of conspiracy as his foundation, he combines anecdotes from history and literature with lucid analysis and fascinating character studies of Thiel, Hogan, and Gawker founder Nick Denton to craft a riveting narrative of one of modern media's most explosive episodes. Holiday narrates his own work, and while at times I found his delivery somewhat heavy-handed, I believe this is uniquely his story to tell. Highly recommended.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • I'll Be Gone in the Dark

  • One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
  • By: Michelle McNamara
  • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman, Gillian Flynn - introduction, Patton Oswalt - afterword
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,833
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,180
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,128

A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer - the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade - from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Listen to Scare Yourself in the Dark

  • By Trixie Runnin' on 03-04-18

A haunting masterpiece

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

Reviewed: 03-02-18

As a fan of the true crime genre and Michelle's fantastic blog, I was so excited for this book -- and devastated to learn of Michelle's sudden death in 2016, when she was still writing it. As Gillian Flynn notes in the forward, a lot of us grapple with our fascination with true crime, and one way to approach it is by seeking justice, truth and compassion rather than voyeurism, misinformation and shallow answers. Michelle was always a crusader of the highest order, and her obsessive sleuthing and thoughtful reckoning of her own motivations (“We, who hunt him, suffer from the same affliction. He peered through windows. I tap ‘return.’ ”) shine through here with fierce humanity. If you don't about the Golden State Killer, also known as EAR/ONS, "I'll Be Gone in the Dark" will pull you into the story of the faceless monster behind one of America's most notorious and horrific unsolved cases, but it is Michelle's voice that stays with you in the end. This book is a rare gem of dogged research and masterful writing that elevates it to the top tier of true crime. A special benefit of the audio version is hearing Gillian Flynn’s forward and Patton Oswalt’s moving afterword in their own voices. (It is also thanks to Oswalt, researcher Paul Haynes, and investigative journalist Billy Jensen that the book was completed.) I hope its legacy leads to what Michelle wanted most of all: an answer, and justice for the victims.

179 of 197 people found this review helpful