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Barbara

  • 87
  • reviews
  • 132
  • helpful votes
  • 197
  • ratings
  • Trajectory

  • Stories
  • By: Richard Russo
  • Narrated by: Amanda Carlin, Arthur Morey, Fred Sanders, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 71

Russo's characters in these four expansive stories bear little similarity to the blue-collar citizens we're familiar with from many of his novels. In "Horseman", a professor confronts a young plagiarist as well as her own weaknesses as the Thanksgiving holiday looms closer and closer: "And after that, who knew?" In "Intervention", a realtor facing an ominous medical prognosis finds himself in his father's shadow while he presses forward - or not.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Melancholy but Rewarding

  • By David on 07-08-17

Pretty good; not Russo’s best

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

Reviewed: 05-20-19

Four stories, featuring familiar Russo themes: middle-aged men, death, sibling relationships, marriage, friendship, fathers and sons, betrayal. The performances were all good, and the ability of the author to create a credible inner life for characters as diverse as a female professor with a child “on the spectrum” whom she could not reach and a broke washed up screenwriter whose wife is dying is impressive. Generally I like short stories a lot, but having enjoyed Russo’s BIG novels, like Nobody’s Fool, I found these to be a little unsatisfying.

  • Lafayette in the Somewhat United States

  • By: Sarah Vowell
  • Narrated by: Sarah Vowell, John Slattery, Nick Offerman, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,708
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,478
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,465

From the best-selling author of Assassination Vacation and Unfamiliar Fishes, a humorous account of the Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette - the one Frenchman we could all agree on - and an insightful portrait of a nation's idealism and its reality. Lafayette in the Somewhat United States is a humorous and insightful portrait of the famed Frenchman, the impact he had on our young country, and his ongoing relationship with instrumental Americans of the time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Already waiting for Sarah Vowell's next adventure

  • By Michael on 10-25-15

LOVE Sarah Vowell!

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

Reviewed: 04-29-19

Her weird facts and deadpan narration always crack me up, and it doesn’t hurt to learn some history along the way. This book about the French contribution to winning the revolutionary war provides a great reminder about the sacrifices and privations of the badly overmatched continental army. Fans of Hamilton should like this.

  • The Cruel Sea

  • By: Nicholas Monsarrat
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 17 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 733
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 681
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 679

Darting back and forth across the icy North Atlantic, Compass Rose played a deadly cat-and-mouse game with packs of German U-boats lying in wait beneath the ocean waves. Packed with tension and vivid descriptions of agonizing U-boat hunts, this tale of the most bitter and chilling campaign of the war tells of ordinary men who had to master their own fears before they could face a brutal menace - one that would strike without warning from the deep.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hard Edged Historical Fiction

  • By CLR on 01-20-18

Good historical fiction about a little known WW II service

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

Reviewed: 04-22-19

I am curiously addicted to sea stories, and this one didn’t disappoint. Written in 1951, it is somewhat dated in its stereotyping, but also rather charmingly decorous and restrained. Without hyperbole, it tells the gripping story of the Atlantic convoys that kept Britain alive until the US joined the war. Dogged by German subs, the supply convoys were escorted by a handful of corvettes and frigates whose job was to find the U-boats and blow them out of the water before they could torpedo the convoy ships. Hundreds of ships were sunk and hundreds of thousands of seamen died in the icy Atlantic. It was gruelling, dangerous and unglamorous work, and it may have won the war. Definitely a worthwhile read for anyone interested in WW II or nautical history, or just good historical fiction.

  • The Murderer's Son

  • A Jackman and Evans Thriller
  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,255
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,074
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,064

Crimebusting duo DI Jackman and DS Evans are back, solving another crime that will make your skin crawl. Twenty years ago: a farmer and his wife are cut to pieces by a ruthless serial killer. Now: a woman is viciously stabbed to death in the upmarket kitchen of her beautiful house on the edge of the marshes. Then a man called Daniel Kinder walks into Saltern police station and confesses to the murder. But DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans of the Fenland Constabulary soon discover that there is a lot more to Daniel than meets the eye.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Series

  • By Lia on 02-14-19

Cool new (to me) DI and DS

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

Reviewed: 04-08-19

Jackman and Evans make an engaging pair, and this was a fun read for fans of Joy Ellis’s fenlands books.

One very minor thing: because binge-listening to a book can be so much faster than eyeball reading, it is sometimes possible to pick up on authorial quirks the editor missed. In this short book, I counted at least 6 or 7 times a person “bit,” “gnawed,” or “chewed” his or her lower lip. It became almost silly.

  • A Spy Among Friends

  • Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal
  • By: Ben Macintyre
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 11 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,484
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,347
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,342

Kim Philby was the greatest spy in history, a brilliant and charming man who rose to head Britain's counterintelligence against the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War - while he was secretly working for the enemy. And nobody thought he knew Philby like Nicholas Elliott, Philby's best friend and fellow officer in MI6.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Reads like a spy novel

  • By Kate M. on 08-15-14

Fascinating!

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

Reviewed: 04-05-19

A thorough new history of the career of legendary Soviet spy Kim Philby, seen through the eyes of his onetime closest friend, colleague, and supporter Nicholas Elliott. Really un-put-down-able.

  • The Long Haul

  • A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road
  • By: Finn Murphy
  • Narrated by: Danny Campbell
  • Length: 8 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 813
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 757
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 754

More than 30 years ago, Finn Murphy dropped out of college to become a trucker. Since then he's covered hundreds of thousands of miles packing, loading, and hauling people's belongings all over America. Murphy whisks listeners down the I-95 Powerlane, across the Florida Everglades, in and out of the truck stops of the Midwest, and through the steep grades of the Rocky Mountains.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Shines a whole new light on moving industry

  • By Chad on 03-01-18

Engrossing, arrogant, annoying, but I liked it.

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

Reviewed: 03-31-19

I got this based on an NPR or NYT review, and found it to be really interesting and also really unsatisfying. It is a first-person account by a somewhat educated guy who has chosen the life of a long-haul household mover, and he plainly considers himself superior to his professional peers. That is annoying enough, but he is also oddly angry about a lot of things, snd reveals almost nothing about himself, his personal life, or why he is so cranky. His mission, in this book, is to enlighten the public about all that goes into a household move. It is a combination of explication of the terms, the meticulous details, and the expectations of movers and anecdotes about particularly weird moves. It is a world most of us know nothing about, and so very interesting, but the author himself, with his high opinion of himself, is not particularly likeable.

  • When Christ and His Saints Slept

  • Plantagenets, Book 1
  • By: Sharon Kay Penman
  • Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
  • Length: 36 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62

In When Christ and His Saints Slept, the first of a trilogy that will tell the story of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, master storyteller and historian Sharon Kay Penman illuminates one of the less known but fascinating periods of English history. It begins with the death of King Henry I, son of William the Conqueror and father of Maude, his only living legitimate offspring.   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Remarkable Book

  • By Greg on 02-26-19

More from this author, please!

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

Reviewed: 03-31-19

I have now read all three of Audible’s offerings from Sharon Kay Penman, but there are so many more! These are big, rich historical novels set in the Middle Ages, and I want more!
This was a little slow to start, and a little confusing because of two Mauds (actually one Maud and one Maude, and in the the history books, one of them was also known as Mathilda, but in this book Mathilda was the enemy of Maud/Matilda). Anyway, it all sorted itself out, and the book was ultimately very engaging. I wish there were a way for audio books to publish a dramatis personae, or maps where relevant, without having to get the kindle version.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

News of the World audiobook cover art
  • News of the World

  • A Novel
  • By: Paulette Jiles
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 5 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,271
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,822
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,808

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cookie cutter cowboys need not apply

  • By david1j on 01-13-17

Charming, sweet little book

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

Reviewed: 02-22-19

Lovely story of an intelligent, sensitive, dignified, brave, older gentleman and the courageous, stubborn once-kidnapped little girl who had spent 4 years as a Kiowa captive. Spoiler: it all turns out well.

  • Holding

  • A Novel
  • By: Graham Norton
  • Narrated by: Graham Norton
  • Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,949
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,791
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,787

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama, but when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be those of Tommy Burke - a former lover of two different inhabitants - the village's dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated sergeant PJ Collins struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community's worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Splendidly delightful

  • By John Scott on 12-03-17

Endearing new hero -hope to see more of him

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

Reviewed: 01-29-19

Quick, tight, pleasing little Irish-village mystery of unidentified old bones and long-held secrets and loves, enlivened by a fat, sweaty police sergeant with a sharp mind and open heart. The narration was excellent, and I hope to see more books featuring “PJ.”

  • Circe

  • By: Madeline Miller
  • Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,849
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 19,463
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,361

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child - not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring, like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power - the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Refined writing with an intimate performance

  • By Michael - Audible Editor on 04-11-18

I listened twice (and will listen again)

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

Reviewed: 01-27-19

Even though I studied classical Greek in college, and have read Hesiod and Homer in the original, it took me a while to warm to this, but WOW! Stay with it, and, if you get confused, go online and download the cast of characters from madelinemiller.com. You will be rewarded! Normally, I dislike re-workings (ripoffs) of other artists' work (e.g. Girl With A Pearl Earring, or the modern retelling of Emma by Alexander McCall Smith), but this book is superb. The author animates a minor character, the demi-goddess and witch, Circe, into a powerful exploration what it means to be a woman and a mortal. Beautiful, empowering and brilliant!