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Michele Kellett

Seattle, WA United States
  • 48
  • reviews
  • 564
  • helpful votes
  • 91
  • ratings
  • The Midnight Line

  • A Jack Reacher Novel
  • By: Lee Child
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,572
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,721
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,684

Reacher takes a stroll through a small Wisconsin town and sees a class ring in a pawn shop window: West Point 2005. A tough year to graduate: Iraq, then Afghanistan. The ring is tiny, for a woman, and it has her initials engraved on the inside. Reacher wonders what unlucky circumstance made her give up something she earned over four hard years. He decides to find out. And find the woman. And return her ring. Why not?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Reacher doing what Reacher does!

  • By shelley on 11-07-17

Bit of a Comeback

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

Reviewed: 06-05-18

The newest Reacher has a more absorbing, and more probable, story than recent iterations. The topic is up-to-the-minute -- the opioid crisis -- but the series as a whole now has a technical problem. The entire point of Reacher's existence is his independence from the manacles of respectable existence, which allows him to roam about at will and to see situations dispassionately. He does not carry a suitcase. He does not own a home or a car. He is the deus ex machina in every community and plot into which he is dropped, armed only with a toothbrush. But life in America bristles with technologies, which literally everyone uses. Sometimes Child solves this problem by setting a story in the pre-internet past. In this book, Child has chosen to preserve Reacher's purity by introducing characters whose only apparent function is to drive cars with GPS, own computers and possess cell phones that Reacher can borrow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Miniaturist

  • By: Jessie Burton
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,231
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,118
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,112

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, 18-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office - leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Too Many Holes

  • By Cariola on 11-02-14

Intrigue and Disappointment

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

Reviewed: 04-05-18

Ms. Burton is a skillful descriptor, has done a great deal of research into 17th c. Amsterdam, and definitely keeps one reading, through the careful deployment of red herrings, minor cliff-hangers and juicy revelations. However, all these stratagems lead to a big nothing-burger.

The story itself is intriguing, featuring a human mystery (what the heck is going on in this household?) and a sort of magic-realism mystery (who is The Miniaturist? and does she see the future or create it?) Unfortunately for the plot, and the reader, the miniaturist, the titular character, turns out to be utterly irrelevant to the story, a mere decorative fancy. And the human mystery is no mystery at all to the minimally attentive reader -- we spot EVERY SINGLE revelation hours before our heroine does. The lead male, Johannes, is supposed to be noble, irresistible, tragic and charismatic, but I defy anyone to read his last speech without laughing.

The book lingers over descriptions of weather, and feelings, and clothes, and such, but neglects to furnish credible emotion or motivation to its characters.

I regret that I did not read the physical version of this book, so that I could have thrown it against the wall when I finished it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Sticky Fingers

  • The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine
  • By: Joe Hagan
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 205
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 176

Lennon. Dylan. Jagger. Belushi. Leibovitz. The story of Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone's founder, editor, and publisher, is an insider's trip through the backstages of storied concert venues, rock-star hotel rooms, and the political ups and downs of the latter half of the 20th century, right up through the digital age: connecting the counterculture of Haight Ashbury to the "straight world".

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sex, Drugs and Rolling Stone

  • By tru britty on 11-04-17

Awful people, entertaining read

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

Reviewed: 03-13-18

I really enjoyed reading about the reality of life at a magazine that I dutifully and unquestioningly consumed throughout my youth as a baby boomer. My then-heroes apparently got to where they did by dint of relentless greed, ambition, narcissism and aggression. I feel so much better about my life! Many of these kinds of books really bog down after the subject becomes rich and famous (looking at you, Springsteen and Rod Stewart), but Hagan's prose is swift and lively throughout. He has affection but no illusions, which makes for a supremely entertaining read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Norse Mythology

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41,032
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 37,536
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,363

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman fashions primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds; delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants; and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • As good as it gets without the old texts

  • By William Taylor on 05-10-18

Surprisingly Dull

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

Reviewed: 05-06-17

This book should have everything: gods and other mythical creatures, adventures and Gaiman's considerable charm. But I really could not keep my mind on it. First, the stories are presented as fables (how Odin got his wisdom). They are not interconnected. All the characters are presented with a full set of attributes and they don't deviate by one iota from story to story. So, characters don't develop. All the stories except one are set in ancient times and are meant to explain how the earth got this way; the exception is set in a far distant future and explains how the earth will end. Hard to feel invested either way. Second, everything and everyone is drawn at gigantic scale with enormous superpowers. Impossible to identify with. So, I finished it, but I really couldn't wait for it to be over.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • 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 5,923
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,492
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,478

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

A Beautiful Story AND a Ripping Yarn

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

Reviewed: 04-04-17

This beautiful story traverses, in a south-southeasterly direction, Reconstruction-era Texas, about which I knew nothing. The story is simple and well-described in the Audible.com summary and needs no elaboration from me. But I was astonished by what Jiles accomplished in this book. I was deeply enjoying the journey, so precisely described in lapidary prose that nonetheless makes sharp and humorous observations about the many different communities that made up this frontier, and would have been content with that till the end of the book. But smack in the middle of the story she sets a thrilling set piece, a shoot-out that nearly had me run off the road -- and which not only advances the story, but illuminates the characters. Cannot recommend more highly.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Funny Girl

  • A Novel
  • By: Nick Hornby
  • Narrated by: Emma Fielding
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 883
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 766
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 764

Set in 1960's London, Funny Girl is a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingnue to television starlet amid a constellation of delightful characters. Insightful and humorous, Nick Hornby's latest does what he does best: endears us to a cast of characters who are funny if flawed, and forces us to examine ourselves in the process.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Wish I had a 2.5 star option

  • By Dixie on 02-24-15

Droll and touching

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

A fond, acerbic look at youthful ambition, Swinging London, showbiz and the creative process, tied up with a big bright funny bow.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Beautiful Blue Death

  • Charles Lenox Mysteries Series #1
  • By: Charles Finch
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 853
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 765
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 768

Charles Lenox, Victorian gentleman and armchair explorer, likes nothing more than to relax in his private study with a cup of tea, a roaring fire and a good book. But when his lifelong friend Lady Jane asks for his help, Lenox cannot resist the chance to unravel a mystery. Prudence Smith, one of Jane's former servants, is dead of an apparent suicide. But Lenox suspects something far more sinister: murder, by a rare and deadly poison.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I like cozy

  • By Sheryl on 05-21-12

For Fans of Victoriana

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

Reviewed: 01-31-16

This book is a moderately diverting tale set in Victorian London. Its hero is an aristocratic sleuth, who is all intelligence, kindness and insight. These qualities are counterbalanced by...nothing. He is an extraordinarily tepid character, carrying on a barely perceptible courtship with an equally intelligent and pallid aristocratic widow. Blood hardly seems to flow in their veins. They have money and position and time, none of which is at stake, so they spend all three in the service of solving the troubles of the lower orders.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Collectors

  • By: Philip Pullman
  • Narrated by: Bill Nighy
  • Length: 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 717
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 656
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 653

"But the thing is," said Horley, "they didn’t know each other at all. Never heard of each other. It wasn’t about the makers. Only about the works." On a dark winter's night in 1970, Horley and Grinstead huddle for warmth in the Senior Common Room of a college in Oxford. Conversation turns to the two impressive works of art that Horley has recently added to his collection....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Henry James, meet Rudyard Kipling

  • By Michele Kellett on 02-18-15

Henry James, meet Rudyard Kipling

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

Reviewed: 02-18-15

An Oxford common room, a feeble fire: strangers meet over port, a tale is told, a transaction fixed, a dreadful act ensues. This is a classic 19th century horror story, told with Pullman's characteristic wit and grace. The bonus is the tangential glance at a character we grew to know well in The Golden Compass.

Bill Nighy's narration is superb, of course -- but perhaps more "actorly" than quite comprehensible. He falls into near-whispers occasionally: dramatically appropriate but hard to follow on a freeway, with a lot of ambient road noise.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.

  • A Novel
  • By: Adelle Waldman
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 258
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 218
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 220

Nate Piven is a rising star in Brooklyn’s literary scene. After several lean and striving years, he has his pick of both magazine assignments and women: Juliet, the hotshot business reporter; Elisa, his gorgeous ex-girlfriend, now friend; and Hannah, "almost universally regarded as nice and smart, or smart and nice" and who holds her own in conversation with his friends. But when one relationship grows more serious, Nate is forced to consider what it is he really wants.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • The Memoirs of a Self-Indulgent Intellectual Jerk

  • By Christina on 09-20-13

Need a reason to cancel The New Yorker?

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

Reviewed: 10-15-14

If you've ever longed to live in a literary scene, or wanted a do-over on your twenties, this book will pull your head right around. Nate is sees himself as a thoughtful intellectual; he wants to exert broad cultural influence through his writing. But he is baffled by his difficulties in relationship. What is blindingly obvious to the reader is that however well-educated or intelligent he is, he is immature to the point of infantilism in his relations with women. He makes tiny incremental steps forward in this story, but at the end he has only managed to find a woman who enforces decent behavior from him by dint of tears and curses. Why should this jerk be granted whatever cultural influence he has attained? (And the author seems to agree -- the essays he writes sound like deadly piffle). This was a well-written book, but you may wonder why this guy gets a book-length apologia.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

  • A Novel
  • By: Joshua Ferris
  • Narrated by: Campbell Scott
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 355
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 314
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 320

Paul O'Rourke is a Manhattan dentist with a thriving practice leading a quiet, routine-driven life. But behind the smiles and the nice apartment, he's a man made of contradictions, and his biggest fear is that he may never truly come to understand anybody, including himself. Then someone begins to impersonate Paul online, and he watches in horror as a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account are created in his name.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of My Favorites

  • By JOHN on 01-24-15

Hilarious Angst

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

Reviewed: 10-04-14

I loved Joshua Ferris' first book, "Then We Came to the End", because it was funny, it described a world I knew and because the writing itself was so playful. But "To Rise at a Decent Hour" is much much better. It sounds utterly deadly: a dentist has an existential crisis. But this story reminds us that depression is a highly active, intense state of being, and in this case it is nothing less than Jacob wrestling with the angel. Only with really funny jokes, a great running gag, and characters we really like.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful