LISTENER

BK

  • 11
  • reviews
  • 18
  • helpful votes
  • 113
  • ratings
  • Once Upon a River

  • By: Diane Setterfield
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,533
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,428
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,420

A body always tells a story - but this child’s was a blank page. Rita reached for the lantern. She trained its light on the child’s face. "Who are you?" she murmured, but the face said as little as the rest of her. It was impossible to tell whether, in life, these blunt and unfinished features had borne the imprint of prettiness, timid watchfulness, or sly mischief. If there had once been curiosity or placidity or impatience here, life had not had time to etch it into permanence. Only a very short time ago, the body and soul of this little girl had still been securely attached.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyed thoroughly... one minor glitch

  • By Jen817 on 12-27-18

OK, but...

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

Reviewed: 03-19-19

Just not my cup of tea, though I know a lot of people who liked it a lot. I liked it enough to finish it, and though I did grow impatient from time to time, I don't regret spending the credit. In fact, Juliet Stevenson's narration was itself worth the prie of admission. The woman is so extraordinarily gifted!

  • Virgil Wander

  • By: Leif Enger
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 240
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 229
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227

Midwestern movie house owner Virgil Wander is "cruising along at medium altitude" when his car flies off the road into icy Lake Superior. Virgil survives, but his language and memory are altered, and he emerges into a world no longer familiar to him. Awakening in this new life, Virgil begins to piece together his personal history and the lore of his broken town, with the help of a cast of affable and curious locals. Into this community returns a shimmering prodigal son who may hold the key to reviving their town.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • absolutely loved it

  • By Mary K. Free on 12-07-18

Just OK for me, but...

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

Reviewed: 01-20-19

Didn't quite work for me. Enger is a truly special writer, and there are moments in the book that are so lovely, so vividly described, that I paused for a moment or two to take them in. That said, I felt that he fell short here. The characters -- including the narrator, Virgil himself -- felt to me as too transparently quirky and Charming. The setting came awfully close to the cliched 'small town that's seen better times but whose beating heart,' etc. The touches of magical realism were unconvincing to me -- not in any real-world sense, of course, but emotionally.

Over all, really not a bad book, just not to my taste. I hope it does well, though (I expect it will, based on reviews others have written) because Enger's is a talent that deserves nurturing.

The reader, MacLeod Andrews, does a good job. Some have said his accent is inauthentic, but I can't comment on that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Home Fire

  • A Novel
  • By: Kamila Shamsie
  • Narrated by: Tania Rodrigues
  • Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 548
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 507
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 504

Isma is free. After years of watching out for her younger siblings in the wake of their mother's death, she's accepted an invitation from a mentor in America that allows her to resume a dream long deferred. But she can't stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London, or their brother, Parvaiz, who's disappeared in pursuit of his own dream, to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. When he resurfaces half a globe away, Isma's worst fears are confirmed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • one of most important books of this time

  • By N. D. Warren on 11-24-17

Splendid!

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

Reviewed: 12-01-18

A solid, thoughtful and timely take on Antigone. The characters are vivid and well drawn, full of the kinds of contradictions and hard to manage impulses that real people have. Excellent pacing. A couple of minor missteps -- the ending felt a bit "off" -- but very deserving of a wide audience, particularly among reader groups. Tania Rodrigues does a masterful job narrating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Bad Blood

  • Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
  • By: John Carreyrou
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 21,707
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 19,738
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 19,698

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose start-up “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fund-raising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’ worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Shocking story of a meteoric rise and fall

  • By Jeff Koeppen on 08-14-18

Wow on all counts!

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

An amazing and deeply worrisome story that shows how easily people can be convinced to ignore the evidence of their own eyes... no matter how great the cost -- and how easy it is to game the system. The "villains" here are true avatars of our young, techno-centric century: driven, insular, controlling, paranoid, even sociopathic. That said, I found it hard to feel much sympathy for their "victims" who had ample and repeated warning but chose to ignore it. The story is well-told -- thorough, good pacing, fair, and insightful -- and the narration superlative. Not the kind of book I typically enjoy but I'm very glad I picked it up.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Winter

  • By: Ali Smith
  • Narrated by: Melody Grove
  • Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62

In Winter, life force matches up to the toughest of the seasons. In this second novel in her acclaimed Seasonal cycle, the follow-up to Ali Smith's sensational Autumn, Smith's shape-shifting quartet of novels casts a merry eye over a bleak post-truth era with a story rooted in history, memory, and warmth, its taproot deep in the evergreens: art, love, laughter. It's the season that teaches us survival.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stellar and magical!

  • By BK on 07-07-18

Stellar and magical!

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

Reviewed: 07-07-18

Not enough stars! I loved this. It's like experiencing one of Shakespeare's comedies through quantum lenses. Yeah, I know: That makes no sense at all. But it captures the joy of the book -- the delightful characters, the bending and twisting of time, the playfully transcendent aura that hovers over everything, the humorous authorial interjections, the assumption of disguises, the comic resolution... I loved "Autumn" equally as much and I am ready to follow Ms. Smith anywhere. A special shout-out to narrator Melody Grove whose performance is nothing less than miraculous. What a splendid pairing of author and reader!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • IQ

  • By: Joe Ide
  • Narrated by: Sullivan Jones
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,640
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,269
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,248

A resident of one of LA's toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores. East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood's high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can't or won't touch. They call him IQ. He's a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • IQ way better than OK

  • By green ice cream garden on 12-21-16

What a performance!

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

Reviewed: 11-24-17

IQ is the first book in a new mystery-ish series set South Central LA: a tough neighborhood wracked by crime, gangs, and drugs. The setting and characters are fascinating, particularly the eponymous IQ (Isaiah Quintabe) who has a special gift for solving crime. Other reviewers will tell you what you need to know about the plot. As for me, I'll just say that the performance by Sullivan Jones was nothing short of miraculous. Talk about special gifts: Jones inhabited the characters and made a really good story come to life in a great audible book. I will definitely listen to the sequel, "Righteous." I'll be following his career with interest.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dark Territory

  • The Secret History of Cyber War
  • By: Fred Kaplan
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,327
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,190
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,183

As cyber attacks dominate front-page news, as hackers join the list of global threats, and as top generals warn of a coming cyber war, few books are more timely and enlightening than Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War by Slate columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Fred Kaplan.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Best narrator - Malcolm Hillgartner

  • By Greg Davis on 07-20-16

Terrifying and necessary

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

Reviewed: 04-29-16

I was hoping for a clear, concise overview of cyber war, etc., and man, this book delivered! From Ronald Reagan's question after watching the Matthew Broderick movie "War Games" ('Could this really happen?') to Snowdon and beyond, Kaplan lays it all out: the personalities, developments, conflicts, omissions and errors, the resistance to change, and so much more. The book left me deeply shaken... and wishing desperately that everybody in Congress would read it ASAP. Too much of what we and our political representatives believe about the cyber world is based on what we see on TV and in the movies. The reality is very different and much more sobering. Don't be put off by fears of jargon or agendas. The book is clearly written and the narrator does a superlative job. (And now I need to find something light to listen to -- maybe something from a different, less complicated century!)

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Burial Rites

  • A Novel
  • By: Hannah Kent
  • Narrated by: Morven Christie
  • Length: 11 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,332
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,240
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,238

A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829. Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution. Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hauntingly beautiful and tragic tale

  • By Bonny on 01-14-15

Outstanding performance, marvelous book

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

Reviewed: 03-01-16

Any additional comments?

A starkly beautiful recreation of the events following a real murder conviction in early 19th century Iceland. Kent's evocation of the land, climate, social structure and lives of her characters is remarkable -- it's a world I've never encountered before (though I have been to Iceland and would go back in a second!). I was particularly struck by the complexity of her main characters, by how frequently I found myself expecting them to do one thing only to see them doing something else. It starts off a bit slow and quiet, but stay with it and let its power work you.

A VERY special shout out to Morven Christie's performance in reading the book. She is nothing less than amazing. I heard her once before, "Codename: Verity." I didn't know when I downloaded it that it was a YA novel, but it turned out to be quite good. I was so enthralled by Ms Christie's performance that I resolved to check out anything she does.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Relic Master

  • A Novel
  • By: Christopher Buckley
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 512
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 467
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 466

The year is 1517. Dismas is a relic hunter: one who procures "authentic" religious relics for wealthy and influential clients. His two most important patrons are Frederick the Wise, elector of Saxony; and soon-to-be Cardinal Albrecht of Mainz. While Frederick is drawn to the recent writing of Martin Luther, Albrecht pursues the financial and political benefits of religion and seeks to buy a cardinalship through the selling of indulgences.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic -- and hilarious

  • By Actor on 12-17-15

Just plain fun!

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

Reviewed: 02-07-16

Any additional comments?

This is exactly why I like audio books. The story itself is great fun: full of events that are improbable, impossible, and endlessly engaging -- kind of like Princess Bride, in a way. James Langton deserves a special call-out: His performance is one of the best I've heard. I'll definitely be looking into other books he's read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Code Name Verity

  • By: Elizabeth Wein
  • Narrated by: Morven Christie, Lucy Gaskell
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,030
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,371
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,349

Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery. Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Do Not Read Any (other) Reviews of this Book!

  • By HDJ on 12-15-12

An unexpected delight

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

Reviewed: 11-07-13

Any additional comments?

I rather stumbled onto this book, having no idea that it was a YA title. It was a happy accident. The story itself is a good one, with intricate plot twists, suspense and interesting characters. Most noteworthy of all were the performances. They were nothing short of brilliant in bringing the characters to life. I will give any book read by either woman very serious consideration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful