LISTENER

Mary Smiroldo

Corrales, NM
  • 52
  • reviews
  • 177
  • helpful votes
  • 79
  • ratings
  • The Ragged Edge of Night

  • By: Olivia Hawker
  • Narrated by: Nick Sandys, Olivia Hawker
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 308
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 267
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 266

Germany, 1942. Franciscan friar Anton Starzmann is stripped of his place in the world when his school is seized by the Nazis. He relocates to a small German hamlet to wed Elisabeth Herter, a widow who seeks a marriage - in name only - to a man who can help raise her three children. Anton seeks something too - atonement for failing to protect his young students from the wrath of the Nazis. But neither he nor Elisabeth expects their lives to be shaken once again by the inescapable rumble of war. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Ragged Edge of Night must be made into a movie

  • By M. King on 10-04-18

A True Story!

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

Reviewed: 11-13-18

Not until the author’s note at the end of this incredible story did I realize it had actually happened. However, long before the author’s comments, I had already begun to draw some amazing and frightening parallels between the Reich’s leadership, and the actions and damaging rhetoric we are, as Americans, enduring since the 2016 election. Some of the earlier reviewers of this novel seem to be unable to recognize the analogous conflicts of then and now. The Ragged Edge of Night is a well told and well performed story that gives us hope and even courage to do better and be better even when those in power threaten our very way of life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Haunting of Hill House

  • By: Shirley Jackson
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
  • Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,011
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,650
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,657

Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a lonely, homeless girl well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Well written horror tale

  • By Crystal on 02-11-14

Awful!

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

Reviewed: 11-01-18

That pretty much sums it up! The only redeeming feature was the narrator. Ridiculous story. Didn’t make any sense. A total waste of time and credit!

  • The Masterpiece

  • A Novel
  • By: Fiona Davis
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 264
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 247
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 246

For the nearly nine million people who live in New York City, Grand Central Terminal is a crown jewel, a masterpiece of design. But for Clara Darden and Virginia Clay, it represents something quite different. For Clara, the terminal is the stepping stone to her future. It is 1928, and 25-year-old Clara is teaching at the lauded Grand Central School of Art, but not even the prestige of the school can override the public's disdain for a "woman artist". Nearly 50 years later, in 1974, the terminal has declined almost as sharply as Virginia Clay's life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If you want a novel that has everything...

  • By Debra Jo on 09-10-18

Boring!

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

Reviewed: 10-29-18

Finally stopped listening with 3 long, boring hours to go. I kept waiting for something to happen, but it just droned on and on. Cassandra Campbell is a highly rated narrator, but I have never understood why. She has a sing- song voice that I find unbearable irritating. Her voice combined with a terribly boring story....it’s unbelievable that I lasted so long.

  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz

  • A Novel
  • By: Heather Morris
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,411
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,305
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,295

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (German for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners. Imprisoned for more than two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism - but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A hopeful perspective on a harrowing time

  • By melyssa57 (A Page Before Bedtime dot com) on 10-10-18

Unbelievably Moving

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

Reviewed: 10-10-18

Listen to this book! Tell your family to listen to this book. Tell your friends to listen to this book. I would recommend this book as required reading for all high school age children. As a 70 year old non- Jewish woman, I know that this story will stay with me for the rest of my life.

  • The Love Letter

  • By: Lucinda Riley
  • Narrated by: Camilla Rockley
  • Length: 16 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 392
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 369
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 366

1995, London. When Sir James Harrison, one the greatest actors of his generation, passes away at the age of 95 he leaves behind not just a heartbroken family but also a secret so shocking, so devastating that it could rock the English establishment to its core. Joanna Haslam is an ambitious young journalist assigned to cover the legendary actor's funeral. The great and the good of the celebrity world are there. But Joanna stumbles on something dark beneath the glamour: the mention of a letter James Harrison has left behind, the contents of which others have been desperate to conceal for over 70 years. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Throughly enjoyable read!

  • By LB on 09-03-18

Good Start, but....

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

Reviewed: 10-08-18

I began listening to this book with a lot of hope, but by the last three hours, I was checking the time to see how much longer I had to endure the very predictable end. The whole mystery got lost in all the love affairs and nonsense that pervaded. Until, that is, until the last seven minutes when all was revealed in a flurry! Camilla Rockley was the only saving grace for this one!!

  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

  • A Novel
  • By: Jamie Ford
  • Narrated by: Feodor Chin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,431
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,226
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,237

In the opening pages of Jamie Ford's stunning debut, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow! What a book! What a narrator!!

  • By Bev S. Weiler on 09-06-09

So glad it’s over!

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

Reviewed: 08-28-18

I can’t understand why this book got so many positive reviews. It started slow, and got worse! The only thing half way interesting was the history of the Japanese “concentration camps” that existed in different locations throughout the US. Shameful! The story line was so predictable, and getting there was excruciatingly slow. The narrator had an annoying habit of pronouncing every contraction such as
“Couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t, with a strong emphasis on the “d,” as in coul-Dent, woul-Dent, shoul-Dent. That is NOT how people truly speak, and distracted greatly from an otherwise decent job.
I wish I had my credit back. I kept looking to see how much more time was left before this book was finished!!

  • Educated

  • A Memoir
  • By: Tara Westover
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 23,817
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21,622
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 21,512

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Other Side of Idaho's Mountains

  • By Darwin8u on 03-28-18

The best I’ve read this year!

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

Reviewed: 07-18-18

I don’t know why it took me so long to finally listen to this book! I was captivated from the first page, and looked forward to every minute I got to be transported to the “mountain.” I was fascinated by entire Westover family, their love for each other, but, also, by the mental illness that held them prisoners.
This is the best book I have listened to so far this year! Tara Westover weaves a complex web of family relationships, and delves deeply into the self destructive culture of Mormonism and bipolar disorder. Having earned a Ph.D. many years ago in clinical psychology, I was moved by this woman’s determination to overcome the tremendous obstacles she confronted every day in an effort to become the person she was told she could never be.

  • Carnegie's Maid

  • A Novel
  • By: Marie Benedict
  • Narrated by: Alana Kerr Collins
  • Length: 9 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 503
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 467
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 464

Clara Kelley is not who they think she is. She's not the experienced Irish maid who was hired to work in one of Pittsburgh's grandest households. She's a poor farmer's daughter with nowhere to go and nothing in her pockets. But the other woman with the same name has vanished, and pretending to be her just might get Clara some money to send back home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Engaging story

  • By L.W. on 01-19-18

Shallow

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

Reviewed: 06-26-18

Carnegie’s Maid could have been an exciting tale of one of America’s most interesting and wealthy families. It could have presented the historical relevance of an penniless, immigrant family coming to America, and the contributions they made to our country through hard work and determination. It could have been a story of inspiration, and the importance of equality in this country at a time in which it is so desperately needed.
However, this was a terribly written and horribly narrated soap opera version of a book in much need of a good editor and a complete redo. The story began on a weak premise, and only got weaker. My greatest irritation, second only to the unforgivable narration, was the incredibly sophisticated language used by the main character. An Irish country girl, educated as she may have been, would never have been capable of the dialogue used throughout her every interaction. It was not plausible!
Alana Kerr Collins, however, was the worst possible choice as narrator for this story. Her sing-song voice never varied. When speaking the men’s parts, her voice never changed or varied in any way. Every character sounded exactly like the same. I have never understood why a narrator attempts dialects that are far beyond their ability. The Scottish and Irish pronunciation of even the most simple words and phrases were strained and forced. This became so annoying and distracting, I almost gave up early on. I had the hope that the historical aspect of the book would somehow compensate for all this. It did not!
I do not recommend this book to anyone, much less to anyone interested in historical fiction! This was pure melodrama.

  • My Dear Hamilton

  • A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton
  • By: Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 23 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,235
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,163
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,155

From the New York Times best-selling authors of America's First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton - a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. In this haunting, moving, and beautifully written book, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza's story as it's never been told before - not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Eliza and Alexander Hamilton

  • By Betty on 04-15-18

Amazing Story

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

Reviewed: 06-21-18

I throughly enjoyed this historical novel. The detailed research is evident throughout.
Cassandra Campbell has never been my favorite narrator (very breathy any syrupy), but she did execute this one very well.
I highly recommend this wonderful book to anyone interested in our nation’s history,

  • Tipperary

  • A Novel of Ireland
  • By: Frank Delaney
  • Narrated by: Frank Delaney
  • Length: 16 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139

Born into a respected Irish-Anglo family in 1860, Charles loves his native land and its long-suffering but irrepressible people. As a healer, he travels the countryside dispensing traditional cures while soaking up stories and legends of bygone times - and witnessing the painful, often violent birth of land-reform measures destined to lead to Irish independence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful

  • By Kathy on 12-08-07

An Amazing Journey!

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

Reviewed: 06-04-18

I loved this tale from beginning to end! I felt as though I knew each character personally, and was captivated by their lives and adventures. So well written and developed with the perfect narration. I will miss each character as though they were old friends!