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Karen

Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 27
  • reviews
  • 108
  • helpful votes
  • 87
  • ratings
  • The Hate U Give

  • By: Angie Thomas
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 26,544
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 24,630
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 24,545

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This Book Changed My Entire Perspective

  • By Wendi on 01-14-18

outstanding!

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

Reviewed: 04-25-18

this book will be with me for a long time. stellar performance as well. a must read for anyone invoiced in anti racism work, especially white people

  • LaRose

  • A Novel
  • By: Louise Erdrich
  • Narrated by: Louise Erdrich
  • Length: 14 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,082
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 996
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 983

North Dakota, late summer, 1999. Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence - but when the buck springs away, Landreaux realizes he's hit something else, a blur he saw as he squeezed the trigger. When he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighbor's five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story; wonderful narration by the author.

  • By sgonk on 08-22-16

good story and writing, dull narration

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

Reviewed: 07-12-17

I love Louise Erdrich's writing and have listened to other books of hers. I often like it when authors read their own stories, but this would have benefited from a good voice actor to give more depth to the characters.

  • Norse Mythology

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38,020
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 34,766
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34,601

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
  • A Comedy-Tragedy of Gods Giants Dwarfs & Monsters

  • By Jefferson on 02-24-17

disappointing

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

Reviewed: 06-13-17

As I have loved all of Gaiman's novels, I had high expectations for this. To me, it lacks the creativity of his original work. he is still a wonderful reader, but I found it disappointing overall.

  • Trigger Warning

  • Short Fictions and Disturbances
  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,247
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,000
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,986

In this new anthology, Neil Gaiman pierces the veil of reality to reveal the enigmatic, shadowy world that lies beneath. Trigger Warning includes previously published pieces of short fiction--stories, verse, and a very special Doctor Who story that was written for the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved series in 2013--as well as "Black Dog", a new tale that revisits the world of American Gods, exclusive to this collection.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It Triggered Me to Stay Up Late and Listen

  • By Jan on 02-10-15

classic Gaiman...but...

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

Reviewed: 12-16-15

I like his novels better than his short stories. that said, his writing is gorgeous as always and he is an amazing reader.

  • Armada

  • A Novel
  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,933
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31,839
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 31,777

It's just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He's daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom - if he can make it that long without getting suspended again. Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Lacked the freshness of Ready Player One

  • By Chad on 01-08-16

Not as good as RPO, but Enjoyable anyway

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

Reviewed: 08-04-15

I've seen a lot of reviews trash this book - largely b/c it doesn't live up to the degree of creative innovation as the author's first book Ready Player One. I can't argue with that. I wasn't as great.

But for me, it was still good. First of all - hats off to Wil Wheaton, whose performance is marvelous. Once again (and perhaps even more than in RPO) he proves himself a very talented voice actor. And did anyone notice that there was a character whose voice sounded just like George Takei's? Extra points for that, Mr. Wheaton!

As for the writing - it was a little uneven and maybe rushed. There's so much technospeak in here - it's necessary to explain what's going on, but more careful writing would allow more of that to happen by inference rather than explanation. There are a LOT of references. I enjoyed most of them, but would agree with other reviewers that it was overkill. The book could have been plenty nostalgic with about half the number of references - listening, I started to feel like the guy was just showing off after a while.

It would have benefited from a few more drafts, imho. Some things just didn't make sense - like how most of the action supposedly happens in one day - how is that possible? And don't these people ever sleep? It wasn't necessary to set it that way, and made it less believable. The deus ex machina quality of the hacker friend - again - a little too pat. And too bad to reduce such a great character to a plot device.

I liked the story. I found it engaging and fun - very cinematic - in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if both of his books end up as movies. Not perfect... but good summer reading fun. There is some very entertaining dialogue in here, and have to mention again that I think Wil Wheaton deserves a heaping ton of credit for making the audiobook work. Without his talents, I think the flaws in the book would have been much more damaging.

  • The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse

  • By: Louise Erdrich
  • Narrated by: Anna Fields
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 404
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 242
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 241

For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved people, the Ojibwe, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery of his physical identity, for he is a woman who has lived as a man. To complicate his fears, his quiet life changes when a troubled colleague comes to the reservation to investigate the life of the perplexing, difficult, possibly false saint Sister Leopolda.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Remarkable and Challenging

  • By Carol T. Carr on 07-07-05

gorgeous

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

Reviewed: 02-18-15

a stunning and intriguing story. magnificently performed. it has been a long time since I read Erdrich and I expect I'll be visiting other works of hers! beautiful storytelling

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 201,085
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 187,773
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 187,368

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book.

  • By Julie W. Capell on 05-27-14

Loved it - and hadn't expected to...

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

Reviewed: 03-28-14

This was just a really FUN book - great story, likeable characters, very imaginative world. It was just a blast. As someone who has never been that much into video games, I was worried that too much of this would go over my head for me to really engage with the story. I was totally wrong. There were plenty of movie and TV and music and cultural references - and it turns out that I knew more about video games than I thought I did - or at least enough to "get it" enough that I felt thoroughly included. MANY laugh out loud moments. Wil Wheaton was THE perfect narrator for this and did an excellent job.

I usually most enjoy books that would be considered "literature" as I love beautiful language. That was not the strength of this book - but the story was so compelling and engaging! Thoroughly enjoyable.

  • Dear Life

  • Stories
  • By: Alice Munro
  • Narrated by: Kimberly Farr, Arthur Morey
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 277
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 233
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 226

A brilliant new collection of stories from one of the most acclaimed and beloved writers of our time. Alice Munro’s peerless ability to give us the essence of a life in often brief but always spacious and timeless stories is once again everywhere apparent in this brilliant new collection. In story after story, she illumines the moment a life is forever altered by a chance encounter or an action not taken, or by a simple twist of fate that turns a person out of his or her accustomed path and into a new way of being or thinking.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Poor narration CAN ruin an audiobook...

  • By Elizabeth M. Koehler on 12-10-13

so so

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

Reviewed: 01-30-14

This is my first experience with Alice Munro, which I chose b/c I figured someone who won the Nobel Prize is probably worth looking into. This collection did not knock my socks off. I'm encouraged by some comments here that suggest that there are other collections that do. I was also not thrilled with either narrator. I didn't feel their performances enhanced the stories, simply conveyed them.

  • Wild

  • From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
  • By: Cheryl Strayed
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
  • Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,972
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,746
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,801

At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Glad I Took the Trip

  • By FanB14 on 04-08-13

Good, not great

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

Reviewed: 01-30-14

Cheryl Strayed is a capable writer with an interesting story to tell. I liked how she wove her personal life / transformations in with the story of the trail time itself. From that perspective, the story was neatly constructed. This was assigned by my book group, and it was enjoyable enough... but a little fluffy for my reading tastes in general.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • A Tale for the Time Being

  • By: Ruth Ozeki
  • Narrated by: Ruth Ozeki
  • Length: 14 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,937
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,770
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,762

In Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace - and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox - possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Engaging story beautifully read

  • By Karen on 01-30-14

Engaging story beautifully read

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

Reviewed: 01-30-14

I loved this book- Not all authors are good readers, but Ruth Ozeki does a marvelous job with this one. Interesting cultural and philosophical and generational contrasts. The story was very engaging in that I found myself glued to it wanting to know what would happen. I cared about the characters and how they fared. I appreciate the moments of magical realism, the mysteries that are left mysteries, the author's allowing the girl narrator to be both wise and shallow, as young people often are. The characters are more real for their flaws. The language is beautiful, the story well-constructed.

One word of caution - there is a lot of discussion of, and exploration of suicide in this book. At times it is uncomfortable - and I imagine that for someone with close experience or unprocessed hurt around this issue, it may be intolerably so. But it is integral to the book and the story, and involves Japanese history and perspectives on this issue. The tension of Japanese and American ways of understanding suicide is part of the story. That the author elicits this in (American) readers is also part of it. So choose accordingly.

For me it was well worth the read.

43 of 44 people found this review helpful