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Susan Gardner Bowers

Whittier, CA USA
  • 24
  • reviews
  • 144
  • helpful votes
  • 108
  • ratings
The Disposables audiobook cover art

Geez the narrator

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

Reviewed: 07-05-18

Good, inventive story. But the narration is woeful. Just a few examples: Canopies for canapés? Cah-John for Cajon? Diminitive for diminutive? Wasn’t anyone in charge listening? It really took away from the listening experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Heat and Light audiobook cover art

Sigh

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

Reviewed: 07-10-16

I am getting tired of books that have a political point of view (even if I agree) and construct a fairly lame story on which the opinions hang. Are you listening, Barkskins? Ms Haight is a great writer but she's sold herself short on the one. In addition, the narrator mispronunces words. My current fave? Macadam with the accent woefully misplaced.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell audiobook cover art

Wow

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

Reviewed: 01-15-15

I just finished this book. It is intense and reads like an amazingly well researched historical fiction book of 1800s Great Britain. I loved the intricate characters and detailed history of magic

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

The Steady Running of the Hour audiobook cover art

Sigh

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

Reviewed: 05-01-14

I really wanted to like this book. I should have liked this book. But I simply couldn't. The characters lacked any depth. The end was incredibly unsatisfying. Who ARE these people and why do I care about them?

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

The Invention of Wings audiobook cover art

Meh

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

Reviewed: 02-11-14

Predictable. Saccharine. Disappointing. Plus, the narrator was the same as for The Help, which was disconcerting throughout. I really really wanted to like this, and did listen all the way through, being ever hopeful of a real plot twist.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

The Fear Index audiobook cover art

More meh

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

Reviewed: 03-22-13

HAL (of 2001 infamy) meets the 21st century financial markets. Takes over. Makes billions. Destroys lives. Kills people with elevators. Crashes planes and the stock market. All in 24 hours. Then the book ends.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Eighty Days audiobook cover art
  • Eighty Days
  • Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World
  • By: Matthew Goodman
  • Narrated by: Kathe Mazur

Who knew?

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

Reviewed: 03-18-13

Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World, by Matthew Goodman is a darn good story, full of little known facts, offering a more than a snapshot of late nineteenth century America and the journalism and prejudices of the time, and providing a bit of a cautionary tale.

While the story of Nelly Bly’s “race” around the world is the center of the book, there's good context provided of the run-up to the event. Indeed, much of the meat of the book is life after the race. I hadn't known about Elizabeth Bisland (who’s actually a much more likable character – especially in the sense that I’d have liked to have been like her).

PS: Nelly did the trip with but one dress. Elizabeth a good bit more!

There are beautiful descriptions of the places that Nelly and Elizabeth visit and an interesting perspective on how steam power (ships and trains) changed the world so quickly.

Much of the book takes place after the race, and does drag a bit; there’s some repetition and the book could probably have been edited a little more firmly, but the way it addresses celebrity, and its impact on Nelly Bly’s life, is thought-provocative. B+

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

The Garden of Evening Mists audiobook cover art

The best

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

Reviewed: 03-11-13

Oh. My. Goodness. Such a memorable book: The Garden of Evening Mists, by Tan Twan Eng. A marvelous story, set in Malaya (Malaysia) during the years following WWII, but with lots of flashbacks to the Japanese occupation. The author is a meticulous wordsmith with the ability to use metaphors that took my breath away, but without being overwritten. The story is, well, sprawling, and with its threads tightly braided. It's a mystery (actually several), an exploration of Japanese gardening, the history of tattoos in the Orient, tea - its growing and drinking....and more. Be ye not put off; for me it was so worth the time. And one of the very few books I wanted to read again, right away, to parse out all the nuances, clues and allusions. By the same author: The Gift of Rain, which I also enjoyed immensely.

This is also the most astonishing narration I've heard. The accents!

31 of 32 people found this review helpful

Love Is a Canoe audiobook cover art

Just couldn't connect

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

Reviewed: 02-20-13

Any additional comments?

Here's a "don't waste your time, because I did it for you," review. An interesting construct, telling the story of a single-book author whose claim to fame is a self-help book based on putative stories about success in marriage told by his too-good-to-be true grandfather. First, this book is better suited to people whose ages are closer to a school zone speed limit than a freeway speed limit. Second, I didn't like any of the characters, didn't know them, didn't understand their motivations. Couldn't figure out who was the hero/ine. Didn't care. That being said, I just checked out the NYTimes book review, and I am not, as they say, on the same page as its author. As I drove and listened I just kept thinking Bar-ar-arf.

In Sunlight and in Shadow audiobook cover art

Not good for listening

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

Reviewed: 12-16-12

What would have made In Sunlight and in Shadow better?

Read the written word

What was most disappointing about Mark Helprin’s story?

Narration combined with incredibly detailed description of every breath and every button. Too much. I had to stop.

Would you be willing to try another one of Sean Runnette’s performances?

Probably not

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom

2 of 2 people found this review helpful