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JCH

  • 6
  • reviews
  • 23
  • helpful votes
  • 64
  • ratings
  • Outline

  • By: Rachel Cusk
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 264
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 237
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 236

A luminous, powerful novel that establishes Rachel Cusk as one of the finest writers in the English language. A man and a woman are seated next to each other on a plane. They get to talking - about their destination, their careers, their families. Grievances are aired, family tragedies discussed, marriages and divorces analyzed. An intimacy is established as two strangers contrast their own fictions about their lives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Deserves multiple listens or reads

  • By JCH on 01-30-18

Deserves multiple listens or reads

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

Reviewed: 01-30-18

This beautiful book is so substantive it demands more than one read or listen as well as annotations, copious underlining and personal connections written into one’s notes. Not thought provoking- Mind blowing. For those who complain plot is lacking, this novel should be approached as a collection of short stories rather than one cohesive narrative. As such, it is a work of genius.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Rules of Magic

  • By: Alice Hoffman
  • Narrated by: Marin Ireland
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,873
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,537
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,527

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man. Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the '60s, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Darkly Fun and Bitterweet

  • By Mel on 11-17-17

Enjoyable but no substance

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

Reviewed: 10-26-17

Alice Hoffman's writing is always excellent, but there is very little plot in this novel. I liked the characters and their various storylines, but they suffered from a lack of anything to do or any real dramatic crisis. I also felt the voice of the narrator chosen for the audio book was not correct for these characters, and she relied too heavily on using snarky, obnoxious voices for the teenagers.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • A Long Way Gone

  • Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
  • By: Ishmael Beah
  • Narrated by: Ishmael Beah
  • Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,119
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,004
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,004

This is how wars are fought now by children, hopped up on drugs, and wielding AK-47s. In the more than 50 violent conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But it is rare to find a first-person account from someone who endured this hell and survived. In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now 26 years old, tells a riveting story in his own words: how, at the age of 12, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Author's voice

  • By B. Bunt on 11-01-13

Moving and important memoir

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

Reviewed: 10-26-17

This is an excellent memoir, and an important one. However, I agree with other reviews that the ending is abrupt and leaves something to be desired. The author owed it to his audience to give us more information about his departure from Sierra Leone, and transition to his new life. Also, I read this book because it was assigned to my 8th grader. I do not feel this book is appropriate for this grade level. It is too explicitly violent and disturbing, and may even glamorize the use of drugs in this age group. I have expressed my concerns to my daughter's school. I recommend this book for high schoolers, but not middle schoolers.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Night Circus

  • By: Erin Morgenstern
  • Narrated by: Jim Dale
  • Length: 13 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,397
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,667
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,684

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The circus of your dreams

  • By Anonymous User on 09-22-11

Interesting and vivid

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

Reviewed: 07-18-17

The narrator speaks too quickly. The prose is so gorgeous, it should be savored, not rushed.

  • The Stars Are Fire

  • A Novel
  • By: Anita Shreve
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Elise Freeman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 676
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 605
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 603

In October 1947, after a summer-long drought, fires break out all along the Maine coast, from Bar Harbor to Kittery, and are soon racing out of control from town to village. Five months pregnant, Grace Holland is left alone to protect her two toddlers when her husband, Gene, joins the volunteer firefighters. Along with her best friend, Rosie, and Rosie's two young children, Grace watches helplessly as their houses burn to the ground, the flames finally forcing them all into the ocean as a last resort.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Disaster Strikes In 1947

  • By Sara on 06-02-17

Disappointing effort from Shreve

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

Reviewed: 06-07-17

There could have been so much more to Grace's story. This novel is predictable and lacks the period and historical details that would have made the somewhat uneventful story more interesting. The protagonist, while quite distasteful, lacked definition and an explanation of the reasons behind his behavior. He was poorly drawn and not quite horrific enough for me to be truly afraid of him. Shreve leaves too many questions unanswered -- especially about the mother in law, her jewelry, Gene's reverence towards his mother, etc.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Winter Garden

  • A Novel
  • By: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 14 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,014
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,304
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,289

Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard: the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father fails ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I thought I made a mistake

  • By A. Musser on 11-29-17

Haunting and interesting

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

Reviewed: 05-17-17

I greatly enjoy and prefer Kristin Hannah's historical fiction novels rather than her novels set in more contemporary times. This story of the siege of Leningrad was interesting, heartbreaking and populated by fully realized characters who stay with the reader long after the novel has ended. The present-day story line was a bit trite, but not so much that it detracted from my enjoyment of the novel as a whole.