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Alison's

Asbury, NJ, United States
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 15
  • helpful votes
  • 14
  • ratings
  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 215,519
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 201,263
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 200,846

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

A favorite!

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

Reviewed: 08-20-17

I have read the print and listened to the audio of Ready Player One multiple times, and even shared the experience with my teenage son. It still remains one of my favorite books and Wil Wheaton's performance is perfect! Exciting, suspenseful and thought-provoking! As we become more and more invested in our online lives, one can't help but wonder if Ernie Cline's Oasis is in our not-so-distant future. Have a listen!

  • A Man Called Ove

  • By: Fredrik Backman
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65,510
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59,947
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59,850

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him "the bitter neighbor from hell". But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Laughed and I Cried

  • By Bill on 08-22-15

A new favorite!

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

Reviewed: 07-30-17

I didn't know what to expect from this book, and I loved it! I laughed, I gasped, I cried. Over is an unlikely hero who you can't help but love. The narrator did this book justice, especially his reading of Ove, whose tone might get lost in the text for some. Highly recommend!

  • Murder on the Orient Express

  • A Hercule Poirot Mystery
  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: Dan Stevens
  • Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,566
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,857
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,831

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer. Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • My first Christie

  • By Michael Andrew Kinkead on 08-06-17

Classic brought to life!

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

Reviewed: 07-30-17

A classic whodunnit and expertly performed! The narrator is talented and gave distinct voices to each of the cast of characters. Highly recommend!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Woman on the Orient Express

  • By: Lindsay Jayne Ashford
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,190
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,917
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,918

Hoping to make a clean break from a fractured marriage, Agatha Christie boards the Orient Express in disguise. But unlike her famous detective Hercule Poirot, she can't neatly unravel the mysteries she encounters on this fateful journey. Her cabinmate Katharine Keeling's first marriage ended in tragedy, propelling her toward a second relationship mired in deceit. Nancy Nelson - newly married but carrying another man's child - is desperate to conceal the pregnancy and teeters on the brink of utter despair.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very enjoyable "woman on transportation" book

  • By Ruth on 02-20-17

Read the text instead!

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

Reviewed: 07-30-17

I could not finish the audio. My book club chose this book, and it was one of the best book we have read so far this year, but the two of us that listened to the audio couldn't get past the distractingly affected narrator. Neither of us could even finish the audio. We played it for the rest of the group and were begged to shut it off. Horrible.

  • What Was Mine

  • A Novel
  • By: Helen Klein Ross
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Cassandra Campbell, Amanda Carlin, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,118
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,004
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,005

Lucy Wakefield is a seemingly ordinary woman who does something extraordinary in a desperate moment: She takes a baby girl from a shopping cart and raises her as her own. It's a secret she manages to keep for over two decades - from her daughter, the babysitter who helped raise her, family, coworkers, and friends. When Lucy's now-grown daughter, Mia, discovers the devastating truth of her origins, she is overwhelmed by confusion and anger and determines not to speak again to the mother who raised her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Switching alliances

  • By Simone on 01-23-16

Gripping

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

Reviewed: 04-19-16

I listened as a book club selection. My club-mates who read the print couldn't put the book down. The cast of narrators will leave you circling the block to keep listening to the audio. Cassandra Campbell is one of my favorite audiobook narrators and is accompanied by an amazing cast. Highly recommend!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Paper Towns

  • By: John Green
  • Narrated by: Dan John Miller
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,430
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,671
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,703

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I picked you

  • By Natalia on 07-04-10

It's the journey, not the destination

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

Reviewed: 04-23-15

This is the phrase you must cling to as you read/listen to Paper Towns. The ending, in my opinion, was disappointing, but the getting there was a great ride. I think that may have been the whole point.

The reader did a fine job. At first, I found his voice to be a bit too mature-sounding for YA, but I quickly fell into the characters and the story. His interpretation of Ben was worth the whole audiobook!

I read/listened to Paper Towns knowing, and probably because, there was a movie on the way, and I'm glad I did.

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
    A Novel
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Tom Franklin
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Kevin Kenerly
    
    


    
    Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
    2,573 ratings
    Overall 4.0
  • Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

  • A Novel
  • By: Tom Franklin
  • Narrated by: Kevin Kenerly
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,573
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,848
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,859

Larry Ott and Silas “32” Jones were unlikely boyhood friends. Larry was the child of lower middle-class white parents, Silas the son of a poor, single, black mother - their worlds as different as night and day. Yet a special bond developed between them in Chabot, Mississippi. But within a few years, tragedy struck. In high school, a girl who lived up the road from Larry had gone to the drive-in movie with him and nobody had seen her again.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic story in the south I know

  • By Jami E. Nettles on 01-10-11

Slow start, but rewards in the end

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

Reviewed: 04-17-13

Larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were boyhood friends, who drifted apart in high school. Larry went on a date with a girl to a drive-in movie, but the girl did not return home and was never heard from again. Larry was never arrested, as there was no proof. Silas moved away shortly after and the two did not speak again until years later. The years between were hard and solitary for Larry, "Scary Larry" the locals called him. He was once again under suspicion when another girl went missing. Silas, constable of their small hometown, and was called in to investigate when Larry Ott was discovered with a severe gunshot wound that left him in a coma. What happened to Larry, and the real story of what happened to the girl recently missing, as well as the one missing from all those years ago slowly unravels in this riveting narrative.

A little slow to start, Tom Franklin's narrative voice gradually pulls the reader into the story, which gets the heart pounding about 3/4 of the way in. Some categorize Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter as a thriller, but it's more of a subtle roar than a loud scream.

Even though Larry Ott spends almost the entire book in a coma, his story comes to the reader through Silas's detective work and his own memories of the past, peeling apart their story one layer at a time.

A note on the audiobook. I read this book with my book club, and a few readers did not catch on at first as to which characters in the novel were black and which were white. Since racial tension is palpable in Mississippi, even in present day, I'm afraid they may have missed a significant source of drama. I had the benefit of Kevin Kenerly's superb narration, whose accent and diction left no doubt in the listeners' minds. He gave each character his/her own voice, tone, accent, and it really allowed me to immerse myself in the story. This may sound strange, but Kevin Kenerly was able to make a character's stature grow larger just by the deep tone of voice he gave him. When I heard his Silas/32 voice, I immediately imagined CC Sebathia (NY Yankee pitcher) who stands at 6'7", and has a serious but kind face. There is one scene in the book that sent chills up my spine, highlighting the perfect marriage between author and narrator. All in all, a terrific audio!

A smart, memorable novel that slowly draws readers in and delivers a satisfying end.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

  • By: Mindy Kaling
  • Narrated by: Mindy Kaling, Michael Schur, B. J. Novak
  • Length: 4 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,922
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,265
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12,248

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • If you like Mindy, you'll enjoy this listen.

  • By Lisa on 01-04-12

Fun Audio!

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

Reviewed: 04-17-13

Prior to the publication of Mindy Kaling's book, I did not know her as anything other than Kelly Kapoor on The Office, one of the funniest shows on TV. Even still, I didn't realize the large role she has played in the show's success. She is the "quadruple threat" in Television: actress, writer, director and producer. The new show, The Mindy Project, is her new baby.

IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME? is Mindy's story so far. She talks about her relatively normal upbringing, her childhood as a chubby kid, the adolescent who was obsessed with all things comedy, the student at Dartmouth, and the wide-eyed talented anti-ingenue.

She has a self-depricating humor similar to that of Tina Fey, but edgier and all her own. I'm sure being compared to Tina Fey and Amy Pohler is very cool, but she has her own brand of hilariousness, which comes out shining in her book.

Her chapter titles include: "I Am Not An Athlete," "The Exact Level of Fame I Want," and, my personal favorite, "Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities." For almost eight years, Mindy lived with her best girl friends, and their relationships had their own Code of Conduct, including the right and responsibility, "If our phone conversation gets disconnected there's no need to call back. I get it. You get it. We take forever getting off the phone anyway. This was a blessing." (This happens to me and my sister all the time, and it's understood, no call-back needed!) But my personal favorite Best Friend Right and Responsibility, "I will hate and re-like people for you. But you can't get mad at me if I can't keep track." (In my world, this is the equivalent of Friending and Un-Friending someone on Facebook for my best friends. Yes, I have done that, purely out of love. If I have un-friended you on Facebook, chances are high you have wronged my BFF in some way.)

I'm already a huge fan of memoirs and bios narrated by their celebrity authors - Tina Fey, Rob Lowe, Carrie Fisher, you get the idea. So, when I saw Mindy Kaling's book, I knew it would have to be audio for me, but I didn't know when. The when became easy. I had just read a string of really good, heavy books, and I was reading a print YA. I was ready for an audio that would offer me something light and funny - Hello, Mindy!

She's the perfect narrator. Her voice is funny and natural, and not at all annoying. Some actresses have a great voice for dialogue, but alone on an audiobook for 5 hours is not ideal. My only wish is now I want to hear her sing, and there is no singing on the audiobook. Mindy also has appearances on her audiobook by Michael Schur, a writer/producer/director on The Office, SNL, and Parks and Rec, as well as BJ Novak, another actor/writer/producer on The Office and The Mindy Project.

I feel like I'm friends with Mindy now. It's a really good thing I'm not in danger of bumping into her on the street, because she would definitely think I was a stalker by my comfort level.

I highly recommend this audiobook. It's quick, it's funny, and it will give you an appreciation for the comedy genius that is Mindy Kaling.

  • Pure

  • By: Julianna Baggott
  • Narrated by: Khristine Hvam, Joshua Swanson, Kevin T. Collins, and others
  • Length: 14 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 675
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 611
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 609

Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost. There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss - maybe just because his family is broken. When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pure Surprise

  • By Don Gilbert on 07-12-13

Fantastic YA Dystopian

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

Reviewed: 04-17-13

So this is steampunk!

PURE was exactly the right book at exactly the right time. I had just come off of a string of heavy, serious books, and I needed a little YA "pallet cleanser" and this was great!

Don't get me wrong, "clean" is not a word I would use to describe PURE. In fact, this is one of the grittiest books I have read in this genre. Extremely visual, PURE transports readers to a dystopian world unlike anything I have ever read before. It's dark. It's raw. It's tough. And so is our girl, Pressia.

Completely original, with twists and turns readers won't see coming, this is a must-read.

A note on the audio production: It was very well done. I was a bit worried that having FOUR narrators was going to be more of a dramatic reproduction, like a radio play, rather than a novel. It was not. Each narrator took on a character's perspective, reading their chapters. The only time this got a little kooky was when Pressia was talking to Bradwell and then Partridge was talking to Bradwell, they each had their own "voice" for Bradwell. (does that make sense?) It did not take me long to get used to this, as there is not a huge cast of characters, so the writing kept the character straight for me instead of the narrators.

I'm really looking forward to diving into the next book in the trilogy, FUSE.

If you're a fan of dystopian YA like The Hunger Games, Ashfall, Legend, Blood Red Road, or Divergent, you must add PURE to your bookshelf.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Rococo

  • A Novel
  • By: Adriana Trigiani
  • Narrated by: Mario Cantone
  • Length: 4 hrs and 42 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

Bartolomeo di Crespi is the acclaimed interior decorator of Our Lady of Fatima, New Jersey. To date, Bartolomeo has hand-selected every chandelier, sconce, and ottoman in OLOF, so when the renovation of the local church is scheduled, he assumes there is only one man for the job.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A delightful story with a hilarious read

  • By Aaron on 10-21-05

Don't Miss Mario Cantone reading Rococo!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-06-11

Adriana Trigiani's words + Mario Cantone's voice = perfect together in this entertaining audio book!

If you are like me and only really know of Mario Cantone from Sex and the City, you will be as pleasantly surprised as I to find out just how talented this man is! The VOICES! It was so easy to forget that there was only one person reading this book - there could have easily been 10 people in that studio!

I feel like I spent a few days with my nose pressed up against the window of B's well decorated house in New Jersey. Adriana Trigiani has a way of opening up her heart and allowing her readers unrestricted access to her fictional families - the di Crespis are no exception.

Bartolomeo de Crespi is an interior decorator, and Adriana Trigiani doesn't allow her readers to pass a wall, a chandelier, or a swatch of fabric without bringing it to life - from the beautiful textiles of the legendary fabric houses of New York City to the frescoes of Italy all the way to the tacky plastic sofa covers of south Jersey. More important than the decor, Adriana has a way of decorating her books with characters that are so alive and colorful, one can't help but feel like one of the family.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful