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Natalie

VANCOUVER, WA, United States
  • 14
  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 17
  • ratings
  • Station Eleven

  • By: Emily St. John Mandel
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,311
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,702
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,700

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An Alternative Dystopian Viewpoint

  • By CScott on 12-20-16

Enjoyable book

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

Reviewed: 09-08-15

What made the experience of listening to Station Eleven the most enjoyable?

The narrator does a good job of keeping the flow of the story. You disappear into the words without getting distracted by the narration.

What did you like best about this story?

Interesting take on what you miss, what you don't miss. When everything crumbles, what ultimately matters. I read it for a book club and I anticipate good discussions on what we would miss the most.

Which scene was your favorite?

The description of Arthur dying on stage with snow falling around him is a haunting one. You hear the story from multiple perspectives, finally from his own. It is clear that this is a metaphor for the death of society. Very well done.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Marie Antoinette

  • The Journey
  • By: Antonia Fraser
  • Narrated by: Donada Peters
  • Length: 20 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 372
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 226
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227

France's iconic queen, Marie Antoinette, wrongly accused of uttering the infamous "Let them eat cake", was alternately revered and reviled during her lifetime. For centuries since, she has been the object of debate, speculation, and the fascination so often accorded illustrious figures in history. Married in mere girlhood, this essentially lighthearted child was thrust onto the royal stage and commanded by circumstance to play a significant role in European history.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very Detailed

  • By Karen on 07-19-07

Fascinating insight into an infamous woman

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

Reviewed: 07-28-15

Any additional comments?

I purchased this book for a trip to France with my family. I wanted to immerse myself in French history. It was so interesting listening to this then seeing Versailles with my own eyes, visiting the Petite Trianon, and Marie Antoinette's little play farm.

This book humanized her. This book helped me to understand her at a different level, away from the layers of historic baggage. In many ways she lived a life of luxury, rich beyond my imagination. In many others, she was terribly neglected by the people in her life. The end, as we know, is tragic for her. I found myself weeping for a woman who essentially failed at everything in life, largely through the whims of fate, and her own lack of skills. A woman whose husband was killed, and who had two children die, and then was killed knowing that her two remaining children were left to a terrible fate.

I loved how the author used so many first person quotes, this history is so well documented, it is fascinating to hear what the players thought at the time.

The last chapter was especially well done, when the author examines how Marie Antoinette was treated differently than her husband, and how that was due mostly to sexism. I wish she would have gone a little further to explore how Marie Antoinette has been portrayed in history, because I think there is significant misogyny in the way she is portrayed even today. Still, when visiting the excesses of Versailles, and the very odd farm that emphasized how utterly clueless she was as to how most people lived, I had sympathy for those who executed her. Even though she was a scapegoat, a symbol of many years of history.

Many people have criticized the reader. I wasn't bothered. I liked how she changed her voice for different people in the book, and although she often pronounced "Marie Antoinette" "Mary Antoinette". Definitely listen to the sample before purchasing.

  • The Gluten Lie

  • And Other Myths About What You Eat
  • By: Alan Levinovitz PhD
  • Narrated by: Barry Press
  • Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 52
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 53

In this groundbreaking work, Alan Levinovitz, PhD, exposes the myths behind how we come to believe which foods are good and which are bad and points the way to a truly healthful life, free from anxiety about what we eat.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Entire Book Not Included

  • By Randall D. Raymond on 10-05-15

Excellent book, poor listen

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

Reviewed: 06-26-15

What did you like best about The Gluten Lie? What did you like least?

I loved how the author approaches how we eat today in historical context, and looks at religion and human psychology to understand our current food obsessions.

What did you like best about this story?

Very well written, it covers a lot of science in a comprehensible and engaging manner.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Barry Press?

Horrible narrator, very lilting and exaggerated voice. Poorly edited, you could hear the breaks between recording sessions.

Any additional comments?

Please, please please figure out a way to help listeners access the references and footnotes! I understand that the last chapter included graphs, bubbles, info that supplemented the silly UNpacked diet, I would love to see that. I feel like I was ripped off.

I STRONGLY urge anyone considering this book to buy a print version instead. This was just about the worst book I have listened to on audible. Not that the content was bad, but the formatting was terrible.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Kim Jong-Il Production

  • The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator's Rise to Power
  • By: Paul Fischer
  • Narrated by: Stephen Park
  • Length: 12 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 322
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 280
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 283

Before becoming the world's most notorious dictator, Kim Jong-Il ran North Korea's Ministry for Propaganda and its film studios. Conceiving every movie made, he acted as producer and screenwriter. Despite this control, he was underwhelmed by the available talent and took drastic steps, ordering the kidnapping of Choi Eun-Hee (Madam Choi) - South Korea's most famous actress - and her ex-husband Shin Sang-Ok, the country's most famous filmmaker.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely terrifying

  • By Karen Weisneck on 02-19-15

I had no idea

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

Reviewed: 06-26-15

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kim Jong-Il. Wow, he is such an odd mixture of self deluded, ridiculous, and malevolent. It is hard to believe he was a real person.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I couldn't put it down. The story is bizarre and interesting, the author conveys a lot of background historical information in an engaging way. It is a fantastic read!

Any additional comments?

I love this book and recommend it to everyone. I learned so much about North Korea, the history of the Korean war, the history of cinema. And it was told in an absolutely engaging and interesting way.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Crazy Rich Asians

  • By: Kevin Kwan
  • Narrated by: Lynn Chen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,719
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,511
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,466

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Just Okay

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-06-18

Highly entertaining lighthearted romp

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

Reviewed: 06-26-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

YES! I would and I have. I loved this book, it was such an interesting slice of a life I will never experience.

What did you like best about this story?

Learning about a part of the world--the ultra rich--that I know nothing of. Fascinating!

Who was the most memorable character of Crazy Rich Asians and why?

Honestly, the main character was the most boring. I loved all the peripheral characters, each was well sketched and outrageous.

Any additional comments?

Perfect beach read!

  • The Miniaturist

  • By: Jessie Burton
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,170
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,061
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,055

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, 18-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office - leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Too Many Holes

  • By Cariola on 11-02-14

Don't get the hype

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

Reviewed: 06-26-15

Is there anything you would change about this book?

There were a number of times when poor details really took me out of the story. Minor things like the way the light looks at a particular time of day, or something that they ate that is not historically accurate. Really these things should have been caught by an editor.

Overall, poor characterizations of the main characters who all seemed very flat to me.

What could Jessie Burton have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

She is doing too much. I wish she would have focused and explored one theme rather than scratch the surface of so many themes.

Was The Miniaturist worth the listening time?

I listened to this for a book club. Honestly, there are many other better books out there.

  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 157,520
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 145,357
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 145,205

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth it even if you've seen the movie

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 12-08-17

Utterly absorbing

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

Reviewed: 04-27-15

Any additional comments?

Fantastic read. This book is a gripping account of a man stranded on Mars. The main character feels like a real human being. You feel his hope, his fears. It is masterfully crafted. primarily focused on the Martian, but glimpses of folks back on earth as well. I literally cleared my schedule so I could binge listen to the last half of it, I couldn't stop.

  • Bad Science

  • Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks
  • By: Ben Goldacre
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Cowley
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 428
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 382
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 379

Author Ben Goldacre exposes the epidemic of pseudoscience and gives listeners the tools they need to distinguish good science from nonsense.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Learn who is scamming people, and how.

  • By Shawn on 08-06-12

Fascinating book, you will learn a lot

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

Reviewed: 03-19-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. He does a great job of explaining basic science in the context of testing medicines. He breaks down experimental design including how to explain resulting data. He explains clearly what makes a good and what makes a bad study, and why this is important. He really explains how the human brain works--why we understand numbers differently depending on how they are reported, and how the placebo effect works. I often see people claiming they are smart so there couldn't be a placebo effect happening to them. Not true. It is not about being smart or dumb, but about being human. Excellent info.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Bad Science?

The guy who sells vitamin pills to people with HIV in Africa. The prevailing narrative in my part of the US is the big pharma is evil and natural medicine good and pure. This turns that narrative on its head. This guy is absolutely evil and caused countless deaths and suffering all in the name of profit. I was absolutely outraged at this chapter. It is a must listen.

Which scene was your favorite?

This isn't one particular scene, but overall I liked how scathing he was towards science reporting--which exists to sell newspapers not to inform the public. It is really upsetting how they create controversies then when the controversies are resolved never close the loop on the reporting.

Any additional comments?

The author has a distinctive voice that meshes well with the narrator's voice. Definitely arrogant and chatty. It didn't bother me but I can see how it might bother others. This was a LOT of information, I will probably have to listen to it again to absorb it all.

  • The Girl on the Train

  • A Novel
  • By: Paula Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 131,165
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115,779
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115,649

Audie Award, Audiobook of the Year, 2016. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • The Girl on The Train

  • By BookReader on 12-30-15

Fast paced enjoyable read

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

Reviewed: 01-27-15

Would you consider the audio edition of The Girl on the Train to be better than the print version?

Maybe. The three narrators were great for differentiating between the characters, and each did a good job.

Any additional comments?

I thought this book was kind of a mash up between Gone Girl (unreliable narrator) and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (exploring how a woman was abused and how it impacted her). It's not particularly deep, but was the kind of book that kept me listening. Let me tell you I really cleaned up my kitchen because I didn't want to stop listening!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • In the Kingdom of Ice

  • The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
  • By: Hampton Sides
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 17 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,242
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,042
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,043

In the late nineteenth century, people were obsessed by one of the last unmapped areas of the globe: The North Pole. No one knew what existed beyond the fortress of ice rimming the northern oceans. On July 8, 1879, the USS Jeannette set sail from San Francisco to cheering crowds in the grip of "Arctic Fever." The ship sailed into uncharted seas, but soon was trapped in pack ice. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the hull was breached. Amid the rush of water and the shrieks of breaking wooden boards, the crew abandoned the ship.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Took a long time to develop

  • By Brandon on 02-20-15

Gripping story of exploration, survival, and death

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

Reviewed: 10-06-14

If you could sum up In the Kingdom of Ice in three words, what would they be?

arctic adventure death

What did you like best about this story?

Masterfully written, the author brings together many first person accounts and weaves them together into a seamless whole. It helps, of course, that both Captain and Emma DeLong are fabulous writers in their own right, as is Melville.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, it was difficult to put down. Although towards the end it was so painful to listen to their story, that I had to take breaks.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful