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Katerina

south hadley, MA, USA
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 41
  • helpful votes
  • 14
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  • The Female Persuasion

  • A Novel
  • By: Meg Wolitzer
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman
  • Length: 14 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,363
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,256
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,251

Greer Kadetsky is a shy college freshman when she meets the woman she hopes will change her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant at sixty-three, has been a central pillar of the women's movement for decades, a figure who inspires others to influence the world. Upon hearing Faith speak for the first time, Greer--madly in love with her boyfriend, Cory, but still full of longing for an ambition that she can't quite place--feels her inner world light up. And then, astonishingly, Faith invites Greer to make something out of that sense of purpose, leading Greer down the most exciting path of her life as it winds toward and away from her meant-to-be love story with Cory and the future she'd always imagined.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4.33 stars....great writer

  • By j phillips on 08-06-18

I am a Wolitzer fan and I was very disappointed

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

Reviewed: 09-02-18

Oof, I had such hope for this book because I've loved several of her other novels. I could hardly wait for this one to be over, though. It tried SO HARD to be a statement about our times, about different generations of feminism, about a certain class of American women. And it was precisely because it tried so hard to make a statement, rather than be art, that it failed me so.

Wolitzer has complained that contemporary women writers aren't taken as seriously as male counterparts. With this novel she has successfully joined the ranks of Franzen and other authors of charted plot lines and workshopped characters with clever names, but she didn't succeed to reach deep and say something new, much less to delight. At least not this reader.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Born a Crime

  • Stories from a South African Childhood
  • By: Trevor Noah
  • Narrated by: Trevor Noah
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 125,545
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 116,169
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 115,618

One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • could easily have been so much better ..

  • By Jennia Chodorov on 06-18-19

Fantastic memoir, full of surprises

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

Reviewed: 03-27-17

Would you consider the audio edition of Born a Crime to be better than the print version?

Yes, because Trevor does a fantastic job narrating his memoir. He does the relevant accents and the many South African languages he masters really well. And, my God, he is so, so funny!!!

What did you like best about this story?

I liked how educational it was. I did not expect that. I listened with my 2 teenage sons and I think they learned more about South Africa than they ever could in a classroom. It's all couched in tons of adventure and humor, and in Trevor's inimitable style, but there is lots of knowledge and wisdom in this book.

What does Trevor Noah bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Voices, accents, nuance. It is pitch perfect. I would definitely recommend listening to this book, rather than reading it.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me laugh over and over, and at times it moved me. There are some horrifying passages of violence, too. It would be impossible to listen to this book without feeling strong feelings.

Any additional comments?

This is an amazing book. I am impressed with Trevor Noah; he is an excellent story teller, and I had no idea how much he's been through in his young life. I can't believe how far he has made it. RESPECT!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Art of Seduction

  • An Indispensible Primer on the Ultimate Form of Power
  • By: Robert Greene
  • Narrated by: Joseph Powers
  • Length: 22 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,121
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,716
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,715

In Art of Seduction, Greene returns with a new instruction audiobook on the most subtle, elusive, and effective form of power because seduction isn't really about sex. It's about manipulating other people's greatest weakness: their desire for pleasure.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I have been seduced

  • By Jonathan on 01-24-16

Stunningly awful handbook for the would be stalker

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

Reviewed: 10-02-16

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This is a very, very bad book. Buyer beware:

1) it is 22 hours of constant repetition

2) it is very poorly researched. The author bases his evidence on cherry-picked literary texts and biographies, yet makes sweeping statements about human psychology.

3) some of the generalizations the author makes are truly astonishing: No woman is immune to X. Everyone wants Y etc.

4) It glorifies awful people and their deeds

5) It makes baseless claims about types and categories of people. "There are 9 types of seducers," etc. Completely made up by the author.

6) It is deeply sexist and misogynist, though it pretends to give an equal stage to female seducers (Cleopatra!), as well as to homosexual ones. Somehow, though, it seems to relish especially the stories about old men manipulating young girls into giving up their virginity.

7) It gives "advice" to would-be seducers, as though it were trying to be a handbook for stalkers and psychopaths. It literally tells you how you should approach "your victim." Your VICTIM?! I found this incredibly creepy.

8) A central piece of advice is to never give up, even when "your victim resists!" What on earth?

9) Most of the historical figures the author gives as examples were exceptionally intelligent and practiced their "craft" by intuition and cunning. I worry about some average Joe trying to follow the advice in this book (and some will). Please, average Joe, do not try this at home! (Unless you want a police record).

10) Buyer beware...

What do you think your next listen will be?

Definitely not something about how to manipulate people (or, as Green calls them "your victims"), to do what you want against their own best interests.

What does Joseph Powers bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

If I read the book I would not have made it all the way through. Because I listen in the car, and he has a pleasant voice, I listened just to pass the time and mentally throw rotten tomatoes at the author. So you could say that the reader helped me get through this awful piece of "literature."

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The reader was good. I would gladly listen to another book ready by him. A good book, though.

Any additional comments?

I cannot understand how this book got so many good reviews. It makes me fear for humanity.

5 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Forest Unseen

  • A Year's Watch in Nature
  • By: David George Haskell
  • Narrated by: Michael Healy
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 166
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 166

In this wholly original audiobook, biologist David Haskell uses a one-square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window into the entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature's path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life. Each of this audiobook's short chapters begins with a simple observation: a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter; the first blossom of spring wildflowers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful stories

  • By Eleanor B. Hildreth on 08-03-15

I like the book, but the delivery is not good.

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

Reviewed: 08-12-16

Would you consider the audio edition of The Forest Unseen to be better than the print version?

Maybe I should have opted to read this one, rather than listen to it. It is a profoundly American book, written in American style and diction, so why choose a British actor to read it? He doesn't do a good job, and seems at time not to even understand what he is reading, which makes it difficult to listen to. Boo.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Solar

  • By: Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by: Roger Allam, Ian McEwan
  • Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 431
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 230
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 230

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Michael Beard is fast approaching 60, a mere shell of the academic titan he once was. While his fifth marriage falls apart, Michael suddenly finds himself with an unexpected opportunity to reinvigorate his career and possibly save humankind from the growing threat of global warming.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • McEwan Does It Again!

  • By Cariola on 04-23-10

Stick with it; it's worth it!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-22-10

I noticed that many of the readers who hated this book gave up on it a couple of hours into it. I was ready to do so at a certain point in the book when something horrific is implied to have happened to the main character. I was disgusted and offended, but then came to realize that this was part of McEwan's humor. Very male humor, I might add. I am so happy I stuck with the book. It is smart and at times absolutely hilarious! The main character is not exactly likeable, I agree, but that's not the point! McEwan gets into some current debates about science and that political rhetoric that uses science to support one side or the other. Some very astute observations here, and well told, both by McEwan and by his reader, whose deadpan style is perfect for the genre.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

Little Bee audiobook cover art
  • Little Bee

  • A Novel
  • By: Chris Cleave
  • Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
  • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,851
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,077
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,074

British couple Andrew and Sarah O'Rourke, vacationing on a Nigerian beach in a last-ditch effort to save their faltering marriage, come across Little Bee and her sister, Nigerian refugees fleeing from machete-wielding soldiers intent on clearing the beach. The horrific confrontation that follows changes the lives of everyone involved in unimaginable ways.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good book, well told

  • By Katerina on 05-16-10

Good book, well told

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-16-10

I was surprised by this book; it is original, full of suspense and astute psychological insight. "Little bee," the tile, sounds so innocent, but it deals with very adult topics and is not for the faint of heart! I thought the reading by Anne Flosnik was very well done. When I first heard the Nigerain accent, I thought: "oh, no!" but I quicky got used to it and thought the reader did a great job sustaining the characters throughout the novel. Another reviewer said the ending left you hanging, but I beg to differ!

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • The Da Vinci Code

  • A Novel
  • By: Dan Brown
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 16 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,817
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,281
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,337

While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, a baffling cipher found near the body. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddle, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci, clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating.

  • By Marco on 01-05-04

Accents were terrible!!!

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-16-10

I enjoyed the book, although it has some really trite narrative devices, but OK, I can be a sport about it. But the reading was irritating. The only accent the reader got right was the Sir Teibing character. The French accents were absolutely horrible, the other British accents totally misplaced (e.g. the librarian speaking in some version of a working class accent -- I don't think so!) The worst was Sophie's feminine whispering in some imagined French accent for hours on end. I found it hard to take.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful