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A. Fernandez

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  • Turtles All the Way Down

  • By: John Green
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,888
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,280
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,278

It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly small amount of actual turtles.

  • By Meg on 11-03-17

Narrator's delivery distracted throughout

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

Reviewed: 11-15-17

As someone with both first-hand and family experience of OCD, I found John Green's depiction of his main character's mental struggles disturbingly familiar. I wish Green hadn't written Aza Holmes as already seeing a therapist and in possession of prescribed medication, because Aza's resistance to taking her meds makes her anxieties not just a curse, but also a choice. For too many OCD sufferers, particularly young ones, diagnosis and medication remain months or years away.

As usual, Green has the YA mindset down pat. I admire his deft hand in creating adolescent characters: they're silly and insecure one moment, dramatic and self-importantly profound the next.

Unfortunately, Kate Rudd's narration robbed this book of being a four or five star read for me. Though she's clearly capable of reading with feeling, she has an annoying verbal tic of over-pronouncing words, particularly "to" (whether used with infinitive verbs--to go, to think, to eat, etc.--or as a preposition). It sounds choppy and halting, as if the text is being read by a first grader picking her way through a sentence, and it consistently threw me out of the story.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Today Will Be Different

  • By: Maria Semple
  • Narrated by: Kathleen Wilhoite
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,279
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,184
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,181

Eleanor knows she's a mess. But today she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby. She won't swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action - life happens. Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother's company. It's also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office - but not Eleanor - that he's on vacation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great story but narration was hit and miss

  • By Laurel Dean on 11-08-16

The humor of the harried

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

Reviewed: 02-08-17

What did you love best about Today Will Be Different?

I loved the narrator. (A previous reviewer commented on a character's Southern accent seeming out of place because the book is set in Seattle, and on the inappropriateness of a posh artist's Brooklyn accent, but these are both explained in the story. The poet character hails from Louisiana, and the "posh" artist began as a cash-strapped New York careerist.) Kathleen Wilhoite has a wry, irreverent quality that reminds me of the late Carrie Fisher, and reads with a great deal of energy and humor.

What did you like best about this story?

The humorous touches. For example, the narrator cites her husband's stockpiling of dinner rolls as an annoying trait she may someday be grateful to miss, while the husband later includes "not wasting dinner rolls" as one of his deserving qualities.

Which character – as performed by Kathleen Wilhoite – was your favorite?

Sometimes Eleanor's self-centered behavior (like ditching boxes of frozen fish in a bin of tee-shirts at Costco) drove me crazy, though she was funny and I often identified with her. My favorite character was probably Bucky--not because he was likable, but because he was so extremely over-the-top detestable, and I thought flighty, irresponsible Ivy largely deserved her fate.

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

Yes.

Any additional comments?

I love Marie Semple's take on the creative personality, and I'll look for more books with Kathleen Wilhoite as narrator.

  • Neverwhere

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,720
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,791
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,778

Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Vivid, imaginative.

  • By Joseph on 10-29-09

Author makes an outstanding narrator

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

Reviewed: 06-13-16

I was unfamiliar with urban fantasy, but had heard good things about Neil Gaiman. I'm so glad I gave this a try! The "hero's quest" story is full of twists and turns, rich characters, artful world building, and just the right amount of humor. The author does a fantastic job of acting the parts, switching up voices and accents as the story requires.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful