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J. Carpenter

  • 33
  • reviews
  • 121
  • helpful votes
  • 669
  • ratings
  • In One Person

  • A Novel
  • By: John Irving
  • Narrated by: John Benjamin Hickey
  • Length: 16 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 795
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 683
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 691

A compelling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity, In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love—tormented, funny, and affecting—and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character of In One Person, tells the tragicomic story (lasting more than half a century) of his life as a “sexual suspect,” a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 in his landmark novel of “terminal cases,” The World According to Garp.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • VINTAGE IRVINE AT ITS BEST!

  • By Betty on 05-10-12

Great start, then got predictable and kind of dull

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

Reviewed: 05-23-17

I enjoyed the beginning of this book a lot! The writing is good throughout, but the plot just got too limited and predictable to be interesting.

  • Tigerheart

  • By: Peter David
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

Paul Dear has grown up listening to his father's tall tales of adventure, which his mother infuses with common sense. But not even his parents know that Paul spends his days chatting with pixies and other magical creatures that dwell unseen among the living. And, at night in his room, a boy beckons to Paul from the mirror to come adventuring.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An interesting retelling of Peter Pan

  • By T. L. Walker on 02-06-15

Author wished he'd written Peter Pan

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

Reviewed: 04-24-17

Lame re-write of Peter Pan. Even uses famous lines like "straight on till morning". I gave up half way through. Too boring.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

  • Read by Eddie Redmayne
  • By: J.K. Rowling, Newt Scamander
  • Narrated by: Eddie Redmayne
  • Length: 1 hr and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,859
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,098
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,085

A set textbook at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry since publication, Newt Scamander's masterpiece has entertained wizarding families through the generations. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an indispensable introduction to the magical beasts of the wizarding world. Scamander's years of travel and research have created a tome of unparalleled importance.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • whoops

  • By A. Bunnell on 04-19-17

Literally an encyclopedic reading

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

Reviewed: 03-16-17

I had expectations of this book being what the movie was adapted from. Instead it is literally an encyclopedic reading of an imagined reference to magical creatures. There is no plot or story, and the only character is the narrator busily reading away from A thru Z. Not very exciting.

Rowling is an excellent and creative writer, this book just wasn't what I expected at all. Scamander is an excellent reader, but I still found my mind wandering off.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Highly Sensitive Person

  • By: Elaine N. Aron
  • Narrated by: Barbara Caruso
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 664
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 520
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 515

Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., is a world-renowned psychologist and speaker. The Highly Sensitive Person is an in-depth look at characteristics that define sensitivity. Through self-assessment tests and techniques, Aron shows listeners how to identify their own personality traits. This exceptional book can lead to remarkable results for many who suffer from constant stress and anxiety.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This HSP loved the book AND the narrator.

  • By Kimberly on 10-31-14

Annoying narrator, pretentious writing

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

Reviewed: 01-04-17

The author uses some form of the word "arousal" about 50 times per page. I also find the analogy of the HSP and an "infant body self" as particularly annoying. Returning this book as between the narrative and the narrator I can't stomach listening to the rest.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Victory Over Verbal Abuse

  • A Healing Guide to Renewing Your Spirit and Reclaiming Your Life
  • By: Patricia Evans
  • Narrated by: Laural Merlington
  • Length: 5 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73

Verbal abuse permeates our culture — from the privacy of our own homes to the public glare of our schools, workplaces, and other institutions. But you don’t have to live with it. With Patricia Evans’ assistance, you’ll achieve the clarity you need to build a new life — far from senseless accusations, wounding words, and confusing comments that have taken an untold toll on your psyche. You’ll find validation, and learn to believe in yourself — and a better future — once more.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • A little too "healy feely"

  • By J. Carpenter on 08-14-16

A little too "healy feely"

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

Reviewed: 08-14-16

Evans generally has good info, but in this book she advocates ideas like hands on healing and hypnosis, or talking to yourself as if you are a baby. Many parts of this book feel like filler. Also the 2nd half of this book is all affirmations, which I find not terribly useful. Returning it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

  • The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
  • By: Marie Kondo
  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
  • Length: 4 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,530
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,592
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,368

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you'll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I both love and hate this life changing book

  • By Rebecca on 02-22-15

Has a lot of worthy advice; not perfect

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

Reviewed: 05-26-15

Short story, good book with a lot of worthy advice, not perfect. If you are not into the "healy feely" style of language she uses, try to reduce it what she means: Take care of your stuff, don't keep it unless it's genuinely important to you emotionally or otherwise, and anything you own must have a place in your home to be put away in.

Lots of good info here, and many ideas for better maintaining an organized home. She has good ideas on how to store what you do keep, and is mostly right about getting rid of things you don't love or need for some reason. I think I could have done with the abbreviated version personally. I don't need to know how anal retentive about tidying she was as a kid, or how many rolls of toilet paper one of her clients had stored. I think a better title for the book would have included the word "overhaul" instead of "tidy" as it seems more appropriate to what Kondo advocates. Her ideas on paperwork include throwing out all manuals because you can ask the clerk at the store where you bought the item how do use it. That might work for some things, and certainly you don't need to keep every manual, but it's hard to ask the clerk when you bought it from Amazon, and if you need the info right away you're screwed unless you have access to a computer and can find it online. I got the feeling from what she was saying that she herself is not very technical. Sometimes it felt like she was talking with authority about certain areas (like technology) that she actually had no idea about. And her concept of "just buy it again" if you find out you needed it after throwing it away, or if you forget things from a seminar after throwing away the info you brought home from it, just go to another seminar makes me think she's never lived on a budget.

She also talks to clothing and speaks of it as if it were a living being which is a real eye roller for me. I agree that you should treat your clothing and belongings with respect if you want the material to last, but literally saying "thank you" to your shoes every day... not happening. It will make any genealogist weep to read how aggressively she advocates throwing out letters, photos, and other paperwork... She says you should take all photos out of their albums to sort them, and again I disagree. The order of photo's can be important and will be lost if removed from the albums, and if you have old family photos, they may be fragile could be damaged if removed from the album.

She may enjoy living in a spartan house full of empty space, but that's not what makes everyone happy, and she seems to have no plan for people who are not just like her. Maybe that's ok, and those people will have to find another book to help them, but you should know that going in. Personally, I love going into my Mother-in-law's house which is full of interesting things everywhere you look, dragons and baskets hanging from the ceiling, old photo's embedded in the knotholes, even a lovingly displayed old ape skull she rescued from a box in someone's archaeological storage. I believe from her book that Kondo would have most of that scraped away into recycling or the trash which would destroy the ambiance of the home for anyone who likes to have their things out on display.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Charlie Bone and the Time Twister

  • By: Jenny Nimmo
  • Narrated by: Simon Russell Beale
  • Length: 6 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 351
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180

Charlie hopes that the new term at Bloor's Academy will hold no nasty surprises. But then Henry Yewbeam appears, twisted through time from the icy winter of 1916.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By James on 01-29-15

Thin plot. Not as good as the 1st book

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

Reviewed: 01-21-14

The 1st book was a fun kids book, but this one seems like it got rushed to the printer. The "cousin" of Charlie is frankly too dumb to live. Characters that were fairly fleshed out in the last book at times did things that were out of character, and several leaps were made to conclusions for no apparent reason.

Great narrator. So-so book.

  • Doctor Who: Dark Horizons

  • By: J. T. Colgan
  • Narrated by: Neve McIntosh
  • Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 90
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 83

On a windswept Northern shore, at the very tip of what will one day become Scotland, the islanders believe the worst they have to fear is a Viking attack. Then the burning comes. They cannot run from it. Water will not stop it. It consumes everything - yet the burned still speak.... The Doctor is looking for a game on the famous Lewis chess set. Instead he encounters a people under attack from a power they cannot possibly understand.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Melancholy

  • By James on 09-29-15

Strong start, but fast forwarding by the end

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

Reviewed: 09-23-13

On the positive side, the narrator is great, and the book has a strong start, which is interesting and entertaining. Then about halfway through the plot just drops off a cliff. Turns into a cheezy romance between 2 characters who at the beginning were interesting, bright and likeable but then get twisted into romance plot characters. They start saying unlikely things given their character development to that point, and it becomes difficult to care about them at all. The Doctor becomes extraneous to the plodding plot that drags on and on. Probably would have made a great short story, but there isn't enough material for a whole book.

I looked up the author after writing the above to find out J.T. Colgan is actually Jenny Colgan who has made her literary mark writing (wait for it) "romantic comedies". She should stick to that, or at least try to remember what genera she's shooting for when she's trying to write science fiction. The crossover is poison.

I do hope the narrator goes on to do other, better books.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Handmaid's Tale

  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Claire Danes
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,286
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26,628
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26,624

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Top Pick for 2012

  • By Emily - Audible on 11-30-12

A glimpse of a frightening, potential future

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

Reviewed: 08-29-13

This novel is not a story about an event, it's a story of someone's life. Or a part of that person's life. You learn about why she is in the situation she's in a bit at a time, and how she deals with it. I suspect the people who didn't like it were expecting a book with more of a beginning-middle-end setup, and that is not this book. Personally, I loved it. I love Atwood's writing style, and Danes has a fantastic voice for the tone of the story. I hope she narrates many, many more books.

At first I was jolted and even disappointed by the ending, but as I thought about it afterward - and I've thought about it a lot - I understand it better, and appreciate it. There questions that don't get answered. Some of them were never answered for the main character either, although she ponders the possibilities. I was totally engrossed from start to finish.

  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 198,691
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 185,515
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185,118

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

Good book, goes a little overboard at times

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

Reviewed: 08-29-13

I had some trouble with suspension of disbelief here and there, like when the main character Wade, who has not yet completed High School, claims to have memorized *all* the music, movies, sitcoms, books, video games, interests and life story of another mans entire lifetime along with going to school, and finding a way to support himself as an orphaned boy. Still a good read though. Wil Wheaton is an excellent narrator who adds a lot of feeling to the story. Wade also has an inordinate amount of good luck without which the plot could have been a little more interesting.

On the positive side, Cline has good writing style. No eye-rollingly bad dialog, and even though you know what's going to happen, you still want to finish to find out how he got there. Also has some interesting plot twists which caught me off guard. I always like that in a story!