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D. Jay Ritt

Hidden Hills, California USA
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 99
  • helpful votes
  • 41
  • ratings
  • 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 63,936
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58,502
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58,404

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

Schmaltzy But Fun

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

Reviewed: 02-02-18

It won’t change your world but it’s sweet. Reminded a bit of a slightly less deft, more current “Silas Marner” which might be giving it a bit too much credit. Still...I liked it. Really well read, too, which helps.

  • Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

  • A Novel
  • By: Matthew Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Madeleine Maby
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 495
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 455
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 452

Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, her eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs - the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store's overwhelmed shelves. But when Joey McGinty, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore's back room, Lydia's life comes unglued.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Here's a bright idea....

  • By Erin S on 07-15-17

Boy Does A Good Reader Make A Big Difference

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

Reviewed: 11-20-17

This, I think, may be a pretty good book to read -- I can't really be sure. BUT DO NOT BUY IT FROM AUDIBLE OR AS A BOOK ON TAPE. Yeah, I hate all caps, also. But, man, trust me on this -- the person who read this book must have had an "in" with the author or someone at Audible, because she is awful. I mean, she may be a great person, a wonderful human being, with tremendous qualities -- she may even be a very good actress. But she cannot, for the life of her, pull off anything approaching the voice of an actual human male character. Which ruins this book. Ruins it. Every single male adult character's dialogue is delivered in virtually the same inhumanely slow, deliberate, monotonous voice, as if the person were developmentally disabled or suffered from a botched lobotomy. All of them. I began wondering, at first, if it was intentional -- that the great reveal of the novel would be that the female protagonist (whose voice and dialogue are delivered effectively and normally) would turn out to be in some dystopian hellscape of zombiefied males. But, apparently not. And the reading of this book absolutely ruined it. I have no idea how, ten minutes into hearing the book first being read and recorded, the producer or director of this project didn't just shut off the mike, pull Ms. Maby aside and ask her, gently even, if she had ever even spoken to someone of the male gender. Maybe, perhaps, she grew up in a Margaret Atwood novel -- maybe, she was kept in a bunker by a cult of deranged women from a really young age, and then handed over to the Audible people as part of a strange human sacrificial ritual. I don't know. But I want to know. She was that bad. The biggest mystery to me of all (and the plot itself was kind of compelling, though not too difficult to suss out) is, "Who is Madeleine Maby, why does she think all guys talk like Boris Karloff's Frankenstein monster and why in the world was she allowed to blow up this book like this?" As soon as I'm done with this review, I'm going to have to Google her. I know that's creepy. It IS creepy. It's not the kind of thing I do. But I'm going to. Because I have to.

But you don't have to. Don't do it. Caveat emptor.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • The Nix

  • A Novel
  • By: Nathan Hill
  • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
  • Length: 21 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,233
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,640
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,615

It's 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson - college professor, stalled writer - has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. He hasn't seen her in decades, not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she's reappeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news, beguiles the Internet, and inflames a politically divided country. The media paints Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high school sweetheart.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nathan Hill is an exceptional storyteller.

  • By Bonny on 09-13-16

Dickens? Irving? Who Cares

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

Reviewed: 11-03-17

Beautiful initial novel, expertly read. It will be ver interesting to see how Hill follows up on this masterwork. Whatever else he ever writes, he should know that this is enough. Whatever debt he felt he needed to repay, he did here.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Golden Hill

  • A Novel of Old New York
  • By: Francis Spufford
  • Narrated by: Sarah Borges
  • Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 280
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 255
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 257

The spectacular first novel from acclaimed nonfiction author Francis Spufford follows the adventures of a mysterious young man in mid-18th century Manhattan, 30 years before the American Revolution.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Unexpected Pleasure or Unexpected Pain

  • By Dubi on 12-01-17

Wow

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

Reviewed: 08-25-17

I consider myself a pretty savvy veteran of "books on tape." With a Sysiphean daily commute, I listen to a lot of books. This is hands down one of my all time favorites. Don't think twice (and remember that suggestion) -- do it.

  • The Pale King

  • By: David Foster Wallace
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 19 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 432
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 364
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 368

The agents at the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Illinois, appear ordinary enough to newly arrived trainee David Foster Wallace. But as he immerses himself in a routine so tedious and repetitive that new employees receive boredom-survival training, he learns of the extraordinary variety of personalities drawn to this strange calling. And he has arrived at a moment when forces within the IRS are plotting to eliminate even what little humanity and dignity the work still has. The Pale King remained unfinished at the time of David Foster Wallace's death....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Compelling Profound Book about Tedium

  • By Stephen P. McSweeney on 06-02-12

Tour De Force

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

Reviewed: 06-20-15

Best American writer of late 20th, early 21st Century. This novel is a wonderful coda.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Infinite Jest

  • By: David Foster Wallace
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 56 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,401
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,160
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,170

A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Listening to this is quite an experience

  • By j phillips on 04-25-17

Tour De Freaking Force

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

Reviewed: 04-28-15

Yeah. Ok. There's just not really any way to summarize or quickly describe the experience of listening to this audiobook. If you stick with it, you'll either find it to be one of the few life-changing literary experiences out there, or you'll want to kill everyone responsible for your spending 50 hours on a fool's errand. I'm in the former category. But you are you. Just remember-- "The truth will set you free. But not until it's done with you."

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Wayfaring Stranger

  • By: James Lee Burke
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,847
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,600
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,597

It is 1934 and the Depression is bearing down when 16-year-old Weldon Avery Holland happens upon infamous criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow after one of their notorious armed robberies. A confrontation with the outlaws ends as Weldon puts a bullet through the rear window of Clyde’s stolen automobile. Ten years later, Second Lieutenant Weldon Holland and his sergeant, Hershel Pine, escape certain death in the Battle of the Bulge and encounter a beautiful young woman named Rosita Lowenstein hiding in a deserted extermination camp.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding Addition to the Holland/Texas Saga

  • By Charles Atkinson on 07-22-14

Aural Literary Candy

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

Reviewed: 01-24-15

When I was a kid in the 70's I developed a reverent love of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. And the ubiquitous tv ads with the collisions of chocolate and peanut butter eaters which always culminated in the lines "You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!" and " Well you got your peanut butter on my chocolate." And then the discovery by both of the spectacular deliciousness of the combination. I think of those ads, and the rich gooey goodness of Reese's, whenever I listen to Wil Patton read James Lee Burke. You got your Patton in my Burke. No...you got your Burke on my Patton. Doesn't matter. The combination makes awesome, tasty treats. This is their best to date. Florid, overwrought, similes and metaphors thicker than pecan pie filling, Burke's politics and heart not just worn on the sleeve but encrusted in jewels, and Patton reading each word like he's polishing and then displaying those jewels to a woman he's longing to seduce. Love it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Given Day

  • By: Dennis Lehane
  • Narrated by: Michael Boatman
  • Length: 23 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 914
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 631
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 624

The Given Day explores the crippling violence and irrepressible exuberance of a country at war with, and in the thrall of, itself. As Danny, Luther, and those around them struggle to define themselves in increasingly turbulent times, they gradually find family in one another and, together, ride a rising storm of hardship, deprivation, and hope that will change all their lives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb!

  • By Louise on 01-11-10

As Good As It Gets

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-02-09

With a truly hideous daily LA commute, I get to listen to a lot of audiobooks, from a lot of genres. I've come to realize that a good audiobook is hard to find -- it requires both great writing and strong, diverse interpretive reading from a voice that can mimic (not mock) different voices. I've heard some otherwise well-written books devolve into hackneyed hideousness with bad readings (Peter Weller doing William Gibson comes to mind), and, of course, not even a good reader can save a bad book (ie, stay away from "Errors and Omissions"). That said, this version of Dennis Lehane's new novel is, quite simply, the best I've heard. I've liked Lehane's books in the past, but hadn't been blown away, and I've enjoyed the two movies I've seen from his work (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone), but I was not at all prepared for the powerhouse punch this audiobook delivers. The writing is taught, sweet, seemingly true to the historical period and emotionally honest. The plot development is riveting without being ludicrous. The interweaving of fictional characters with historical figures, though hardly new (reminded me somewhat of Doctorow's "Ragtime"), is deftly handled. Add to that the narrator's phenomenal ability to vest the different characters with consistent and believable voices, as he easily and smoothly jumps from Southie Bostonian to Southern African-American to immigrant Italian(a testament to this truly gifted reader is the listener's inability to discern the reader's own ethnicity), and no accent he does seems forced or mocked. The combination of great writing and reading makes this audiobook my unqualified favorite of my listening career. I cannot recommend it highly enough. This is as good as it gets.

66 of 68 people found this review helpful

  • Errors and Omissions

  • By: Paul Goldstein
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15

Meet Michael Seeley, defender of artists' rights, take-no-prisoners intellectual property litigator, and a man on the brink of personal and career collapse. So when United Pictures virtually demands that he fly out to Hollywood to confirm legally that they own the rights to their corporate cash-cow franchise of Spykiller films, he has little choice but to comply.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Thoughtful Conundrum Chaser

  • By Ted on 03-24-16

Big Disappointment

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-17-08

This book suffers from two fatal defects. First, the plot is incomprehensible -- not that you can't follow it, just that the characters' motivations for the choices they make are simply unfathomable. At each plot fork, the author seems to have his characters choose the least likely, most ill-conceived choice possible. At first, I thought maybe this was some sophisticated post-modernist riff on the legal thriller. But, and this leads me to the second defect, the language itself is so stilted and cliched, that I was left to conclude that this book is just awful. Save yourself.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful