LISTENER

J. Poe

DFW, Texas
  • 39
  • reviews
  • 31
  • helpful votes
  • 120
  • ratings
  • Finding Fraser

  • By: KC Dyer
  • Narrated by: Romy Nordlinger
  • Length: 11 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 713
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 660
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 657

I met Jamie Fraser when I was 19 years old. He was tall, redheaded, and, at our first meeting at least, a virgin. I fell in love hard, fast, and completely. He knew how to ride a horse, wield a sword, and stitch a wound. He was, in fact, the perfect man. That he was fictional hardly entered into it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Highly entertaining, great characters

  • By Linda on 08-19-15

Ok

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

Reviewed: 09-20-16

I'm a huge fan of the Outlander books and I don't usually like the idea of somebody making a buck off of someone else's book ideas but it seemed a cute premise so I gave it a shot. There were parts that were laugh-out-loud funny. Overall though, it was okay. The protagonist came across as incredibly desperate so it was hard to relate to her. Also the Scottish accents were pretty bad

  • Into the Wilderness

  • A Novel
  • By: Sara Donati
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 30 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,286
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,784
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,790

Weaving a vibrant tapestry of fact and fiction, Into the Wilderness sweeps us into another time and place...and into the heart of a forbidden, incandescent affair between a spinster Englishwoman and an American frontiersman. Here is an epic of romance and history that will captivate readers from the start.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful surprise

  • By I like to shop on 04-26-16

Not Outlander but pretty good in its own right

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

Reviewed: 09-16-15

I am divided on this book. I am a huge fan of the Outlander series and historical fiction in general. I bought this book because of the comments comparing it to Outlander. Overall, Into the Wilderness is a very interesting story that takes place roughly 15 years after the American revolutionary war. There are a lot of twists and turns and there were a lot of interesting characters and I really enjoyed the dynamic of the Native Americans and the people who had settled the area. The last 10 hours of the book really dragged, though. It was done as a separate part, but it still felt disjointed. Honestly, I am down to the final five hours and having a really hard time bringing myself to finish it.

In terms of comparing this book to Outlander, I’m going to disagree that they are that similar. Yes, they are both long and detailed historical novels with lead characters that have an unlikely love relationship in the same approximate time period, but that is where the similarities end. I don’t feel like the characters were as well developed – I wasn’t as emotionally invested in them. Neither did I care for the name dropping of Claire or Ian, who were said to have crossed paths with one of the characters. It didn’t serve any purpose that I could see other than to try to get Outlander fans to like her book as well. And if you are into the romantic scenes, Donati doesn’t write the detailed scenes Gabaldon does and might leave you wanting more. As a writer, I feel like Gabaldon has created this entire world in her head and all of her books and stories are pieces of that world that she shares. They are complex and it is always interesting to see where someone may pop back up. But with Donati, this just felt like a single story and not as intentional as Gabaldon. I became emotionally invested in Outlander and have listened to it at least 5 times. In contrast, I am having trouble being motivated to finish Into the Wilderness because it drags at the end. I would stay up at all hours listening to Outlander and eagerly waited for my next credit so I could get the next book. I find myself needing to be "in the mood" to listen to this one and I'm undecided on getting the next book.

As long as we are comparing to Outlander, I will add that I do like Davina Porter better. In this book, any of the Native American pronunciations were stilted. I’m not sure if that is how the language is really pronounced but it was distracting. Also, all of the “uneducated” townspeople (meaning not Elizabeth or her family or the doctor or the Native Americans) all have southern drawls, which seemed unlikely in upstate New York. Kate Reading didn’t do a terrible job, but I loved Davina Porter and I don’t think Reading is as good.

All that said, it was an enjoyable historical fiction novel in its own right. It probably sounded like I complained a lot in my review, but my intent was to let Outlander fans know my thoughts on comparing the two novels.

  • The Bargain

  • By: Mary Jo Putney
  • Narrated by: Emma Newman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 262
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 241
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 241

Forced to wed to keep her inheritance, independent Lady Jocelyn Kendal finds an outrageous solution: she proposes marriage to Major David Lancaster, an officer dying from his Waterloo wounds. In return for making her his wife, she will provide for his governess sister. But after the bargain is struck and the marriage is made, the major makes a shocking, miraculous recovery.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Classic Worth Your Time

  • By April on 02-28-14

A great listen

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

Reviewed: 01-08-15

So many historical romance novels (or romance novels in general) have terrible villains that at the least are dishonorable and vulgar, and at the most have the intention to commit murder or some other offensive crime. This creates conflict needed for a plot, but is also repetitive and uncreative. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to like all of the main characters in this book. The conflict comes from their backgrounds and how their circumstances intertwine themselves, and I greatly appreciated it. My only complaint with the book was that I thought David forgave a bit too easily in the end, but overall it was a good listen and good story. I will definitely check out more of Putney’s books in the future.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Attachments

  • A Novel
  • By: Rainbow Rowell
  • Narrated by: Laura Hamilton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,516
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,250
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,255

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder, coworkers at The Courier, know the newspaper monitors their office e-mail. But they still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping about their coworkers, and baring their personal lives like an open book. Jennifer tells Beth everything she can’t seem to tell her husband about her anxieties over starting a family. And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period. Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill still can’t believe that it’s his job to monitor other people’s e-mail.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just what I'd hoped for

  • By J-L-UU on 05-30-11

Dated and brainless

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

Reviewed: 05-30-14

This book takes place in 1999, so about 15 years ago. It was copyrighted in 2011, so I wasn't expecting a "modern" chick lit novel to be so old.

I couldn't finish this one so I'm glad I got it on sale. The women in it sounded brainless. The author was trying too hard to be witty and just wasn't doing it for me. The dialogue moves fast and I don't think the narrator captured the different voices very well. The format of short e-mails going back and forth between the two women may work in written form, but it did not translate well to audio. "Beth to Jennifer...Jennifer to Beth...Beth to Jennifer..." ugh! I made it about an hour in and that was all I could stand. I don't recommend it.

  • The Highlander's Temptation

  • Stolen Bride, Book 7
  • By: Eliza Knight
  • Narrated by: Corrie James
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 192
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184

Laird Jamie Montgomery is a warrior with a mission. When he travels to the northern Highlands on the orders of William Wallace, temptation in the form of an alluring lass could be his undoing. Lady Lorna Sutherland can't resist the charms of one irresistible Highlander. Though she's been forbidden, she breaks every rule for the pleasure of his intoxicating embrace. When their love is discovered, Jamie is tossed from Sutherland lands under threat of death.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Nice simple easy listen

  • By Elizabeth on 09-30-15

The Series Prequel

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

Reviewed: 05-30-14

In terms of chronological order, this story is the first. If you look on Amazon it is clearly described as a prequel although it is marked as #7 in the series, so I’m not sure why Audible hasn’t done the same. The story stands alone, so I think it would be fine to listen to it first or last. It was a cute, light story but average. I preferred some of the other stories in the series that had more going on in them.

  • Philomena

  • A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search
  • By: Martin Sixsmith
  • Narrated by: John Curless
  • Length: 15 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 864
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 786
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 781

Now a major motion picture directed by Stephen Frears ( The Queen, High Fidelity) and starring Judi Dench ( Skyfall, Notes on a Scandal) and Steve Coogan ( The Trip, Hamlet 2): the heartbreaking true story of an Irishwoman and the secret she kept for 50 years. When she became pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to a convent to be looked after as a "fallen woman". Then the nuns took her baby from her and sold him, like thousands of others, to America for adoption. Fifty years later, Philomena decided to find him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Rivetting Story and Performance

  • By Fajola Wenders on 12-21-13

Wasn't really what I was expecting

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

Reviewed: 04-23-14

This was an interesting story, but not really what I was expecting. I expected it to be the story of Philomena and her search for her son. I mean the book is called “Philomena…and her search.” Instead, it was pretty much a biography of her son. Since Michael Hess was homosexual and contracted AIDS in the early 1990s, I expected an amount of discussion about his homosexuality. And since Hess became a high level figure in the Republican Party and there is (and has been) a very conservative contingent of the Republican Party, I expected an amount of discussion involving politics. However, there was an inordinate amount of discussion about his sexuality and the Republican Party’s failings, mostly about his sexuality. I was just a kid in the 1980s so I don’t really remember the political and social climate of the 1970s and 1980s, but it felt like the author had a bit of a political agenda to me. Any right wing conservatives were basically categorized as “moral morons” (religious right) or hillbillies. However, overall I thought it was an interesting book and a worthwhile (although at times heartbreaking) listen. The beginning and end were captivating, but the middle of the book was slow.

A few observations…
~The story starts with Philomena’s circumstances behind her time at Roscrea and Anthony’s first few years until he was adopted at the age of three. That was the last of Philomena, except for Michael’s wondering what she was like over the years, until the final hour of the book. They crammed Philomena’s life post adoption into about ten minutes, and the investigative reporter’s search into less than 40 minutes. I have an interest in genealogy, so that was disappointing to me.
~Part one of the book was very moving and very aggravating to me that there could be that kind of corruption within the Catholic Church in “modern times.”
~I didn’t realize gerrymandering challenges were so important in bringing Republicans to office in the 1990s so I thought that was an interesting thread.
~The book is categorized as a memoir, but it is written by a retired investigative reporter who never met him and gathered information ten years after his death. I am a big fan of memoirs, but I do feel like a lot of the conversations were manufactured for dramatic effect since obviously the reporter wasn’t there.
~I am split on the whole concept of outing that was broached in the book. On one hand, I feel like it is bullying and therefore wrong and on the other, I feel like hypocrisy among our nation’s leaders should be exposed when it involves legislation they have tried to enact or prevent. Sixsmith wasn’t clear where Hess fell on that.

I had lingering questions at the end of the book. For example, Michael Hess knew Philomena’s name. Surely he had a fair amount of money from his position within the Republican party perhaps he could have hired a private investigator of some sort to try to track her down..? I was also curious about Mary (Michael’s adopted sister) and whether she was ever reunited with her birth mother. I have read that Michael’s last partner, Pete, felt that the book was misleading and that Michael wasn’t as “dark” as portrayed in the book. I didn’t think he was particularly dark, but rather lost and insecure. I am curious, therefore, what Pete felt was lacking in the telling. While Michael was dealing with AIDS, he received a note threatening to out him because of his work with the Republicans and I was curious if anything became of that or if his becoming ill headed it off. Was his being gay and did his having AIDS come out in the political arena or was it swept under the rug? When Pete & Mary discussed burial in Ireland, Pete mentioned restrictions on bodies of people who died from infectious diseases, but the book never discussed whether that became an issue. Sixsmith alluded to this being another story, but I am curious if Sixsmith has since found Michael’s father and if he ever knew he fathered a son.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Laird for Christmas

  • Highland Bachelor, 1
  • By: Gerri Russell
  • Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
  • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 173
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 156
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 155

After her father and brother disappeared, Lady Jane Lennox is managing Bellhaven Castle. Nonetheless, her aunt has invited six suitors to compete for the right to her hand - and to protect Bellhaven's towers of cool, pink-gray stone. Among the six is Nicholas Kincaid, the one-time object of Jane's affection. Two years ago, her brother banished Nicholas. A mere "sir," in want of title or land, Nicholas was not marriage material. Now, Nicholas will have the chance to compete in challenges of wit and skill, rather than heraldry.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not my thing – I’ve heard better

  • By J. Poe on 04-10-14

Not my thing – I’ve heard better

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

Reviewed: 04-10-14

The prior reviewer who said this book was like The Bachelor meets Highland romance was correct. I don’t like or watch The Bachelor for several reasons, and those elements were in this book. The main female character, Jane, was stupid, naïve, and shallow. A couple of the bachelors had less than desirable characters before they came to the castle, but somehow all instantly overcame their character flaws when competing (except Bryce, who took a little longer). I didn’t find the plot realistic and it seemed the timelines weren’t quite consistent either. I didn’t care for the narrator either – she overdid it at points, but mostly I think it was personal preference. I was bored & annoyed & so had to put this one down at a point and I came back to it after I listened to another book. I did manage to finish it, though, which is why I gave it two stars (instead of one).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Wrong Bed, Right Guy

  • Come Undone, Book 1
  • By: Katee Robert
  • Narrated by: Kasha Kensington
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 599
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 546
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 548

Prim and proper art gallery coordinator Elle Walser is no good at seducing men. Heck, she's been throwing hints at her boss for months, but he's completely clueless. Desperate to escape her mother's matchmaking efforts, she comes up with a plan - buy some lingerie and climb into her boss' bed. The plan goes brilliantly...until she accidentally seduces a sexy stranger instead. Bad boy nightclub mogul Gabe Schultz just had the best almost-sex of his life. Too bad the smoking hot blonde thought he was his brother and bolted before he could finish what they started.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wrong Might Be Right

  • By Ebony on 03-23-13

Unlikeable characters with an unrealistic plot

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

Reviewed: 04-07-14

I think the reason I didn't care for Elle was the narrator as much as the character. For someone who was supposed to be a "lady," she was actually really rude to Gabe in the beginning despite the circumstances. So I really didn't get what Gabe's random obsession with her from the beginning was at all. Any guy I know would have had some backbone and put her in her place. But a "lady" also wouldn't have behaved like such a harpee. I also quickly tired of the two female characters soundling practically like valley girls. I finished the book but I wouldn 't recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Carnal Secrets

  • The Phoenix Pack, Book 3
  • By: Suzanne Wright
  • Narrated by: Jill Redfield
  • Length: 12 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,051
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,795
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,791

Half-shifter Shaya Critchley may hold a submissive role in her wolf pack, but the petite redhead refuses to let an Alpha male interfere in her life. Furious and humiliated after her mate refused to claim her, she runs off to hide among the humans. Why wait around for an Alpha male to love her when he’d obviously prefer to ignore her?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Better than book 2, not better than book 1

  • By Candateshia Pafford on 02-16-14

Different but not really my cup of tea...

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

Reviewed: 04-05-14

I really appreciate that Wright has been really creative in this series. Each of the three books to date has had similarities, but they had unique story lines. That said, I didn't really enjoy this one. Feral Sins was pretty light hearted and funny and Carnal Secrets was to some extent too. This one kind of got political, with extremist bigots, and I didn't enjoy it. On top of that, there was an alpha male who was kind of a sissy. I mean he was a tough guy in terms of threatening people and fighting but he was constantly talking about his feelings and it got repetitive and boring. This is also the second book with backstabbing, neurotic female characters who won't give up on trying to get their male despite their "true mate" being another female. Frankly, it makes it hard to believe the pull of the supposed true mate bond when there are constantly challenges to it. I had a hard time making sense of the whole true mate concept because of it. And why do the females always have to be catty?

If there is a book 4 to the series, then I will probably decide whether to continue based on that. I don't think I could take more petty jealous female characters or political plots.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Great Gatsby

  • By: F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Narrated by: Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Length: 4 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,950
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,818
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,825

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel of the Roaring Twenties is beloved by generations of readers and stands as his crowning work. This new audio edition, authorized by the Fitzgerald estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal ( Brokeback Mountain). Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Simple, Beautiful, and Exquisitely Textured

  • By Darwin8u on 04-09-13

Boring

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

Reviewed: 03-14-14

Classic literature is one of my favorite genres, but I had a hard time sinking into this. I had never read The Great Gatsby before and I have not seen the movie. I'm not sure if it was the story or the narrator, but I think it was the latter. No offense to Jake Gyllenhaal but he has to be one of the most boring narrators I've listened to. The cadence of his voice made me want to sleep and half way through the book, I was still reluctant to see it to the end. I also had a hard time discerning whether some dialogue was intended to be tongue in cheek or serious, and I think that was the narrator as well. There are a lot of positive reviews, so I might try this again with a traditional book rather than an audio book.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful