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Bette

  • 22
  • reviews
  • 75
  • helpful votes
  • 132
  • ratings
  • Scrublands

  • By: Chris Hammer
  • Narrated by: Rupert Degas
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 88
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86

In Riversend, an isolated rural community afflicted by an endless drought, a young priest does the unthinkable, killing five parishioners before being taken down himself. A year later, accompanied by his own demons from wartime reporting, journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend. His assignment is to describe how the townspeople are coping. But as Martin meets the locals and hears their version of events, he begins to realize that the accepted wisdom - that the priest was a pedophile whose imminent exposure was the catalyst for the shooting - may be wrong.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5

  • By Donna on 01-12-19

Great narrator

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

Reviewed: 03-08-19

Rupert Degas beautifully enlivens the characters that drive this complex story. The voices he creates are distinct. His female voices are the best I have heard a male produce. He maintains believable vocal tensions appropriate to the author’s paced reveals. I also appreciate that the author clearly develops the story without confusing time jumps that have become so popular. Really enjoyed this experience.

  • The Black Box

  • Harry Bosch, Book 16
  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Michael McConnohie
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,936
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,361
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,341

In a case that spans 20 years, Harry Bosch links the bullet from a recent crime to a file from 1992, the killing of a young female photographer during the L.A. riots. Harry originally investigated the murder, but it was then handed off to the Riot Crimes Task Force and never solved. Now Bosch's ballistics match indicates that her death was not random violence, but something more personal, and connected to a deeper intrigue. Like an investigator combing through the wreckage after a plane crash, Bosch searches for the "black box", the one piece of evidence that will pull the case together.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Contrary to the tagline, Harry Bosch is not back!

  • By Joanna on 11-27-12

Ah. Come on.

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

Reviewed: 04-02-17

I almost didn't get this title because of negative reviews about the reader. Look, if your expectations are similar to Jack Webb in Dragnet you will find McConnohie a ham! If you expect Len Cariou (my favorite Bosch), you will find the reader a little flat but not without expression and clarity. I'm glad I didn't miss this one.

  • The Cuckoo's Calling

  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,822
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,450
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,432

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unbelievable debut mystery set in London

  • By Tracey on 05-26-13

A better reader than I...

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

Reviewed: 06-11-16

I enjoyed everything about listening to Glenister's reading of The Cuckoo's Calling. He taught me that sometimes my lukewarm response to a book is due to my lukewarm reading energy instead of any fault of the book. I read this in my Kindle without much enthusiasm when it was first published .

Having taken advantage of a sale price to listen, I found myself delighted with all aspects of the plot and characters. As long as Glenister keeps reading this series, I'll keeping listening. With his help I now really appreciate the wonderful story-telling talent of Galbraith/Rawlings.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Satanic Verses

  • By: Salman Rushdie
  • Narrated by: Sam Dastor
  • Length: 21 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,130
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,001
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 989

Inextricably linked with the fatwa called against its author in the wake of the novel’s publication, The Satanic Verses is, beyond that, a rich showcase for Salman Rushdie’s comic sensibilities, cultural observations, and unparalleled mastery of language. The book begins with two Indians plummeting from the sky after the explosion of their airliner, and proceeds through a series of metamorphoses, dreams and revelations.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Use an audiobook to really enjoy Satanic Verses

  • By David Edelberg on 11-24-12

Preparing for Joseph Anton!

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

Reviewed: 09-19-12

Wanting to prepare to read Joseph Anton, I found that Sam Dastor’s reading of Satanic Verses brought the book alive for me. Having bought the hardcover, in my little private feud with censors, the day Khomeini issued his death verdict for Rushdie, I have periodically attempted to read it but have never been able to “get into it”.

Dastor changed all that as I listened and followed along with the print, enjoying the examination of differences in countries, religious tales, dream sequences, people in personal jealousies, divided cultural yearnings and loyalties, and mental confusion and illness--all with humor and literary references. Rushdie is a master of language and Dastor’s reading reflects his intelligence.

I am now eager to hear Dastor read Rusdie’s memoir, Joseph Anton, about his life after Khomeini’s edict. Since the heart of Satanic Verses is about the life of the “alien” or “exile” I expect a deep connection of its real message to Rushdie’s life.

Note: There is a transposition of a section in the chapter “Ayesha” p. 214 -225 (starting in Part 2 of the download, Chapter 3 of 6 at 26:20 minutes) that the audible version moves to p.240, concluding the “Ayesha” section. I found it confusing, but it is part of the “serial visions” of Gibreel so if you feel a little confused without a text in front of you, don’t worry--it is all there and will be understandable in the end.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • The End of the Affair

  • By: Graham Greene
  • Narrated by: Colin Firth
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,339
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,725
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,686

Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth ( The King’s Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Late to the Party...

  • By Doug - Audible on 07-05-17

Do You Believe?

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

Reviewed: 07-15-12

Colin Firth, with a voice I could listen to forever, reads with perfect nuance the struggles of Graham Greene's characters. Make no mistake, romance is not the subject of this novel about a British wartime affair. There is no dripping sentimentality about the end of the affair. These characters struggle with simultaneous hate and love of each other, as well as with their belief or non-belief in "God". All of the characters care; they are not indifferent to matters of religion. Even though I feel pretty "settled" in these affairs of mind and heart, I found much to think and care about here.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Hamlet

  • By: William Faulkner
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 14 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 185
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 156
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 154

The Hamlet, the first novel of Faulkner's Snopes trilogy, is both an ironic take on classical tragedy and a mordant commentary on the grand pretensions of the antebellum South and the depths of its decay in the aftermath of war and Reconstruction. It tells of the advent and the rise of the Snopes family in Frenchman's Bend, a small town built on the ruins of a once-stately plantation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great narrator, great book, better read than heard

  • By Kindle Customer on 05-12-13

Their Only Chance to be Beautiful?

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

Reviewed: 07-15-12

Faulkner's language is absolutely gorgeous, moving in wafts of sense-filled images through the reader/listener's mind and Joe Barrett's reading of it is perfection. I have read most of Faulkner's novels more than once (Absalom, Absalom, being my favorite). But times have changed and I was surprised by my patience being tried by the less-than-desirable characters. Getting older, I also find myself less patient with aspects of stories than seem contrived to shock; after decades of news, movies, and reading I find little actually shocking about "human" behavior so the attempts seem more artifice than art. So, I remind myself that Faulkner wrote in different times.

In Richard Ford's novel, Canada, which I read about the same time as listening to The Hamlet, I was struck by an artist character who explained that she painted ugly, plain, decaying buildings because it was their only chance to be beautiful. I'm thinking this is a way to look at ugly, ignorant and cruel behavior told in beautiful language. So I am still considering spending 2 more credits to complete the Snopes trilogy read so beautifully by Joe Barrett.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Quick Red Fox

  • A Travis McGee Novel, Book 4
  • By: John D. MacDonald
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 6 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 558
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 495
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 493

It was the standard blackmail scheme. For years, sultry Lysa Dean's name on a movie had meant a bonanza at the box office. Now a set of pictures could mean the end of her career.When first approached for help by lovely Dana Holtzer, Lysa's personal secretary, Travis McGee is thoroughly turned off by the tacky details. But being low on cash, and tenderly attracted by the star's intriguingly remote secretary, McGee sets out to locate his suspects -- only to find that they start turning up dead!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good yarn but showing its age

  • By Kindle Customer on 05-25-12

Sensibility Adjustment Required

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

Reviewed: 06-29-12

Listening to MacDonald's Quick Red Fox required some adjustment of sensibilities for this American woman listener. Having loved the "beautiful woman walks into the office" openings of Hammett's and Ross MacDonald's mysteries, I started out enjoying Travis Magee as ably read by Robert Petkoff. The mystery of a salacious-photo blackmail of a celebrity fit the expected genre subtype. I even appreciated the gentler language and the quick descriptions of violence in an older hardboiled mystery.

My discomfort came with Travis's "my woman" attitude toward a love interest, his stereotypical flippant comparison of two lesbians to "authentic males," and the constant attention to female physical appearance without the equivalent descriptions of males.

Even trying to set these aside, I can't say I find this novel meets the quality of other writers of about the same time in language, character or story. This was my first John D. MacDonald and I'm comparing to all of Ross M and Dashiel H, so I may be being a bit unfair!

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Kalooki Nights

  • By: Howard Jacobson
  • Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
  • Length: 17 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

Two young friend, Max Glickman and Manny Washinski, get together in an abandoned air-raid shelter and create a comic-book history of Jewish suffering. Years later, Manny is in jail for a horrible crime and Max is a comic book artist. After Manny's release from prison decades later, the two meet again when Max is hired by a production company to write a film treatment based on Manny's life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Laugh-Out-Loud Seriousness

  • By Bette on 06-27-12

Laugh-Out-Loud Seriousness

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

Reviewed: 06-27-12

In a Guardian interview, Howard Jacobson said this was his favorite of his novels. Its depth of character and ideas make his choice understandable. Jacobson's topic is serious and some of the details are horrifying, BUT much of this books is extremely funny, particularly in Tom Stechschulte's excellent reading of the author's witty way with words, ironic situations and ideas. As a British Jew, the author and his narrator "sound" a little different than the stereotypical American Yiddish humorist.

His narrator, a Jewish cartoonist, remembers several time periods, his childhood with friends and family, his marriages, his adult life with friends and his memory of reading about the holocaust. Although the time periods are jumbled, they are easy to follow because of the literary devices of repetition of words and themes.

For example, "Kalooki" is one of those repetitions; it is a card game similar to gin. The narrator at one point says that "not playing Kalooki is how I learned to understand I wasn't my mother." Other repetitions include his childhood "jew-jew-jew-jew" which his relatives thought was his attempt to imitate a train (choo-choo), which of course ties well to the story of Nazi transport of European Jews and the angst of his struggle with group identity.

Early, Jacobson's narrator explains that his parents are in the "in-between" generation, between those who want to forget (those who experienced the holocaust) and those who know they must not forget (the narrator). He explores the ramifications of group identity brought by being a Jew whether religious or not. At one point he says that "To a Jew there is no acceptable way of being a Jew. Every other Jew has got it wrong." So he struggles to understand his own identification, his judgment of Jews and non-Jews, as well as their judgments of him.

This book offers the opportunity to better understand individuals who struggle with being part of a group by birth.





1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fathers and Sons

  • By: Ivan Turgenev
  • Narrated by: Anthony Heald
  • Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

One of the most controversial Russian novels ever written, Fathers and Sons dramatizes the volcanic social conflicts that divided Russia just before the revolution, pitting peasants against masters, traditionalists against intellectuals, and fathers against sons. It is also a timeless depiction of the ongoing clash between generations.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Russian Generation Gap or Families and Friends

  • By Bette on 06-12-12

Russian Generation Gap or Families and Friends

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

Reviewed: 06-12-12

Anthony Heald's reading enhances this historically significant novel, clearly displaying age and attitude through his voice for each character.

Basically this is the story of two young men visiting family and friends in Russia as social changes are upsetting the old serf-landowner system. The young men start out in a state of "causeless melancholy, known only to young people." They offend and hurt their elders who seem to admire or respect them even as the young men sneer at them for their old fashioned ways. The parents understand that "a son is a separate piece."

As the story progresses, each of the young men is changed by experiencing romantic love--quite a challenge to fellows claiming to be nihilists, and each reacts differently.

The characters, however, are extreme and the story is obviously geared to teach, a style which has pretty much gone out of fashion now. The author's narrator intrudes and speaks to the reader several times and summarizes the "current" life of each of the characters at the end of the book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Cold Dish

  • A Walt Longmire Mystery
  • By: Craig Johnson
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,261
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,657
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,636

Introducing Wyoming's Sheriff Walt Longmire in this riveting novel from the New York Times best-selling author of Dry Bones, the first in the Longmire series, the basis for the hit Netflix original series Longmire. Johnson draws on his deep attachment to the American West to produce a literary mystery of stunning authenticity, full of memorable characters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not Your Ordinary Western Novel (Series)

  • By Dataman on 09-12-12

The First Longmire

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

Reviewed: 06-09-12

This book has been on my wish list since Guidall revealed that reading Craig Johnson was one of his favorite assignments. When the Longmire TV show was announced, I bought and listened to this book before watching the series.

Guidall's voice is perfect for the novel whose main character is gruffer, scruffier and heavier than the TV version. It, also, appears that the TV series is doing a "cut and paste" job on plots; so, we can probably enjoy both, though, of course, the novel is richer in detail and development of character and relationships. In this first novel of the series, the grief of Longmire and his history with an unsatisfactory previous case provide a good means for showing us his character and his relationships with people in the community.

I have to admit that the heroics of Longmire in a snow storm are a bit far fetched for my taste, as is the mystical wisdom of Native American/Indian spirituality

I do like my heroes flawed and struggling so I will probably try more in this series.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful