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JillOakPark

Oak Park, IL, United States
  • 3
  • reviews
  • 56
  • helpful votes
  • 9
  • ratings
  • Sing for Your Life

  • A Story of Race, Music, and Family
  • By: Daniel Bergner
  • Narrated by: Ryan Vincent Anderson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 110
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 104

Ryan Speedo Green had a tough upbringing in Southeastern Virginia: His family lived in a trailer park and later a bullet-riddled house across the street from drug dealers. His father was absent; his mother was volatile and abusive. At the age of 12, Ryan was sent to Virginia's juvenile facility of last resort. He was placed in solitary confinement. He was uncontrollable, uncontainable, with little hope for the future. In 2011, at the age of 24, Ryan won a nationwide competition hosted by New York's Metropolitan Opera, beating out 1,200 other talented singers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Made Me Want to See Him in an Opera

  • By Joel on 01-27-17

Great Story (makes me wish I liked opera)

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

Reviewed: 10-31-16

I'm not an opera fan but really enjoyed the main character's interview on Fresh Air several weeks ago. So glad I decided to buy this book. Green's tough childhood, the mentors who had his back, the language and musical training he worked so hard to master - all are beautifully described and narrated. I'm rooting for Green's continued success and may well seek out his performances.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir

  • By: Lev Golinkin
  • Narrated by: Daniel Gamburg
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85

Lev Golinkin's memoir is the vivid, darkly comic, and poignant story of a young boy in the confusing and often chilling final decade of the Soviet Union. It's also the story of Lev Golinkin, the American man who finally confronts his buried past by returning to Austria and Eastern Europe to track down the strangers who made his escape possible…. and thank them.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Touching, moving Memoir

  • By Daryl on 04-13-15

Loved this book - timely topic, great storytelling

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

Reviewed: 09-18-15

I was nervous to read this book - seemed like it would be good for me but maybe not easy to get through. Certainly there are some parts that are tough to hear but Golinkin somehow managed to include enough good humor and insight to tell a story that is a pleasure to read despite his harrowing circumstances growing up. With a different refugee crisis underway, I really appreciated a personal story of this family's decision to flee their town, and the author's journey traveling to the U.S. and coming to terms with his identity.

  • Cutting for Stone

  • A Novel
  • By: Abraham Verghese
  • Narrated by: Sunil Malhotra
  • Length: 23 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,435
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,589
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,596

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant story, pitch perfect narration

  • By Mary Lynn Richardson on 03-20-09

Beautifully written and read

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-29-09

This book had great reviews on Amazon but none on audible when I bought it. I was reluctant to make the purchase out of concern the narrator might botch it. The story is so beautifully written and the narrator did a nice job with it as well. I was a bit put off by the American accents (do we all sound like Texan gang-stahs to others outside the U.S.?) but that was a minor hang-up compared to the great tale beautifully read.

55 of 59 people found this review helpful