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Jeff Lacy

Virginia
  • 103
  • reviews
  • 121
  • helpful votes
  • 165
  • ratings
  • The Golden Notebook

  • By: Doris Lessing
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 27 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 301
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 251
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 250

Author Anna Wulf attempts to overcome writer’s block by writing a comprehensive "golden notebook" that draws together the preoccupations of her life, each of which is examined in a different notebook. Anna’s struggle to unify the various strands of her life – emotional, political, and professional – amasses into a fascinating encyclopaedia of female experience in the ‘50s.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Transcendent narration of a masterpiece.

  • By Victoria on 07-03-12

Fives across

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

Reviewed: 09-03-18

Juliet Stevenson’s performance is the best Audible performance I have heard—and I use Audible for all my readings. This includes Ms Stevenson’s other performances I have used. This novel is a masterpiece of literature. It is a anthem, a philosophical declaration of feminism. It is an intellectual novel, courageously, gorgeously written. Reading it, one is struck quickly that this is a novel that belongs in that upper echelon of literature. I have only highlighted blocks of text in two works of fiction: The Sound and the Fury, and now, The Golden Notebook. This has to be on one’s list of all time books to read.

  • The Fortress of Solitude

  • By: Jonathan Lethem
  • Narrated by: David Aaron Baker
  • Length: 18 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 318
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 178
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 181

This is the story of two boys, Dylan Ebdus and Mingus Rude. They are friends and neighbors, but because Dylan is white and Mingus is black, their friendship is not simple. This is the story of their Brooklyn neighborhood, which is almost exclusively black despite the first whispers of something that will become known as "gentrification."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A smorgasbord of language

  • By Jonathan on 10-21-03

Curious and ponderous

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

Reviewed: 08-25-18

Lethem, in The Fortress of Solitude, gives us an imaginative, ponderous story. Page after page of extraordinary writing, sensitive to the aspects of the characters, and viscerally distilled sentences parsed on a razor’s edge. The characters are painted boldly and move the plot authentically; very memorable characters. The audible performance is very good.

  • Life After Life

  • A Novel
  • By: Kate Atkinson
  • Narrated by: Fenella Woolgar
  • Length: 15 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,919
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,530
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,540

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exhilarating, breathtaking book

  • By Kareol on 08-13-15

Great performance

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

Reviewed: 08-18-18

Great performance by Fenella Woolgar. Sounds like Judy Dench. Intriguing story, characters that keep the plot aloft through the life cycles. Kate Atkinson has done an excellent job constructing the novel which is the main element of the novel, next the compelling story, the characters, and illuminating concept-which has been has been adopted in other forms by other authors, more recently by Mark Sullivan in Dark Matter, which I just read. The writing is clear and by and large avoids letting the story getting bogged down which it could have so easily. But this novel stands on its own and avoids confusion. It is satisfying and readable. Intelligent and emotive.

  • The Heart's Invisible Furies

  • A Novel
  • By: John Boyne
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hogan
  • Length: 21 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,023
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,896
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,893

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery - or at least that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he? Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding. A Must listen.

  • By Keith G on 09-04-17

Fully alive

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

Reviewed: 08-13-18

This is one of the most fully alive novels I have ever experienced—yes, I mean experienced. Luscious and generous, an odyssey of Cyril Avery, an emblematic character experiencing a gay man’s challenges in Ireland and America through the mid twentieth century. Then finding his birth mother late in his middle year’s., a woman who also faced her own challenges from the Catholic Church in Ireland to single motherhood. This novel embraces so many themes. Beautifully written. Laugh out loud. Heart wrenching. Maddening. Bittersweet. Take the time to absorb this book. The Audible performance is pitch perfect as well and brings the story to life. One of the best performances I have used.

  • Dark Matter

  • A Novel
  • By: Blake Crouch
  • Narrated by: Jon Lindstrom
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,323
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,003
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,002

"Are you happy with your life?" Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason's never met smiles down at him and says, "Welcome back, my friend."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Believable Multiverse

  • By Michael L. Moore on 02-18-17

Entertaining and illuminating

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

Reviewed: 08-11-18

This novel is propelled by an intense, fast-paced plot, vividly rendered, generously imagined, entertaining and illuminating. Hard to put down. A fun and very compelling read.

  • Motherless Brooklyn

  • By: Jonathan Lethem
  • Narrated by: Geoffrey Cantor
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 368
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 335
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 335

From America's most inventive novelist, Jonathan Lethem, comes this compelling and compulsive riff on the classic detective novel. Lionel Essrog is Brooklyn's very own Human Freakshow, an orphan whose Tourettic impulses drive him to bark, count, and rip apart language in startling and original ways. Together with three veterans of the St. Vincent's Home for Boys, he works for small-time mobster Frank Minna's limo service cum detective agency. Life without Frank, the charismatic King of Brooklyn, would be unimaginable.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • You're Not the Only Freak Show in Town!

  • By Dave on 05-01-14

Compellingly entertaining

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

Reviewed: 08-09-18

This is a compelling and a whale of an entertaining novel, witty, with tight dialogue, and quirky characters.

  • Chronic City

  • A Novel
  • By: Jonathan Lethem
  • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
  • Length: 14 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 174
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 76

Chase Insteadman, a handsome fixture on Manhattan's social scene, lives off residuals earned as a child star on a beloved sitcom. Chase owes his current social cachet to an ongoing tragedy much covered in the tabloids: His teenage sweetheart and fiancée is trapped by a layer of low-orbit mines on the International Space Station, from which she sends him rapturous and heartbreaking love letters. Like his fiancée , Chase is adrift, she in Earth's stratosphere, he in a vague routine.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don't listen to the naysayers!

  • By Bobby on 01-21-11

Vivid and intelligently original

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

Reviewed: 08-08-18

Lethem, with Chronin City, writes a vivid character driven story that is refreshingly original, intelligently witty and observant, tight and edgy dialogue, and with a strange theme that our lives are all about distractions, signified by the novel’s interweaving of a purported tiger lurking around New York City unseen, the news following the lives of astronauts stranded on the space station because of Chinese space mines, and the personal story of the former child actor, protagonist, Chase’s girlfriend Janice Trumbull being one of those astronauts. This is as much about an ensemble of character round Perkins Tooth, a former rock critic. who is obsessed by Marlon Brando, and chaldron (pottery) photo then hologram, that propels the plot and brings the story to its strange, almost conspiracy theory denouement. This is an engaging story with interesting characters that are appealing due to their eccentricities, foibles, backgrounds, obsessions.

  • Warlight

  • By: Michael Ondaatje
  • Narrated by: Steve West
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 670
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 618
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 616

In a narrative as beguiling and mysterious as memory itself - shadowed and luminous at once - we follow the story of 14-year-old Nathaniel, and his older sister, Rachel. In 1945, just after World War II, they stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and they grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women joined by a shared history of unspecified service during the war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Instant favorite

  • By R. Hughes on 06-10-18

Five stars

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

Reviewed: 08-05-18

I come away from reading Warlight thrilled, awestruck, pumped, by having experienced it intellectually and emotionally. I was not disappointed as a writer or a reader. This is how fiction writing should aspire; tight writing, authentic dialogue, round believable characters. Nothing is wasted, the story moves purposefully, all the arrows are pointed and move in the same direction. This compelling story is austere and seamless, switching into darkness, the shadows, warlight, and then only slivers of light, with anonymity and aliases, spycraft, working behind enemy lines covertly, and vengeance. In a plot where a young man pulls together information about his mother’s roll in the British intelligence service during and after WWII, and his own life which it affected, we are propelled into a satellite of people, guardians our protagonist did not realize their role the year his mother was away on assignment, this indelible period marking the linchpin of his whole existence when he looks in retrospect. Steve West does a magnificent job as narrator.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • From a Low and Quiet Sea

  • By: Donal Ryan
  • Narrated by: Alana Kerr Collins, Gerard Doyle, Alan Smyth, and others
  • Length: 5 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 25

Three men search for some version of home; their lives move inexorably toward a reckoning that will draw them all together. For Farouk, family is all. He has protected his wife and daughter as best he can from the war and hatred that has torn Syria apart. If they stay, they will lose their freedom. Lampy is distracted; he has too much going on in his small town life in Ireland. He has the city girl for a bit of fun, but she's not Chloe. The game was always the lifeblood coursing through John's veins: manipulating people for his enjoyment. But it was never enough. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Deeply moving and beautifully written.

  • By Carrie Arnold on 07-18-18

Good not great for Ryan

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

Reviewed: 07-28-18

Not a overwhelmingly compelling story but well crafted and written, divided into multiple character perspectives, that brings their actions together in the end, to me, not so inevitably. I read this novel in one sitting with the Audible performance accompanying. The performances were modulated and paced well. The voices were pleasant and cast carefully to the characters. Ryan is in my top ten of novelist. I have read all of his earlier works. FROM A LOW AND QUIET SEA seems formulaic—I hate to say that, maybe that is the form or structure. But there is a lot of spark in this story. It is like a moss-covered castle one see throughout Ireland, roofless, doorless, reigning in 1200 or so.

  • Vipers' Tangle

  • By: Francois Mauriac
  • Narrated by: Geoffrey Howard
  • Length: 5 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40

In this remarkable novel, Mauriac brings his extraordinary talent for probing the inmost core of the human character to what is arguably the most exciting theme in the world: the battle for the human soul. In all of literature there can be few more appalling studies of a soul devoured by pride and avarice, corroded by hatred.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • those nasty rich men

  • By Heimo on 02-09-10

A multilayered meaningful story

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

Reviewed: 07-25-18

This novel engrossed me from the first sentence and never let loose its hold. In diary form from the perspective of a wealthy and bitter old man in receding health, who he rails against his wife and children, consumed by his intention to keep them from his fortune after his death. It is multi-layered, addressing the aim of living a happy life, the difference of good and evil, love and hate, forgiveness and selfishness, It also addresses the theme of Christian salvation and its ability to change the receptive who is hard of heart. The audible performance was well done and adds to the appreciation of the protagonist.