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CherylY

Ashland, Oregon
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 42
  • ratings
  • The Swans of Fifth Avenue

  • A Novel
  • By: Melanie Benjamin
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell, Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,195
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,092
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,082

Of all the glamorous stars of New York high society, none blazes brighter than Babe Paley. Her flawless face regularly graces the pages of Vogue, and she is celebrated and adored for her ineffable style and exquisite taste, especially among her friends - the alluring socialite Swans Slim Keith, C. Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness, and Pamela Churchill. By all appearances, Babe has it all. But beneath this elegantly composed exterior dwells a passionate woman - a woman desperately longing for true love and connection.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If You Are Of Certain Age, You'll Enjoy This

  • By Sudi on 02-22-16

Probably interesting for a rather narrow audience

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

Reviewed: 02-09-19

This isn't a bad story. This is basically historical fiction. The characters will probably be familiar to an audience of people who were born in the 1930s or 40s and of course to anyone curious about Truman Capote. The characters were famous because they were Manhattan socialites and back in the day when the gossip columns were popular people enjoyed reading about them. Capote was good friends with them all. They adopted him, almost like a mascot. He was a brilliant writer until his life unraveled. I would suggest watching the brilliant Philip Seymore Hoffman playing him in "Capote" during the time he wrote "In Cold Blood" if you want to see how Capote circled the drain. This book is really about the NY socialites he so terribly disappointed on the way down after the the egregious Answered Prayers was published..
I was curious enough to keep listening and it kept my attention until it started to become dreary and tedious. The readers are pretty good and they make a valiant effort to imitate Capote's unique lisping speech. The first time I heard Capote speak (live) I thought he was trying to be funny but no, he really spoke like that. But he certainly could write up a storm.

  • The Summer Before the War

  • A Novel
  • By: Helen Simonson
  • Narrated by: Fiona Hardingham
  • Length: 15 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,740
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,580
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,572

East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England's brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha's husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent saber rattling over the Balkans won't come to anything.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not Sure About This Book

  • By Sara on 04-27-16

An amusing story but I couldn't get into it.

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

Reviewed: 10-26-18

I tried to get engaged in this story but it just didn't happen. The characters are amusing old school Britts and if you enjoy that type of cozy reading, it might work for you. It's ironic and amusing and doesn't take itself seriously which is good. I liked the narrator. She was fun. But I never finished the audiobook even though it was a book group selection. I maybe it's an acquired taste.

  • Beautiful Animals

  • A Novel
  • By: Lawrence Osborne
  • Narrated by: Tim Campbell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 112
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 99

On a hike during a white-hot summer break on the Greek island of Hydra, Naomi and Samantha make a startling discovery: a man named Faoud, sleeping heavily, exposed to the elements, but still alive. As the two women learn more about the man, a migrant from Syria and a casualty of the crisis raging across the Aegean Sea, their own burgeoning friendship intensifies. But when their seemingly simple plan to help Faoud unravels, all must face the horrific consequences they have set in motion.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • please offer more of this author's books

  • By S. Liskey on 07-20-17

loved it

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

Reviewed: 10-26-18

If you like the novels of Patricia Highsmith, you might like this book. It's got that sinister, ironic, dark thing going and you just know things are going to get out of hand and the ending won't be tidy. The descriptions of Hydra made me want to jump on a plane and go there. I loved it.

  • Appointment in Samarra

  • Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition
  • By: John O'Hara, Charles McGrath (introduction)
  • Narrated by: Christian Camargo
  • Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 152
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 136

In December 1930, just before Christmas, the Gibbsville, Pennsylvania, social circuit is electrified with parties and dances. At the center of the social elite stand Julian and Caroline English. But in one rash moment born inside a highball glass, Julian breaks with polite society and begins a rapid descent toward self-destruction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • O'Hara's Best?

  • By Steve M on 10-01-15

Not worth using your point

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

Reviewed: 01-06-15

The reader did a great job with a tedious story of a member of the Gibbsville country club set getting drunk, doing dumb things, and having massive hangovers. I got tired of it all. What happens with Julian English was earned (O'Hara gives us plenty of warning). And yes, there is a little lesson about how these people lived and how people like Julian were naive, callow, excessive, and totally unprepared for what life was about to dish out. But I just didn't care. Hemmingway loved this novel. That alone, should have warned me off.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Kill Artist

  • By: Daniel Silva
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,959
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,566
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,556

After the assassination of his wife and son, Gabriel Allon retires from his brutal anti-terrorist career and loses himself in his previous cover job: art restoration. But when Tariq al-Hourani, the Palestinian terrorist responsible for his family’s death, begins a killing spree designed to destroy Middle East peace talks, Gabriel once again slips into the shadowy world of international intrigue. In a global game of hide-and-seek, the motives of Gabriel and Tariq soon become more personal than political.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Reluctant Assassin

  • By Snoodely on 10-30-13

Couldn't Tear Myself Away

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

Reviewed: 07-27-14

I usually just listen to my Audiobooks when I'm working out or taking a walk but not with this story. I was so eager to find out what came next that I spent hours just sitting down listening. Virtually all of the characters are colorful and fully realized. They were complicated people and I felt like I wanted to meet all of them - okay, maybe not the Palestinian assassin. The plot is intricate enough to be compelling. It's not Le Carre-intricate but good enough. I loved the protagonist, Gabriel and it was refreshing that there was a nice strong female as a major character. I look forward to reading more of Daniel Silva's books. This was my first since I had assumed his were merely Airplane Books. Well, perhaps they are, but they are darned good Airplane books and I never felt guilty listening to this one.
The reader, George Guidall is absolutely brilliant! I will look for more of his narrations as well.

  • Lie Still

  • A Novel
  • By: Julia Heaberlin
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Gibel
  • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 98
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 89
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 89

Nursing the faded scars of a long-held trauma, Emily Page and her husband, awaiting the arrival of their first child, move from New York City to the uber-wealthy Clairmont, Texas. There, Emily is swept into a world of opulent privilege and shifting loyalties. But the secrets she keeps follow her south, and with them comes the danger that her new friends can't protect her from, and her new enemies will not hesitate to use to destroy her once and for all.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Lie Still

  • By Mary Iz on 06-27-17

A Flaccid Flop

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

Reviewed: 11-02-13

What disappointed you about Lie Still?

This story sounded good in the description and in some of the reviews, but it didn't begin to live up to its hype. l struggled to care about Emily, the protagonist, and her problems. I had hopes that as the story progressed, that I would want to know what would happen next, but it just went on and on and on … with all these obnoxious grown up Texas sorority girls and Caroline, their "pledge master" directing their lives. I did not care who murdered Caroline. Actually, I was hoping someone would, but even when that happened, still the story dragged on. I kept wishing Emily would deliver her husband an ultimatum, take off back to New York, have her baby, hire a nanny, and get on with her life. The story deals somewhat with date rape and that is a worthy subject to explore but this story just didn't deliver on that and it isn't even the main thread. I did not finish this audiobook. I just couldn't listen to one more obnoxious Texas airhead. If I were a Texan I would be good and mad at this book. So what bothered me the most? I guess it would have to be the whole storyline. I listened to about 3/4 of it and quit when I decided that the story arc wasn't functioning. It was there but it just wasn't working. This book needed some serious editing, but even an editor couldn't fix the vapid prose.

Has Lie Still turned you off from other books in this genre?

I won't be listening to any more books of its ilk. I didn't like Gone Girl either. Both were ridiculous.

Would you be willing to try another one of Rebecca Gibel’s performances?

As long as she doesn't read them in a southern accent. And by the way, hers is good. But I need a rest!

What character would you cut from Lie Still?

Most of them.

Any additional comments?

I would love to have my credit back.

1 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Racketeer

  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: J.D. Jackson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,337
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,336
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,324

Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered. Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five.... Nothing is as it seems and everything’s fair game in this wickedly clever new novel from John Grisham, the undisputed master of the legal thriller.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very Enjoyable Grisham

  • By Ron on 10-25-12

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 12-05-12

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A better story would have been nice.

What could John Grisham have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Not much with this turkey

What three words best describe J.D. Jackson’s performance?

It was okay.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

disappointment

Any additional comments?

My husband and I began listening to this book on our way down through the CA central valley, a boring drive to be sure, so we looked forward to a good diversion from the monotony of the freeway and bleak landscape. We were both disappointed. After Grisham's last book, The Litigators, we were hoping he was back on track after such a long spell of boring, contrived stories. But this book is even worse than some of his "dry spell" stories. It's a shame because The Litigators was terrific.

  • The Snowman

  • A Harry Hole Novel
  • By: Jo Nesbø, Don Bartlett
  • Narrated by: Robin Sachs
  • Length: 15 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,417
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,474
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,472

Oslo in November. The first snow of the season has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Out his window, in the cold moonlight, he sees the snowman that inexplicably appeared in the yard earlier in the day. Around its neck is his mother’s pink scarf. Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter he’s received and the disappearance of Jonas’s mother - and of perhaps a dozen other women, all of whom went missing on the day of a first snowfall. As his investigation deepens, something else emerges: he is becoming a pawn....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nesbo is the Cat and I am The Mouse

  • By Russell on 10-14-13

Passes the "OMG, What Next?" test

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

Reviewed: 09-10-12

If you could sum up The Snowman in three words, what would they be?

Intelligently rendered whodunnit

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Snowman?

There were way too many to chose just one but the one where Harry and the bad guy fall into the river from the high rise apartment was fun. It was totally implausible and hilarious in a way, but certainly memorable.

What does Robin Sachs bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I liked that it was read by a Britt and not an American. The reader really got his tongue around the Norwegian words. In book form I would too often have stopped reading to try pronouncing the proper names correctly (I'm OCD about pronouncing foreign words).
The reading by Robin Sachs was very dramatic and appropriate to the flow of the story and nature of the various characters.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It's too long for that. And it would be like sitting down with a box of truffles and eating them all at once.

  • Gone Girl

  • A Novel
  • By: Gillian Flynn
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 19 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49,801
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44,350
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44,442

It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!

  • By Theodore on 01-20-13

Sophomoric nonsense

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

Reviewed: 09-05-12

What would have made Gone Girl better?

A good, intelligently written story would have been nice.

What was most disappointing about Gillian Flynn’s story?

The dialogue was trite and silly and there was no tension in the story. I just didn't care what happened to any of these dreary, cardboard characters. The plot, what little there was of it, was just boring. I finally gave up after a few hours of excruciating boredom.
I buy these audiobooks so that I can look forward to listening while I exercise or take long walks but this one was so bad that I began to dread my walks! Thankfully, I had a good William Boyd novel in my queue so now I'm enjoying a book by someone who doesn't write for vapid teeny boppers.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne ?

I wouldn't want to make anyone suffer through a reading of this book - no matter how much they would be paid.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

None.

Any additional comments?

I am disgusted with myself for squandering my point (aka money) on this dreadful story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • State of Wonder

  • A Novel
  • By: Ann Patchett
  • Narrated by: Hope Davis
  • Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,882
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,419
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,409

Research scientist Dr. Marina Singh is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on an extremely valuable new drug. The last person who was sent to find her died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding answers to the questions about her friend's death, her company's future, and her own past.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Do yourself a favor and listen to this book!

  • By F. B. Herron on 06-10-11

State of Disbelief ?

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

Reviewed: 05-25-12

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I have some complaints but I did kind of enjoy the book. I have to ask, who's bright idea was it to have Marina take Larium ? Well, of course she had nightmares. Malarone would have been the logical choice since she wasn't planning on staying in the jungle all that long and there are no psychotic side effects. If Big Pharma could fling money at the Jungle Project all that time, surely they could have treated her to the high-priced drug. And, what's all that nonsense with the insipid Mr. Fox? Marina is a hottie - what was she doing with him? And Dr. (Kurtz) Swenson? I know Mr. Kurtz. I read Heart of Darkness, and Dr. Swenson, you are no Mr. Kurtz. Or was that satire? I'm confused.The best thing about this book was the vivid rendering of the jungle. I really did like that. Okay, and I liked the little kid. And, there was the satire - at least I'd like to believe that. In fact I'd like to believe that the whole book was satire. Maybe I should listen again with that in mind - except I didn't like the narration. Once they got to the Jungle, they all sounded like Dr. Swenson.

What didn’t you like about Hope Davis’s performance?

Most of the characters sounded alike.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I might, just for the jungle scenery.

Any additional comments?

I loved Bel Canto.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful