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DM

  • 7
  • reviews
  • 190
  • helpful votes
  • 9
  • ratings
  • The Fifth Risk

  • By: Michael Lewis
  • Narrated by: Victor Bevine
  • Length: 5 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,912
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,574
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,562

"The election happened," remembers Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, then deputy secretary of the Department of Energy. "And then there was radio silence." Across all departments, similar stories were playing out: Trump appointees were few and far between; those that did show up were shockingly uninformed about the functions of their new workplace. Some even threw away the briefing books that had been prepared for them. Michael Lewis’ brilliant narrative takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its own leaders.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Awkward and Disappointing

  • By Amit M on 10-04-18

Why government matters

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

This is an excellent exploration of the real work of good government, the heroic work of public servants, and why it matters . I can’t think of a better book to use in a civics or government class.

  • Elmet

  • By: Fiona Mozley
  • Narrated by: Gareth Bennett Ryan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 436
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 411
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 411

In this atmospheric and profoundly moving debut, Cathy and Daniel live with their father, John, in the remote woods of Yorkshire, in a house the three of them built themselves. John is a gentle brute of a man, a former enforcer who fights for money when he has to, but who otherwise just wants to be left alone to raise his children. When a local landowner shows up on their doorstep, their precarious existence is threatened, and a series of actions is set in motion that can only end in violence.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Strains credibility

  • By DM on 01-06-18

Strains credibility

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

Reviewed: 01-06-18

I’m not sure what to make of this novel. The language is often evocative, often beautiful in its descriptions of the natural world, but also occasionally sounds a false, overly elaborate note. The story itself makes sense only as a parable about the predations of capitalism, a world in which bonds between people are frayed by distrust and the cruelty and greed of the powerful. For a while, I was captivated by the elevation of a loner father protecting his children and teaching them self-sufficiency, but fairly quickly I became impatient with the simplistic, even reductionist analysis and the almost cartoonish characters.

169 of 180 people found this review helpful

  • Pachinko

  • By: Min Jin Lee
  • Narrated by: Allison Hiroto
  • Length: 18 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,117
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,643
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,631

Profoundly moving and gracefully told, Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them. Betrayed by her wealthy lover, Sunja finds unexpected salvation when a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and bring her to Japan to start a new life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • wonderful book

  • By erin on 12-11-17

Reads like an apprentice novel

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

Reviewed: 01-02-18

Min Jin Lee has an agenda, to be sure, to explore the meaning of ethnic and gender identity amidst conflicts of war, colonization, economic devastation, and so on. Unfortunately, the perspective is neither original or interestingly narrated. Filled with wooden dialog and a plethora of irrelevant detail, the book should not have made the NYTimes list of the ten best novels of 2017.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • The Past

  • By: Tessa Hadley
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lennon
  • Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 113
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 115

Three sisters, a brother, and their children assemble at their country house one last time before it is sold. The house is filled with memories of their shared past, yet beneath the idyllic surface, hidden passions, devastating secrets, and dangerous hostilities threaten to consume them. Sophisticated and sleek, Roland's new wife arouses his sister's jealousies. Passion erupts where it's least expected, shattering the quiet self-possession of Harriet, the eldest sister.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator Mistakes!!!!?

  • By VinnysMom on 03-03-16

Chances lost and fulfilled

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

Reviewed: 02-24-16

Filled with Hadley's usual astute observations and intelligent insights. There's not much of a plot, so the novel starts slow, but strong character development takes over, with the real interest lying in their self reflections and evolving sensitivities.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Hausfrau

  • A Novel
  • By: Jill Alexander Essbaum
  • Narrated by: Mozhan Marno
  • Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 503
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 449
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 451

Anna Benz, an American in her late thirties, lives with her Swiss husband, Bruno - a banker - and their three young children in a postcard-perfect suburb of Zürich. Though she leads a comfortable, well-appointed life, Anna is falling apart inside. Adrift and increasingly unable to connect with the emotionally unavailable Bruno or even with her own thoughts and feelings, Anna tries to rouse herself with new experiences.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful writing; pathetic, passive protagonist &

  • By NMwritergal on 03-22-15

Failed update of the classics

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

Reviewed: 08-13-15

Essbaum is channeling Flaubert and Tolstoy here, the bored wife of Emma Bovary, the wife in emotional turmoil of Tolstoy, but neither successfully. Overall, this is an improbable story of a modern woman without interests, friends, or occupations. Essbaum wants us to understand Anna's despair, but we don't. To convey Anna's interior consciousness, for example, Essbaum repeats the word "version,"as in Anna's deepest feeling is a version of love. We get little else as an explanation for Anna's disconnection to any deeper reality or understanding of herself. She goes into therapy after nine years of unhappiness as a wife and mother in Switzerland, but she never has any intention of answering the analyst's questions. Anna comes off as a cypher.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • All Involved

  • A Novel
  • By: Ryan Gattis
  • Narrated by: Anthony Rey Perez, Marisol Ramirez, Jim Cooper, and others
  • Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 154
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 142
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 141

A propulsive and ambitious novel as electrifying as The Wire, from a writer hailed as the West Coast's Richard Price—a mesmerizing epic of crime and opportunity, race, revenge, and loyalty, set in the chaotic streets of South Central LA in the wake of one of the most notorious and incendiary trials of the 1990s. At 3:15 p.m. on April 29, 1992, a jury acquitted three white Los Angeles Police Department officers charged with using excessive force to subdue a black man named Rodney King and failed to reach a verdict on the same charges involving a fourth officer. Less than two hours later, the city exploded in violence that lasted six days. In nearly 121 hours, fifty-three lives were lost. But there were even more deaths unaccounted for: violence that occurred outside of active rioting sites by those who used the chaos to viciously settle old scores.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best Multiple Narrative Since the Poisonwood Bible

  • By Alan McCarron on 04-22-15

Somewhat disappointing

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

Reviewed: 06-17-15

The writer has a good subject here, but he has some difficulty balancing the sociological detail with artistry. The result is that I sometimes felt I was reading a tract. At other times the characters voices sound too much the same, and some commentary is hampered by triteness

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Last Flight of Poxl West

  • A Novel
  • By: Daniel Torday
  • Narrated by: Aaron Abano
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 28

Poxl West fled the Nazis' onslaught in Czechoslovakia. He escaped their clutches again in Holland. He pulled Londoners from the Blitz's rubble. He wooed intoxicating, unconventional beauties. He rained fire on Germany from his RAF bomber. Poxl West is the epitome of manhood and something of an idol to his teenage nephew, Eli Goldstein, who reveres him as a brave, singular Jewish war hero.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Weird European accent for 75% of book

  • By Amazon Customer on 04-09-15

Weak and amateurish

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

Reviewed: 05-03-15

The reviewer who called Torday's sentences "Rothian" was off the mark. Not only that, This purports to be a moral tale, about love, vengeance, betrayal, but the simplistic characters reveal little about what it means to live in a complex world, roiled by 20th century upheaval. Disappointing.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful