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River H.

  • 13
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 22
  • ratings
  • In Pieces

  • By: Sally Field
  • Narrated by: Sally Field
  • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,499
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,210
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,193

In this intimate, haunting, literary memoir read by the author, an American icon tells her story for the first time, in her own gorgeous words - about a challenging and lonely childhood, the craft that helped her find her voice, and a powerful emotional legacy that shaped her journey as a daughter and a mother. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Riveting Life Story of Sally Field's

  • By Doris Anna Wright on 09-20-18

One of the Best Audiobooks I've Ever Listened To

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

Reviewed: 12-12-18

. . . and I'm picky! Sally Field is magnificent reading her mesmerizing, candid, deeply honest and heart-filled memoir. If I had read it in print, I would have loved the writing and the story, but combine that with her own narrating, and the experience is absolutely unforgettable. Celebrities are not always that good at narrating audiobooks. I have listened to other great actors read their autobiographies, and some of them just don't do it that well. Audiobook narration requires a unique set of talents, skills and experience . . . and Sally Field has all that.

And the story! Oh, man, can she write. The way she structures it, the pieces she pulls together, the vivid scenes and emotions, the lyricism of her narrative style, and the beauty of how she captures, processes and shares her pain and her healing . . .

I really don't know what else to say except: get this and listen to it.

  • The Master of Verona

  • By: David Blixt
  • Narrated by: David Blixt
  • Length: 26 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

Cangrande della Scala is everything a man should be. Daring. Ambitious. Charming. Brilliant. Ruthless. To the poet Dante - indeed, to the world - Cangrande is the ideal Renaissance prince. Until Dante’s son discovers a secret that could be Cangrande’s undoing. Suddenly thrust into the schemes and betrayals surrounding Verona’s prince, Pietro Alighieri must navigate a rivalry that severs a friendship, divides a city, and sparks a feud that will produce Shakespeare’s famous star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating Historical Fiction; Superb Performance

  • By River H. on 10-29-18

Fascinating Historical Fiction; Superb Performance

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

Reviewed: 10-29-18

I started this book with some trepidation, a little intimidated by the sheer length -- and I have never read a book by this author, David Blixt, before. But I was caught up in it immediately and I was totally engaged in it. It never stops moving. Blixt's ability to paint a scene, the lush and colorful visual detail, is just marvelous. I could imagine the people and landscapes so vividly. I was also very impressed with his mastery of the historical background here -- not just events but also places, everyday life, weapons, clothing, even morals. His dialogue and narrative is accessible, almost modern, but not jarringly so -- rather, it immerses and engages you more fully in the story. There are a lot of styles and moods to this book -- it can be very funny and often ironic, but it also is a serious, sometimes somber mystery / suspense.

I was kind of amazed that he could write this book so well, never mind narrate it so beautifully! His performance was excellent; he is clearly an experienced actor, and he infuses it with a lively emotional investment, great rhythm -- all the qualities of an experienced performer. I really recommend this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Word by Word

  • The Secret Life of Dictionaries
  • By: Kory Stamper
  • Narrated by: Kory Stamper
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 274
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 256
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 254

While most of us might take dictionaries for granted, the process of writing them is in fact as lively and dynamic as language itself. With sharp wit and irreverence, Kory Stamper cracks open the complex, obsessive world of lexicography - from the agonizing decisions about what and how to define to the knotty questions of usage in an ever-changing language.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Kory should narrate more Audible books!

  • By R. Stern on 04-24-17

Absolutely Delightful

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

Reviewed: 10-19-18

This book is so smart, hilarious, informative, and honest -- I loved it. And even though she is not a professional narrator (and authors are often the worst choice for narrating their own books), in this case, it's perfect. Kory Stamper nails it. I cannot imagine anyone else narrating her personal, sardonic, candid, sometimes acerbic prose as well as she does. She is brilliant, and I loved the fascinating insights into the theory of lexicography, the intricacies of creating dictionaries, and the details of day-to-day life at Merriam-Webster. The whole package -- her narrating, the content, her writing style -- is more than the sum of its parts. I highly recommend it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Son

  • By: Philipp Meyer
  • Narrated by: Will Patton, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Shepherd, and others
  • Length: 17 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,324
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,926
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,930

Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching examination of the bloody price of power, The Son is a gripping and utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American west with rare emotional acuity, even as it presents an intimate portrait of one family across two centuries. Eli McCullough is just twelve-years-old when a marauding band of Comanche storm his Texas homestead and brutally murder his mother and sister, taking him as a captive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Five Stars for the Lone Star, The Son, & Meyer

  • By Mel on 06-04-13

Excellent Narration; Couldn't Finish the Story

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

Reviewed: 07-19-18

The narrating team for this book is superb -- I always love Will Patton and Kate Mulgrew's performances. The other two were new to me but also did a very good job.

The story -- well, it's good writing but way too violent and bleak for my taste. I couldn't get past the first few chapters.

  • Me Before You

  • A Novel
  • By: Jojo Moyes
  • Narrated by: Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, and others
  • Length: 14 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31,215
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,773
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,718

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life - steady boyfriend, close family - who has never been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life - big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel - and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy - but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Journey Into the Unknown

  • By Pamela Harvey on 01-13-13

Stunning

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

Reviewed: 01-20-17

This is one of those books that was so well narrated, I have no idea if I would have liked reading it in print as much. Probably I would have -- it's an amazing story. But the combination of Jojo Moyes' storytelling and Susan Lyons' narrating is dynamite.

The other narrators are part of the supporting cast and their contributions were very limited. I could have listened to Anna Bentink forever, but the male narrators were less polished. It didn't matter, though, since Lyons' character does the bulk of the narrative.

  • The Sound of Gravel

  • A Memoir
  • By: Ruth Wariner
  • Narrated by: Ruth Wariner
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,116
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,918
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,916

Ruth Wariner was the 39th of her father's 42 children. Growing up on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turned a blind eye to the practices of her community, Ruth lives in a ramshackle house without indoor plumbing or electricity. At church, preachers teach that God will punish the wicked by destroying the world and that women can ascend to heaven only by entering into polygamous marriages and giving birth to as many children as possible.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unputdownable

  • By Lesley A. on 01-16-16

Not For Young Adults!

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

Reviewed: 01-20-17

This story was compelling and fascinating, and I applaud Ruth Wariner for writing and recording it. But ultimately I found it so gruesome and grim that I simply had to stop listening. But I want to warn prospective buyers that despite the fact that this book is billed as good for high-schoolers, it is far too vivid and graphic of a story of incest, poverty and abuse. Any high-schooler who has had any of these experiences will be traumatized, not reassured, by hearing this book. I'm an adult, and even though I wanted to pay tribute to the author's courage and message, I literally could not finish it.

As for the narration: usually it's not a great idea for the author to read his or her own work, and Ruth Wariner certainly is not a professional narrator, but she does fine with this content because she is totally involved with telling her own story.

  • Big Little Lies

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44,895
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,351
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,274

Pirriwee Public's annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder. In this thought-provoking novel, number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Oh, Calamity!

  • By L. O. Pardue on 10-07-14

Caroline Lee and Liane Moriarty Do It Again

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

Reviewed: 11-07-16

I love Liane Moriarty's writing and her stories -- she pulls you along deftly with her plots, and builds her characters with such love and detail that you feel like you truly know them all. She sure understands what it's like to be a wife and / or mother, but she also depicts the bleaker human experiences that make up the themes of her novels -- spousal abuse, the death of a child, infidelity, bullying -- with such vividness that you wonder if she has been through all these things herself (and I hope she hasn't!)

The combination of Caroline Lee and Moriarty is fabulous. Lee is such a good narrator that I haven't even been tempted to read one of Moriarty's books in print; I can't imagine enjoying one of Moriarty's books without Lee's voice. I loved "The Husband's Secret" and "Big Little Lies" equally. Next up: "What Alice Forgot"!

  • Drums of Autumn

  • By: Diana Gabaldon
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 44 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 28,375
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 23,942
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 23,840

Twice Claire has used an ancient stone circle to travel back to the 18th century. The first time she found love with a Scottish warrior but had to return to the 1940s to save their unborn child. The second time, 20 years later, she reunited with her lost love but had to leave behind the daughter that he would never see. Now Brianna, from her 1960s vantage point, has found a disturbing obituary and will risk everything in an attempt to change history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Can't Get Enough!

  • By Eugenia on 02-15-10

Staled on Me

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

Reviewed: 07-29-16

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Davina Porter is as usual stellar in this narration -- her command of Scottish (and Welsh and English) accents is amazing, as is her ability to differentiate characters clearly. I'm not always keen on her voice of Claire -- it starts sounding kind of like a prudish middle-aged English lady sometimes -- but honestly that is minor; she is an excellent narrator.

I was just bored with the story. I'm sure I'm in the minority here; people who love "Outlander" tend to love the whole series, but I'm kind of done.

What was most disappointing about Diana Gabaldon’s story?

Tedious. There is not enough action, and the whole premise of the time-traveling nurse and the sexy Scot is just not sustainable, not fresh enough as the series goes on.

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

The accents and characters!

Do you think Drums of Autumn needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. But that didn't stop them. :)

  • The Husband's Secret

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,270
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,816
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,827

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good, but a little too much hand-wringing

  • By Regina on 08-18-13

Five Stars in All Categories

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

Reviewed: 05-27-16

Any additional comments?

The combination of Caroline Lee's beautiful narrating skills and Liane Moriarty's writing and plot made this a wonderful listening experience. Highly recommended!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Outlander

  • Outlander, Book 1
  • By: Diana Gabaldon
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 32 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53,660
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44,671
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44,520

Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Time Travel VS Romance Quandary

  • By Sara on 09-10-14

Fabulous Narrator -- (Mostly) Wonderful Story

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

Reviewed: 05-27-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, if she loves romantic historical fiction.

Any additional comments?

Davina Porter does a marvelous job narrating this series. Her Scottish characters and accents are amazing -- in fact, I think she distinguishes the characters with Scottish accents even better than she does those with English accents. I was not as fond of how she read Claire Fraser -- she often made Claire sound like a rather overly prissy middle-aged Englishwoman instead of a more vivacious intelligent 20-something. But that's a minor quibble of the narrating. Mostly it was one of the most listenable audiobooks I've ever had. The story drags a bit when it gets too detailed in the "travelogue" parts, but again, a minor point. It is a wonderful production.