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Simeen

Chicago, IL, United States
  • 17
  • reviews
  • 27
  • helpful votes
  • 17
  • ratings
  • The Girl on the Train

  • A Novel
  • By: Paula Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129,674
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114,433
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114,293

Audie Award, Audiobook of the Year, 2016. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • The Girl on The Train

  • By BookReader on 12-30-15

Ending was disappointing

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

Reviewed: 08-12-15

What did you like best about The Girl on the Train? What did you like least?

I thought the narration was pretty good- the beginning kept me engaged and wanting to keep listening.

Any additional comments?

I sort of agree with a review I read elsewhere that said this is a book for people who don't really read. That sounds really snarky but I guess it means- if you don't have much to compare it to, and don't expect a lot out of a book, this will probably do it for you. If you have higher standards, you might find this lacking. I know I did.

I enjoyed maybe the first 2/3- it was interesting, and I liked how the three main woman had different narrators for their voices. However the characters themselves are pretty flat. Simpering Rachel, I'm-proud-I'm-a-Homewrecker Anna... I mean it was hard to get invested when you felt annoyed by them all.

Also I found the ending and climax to be really trite and predictable, and I'm not one to try and figure things out ahead. I like having a story unfold for me, and I like surprises, but pretty early on I thought, welp, I can see where this is headed, and I was right.

Anyway this sounds pretty critical and I suppose it is. For a book I listened to while walking (ironically) to and from the train, and while doing housework, it was good enough to pass the time. Worth my one credit but I wouldn't rave about it.

PS I don't really get the Gone Girl comparisons. Again if the only book you read last year was GG I guess you'd think they were similar, but I didn't think so at all.

  • The Bad Beginning, A Multi-Voice Recording

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events #1
  • By: Lemony Snicket
  • Narrated by: Tim Curry, Full Cast
  • Length: 2 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,320
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,585
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,584

Like a car alarm, bagpipe music, or a doorbell ringing in the middle of the night, hearing this all-new audio edition of The Bad Beginning will only upset you. This unique multi-voice recording brings the first book in Lemony Snicket's alarming A Series of Unfortunate Events to such terrible life that no one should really have to experience it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliantly miserable

  • By Lindsey on 06-05-05

What a gem.

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

Reviewed: 07-25-14

Would you listen to The Bad Beginning, A Multi-Voice Recording again? Why?

YES! It was so brilliant- the writing is great and the performances just made it that much better.

Any additional comments?

Listening to this book was a real treat. I laughed, I sighed- it was great. Even my husband, who is not an audiobook listener, came in to the kitchen one night as I listened to it and was prepping dinner, and even he became enthralled. I would highly recommend to anyone.

  • A Fine Balance

  • By: Rohinton Mistry
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 24 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,129
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 781
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 783

In the India of the mid-1970s, Indira Gandhi's government has just come to power. It institutionalizes corruption and arbitrary force, most oppressive to the poorest and weakest people under its sway. Against this backdrop, in an unnamed city by the sea, four people struggle to survive. Dina, Maneck, and two tailors, the Untouchables Om and Ishvar, who are sewing in Dina's service, undergo a series of reversals.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Praise for the Narrator as much as the Writer

  • By Karen P. Smith on 05-10-09

Wish the narration was better.

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

Reviewed: 07-25-14

What made the experience of listening to A Fine Balance the most enjoyable?

A Fine Balance is one of my favorite books, so having it to listen to in the car is a nice treat.

What did you like best about this story?

This book is an epic, sweeping novel about a really troubled time in India's history. It is written such that you feel every emotion, you see the landscape... few writers have Mistry's gift. His writing is amazing. I would read (and have!) anything he writes.

Any additional comments?

I was not happy with the narration- mostly because I'm Indian, and almost every Hindi word was mispronounced. These were not difficult words- any Indian could have told the narrator how to pronounce, but as I listened it was just really off-putting.
For example, "loata" is pronounced "low-ta", not "low-AH-ta", and loata is a super common indian word so hearing it wrong over and over was painful. Same with so many others, and even the names. "Naaa-waaaz" (Nawaz) should have been "Na-waaaz." I could go on and on. So while I think the book is literally a masterpiece, I was disappointed at the narration. However if you are not a Hindi/Urdu speaker, you'll probably be none the wiser and enjoy it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Some Assembly Required

  • A Journal of My Son's First Son
  • By: Anne Lamott, Sam Lamott
  • Narrated by: Anne Lamott, Sam Lamott
  • Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 109
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 97

Stunned to learn that her son, Sam, is about to become a father at 19, Lamott begins a journal about the first year of her grandson, Jax's, life. In careful and often hilarious detail, Lamott and Sam - about whom she first wrote so movingly in Operating Instructions - struggle to balance their changing roles with the demands of college and work, as they both forge new relationships with Jax's mother, who has her own ideas about how to raise a child.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not her best work

  • By Reader on 03-27-12

Lowest rating I've ever given on Audible!

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

Reviewed: 10-09-13

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

Better story and different narrator. So basically, this would have had to be a totally different book :)

What could Anne Lamott and Sam Lamott have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

For starters I thought the material was terrible. Anne and Sam sure are self righteous! I didn't "like" any of the people in the book and I thought they all thought too highly of themselves. Even the self-deprecation was like "humble-bragging." Not appealing.
Sorry Anne but you are a terrible narrator. Flat and emotionless. Maybe a different narrator would have made this more palatable... but I doubt it.

Would you be willing to try another one of Anne Lamott and Sam Lamott ’s performances?

No, never.

  • State of Wonder

  • A Novel
  • By: Ann Patchett
  • Narrated by: Hope Davis
  • Length: 12 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,590
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,161
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,154

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

Started out so promising, then went downhill.

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

Reviewed: 10-09-13

What did you like best about State of Wonder? What did you like least?

I thought the premise was fascinating, and as it started out I was really into it. About halfway through, though, it just got ridiculous. I was rolling my eyes left and right, thinking "come ON, Ann Patchett, really?!?" And I like her other stuff. Do yourself a favor and read Bel Canto before you waste a credit on this.

Was State of Wonder worth the listening time?

No.

Any additional comments?

I don't want to give away the story but it goes from believable and engaging to downright ridiculous. I couldn't wait for it to be over.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Lowland

  • By: Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Narrated by: Sunil Malhotra
  • Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,103
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 964
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 979

Born just 15 months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other in the Calcutta neighborhood where they grow up. But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead. It is the 1960s, and Udayan - charismatic and impulsive - finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty; he will give everything, risk all, for what he believes. Subhash, the dutiful son, does not share his brother’s political passion; he leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • My least favorite of all her work.

  • By Simeen on 10-09-13

My least favorite of all her work.

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

Reviewed: 10-09-13

What did you like best about The Lowland? What did you like least?

Maybe because I'm such a fan of her other work, I am more critical, but I thought this book was a bust.

I thought the characters were really dull and not fleshed out well. I certainly didn't sympathize with them, nor did I care what happened to them. I didn't get a good sense of their motivation for the choices they made- and overall it was just dull. That's the best I can say.

If you want to read Lahiri, I suggest starting with something else- if I had read this first, I wouldn't have gone back for any more.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jhumpa Lahiri again?

Sure- The Namesake is a masterpiece and 10x better.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Sunil Malhotra?

Yes, I thought he did a nice job.

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

Nope.

Any additional comments?

There was a moment where a character goes through a big shift (sorry I don't want to write out a big spoiler, but it's about 3/4 way through and you'll know it when you hear it), and it was just so out of left field and silly, all I could do was roll my eyes. Usually Jhumpa Lahiri's characters are so complex, and through her writing you really understand them- good and bad. But here- it was like reading about a family of paper dolls. Flat and dimension-less.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Night Circus

  • By: Erin Morgenstern
  • Narrated by: Jim Dale
  • Length: 13 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,391
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,739
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,757

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The circus of your dreams

  • By Pamela on 09-22-11

Good narration, mediocre book

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

Reviewed: 04-10-13

Any additional comments?

I thought the writing was lush and beautiful, and so descriptive- I could really see what the author was describing. The book started out nicely, and then I think it just fell flat. It just never went anywhere- there's all this buildup... to... nothing. I was disappointed. I would recommend it for the beautiful description and fantastic narration, but other than that, this book is a C+.

  • The Good House

  • A Novel
  • By: Ann Leary
  • Narrated by: Mary Beth Hurt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,314
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,042
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,030

The Good House tells the story of Hildy Good, who lives in a small town on Boston's North Shore. Hildy is a successful real-estate broker, good neighbor, mother, and grandmother. She's also a raging alcoholic. Hildy's family held an intervention for her about a year before this story takes place - "if they invite you over for dinner, and it’s not a major holiday," she advises "run for your life" - and now she feels lonely and unjustly persecuted. She has also fooled herself into thinking that moderation is the key.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a great book, Hildy is a great character!

  • By Rhonda Morrison on 01-31-13

Perfect combo of story and EXCELLENT narration

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

Reviewed: 03-08-13

Would you consider the audio edition of The Good House to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version but I thought the audiobook was amazing. They could not have found a better voice for Hildy.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Hildy! The narrator does the best job really getting you to visualize the character.

Any additional comments?

I have to agree with all the other reviewers- the narrator makes this a can't-miss audiobook. The story is great- I thought it was really interesting, but also pretty dark. Some amazon reviews of the book described it as lighthearted and funny. It had funny moments, yes, but the subject matter is not funny- so don't expect light chick-lit. But that being said, I really loved this audiobook and would highly recommend it.

  • The Godfather

  • By: Mario Puzo
  • Narrated by: Joe Mantegna
  • Length: 18 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5,168
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,758
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4,757

More than forty years ago, Mario Puzo wrote his iconic portrait of the Mafia underworld as told through the fictional first family of American crime, the Corleones. The leader, Vito Corleone, is the Godfather. He is a benevolent despot who stops at nothing to gain and hold power. His command post is a fortress on Long Island from which he presides over a vast underground empire that includes rackets, gambling, bookmaking, and unions. His influence runs through all levels of American society, from the cop on the beat to the nation''s mighty. Mario Puzo, a master storyteller, introduces us to unforgettable characters, and the elements of this world explode to life in this violent and impassioned chronicle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Huge fan of the movie, loved this audiobook!

  • By Dana on 10-04-13

A classic for good reason.

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

Reviewed: 02-26-13

What did you love best about The Godfather?

The story is epic! You're really drawn in to the lives of these characters.

Any additional comments?

I have read this book in print a dozen times, but it was a treat to have the audiobook going in the car and on the treadmill. I really enjoyed it.

  • Saving Ceecee Honeycutt

  • By: Beth Hoffman
  • Narrated by: Jenna Lamia
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,015
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,603
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,622

Laugh-out-loud funny and deeply touching, Beth Hoffman's sparkling debut is, as Kristin Hannah says, "packed full of Southern charm, strong women, wacky humor, and good old-fashioned heart." It is a novel that explores the indomitable strengths of female friendship and gives us the story of a young girl who loses one mother and finds many others.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Comfort Food For The Soul

  • By Karen on 02-17-10

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 02-26-13

What would have made Saving Ceecee Honeycutt better?

The reviews really led me wrong on this one. This was so saccharine sweet and silly... I just couldn't like it. Every time there was a moment where you thought, oh, look! Some conflict! Nope, it was cleared up in 5 minutes. Whew! Back to sunny and cheery.

I thought this was just too fluffy to like. If you're looking for something in this vein, I'd stick to The Help.

Which character – as performed by Jenna Lamia – was your favorite?

The narration was great- the story was lacking.

Any additional comments?

Maybe a few years ago I'd have appreciated this more- but now I need at least SOME substance and I just didn't get it from this book.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful