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Laura Gillespie

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  • reviews
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  • helpful votes
  • 3
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  • My Year of Rest and Relaxation

  • By: Ottessa Moshfegh
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,137
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,062
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,064

Our narrator should be happy, shouldn't she? She's young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate; she works an easy job at a hip art gallery and lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like the rest of her needs, by her inheritance. But there is a dark and vacuous hole in her heart, and it isn't just the loss of her parents, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her best friend, Reva. It's the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love it...

  • By Claudia Gallegos on 07-12-18

God damn. Wow.

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

Reviewed: 12-10-18

What a gorgeous gut-punch of a book. And a great performance of it. Even, ESPECIALLY, that ending!! Took my breath away. Still breathless as I write this.

  • Killers of the Flower Moon

  • The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
  • By: David Grann
  • Narrated by: Will Patton, Ann Marie Lee, Danny Campbell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,426
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6,723
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,697

In the 1920s the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not put off by narration

  • By jaspersu on 11-13-17

oof.

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

Reviewed: 01-08-18

What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

this is a wonderful book, but the narration of the first section is so painfully. it sounds, as other's have noted, like a kindergarten teacher reading to her students. problem is, she's this white lady reading from what is supposed to be the point of view of a native american woman-- mollie burkhart-- so what would normally just seem like a not-great reading voice (for grown up books) sounds EXCRUCIATINGLY condescending. it makes it sound like, in the world of the book, this woman is some kind of child (which is pretty ironic given than the malicious, murderous condescension with which MB and the rest of her tribe were treated is the subject of the book). so. painful. whoever produced this really should have noticed and intervened.

  • Strangers Drowning

  • Grappling with Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Overpowering Urge to Help
  • By: Larissa MacFarquhar
  • Narrated by: Larissa MacFarquhar
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 119
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 106

What does it mean to devote yourself wholly to helping others? In Strangers Drowning, Larissa MacFarquhar seeks out people living lives of extreme ethical commitment and tells their deeply intimate stories: their stubborn integrity and their compromises; their bravery and their recklessness; their joys and defeats and wrenching dilemmas.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great listen!

  • By Melissa House on 03-17-16

Wonderful.

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

Reviewed: 10-18-17

This is a wonderful book. LM's profiles are as always vivid and moving, beautiful and funny, and as a philosopher myself I'm in awe of ability to synthesize the work of philosophers, both contemporary and historical, rendering it accurately, compellingly, deploying it sparingly and to just the right effect. She brings what are to my mind the central questions of moral theory vividly to life, never letting that tension loosen into easy answers. I could keep going. I'm such a fan.

As a side note, LM also turns out to be a great reader of her own essays. She brings the careful, unsentimental, and occasionally wry but not unloving humor that characterizes her prose to the reading task. A pleasure to listen to.