LISTENER

Cyndi

Richmond, TX, United States
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 38
  • helpful votes
  • 35
  • ratings
  • On My Own

  • By: Diane Rehm
  • Narrated by: Diane Rehm
  • Length: 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 94
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 83

In a deeply personal and moving book, the beloved NPR radio host speaks out about the long, drawn-out death (from Parkinson's) of her husband of 54 years and of her struggle to reconstruct her life without him. With John gone, Diane was indeed on her own, coping with the inevitable practical issues and, more important, with the profoundly emotional ones. What to do, how to react, reaching out again into the world - struggling to create a new reality for herself while clinging to memories of the past.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Long, rambling, disjointed narrative

  • By Cyndi on 08-03-16

Long, rambling, disjointed narrative

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

Reviewed: 08-03-16

I want to state up front that I am a Diane Rehm fan, so I am not happy to write such a negative review. Do I blame Diane for this rambling, disjointed book? No. I blame her editor. This person should have pointed out how the chapters could have been better organized and the multiple times when she is merely repeating ideas that did not need to be reiterated more than two times. This person has clearly failed her and the book.
The story begins, quite predictably, with the decline and demise of Diane's beloved husband John. From there, the story takes many jumps around in Diane's life, weakening the message(s) that she hopes to convey. First and foremost, Diane tells many stories about her relationship with John, freely admitting that he was a emotionally abusive husband (shutting her out many times emotionally, leaving her to feel as if there were something wrong with her). However, she continues to dote on him to the point where, as a reader, I wonder if she is suffering a very mild version of Stockholm Syndrome. Second, Diane jumps backwards often to discuss her own life and her choice to pursue a career in radio. While I find this interesting, she has written other accounts, so I feel as though these were not really relevant to the focus of this book -- On My Own (implying life after John). Third, she addresses how much she desires to advocate for Euthanasia or Assisted Dying. While I find this topic fascinating, her continual circling back to it and repetition about things she has already covered gets old. I respect her decision and hope that she does continue to advocate for such an important issue, I don't feel that she really achieved her goal of convincing others to investigate and possibly decide the same on their own. Lastly, the book continues on and on and on. Just as I would feel that she had finally reached the end, there would be another chapter. The book is just too long because it seems that she cannot bear to end it. Sadly, by the time she does finally say goodbye, I was more than happy to let her go.
The one bright aspect of the book is Diane's choice to narrate it. Her voice sharply divides people -- they either love it or hate it. She is right when she talks about how her voice is not one designed for radio. But I admire her for refusing to let it deter her career choice. I also admire her choice to narrate her own book, even though, at times, it seems to fail her (I'm sure the continual reading took its toll on her voice and probably took place over several settings -- perhaps before and after voice treatments?). No one else could read her book, and I am glad she made such a choice.
If you love Diane, then I am sure you will listen to this book no matter what my review says. My goal is more to prepare you for what you will hear rather than disparage Diane and her story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 162,983
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 150,427
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 150,265

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth it even if you've seen the movie

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 12-08-17

Absolutely amazing!!!!

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

Reviewed: 03-03-16

This isn't my usual type of book. I wouldn't have given it a second glance if my book club hadn't chosen it. I have never been so glad to be wrong! The writing is excellent and the narrator perfectly captures the character's emotions, especially the sarcasm. When I watched the movie, I was disappointed that the actor failed to convey the same emotional range. While the book is excellent, I feel the audiobook surpasses it in so many ways. The Martian is definitely on my list of top recommendations!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Eight Hundred Grapes

  • A Novel
  • By: Laura Dave
  • Narrated by: Joy Osmanski
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 491
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 433
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 437

What if your beloved fiancé, he of the crinkly smile and the irresistible British accent, had kept a life-changing secret from you? And what if, just a week before your dream wedding, you discovered it?

When these questions become realities for bride-to-be Georgia Ford, she does the only thing that seems to make sense. She runs....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Mindless Summer Entertainment with a Fatal Flaw

  • By Janet on 06-24-15

Don't waste a credit

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

Reviewed: 02-27-16

I enjoy light, fluffy romances, and this looked to be an interesting one. However, from the first chapter I could tell that, unless the main character had a major change in attitude, I wasn't going to like her. Unfortunately, she never changed, and I hated her through the whole book.
Worse is the absolutely predictable plot. I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, the writer wouldn't take the obvious route, but she did. In fact, she really went out of her way to make it happen. There are so many other ways this novel could have ended that would have felt much more real, but that just doesn't happen.
The one positive thing I can say about this book is that the narrator gives it her best, and I really like her. She's probably the only thing that helped me keep on going. Kudos to her for putting in a fine performance for a book that even she must have known was terrible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Wonder

  • By: R. J. Palacio
  • Narrated by: Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,594
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,663
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 12,654

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school - until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances? R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and spare emotional power.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderful story for all ages!

  • By Kindle Customer on 09-10-14

How could I have not read this before?

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

Reviewed: 03-25-13

I admit that I love YA literature, so I was happy to have yet another book to read. However, this book blew me away. When Auggie is born, he has multiple birth defects--the kind that would make many people want to drop to their knees and cry. Yet his parents do neither. Accepting the child they have been given, they do their best, and their efforts are amply rewarded.
Yes, they are lucky in that Auggie's problems are physical, not mental. Had he have had mental issues, this story would have been completely different.
That being said, the social issues he faces are far to real, even in today's accepting society. I think all of us can remember the funny looking classmate that we picked on in elementary school. I'll bet few of us took the time to really get to know that person. We picked on him or her because that person was different and an easy target. Fortunately, Auggie meets a few kids who are willing to look beneath behind his face and see the true person underneath.
Even though this is a children's book, I realize that I have a lot to learn from books like this. While I wish no one would ever have to face the decisions and problems that come about from having a child like this, maybe this book will give them hope or comfort. And, for people like myself, I hope to learn to be more open and willing to learn about people who are different. I think I have been missing out on some amazing friendships...

  • Year of Wonders

  • A Novel of the Plague
  • By: Geraldine Brooks
  • Narrated by: Geraldine Brooks
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,015
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 851
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 858

When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story- Awful Narrator

  • By Diana Dunn on 07-12-12

Narrator better than expected

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

Reviewed: 03-25-13

Many reviews focus on the terrible narration done by Geraldine Brooks. I won't lie to you -- she isn't the greatest narrator. However, she is also not the worst I have ever heard. The sample given by Audible gave me a good idea of what I was in for, and I opted to buy the book even with the multiple bad reviews. Yes, Brooks reads very slowly. Yes, her voice can get on your nerves, at least for the first few chapters. But at some point, her voice begins to work, and I forgot that she wasn't the main character, Anna. The book is sad (how could a book about the Plague not be sad?) and yet still manages to end with a slightly happy and plausible ending. However, the characters are what make this book so wonderful. If you like other Brooks' novels, then I don't think this one will disappoint you. She is an excellent writer, and this book just adds to her achievements.

  • The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero

  • By: Rick Riordan
  • Narrated by: Joshua Swanson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,522
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,226
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,258

After saving Olympus from the evil Titan lord, Kronos, Percy and friends have rebuilt their beloved Camp Half-Blood, where the next generation of demigods must now prepare for a chilling prophecy of their own.... In a brand-new series from blockbuster best-selling author Rick Riordan, fans return to the world of Camp Half-Blood. Here, a new group of heroes will inherit a quest. But to survive the journey, they'll need the help of some familiar demigods.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • New Story New Characters New Narrator

  • By Joel on 11-30-10

Do I rate the book or the narrator?

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-23-10

With an audiobook, a bad narrator can certainly ruin a good book. While I don't think this book is as well written as those in the Percy Jackson series, it is much better than the narrator makes it.
Ultimately, the narrator seriously hurts this book. At times, his "computer-like voice" is immensely irritating. At other times, all of his characters have the same voice (which makes telling the characters apart very difficult). On a personal note, I'd just like to tell our narrator Joshua Swanson that he is a horrible reader and he should not butcher future books.
I would like to point out that this is NOT Audible's fault. They didn't choose the narrator. I don't know who at the Listening Library (the company which produced this book) is responsible for choosing this narrator, but that person failed miserably. If you want to prevent this narrator from destroying future books, make sure to visit the Listening Library's website and register your complaints.

35 of 40 people found this review helpful