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Judy

Kitchener, ON, Canada
  • 154
  • reviews
  • 587
  • helpful votes
  • 154
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  • Becoming

  • By: Michelle Obama
  • Narrated by: Michelle Obama
  • Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 12,671
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11,687
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 11,609

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites listeners into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Didn't know what I was getting into

  • By Kenneth Woodward on 12-05-18

Becoming

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

Reviewed: 12-09-18

I will separate my great admiration and respect for Michelle and Barack Obama from my thoughts on Michelle's memoir, and comment strictly on her book.

Michelle's candid description of her early years and her climb to professional success is an interesting look into the life of this strong, ambitious woman. The story of how she and Barack met and gradually fell in love is heartwarming; and I grew teary-eyed as she described her beloved father's decline and eventual death. Her comments on the Trumpery that follows the 2016 election is restrained, but her opinion of the current president is clear.

The book is perhaps a little over-long. Though authors rarely do a good job of narrating their own books, only Michelle herself could have read her story to us. That being said, her linguistic tic of pronouncing the consonant blend STR as SHTR is a major distraction; street, (shtreet) and words containing that sound (ecshtreme for extreme) crop up so frequently that they take on a life of their own.

  • Crash Course

  • Accidents Don't Just Happen
  • By: Julie Whipple
  • Narrated by: Heather Henderson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

On a cold winter night, a passenger jet with 189 aboard crash landed, out of fuel, in a suburban neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Ten people died. The pilot was blamed and stripped of his career, and a sweeping transformation of flight-crew training took place that made United Flight 173 (in)famous worldwide as the model for failure and change. That was only the half of it. Crash Course, by award-winning journalist Julie Whipple, is the long-overdue, true story of a misunderstood airline tragedy that changed more about our daily lives than most people know.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By madameEmily on 11-08-18

Be Afraid

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

Reviewed: 11-18-18

Is anyone surprised that United Airlines would rank money above passenger safety? As demonstrated by Ford and General Motors back in the day when the Pinto would explode in flames and the Corvair suddenly roll off the highway, there is an acceptable level of maiming and death that industry will write off rather than correct design flaws. Safety measures such as the installation of seat belts were forced onto car manufacturers through the efforts of crusaders such as Ralph Nader.

The television series MAYDAY emphasizes the hard-won lessons that the National Transportation Safety Board has drawn from investigation into deadly crashes. Now, we learn that a loosening of NTSB regulations surrounding maintenance of aircraft is returning the flying public once again to the perilous skies of United. Human factors such as pilot fatigue are similarly swept under the carpet by airline corporations more concerned about shareholders than passengers.

Whipple's efforts are thorough and compelling; her writing, not so much. Investigative journalism by its very nature requires clean, precise writing. Literary devices such as metaphors and similes clutter the narrative and detract from the message. There is no place in expository writing for purple prose such as the following description of the shattered cabin: Great shards of shredded insulation hung like strips of whale blubber from the open gash ... as if bitten off by a monster. Gag.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Sudden Appearance of Hope

  • By: Claire North
  • Narrated by: Gillian Burke
  • Length: 16 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 421
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 389
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 389

It started when I was 16 years old. A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A friend who looks at me and sees a stranger. No matter what I do, the words I say, the crimes I commit, you will never remember who I am.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic

  • By Anon on 05-31-18

The Not-So-Sudden Disappearance of Judy

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

Reviewed: 10-31-18

This book is a swamp. I have given it 16 chapters and have made no discernible headway into the plot.

Will return it to Audible with the wish that I could reclaim my time as easily as my credit.

  • The Girl on the Train

  • A Novel
  • By: Paula Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 560
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 510
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 513

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. 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.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • An Okay Way to Spend Eleven Hours

  • By Judy on 10-31-18

An Okay Way to Spend Eleven Hours

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

Reviewed: 10-31-18

Pay close attention to the opening chapters. If your attention wanders the least little bit, you will become hopelessly lost.

The story is somewhat longer than it needs to be, but does achieve a reasonable degree of tension and mild suspense.

The identity of the perp is a surprise, but the conclusion is rather clumsily executed.

  • Caged

  • A Novel
  • By: Ellison Cooper
  • Narrated by: Danielle Deadwyler
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 318
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 294
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 293

 In a residential Washington, D.C., neighborhood, a young woman's body is found in the basement of an abandoned house - starved to death in a cage, along with the video footage of a dark and deadly ritual. The victim is identified as the daughter of a prominent D.C. politician, and it falls to the FBI to track down the unconscionable psychopath who murdered her. FBI special agent Sayer Altair would rather conduct research on criminality than catch actual criminals. But when she's offered a promotion hinging on her next assignment, she reluctantly accepts the "Cage Killer" case.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Waste of Time and Money, with Emphasis on TIME

  • By Judy on 10-10-18

Waste of Time and Money, with Emphasis on TIME

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

Reviewed: 10-10-18

I stuck with it, right to the end, but it was an ordeal. The plot was weak and riddled with holes. It might have survived as a forty-four minute episode of CRIMINAL MINDS, but just does not make it as a book. Cooper's constant use of literary devices such as similes and strained metaphors tries the reader's soul. ("Guilt wrapped its foul fingers around her like a ghost." Gag.)

And the narration: where to begin? Shouting lines at the listener does not convey emotion; it is merely annoying and fatiguing. Then there is the matter of her pronunciation: kill, (kee-ul) fill, (fee-ul) didn't, (ditt'nt) couldn't, (coot'nt) and so on. She even blows everyday words such as ambulance, (am-bu-LANCE) sieve, (seeve) experiment, (ex-PEER-a-ment) "systematic" when clearly, "systemic" is the required word. Teeth-grindingly awful.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Flight or Fright

  • By: Stephen King, Bev Vincent
  • Narrated by: Norbert Leo Butz, Christian Coulson, Santino Fontana, and others
  • Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 327
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 300
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 299

Stephen King hates to fly. Now he and coeditor Bev Vincent would like to share this fear of flying with you. Welcome to Flight or Fright, an anthology about all the things that can go horribly wrong when you're suspended six miles in the air, hurtling through space at more than 500 mph and sealed up in a metal tube (like - gulp! - a coffin) with hundreds of strangers. All the ways your trip into the friendly skies can turn into a nightmare, including some we'll bet you've never thought of before....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Every single story a gem!

  • By Gary on 09-08-18

A Mediocre Lot

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

Reviewed: 09-28-18

These stories are neither frightening nor compelling. With the single exception of the gremlin-on-the-plane-wing, they're not even interesting. Stephen King's imprimatur on this anthology dilutes his credibility as a judge of good fiction.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dangerous Dozen

  • Notorious USA True Crime Box Set
  • By: Gregg Olsen, Katherine Ramsland, Rebecca Morris, and others
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 25 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 376
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 339
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 334

 A true-crime collection culled from the crime files of the New York Times best-selling series, Notorious USA.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great value<br />

  • By Tommy on 04-02-18

Chop, Bang, Guilty, Next!

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

Reviewed: 09-12-18

This is a lengthy collection of crime stories told at whiz-bang speed. There is no time for the reader/listener to ponder the workings of the criminal mind or the fate of the victims. Trap, kill, arrest, jail. Next! The outcome may vary from death row to never-found, but the rapid-fire series of brief narratives still results in a choppy succession of unsatisfying stories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Pastoral

  • By: Nevil Shute
  • Narrated by: Frank Muller
  • Length: 8 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 95
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98

She was from the hills of Yorkshire, country born and bred. He was a city boy. By the stream where they fished they were two young people falling in love. Overhead, the bombers roared, threatening to blow their idyllic world, so young, so fresh, to smithereens.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Historical romance set in WWII England.

  • By Stan on 06-19-12

Wake Me When It's Over

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

Reviewed: 08-24-18

Judging by the overwhelming number of positive reviews, I'm swimming upstream here, but I find this book so utterly boring that I'm going to pack it in halfway through chapter 8.

The plot creeps along at a glacial pace, pausing now and again to remind us that our protagonist is actually the captain of a bomber crew that makes daring runs over Germany at the height of World War II. How can this NOT be compelling material? Somehow, it isn't. Maybe it just doesn't wear well with the years.

Even Frank Muller can't pull this draggy tale off.

  • The Domino Principle

  • By: Adam Kennedy
  • Narrated by: Frank Muller
  • Length: 4 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

A convicted killer is broken out of maximum security in broad daylight. The price of his freedom? A secret that just may cost him his life.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Game of Bones

  • By Judy on 08-19-18

Game of Bones

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

Reviewed: 08-19-18

This highly unlikely plot moves swiftly, with a bit of a boggy slog in the middle. However, author Kennedy delivers a few shocks that should slap you back into wakefulness.

Frank Muller - RIP - goes a little over the top with his pouty, defiant delivery. But what can I say? He was the greatest.

  • The Testament

  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: Frank Muller
  • Length: 14 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,428
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,070
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,064

Troy Phelan is a self-made billionaire, one of the richest men in the United States. He is also eccentric, reclusive, confined to a wheelchair, and looking for a way to die. His potential heirs, to no one's surprise - especially Troy's - are circling like vultures. But Troy shocks them all when he leaves his fortune to an estranged, illegitimate daughter.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Late & Glowing Review

  • By Bee Keeper on 03-13-10

A Test of Patience

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

Reviewed: 08-19-18

Grisham's tale of beyond-the-grave manipulation follows a long meandering course that tries readers' souls. The premise is simply not believable and the events grow more preposterous with each new development.

Narrator Frank Muller is the single bright star in this swamp.