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Judy

Kitchener, ON, Canada
  • 159
  • reviews
  • 602
  • helpful votes
  • 159
  • ratings
  • Seabiscuit

  • An American Legend
  • By: Laura Hillenbrand
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 13 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,914
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,658
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,664

Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • See you in the winner's circle

  • By Janice on 06-26-13

Good Story

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

Reviewed: 03-07-19

Laura Hillenbrand does a good job of telling the story of this highly unlikely winner.

Her prose is clean and mostly free of the literary devices that gum up the works of countless authors who mistake an abundance of similes and metaphors for effective writing. She does like her similes, but they don't overwhelm the narrative.

George Newbern's narration is well-suited to the material.

  • Pax

  • By: Sara Pennypacker
  • Narrated by: Michael Curran-Dorsano
  • Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,852
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,667
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,666

Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day the unimaginable happens: Peter's dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild. At his grandfather's house 300 miles away from home, Peter knows he isn't where he should be - with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox. Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Pax needs to be included in MS & HS curricula

  • By Dragon-Fox on 04-29-16

Pax/Bellum

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

Reviewed: 02-11-19

This is a story of moderate interest set in an unknown location. The reference to PTSD flags the time period as current, and a single reference to water as the source of hostilities suggests any one of several countries on the planet where water is fast becoming a diminishing resource.

I suppose there is a reason why three of the main characters are afflicted with serious leg injuries, two of them amputations, but the thematic logic is murky.

The plot is seriously far-fetched, with so many unlikely twists that the narrative becomes highly fanciful. For instance, a boy on crutches covers 40 miles of forested territory in what appears to be a day or so, then dives into a river after he has been sharply cautioned to not allow his makeshift cast to get wet.

The ending is so abrupt that I was uncertain that I had reached it until I heard the music and closing credits.

Watership Down (Richard Adams) or Lassie Come Home (Eric Knight) would provide far greater literary enrichment for child or adult.

  • One Doctor

  • Close Calls, Cold Cases, and the Mysteries of Medicine
  • By: Brendan Reilly
  • Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
  • Length: 15 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,421
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,313
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,307

An epic story told by a unique voice in Ameri­can medicine, One Doctor describes life-changing experiences in the career of a distinguished physi­cian. In riveting first-person prose, Dr. Brendan Reilly takes us to the front lines of medicine today.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Simply Brilliant

  • By Jan on 06-20-14

Interesting Account of One Man's Journey

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

Reviewed: 01-29-19

This is a pretty good memoir, written by a self-described "dinosaur" of family medicine.

Dr. Reilly's candid observations on the American system of medical care provide a scathing indictment of an establishment dedicated to the enrichment of the key players. Sick people are collateral damage, definitely not key players.

Shapiro's narration is pretty good, especially his rendition of Russian and Eastern European voices.

  • Silas Marner

  • By: George Eliot
  • Narrated by: Andrew Sachs
  • Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 367
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 318
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 316

For 15 years the weaver Silas Marner has plied his loom near the village of Raveloe, alone and unjustly in exile, cut off from faith and human love, he cares only for his hoard of golden guineas. But two events occur that will change his life forever; his gold disappears and a golden-haired baby girl appears. But where did she come from and who really stole the gold? This moving tale sees Silas eventually redeemed and restored to life by the unlikely means of his love for the orphan child Eppie.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • amazing

  • By Ramon on 06-04-12

Lordy, Lordy, Much Too Wordy

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

Reviewed: 01-14-19

Eliot's Silas Marner is a long-winded tale of fate laying its capricious hand upside the head of a decent fellow. When the unjustly maligned Marner retreats into a miserly shell, the universe steps in yet again.

Like much of 19th century literature, Eliot's story is heavily burdened with observations on life and human nature, a wordy padding that tries the patience of the 21st century reader. The heart of the story is satisfying, if a little unlikely in its abrupt conclusion.

Narrator Andrew Sachs is a timeless treasure.


  • East of Eden

  • By: John Steinbeck
  • Narrated by: Richard Poe
  • Length: 25 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,047
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,268
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,282

This sprawling and often brutal novel, set in the rich farmlands of California's Salinas Valley, follows the intertwined destinies of two families - the Trasks and the Hamiltons - whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Why have I avoided this Beautiful Book???

  • By Kelly on 03-25-17

Tedious

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

Reviewed: 01-07-19

If you're looking for another Steinbeck masterpiece such as OF MICE AND MEN or THE GRAPES OF WRATH, move on. This sorry novel is a long-winded, boring clunker.

I have resolved to ignore reviewer comments on all future choices as they have disappointed on so many occasions.

  • Becoming

  • By: Michelle Obama
  • Narrated by: Michelle Obama
  • Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 73,920
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 67,377
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 66,998

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
  • Thank you, Michelle. That was some speech!

  • By J. James-Long on 11-15-18

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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 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 16
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16

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
  • Interesting

  • By Jean on 12-21-18

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 Canadian 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 3 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 437
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 404
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 404

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 562
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 512
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 515

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 402
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 375
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 373

 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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This new author should go far...

  • By shelley on 08-18-18

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 11 people found this review helpful