LISTENER

Kelly

Colorado Springs
  • 429
  • reviews
  • 747
  • helpful votes
  • 432
  • ratings
  • True History of the Kelly Gang

  • By: Peter Carey
  • Narrated by: Gianfranco Negroponte
  • Length: 14 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 366
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 177

Ned Kelly's name resonates in Australia the same way the name Jesse James does in America. Was he a crusading folk hero or murderous horse thief and bank robber? Who was the real Ned Kelly? As the impoverished son of an Irish convict, Kelly was cheated, lied to, and abused by the English. Committed to fighting back against oppression, Kelly and his gang of outlaws eluded police for nearly two years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant and Poetic

  • By Margaret on 02-11-08

Australia's history come to life.

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

Reviewed: 11-14-18

I was mesmerized by this book. I found the story (which I knew virtually nothing about) to be exciting and educational. It felt much like a story out of America's old west; I found myself comparing it to Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove. I listened to this one on audible, and I am very glad that I did because sometimes when I read books that are so full of slang and poor grammar I get lost in the function (disfunction) of the language instead of in the story. But when I listened to it I found myself transported to the Australian bush with Ned Kelley. I highly recommend the audio version, especially if you, like me, tend to focus on sentence structure when reading books like this one.

  • The Light of Day

  • By: Graham Swift
  • Narrated by: Graeme Malcolm
  • Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 93
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 24

The author takes us inside George Webb's -a divorced ex-policeman turned private investigator- mind. For one day, we see what Webb sees and know only what his thoughts reveals. We learn about his childhood and the secret it forced him to carry; the last moments with his ex-wife; his fall as a cop; the ease with which he has turned his police skills to the demands of his new profession. And we learn how those demands have put him in a league with a client, a woman he has come to love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing, both the reading and the writing

  • By Lori on 02-07-04

Graham and Graeme gave me a wonderful day!

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

Reviewed: 11-03-18

This is the first time in a very long time that I have read a book from cover to cover and been tempted to reread it again immediately. It took me a few chapters to fully engage because of the story telling style, where I lived inside the protagonist's thoughts. Typically of that style the story is told through memories which jump around in time. It is quite voyeuristic and felt a bit invasive at times. And then it also felt like I was listening to him tell me his story over a cup of coffee. The prose is simple, spare and beautiful.

4.5 stars from me.

  • A House for Mr. Biswas

  • By: V.S. Naipaul
  • Narrated by: Sam Dastor
  • Length: 21 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 104
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 99

A House for Mr. Biswas, by Nobel and Booker Prize-winning author V. S. Naipaul, is a powerful novel about one man's struggle for identity and belonging. Born into poverty, then trapped in the shackles of charity and gratitude, Mr. Biswas longs for a house he can call his own. He loathes his wife and her wealthy family, upon whom he is dependent. Finding himself a mere accessory on their estate, his constant rebellion is motivated by the one thing that can symbolize his independence.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Charming prose. Lovely book.

  • By Saman on 12-11-17

Mr Biswas is Selfish; VSNaipaul writes beautifully

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

Reviewed: 11-02-18

V S Naipaul took me on a journey through one man's life from start to finish and it was at times a ponderous slog. I didn't like Mr Biswas at all. He was cruel to his wife and children; he was selfish. The place of women and children in this book were hard to take for this modern day, American feminist woman. For the most part the women had no role at all... they were puppets. They were stomped upon and disparaged and had no expressed desire to see things change. Mr. Biswas seemed to stumble through life -- married without making a real choice to do so, becoming a father but seeming incapable of either understanding how that happened or why it mattered. He even bettered his standing with a job that he mostly fell into.

There was only one real intent that I could see: to obtain his own house, making the title of this book the most appropriate title of any book, ever. In the Prologue we learn that Mr Biswas marked his own importance entirely by his ability to own his own home and that although he achieved it he also lost it and that when he died, it was "...to have lived and died as one had been born, unnecessary and unaccommodated." And later in the book when Mr Biswas marries wihout receiving a dowry it is said that: This house is like a Republic already." (Part 1. Chapter 3. The Tulsis)

And that is why I couldn't enjoy the book... he only sees his family as a trap. He hates his wife for getting pregnant each and every time but takes no responsibility for how it occurred. The house was everything. The family was nothing but a burden.

However, the writing is beautiful and I learned a great deal about Trinidad and Tobago as the book made me seek outside information.

3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

  • Hi Bob!

  • By: Bob Newhart
  • Narrated by: Will Ferrell, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, and others
  • Length: 3 hrs and 34 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,607
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,003
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,931

In Hi Bob!, American icon Bob Newhart gets together one-on-one with a handpicked cohort of luminaries in the world of entertainment, whom he happens to be friends with. Bob gets deep with each performer about their aspirations, their careers, how they got started, and how they grew to be where they are today. They make TV shows, movies, or albums, but they all like telling stories.    

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • really well edited, funny, sincere

  • By RCC on 09-24-18

a little gem full of Bob's deprecating humor

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

Reviewed: 11-01-18

I loved this little gem! Bob Newhart's humor is so uniquely him. He made me laugh and warmed my heart all at once. Wonderful!

  • Love Is Blind

  • A Novel
  • By: William Boyd
  • Narrated by: Roy McMillan
  • Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

Brodie Moncur is a brilliant piano tuner, as brilliant in his own way as John Kilbarron - "The Irish Liszt" - the pianist Brodie accompanies on all of his tours from Paris to Saint Petersburg, as essential to Kilbarron as the pianist's own hands. It is a luxurious life and a level of success Brodie could hardly have dreamed of growing up in a remote Scottish village, in a household ruled by a tyrannical father. But Brodie would gladly give it all up for the love of the Russian soprano Lika Blum: beautiful, worldly, seductive - and consort to Kilbarron. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Captures the protagonist's struggles

  • By galcarm on 10-15-18

mood is set perfectly for this historical romance

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

Reviewed: 11-01-18

I completely lost myself if this character-driven story of a piano tuner and the woman he loves. The story had a mysterious quality which came from the time period and the fact that most often the events were occurring in empty theaters, hotel rooms and quiet bars. I am new to William Boyd and although this book didn't challenge me or surprise me, because I pretty much guessed all the twists before they happened, it still entertained me and kept me reading straight through from beginning to end in one day. It isn't a book that will make me run right out to buy his other books, but it is one that will keep his name in my mind whenever I am looking over shelves in stores and online.

  • Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

  • And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House
  • By: Alyssa Mastromonaco, Lauren Oyler
  • Narrated by: Alyssa Mastromonaco
  • Length: 5 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,386
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,095
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,089

If your funny older sister were the former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, her behind-the-scenes political memoir would sound something like this. Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? is an intimate and admiring portrait of a president, a candid book of advice for young women, and a promising debut from a savvy political star.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Engaging and funny

  • By Jean on 04-06-17

great advice for young women

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

Reviewed: 11-01-18

At times the structure of this book was confusing, especially since I listened to the audio version. I think perhaps if I was reading a physical copy I would have loved it. Ms Mastromonaco is a bright, funny woman who is accomplished and in this book she shares her tips for young women who want to forge a brilliant career much like her own. That is important, because it is why she chose this structure. It is organized by the qualities that she recommends young women nurture in themselves. And while I never worked for a president or a senator... I did serve in the US military in a job dominated by men and I later went through law school and practiced international tax law which was also a male heavy field. I tell you this because her passionate need to lift up young women into her world is one that I share. And the advice she gives is smart.

The little moments she shared about President Obama were sweet and you can feel her admiration for him. Some of them made me laugh out loud. Some of them made me tear up. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the American political system, anyone who admires the quiet and simple nature of our last president, anyone who is a young person trying to break into a highly competitive world.

3.5 stars rounded up.

  • Cry, the Beloved Country

  • By: Alan Paton
  • Narrated by: Michael York
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,444
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,044
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,040

This is the most distinguished novel that has come out of South Africa in the 20th century, and it is one of the most important novels of the modern era. Cry, the Beloved Country is in some ways a sad book; it is an indictment of a social system that drives native races into resentment and crime; it is a story of Fate, as inevitable, as relentless, as anything of Thomas Hardy's. Beautifully wrought with high poetic compassion, Cry, the Beloved Country is more than just a story, it is a profound experience of the human spirit.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A word painting: gripping, breathtaking & moving

  • By Jacobus on 10-04-12

Powerful and Poetic.

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

Reviewed: 10-21-18

At times this book brought me to tears and at other times I felt filled with joy and hope. Mr Paton wrote a story of pain, and difficulty, with beautiful, poetic and often lyrical words that made me stop reading and review the words just to experience them again. I finished it a few days ago and have avoided writing a review because it is one of those books which I have no idea how to review. I didn't really enjoy the story but I don't think that one is meant to enjoy something which exposes so much about humanity. The writing is exquisite and the story is timely even though the specifics of apartheid ended many years ago. This is a book that everyone should read.

  • Annie John

  • By: Jamaica Kincaid
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles
  • Length: 4 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28

An adored only child, Annie has until recently lived an idyllic life. She is inseparable from her beautiful mother, a powerful presence at the very center of the little girl's existence. Loved and cherished, Annie grows and thrives within her mother's benign shadow. Looking back on her childhood, she reflects, "It was in such a paradise that I lived". When she turns 12, however, Annie's life changes in ways that are often mysterious to her.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sweet, Simple & Enjoyable.

  • By Kelly on 10-21-18

Sweet, Simple & Enjoyable.

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

Reviewed: 10-21-18

Part memoir, part novel, Jamaica Kincaid's coming of age story is sweet, simple and entertaining. I listened to the audio version and am so glad that I did as the voice of the narrator felt authentic and real. I could imagine the sassy, funny girl that was telling her story to me. It felt like we were sitting down to coffee and she was telling mer her tale. It felt like a long and wonderful afternoon sitting and being enchanted by her. I enjoyed this one a lot.

  • A Brief History of Seven Killings

  • By: Marlon James
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean, Cherise Boothe, Dwight Bacquie, and others
  • Length: 26 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,681
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,558
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,550

Winner, The Man Booker Prize, 2015 Deftly spanning decades and continents and peopled with a wide range of characters - assassins, journalists, drug dealers, and even ghosts - A Brief History of Seven Killings is the fictional exploration of that dangerous and unstable time and its bloody aftermath, from the streets and slums of Kingston in the 1970s, to the crack wars in 1980s New York, to a radically altered Jamaica in the 1990s.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just Brilliant!

  • By Philip on 01-30-16

Highly creative -- the writing and the acting.

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

Reviewed: 10-20-18

This is an intelligent, violent, rich, difficult, beautifully-written book, filled with Jamaican slang and little-known (to me) history. It is not a fun or light read and took me far longer to read than most books of this length. I didn't enjoy it, but I did come away from it feeling glad that I read it.

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

  • By: Mark Haddon
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,494
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,564
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,587

Fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone has Asperger's Syndrome, a condition similar to autism. He doesn't like to be touched or meet new people, he cannot make small talk, and he hates the colors brown and yellow. He is a math whiz with a very logical brain who loves solving puzzles that have definite answers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Unexpected Gift.

  • By Amanda on 12-07-11

Absolutely wonderful!

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

Reviewed: 10-20-18

Delightful! I have seen articles and blog posts complaining that this author failed to do his research into Aspergers/Autism. But I disagree. Not all people with Aspergers are the same, just like any other group of people. My 22 year old son has Aspergers and while he is a bit higher functioning than the protagonist of this book I found them very similar. Often I smiled or laughed to myself because I could see Owen so vividly in this boy.

I loved everything about this book. It enchanted me and I found myself fully invested in the story. I generally dislike YA books with a passion, but this one is different. It is a unique little gem of a book.