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Arnold C. Macdonald

  • 33
  • reviews
  • 82
  • helpful votes
  • 315
  • ratings
  • The Nightingale

  • By: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Polly Stone
  • Length: 17 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 45,217
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 40,961
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 40,897

Audie Award, Fiction, 2016. From the number-one New York Times bestselling author comes Kristin Hannah’s next novel. It is an epic love story and family drama set at the dawn of World War II. She is the author of twenty-one novels. Her previous novels include Home Front, Night Road, Firefly Lane, Fly Away, and Winter Garden.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Heroic & Harrowing Work Of Fiction

  • By Sara on 08-21-15

Had me going, but the ending left me flat

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

Reviewed: 01-07-16

This is story of two sisters on very different paths in Nazi-occupied France. It starts slowly, with plodding narration, but in the middle a beautifully crafted story raising issues of what sacrifices one would make for family (children), for country, which is more important, love, loyalty, dependence. 5 stars and fully engaging until the end, where the author just pushes the melodrama a little too hard. A five star book with a 3 1/2 star ending.

  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 198,493
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 185,330
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184,934

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book.

  • By Julie W. Capell on 05-27-14

Nerdiest book ever

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

Reviewed: 10-06-15

This could be the nerdiest book ever. I am embarrassed at how much I liked it. The other reviewers describe the plot week; no need to repeat it here. A fun book that sweeps you in more than you would expect, bringing out your inner nerd.

  • Creole Belle

  • A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 19
  • By: James Lee Burke
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,396
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,114
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,065

Creole Belle begins where the last book in the Dave Robicheaux series, The Glass Rainbow, ended. Dave is in a recovery unit in New Orleans, where a Creole girl named Tee Jolie Melton visits him and leaves him an iPod with the country blues song “Creole Belle” on it. Then she disappears. Dave becomes obsessed with the song and the memory of Tee Jolie and goes in search of her sister, who later turns up inside a block of ice floating in the Gulf.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Burke & Patton -- Synergistic Phenomenon

  • By Mel on 07-25-12

Hatred of oil companies got the best of him

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

Reviewed: 09-06-15

Having read and enjoyed the Glass Rainbow, I really looked forward to this book. The suspense, however, was totally lacking here, due to an implausible plot where the criminal characters were so stereotyped and uninteresting, and the actions of the main characters were so unrealistic, that it was impossible to suspend disbelief. The author's anger at big oil and the spill is evident, but the plot line didn't hang together. It was as if he were too angry to give the villains nuance, depth or plausibility. Burke introduces a powerful and damaged female protagonist (derivative of Lisbeth Salander), potentially most interesting new character, but she fades out at the end. A huge disappointment after The Glass Rainbow had me drive around the block captivated.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Bel Canto

  • By: Ann Patchett
  • Narrated by: Anna Fields
  • Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,710
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,668
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,678

Ann Patchett’s award winning, New York Times best-selling Bel Canto balances themes of love and crisis as disparate characters learn that music is their only common language. As in Pratchett’s other novels, including Truth & Beauty and The Magician’s Assistant, the author’s lyrical prose and lucid imagination make Bel Canto a captivating story of strength and frailty, love and imprisonment, and an inspiring tale of transcendent romance. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Opera Has Charms to Soothe the Savage Guerillas

  • By Mel on 03-01-13

Good story well-told, unfortunate narration

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

Reviewed: 08-23-14

An interesting, thoughtful, and often elegantly written story of an ironically botched hostage taking provides a good commentary on power in relationships, the power of art, and class in society, all without being too heavy-handed. The ending is a bit abrupt. The narrator sounded bored as she read, and it was hard for me to stay engaged until I increased the speed of the playback on my iPod. It's a good book if you hang in there; speeding it up should help.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

  • A Novel
  • By: Helen Simonson
  • Narrated by: Peter Altschuler
  • Length: 13 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,578
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,209
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,202

You are about to travel to Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of your own family. Among them is Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson's wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, Major Pettigrew is one of the most indelible characters in contemporary fiction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Charming book with an excellent narrator

  • By jc on 03-05-10

Understated British Charmer

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

Reviewed: 08-15-14

Charming and well-witten story of a stuffy retired British gentleman in a small town getting his limits tested by and finding much in common with a local Pakistani shopkeeper. Every time you think the story is settling into stereotypical roles, the author surprises you with a small surprise that keeps you engaged until the next one.

  • 14

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38,396
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,565
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 35,570

There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Omg its so boring

  • By Halloween on 10-09-18

Didn't live up to the reviews

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

Reviewed: 08-15-14

I bought this because it seemed a little different for me, but had great reviews. I found the story disconnected and the characters shallow and stereotypical. Throughout the story, a couple of the characters have a running joke about being just like the characters in Scooby Doo. I found some irony in this, both because the joke did nothing to advance the plot, and because the characters and plot were thinner than a 2 dimensional Scooby cartoon.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Beethoven's Shadow

  • By: Jonathan Biss
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
  • Length: 1 hr and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 710
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 616
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 620

The American pianist Jonathan Biss is known to audiences throughout the world for his artistry, musical intelligence, and deeply felt interpretations. What is less known until now is that Jonathan Biss writes about music in a most compelling and engaging way. For anyone who has ever enjoyed a Beethoven concert or a Beethoven recording, or one of the many films about Beethoven, this audiobook is an inspiring listening experience.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • An amazing glimpse into musical interpretation

  • By CarolB on 07-27-13

Needs music to make sense

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

Reviewed: 08-22-13

Shouldn't complain, because it was free, but ... this is a very dry presentation of interesting material. The author is erudite and insightful about Beethoven's music, and about playing and performing music, but the narration is flat and the text is not very informative in a vacuum, without the music the author describes.

  • Holiday Sparks: A Story from Naughty and Nice

  • By: Shannon Stacey
  • Narrated by: Savannah Richards
  • Length: 2 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,539
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,354
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,371

'Tis the Season for Romance. Sparks fly when the lights go out in best-selling author Shannon Stacey's charming holiday romance.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I Like Free! Thanks Audible!

  • By 🇺🇸🌸DARA on 07-27-13

Nothing to it

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

Reviewed: 08-21-13

Can't really complain, because it was free, but this story is not well written. Little style, little plot, fair amount of r-rated sex scenes if that is all you want. Reader is OK, but nothing to work with.

  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

  • A Novel
  • By: Rachel Joyce
  • Narrated by: Jim Broadbent
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,603
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,846
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,852

Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Walkabout

  • By FanB14 on 07-01-13

Charming and thoughtful

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

Reviewed: 05-27-13

This is a charming and understated book that works extremely well on many levels. The whimsical conceit and cover art of an eccentric englishman walking across the country to save an old friend belies a thought provoking examination of how we relate to each other, what people need and what is really important in life and relationships. The simple sounding plot is full of twists and surprises, and every time you think you know what is coming the author surprises you with something more interesting. The narration matches the quality of the story.

  • Four Fires

  • By: Bryce Courtenay
  • Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
  • Length: 29 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,678
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,298
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,293

The four fires in this story are passion, religion, warfare, and fire itself. While there are many more fires that drive the human spirit, love being perhaps the brightest flame of all, it is these four that have moulded us most as Australian people. The four fires give us our sense of place and, for better or for worse, shape our national character.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • His very best!

  • By Dave on 08-26-10

Another Love Letter to Australia

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

Reviewed: 05-27-13

The authors "Australia Trilogy" is celebrated as his "love letter to Australia," but I found this book to be at least as much so. Like every Courtenay book I have read, it is populated with interesting and charming characters.Courtenay's love of language and dialect comes out in the dialog, and is masterfully conveyed by Humphrey Bower as narrator, whose performance ranks with Jim Dale in the Harry Potter books. The book does not have the epic sweep, however, of some of Courtenay's other books. I thought the story was good but not great and the story and narrative devices did not hang together enough for a 5 star rating.