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  • reviews
  • 30
  • helpful votes
  • 162
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  • Grist Mill Road

  • A Novel
  • By: Christopher J. Yates
  • Narrated by: Dan Bittner, Saskia Maarleveld, Graham Halstead, and others
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 233
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 220
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 219

Christopher J. Yates' cult hit Black Chalk introduced that rare writerly talent: a literary author who could create a plot with the intricacy of a brilliant mental puzzle and with absorbing characters. Yates' new audiobook does not disappoint. Grist Mill Road is a dark, twisted, and expertly plotted Rashomon-style tale. The year is 1982; the setting an Edenic hamlet some 90 miles north of New York City. There, three friends - Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah - are bound together by a terrible and seemingly senseless crime.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not what I expected...

  • By shelley on 01-15-18

A Tedious Horror Story

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

Reviewed: 01-18-18

Bizarre story involving a horrific account of evil adolescent behavior followed by an implausible and ultimatately boorish account of the adult lives of the victim, witness and perpetrator. Had to set this one aside after investing 5+ hours, finding no redeeming characters and the plot severely handicapped by mundane details of food blogging and cement mixers.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Idaho

  • A Novel
  • By: Emily Ruskovich
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 306
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 284
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 286

Ann and Wade have carved out a life for themselves from a rugged landscape in Northern Idaho, where they are bound together by more than love. With her husband's memory fading, Ann attempts to piece together the truth of what happened to Wade's first wife, Jenny, and to their daughters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • suggested, yes

  • By Donna on 01-14-17

Thoroughly depressing.

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

Reviewed: 01-11-17

A child-murdering mother and a father with early onset dementia provide the case study from the narrator's POV.
The audible narrator tries way to hard, infusing every sentence with unnecessary angst - this story would have worked so much better without the heavy dramatic speaking style.
This story is fairly hopeless and its tragedies remain unresolved. Not very fulfilling if you're a reader looking for answers and at least one redeeming characters.

8 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Maestra

  • By: L. S. Hilton
  • Narrated by: Emilia Fox
  • Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 404
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 378
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 378

By day, Judith Rashleigh is a put-upon assistant at a prestigious London art house. By night, she's a hostess at one of the capital's notorious champagne bars, although her work there pales against her activities on nights off. Desperate to make something of herself, Judith knows she has to play the game. She's transformed her accent and taught herself about wine and the correct use of a dessert fork, not to mention the art of discretion. She's learned to be a good girl.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Weird doesn’t even begin to cover it…

  • By Olivia on 06-28-16

Thinly disguised porn...

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

Reviewed: 05-08-16

The narrator is the only saving grace of an unreadable story; I wish the description had mentioned the books sordid nature, it should be categorized as pulp fiction, not literary fiction.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Widow

  • By: Fiona Barton
  • Narrated by: Hannah Curtis, Nicholas Guy Smith, full cast
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,217
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,777
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,772

When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on when more bad things began to happen... But that woman's husband died last week. And Jean doesn't have to be her anymore. There's a lot Jean hasn't said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Disturbing but very good.

  • By CR on 02-18-16

NOT A "THRILLER"

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

Reviewed: 03-18-16

This is more of a character study and morality check than a thriller. Themes of child pornography and emotional dependence are presented with the main character, The Widow, trying to justify her marriage and her husband's behavior to herself while hiding her true feelings and knowledge of a felony incident from the press and the police. The story plods along with zero suspense, the husband's duplicity revealed during a drawn out courtroom scene, with little or no consequence. The reader is left wondering, why? More than who? The big reveal is little more than a footnote to a strange and unsatisfactory story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Son

  • By: Philipp Meyer
  • Narrated by: Will Patton, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Shepherd, and others
  • Length: 17 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,149
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,768
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,775

Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching examination of the bloody price of power, The Son is a gripping and utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American west with rare emotional acuity, even as it presents an intimate portrait of one family across two centuries. Eli McCullough is just twelve-years-old when a marauding band of Comanche storm his Texas homestead and brutally murder his mother and sister, taking him as a captive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Five Stars for the Lone Star, The Son, & Meyer

  • By Mel on 06-04-13

Earns its place among the Great American Novels

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

Reviewed: 05-17-14

Terrific characters with the exception of the one woman - it was like the author couldn't decide if he wanted her to be strong or weak and the narrator for her part, way overdid the Texas twang, making Jeanne even more unlikeable - Eli and Pete will stay with you for weeks after putting this book down. The male characters are deep and complex and their stories are redolent with rich tales of love and loss. The dynamics between the white man, Native American Indian and Hispanics are simply fascinating; the violence and tragedy this country is built on is simply staggering. Its been a month since I finished the book and I'm still chewing on it - really makes you think and reflect on our country's history with guarded respect and a small amount of horror.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Savage Girl

  • By: Jean Zimmerman
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 14 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 20

Jean Zimmerman's new novel tells of the dramatic events that transpire when an alluring, blazingly smart eighteen-year-old girl named Bronwyn, reputedly raised by wolves in the wilds of Nevada, is adopted in 1875 by the Delegates, an outlandishly wealthy Manhattan couple, and taken back East to be civilized and introduced into high society. Bronwyn hits the highly mannered world of Edith Wharton - era Manhattan like a bomb. A series of suitors, both young and old, find her irresistible, but the willful girl's illicit lovers begin to turn up murdered.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exceptional !

  • By RueRue on 04-19-14

Niles Crane as Hugo Delegate

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

Reviewed: 05-17-14

Great premise, boring story. Narrator is Hugo Delegate read by Edoardo Ballerini, who seems to be channeling David Hyde Pierce's Niles Crane. The character of Hugo Delegate is an improbable one that feels like it was written by a woman: He is a sensitive male, androgynous to a fault, prone to regular fainting spells and his thoughts and speech are fussy and affected: not your typical "leading man" type and therefore an unlikely suitor for Savage Girl. The girl herself is enigmatic but undeveloped as a character and it is hard to stay interested in the plot, which wants to be bigger and more important than it is. By the end, when the twist reveals itself, it is unimpressive, hardly surprising and disappointing. The whole thing is unbelievable and would have been better written as a fairytale, not historical fiction.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • And Sons

  • A Novel
  • By: David Gilbert
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 16 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 106

Who is A. N. Dyer? & Sons is a literary masterwork for readers of The Art of Fielding, The Emperor’s Children, and Wonder Boys - the panoramic, deeply affecting story of an iconic novelist, two interconnected families, and the heartbreaking truths that fiction can hide.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Full of brilliant bits and pieces

  • By Doug P. on 08-06-13

Like Eating Broccoli at 6 AM

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

Reviewed: 08-04-13

This book starts off with great promise and then wades into a tedious, in-cohesive muck. And so many people (claim to) love this book!
Was Mr. Gilbert's editor on vacation before this book went to print and told the publishing house, "I'm sure its great - print the whole thing, ramblings, musings, stoner philosophy - It's all good." Yes, I picture the author's editor as one of those irritating people who sum up every conversation with "It's all good".
Great premise, horrible execution and cloning? really??
This book should have stayed in a drawer.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Racketeer

  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: J.D. Jackson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,896
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,947
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,935

Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered. Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five.... Nothing is as it seems and everything’s fair game in this wickedly clever new novel from John Grisham, the undisputed master of the legal thriller.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Boring

  • By Michael V. on 11-09-12

Simply Awful - Don't waste your time or money!

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

Reviewed: 06-21-13

Very disappointing for a Grisham novel - almost like he had a teenager write it for him... dialogue was so juvenile as to be uncomfortable ("shut up! No, you shut up." ) REALLY?? The narration was elementary and vocal inflections only move the reader to loathe the main character. I was rooting for the main character to be busted or killed nearly the whole way through the book. Seriously awful writing, dull narration and a weak, unbelievable plot.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Flight Behavior

  • By: Barbara Kingsolver
  • Narrated by: Barbara Kingsolver
  • Length: 16 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,194
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,808
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,827

Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Another homerun for Barbara Kingsolver!

  • By 3xcharm on 09-15-13

Great Story, Abysmal Narration

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

Reviewed: 02-19-13

Why she chose to narrate her own book, I cannot begin to understand...
As a reader I found it distracting and annoying to be read to as though I were under the age of five or mentally challenged. The story itself is lovely and very interesting as it addresses the extinction of, not only the monarch butterfly, but our very ecosystem as we know it. The characters are well developed - I already picture Jessica Chastain cast in in the role of Dellarobia for the big screen - and Dr. Byron, her intellectual crush, who is described as a gorgeous African American scientist. However, the muddied accent audibly bestowed upon him by the author makes him sound like a depressed Jamaican crossed with Arnold Schwarzenegger; I cringed each time "he" spoke.
Unfortunately, Ms. Kingsolver joins the ranks of Anne Lamott and Colm Tolbin in a group of authors who should never read aloud. In my brief history with audible performances the only author who successfully narrates his own story is the beguiling Michael Ondaatje whose melodious reading of THE CAT'S TABLE is one of the best performances I've had the pleasure of listening to.
Do yourself a favor and buy a hard copy or an e-book version of FLIGHT BEHAVIOR for best results.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Canada

  • By: Richard Ford
  • Narrated by: Holter Graham
  • Length: 13 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 746
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 628
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 631

When 15-year-old Dell Parsons' parents rob a bank, his sense of normal life is forever altered. In an instant, this private cataclysm drives his life into before and after, a threshold that can never be uncrossed. His parents' arrest and imprisonment mean a threatening and uncertain future for Dell and his twin sister, Berner. Willful and burning with resentment, Berner flees their home in Montana, abandoning her brother and her life. But Dell is not completely alone. A family friend intervenes, spiriting him across the Canadian border.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fabulous writing

  • By SomervilleWhereElse on 07-06-12

Good Narration Can't Save A Boring Story

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

Reviewed: 08-10-12

What seemed like a great premise was turned dull by the writer using words, so many unnecessary words, as filler and never really getting anywhere. You'd think bankrobbing parents and a murder would make for a great read but what this book needed was a great editor and someone to say "Get to the point, already!" I stuck with it through Part 2 because of the narrator, Holter Graham, who I'd just heard narrate a great book, "The Art of Fielding", but even Mr. Graham could not save this book - too bad, it sounded like a potentially great story.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful