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Jenni

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A Sight for Sore Eyes audiobook cover art

Can't guess the ending til the end

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

Reviewed: 03-23-16

Only Rendell can make a reader understand, empathize, and even and root for a homocidal sociopath.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Arsonist audiobook cover art

Wonderful! And not (thank heaven) a "crime" novel

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

Reviewed: 07-07-14

What did you love best about The Arsonist?

Not able to figure out the ending, until I got there. That's because the people in the book are complex and realistic. The arsons challenge and divide them. And throughout, they have also to deal with and adapt to the regular stuff that happens to people and families at various stages of their lives.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sylvia, the main character's mother. She struggles with what others need or expect from her, and what she needs. She balances, adapts, makes mistakes, takes chances.

Who was the most memorable character of The Arsonist and why?

Alfie, the main character's father, who has dementia. His disease progresses in spite of all that's swirling around everyone due to the arsons, relationship issues, romance, moving, age, opportunities, etc. But he copes with things too, and it is uncertain what exactly he understands and what he doesn't. This makes the things the people around him say and do, affect him in a different way than everyone else.

Any additional comments?

People all behaving the way they do because of what's happened to them in the past, affected by what's happening to them in the present and what may, or may not happen to them in the future. Loved it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Obituary Writer audiobook cover art

unique obits made great vehicle for story

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

Reviewed: 06-22-14

What made the experience of listening to The Obituary Writer the most enjoyable?

Strong female characters, dealt with various circumstances and tragedy over the course of their lives. The story is told by the two main characters, living in different eras, but whose lives eventually intersect. I loved the back-and-forth between the generations, and the use of the unique obituaries which expressed both sorrow and love-of-life.

The character Claire struggled with society's expectations, as did so many women in 1960. Kennedy was just inaugurated, and the Feminine Mystique hadn't been written yet. Claire, a suburban housewife, struggled with boredom and lack of fulfillment.

Vivian, the obituary writer, was an unusual woman to have lived in the early 1900s, and who found fulfillment in her calling as an obituary writer. Her character made me want to be an obituary writer - a totally different kind than the ones in the paper I read every day.

What did you like best about this story?

That the characters did things they regretted, dealt with circumstances that were beyond their control, and managed to keep moving forward.

Which character – as performed by Tavia Gilbert – was your favorite?

Claire, the uneasy, 60s housewife.

Any additional comments?

Actually, I wished this book had been longer. I enjoyed it so much I just wanted it to keep going.

Untouchable audiobook cover art

Why hadn't I ever heard of this guy? Amazing book!

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

Reviewed: 05-30-14

Would you listen to Untouchable again? Why?

I intend to take advantage of steady memory loss to read this again, as if I hadn't ever read it. This book is near the very top of all the books I've ever read. I do love books that put children in situations that they don't understand or that are difficult, and see how they cope. The young boy in this book tries to handle things that have happened in his family in incredibly creative ways. This is not the precocious child that thinks like an adult and solves the mystery, that is common in so many movies. He is a real child incapable of understanding what was happening, but who figured out such unique ways of dealing with events. The writing was real, rich, gorgeous, fascinating. The child and his father were each trying to figure out a mystery in their lives, in their own ways. And unlike so many books, I had no idea how this book was going to turn out, until the very end, and the end was perfect. It contained everything I love: great character development, wasn't predictable, and just terrific writing.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Untouchable?

It would give too much away to describe it, but it involves the child making a really tough decision, which he hated doing, but he figured it out.

What does Bronson Pinchot bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I am familiar with Pinchot from some not-so-hot movies which my son loved. But as a reader, he's top-notch. Very, very good.

Prophet's Prey audiobook cover art

Non-fiction that is actually a "page-turner."

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

Reviewed: 05-30-14

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This book is so incredible, I listened to it twice. That this stuff happens, in this country, blew me away. It is simply a fascinating unfolding of a story that ought to be fiction, but isn't. Couldn't put it down, and kept pulling my headphones off to say "listen to this," to my husband.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Too long to read in one setting, but I really hated to interrupt my listening for anything.

Any additional comments?

The single best non-fiction writing that I've ever read, and the reader was very good.

The Hidden Child audiobook cover art

Really good mystery

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

Reviewed: 05-30-14

What did you love best about The Hidden Child?

The Nazis are always an interesting topic. In this lengthy book, character development was better than most mysteries, and the flashbacks gave context to the people and events of the present. I like mysteries which are long, good character development and nothing supernatural. It's not Linwood Barclay or Gillian Flynn, but I enjoyed it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich audiobook cover art

Amazing, fascinating, couldn't stop listening.

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

Reviewed: 12-01-12

Where does The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The best, most interesting book I've ever read. Made me want to read every book mentioned in the book as a source. I am not a history buff, but even though this book is incredibly long, I listened to it twice! Explains the perfect storm of things that came together and resulted in the otherwise unfathomable reign of Hitler.

What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

It was very well read, a pleasure.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not possible.

Any additional comments?

Wish I'd read this years ago. Being able to listen to it was far less daunting than finding time to read the book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful