LISTENER

ivbell

Moorpark, CA
  • 14
  • reviews
  • 22
  • helpful votes
  • 26
  • ratings
  • The House with a Clock in Its Walls

  • By: John Bellairs
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 4 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,265
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,070
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,065

When Lewis Barnavelt, an orphan, comes to stay with his Uncle Jonathan, he expects to meet an ordinary person. But he is wrong. Uncle Jonathan and his next-door neighbor, Mrs. Zimmermann, are both witches! Lewis is thrilled. At first, watching magic is enough. Then Lewis experiments with magic himself and unknowingly resurrects the former owner of the house: a woman named Serenna Izard. It seems that Serenna and her husband built a timepiece into the walls - a clock that could obliterate humankind. And only the Barnavelts can stop it!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Before Harry Potter, there was Lewis Barnavelt

  • By Richard S. Swol on 08-26-18

What a fun adventure!

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

Reviewed: 01-30-19

I very much enjoyed it. In The House.... Lewis comes to live with his uncle Jonathan - a magician. His uncle has one problem though - the house has a ticking clock in the walls and he doesn’t know why or how to find it. Lewis turns out to be the key to finding and destroying the clock. It was great fun and enjoyable read after more adult fare.

  • Educated

  • A Memoir
  • By: Tara Westover
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 35,357
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 32,069
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 31,920

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Other Side of Idaho's Mountains

  • By Darwin8u on 03-28-18

Trigger warning: parental neglect and abuse

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

Reviewed: 01-20-19

I only got halfway through. Maybe after Tara Westover is firmly installed in college it gets better, but I’ve had it. The Westover family is obviously full of intelligent and talented people. It’s bit sad that they are overcome by doomsday cult/illuminati fears. The worst part is a worship of a kind of old west lifestyle. No safety precautions, no decent healthcare, as though they lived out alone on the Kansas plains in the 1800’s. But they don’t. Instead, they and their children suffer for no good reason. I wish Tara the best, hoping this book gives her a clear-eyed perspective on a unique, difficult, ridiculous life. But I’m out at Chapter 20.

  • A Christmas Carol

  • By: Charles Dickens, R. D. Carstairs
  • Length: Not Yet Known
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 71

Charles Dickens' ghostly tale of sour and stingy miser Ebenezer Scrooge has captivated readers, listeners and audiences for over 150 years. This Christmas, Audible Studios brings this story to life in an audio drama featuring an all-star cast.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A must listen

  • By Donnie E Porter on 11-30-18

Some odd additions to a classic story

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

Reviewed: 01-05-19

For the most part I enjoyed this version. The voices were good and I liked the sound effects - like listening to an old radio program. I didn’t understand the need for the ghosts to add their own moralizing. And there is no need for the ghost of the future to talk! It inspired me to read the original.

  • The Stupidest Angel

  • A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror
  • By: Christopher Moore
  • Narrated by: Tony Roberts
  • Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,937
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,080
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,083

Twas the night (okay, more like the week) before Christmas, and all through Pine Cove, California, people are busy buying, wrapping, packing, and generally getting into the holiday spirit.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Pine Cove winner

  • By colleen on 03-29-12

Christmas with a side of zombies

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

Reviewed: 01-04-19

It took awhile for me to get in the swing if this book but once the dead were raised it made sense. A fun listen at holiday time. Peace on earth and good will to all!

  • Lincoln in the Bardo

  • A Novel
  • By: George Saunders
  • Narrated by: Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,563
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,094
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,057

The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented. February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln's beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A Mixed Bag

  • By Thomas More on 02-24-17

A fascinating and beautiful experience!

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

Reviewed: 11-21-18

I listened to several chapters, then listened to them again. After that I had it figured out, but it did take a bit. The story follows one night in the cemetery when little Will Lincoln is laid in a borrowed tomb. Interspersed with the stories of the cemetery’s denizens are quotes from various writings from the time, or about that time. The cemetery citizens and text readings all have their own narrators. The main characters are narrated by Nick Offerman and David Sedaris, along with the Reverend voiced by the author. Their goal becomes how to encourage little Willie to go to the other side and not stay in the cemetery. All the while they are denying who/what they really are: dead. It is inventive, funny, profane, heartbreaking and beautiful. There are themes of grief, resignation, justice, anger and forgiveness. It is not for casual listening. I loved it.

  • My Brilliant Friend

  • By: Elena Ferrante
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

A modern masterpiece from one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila, who represent the story of a nation and the nature of friendship.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Story should have been about the friend

  • By ivbell on 10-07-18

Story should have been about the friend

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

Reviewed: 10-07-18

This is the story of a girl with a smart, colorful, mercurial friend. I only got halfway through and quit. By then, she (the narrator) was starting high school while the brilliant friend was working on custom shoes. Yawn. I lost interest. Where is this brilliancy? Where are the adults who have adjusted to their own failings? Maybe if the book was actually about the brilliant friend instead of the stable, conventional, somewhat bright narrator? It’s like if I wrote a book about Marie Curie and talked about myself the whole time. Is that what we do? Build our lives around others? Planets rotating around the sun. Too bad the book didn’t explore that more fully; at least by the halfway mark when I gave up from boredom.

  • The Storyteller's Secret

  • A Novel
  • By: Sejal Badani
  • Narrated by: Siiri Scott
  • Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,864
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,611
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,602

Nothing prepares Jaya, a New York journalist, for the heartbreak of her third miscarriage and the slow unraveling of her marriage in its wake. Desperate to assuage her deep anguish, she decides to go to India to uncover answers to her family’s past. Intoxicated by the sights, smells, and sounds she experiences, Jaya becomes an eager student of the culture. But it is Ravi - her grandmother’s former servant and trusted confidant - who reveals the resilience, struggles, secret love, and tragic fall of Jaya’s pioneering grandmother during the British occupation. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Nice story, didn't like narration

  • By Stephen Silluzio on 12-20-18

Disappointed with characters and slow pacing

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

Reviewed: 10-07-18

Maybe it was a woman whose world falls apart after 3 miscarriages - sad, but I had difficulty empathizing. My failure perhaps. Maybe it was the slow pace. It just didn’t seem to make progress. Or maybe it was an Indian woman spending hours alone with the Raj in the 1940’s that seemed too far-fetched. I’m not sure. But it failed to hold my interest and I did not finish it.

  • A Beautiful Poison

  • By: Lydia Kang
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,014
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 900
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 895

Just beyond the Gilded Age, in the mist-covered streets of New York, the deadly Spanish influenza ripples through the city. But with so many victims in her close circle, young socialite Allene questions if the flu is really to blame. All appear to have been poisoned - and every death was accompanied by a mysterious note.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • It had potential, but faltered in execution

  • By Constance Jenkins on 01-14-18

A decent historical mystery hidden in overwrought language

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

Reviewed: 09-11-18

It’s during the first world war and people are dying in ways unrelated to war and later the flu. The deaths look accidental, but 3 childhood friends know better. The characters are clearly delineated and the mystery has some twists but the overwrought, romanticized language reads like something written in the 1800’s rather than present day. Certainly you expected a certain style of language in 1918 that you don’t see today but even descriptive passages sounded like they were written by a lovestruck teenager with a thesaurus. I stuck with it to the end, but can’t give it a wholehearted endorsement. Then again, it might be your cup of tea!

Also, the reader did a fine job - better than the material.

  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

  • A Novel
  • By: Gail Honeyman
  • Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31,007
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 28,709
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,606

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Close To Perfection--A Definite Thumbs Up!

  • By Kathy on 08-07-17

I love Eleanor and her journey to connection

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

Reviewed: 07-31-18

Eleanor Oliphant's journey to connection is a wonderful story. True, you have to suspend a bit of belief that anyone could get through college without at least making one or two acquaintances, but the ability to live a solitary life in the middle of the city is absolutely easy to believe, particularly for a misanthrope like Eleanor. Her budding friendship with Raymond is sweet and beautiful, as is her odd relationship with an elderly man in need. I thought the gradual revelations of Eleanor's tragic history, and how they shaped her life, were just right. I don't often think of listening to a book twice, but I'm thinking of listening again, just to hear the narrator's voice and know throughout that Eleanor will be all right in the end.

  • Closer Home

  • By: Kerry Anne King
  • Narrated by: Teri Clark Linden
  • Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 307
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 273
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 269

When Lise Redding's estranged sister, country-pop star Callie Redfern, is killed during a publicity stunt, the small-town music teacher is dragged from her quiet life into the spotlight. Lise hadn't spoken with Callie in ten years, ever since Callie's betrayal split them apart, so she's shocked to discover that she's inherited her sister's massive estate. Not only that, but Lise is now the guardian of her sixteen-year-old niece, Ariel, to whom she's practically a stranger.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow what a great listen.

  • By TERESA on 04-16-16

Two stars for the story it could have been

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

Reviewed: 07-31-18

I so wanted to like this book but made it less than halfway through. Analiese is a mess. This is a woman who apparently has only one friend (even though she has apparently lived in the same town all her life). Though she's known this man forever, she still hasn't figured out their relationship. She has no contact with family except a mother in a nursing home, until her sister dies, leaving a 16 year old daughter.You find all this out at the very beginning. The rest is just torture. She is a grown woman still struggling with issues from high school. In addition, when faced with a willful, grieving, neglected 16 year old who needs answers, she continues to worry over her own problems. I don't think the narrator helped the situation, though her voice may indeed have been that of the self-involved main character. This book could have been about a wonderful journey of self-discovery and new forged bonds and family, but it wasn't getting there almost halfway through and I couldn't wait any longer.