LISTENER

Judy Kessler

Los Angeles, CA
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 96
  • ratings
  • The Reckoning

  • A Novel
  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: Michael Beck
  • Length: 17 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,445
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,514
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,478

Pete Banning was Clanton's favorite son, a returning war hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, a father, a neighbor, and a faithful member of the Methodist church. Then one cool October morning in 1946, he rose early, drove into town, walked into the church, and calmly shot and killed the Reverend Dexter Bell. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Would make a 5 star four hour novella, ...

  • By Wayne on 11-03-18

Reckon you’d better not miss this!

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

Reviewed: 02-13-19

After listening to a few less than stellar books, I was intrigued by this because of its author. Was I ever right! The voices, the plot, the drawn out denouement all joined to make this one of the great ones. The plot twists along with the flashbacks added to the enjoyment of every minute of this book. Well done!

  • Paris in the Present Tense

  • By: Mark Helprin
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 14 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 861
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 807
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 795

In the midst of what should be an effulgent time of life, with its days bright with music, family, and rowing on the Seine, Jules is confronted headlong and all at once by a series of challenges to his principles, livelihood, and home, forcing him to grapple with his complex past and find a way forward. He risks fraud to save his terminally ill infant grandson, matches wits with a renegade insurance investigator, is drawn into an act of savage violence, and falls deeply, excitingly in love with a young cellist who is a third his age.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Greatest living "novelist". Top 10 narrator.

  • By BellevueMike on 10-14-17

Loved every minute!

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

Reviewed: 07-14-18

I listen to 2 or 3 books a week. Rarely do I find one that captivates me like this one did. The story, the intrigue, the incredibly accurate accents all contributed to a spellbinding journey. This blew me away. From the very beginning, through the recounting of the leading character’s horrific start in life, every detail was believable and had you rooting for his success. You won’t be able to stop listening. Enjoy!

  • The President Is Missing

  • By: Bill Clinton, James Patterson
  • Narrated by: Dennis Quaid, January LaVoy, Peter Ganim, and others
  • Length: 12 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13,269
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12,166
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12,122

The White House is the home of the president of the United States, the most guarded, monitored, closely watched person in the world. So how could a US president vanish without a trace? And why would he choose to do so? An unprecedented collaboration between President Bill Clinton and the world's best-selling novelist, James Patterson, The President Is Missing is a breathtaking story from the pinnacle of power.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Wanted it to be so much better

  • By K. Moeller on 06-18-18

Run!

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

Reviewed: 06-30-18

Of the several hundred books of all genres I’ve listened to, I’ve probably stopped listening to about 6 for various reasons. I couldn’t bring myself to do that because I love both Clinton & Patterson. But Dennis Quaid as the narrator made this book pure torture! Even the segments narrated by others couldn’t save it.
Often I’m struck by the beauty of the written/spoken word so much that I have to jot down a particularly poignant sentence or phrase. There wasn’t one part of this book I would ever wish to recall.
How this book remains on the Best Seller list is a mystery to me.
Run!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Glorious

  • By: Bernice L. McFadden
  • Narrated by: Alfre Woodard
  • Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 181
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 128

Glorious is set against the backdrops of the Jim Crow South, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights era. Blending the truth of American history with the fruits of Bernice L. McFadden's rich imagination, this is the story of Easter Venetta Bartlett, a fictional Harlem Renaissance writer whose tumultuous path to success, ruin, and revival offers a candid portrait of the American experience in all its beauty and cruelty.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Gruesome violence

  • By Marilyn on 11-22-11

This was GLORIOUS!

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

Reviewed: 10-06-17

Alfre Woodard’s voice is like great, rich chocolate or smooth, fine wine. It’s hard to believe she did all the characters. I could have listened to her forever. And the story had me from GO! It’s hard to imagine the black experience in America, let alone the dismal post-slavery “freedom”, but this beautifully written book hit the nail on the head. It was enthralling and painful and totally captivating. Don’t miss it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Little Life

  • A Novel
  • By: Hanya Yanagihara
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 32 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,796
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,105
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,112

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I had to call in SAD to work

  • By Angela on 10-17-15

Best listen ever

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

Reviewed: 07-17-17

I was a little leery as I began this book and kept going back to the synopsis. But by an hour or so into it, I was absolutely mesmerized. The author's gift with words, coupled with the unbelievably enthralling tale of horror made me hate to put it down. I found myself writing down a few passages that were so beautifully and descriptively written so that I could read and reread them. They spoke of universal truths in a world that is so often hard to comprehend. I listened to the last chapter over and over, bereft that this book had ended. Im a fan for life.

  • The Auschwitz Escape

  • By: Joel C. Rosenberg
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 14 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,569
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,177
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,182

A terrible darkness has fallen upon Jacob Weisz’s beloved Germany. The Nazi regime, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, has surged to power and now hold Germany by the throat. All non-Aryans - especially Jews like Jacob and his family - are treated like dogs. When tragedy strikes during one terrible night of violence, Jacob flees and joins rebel forces working to undermine the regime. But after a raid goes horribly wrong, Jacob finds himself in a living nightmare - trapped in a crowded, stinking car on the train to the Auschwitz death camp.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Engaging novel of Nazi horrors

  • By Mark on 02-26-18

Chilling, but captivating

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

Reviewed: 05-19-17

I only hope & pray this was true.
The writing & the presentation kept me spellbound! Love every minute.

  • The Cold, Cold Ground

  • Detective Sean Duffy, Book 1
  • By: Adrian McKinty
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,581
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,247
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,228

Adrian McKinty was born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. He studied politics and philosophy at Oxford before moving to America in the early 1990s. Living first in Harlem, he found employment as a construction worker, barman, and bookstore clerk. In 2000 he moved to Denver to become a high school English teacher and it was there that he began writing fiction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a stunning book

  • By Alan on 01-17-12

Wrong side of the law

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

Reviewed: 05-11-17

While I have previously LOVED everything by Adrian McGinty, this booked dragged by. It was my first read where the hero was a detective, & while I normally devour his beautifully poetic way with words, as well as Gerard Doyle's magically soothing voice, this one missed the mark.

  • A Man Called Ove

  • By: Fredrik Backman
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63,089
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57,723
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57,620

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him "the bitter neighbor from hell". But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Laughed and I Cried

  • By Bill on 08-22-15

Swedish Delight

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

Reviewed: 04-28-17

I'll be the first to admit this book got off to a slow start. A friend of mine was so bored she gave up, despite its NYTimes best seller status. I plowed through, sure she had missed a crucial element. How glad I was that I persevered! The final chapter had me crying my eyes out while driving home.

  • The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club)

  • A Novel
  • By: Colson Whitehead
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,196
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,202
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,168

The Newest Oprah Book Club 2016 Selection. Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood - where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned - Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stupendous book, hard to follow in audio

  • By JQR on 12-01-16

Don't miss this train!

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

Reviewed: 04-22-17

This was one of the most compelling & poignant books I ever listened to.
The writing was pure poetry paired with the perfect reader. I hated it to end.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • What She Left Behind

  • By: Ellen Marie Wiseman
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,841
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,546
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,543

Ten years ago, Izzy Stone's mother fatally shot her father while he slept. Devastated by her mother's apparent insanity, Izzy, now 17, refuses to visit her in prison. But her new foster parents, employees at the local museum, have enlisted Izzy's help in cataloguing items at a long-shuttered state asylum. There, amid piles of abandoned belongings, Izzy discovers a stack of unopened letters, a decades-old journal, and a window into her own past.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Ugh.

  • By Rebecca C. Schwarz on 04-11-15

Don't leave this behind!

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

Reviewed: 04-11-17

I never write reviews- only give star ratings, but this was one of the most compelling books I ever listened to. I so enjoyed skipping backwards & forwards in time, wondering how the two lead characters lives would intersect. While I was dying to find out, I also never wanted it to end. Bravo for a book beautifully written and performed.
BTW- while I've regretted Reagan's closing of mental institutions because of the numbers of homeless it pushed onto the streets, I reconsidered my feelings when I listened to the description of what I'm afraid might have been a typical public institution.