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Sarah

MANHATTAN, KS, United States
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 32
  • helpful votes
  • 13
  • ratings
  • The Perfect Scent

  • A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York
  • By: Chandler Burr
  • Narrated by: Mel Foster
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 205
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 134
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 135

No journalist has ever been allowed into the ultrasecretive, highly pressured process of originating a perfume. But Chandler Burr, the New York Times perfume critic, spent a year behind the scenes observing the creation of two major fragrances.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Thoughtful Book

  • By Roy on 04-16-09

Narrator mangles the French

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

Reviewed: 01-20-19

Brace yourself for that. I'm bilingual in French and English and had real trouble at times figuring out what he was trying to say, when he does French words/names it's like he goes full Maurice at the Cafe Boeuf, it's utterly ridiculous and makes the book a hard listen.

  • The House of the Seven Gables

  • By: Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Narrated by: Anthony Heald
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 273
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 209

In a sleepy little New England village stands a dark, weather-beaten, many-gabled house. This brooding mansion is haunted by a centuries-old curse that casts the shadow of ancestral sin upon the last four members of the distinctive Pyncheon family of Salem.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Classic Thriller

  • By E. Pearson on 12-03-10

Odious actor from Silence of the Lambs narrates

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

Reviewed: 08-27-18

Utterly ruining Hawthorne's delicious prose by uttering every word in the same supercilious, fussy, pretentious voice you'll remember from every typecast role he has ever played as a superfluous, fussy, pretentious narcissist. I wish I could get a refund.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Under the Dome

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Raul Esparza
  • Length: 34 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,938
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,159
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,191

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Best Stephen King I've Heard

  • By Scott on 02-10-10

Great narrator, brutal novel

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

Reviewed: 02-03-18

Not as brutal as George RR Martin, more brutal than usual King. The narrator is exceptional, I wish he did more books.

  • Firestarter

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 14 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,079
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,003
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,001

Andy McGee and Vicky Tomlinson participated in a drug experiment run by a veiled government agency known as The Shop. One year later, they marry. Two years later, their little girl, Charlie, sets her teddy bear on fire by simply staring at it. Now that Charlie is eight, she doesn't start fires anymore. Her parents have taught her to control her pyrokinesis, the ability to set anything - toys, clothes, even people - aflame. But The Shop knows about and wants this pigtailed "ultimate weapon".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Its a Gem !

  • By Hubert on 03-22-16

great story, didn't like narrator

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

Reviewed: 11-29-17

Another stellar King novel. Too bad about the narrator. He has a weird condescending droning edge to his tone that didn't suit the book at all, and it wasn't evident when he was doing his Rainbird voice, so idk why the producer didn't tell him to knock it off. I didn't find the cutoffs as distracting as others did but the guy's voice did give me a headache that required frequent switches to another book.

  • The Ice Cream Girls

  • By: Dorothy Koomson
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles, Charlotte Parry, Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 14 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 35

Best-selling author Dorothy Koomson's novels have been translated into 28 languages. In The Ice Cream Girls, 18-year-old Serena Gorringe and 16-year-old Poppy Carlisle were tried for the murder of their teacher - but only Poppy was convicted of the crime. Twenty years later, Poppy is released from prison - and she's determined to force Serena to admit her part in the killing.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Book - Hard Content

  • By Sherry L. Wright on 06-01-14

Eh

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

Reviewed: 09-29-17

I'm getting tired of these dull bestselling "suspense" stories in which the conclusion rests on some utterly random event or happenstance rather a well-built plot and character development. The narration was uneven, the voice(s) she chose for one main character were so whiny and self-pitying that it was hardly bearable. On the plus side, that did make it plausible that she was delusional, giving the book a bit of interest it actually lacked as written.

  • If You Only Knew

  • By: M. William Phelps
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 29

When Vonlee "Nicole" Titlow and her aunt, Billie Jean Rogers, came home from a night of gambling in a casino near Detroit, they told police they found Billie's husband unconscious on the floor of the Rogers' mansion. Just another of his alcoholic benders, they assumed. But this time, Donald Rogers didn't wake up.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Read

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-16-18

weird narration

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

Reviewed: 12-27-16

It's like watching a high school forensics student perform all the parts in a play by changing his voice cartoonishly. For hours. And hours. Will avoid all books by this narrator Jonathan Yen, gives me a headache.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ghettoside

  • A True Story of Murder in America
  • By: Jill Leovy
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman
  • Length: 13 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,597
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,423
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,425

Audie Award, Non-Fiction, 2016. On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man is shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home--one of the thousands of black Americans murdered that year. His assailant runs down the street, jumps into an SUV, and vanishes, hoping to join the scores of killers in American cities who are never arrested for their crimes.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Read in print, the audio version is horrible.

  • By Sarah on 02-07-15

Read in print, the audio version is horrible.

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

Reviewed: 02-07-15

Would you listen to Ghettoside again? Why?

I would not listen to this book again; I didn't actually make it all the way through the audiobook in the first place. The narrator was a terrible choice. Instead of reading the book in the style in which it was written (reportage, researched and presented factually), the narrator reads in this treacly, sorrowful, dirge-like intonation - it's a "Greek chorus" voice familiar to anyone who has seen a Greek tragedy play, and her woeful delivery turns what was a really great book into an overwrought jeremiad. It's also frequently hilarious to hear that type of voice - very white, very female, very sepulchral and funeral-director obsequious - trying to deliver dialogue in street slang, because of the combination of the vernacular and her mournful voice. I wish the publisher had gone with a narrator who can read a book in the tenor of the author's voice instead of going with this ridiculousness. She sounds like she should be reading The Perils of Pauline, not a crime procedural.

What other book might you compare Ghettoside to and why?

I'll have to get back to this question after reading the book in print.

What didn’t you like about Rebecca Lowman’s performance?

I would not listen to this book again; I didn't actually make it all the way through the audiobook in the first place. The narrator was a terrible choice. Instead of reading the book in the style in which it was written (reportage, researched and presented factually), the narrator reads in this treacly, sorrowful, dirge-like intonation - it's a "Greek chorus" voice familiar to anyone who has seen a Greek tragedy play, and her woeful delivery turns what was a really great book into an overwrought jeremiad. It's also frequently hilarious to hear that type of voice - very white, very female, very sepulchral and funeral-director obsequious - trying to deliver dialogue in street slang, because of the combination of the vernacular and her mournful voice. I wish the publisher had gone with a narrator who can read a book in the tenor of the author's voice instead of going with this ridiculousness. She sounds like she should be reading The Perils of Pauline, not a crime procedural.

Any additional comments?

I'm pretty sure this is a good book, I was expecting something along the lines of David Simon, but the overly emotional narration just made it impossible to appreciate as a work of non-fiction.

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • The Strain

  • By: Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan
  • Narrated by: Ron Perlman
  • Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,069
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,815
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,818

The visionary creator of the Academy Award-winning Pan's Labyrinth and a Hammett Award-winning author bring their imaginations to this bold, epic novel about a horrifying battle between man and vampire that threatens all humanity. It is the first installment in a thrilling trilogy and an extraordinary international publishing event.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Could be better but still a worthy vampire yarn

  • By Mark on 08-17-09

Terrible monotonous narration = dull storytelling

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

Reviewed: 07-26-14

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Ron Perlman is a great character actor and I always enjoy seeing him onscreen, but this is not his jam. He sounded so bored and it was so dull that I kept zoning out and having to rewind the book. I eventually gave up and will just read it when I can, which is less often than I'm able to listen to audiobooks (which I do while driving, doing errands/housecleaning/etc., cooking, etc.). Also, he pronounces Ephraim and Eph as "Eeef" which I realize is a valid pronunciation in some regional accents, but eef. Eeeeef. OMG SAID EEEEEF. When it's not a boring narration, it's an annoying narration.

What other book might you compare The Strain to and why?

The Stand, Salem's Lot.

Would you be willing to try another one of Ron Perlman’s performances?

Yes? I'm really not sure. It would depend on the book.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I'm watching the show now. They don't call Ephraim "Eef", they call him "F" -- I guess that's an improvement.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Bling Ring

  • How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World
  • By: Nancy Jo Sales
  • Narrated by: Kathleen Mary Carthy
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 107
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 96
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 94

Over the course of a year, the members of the now infamous Bling Ring allegedly burglarized some of the biggest names in young Hollywood. Driven by celebrity worship, vanity, and the desire to look and dress like the rich and famous, these seven teenagers made headlines for using Google maps, Facebook, and TMZ to track the comings and goings of their targets. Many of the houses were unlocked. Alarms disabled. A "perfect" crime - celebrities already had so much, why shouldn't the Bling Ring take their share?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Facinating Account of American Culture Gone Wrong

  • By Baloo on 07-14-13

Boring and preachy, "Kids These Days" ad infinitum

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

Reviewed: 09-16-13

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This was clearly slapped together in anticipation of a movie based on the original Vanity Fair story. To make it a full-length book, the author added a lot of sanctimony and pseudo-introspection. Example: instead of saying "Sofia Coppola's films have all treated the questions of fame and pathos, in different contexts" the author first reports ignorance of Coppola's work, spends a lot of time explaining said work, giving the Coppola's background, providing a ridiculously detailed description of the director and her family, and then says "I guess it makes sense that she'd want to option my Vanity Fair article." The book is bloated with inexpert and rambling musings on adolescent materialism and celebrities, making it much more about the author's opinions and reflections on The Bling Ring rather than, actually being ABOUT the Bling Ring. I had to go online and do my own reading to actually learn the story about what happened, since this book is mostly a hugely pedestrian account of how "kids these days" and "get off America's lawn you entitled brats" and blah blah blah.

What was most disappointing about Nancy Jo Sales’s story?

Everything.

What does Kathleen Mary Carthy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She's a good narrator. There's not much she can do to save the book.

Was The Bling Ring worth the listening time?

Nope. I got about halfway through and it became a tedious chore to get through the last half, I only gamely attempted it because I thought it might get interesting at the end. No such luck.

Any additional comments?

This is a subject that deserves a more well-told story; after the trials are over and the participants can become the actual subjects of a story about their crimes (this book is really more about Nancy Jo Sales' opinions on society and youth at large) someone will write a book about what happened which focuses at greater length on the social dynamics within the group itself and a more detailed view of the crime spree from the perspective of those who engaged in it. I am looking forward to the movie, because I'm certain that Coppola will do more justice to the texture and context of the story.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Killer of Little Shepherds

  • A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science
  • By: Douglas Starr
  • Narrated by: Erik Davies
  • Length: 12 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 339
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 253
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 252

A riveting true crime story that vividly recounts the birth of modern forensics. At the end of the nineteenth century, serial murderer Joseph Vacher, known and feared as “The Killer of Little Shepherds,” terrorized the French countryside. He eluded authorities for years - until he ran up against prosecutor Emile Fourquet and Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne, the era’s most renowned criminologist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Masterly introduction to modern forensic science

  • By Praetor on 03-30-12

Will be reading the book instead of listening.

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

Reviewed: 08-17-12

Would you try another book from Douglas Starr and/or Erik Davies?

I think the book will be interesting - I'm looking forward to it. I would not under any circumstances get another book read by Erik Davies.

What didn’t you like about Erik Davies’s performance?

The reader (Erik Davies) reads... so... slowly... that... I... am... going... nuts. Plus, he has the truly snortworthy, eye-roll inducing habit of pronouncing "Paris" as "Pa-reeee" every time he says it, and he's reading this book in English. If you had a friend who went to Paris and insisted on referring to it as "Pa-reee" when telling you a story about her time there, what would you think of that? And if that was happening several times in every sentence? And if she was talking so slowly that you felt like making the "come on, come on" gesture at her? I mean, I've *lived* in Paris, been an actual ex-pat with a job and everything, and I do NOT call it "Pa-reee" when it comes up in conversation in English. Absolutely twee and pretentious. The level of tryhard on his french-fried pronunciation of any proper nouns reminds me of Garrison Keillor's hilarious maitre-d' at the Cafe Boeuf. Seriously awful and terribly jarring. Even French people pronounce "Paris" as "Pa-riss" when they are speaking English, just like I would call Chicago "Shee-CAH-go" if I said the name of the city while speaking French. Why switch in and out of essentially two languages the whole time, other than to be obnoxious and make yourself harder to understand? Ugh.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I hope to enjoy the book, but the performance was irredeemable.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful