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Bethann

Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  • 14
  • reviews
  • 115
  • helpful votes
  • 88
  • ratings
  • Saving Ceecee Honeycutt

  • By: Beth Hoffman
  • Narrated by: Jenna Lamia
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,068
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,652
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,671

Laugh-out-loud funny and deeply touching, Beth Hoffman's sparkling debut is, as Kristin Hannah says, "packed full of Southern charm, strong women, wacky humor, and good old-fashioned heart." It is a novel that explores the indomitable strengths of female friendship and gives us the story of a young girl who loses one mother and finds many others.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Comfort Food For The Soul

  • By Karen on 02-17-10

Love Jenna, but CeeCee, not so much

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-17-11

Jenna Lamia is one of my absolute favourite audiobook narrators. Her voice is so natural and soothing, and she is able to lend depth to her characters, without being over the top melodramatic. Ceecee, however, really got on my nerves. I felt that she was essentially a selfish, whiny child that we are supposed to feel bad for because she's had a tough life. I didn't find any of the characters especially well developed or likeable. People have said it's The Help meets The Secret Life of Bees. I won't say anything about the latter, but honestly, Hoffman doesn't even come close to Kathryn Stockett. Stockett understands the South and happens to be a talented writer. Hoffman to me seems like a Northerner talking about something she knows nothing about. It's not helped by the fact that I think she's a rather weak writer. There are way too many flowery, painfully poetic sentences. It's okay if your not Shakespeare, but please don't try to be. Overall, she's not very original and she's not even very good at what she is trying to be. I wish she had created her own, unique voice that worked for her. I feel this whole book doesn't really work.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Shalimar the Clown

  • By: Salman Rushdie
  • Narrated by: Aasif Mandvi
  • Length: 18 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 508
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 193
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 189

When Maximilian Ophuls is murdered outside his daughter's home by his Kashmiri Muslim driver, it appears to be a political killing. Ophuls is the former U.S. ambassador to India and America's leading figure in counter-terrorism. But there is much more to Ophuls and his assassin, a mysterious man calling himself "Shalimar the Clown", than meets the eye. One woman is at the center of their shared history, a history of betrayal and deception.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Complex, Exotic, Suspenseful

  • By JOHN on 06-06-09

Good, but...

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-16-10

Rushdie is undeniably a good writer. His style and prose is excellent, and his characters and plot exceedingly well crafted. I have a great deal of respect for him as an author. But for some reason, this novel just doesn't do it for me. It certainly picked up in the last quarter, but I had to slog through for ages before reaching the point where I wanted to keep reading. I want to read another of his books, perhaps Midnight's Children or The Satanic Verses, seeing this was my first Rushdie, but after reading this one, I just can't bring myself to dive into another Rushdie just yet.

  • The Postmistress

  • By: Sarah Blake
  • Narrated by: Orlagh Cassidy
  • Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 607
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 266
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 267

Alternating between an America still cocooned in its inability to grasp the danger at hand and a Europe being torn apart by war, The Postmistress gives us two women who find themselves unable to deliver the news, and a third woman desperately waiting for news yet afraid to hear it. Sarah Blake's The Postmistress shows how we bear the fact that war goes on around us while ordinary lives continue. Filled with stunning parallels to today, it is a remarkable novel.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Reasonably enjoyable, but too full of stereotypes

  • By Babs on 02-16-10

Predictable and rather lifeless

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-16-10

I was so disappointed by this story. I confess, I bought it because of the title and the cover, which just goes to show you should never judge a book by its cover. The writing was bland, and the narrator, Orlagh Cassidy, was even blander. The story was painfully unoriginal and the characters rather irritating and poorly constructed. The random, gratuitous sex scenes were rather unnecessary and cheesy. They read much like a Harlequin romance might, if it were posing as literature. I struggled to finish this book.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Home

  • A Novel
  • By: Marilynne Robinson
  • Narrated by: Maggi-Meg Reed
  • Length: 12 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 359
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 259
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 257

Glory Boughton, aged 38, has returned to Gilead to care for her dying father. Soon her brother, Jack - the prodigal son of the family, gone for 20 years - comes home too, looking for refuge and trying to make peace with a past littered with tormenting trouble and pain.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wish that I had read this one

  • By S. Elder on 10-02-08

A dull book made duller by unfortunate narration

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-07-10

In Maggi-Meg Reed's defence, Home was an incredibly boring book all on its own, so perhaps her painfully monotonous rendition had more to do with the lifelessness of the book itself than with her bland rendition of it.

  • Little Women

  • By: Louisa May Alcott
  • Narrated by: Sandra Burr
  • Length: 18 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy manage to lead interesting lives despite their father's absence at war and the family's lack of money. Whether they're putting on a play or forming a secret society, their gaiety is infectious. Written from Louisa May Alcott's own experiences, this remarkable novel has been treasured for generations.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • the whole story not included in this purchase

  • By Reading Mom on 11-27-08

A timeless tale, but not so timeless narrator

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-28-09

I have always adored the heartwarming story of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Every little girl and ever woman should read this beautiful tale. That said, Sandra Burr is not my favourite narrator. Her voice can be a little grating. I realize it is difficult to do children's voices, but her rendition of both Beth and Amy left me wanting to slap both!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Gone with the Wind

  • By: Margaret Mitchell
  • Narrated by: Linda Stephens
  • Length: 49 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,706
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,192
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 7,216

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Margaret Mitchell's great novel of the South is one of the most popular books ever written. Within six months of its publication in 1936, Gone With the Wind had sold a million copies. To date, it has been translated into 25 languages, and more than 28 million copies have been sold. Here are the characters that have become symbols of passion and desire....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • not to miss audible experience

  • By dallas on 12-08-09

Fabulous!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-28-09

I won't comment on the novel Gone With the Wind, because nothing I can say would do this great classic justice. I will say that Linda Stephens is perhaps the best audiobook narrator I have ever had the pleasure of listening to! She is utterly fantastic.

82 of 83 people found this review helpful

  • Gilead

  • By: Marilynne Robinson
  • Narrated by: Tim Jerome
  • Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,706
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,130
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,134

In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son, an account of himself and his forebears. Ames is the son of an Iowan preacher and the grandson of a minister who, as a young man in Maine, saw a vision of Christ bound in chains and came west to Kansas to fight for abolition: He "preached men into the Civil War", then, at age 50, became a chaplain in the Union Army, losing his right eye in battle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A perfect reading

  • By Aging Boomer on 10-05-08

Remarkably well-crafted, beautifully narrated!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-18-09

This is both a fantastic book in and of itself, but it is also a thoroughly well-done audiobook. The narrator's voice is so rich and melodious! I would marry a 67 year old too, if he spoke like Tim Jerome! Robinson's story is slow, but wonderful. The characters, especially the central one, are very vivid and so very human. Highly recommended!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Interpreter of Maladies

  • By: Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Narrated by: Matilda Novak
  • Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,098
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 807
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 811

With accomplished precision and gentle eloquence, Jhumpa Lahiri traces the crosscurrents set in motion when immigrants, expatriates, and their children arrive, quite literally, at a cultural divide. The nine stories in this stunning debut collection unerringly chart the emotional journeys of characters seeking love beyond the barriers of nations and generations.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Novel-amazing; Audio-mediocre

  • By Jennifer on 06-03-07

Wonderful!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-15-09

Lahiri's Pulitzer prize winner only gets better the more often in is read.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • A Thousand Splendid Suns

  • By: Khaled Hosseini
  • Narrated by: Atossa Leoni
  • Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,509
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,253
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,271

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them, in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul, they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Magnificent

  • By Bill from Florida on 05-29-07

Indescribable

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-15-09

Hosseini's beautiful, poignant and passionate novel is perfectly interpreted by Atossa Leoni's brilliant reading. Her voice is soothing, genuine and powerful. This is one of the best books I have read in years, and Leoni is definitely the best audiobook narrator I have ever heard.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Little Princess

  • By: Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Narrated by: Vanessa Maroney
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 51

Living off crumbs in a dreary attic, Sara Crewe comforts herself with wondrous stories of adventure and fortune, and in the end the stories become true.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding!

  • By Gary on 08-20-04

Beautiful story, not sobeautiful narration

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-14-09

A Little Princess is one of my favourite children's stories. However, quite frankly,
Vanessa Maroney was a rather irritating narrator. Her "children's voice" was grating!

6 of 9 people found this review helpful