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  • 12
  • reviews
  • 34
  • helpful votes
  • 259
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  • The Witch Elm

  • A Novel
  • By: Tana French
  • Narrated by: Paul Nugent
  • Length: 22 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,818
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,639
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2,633

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who's dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life - he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden - and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Yes, the Main Character Comes Off Poorly, But...

  • By Marina on 10-19-18

Very compelling

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

Reviewed: 10-25-18

Tana French wrote a fantastic novel about perception, truth, justice, and human condition. The build up is a bit slow but necessary foundation. Each character is flawed and unreliable. Sorting through it all was compelling. Quite a feat in understanding criminal motivation and human relationships.

  • Transcription

  • A Novel
  • By: Kate Atkinson
  • Narrated by: Fenella Woolgar
  • Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 765
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 719
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 714

In 1940, 18-year-old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever. Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A very satisfying two days!

  • By Wendy on 09-30-18

A gem

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

Reviewed: 10-18-18

I really enjoyed this book. I always enjoy Atkinson’s prose. Ending is a bit vague but I think going on to develop more details would have taken away from the overall impact of Juliet’s wartime and coming of age experience.

  • After the Monsoon

  • An Ernst Grip Novel
  • By: Robert Karjel
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 14 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 18

A Swedish army lieutenant drops dead on a shooting range in the desert. Was it an unfortunate accident - or something more nefarious? Ernst Grip, an agent of the Swedish security police, is sent to the Horn of Africa to find out. Once he’s on the ground, however, he quickly discovers he’s on his own. No one wants him snooping around - especially not the US Embassy’s CIA station. Which is no surprise, given that military transport planes are leaving from the base carrying untraceable pallets loaded with cash. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Difficult book to review. Pulse-pounding? Not.

  • By Richard Delman on 08-18-18

Slow going at first but good overall

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

Reviewed: 09-23-18

It took me some time to key into narrator. At first it seemed deadly slow. But as the story opened up I found it compelling and satisfyingly.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Patrick Melrose: The Novels

  • Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, Mother's Milk, and At Last
  • By: Edward St. Aubyn
  • Narrated by: Alex Jennings
  • Length: 27 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 364
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 333
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 333

By turns harrowing and hilarious, this ambitious novel cycle dissects the English upper class. Edward St. Aubyn offers his listener the often darkly funny and self-loathing world of privilege as we follow Patrick Melrose's story of abuse, addiction, and recovery from the age of five into early middle age. The Patrick Melrose novels comprise a modern masterpiece by one of "the most brilliant English novelists of his generation" (Alan Hollinghurst).

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • beautifully, brilliantly wrought

  • By Michi Belan on 12-12-15

Absolutely Brillant! All 5 Novels a Must Read

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

Reviewed: 07-24-18

St Aubyn deftly slices clean to the bone of the human condition in these novels. He is expert in delivering keen observation and glorious humor. I laughed out loud often with delight while at the same time accepted St Aubyn’s invitation to consider the intricacies of our relationships. Nothing goes untouched or unquestioned: love, parenting, passion, friendship, social status, violence, cruelty, loss, pain, boredom, and joy. I saw the film version first. Thankfully I was interested enough to get the novels which of course provide all the delicious detail and context that the films couldn’t highlight. St Aubyn has a tremendous ability to paint complex characters both simply and effortlessly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Moriarty

  • Sherlock Holmes, Book 2
  • By: Anthony Horowitz
  • Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 941
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 861
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 863

Internationally best-selling author Anthony Horowitz's nail-biting new novel plunges us back into the dark and complex world of detective Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty - dubbed the "Napoleon of crime" by Holmes - in the aftermath of their fateful struggle at the Reichenbach Falls. Days after the encounter at the Swiss waterfall, Pinkerton detective agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Always Enjoy Horowitz

  • By Bryan Stern on 06-02-18

Kept me interested

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

Reviewed: 06-19-18

Ok this story was not as intriguing or as well crafted as the House of Silk — there are some ham-handed elements. But I still enjoyed it. I did find it entertaining trying to locate the mystery at hand. As for the uneven American accent, it was a bit annoying. But the end of the novel puts it all into context.

  • The House of Broken Angels

  • By: Luis Alberto Urrea
  • Narrated by: Luis Alberto Urrea
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 669
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 625
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 622

In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel de La Cruz, affectionately called Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly 100, dies herself, leading to a farewell doubleheader in a single weekend. Among the guests is Big Angel's half-brother, known as Little Angel, who must reckon with the truth that although he shares a father with his siblings, he has not, as a half gringo, shared a life. Across two bittersweet days in their San Diego neighborhood, the revelers mingle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not death, and Not borders

  • By Clodhopper on 05-01-18

What a precious book!

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

Reviewed: 06-19-18

I found this story so wonderful. Such a full bodied examination of family and love and death. I did grow up in Southern California so many of the places and events were warmly familiar to me.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The House of Silk

  • A Sherlock Holmes Novel
  • By: Anthony Horowitz
  • Narrated by: Derek Jacobi
  • Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,778
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,508
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,511

Sherlock Holmes is the greatest detective in literary history. For the first time since the death of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a new Holmes story has been sanctioned by his estate, whetting the appetites of fans everywhere. Information about the book will be revealed as deliberately as Holmes himself would unravel a knotty case, but bestselling novelist and Holmes expert Anthony Horowitz is sure to bring a compelling, atmospheric story to life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • PLEASE tell me there are MORE !

  • By Debra J Pekin on 01-17-12

Wonderful fun!

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

Reviewed: 06-09-18

I really enjoyed this. I’m not a Holmesian scholar so I’m sure there are glitches or errors that the true aficionados may complain about but I found it fun and compelling. Derek Jacobi’s narration was point on. Good summer read (listen).

  • Calypso

  • By: David Sedaris
  • Narrated by: David Sedaris
  • Length: 6 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,551
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,649
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,576

If you've ever laughed your way through David Sedaris's cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you're getting with Calypso. You'd be wrong. When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And it's as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it's impossible to take a vacation from yourself. With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation - and dark humor - toward middle age and mortality.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent, as always

  • By Ruthie on 05-31-18

Absolutely stunning

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

Reviewed: 06-05-18

Sedaris at his best. Observant, poignant, and hilarious! This set of stories draws such a warm hearted and melancholy line through all the past stories of his life and family. And of course many parts had me laughing out loud while listening with my earbuds that people moved cautiously away from me as I was doing my daily Fitbit strolls! So worth the read/listen.

  • Educated

  • A Memoir
  • By: Tara Westover
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 23,004
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 20,886
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 20,776

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, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge.

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

  • By Darwin8u on 03-28-18

Unbelievably Powerful.

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

Reviewed: 05-18-18

The authors courage and honesty must be applauded. As a consultant and trainer on the trauma of family violence, I have run across many narratives but none as comprehensive and insightful. Passages were hard to listen to—some of her choices hard to fathom. But this is a loving and clear expose of families fraught with misunderstood expressions of coercive control that underlies much interpersonal trauma.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Asymmetry

  • A Novel
  • By: Lisa Halliday
  • Narrated by: Candace Thaxton, Arthur Morey, Fiona Hardingham, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 266
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 244
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 241

Told in three distinct and uniquely compelling sections, Asymmetry explores the imbalances that spark and sustain many of our most dramatic human relations: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice. The first section, "Folly", tells the story of Alice, a young American editor, and her relationship with the famous and much older writer Ezra Blazer. A tender and exquisite account of an unexpected romance that takes place in New York during the early years of the Iraq War.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Unsatisfying

  • By MConway on 05-27-18

Loved it.

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

Reviewed: 02-23-18

Just finished it. Writing superb. Thought-provoking. Funny. Characters so expertly fully fleshed out. Planning to read it/listen to it again.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful