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Carolyn

  • 46
  • reviews
  • 60
  • helpful votes
  • 54
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  • The Hate U Give

  • By: Angie Thomas
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 33,756
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 31,206
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 31,098

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This Book Changed My Entire Perspective

  • By Wendi on 01-14-18

Great YA uplifting story

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

Reviewed: 02-16-19

There is a divide between people of different races, incomes and social class. Recognition of a difference does not have to come with an assumption that because someone is different they are then not equal. At some point we must be willing to celebrate differences while understanding we are all equal... not better than or less than. The US is rich in culture as the result of so many coming together... not to meld into one culture but to appreciate what the differences add to our American experience. I see this as a YA novel given the narrator is a teen. The performance is amazing.

  • Girls & Boys

  • By: Dennis Kelly
  • Narrated by: Carey Mulligan
  • Length: 1 hr and 46 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,809
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,196
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,135

A pulse-pounding new play from Tony Award-winning® playwright Dennis Kelly takes you on a journey that is at once hilarious, gripping, and heartbreaking. This world-premiere production starring Carey Mulligan (The Great Gatsby, An Education) is available exclusively on Audible after a celebrated run at the Royal Court Theatre in London and off-Broadway at the Minetta Lane Theatre. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I have never heard a story performed so well.

  • By Erin Reeve on 07-05-18

Enjoy creativity...is it a play... a short story?

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

Reviewed: 10-08-18

First of all, the performance is wonderful. I often felt that I was in a phone conversation with a friend who would occasionally be interrupted by her children. Eventually, I settled down into the rhythm of the story as a monologue told somewhat dispassionately in spite of the horror eventually conveyed. The storyteller shares (and I'm paraphrasing): "as you listen, realize this is not happening now, nor is it happening to you...” Is this statement meant to calm the listener or to set them on edge?
Also noteworthy, is that this story is timely, given the #me too movement and it invokes a certain amount of introspection. How well do we really know another person, even a spouse? It is easy to dismiss threats from people you think you know.
Bravo to the author for the creativity, the writing and the choice of performer.

  • Kitchen Confidential

  • Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
  • By: Anthony Bourdain
  • Narrated by: Anthony Bourdain
  • Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,252
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,647
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,594

Last summer, The New Yorker published chef Anthony Bourdain's shocking, "Don't Eat Before Reading This." Now, the author uses the same "take-no-prisoners" attitude in his deliciously funny and shockingly delectable audiobook, sure to delight gourmands and philistines alike.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Kitchen Confidential

  • By Holly on 02-20-03

If you dine out, you best read this book

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

Reviewed: 09-01-18

Bourdain was a non-conformist, a maverick and wanted you to know it. He had a love/hate relationship with his chosen profession, but never seriously tried to leave it. Was it an addiction? He definitely had strong opinions and shared them freely. I learned a lot about restaurateurs, cooks, servers, suppliers and food. For example, I will never order or eat swordfish.

He openly shared his life and stories about his profession, some of which are a bit shocking, with no pretense. The fact that he also performed the book was a treat. He has a unique voice and style that brings the book alive and puts the listener in the kitchen with him. The book and his performance were both more poignant not just because he is no longer here, but because he took his own life. It seems to me he could best be described as a stoic. See if you agree.

  • Origin

  • A Novel
  • By: Dan Brown
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,859
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,342
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 37,235

In keeping with his trademark style, Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Inferno, interweaves codes, science, religion, history, art, and architecture in this new novel. Origin thrusts Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon into the dangerous intersection of humankind's two most enduring questions - and the earthshaking discovery that will answer them.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Formula over fiction

  • By Evan M Carlson on 11-01-17

Philosophical study of science vs beliefs

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

Reviewed: 11-24-17

The AI device weaving through the story added Spock like levity but somehow cheapened the impact. We aren’t quite there with AI and I’m not sure we know how/if humans will interact with it. I did appreciate the optimism of the singularity, although intellectuals have given warnings about AI in particular.

Brown clearly favors science yet has a strong fascination for religion. I wouldn’t call this an anti-religion novel yet it strongly favors science, physics and computer science in particular. The poet William Blake is often referenced. Blake too, tried to reconcile reason and belief and lamented that without “dark religions” mankind would be better off. It’s important to understand his meaning. I think I do. If you believe creationism this book is not for you. If you are open, introspective and curious get the book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Behind Closed Doors

  • By: B. A. Paris
  • Narrated by: Georgia Maguire
  • Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44,026
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,907
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,863

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He's a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do. You're hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Slow start but a gripping experience

  • By Vanessa Arizona on 09-04-16

If it sounds too good to be true....

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

Reviewed: 07-30-17

The device of present and past was cleverly done and one does not get confused within the story. At the beginning of the listen, I thought I was about to hear a rendition of "The Stepford Wives", but the evil in this story was much darker. The song " He had it coming" from "Chicago" comes to mind now that I've completed the book. ...Clever plot, pretty good character development even though one wishes to slap the protagonist upside the head pretty often. The performance was awesome. Can listen to British accents forever especially Georgia's.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Dog's Purpose

  • By: W. Bruce Cameron
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,713
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,144
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,139

A Dog's Purpose - which spent a year on the New York Times bestseller list – is heading to the big screen! Based on the beloved best-selling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog's Purpose shares the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Dogs Purpose

  • By sara on 02-16-17

Emotional trip through dogdom

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

Reviewed: 07-28-17

You must love animals, especially dogs, to really appreciate this book. The authors premise is dog reincarnation with the dog retaining awareness of previous lives. It was difficult to get through the first few chapters which lays out the plight of homeless dogs, dog hoarding and animal cruelty. I almost scrapped the book, but hung in to learn 'a dogs purpose' and continuing the book was a worthwhile, though tear provoking journey. Fred Gipson who wrote Old Yeller would be proud that his legacy continues.

I appreciated Cameron's ability to portray the experiences of life with humans through a dogs point of view. Well done. William Dufris' performance was/is perfection. He was able to balance emotional scenes with nonchalant humor. Great voice.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Power of Now

  • By: Eckhart Tolle
  • Narrated by: Eckhart Tolle
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,825
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,376
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,128

To make the journey into The Power of Now you need to leave your analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind. Access to the Now is everywhere - in the body, the silence, and the space all around you. These are the keys to enter a state of inner peace.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Consciousness Altering

  • By Darius on 02-13-04

This path to Enlightenment is the real thing

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

Reviewed: 07-26-17

I have listened to this audiobook about 100 times and it still offers up true nuggets of wisdom. Eckhart's reading of his book is very meditative. Anyone who is on the spiritual path needs to listen to this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Still Life

  • Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 1
  • By: Louise Penny
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,495
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,839
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,818

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A rare find

  • By Alex on 01-16-15

Uncompelling

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

Reviewed: 07-15-17

Due to the popularity of the author I hung in to the end. I didn't find the characters to be well developed, nor the story believable or interesting. Wordy though the book was, the descriptions did not paint a picture. I just don't understand the popularity of this series. The gravitas of the performer was a poor match with the lack of depth in the story. I won't be spending credits for more of this authors work sorry to say as I would like to support female writers.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Born a Crime

  • Stories from a South African Childhood
  • By: Trevor Noah
  • Narrated by: Trevor Noah
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 116,231
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 107,590
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 107,073

One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disjointed stories without an overall narrative

  • By Frost on 04-04-19

Wow. An examined life through a humor lens

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

Reviewed: 01-02-17

This book reveals Trevor Noah, warts and all. It’s hard to imagine that he left out any misdeeds or failed to expose his vulnerabilities. I feel that I really understand what makes him tick and the basis of his humor. As a bonus, I now have a deeper understanding of South Africa, its politics and the nature of its difficulties.

As young as he is, what an amazing life Noah has had, thanks in large part to his mother: both for the good outcome and the difficulties he had to overcome. This work is really well written and Trevor’s performance adds to the experience of his life. I loved this book and highly recommend it to folks who want either entertainment or are willing to see an examined life. Great job, Trevor!

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Hillbilly Elegy

  • A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
  • By: J. D. Vance
  • Narrated by: J. D. Vance
  • Length: 6 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,729
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,738
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,677

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis - that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over 40 years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enlightening!

  • By Gotta Tellya on 09-11-16

A story yet an unexamined life

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

Reviewed: 01-02-17

This book exposes the lives of many, if not most WASP (white Anglo-Saxon protestant) Americans, and to call it “Hillbilly” is misleading. I’ve lived this life, though as a woman growing up in a large southern city and in an earlier generation. There is an underbelly of white America that folks don’t talk about and that Vance has exposed: Struggling families, children having children, drug addiction (alcohol included), misplaced anger, mental illness.

Vance does admit that schools and teachers are not the problem with education and that schools and teachers are not the answer to what is lacking for children without stable families. I am reminded of the African saying and Hillary Clinton’s book: It Takes a Village (to raise a child).

As I look deeper into these lives, I see: clannishness, lack of curiosity, inability to problem solve, lack of compassion, lack of self-refection and little to no appreciation of intellectual pursuits. I say this as one who was raised in a similar family and manner. What I strongly relate to is the presence of women who were the saviors. They kept the family together, solved problems, gave compassionate advice and assistance in spite of the disadvantage of being female in a misogynistic society.

What is missing from this work is self-reflection and a failure to examine root causes, which is why Vance is unable to provide meaningful ideas of how to improve a dire situation. It’s clear that there is no simple answer and that the solution is one that needs to be managed in an iterative manner, what software developers term an “Agile” way: try a solution, evaluate the result, make corrections and continue to improve the “product”. (Which is how the ACA, Affordable Care Act, would best be treated.)

This book left me wondering what the point was of telling the story, given that it was light on examination and therefore possible solutions. What comes to mind is that Vance has his sights on a political goal. Get a law degree from a prestigious school, publish a book inoculating himself against exposure of a poor upbringing, get your name out there, run for political office….and maybe become president: A formula for success.

I am in agreement with Socrates that “an unexamined life is not worth living”. My wish for this country is that we look for leadership from thoughtful, articulate, intellectual, strategic and compassionate humans who have enough self-doubt to examine behaviors before executing an emotionally charged and rash decision. Vance, you have work to do.

24 of 34 people found this review helpful