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Martha J. Smith

  • 9
  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 48
  • ratings
  • The Ragged Edge of Night

  • By: Olivia Hawker
  • Narrated by: Nick Sandys, Olivia Hawker
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 313
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 272
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 270

Germany, 1942. Franciscan friar Anton Starzmann is stripped of his place in the world when his school is seized by the Nazis. He relocates to a small German hamlet to wed Elisabeth Herter, a widow who seeks a marriage - in name only - to a man who can help raise her three children. Anton seeks something too - atonement for failing to protect his young students from the wrath of the Nazis. But neither he nor Elisabeth expects their lives to be shaken once again by the inescapable rumble of war. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Ragged Edge of Night must be made into a movie

  • By M. King on 10-04-18

Great story, writing just ok

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

Reviewed: 11-14-18

The book was ok, but over-written, over-wrought, self-absorbed, tedious at times. Very little action as compared to a lot of thoughts, emotions and feelings. Characters were just not real. I've read a lot of historical fictions and particularly WWII novels. This does not compare to the Book Thief, the Nightingale, All the Light We Cannot See, and others. Just too boring. And as for the performance, when did Germans start speaking with Irish and Cockney accents?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

  • A Novel
  • By: Rachel Joyce
  • Narrated by: Jim Broadbent
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,692
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,932
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,938

Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Walkabout

  • By FanB14 on 07-01-13

Just ok

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

Reviewed: 08-02-18

Beautifully written, thought it would never end! Long and tedious. I was expecting The 100 Year old Man, got War and Peace.

  • The Room on Rue Amélie

  • By: Kristin Harmel
  • Narrated by: Madeleine Maby, Jacques Roy
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 558
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 519
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 512

When newlywed Ruby Henderson Benoit arrives in Paris in 1939 with her French husband, Marcel, she imagines strolling arm in arm along the grand boulevards, awash in the golden afternoon light. But war is looming on the horizon, and as France falls to the Nazis, her marriage begins to splinter, too. Charlotte Dacher is 11 when the Germans roll into the French capital, their sinister swastika flags snapping in the breeze. After the Jewish restrictions take effect and Jews are ordered to wear the yellow star, Charlotte can't imagine things getting much worse.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • It was okay

  • By E. Moe on 04-05-18

Written by Capt Obvious?

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

Reviewed: 06-01-18

I made myself finish this book, but it was painful. The dialogue was so stilted and predictably obvious and banal, it had me screaming at my iPhone at times. Of the dozens and dozens of audible books I have purchased and read (some great and others not so much) this is the first
one I’ve ever returned.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead

  • A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 6
  • By: James Lee Burke
  • Narrated by: Mark Hammer
  • Length: 14 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 509
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 467
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 462

The image of the dead girl's body lingered in detective Dave Robicheaux's mind as he drove home. After seeing the young victim's corpse, the last thing he needed to come across was a drunk driver. But when he saw the Cadillac fishtail across the road, Robicheaux knew the driver was in trouble. What Dave didn't realize, was that by pulling the car over, he was opening his murder case wider than he could imagine. The driver, Elrod Sykes, in New Iberia to star in a movie, leads Dave to the remains of a black man that had washed up in the Atchafalaya swamp.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Burke is awesome again, Hammer is really good.

  • By Charles Atkinson on 09-04-12

Good book, but no Clete?

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

Reviewed: 03-25-18

That’s like Batman but no Robin, Starsky and no Hutch, Bert without Ernie. Cmon Man, Clete is the Man.

  • Night Work

  • Michael Cassidy, Book 2
  • By: David C. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Keith Szarabajka
  • Length: 11 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 300
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 278
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 271

Michael Cassidy, a New York cop plagued by dreams that sometimes come true, escorts a prisoner accused of murder to Havana on the cusp of Fidel Castro's successful revolution against the Batista dictatorship. After delivering the man to La Cabaña prison and rescuing his former lover - Dylan McCue, now a Russian KGB agent - from her scheduled execution, Cassidy returns to New York and retreats into the comforts of alcohol and sex.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Both of these books are excellent.

  • By Richard Delman on 07-09-16

Fabulous Book

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

Reviewed: 01-15-18

Cannot wait for the next in this series. Michael Cassady is one of the best cop characters ever to appear in crime fiction. Just hope I don’t get lung cancer from reading these books!

  • Beartown

  • By: Fredrik Backman
  • Narrated by: Marin Ireland
  • Length: 13 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,095
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,494
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,469

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semifinals, and they actually have a shot at winning.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Barrel To The Head, A Slug To The Gut--

  • By Gillian on 04-28-17

A great follow up to A Man Called Ove

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

Reviewed: 06-28-17

What did you love best about Beartown?

Great story in a beautifully described little village. Great characters all around.

What did you like best about this story?

The setting and the dialog.

Have you listened to any of Marin Ireland’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I'm not sure.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Cannot pick out just one.

  • The Woman in Cabin 10

  • By: Ruth Ware
  • Narrated by: Imogen Church
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11,615
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,558
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10,520

Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first Lo's stay is nothing but pleasant: The cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, and gray skies fall.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Hours and hours of tired...

  • By ROBIN on 07-28-16

One of the worst books I've ever read

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

Reviewed: 06-28-17

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I cannot think of a soul

What could Ruth Ware have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Write something else

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The performance was fine considering what the performer had to work with.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Woman in Cabin 10?

Virtually all of them

Any additional comments?

The main character was so stupid and unlikable I was hoping the entire time that she would either jump off the ship or someone would kill her early on. This book was just unforgivably bad from start to finish. Sorry.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky

  • A Novel
  • By: Mark Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 17 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,372
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,343
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,270

Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He's a normal Italian teenager - obsessed with music, food, and girls - but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior. In an attempt to protect him, Pino's parents force him to enlist as a German soldier - a move they think will keep him out of combat.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Best Thing? It Really Happened!

  • By Charles Atkinson on 08-07-17

great story, writing not so much

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

Reviewed: 06-28-17

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

15 year old girls

Who was your favorite character and why?

General Liers, a tormented villain.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

yes

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

I did love the story and the depiction of WWII Italy in the last days of the war.

Any additional comments?

Writing was incredibly trite, predictable, obvious and over-wrought. At one point Pino tells Anna "you are going to think this is corny." That observation applies to the entire book.

  • The Orphan's Tale

  • A Novel
  • By: Pam Jenoff
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Wydra, Kyla Garcia
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,422
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,156
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,142

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep. When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Sappy and tedious

  • By Churchill on 03-23-17

Could not finish it!

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

Reviewed: 05-18-17

What would have made The Orphan's Tale better?

A plausible story and at least one likeable and believable character

What was most disappointing about Pam Jenoff’s story?

That Noah was not rounded up by the Nazis and hauled off to a concentration camp in Chapter 1. Could not stand her -- self absorbed, obvious and agonizingly stupid..

How could the performance have been better?

Cut out the faux German accents -- sounded like Colonel Klink on Hogans Heroes.

What character would you cut from The Orphan's Tale?

All, except for the circus owner.

Any additional comments?

I was expecting this would be similar to The Nightingale, In the Garden of the Beasts, All the Light We Cannot See, or maybe Water for Elephants. Not even close.