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Katherine

Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 8
  • reviews
  • 25
  • helpful votes
  • 69
  • ratings
  • The Water Cure

  • A Novel
  • By: Sophie Mackintosh
  • Narrated by: Hannah Murray, Gemma Whelan, Morfydd Clark
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 184
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 171
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 169

King has tenderly staked out a territory for his wife and three daughters, Grace, Lia, and Sky. He has lain the barbed wire; he has anchored the buoys in the water; he has marked out a clear message: Do not enter. Or viewed from another angle: Not safe to leave. Here women are protected from the chaos and violence of men on the mainland. The cult-like rituals and therapies they endure fortify them from the spreading toxicity of a degrading world. But when their father, the only man they've ever seen, disappears, they retreat further inward until the day two men and a boy wash ashore.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unique, strange, beautiful

  • By Brittany Clemens on 01-08-19

Started over immediately upon finishing

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

Reviewed: 03-16-19

I am obsessed with this book. It takes some time to get settled into the situation, but it's worth every confusion. The writing is gorgeous, the characters compelling even if not quite likable, and Mackintosh moves around in time like it's simple, which impressed me to no end. It's not an easy book to understand or to digest, as its themes are pretty devastating and disturbing. I do consider this to be very feminist, in that it envisions a different social structure for the sexes, and challenging the status quo position of women in society is inherently feminist, regardless of outcome. It's a fascinating take on gender roles, fear, and enforced ignorance. It examines the negative effects that such isolation and inculcation can have on those who literally do not know any better, or any different, and in the end, we're left so unsure it makes us do the work, ourselves, to consider what might be sound and true. I loved this novel so much I have listened to it twice and just bought the hardcover so that I can see it on the page--the readers are lovely and very talented, but I have a lot of questions about the book's actual structure, so I'd like to read it that way, too.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fury

  • By: Salman Rushdie
  • Narrated by: Salman Rushdie
  • Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 128
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 70

The world renowned author of The Satanic Verses and The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Salman Rushdie is a Whitbread Award winner and recipient of the Booker Prize. His first truly American novel, Fury is a metaphorically rich black comedy that reflects the pressure-cooker of modern life. Malik Solanka, irascible doll-maker and retired historian of ideas, suffers the pain of wanting without knowing exactly what it is he wants.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • surprisingly good

  • By David on 11-21-07

Not sure why more people haven't read this one

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

Reviewed: 09-30-18

So modern it's creepy. Goes off the rails toward the end but what a lonely, haunting story.

  • My Year of Rest and Relaxation

  • By: Ottessa Moshfegh
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,519
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,416
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,416

Our narrator should be happy, shouldn't she? She's young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate; she works an easy job at a hip art gallery and lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like the rest of her needs, by her inheritance. But there is a dark and vacuous hole in her heart, and it isn't just the loss of her parents, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her best friend, Reva. It's the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love it...

  • By Claudia Gallegos on 07-12-18

Ottessa Moshfegh is something else

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

Reviewed: 09-30-18

I am endlessly fascinated by the author. I keep reading her even though I am often disappointed in the overall span of her novels. This is no exception. I loved it except I hated it. I listened compulsively but kept wondering when something was going to "happen." I would say the first hour or so and the last hour or so redeem the middle, and spectacularly so, but there is some slogging to do, and some frustrations with the unlikeability of the protagonist (and not in a love-to-hate kind of way; just in a this-is-not-someone-I-would-ever-say-a-word-to-in-real-life kind of way). I'm confused. High rating but a bit of a drudge.

  • The Interestings

  • By: Meg Wolitzer
  • Narrated by: Jen Tullock
  • Length: 15 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,325
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,046
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,059

The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age 15 is not always enough to propel someone through life at age 30; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Top Listen for 2013 - A+++

  • By Beth Anne on 05-24-13

Tedious.

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

Reviewed: 12-18-13

Even in moments when I could technically relate to the characters in The Interestings, I found myself annoyed and resistant to do so. While I appreciate the idea of a novel that follows the humdrum life of children assumed to become wildly successful in the arts, it's way too self-conscious, and the tone persists in being teenage precocious even after the characters become adults.

It almost feels like YA fiction, with a few sex scenes (which were actually well-written, I have to give credit where credit is due). I am the demographic who ought to relate to this novel and I found it far too self-conscious. I imagine Wolitzer's cache of cultural and literary references to be like a word bank she lifts from with clockwork regularity: I, too, read and related to The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds during my high school years, but the mention of it here felt forced, a nonsequiter.

I liked the reader's pace, it felt natural and excitable. Too bad the novel itself didn't match Jen Tullock's enthusiasm

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Goldfinch

  • By: Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 32 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,571
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,101
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 25,124

The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Boy, am I in the minority on this one.

  • By Bonny on 11-04-13

top heavy.

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

Reviewed: 12-12-13

The first half of this book was incredible, but the second half struggled to measure up. The novel as a whole is wonderful and worth the time. The narration is great, too. I just sort of wish the characters had never grown into adults.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Son of the Circus

  • By: John Irving
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 26 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 706
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 415
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 422

Born a Parsi in Bombay, sent to university and medical school in Vienna, Dr. Farrokh Daruwalla is a 59-year-old orthopedic surgeon and a Canadian citizen who lives in Toronto. Once, 20 years ago, Dr. Daruwalla was the examining physician of two murder victims in Goa, India. Now, 20 years later, he will be reacquainted with the murderer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If you liked "Q+A"...

  • By connie on 01-15-09

Not Irving's best effort.

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

Reviewed: 04-27-13

I've read a lot of John Irving, but most of it was years ago. I'm not sure if my tastes have changed or if this was a particularly lackluster novel for him, but I actually quit listening with only a few hours left to go, because I was so disinterested in the characters and the story, itself.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Violent Bear It Away

  • By: Flannery O’ Connor
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 434
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 375
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374

The orphaned Francis Marion Tarwater and his cousin, Rayber, defy the prophecy of their dead uncle - that Tarwater will become a prophet and will baptize Rayber's young son, Bishop. A series of struggles ensue, as Tarwater fights an internal battle against his innate faith and the voices calling him to be a prophet, while Rayber tries to draw Tarwater into a more “reasonable” modern world. Both wrestle with the legacy of their dead relatives and lay claim to Bishop's soul.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Biblical, American and Absolutely Brutal

  • By Darwin8u on 10-22-12

Holy wow.

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

Reviewed: 04-27-13

I am typically bored by literature that is too overtly influenced by the Christian faith/the Bible. Somehow, Flannery O'Connor has escaped such classification for me, and I am riveted by her, absolutely stunned: every time I read her, it feels like the first time I have encountered the idea of God. I liked Wise Blood, but The Violent Bear it Away is in a league of its own. This novel is so dark, and so unflinchingly intelligent and so surprising, and I wished it were 20 hours long instead of six. In fact, I listened to several chapters several times, not because they were difficult to follow, but because I was so amazed by her craft and its unfolding. It will be a difficult novel to follow-up.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • The Marriage Plot

  • By: Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 15 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2,265
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,895
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,891

It’s the early 1980s—the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Esoteric, Vapid, Trite

  • By FanB14 on 03-13-13

Sadly Disappointed

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

Reviewed: 12-05-12

I absolutely adored both the Virgin Suicide and Middlesex, and was excited to see that Eugenides had published anew. However, The Marriage Plot is bad in so many ways that I'm shocked. It is simultaneously pretentious and vapid (name-dropping and surface-level discussions of literary theory and spiritual philosophies), and the story is terribly juvenile. It is a story of pedestrian heartbreak, like most failed college relationships, and the characters are so totally plausible that they are boring, generic. I do not care about these people, or their feelings for one another, or their fates. I am also extremely put off by the exclusivity of the hardly-fictionalized, entirely-privileged world of Brown University. This feels like a poorly-executed, love-lorn, man-child's autobiography of Young Love's Dull Persistence.

The narrator did the best he could with the material at hand, but no matter how great an actor/reader you are, it's nearly impossible to make some of this writing come off as natural, or talented. For instance, Eugenides actually uses "shot his load" and "curd of evidence," in all seriousness, in the same sentence, to describe a college boy's frustrated masturbatory experiences. A lot of this novel is just plain graceless.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful