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  • 11
  • reviews
  • 12
  • helpful votes
  • 120
  • ratings
  • Grasshopper

  • By: Barbara Vine
  • Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
  • Length: 21 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 27

Young Clodagh Brown loves to climb, especially the giant electrical pylons that form a neat row outside her parents’ home. When this obsession breeds tragedy, her shamed family sends her to London for college. As a respite from insufferable classes, she begins climbing atop the local houses with her unique band of friends. But it is a practice that lands the group in a kidnapping scandal - and leads to a terrifying climax on the rooftops. Grasshopper is a meticulously crafted novel - a sharp and textured thriller....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My New Favorite Mystery Novel

  • By Jessica on 04-18-18

Too tedious to finish.

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

Reviewed: 08-05-16

Jenny Sterlin is one of my favorite readers, but even her performance could not carry Grasshopper. The novel has too many unpleasant characters in tedious and repetitive situations, while the more sympathetic main character is just not compelling. I stopped with 6 hours to go. Pity, I really enjoyed The Chimney Sweeper's Boy by Barbara Vine.

  • The Lemon Table

  • By: Julian Barnes
  • Narrated by: Timothy West, Prunella Scales
  • Length: 6 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 46

In a collection that is wise, funny, clever and moving, Julian Barnes has created characters whose passions and longings are made all the stronger by the knowledge that, for them, time is almost at an end.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Real Downer

  • By Cariola on 07-03-12

Banal, petty characters mocked by author.

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

Reviewed: 08-07-14

Really, no fun at all. Too bad, because I dearly love Prunella Scales. She is one of the very best readers. Barnes just comes off as mean-spirited to come up with these miserable creatures and then make fools of them in narrative.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

The Burning Bridges Tour audiobook cover art
  • The Burning Bridges Tour

  • By: Maria Bamford
  • Narrated by: Maria Bamford
  • Length: 41 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36

Maria Bamford speaks in many voices. No, She is not an impressionist, unless you count the stellar impression of her mom. Maria feels her high-pitched voice does not command respect, as a result, she has taken on many voices to help her tell her wickedly funny jokes. Decidedly off-beat, Maria has a wide-eyed innocence that comes shining through on this, her debut recording.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wicked Funny!

  • By Joseph on 01-25-11

Funniest human being alive.

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

Reviewed: 08-07-14

What did you love best about The Burning Bridges Tour?

One of the very best things about 2013 was my discovery of Maria Bamford. I have listened to this recording more times than will sound sane. She is just so smart and freaky. I don't know what else to say. Except don't listen will eating alone. You might choke, and then there would be no one to deliver the heimlich maneuver, which would turn something funny into something tragic.

  • Call the Midwife

  • A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times
  • By: Jennifer Worth
  • Narrated by: Nicola Barber
  • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,144
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,507
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,493

At the age of 22, Jennifer Worth left her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London’s East End slums. The colorful characters she met while delivering babies all over London - from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lived to the woman with 24 children who couldn't speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city’s seedier side - illuminate a fascinating time in history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best book I've listened to this year

  • By Richard on 06-12-13

The James Herriot of East End midwifery.

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

Reviewed: 08-07-14

Where does Call the Midwife rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

An absolute revelation to me, all of it. The history of the East End and of midwifery in England. The stories about the workhouses were harrowing. And all of it told with great good humor and humility. The characterizations are delightful and the vignettes often profound. So much better than the television adaptation, which was tidied up and made much more conventional and far less affecting.

  • Oryx and Crake

  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Campbell Scott
  • Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,953
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,707
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,737

The narrator of Atwood's riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he is sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. He searches for supplies in a wasteland where insects proliferate and pigoons and wolvogs ravage the pleeblands, where ordinary people once lived, and the Compounds that sheltered the extraordinary. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very Scary Stuff

  • By Doug on 07-21-03

Dystopic future beautifully rendered.

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

Reviewed: 08-07-14

What did you love best about Oryx and Crake?

Margaret Atwood is one of our greatest living writers. I believed this even before I listened to the Oryx and Crake trilogy, but these works strengthened my conviction. The narrator of Oryx and Crake is profoundly alienated, which makes this the darkest of the three, but there is also a great deal of sly humor. And a whole lot of very fine writing. The future world Atwood creates draws on the currents and proclivities of your own times, taking them to logical extremes. The result is deeply unsettling.

  • The History of Love

  • By: Nicole Krauss
  • Narrated by: George Guidall, Barbara Caruso, Julia Gibson, and others
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,102
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,349
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,366

Nicole Krauss' first novel, Man Walks Into a Room, was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and her short fiction has been collected in Best American Short Stories. Now The History of Love proves Krauss is among our finest and freshest literary voices.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Like Garcia-Marquez on Anti-Pschyotics

  • By Jane on 10-14-08

Too precious by half.

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

Reviewed: 08-07-14

Would you try another book from Nicole Krauss and/or the narrators?

Everything was so self-consciously "sparkling" and "magical." Each sentence devised to wring from the reader an "aren't you clever." Krauss does the writer's equivalent of mugging for the camera.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Catherine, Called Birdy

  • By: Karen Cushman
  • Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
  • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 99
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 77

In 1290, her 14th year, Catherine begins a diary that quickly fills with the irrepressible joys and frustrations of her days. Always looking for ways to avoid drudging hours of embroidery, Birdy fills her time with pranks, celebrations of feast days, and local gossip. Wriggling out of her father's plans to find a prosperous husband for her proves to be Birdy's greatest challenge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Corpus bones! What a great heroine.

  • By Hilary on 08-30-12

Corpus bones! What a great heroine.

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

Reviewed: 08-30-12

Really great historical fiction for anybody, but if you are a feminist parent looking for good books for you children, I don't think you could do better than Karen Cushman's work. The medieval heroine of this one is esp. hilarious: "Now my father, the toad, conspires to sell me like a cheese to some lack-wit seeking a wife. . . Corpus bones! He comes to dine with us in two days' time. I plan to cross my eyes and drool in my meat." Narrator Jenny Sterlin really does Catherine justice: Plays her straight, which makes for great comedy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Well and the Mine

  • By: Gin Phillips
  • Narrated by: T. J. Kenneally, Margaret Nichols
  • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 12

In 1931 in Carbon Hill, a small Alabama coal-mining town, nine-year-old Tess Moore watches a woman shove the cover off the family well and toss in a baby without a word. For the Moore family, focused on helping anyone in need during the Great Depression, the apparent murder forces them to face the darker side of their community and question the motivations of family and friends.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Uplifting Depression Era Novel

  • By Jean Tribble on 03-27-10

A swing and a miss

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

Reviewed: 06-19-12

I would dearly love for someone to write a really good historical novel about Alabama coals towns of the early twentieth century. I've read interviews with folks who lived in these towns and worked in the mines, and their stories are often gripping--the efforts to organize that were met with brutality and injustice, the unbelievably difficult and dangerous work, the enormous love that the people of the towns felt for one another and their community. By comparison, The Well and the Mine is pretty tepid stuff. It also fails to leave this time and take the reader to another. The Moore family is a contemporary white middle-class family plopped into a historical setting. They have the values and attitudes applauded by our time. Albert Moore is a miner, yet manages to own land and buy his momma a house. So few miners were able to own homes or land, at least not in their young lives. Their wages were too poor and too inconsistent, especially in the Depression years. That the Moore family does a bit of farming on the side is nothing out of the ordinary. Most miners kept a garden and a milch cow. Ultimately, The Well and the Mine is didactic and a bit preachy. Reads like young adult fiction.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ava's Man

  • By: Rick Bragg
  • Narrated by: Rick Bragg
  • Length: 5 hrs and 26 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 399
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 221
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 220

Journalist Rick Bragg has built a soaring monument to the grandfather he never knew, and in the process created a powerfully intimate piece of American history as it was experienced by the working people of the deep South, a glorious record of a life of character, tenacity and indomitable joy, and an unforgettable tribute to a vanishing culture.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Deeply moving

  • By Kate on 08-12-03

Bragg reading his own work = great big treat

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

Reviewed: 06-18-12

Rick Bragg delves into his family history, mostly to find out about his maternal grandfather, Charlie Bundrum, who he never met and no one in the family would talk much about. Bragg interviewed family members and then interlaced their memories to make Ava's Man. You actually learn much more about the Bundrum side of Bragg's family than you did in All Over But the Shoutin', which is about the author's mother (although it is substantially about the author's career in journalism). Great familial and regional lore. Sentence-to-sentence, Bragg just gets better with each book. And it is so marvelous to have Bragg read. When books have a Southern setting, the readers are generally not Southerners and feel they must try on a "Southern accent," which always ends up sounding like Foghorn Leghorn. Very distasteful. Great writing and fantastic reading.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Wolf Hall

  • By: Hilary Mantel
  • Narrated by: Simon Slater
  • Length: 24 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,853
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,927
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,933

In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political powerEngland in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Divorced, beheaded, died...

  • By Tim on 09-30-11

Inept performance of a magnificent book

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

Reviewed: 06-10-12

Yes, Wolf Hall is historical fiction; it is also extremely witty. Sadly, the narrator, Simon Slater, is such a poor reader that he misses the humor entirely. He marches through the narrative with little understanding, and the characters sound very much the same. Cromwell he gives a kind of ill-natured growl, which is very much at odds with how is character is drawn and with the clever remarks he exchanges. And the rest of the characters Slater gives a priggish simper, including Cardinal Wolsey. I actually stopped listening and picked up the book instead. Would be great if someone capable decided to take on the book, Steve Hodson would be ideal. Derrick Jacobi also comes to mind, of course, but he almost always records abridged versions.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful