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Laura

Moncton, NB, Canada
  • 22
  • reviews
  • 11
  • helpful votes
  • 34
  • ratings
  • Paris in the Present Tense

  • By: Mark Helprin
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 14 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 810
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 759
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 749

In the midst of what should be an effulgent time of life, with its days bright with music, family, and rowing on the Seine, Jules is confronted headlong and all at once by a series of challenges to his principles, livelihood, and home, forcing him to grapple with his complex past and find a way forward. He risks fraud to save his terminally ill infant grandson, matches wits with a renegade insurance investigator, is drawn into an act of savage violence, and falls deeply, excitingly in love with a young cellist who is a third his age.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Greatest living "novelist". Top 10 narrator.

  • By BellevueMike on 10-14-17

Incandescent and uplifting! Beautiful!

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

Reviewed: 06-18-18

When I first started this book, I found the French accents a bit jarring, but I persisted and in a short time, the narration was as beautiful and natural as the writing. The story is complex, with many threads weaving together, and many characters whose paths cross and uncross.

Getting to know the main character, Jules LaCour, reminded me of the Count in “A Gentleman in Moscow”. Both men are educated, erudite, philosophical, gentle, far-seeing and living in difficult circumstances not worthy of them.

The novel is like a slow burn, lighting up like a fire taking hold and bringing warmth, colour, leaping shadows and something of the sacred... Many times I became teary-eyed and felt that sense of loss when something brushes by and slips from your grasp. The novel is such a beautifully written story, with an over-arching tension, and love in all its forms - paternal, filial, romantic, humanitarian, hopeless, imaginary, patriotic, and eternal...

Kudos to Bronson Pinchot who brought the story even more alive and textured - if that’s possible. He added colour and drama to the characters, and his talent is supreme!

If you like a complex, philosophical, character-driven, intellectual and unusual story, you will love this novel. After you’ve read it and savoured it, I recommend A Gentleman in Moscow because both novels are masterpieces built around a character you would love to meet, respect and pay homage to!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

  • By: Phaedra Patrick
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,970
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,831
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,826

Sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper lives a simple life. He gets out of bed at precisely 7:30 a.m., just as he did when his wife, Miriam, was alive. He dresses in the same gray slacks and mustard sweater-vest; waters his fern, Frederica; and heads out to his garden. But on the one-year anniversary of Miriam's death, something changes. Sorting through Miriam's possessions, Arthur finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he's never seen before.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • sweet, predictable novel of widower's quest

  • By Mark on 01-05-18

Loved, loved, loved it!!!

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

Reviewed: 08-08-17


If you liked "A Man Called Ove", "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" and "Major Pettigrews Last Stand", this will be a pleasure. Others have said it didn't measure up, or was too saccharine, but I beg to differ. I though it was every bit as good as others in this genre.

The narrator did a great job with Arthur, the accents, and the voices of women. I always find that an audiobook, when well read, adds so much more colour to a good novel, and this is certainly the case with Arthur Pepper...

  • In Firm Pursuit

  • Vernetta Henderson Series No. 2
  • By: Pamela Samuels Young
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 164
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 142
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 143

Poised to make partner at a high-powered L.A. law firm, Vernetta Henderson takes on what appears to be an open-and-shut case of sexual harassment. As the case proceeds, Vernetta soon begins to suspect that her corporate client may be involved in a far-reaching cover-up. The deeper she digs, the more the case spirals out of her control. Determined to find the truth, Vernetta eventually unravels a conspiracy of greed and violence that places her career - and her very life - at risk.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Characters Grow On You....Like Real People

  • By R. Pontiflet on 01-30-17

Loved it! Interesting characters!

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

Reviewed: 07-27-17

This book was a surprise because not only was it a legal thriller, but it was peopled with black characters and gave an insight into the black culture of LA. The narration accents also added colour to the characters, in both senses of the word. I enjoyed the main character, but also her friend Special, who was very comical in a strong, opinionated black woman way. I just really enjoyed the journey through a culture I know nothing about, but admire from afar because it is so far removed from my little Canadian backwater! The legal thriller aspect of the book was also very authentic and well done, so overall, I think it's an exceptional novel.

  • The Heavens May Fall

  • By: Allen Eskens
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray, David Colacci, Amy McFadden
  • Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,098
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,737
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,721

Detective Max Rupert's and attorney Boady Sanden's friendship is being pushed to the breaking point. Max is convinced that Jennavieve Pruitt was killed by her husband, Ben. Boady is equally convinced that Ben, his client, is innocent. As the case unfolds, the two are forced to confront their own personal demons.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 2017 Audie Nominee

  • By Bob on 02-20-17

Loved the story, but it didn't need 3 narrators!

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

Reviewed: 05-31-17

This was a great "twisty" mystery. I loved it! As a legal/police procedural it really stands out. However, as an audible book, I think one good narrator (or maybe TWO) could have done a sufficient job. The 2 men's voices (Bray & Colacci) were a bit to similar in timbre, so one could have done the whole novel, really. The female narrator was not needed AT ALL! I kept wondering when they would use her, and it wasn't until the very end, and for a very short time!! I've heard talented male narrators who are capable of making you believe they are MANY different characters, including females, so I think the 3rd narrator just weakened the audiobook.

Other than that - it's really worth a credit!!

  • The Nix

  • A Novel
  • By: Nathan Hill
  • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
  • Length: 21 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,034
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,456
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,431

It's 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson - college professor, stalled writer - has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. He hasn't seen her in decades, not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she's reappeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news, beguiles the Internet, and inflames a politically divided country. The media paints Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high school sweetheart.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nathan Hill is an exceptional storyteller.

  • By Bonny on 09-13-16

Loved it - every minute of it!!

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

Reviewed: 03-31-17

This book is brilliant! I loved the satirical, mocking descriptions of our modern society. There are no perfect people in this book; only wounded individuals struggling through the damage that life throws their way, along with the weaknesses the new technology and social media have exacerbated in the human condition. I loved it! I would compare the style to Jonathan Tropper, or "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt. This book has everything! Satire, pathos, comedy, heartbreak... It really reflects and plumbs the depths of true life experience. Don't even try it if you're a fan of light, fluffy novels with pat, happy endings.

The narration was awesome too!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Flood Girls

  • A Novel
  • By: Richard Fifield
  • Narrated by: Kathleen Early
  • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,641
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,493
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,487

This snappy, sassy redemption story set in small-town Montana is "a wild and crazy debut novel by a talented young writer" (Jackie Collins), filled with an uproarious and unforgettable cast of characters you won't want to leave behind.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Trashy unfunny people

  • By Cathy on 08-11-16

I almost stopped listening, BUT....

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

Reviewed: 10-05-16

At first this book grated on my nerves, reminding me too much of certain things in the past - trailer parks, rough people, poverty, meanness... But then I started to realize that the characters have a cartoonish, endearing quality and a very rough humour. The deeper I got into the story, the more I enjoyed each unique character and the crazy situations they got into. So for the last 3/4 of the book, I THOROUGHLY enjoyed it! There was a lot of baseball, not my favourite thing, but overlaid with humour and comedy. The main character evolved, as did her mother and quite a few others, and I enjoyed the "coming together" of all the disparate elements. I can say that in the end, I really loved this book!

I do have to say that the ending shocked me, but the writer left us with hope for "karma", much like real life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 'Til the Well Runs Dry

  • By: Lauren Francis-Sharma
  • Narrated by: Ron Butler, Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,031
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 948
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 944

Lauren Francis-Sharma's 'Til the Well Runs Dry opens in a seaside village in the north of Trinidad where young Marcia Garcia, a gifted and smart-mouthed 16-year-old seamstress, lives alone, raising two small boys and guarding a family secret. When she meets Farouk Karam, an ambitious young policeman, the risks and rewards in Marcia's life amplify forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Most wells I knew as a boy…

  • By Louie Crew Clay on 09-08-15

Inhabit the real Trinidad for 13 hours!

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

Reviewed: 09-08-16

This book is like real life - imperfect, without too many real endings, a bit messy, but full of passion, anger, love and heartbreak. The story meanders, vivid and sensual, filling our thoughts with the heat, flavour, colour, and culture of real Trinidad. Life for these characters is difficult, unglamorous, and earthy. Sometimes I felt angry at the injustices and sometimes, angry at the characters for not doing more about their various situations. But as the book meandered on, I felt like it was taking on the true rhythms of the tropics, where you accept the heat, the crowded conditions, the village life, the family squabbles, and through it all, the love and passion for those you love, or love to hate...

I like a book that expands my mind and brings me to different experiences and cultures than my own. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

The narration was SUPERB, especially the female voice. I LOVE the accent, and it adds so much to the book. I'm sure I would not have enjoyed it as much in written form. As an Audio book, I LIVED it!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Nobody's Fool

  • By: Richard Russo
  • Narrated by: Ron McLarty
  • Length: 24 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,522
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,072
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,069

Divorced from his own wife and carrying on halfheartedly with another man's, saddled with a bum knee and friends who make enemies redundant, Sully now has one new problem to cope with: a long-estranged son who is in imminent danger of following in his father's footsteps. With its sly and uproarious humor and a heart that embraces humanity's follies as well as its triumphs, Nobody's Fool is storytelling at its most generous.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Book Fabulous Narrator

  • By Marsha on 04-27-05

A man's book....

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

Reviewed: 03-31-16

First of all, the narrator was AMAZING! He brought the book ALIVE with his ability to make you "see" all the characters in a scene. He made each character sound different and even did a great job on women's voices. Kudos to Ron McLarty!

Now for the book: For the first half,I kept feeling like quitting. It is so much a "man's" story that I couldn't relate. From a woman's point of view, the men's mismanagement of their lives, both practical and emotional, just grated on my nerves. Their idiotic abuse of their health (hard-drinking, smoking, not sleeping, taking painkillers etc), their stubbornness, their incomprehension of the women in their lives, their gambling, their cheating, etc., - it was all so foreign to me that I despaired of ever "getting into" the book. Furthermore, the town itself was depressing - the poverty, the unemployment, the falling-down buildings, the decay... It made me feel sad and hopeless.

However, I persisted, and, like other readers, I became fond of the characters and loved them in their flawed beauty. I went along for a reluctant ride, and like the residents of the town, kept wishing for an escape, some hope, maybe a salvation...

Finally, the journey neared its end, and I was hoping for a revelation to put everything into perspective, but that never happened. The ending is as low-key as it gets! The book seemingly could have stopped anywhere at all and had the same effect. Things never wrapped up! You get the feeling that all these crazy people will keep doing what they're doing - just like the rest of us! They are chained to their treadmill of life.

That said, I recognize the beauty and the genius of the writing. It is truly a work of great literature, and I will definitely be "reading" this author again. (Straight Man is my next choice from him.). This was a book of substance, a dissection of life, and the kind of book that always fascinates me - a delicious voyerism

I must also mention the humour in the book. There were several scenes that made me giggle. There was a kind of Larry David humour to the drunken interactions in the bar, or Sully's gentle handling of the "old ladies" in the story. I can see why this book was made into a movie - which I would like to watch, if I can find it!

If I had it to do over again, I still would, but there was effort involved in forcing myself to finish. Maybe that's what great literature is - requiring an effort to expand your knowledge of the breadth of human emotion.

  • Big Little Lies

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44,127
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,653
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,574

Pirriwee Public's annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder. In this thought-provoking novel, number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Oh, Calamity!

  • By L. O. Pardue on 10-07-14

Loved it!

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

Reviewed: 09-15-15

First off, Caroline Lee is an EXCELLENT narrator! I absolutely love her voice, inflections and reading talent.

The story was wonderful; a slow dissection of characters, their motives, their lives, and at the heart of the story - a murder investigation!

If you like fast-moving character driven novels, you're gonna love this one!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Trouble in High Heels

  • By: Christina Dodd
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,729
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,420
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,427

When Brandi Michaels discovers her fiancé hopping a flight to Vegas to marry his girlfriend, she pawns her engagement ring, buys herself a fabulous outfit, and spends one sultry night in the arms of a gorgeous Italian stranger named Roberto Bartolini. When Brandi becomes the mark for a killer, she has no choice but to turn to Roberto – a man who’s destined to be either her savior or her downfall. But one thing’s for sure: She’s not going down without a fight.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very entertaining

  • By Houston mom on 03-31-11

Started out okay, but....

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

Reviewed: 09-15-15

I realized that this book was lightweight, but did enjoy the beginning; a girl who experienced a bad break-up and decided to get a sort of revenge by getting beautified and finding a handsome stranger to have sex with.

However, when the book reached the "palpitating bosums" part, I just couldn't go on. I am so over the "romance" genre, and I need book with more character development and more weight than a gussied-up bodice ripper. =sigh=

I quit halfway through and found something more interesting. I'm not into this kind of fluff....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful