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DonoBookNerd

Milwaukee, WI
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  • 16
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  • Home Fire

  • A Novel
  • By: Kamila Shamsie
  • Narrated by: Tania Rodrigues
  • Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 550
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 508
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 505

Isma is free. After years of watching out for her younger siblings in the wake of their mother's death, she's accepted an invitation from a mentor in America that allows her to resume a dream long deferred. But she can't stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London, or their brother, Parvaiz, who's disappeared in pursuit of his own dream, to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. When he resurfaces half a globe away, Isma's worst fears are confirmed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • one of most important books of this time

  • By N. D. Warren on 11-24-17

Powerful

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

Reviewed: 03-09-18

This book was quietly powerful...so much so that I didn’t realize how invested I was in it until I was halfway through it. The beginning is a bit slow, but important in retrospect, and I’m glad I didn’t give up on the book when I first started. Be patient with the first few chapters, the setup of the plot, and you will be rewarded with a much quicker pace, a building frenzy of urgency and importance, and beautifully written prose.

The narrator was perfection. I was lost in the story, and part of my ability to immerse myself in the characters’ lives is because the narrator does such a great job at reading the story without getting in the way of it. Her accents were impeccable. Her inflection was exactly right. I’d listen to her read a million more books.

This story will stay with me for a long time. It’s haunting in its portrayal of all the different sides of family, of terrorism, of religion, of racism. I only wish it had been longer, as I was so enjoying the writing style of Shamsie.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Kindred

  • By: Octavia E. Butler
  • Narrated by: Kim Staunton
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,369
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,708
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,693

Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes she's been given a challenge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Octavia is awesome!!

  • By Kirsten on 01-30-08

Great story that suffered from poor narration

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

Reviewed: 03-07-18

This book deserved a better reader. The story and writing were both good enough that I was able to enjoy the book regardless, but there were times that the narration was so bad that it almost made me stop listening.

Aside from the mouth noises you can hear throughout the whole book (avoid this if you have misophonia of any kind and cannot stomach the sound of saliva or swallowing), the inflection of this narrator was not suited for the subject matter of the book. No one should be that cheerful when narrating a book about slavery.

I would 100% recommend this book, as the plot is fast-paced and interesting, and the dark subject matter is important for us as Americans to remember, even if it’s uncomfortable, but I would recommend reading the actual book and not listening to this narrator, as she almost ruined the book for me.

  • The Dry

  • A Novel
  • By: Jane Harper
  • Narrated by: Stephen Shanahan
  • Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,803
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,360
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,356

After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now, more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nothing dry here!

  • By green ice cream garden on 01-18-17

You know it’s good when you’re devastated it’s over

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

Reviewed: 02-11-18

I don’t know why it took me so long to read this book. Do not make the same mistake I did: read this immediately; you won’t regret it.

I’ve never actually been to Australia, but after being immersed in Jane Harper’s masterful descriptive prose for the last few days, I feel like I just spent a week there, in parched, decrepit Kiewarra. Her writing echoed the urgency and desperation of the plot, and I felt immediately swept into the mystery she so deftly created. Her small town Australian setting becomes as much a character as the people in this book, all of which are written with great depth and detail.

The narrator is phenomenal. He took an extraordinary book and brought it to life in such a perfect way. It was more than just his Australian accent, though. His narration is exactly what I look for in an audiobook: smooth, natural, not forced or overly earnest. It wasn’t “he said,” then “she said;” it was just two Aussies having a chat at the bar. His reading was like a movie for my ears, if that makes sense.

  • 11-22-63

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Craig Wasson
  • Length: 30 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50,829
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46,230
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46,138

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • I want the 20hours of my life back...

  • By Dan on 06-08-12

Popped my Stephen King cherry!

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

Reviewed: 02-09-18

I regret that I spent so long resisting the charm that is Stephen King’s prose. Dammit, past me.

This novel was outstanding, in so many ways. I feel like King deserves some kind of trophy after producing something of this magnitude. It was long, yes, but worth every minute. I never felt like he was meandering, or like the story was becoming tedious to sludge through, though I do feel a bit triumphant having finished the whole thing. Look, ma, I read the whole thing!

The narrator was a gift to this novel. He gave the voices life in a completely realistic and captivating way. He wasn’t just reading the story, he was part of the story, but in a completely transparent and unobtrusive way. I enjoyed listening to him talk to me for the whole duration of this book, and found myself disappointed when I began another book and it wasn’t him telling it.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Last Girl

  • By: Danny Lopez
  • Narrated by: Don Amodio
  • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

When it comes to murder, nothing is as it seems. After being laid off from his job as a newspaper reporter in a coastal Florida town, Dexter Vega meets a wealthy retiree who hires him to find his daughter who is supposed to be attending the local college. When Vega visits his client to inform him that his daughter is in Mexico, he discovers the man has been murdered. And Vega's prints are all over the murder weapon. As the police build a case against him, Vega flies to Mexico City.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Could use another round of writer workshop

  • By blueskies982 on 03-14-18

Fun little mystery

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

Reviewed: 02-09-18

This was a very quick listen, perfect for a little palate cleanser between longer novels. It fits the description of your standard crime novel, with the usual twists and turns of a mystery novel, but don’t go in expecting any literary epiphanies or profound prose. There’s a definite lack of depth to the characters and the plot, which actually suited me just fine for this particular story. I didn’t feel a keen connection to any of the characters, but I still wanted to know how it ended, so I suppose that says something about the author’s ability to develop a good plot line.

I’ll be keeping my eye out for more from this author. It seems (though I haven’t researched him to know for sure) that he may just be starting out, and his writing style is still developing. If that’s the case, I’m excited for future work from him. Some heavier editing, perhaps, and a little more development, and he’ll be churning out best sellers in no time.

The narration left a little to be desired. In my opinion, a narrator should be able to draw you into the book while simultaneously being able to stay out of it. I think a good narrator will stay out of the way of the story; you should be able to listen to the words, not how the words are being said.

There was nothing overtly offensive about how this book was read, but it felt like a high school forensics performance: a lot of over-eager emoting, and some awkward pauses and weird breath hitches (probably for dramatic effect) where pauses seemed unnecessary. I kept wishing he would just relax and tell me the story, especially since the book is written in first-person perspective, but the whole thing felt like he was auditioning for the part of narrator. He TOLD! ME! THE STORY!!!! instead of just talking to me calmly.

  • 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 5,574
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,172
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,155

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

So much saliva

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

Reviewed: 02-08-18

This is totally a personal pet peeve, but one of the narrators of this book (David Colacci, I think) has a mouthful of saliva through the whole book. It was so distracting, I spent every section he read just praying for the other narrator to start, or for him to clear his mouth. It was awful, and almost ruined the book for me.

Otherwise, the story is a fast and fun read. The pace was quick enough to keep me interested. Allen Eskins writes well, and manages to keep the story moving forward where it would be very easy to get bogged down in details and drudgery.

But ugh, that narrator. I could almost feel him spitting on me every time he pronounced a hard S sound. Ick.

  • The Shack

  • By: Wm. Paul Young
  • Narrated by: Roger Mueller
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,072
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,175
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,208

Mackenzie Allen Phillips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in this midst of his great sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack one wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change his life forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Soul Changing

  • By LucySue on 12-30-16

Wrong Category

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

Reviewed: 02-28-17

Do not listen to this book, unless you are looking for one long, drawn-out Bible story. I bought it because it was categorized under the Suspense genre, and the summary mentioned murder and mystery. This book is none of these things. It's a book for Christians, and the overt religious themes are off-putting to someone who has no interest in listening to nine hours of preaching and Bible stories. I didn't even finish it because I was so tired of listening to how great God was. So, I guess some big twist may have happened at the end, but the story was so devoid of suspense and interest that I didn't even care enough to find out. I'm disappointed that I wasted four hours listening to what turned out to be a boring Sunday School lesson.

15 of 23 people found this review helpful