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Vicki

Montpelier, VA, United States
  • 88
  • reviews
  • 287
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  • 634
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  • Folsom Untold: The Strange True Story of Johnny Cash's Greatest Album

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Danny Robins
  • Narrated by: Danny Robins
  • Length: 2 hrs and 21 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,807
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,465
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,460

This is the story of one of the greatest records ever made - Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison - and its shocking and tragic aftermath. Join award-winning journalist Danny Robins on the 50th anniversary of the album as he takes you on a road trip back to 1968, a pivotal year in US history, to investigate the dramatic and unlikely friendship between Johnny Cash, American icon, and Glen Sherley, armed robber and Folsom inmate, and how that friendship was violently torn apart. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story... Omg PLEASE just tell it

  • By Anonymous User on 02-05-19

Interesting little story poorly told

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

Reviewed: 02-16-19

Danny Robins fancies himself a detective and performer. He's really neither. He did a nice job of researching the story behind this album and them proceeded to present it chopped up and overly dramatized. The story as he told it could have been a 30 minute podcast. But there seemed like there were enough potential story lines that this could have been a book. But Danny Robins should NEVER narrate his own books.

  • The Last Palace

  • Europe's Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House
  • By: Norman Eisen
  • Narrated by: Jeff Goldblum
  • Length: 15 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71

When Norman Eisen moved into the US ambassador’s residence in Prague, returning to the land his mother had fled after the Holocaust, he was startled to discover swastikas hidden beneath the furniture in his new home. These symbols of Nazi Germany were remnants of the residence’s forgotten history, and evidence that we never live far from the past. From that discovery unspooled the twisting, captivating tale of four of the remarkable people who had called this palace home. Their story is Europe’s....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The arc of history in a great curve...

  • By Laurel Hostak on 01-02-19

Reasonably boring story narrated to make it worse

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

Reviewed: 01-04-19

I was looking forward to reading this book because I know very little about the history of Czechoslovakia. So the first point that needs to be made is that this is not the story of Europe's Turbulence. It is barely a history of Czechoslovakia. The premise is that this is the history of Europe told through the history of the inhabitants of this one palace. It is the story of the man who built the palace, the author's family, the Nazi and then Soviet occupation of the country and of some of the US diplomats who lived in the palace. I felt short-changed on all fronts.

The main bit of information that I took out of it is that an early diplomat fell in love with the palace and through his machinations we, the US taxpayers, are funding the maintenance and upkeep on an obscene 100 room palace to house our diplomats.

As to the narration, it's horrible. Jeff Goldblum reads this novel the way that an adult reads a children' book with exaggerated intonation. His voices for female characters are ridiculous and almost offensive. I hope he sticks to acting. I had to listen at 1.3 speed to get through it.

I did finish the book but didn't really learn much new except about the man who built the house and how he destroyed his family relationships in the process. That's not a particularly unique story among the super-wealthy.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • L'Appart

  • The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home
  • By: David Lebovitz
  • Narrated by: Graham Halstead
  • Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 92

When David Lebovitz began the project of updating his apartment in his adopted home city, he never imagined he would encounter so much inexplicable red tape while contending with perplexing work ethic and hours. Lebovitz maintains his distinctive sense of humor with the help of his partner, Romain, peppering this renovation story with recipes from his Paris kitchen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • super fun read!

  • By Kim Maercks on 04-13-18

A narrated recipe book

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

Reviewed: 07-29-18

I seriously don't get the love for this book, especially in audio format. First off, the book would have flowed much more smoothly if the recipes had been left out of the audio version. Listening to recipes is never interesting. Listening to renovation hell isn't all that much more interesting.I found it tedious, not entertaining. It's not funny to me that a store selling appliances is never open and that someone would spent weeks walking by just waiting for the hour that the store happens to be open. But then, I'm not a chef and don't have that kind of need (or interest) for particular appliances. This has become the book that I listen to when I have insomnia.

  • Heft

  • By: Liz Moore
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne, Keith Szarabajka
  • Length: 11 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,437
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,071
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,069

Forrmer academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career - if he can untangle himself from his family drama.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Intriguing--Captivating--Altering

  • By Mel on 04-19-12

It was like watching an episode of Hoarders

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

Reviewed: 04-21-18

First off, the description of the book isn't quite accurate. The letter isn't the thing that sets things in motion. There are a series of parallel events that make it possible for two people to meet and to change their own lives by making different choices.
It's well written but, like Hoarders, you really aren't sure things are going to be any better after the upheaval. It was too heavy and too slow for my tastes.

  • Caesar's Last Breath

  • Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us
  • By: Sam Kean
  • Narrated by: Ben Sullivan
  • Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,058
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 967
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 962

The fascinating science and history of the air we breathe. It's invisible. It's ever present. Without it, you would die in minutes. And it has an epic story to tell. In Caesar's Last Breath, New York Times best-selling author Sam Kean takes us on a journey through the periodic table, around the globe, and across time to tell the story of the air we breathe, which, it turns out, is also the story of earth and our existence on it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • vastly entertaining

  • By Amazon Customer on 08-11-17

Great start, unfortunate ending

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

Reviewed: 03-15-18

The book started off great with a focus on real science and real history. I enjoyed the tales and, more importantly, learned some new things. But I felt the book was a little disjointed and got off track a few times and the last chapter was simply ridiculous.

I also appreciate the balance that he needs to keep between straight science and history and the need to keep the reader engaged but it was a little too clever to the point of condescension at times.

But I don't regret listening to it.

  • Crime School

  • Kathleen Mallory, Book 6
  • By: Carol O'Connell
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44

Police detective Kathleen Mallory recognized the dead call girl. It was someone from her past, a woman who protected her on the streets of New York - and who betrayed her. Mallory also recognized the crime scene: victim hanging, hair in mouth, fire burning. It happened 21 years ago, when Mallory was a child. Now - whether it's the work of a copycat killer or a serial murderer - it has happened again. Kathleen Mallory's past has finally caught up with her.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Imagine Dr. Spock as a female NYPD Detective

  • By Vicki on 10-07-17

Imagine Dr. Spock as a female NYPD Detective

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

Reviewed: 10-07-17

Actually Dr. Spock has more personality and humor than Kathy Mallory. It's been a long time since I've listened to a book with a main character as soulless and humorless as Mallory. She skulks around like a cat and doesn't work "with" anyone. It's a completely unrealistic character.

Part of the problem is how flatly Kate Reading read her dialogue but most of the problem is simply with the storyline. The character is just a giant bag of cliches. The added story line around the novels is kind of ridiculous and you truly have to suspend believe to accept that she grew up alone at about the ages of 7 - 10 on the streets of NYC because she's just so darned brilliant. Ridiculous.

I listened to the end just to see how it ended but I didn't CARE how it ended.

  • A Man Called Ove

  • By: Fredrik Backman
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63,078
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57,712
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57,609

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him "the bitter neighbor from hell". But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Laughed and I Cried

  • By Bill on 08-22-15

The narrator was good

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

Reviewed: 09-14-17

I honestly don't understand the love for this book.
First off, Ove is supposed to be 59 but he's portrayed like he's 79. He's also portrayed as mean when really he's simply grieving. Yes, he is set in his ways, an introvert and a lot ADD but it's hard to believe that this character is so mean.
I didn't feel there was much depth to any of the characters and I hated the alternating chapters of past and present.

  • Witness

  • By: Whittaker Chambers
  • Narrated by: John MacDonald
  • Length: 30 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 406
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 345
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 349

First published in 1952, Witness came on the heals of America's trial of the century, in which Whittaker Chambers accused Alger Hiss, a full-standing member of the political establishment, of spying for the Soviet Union. In this penetrating philosophical memoir, Chambers recounts the famous case as well as his own experiences as a Communist agent in the United States, his later renunciation of communism, and his conversion to Christianity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great history about Communism

  • By Susan on 03-04-10

One of the most important books I've ever read

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

Reviewed: 08-28-17

My husband and I chose this book to listen to during the 30+ hours of vacation driving time and we are both glad that we did. It's one of the most profound and important books that I've ever read.

Whitaker Chambers was not mentioned once in my education and that alone shows how we are losing the battle of freedom. Every high school student should have to study Whitaker Chambers.

  • To Speak for the Dead

  • Jake Lassiter, Book 1
  • By: Paul Levine
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 388
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 338
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 339

Defending a surgeon in a malpractice case, Jake Lassiter begins to suspect that his client is innocent of negligence...but guilty of murder. Add a sexy widow, a deadly drug, and a grave robbery to the stew, and you have Miami's trial of the century.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Another one saved by the narrator

  • By John on 04-11-17

Saved by the narrator

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

Reviewed: 06-26-17

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

This book is for the person who believe in a reality where a mediocre lawyer can make a series of stupid decisions and still come out a winner in the end.

What was most disappointing about Paul Levine’s story?

Oh, where to begin....
First, there's Jake who think's it's a great idea to rob a grave with a retired coroner and then stash the bodies at his Grandmother's house.
Second, is a judge who reads the racing forms while presiding and alternating sustained/objectionable rulings
Third, Jake and another character meet up and sleep together twice and we are supposed to believe that there's some deep connection.
The book is disappointingly between Carl Hiaasen and Michael Connelly. This book reminded me a lot of Stuart Woods and I don't care for those either.

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

Luke Daniels is a wonderful narrator and the complete saving grace for this book.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Complete disappointment. The basic plot is really interesting and there were some good twists but the characters were cliche and poorly developed. He has Jake doing so many inconceivable things that it made the whole story ridiculous.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Girls of Atomic City

  • The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II
  • By: Denise Kiernan
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,933
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,759
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,759

At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, consuming more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, the town did not exist. Thousands of civilians - many of them young women from small towns across the South - were recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Kept very much in the dark, few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed each day in the hulking factories in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More than Just the Girls

  • By Jane Mcdowell on 01-14-14

A very misleading title

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

Reviewed: 06-21-17

What disappointed you about The Girls of Atomic City?

Very little of this book is about women who worked at Oak Ridge. Yes, there are women whose "stories" are carried through the book but really only anecdotal. These aren't the women of Hidden Figures who made major contributions to social change at NASA and to the space race. The women in this book are really composite characters representing thousands of women who worked during WWII.
The majority of the book is simply general history about the creation of the atomic bomb, the decision to drop it and the aftermath. Frankly, there are better books about that. This one is way to disjointed and the "girls" stories don't really add anything relevant to the telling. That's not meant as an insult to the women who worked there. It's meant as commentary of the poor writing job of the author.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Something better than this.

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

Cassandra Campbell is a fine narrator. Some of her accent work was comical and unnecessary but she did fine with weak material.

What character would you cut from The Girls of Atomic City?

The book needs to be completely re-written. It's either about the whole history of the development of the atomic bomb or it's about Oak Ridge specifically or it's about women who worked in the atomic industrial complex. It can't be all three in one book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful