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D. Villalpando

USA
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 44
  • helpful votes
  • 23
  • ratings
  • Full Dark, No Stars

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Craig Wasson, Jessica Hecht
  • Length: 14 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,523
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,917
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,916

"I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger...." writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up "1922", the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife, Arlette, proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Eerie, honest, frightening!

  • By 9S on 01-15-11

Soooooo dark

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

Reviewed: 11-30-16

I just love it when I find a new collection of Stephen King stories I didn't know about. I'm not his "constant reader," but I do really tend to love his stuff, and when I'm bored I pick up one of his books and he rarely disappoints.

This collection of four stories is a journey in a very dark place, where we get to look inside some twisted minds, around them, and through them.

1922 is a very interesting story about a man who kills his wife for very practical and rational reasons, and the murder has unforeseen ramifications. It's one of those stories where you can sympathize with the protagonist, even though he's committed this terrible act. You can't help kinda hoping things will go his way.

Big Driver is a very difficult story about rape and revenge. Very painful to read, but deeply soul searching, and again, we look inside some of the darker regions of the human psyche.

Fair Extension is an absolutely wonderful story about what you probably wish you wouldn't do, but, in the end you might. It's short and simple and I actually love that the protagonist is refreshingly unapologetic.

A Good Marriage is an engaging story about a woman who thinks everything is just peachy in her suburban dream life, only to find out - oops! It's not. Mr. King does a very good job of baiting and switching on this one. I was rolling my eyes for the first 1/3 of the story, only to have him say WHAMMO, and go in a different direction entirely.

All in all, again, a nice collection of very dark stories - no stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

  • A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
  • By: Mark Manson
  • Narrated by: Roger Wayne
  • Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 104,295
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91,451
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90,951

For decades we've been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F*ck positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let's be honest, shit is f*cked, and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn't sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is - a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is his antidote to the coddling, let's-all-feel-good mind-set that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A book for 20-somethings, but not me

  • By Bonny on 09-22-16

Meh

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

Reviewed: 11-29-16

The book started out fairly well, with the basic premise that we all have to choose what we are going to care about and to not sweat the other stuff. But as it went on, it sounded to me more and more like a lecture by a privileged Augustine clone who went out, acted wild, sowed his oats, enjoyed life, partied hard, burned out on it and then decided "what really matters," which is, of course, a sweet, normal life of normalcy, monogamy, family, a regular job, a house, two cars, 2.5 children in the suburbs, etc. Again, I did like the basic premise and a good discussion of "entitlement" in a broad sense, but, in the end, the whole thing fell flat and left me thinking "whatever." It read a lot like a book a mother might give to their twenty-something who they would like to have settle down.

The performance was fine, and the reader was very convincing as the "voice" of the author.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Anatomy of Love

  • A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray
  • By: Helen Fisher
  • Narrated by: Helen Fisher
  • Length: 12 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 124
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 107
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98

This is a cutting-edge tour de force that traces human family life from its origins in Africa over 20 million years ago to the Internet dating sites and bedrooms of today. It's got it all: the copulatory gaze and other natural courting ploys; the who, when, where, and why of adultery; love addictions; Fisher's discovery of four broad chemically based personality styles and what each seeks in romance; the newest data on worldwide (biologically based) patterns of divorce....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A refreshing look at the origins of relationships

  • By D. Villalpando on 10-18-16

A refreshing look at the origins of relationships

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

Reviewed: 10-18-16

Would you consider the audio edition of Anatomy of Love to be better than the print version?

I very much appreciated the narration by the author, and I was actually surprised to find that the author was reading rather than a professional. Her tone, inflections, and cadence added confidence to the text. I felt I was being instructed by a wise teacher who had much to tell.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the way we delved all the way back to the origins of human beings (and before) to get hints into our human relationships. I also appreciated the (all too brief) following of these relationships as they "evolved" (bad word choice that) from early humans to now. I was also taken with her well studied and presented ideas which challenged my preconceived notions, and which I found very persuasive.

I loved her use of the classic Margaret Mead quote, "I have been married three times, and none of them was a failure."

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

I have not, but I intend to.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Please don't make a film of this book. Maybe a documentary series, but only maybe.

Any additional comments?

My only real problem with the book was the conclusion. Throughout the book Dr. Fisher went into great detail to explain to us how the natural state of relationships including pair bonding and serial monogamy coupled with infidelity evolved over time, and how our present inclinations (acknowledged or otherwise) are based in our evolutionary past. And then at the end, she goes on to propose "slow love" as a theory to explain where relationships are going now. Okay, fine, if the goal is to just point out where we are headed, but it stands at odds with everything we have learned in the book until now. We see our natural inclinations (both men and women) towards serial monogamy with infidelity replaced by a safe, slow path to lifelong monogamy with infidelity "totally inexcusable in all cases" as some sort of next step, but one clearly and completely at odds with nature and human evolution. One could easily make the point that from a religious or cultural standpoint our natural inclinations are to be thwarted by the word of God (or a civil authority) and replaced with a dictum from heaven, but the study set forth by Dr. Fisher in the book isn't based on religion, therefore I think a better conclusion would have been a further study of where/how things have gone awry from a natural standpoint, and what healthier alternatives might be.

I would love to read a study by Dr. Fisher on the history of marriage through recorded history, which might be every bit as intriguing and enlightening as her history of relationships throughout pre-history.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents

  • How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents
  • By: Lindsay C. Gibson PsyD
  • Narrated by: Marguerite Gavin
  • Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 769
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 666
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 654

In this breakthrough book, clinical psychologist Lindsay Gibson exposes the destructive nature of parents who are emotionally immature or unavailable. You will see how these parents create a sense of neglect and discover ways to heal from the pain and confusion caused by your childhood. By freeing yourself from your parents' emotional immaturity, you can recover your true nature, control how you react to them, and avoid disappointment. Finally, you'll learn how to create positive new relationships so you can build a better life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Emotional maturity is a topic worthy of study

  • By D. Villalpando on 10-11-16

Emotional maturity is a topic worthy of study

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

Reviewed: 10-11-16

If you could sum up Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents in three words, what would they be?

Helpful and informative

What did you like best about this story?

I like that the text was able to both discuss the effect of a lack of emotional maturity of parents on their grown children as well as discussing emotional maturity in general. I didn't feel that I was getting only a look at "this is what happened to these adults" but rather a continuum of the effects of emotional immaturity in all stages, including the ability to reflect on my own life and emotional maturity as a parent and how it may affect my children.

What does Marguerite Gavin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narration was well delivered and kept me interested. I'm a slow reader, and so I expect it would have taken me much longer to get through a print version, but Ms. Gavin kept the text moving along and always kept me interested.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Not based on the book

Any additional comments?

All in all, I was very pleased with the book as a study of emotional maturity at all levels. It was very helpful and gave me a good understanding of the subject, and made me want to learn more, not to mention find ways to mature emotionally. It also did help to a great degree regarding digging into the past and finding the roots of why we act the way we do.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Trapped in the Mirror

  • Adult Children of Narcissists in Their Struggle for Self
  • By: Elan Golomb
  • Narrated by: Angela Brazil
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 63
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 55
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 56

The difficulties experienced by adult children of narcissists can manifest themselves in many ways - for example, physical self-loathing that takes the form of overeating, anorexia, or bulimia; a self-destructive streak that causes poor job performance and rocky personal relationships; or a struggle with the self that is perpetuated in the adult's interaction with his or her own children. These dilemmas are both common and correctable, Elan Golomb tells us.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Convoluted

  • By Caligirl on 08-25-17

Am I trapped?

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

Reviewed: 10-11-16

What would have made Trapped in the Mirror better?

I have read many books related to emotional abuse and BPD lately, and I was actually quite excited to learn more about NPD. It may be that this book either wasn't relevant to my situation or, perhaps, it's too relevant and thus I was blinded. I found most of it to be a long whine and condemnation without regard to the cause of the NPD parent. Terms relating to narcissism are thrown out as denigrations left and right without any real exploration as to the cause - beyond essentially stating that "their parents were awful narcissists too!" The case studies were similarly boring and whiney, not to mention overlong. The author's explaining away of lesbianism at one point I found particularly off putting as if the book were written in the 19th century. All in all, I found the book unhelpful and not particularly informative, although I understand I'm in the minority

Would you ever listen to anything by Elan Golomb again?

I certainly would give her other works a chance. She is erudite to say the least.

How could the performance have been better?

Maybe it's just me, but the performance was one of the worst I've heard. It was completely unpalatable and absolutely added to the abrasiveness of the text, and, in the end, made me feel like I was being scolded for the entire presentation. The nervous mannerisms and cadence led me to believe that the narrator was far from a professional in the field. More practice and a conversational tone would certainly have improved the performance.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Trapped in the Mirror?

I would have trimmed all the case studies to the relevant points without all the derogatory accusations. I would have cut the section on lesbianism. I understand that perhaps in some cases it can be a reaction as described, but I thought she painted those portions with far too broad a brush - essentially saying "Lesbianism is usually a reaction to this bad thing or that bad thing."

Any additional comments?

I'm concerned that this book came highly recommended and I found it not helpful, informative or interesting. It makes me wonder if I would have gotten more from it by reading it in print.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Forward

  • A Memoir
  • By: Abby Wambach
  • Narrated by: Abby Wambach
  • Length: 5 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 628
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 560
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 554

Abby Wambach has always pushed the limits of what is possible. Named by Time magazine as one of the most influential people of 2015, the iconic soccer player captured the nation's heart when she led her team to its recent World Cup championship. Admired for her fearlessness and passion, Abby is a vocal advocate for women's rights and equal opportunity, pushing to translate the success of her team to the real world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Champion

  • By D. Villalpando on 10-04-16

Champion

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

Reviewed: 10-04-16

Would you consider the audio edition of Forward to be better than the print version?

Having Abby read her own story to me was amazing and far better, I expect, that simply reading her words. I felt like I was sitting down with her most of the time and participating in her memories and troubles.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Forward?

Hearing Abby's struggles with self and addiction was very touching and memorable. It showed how even the best of us have deep inner conflicts.

Which scene was your favorite?

I loved the introduction, when Abby sent us, full throttle, into her turbulent insides where she faced a loss of the one unifying element of her life - soccer - and how she would survive without it. I found myself asking (aloud), "Why can't you play in an amateur league so as to stay in the game. It wasn't until much later did I find out it's not the love of the game that keeps her going in and of itself. It spoke again to deep conflict.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I found myself talking back to the recording many times, as if I could communicate with the author through the audiobook. That's how intimate it felt to me.

Any additional comments?

I absolutely adored this book and the reading of it. Thank you Ms. Wambach. You've done a great service to all of us as well as to Women's soccer, which is probably the greatest sport the world has to offer. Thank you!!!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Don Quixote

  • Translated by Edith Grossman
  • By: Miguel de Cervantes, Edith Grossman (translator)
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 39 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,016
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,832
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,820

Sixteenth-century Spanish gentleman Don Quixote, fed by his own delusional fantasies, takes to the road in search of chivalrous adventures. But his quest leads to more trouble than triumph. At once humorous, romantic, and sad, Don Quixote is a literary landmark. This fresh edition, by award-winning translator Edith Grossman, brings the tale to life as never before.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best Ever Written AND Read?

  • By Teadrinker on 02-13-15

Absoultely, amazingly delightful

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

Reviewed: 07-13-16

What made the experience of listening to Don Quixote the most enjoyable?

It is mpossible to separate the three geniuses who made this such a fantastic listening experience. Of course they are Miguel de Cervantez - who wrote such an amazing piece over 400 years ago, Edith Grossman - who gave us such a glorious translation which reads like it was written both half a millennium ago and yesterday, and George Guidall who gives such an amazing performance that his every inflection becomes hilarious. The three together make this story wonderfully enjoyable from beginning to end.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Oh, puuulllleeeeze!!! Anyone who says their favorite character isn't Sancho Panza is lying or has been recently tossed in a blanket.

What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

George Guidall's understanding of the humor and his ability to deliver it is spot on glorious. I think that had I read the book in print, I would have walked away thinking, "That was really good," but not "That was quite possibly the most hilarious and entertaining thing I've ever read." An absolute tour-d-force. One of my favorite narrations EVER.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Well, when poor Sancho got tossed in his befouled blanket, and then proceeded to remind us about the incident 200 times thereafter. Also the running "Helmet of Mabrino" gag was hilarious every time it came up.

Any additional comments?

Okay, here's a point I really want to make. My family and I listened to this recorded book (I had listened to it once before) on a couple road trips, which spanned maybe 6,000 miles. I have an 11 year old and a 13 year old, and mostly all they want to do is play video games non-stop. One of the best parts of the experience for me, was when the narrative was winding down, AFTER 39 HOURS, and my 11 year old says, "I wish Don Quixote never had to die and could just keep going on adventures forever." Seriously, this kid enjoying anything that isn't on a screen moving 200 majillion pixels/hr bores him, and he was thoroughly entertained by a classic four centuries old. Bravo Recorded Books, and thanks Audible for picking this title up.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

Skeleton Crew audiobook cover art
  • Skeleton Crew

  • Selections
  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Stephen King, Frances Sternhagen, Matthew Broderick, and others
  • Length: 5 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74

Four complete and unabridged selections from the electrifying bestseller read by a stellar group of narrators. "The Raft" is the unforgettable tale of an idyllic autumn swim suddenly transformed into an ordeal of unbridled horror. "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut" is a story in which a middle-aged woman in a Mercedes roadster finds a terrifying pathway to paradise. "The Monkey"—is it merely a child's wind-up toy, or an incarnation of the purest evil? "Gramma" is the story of a little boy left in charge of his sick grandmother, who's dying to give him a hug.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Book does not inlcude all stories listed

  • By Laura on 01-06-16

Mrs. Todd's Shortcut is amazing

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

Reviewed: 06-10-16

What did you love best about Skeleton Crew?

Mrs. Todd's Shortcut is one of my all time favorite stories, let alone one of my favorite Stephen King stories. Absolutely glorious, and the performance here is wonderful.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Skeleton Crew?

The description while Homer and Mrs. Todd travel on Motorway B is forever seared in my mind.

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

All the performances were fantastic, as usual.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Nope! 4 different stories in the collection and all four of them can be taken separately just fine.

Any additional comments?

The transfer to the audible digitization could use a remastering. It sounds like they were ripped from skipping discs at several points - particularly in The Monkey and Grandma

  • The Disaster Artist

  • My Life inside 'The Room', the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made
  • By: Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell
  • Narrated by: Greg Sestero
  • Length: 11 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,188
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,687
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,661

Nineteen-year-old Greg Sestero met Tommy Wiseau at an acting school in San Francisco. Wiseau's scenes were rivetingly wrong, yet Sestero, hypnotized by such uninhibited acting, thought, "I have to do a scene with this guy." That impulse changed both of their lives. The Disaster Artist is Greg Sestero's laugh-out-loud funny account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and friendship to make "the Citizen Kane of bad movies" ( Entertainment Weekly), which is now an international phenomenon.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You Have to Listen to This Book!

  • By Henry Strickler on 08-28-14

You are taking me apart!

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

Reviewed: 08-07-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely, this audiobook was hilarious. I have to admit I had never heard of The Room prior to listening to this book, but I had to stop half way through, buy a copy, and watch it, just so I could even more completely enjoy the book. Absolutely amazing. Unfortunately now I'm cursed and will probably never be able to stop watching it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tommy - obvs. Greg does a good job of making someone who I would think is a total dufus had I just watched the film and read the credits into a real person who the listener actually relate to and admire - in some sick and twisted way.

Which character – as performed by Greg Sestero – was your favorite?

Tommy. Greg Sestero does a MASTERFUL job of bringing Tommy to life in this audio book. I have to admit that, while the writing and subject matter are very interesting, it's actually Greg's performance (primarily of Tommy) which makes this audiobook good. He actually does a great job with everyone else's "ok"'s no matter what crazy thing Tommy asks for, but his vocal portrayal of Tommy makes me want to listen to this book over and over. I doubt the book would been as deliriously enjoyable in print.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Nope. I had to break to watch the movie! Plus I didn't want it to end.

Any additional comments?

Absolutely one of the most enjoyable and entertaining audiobooks I've listened to in a long time. Greg Sestero's performance was amazing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful