LISTENER

Summer Layne

Washington, DC
  • 78
  • reviews
  • 156
  • helpful votes
  • 90
  • ratings
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic

  • By: Sophie Kinsella
  • Narrated by: Emily Gray
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,973
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,053
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,054

Sophie Kinsella's debut is a romp through the perils of shopping and spending, spending, spending! Becky can't resist a sale, and she's only a little overdrawn on her VISA. Readers will laugh aloud at Becky's retail adventures as she finds new and creative ways to relieve her increasingly credit card debt. Emily Gray's narration bounces along with Becky and her buying whims, while delivering a humorous account of what happens when credit goes bad.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • shopaholic fun fun fun

  • By M. on 08-26-03

One Long, Tedious, Annoying Book

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

Reviewed: 12-14-18

The protagonist is unbearably immature and unlikable, and the entire plot revolves around her compulsive overspending, avoiding creditors, and delusional attempts to make money.

She’s not cute; it’s not amusing. The premise is simply ridiculous and annoying. How this book led to a series revolving around such a character defies credulity.

  • Dr. Katz: The Audiobook

  • By: Jonathan Katz, Laura Silverman, H. Jon Benjamin, and others
  • Length: 6 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 159
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 158

The doctor is back with a whole book of sessions from guests like Jon Hamm, Louie Anderson, Susie Essman, Gilbert Gottfried, David Mamet, Wanda Sykes, Marc Maron, Reggie Watts and a slew of others. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just beautiful!

  • By Oscar Slovak on 08-16-18

Tears of Laughter

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

Reviewed: 11-02-18

Clearly, if you're thinking of purchasing this book, you're familiar with Dr. Katz and most likely loved the show. Like me, you may not want to risk tarnishing the memory (Arrested Development, I'm looking at you).

I'm here to tell ya ... this audiobook actually takes it to the next level. My incredulous delight was a gift I wasn't expecting. A wide variety of comics, each with their own unique spin on life, was a spirit-lifting release.

Highly recommend - it's a no brainer. Be prepared to laugh out loud. Often.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • While You Were Sleeping

  • By: Kathryn Croft
  • Narrated by: Julie Maisey
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 946
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 883
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 886

Tara Logan adores her perfect little family: husband, Noah, and two children, teenager Rosie and 11-year-old Spencer. But her happiness is shattered when she wakes in her neighbour Lee Jacobs' bed, with no memory of how she got there or what happened between them. And worse - he has been stabbed to death. Convinced she didn't kill Lee, Tara flees home and stays silent, holding her breath as the investigation grips the neighbourhood.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Croft does it again! Outstanding British Mystery!

  • By Karen Ross on 12-06-17

Like Mystery Science Theater for Audible listeners

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

Reviewed: 09-18-18

For those who appreciate the premise of MST3000 - then this could be your Audible treat. For those who aren't familiar with the premise - a scientist and two robots are forced to watch actual Grade B movies, in real time, and spend the entire time cracking jokes, talking to the screen, and simply reveling the corniness. And much hilarity ensues ...

This is how I decided to enjoy While You Were Sleeping ... because, otherwise, it was a groaner of amateurish writing, stock characters, implausible conversations, and a narrator with a nasal, downmarket accent ("roite" for "right" ... "loine" for "line" etc etc).

At first, disappointed with my selection at the beginning of a 5-mile walk, I felt desperate. But then, as I was forced to listen for want of anything else, I found myself talking back to the characters, narrating the scenes myself, applauding implausible decisions with great enthusiasm ... and it turned into quite an enjoyable morning.

To be serious, however - my second paragraph stands as my review. There is better out there. But it's increasingly difficult to find...

  • Watching You

  • By: Lynda Renham
  • Narrated by: Rosie Akerman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 33

Ewan Galbreith is out of prison. Libby Owen is scared. Fifteen years earlier she saw Ewan murder her aunt and uncle with their own shotgun, and now he's coming for her. Watching You is an edge-of-the-seat thriller with intriguing characters, an enthralling story line, and a shocking ending.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping and Well Narrated

  • By Tatiana on 08-01-18

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 07-28-18

Both the author and narrator let me down on this one. The storyline is formulaic, and tedious. The narrator really overdoes the florid drama of every line - so disappointing, since until now I'd considered her perfect for the genre. Not so much, with this one.

Stayed with it, because I was out of credits. But definitely not up to the standards I've come to appreciate from both author and narrator. Most unfortunate.

  • Perfect Weddings

  • A Romantic Comedy
  • By: Lynda Renham
  • Narrated by: Karen Cass
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

Amy Perfect is the crème de la crème of wedding planners, so who best to plan Georgina's wedding? Except that the man Georgina plans to marry is the same man who jilted Amy three years ago. Will her plan to give Georgina an imperfect wedding backfire? Is this the chance for Amy to win back the love of her life, or will insufferable Ben put a spanner in the works?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Light and fun.

  • By Ellen Zelda on 04-02-18

Delightfully Amusing

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

Reviewed: 07-24-18

Clever writing, witty comments and effortless narration combine in a lighthearted read, perfect for the lazy days of summer.

Many of the situations are highly improbable - but are reminiscent of what was once called a madcap comedy ... think "I Love Lucy" with a more sophisticated point of view.

Karen Cass brings each character to life - all most amusingly - and seamlessly transitions from one to the other in the course of one conversation .... no mean feat!

  • The Girls in the Garden

  • A Novel
  • By: Lisa Jewell
  • Narrated by: Colleen Prendergast
  • Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 328
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 300
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 300

Imagine that you live on a picturesque communal garden square, an oasis in urban London where your children run free, in and out of other people's houses. You've known your neighbors for years and you trust them. Implicitly. You think your children are safe. But are they really? On a midsummer night, as a festive neighborhood party is taking place, preteen Pip discovers her 13-year-old sister Grace lying unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner of a lush rose garden. What really happened to her?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful

  • By Julie on 11-03-17

Syncopated Narration More Suited to a Documentary

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

Reviewed: 07-18-18

I found the narration to have the clipped, singsong cadence of a documentary, or news reader on television - stylized and emotionless. It's also higher-pitched and sounds like it belongs to a child or tweener.

Didn't finish the book because of this ... it's bland syncopation couldn't hold my attention.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Making of Us

  • A Novel
  • By: Lisa Jewell
  • Narrated by: Helen Duff
  • Length: 13 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 538
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 511
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 510

Lydia, Dean, and Robyn live very different lives, but each of them, independently, has always felt that something was missing. What they don't know is that a letter is about to arrive that will turn their lives upside down. It's a letter containing a secret - one that will bind them together and show them what love and family and friendship really mean. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best book I've read in a long time!

  • By JNS on 07-19-18

Tedious

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

Reviewed: 07-17-18

It simply goes on and on and on ... during the course of listening to this novel, I've zoned out, taken phone calls, gone to the kitchen for snacks, and returned to my still-playing iPad - having missed nothing.

I like Lisa Jewell, I enjoy Helen Duff. But this was a bridge too far.

  • The Heart Is a Shifting Sea

  • Love and Marriage in Mumbai
  • By: Elizabeth Flock
  • Narrated by: Sunil Malhotra, Nicol Zanzarella
  • Length: 12 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 32

In 21st-century India, tradition is colliding with Western culture, a clash that touches the lives of everyday Indians from the wealthiest to the poorest. While ethnicity, class, and religion are influencing the nation's development, so too are pop culture and technology - an uneasy fusion whose impact is most evident in the institution of marriage. The Heart Is a Shifting Sea introduces three couples whose relationships illuminate these sweeping cultural shifts in dramatic ways.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Highly recommended!

  • By Jonathan Davis on 02-06-18

Tedious Storylines

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

Reviewed: 07-13-18

Unfortunately, the author fails to develop - to bring to life - the six individuals presented here, and therefore makes it difficult to engage or to care how their relationships evolve. Since this is the entire point of this book, it fails to hit the mark.

The book is also stuffed to overflowing with "filler" ... at times irrelevant and interminable.

The only reason I continued listening to the end was because it was my book club's selection. This, and the descriptions of societal shifts in modern India.



  • Now That You Mention It

  • By: Kristan Higgins
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,867
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,722
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,715

It's been over a decade since Nora left her hometown of Scupper Island, Maine, and very seldom looked back. She's carved out a successful life in Boston, where no one knows her as the awkward girl with the delinquent sister and the dad who left, but a not-as-dramatic-as-it-sounds brush with death has her taking stock of her life. Inspired to reconnect with her prickly mother and snarky teenage niece, Nora returns home for the summer, where she's forced to face the people she's spent the last ten years trying to avoid.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 10 million stars!

  • By jodiod on 12-28-17

Overly dramatized narration is beyond annoying

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

Reviewed: 06-20-18

Xe Sands' overly cadenced and syncopated narration ruined this book for me - not that it was hard, since the story itself dragged on and on.

I believe what Ms. Sands is trying to reproduce is ... what? A cool, hip, modern woman? If so ... waaaaay overdone. Ridiculous. And her voice fry is part and parcel of this attempt. Beyond this - Ms. Sands should not have attempted a Maine accent. I cringed.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Secret Wife

  • By: Gill Paul
  • Narrated by: Laura Kirman, Thomas Judd
  • Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,630
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,479
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,472

The stories of two very different women, linked by the secrets and lies of history, merge together as past and present weave together in this stunning story of love, loss and resilience. 2016. Kitty, fleeing from a devastating revelation in her own life, finds herself at her great-grandfather's cabin in Lake Akanabee. There she discovers a gorgeous necklace, which leads her uncover to long-buried family secret. 1914. Tatiana, Grand Princess of Russia, falls in love with Dmitri, a Russian solider, as she nurses him back to health.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An unexpected jewel with refreshing perspectives

  • By Amazon Customer on 12-17-16

Yeeeeeeeeesh...

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

Reviewed: 06-06-18

I might ... MIGHT ... have been able to come to terms with the cliche-ridden writing and plot lines, but then the female narrator launched into a garbled, gawd-awful accent. Once I finally figured out that she was attempting a New York accent - and every sentence was a cringe-worthy variation on the theme - well, I said to myself, Fuggedabout it!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful