LISTENER

Christine

Seattle, WA, United States
  • 45
  • reviews
  • 170
  • helpful votes
  • 64
  • ratings
  • The Witch Elm

  • A Novel
  • By: Tana French
  • Narrated by: Paul Nugent
  • Length: 22 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,567
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,259
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4,244

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who's dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life - he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden - and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Yes, the Main Character Comes Off Poorly, But...

  • By Marina on 10-19-18

Reader outstanding, book a hot mess

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

Reviewed: 11-03-18

Paul Nugent is possibly the best narrator today. Excellent character voicing, tonal inflection make an otherwise somewhat pointless book come alive.

Tana French is a terrific author and I had looked forward to her latest. While her writing is hard to fault, the narrative seemed to lose impact as if she couldn’t quite decide where to take Tobys journey. She brought the story full circle at the close, but it was difficult to feel much sympathy for a guy who spent much of the time wallowing in self pity.

  • Prodigal Summer

  • By: Barbara Kingsolver
  • Narrated by: Barbara Kingsolver
  • Length: 15 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,283
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,715
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,714

Prodigal Summer weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives in southern Appalachia. At the heart of these intertwined narratives is a den of coyotes that have recently migrated into the region. Deanna Wolfe, a reclusive wildlife biologist, watches them from an isolated mountain cabin where she is caught off-guard by Eddie Bondo, a young hunter who comes to invade her most private spaces and her solitary life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing!

  • By Lily on 10-12-08

A Kingsolver Classic

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

Reviewed: 09-05-18

Barbara Kingsolver is rightly acclaimed as one of the best writers of our time. Her use of lyrical storytelling is masterful. The descriptive phrases are beautiful.

I had difficulty deciding if Ms. Kingsolver was the right person to narrate. At times her lack of stage training made the story rougher to hear. At other moments I felt that no one else could have interpreted story as well.

While the story wove together well and could do an admirable job of convincing even the most hardened climate change denier of the need for change, the actual story drifted away to an uninspired conclusion as if the writer lost interest and needed to finish the book in order to move on to other business. I felt like I’d been abandoned by my hostess to
more important guests at an otherwise pleasant party.

  • Shelter in Place

  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: January LaVoy
  • Length: 15 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,778
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,885
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,828

It was a typical evening at a mall outside Portland, Maine. Three teenage friends waited for the movie to start. A boy flirted with the girl selling sunglasses. Then the shooters arrived. The chaos and carnage lasted only eight minutes before the killers were taken down. But one person wasn't satisfied with the shockingly high death toll at the DownEast Mall. And as the survivors slowly heal, find shelter, and rebuild, they will discover that another conspirator is lying in wait - and this time, there might be nowhere safe to hide.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Nora I love is back!!

  • By Indydog on 05-31-18

Insipid, trivializes a tragedy

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

Reviewed: 08-12-18

Though the premise is promising; the experiences of young people who are witness to the horrors of a gun massacre, the ultimate storyline drifts off into a silly love story that promises hope and redemption where there is often little enough. Every good person gets a beautiful home, a cute dog and a view. If only...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Alice Network

  • A Novel
  • By: Kate Quinn
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 15 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,229
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,364
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,257

In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • We are standing on the shoulders of giants...

  • By Marie on 02-25-18

Fascinating story, superb narration

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

Reviewed: 08-11-18

The story of the Alice Network is artfully intertwined with the story of an otherwise unremarkable post World War II sorority girl. Each woman is tested to and perhaps beyond their limits. Each struggles with feelings of inadequacy and failure.

Excellent writing, well paced and truly outstanding narration all contribute to this book being at the top of best seller lists.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Educated

  • A Memoir
  • By: Tara Westover
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 35,436
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 32,143
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 31,994

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Other Side of Idaho's Mountains

  • By Darwin8u on 03-28-18

Compelling, confounding

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

Reviewed: 07-21-18

Ms. Westover’s account of her tumultuous upbringing has the resonance of a troubling truth; some families are so deeply disturbed, yet the children only know them as their own normal. Her voice and narrative are clear. Her story is shocking. Her recovery, perhaps not as complete as she seems to believe at the conclusion of the story.

Ms. Westover is brilliant of that there is little doubt. That shining intellect provided her a path to escape. Yet I came away with the sense of deep anger yet unresolved.

  • As the Crow Flies

  • By: Jeffrey Archer
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 20 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,718
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,585
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,571

When Charlie Trumper inherits the barrow his grandfather used to peddle fruit and vegetables in turn-of-the-century Whitechapel, England, he inherits his enterprising spirit as well. Charlie's deeply held ambition to raise himself out of the poverty of London's East End is destined to be realized, but there are many obstacles to overcome, including a tour of duty at the front in World War I, where he encounters the man who will become his lifelong enemy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Becoming a Fan of Jeffrey Archer

  • By DWR on 05-04-16

Very enjoyable saga

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

Reviewed: 06-30-18

Like most listeners, I found As the Crow Flies to be a terrific read. Excellent pacing, a compelling storyline and empathetic characters all kept me glued to my earbuds to learn the next events in the life of the Trumper family and their friends. The reader was outstanding. Excellent voicing and storytelling skills made a pretty good book a terrific summer listen.

My disappointment was that in an apparent effort to span 50 years, a lot of important emotional events were given little attention. The author glossed over these milestones with little comment. Further, the lackluster or very limited physical descriptions of people and place left holes In the story. I felt rather let down as if I’d heard half a story.

  • The Punishment She Deserves

  • A Lynley Novel
  • By: Elizabeth George
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 22 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,342
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,240
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,230

Inspector Thomas Lynley of Scotland Yard and his pugnacious and deeply loyal Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers find themselves up against one of the most sinister murder cases they have ever encountered. Fans of the longtime series will love the many characters from past books who join Lynley and Havers, but listeners new to the series will quickly see why Elizabeth George is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed writers of our time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Time heals old wounds

  • By wisconsinclark on 03-25-18

A great reminder

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

Reviewed: 04-03-18

Elizabeth George has written many excellent Linley novels and some dreary turkeys. “The Punishment “ serves as a reminder as to the power of gear storytelling, fully formed characters and complex mystery.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Fourth Monkey

  • By: J. D. Barker
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini, Graham Winton
  • Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,929
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,595
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,580

Se7en meets The Silence of the Lambs in this dark and twisting novel from the author Jeffery Deaver called "a talented writer with a delightfully devious mind". For over five years, the Four Monkey Killer has terrorized the residents of Chicago. When his body is found, the police quickly realize he was on his way to deliver one final message, one that proves he has taken another victim, who may still be alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Twisted Knives And Killer Humor

  • By Charles Atkinson on 08-15-17

Grim and grotesque

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

Reviewed: 01-11-18

I made myself listen all the way through. But it was difficult. The author does a good job of constructing the story with plenty of complex plot twists. However, it was difficult to like a single character (with the possible exception of the young victim). As well, grotesque imagery and explicit torture play a significant role in the story line.

If you like horror and brutality have a party. If you prefer a bit of subtly then look elsewhere.

  • Righteous

  • By: Joe Ide
  • Narrated by: Sullivan Jones
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,076
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,934
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,925

For 10 years something has gnawed at Isaiah Quintabe's gut and kept him up nights, boiling with anger and thoughts of revenge. Ten years ago, when Isaiah was just a boy, his brother was killed by an unknown assailant. The search for the killer sent Isaiah plunging into despair and nearly destroyed his life. Even with a flourishing career, a new dog, and near-iconic status as a PI in his hometown, East Long Beach, he has to begin the hunt again - or lose his mind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Joe Ide can write!

  • By 6catz on 10-20-17

The World Needed Isaiah

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

Reviewed: 12-27-17

Thank goodness Joe Ide invented Isaiah. We needed him. While much of the story line contains some traditional story devices such as a likable, but not quite normal sleuth who can use their unique abilities to fight crime along with an offbeat, more likable sidekick, J
Mr. Ide does us all a favor by creating someone who is black and from the hood.

At the same time, while the stark reality of grinding poverty in a major city is the backdrop, no excuse made for being a jerk, a thief or just plain lazy.

In addition to enjoying excellent writing, good pacing, strong editing and the actual inclusion of real literary skills, we get to experience a world view from the perspective of not being white.

Every other detective or police officer who is a charming mess is white. Isaiah is a straight up good guy, albeit a bit dysfunctional. The characters in the IQ series are nearly all non-white. It’s almost a relief to know that we can turn to a smartly written book that shows that people of color can be featured without pandering or as a incidental character.

  • Final Girls

  • A Novel
  • By: Riley Sager
  • Narrated by: Erin Bennett, Hillary Huber
  • Length: 12 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,484
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,230
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,223

Ten years ago college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre. In an instant she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to - a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Shocking twists and turns

  • By S. Winchester on 07-18-17

Talking back to the book

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

Reviewed: 12-14-17

I’ve listened to well over 200 books and read hundreds more. This is the first time I️ can recall talking back to the reader, “Wait! What? No, don’t!”

While there are certainly a few flaws in the story, the overall arch of the story, solid pacing and (for once) competent editing have successfully created a tense and compelling suspense mystery.

The primary character, Quincy, is at once likable and foolish. Her primary antagonist, Sam, is both unlikable and intriguing.

The other key characters, Jeff and Coop are sufficiently well drawn that they don’t have that ghost like outline where so many authors fail their story.

This is one book where I️ feel both fully satisfied with the experience and disappointed that the journey is behind me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful