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Erika Shaffer

Seattle, WA
  • 32
  • reviews
  • 75
  • helpful votes
  • 62
  • ratings
  • Circe

  • By: Madeline Miller
  • Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,364
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,850
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,802

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child - not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring, like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power - the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Refined writing with an intimate performance

  • By Michael - Audible Editor on 04-11-18

Disappointing!

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

Reviewed: 05-15-18

I loved the song of Achilles but after several hours of listening to Circe I just couldn't keep going. I didn't get that personal sense I had with her first book. I'm sure if I kept going I could get through but since it wasn't assigned to me at school :) I cut my losses.

  • Northanger Abbey

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Jane Austen, Anna Lea - adaptation
  • Narrated by: Emma Thompson, Douglas Booth, Eleanor Tomlinson, and others
  • Length: 6 hrs and 6 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,890
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,735
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,730

A coming-of-age tale for the young and naïve 17-year-old Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey takes a decidedly comical look at themes of class, family, love and literature. Revelling in the sensationalist - and extremely popular - Gothic fiction of her day, the story follows Catherine out of Bath to the lofty manor of the Tilneys, where her overactive imagination gets to work constructing an absurd and melodramatic explanation for the death of Mrs Tilney, which threatens to jeopardise her newly forged friendships.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amusing audio experience

  • By if it's not baroque on 01-01-18

Only Emma Thompson can make this heroine interesti

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

Reviewed: 09-12-17

Would you try another book from Jane Austen and Anna Lea - adaptation and/or the narrators?

I would totally listen to another novel but wow - this heroine is so . . not smart. I loved Emma Thompson's reading - which emphasized how silly she was and really made me understand the era in which this was written but compared to Pride and Prejudice, this tale is so light as to be worthless

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

The narrators made the story - you got from their intonation what was happening which if it was read would not likely have happened so easily.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

definitely not - but that's Austen's fault and my modern day view - not the adaptor or the narrators!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Eligible

  • A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice
  • By: Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,392
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,158
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,165

This version of the Bennet family - and Mr. Darcy - is one that you have and haven't met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late 30s who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help - and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling, and the family is in disarray.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Where are my beloved characters? Not in here

  • By Canadian eReader on 04-22-16

You know the story - so why is this so fun??

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

Reviewed: 05-09-17

What made the experience of listening to Eligible the most enjoyable?

I downloaded this book on the recommendation of a friend - having previously dismissed it since it sounded cliche - it may be but it is so fun! I loved listening to this and despite basically knowing how it ends, listened at almost every possible moment until it was done. I love the narrator and had just listened to her by chance in Lilac Girls. She does a great job with voices.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Behind Her Eyes

  • A Novel
  • By: Sarah Pinborough
  • Narrated by: Anna Bentinck, Josie Dunn, Bea Holland, and others
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,861
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,878
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11,883

Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar, and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she's thrilled she finally connected with someone. When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar...who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can't keep his eyes off Louise.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • BEST AUDIBLE BOOK EVER .....GRIPPING and UNEXPECTED

  • By Trisha on 03-06-18

very tiring to listen to

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

Reviewed: 03-29-17

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

I think if you like psychological suspense you might like this

Has Behind Her Eyes turned you off from other books in this genre?

No - but this had some super slow parts at the start where I just wanted to read the cliffs notes and get it over with. Then it sped up and then it got dumb. Super annoying.

Did the narrators do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes I thought the narrators were great and I love it when there is more than one narrator.

Any additional comments?

definitely regret buying this book - was not worth the time.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Gentleman in Moscow

  • A Novel
  • By: Amor Towles
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Guy Smith
  • Length: 17 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,058
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 19,523
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,453

A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in an elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant, heartfelt, inspiring

  • By Jon K. Rust on 07-24-17

A Slow quiet book

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

Reviewed: 01-10-17

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

This was a slow quiet book that was interesting in that I have not read historical fiction about Russia but the russian elements were very limited. I felt this was an englishman living in Russia rather than really about Russia. It was also pretty darn slow. and a bit predictable even at the end which is supposed to kind of be a suprise. I'm frankly not sure why this book is so popular.

Would you ever listen to anything by Amor Towles again?

probably not

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

  • A Novel
  • By: Bryn Greenwood
  • Narrated by: Jorjeana Marie
  • Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,117
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,723
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,710

As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It's safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight. Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, she finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house until one night her stargazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father's thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • So many 'hard to listen to' moments

  • By jksullycats on 12-27-16

Hard to listen to at first &then I couldn't stop

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

Reviewed: 11-24-16

What did you love best about All the Ugly and Wonderful Things?

This book was somewhat similar to A Little Life - there is a true love component that is unsullied by REALITY - but the reader can't accept the love story at first which makes it more interesting. An interesting story that I ended up not being able to stop listening to as it got into the final hours.

What was one of the most memorable moments of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things?

Oh there are many! but i think lying in the meadow looking at the stars.

What about Jorjeana Marie’s performance did you like?

She did a great job portraying a big guy and a shy girl - from age 8 to 22. I always knew who was speaking. I really liked how the author had several different voices tell the story.

Any additional comments?

A very satisfying read/listen!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Nest

  • By: Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
  • Narrated by: Mia Barron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,194
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4,603
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4,594

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a 19-year-old waitress as his passenger.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Couldn't get through it.

  • By E. Bullock on 05-19-16

A fun listen!

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

Reviewed: 08-13-16

What did you love best about The Nest?

I really liked getting into all the characters and the side stories.

Any additional comments?

this book kept getting recommended to me automatically on audible and amazon and I resisted until a friend said she had read it and enjoyed it. Not deep but a fun read and an overall great message - be happy with what you have.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Life We Bury

  • By: Allen Eskens
  • Narrated by: Zach Villa
  • Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,307
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36,852
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36,770

College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same. Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran-and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good listen!

  • By Lori on 12-14-15

Painfully predictable

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

Reviewed: 08-03-16

There were so many good reviews that I tried this unknown to me writer. While the narration was fine the writing and the story was so predictable I found myself moaning a bit at the turn of phrase or foreseeable shift in the storyline. Story was fun but the rest distracted so much that it really brought t down for me.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Taliban Shuffle

  • Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • By: Kim Barker
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 408
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 355
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 355

Kim Barker is not your typical, impassive foreign correspondent—she is candid, self-deprecating, laugh-out-loud funny. At first an awkward newbie in Afghanistan, she grows into a wisecracking, seasoned reporter with grave concerns about our ability to win hearts and minds in the region. In The Taliban Shuffle, Barker offers an insider’s account of the “forgotten war” in Afghanistan and Pakistan, chronicling the years after America’s initial routing of the Taliban, when we failed to finish the job.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Warring Your Way to Peace Does Not Work

  • By Sue on 09-01-12

Such an interesting story!

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

Reviewed: 07-17-16

This is a great combo of education and entertainment. I really enjoyed this book. Was funny listening to Kristen potter whose voice I associate with station 11 tell the story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Barbarian Days

  • A Surfing Life
  • By: William Finnegan
  • Narrated by: William Finnegan
  • Length: 18 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,656
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,438
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,428

Pulitzer Prize, Biography, 2016. Barbarian Days is William Finnegan's memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Amazing Performance by the Author

  • By Laura - Audible on 02-01-16

An interesting personal story in waves

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

Reviewed: 06-09-16

What did you like best about Barbarian Days? What did you like least?

I really liked how specific William Finnegan was in his memories of riding waves and how he described the water. And how baldly he recounted how awful he was as a boyfriend frankly. I found myself very happy that his first girlfriend did not stay with him and wondered what happened to her. I hoped she had found someone who actually knew how to care for her vs being so self centered. I am not a surfer but I am a lover of being in the water and swimming and it was so interesting to hear about how this sport remained a consistent presence in his life. What i didn't like was his snobbery - anyone other than him and his close friends finding a wave was bad. Reminded me of people who hide meaningful wilderness trails because somehow they are better if they are exclusive. And his constant need to be perceived as cool seemed so below the person he became. It was so elitist and annoying. And made me a little sad for him that he felt like he had to be cool all the time.

Would you be willing to try another book from William Finnegan? Why or why not?

This book made me interested in reading his war and other reporting for the New Yorker. And I was curious about the other parts of his life that weren't surfing.

Any additional comments?

I am not entirely sure why this received the pulitzer prize. While he is indeed a person who has had many incredible life experiences and has sacrificed much to tell very hard to report stories AND is very courageous, it is in its essence a story about surfing and doesn't show much personal growth since he ends the book without really overcoming what feels to be his real failing, which is judgement of other people and desire to keep things they way they were vs face what is the reality. Possibly it got the pulitzer because his body of work is so incredible. This is why I want to read more.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful