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Rachel - Audible

New York, NY
  • 48
  • reviews
  • 86
  • helpful votes
  • 60
  • ratings
  • Heavy

  • By: Kiese Laymon
  • Narrated by: Kiese Laymon
  • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 119
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 113
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 113

Kiese Laymon is a fearless writer. In his essays, personal stories combine with piercing intellect to reflect both on the state of American society and on his experiences with abuse, which conjure conflicted feelings of shame, joy, confusion, and humiliation. Laymon invites us to consider the consequences of growing up in a nation wholly obsessed with progress yet wholly disinterested in the messy work of reckoning with where we’ve been. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This will be a classic!

  • By Michele Carroll on 10-23-18

My love for this one runs deep.

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

Reviewed: 11-01-18

If you like memoirs where the author rips their heart out of their chest and leaves it beating on the floor, great, because we have so much to talk about. Kiese Laymon's new memoir has left me totally speechless, but I'm going to try really hard to make words now so I can tell you how deeply I loved it.

Heavy is about a lot of things, including what happens to the body after trauma. From the time he was just a kid in Mississippi, Kiese Laymon has known exactly how much he weighs at any given moment, yo-yoing between 160 and 320 pounds. When he was depressed in college, he would eat slices of old pizza from the dorm trash at night. Later, as a graduate instructor, he would run 11 miles every day, eat only 800 calories, and pass out in public. Now, looking back, he unpacks all those years of collected trauma with an uncanny knack for saying the things that everyone thinks but no one else has the guts to say. CONSTANT. SHIVERS.

I can't wait for 10 years from now when we'll all look back and remember when we became obsessed with Kiese Laymon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Changeling

  • A Novel
  • By: Victor LaValle
  • Narrated by: Victor LaValle
  • Length: 14 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 976
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 904
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 900

When Apollo Kagwa's father disappeared, all he left his son were strange recurring dreams and a box of books stamped with the word improbabilia. Now Apollo is a father himself - and as he and his wife, Emma, are settling into their new lives as parents, exhaustion and anxiety start to take their toll. Apollo's old dreams return and Emma begins acting odd.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fractured Fairytale

  • By Diane on 08-07-17

The Weirdest, Most Wonderful Damn Book

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

Reviewed: 12-01-17

The Changeling is by far the book I want to shower all my love on in 2017. I want to hug strangers in the street and whisper in their ears how amazing this audiobook is, that it’s one of the weirdest, most wonderful damn books I’ve listened to in a long time. At the heart of this modern-day fairy tale is Apolla Kagwa, a scrappy book dealer and devoted dad who wears a Baby Bjorn all over New York City and takes his infant to the playground at 4:30 every morning. After a horrific chain of events, Apollo loses his wife and son, and—wrecked with grief—sets out across the 5 boroughs on an epic quest to rescue and redeem them. The path is strewn with witches, monsters, and trolls (both the fairy tale kind and the internet kind), and Kagwa’s New York is both recognizable and completely fantastical. Victor LaValle is one of those unicorn novelists who happens to be a fabulous narrator of his own work, and as he reads you this story, his voice is like magic and butter. Above all, The Changeling is one black man’s ode to fatherhood and the lengths to which he will go to protect his family.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • City of Thieves

  • By: David Benioff
  • Narrated by: Ron Perlman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,197
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,241
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,233

A writer visits his retired grandparents in Florida to document their experience during the infamous siege of Leningrad. His grandmother won't talk about it, but his grandfather reluctantly consents. The result is the captivating odyssey of two young men trying to survive against desperate odds. Lev Beniov considers himself "built for deprivation." He's small, smart, and insecure, a Jewish virgin too young for the army, who spends his nights working as a volunteer firefighter with friends from his building.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stunning Tale. Great Narration.

  • By Paul on 10-24-09

The Perfect Book Narrated by the Perfect Narrator

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

Reviewed: 10-17-17

If you like Russian humor, eggs, war stories, Hellboy and Game of Thrones, and have never listened to an audiobook before, you should probably lose your audio virginity to The City of Thieves by David Benioff, read by Ron Flipping Perlman.

It’s World War II, and the Nazis have sieged Leningrad. Two young Russian prisoners form an unlikely friendship when a powerful colonel offers them freedom if they can procure a dozen eggs for his daughter’s wedding cake.

It's a perfect book narrated by the perfect reader. Benioff, who is the co-creator of Game of Thrones on HBO, perfects the ratio of pathos, drama, comedy, dialogue and gore. The City of Thieves is a buddy comedy, love story, World War II epic and Russian literary history all rolled up into one. It's meta. It's action-packed. It's poetry. It works on every level. Best yet, it's meant to be performed and Ron Perlman, the man behind Hellboy, is the perfect guy for the job.

You can tell when I really super loved a book, because that's when I get all tongue tied and speechless. So I'm going to shut up about this now. 5,000 stars. The end.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Paddle Your Own Canoe

  • One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living
  • By: Nick Offerman
  • Narrated by: Nick Offerman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,609
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,910
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,856

Growing a perfect moustache, grilling red meat, wooing a woman - who better to deliver this tutelage than the always charming, always manly Nick Offerman, best known as Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson? Combining his trademark comic voice and very real expertise in woodworking - he runs his own woodshop - Paddle Your Own Canoe features tales from Offerman's childhood in small-town Minooka, Illinois, to his theater days in Chicago, beginnings as a carpenter/actor and the hilarious and magnificent seduction of his now-wife Megan Mullally.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Like bacon for your ears

  • By Kyle on 01-03-14

A Wendell Berry-esque Manifesto (With Giggles)

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

Reviewed: 10-17-17

In between the sounds of Nick Offerman's giggles, Paddle Your Own Canoe offers up a Wendell Berry-esque manifesto of living with character and integrity (even if it's just being true to your inner smartass.) Nick refined the art of the deadpan in the laboratory of Illinois' 1980s rural Catholic churches, and here his unique voice and chewy prose chronicle hilarious hijinks involving bratwurst haikus, facial hair, woodworking, love, and, of course, the legend of Tick-Tock & Flip-Flop, lords of the 80′s Midwestern Breakdance. Surprisingly political and philosophical, Nick Offerman mixes it up with plenty of Ron Swanson-esque smartassery. And giggles. Don't forget the giggles.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Assassination Vacation

  • By: Sarah Vowell
  • Narrated by: Conan O'Brien, Stephen King, Dave Eggers, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 24 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,145
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,539
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,525

Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other, a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • extremely entertaining and informative

  • By Rachel on 08-17-05

Adorably Nerdy History With Pop-Culture References

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

Reviewed: 10-17-17

For the brainy set, I can't think of a better first audiobook experience than Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation. I go weak in the knees for non-fiction, humor, and first-person narrative, making Sarah a triple threat and me the cheapest audiobook date ever. How adorably nerdy is she for planning a road trip vacation to sites of presidential assassinations? Interspersed are smart-alecky anecdotes about the free-love, cultish origins of the Oneida silverware company, and Important Observations about Stephen Sondheim's Assassins musical. And you can always count on Sarah for a well-placed Brady Bunch reference. But no matter how hard she tries, her deadpan voice and glib humor will never mask Sarah Vowell's enduring love of country and civic pride.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries

  • By: Jon Ronson
  • Narrated by: Jon Ronson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,932
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,760
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,757

Jon Ronson is fascinated by madness, extraordinary behaviour and the human mind. He has spent his life investigating crazy events, following fascinating people and unearthing unusual stories. Collected here from various sources (including the Guardian and GQ America) are the best of his adventures.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Like a Collection of TAL Episodes

  • By Pamela Harvey on 10-20-12

Thoughtful Journalism About Fringe Phenomena

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

Reviewed: 10-17-17

There are two kinds of readers: those who are devoted Jon Ronson fangirls-and-boys, and those who haven’t heard of Jon Ronson yet. Friends, I present Jon Ronson: a bespectacled British journalist who writes thoughtful long-form journalism about quirky fringe phenomena like telepathy, aliens, and psychopaths. He was first introduced to an American audience on the radio show This American Life, and he’s got a knack for the sort of stuff that makes fans of that show swoon — sniffing out the peculiar in everyday life, getting to the heart with equal parts empathy and wit, and drawing wry conclusions about modern life. Lost at Sea is his collection of haunting and hilarious shorter pieces from the past decade, including stories about Insane Clown Posse, James Bond, Stanley Kubrick, robots, and too many other bizarre and wonderful things to name. Ronson is a fabulous narrator of his own work, and my like for Lost at Sea blossomed into full-blown love when I switched from the print to the audio.

Footnote: the audio is worth it simply for the pleasure of hearing Jon Ronson read Insane Clown Posse lyrics in a dry British accent, and the chapters were the perfect length for commuting and exercise stints.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Naked

  • By: David Sedaris
  • Narrated by: David Sedaris, Amy Sedaris
  • Length: 3 hrs and 4 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,426
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,602
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,588

Welcome to the hilarious, strange, elegiac, outrageous world of David Sedaris. In Naked, Sedaris turns the current mania for the memoir on its proverbial ear, mining the exceedingly rich terrain of his life, his family, and his unique worldview, a sensibility at once take-no-prisoners sharp and deeply charitable.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Favorite Sedaris

  • By Christine on 02-07-05

Fab Tales by America's Most Beloved Comic Essayist

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

Reviewed: 10-17-17

I often recommend David Sedaris titles to people who are curious about audiobooks. When first trying out audio, I say go for the greatest hits, and on this front Naked delivers. Who doesn't love America's most beloved comic essayist? Naked is packed with snarky stories about David's martini swilling mother, awkward trips to nude beaches, and the sting of first adolescent love, all narrated in his distinctively NPRish voice. I especially love this on audio because his sister Amy performs all the female roles: crabby elementary school teachers, Greek grandmothers, suburban housewives, you name it. Naked is a hilarious performance by hilarious celebrity siblings.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition)

  • An Oral History of the Zombie War
  • By: Max Brooks
  • Narrated by: Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, and others
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,831
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11,044
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,043

World War Z: The Complete Edition is a new recording of Max Brooks’ best-selling novel, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, featuring 21 additional Hollywood A-list actors and sci-fi fan favorites performing stories not included in the original edition. New narrators include Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, Spiderman star Alfred Molina, The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, rapper Common, Firefly star Nathan Fillion, Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg, and members of the casts of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes and more!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Good Story with an All Star Cast but ABRIDGED

  • By Kim Venatries on 05-22-13

For Listeners Who Love Action, World-Building

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

Reviewed: 10-17-17

I know, I know... I was supposed to love this! The audio performances were phenomenal, and it was a cool book, but ultimately I think World War Z is best for people who love action and world-building stories. And points for lots of juicy speculative elements, too.

For me, though, the story's structure as oral histories came at the cost of more interesting character development and wordplay, the two things I usually love most in books. So while I enthusiastically liked this, I wouldn't put it up there with my favs. Glad I gave it a shot.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • True Grit

  • By: Charles Portis
  • Narrated by: Donna Tartt
  • Length: 6 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,746
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,720
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,718

Mattie Ross, a 14-year-old girl from Dardanelle, Arkansas, sets out to avenge her Daddy who was shot to death by a no-good outlaw. Mattie convinces one-eyed "Rooster" Cogburn, the meanest U.S. marshal in the land, to ride along with her. In True Grit, we have a true American classic, as young Mattie, as vital as she is innocent, outdickers and outmaneuvers the hard-bitten men of the trail in a legend that will last through the ages.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So worth it!

  • By Tommygaus on 12-29-10

A 14-Year-Old Girl Hell-Bent on Revenge

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

Reviewed: 10-17-17

"She has got you buffaloed with her saucy ways!" First, imagine the dandyish Texas Ranger LaBoeuf saying this to former bushwhacker Rooster Cogburn to scold him for taking up with a 14 year old girl hell-bent on avenging her father’s death. Got it? Now, imagine it being read aloud over your car speakers by Donna Tartt during your morning commute. AWESOME. I heart the book and film versions of Charles Portis' classic western tale of revenge and justice, but the audio version read in Donna Tartt's tough-girl Mississippi accent trumps them all. Put this one in your earbuds right now.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Dead End in Norvelt

  • By: Jack Gantos
  • Narrated by: Jack Gantos
  • Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 237
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 217
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 216

Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is a novel about an incredible two months for a kid named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is "grounded for life" by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets. But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack's way once his mom loans him out to help a fiesty old neighbor with a most unusual chore - typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his town.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • credit worthy

  • By colleen on 03-21-12

A Demented Little Nugget of a Book

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

Reviewed: 10-17-17

I love love LOVE this demented little nugget of a book. No children's writer is more twisted or morbid than Jack Gantos, which is what makes him the BEST. In this Newbery-winning novel, twelve-year-old Jack gets grounded and spends the summer of 1962 helping a feisty old witch write obituaries for all the little old ladies in Norvelt, Pennsylvania, who may or may not be getting slowly poisoned to death. Meanwhile, Hells Angels move in down the road and start burning local houses to the ground, and the next door neighbors start up a funeral parlor. This is a great novel about what it's like to be young, bored, and grounded, and in the funniest scene OF ALL TIME since Barbara Park wrote Skinnybones, Jack describes his method for noiselessly scaring deer away during his dad's hunting trip. (Spoiler: it's farts.) Gantos' deadpan humor translates best when he reads it out loud; I can't recommend the audio highly enough!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful