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Michael

Texas
  • 58
  • reviews
  • 12
  • helpful votes
  • 86
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  • Winter's Bone

  • A Novel
  • By: Daniel Woodrell
  • Narrated by: Emma Galvin
  • Length: 4 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,684
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,397
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,404

The sheriff's deputy at the front door brings hard news to Ree Dolly. Her father has skipped bail on charges that he ran a crystal meth lab, and the Dollys will lose their house if he doesn't show up for his next court date. Ree's father has disappeared before. The Dolly clan has worked the shadowy side of the law for generations, and arrests (and attempts to avoid them) are part of life in Rathlin Valley.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Now I Want to see the Movie!

  • By Pamela M. on 11-11-14

Three and a Half Stars

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

Reviewed: 11-09-18

This short novel covers Ree's search for her father, Jessup. He's a crank cooker, and has put his house up to cover his bond. If Jessup doesn't make his court date, Ree, her little brothers and their mentally ill (or too many years of snorting crank) mother will loose their house and be homeless.

The story of her journey is riveting and very well written. The characters are wonderfully developed, and the dialogue and scenarios completely believable. My only problem with this book is many times the author, in an attempt to be poetic or profound, veered off on long metaphorical ramblings, over-explaining irrelevant things. It made my mind wander and took away from the story, which would have stood solidly without all the word art.

Every area of the U.S. has it's cluster of meth-heads and crank cookers. We see the children of these little communities, and this story gives some outsiders insight to what their daily lives are like; what they feel and how they survive...what's normal to them. If you can overlook the areas of over-writing, this is a really great book that I would recommend. Apparently there is also a movie based on this book starring Jennifer Lawrence. I probably will not run out and see it though because I imagine, if it stayed true to the book, it is very violent and graphic-easier to read than watch.

  • I Remember You

  • A Ghost Story
  • By: Yrsa Sigurdardottir
  • Narrated by: Lucy Paterson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 106
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97

In an isolated village in the Icelandic Westfjords, three friends set to work renovating a run-down house. But soon they realize they are not as alone as they thought. Something wants them to leave, and it's making its presence felt. Meanwhile, in a town across the fjord, a young doctor investigating the suicide of an elderly woman discovers that she was obsessed with his vanished son. When the two stories collide, the terrifying truth is uncovered. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely terrifying web of misfortune

  • By jksullycats on 06-10-18

Sooo Creeeepy!

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

Excellent bone-chilling story that was a perfect read for Halloween! Could have done without all the bickering between the three on the island, but by the end, I could see why they would be quarrelsome with each other. Nice twists and turns, and I loved how almost everyone and everything was connected in some way.
Lucy Paterson did an amazing job narrating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Abiding Mercy

  • Amish Mercies series, Book 1
  • By: Ruth Reid
  • Narrated by: Callie Beaulieu
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 146
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117

Sixteen-year-old Faith has worked full-time in her parents' restaurant since she finished eighth grade. She loves her Amish community - and the romantic attentions of her longtime friend, Gideon. When her sister seems to be getting too friendly with Englischers, and her parents are in a buggy accident, Faith wants to escape into her dream of joining the church and getting married. But then a local newspaper runs a story about a child named Adriana who was kidnapped 15 years earlier, and everything Faith has held true comes into question.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surprising good

  • By gene on 05-15-18

Interesting

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

Reviewed: 10-25-18

Having grown up in the midwest, as a child I was around the Amish quite a bit and was always intrigued by them. I admired their devotion to their way of life and faith. So I found that part of this book very interesting. I could have done without the teenage romance aspect, but I think teenage readers would enjoy it. I liked that this book offered examples of how to pray. Many young people simply don't know where to start, if it's not taught in their home. The other story line in this novel, about the child abduction and subsequent return, was really pretty good. I don't want to give away too much of the plot. I would recommend this book to young women or adults who are okay with teenage romance/drama. It's a clean book with a good message without being too goody-goody or manipulative. It's a realistic story. The narrator over enunciated when speaking Pennsylvania Deitsch, and that was a little distracting.

  • Underground Airlines

  • By: Ben Winters
  • Narrated by: William DeMeritt
  • Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,431
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,183
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,179

It is the present day, and the world is as we know it: smartphones, social networking, and Happy Meals. Save for one thing: The Civil War never occurred. A gifted young black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter for the US Marshal Service. He's got plenty of work. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states called "the Hard Four". On the trail of a runaway known as Jackdaw, Victor arrives in Indianapolis knowing that something isn't right - with the case file, with his work, and with the country itself.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Original and disturbing novel

  • By Mark on 10-29-17

Alternate History

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

Reviewed: 10-12-18

I rated this book three stars, but I consider it somewhere between three and four. The first half of the book was a bit slow going and hard to follow. But the second half more than made up for it.

This is an alternate history type book with elements of science fiction in the final chapters. In this alternate U.S., slavery was not completely abolished. There are four southern states where slavery is legal (the "Hard Four"). The main character, Victor, is a former slave who has been forced to become a hunter, or seeker, of escaped slaves thereby securing his freedom (although he's not really free...he just isn't technically a slave doing hard labor anymore). During the first half of the book, there's not much of a connection between reader and protagonist. This is partially due to the fact that Victor himself is emotionless and desensitized. He has to be in order to do his task. But there was such a disconnect that it made the story hard to follow at times.

Part two of this novel picked up considerably. Victor has to infiltrate the Hard Four and actually has to go into a textile plantation posing as a slave. The end result of this mission provides for a very interesting twist and is where the aforementioned science fiction element comes into play and is what almost elevated this book to a four star rating from me. So, my overall recommendation would be, stick part one out...it'll be worth it later in the novel.

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

  • By: Mark Haddon
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,486
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,556
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,579

Fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone has Asperger's Syndrome, a condition similar to autism. He doesn't like to be touched or meet new people, he cannot make small talk, and he hates the colors brown and yellow. He is a math whiz with a very logical brain who loves solving puzzles that have definite answers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Unexpected Gift.

  • By Amanda on 12-07-11

Interesting Perspective

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

Reviewed: 10-04-18

This book is written from the perspective of a 15 year old autistic boy who is mathematically gifted. I didn't realize that going into it, but was pleasantly surprised. It's always fascinating to read different perspectives. I would compare it to Flowers for Algernon, but really, its unlike that novel in too many ways.

Christopher discovers his neighbor's dog dead and decides to solve the mystery of who did it. He also decides to write a book. The end result, is this book. Because he is autistic, he's not capable of "lying" so he writes exactly what he is thinking, and exactly what happens from his perspective. It was very interesting and I found it believable. We can't know for certain how other people's minds work, but it did make sense to me. I say that he is autistic, but that's never really stated in the book. It's just an assumption based on the writing and events.

My favorite part of this book was chapter 229 in which Christopher talked about his recurring dream. That really made me think. I enjoyed this book and learned a bit about the autistic mind and about human nature in general.

Narration was spot on. He did an amazing job. Very enjoyable listen.

  • Half a Heart

  • By: Karen McQuestion
  • Narrated by: Emily Durante
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,051
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 938
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 936

At nine years of age, Logan Weber knows the routine. Keep quiet, make the food last, and don’t ever cause trouble. He’ll do what it takes to evade the rages of his troubled, violent father. Even though he’s only a child, Logan already knows too much - has seen too much. So when the opportunity presents itself, Logan runs. He has no idea where his journey will lead, or that the grandmother he’s been told is dead is desperately searching for him. Alone with no home of his own, Logan looks for a safe place to hide.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Grandmother's Quest

  • By Elaine M. Panzeter on 05-28-18

Review

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

Reviewed: 10-02-18

This is the THIRD time I've submitted this review (it keeps not showing up) so I'll keep it short....

This book would probably best be enjoyed by young adults, or elderly women. The writing is very simplistic. I believe it is intended to be a "feel-good" book, but it does shed light on a few important topics, such as child abuse, alcholism, and the bond that grandparents feel for their grandchildren. It is true that most of us would go anywhere and do anything for the welfare of our grandchildren. So, the subject matter was compelling. However, the storyline itself was not very believable. Which is why I feel it would best be enjoyed by young adults and elderly women...one group, young enough to still believe in happy endings and definite lines between good and evil. And the other group old enough to have already seen it all, and deserve to see some stories where everything ends as it should. As for the rest of us who fall somewhere in between, the events were too coincidental and predictable. I felt too much time was spent on back stories as well. But I did not hate this book, and sometimes even I need a feel-good, predictable story.

  • The Bloody Chamber

  • By: Angela Carter
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage, Emilia Fox
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 429
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 400
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 399

A collection of short stories, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories was first published in 1979 and awarded the Cheltenham Festival Literary Prize. This Audible exclusive adaptation is narrated by legendary actors, Richard Armitage and Emilia Fox, who take on different chapters of the audiobook. Among these are 'The Bloody Chamber', 'The Courtship of Mr Lyon', 'The Tiger's Bride', 'Puss in Boots', 'The Erl-King', 'The Snow Child', 'The Lady of the House of Love', 'The Werewolf' and 'Wolf-Alice'.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Richard Armitage should read everything

  • By libbromus on 07-27-18

Sick, Twisted Fairy Tales

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

Reviewed: 09-24-18

I usually love alternate tellings of fairy tales. This book-not so much. I didn’t realize it was written in 1979 until after I had finished it (that’s usually the second or third thing I look at, after title and author; somehow skipped over it on this one). That explained a lot to me as far as the weird sexual stuff. I found her writing a bit similar to that of Richard Matheson in Hell House. Both, a reflection of that period in time as far as the sexual climate. Not my cup of tea. However, a couple of Carter’s stories in this collection were pretty good.

The Bloody Chamber – A good start. Child bride discovers the dark secret kept by her new husband. Satisfying ending.
The Courtship of Mr. Lyon – Re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. I didn’t hate it.
The Tiger’s Bride – Another re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. I appreciated the fact that the father was painted as the low life scum that he was; I mean what kind of man gambles away his child? But the end was long, drawn out and a little confusing. However, a nice twist from the Disney version.
Puss in Boots – One of the best of this collection, in my opinion. Although a very adult version.
The Erl King – I have no idea what this was about. So wordy and so confusing.
The Snow Child – This story alone convinced me to never read another work by Angela Carter. It’s a story of a necrophiliac pedophile that apparently lives happily ever after. Who would write such horrible things? What would be the purpose? And who in their right mind would enjoy reading it, or take anything away from it other than a horrible, sick feeling? What was Carter thinking? I had a hard time even continuing on after this one.
The Lady of the House of Love – Vampire story with a very different kind of ending (although she took foreeeeever to get there!)
The Werewolf – Re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood.
The Company of Wolves – Ms. Carter dabbles in beastiality in this one, making sure she covers all the sick, twisted bases.
Wolf-Alice – I was so over this book at this point, none of it made sense, and I just wanted to be done.

The only redeeming qualities of this book were the narrators.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Emma

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Jane Austen, Anna Lea - adaptation
  • Narrated by: Emma Thompson, Joanne Froggatt, Isabella Inchbald, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,422
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,760
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,706

This Audible Original production of Jane Austen’s Emma is narrated by Emma Thompson (Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy and BAFTA winner, Love Actually, Harry Potter, Sense and Sensibility), with a full supporting cast including Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey, Liar), Morgana Robinson (The Windsors, Walliams & Friend, Morgana Robinson's the Agency), Aisling Loftus (Mr Selfridge, War & Peace), Joseph Millson (Casino Royale, The Sarah Jane Adventures), Alexa Davies (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) and rising star Isabella Inchbald as our eponymous heroine.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well, that was wonderful

  • By Amazon Customer on 09-07-18

If It Wasn't Fee, I Would Want My Money Back

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

Reviewed: 09-17-18

I haven't hated a book this much since The Turn of the Screw. It was all I could do just to finish it. Apparently, in 1815, this is what women read since soap operas hadn't been invented yet. It is merely the goings-ons of a community of judgemental, manipulative, better-than-thou rich people. They gossip about, judge and manipulate each other. The only "plot" or purpose to this story is to marry everybody off, as long as the person they are marrying fits the socioeconmical standard. I found it to be the biggest pile of mindless drivel I have ever stumbled upon. I can't see how this book is a classic. Maybe the weatlhy, influential people of that time loved it because they could relate to it, and that in turn has made it a classic because our peers keep telling us it is. I personally found nothing of value that I could walk away with from listening to this novel. I appreciate that Audible offered it for free, but had they not, I definitely would have wanted my money back. It was just terrible.

  • Pax

  • By: Sara Pennypacker
  • Narrated by: Michael Curran-Dorsano
  • Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,568
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,408
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,407

Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day the unimaginable happens: Peter's dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild. At his grandfather's house 300 miles away from home, Peter knows he isn't where he should be - with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox. Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • How to you love something that hurts you?

  • By Anthony M Agostino on 12-13-17

Dark, Depressing, Unhappy Story

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

Reviewed: 09-10-18

This might be a good book for middle-schoolers...one that they're forced to read, to be discussed in depth in class. But it was not an enjoyable listen, and I don't think one that adults in general would like. I didn't care for it. Within the first few chapters I was disappointed in the characters. A single father decides to join the military, abandoning his son, and forcing his son to abandon his domesticated fox. This didn't make sense to me at all. Further into the story, it's revealed that the war is actually taking place in the country the story takes place in. I can understand a bit more the pressure the dad felt, but I thought it was careless and irresponsible to just abandon the animal and essentially, the boy.
From that point on, the main plot of the story is that humans are the scourge of the earth, and war destroys everything (no brainer there). The caricatures of good and evil might be fine for coming of age children, but I don't think older readers will buy into it. It was a disappointing listen for me. There was no real character development for any of the humans. The dad was painted as a violent man with simmering anger. The Grandfather was sullen and unloving. Vola was a stereotypical hardened war veteran with PTSD (although her character was developed far more than any other person in the book). Even Peter's character lacked depth. This book is definitely no "Where the Red Fern Grows" or "The Yearling" ,so don't expect to come away from it feeling any emotions other than, "oh, war is bad and so is mankind".

  • The Girl with All the Gifts

  • By: M. R. Carey
  • Narrated by: Finty Williams
  • Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,849
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,343
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,349

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hours in, restarted so husband could listen too!

  • By Pikay on 12-13-14

A Different Kind of Zombie Story

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

Reviewed: 09-10-18

I never jumped on the zombie bandwagon. The Walking Dead may be playing on the tv while I'm in the living room, but it's always been something I could take or leave. The picture on the cover of this book drew me in, and the title made me curious. But when the summary informed me it was a book about zombies, essentially, I was out...not interested. Or so it would seem. It kept calling to me. Any book about a child genius pretty much calls to me, so I gave it a shot.
Wow...this book was great. Action from the beginning. A definite new twist on the typical zombie story. First of all, these are children, and secondly, they can speak, think, feel emotion. I won't give away the secret as to why or how this is possible, but the author did a very nice job in revealing it.
I was glad that I was reading this rather than watching it...as one might imagine, it was bloody and horrible in parts (it's a zombie story). There actually has been a movie made based on this book, and I'll probably watch it, but not because I'm a zombie fan...rather because this novel was so well written and the characters so beautifully developed.

(Updating because my original review seems to have disappeared...I did watch the movie version of this book. Of course there were a few deviations. One would have to deviate in order to condense 13 hours into 2. But, the deviations weren't that major. It was a good movie and not overly gory or graphic. I liked it).