LISTENER

Isobel

  • 5
  • reviews
  • 557
  • helpful votes
  • 14
  • ratings
  • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

  • By: Claire North
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,725
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,236
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,236

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now.As Harry nears the end of his 11th life, a little girl appears at his bedside. "I nearly missed you, Doctor August," she says. "I need to send a message." This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An unexpected treasure

  • By Stefanie on 08-24-15

Not what I'd feared

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

Reviewed: 04-29-16

As you are, I'm a person who reads the reviews to see if I should invest in a book. I put this book low on my wishlist because it sounded interesting but the words "tough to read" and "sociopath" and "couldn't like the characters" kept popping up in the reviews. It should have been a little higher up on my wishlist. While I'm glad I was pre-warned that there was a lot of gruesome violence in the book (there is) and that the characters are generally callous and frequently cruel people (they are), these aspects made sense for the premise of the book. If death means nothing to you why would you care if you committed suicide by rat poison? If you live the same life over and over for hundreds of years, how could the "linears" (normal people) become anything other than paper dolls for you to play with? Once I situated the characters in their culture rather than my culture I was definitely able to understand their motivations and empathize with them.

I mean, prrrroooobably don't read this book if you're in a very fragile emotional/mental health state. Like, if the characters in The Girl on the Train or Skippy Dies effed you up, this isn't the book for you. Otherwise, it's a pretty cool book. I enjoyed that the author was brave enough to make the characters the people they would logically have been, given the situation they were placed in. I also enjoyed the general sci-fi, time travel premise because I can't really say that I've seen this particular concept before. There were a lot of cool new ideas in here about the nature of time, memory, destiny, self-determination, and the things that make humans themselves.

552 of 564 people found this review helpful

  • World War Z

  • An Oral History of the Zombie War
  • By: Max Brooks
  • Narrated by: Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, and others
  • Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,682
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,625
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,640

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of 30 million souls, to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant production, criminally abridged

  • By J. Huntington on 01-04-07

horrible, horrible accents

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

Reviewed: 10-10-11

I thought I was going to love this book. Friends have read the paperback and I love the concept. I couldn't get past the first three stories. The people are putting on horrible fake accents and they were so bad I couldn't even concentrate. Why even make accents at all? The Chinese doctor sounds like a person who can't decide whether to be Latino or bad Saturday morning cartoon villian Chinese. The "Israeli" person sounds like a Russian/German blend to the point where I was wondering if I'd misheard that he was Israeli. I don't even remember where the person in the second story was supposed to be from, but he was putting some kind of weird emphasis or gloating sounds in his voice, I couldn't even hear his story for wondering what kind of inflection he was trying out and why. I hated this book and wish I could return it.

  • Still Missing

  • By: Chevy Stevens
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,626
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,729
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,731

On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old Realtor, had three goals: sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she’s about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A singular voice; a horrendous story.

  • By Richard Delman on 01-21-12

liked it more than I thought I would

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-19-11

I bought this on sale because it was a teeny bit longer than a long drive I had. I thought it would fill that crime writing "best seller at the airport that you'd never read any other time" niche I'd wanted to fill at the time. Boy howdy! I felt like a TERRIBLE PERSON for being so interested in this poor fictional woman's troubles but I couldn't stop listening! The format is really novel, the narrator really brings it all together and there were plot twists I didn't see coming at all several times. Perhaps that's because I'm not a big crime novel person, maybe if you're more into the genre you'll see it from a mile away. I don't know. I'm just going to say I liked it more than I thought I would.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ex-Heroes

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Jay Snyder, Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,416
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,784
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,804

Stealth. Gorgon. Regenerator. Cerberus. Zzzap. The Mighty Dragon. They were heroes. Vigilantes. Crusaders for justice, using their superhuman abilites to make Los Angeles a better place. Then the plague of living death spread around the globe. Despite the best efforts of the superheroes, the police, and the military, the hungry corpses rose up and overwhelmed the country. The population was decimated, heroes fell, and the city of angels was left a desolate zombie wasteland like so many others.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Superheros, Villians & Zombies... mmm heaven

  • By The Zombie Specialist on 08-16-13

mostly loved it

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-19-11

I really liked this book and I thought it was a lot of fun. Oh sure, it's maybe a little bit of cross genre fluff, but it's FUN and much, much better than the slashfic I was worried it would be. There were times when I thought I could see what was happening next but I ended up being surprised. I laughed and worried right in time to the book. I have only a few complaints but except for one (that may be in place to set up a sequel) I realize they're all character flaws of the characters themselves. EX nobody thought of this obvious thing or that guy was too weak to do what should have been done and lied about it.

The one, big glaring (ha!) problem to me was Zap. I liked him as a person but I hated him and wanted him to die. You have the power of a sun. You're the Deus ex machina. There are plenty of those in literature, like Power Girl in DC comics. She'd just overpower everyone and roll through like a tank if you let her. So they limit her, or knock her out first thing in battle. Zap. He's a sun. He doesn't like to touch stuff because it "feels gross" Ok fine. Lob a plasma ball or throw super heated gas or just take one for the team every once in a while and touch that super baddie before he kills all your friends! Fer chis' sake. It is not that hard. Why has nobody in his community questioned that?

Lastly, I liked the male/female narration. How many times has an otherwise good story been ruined by, "That is a man trying and failing miserably at a woman's voice." ?

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Sex at Dawn

  • How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships
  • By: Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jetha
  • Narrated by: Allyson Johnson, Jonathan Davis, Christopher Ryan (Preface)
  • Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,526
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,482
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,467

Since Darwin's day, we've been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science - as well as religious and cultural institutions - has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man's possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman's fertility and fidelity. But this narrative is collapsing....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Strawmen and Ad Hominems

  • By Carolyn on 09-18-12

Would have liked it better in paperback

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-19-11

I've a background in the sciences and am working toward a master in sex education. Everyone around me has mentioned this book at some point so I felt like I had to read it and downloaded it for a long drive. They extend the "this is what the book is about, this is why it's relevant, this is the research that was done before it, this is what we're going to tell you to build upon the research." to an agonizing, tedious crawl of several chapters. I kept thinking, "You know, in a scientific paper this would be a page, page and a half. That's all this needed to be."

Then again, perhaps it's something that a layman needs to understand the book. I've had professional training in it. "Ok, serves me right," I thought, "I'll skip a couple chapters in 2x speed so I can stop if something interesting happens."

There were a few times when I stopped to listen, the information about what our close mammal relatives and our distant animal relatives do as far as sex was very interesting.

Sometimes I'd be listening along thinking that it was interesting but as tedious as listening to a textbook read aloud when I'd realize that I hadn't heard anything about human evolution and development in regards to sexuality for several hours. I didn't sign up to read anthropology as it relates to humans in group living and "let's all talk about how the dawn of agriculture ruined everything". I'm interested in human sexuality! I'd fast forward some more, then some more, then again, then just stop listening and put the book away. I'm in the last 1/4 of section 2 and I just can't bring myself to listen again.

Though I think that the narrator is great and I really enjoyed listening to her -her dry wit really brought up the material- but I think I'd like this as a paperback book where I could skip the boring parts and only read the relevant research.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful