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Janet

  • 26
  • reviews
  • 126
  • helpful votes
  • 35
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  • The Great Alone

  • By: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 15 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,123
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,268
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,176

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: He will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Long, Hard Slog Through Endless Despair and Heartache

  • By Morro Schreiber on 04-11-18

Schlocky

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

Reviewed: 02-20-18

Any additional comments?

Dear Lord, how has this received such stellar reviews? The first half is entertaining, but the second half is pure schlock--four hours' worth! Spare yourself the disappointment and stop listening halfway through, or just purchase a different audiobook.

18 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • A Natural Woman

  • A Memoir
  • By: Carole King
  • Narrated by: Carole King
  • Length: 14 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 293
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 269
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 267

Carole King takes us from her early beginnings in Brooklyn to her remarkable success as one of the world's most acclaimed songwriting and performing talents of all time. A Natural Woman chronicles King's extraordinary life, drawing listeners into her musical world, including her phenomenally successful number-one album Tapestry, and into her journey as a performer, mother, wife, and present-day activist.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Baby Boom Generation's Big Sister

  • By Thomas A. Morgan on 04-17-12

Not Bad; Not Fabulous

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

Reviewed: 12-22-15

Any additional comments?

I suppose it isn't surprising that the first half of this book is markedly better than the second. Hearing about Carole's relationship with Gerry Goffin, making records, and writing songs back in the day is definitely the highlight of this book. Unfortunately, things start to fall apart in the second half of the book, and by the time it ends, none of Carole's stories are holding together (e.g., we really didn't need to hear about how much time you spend in the NYC subway, Carole. Sorry.) Carole could have benefitted from the help of an editor. But she's undeniably still got it, and this is worth a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Boys in the Trees

  • A Memoir
  • By: Carly Simon
  • Narrated by: Carly Simon
  • Length: 13 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,043
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 959
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 960

Simon's memoir reveals her remarkable life, beginning with her storied childhood as the third daughter of Richard L. Simon, the co-founder of publishing giant Simon & Schuster; her musical debut as half of The Simon Sisters, performing folk songs with her sister, Lucy, in Greenwich Village; to a meteoric solo career that would result in 13 top 40 hits, including the number-one song "You're So Vain".

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Gorgeous and Sad

  • By Adele on 11-30-15

Refreshingly honest (and sad)

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

Reviewed: 12-08-15

Carly may have been born into the Simon & Schuster empire, but her life wasn't an easy one by any means. She's a natural writer and a great narrator--though, incredibly, she had to read the audiobook alone in a room because of her stammer. Yes, it's sad that she's still hung up on James Taylor (who is a class A POS, going by these stories) but I find it admirable that she doesn't try to hide from this. It is what it is.

I am not a fan of the constant background music in this audiobook. It was intriguing at first but ended up being distracting. It's almost as if they were afraid the words couldn't stand alone, so they added the music instead. But the words could stand alone just fine.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Never Broken

  • Songs Are Only Half the Story
  • By: Jewel
  • Narrated by: Jewel
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,857
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,731
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,732

New York Times best-selling poet and multiplatinum singer-songwriter Jewel explores her unconventional upbringing and extraordinary life in an inspirational memoir that covers her childhood, rise to fame, marriage, and motherhood. She writes beautifully about growing up amid the natural wonders of Alaska, about pain and childhood trauma, and about discovering her own identity years after the entire world had discovered the beauty of her songs.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I did not expect to like this book

  • By Megan on 09-30-15

Quite a Life's Story

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

Reviewed: 12-02-15

Jewel had quite the life. She does a great job of retelling her story, but gets bogged down toward the end. The last few chapters of the book are a big disappointment as Jewel bombards us with mystical hooey. I would have liked to know more about her divorce, but she is uncharacteristically unforthcoming in those passages. Also, I REALLY could have done without the a cappella versions of her songs--that's what Spotify is for, Jewel. That said, this was better than I had expected, and I applaud Jewel for making it under circumstances that would stop anyone else.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Wildflower

  • By: Drew Barrymore
  • Narrated by: Drew Barrymore
  • Length: 7 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,672
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,440
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,426

Wildflower is a portrait of Drew's life in stories as she looks back on the adventures, challenges, and incredible experiences of her earlier years. It includes tales of living on her own at 14 (and how laundry may have saved her life), getting stuck in a gas station overhang on a cross-country road trip, saying good-bye to her father in a way only he could have understood, and many more adventures and lessons that have led her to the successful, happy, and healthy place she is today.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hold the shrieking !

  • By Dawne on 11-27-15

A Mixed Bag, but Drew Pulls it Off

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

Reviewed: 11-29-15

Any additional comments?

I wasn't sure what to expect from Drew and have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. This is not your standard autobiography and is instead a collection of random tales from Drew's life. She's a great narrator, though rather overzealous at times. Some of these stories fall short (honestly, Drew, no one cares about your dogs dying; it's happened to all of us) and some are hilarious beyond belief (Drew's experience with Outward Bound). All in all, worth a listen!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Mare

  • By: Mary Gaitskill
  • Narrated by: Kyla Garcia, Christa Lewis, Sean Pratt, and others
  • Length: 14 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 418
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 379
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 382

Velveteen Vargas is an 11-year-old from Brooklyn who is granted a summer vacation in the country, courtesy of the nonprofit Fresh Air Fund. Her host family is a couple in upstate New York: Ginger, a failed artist on the fringe of Alcoholics Anonymous; and Paul, an academic who wonders what it will mean to "make a difference" in such a contrived situation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Horse people should enjoy this.

  • By robert on 03-16-16

Give These Characters a Swift Punch in the Face!

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

Reviewed: 11-20-15

Any additional comments?

As someone who loved horse stories of all varieties as a kid, I was eager to listen to this retelling of "National Velvet." But the novel is a misstep. All of the characters were unpalatable, perhaps most so the heroine, Velvet, who is an unqualified brat.

That said, the book has its moments, and its narrators went above and beyond. They gave the book life, even if the author did not. The woman who read Ginger should get an award.

But unless you want to spend hours with your hands balled into fists, wishing you could punch characters who are infuriatingly obtuse, unthankful, or downright crazy, I'd suggest you stay away from this book.

50 of 57 people found this review helpful

  • City on Fire

  • A Novel
  • By: Garth Risk Hallberg
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman, Tristan Morris, Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 37 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 630
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 568
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 574

The individuals who live within this extraordinary first novel are: Regan and William Hamilton-Sweeney, estranged heirs to one of the city's largest fortunes; Keith and Mercer, the men who, for better or worse, love them; Charlie and Samantha, two suburban teenagers seduced by downtown's punk scene; an obsessive magazine reporter and his idealistic neighbor; and the detective trying to figure out what any of them have to do with a shooting in Central Park.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good story, poor choice of narrator

  • By k8tom on 12-22-15

Long, But a Stunner Nonetheless

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

Reviewed: 11-13-15

Any additional comments?

To be honest, I jumped on this audiobook because I knew it would get me through a lot of commuting hours! But I ended up really enjoying it. The nice thing about a book this long is that there is plenty of time to delve into the psyche of each character before the book hits its climax. Only downside is that it starts to drag a bit toward the end, since for whatever reason the author decided to jump 20 years forward in time at random while the action is going on--the problem is nobody really CARES what happened in 20 years, or who sent who what email. Aside from that, it's quite a story, and I can see why the movie rights for this one were snapped up right away. Buy it--it's worth it!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Career of Evil

  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 17 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,172
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12,292
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,237

Audie Award, Mystery, 2016. When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible - and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Characters Mean Everything

  • By Charles Atkinson on 11-09-15

Keep Them Coming, J.K.!

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

Reviewed: 10-28-15

Any additional comments?

Any book in this series is pretty much guaranteed a 5-star review from me, and this one is no different. It's a bit more gruesome than the others in the series, but nothing truly unpalatable. Strike and Robin are mesmerizing, as always. The only negative thing I have to say about this book is that the ending wasn't quite as exciting as those of the previous books, but that might just be because I wasn't paying good enough attention at the beginning of the story. I can't wait for the next book.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Heart Goes Last

  • A Novel
  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins
  • Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,612
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,470
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,472

Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around - and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed, and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in...for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Thoughtful and intriguing

  • By Stephanie on 10-01-15

Meh

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

Reviewed: 10-22-15

Any additional comments?

This is no Handmaid's Tale. The premise is good--in a post-apocalyptic world, people live in a prison in order to be employed. In practice, this doesn't work out so well. Though there were some provocative moments, unfortunately the story devolves into a lot of mumbo-jumbo about robots and sex, and drags on for far too long. The male narrator is too loud, so I kept having to adjust the volume as I listened. Not worth it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Born with Teeth

  • A Memoir
  • By: Kate Mulgrew
  • Narrated by: Kate Mulgrew
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,612
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,443
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,432

Audie Award, Narration by Author, 2016. Raised by unconventional Irish Catholics who knew "how to drink, how to dance, how to talk, and how to stir up the devil", Kate Mulgrew grew up with poetry and drama in her bones. But in her mother, a would-be artist burdened by the endless arrival of new babies, young Kate saw the consequences of a dream deferred.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful Memoir

  • By Jasmine on 07-23-15

This Book Has Teeth!

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

Reviewed: 10-15-15

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this book, despite the fact that I haven't watched a thing Mulgrew acted in. She's a great narrator and has a great story--and even when I did not care what exactly was going on in her acting life, she kept that story afloat on the strength of her personality. Worth a listen.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful