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  • The Infinite Blacktop

  • A Novel
  • By: Sara Gran
  • Narrated by: Madeleine Maby
  • Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16

Claire DeWitt, the hard-living and tough-talking private investigator, has always been something of a detective. As a young girl growing up in Brooklyn, Claire and her two best friends, Tracy and Kelly, solved many cases together and were inseparable - until the day Tracy vanished without a trace. That is still the only case Claire ever failed to solve. Later, in her 20s, Claire is in Los Angeles trying to get her PI license by taking on a cold case that has stumped the LAPD. Today, Claire is on her way to Las Vegas from San Francisco when she’s almost killed by a homicidal driver. As these three narratives converge, some mysteries are solved and others continue to haunt.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Missing Carol Monda

  • By Laurene on 10-08-18

Missing Carol Monda

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

Reviewed: 10-08-18

I love me some Claire DeWitt, the hardboiled metaphysical detective of two previous books by Grann. This new book doesn't disappoint, and Madeleine Maby did a decent job narrating it, but for me Carol Monda will always be Claire and I could never quite get used to the switch. Monda just sounds tougher and worldlier, and you don't get much tougher or worldly than Claire DeWitt

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Woman in the Window

  • A Novel
  • By: A. J. Finn
  • Narrated by: Ann Marie Lee
  • Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17,652
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 16,230
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16,178

Anna Fox lives alone - a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times...and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn't, her world begins to crumble. And its shocking secrets are laid bare.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • STAY AWAY!!!

  • By Susan Olson on 06-02-18

Decent thriller, awful narrator

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

Reviewed: 02-07-18

This is a decent thriller, but I wish I’d noticed before buying this that it’s the same narrator who ruined much of David Grann’s amazing book, Killers of the Flower Moon last year. I literally bought the print version although I usually prefer the audio because I could not stand to listen to Ann Marie Lee a moment longer.

The main character of this novel is a basket case and like most thriller heroines seems a bit dumb at times. But I think this would be a lot less annoying without Lee’s narration. She always sounds weepy, whiny and tremulous, even when there’s no particular reason for it, and when there is it’s completely over the top. This makes Anna very hard to like. Lee also sounds like she’s about 60, which is confusing, since the character is only 38. I don’t know why such a high-profile book could not get a better performer. There are lots out there.

  • Updike

  • By: Adam Begley
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 20 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25

A masterful, much-anticipated biography of one of the most celebrated figures in American literature: Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Updike - a candid, intimate, and richly detailed look at his life and work. In this magisterial biography, Adam Begley offers an illuminating portrait of John Updike, the acclaimed novelist, poet, short-story writer, and critic who saw himself as a literary spy in small-town and suburban America.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • updike explained

  • By James Murphy on 09-21-16

Literary biography at its best

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

Reviewed: 04-05-15

You don't have to be particularly interested in Updikes work to enjoy this. The writing is elegant, and thoughtful, without the usual plodding quality of many literary biographies.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • How It All Began

  • By: Penelope Lively
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 388
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 329
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 333

When Charlotte Rainsford, a retired schoolteacher, is accosted by a petty thief on a London street, the consequences ripple across the lives of acquaintances and strangers alike. A marriage unravels after an illicit love affair is revealed through an errant cell phone message; a posh yet financially strapped interior designer meets a business partner who might prove too good to be true.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful and beautifully written

  • By Molly-o on 02-15-12

Delightful mixture of the funny and poignant

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

Reviewed: 03-23-14

The premise of this novel is that a single event -- the mugging of an elderly lady -- can through its ripple effects change the lives of several people. Because Rose needs to convalesce at her daughter's home, her daughter meets one of Rose's pupils (she teaches immigrants to read English) and falls in love for the first time in middle age; unfortunately, she's already married. This is very sensitively and movingly handled. Other plots include Rose's employer, a prominent semi-retired historian, getting involved with plans for a television series -- that part is often hilarious as the slick TV producer decides he's so awful ("That waistcoat!") he could be a great presenter.

The events/plot of the story are not momentous or even especially tense, but I was always eager to get back to the characters and their lives and enjoyed every minute of Kellgren's performance. I'd recommend this book to people who like Ruth Rendell or Muriel Spark, but would occasionally like a less dark version or their view of human nature. Lively is not too sweet, but neither is she as harsh as those writers can be.

  • Angelmaker

  • By: Nick Harkaway
  • Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,320
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,185
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,184

Joe Spork repairs clocks, a far cry from his late father, a flashy London gangster. But when Joe fixes one particularly unusual device, his life is suddenly upended. Joe's client, Edie Banister, is more than just a kindly old lady - she's a former superspy. And the device? It's a 1950s doomsday machine. And having triggered it, Joe now faces the wrath of both the government and a diabolical South Asian dictator, Edie's old arch-nemesis.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unique Read!

  • By Amazon Customer on 01-13-13

Fun steampunkish story, well read

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

Reviewed: 07-30-12

A clockwork repair guy trying to live a quiet, below-the-radar life in an alternate-present London gets embroiled in a quest to save the world from a doomsday device that works by causing people to experience existential despair.

This is a swashbuckling, steampunkish story, with a lot (but not too much) complexity and Daniel Weyman performs it very well. It's a little like a Neal Stephenson novel, but not nearly so thoughtful. That's why I've given the story three stars. It seemed like too intelligent of a construction to end by romanticizing gangsters and a climax that's an explosion of gleeful violence. Harkaway tries to fudge the issue by making the villain ridiculously evil and his minions a sort of automaton, but you can't have your cake and eat it, too. Either you're smarter than the average action movie, or you're not, and ultimately, Angelmaker isn't. Still, I enjoyed it.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Throne of the Crescent Moon

  • By: Saladin Ahmed
  • Narrated by: Phil Gigante
  • Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 486
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 438
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 443

The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, home to djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, are at the boiling point of a power struggle between the iron-fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince. In the midst of this brewing rebellion a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Kingdoms. It is up to a handful of heroes to learn the truth behind these killings: Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, Raseed bas Raseed, Adoulla’s young assistant, and Zamia Badawi, Protector of the Band.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fun, light fantasy

  • By JoR on 04-06-12

Fun adventure story, but the narrator is too hammy

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

Reviewed: 07-01-12

I have a feeling I'd take this novel more seriously if it were read by someone who didn't feel compelled to overact. Phil Gigante seems popular, but I found him often nearly painful to listen to. His conceptions of the characters are cartoonish -- each one has only one mood as far as he's concerned. Since the Bedouin girl is initially angry and snappish, she always sounds angry and snappish, even when she's supposed to be talking about tender feelings. I might try another Saladin Ahmed novel in the future. I like the Middle Eastern context, and I have hopes he'll get past the modified superhero storyline, but I'll stay away from Gigante narrations from now on.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Very Good Jeeves

  • By: P. G. Wodehouse
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Cecil
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 637
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 559
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 561

Jonathan Cecil, described as having “one of the best-loved voices in audiobooks” by the P. G. Wodehouse Society, narrates this collection of brilliantly entertaining stories featuring Jeeves and Wooster, including: "Jeeves and the Impending Doom", "Jeeves and the Kid Clementina", "The Inferiority Complex of Old Sippy", "The Love That Purifies", "Jeeves and the Yule-Tide Spirit", "Jeeves and the Old School Chum", "Jeeves and the Song of Songs", "Indian Summer of an Uncle", "Episode of the Dog McIntosh", "The Ordeal of Young Tuppy", and "The Spot of Art."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very, Very Good Jeeves

  • By Carole T. on 01-18-13

Delightful

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

Reviewed: 06-18-12

All Jeeves stories are pretty much the same, so I won't go into any detail about the various scrapes Bertie gets into. Suffice to say that Jonathan Cecil is my preferred delivery mechanism for this inimitably funny material.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • My Sister's Keeper

  • By: Jodi Picoult
  • Narrated by: Julia Gibson, Jennifer Ikeda, Richard Poe, and others
  • Length: 13 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,881
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,992
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,000

New York Times best-selling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Book, Very Emotional

  • By Lisa on 08-04-09

Lifetime Channel meets Dawson's Creek

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

Reviewed: 06-12-12

The various narrators do the best they can with this material, but they don't have much that's good to work with. The central situation -- the dilemma of a child who was conceived to be a tissue donor for her cancer-stricken sister -- is interesting, if potentially sensational. Unfortunately, it's very contrived, particularly the ridiculous ending.

Every character is constantly dispensing little metaphorical homilies and maxims where they compare various emotional situations to the stars, fire, hockey, law, etc. I think they're meant to be underlined by the kind of readers who go, "Oh, what a wise and funny life lesson!" It is incredibly irritating and pat to anyone else. Everyone talks in more or less the same way, with tepid wisecracks that are meant to make them endearing and then super-articulate expressions of their feelings that most real human beings could never produce. Everything they say is on-the-nose, like dialogue from a TV movie. The set-ups are oppressively obvious: The father is a fireman, so of course the acting-out teenage son is a pyromaniac! Duh.

This is the first, and I expect the last, Jodi Picoult novel I'll ever try.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde

  • By: Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Narrated by: Alan Munro
  • Length: 3 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 12

The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde was an immediate success and is one of Stevenson's best-selling works. Within a year of its publication, stage adaptations began in Boston and London, and soon moved all across England and then towards his home in Scotland. The novella has gone on to inspire scores of major film and stage performances. The work centers around Dr. Jekyll, one man with two personalities, one apparently good and the other evil.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Beware, not a professional narrator

  • By Laurene on 05-22-12

Beware, not a professional narrator

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

Reviewed: 05-22-12

I think this is one of the Librivox recordings made by volunteers and available for free elsewhere on the web. Don't buy it. The narrator, while no doubt well-meaning, isn't able to read the 19C text in a way that matches the actual sense. You'll find it much more difficult to follow than it should be. This sort of amateur production should not be sold, for however little, on Audible.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Deadlocked

  • A Sookie Stackhouse Novel, Book 12
  • By: Charlaine Harris
  • Narrated by: Johanna Parker
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,884
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,362
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,372

Growing up with telepathic abilities, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on there were things she'd rather not know. And now that she's an adult, she also realizes that some things that she knows about, she'd rather not see—like Eric Northman feeding off another woman. A younger one. There's a thing or two she'd like to say about that, but she has to keep quiet—Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), is in town.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Underwhelmed

  • By Andrea on 05-03-12

Reliably entertaining

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

Reviewed: 05-03-12

At this point, I'm as happy to read about Sookie making a casserole for her friend with a new baby as anything else. It's a lot like visiting an old friend. Some long-running story lines get wrapped up in fairly satisfying ways and there's the usual humor, which is so well handled by Johanna Parker. The Sookie-Eric relationship never seemed that tenable to me, so I'm happy to see that Harris is handling their problems realistically. And I like that Sookie is becoming more than "just a waitress" because she could use some more financial and career security.

While I can understand why some long-time listeners are bothered that there isn't more drama or action, I actually think this book is far more fulfilling on that level than the one before. It's not very steamy, though, if that's an issue for you. To me, this is the ultimate comfort listen, and with the exception of the opening scene in a ladies-night strip club (tacky), I found it really pleasing no matter what was going on.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful