LISTENER

Meg F.

  • 18
  • reviews
  • 26
  • helpful votes
  • 67
  • ratings
  • Inheritance

  • A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love
  • By: Dani Shapiro
  • Narrated by: Dani Shapiro
  • Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 663
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 615
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 611

Inheritance is an audiobook about secrets - secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman's urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than 50 years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A spellbinding book

  • By asdasklda on 01-18-19

Gets better as you listen

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

Reviewed: 03-05-19

I had a little trouble getting into this one as I find the author’s reading style a little slow and dry. Also—I realize this makes me sound like I lack empathy and maybe I do—I had a hard time relating to the level of trauma that her genetic discovery triggered. She spent a long time discussing her shock and how it sent her into a “who am I” spiral, and I had trouble staying patient with that. But the story grew on me as I listened and I enjoyed in particular hearing about her parents and the history of fertility medicine and donor insemination. Her ethical discussions were thought provoking. I think it came to a satisfying conclusion and was a worthwhile listen overall.

  • The Alice Network

  • A Novel
  • By: Kate Quinn
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 15 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,964
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,039
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,933

In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • We are standing on the shoulders of giants...

  • By Marie on 02-25-18

Just Couldn't Like It

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

Reviewed: 02-26-19

I listened to the entire book, because someone I love recommended it, but it was pretty tough going for much of it. I'm not sure why it gets such great reviews. The plot is interesting and who doesn't want to know about female spy networks? But holy cow, the writing is fraught with cliches and anachronisms. I'm lucky I didn't crash my car from rolling my eyes so often. Maybe the narrator was part of the problem; I found her voice pretty insipid. Maybe I'd have liked it better had I read the book instead of listening. But this one just wasn't for me. It did have a couple memorable moments but overall, this is not one I'd recommend.

  • In the Woods

  • A Novel
  • By: Tana French
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 20 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12,268
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,730
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,713

As dusk approaches a Dublin suburb in 1984, mothers call their children home. But on this evening, three children do not return. When the police arrive, they find only one of them. He is gripping a tree trunk, wearing blood-filled sneakers and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours. Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective. When a girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox must investigate a case chillingly similar to the unsolved mystery.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Very mixed feelings (semi-spoilers included)

  • By Dottie B. on 02-14-13

Grim and Grimmer

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

Reviewed: 11-29-18

While this review doesn't exactly contain spoilers, it may be spoiler-ish for some.

This is a book about a child murder and the unlikable character who's investigating it. It starts off grim and just keeps getting darker. I have heard so many good things about Tana French, so I kept listening for all 20+ hours, expecting some kind of payoff, but nope. There is no redemption at the end, no glimmer of hope, no vindication, even, to make all the darkness worth it. It just goes from bad to worse. Maybe the author was going for realism? There is some nice prose in there but even that seems misplaced because it's first person, and it's not very believable for the main character to think/speak in such elevated style. I finished the book last night and was so mad at myself for investing that many hours, just to be left feeling flat and dismal. Yeah, I know whodunnit, but it wasn't worth the depressing 20 hours to find out.

  • Where the Crawdads Sing

  • By: Delia Owens
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 43,568
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,755
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,607

For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life - until the unthinkable happens.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not my usual style

  • By Veronica on 09-22-18

I just don't get the hype

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

Reviewed: 11-13-18

I gave this a solid chance because of the reviews being so good, but I'm several hours into it and I just can't listen anymore. My problem might be mostly with the narrator, whose voice I find very grating. She makes the main character sound as if she's mentally impaired, when she is supposed to be very bright. The story of the murder is dragging terribly, and the story of her growing up in the swamp, which is the more interesting part, is still really hard to buy into, and its becoming so insipid that I just can't stand to keep going. There is some lovely prose; I'll give it that, but I can't stick around just for pretty sentences.

  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle

  • By: Shirley Jackson
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
  • Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,529
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,280
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,284

Six years after four family members died of arsenic poisoning, the three remaining Blackwoods—elder, agoraphobic sister Constance; wheelchair-bound Uncle Julian; and 18-year-old Mary Katherine, or, Merricat—live together in pleasant isolation. Merricat has developed an idiosyncratic system of rules and protective magic to guard the estate against intrusions from hostile villagers. But one day a stranger arrives—cousin Charles, with his eye on the Blackwood fortune.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The narration changed my interpretation

  • By jaspersu on 10-28-12

A bit disappointing

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

Reviewed: 11-07-18

I really wanted to like this book, and had been looking for some time for a good Halloween listen. Everyone raves about Shirley Jackson. I didn't find this book particularly scary or creepy or anything. It was rather charming, pretty language and descriptions. I did like the main characters, but nothing really happens...even when events happen, they don't seem to matter. Just a sort of flat story. I felt like it could have been so much more.

  • Lethal White

  • A Cormoran Strike Novel
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 22 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,039
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,593
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,560

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike's office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. Trying to get to the bottom of Billy's story, Strike and Robin Ellacott - once his assistant, now a partner in the agency - set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best 22 hours of the last week

  • By Jennifer on 09-27-18

Can't Get Enough of Robert Glenister doing Strike

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

Reviewed: 10-04-18

I am a huge fan of this series, but I don't care nearly as much about the mysteries as I do about the relationship between the main characters, Robin & Strike. I LOVE this narrator, Robert Glenister, and love how he does the voice of Strike. I don't want to watch the BBC show and have that impression of Strike sullied! Also, Glenister avoids the campy, mocking singsong that so many male narrators use when they portray women. He does all the voices and distinct accents (the author often calls out the dialect, so you really notice him switching from Cornwall to Yorkshire to London, etc) so well. He deserves an Audie.

Okay, to the point: the mystery story is as good or better than the earlier mysteries in this series. I enjoyed the various bad guys and clues, and the political overlay of the London Olympics. I loved the Billy character and the unreliable witness element he brought. But what we all want to know is, WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH ROBIN & STRIKE?

No spoilers, but the book gives you enough of the two of them to keep you on the hook. I can't say anything else. I'll get the next book for sure.

PS: Don't read these books out of order. Start with the first in the series.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Circe

  • By: Madeline Miller
  • Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,718
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 13,769
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,689

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child - not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring, like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power - the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Refined writing with an intimate performance

  • By Michael - Audible Editor on 04-11-18

Divine Performance

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

Reviewed: 08-16-18

Miller makes the gods and heroes of Greek mythology come alive in this first-person account of the exile of Circe, daughter of Helios. This is a book that I'm glad I listened to, as opposed to reading it. I was torn, because I have heard that Madeline Miller's prose is so lush, and I tend to prefer to read rich writing and listen to lighter fare. Indeed, the writing is beautiful and worth contemplating in detail...but wow, the performance by Perdita Weeks makes it even more beautiful! If ever there was a human voice created to portray divinity, it is hers. She imbued the title character and her story with such a silky, golden quality. I cannot overstate how elegant this performance is.

It's an epic story but also very intimate. I enjoyed the descriptions of Aeaea and the characterizations of the gods, along with the interesting limitations to their powers. I look forward to reading (or listening to!) Miller's first novel as well.

  • The Weight of Ink

  • By: Rachel Kadish
  • Narrated by: Corrie James
  • Length: 23 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,533
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,357
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,351

Set in the London of the 1660s and of the early 21st century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city, and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history. As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a cache of 17th-century Jewish documents newly discovered in his home during a renovation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Compelling characters question life choices, ethics, religious rules, love and desire

  • By CHRISTINE on 11-02-17

I'm giving up on this one

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

Reviewed: 07-25-18

I've listened for over three hours and still struggling to stay engaged. I think a big part of it is the narrator. Can't imagine why they selected her for this one. Her accents are strange and stilted, and her American accent is unbearable. I am a bit curious about the plot and would like to know how it ends, but not enough to sit through 22 hours of this.

  • Something in the Water

  • A Novel
  • By: Catherine Steadman
  • Narrated by: Catherine Steadman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,376
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,124
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28,030

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Give this a HARD PASS

  • By 3dewdrops on 06-27-18

Still fun, despite big flaws

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

Reviewed: 07-18-18

I almost didn't buy this one because I read reviews that described the dumb choices of the main character, Erin, and how predictable the ending is. The bad news is that both those criticisms are spot on. The good news is that it doesn't matter. I enjoyed listening to this book anyway. I might not have enjoyed reading the print version; it's Catherine Steadman's performance that made this book for me. Usually I do not enjoy when authors voice their own books, but I didn't realize that Steadman is an actress as well as an author, and she made me really like Erin, even though her choices made me occasionally shout at her in my car. I found myself rooting for her anyway. Even though I saw the big "plot twist" very early in the book, I still enjoyed it enough to listen and find out how it all played out.

This is a good book for driving: interesting enough to hold my attention but not too complex, because I have to pay some attention to the road as well! It's a fun listen and worth buying despite its flaws. In fact, I find myself hoping for a sequel. Erin won't be such a sucker after the education she got in this book!

  • Little Fires Everywhere

  • By: Celeste Ng
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Lim
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,580
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,916
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,876

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned - from the layout of the winding roads to the colors of the houses to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren - an enigmatic artist and single mother - who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter, Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Boring and Drawn Out!!!

  • By M. Ryder on 10-05-17

Doesn't live up to the hype

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

Reviewed: 07-13-18

This isn't awful but it certainly didn't live up to all the hype. The story was so-so, the characters were hopelessly cliche, and sometimes the writing was a little cringey. The POV felt like cheating: so convenient for the author to use just enough omniscience to explain what she needed but not omniscient enough to blow the suspense...it seemed inconsistent and a bit of a cop-out to me. I did listen all the way through, and was invested enough to find out what happened, so I'd give this one 2.5 stars--but overall, it was pretty forgettable.