LISTENER

M.

  • 11
  • reviews
  • 15
  • helpful votes
  • 30
  • ratings
  • Misery

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Lindsay Crouse
  • Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,715
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,501
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,500

Paul Sheldon is a best-selling novelist who has finally met his number-one fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes, and she is more than a rabid reader - she is Paul's nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also furious that the author has killed off her favorite character in his latest book. Annie becomes his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house. Annie wants Paul to write a book that brings Misery back to life - just for her. She has a lot of ways to spur him on.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great job

  • By Whitney on 05-06-16

Great Narrator,Tension You Could Cut with..an Axe!

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

Reviewed: 02-14-17

Would you consider the audio edition of Misery to be better than the print version?

I would say they are just as good, which is saying something for King novels. Often the narrator overdoes it and the subtle tension of the book comes out sounding like camp as an audiobook.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Misery?

The torture scenes were amazing. While graphic and grisly events are occurring, King downplays any descriptions and focuses on the protagonist's coping mechanism and descriptions of what pain feels like, which is hard to describe.

What does Lindsay Crouse bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She provides a steady stream of tension that you might not get reading the book with distractions around you. It was so good I was sad to get off my tram commute!

If you could rename Misery, what would you call it?

Isolated Agony

  • The Sound of Gravel

  • A Memoir
  • By: Ruth Wariner
  • Narrated by: Ruth Wariner
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,119
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,921
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,919

Ruth Wariner was the 39th of her father's 42 children. Growing up on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turned a blind eye to the practices of her community, Ruth lives in a ramshackle house without indoor plumbing or electricity. At church, preachers teach that God will punish the wicked by destroying the world and that women can ascend to heaven only by entering into polygamous marriages and giving birth to as many children as possible.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unputdownable

  • By Lesley A. on 01-16-16

Not Really Polygamy, Lacked Editing

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

Reviewed: 01-09-17

Would you try another book from Ruth Wariner and/or Ruth Wariner?

No, I wouldn't, not without her editor working to improve her writing style and having her give broader context.

If you’ve listened to books by Ruth Wariner before, how does this one compare?

I haven't.

What does Ruth Wariner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

It does add more empathy, but it makes it clear she's inexperienced in the literary world and her editor didn't help her enough.

Did The Sound of Gravel inspire you to do anything?

I really appreciate her courage to leave her situation, but I just couldn't finish the book.

Any additional comments?

While much of the book--and Ruth's courage to leave--was compelling, it really wasn't polygamy in the sense of a community of conservative Mormons who believe in polygamous communities. Rather, it was an unstable mother of dubious religious commitment who made poor parenting decisions, not giving her kids proper medical treatment or education, who wasn't part of a community and whose "husband" was a womanizer who flitted from "wife" to "wife." No community to speak of. It was poorly paced.

  • John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster

  • By: Sam L. Amirante, Danny Broderick
  • Narrated by: Robin Bloodworth
  • Length: 14 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 876
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 809
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 814

“Sam, could you do me a favor?” Thus begins a story that has now become part of America's true-crime hall of fame. It is a gory, grotesque tale befitting a Stephen King novel. It is also a David and Goliath saga - the story of a young lawyer fresh from the public defender's office whose first client in private practice turns out to be the worst serial killer in our nation's history. This is a gripping true crime narrative that reenacts the gruesome killings and the famous trial that shocked a nation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Ultimately an excellent listen

  • By A.R. on 03-03-13

Fascinating Perspective & No Unnecessary Gore

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

Reviewed: 01-07-17

If you could sum up John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster in three words, what would they be?

Analytic, Level-Headed, Gripping

What did you like best about this story?

I liked that the gory details were laid out as facts, neither hidden nor sensationalized. I also liked the clear explanations of legal details in the case that made sense to a non-lawyer.

Which character – as performed by Robin Bloodworth – was your favorite?

They all sounded the same to me, but I prefer that; faking voices in audio books is annoying to me

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes! Though I paced myself

Any additional comments?

I did think he was heavy-handed mentioning the "everyone deserves a fair defense" thing, agreeing with reviews I read, but it wasn't enough to keep me from recommending this.

  • Seductive Poison

  • A Jonestown Survivor's Story of Life and Death in the Peoples Temple
  • By: Deborah Layton
  • Narrated by: Kathe Mazur, Deborah Layton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 295
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 270
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 269

Told by a former high-level member of the Peoples Temple and Jonestown survivor, Seductive Poison is the "truly unforgettable" (Kirkus Reviews) story of how one woman was seduced by one of the most notorious cults in recent memory and how she found her way back to sanity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant, Haunting, Chilling

  • By Daryl on 04-16-15

Self-Analysis on why "Normal" People Join Cults

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

Reviewed: 10-06-16

If you could sum up Seductive Poison in three words, what would they be?

Self-Analysis, Juicy, Sobering

Who was your favorite character and why?

It's a first person narrative of a member of Jim Jones's cult, so the word "favorite" is a bit odd. Her insights into Jim himself are compelling--I've listened to quite a good number of cult books and it is clear that he didn't believe what he was peddling. He was hungry for power.

Have you listened to any of Kathe Mazur’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but she was a great narrator.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes! It was a perfect combination of colorful details and sobering self-analysis.

Any additional comments?

WARNING: Book contains scenes of rape; descriptions are necessary to the book's core, but do keep this in mind

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Stolen Life

  • A Memoir
  • By: Jaycee Dugard
  • Narrated by: Jaycee Dugard
  • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,781
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,287
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,277

"In the summer of 1991 I was a normal kid. I did normal things. I had friends and a mother who loved me. I was just like you. Until the day my life was stolen. For eighteen years I was a prisoner. I was an object for someone to use and abuse. For eighteen years I was not allowed to speak my own name. I became a mother and was forced to be a sister. For eighteen years I survived an impossible situation. On August 26, 2009, I took my name back. My name is Jaycee Lee Dugard. I dont think of myself as a victim. I survived...."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Terrific

  • By Daniel on 07-27-11

Simultaneously Simple & Complicated

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

Reviewed: 10-06-16

If you could sum up A Stolen Life in three words, what would they be?

Childhood & Adulthood Intertwined

What other book might you compare A Stolen Life to and why?

I would compare it to Elizabeth Smart's autobiography in content, though Smart's work clearly shows she had a more hands-on editor and more education when she wrote her book.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Jaycee Dugard?

Only if it were one of hers. Her voice is childlike and halting, which is good for the authenticity of her own story, but not desirable for other books.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Her discussions of disagreements with members of her family, which she recalled while in captivity. Her discussions of sex and how her captor verbally manipulated rather than verbally abused her in a clichéd sense. (There is discussion of sex, but it is more what one would expect.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dreamland

  • The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic
  • By: Sam Quinones
  • Narrated by: Neil Hellegers
  • Length: 13 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,060
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,698
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,684

In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America - addiction like no other the country has ever faced. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • American Nightmare that is Necessary Reading

  • By Mel on 05-09-15

Best Book of Many Read on Drugs

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

Reviewed: 10-06-16

Where does Dreamland rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is hands-down the best book (of about seven) I have listened to or read on the drug/prescription problem in America.

What did you like best about this story?

Sam was not afraid to confront the fact that, while the majority of Mexican illegal aliens aren't criminals, the bulk of these drugs brought into the US come from Mexican men who illegally enter the US with them. He also confronted the over-prescribing of painkillers by American doctors.

What three words best describe Neil Hellegers’s voice?

Scratchy, Dramatic, Hyperbolic

If you could give Dreamland a new subtitle, what would it be?

"Mexican Drug Dealers, American Addicts, and the State of the U.S. Health Care System"

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Trump Revealed

  • An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power
  • By: Michael Kranish, Marc Fisher
  • Narrated by: Campbell Scott
  • Length: 15 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 594
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 538
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 533

Trump Revealed offers the most thorough and wide-ranging examination of Donald Trump's public and private lives to date, from his upbringing in Queens and formative years at the New York Military Academy to his turbulent careers in real estate and entertainment to his astonishing rise as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. The book is based on the investigative reporting of more than two dozen Washington Post reporters and researchers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Trump Truth

  • By Mark on 09-03-16

Insightful Reporting, Little from Trump Himself

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

Reviewed: 10-06-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Definitely! Regardless of whether you will or won't vote for Trump, this fact-based look at Trump's business practices is crucial for a decision regarding for whom one should vote and an example of solid reporting.

What did you like best about this story?

I enjoyed hearing details about how he pulled off selling his name as a brand.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Campbell Scott?

If he stopped sounding so heavy handed...it sounded like he was reading a murder mystery.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not really.

Any additional comments?

It was clear that towards the end the reporters were rushing to finish a deadline, and I wish that the team had learned more about his personal life and his the influence of his adult children on his businesses. Those were largely absent.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Nomad

  • From Islam to America
  • By: Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • Narrated by: Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 342
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 241
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 239

Hirsi Ali tells the stirring story of her search for a new life in America in this vivid philosophical memoir, picking up where Infidel left off. Nomad is a portrait of a family torn apart by the clash of civilizations. But it is also a touching, uplifting, and often funny account of one woman’s discovery of today’s America.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Mostly Excerpts from First Book "Infidel"

  • By M. on 10-06-16

Mostly Excerpts from First Book "Infidel"

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

Reviewed: 10-06-16

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

This was wasted time for someone who read the first book Ms. Ali wrote, "Infidel." Huge chunks of the book were nearly (or actually) the same as many from that book without updates or added nuance. I find Ms. Ali a compelling figure, but this book, having read that one, was pointless.

What could Ayaan Hirsi Ali have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Ms. Ali works at a U.S. think tank, yet the majority of her assertions as to how to improve Muslim-Non-Muslim relations--regardless of what you think of them--utterly lacked statistics or how she would hope they'd be implemented in America or another specific country.

Which scene was your favorite?

Really the only thing that stood out was how so many paragraphs were (nearly?) the same as her first book.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Narconomics

  • How to Run a Drug Cartel
  • By: Tom Wainwright
  • Narrated by: Brian Hutchison
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,729
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,446
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,422

What drug lords learned from big business. How does a budding cartel boss succeed (and survive) in the $300 billion illegal drug business? By learning from the best, of course. From creating brand value to fine-tuning customer service, the folks running cartels have been attentive students of the strategy and tactics used by corporations such as Walmart, McDonald's, and Coca-Cola.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great book, miscast narrator

  • By Felipe Alves on 12-15-16

Concise, Serious Yet Not Boring Book

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

Reviewed: 07-16-16

What made the experience of listening to Narconomics the most enjoyable?

The narrator was both animated and serious. It's a hard line to walk but he did.

What other book might you compare Narconomics to and why?

Contrary to its title, not Freakenomics. I'd say it's similar to Reefer Madness and Dreamland

What does Brian Hutchison bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

As said, he is animated while still serious

If you could give Narconomics a new subtitle, what would it be?

Narconomics: A Guidebook for Drug Dealers, Lawmakers and Policy Wonks

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Song Machine

  • Inside the Hit Factory
  • By: John Seabrook
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 650
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 608
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 606

Traveling from New York to Los Angeles, Stockholm to Korea, John Seabrook visits specialized teams composing songs in digital labs with novel techniques, and he traces the growth of these contagious hits from their origins in early '90s Sweden to their ubiquity on today's charts. Featuring the stories of artists like Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Rihanna as well as expert songsmiths like Max Martin, Ester Dean, and Dr. Luke, The Song Machine will change the way you listen to music.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Want your music canned or in a box?

  • By tru britty on 10-08-15

Rare Combo of Fun, Fascinating & Elucidating

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

Reviewed: 07-11-16

Would you consider the audio edition of Song Machine to be better than the print version?

Yes and No
Yes: I don't have time to read every book, and this was a well-read book with a coherent narrative that was chronological. So it was a solid listening choice.
No: There is no information from the footnotes or acknowledgements which is particularly key for narrative non-fiction.

What other book might you compare Song Machine to and why?

Gods & Kings (on audible, which I read in print) about fashion. It's an enjoyable read but also academically underpinned in a subject that so often is over "fluffed".

What does Dion Graham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Enthusiasm. And--also underrated--tone. Serious when it needs to be, sly or fun when the occasion called for it.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Plot twists--where someone "irrelevant" showed up again as a significant figure.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful