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gail

Plainfield, VT, United States
  • 24
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 82
  • ratings
  • Strangers in Their Own Land

  • Anger and Mourning on the American Right
  • By: Arlie Russell Hochschild
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,141
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,029
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,018

In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country - a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Informative, entertaining, and, yes, life-changing

  • By Alexandra Hopkins on 07-22-17

Why didn't Hochschild insist on a better reader?

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

Reviewed: 08-26-18

As other reviewers have noted, the supercilious accent of the reader is off-putting, and completely at odds with the voice of Arlie Hochschild, the writer and person.
I hung in there through the accent and tried to keep it from interfering with the writer's voice. This is an important effort to cross the blue/red divide in our country. It gives a wealth of detail about the thoughts and lives of the Louisiana Tea Party members she got to know, although, in the end, I can't say Hochschild resolved what she calls "the Great Paradox," -- why people who are the most devastated by corporate environmental damage are the most likely to support candidates who want to strip away environmental protections.

  • Tangerine

  • By: Christine Mangan
  • Narrated by: Barrie Kreinik, Erin Mallon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 734
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 681
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 687

The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the accident at Bennington, the two friends - once inseparable roommates - haven't spoken in over a year. Lucy - always fearless and independent - helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country. But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice - she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn. Then Alice's husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Goes downhill

  • By Karen on 03-31-18

Grim and grimmer

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

Reviewed: 08-02-18

Plot contains no real revelations. A very expat version of Tangier, more stereotypes than fresh images

  • A Taste for Vengeance

  • A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel
  • By: Martin Walker
  • Narrated by: Robert Ian Mackenzie
  • Length: 11 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 244
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 226

When a British tourist fails to turn up for a luxurious cooking vacation in Bruno's usually idyllic Dordogne village of St. Denis, the worried hostess is quick to call on Bruno for help. Monica Felder is nowhere to be found, and her husband, a retired British major, is unreachable. And not long after Bruno discovers that Monica was traveling with a mysterious Irishman (her lover?), the two turn up dead. The Irishman's background in intelligence and his connection to Monica's husband only raise more questions for Bruno.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best of the best

  • By Sharon Major on 06-28-18

Ian Mackenzie is Bruno!

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

Reviewed: 07-21-18

Strange that a British accent could so persuasively convey Bruno, but Mackenzie gets everyone (except the American) pitch perfect. This story wasn’t quite as strong as previous books but luckily Isabel is still around and Bruno and his friends are still fine company.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The House of Broken Angels

  • By: Luis Alberto Urrea
  • Narrated by: Luis Alberto Urrea
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 585
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 550
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 548

In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel de La Cruz, affectionately called Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly 100, dies herself, leading to a farewell doubleheader in a single weekend. Among the guests is Big Angel's half-brother, known as Little Angel, who must reckon with the truth that although he shares a father with his siblings, he has not, as a half gringo, shared a life. Across two bittersweet days in their San Diego neighborhood, the revelers mingle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not death, and Not borders

  • By Clodhopper on 05-01-18

Author’s reading brings heart and authenticity to the story

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

Reviewed: 05-13-18

Reading his own book, Urrea brings the story to life and captures all the humor and heart he wrote into the book

  • Hidden Figures

  • The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
  • By: Margot Lee Shetterly
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,777
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,158
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,187

Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as "human computers" used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets and astronauts into space. Among these problem solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting Subject

  • By Jami on 02-05-18

Robin Miles gives a pitch-perfect rendering of this story

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

Reviewed: 05-02-18

This story is widely known because of the movie, but i highly recommend the full book version for its wealth of historical detail brought to life by Robin Miles’ reading and Margot Lee Shatterly’s writing

  • The Mandelbaum Gate

  • By: Muriel Spark
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

The Mandelbaum Gate divides the conflict-torn realm of Jerusalem, separating Israel from Jordan. Barbara Vaughn, a stubborn young English woman and half-Jewish Catholic convert, insists upon crossing the divide in order to rendezvous with her fiancé, in spite of the very real danger. Her quest sets off a series of bizarre situations and adventures, set against the backdrop of the Eichmann trial of 1961.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Spark Sparks!!

  • By Karen on 08-19-10

Seems outdated

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

Reviewed: 04-14-18

I listened to this because a retrospective i read on Spark’s 100th birthday said it dealt with current issues. It may be that the same problems persist, but the characters seemed outdated and stereotyped, particularly the Arabs.

  • IQ

  • By: Joe Ide
  • Narrated by: Sullivan Jones
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,995
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,670
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,652

A resident of one of LA's toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores. East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood's high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can't or won't touch. They call him IQ. He's a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • IQ way better than OK

  • By green ice cream garden on 12-21-16

Sullivan Jones nails the voices

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

Reviewed: 11-26-17

Joe Ide's dialogue is spot on, but Sullivan Jones' performance brings each of the many varied characters to brilliant life. A great listen!

  • To Siri with Love

  • A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines
  • By: Judith Newman
  • Narrated by: Cris Dukehart
  • Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61

When Judith Newman shared the story of how Apple's electronic personal assistant, Siri, helped Gus, her son who has autism, she received widespread media attention and an outpouring of affection from listeners around the world. Basking in the afterglow of media attention, Gus told anyone who would listen, "I'm a movie star". Judith's story of her son and his bond with Siri was an unusual tribute to technology. While many worry that our electronic gadgets are dumbing us down, she revealed how they can give voice to others.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good book if you are new to ASD

  • By gail on 10-04-17

Good book if you are new to ASD

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

Reviewed: 10-04-17

But covers so much old ground if you are already familiar with families with autism. The SIRI part which was originally an article is fresh and her ironic slightly snarky tone is fun.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Coming to My Senses

  • The Making of a Counterculture Cook
  • By: Alice Waters
  • Narrated by: Alice Waters
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 161
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 153
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 149

The long-awaited memoir from cultural icon and culinary standard bearer Alice Waters recalls the circuitous road and tumultuous times leading to the opening of what is arguably America's most influential restaurant. In Coming to My Senses, Alice retraces the events that led her to 1517 Shattuck Avenue and the tumultuous times that emboldened her to find her own voice as a cook when the prevailing food culture was embracing convenience and uniformity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Part of our history

  • By gail on 09-24-17

Part of our history

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

Reviewed: 09-24-17

An authentic window on the history of our times written and read by an important participant

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Wonder Boys

  • By: Michael Chabon
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 496
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 446
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 447

A wildly successful first novel made Grady Tripp a young star, and seven years later he still hasn't grown up. He's now a writing professor in Pittsburgh, plummeting through middle age, stuck with an unfinishable manuscript, an estranged wife, a pregnant girlfriend, and a talented but deeply disturbed student named James Leer.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good listening albeit rather slow

  • By MIGHTYA on 09-22-14

I couldn't finish this

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

Reviewed: 08-29-17

I think it is supposed to be amusing, but the reader's noirish lugubrious narration made it seem that the characters were lurching from one sad catastrophe to another. I'd always heard this was a good book and I have enjoyed other Chabon fiction, so I have to think it was the reader that dragged it down.