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Joanne

Burlington, Ontario, Canada
  • 44
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  • 383
  • helpful votes
  • 287
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  • Red Notice

  • A True Story of High Finance, Murder and One Man's Fight for Justice
  • By: Bill Browder
  • Narrated by: Adam Grupper
  • Length: 14 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 6,638
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6,092
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 6,094

Red Notice is a searing expose of the wholesale whitewash by Russian authorities of Magnitsky's imprisonment and murder, slicing deep into the shadowy heart of the Kremlin to uncover its sordid truths.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Gutsy, chilling and important.

  • By Michael J Canning on 02-28-15

Run, don’t walk, to read this book!

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

Reviewed: 10-21-17

This book is astonishing in its depth, breadth and humanity. Mr. Browder’s personal story about his life and motivation for studying business was fascinating. His description of how and why he became so interested in the emerging markets of Eastern Europe and Russia provided real insight into a very important period in the modern history of business and politics. Where this book truly shines is in the telling of the tragic story of Sergei Magnitsky. Mr. Browder’s tenacity, courage, and commitment to truth-telling have deeply touched me. I now understand so much more about modern Russia - and about the need to ask deeper questions when political decisions are made in the West. Thank you, Mr. Browder, for this amazing book.




3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • A Brief History of Seven Killings

  • By: Marlon James
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean, Cherise Boothe, Dwight Bacquie, and others
  • Length: 26 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,663
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,542
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,534

Winner, The Man Booker Prize, 2015 Deftly spanning decades and continents and peopled with a wide range of characters - assassins, journalists, drug dealers, and even ghosts - A Brief History of Seven Killings is the fictional exploration of that dangerous and unstable time and its bloody aftermath, from the streets and slums of Kingston in the 1970s, to the crack wars in 1980s New York, to a radically altered Jamaica in the 1990s.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A Tough Read

  • By KP on 05-07-16

The best book I've read in a long, long time

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

Reviewed: 11-02-15

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

Yes. This is a masterful novel with immense scope. I am so grateful to the narrators for making the powerful words and ideas come alive. Music, politics, and economics are interwoven through the stories of the main characters. The language is raw so some listeners may find the novel difficult to "read".

Who was your favorite character and why?

I don't have a favorite character after first reading/listening. Each character is fully drawn and I felt empathy for each one, even though their flaws were very visible.

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

Oh, my - the narrators were amazing! They made the story come alive for me. I have a copy of the book and plan to read it next. I wonder, in advance, whether I would have "seen/heard/smelled" the characters and their environments if I had read the book rather than listened to it first. We shall see!

If you could take any character from A Brief History of Seven Killings out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I think I would like to have dinner with Bob Marley ("The Singer"). Was he aware of the political undercurrents in Jamaica as he rose to fame? How much did he understand about his part in them? How did he feel about those he left behind as he moved beyond the ghetto?

Any additional comments?

I am in awe of this novel. Its depth and insight are astounding. If I were to be stranded on a desert island, this would be one of the five books I would need to take with me.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Mask

  • Vanessa Michael Munroe, Book 5
  • By: Taylor Stevens
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 13 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 158
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159

Vanessa Michael Munroe, chameleon and information hunter, has a reputation for getting things done: dangerous and not quite legal things that have taken her undercover into some of the world's deadliest places. Still healing from a Somali hijacking gone wrong and a brutal attack that left her near death, Munroe joins her lover Miles Bradford in Japan, where he's working as a security consultant protecting high-value technology from industrial espionage.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very good

  • By Joanne on 07-06-15

Very good

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

Reviewed: 07-06-15

Would you listen to The Mask again? Why?

Yes. The book started off a bit slowly - building a sense of place and leaving this reader as off-balance as a "domesticated" Munro. As the story progresses, the pace picks up and the early "lull" makes complete sense. I would listen again in order to be more respectful of the the writer's perfect sense of timing.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Vanessa/Michael continues to be my favorite character in this series. Taylor Stevens describes the experience of a survivor of extreme trauma without flinching - while compassion and love can exist, the skills and mindset acquired to make survival possible have a life of their own.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene where Vanessa/Michael organizes her contract with Capstone for Miles' rescue is one of my favorites. On the surface, it seems wrong for Vanessa/Michael to ask for payment; however, she is doing what she must do to surface the skills that will ultimately set Miles free.

Any additional comments?

Several plot lines were woven into the story, not all of which felt necessary. I would be interested to know more about one of important characters in the story - Munro's "mirror". In all, the story held together very well and it was a very enjoyable "listen".

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Cartel

  • By: Don Winslow
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 23 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,013
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,443
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,421

From the internationally best-selling author of the acclaimed novel The Power of the Dog comes The Cartel, a gripping, ripped-from-the-headlines story of power, corruption, revenge, and justice spanning the past decade of the Mexican-American drug wars.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best ever…

  • By Kindle Customer on 03-24-16

Be brave...this is an important book

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

Reviewed: 06-29-15

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

In the top 20.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Cartel?

It's difficult to choose one memorable moment because the book is resonating so strongly in my mind, days after I have finished reading. Moments of sheer beauty are memorable because they are reminders that there is life in the midst of destruction: a blue sky with high cumulus clouds, a grotto damp and green, dresses that swirl.

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

Ray Porter is wonderful. This performance is masterful.

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

There were so many but the women of Juarez, their devotion to justice embodied in small and large acts, moved me.

Any additional comments?

My favorite books help me to understand my world. They force me to open my eyes and to think about issues that I might otherwise find too difficult to consider. The Cartel is one of these books. I needed to take breaks to breathe - the narrative was unrelenting. Through the development of unforgettable characters (some familiar from Power of The Dog, some new) and the description of places (once beautiful.. and finding beauty amidst destruction), the real-life tragedy that is the drug trade has come alive for me. I am left with the question: Am I brave enough to keep my eyes open to the difficult issues in the world? The answer: I must. Thank you, Mr. Winslow, for illuminating this particular issue for me.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Secret Lovers

  • A Paul Christopher Novel
  • By: Charles McCarry
  • Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 44

Early one morning in West Berlin, a nervous courier delivers the handwritten manuscript of a dissident Russian novel to Paul Christopher. Minutes after the handoff, the courier's spine is neatly snapped by an impact with a passing black sedan. Meanwhile, in Rome, Christopher's wife Cathy takes a famous film director as a lover to stir her husband out of the stoicism that defines his personality.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thank you, Mom!

  • By Joanne on 03-30-13

Thank you, Mom!

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

Reviewed: 03-30-13

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

My mother recommended this audiobook and I wholeheartedly agree with her recommendation. This book is elegantly written with an intricate, meticulously-drawn plot and multi-dimensional characters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The writer, "Kamensky", was my favourite character because of his profound capacity to love.

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

No - but I thought this performance was wonderful.

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

Yes.

Any additional comments?

The Secret Lovers is so much more than a spy thriller. It is a love story told with such elegant brilliance that it took my breath away.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Leviathan Effect

  • A Thriller
  • By: James Lilliefors
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Gibel
  • Length: 13 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 41

Homeland Security Secretary Catherine Blaine receives a frightening communication from a hacker identified only by the pseudonym Janus. The message is the latest in a series correctly predicting natural disasters around the world - disasters that, Janus claims, were manufactured, not natural at all. And, according to the email, unless the United States does as Janus instructs, another disaster is coming - a Category 5 hurricane that will hit the Eastern Seaboard and destroy the lives of tens of millions of people.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting, current and a very good thriller

  • By Joanne on 03-24-13

Interesting, current and a very good thriller

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

Reviewed: 03-24-13

Where does The Leviathan Effect rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top 25%

What did you like best about this story?

The discussion of the impact of human intervention on the environment through the lens of a particular 'natural' disaster was very interesting. I appreciated that the author created a 'thriller' to elucidate the many layers of significance. The characters and plot were very entertaining.

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

I haven't listened to any of her performances before. I definitely enjoyed this performance: the many characters were distinctively voiced and the dramatic settings were even more vivid in the 'speaking'.

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

There wasn't a particular moment; however, I continue to think about the hallucinations experienced by several characters at the height of the 'unnatural' natural disaster.

Any additional comments?

I definitely enjoyed this book and recommend it as a fast-paced thriller with a highly charged twist.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Yes, Chef

  • A Memoir
  • By: Marcus Samuelsson
  • Narrated by: Marcus Samuelsson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,249
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,101
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,097

It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s house and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The grandmother is Swedish, a retired domestic. The boy is Ethiopian and adopted, and he will grow up to become the world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. This book is his love letter to food and family in all its manifestations. Yes, Chef chronicles Marcus Samuelsson’s remarkable journey from Helga’s humble kitchen to the opening of the beloved Red Rooster in Harlem.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A fun and inspiring civics lesson

  • By loix on 06-27-12

Listen to this book!

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

Reviewed: 01-17-13

Where does Yes, Chef rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This audibook is in my all-time top 10. Another reader's review led me to it (thank you!) and I was blown away by the content and the wonderful narration. Mr. Samuelsson is thoughtful and perceptive, telling his story with clarity and a desire to tell the truth about the industry and, more importantly, about himself.

What did you like best about this story?

What's not to like! The story of a Swedish couple creating a family, adopting two siblings (just recovered from tuberculosis) from Ethopia who would join their other foster child. The way they created a home for their children, from teaching Markus how to fish and how to cook, was beautiful. Throughout the book, Markus writes of his grandmother and parents' unconditional, but practical, love. Markus writes about his search for "flavours". He writes about the traditional European training for chefs. And, he writes about New York City. I loved this inside view of restaurants I have read about in the pages of Gourmet and Bon Appetit. Fabulous! Along the way, Mr. Samuelsson writes about the paucity of black chefs in top-ranked kitchens around the world and about his journey to bring "flavours" of the world to unique experiences of gourmet cuisine.

Which scene was your favorite?

There are so many but two stand out in my mind. The first is Mr. Samuelsson's encounter with Gordon Ramsay - you'll have to listen to the book to understand how this encounter incorporates so many elements of Markus's journey as a man and as a top chef.

The other scene is Markus and Maya's wedding in Ethopia - again, these scenes contain so many of the elements of his personal journey. I loved the sense of colour, texture, flavours, and joy he is able to convey through his writing.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I loved this book! It made me cry and it made me laugh. It inspired me and it made me think.

Any additional comments?

Often, when an author narrates his/her own book, the result can be lacklustre. This is definitely NOT the case here. Mr. Samuelsson is the very best person for the task - he brings his desire for excellence to it, along with his lovely voice.

In all, this book has everything: a fascinating story about the world of top chefs as well as the search for excellence and identity. Along the way, something truly alchemical happens - the result is far more than the sum of its parts.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger

  • By: Ken Perenyi
  • Narrated by: Dan Butler
  • Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 368
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 321
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 323

Ten years ago, an FBI investigation was about to expose a scandal in the art world that would have been front-page news in New York and London. After a trail of fake paintings of astonishing quality led federal agents to art dealers, experts, and major auction houses, the investigation inexplicably ended, despite an abundance of evidence. The case was closed and the FBI file was marked “exempt from public disclosure”. Now that the statute of limitations on these crimes has expired and the case appears hermetically sealed shut by the FBI, this audiobook, Caveat Emptor, is that artist, Ken Perenyi’s, confession.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Forgery to Story Telling

  • By Tina M. on 08-16-12

A fascinating story told by a fascinating man

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

Reviewed: 09-18-12

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

This is a hard question to answer. The audio version is excellent: the performance captures the excitement of Mr. Perenyi's life and conveys the details of various painting styles in way that kept my attention. For an art lover, I think a hard copy of the book would be invaluable because Mr. Perenyi's career covers so many periods of art history and painting.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mr. Perenyi was my favourite character because of his love of learning and of art. I was struck by his genius, his ability to understand an artist, his burning desire to paint, his love of technique, and his ability to move in all strata of society. I wondered if he was really "for real" - but, in the end, I didn't care. I loved being reminded that geniuses live among us. Another favourite character was Jose, Mr. Perenyi's best friend and partner, who died of AIDs. He was depicted as a devoted and loyal friend without peer - a lovely, gentle soul.

Which character – as performed by Dan Butler – was your favorite?

I enjoyed the Roy Cohn character and was fascinated by the way in which Mr. Perenyi's life intersected with his.

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

Absolutely, yes!

Any additional comments?

Read this book for an adventure with some fascinating characters (including Andy Warhol) through some really interesting times; for a story of New York in the sixties and seventies; and for a master class in art and painting. It's a gem.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • A Killing in the Hills

  • By: Julia Keller
  • Narrated by: Shannon McManus
  • Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 133
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 119
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 118

What’s happening in Acker’s Gap, West Virginia? Three elderly men are gunned down over their coffee at a local diner, and seemingly half the town is there to witness the act. Still, it happened so fast, and no one seems to have gotten a good look at the shooter. Was it random? Was it connected to the spate of drug violence plaguing poor areas of the country just like Acker’s Gap? Or were Dean Streeter, Shorty McClurg, and Lee Rader targeted somehow?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderful treat!

  • By Joanne on 09-11-12

A wonderful treat!

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

Reviewed: 09-11-12

I love mysteries for the suspense and the puzzles that are solved by the end of the book. The mysteries I enjoy the most contain multi-dimensional characters with plots being used to develop these characters. Even better, a story that explores a place I have never been and that leaves me with a sense of the smells, the sounds and the colours is a treat. Ms. Keller combines a tightly woven story with characters and a place I became deeply interested in. I don't feel that I have words that can express how much I enjoyed both the prose and the story itself. West Virginia now "lives" in my imagination, in the same way that James Lee Burke's St. John's Parish and Timothy Hallinan's Bangkok have come alive for me. Shannon McManus is superb. I highly recommend this book. Please write more stories about Bell, Ms. Keller.
P.S. I enjoyed the prose so much that I bought a Kindle copy of the book so that I could re-read certain passages. It really doesn't get much better than this!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Last to Die

  • A Rizzoli and Isles Novel, Book 10
  • By: Tess Gerritsen
  • Narrated by: Tanya Eby
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,721
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,463
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,491

For the second time in his short life, Teddy Clock has survived a massacre. Two years ago, he barely escaped when his entire family was slaughtered. Now, at 14, in a hideous echo of the past, Teddy is the lone survivor of his foster family’s mass murder. Orphaned once more, the traumatized teenager has nowhere to turn - until the Boston PD puts Detective Jane Rizzoli on the case. Determined to protect this young man, Jane discovers that what seemed like a coincidence is one part of a killer’s mission.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Tantalizing Thriller

  • By Diane on 09-01-12

Very enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 09-07-12

This book is pure entertainment, from Ms. Gerritsen's weaving of the tale to Ms. Eby's wonderful performance. There were so many intriguing plot twists that I was guessing until the end. In all, lots of fun and recommended (just make sure you have time to listen to it in almost one sitting)!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful