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TheDallesmbt

  • 16
  • reviews
  • 41
  • helpful votes
  • 217
  • ratings
  • Infinite Home

  • By: Kathleen Alcott
  • Narrated by: Christa Lewis
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 44

Edith is a widowed landlady who rents apartments in her Brooklyn brownstone to an unlikely collection of humans, all deeply in need of shelter. Crippled in various ways - in spirit, in mind, in body, in heart - the renters struggle to navigate daily existence and soon come to realize that Edith's deteriorating mind and the menacing presence of her estranged, unscrupulous son, Owen, are the greatest challenges they must confront together.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A literary feast

  • By Rosemary Benson on 08-21-15

Infinitely Tedious

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

Reviewed: 06-13-16

What would have made Infinite Home better?

More believable, likeable characters.

What could Kathleen Alcott have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Shorten it.

How could the performance have been better?

Not a big problem with the performance--just felt as if the story droned on and on.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Her written language is beautiful. It was the story and characters that were so tedious.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Museum of Extraordinary Things

  • A Novel
  • By: Alice Hoffman
  • Narrated by: Judith Light, Grace Gummer, Zach Appelman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,368
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,244
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,241

Coney Island: Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a boardwalk freak show that amazes and stimulates the crowds. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father's "museum", alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl, and a 100-year-old turtle. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man photographing moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating historical fiction+Hoffman interview!

  • By mendolynne on 06-04-14

An Extraordinary Experience

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

Reviewed: 05-10-14

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

This book was extremely interesting--giving a snapshot of Manhattan in the late 1800's with its diversity, specifically the chasm between the rich and poor. It was especially interesting to read of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire from a somewhat different perspective. Another very interesting aspect of the story was the description of Dreamland and the disaster it incurred.

What did you like best about this story?

The characters were all very unpredictable and, thus, very interesting. It was difficult to guess what would happen next. I also really liked the setting--it was beautifully described and easy to visualize.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I enjoyed the readers giving voice to Cora and Eddie. I really struggled with the narrator, Judith Light. Her reading was so dramatic and "over the top" that I began to regret not purchasing the hard cover and simply reading it for myself. The author writes so beautifully that there was no need for the additional drama Ms. Light seemed compelled to display. I felt her narration detracted from the story.

Who was the most memorable character of The Museum of Extraordinary Things and why?

There were so many memorable characters that it is hard to select just one. I grew especially found of Maureen and Mr. Morrison--but I also enjoyed the main characters, the hermit, the livery man and, of course, Mitts.

Any additional comments?

Even with the difficult narration, I would still strongly recommend this book. It had everything a good book should have--excellent setting, characters and plot.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Ride with Me, Mariah Montana

  • By: Ivan Doig
  • Narrated by: Scott Sowers
  • Length: 14 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 125
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108

Ivan Doig has been hailed by the New York Times as “dean of Western American letters.” In Ride with Me, Mariah Montana, widower Jick McCaskill, his daughter Mariah, and Mariah’s ex-husband Riley take a road trip back and forth across Montana. As Jick recounts his memories of the area, Riley and Mariah fall in and out of love—and Jick unexpectedly discovers a new partner.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not Doig's Best Work

  • By TheDallesmbt on 07-03-13

Not Doig's Best Work

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

Reviewed: 07-03-13

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This is the third and final book of Doig's Montana Trilogy. His first, Dancing at the Rascal Fair, easily earned a five star rating. His second, English Creek, was not quite as strong, but was still very interesting. My father was not only born in Montana, but had a career in forestry as a smokejumper so I enjoyed much of the story as we are introduced to Jick McCaskill and his struggles as he comes with age. There are several scenes which are laugh out loud funny--particularly during haying. In both books, the characters were interesting. Doig is a master of setting, and it is easy to visualize the Two Medicine Country. This final book, however, feels forced--as if Doig was simply trying to fulfill a publisher's commitment to complete a trilogy.

What could Ivan Doig have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Probably the most disappointing part of the book to me were the character changes in this much older Jick McCaskill. Doig portrays him as an irascible senior who constantly uses the phrase "God Damn" as an adjective. It quickly became tiresome. Jick could easily have been a person who has aged more gracefully, softened by years of hard work and family love. Instead, he seems to perpetually have a burr under his saddle. As the narrator of the story, his voice is unceasingly complaining. In addition, the entire situation of his daughter and her ex-husband traveling with him as the chauffeur through out Montana in a "bago" seemed more contrived than believable.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I was glad that the same narrator was used in both English Creek and Ride With Me, as it provided a nice continuity with Jick.

Did Ride with Me, Mariah Montana inspire you to do anything?

No.

Any additional comments?

If you are interested in learning about Montana, you may still be interested in this book. Although the situations seemed contrived, Doig is still a master writer when it comes to describing this state. He has the ability to paint with his words and the scenery becomes almost tangible as it is described.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Beautiful Mystery

  • A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel
  • By: Louise Penny
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,437
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,082
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,066

No outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer. They grow vegetables, they tend chickens, they make chocolate. And they sing. Ironically, for a community that has taken a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as “the beautiful mystery.”

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Engaging, entertaining, and heartbreaking.

  • By Sparkly on 09-04-12

I'm Hooked!

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

Reviewed: 05-25-13

Would you consider the audio edition of The Beautiful Mystery to be better than the print version?

This is my second audio book by Louise Penny. Because the setting is in Quebec, the audio edition saved me from mangling the many French pronunciations.

What did you like best about this story?

The best thing about this story is definitely the characters. I also enjoyed the history of Gregorian chants. The setting was unusual but the host of characters was especially interesting in their flawed humanity. The story took so many twists and turns that it was difficult to set aside.

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

Ralph Cosham is able to read French. His warmth or coldness (depending upon the character) and his varied voices provide a depth that would be difficult to attain in the print version.

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

The relationships of Inspector Gamache to his wife, his daughter, and his subordinate were beautifully described. The ending of the book was particularly moving--I definitely did not want it to end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Fault in Our Stars

  • By: John Green
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,322
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,350
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,445

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Poignant Story

  • By AudioAddict on 04-25-13

Don't Be Misled by "Young Adult" Classification

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

Reviewed: 03-04-13

What did you love best about The Fault in Our Stars?

As a high school teacher for more than 20 years, I loved the fact that the author was able to capture so clearly the voices of adolescents--their wit, senses of humor, abilities to empathize. I also loved the individual main characters in this story--all young people suffering from various types of cancer--going to "group" meetings to please their parents, yet finding friendship, love, hope and support in a very difficult setting.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the realism of dealing with a cancer in a hopeful, if heartbreaking, manner. The author was not afraid to give specific details--death is not glossed over. Particularly poignant was when Hazel Grace read social media regarding the death of someone she knew, and her thoughts about the remarks that might be left on her own page. Also touching was the relationship of parents and children who were affected by terminal illness. Yet, though the situation was dreadful, the book itself offers more humor and strength than sadness.

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

Kate Rudd perfectly captures the voice of Hazel Grace. You could almost hear her "rolling her eyes" in some of the situations.

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

This is definitely a book I wanted to listen to all in one sitting. I usually work on projects while I listen, and I found myself working longer and longer so that I would not have to leave the story. One cannot help but care about the characters, and the story took some unexpected turns.

Any additional comments?

I was particularly impressed at the end of the book when the author is questioned. He recommends "The Empress of Maladies" which is one of my top audio selections. His ability to blend fiction with nonfiction makes this a particularly strong read.

  • The Yellow Birds

  • A Novel
  • By: Kevin Powers
  • Narrated by: Holter Graham
  • Length: 5 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 388
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 337
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 335

"The war tried to kill us in the spring," begins this breathtaking account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, 21-year-old Private Bartle and 18-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger. Bound together since basic training when their tough-as-nails sergeant ordered Bartle to watch over Murphy, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sad and Unforgettable

  • By Buzz on 10-17-12

Heartbreaking Depiction of Iraq Experience

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

Reviewed: 11-29-12

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

I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who has been touched by the Iraq war--especially those left behind on the home front. I believe that Matterhorn was the definitive novel of Viet Nam, and Yellow Birds may be the same for Iraq. Kevin Powers writes beautifully--the language alone is worth the price of the book.The story is both difficult and powerful. It was challenging to try to guess the final outcome as the plot was so well executed. It was easy to visualize the main characters, who were strongly written. The settings were also very easy to visualize because of Powers' gift with descriptive words and phrases.

What other book might you compare The Yellow Birds to and why?

Two books that compare to The Yellow Birds are The Red Badge of Courage for the American Civil War and Matterhorn for the Viet Nam conflict. All three books are written from the perspective of young, inexperienced soldiers and all three contain great poignancy as the main characters struggle to make sense of their experiences.

What about Holter Graham’s performance did you like?

This is the first time I have purchased a book read by Holter Graham. While listening, I thought that perhaps it was being read by the author because the delivery was so personal. He was able to capture accents beautifully, as well as convey both drudgery and despair. His military voices and the voices of interpreters were especially powerful. It was easy to forget about the reader, as the story was so well delivered.

Any additional comments?

I don't often find a book that deserves five stars in all categories, but it was easy to give this audible's highest rating. Although not an easy read, it is a story that will remain with the listener. Well defined characters, setting and plot make this a great choice for the discerning listener.

  • The Emperor of All Maladies

  • A Biography of Cancer
  • By: Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
  • Length: 20 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,640
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,646
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,643

Written by cancer physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies is a stunning combination of medical history, cutting-edge science, and narrative journalism that transforms our understanding of cancer and much of the world around us. Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist's precision, a novelist's richness of detail, a historian's range, and a biographer's passion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Spectacular!

  • By Paul on 11-25-10

An Unforgettable "Biography"

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

Reviewed: 08-06-12

I plan to recommend this book to my bookgroup. In this day and age, nearly all of us have been impacted in some way by cancer--either personally or with friends and family. Author Mukherjee is an oncologist who traces breast cancer from an Egyptian mummy to present day cancers of all types in this informative biography of a dreaded disease. Not only is he able to trace the long progression of this disease, but he is able to intertwine anecdotal stories of his patients with the long of history of cellular research and the change in focus from cure to prevention. If you have read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, you are already familiar with some of the early research and "cures." One of the most distressing parts of the book was the discovery of nicotine's links to lung cancer, and the clever methods of the tobacco industry in attempt to stymie legislation to prevent smoking. The author sees cancer as a puzzle. He is careful to denote that it is not a single disease, but a variety--all of which require different treatments--and not all are curable. His discourse on the change from radical masectomies to lumpectomies was especially interesting. His coverage of the evolution of chemotherapy was also very informative. Stephen Hoyle did his best to give life to what might be considered a somewhat dry topic, but it is difficult to give a great performance with such difficult subject matter--which is why he only got 4 stars. If you are interested in learning about a disease that affects so many, you cannot go wrong by using your credit for this very informative, unforgettable biography.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Thinner

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Joe Mantegna
  • Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 421
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 280
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 282

Six weeks after an old Gypsy man curses Billy Halleck for sideswiping his daughter, he's 93 pounds lighter. Now Billy is terrified. And desperate enough for one last gamble...that will lead him to a nightmare showdown with the forces of evil melting his flesh away.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A tale fit for the literary gourmand

  • By Dave on 02-09-09

Your Scale Will Never Look the Same to You.

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

Reviewed: 07-25-12

Until listening to the wonderful 11-22-63, I had always steered clear of Stephen King because his early novels seemed too scary. Thinner is psychologically disturbing, but one of those stories that stays with you long past the end of the audible narration. It was especially strong because of the amazing narration by Joe Mantegna. Most of the characters were morally ambiguous, and even now, I am not sure if there was a true protagonist in the story. I doubt that this is one of King's best stories (it was originally published under a pseudonym) but the characters are all interesting, the plot takes many twists and turns, the setting is easily imagined, and the mob boss stands out as one of the most likable characters I have met in any book in a very long time. I am not sure if it would have been as enjoyable in print, but the narration sets this book apart. And if you think you want to wish a few pounds. . .? Well, just be careful what you wish for.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • 11-22-63

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Craig Wasson
  • Length: 30 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45,834
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41,600
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41,520

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Owe Stephen King An Apology

  • By Kelly on 04-16-12

Time Travel at Its Best

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

Reviewed: 02-21-12

Stephen King proves again that he is a master storyteller. I was in middle school in a small town when JFK was assassinated, and King does an amazing job of recapturing the era. The moral quandaries are beautifully detailed and it is nearly impossible to imagine the ending--even though we all know that Oswalt did go through with the assassination. Highly recommended.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Into the Beautiful North

  • A Novel
  • By: Luis Alberto Urrea
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 11 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 170
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 114
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 115

Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who left the family to work in the United States. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village - they've all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men - her own "Siete Magnificos"---to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The other side of the story

  • By Amazon Customer on 08-04-09

Interesting Concept

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-15-11

What happens to a Mexican village when all of the men have moved to the United States to find work? In this case, drug lords have moved in. Influenced by watching the "Magnificent Seven" at the local cinema, young people from the village decide to go on a mission and bring seven young men back to their home country to rid the village of these bandits. Unfortunately, it is difficult to care about the one-dimensional stereotypical main characters. Although the concept was interesting, the lack of character development made this a disappointing read.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful