In the Night Room – Peter Straub

Reviewed by Jim Coleman
Averitt Express

Listening Time: 6 hours
Publisher: Random House
Retail: $29.95
Genre: Fiction

Plot: Tim Underhill is an author who, while trying to write his new book, is haunted by his dead sister and e-mails from people in his past, all of whom are dead. Willy Patrick, also an author, is haunted by the death of her daughter and fears that she once again may be going insane. The authors are both struggling with their pasts, as well as current events, when destiny puts them together. For Tim their meeting was bizarre; for Willy it was enlightening. With help from an author from the past, they work together to fight the evils that surround them. Along the way, they must keep their sanity and must also question it.

What was your favorite moment? My favorite part of the book was when Giles Coverly (one of the henchmen sent to kill Willy) finally gets the two authors alone and has them dead to right when everything goes wrong for him. He realizes at this point that not only is his day not going well, but the rest of his life is doomed.

Which character was your favorite? Willy Patrick was the most interesting character in the book. A woman with a troubled past, she is engaged to a man whose life outside of their home is mysteriously secretive. Her first attraction to him was his charm and aloofness; then she found out his motives were sinisterly manipulative. This is disclosed early in the book, and when she leaves him, she finds out that he has sent men out to find her and kill her. While on the run, she, with the help of an old friend and a new one, tries to straighten out her life.

Did the book have a message or theme? The theme of the book shows us that many of the things we do impact those around us, and the things those around us do have a great impact on us.

What did you like or dislike? I liked the way the book was written. The author integrated the characters well. The theme, as well as the plot, were well thought out. My only dislike was that the abridged addition was at times hard to follow.

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Would you recommend?: Yes, the theme was good, and it had an interesting plot. It gets your attention and holds it.

Narrator’s style: Jason Culp reads the story well and is easy to listen to. Sometimes the accents he used for the characters needed polishing. At times it was difficult to distinguish which character he was portraying, but for the most part he did a fine job.

How would you grade the book? B

The Touch – Colleen McCullough

Reviewed by Melissa Taylor
Werner Enterprises

Listening Time: 6 hours
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Retail: $26
Genre: Romance

Plot: The book tells us of the ups and downs of Elizabeth Kinross, a 16-year-old girl in an arranged marriage, who is still learning about herself. The book takes place over many years and different trials and tribulations. Elizabeth takes many years to find herself. From start to finish I was able to get to know Elizabeth as a girl of 16, struggling to find herself and being married to a man she doesn’t love, two difficult pregnancies, becoming friends with her husband’s mistress, and eventually falling in love with her best friend’s son. At the finish Elizabeth is in her 40s, so it was like growing up with her and living her life with her.

What was your favorite moment? My favorite moment was when Elizabeth finally realized she was in love with Lee Costevan.

What did you like or dislike? I liked everything about the book. No dislikes at all.

Would you recommend?: Yes, definitely! It is a wonderful story, and many people can relate easily.

Narrator’s style: Jenny Sterlin was very good – perfect voices and tones.

How would you grade the book? A+

True Believer – by Nicholas Sparks
Jeremy Marsh is the ultimate young New Yorker and an expert on debunking the supernatural with a regular column in Scientific American. When he receives a letter from the tiny town of Boone Creek, N.C., about ghostly lights that appear in a legend-shrouded cemetery, he can’t resist driving down to investigate. Jeremy expects to spend a quiet week in “the sticks” before speeding back to the city. But from the moment he sets eyes on Lexie, the orphaned town librarian, he is intrigued and attracted to this beautiful woman who speaks with a soft drawl and confounding honesty. And Lexie, while hesitating to trust this outsider, finds herself thinking of Jeremy more than she cares to admit. Now, if they are to be together, Jeremy Marsh must make a difficult choice: return to the life he knows, or do something he’s never done before – take a giant leap of faith.

Unabridged on 9 CDs
Retail: $39.98
Time Warner AudioBooks u

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