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Audio Book Fiction Review – The Brave

Thursday, March 19th, 2015


The Brave by Nicholas Evans


Review by Mirah Welday (mwelday)


I have enjoyed several novels by Nicholas Evans, most notably The Loop and The Smoke Jumper.  I like that Evans’ books have a particular rawness to them.  It’s almost like I should feel bad for intruding on the characters’ stories but it’s too interesting to be ignored.

I recently listened to The Brave audio book (read by Michael Emerson from tv’s Person of Interest).  Growing up in England in the 1960s, Tom Bedford is enamored with tv shows featuring Cowboys and Indians.  He feels the cowboys embody the integrity and bravery real men should exhibit.  Tom has a strained relationship with his older parents but is very close with his sister.  He ends up moving to the US as a boy but family troubles and struggles continue to make his life uncertain and there are secrets he doesn’t know or completely understand.  Fast forward to the present day, Tom is divorced and his relationship with his son is non-existent.  When a tragedy faces his son, Tom is forced to face the demons of his past he has tried to deal with and bury all on his own.

Throughout the novel I was cheering for Tom but I was also frustrated with him.  I was gasping out loud when certain revelations were made. I was driving and, without even realizing it, I was leaning forward and clenching the steering wheel.  The secrets in Tom’s childhood result in him keeping secrets in his adulthood and the vicious cycle of lies and secrets must be broken if there is to be healing and acceptance with his son. But readers don’t know if Tom is willing to surrender those lies and secrets and open up to those he loves.  And we don’t know whether the people in Tom’s life are going to be willing to offer forgiveness and love as a result of knowing the truth.

I really enjoyed listening to The Brave.  It has since been passed along to another PBS member and I hope it continues to make the rounds. To be honest, I think some of the reason I enjoyed the book is that like Tom, I enjoy westerns and the simpler times they represent.  If you like books with secrets, mysterious histories and love played out with complex characters, I think you should give The Brave a chance.



TIPS & TRICKS: Newsletter – August 2007

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

Mailing an audiobook? If your audiobook is in a rigid plastic case, remember that those can be cracked by USPS sorting machinery–the discs and cassettes can be ruined too! Protect your audiobook by cushioning it for its journey–a bubble mailer, or bubble wrap inside the outer layer of wrapping, will do the job. Keep your audiobooks playable for many swaps to come!

Clean it up! There is a wave of keep-PBS-beautiful projects taking place on the site. When members browse for books, it really helps when listings are complete and accurate: descriptions and cover images help a lot. So do book reviews.

  • For missing cover images: submit these to our Image Approvers using the Upload Book Covers link at the bottom of the site. It’s really easy: contact Sarra B (sarradee) or Beverly P (hockeygal4ever), our Image Collection Co-Coordinators, for guidance if you need it. Check Sherry’s post here for guidance on both image uploading and data correction.
  • For book reviews: Angie B (AngieB901) started it, and a whole slew of members have joined in, posting “inappropriate” reviews in a Forum topic so that members can vote thumbs down on them. An “inappropriate” review is one that contains information about the particular copy of the book (its condition), or that indicates the book copy doesn’t match the listing! These members who wrote the reviews didn’t mean any harm–but they’re not helpful reviews for someone deciding whether or not to request the book. The review-rating process will go into effect when we have enough ratings.

Everyone can help–do a little or a lot! You can clean up just the books on your bookshelf, or your Books I’ve Read list. Make sure the information is accurate, that there is a good description of the book (from the back cover), and that you write a review telling what you thought about it. Just this little effort can get your books requested and on to their new homes. Your books will thank you! And so do we.

Look/listen before you click. Remember to check your books before you mark them received. If there is a problem, you won’t be able to record it on the site after you have marked the book received. So flip through your books when they arrive, check your audioCDs for scratches and make sure audiocassettes are playable before you mark them received without a problem. Yes, you can still contact the sender to ask for a credit refund if you discover a problem after the fact–but recording problem transactions in the database allows the system to track poor sending, so that we can intervene and keep book quality high on PBS. Of course, the vast majority of books are received without a problem–this is just a word to the wise.

Audio Books Now Accepted: Newsletter – May 2005

Friday, May 6th, 2005

You asked for it, and we delivered! While all of our members are book readers, many of you have audio books on hand as well. We’ve now incorporated this medium into our club trading system. It takes two credits to order an audio book, and for every audio book requested from you, you’ll receive 2 credits. Most audio books will mail similar to paperbacks. However, because we are not privy to all packaging scenarios, members may need to confirm postage at the USPS. Thanks to our members for offering new ideas for improving the service of the club and please keep the suggestions coming. Happy listening to all you audio book lovers!