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P. C..S.

Member Since 2002

232
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 26 reviews
  • 395 ratings
  • 1383 titles in library
  • 59 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
4

  • Angels and Demons

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    Overall
    (1263)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (86)

    World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries - old underground organization - the Illuminati.

    Mark Grannis says: "Not history, not theology, just great fiction"
    "Beyond absurd..."
    Overall

    I finished Angels & Demons some days ago and am still wondering how on Earth it made the best seller list. I suppose the appeal is the "exotic" setting of Italy and and all the "inside information" on Catholicism. It's so thin, it's hard to know where to begin. There's an RC priest who's been working -- with his daughter (no explanation) -- for a private institution run by a Goldfinger-type (why are they always bald men in wheelchairs?). The priest ends up dead at the very beginning, the daughter spends the entire book in a pair of shorts, even on a trip to the Vatican. Another priest has fathered a child with a nun by means of In Vitro fertilization, thus celebrating God's miracle of life without breaking their vows. Right. The broader plot generally makes some sense up until the end. But then? I've listened to the ending three times and it pulls the rug out from under the whole book. The story smacks of "Man From U.N.C.L.E." or "The Avengers". My advice is don't bother.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Creole Belle: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, Book 19

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1626)
    Performance
    (1407)
    Story
    (1370)

    Creole Belle begins where the last book in the Dave Robicheaux series, The Glass Rainbow, ended. Dave is in a recovery unit in New Orleans, where a Creole girl named Tee Jolie Melton visits him and leaves him an iPod with the country blues song “Creole Belle” on it. Then she disappears. Dave becomes obsessed with the song and the memory of Tee Jolie and goes in search of her sister, who later turns up inside a block of ice floating in the Gulf.

    Richard Delman says: "Dave Robicheaux lives!"
    "Sorely disappointed. Can anyone stand Alifair?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The character of Alifair has matured into the increasingly annoying alter-ego of Dave Robicheaux. She remains the one-dimensional voice of righteousness and control in this novel.Her "voice," has no hint of femininity, yet I cannot imagine how a different reader would make her seem young or more womanly. It's the writitng, not the reader. I would have preferred Alifair to be less prominent, although, given the plot-line, having Dave's daughter involved is hardly optional.The level and nature of the violence in this novel are beyond both the believable (given the timespan of the novel), and the acceptable.


    Would you recommend Creole Belle to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. I would love to get friends reading this series, but would not have them begin with this one. It is not representative of the series, or the author.


    Which character – as performed by Will Patton – was your favorite?

    We get more intimate contact with Dave's inner life in the book, and Patton does a great job.


    Was Creole Belle worth the listening time?

    I don't think so, really, although I hate to say it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Crescent

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Diana Abu-Jaber
    • Narrated By Nike Doukas, Marcelo Tubert
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Half-Iraqi, half-American Sirine is a cook at Nadia's Cafe, which draws the neighborhood's Arab students, expatriates, and exiles. All are hungry for "real true Arab food" and connection to their homes. One is Hanif Al Eyad, a new hire in the Near Eastern Studies Department at the university who fled Iraq as a young man. Sirine and Han fall in love over food: a baklava they make together, delicate lamb dishes, hummus glistening with olive oil....

    Fran says: "Crescent"
    "Narrator robs the text of its poetry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This is a fascinating story that could have made a very provocative, engaging read. Unfortunately, the flat-line monotony and nasal tones of the reader's "Sirene" allow none of the poetic flow or emotion of the language to shine through. It is very difficult not to drift off in the middle of her unvaried cadence.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sidney Sheldon's Mistress of the Game

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Sidney Sheldon, Tilly Bagshawe
    • Narrated By Karen Ziemba
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (160)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (75)

    In a family rife with secrets - murder, hidden identities, perversions - and a depraved sense of honor, the player who wins the game may be the only one who will survive. Full of the late master's trademark elements - remarkable characters, dazzling plotting, and a page-turning narrative style - this sizzling sequel vividly captures the master's voice and irresistible magic.

    P. C..S. says: "I second the "Disaster" comment"
    "I second the "Disaster" comment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This is the best sort of book to read in paperback on an airplane. If it's left behind, it won't matter. No one would miss the writing and the story is one we've all read before. The story recalls any of twenty other books written - and written better - by anyone from Jeffrey Archer to Danielle Steele. No one expects Sheldon to be dense, provocative, or philosophical. Readers do, however, expect a Sheldon book to be accurate and well-plotted enough to lead readers to suspend disbelief, and never look back. A Sheldon book is written to convey to readers a palpable degree of tension, and an engrossing story. This book is none of these. I agree with the other reviewer that the author seems not to have done enough research into any of the subjects he/she was writing about. This is a superficial read with a contrived plot and forgettable characters. I wouldn't bother.


    Has Sidney Sheldon's Mistress of the Game turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Reading this has certainly turned me off anything co-written by Tilly Bagshawe.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Return of the Dancing Master

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (431)
    Performance
    (253)
    Story
    (250)

    Stefan Lindman, a young police officer recently diagnosed with mouth cancer, decides to investigate the murder of his former colleague, but is soon enmeshed in a mystifying case with no witnesses and no apparent motives. Terrified of the disease that could take his life, Lindman becomes more and more reckless as he unearths the chilling links between Molin's death and an underground neo-Nazi network that runs further and deeper than he could ever have imagined.

    Richard Delman says: "Plodding. Ponderous. Heavy. Slow."
    "Bad job of translation!"
    Overall

    The person who translated this Mankell novel did him no favors. Poor word choices and an obsessive dedication to word-for-word translation rendered the dialogue wooden and the narrative ponderous. Certainly a good translator will capture the culture differences reflected in the original language and recreate the Swedish forthrightness, introspection, and coolness, but this translation left the reader nothing to work with and flattened an otherwise entertaining read.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • 10th Anniversary: The Women's Murder Club

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1234)
    Performance
    (776)
    Story
    (780)

    Detective Lindsay Boxer's long-awaited wedding celebration becomes a distant memory when she is called to investigate a horrendous crime: a badly injured teenage girl is left for dead, and her newborn baby is nowhere to be found. Lindsay discovers that not only is there no trace of the criminals - but that the victim may be keeping secrets as well.

    cstardancer says: "Not as good as usual"
    "Well, that was a disppointment..."
    Overall

    To sum it up in one word, "bland" would do it. The characters are flat, the language uninteresting, and the plot failed to hold this reader's attention. When the reader is not annoying, she is merely dull. If you're looking for something to read on the plane or the beach, this might be for you.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Love You More: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Lisa Gardner
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter, Katie MacNichol
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2261)
    Performance
    (1152)
    Story
    (1149)

    One question, a split-second decision, and Brian Darby lies dead on the kitchen floor. His wife, state police trooper Tessa Leoni, claims to have shot him in self-defense, and bears the bruises to back up her tale. For veteran detective D. D. Warren it should be an open-and-shut case. But where is their six-year-old daughter? As the homicide investigation ratchets into a frantic statewide search for a missing child, D. D. Warren must partner with former lover Bobby Dodge to break through the blue wall of police brotherhood, seeking to understand the inner workings of a trooper’s mind while also unearthing family secrets.

    Molly says: "Keeps you guessing all the way through!"
    "Four stars? For this?"
    Overall

    This title was quite a disappointment. The improbable plot is dependent on a law enforcement officer making one bad decision after another. It is further complicated by a highly unlikely series of events which escalate both in absurdity and violence as the story progresses. The dialogue is in places cliched and in others, just plain awful; the narrator doesn't have a lot to work with and can't get through the countless annoying renditions of "My Two Front Teeth" without setting the listener's teeth on edge.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Real Murders: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    Overall
    (689)
    Performance
    (288)
    Story
    (293)

    Though a small town at heart, Lawrenceton, Georgia, has its dark side - and its crime buffs. One of them is librarian Aurora "Roe" Teagarden, a member of the Real Murders Club, which meets once a month to analyze famous cases. It's a harmless pastime - until the night she finds a member killed in a manner that eerily resembles the crime the club was about to discuss.

    Jeanie Jenkins says: "Adjusting expectations"
    "So lacking, in so many ways..."
    Overall

    Somewhere between a Harlequin Romance and a Nancy Drew mystery, the word "mediocre" would cover it. The storyline is not credible, the characters one-dimensional and the ending,as unlikely a resolution as it is, provides the book's only moments of true tension.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Blueberry Muffin Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Joanne Fluke
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    Overall
    (235)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (106)

    Hannah's popular Minnesota bakery, The Cookie Jar, is best known for its tempting confections - until best-selling cookbook author and television personality Connie McIntyre is murdered in its pantry. Despite police warnings to steer clear of the case, Hannah is soon chasing down a bevy of suspicious characters.

    Debbie says: "Easy Listen"
    "No. Really don't even think about it...."
    Overall

    This book may well have started out as a high school creative writing assignment and not made it much beyond. That a publisher was found for it is amazing. Though the plot is not objectionable,none of the characters is has been developed beyond the level of a 30-minute sit-com. The dialog is dreadful. It is corny, stilted and uninspired, with a child who sounds no different from any of the adults. The reader does nothing to help the situation. She has a rather annoying style, and there are unpleasant mouth noises as she speaks. Not worth even the $4.95.....

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Child 44

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Tom Rob Smith
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1804)
    Performance
    (685)
    Story
    (684)

    It is a society that is, officially, a paradise. Superior to the decadent West, Stalin's Soviet Union is a haven for its citizens, providing for all of their needs: education, health care, security. In exchange, all that is required is their hard work, and their loyalty and faith to the Soviet State. But now a murderer is on the loose.

    Melvin says: "Terror from all sides."
    "Difficult to rate"
    Overall

    This book is well-written, tightly structured and effective. It's a good book, better than many. Even the narration is a notch above good. But the violence and cruel twists of it were too much for this reader. I simply couldn't finish.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23278)
    Performance
    (9899)
    Story
    (9971)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Very pleasant first encounter!"
    Overall

    I have become so tired of the same ol' sociopaths/pathology gore/old boys' squadrooms and guns, guns, guns. Here the characters are interesting, plot complex and writing intriguing enough to keep me up at night and get me looking forward to the next book. I recommend it for anyone looking for something a bit different

    38 of 45 people found this review helpful

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