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WildWiseWoman

MARIETTA, GA, United States | Member Since 2012

252
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 37 reviews
  • 55 ratings
  • 1212 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
29

  • Night of the Living Deed

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By E.J. Copperman
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (977)
    Performance
    (897)
    Story
    (896)

    Newly divorced Alison Kerby wants a second chance for herself and her nine-year-old daughter. She's returned to her hometown on the Jersey Shore to transform a Victorian fixer-upper into a charming-and profitable guest house. One small problem: the house is haunted, and the two ghosts insist Alison must find out who killed them.

    Felicia The Geeky Blogger says: "Had a blast listening to this one!"
    "Delightfully surprised!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I picked this up as an Audible Daily Deal, and kept it on my iPod for weeks while I listened to other, "serious" literature. I occasionally like to indulge in a fluffy "cozy" mystery, both in print and on audio, but I've come to expect little of them, and have learned to overlook their common flaws in grammar, plot points and the like. Character development in generally key in the genre, and I wasn't anticipating anything more from this one. Plus, I love a good ghost story, and it's been a while - at least this one seemed to feature no zombies, vampires or werewolves, for a refreshing change!

    It took about an hour of listening before I realized I had stumbled on to a lovely gem. Initially, I thought Amanda Ronconi's narration was amateurish, but in short time I came to know she was the perfect voice for self-deprecating, youthful and amateurish Alison Kerby. As a former New Jerseyan, I love her authentic characterizations of the numerous people in the story, too.

    The novel moves quickly, is family-friendly, for those who might want to recommend a murder mystery/ghost story to a young or preteen, and is filled with laugh-out-loud moments. I came back to Audible today hoping to find more offerings from the same author, and was thrilled to find numerous books already available in the series. I'm putting them all on my wish list! Thank you, E. J. Copperman!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Egg

    • UNABRIDGED (8 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R.C. Bray
    Overall
    (486)
    Performance
    (432)
    Story
    (434)

    You were on your way home when you died.It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.And that’s when you met me." A short story about the universe.

    Casey Ferrell says: "best 8min book I've listened to"
    "Hackneyed retread of new age philosophy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    POTENTIAL SPOILERS:

    THE MARTIAN was the best book I've read in several years, and I read a LOT. I've continued to check Audible.com for new works by Andy Weir, and decided to cough up $2 for this short-short, even after listening to 50% of it as a sample, and thinking, YAWN.

    It failed to get any better. The "God" narrator (presented with an odd, folksy drawl for some reason) explains to a dead man that he -- the dead guy -- is a god-in-the-making, that he has and will continue to live myriad lives, in non-linear time, as singular individuals, but also that he - the dead guy again - is also "everyone", that every time he offends another, he's offending himself, and every time his does a kindness, he's benefiting himself. But also, the dead guy's wife is "a little relieved" that he's dead, since their marriage was on the rocks. But his kids will be fine, and idolize him. But wait: isn't he already THEM? He's not only The Buddha and Jesus and a Chinese slave, he's EVERYBODY. At least, he's every DUDE.

    So, the presentation of this tidy philosophy (which mirrors the awkward mythology of Mormonism, in some respects) is sloppy, and you'd expect it to be, in 8 minutes. But it doesn't deserve any more of your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Replay

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Ken Grimwood
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (1256)
    Performance
    (871)
    Story
    (885)

    In 1988, 43-year-old Jeff Winston died of a heart attack. But then he awoke, and it was 1963; Jeff was 18 all over again, his memory of the next two decades intact. This time around, Jeff would gain all the power and wealth he never had before. This time around he'd know how to do it right. Until next time.

    Tim says: "Groundhog's Day, It's Not!"
    "An original classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was reading a book a day back in 1986, so I have no idea how I missed this novel. I'm so glad that it was featured in a recent Audible sale and that the write-up sounded promising. Grimwood's story is meticulously well-researched and nicely told. It is a romantic tale, in the end, and a lilting fantasy which focuses neither on hard-science nor heavenly influence, and in that it offers somethiing for everyone. The age of the novel and the passing (in 2003) of the author excuse (barely) its vague misogyny; shallow, idiotic women were the norm in science fiction for generations. But all of the characters in Replay are heavily-sentimental, so maybe that's just me, overreacting. William Dufris does a fine job voicing the characters.

    Anyway, if anyone ever wonders where Stephen King get ideas like the one he had for 11.22.63, I have a good idea!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Death Factory: Penn Cage, Book 3.5

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By David Ledoux
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (55)

    When a heart attack sends Penn's father, Tom Cage, to the ER, Tom begs that his son be brought to his side to hear a dying declaration. But when Penn arrives, Tom denies ever making the request - keeping his secrets for another day. The emergency hurls Penn back to a chilling case in Houston, where he worked in a DA's office known as the "death factory", which sent more killers to death row than any other in America.

    Michael says: "Nice short story"
    "Should be sold for $1.99, not $14/ 1 credit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I learned that Greg Iles had a new novel, Natchez Burning, I eagerly purchased it, but then saw that there was a companion novella, "Penn Cage Book 3.5", and felt I would be missing out on continuity if I didn't purchase that, first. I wasted an entire credit on it, and now I have asked Audible to return that credit to me.

    The narrator is blah (JUST shy of offensive), the story sad and meandering and doesn't GO ANYWHERE. As a teaser for the next novel, maybe it helps, but as another reviewer wrote, he enjoyed "Natchez Burning" just fine without it. I wasted a precious credit (waiting for that to be returned) and 3 hours that I can't get back.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Zombie, Indiana

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Scott Kenemore
    • Narrated By Fleet Cooper
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Zombie, Indiana explores the impact of an invading zombie horde on a trio of Hoosier protagonists…each of whom have some dark secrets to keep. When the governor’s daughter mysteriously disappears on a field trip, IMPD Special Sergeant James Nolan, scholarship student Kesha Washington, and Governor Hank Burleson must all come together not only to find the governor’s daughter, but also to undertake a quest to redeem the very soul of the state itself…all while under constant attack from the living dead.

    Steve Patterson says: "Awful!!"
    "Kenemore tries too hard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first book, Zombie, Ohio was a hugely enjoyable story - fun and different. Kenemore was able to combine a witty, first-person mystery with a gory zombie tale, and I recommended it to everyone I knew. I've now bought the Audible version and look forward to listening to it.

    The second entry in the series, Zombie, Illinois (not yet on Audible), was a grimmer, grittier story and a more standard entry into the genre, with a few fun characters. I like the independence of the series, with no shared characters, and even the Zombie Apocalypses may be unconnected.

    But as the USA Zombies series drifts back east to Indiana, this episode is kind of tired and sordid. The character of the governor can be delightfully reimagined as Toronto's infamous mayor Rob Ford, and that's about as entertaining as it gets. The story follows a few interconnected groups of people; everyone else is nothing but zombie fodder. Each of our "friends" is a tired stereotype, but never a consistent one.

    Keisha, the Only Black Girl in The School is "poor", but her father is a newspaper publisher and her mother a city councilwoman. I was mildly uncomfortable with the heavy "black" accent narrator Fleet Cooper provided for Keisha; this is common problem in modern novels (although Cooper did a fine job otherwise). James Nolan has to be the stupidest right-hand-man in the history of henchmen, and the governor is preposterous.

    I actually created a better ending for the story as I was listening to it, and hoped I was right about the clever twist I created. Unfortunately, the "hook" revealed at the end is very disappointing, and the climactic scene as the primary characters finally come together is embarrassingly ludicrous and dull.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gravy Train

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By David Lender
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (39)

    During an historic Wall Street boom, young MBA Finn Keane gets to perform on the world’s stage when he’s hired by the investment banking powerhouse Abercrombie, Wirth & Co. His first deal involves the acquisition of Milstien Stores by Kristos & Company. However, as soon as the business is handed over to founder Nick Christanapoulas’s ineffectual son-in-law, one of ABC’s senior managers, Jack Shane, engineers a risky financing that drives the business into bankruptcy. In the process, Shane demonstrates to Finn how Wall Streeters operate.

    Bill says: "Good story on what is wrong with Wall Street"
    "Only for the Boys and their Toys"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a pretty lame "thriller" about Wall Street during its recent boom, with a young MBA buck fresh out of school hired by investment bankers to help manage their fervent business. The character is boringly-likable -- a Horatio Alger archetype with a vague, hurt past. He's thrown into a deal, way over his head, and has on one side, a sociopathic boss who is Out To Get Him for reason even this boss finds mysterious ("He wondered again what it was about the kid that rubbed him the wrong way") , and on the other, a Millionaire Client With a Heart of Gold who takes him under his wing for reasons NO ONE can fathom. I kept waiting for the old man to make a pass at him! It would have added some needed depth to both characters.

    Add to this the absolute dearth of female characters. In the opening scene, a plump girl from grad school has it made clear that she is too ugly for anything but friendship. In the big city, our lad meets the "Geishas" - the on-salary whores of the Investment Banking Firm - who are flawlessly gorgeous, stand around the office as set dressing and have sex with the corporate officers and clients as ordered. Naturally, one falls instantly in love with Our Hero, despite his lack of money and status. Cause, yeah.

    I continued listening to this story with a slight hope that eventually the Geisha (the author's designation, not mine), (described as "smart" by Our Hero, but evidence is lacking), would be the one to come up with the scheme that Saves The Day. She doesn't. She gets beaten up by one of the Bankers, but tells Hero "It's okay, it's happened before", so he doesn't do anything except screw the banker out of a deal. Oh, did I spoil something? Were you STILL planning to read this drivel?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shady Palms

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Allen Dusk
    • Narrated By Rose Caraway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (405)
    Performance
    (364)
    Story
    (366)

    A sleazy motel, burrowed on the edge of town, is haunted by rumors of dead hookers found between mattresses and peep holes drilled through walls. When Special Agent Daniels targets the motel during an investigation, the nefarious owner, Sanjay, must scramble to conceal evidence of his own dark deeds. Just when he believes things can't get any worse, motel guests begin to vanish without a trace.

    PJPackwood says: "Okay."
    "Wild, crazy, shudderingly-good audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This might be the darkest comedy of the decade. I won't spill more of the story than other reviewers have, but I will say that I am a white suburban Grandma with about as much in common with the characters in Shady Palms as I have with Nanook of the North, and I LOVED this book. Allen Dusk writes in a voice of utter solemnity, no smarminess at all, and the fluency with which his graphic horror unfolds is a beautiful and terrifying thing to hear. Topping off this gloriously gooey sundae is the mellifluous, motherly deadpan voice of Rose Caraway, who sounds like she ought to be voicing Mrs.Santa Claus or a kindergarten teacher from central casting, not shamelessly describing the sexual perversions and addictive self-destruction of the seamiest side of San Diego. Her very presence lends an hilarity to the proceedings not to be matched in audiofiction.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Christmas Mourning: A Deborah Knott Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Margaret Maron
    • Narrated By C.J. Critt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (109)

    Margaret Maron’s best-selling Deborah Knott mystery series won instant acclaim upon its debut in 1993. In this 16th entry in the series, the judge is faced with a horrifying holiday murder case. After a beautiful young cheerleader is found dead in a car wreck, Judge Knott’s husband Deputy Dwight Bryant discovers evidence that the death was anything but an accident.Now Knott and Bryant are on a desperate search for a killer before he or she trikes again.

    Kathi says: "One of the worst I've heard on Audible so far"
    "Terrible narrator ruins an barely-okay book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Quite a few years ago I paper-read a number of "cozy mysteries" by Margaret Maron, featuring North Carolina Judge Deborah Knott. They were okay, and I read 5 or 6. I recently downloaded "Christmas Mourning" on sale, read by a narrator I have heard (and found "meh"), a woman named C. J. Critt.

    This time it's nearly torture. While Critt has a very excellent, rich voice, her reading style is PAINFUL! She inflects a ridiculous amount of inappropriate emotion, virtually baby-talking through simple narrative sentences, and takes pauses SO LONG that I have repeatedly unhooked my iPod from my belt, thinking the battery had died or the headphones detached! She also puts a little smirk into sentences which SHOULD HAVE reflected compassion and sorrow.

    I'm nearly halfway through the book, and I think I'll go ahead and finish it, but it was a poor choice for me. The story concerns a teen girl killed in a car "accident" (I personally lost a daughter that way) and the characters' attitudes toward both the dead girl and her parents is dismissive, flippant and cruel. Considering these books are supposed to reflect a small rural community where everyone knows and supports one another, the first-person storytelling makes the Judge out to be a hard-hearted and lackadaisical bitch.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Crime and Punishment (Audio Connoisseur Edition)

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky, Constance Garnett (translator)
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (417)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (226)

    This magnificent novel is about the murder of a miserly, aged pawnbroker and her younger sister by a radical, destitute St. Petersburg student named Raskolnikov, and the emotional, mental, and physical effects that follow. It is a remarkable masterpiece about a man's turbulent inner life and his relationship to others and to society at large. Dostoevsky explored the human condition on many levels in this great piece, and among the main themes the novel explores is the rather strange theory that criminals have a spiritual need to be punished - that indeed they demand it.

    Marsha says: "Perfect narrator!"
    "SKIP the first 8 and a half minutes!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been devastated several times by this occurrence: a classic novel which I've always wanted to read begins with a boring BIOGRAPHY of the author and a SPOILER-FILLED summary of the book I'm preparing to begin! How frustrating!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Zombie Fallout: Zombie Fallout, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Mark Tufo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3547)
    Performance
    (3302)
    Story
    (3314)

    This is the story of Michael Talbot, his family, and his friends: a band of ordinary people trying to get by in extraordinary times. When disaster strikes, Mike, a self-proclaimed survivalist, does his best to ensure the safety and security of those he cares for. Book one of the Zombie Fallout Trilogy follows our lead character at his self-deprecating, sarcastic best. What he encounters along the way leads him down a long dark road, always skirting the edge of insanity.

    Anthony says: "best series ever...really!"
    "Good performance of dated, sexist boys-only story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is written in a pleasant, joshing tone; a self-deprecating ex-Marine survivalist trying to keep his family and friends alive, under siege in a gated suburban community during a standard zombie apocalypse. I enjoy zombie novels and horror in general, and I've read all the best. Tufo's writing is cutesy and his storytelling clear - he never reaches the literary genius of Jonathan Maberry or the originality of Scott Kenemore, but the character is solid and the narration above par. I *was* enjoying it.

    Then I reached past the midpoint of the novel, and the few female characters began to be featured in more-detail. I had to check the publication date to be sure I was listening to a book written in 2010, and not 1940. Tufo's female characters come in two types - aggressive whores and mean, inept feebs. How has this Master Survivalist raised two teenaged sons who stand side-by-side in battle with him, can shoot like marksmen and reload with their eyes closed, yet his daughter - their *older* sister - doesn't know which end of the gun to put the ammunition into. His wife is equally useless, pouty and sullen, and isn't motivated to kill a zombie until she spots the dead slut who almost ruined their marriage years ago. The daughter has value ONLY because she brings a gun-toting boyfriend into the group.

    ALL the women in this book are useless at best, and evil detriments at worst. The wife is a chain-smoking bitch who petulantly withholds sex and says things like "If you don't know what you did, I'm not going to tell you!" and cares more about damage to the carpet and the resale value of their house DURING THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. If this is meant for laughs, it's not even a little bit funny. The "other wives" -- and that phrase is used -- are a bunch of similar sniping harridans, more interested in stabbing each other in the back than doing anything remotely helpful.

    Tough white guys are pretty standard in this variety of fiction and I'm accustomed to it. I read the Walking Dead series and have been very glad that the often-brutally sexist portrayal in the graphic novels has been largely corrected in the TV series. But even in the original format, women may have been victims, but they were also strong, smart and worth having around.

    I understand that there are a half-dozen more books in the Zombie Fallout series, but I fear that Mark Tufo has too many personal issues he dumps into his novels. I won't be reading or recommending any more of them, and will warn half his audience to stay away or risk being greatly insulted.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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