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Jim N

Chicago, IL | Member Since 2008

158
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 36 reviews
  • 294 ratings
  • 571 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
22

  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13161)
    Performance
    (11951)
    Story
    (11980)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Charles says: "Completely Engaging"
    "Fresh and Enetertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this novel on a whim, primarily on the strength of it's description. It turned out to be a great investment and a pleasant surprise! It's best experienced without much knowledge of the plot as most of the fun comes from the characters (who make numerous pop culture references and even compare themselves to Scooby Doo and his pals) unraveling the mysteries of the building where they live. Cline has a to-the-point writing style, a good sense of humor and he keeps this story rolling along.

    14 isn't a deep novel or a book that will blow the reader away with tremendous, in-depth characterization. It's good, fun genre fiction with a memorable cast of characters and some genuinely surprising twists and turns. I highly recommend it.

    69 of 82 people found this review helpful
  • Meet Me in Atlantis: My Quest to Find the 2,000-Year-Old Sunken City

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Mark Adams
    • Narrated By Andrew Garman
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    A few years ago, Mark Adams made a strange discovery: Everything we know about the lost city of Atlantis comes from the work of one man, the Greek philosopher Plato. Then he made a second, stranger discovery: Amateur explorers are still actively searching for this sunken city all around the world, based entirely on the clues Plato left behind.

    Jim N says: "An Engaging Quest!"
    "An Engaging Quest!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Adams is a talented writer, as anyone who read his previous book, Turn Right at Machu Picchu, can attest. He writes with wit, enthusiasm and a healthy skepticism (arguably a little too healthy at times) and although the enduring mystery of Atlantis lies at the heart of this book, it's really Adams' journey to learn about that mystery, and the fascinating people he encounters and interviews along the way, that make it such a good read/listen. Through those people, serious, devoted researchers into Atlantis, we get some insight into possible locations for the fabled land while also developing an appreciation for why they search. Adams develops that appreciation too, and eventually, he's drawn into the search and dreams of finding Atlantis himself.

    The end, of course, is unsatisfying, as it must be without a real resolution on the subject. Atlantis remains an unsolved and much-debated mystery but this book provides an excellent, entertaining overview and it's anything but dull or dry. Highly recommended.

    Andrew Garman does an excellent job as the narrator.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lawrence Wright
    • Narrated By Morton Sellers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1821)
    Performance
    (1610)
    Story
    (1593)

    A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than 200 personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists - both famous and less well known - and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.

    Chris Reich says: "Scared the Hell Out of Me"
    "Unsettling and Compelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wright paints a very ugly picture of Scientology, it's founder, L. Ron Hubbard and more than a few people associated with the cult. I found the book simultaneously fascinating and depressing, because despite some of the dark, disturbing places it goes, it's truly interesting and informative. The "Prison of Belief" is an appropriate phrase to include in the title because many of the people described in the book really seem to be prisoners of their own fanatical devotion to a strange religion founded by troubled former pulp science fiction writer. It's hard to believe Hubbard could inspire the devotion he inspired. It speaks to the desperation many of us have to understand the world and ourselves as well as to our ability to blind ourselves to what we don't want to see.

    The book some of the celebrities associated with the cult in a very unflattering light and it left me feeling angry with them and angry at our own government for not only allowing some of what's been reported by former Scientologists to go on but for allowing an incredibly well-funded cult to bully their way to tax exemption. Money and fanatical devotion are powerful tools indeed!

    I found the reading by Morton Sellers adequate but it certainly takes nothing away from this book. Recommended... but you may want some lighter reading afterwards.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Darkness on the Edge of Town

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Brian Keene
    • Narrated By Eric Medler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (76)

    One morning the residents of Walden, Virginia, woke up to find the rest of the world gone. Just...gone.

    Surrounding their town was a wall of inky darkness, plummeting Walden into permanent night. Nothing could get in - not light, not people, not even electricity, radio, TV, Internet, food, or water. And nothing could get out. No one who dared to penetrate the mysterious barrier has ever been seen again. Only their screams were heard. But for some, the darkness is not the worst of their fears. Driven mad by thirst, hunger, and perpetual night, the residents of Walden are ready to explode.

    Mary says: "One of the very BEST stories!"
    "This is B-movie stuff..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It probably deserves a rating more like 2.5 stars rather than just 2. The premise is fun and the story owes an obvious debt to tales like Stephen King's "The Mist", which Brian Keene acknowledges in the novel. Keene shows a flair for character and the story moves at a good pace but eventually it succumbs to it's own baser instincts, going for horror cliches rather than something less conventional and potentially more satisfying. Giving in to those baser instincts is part of the point but regrettably, I was laughing at a few moments where I think the tension was supposed to be at it's highest.

    If you're looking for lightweight (but not lighthearted) b-movie thrills, you might enjoy this one. Otherwise, I can't recommend it.

    Eric Medler does an excellent job with the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21408)
    Performance
    (17808)
    Story
    (17796)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    L. O. Pardue says: ""Rear Window" Meets "Gone Girl""
    "Lived Up to the Hype"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Forget the "Gone Girl" comparisons and just accept this book on it's own merits, which are considerable. It's a cleverly constructed novel that will keep you guessing and it features some memorable, and memorably flawed, characters. We get the story in first person from from 3 of them: Rachel, Megan and Anna, and all 3 are narrated wonderfully by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealy and India Fisher. Some listeners may find the characters difficult to relate to but I found their character flaws interesting and those flaws help make the book's central mystery plausible and compelling. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Jonathan Auxier
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (34)

    Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is the utterly beguiling tale of a ten-year-old blind orphan who has been forced into a life of crime. One fateful afternoon, Peter steals a mysterious box that contains three magical pairs of eyes. When he tries the first pair, he is instantly transported to a hidden island where he is presented with a special quest: to travel beyond the known world and rescue a lost kingdom from its treacherous ruler....

    Jim N says: "An Entertaining Tale!"
    "An Entertaining Tale!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes is a charming, sometimes appropriately frightening and even gruesome children's tale. The author is willing to take the book to some of the dark places adults don't always want to believe great children's fiction should go and in doing so, with both wit and originality, he creates genuine drama. The book certainly owes a debt to similar tales of the fantastic that have come before it yet from it's premise to it's conclusion, it has a personality all it's own. It's as clever and resourceful as Peter Nimble himself.

    Michael Page's reading is absolutely superb.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Seed

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ania Ahlborn
    • Narrated By Eric G. Dove
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (160)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (146)

    With nothing but the clothes on his back - and something horrific snapping at his heels - Jack Winter fled his rural Georgia home when he was just a boy. Watching the world he knew vanish in a trucker’s rearview mirror, he thought he was leaving an unspeakable nightmare behind forever. Now, years later, the bright new future he’s built suddenly turns pitch black, as something fiendishly familiar looms dead ahead. Surviving a violent car crash seems like a miracle for Jack’s family, but Jack knows there’s nothing divine about it.

    Eustacia P. Cornfeather says: "A Good Story, Just Not For Me."
    "One Long Horror Cliché"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Narrator Eric Dove does what he can with this short novel but even with his excellent reading, and at a mere 6 hours, I found it tedious. The premise plays out as predictably as a bad B-movie, with few surprises and many familiar tropes. The writing is fine, the reading is excellent but the story itself left a lot to be desired, at least for me. Seed was a disappointment.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Song of Kali

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (78)

    Blood will curdle in Calcutta. In the most crime-ridden city, nightmares become real and evil is defined by frightening occurrences. When an American family finds themselves encircled by the terrors of this land, lurid events befall them and life takes on a new meaning - death. Winner of the World Fantasy Award, Song of Kali will chill the blood and frighten even the most jaded of horror fans.

    Darwin8u says: "All Violence is an Exercise in Power"
    "Excellent, atmospheric horror"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Simmons practically makes his setting into a major character in this subtle, unsettling novel set in Calcutta, India. Song of Kali is mysterious and though-provoking and like some of the best horror, a bit ambiguous. Simmons doesn't spell everything out for the reader and that works to the novel's benefit. This book is definitely worth a credit and the reading by Mark Boyett is superb.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Alienist

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Caleb Carr
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (450)
    Performance
    (402)
    Story
    (401)

    The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or "alienist." On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan's infamous brothels.

    lyl says: "Outstanding on several levels."
    "An Enjoyable Procedural"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My expectations may have been too high going into this novel. It's an entertaining book but I found it overly long, bordering on tedious at times, especially because in essence, it's a pulp novel filled with larger-than-life characters. The Alienist takes a bit too much too much time to get where it's going.That said, the historical setting is interesting and Carr practically makes turn-of-the-century New York into an additional character.

    George Guidall's reading is superb, one of the best I've ever heard for an audiobook. He brings the characters to life, raises the tension in scenes where it's appropriate and overall, just does a fantastic job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Shadow Out of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By H. P. Lovecraft
    • Narrated By Mike Vendetti
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Another H. P. Lovecraft masterpiece. We have all heard of alien abductions, but what if the alien forces only exchange the mind of the abductee with a mind to occupy that of the abductee's body while the mind travels in the body of an alien to be mined for information concerning the abductee's world? The mind then travels to a place in the earth where it mingles with not only with the aliens, but minds from other planets and other ages on this Earth.

    Phillip says: "Awe inspiring science fiction"
    "Classic story with a sometimes shabby reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've always considered The Shadow Out of Time one of Lovecraft's better tales. It's as much a science fiction story as a horror story, although the mind-bending experiences of it's protagonist would be enough to push anyone's mind to the brink of madness.

    This story probably isn't the best starting point for a Lovecraft reader (try The Dunwich Horror, The Shadow Over Innsmouth or The Call of Cthulhu if you're just getting to know HPL) but it's one of his most carefully constructed tales and it gradually builds to a ripping climax.

    Mike Vendetti's reading of the story doesn't ruin it by any means but it ranges from good to lifeless to distracting. At times, he does a fine job but he repeatedly struggles to pronounce words correctly. Some of them are Lovecraftian creations but he has as many problems with good ol' English as he does with words like "Necronomicon" (how can anyone be allowed to read Lovecraft for an audiobook if he can't pronounce the name of that infamous tome correctly?).

    Anyway, I don't mean to be too hard on the man but this isn't the sort of reading that truly enriches that material like, say, the readings of Wayne June, which I highly recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (20208)
    Performance
    (17980)
    Story
    (17945)

    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.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "One of King's Best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read and listened to quite a few Stephen King novels at this point, including fan favorites like The Stand and It and I'd rank this as one of his best. Like many of King's books, it's long but in 11-22-63, he uses that time to really develop his characters, to give them rich, emotional lives, and it serves this fascinating time travel tale well. It's more than just a time travel tale, of course. It's also a love story, a thriller and even a bit of a "chiller" in places, though this really isn't a horror novel.

    The pacing is good and King hooks the reader/listener from the start. His fondness for the past is evident and there are times when the book feels a bit like a paean to simpler times. However, the author is sharp enough not to simply romanticize the past and he also reminds us that the period had a darker side. After all, this is a book that concerns itself with the assassination of a U.S. President.

    It's a great, compelling listen, well worth the credit, and the narration by Craig Wasson is as good as it gets. He does a superb job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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