san francisco | Member Since 2008
I was really enjoying the performance and story, eager to hear more each day when I reached "the end of a part but not the end of the audio book." When Part 2 unfolded, however, I thought I had skipped to a completely different story and had to double check I was still listening to "Bleed For Me." Not wanting to give anything away, I'll just say the characters seemed to take a U-turn and behave as if they were different people. Things got confusing and, for me, the novel no longer had the verisimilitude to keep me listening.
....Harry Bingham's thriller *is* evocative and will keep your interest if you're a fan of police procedurals. Some of it seems trite (the main character is always in trouble with her boss ala Dirty Harry) but it really pokes and prods at how a lot of us feel like like 'the outsider in society.' Siriol Jenkins' lilting narration is astonishing, truly, and the voice Bingham gives to protagonist Fiona Griffiths is haunting, lonely and finely spun. Fiona is forever wrestling with her instincts and the rules of society, often coming out the loser. And, of course, there are two grisly murders to contend with.
Plowing through all 17 hours in 3 days, there were times when I was thinking "that's not plausible," and times when I couldn't listen fast enough. I did, finally, guess the killer before the end but the side stories woven in between make for an atmospheric read that is tough to turn off. Davina Porter does a fine job narrating although she can sound kind of whiny at times. Nonetheless, she conquers a range of characters and puts a lot of soul into her performance. Curious what you all think!
Candy is dated, silly and a great listen featuring classic prose and yesterday's morality. It's got sexiness, snarky-ness, sarcasm and girl-on-girl action. Seems trite till you realize it was published 53 years ago and then it's all just a fun ride like a Mad Men episode meets vintage Law & Order. Block is king!
Our lives are exhaled right into these characters with William Landay's exquisite prose. We recognize the Barbers in ourselves, our families, our neighbors, our co-workers--it's as if he picks what may seem the most mundane aspects of our lives and describes them with delightfully accurate metaphors, urging us to believe in how we live, nodding, yes, like *that*, while at the same time unraveling a frightening mystery of gruesome nature. Great narration by Grover Gardner. Really, a terrific listen.
There I was, gettin' my much-needed Robert Crais fix, and suddenly by hour three, names of characters, actions, scenes and relationships just didn't make much sense. Loved the K-9 element and the theme of struggling back to greatness after debilitating set-backs. It was like having a slice of my favorite pizza with some of the key ingredients missing. Good, I finished it, but it woulda been way better with pineapple and jalapeños.
It's interesting to note that Elizabeth Haynes is (was?) in law enforcement, lending more veracity to the chilling story of a young woman in the grips of PTSD. Her penchant for detail allows us to see into the interiors of the bars, houses, and along the cold English shore woven into this thriller--most definitely cinematic. Although the novel is suspenseful, some of the characters are simply foils for the main character, Cathy, who struggles with debilitating fear. Having just recently been robbed while I was asleep in my home, the whole "what was that noise?" really resonated with me. Frightening.
Kudos to Ray Porter for breathing life into Kevin Mitnick's detailed account of how he fooled the world and thumbed his nose at giant tech companies just for sport. His insatiable curiosity, exceptional persistance and gigantic ego are just the right combo to achieve what he did [read: break the law & disrespect other people's rights and privacy].
It's really not great writing but his audacity is fascinating and what's also shocking is how gullible people can be. He couldn't have done most of it without people's basic nature to believe that someone is telling them the truth.
Yet, the person most snowed by Mitnick is Mitnick. He's really just a self-centered, egomaniac who gives lip service to caring about others or justifying his hacking but is really convinced he's better than everyone else.
There are so many good things about this story--the juxtaposition of then and now, a fresh look at love, an examination of how we humans want to control our destinies--but, I'm sorry, it didn't have to TAKE THAT LONG TO SAY IT. I dare say the man is sucking up to us boomers but, hey, that's a viable strategy. I don't begrudge him that.
Listen to this book if you want to live in the world of "What ifs" for awhile, to think about how your own actions in the world influence the next guy but if you want to escape into pure entertainment, try "Beat The Reaper." Now, *that's* fun.
If you like Don Winslow, if you like Lawrence Block, if you like Thomas Perry--even Jim Butcher, chances are you will love this novel as much as I do. Like others say, it's part Sopranos, part ER, part scary, part hilarious, part inventive, part ridiculous, a little bit sexy and completely entertaining.
Go Josh Bazell! Since I live in Oakland I want to go hunt him down in San Francisco and just stand there grinning at him.
And go Robert Petkoff--geez! What a terrific talent.
TWO THUMBS UP!!
Almost like a stylized comic book, the Gray Man zaps, leaps, shoots, barrel rolls and silently glides from scene to scene, never stopping for more than 10 minutes to dress his wounds. Great fun from Mark Greaney and excellent narration by Jay Snyder!
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