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Brendan

lilburn, GA, United States | Member Since 2005

199
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 20 reviews
  • 54 ratings
  • 697 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
4

  • Age of Innocence (Dramatised)

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 53 mins)
    • By Edith Wharton, Jane Rogers (dramatisation)
    • Narrated By Andrew Wincott, Susanne Bertish
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    A full-cast dramatisation of Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a passionate love affair which breaks all the rules of the restrictive high society of 1870s New York.In the exclusive world of upper-class New York, in which attendance at balls and dinner passes for occupation, Newland Archer anticipates his marriage to May Welland, a beautiful young girl from a suitable family ‘who knows nothing and expects everything’.

    Brendan says: "Beautifully done"
    "Beautifully done"
    Overall

    This is a fine, fine adaptation of a loved work. The acting is first class, although perhaps some American ears might find the accents imperfect.

    Its too short, and that's why it has a 4 and not 5 stars, but it is really excellent and true to the text and the original work. A very serious effort.

    I heard it on BBC Radio 4 when it came out, and I was delighted it was available for purchase soon afterward. Really happy to have this in my library.



    brendan

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Still Missing

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Chevy Stevens
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1535)
    Performance
    (894)
    Story
    (901)

    On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old Realtor, had three goals: sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she’s about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.

    Richard Delman says: "A singular voice; a horrendous story."
    "Great Start, slow finish"
    Overall

    I tried not to let the reviews on this affect the way I approached it. Unfortunately, the ones which referred to the faults of the book are correct.

    Brilliant, very convincing start, then the ennui sets in. It _felt_ as if the author didn't really know where it was going.

    Then what felt like ought to be the denoument coming at other than the end of the book. Agreed, that's going to be arguable.

    Then the plod through a set of cliches to get to an unsatisfying ending.

    I realise this is a difficult area of fiction, and at least it isn't Vampires, so there are positives. I think this writer will improve and has a story to tell.

    Just not too sure this one is the best.



    brendan

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • I'd Know You Anywhere

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Laura Lippman
    • Narrated By Linda Emond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (994)
    Performance
    (313)
    Story
    (317)

    In the summer of 1985, when she was fifteen, Eliza was kidnapped by Walter and held hostage for almost six weeks. He had killed at least one girl and Eliza always suspected he had other victims as well. Now on death row in Virginia for the rape and murder of his final victim, Walter seems to be making a heartfelt act of contrition as his execution nears. Though Eliza wants nothing to do with him, she's never forgotten that Walter was most unpredictable when ignored.

    Susan says: "I found the reason compelling"
    "Classy tale, wonderful narrator"
    Overall

    I really liked this tale, and I found every scene and character convincing. People around extraordinary events do some weird things, so I didn't find anything here more disturbing than a rape or murder story generally are.

    I thought the narrator was about as good as narrators get. Smooth, silky voice that massages the ears very nicely. Her tiny change of voice from character to character was convincing and accurate.

    I liked the ending, well drawn that. Not many writers can adequately finish up their work these days, Lippman does it perfectly. All the ends tied up neatly, and satisfactory conclusions.




    brendan

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Gray Man

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4350)
    Performance
    (3310)
    Story
    (3289)

    Court Gentry is known as The Gray Man - a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible, and then fading away. And he always hits his target. But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness. Now, he is going to prove that for him, there's no gray area between killing for a living-and killing to stay alive.

    Michael says: "High Energy Ride!"
    "Utter tripe"
    Overall

    This is complete and utter tripe. Fantastical, with unbelievable characters, and just complete nonsense. No one can be this deadly, no one, not even a Terminator. This fellow slices his way through about as many people as Bruce Lee dispatched in, "Enter The Dragon."

    Complete nonsense, avoid. How this got through an editor at a publishing house, I have no idea. The poor narrator, tried his best, but he must have been shaking his head in dread throughout.

    I suppose it gives any aspiring writer hope, you can write complete wallop and still get published.





    brendan

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Lost in Translation

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Nicole Mones
    • Narrated By Angela Lin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (78)

    A novel of searing intelligence and startling originality, Lost in Translation heralds the debut of a unique new voice on the literary landscape. Nicole Mones creates an unforgettable story of love and desire, of family ties and human conflict, and of one woman's struggle to lose herself in a foreign land - only to discover her home, her heart, herself.

    Brendan says: "Absolutely fascinating!"
    "Absolutely fascinating!"
    Overall

    I'll be honest, when I bought this, I was taking a punt at an unknown writer, with material unknown to me. I listened to the free sample, and I really liked the narrators voice. Over some 8 years and 500 plus books, I've worked it out that spending 10 hours or so with someone who's voice you can't stand is a special kind of hell. A bad narrator can kill even the finest written work.

    No fears here, Angela Lin is superb, getting the awkward Chinese pronunciations on the nail, and carrying the whole thing forward in a most satisfactory way.

    The writing is slick, and powerful, and to my eyes and ears anyway, seems pretty accurate and believable. I felt I learned a little about recent Chinese history and got a fair glimpse into the country, which hitherto has been a closed book for me, even though I've been there twice:)

    This is excellent fare, one of the top ten this year, for me.



    brendan

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The American

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Martin Booth
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (240)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (143)

    The locals in the southern Italian town where he lives call him Signor Farfalla - Mr. Butterfly - for he is a discreet gentleman who paints rare butterflies. His life is inconspicuous: mornings are spent brushing at a canvas, afternoons idling in the cafés, and evenings talking with his friend, the town priest, over a glass of brandy. Yet there are other sides to this gentleman’s life.... Part thriller, part character study, part drama of deceit and self-betrayal, The American shows Martin Booth at the very height of his powers.

    Ramon says: "Slow start but after a few pages your hooked.
"
    "Slow burning, but leaves a warm glow"
    Overall

    This is an intriguing read, and definitely an internal study of the thought process of a person involved in killing. You are much more likely to get the real skinny on "hitters" from this novel than from most of the other tosh written about them. Fascinating discussion on weapons, preparation and personal awareness, all real tools of those who operate in this world.

    The listener needs to pay attention, because the information is delivered with a sly self knowing anarchy. The reading is, like the book, understated and quite brilliant.

    Heh, I haven't seen the film yet, but I'll bet it ain't nowt like the book:)


    brendan

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Lion

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3051)
    Performance
    (1296)
    Story
    (1288)

    Detective John Corey now faces his toughest assignment yet: the pursuit and capture of the world's most dangerous terrorist -- a young Arab known as "The Lion" who has baffled a federal task force and shows no sign of stopping in his quest for revenge against the American pilots who bombed Libya and killed his family.

    John Robertson says: "What happened to Scott Brick?!!"
    "Slow, deadly boring and just awful"
    Overall

    De Mille is capable of writing some excellent stuff. "The Generals daughter" was first class.

    I gave "The Lion" a shot after the terribly disappointing "Lions Game", purely because Scott Brick was reading it, and he's been in fine form of late.

    Even he could do nothing to rescue this turgid turkey. All the poncing around being a murderous Arab terrorist of magical killing capability got so tired. This terrorist isn't a human, he's a werewolf, sheesh, do authors think we readers are so stupid?

    The thing droned on for hour after hour until the final inevitable cliche of two bulls confrontation, spare me, what utter macho tripe.

    Never again, De Mille, never again.




    brendan

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cobra

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Frederick Forsyth
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (472)
    Performance
    (136)
    Story
    (137)

    What if you had carte blanche to fight evil? Nothing held back, nothing off the table. What would you do? For decades, the world has been fighting the drug cartels, and losing, their billions of dollars making them the most powerful and destructive organizations on earth. Until one man is asked to take charge. Paul Devereaux used to run Special Operations for the CIA before they retired him for being too ruthless. Now he can have anything he requires, do anything he thinks necessary. No boundaries, no rules, no questions asked.

    Tim says: "Another Good Read by Forsyth"
    "Hmmm, not his best"
    Overall

    I've read just about everything Frederick Forsyth has done. He has become rather predictable down the years. Nowadays, he spends a little too much time praising the extraordinary skills of the military. I'm sure they are, but they are not gods and the occasional flub would be better for the fiction.

    His druggies are very bad, as no doubt they are, but I suspect they would not fall over quite so fast in real life as Freddie makes 'em go down.

    As usual, his work requires a close listen, there is the usual attention to detail and that is something I do like. I suspect his sources were rather better in the past than they are nowadays.

    The split-strike ending is downright peculiar, and while he does usually wrap a surprise up, I just got the feeling that this ending was rather constructed to fit his usual patterns.

    The readers pronunciation of some Scottish terms was off here and there, but it was a perfectly competent read. Just not Freddie's best.


    brendan

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Nineteen Seventy Four: Red Riding Quartet

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By David Peace
    • Narrated By Saul Reichlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (253)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (65)

    Jeanette Garland, missing Castleford, July 1969. Susan Ridyard, missing Rochdale, March 1972. Claire Kemplay, missing Morley, since yesterday. It’s winter, 1974, Yorkshire, Christmas bombs, Lord Lucan on the run, the Bay City Rollers, and Eddie Dunford’s got the job he wanted – crime correspondent for the Yorkshire Evening Post. He didn’t know it was going to be a season in hell. A dead little girl with a swan’s wings stitched into her back. A gypsy camp in a ring of fire. Corruption everywhere you look.

    Lori says: "Disturbing, Uncomfortable - Real Crime Fiction"
    "On The Button"
    Overall

    I am a retired UK police officer, and this novel takes place at a time when I was serving.

    When I read policiers, entertaining though they are, the coppers are rarely anything like the smelly, sexist, cussing, fighting fellers I worked with.

    The coppers, and the journos in this book, are perfectly drawn. This is exactly what policing was like in those times.

    Quite brilliantly written, not a word wasted, and spoken in the vernacular of the time. Chilling, accurate and entertaining.




    brendan

    27 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • WWW: Watch

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy, Marc Vietor, Oliver Wyman, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1153)
    Performance
    (627)
    Story
    (628)

    Webmind is an emerging consciousness that has befriended Caitlin Decter and grown eager to learn about her world. But Webmind has also come to the attention of WATCH - the secret government agency that monitors the Internet for any threat to the United States - and they're fully aware of Caitlin's involvement in its awakening.

    Jerker says: "Nice idea driven sf"
    "Unmissable!"
    Overall

    I started reading the first book in this trilogy, WWW.wake yesterday lunchtime.

    I have just finished this book, WWW.Watch today, 1932 hours EST.

    That tells you all you need to know what I think of this work.

    It is brilliant, clever, affecting, funny, hopeful and glorious with optimism.

    I can't wait, I just can't wait for the third book, WWW.Wonder.

    Jessica Almasy is wonderful in this, as young Caitlin Decter, we are going to hear a whole lot more of her. The others played their parts excellent well, but Almasy is peerless.

    Audible, thank you. I shall listen to this over and over again.




    brendan (Atlanta)

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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