Takashi Matsouka has written a masterpiece about Japan in the mid 1800's, where though threatened, the Samari culture still thrives. It does so, even though the Japanese live under the threats posed by the guns and canons of the multi-national war ships at anchor in their bays and the internal hatreds dating back hundreds of years.
Grover Gardner's reading of it provides a seamless transition from character to character, while imbuing each with the rich individuality that the author had so perfectly shaped with his words. If the book can be faulted in any way, it would be by its ending. Not because the author failed in any way, but because it ended. I wanted it to go on forever. With Gardner's final words, came the fearful realization that I might never again find a book so beautifully written and dramatically read.
I've only been hooked by one narrator before and that was Scott Brick. I considered Brick to be in a class by himself, that is, until I started listening to Susan Ericksen's narration of the Death series. Ericksen is every bit as good as Brick and possibly better. I've now purchased 17 Death books and have consecutively listened to 9 (putting nearly 30 others in my library on hold). Though all the stories take place in NYC, 40 years from now, Robb is not writing sci-fi. Though 2050's Earth-bound technologies and societal changes are believable, his very brief references to farming and resorts on planets, moons and/or space stations are not believable. Luckily, they're easy to overlook since all the action takes place in NYC. Though Robb's "who-Done-It" plots are well constructed and well written, they're totally dependent on the interplay between his 2 main characters, Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her Irish-accented, billionaire husband, "Rourke." Not only does Ericksen give them great voices and take them through an incredible range of emotions, she does the same with the entire range of both the ongoing support and story-specific characters. She does male voice so well, it's impossible to believe that there isn't an ensemble cast of readers. Perhaps the only downside in Robb's writing is the frequency and intensity of Eve and Rourk's lovemaking. While each encounter is beautifully written and read, the frequency of them stretches credibility of it. People who are so tired they can barely walk up stairs and so emotionally drained from seeing disemboweled bodies, do not make love and have multiple orgasms, 2 and 3 times a day.
Fool is worth 10 stars in a 5-star rating system. Of the hundreds of Audible books I've purchased and listened to since becoming an Audible customer in 2001; Fool may be the best. Though it's Brilliantly written and brilliantly funny, what makes this book so great is that it's brilliantly read [performed] by Evan Morton. Morton gives every one of the unique characters a unique voice; characters that range from Peanut (the Fool) to Drool (Peanuts' dimwitted apprentice), from King Lear to his 3 daughters.
This is a "Must Read." I've purchased more than 250 books from Audible, many of which have combined great writers and even greater narrators. I therefore feel on solid ground by telling you that no single book a ever so enraptured me to such a degree that I would do virtually anything just to own a Sawtelle dog.
The first reviewer's 4-star rating leads me to believe that he did not listen to the book's last chapter. The second reviewer's 1-star rating indicates that he did. This book could have been a 5-star listen but by the end of the single worst final chapter of any of the 300 audiobooks I've listened to, I felt that the author had stolen both the credit and time I had invested in it. Save yourself the aggravation and pass this one by. Child needs the discipline of co-authors to bring a story to a meaningful conclusion.
What a talent!!! As an author, Joshilyn Jackson has written a wonderfully-crafted novel with a rich story line populated with wonderfully-deep southern characters. She then brings the book to life with the character-narration skills of a Scott Brick.
This is a 5-star book to which I gave only 3. I did so because Thomas Greanias (who I believe to have written a better story than Dan Brown's "the Da Vinci Code") published this book prematurely in order to make extra money. . I say that because while reading "The Atlantis Prophesy" does not require reading "Raising Atlantis" (unless you're intrigued about the prior history of Conrad Yeats' love affair with Serena Serghetti and want more background information on his father) it absolutely requires reading what should have been Part-Two of this book, "The Atlantis Rvelation." In fact, when you buy this book, do so knowing that you will end up unfulfilled and, as I am, in dire need of reading "Part 2.") What makes this more annoying is that this is the first time I have ever heard a narrator promote the fact that reading the third book which he then names and says is near completion [as is 2008]. Speaking of the narrator; I believe the Atlantis Prophesy to be Scott Brick's best performance and he's already, and justifiable so, risen to narrator super-star status.
After buying more than 300 books from Audible, this was my first listen to science fiction. Though the story was a bit choppy at times, I found my interest growing as it closed in on what I hoped would be a good ending. It proved to be a waste of time because there was no ending. In fact part 2 ended so abruptly and left so many questions unanswered, that I was certain I had forgotten to download Part 3. There is no Part 3! I suggest you not waste or money and certainly not a credit.
I enjoy Steven Colbert and until recently, was a long-time subscriber to the Colbert Report's iTunes Podcast. The funniest thing about "I Am America (And So Can You) is its title and some parts of its introduction. To his credit, Cobert virtually warns readers that the book was just thrown together at his kitchen table, but by that time, the listener had already purchased it or gasp... thrown away a credit. In my opinion, he threw the book together in one extemporaneous sitting during which he must have smoked, drank or popped something that made him think that what he was writing or dictating, was funny. I was expecting the book to have the same brilliant, bitting, sardonic humor that has made him an icon; the type of humor that was never more on display than during his now-legendary speech at the White-House-Press-Corp Dinner. What I found was an immature-180 of that, loaded with HS lunch-room-level humor The danger is that a couple of more of these books will make that Press-Corp speech seem like a distant memory and I suggest he write no more. I became so bored with this book that I did something I had never done before with an Audible download; I deleted it in the middle of a listen. "I am America" has only one saving grace; its 12.24 Platinum-Member price made it a palatable loss. I would have felt totally robbed had I used a credit to purchase this poor excuse for an audio book.
I've purchased 2/3 of his books but this may well be my last Koontz novel. I can't afford to invest time in listening to books with no ending and this book fell 8 hours short. I forgave the first book because I was certain that he'd wrap up the story or like the other serial-character books he has written, bring it to satisfying open end. In conclusion! Dean: How many characters in your books are going to walk around saying "tick tock" This was the third novel with one, not including the one where it's the title.
The perfect formula for a perfect listen! Even though the real villain's identity became obvious to me more than an hour before the book ended, it made little difference. Brian Haig's story had me so riveted, that I couldn't turn it off. During the final 2 hours, I kept renewing the auto-timer of my iPod, when I should have been sleeping. I was not disappointed because it was a perfect ending, right down to its final words. All that being said; a great book can be destroyed by a bad narrator just as a mediocre book can be saved by a great one. The President’s Assassin has the best of both world’s; an incredible story line, great characters, great dialogue and Scott Brick; a great reader (perhaps the best there is) to bring everything to life. If you enjoy mysteries and want to make sure that your book credits are well spent, then “follow the Bricks.” When, after listening to another book, I pulled up the long-long list of books Scott Brick has narrated. I should not have been surprised that the names of some of my favorite listens containing some of my favorite characters were on it. It was from that list that I selected "The President's Assassin," the book I'm about to start, and the two books waiting on my Wish List, for purchase with next month's credits.
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