You no longer follow Charles Atkinson

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Charles Atkinson

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Charles Atkinson

Don't miss the Bino Phillips series by AW Gray. They are largely unknown, but as good as any ive read!

Greensboro, NC, United States | Member Since 2014

1958
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 337 reviews
  • 615 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
13
FOLLOWERS
576

  • Code Name Verity

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Wein
    • Narrated By Morven Christie, Lucy Gaskell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2215)
    Performance
    (1987)
    Story
    (1986)

    Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery. Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong....

    Suzn F says: "Haunting, Beautiful, Exquisite, Special Book"
    "Tremendous, exhilarating and unique. A must buy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    How can a WWII spy novel be unique? Ive read the best of them including the entire works of Higgins, Follett, Greg Ilse wrote a great one, Forsythe too. So I was skeptical and even a bit weary of the subject matter even though its been several years since i read a WWII novel. Cynthia's review tipped me this might be special, and i am so grateful it did.

    For some of us, there are times in our lives when we experience a special relationship where the synergy of both personalties, self esteem, intelligence, ingenuity and drive creates something greater than the relationship itself. Ive seen and experienced it in sales, several friendships and in marriage. This is the story of two remarkable young British women who meet and work together just before the beginning of WWII. Individuallly they are smart and resourceful, though each is exceptional in different ways. They become best friends, but their relationship results in a much larger, more deadly force for Brittain against the Nazis.

    The narration is eloquent. The narrative is sharp and funny.

    This is a remarkable accomplishment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • True Grit

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Charles Portis
    • Narrated By Donna Tartt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2048)
    Performance
    (1202)
    Story
    (1209)

    Mattie Ross, a 14-year-old girl from Dardanelle, Arkansas, sets out to avenge her Daddy who was shot to death by a no-good outlaw. Mattie convinces one-eyed "Rooster" Cogburn, the meanest U.S. marshal in the land, to ride along with her. In True Grit, we have a true American classic, as young Mattie, as vital as she is innocent, outdickers and outmaneuvers the hard-bitten men of the trail in a legend that will last through the ages.

    Tommygaus says: "So worth it!"
    "A Western Masterpiece Read By USA's Best Author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was taken back at the extraoridnary writing, as was arguably the 21st century's most gifted author, Donna Tart. She wrote a short essay at the end of this title in which she rightly labels this work a masterpiece. She's not alone. Roald Dahl called it the best book he'd read in a long time at the books release in 1968. She puts True Grit on the same top shelf as Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Wizard of Oz, and even the works of Poe.

    Most of you will be familiar with this story because of the two blockbuster movies it produced. You may be tempted to pass on this because both movies were fairlly true to the book. Please dont make that mistake! Tartt rightfully points out that because of the success of the movie, ("which is good enough but could never do the book justice.") the book failed to be recognized for the classic it is..

    Ms Tartt is a native of Mississippi and understands the dialogue and subtle diferences between the type of southern accents represented. Her narration is simply worthy of a masterpiece. Theres really no better way to put it.

    This will always be one of my favorite audible experiences.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Man Offside

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By A. W. Gray
    • Narrated By Chris Andrew Ciulla
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Ex-Dallas Cowboy Rick Bannion has been through the revolving prison door for drug trafficking and now hunts bail-jumpers. His old friend Jack Brendy has just been busted by the Feds for smuggling cocaine, and when Brendy's wife approaches him seeking a favor, Rick jumps at the chance to help. The favor? - keep the government's sleazy informer off the stand. Unfortunately, when things go wrong, Rick finds himself in the crosshairs of the Feds.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Poor narration harms this story."
    "Poor narration harms this story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First the good news. The story revolves around a former Dallas Cowboy offensive lineman of the 70s, infamous for jumping offsides on 3rd and goal in the NFC championship game, subsequently losing the game and the team's chance at the Super Bowl. (Hence the title.) He was further disgraced when he was convicted of Federal beef soon after. Once again an overzealous US Atty and his FBI minions over reach and over play their hands, providing plenty of fodder and mystery. Its a fun romp through the dark side of Dallas and the Federal Government's manipulation of laws under the guise of the War on Drugs in the late 80s- early 90s.

    The narrator gives the main character a Bill Paxton southern accent with John Wayne's pace. I like both actors, but the result is that it comes across like the man is slow witted or brain damaged. Most of the bad guys, both redneck and black are way over done as well. In action scenes the narrator over does every sentance.

    AW Gray's Bino series features great narration with perfect timing that enhances his characters and his remarkable wit. When the timing is lost, so is the humor.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Moving Day

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jonathan Stone
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (399)
    Performance
    (364)
    Story
    (356)

    Forty years’ accumulation of art, antiques, and family photographs are more than just objects for Stanley Peke - they are proof of a life fully lived. A life he could have easily lost long ago. When a con man steals his houseful of possessions in a sophisticated moving-day scam, Peke wanders helplessly through his empty New England home, inevitably reminded of another helpless time: decades in Peke’s past, a cold and threadbare Stanislaw Shmuel Pecoskowitz eked out a desperate existence in the war-torn Polish countryside, subsisting on scraps, dodging Nazi soldiers.

    Joe Crescenzi says: "What a fantastic story... a real treat!"
    "You Will Love This!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I almost want to stop here. Moving Day was one the best and most unique audio book experiences I have had in years. And ive had quite a few.

    A combination of irony, narrative, depth of character, a great story and perfectly timed narration is what makes this so perfect. For example in most of the other 5 star thrillers i am always attracted to the quick witted banter between characters. Here we are treated to a third party narrator taking us deep into the depths of each character. Remember the old Disney movies of real wild life where the only dialogue was the narrator walking you through each scene? Moving Day is something like that, only so much more in depth.

    The motivation of the characters and the story itself is revealed through the author's use of irony. I actually word synced this book with kindle so id have it written form. I am just an avid reader, not a critic, but think the use of irony takes this novel from a great thriller to a literary classic.

    In virtually every great book Ive read I fall in love with the characters and long for more of the same. That is not the case in Moving Day. I rushed to its conclusion and was as exhausted as I was thrilled. The depth of character was so dark, rich and personal i felt more like a voyer.

    This is sure to be a popular movie, perfect for Eastwood or some other agiged superstar. Thats great for Stone, but i think the real thrill is in the reading...or listening!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Prime Suspect

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By A. W. Gray
    • Narrated By Charlie Thurston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Lackey Ferguson met Marissa Hardin once, the morning he signed on to build a bathhouse at the Hardins' fancy Fort Worth home. But when Marissa is found brutally murdered, Lackey becomes the number-one suspect in a trumped-up case, while a sexual psychopath runs loose. Desperate to find the real killer, Lackey must evade arrest while keeping an eye on his fiancée - who may just be the killer's next target....

    Charles Atkinson says: "America's most underrated author deserves attentio"
    "America's most underrated author deserves attentio"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Prime Suspect is the 7 th novel I have listened to by Gray and one of the best. Like the previous 6 novels, its sharp, funny, gritty and unique. Ive already listened to each of the 4 Bino Phillips novels twice and chances are I'll do the same with Prime Suspect. I am not sure why Gray's novels werent as popular as Connelly's and others, but I have no problem placing Gray among the best Ive read.

    Prime Suspect definitely fits in the police procedural category, but it is more of farcical expose' on the short comings of procedures and our legal system. Heres what i mean.

    A young, naieve contractor, Lackey Furgason is trying to seal the deal on an extravagant bath house addition in one of Dallas' wealthiest neighborhoods. He meets with the lady of the house and picks up a deposit check for $15000 and leaves. However, the husband has hired a killer to murder his wife. Naturally Lackey is a person of interest, but rape was involved with the murder so the husband is not a likely suspect. Instead of investigating the murder, the police are locked in on investigating Lackey.

    The characters are wonderful, as is Gray's masterful storytelling. I felt like i was watchig a great movie throughout the entire novel.

    The narrator was adequate, but i found myself liking the voices he gave to each character more the longer i listened. And he picked up the irony and comedy as well as anyone Ive listened to. So i give him 3 stars instead of 2.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • She's Leaving Home

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs)
    • By William Shaw
    • Narrated By Cameron Stewart
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    London, 1968: The body of a teenage girl is found just steps away from the Beatles' Abbey Road recording studio. The police are called to a residential street in St John's Wood where an unidentified young woman has been strangled. Detective Sergeant Cathal Breen believes she may be one of the many Beatles fans who regularly camp outside Abbey Road Studios. With his reputation tarnished by an inexplicable act of cowardice, this is Breen's last chance to prove he's up to the job.

    connie says: "refreshing period Brit police procedural"
    "Probably a great one to read! Narration lacking..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a tough one to review. The story was really good, smart and funny, but as they say about humor, timing is everything. I get the feeling Cameron Stewart's timing and voices, especially of women, were so off and over the top i found myself cringing whenever he used them. If id read it myself i have no doubt this would get better marks.

    It has everything to be a great police procedural. A likable though flawed, and smart detective. Great synergy between the police team. Good contrast between good and sloppy police work. Sharp wit and humor.

    In the end i dont think its a waste of time or money. Its very likely to be a 4-5 star listen for most people.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Black Site: A Delta Force Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Dalton Fury
    • Narrated By Ari Fliakos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (868)
    Performance
    (795)
    Story
    (801)

    Meet Kolt Raynor. A Delta Force operator and one-time American hero, he is still trying to make sense of his life - and duty - after a secret mission gone bad. Three years ago, in the mountains of Pakistan, Raynor made a split-second decision to disobey orders - one that got some of his teammates killed and the rest captured. Now he’s been given a second chance to do right by his country, his men, and himself. But Raynor’s shot at redemption comes at a price.

    Alex - Discerning Consumer says: "Exciting and Vivid!"
    "No Super Hero, Just a Great Operative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ive listened or read too many thrillers featuring great characters with almost super human abilities. I liked them all, but it seems to me Mitch Rapp, Jack Reacher, the Grey Man, etcetera have been too good to believe. So I purchased Black Site with some prejudice.

    What led me to this book was the author's recent background as Delta member himself. It was a wise decision.

    The hero here is a decorated, but disgraced combat veteran who becomes a drunk after he leads his team into an ambush. He's called back into action because he is expendable. What follows is a tough and gritty adventure that leads to his own redemption. It is an extremely accurate tale of espionage and warfare.

    6 of 6 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
    (9819)
    Performance
    (8216)
    Story
    (8215)

    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""
    "Beautifully Written, Masterfully Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a work of literary genius. Thankfully it falls into my favorite genre. There's only one other novel that kept me guessing till the very end, Presumed Innocent by Scott Turrow.

    From the beginning I understood I was listening to the work of an exceptional author. It reminded me of my experience reading Secret History by Donna Tart. Yet I came close to giving up early on the novel based on the miserable, alcoholic life and existence of the main character, Rachel. She said it best when she knew she wasn't as bad off as a girl she read about who'd gotten so ripped she performed oral sex on her uncle. "That", says Rachel, "is where my bar is set." So she's a pitiful character that tried my patience as she did with every fictional relationship in the novel.

    Thankfully I persisted, because suddenly I became engrossed in every aspect of the mystery. I usually have to like or admire one or more of the characters to enjoy the experience. In most of my favorite mysteries the characters make the mystery secondary. Here the opposite is true. I really didn't like or admire anyone in the novel. The mystery dwarfs the characters.

    The three narrators are simply masterful readers. I'd put their performance on the same level as The Help.

    13 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • The Neon Lawyer

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Victor Methos
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (54)

    With money and hope in short supply, newly minted attorney Brigham Theodore decides it’s time to lower his standards. He joins a seedy fly-by-night firm in Salt Lake City out of desperation. After he loses his first case - a speeding ticket - he’s convinced his career is over. But to his shock, his boss hands him a slightly more complex case: capital murder.

    R. Pontiflet says: "Good Court Room Drama!"
    "Rookie Atty Fantasy Overly Simplistic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    That's really enough said. It captures your attention and holds it. But the truth is it wil never happen, or it shouldn't. A first year attorney with 1 speeding violation case under his belt tries a capital murder case. No press to speak of, an experienced DA bumbles, a judge is put in his place... Too much.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Size

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By A. W. Gray
    • Narrated By Barry Press
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    This hard-boiled tale from A. W. Gray takes its title from its hero, con artist and poker player Sizemore Brandon, a gentle if criminal giant and sidekick to Pecos Jimmy, a Dallas racketeer majoring in gambling. When Size is called to testify against his boss, Jimmy decides the time has come to dispense with his services permanently. The stakes are high, and Size will have to play his cards right if he is to come out on top in the seamy underbelly of Texas.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Good Bad Guy, Fast Read"
    "Good Bad Guy, Fast Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this on the strength of the Bino series, in which all four books rated 5 stars. I'm not dissapointed, though I do give it 3 stars because it's not near as good as the Bino series. This was written in 1989, but that takes nothing from the story at all.

    Size is a giant of a guy whose run operations for his lifelong friend, now a gangster. He's gone to jail twice for his boss and in the opening scenes he's under indictment again. Each time he's taken the fall for things his boss has actually done. But this time his boss is manipulated into believing Size will snitch, despite all experience and evidence to the contrary. So he puts a hit on Size.

    This sets off a chain of events that begins to undermine a solid crime organization as well as a Columbian Cartel they deal with. Suddenly this wakes up Size to the reality he's been blindly true and loyal to everyone but himself. He's been a fool, but now he is forced to use his strength, wit, smarts and savvy to go against them all.

    The narrator gets 3 stars for his great voice, but too careful diction. I've a sneaking suspicion he missed some of the humor AW Gray is famous for.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.