Greensboro, NC, United States | Member Since 2005
Audible.com Read (Most Excellently) by Dylan Baker
Just finished Tom Wolfe's latest classic, I Am Charlotte Simmons two weeks ago. Again I listened to this one on an MP3 from Audible. Incredibly funny and relevant, perhaps too much so.
The story is about the beautiful, genius and naive? student from Sparta, NC, (Charlotte Simmons), experiences in her first year at an Ivy League caliber school in Pa. The novel exposes the absurdity of today's amoral campus life and the lower standards of the higher echelon of academia.
At the end of the audible version of the book, Wolfe is interviewed about his research. This is where it gets personal. He spent a lot of time interviewing students at Stanford, a little at several Ivy League campuses and over a month at UNC-CH! My 19 year old daughter is a frosh at Carolina.
To be fair, Carolina has a prof who is country's leading authority on slang. Still, the 74 year old explored the sexual and substance excesses at Carolina and found an alarming ambivalence in its students. For instance, a large part of the book explores the foolishness of co-ed living. Lander lives in a Co-ed dorm where every other suite is inhabited by guys.
Think about it. Where in adult life do men and women who are complete strangers live together in such intimate and lecherous surroundings? Such a lifestyle does nothing to prepare students for life. Yet it is the universally accepted form of student housing across the country.
Nevertheless, it was an incredible ride through a wonderful girl's freshman year.
Having just finished three of the best crime novels I've ever read, I never expected Cop Town to be as good, if not better than Mr Mercedes, Nesbo's The Son, and Bombproof.
Cop Town is a gritty story of the first police women to infiltrate the Atlanta PD in the early 70's. Someone called "the shooter" is killing cops at point blank range. The Atlanta PD of the 1970's was a force in turmoil with the integration of blacks and women into its ranks. No rock of bigotry is left unturned as the two main characters must dance around a smothering culture of racism, misogyny, homophobia to find the killer.
There are sophisticated and powerful family systems in place that greatly influence the police work of the two main characters. Karin Slaughter masterfully weaves them into the tale with a depth of emotion I've rarely found in any crime novel.
The reader, Kathleen Early is masterful, bringing every character to life and delivering the perfect pitch to every scene. This performance equals any effort of Ray Porter, Eduardo Ballerini and Will Patton.
Please read Cop Town. It is Slaughter's best work and puts her in rare company.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It has great characters and a gripping narrative. I have to say the narration was 5 star when in character, but lacking otherwise.
The setting is both a small Iowa college town and Washington DC at the beginning of Iraq war in 1990. Cobweb loosely refers to government bureaucracy interfering with and redistributing good intelligence work in order to fit existing policy.
There's unforgettable characters in constant conflict with each other and everyone is "cobwebbed." I really did not want this book to end.
I think it's fair to say this is a quickie by King standards. It's a very good one. Like most all of his work the characters seem more like old friends, people you know and like and hope the best for.
It's a murder mystery set in an aging carnival type theme park in 1973 North Carolina. There actually is one here called South of the Border. Google it for a laugh. There's a very small supernatural element which has little to do with the story or it's outcome. In truth it would be a great thriller without any supernatural occurrences.
Just sit back and let reader Michael Kelly take you back to 1973. You won't regret it for a moment.
Like it's predecessor, The Silkworm features a remarkable synergy between ts two main characters. It's a romp through the London literary world, and if Gailbreth is at all accurate, Hollywood has nothing on this group of talented misfits.
Like others, I flew through this one. You can't go wrong with Silkroom.
No question this is not as good as Noble House, but its still good and fills in more than a few questions in the Noble House saga. What makes this a 4 star listen is the masterful performance of John Lee. His mastery of dialects, gender, and distinct characterization captures all the humor, drama and suspense Clavell intended.
Noble House is one of my favorite books ever. This should be read first in the Asian series, followed by Taipan and Gai-Jin. King Rat, Shogun and Whirlwind may contain some loose connections with Noble House, but arent neccessary for a Noble House fan.
By charming I mean the author and her reader captured my imagination and held my attention throughout the book. I thoroughly enjoy the Royal Spyness series because I love learning about the aristocracy of prewar London. I suppose I am not so much taken with an Irish immigrant's adventures in America.
This is a very lighthearted mystery series for those who enjoy such things.
Remember the two creepy villians in the Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever? Well the bad guys here aren't Mr Wint and Mr Kidd, they are the handsome, blond haired, blue eyed Blackwood brothers, but they are every bit as creepy, resourceful and deadly. Like the Bond movie, they carry on polite conversation with each other, in front of their victims, even while inflicting great pain. Certainly Koryta used the Bond villains as his inspiration, and it works exceptionally well.
Since I started with the bad guys, it's important to note they wouldn't be near as creepy and terrifying without the superb reading of Robert Petkoff. His performance is nothing short of magnificent.
Another aspect that makes this novel so interesting is the woodsmanship and wilderness training explained through the Mai character and hero, Ethan Serbin.
This is a fast, suspenseful read!
Somewhat ironically, I find King's best works do not involve any horror or other supernatural events. That would be the two novellas that were made into the movies, Stand By Me and Shawshank Redemption... and now his latest work Mr Mercedes. This is not to take any thing away from his entire body of work. The Stand, Salem's Lot, Green Mile, Dumas Key are just a few of my favorites.
No one creates characters as believable and memorable as Stephen King. I suppose this is why I've never been able to put down any of his books, regardless of their horrific nature. Mr Mercedes is not horrific, but a wonderfully crafted police procedural. It is the story of a 62 year old retired cop struggling to come to grips with his life in retirement. An unsolved crime that ended with the death of 8 people by a masked motorist driving a Mercedes still bothers him, but it suddenly becomes something far more relevant when he receives a letter from the killer.
The killer has the retired detective in his crosshairs, but his letter backfires, resurrecting the true genius of once great detective. The story becomes a fast paced, cat and mouse thriller. I finished it in 24 hours from purchase!
Will Patton is as talented a reader as King is an author.
This is one of the best police procedurals I've ever read!
This is 7th Jack Rafferty book, but my first experience with this author. It's a terrific story with great characters, even with the sad undercurrent of ,child abuse flowing throughout the book.
The walking man is fascinating, an ex-con and father of a murdered daughter who took revenge on his daughter's killer. While serving time he learned all he could from the imprisoned pedophiles, their motivations, fantasies, networks, etc. Now he's a nomad, searching carefully for the grave of his long dead daughter. He becomes a colorful, mysterious and valuable source for Jack Rafferty to help find a kidnapped family.
It's well written and read. Ive already tried another Mo Hayder book and plan on listening to several more.
I enjoyed all the characters, their contrast in wealth and education and the pride they took in their jobs. I also found the lack of cynicism refreshing for a police drama. And the humor, particularly the mayor's was unique and edgy.
What I find lacking is the lack of detail in the police work itself. Nevertheless I flew the story and was only disappointed it ended with a whimper.
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