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Charles Atkinson

I am a blessed man!

Greensboro, NC, United States | Member Since 2005

1018
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 287 reviews
  • 566 ratings
  • 1153 titles in library
  • 96 purchased in 2014
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356

  • Without Remorse

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1408)
    Performance
    (1068)
    Story
    (1083)

    His work for the CIA is brilliant, cold-blooded, and efficient, but who is he? In a harrowing tour de force, phenomenally best-selling author Tom Clancy shows how an ordinary man named John Kelly crossed the lines of justice and morality to become the CIA legend known as Mr. Clark. It is an unforgettable journey into the heart of darkness, without mercy - without remorse.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Great Characters, Great Plot"
    "Great Characters, Great Plot"
    Overall

    Set in the latter days of Viet Nam, this is the novel that explains exactly who "Clark" is and what made him so well regarded and ruthless in the Jack Ryan novels, (principally "Clear and Present Danger." I highly recommend this novel!

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • No Time for Goodbye

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Linwood Barclay
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (187)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (75)

    The house was deathly quiet. That was the first sign that something was terribly wrong. Fourteen-year-old Cynthia Bigge woke that morning to find herself alone. Her family - mother, father, and brother - had vanished without a word, without a note, without a trace. Twenty-five years later, Cynthia is still looking for answers. Now she is about to learn the devastating truth.

    S. Johnston says: "I truy enjoyed this book!"
    "Fantastic Narration Lifts This To 4 Stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fascinating mystery, filled with tragedy and frustration. A young teenager wakes up to find her family gone without a trace. No spoilers but suffice to say the story is unique and clever.

    Christopher Lane gives life and personality to each character as well as any narrator on Audible. I was so impressed that I looked to see his other works and found 3 or 4 in my library. One of my favorites, Death On A High Floor, has to be one of the most difficult books to narrate with it's dominating characters. He was sterling there and he is again here.

    There are intriguing and charismatic characters in the story, the principal and the gangster especially. There's quick, clever banter that makes the tragedy more entertaining.

    But there's also a side story that really should have little bearing, yet becomes a key element in unravelling the mysteries. I am still puzzled why it was there at all.

    So it's a 3 star novel with a 5 star performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Darker Than Night

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By John Lutz
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (289)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (96)

    Ex-homicide cop Frank Quinn is still reeling in the wake of an elaborate setup that ended his career, but a new case presents a chance to salvage his reputation. A killer dubbed "The Night Prowler" has begun terrorizing the citizens of New York City. With the body count climbing, it's up to Quinn to unlock the mystery of a madman's past and end his bloody reign of terror. But in the city of New York, any one of eight million faces could be that of a killer - or his next target.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great Twist"
    "A real thriller that ends with a fizzle..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a story involving the complicated and interesting life of several evil people, a falsely accused ex-cop and two misfit homicide partners. There's bad cops in high places, a truly evil killer, and for much of the book they have the upper hand.

    The hunt I involves good police work under dark political clouds. All of this has the making of a 5 star story. However, at the conclusion we are left with less than 15 minutes of explanation which left much to be explained.

    Scott Brick deserves 5 stars on this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Multiple Wounds: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Alan Russell
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    After the brutal murder of an art gallery owner, the beautiful and mysterious artist Holly Troy seems to be the key to finding out what really happened on the night of the homicide. Unfortunately, Holly also suffers from dissociative identity disorder, and many of her personalities come straight from classical mythology, from the powerful Cronos and Pandora to the fickle Fates. Holly has no idea who she was the night of the crime - whether she witnessed anything, or even if she was the killer herself. Homicide detective Orson Cheever must unravel the complex labyrinth of Holly’s mind before he can find the truth.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Great Characters, Good Mystery"
    "Great Characters, Good Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Okay, I admit to not fully believing in multiple personalities as described in this book. So right away it loses 2 stars for me. However, the characters are so well written and developed I had no problem finishing the book.

    Sometimes when I am frustrated with a book it is because I really liked a lot of it. This has a fascinating premise and a great conclusion, but I felt cheated getting there.

    I loved the reader heis one talented guy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Daniel O'Malley
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1924)
    Performance
    (1741)
    Story
    (1741)

    Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.

    Ethan M. says: "Harry Dresden meets English bureaucracy"
    "I had no idea it was monster fantasy..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of my favorite reviewers, Marci from Portland loved everything about this book. So I bought it confidently thinking it was a mystery. She is right, it's a fun read, but it's pure monster fantasy.

    Now I'm giving it 3 stars because of the first few chapters and it's clever humor. However, I just can't get into this kind of fantasy. Had I read reviews more carefully I would have known better than to try it.

    The narration is brilliant. The main character, who dominates the entire story, is so charismatic and funny that I found myself staying with the story just to hear her speak.

    So the mixed rating really means if you enjoy vampire, Xmen, zombies and ectoplasm in books, you'll love this one.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • King and Maxwell

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    Overall
    (1565)
    Performance
    (1361)
    Story
    (1367)

    It seems at first like a simple, tragic story. Tyler Wingo, a teenage boy, learns the awful news that his father, a soldier, was killed in action in Afghanistan. Then the extraordinary happens: Tyler receives a communication from his father...after his supposed death. Tyler hires Sean and Michelle to solve the mystery surrounding his father. But their investigation quickly leads to deeper, more troubling questions. Could Tyler's father really still be alive? What was his true mission? Could Tyler be the next target? Sean and Michelle soon realize that they've stumbled on to something bigger and more treacherous than anyone could have imagined.

    JR Parrow says: "Come on guys, lighten up! This was a good book!"
    "It's a Fun, Slightly Flawed Conspiracy Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Please don't misunderstand my ratings. This is indeed a fast and fun read. I really think I am just tired of grand conspiracies that seem too far fetched for my liking.

    The narration rating may be misleading as well. I liked both narrators, but I prefer to listen to only one for any book. The only exception I can think of is The Help. But what really drew my ire in this production were the sound effects. They are simply unnecessary and take away from the story.

    The plot is perfectly paced and filled with great characters. What irritates me is the way King and Maxwell become involved in the mystery. They are driving in a rain storm and see a stranger, a 16 year old kid running down the road with a gun. Suddenly they are involved in an international conspiracy. It is unrealistic and even trite. Another misgiving is the motivations of the villain is impossible for me to believe. There are real conspiracies that are stranger than fiction, the UN sex traffic scandal comes to mind. I just cannot think of a powerful person misusing that power because of a personal vendetta. An example of a fictional, personal motivation setting off an international event I find believable is the death of Ramius's wife in Clancy's Red October. It forced Ramius to face the truth about what Russian politics had become.

    What makes this fun for me is Baldacci's characters. Far from super heroes, they are simply talented, driven professionals with the same every day problems all of us face. They are smart, resourceful, athletic and attractive, but not without flaws. And there's a romantic more than sexual tension between them I find refreshing.

    So I guess I'm critical because I liked much of what I read. Does that make sense?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Satori

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (73)

    It is the fall of 1951 and the Korean War is raging. Twenty-six year-old Nicholai Hel has spent the last three years in solitary confinement at the hands of the Americans. Hel is a master of hoda korosu or "naked kill," fluent in seven languages, and has honed extraordinary "proximity sense" - an extra awareness of the presence of danger. He has the skills to be the world's most fearsome assassin and now the CIA needs him. The Americans offer Hel freedom, money, and a neutral passport in exchange for one small service: go to Beijing and kill the Soviet Union's Commissioner to China.

    Sherri says: "LOVED IT!"
    "A Worthy Sequel To Shibumi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Satori rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's in the middle of many good ones.


    What did you like best about this story?

    There is a seamless connection between Travanian's style and Winslow. This seems very difficult to pull off, as any fan of Ian Fleming will note of the Bond novels that followed his death. Some other efforts that disappoint are the post Ludlam Bourne series and the last few Jack Ryan novels co authored after Clancy fell ill.

    Winslow's effort is a huge success.


    What about Holter Graham’s performance did you like?

    He never diassapoints.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shibumi

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Trevanian
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (715)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (283)

    Nicholai Hel, born in the ravages of World War I China to an aristocratic Russian mother and a mysterious German father, raised in the spiritual gardens of a Japanese Go Master, survives the destruction of Hiroshima to emerge as the world's most artful lover and its most accomplished and highly paid assassin. Genius, mystic, master of language and culture, Hel's secret is his determination to attain a rare kind of personal excellence, a state of effortless perfection: shibumi.

    David says: "Only a Russian could be this shibumi"
    "An Assassin is Born"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Shibumi to be better than the print version?

    Absolutely, I don't miss a word or even an inflection in any part of this novel. This is important because the real genius of this novel is how Hel becomes the man he is, rather than his actions.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Shibumi?

    I enjoyed all of the scenes involving his Japanese benefactor.


    What does Joe Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His reading was brilliant, on a level with Ray Porter and Will Patton.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I simply enjoyed every moment of it.


    Any additional comments?

    There was a moment I cringed in embarrassment for the author when a key element of the story implied the US government was complicit in the assignation of Kennedy. I understand this was written in 1979, but it is far too unsubstantiated and convenient a tool.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Coroner’s Lunch: The Dr. Siri Investigations, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Colin Cotterill
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (387)
    Performance
    (326)
    Story
    (323)

    Laos, 1975: The Communist Pathet Lao has taken over this former French colony. Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old Paris-trained doctor, is appointed national coroner. Although he has no training for the job, there is no one else: the rest of the educated class have fled.

    Jane says: "a splendid story"
    "The Laotians Answer to Her Royal Spyness Mysteries"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Colin Cotterill's Dr. Siri mystery is smart, clever, funny and charming. And that's why I compare it to Rhys Bowen's wonderful "Royal Spyness " series. Like Lady Georgianna, Dr. Siri is so charismatic the story becomes secondary.

    The mystery revolves around the culture, political landscape, and poverty of Laos in the 1970s. My memory of Laos in that period is dominated by war, genocide and communism. The genius of Cotterill is his bringing to life extraordinary people who not only survived the devastation but rose above it.

    This is truly a gem!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Harry Bosch Box Set: 'The Narrows', 'Echo Park', and 'The Overlook'

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Len Cariou
    Overall
    (1635)
    Performance
    (1116)
    Story
    (1097)

    Here are three award-winning Harry Bosch thrillers, all voiced by standout Broadway veteran Len Cariou: The Narrows, Echo Park, and The Overlook.

    Jami says: "nice collection -- one missing in the order though"
    "Terrific Value"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3 unabridged novels in one is great, 3 Bosch novels is fantastic. The Narrows alone is worth the credit. It's the conclusion of the The Poet story, only this time Harry Bosch leads the hunt.

    A note about Len Cariou, I remembered his work as very dry, but after listening to these 3 books I stand corrected. He was great.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Poet

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3472)
    Performance
    (2118)
    Story
    (2107)

    Our hero is Jack McEvoy, a Rocky Mountain News crime-beat reporter. As the story opens, Jack's twin brother, a Denver homicide detective, has just killed himself. Or so it seems. But when Jack begins to investigate the phenomenon of police suicides, a disturbing pattern emerges, and soon suspects that a serial murderer is at work.

    Tom says: "Is Connelly the Best Crime Writer Or What?"
    "Great Villain Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story revolves around reporter Jack McEvoy and FBI agent Rachel Walling. While I read all of Connelly in order years ago, I actually listened to the sequel of The Poet, the Harry Bosch novel The Narrows, first. Even though I knew who the villain was this was a riveting story.

    You don't have to listen to many of Connelly's novel in order, but it's essential to read the Poet first if you want maximum shock value.

    A great audio experience...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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