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Ramon

Oakland, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

359
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 77 ratings
  • 275 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
9

  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (3854)
    Performance
    (2169)
    Story
    (2221)

    Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything: a fine reputation, an appointment as captain of a ship, and the heart of a beautiful woman. But his perfect life is shattered when three jealous friends conspire to destroy him. Falsely accused of a political crime, Dantès is locked away for life in the infamous Chateau d'If prison. But it is there that Dantès learns of a vast hidden treasure.

    Sanford Rosenberg says: "What a pleasure to read a classic!"
    "A true Time-machine"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At first I didn't want to write a review because so many have done that before me.
    But I just can't help myself from expressing what this book did to me.
    It is not only a story that transports you instantly back to a very interesting and tumultuous time in European history, but its also a story that is very confined to a specific group of people.
    It is a story that has it all, love, romance, grief, hate, envy and on and on... The length of the book seems like to much of a commitment, but when I finished it I was sad that it had ended.
    It was a joy to listen to John Lee's voice which took me back to Europe and to places I have wandered endlessly, he gives all characters their own identity and makes you forget that its a book and not a dream or fantasy your in the middle of experiencing.
    If you are thinking about reading a classic or just want to check out Dumas... Read this book, it is like one of those dreams that you hope will never end.

    40 of 40 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4140)
    Performance
    (3617)
    Story
    (3582)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "Starts strong, becomes boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I started this book I was immediately hooked... but, half way though it became a drag.
    The way the story is formed, with having two (and later three) character points that are narrated by different people, is fun and interesting in the beginning... but I found Allison Hiroto's voice to bug me more and more as her character was overly portrait. Her character's story was especially detailed to a point of hearing exactly what dishes she ordered in a restaurant or the plain minutia of her life that didn't seem to relate to the story and with that came the mistakes... Characters are described in such detail that some things they say and/or do seems not to match what was described before..They almost became caricatures of themselves.
    It seemed like the author didn't anticipate the audience to be smart enough to fill in the blanks (sometimes its better to not explain everything in great detail).

    This probably sounds very vague and I understand that for some people this might be a great book.. but I found myself not caring about the characters halfway though.. And if you don't care what happens to the main characters of a story it kinda ends there.
    I wonder if there is something lost in translation.

    I don't regret getting this book since I got many great hours of reading out of it.. I just wish it would have been more engaging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cat's Table

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Michael Ondaatje
    • Narrated By Michael Ondaatje
    Overall
    (268)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (228)

    In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy in Colombo boards a ship bound for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the “cat’s table” - as far from the Captain’s Table as can be - with a ragtag group of “insignificant” adults and two other boys, Cassius and Ramadhin. As the ship makes its way across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal, into the Mediterranean, the boys tumble from one adventure to another, bursting all over the place like freed mercury.

    Amanda says: "Superb - But Not For All Readers or All Situations"
    "No raving master piece review here"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read many reviews of The Cat's Table and they are almost all extremely enthusiastic appraisals of the complex, enigmatic, eloquent, elegant, evocative, ethereal and literary word-craftsmanship of Michael Ondaatje's new novel. Well, I have to say that it is definitely well crafted but the author seems to me the wrong choice to narrate his own creation. The book had the potential to be a exciting journey of life but ended up being a complete drag to get through. At many times it feels like the author tried to be a word-magician instead of having a book that immerses you in its story line. I have no doubt that it is very different if you read it yourself, but as an audio book it was a little boring and non engaging.

    23 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Carte Blanche: The New James Bond Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jeffery Deaver
    • Narrated By Toby Stephens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (552)
    Performance
    (361)
    Story
    (372)

    Fresh from Afghanistan, James Bond has been recruited to a new agency. Conceived in the post-9/11 world, it operates independent of Five, Six and the MoD, its very existence deniable. Its aim: to protect the Realm, by any means necessary. The Night Action alert calls Bond from dinner with a beautiful woman. GCHQ has decrypted an electronic whisper about an attack scheduled for later in the week: casualties estimated in the thousands, British interests adversely affected.

    britishbob says: "Worth The Time"
    "Book 3-4, narrator 2 stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is what you would expect from a Bond novel, not to much depth but light and entertaining. Its a shame the story is to much written as if it is the first book of a series and not the current last. But my main reason for giving it only 3 stars is that the Narrator is stunningly boring, he reads the book to much as if he's reading at a children's book club with to much emphasis on a r t i c u l a t i n g everything very proper. And he can not do female voices, at least not convincingly in any way.

    23 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Jonathan Aris, Paula Wilcox
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1469)
    Performance
    (699)
    Story
    (698)

    In 1799, the artificial island of Dejima lies in Nagasaki Harbor as Japan’s outpost for the Dutch East Indies Company. There, Jacob de Zoet has come to make a fortune large enough to return to Holland and marry the woman he loves.

    Darwin8u says: "A NEAR Perfect Novel."
    "Compelling intricate story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is a story that immediately demand your attention. Its setting is very well described and the characters develop nice and evenly and give more depth to the environment the book is placed in. At times it can be hard to keep some of the characters apart, but that doesn't seem to harm the flow of it. Even though the story mainly takes place on a tiny island, it opens up a whole world of intrigues. This book has it all, romance, adventure, science, murder etc etc. Its a shame that the narrators are unable to pronounce the Dutch names better.

    19 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • The Fifth Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4653)
    Performance
    (2649)
    Story
    (2632)

    Mickey Haller has fallen on tough times. He expands his business into foreclosure defense, only to see one of his clients accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home. Mickey puts his team into high gear to exonerate Lisa Trammel, even though the evidence and his own suspicions tell him his client is guilty. Soon after he learns that the victim had black market dealings of his own, Haller is assaulted, too - and he's certain he's on the right trail. Despite the danger and uncertainty, Haller mounts the best defense of his career in a trial where the last surprise comes after the verdict is in.

    Bob says: "Compelling and difficult to put down"
    "Bad writing and the wrong narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was tempted to buy this book due its its overwhelming positive reviews, well I was wrong to do so.
    The writing is just plain bad and seemingly treats the reader as if he/she is stupid, explaining things said as if we couldn't pick up on what was meant. The narrator is in my opinion a wrong choice for the book, he sounds like a weather hardened lone gunman who smoked all his life, not particularly what you expect from a lawyer, but then again, he doesn't really act like a lawyer either.
    I can't say if its any better or worse than other books by the author since it was the first one I tried from him.

    18 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • World Without End

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8958)
    Performance
    (3389)
    Story
    (3424)

    In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, set in 12th-century England. Readers and listeners ever since have hoped for a sequel. At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End also takes place in Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral. The cathedral is again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.

    Laura says: "Repetitive, but still enjoyable"
    "Predictable, repetitive and almost comical..."
    Overall

    Seeing the lavish support of this book and having heard so much good of his previous books I decided to go for it. I love Historical fiction and have no problem with long books that go into a lot of detail and/or have a slow story build-up. But after more then 20 hours I had to give up.. Way way to much graphic sexual behavior (as if people in that time period didn't do anything else beside feeling each other up etc etc) and the story is just way to predictable. Let me be clear that I have no problem with sexual behavior in a book... or any other behavior for that matter, but in this book it almost becomes comical due to its over use. But my main complain is that you just know whats going to happen on the next page and that there are to many things in the way people deal with each other that don't make sense, many of the characters become caricatures of themselves. So I would conclude that the book is to long for its writing.

    21 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Catch-22

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Joseph Heller
    • Narrated By Jay O. Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2098)
    Performance
    (1160)
    Story
    (1175)

    Catch-22 is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever, even if he has to die in the attempt.)

    Phil says: "Phenominal Reading - Story and Damn Funny"
    "Funny, frustrating, exciting.. just plain Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a classic in its own right and I think many people have it in their top 10 list of all time books to read.. If you place the book in the time it was written you might be able to see its magnificence even better. The play with words is amazing and hilarious at the same time.. it flows like a great poem. But, I probably don't have to convince you of the quality of the book...The narrator is the main concern of most "audio book" readers... well he does as much justice to the book as anyone could have done and he was able to totally take me on a roller-coaster ride of the crazy insanity that war can bring. He brings every punchline exactly where it should be and he makes the story even better than it is on paper... This audiobook deserves 6 stars.
    Love love love it.

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Eye of the Needle

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By Eric Lincoln
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2071)
    Performance
    (1138)
    Story
    (1142)

    One enemy spy knows the secret of the Allies' greatest deception, a brilliant aristocrat and ruthless assassin - code name: "The Needle" - who holds the key to the ultimate Nazi victory.

    Daniel Mcafee says: "Just OK by Follett Standards"
    "Horrible narration"
    Overall
    Performance

    I have no idea of the book is any good.... simply because there are so many people part of the narration (or at least it feels like they used a different person for every character)... the accents are so badly over the top.
    And the audio sound is as if it was recorded through a can.
    I was unable to listen to it for more then an hour.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Trinity Six

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Charles Cumming
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (209)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (90)

    The most closely-guarded secret of the Cold War is about to be exposed – the identity of a SIXTH member of the infamous Cambridge spy ring. And people are killing for it.... London, 1992. Late one night, Edward Crane, 76, is declared dead at a London hospital. An obituary describes him only as a 'resourceful career diplomat'. But Crane was much more than that – and the circumstances surrounding his death are far from what they seem. Fifteen years later, academic Sam Gaddis needs money.

    Ramon says: "Fun exciting intrigues perfectly narrated."
    "Fun exciting intrigues perfectly narrated."
    Overall

    The book has everything you could want from a spy novel and is well worth a credit (or the 20 bucks).
    The story line is entertaining and believable enough to transport you into the story and keep you up till late.
    Although there are some definitely moments where you could get bored, John Lee as always is able to get you through those with the sheer pleasure of listening to his voice.
    Overall this book is fun, exciting and very pleasant to listen to.

    30 of 31 people found this review helpful
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Tim Curry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1210)
    Performance
    (1019)
    Story
    (1004)

    A Signature Performance: Tim Curry, the source of our inspiration, returns – this time, he captures the quirky enthusiasm of this goofily visionary adventure.

    Ramon says: "Feels like Jules Verne"
    "Feels like Jules Verne"
    Overall

    With a classic like this one it all comes down to the narrator.
    Tim Curry reads it as if Jules Verne is looking over his shoulder. His voice seems very appropriate to the book and its time period.
    He is not particularly good at changing his tone for different characters and his female impersonations are far from flattering.
    But in an odd way he seems to be perfect for a Jules Verne story.
    Its absolutely worth getting.

    31 of 32 people found this review helpful

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