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Mike

Bellevue, WA, United States | Member Since 2006

ratings
28
REVIEWS
9
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
68

  • Man in the Middle

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Brian Haig
    • Narrated By LJ Ganser
    Overall
    (250)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (81)

    Ripped from today's headlines, Brian Haig's new novel finds Army lawyer Sean Drummond caught between duty to Washington's elite and the soldiers in Iraq. Dispatched to investigate the suicide of one of D.C.'s most influential defense officials, an ardent, early supporter of the war in Iraq, Drummond and his female partner find themselves in the middle of a tug-of-war between Washington's most influential power brokers and his own personal allegiance to the soldiers dying overseas.

    Sherri says: "Where is Scott Brick?"
    "Good Story But HORRIBLE Narrator"
    Overall

    The plot seemed to dwell for hours on the opening event. I started to feel like "enough is enough".

    The story about half way really picked up and had my attention all the way thereafter. I actually enjoyed the overall story when it was finished. I enjoy the Sean Drummond character (President's Assasin was very good). I enjoyed the interaction with the lead female character.

    However, I rated this book very low because of the HORRIBLE narrator. Every 3rd sentence was a long, loud and very annoying inhaling sound. Either he needs breathing control training or the producer had no budget for editing and sound clean-up. His intonation and charater voice (especially females) was unbelieveably bad. And his pacing - don't even get me started. The narrator RUINED this book for me.

    I will admit, I am a Scott Brick fan but there are numerous other narrators that while not in the league of Brick are competent and talented. I hope this narrator kept his day job as he will certainly need it. Mr. Haig - just say NO to this reader in the future.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Taking

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Ari Meyers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (521)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (125)

    On the morning that will mark the end of the world they have known, Molly and Neil Sloan awaken to the drumbeat of rain on their roof. It has haunted their sleep, invaded their dreams, and now they rise to find a luminous silvery downpour drenching their small California mountain town. A strange scent hangs faintly in the air, and the young couple cannot shake the sense of something wrong.

    Jaimie says: "And the point was...?"
    "Mildly Suspenful But Narrator Is The WORST"
    Overall

    This book was entertaining and mildly suspensful. For me, it took a long time for this book to get some lift and get into the air. When it did it finally became a worthwhile read (listen). I might have given this audiobook 4 stars but I couldn't solely due to the poor narrator. Get a mental picture (or audio picture) of Sally Field trying to reading Stephan King or for the Aliens screenplay. No depth, no feeling, no tone. When she tried to channel a male voice it sounded like a little girl with a sore throat in search of a lozange. I am sure her voice is better suited to other, lighter type of material but she definitely did not and could not communicate suspense. How and why did the producers pick this person to read this particular material ??

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • How Did That Happen?: Holding People Accountable for Results the Positive, Principled Way

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Roger Connors, Tom Smith
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Drawing on case studies, many from client companies, the authors show how to establish clear expectations and manage the unmet expectations that inevitably occur. And they offer a positive, principled way that engages hearts and minds. This book can help people at every level---from senior executives to front-line workers---enjoy greater productivity, profitability, and job satisfaction.

    Mike says: "HELP - How Can I Get The Lost Hours Back ?"
    "HELP - How Can I Get The Lost Hours Back ?"
    Overall

    I bought this book based on reviews posted to Amazon.com. Across the board superlatives. There were no reviews posted to Audible yet (I may be the first)

    I just finished the first 5 hours of this book and all I can say is that I must be listening to a different book. This was one of the most painful reads I have experienced in a long time. I do not intend to listen to the 2nd half.

    The messages contained in 5 hours could have easily been condensed to 1 hour. The authors write in vagaries in many places and the repetition is very, very tiring. The company examples are not very insightful at all.

    I kept waiting for the content to start to gel, to start coming together to make more concrete points but it just never did -- at least for me. I constantly felt like I was moving between high level "ether" and mind numbing pontification.

    Some of the "exercises" described in the book seemed like they were ripped out of the pages of an elementary "pop" management course. Some struck me as just silly.

    I really wish I could have appreciated this book more - the subject fascinates me and as a manager I want to look for ways to improve. It was clear to me that this book was not going to provide that help. If I could get a refund on my purchase I would happily accept it.

    If you purchase this book I hope you have a different and more positive experience. Otherwise, you too may be asking yourself "How Did This Happen?"

    30 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • The River Why

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By David James Duncan
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (60)

    Leaving behind a madcap, fishing-obsessed family, Gus decides to strike out on his own, taking refuge in a secluded cabin on a remote riverbank to pursue his own fly-fishing passion with unrelenting zeal. But instead of finding fishing bliss, Gus becomes increasingly troubled by the degradation of the natural world around him and by the spiritual barrenness of his own life.

    Kent says: "Good book, difficult narration"
    "Glad I Read But Can't Say I Highly Recommend"
    Overall

    At best I would have rated this 4 stars but I chose to rate it only 3 stars due to :

    1. Very uneven; some chapters were touching, warm and inspiring; other chapters I found myself lunging for the fast forward button - boring

    2. In several places the author just seems to go "over the top" with extended and sometimes rambling and disjointed soliloquises; thought at times I was reading Carlos Castaneda

    3. The last 1/3 of the book was excellent however I will weigh in with at least one other reviewer, the ending was very, very weak and just a little sappy and somewhat abrupt following 15 hours of content

    4. The narrator is a little hard to take at times; I applaud him for getting into the voices and characters but he too went a little over the top (dramatically) at times

    It was worth the read but I cannot put it into the "brilliant" and "perfect" review class as others have suggested. I will be curious to see how this story gets translated in the upcoming movie.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By William Cohan
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (340)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (100)

    In March 2008, Bear Stearns, a swashbuckling 84-year-old financial institution, was forced to sell itself to JPMorgan Chase for an outrageously low price in a deal brokered by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who was desperately trying to prevent the impending catastrophic market crash. But mere months before, an industry-wide boom had "the Bear" clocking a record high stock price. How did a giant investment bank with $18 billion in cash on hand disappear in a mere 10 days?

    roberta Kane says: "Riveting, interesting, learned alot"
    "I Must Have Listened To A Different Book . . ."
    Overall

    If ever a book begged for an abridged version this is the one. The time period just prior and up to the fall of Bear was, I will admit, a very good read. I am in the financial world and the author did a good job providing commentary and color to the actions and events that lead up to the takeover.

    And then, it just goes downhill for me from that point after.

    Observations :

    1. The writer feels it necessary to explain and re-explain 2 and sometimes 3 times some not very important or necessary points. Several of these points are barely worth 1 mention much less 2-3 times;

    2. The mechanism of continually comparing certain Bear execs bridge playing addictions, especially using such as a metaphor for explaining (away) aggressive and potentially risky Wall Street behavior, just plain wore out after awhile. Enough was definitely enough. I got the point. Never let a bridge player invest your money.

    3. The narrator would, with great frequency, simply "disappear" and go unexplainably silent at the most odd times. You would expect this between chapters - not at the end of paragraphs - and in the middle of trying to communicate a complete thought. Very, very annoying.

    4. The end - whoo boy ! I'm still hanging up in the air waiting for the writer to finish off some of the incomplete thoughts he introduces in the Epilogue.

    And yes, I did listen to the whole book. Shame on me. If you are attracted to this book - it is interesting subject matter - find the abridged version.









    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Up Country

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1754)
    Performance
    (574)
    Story
    (570)

    In the latest from Nelson DeMille (author of The Lion's Game), Paul Brenner is called out of CID retirement to investigate the murder 30 years ago of an army lieutenant in Vietnam. Brenner's trip up country, with a beautiful American expatriate for company, will lead him to uncover an explosive, long-buried secret.

    James B says: "You Must Read Up Country"
    "Ignore The Detractors"
    Overall

    An excellent book. What some people criticized as a "travelogue" is one of the aspects of the book that held my interest every step of the way. In fact, I was constantly going to Google maps to follow Paul Brenner's journey from south to north Vietnam. I lived the Vietnam war years and the historical references brought back vivid memories.

    I highly recommend this book. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Even though I figured out an ultimate plot point very early on (it becomes a little obvious) it did not spoil the read for me.

    5 stars !!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Last Man Standing

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Jason Culp
    Overall
    (1366)
    Performance
    (353)
    Story
    (360)

    With vividly realized characters and a breathtaking pace, Last Man Standing is another spellbinding title from David Baldacci, best selling author of Wish You Well. When the FBI Hostage Rescue Team is ambushed, it is up to sole survivor Web London to find the killer.

    Chad says: "Great book"
    "I Completely Enjoyed This Book"
    Overall

    I just completed Last Man Standing and I have to say that I completlely enjoyed this book.

    I found it to be fast paced with some very interesting characters (although I did find the characters of Percy Bates & Buck Winters a little "slow on the uptake" - especially since they represnted the senior leadership of the FBI).

    I thoroughly enjoyed how this story unfolded with its twists and turns. I should have disliked the ending but I accepted it. I was hoping for more story however.

    I just cannot say too many good things about this book. I highly recommend !!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Split Second

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (3472)
    Performance
    (1685)
    Story
    (1682)

    Michelle Maxwell has just blown her future with the Secret Service. Against her instincts, she let a presidential candidate out of her sight to comfort a grieving widow. Then, behind closed doors, the politician whose safety was her responsibility vanished into thin air.

    John says: "Listen again"
    "Excellent Story Read By Ultra Hyper Narrator"
    Overall

    I enjoyed this story very much. Very creative twists and turns and a good finale. Credible and sympathetic characters. I am becoming a fan of Baldacci's works.

    BUT . . . what was with the hyperactive, don't take a breath narrative of Scott Brick ?

    Listeningtohisdeliveryofthisstorywasjustaboutasdifficultastryingtoreadthissentence !

    The first 3 hours were very trying. I almost gave up listening. My reverse button got a workout as I was constantly backing up to re-listen for what I missed due to his machine gun delivery.

    So many times there wasn't even a pause when the story changed scenes, characters and chapters. Very disconcerting.

    I have listened to Brick with other audiobooks so I know he has other delivery styles that are more pleasant. Was it the producer for this book that directed him to compress the run time down ?

    David Baldacci Story = A
    Scott Brick Narrative = F

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • From Baghdad, With Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs)
    • By Jay Kopelman
    Overall
    (87)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Love and hope often arrive in the strangest places and in the strangest ways. During his tour of duty in Iraq, Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman of the U.S. Marines endured the emotional stress common for those involved in bloody battles for freedom. Although the rules forbid pets, Kopelman and his comrades adopted an abandoned puppy left behind after the battle for Fallujah. The dog (named Lava) befriended the Marines and journalists, and was eventually smuggled out of Iraq.

    Louise says: "Wonderful Book"
    "An Excellent Read"
    Overall

    My wife suggested that I read this book. While I am big dog lover (our lab mix is the best) I just thought that this was going to be a "chick book". I was wrong. The story of the rescue of "Lava Dog" is a heartwarming tale (no pun intended) and well told by the author. My only criticism - the narrarator. His voice and delivery was not suited to this (type of) story - reading a Stephan Hawkings book yes, but not this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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