Thousand Oaks, CA, United States | Member Since 2005
If you are reading this, there's a good chance you've listened to the other twenty titles in the McGee series . . . experienced 20 years of John D MacDonald's McGee magic in just a few, short months and know what an incredible cultural treasure these recordings represent.
Here, now, is the last McGee novel ever, maybe the best McGee novel ever and assuredly the most heartfelt McGee novel ever. Savor this one, because there ain't gonna be any more.
Savor also Robert Petkoff's brilliant characterizations. I had my doubts, at first, but Petkoff has proven himself to be one of the best audiobook narrators ever, taking the listener on a trip back in time . . . to a world peopled by all the wonderfully quirky characters of MacDonald's imagination, bringing them from the written page to life with skill and style.
There are some authors who can string together a bunch of cockamamie ideas into an improbable premise with such skill and style that I am always happy to suspend my disbelief and buy in.
A.G. Riddle, unfortunately, is not one of those authors
Riddle's confusing and convoluted plot snakes through thousands of years of human history and, in the end, goes pretty much nowhere. He didn't write a single character that I wanted to root for or follow into the next adventure of Book 2 . . .
The premise of a higher technology having a hand in the development of the human species is, by now, a cliche' and Riddle's contribution to this particular sci-fi sub genre is neither very illuminating or original. But much worse, by far . . . it isn't very entertaining, either.
The first third of this book is absolutely stupendous . . . and as brilliant everybody says it is.
But . . . when the hero moves back to New York and grows up, the story turns to mush and gets very, very boring. I can't tell you about how this tale ends because I stopped listening, though I will probably get back to it, eventually . . . for now . . . color me disappointed.
I'm a Billy Crystal fan and I found this audiobook to be a disappointment. I liked his stories about his relationships with Muhammed Ali, Mickey Mantle and all his celeb friends, and the behind the scenes looks at his professional and creative life were exceptionally engaging but the parts about his family weren't very interesting at all, in that he sounded, by his recollection, to have had a normal and loving life that didn't seem to be all that different from anybody else.
I really liked the live audience part but the rest of the narration seemed like Billy was reading rather than relating about his life . . . and he seems like such a competent conversationalist in his act . . . and this reading sounded somewhat stilted and nervous.
If you are a fan of Lee Child's Reacher novels, I don't think you will be disappointed with this latest offering. If you are thinking of making this novel your introduction to Reacher, I think you'd be better served by starting at the beginning with "Killing Floor" and working your way forward.
The novels go by rapidly, they are interesting and fun and all make a kind of logical sense when listened to as a series.
Also . . . I would like to take this opportunity to state, unequivocally, that Jack Reacher does not look anything like Tom Cruise.
Hallelujah!!! Jake Weber's narration has cured my insomnia. It might not have been all that bad had this tale not become less interesting as it went on . . . and, trust me, it went on and on and on . . .
I've seen stories survive bad narrators before but, unfortunately, Night Film isn't one of those!
This is less of a novel and more of a litany of things that happened to the lead character, Paige. That might have been OK in the hands of an adept narrator, but Alana Kerr makes the experience excruciatingly tedious.
I'd like to tell you what this novel is about but, to be honest, I really don't have a clue. It seems like a hodgepodge of bad sci-fi and dark fairytale with a nod to vampires and zombies for the sake of being trendy. Throw in a tad of Irish folklore and you need a flow chart to find out where you are in the story . . . which, for me, two thirds of the way through, is mostly nowhere.
I wish I could offer something positive or constructive to say about The Bone Season, but it's is really an awfully bad book. Sorry.
While the Jonathan Grave series got off to a promising start with "No Mercy," the quality of each successive offering in the franchise has been gradually declining until here, in the fifth novel of the series, it hits rock bottom.
I'm a big fan of political action adventure fairy tales - the really good ones share a commonality - they present a credible or plausible premise at the core of whatever fanciful plot the author chooses to spin. Unfortunately, the premise of High Treason is so far-fetched, so outside the lines of plausibility that the suspension of disbelief becomes a chore akin to bench pressing a piano, rather than a willing pleasure.
Add a stilted dialogue, read by narrator with a very limited range of expression and limited voice characterization skills - and I found myself asking when this clunker was going to be over.
The saving grace of Peter Cline's "14" is that the story is interesting enough that it's easy to overlook how badly it's written. The characters are shallow and their relationships to each other are so juvenile and snarky it was hard for me to take their plight seriously. And the incessant references to Scooby Doo didn't help, either.
All the five-star ratings are somewhat deceptive, as this audiobook isn't really that good and, had I known it was going to be as poorly written as it was, I would have spent my credit elsewhere.
I found myself, at the end, wondering when it was going to be over, so I could get back to listening to the kind of grown up stuff that I prefer.
It was hard for me to gauge Ray Porter's performance but, considering the inanity of the material he had to work with, he did a pretty good job.
Main character, John Corey, is such an obnoxious dick head, it's a wonder that one of the many people with guns, on his side, haven't simply blown him away by now. It also strains credulity that any, modern, 21st century woman would put up with his nonsense for five minutes, let alone want to spend the rest of her life being married to this jerk . . . and yet, there is Mrs Corey, the lovely and talented Kate Mayfield, along for the ride, whose main contribution to the first third of the novel are a few brief utterances of admonishment to her a-hole of a husband
As for the novel itself . . . it is a mean-spirited lump of trash, dripping with bigotry towards Middle Eastern culture, with lots of white throats being slashed by knives wielded by brown hands.
To make matters worse, this tripe was served up by that narrative equivalent of a very bad ham actor, Scott Brick. Brick's overwrought characterizations make the already awful writing sound even more insipid.
All in all, if you are the kind of person that likes being water boarded, you might find something to like in the Panther . . . but a third of the way through and I'm ready to tell everything I know and give up all my friends and loved ones, if somebody would just make this torture of a novel stop!!
By far, the best part of this audio book experience happens toward the end of the first part - and I quote "This audio book has been broken into multiple parts to make the download faster. You have reached the end of a part but not the end of the complete audio book. So, please check you library for the next part of this audio book."
And that's where I decided to quit!
If you normally listen to your audiobooks in your car or at the gym or on your morning jog . . . don't do that with this one. Reserve some time when you can give Earth Abides your undivided attention. It deserves that kind of special treatment.
It is a post-apocalyptic tale of exquisite beauty and heartfelt humanity . . . so different from the cynical and blood thirsty modern renderings that litter modern, post-apocalyptic fiction.
I came away from this story saddened in a very deep and profound way, but at the same time my spirit and optimism for life felt somehow restored.
Jonathan Davis' narration was perfect
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to do something that I rarely do, I'm going back to have another listen.
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