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Mark

Markus

Member Since 2010

40
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 23 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 194 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
4

  • Without Fail

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2194)
    Performance
    (1542)
    Story
    (1530)

    Jack Reacher is approached by a Secret Service agent who needs a favor. "I want to hire you to assassinate the Vice President of the United States," she asks. She is the newly appointed head of the VP's security detail and wants Reacher to try to penetrate her team's shield. He has the skills and the stealth and no one knows him. How else can she be sure her protection is truly effective?

    Joseph says: "Series is getting better."
    "Listenable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would rather listen to a Reacher novel than do most other things, and that is true of this book as well; but the novel is oddly lacking in action. The bad guys are not encountered in person until the very end, and Jack spends a lot of time discussing his feelings, which is not what I look to a Reacher novel for. I am glad I listened, and Reacher fans will not want to skip it, but it is not up there with the best ones.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Keeper of Lost Causes: Department Q, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jussi Adler-Olsen
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1251)
    Performance
    (1079)
    Story
    (1077)

    Jussi Adler-Olsen is Denmark's premier crime writer. His books routinely top the bestseller lists in northern Europe, and he's won just about every Nordic crime-writing award, including the prestigious Glass Key Award-also won by Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson, and Jo Nesbo. Now, Dutton is thrilled to introduce him to America.

    Kelli N. Perkins says: "Maximum Thrill and Fabulous Characters"
    "Over-rated Writing, Ridiculous Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The writing is similar to the style I see from high school students attempting to write fiction--belabored exposition, assuming the reader is an imbecile; everything is explained and then over-explained and I just feel dragged into mud. There is no spark. There is nothing for the reader to do. He should learn to show action (as does a good writer like Ian Rankin, PD James, Ruth Rendell, James Ellroy) and let the reader get engaged and figure things out for himself or herself.

    Speaking of imbeciles--what Einstein had the idea to make the narrator attempt "Danish accents" for all these Danish characters? That is just absurdly stupid, as if they are all speaking English to each other, with grotesque accents? The stupidity of that artistic choice--plus the painful inability of the narrator to pull of the bad idea--makes this very close to completely unlistenable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • King and Maxwell

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1162)
    Performance
    (1007)
    Story
    (1014)

    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!"
    "Ghastly. Horrible writing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Cartoonish action. Absurd dialogue pushing exposition. Just an implausible and incompetent mess of a book.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (4850)
    Performance
    (4417)
    Story
    (4428)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Loved It--Write More of Them, Please, Jo!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love detective fiction. I am devoted to Robert Bloch, John D. MacDonald, Ross Macdonald, P.D. James, Ruth Rendell, and a few others. But I have read all they have written, and I have been disappointed with so many attempts to find new writers. They are often cutesy (hate cutesy), implausible, self-indulgent, badly written.

    So I would not have tried this one had I not found out it was by J.K. Rowling, whose work I have always enjoyed. I was not disappointed. The story is original (not easy in detective fiction as the paths are so well-worn), the hero and his sidekick are intriguing, complex, and likable. The writing is--as you might expect--deft, elegant, and engaging.

    I greatly hope that Rowling makes this a series. I can't wait to get back into that world and see how the lives of these characters develop.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The FastDiet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Michael Mosley, Mimi Spencer
    • Narrated By Michael Mosley, Mimi Spencer
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (40)

    Is it possible to eat normally, five days a week, and become slimmer and healthier as a result? Simple answer: yes. You just limit your calorie intake for two nonconsecutive days each week - 500 calories for women, 600 for men. You’ll lose weight quickly and effortlessly with the FastDiet.

    Megarian "Scott" says: "Worked for me"
    "Good Science, Well-Explained, and It Works"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have been following the plan now for three weeks (male, 5'10" 215 lbs) and have lost 6 pounds. I was afraid of the idea of fasting, but the authors' assurances that it is okay and one is not going to drop dead are helpful, and they are right. It is not really that hard after the first day, which of course feels weird as a change in habit. I have also noticed the improved mental acuity and upbeat mood that research shows the intermittent fasting can enable.

    Dr. Mosley's explanations of the science behind fasting and how it is natural for humans is first-rate and very accessible. The book is narrated by the authors; both have intelligent and pleasant voices. I am looking forward to reaching my goal weight in 40-45 weeks, and enjoying the health benefits of this simple program as I get there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Manjit Kumar
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (460)
    Performance
    (298)
    Story
    (290)

    Quantum theory is weird. As Niels Bohr said, if you aren’t shocked by quantum theory, you don’t really understand it. For most people, quantum theory is synonymous with mysterious, impenetrable science. And in fact for many years it was equally baffling for scientists themselves. In this tour de force of science history, Manjit Kumar gives a dramatic and superbly written account of this fundamental scientific revolution.

    Terezia says: "Biographic facts not explanations."
    "Wasn't Able to Listen Beyond an Hour"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hoping for a more engagingly told story behind the science. It was fairly tedious and I gave up on it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Tommyknockers

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Edward Hermann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (809)
    Performance
    (504)
    Story
    (512)

    Bobbi Anderson and the other good folks of Haven, Maine, have sold their souls to reap the rewards of the most deadly evil this side of Hell.

    Grant S. Burroughs says: "The old Stephen King"
    "Loved It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For some reason, I had avoided this book for years. Maybe it was the length, maybe just the odd title. I am so glad I broke down and chose it. It is a long, entertaining, wild ride. It is rather campy, cartoony, compared to other King books, and I was delighted to see that facet of his amazing talent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hillinger's California: Stories from All 58 Counties

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Charles Hillinger
    • Narrated By Jeff Riggenbach
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    The California revealed here is not the stereotypical land of movie stars, sensational trials, or tourist snapshots, but instead a remarkable patchwork of out-of-the-way places and everyday people. Former Los Angeles Times columnist Charles Hillinger hones in on what makes each county unique, such as Johnny Heinold's First and Last Chance tavern in Alameda County where Jack London first began writing his stories.

    Mark says: "Charming and off-beat true stories"
    "Charming and off-beat true stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is a compilation of well-crafted and entertaining columns about quirky places and people in California. As has been said elsewhere, Hillinger works in a styles similar to Charles Kuralt or his successors at CBS Sunday Morning. I really enjoyed this book on a long drive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dark Tower: The Dark Tower VII

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3365)
    Performance
    (1510)
    Story
    (1527)

    All good things must come to an end, Constant Listener, and not even Stephen King can write a story that goes on forever. The tale of Roland Deschain's relentless quest for the Dark Tower has, the author fears, sorely tried the patience of those who have followed it from its earliest chapters. But attend to it a while longer, if it pleases you, for this volume is the last, and often the last things are best.

    Dawn says: "Unbelieveable"
    "Life-Changing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read and listened to the entire saga twice. This long conclusion is exciting and spiritually satisfying. Some of the events are heart-rending, but this profound story helps me to accept the hardships and losses that are inevitable in real life.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Persuader

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2547)
    Performance
    (1804)
    Story
    (1787)

    Jack Reacher. The ultimate loner. An elite ex-military cop who left the service years ago, he's moved from place to place...without family...without possessions...without commitments.

    Joanna says: "Child at His Best! A Must Read for Reacher Fans!"
    "Suspenseful and Violent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of the best Reacher novels, with an extreme but plausible plot and some superb writing involving a near-drowning. The first-person narration works much better than the previous third-person storytelling. The action keeps unfolding and building to a very satisfying end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bad Luck and Trouble: A Jack Reacher Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2159)
    Performance
    (1319)
    Story
    (1305)

    Jack Reacher reunites with the survivors of his old Army investigative team, scrambling to raise the living, bury the dead, and connect the dots in a mystery that is growing darker by the day. In a world of bad luck and trouble, when someone targets Jack Reacher and his team, they'd better be ready for what comes right back at them.

    Charles says: "Bad Luck and Trouble"
    "My favorite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This satisfying story brings together many threads from Reacher's past and creates a complicated, violent tale centering on loyalty to friends and dealing vengeance. The book paints the picture of Reacher as the roaming loner who comes in from the cold--for a while. First-rate Reacher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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