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Vermonter

Vermont, USA | Member Since 2010

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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  • The Golden Egg: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery, Book 22

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Donna Leon
    • Narrated By David Rintoul
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (80)

    In The Golden Egg, as the first leaves of autumn begin to fall, Vice Questore Patta asks Brunetti to look into a minor violation committed by the mayor’s future daughter-in-law. Brunetti has no interest in helping his boss amass political favors, but he has little choice but to comply. Then Brunetti’s wife, Paola, comes to him with a request of her own. The mentally handicapped man who worked at their dry cleaners has just died of a sleeping pill overdose, and Paola loathes the idea that he lived and died without anyone noticing him, or helping him.

    PhilR says: "A British Brunetti"
    "Narration not up to the job"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story was as good as any Donna Leon has written about our favorite Venetian detective. But why, why, why did Audible select someone with a pretentious British accent for this book when it cried out for an Italian one. Only the names are said in an Italian style but are so exaggerated that the names sound like a sarcastic joke.

    I have read every book in this series but never listened to one before. I am going back to the written version for so long as this narrator -- who no doubt would be fine for other novels, say Jane Austen -- is reading them. It really detracted from my enjoyment of the story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Work

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2020)
    Performance
    (1248)
    Story
    (1259)

    Thanks to a heart transplant, former FBI agent Terrell McCaleb is enjoying a quiet retirement, renovating the fishing boat he lives on in Los Angeles Harbor. But McCaleb's calm seas turn choppy when a story in the "What Happened To?" column of the LA Times brings him face-to-face with the sister of the woman whose heart now beats in his chest.

    Andrew Stone says: "A Darn Good Book"
    "Dated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The facts of the story are a bit dated (still using pay phones and the computer screen savers are flying toasters) but Michael Connelly does not disappoint with plot development and characters. The narrator is a disappointment, excessive and overacting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gods of Guilt

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    Overall
    (2824)
    Performance
    (2501)
    Story
    (2487)

    Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game. When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life.

    Jane says: "Definitely entertaining. I had some smiles."
    "Michael Connelly is at the top of his game"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story and narration are excellent. The author's detailed and realistic portrayal of the work of a criminal defense lawyer are flawless, reminding me of another great portrayal on the other side of the court room, the books by Scott Turow. The narration is pitch perfect. This was so good I looked for trips to take in my car so I could keep listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wings of Fire: Ian Rutledge, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Charles Todd
    • Narrated By Samuel Gillies
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (102)

    When reclusive war poet Olivia Marlowe and her half-brother, Nicholas Cheney, die together in their ancestral home on the Cornish coast, it looks like suicide. The grieving relatives gather together to discuss the fate of Barcombe Hall, when another shocking death occurs. Inspector Rutledge, who is still shell-shocked from his experiences in the Great War, is sent from Scotland Yard to investigate. Rutledge is soon convinced that the answers to this baffling case lie within the family’s secret history.

    Mike says: "Both History and Mystery"
    "Horrible narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is good and I know that Audible changed narrators for this series for the later books. I wish the middle-of-the-series books were available and I refuse to listen to anything else that Mr. Gillies recorded so I will have to read the next few in this series until I can catch up to where the Audible recordings begin again.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1040)
    Performance
    (937)
    Story
    (936)

    Shadows are falling on the usually festive Christmas season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone. As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines.

    Nancy J says: "Welcome Home!"
    "The best of the recent in this series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is for the fans who have kept up with the lives and travails of the characters in the entire series. I think it wouldn't make a lot of sense if you didn't know the back stories. The plot development and story line is one of the best of the last few in this series, with a good dramatically satisfying ending. The narrator has become Inspector Gamache, and he does a good job with the other characters as well.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (5736)
    Performance
    (5215)
    Story
    (5229)

    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"
    "One of the best new detective characters ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you didn't know that JK Rowling had written this book, you would never guess insofar as it is gritty realism, not fantasy. But what the book has in common with its famous half-siblings is the detailed recreation of an entire world of places and relationships, with realistically flawed but compelling characters, the most enjoyable of whom is Strike, the main protagonist. The author also reveals the back story of the characters slowly and with complexity. The resolution of the murder itself is not particularly stunning (in fact, I thought it was the weakest aspect of the book but can't say why or it would ruin the ending) -- but I really loved the characters and I was sorry when the book ended. The narration is excellent. I look forward to more in what I hope will be a long series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5736)
    Performance
    (4964)
    Story
    (4958)

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "Delightful and poignant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I think I'd listen to this narrator reading a food shopping list. The story is told in the present and in a series of flashbacks, about romance, relationships and what gives our lives value and meaning. Taking place on the Italian coast (in the past), Hollywood (in the present) and on the Western plains of the US in the 1800s (a side story). Fun read, you can't go wrong.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Skippy Dies

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Paul Murray
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber, Fred Berman, Clodagh Bowyer, and others
    Overall
    (1428)
    Performance
    (837)
    Story
    (847)

    This touching and uproarious novel by author Paul Murray made everyone’s best fiction of 2010 lists, including The Washington Post, Financial Times, Village Voice, and others. Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the mystery that links the boys of Dublin’s Seabrook College (Ruprecht Van Doren, the overweight genius obsessed with string theory; Carl, the teenager drug dealer and borderline psychotic; Philip Kilfether, the basketball-playing midget) to their parents and teachers in ways that no one could have imagined.

    Laura says: "Funny, touching, entertaining"
    "Too many narrators spoil the story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I liked the story and I hated the style of the narration and half of the narrators. Every single character (and there are many) has its own narrator (although some double up). I found this extremely distracting because there would be a bit of dialog by one voice, followed by "he said" or "she said" by the main narrator. When there is a lot of dialog, it sounds like a game show. Some of the actors were good but several were not. Maybe because some had small roles, they were badly and overly dramatic and exaggerated. (I want to slap the woman who played Laurie's mother. NO ONE talks like that.) The Irish accents were inconsistent. This book would have been 10x better if Audible had just let a better narrator read the whole thing through, as is done in most books with multiple characters. The main narrator was okay, but sounded excessively excited most of the time. Overall, a disappointing and confusing experience from Audible, for what is otherwise a worthwhile read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flight Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1438)
    Performance
    (1253)
    Story
    (1262)

    Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media.

    Marcia says: "Tough Message Delivered in Silk"
    "Amazing writing but not narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    Luminous writing pulls you in from the beginning. I just wish there was a better narrator than the author.


    What three words best describe Barbara Kingsolver’s voice?

    She should stick to her day job as a writer and leave the narration to the professionals. I hope Audible will re-record this book with someone else. She did a poor job distinguishing between the character's voice and her accents for Ovid Byron was not convincing.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Prince of Tides

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Pat Conroy
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1960)
    Performance
    (1144)
    Story
    (1145)

    Spanning 40 years, this is the story of turbulent Tom Wingo, his gifted and troubled twin sister Savannah, and their struggle to triumph over the dark and tragic legacy of the extraordinary family into which they were born.

    Ella says: "A "Prince" amongst novels"
    "Fun but outdated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Fun but outdated in terms of the social relationships and gender expectations of the characters which I found irritating, especially the scenes between the narrator and the psychiatrist. Still -- it is a great story and a nice escape into a recent past.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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