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  • The Malice of Fortune

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Michael Ennis
    • Narrated By Adrian Paul, Carlotta Montanari, John Lee, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Against a teeming canvas of Borgia politics, Niccolò Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci come together to unmask an enigmatic serial killer, as we learn the secret history behind one of the most controversial works in the western canon, The Prince. Traveling across an Italy torn apart by war, they will enter a labyrinth of ancient superstition and erotic obsession to discover at its center a new face of evil - and a truth that will shake the foundations of western civilization.

    Molly Gordon says: "Female narrator is impossible to listen to."
    "Two Mediocre Hams Read Silly Story"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Oh, let's say a coherent story not dependent on ever-escalating scenes of gruesome violence against women, for starters. I'd sort of expected more Machiavelli -- you know, The Prince -- and less over-the-top genre murder.

    The plot is ho-hum, the characters unbelievable and shallow.

    What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

    Let me count the ways --

    Female was unintelligible and the male's various voices turned me off to key characters, Da Vinci, especially. What a pity.

    But peeve-above-all is this -- presumably these characters are narrating in their own languages, i.e., "Damieta" is reading from her own letter. So WHY these clownish and unintelligible Italian accents?

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


    Any additional comments?

    I'm with Steven -- never again buy a book that hasn't yet been reviewed. Lesson learned.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Weight of Blood: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Laura McHugh
    • Narrated By Dorothy Dillingham Blue, Shannon McManus, Sofia Willingham

    The town of Henbane sits deep in the Ozark Mountains. Folks there still whisper about Lucy Dane's mother, a bewitching stranger who appeared long enough to marry Carl Dane and then vanished when Lucy was just a child. Now on the brink of adulthood, Lucy experiences another loss when her friend Cheri disappears and is then found murdered, her body placed on display for all to see.

    John S says: "Not too bad but you have to pay attention."
    "Winter's Bone & Gone Girl--NOT!"

    Okay, so the protagonist is a young girl living in the Ozarks. Long ago, her mother disappeared without explanation. Don't buy the hype -- while mildly entertaining, the quality of the writing, the sophistication of the plot (including way too much "young romance"), and the depth of character development compare poorly with Woodrell and Flynn. Not a BAD read, but setting up the listener to expect another Winter's Bone or Gone Girl didn't do McHugh any favors.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    CynNC says: "Captivating"

    Just an okay piece -- a VERY LONG piece, to be sure -- of genre fiction. I guess from all the reviews and the "must reads", I'd expected something a bit more literary, and to be surprised by an unsuspected talent in Ken Follett. While the book was entertaining enough for doing tasks around the house and driving under conditions that required attention to the road, it surely didn't leave me as breathless as the reviews had led me to expect. Never found any wonder in it, just a story that moved along more or less as expected and wrapped itself up into a tidy conclusion, full of bad guys who were Really Bad and good guys and gals who were Really Good But Somehow Flawed, nobody particularly complicated or, alas, interesting on their own. Still -- it kept me from being bored as I stacked firewood and reorganized my kitchen cupboards.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brainwave Suite

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Thompson

    We all experience many states of consciousness, from ordinary waking and sleeping states to extraordinary states in which we are more at peace, particularly aware, or unusually creative. Each of these states has a unique pattern of brainwaves that can be mapped and measured. Brainwave Suite uses inaudible pulses of sound, based on these brain maps, to trigger your brain to produce the state you want to experience.

    K says: "Creepy, Disturbing & Disruptive"
    "Creepy, Disturbing & Disruptive"

    Have to agree with others who found the overlaid soundtrack on this particular brainwave audio very disturbing and, at times, creepy -- music punctuated at times with sucking marshy sounds and what, to me, sounded like terrifying prehistoric prey-birds. There are all kinds of brainwave "entrainment" recordings on The Internets, some overlaid with music, some with nature sounds. For any of these to work (and, for me, they appear to), the listener must be able to relax into the audio. I'm a Neil Gaiman fan and all, but a brainwave session shouldn't leave the listener jumping out of their skin and wanting to dive for cover. Sorry I wasted the $$$.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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