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K

ratings
40
REVIEWS
5
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
27

  • 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
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (35)

    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"
    Overall
    Performance
    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?

    Boredom


    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 Cornerstone of Deception

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Cheryl Simani
    • Narrated By Colin Fluxman
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The Cornerstone of Deception, author Cheryl Simani's historical mystery novel, weaves an absorbing portrait of status and scandal in the Victorian period. Spanning the Tigris-Euphrates Rivers (Modern Iraq), Paris, London, and Northern Ireland, biblical truths, and imperial politics are caught in the whirl of ambition and greed.

    K says: "How Unfortunate"
    "How Unfortunate"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    How unfortunate that the author listened to her friends and tried to write a novel around what is, undoubtedly, most interesting research into archeological crime.

    How unfortunate that the author padded this research with a mind-numbing series of improbable "love stories" -- the women invariably of jaw-dropping beauty, meeting one-dimensional men in a series of silly "pure-chance" episodes designed, apparently, to show something of a good or evil nature.

    How unfortunate that the author relies on "tell" instead of "show" -- entire plot-blocks laid out when one character explains years of back-story to someone else (delivered in British-accented monotone).

    How unfortunate that the author never met a cliche she wouldn't use, sometimes more than once. I was so distracted by high school purple prose that I'd start cliche-counting and lose the story thread. How unfortunate that I didn't care enough to rewind.

    And how unfortunate that the narrator, who has received positive reviews in other works, reels out these telenovela tales in flat monotone, often creating confusion about which character was speaking. Again, a distraction--I couldn't help recreating dialog in my head, hoping a more lively and realistic rendition would salvage the writing.

    Perhaps all this perceived misfortune flows from my latest two "listens" -- "Analysis & Critique: How to Engage and Write About Anything" and the mind-shattering storytelling of "The Things They Carried."

    Full Disclosure: I did not finish this book. Four hours in, I surrendered to the realization that my interest in its archeological core was overwhelmed by irritation. I'm putting it back on Audible's shelf.

    0 of 0 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
    Overall
    (679)
    Performance
    (604)
    Story
    (601)

    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!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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
    Overall
    (14151)
    Performance
    (6386)
    Story
    (6427)

    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"
    "Meh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    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"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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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