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Jane

Chicago, IL, United States | Member Since 2010

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  • 362 reviews
  • 362 ratings
  • 654 titles in library
  • 94 purchased in 2014
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  • Steve Jobs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (11540)
    Performance
    (9993)
    Story
    (9968)

    Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

    Chris says: "Good Biography, Fine narrator"
    "He’s amazing and fascinating."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can’t think of anyone throughout history who has done anything like this. I’m so glad this book was written. I’m so sad that he died.

    HIS CREATIONS:
    Steve was not trained as an engineer. But he recognized talent and worked with engineers to create products that blended art and philosophy with technology. He would guide engineers saying I want this, I don’t want that. His first creation was the Apple computer created with Steve Wozniak (the engineer). Prior to that computers were used only by high-tech hobbyists. The Apple computer included a monitor and a keyboard and was meant for regular people, not just hobbyists. Later creations included using a “mouse” with computers, iMac, iPod, iTunes Store, iPhone, iPad, and the Apple retail stores. Steve was also a force behind the Pixar company which repeatedly created great animation movies starting with Toy Story.

    PERSONAL INFORMATION:
    Steve Jobs was not what I think of as a normal person. A repeating question I had was “is it nature or nurture” that makes people the way they are? Steve was so unusual that I kept wondering why. He lied to people - a lot. He was impatient and demanding. When calling someone, if they weren’t available, he kept calling and calling until he got through. He would have the phone operator interrupt to say it was an emergency - when it was just impatient Steve. He was uncaring, unkind, selfish, rude, and manipulative. His capacity for empathy was lacking. He had a narcissistic personality disorder. He felt ordinary rules didn’t apply to him, for example his parking in handicap parking spots.

    He was often seething with anger and anxiety and would lash out, criticizing and insulting anyone and everything around him. Another side of Steve was being the eccentric genius artist. I thought of Vincent Van Gogh cutting off his ear in his madness. Yet I admire and am so grateful for the creations that Steve is responsible for. He had a big effect on my life which is listening to audiobooks on my iPod.

    I think I attribute 95% of Steve to nature (not nurture). Psychologists may beat me up about this, but I can not believe that his parents’ nurturing created Steve’s genius and negative excesses. Steve was adopted. He was curious about his birth parents but he didn’t search for his birth mother until after his adoptive mother Clara died, because he thought it might hurt Clara’s feelings. That may have been the only time Steve was sensitive or caring about someone. If he was capable of love, I think he loved his adoptive parents and was close to them.

    A few odd details about Steve’s life. He audited a number of college classes rather than being a regular registered student. He lived for six months or more in India. He valued gurus and Zen. He lived in a commune environment for a while and did a variety of drugs. He was known for his extreme vegan diets. He felt he didn’t need to shower due to his pure diet. But he did; he smelled; and Apple executives had to prod him into showering more than once weekly. He was frequently barefoot at work and at times would soak his feet in a toilet.

    Regarding his cancer, I wondered if there was a coincidence or a connection to his diet. For most of Steve’s life he was on a vegan diet, meaning no dairy or meat. Although he did eat sushi at least once during the book. Vegans are at risk for not getting enough protein. So it was noticeable to me that Steve’s cancer started in his pancreas which has something to do with hormones related to protein processing. And after his surgery, his doctors urged him to increase his protein intake. Is it possible his diet was stressing his pancreas? I don’t know.

    INTUITION MORE VALUABLE THAN MARKET RESEARCH:
    Steve would sniff the air and then intuitively come up with products people would love and want. But if someone did market research asking people what they wanted, consumers would never have known or described what Steve came up with. This was Steve’s genius. And he consistently created products that wowed the world and changed the world. I was thinking of two examples about market research. One shows that consumers don’t know what they want, the other is the opposite. 1. In the book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell he describes the Aeron chair, created by Herman Miller. It was designed for comfort. But during market research consumers said it was ugly. The company went ahead and manufactured the chair, and it became a best seller. This was an example of people not knowing what they wanted. The explanation was some things are weird and it takes time for us to understand that we actually like them. 2. Lee Iacocca was with Ford until 1978. While at Ford, market research was done - asking consumers what they wanted in a car. The idea of the minivan was the result. But Henry Ford II didn’t want to make it. Lee obtained permission from Ford to take the minivan market research with him when he went to Chrysler. Chrysler then made the first minivan which was hugely successful. In that case, consumers did know what they wanted which influenced the creation of a product.

    Another example of Steve’s intuition was the Apple retail store. The Apple board was against it, saying Gateway computers tried it and only had a low number of customers per week. But the board allowed Steve to open a few stores on a test basis. Steve was involved with every detail from the stone floor which came from Italy to the glass stairs and the size of the glass windows. His stores were amazingly successful, getting huge numbers of customers. There was no comparison to the Gateway stores. It was a different universe. Personally, I love the feeling I get when I walk into an Apple store.

    LYING:
    Steve lied so much, so frequently, and to so many people. Many people around him described this as Steve’s “reality distortion field.” Gee I thought, if you’re the wealthy boss they call it “reality distortion,” but if you’re a normal guy they’d say “you lying jerk.” The FBI investigated Steve for some project or other, and in their files too, they called it “reality distortion.” An example: Steve asked a guy how many things had been sold. The guy said six. In the next minute Steve announced to a group that only three had been sold.

    STEVE BELIEVED MOST PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO STEAL:
    I’m always interested in a good argument to convince others to be honest or not to steal. I can’t use Steve as a model for honesty, but he did have something good to say about not stealing. For years consumers were downloading music illegally. Music companies would not sell individual songs but insisted on selling groups of songs (cds/albums). Steve had to talk them into letting him sell individual songs for 99 cents. He eventually succeeded. Steve commented “It’s wrong to steal. It hurts other people, and it hurts your own character. The only way to stop piracy was to offer an alternative that was more attractive than the services that the brain dead music companies were concocting. We believe that 80% of the people stealing stuff don’t want to be. There’s just no legal alternative. Let’s create a legal alternative to this. Everybody wins...and the user wins because he gets a better service and doesn’t have to be a thief.” So Jobs set out to create the iTunes store. With iTunes Steve said “It’s not stealing anymore. It’s good karma.”

    SUBJECTS NOT COVERED:
    There are other stories that could be written about the industries and people Steve affected. For example, engineers suffering burnout after working for Steve. This book does not go into other stories like that. Although I would be interested in reading more in other books.

    GENRE: Biography

    NARRATOR: The narrator Dylan Baker was excellent.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    Overall
    (776)
    Performance
    (685)
    Story
    (685)

    In an ancient tunnel underneath New York City a charnel house is discovered. Inside are 36 bodies all murdered and mutilated more than a century ago. While FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, identical killings start to terrorize the city. The nightmare has begun. Again.

    Nancy says: "Enjoyable, but not my favorite"
    "2 ½ stars. Careless logic."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Things are not well thought out. Audiobook narrator not good.

    MY PROBLEMS:
    Too much stretching things out at the end. The bad guy catches victims, you know they are going to die, but the authors interrupt the scenes too much. Example: Someone wakes up and finds themselves in chains. Scene switches to other. Bad guy talks to the prisoner. Scene switches to other. Bad guy injects something into prisoner. Scene switches to other. It was too manipulative for me.

    I was bothered that not enough details are shown when the bad guy catches victims. Authors don’t show how he avoids being seen and how he drags heavy victims from public places to his dungeon. In one case a trap is set, but we don’t see how it worked. Victim sees bait. Next scene has victim in chains in a cell.

    I don’t mind suspending disbelief if it makes the story fun. But here it was used instead of logic. That’s not a good reason. For example: a dead woman is found and taken to the medical examiner. There’s been nothing in the papers. So how does Pendergast know that she exists and that she is the Surgeon’s latest victim? He shows up at the medical examiner’s lab and tells the examiner to look at her back. Some kind of Super Knowledge? Later Pendergast operates on himself without a pain killer (more Super Something?)

    The cell phone problem: It is current day New York City. Cities have good cell phone coverage. There are several scenes where someone needed help, but they didn’t have a cell phone. It made me think the authors couldn’t think of a better way to create suspense so they got rid of the phones.

    The authors had an argument for the ending, but I did not like it. (See Spoilers)

    CAUTION SPOILERS:
    I was angry when someone destroyed something. This was similar to if you had an inexpensive-easy-to-make cure for cancer would you destroy it?
    The bad guy was killed due to bad luck. I’d rather see Pendergast plan the thing that killed the bad guy instead of passively being saved.
    END SPOILERS.

    I LIKED ONE LINE.
    Pendergast was talking about opera: “I loathe it. Opera was the television of the 19th century – loud, vulgar, and garish, with plots that could only be called infantile.”

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    I was unhappy with Jonathan Marosz. You know how young adults end sentences on an up note like a question? Jonathan Marosz is the opposite. He ends sentences on a down note, which normally appeals to me. But the way he does it sounds like he’s reading a SHOPPING LIST. It is not good. He is not “acting” the story. He’s reading a list of sentences.

    A second problem was editing. At least three times a section (a few sentences long) was read twice in a row – repeated.

    Genre: mystery suspense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Is Where I Leave You

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jonathan Tropper
    • Narrated By Ramon de Ocampo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1016)
    Performance
    (711)
    Story
    (710)

    The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family - including Judd's mother, brothers, and sister - have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd's wife, Jen, whose 14-month affair with Judd's radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch's dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together.

    Jamie says: "Greatly entertaining, not for all audiences."
    "Not my kind of humor. I did not enjoy it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hoping to laugh, but I didn’t. It’s told in 1st person by Judd, talking about his siblings, his parents, his wife, and others. It’s wry humor about mistakes and choices that are not good or not smart. His wife has an affair with his boss. His brother has never been able to keep a job, is into drugs, and has sex with lots of different women. It’s also about bad luck. It was depressing. No one is having a good life.

    I did not like the ending. It’s open and unexplained. I’m supposed to guess what will happen. I wanted closure and didn’t get it.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Ramon de Ocampo was ok.

    Genre: fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Connection

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Alafair Burke
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (53)

    Homicide detective Flann McIlroy is convinced that someone is using the lure of the internet and the promise of love to launch a killing spree against the women of New York City. To catch the killer, he calls up Detective Ellie Hatcher. She must enter a high-tech world where no one is who they appear to be. When the FirstDate killer begins to mimic the monster who destroyed her father, Ellie knows the game has become personal for him.

    bonnie says: "Good introduction to author and character"
    "Not good for me, but mystery fans might like it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a police procedural. We accompany Ellie (a homicide detective) as she investigates murders by a serial killer. Michael Connolly does the same thing with his character Harry Bosch. But with Bosch I am intrigued and fascinated. I did not feel that way with this book. It was dry, almost plodding. Both authors use twists and surprises, but for some reason Connolly does it better. I don’t know how to explain why.

    If you look at the plot and what happens in outline form, it sounds good.

    Toward the end I was disappointed with Ellie’s mistakes/stupidity which caused bad things to happen. She is sneaking up on someone but doesn’t turn her cell phone off so it rings and gives her away. She knows who the killer is and goes there alone. She enters a dangerous room and doesn’t check behind the door.

    I was also disappointed with the ending. If two cops and another told the truth about why they did something or their investigation process, the killer might go free. So they agreed to lie to make sure the killer would not get off. I did not understand that. I wish the author spelled that out better. I thought what they did seemed legit. It wasn’t like planting evidence.

    There are no sex scenes other than briefly mentioning a couple had sex while spending the night together.

    THE SERIES:
    This is book #1 in the Ellie Hatcher series. So far there are five in the series.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Christopher Lane was good. But I was not pleased with his voice for Ellie. It was odd, maybe too rushed.

    Genre: crime mystery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deadline

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (192)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (170)

    Dawson Scott is a well-respected journalist recently returned from Afghanistan. Haunted by everything he experienced, he's privately suffering from battle fatigue which is a threat to every aspect of his life. But then he gets a call from a source within the FBI. A new development has come to light in a story that began 40 years ago. It could be the BIG story of Dawson's career one in which he has a vested interest.

    Elaine says: "Unbelievably mediocre!"
    "Dull story. Dull narrator."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story plods along. It was hard to stay interested. The characters were the weakest part. They were not interesting. No chemistry. No intrique. A plot was developed, and the bad guys got it in the end. But I didn’t care. I just wanted the book to end. The bad guy killed and hurt so many people. Those were the depressing thoughts left with me at the end. I would have liked some happier feelings.

    The romantic relationship between Dawson and Amelia was not well developed. I didn’t feel any chemistry. There were two intense kissing scenes and three sex scenes. The sex scenes were vaguely described and short.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Stephen Lang should not read romance novels. He does not read with sensuality or sexuality. Tom Stechshulte was fabulous when he read a guy’s lines in another book, I was melting. If Tom were reading this book he would have put very different feelings in both the hero and heroine voices. But Lang was stilted and wooden. The hero should have feelings of desire and treasuring her. Lang’s voice had none of that. It was not sexy. Also, I did not like any of his voices for women. Throughout the book the heroine’s dialogue sounded wimpy, weak and wan. A different feeling by the narrator could have made her more interesting. Instead she was blah. Harriet’s voice was weird and cartoonish. The narrator grew up in Queens, NY. He still has some of that accent for example, he says ar rent (for aren’t) were rent (for weren’t) and sometimes: har or huh (for her).

    OTHER BOOKS:
    Sandra Brown is hit or miss with me. My favorite books of hers are Mean Streak, Envy, and Mirror Image.

    Genre: mystery suspense with romance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mean Streak

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Sandra Brown
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (308)
    Performance
    (270)
    Story
    (276)

    Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her. While police suspect Jeff of "instant divorce," Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won't even tell her his name.

    Carol says: "WOW"
    "What a good time! I didn’t want to stop reading."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was hard each time I had to make myself stop.

    If you’re looking for a good romantic suspense, this is one.

    She’s back! For awhile, the author was getting away from romantic suspense. Some of her stuff was good until the endings – too brief – not happy – not romantic. This one is good!

    I think the author has two types of fans. Romance lovers should like this. Her mystery fans may not. Mystery fans complain about suspending disbelief, unrealistic actions, and stereotyped characters. That didn’t bother me. The best thing about this is the RELATIONSHIP mystery, intrigue, intensity, and interaction.

    Telling why I liked the book will give away something important. So I put it in my review of this book on Goodreads and Amazon, coded as a Spoiler.

    There were some things a bit contrived, but I was willing to accept them. One had to do with the author not showing motivation for a character’s actions. Another was the heroine doing something stupid, going off alone with an uncharged phone and no weapon. But the rest was so engaging that I felt five stars anyway.

    There were five sex scenes. Two of them maybe a page long, the others shorter.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Jonathan Davis was very good. He’s not a favorite but good enough. I was pleased with his voices for women.

    Genre: romantic suspense.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1346)
    Performance
    (1236)
    Story
    (1247)

    >When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.

    Tango says: "Beautiful story, beautifully written"
    "It’s wonderful."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love stories about unusual relationships, and this is one of the best.

    But it needs a pdf file for pictures. Pictures are in the physical book, but the audiobook buyers lose out. There are some pictures on the website lawrenceanthony dot co dot za

    As to the story, this is truth stranger than fiction. It’s wonderful to watch a man talk to angry wild elephants. Emotions are communicated both ways. It shows there are other senses than those we normally think about or accept.

    The story is what it’s like to run a game preserve in southern Africa. There are problems with employees, poachers, and working with local tribal leaders. And of course problems with the animals. The animals are Lawrence’s family -- his children. There is always some new thing he needs to attend to. But the story is mostly about Lawrence and the elephants. It’s a true story. And it’s fabulous.

    Too many true stories are depressing with bad things happening to animals. But this is not. The main animal and human characters do not die. There are some animal deaths, but the ending feels good.

    The audiobook narrator Simon Vance did an excellent job.

    Genre: nonfiction.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1566)
    Performance
    (1321)
    Story
    (1357)

    On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war.

    Amazon Customer says: "Beautiful, Heartbreaking, and Informative"
    "3 ½ stars. Good education."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bad recording equipment picked up narrator’s breaths. Needs a pdf file for pictures.

    I learned a lot but it was long. At times it dragged. A different author could have been more selective. I feel like Goodwin’s goal was to provide as much information as possible, so a historian would be pleased to find a diary entry that he had not read before. I stayed with it because it was good for me. I’m glad I read it, but it was not as compelling or engaging as I hoped.

    At times the subject matter was depressing. So many deaths in that war. I admired the morality of northerners willing to support the war against slavery. I was surprised and admired how Lincoln got enemies and those with conflicts to work together. He always took blame so others would not look bad.

    I was surprised at how cowardly some northern generals were. Lincoln could not find good generals. The ones he had were afraid to attack and afraid to chase. Most of the fighting was when the South attacked. In one case McClellan was ordered to move his troops to help another general. McClellan wouldn’t do it. At the same time Grant was out west fiercely fighting and winning. Lincoln was so happy to finally have a general who would fight, so he put Grant in charge of the whole thing. I was impressed with Lee’s brilliant military leadership in the south.

    Also memorable was Lincoln’s desire to forgive. One of his cabinet members Chase campaigned against Lincoln for reelection and said negative things about Lincoln. After Chase lost, Lincoln gave another assignment to Chase because Chase was the best man for the country. Lincoln wanted to help the South recover after the war. He did not want to punish the South. Booth was so stupid to kill Lincoln. He was angry at freeing the slaves. But he killed the one man who would have forgiven and helped the South the most.

    The awe of the Gettysburg Address. Reading it now in the middle of this book is so different from when I read it in high school. I have more understanding of what was going on, and it made the Address more powerful.

    There needs to be a PDF file for audiobook buyers for pictures and illustrations that were in the physical book.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Suzanne Toren is a good reader for this book. But the recording equipment picked up her BREATHS. Her breathing was sooo distracting and sooo annoying. Recording people: Please solve this problem! I don’t hear other narrators breathing.

    Genre: biography.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel, Book 19

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (491)
    Performance
    (454)
    Story
    (449)

    "You can leave the army, but the army doesn’t leave you. Not always. Not completely," notes Jack Reacher - and sure enough, the retired military cop is soon pulled back into service. This time, for the State Department and the CIA. Someone has taken a shot at the president of France in the City of Light. The bullet was American. The distance between the gunman and the target was exceptional. How many snipers can shoot from three-quarters of a mile with total confidence? Very few, but John Kott - an American marksman gone bad - is one of them...

    Jeffrey says: "Lee and Dick seem tired"
    "Not the best. Other Reacher books are better."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    But it’s still fun.

    I will always read the new Jack Reacher book. I like being in this world. He had about three or four beat em up scenes. Those were fun. But the story was not very good. There was a lot of going-nowhere-talk. My mind wandered at times. The author used the following phrase a lot. I smile when I hear it because it’s typical Reacher. “I said nothing.” “He said nothing.”

    Most of the Reacher books have been 3rd person narratives, so I was not happy with this done in 1st person.

    THE SERIES:
    This is book 19 in the Jack Reacher series. I gave 4 or more stars to the first seven books except for Running Blind.

    NARRATOR:
    The narrator Dick Hill was very good.

    Genre: mystery suspense.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Hidden Prey

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (448)
    Performance
    (383)
    Story
    (378)

    Six months ago, Lucas Davenport tackled his first case as a statewide troubleshooter, and he thought that one was plenty strange enough. But that was before the Russian got killed. On the shore of Lake Superior, a man named Vladimir Oleshev is found shot dead, three holes in his head and heart, and though nobody knows why he was killed, everybody - the local cops, the FBI, and the Russians themselves - has a theory. And when it turns out he had very high government connections, that's when it hits the fan.

    Ed says: "Davenport is all business in this one"
    "If you love this series then this book might be ok"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    but I was not taken. It dragged.

    Maybe it was just a hard-to-work-with-plot and uninteresting characters. Everyone keeps secrets from Lucas - good guys and bad guys. Even Nadia his partner does not tell him things. It was a slow process of puzzle solving. The ending was lackluster. It was not wrapped up well, but I didn’t care much. I was glad it was over.

    Main plot:
    A group of Russian families has been in the U.S. for decades. They consider themselves spies for Russia even though they rarely have contact with Russia and don’t do much. They kill a Russian. Nadia arrives from Russia to investigate and works with Lucas.

    Female characters.
    I don’t like the way the author writes women. He makes them weak, incompetent, or not smart in order to make Lucas look good. I don’t require strong smart heroines in everything I read. It’s ok to have weak characters in either sex. But make the main female character quirky, unusual, or something. So far in the three books I’ve read, I come out with an empty feeling about women. They are cardboard.

    Here’s an example. Nadia and a guy are in a room. Killer enters and shoots the guy then runs out. Lucas is nearby, hears gunshots, and sees the killer running. Lucas goes to Nadia and sees the guy shot. Lucas calls 911 giving information, tells Nadia to stay with the guy, and then runs off to chase the killer. Lucas is a good runner and gets close to the killer. Why didn’t Nadia do anything? She could have called 911. But no, Lucas has to delay his chase to make the phone call while Nadia stands there and watches. Why couldn’t Nadia chase the killer? Nadia is a Russian agent, not a shrinking violet fragile female. She’s cardboard.

    I was eager to read about Letty, a 12-year-old Lucas meets in book #14 (the previous book). She shoots a rifle and traps muskrats. I hoped she would have a bigger role in this book, but she had no role. The only thing said was Lucas was her guardian.

    I was impatient with Nadia’s dialogue. She asked too many word meanings which dragged the dialogue. Examples: “The others were tarnished and even had some, I don’t know the English, green coloring on the brass.” “How do you say...” “What’s this ‘upside’?”

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Richard Ferrone was good for general narration and men, but not women. He made them sound weird.

    Genre: mystery suspense thriller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Naked Prey: Lucas Davenport, Book 14

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (317)
    Performance
    (277)
    Story
    (280)

    In Naked Prey, John Sandford puts Lucas Davenport through some changes. His old boss, Rose Marie Roux, has moved up to the state level and taken Lucas with her. In addition, Lucas is now married and a new father, both of which are fine with him: He doesn't mind being a family man. But he is a little worried. For every bit of peace you get, you have to pay - and he's waiting for the bill. It comes in the form of two people found hanging from a tree in the woods of northern Minnesota. What makes it particularly sensitive is that the bodies are of a black man and a white woman, and they're naked....

    Ruth says: "Meet Letty West!"
    "3 ½ stars. Questions not answered."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Letty could have been better. Last half was good entertainment.

    I read book #1 in the series and did not like the womanizing element of Lucas. In this book #14 he’s married, so that should be less. But his female characters come across as cardboard. Part of it is women desiring men, but I don’t see men having intense desire for women. The men are magnets and don’t do anything to earn the attraction. It’s male wishful thinking. It’s a subtle undercurrent. I accept the author’s choice to not have smart, strong, competent women in his character mix. But at least give me something sassy, quirky, or unusual about some women.

    The opening murder scene had me glued to the page. Then it was slow creating the back story about everyone. But the last half was top notch. Very engaging. But, when it was over I was confused. I did not know who did what or how in the kidnappings. Who told Sorrell about Deon and Jane? What happened to Joe Kelly?

    I was disappointed with Letty but only because of my expectations. She is 11. Lucas meets her in this book and she supposedly continues as a character in future books. But I read the next book (#15) and she had no role in that. Letty traps muskrats for money and carries a rifle. I was hoping she’d have an unusual attitude or ability. But her dialogue and behavior were like a regular person - kind of flat.

    I was happy that justice was done and the bad guys “got it” in the end.

    I really liked the following. Someone was wondering who was more likely to commit a crime. “Deon was this ocean of want. He wanted money and he wanted dope and he wanted cars and he wanted clothes and he wanted to go to Vegas and LA and he wanted season tickets for basketball. Lauren didn’t seem to want anything. He didn’t seem to care about anything or even do anything other than sleep with Katina.”

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Richard Ferrone was good in a lot of ways, but I did not like some of his female voices – especially Letty. I also did not like some of his interpretations. For example “What does that mean? She growled.” He read this as a whine not a growl.

    Genre: mystery suspense thriller.

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