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Barry

Katy, TX, United States | Member Since 2007

378
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 35 reviews
  • 267 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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19

  • A Dark Matter

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Peter Straub
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (23)

    The charismatic and cunning Spenser Mallon is a campus guru in the 1960s, attracting the devotion and demanding sexual favors of his young acolytes. After he invites his most fervent followers to attend a secret ritual in a local meadow, the only thing that remains is a gruesomely dismembered body and the shattered souls of all who were present.

    A User says: "drugged"
    "Waste of a credit."
    Overall

    I really wanted to like this book. I loved older books written by Straub, like Ghost Story and Koko. Ghost Story is still one of the best horror stories I've ever read.
    But Peter Straub began to slip some time in late 80's or early 90's. His books became strained, vague, and uninteresting. He completely changed genres. So I basically gave up on Straub.
    With A Dark Matter, I decided to give him another shot, hoping that he had returned to some form of horror. I shouldn't have wasted my credit. I should have known better.
    This story is boring and repetitive. It simply explores several characters' bizarre dreams and imaginations (I think). It was frankly difficult to follow. I gave up on the book before I finished it. I just couldn't hang in there. I can't tell you if the ending was any better because I never got to the end.
    The only good thing about this book is the narrator. Robertson Dean is excellent, I've listened to some of his other narrations, and he never dissappoints.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Trust No One

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Gregg Hurwitz
    • Narrated By Patrick G. Lawlor
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (127)
    Story
    (127)

    As Nick peels back layer after layer of lies and deception, buffeted between the buried horrors of the past and the deadly intrigues of the present, he finds his own life - and the lives of nearly everyone he loves - at risk. And the only thing guiding him through this deadly labyrinth are his stepfather's dying words: TRUST NO ONE.

    Erin says: "Couldn't Put It Down"
    "Ruined by the narration."
    Overall

    First of all, let me say how much I hate the voice of this narrator. He has a high voice, and sounds like a 16-year old. And he runs his sentences together without a proper break. No talent at all at voices. I don't know how he got into audiobook narration, maybe he's related to a producer or something... this is a classic case of a bad narrator ruining a decent book.
    The story is only decent. I loved The Crime Writer and The Program, both excellent. But this book seemed to be too similar to other thrillers I've read (e.g., Harlan Coben, etc). It just seemed formulaic, and it never grabbed my interest. It gave me the feeling that I'd read the same story somewhere before.

    I will remain a Gregg Hurwitz fan, and will try to read all his books. I know he will write better books than this one. I just hope his future books aren't mutilated by the narrator as this one was.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Dome: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Raul Esparza
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9311)
    Performance
    (4287)
    Story
    (4313)

    On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.

    Suzanne says: "The scare is in the human nature under stress."
    "*Yawn* ...typical late King."
    Overall

    First off, I am a huge fan of the "early" Stephen King, what he wrote in the 70s and 80s... The Shining, Christine, Pet Cemetary, It, Misery, etc. All excellent top-of-the-genre horror novels.
    Since the early 90s, King has softened up quite a lot. Books like "Dolores Claiborne", "Duma Key" and "Lisey's Story" make me just scratch my head and wonder if this is really Stephen King writing.
    He's written consistently "soft" novels since the early 90s, and "Under the Dome" is no exception. It's not horror, not a thriller either, but more a story about political and religious corruption, and lust for power. Many of King's recent novels have his own political ideas injected into them, and this one is no different. It gets tiresome after a while. If I want politics I'll turn on CNN.

    King does a very good job with characters, I'll give him that much. But this book is so long, it drags. After the first 20 hours, it was very hard for me to keep interested. The book became totally predictable, and the novelty of the "dome" completely wore off.

    It's also pretty sad how every Christian is portrayed as a complete nutcase.

    About the narrator: I'd never heard Raul Esparza before, and I must admit I didn't like him at all. For some reason his voice sounds too young to me, and didn't really fit the story. He made the doctor Rusty sound like a 17-year old surfer dude. The voice he used for the little girls made me cringe. Yikes! Awful... I think he's just new at audiobook narration, and obviously needs more practice. This book would have benefitted from a more mature male voice.

    To sum up: it starts out interesting, but gradually tapers off and I lost interest as the hours passed... and passed... and passed.
    I wish the old Stephen King would come back and write something scary. I want to be frightened again.

    16 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • The Road

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5368)
    Performance
    (2016)
    Story
    (2044)

    America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

    Darwin8u says: "My wife says he's that Cold Desert Writer I love."
    "I loved this book"
    Overall

    I like McCarthy's writing style, but its never been better than in The Road. The setting is a bleak future, a man and his boy holding on to each other despite having absolutely nothing to live for. The story moves along well, with McCarthy's brilliant prose, but the bleak atmosphere is not something all will appreciate.
    Many criticize this book because of the lack of sophisticated dialog. In fact, a man and his son travelling along a road in the cold of winter probably would not have many deep, philosophical discussions.
    The story is simple, but it's what McCarthy does with it that gives its complexity.
    There are some moments in the story that are some of the most memorable I've ever read; particularly the man's remembrance of the final conversation he had with his wife.
    The author manages to introduce a fair amount of realistic suspense into the story. I cringed at what the man found in the basement of that house...
    McCarthy is one of the most brilliant writers, and he is at his absolute best here. But you'll probably either love it or hate it.
    Oh yeah, Tom Stechschulte's narration is perfect for this book.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The Shimmer

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Morrell
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    When a high-speed chase goes terribly wrong, Santa Fe police officer Dan Page watches in horror as a car and gas tanker explode into flames. Torn with guilt that he may be responsible, Page returns home to discover that his wife, Tori, has disappeared. Frantic, Page follows her trail to Rostov, a remote town in Texas famous for a massive astronomical observatory, a long-abandoned military base, and unexplained nighttime phenomena that drew onlookers from every corner of the globe.

    Snoodely says: "Thriller set within a real-life mystery"
    "Bad effort my a good author."
    Overall

    I like Morrell. The Protector was excellent, and so was Creepers. But I just could never get into this one. Mystery lights in the wilderness mess with people's minds. There isn't a whole lot to this story in the way of plot. It probably should have been a short story. It's slow and fairly boring. It's also a little unbelievable, the way so many people fall under the control of these "lights". Skip this one, and try some of Merrill's other books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Off Season

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jack Ketchum
    • Narrated By Richard Davidson
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (47)

    September. A beautiful New York editor retreats to a lonely cabin on a hill in the quiet Maine beach town of Dead River - off season - awaiting her sister and friends. Nearby, a savage human family with a taste for flesh lurks in the darkening woods, watching, waiting for the moon to rise and night to fall.

    Barry says: "Wow!"
    "Wow!"
    Overall

    Where has this autho been all my life? I'd never heard of Jack Ketchum till recently, and took a chance on this book. I am partial to this type of story, and the genre in general, but I didn't expect the book to be as good as it was. Very, very intense, graphic violence, but for a good reason. The antagonists (the family of cannibals) are truly froghtening, even the children. If you can deal with the violence, I highly recommend this book. One of the most frightening stories I've read in a long time.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17636)
    Performance
    (7560)
    Story
    (7588)

    Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government. On the eve of publication, the two reporters responsible for the story are brutally murdered.

    David says: "irritatingly engrossing"
    "Perfect follow up to a perfect book."
    Overall

    Rarely do I say this about a sequel, but in this case, the sequel is even better than the first book (The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo). I recommend reading the first book before reading this one, though. Both are interesting, and very intelligent novels. Plenty of suspense, intrigue, mystery in each, with outstanding characters. Narration by Vance is top notch.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pursuit of Honor: Mitch Rapp Series

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2701)
    Performance
    (1334)
    Story
    (1335)

    The action begins six days after a series of explosions devastated Washington, D.C., targeting the National Counterterrorism Center and killing 185 people, including public officials and CIA employees. It was a bizarre act of extreme violence that called for extreme measures on the part of elite counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp and his trusted team member, Mike Nash.

    Jason J Preston says: "Another Outstandung Vince Flynn Book"
    "His books are becoming repetitive"
    Overall

    I am a big Vince Flynn fan, and really enjoyed reading his books in the past, especially "Consent to Kill", which is my favorite. Guidell does a great job of narrating them.
    But now it seems that his recent books are just copies of what he's already written. I hate to say this about Flynn, because I am a big fan. But there was nothing new in this book. Same thing as before: Mitch Rapp chases sadistic terrorist around, always one step behind, while the terrorist unflinchingly kills anyone who gets in his way. The action always leads up to a final plot to blow up/assasinate someone or something important.
    I would like to see Flynn add a little more originality to his books, he's starting to repeat himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nine Dragons: Harry Bosch, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Len Cariou
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2185)
    Performance
    (821)
    Story
    (830)

    The one good thing in Bosch's life, the person he holds most dear, is taken from him and Bosch travels to Hong Kong in an all-or-nothing bid to regain what he's lost. In a place known as Nine Dragons, as the city's Hungry Ghosts festival burns around him, Bosch puts aside everything he knows and risks everything he has in a desperate bid to outmatch the triad's ferocity.

    Derek says: "Not Connelly's Best"
    "Bosch vs. the Chinese cartel"
    Overall

    I love Harry Bosch, and have read every book. This one is a nice departure, as it involves the Chinese gangs, and part of it takes place in Hing Kong. Nobody writes crime like Connelly, and this book is no exception. Highly recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Treason

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (871)
    Performance
    (627)
    Story
    (630)

    Lanik Mueller is a "rad" - radical regenerative - a freak who can regenerate injured flesh...and trade extra body parts to the Offworld oppressors for iron. On a planet without hard metals, or the means of escape, iron offers the promise of freedom through the chance to build a spacecraft. But it is a promise which may never be fulfilled, as Lanik uncovers a treacherous conspiracy beyond his imagination.

    Barry says: "Entirely enjoyable"
    "Entirely enjoyable"
    Overall

    First off, I am not a huge science fiction buff, but I like to read some scifi once in a while, just for a change of pace.
    I loved Ender's Game when I read it years ago, but found that the sequels were a little slow and boring. I'm referring to Speaker for the Dead and Xenophobe.
    "Treason" is the best Orson Scott Card scifi book I've read since Ender's Game. It is actually a story he wrote long ago, but is distinctly in Card's excellent storytelling style.
    The book moves along well from the beginning, with fascinating places and characters, and has a thought-provoking theme. It was utterly enjoyable, an easy, yet intelligent, read (listen), and I didn't put it down until it was finished.
    Oh yes, and the narration of Stefan Rudnicki is excellent as always.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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