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itinerant

here and there | Member Since 2007

79
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 41 reviews
  • 150 ratings
  • 1152 titles in library
  • 61 purchased in 2014
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  • Below Zero

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By C.J. Box
    • Narrated By David Chandler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (291)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (171)

    New York Times best-selling author C. J. Box's Below Zero is the 10th novel featuring Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett. The telephone calls from her stepdaughter April send chills down the spine of Joe's daughter Sherry. Wasn't April murdered six years ago in a bloody massacre? Wondering how this youthful caller knows details only April could know, Sherry becomes confused while Joe grows suspicious. Is the caller April - or are Joe and his family victims of a cruel hoax?

    itinerant says: "starting to fray"
    "starting to fray"
    Overall

    I've enjoyed this series, but it seems it's time for Mr. Box to move on. It's nice his characters have matured, that their interpersonal relationships have evolved . . . but they're really running out of variations of plotlines. And as with so many books in this genre, the author works too hard to create conflict via unreasonable characters in positions of power. These become cliches of the bad FBI agent, the corrupt local official, unrealistically bent and wrong and self-serving, largely to make the protagonist seem a strong, reluctant, righteous hero.

    I do like the landscape in these books, though, which is most likely what brings me back.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Better Read Than Dead: Psychic Eye Mysteries, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Victoria Laurie
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Michaels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (756)
    Performance
    (591)
    Story
    (582)

    Word of Abby's talents reading tarot cards has reached a mob boss who wants her help in some business matters and he doesn't take no for an answer. When the police seek out her psychic intuition to shed light on a masked man who's been attacking women, Abby finds herself working both sides of the law on her own, leading her to wonder, why didn't I see this coming?

    Heather B. says: "Better Read Than Dead -Victoria Laurie"
    "cheap . . . but not cheap enough"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this on a whim because it was on sale, but I wouldn't have finished it if I were paid to read it. The doughty heroine is a wretched amalgam of teen angst and New Age conceit, and manages to convert the truly awful things happening to her clients into yet more reason to obsess over her own personal melodramas. The narrator is too old a voice for the character, but along with the author can still not distinguish between the silliness of the premise and the seriousness of the plot events . . . which end up being merely a platform to inflate the very hollow protagonist yet further . . .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Any Other Name: Walt Longmire, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (773)
    Performance
    (701)
    Story
    (691)

    Sheriff Walt Longmire had already rounded up a sizable posse of devoted readers when the A&E television series Longmire sent the Wyoming lawman’s popularity skyrocketing. Now, in Any Other Name, Walt is sinking into high-plains winter discontent when his former boss, Lucian Conally, asks him to take on a mercy case in an adjacent county. Detective Gerald Holman is dead and Lucian wants to know what drove his old friend to take his own life.

    C. Telfair says: "Lost in Fog with Buffalo"
    "Guidall & Longmire strike again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is such a great match of reader and writer that I'm willing to overlook some of Johnson's failings. The character is great, the tales are spiced with well-wrought humor and interesting characters, the settings are a refreshing change from the urban blight of most fiction.The visions, though, seem self-indulgent . . . and combined with the not believable physical feats, the denouements become something to be tolerated more than enjoyed. Johnson could easily convince me that he has walked in the snow in cowboy clothes, but instead he makes it as evident as possible he has not. I'm left feeling that Johnson feels he has transcended the need for verisimilitude, relying on humor and a well-established character, or perhaps he saves his credibility for the final train scene. I like the books, but I'd like to suggest to Mr. Johnson that he put on cowboy boots and a a fleece jacket and Stetson and seek out a blizzard and try to do what he has Longmire do. He might succeed, but his subsequent books will contain a lot more convincing details (and Longmire will buy some sensible clothes).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Equalizer

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Michael Sloan
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (72)

    Robert McCall is a former covert operations officer for the CIA who tries to atone for past sins by offering, free of charge, his services as a troubleshooter (often literally), a protector, and an investigator. People in need find him through a newspaper ad: "Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.” Aided by a group of sometimes-mysterious contacts (some of whom date back to his spying days), McCall traverses the streets of New York City, visiting justice upon those who prey upon the weak.

    shelley says: "THE EQUALIZER is truly worthy of an AWARD!!"
    "long, yet tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I began to hope the bad guys would kill the equalizer. He's righteous for no apparent reason, causes more problems than he solves, but doesn't acknowledge this, has an X-like love for the weak, downtrodden, poor and mad, but his selflessness is unconvincing, emerging more from a writer's desire to create a hero than from any believable (or interesting) aspect of his character. Saintly superheroes aren't innately interesting or likable, hence cheering for the bad guys. Some of the action sequences are well-handled, with enough wrong turns to create suspense, but the spaces between are long and wretchedly written.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Reflex

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Steven Gould
    • Narrated By Macleod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (674)
    Performance
    (601)
    Story
    (605)

    Davy has always been alone. He believes that he's the only person who can teleport. But what if he isn't? A mysterious group of people has taken Davy captive. They don't want to hire him, and they don't have any hope of appealing to him to help them. What they want is to own him. They want to use his abilities for their own purposes, whether Davy agrees to it or not. And so they set about brainwashing him and conditioning him. But there's one thing that they don't know....

    Katherine says: "Exciting sequel to Jumper"
    "slow maturation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Following a several-year time gap, this follow-up begins asking some of the logical questions ignored in the first, High Concept episode. It's still good fun, though I found the Family Values motif a bit overdone and over-agendized. The ending shows the story is by no means complete, but I'm satisfied enough with the examination of the concept that I won't feel desperate for the next one, just as I won't regret reading this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gun Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Warren Ellis
    • Narrated By Reg E. Cathey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (214)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (188)

    After a shootout claims the life of his partner in a condemned tenement building on Pearl Street, Detective John Tallow unwittingly stumbles across an apartment stacked high with guns. When examined, each weapon leads to a different, previously unsolved murder. Someone has been killing people for 20 years or more and storing the weapons together for some inexplicable purpose. Confronted with the sudden emergence of hundreds of unsolved homicides, Tallow soon discovers that he's walked into a veritable deal with the devil.

    JunkyardMessiah says: "Perfect marriage between writer and narrator"
    "something a little different"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was fun. Some good forensics, interesting characters, lots of info on prehistoric Manhattan, corruption in the ranks, gruesome carnage. Not the run-of-the-mill good guys vs bad guys book: this author has some interesting things to say and has wrapped it up in a package whose central premise seems a bit weak but ultimately makes some kind of sense, and en route goes to some cool places.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zodiac Station

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Tom Harper
    • Narrated By Piers Wehener
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (63)

    "An extraordinary thriller set at the frozen edge of the world, perfect for fans of Kate Mosse, Michael Crichton and Dan Brown.In the Arctic Ocean, the US Coast Guard icebreaker Terra Nova batters its way through the pack ice. There shouldn't be anyone near them for hundreds of miles. But then a lone skier, half-dead with cold, emerges out of the snow. His name is Tom Anderson, and he is the only survivor of a disaster at Zodiac Station, a scientific research base deep in the Arctic Circle.

    Richard Delman says: "Starts very well...and then bores."
    "obfuscatory"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book . . . in spots. The setting is interesting, the plot is interesting, the characters have a lot going on. The author, though, tells the story in a convoluted way that obscures many of the better qualities of the tale in favor of creating ambiguity and conflict . . . not conflict between characters so much as between versions of the truth. Much of this is realistic, created by the setting and the difficulty of communication, but much of it is a storyteller's conceit, creating confusion and delaying its resolution to pad the narrative and frustrate the reader, along the lines of a television series in its tenth year, when the writers have run out of ideas and the narrative turns mostly meta.

    So it's a good book, but it requires some active listening to keep the plot lines disentangled, and walks the thin line of asking too many times if the effort is worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Darker Place

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Laurie R. King
    • Narrated By Alyssa Bresnahan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (140)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (66)

    Professor Anne Waverly teaches religious studies at a respected university. Middle-aged and slightly lame, she spends her days in lecture halls and offices. But occasionally, she works for the FBI. As Ana Wakefield, an eager seeker of higher truths, she infiltrates cults. Now, leaving the security of academia, she is on her way to Arizona in a battered VW bus.

    ELAINE says: "One of my Favorites"
    "details, details"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read some of King's Sherlock Holmes titles and enjoyed them. She's a good writer . . . but in this case, not such a great story-teller. King anatomizes everything, and many of the details are compelling and make the story real and bring characters to life. Unfortunately, much of this reads like running in place: although there is a story arc, it's a very long flat arc, with the rising action and denouement occurring in the last few pages and for the most part off-stage. The lovingly-rendered world and the few characters and the pleasant prose kept me listening, but despite heavy foreshadowing and ominous flashbacks, the story never really got going: an endless series of quotidian events eventually erupted in a flurry of action (again, largely off-stage), making for a generally unsatisfying listen. The abrupt shift from Sedona to England about 2/3 of the way through seemed more a desperation move to salvage the narrative than a logical or necessary narrative maneuver, rendering the immensely long introduction a real waste of time (and I was never convinced King had ever been to Sedona or driven a Volkswagen van, either). The novel set out to be about religious zealotry and fatal conflicts with ham-fisted authorities, but was really about a woman who had lost her daughter . . . either one would have been fine, but it ended up being satisfactory at neither.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death on a High Floor

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Charles Rosenberg
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (693)
    Performance
    (608)
    Story
    (610)

    On the 85th floor of a glittering high-rise in Los Angeles, Robert Tarza steps into the lobby of the Marbury Marfan law firm to discover his partner Simon Rafer lying in a pool of blood - an ornate dagger plunged into his back. Robert had worked with Simon for decades, and their relationship was fraught with conflict. But he never imagined he would wind up as the prime suspect for his colleague’s murder. As the evidence stacks up against him with frightening speed, he quickly falls from his respected position to that of a criminal dragged through the tabloids.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Excellent Mystery, Brilliant Narration"
    "well read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator seemed perfect to portray the protagonist. It's an uncommon stroy with some well-drawn characters. The reader's voice and approach to the material are excellent. The story veers a bit in the second half, but eventually the author seems to get a handle on the material (the Daniel Boone interlude had me wondering how such a well-crafted book could take such a wrong turn) and all goes well again. I'll be looking at more books by this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Leopard: A Harry Hole Novel, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø, Don Bartlett (translator)
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1152)
    Performance
    (957)
    Story
    (951)

    Two young women are found murdered in Oslo, both drowned in their own blood. Media coverage quickly reaches fever pitch: Could this be the work of a serial killer? The crime scenes offer no coherent clues, the police investigation is stalled, and the one man who might be able to help doesn't want to be found. Traumatized by his last case, Inspector Harry Hole has lost himself in the squalor of Hong Kong's opium dens. Yet when he is compelled, at last, to return to Norway - his father is dying - Harry's buried instincts begin to take over. Then a female MP is discovered brutally murdered.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Simply Fantastic! A great buy!"
    "more good stuff"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I hope I haven't listened to all of these, because I keep wanting more. It's good to space these Nesbo books out a bit, though: it's not a world to live in more than once a year, maybe. James Lee Burke is similar: good, but best not to stay immersed in too long.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Black-Eyed Blonde: A Philip Marlowe Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Benjamin Black
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (58)

    Raymond Chandler's incomparable private eye is back, pulled by a seductive young heiress into the most difficult and dangerous case of his career. "It was one of those summer Tuesday afternoons when you begin to wonder if the earth has stopped revolving. The telephone on my desk had the look of something that knows it's being watched. Traffic trickled by in the street below, and there were a few pedestrians, too, men in hats going nowhere."

    Brustar says: "Close Your Eyes and Marlowe Is (almost) Back"
    "best Chandler reboot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read every Chandler story and novel several times, and looked into every Chandler reboot I could find. This one hits all the right notes. Someone complained about the narrator, but I thought it was just fine. Not a Humphrey Bogart imitation, but a good straightforward read of a well-wrought book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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