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John

NV, not NY

Sparks, NY, United States | Member Since 2008

96
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 42 reviews
  • 67 ratings
  • 407 titles in library
  • 46 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
6

  • Dreamsnake

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Vonda N. McIntyre
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (42)

    When the healer Snake was summoned, she traveled the blasted landscape with her three serpents. From the venom of two of them, she distilled her medicines. But most valued of all was the alien dreamsnake, whose bite could ease the fear and pain of death.

    george says: "Probably good for when it was written."
    "Chick Book"
    Overall

    Very imaginative and enjoyable enough, but written from a more emotional prespective that would seem to be geared more toward women. I'm not motivated to read other books by this author.

    3 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Master and Commander: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull
    Overall
    (2033)
    Performance
    (935)
    Story
    (927)

    This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, Royal Navy, and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the road of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

    Frank says: "Choice of Narrators"
    "Narrator drags on this story like a sea anchor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't realize there was a choice of narrators for the first 2 books of this series.. I'm going to excahnge my Tull version for the Vance version and listen again. A quicker paced narration will probably raise this book to a 4 or 5 star overall rating. To prove my point, Tull's version: 16hrs 39mins, Vance's version: 13hrs 17mins. Both are unabridged. The sad thing is that from book 3 on there's no choice of narrator. What a pity. I had just finished CS Forester's great series, and after the disappointment of this first book, I went on to Alexander Kent. The only problem with Kent's series is that not all of the series is recorded, but at least what's there moves along and keeps you interested.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bridge of Sighs

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Richard Russo
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (447)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (105)

    Louis Charles ("Lucy") Lynch has spent all his 60 years in upstate Thomaston, New York, married to the same woman, Sarah, for 40 of them, their son now a grown man. Like his late, beloved father, Lucy is an optimist, though he's had plenty of reasons not to be: chief among them his mother, still indomitably alive.

    Victoria Wright says: "Wonderful"
    "Another Gem"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to Empire Falls, Nobody's Fool and Bridge of Sighs and I loved each one of them. John Irving used to be my favorite for this genre of novel, but Russo has nudged him aside. Until someone else comes along, Russo is the best at revealing human nature in such a creative, unexpected, close to the bone, sad, serious, humourous, and relateable way. For more on Richard Russo read my review of Empire Falls.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Back to Blood: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (541)
    Performance
    (444)
    Story
    (449)

    As a police launch speeds across Miami's Biscayne Bay - with officer Nestor Camacho on board - Tom Wolfe is off and running. Here is a big, panoramic story of the new America, as told by our master chronicler of the way we live now. Based on the same sort of detailed, on-scene, high-energy reporting that powered Tom Wolfe's previous best-selling novels, Back to Blood is another brilliant, spot-on, scrupulous, and often hilarious reckoning with our times.

    Richard Delman says: "Too much. Too much. Too much. Too much. Too much."
    "A Tom Wolfe Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this story as much as A Man in Full. Part of what makes a story great is the adventure of learning things you never knew about a culture and a region, interesting things, and often fascinating things. I was completely captured over and over as this story careens from one cultural clique to another. We follow an unwilling and unlikely protagonist in Nestor Camacho a pumped up Cuban and Miami cop, almost a Keystone cop in the way he tries his best just to keep from screwing up yet winds up time and again as the center of Miami's media focus - as both a hero and a villan. Great story. Great characters. Great performance.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dream of Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Reginald Hill
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (27)

    Sairey Ellis's father is writing his memoirs. As an ex-security man whose life work has been in Africa, his revelations will be explosive, blowing the lid off British and Kenyan support for Idi Amin, and exposing the degree of unofficial British connivance in Rhodesian sanctions-busting.

    John says: "So, So"
    "So, So"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My first and only other Reginald Hill book was The Woodcutter which I loved. Wanting more I tried Dream of Darkness. It was OK, but nowhere near as good as the Woodcutter. I wish there was someway someone could let me know if any of his other books measure up.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Jack of Diamonds

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (663)
    Performance
    (572)
    Story
    (569)

    Born and raised in a poor, working-class family in Toronto, Jack Spayd is the son of an unhappy marriage. After being taken under the wing of "Miss Frostbite", the owner of a local jazz club, Jack becomes a gifted musician, playing piano and harmonica. Fame and the allure of gambling takes him to Vegas, and prospects of fortune take him to the Belgian Congo, where he's heard it's possible to earn big money working in the most dangerous parts of the local copper mines.

    Brodie says: "On the Day we lost Bryce"
    "Bryce should have left well enough alone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After listening to The Power of One, which I recommended to everyone I know, I went on to listen to Tandia, Brother Fish, Four Fires, and the Australia trilogy, all of which were great. Then came this, the last book Bryce wrote before he died. Sadly he seems to have had nothing left. This book is largely a rehash of stories contained in his earlier books: Harmonica player, piano player, poker player, even a rehash of the great mining story at the end of The Power of One.

    The other problem with this book is the narrator. As it is, you have to overlook the fact that all of Bryce's protagonist are Boy Scouts, but Humphrey Bower's narration just exacerbates this problem. I would describe his voice as Jocular. Even when something bad is happening he sounds upbeat about it.

    I gave all the aforementioned novels five star ratings, and I'll be forever grateful to Bryce and his enormous talent, and because of this, I feel a little guilty about panning this book, but that's the way I see it.

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Waging Heavy Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Neil Young
    • Narrated By Keith Carradine
    Overall
    (205)
    Performance
    (186)
    Story
    (188)

    An iconic figure in the history of rock and pop culture (inducted not once but twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), Neil Young has written his eagerly awaited memoir. Young offers a kaleidoscopic view of his personal life and musical career, spanning his time in bands like Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Crazy Horse; moving from the snows of Ontario through the LSD-laden boulevards of 1966 Los Angeles to the contemplative paradise of Hawaii today.

    John says: "Great book for Neil Young Fans"
    "Great book for Neil Young Fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I recently read Clapton's autobiography and found it a complete bore. Almost the entirety of the book was about his failed relationships and lifelong addictions - who cares. Neil Young, on the other hand, is a fascinating well rounded personality. Not only does he get into the music and musicians of the most musically influential period of our time, but we find out about his obsessions with model trains, electric cars, and a new high resolution digital music delivery system as well as his battle with epilepsy.
    Neil Young obviously wrote this book without any help and it shows. The story wanders from subject to subject and jumps around in time like a sci-fi movie, but somehow it all works. I never got lost and never lost interest, however, I doubt that non-fans would find this book worthwhile.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Brady Udall
    • Narrated By Scott Shina
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (75)

    This astonishing novel was chosen as a Best Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly and Newsweek. Contained within is the story of Edgar Mint, the half-Apache, mostly orphaned child who overcomes a serious childhood injury to embark on a life of tragedies, including a boarding school for Native Americans and a dysfunctional Mormon foster family.

    FanB14 says: "Master Storyteller"
    "Highly Recommend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story has it all, especially unforgetable characters. It's completely unpredictable and never takes a boring turn. I don't want to revel anything about this surprising book, so just take my word that you won't regret putting this one in your shopping cart.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Persimmon Tree

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1675)
    Performance
    (1231)
    Story
    (1221)

    The Persimmon Tree opens in Indonesia in 1942 on the cusp of Japanese invasion and the evacuation of Batavia (Jakarta) by the Dutch. Seventeen-year-old Nicholas Duncan is on holiday there, in pursuit of an exotic butterfly known as the Magpie Crow. It's an uncertain, dangerous time to be in Indonesia, and Nick's options of getting out are fast dwindling. Amidst the fear and chaos he falls in love with Anna, the beautiful daughter of a Dutch acquaintance, and she nicknames him 'Mr Butterfly'.

    Corinne says: "An excellent sequel"
    "Not entirely enthralled with this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Most subjects Courtenay writes about I find interesting if not fascinating, however the large middle section of this book about the woman's training to please her captor held almost no interest for me at all. But that's just me, you may love this part of the book. This was my least favorite Courtenay book to date.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Woodcutter

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Reginald Hill
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1180)
    Performance
    (877)
    Story
    (871)

    Wolf Hadda's life was a fairytale - successful businessman and adored husband. But a knock on the door one morning ends it all. Universally reviled, thrown into prison, Wolf retreats into silence. Seven years later Wolf begins to talk to the prison psychiatrist and receives parole to return home. But there's a mysterious period in Wolf's past when he was known as the Woodcutter. Now the Woodcutter is back, looking for truth and revenge...

    Diana says: "One of my favorite Reginald Hill books!"
    "Loved the characters, story, and reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hill has created a fascinating character in Wolf and Jonathan Keeble does a wonderful job in portraying him. The story, pacing, and well fleshed-out supporting cast make this book a winner. I'd love to see Wolf in another adventure.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ben MacIntyre
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (477)
    Performance
    (225)
    Story
    (218)

    Eddie Chapman was a charming criminal, a con man, and a philanderer. He was also one of the most remarkable double agents Britain has ever produced. Inside the traitor was a man of loyalty; inside the villain was a hero. The problem for Chapman, his spymasters, and his lovers was to know where one persona ended and the other began.

    Scott says: "Intrigue and True"
    "Interesting....at times"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The main character indeed led a remarkable life, but for the reader, there are long periods where nothing happens. There's also some interesting period information about the spy/counter spy game going on between England and Germany but not enough to sustain interest throughout the book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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