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Member Since 2011

  • 4 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 187 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014

  • The Raven Boys

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Maggie Stiefvater
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them - not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain.

    C. ALLINGER says: "Stiefvater does it again!"
    "Prediction: Top Contender for Odyssey Award..."
    If you could sum up The Raven Boys in three words, what would they be?

    Atmospheric, original, literary

    Have you listened to any of Will Patton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    My first Will Patton audio, but not my last!

    Any additional comments?

    Stiefvater's writing is as compelling and evocative as ever in this highly original psychological thriller. The narrator of this audiobook, Will Patton, is masterful at communicating each of Stiefvater's intricately drawn characters. The audiobook is atmospheric and beautifully dramatized, and, having attended the Odyssey Awards ceremony this past June at ALA in Anaheim and witnessing the caliber of the books and narrators who won recognition, I predict that Patton and Stiefvater will be among the top contenders for The YA Odyssey Award for excellence in audio production of a YA book.

    1 of 1 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

    "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"
    "No More Reacher! No More Dick Hill as Reacher!"
    What would have made Personal better?

    The last few Reacher books I have listened to have demonstrated a steady decline in quality. The action in this book meandered from Seattle to Arkansas (where everyone is stereotypically ALWAYS an idiot), to Paris, London, North Carolina. Too little action, too much talking. The constantly changing settings did nothing to advance the plot.

    What could Lee Child have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Many reviewers have stated their unease with Childs "jumping the shark" by having Reacher travel to Europe. I was offended by Reacher's know-it-all American attitudes in Europe, for example at the taxi station in London when Reacher acts like a stereotypical American with disregard for any culture or belief but his own. Reacher as a foreign operative? Picking fights just for the heck of it? In addition, some plot points stretched credulity: would Reacher and Nice really have been able to scope out the location of the upcoming summit in London? Would they have been the only others doing surveillance besides the local gang?

    How could the performance have been better?

    Dick Hill just isn't portraying Reacher as a vital, tall, brash hero. He makes Reacher sound old and folksy. I experimented with speeding up to 1.5X. but still couldn't hang in there with the book. We had to stop listening to the book on our road trip last week because Dick Hill was putting us to sleep. Whoever heard of falling asleep to the Reacher from "Kill Shot" or "The Killing Floor," back when Reacher was Reacher?!

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. It was nice for awhile having Lee Childs as a go-to author that we could enjoy on road trips.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Reamde

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Richard Forthrast created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game. But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe - and Richard is at ground zero.

    ShySusan says: "Not perfect, but worth a listen."
    "A cyber-thriller with great narration"
    What other book might you compare Reamde to and why?

    Stephenson's skillful pacing and mind-blowing imagination and detail remind me of the often overlooked writer, Allan Folsom, author of five terrific books: The Day After Tomorrow (1994), Day of Confession (1998), The Exile (2004), The Machiavelli Covenant (2006) and The Hadrian Memorandum (2009).

    What does Malcolm Hillgartner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Hillgartner's narration gripped me and yanked me through an unusual book that I might not have persevered with were it not for his excellent storytelling and voicing of characters and accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

    Alan says: "Outstanding"
    "Narrator brings a masterpiece to life"
    If you could sum up A Prayer for Owen Meany in three words, what would they be?

    Powerful, redemptive, darkly funny

    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Prayer for Owen Meany?

    Owen's dual performances as The Prince of Peace and The Ghost of Christmas Future stand out as one of the most ingenious, hilarious, memorable,and celebratory literary experiences I have ever had. The narrator is masterful at conveying all of Irving's dark irony.

    Any additional comments?

    This book is an example of one of Audible's main benefits for me: allowing or "forcing" me to read fine, powerful books that, for one reason or the other, I never got around to reading. (Other examples include "The Poisonwood Bible" and "The Kiterunner.") It was obvious from the opening paragraphs that I was going to enjoy this reading of an American masterpiece.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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